DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

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Thought for the Day

2nd November 2017

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Rapid-Fire News Cycle Leaves Bump Stocks Behind

1st November 2017

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Everyone from Sen. Diane Feinstein (D – Cal.) to the leadership of the National Rifle Association was on board with some form of restriction and a flurry of bills were introduced to prohibit them outright.

Today, people seem to have forgotten all about them.

Guess they weren’t that big a deal after all.

 

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Thought for the Day

1st November 2017

In honor of my brother’s birthday.

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UK Weather Latest: Britain to Face Coldest Winter in Five Years, Say Meteorologists

31st October 2017

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How about that Global Warming, eh? Good thing the Science Is Settled.

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Thought for the Day

31st October 2017

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Why Feminists Must Understand Evolution

31st October 2017

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It is my goal to explain why the causes of male and female difference are not merely cultural or the product of patriarchal indoctrination. Separate athletic competitions and distinct medical disciplines of gynaecology and urology testify to the most obvious biological differences between men and women. But the scientific method ? a co-operative, critical, and self-correcting process which has midwifed huge technological and medical advances ? can also help us to understand more subtle differences between the sexes in interests and aspirations. And it is understanding what we really are that will make us free.

Science is SCIENCE … except when it goes against the Narrative, at which point DOWN THE MEMORY HOLE!

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The Manafort Indictment: Not Much There, and a Boon for Trump

30th October 2017

Andy McCarthy unpacks things.

The Paul Manafort indictment is much ado about nothing . . . except as a vehicle to squeeze Manafort, which is special counsel Robert Mueller’s objective — as we have been arguing for three months (see here, here, and here).

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About That Fourth Tax Bracket

30th October 2017

Kevin Williamson has had enough.

I have a rate proposal of my own for that top bracket: zero.

I have for a long time been sympathetic to the idea of capping the total annual taxes paid by an individual, say at $1 million a year. I call it the Max Tax. There’s no good economic reason for it, I’ll be the first to admit. Barack Obama used to say that, at a certain point, you’ve made enough money. I think that, at a certain point, you’ve paid enough tax, at least for the year. The Left likes to talk about “fair share,” even though right now, as things stand, the top 20 percent of income earners pay basically all the federal income tax — their share of taxes is wildly disproportionate to their share of income. Call me old-fashioned, but I think a million bucks a year is more than one’s “fair share.” I like the idea of other tax caps, too: For example, I’d cap the lifetime property taxes on a residence at the price of the house itself. If you’ve paid off your house once, and then paid for it again through property taxes, it should be, at long last, your house. Yes, this would create some weird economic incentives, but I’m okay with some of that, and much of it could be mitigated through designing the cap rules intelligently.

If you pay a million bucks in taxes, you shouldn’t get a visit from a guy with his hand out asking for more. You should probably get a thank-you card. I don’t care if you made $1 billion this year — I don’t care if you made $1 billion this week — a million bucks is a lot of money.

I like it. It has texture, and scope.

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Thought for the Day

30th October 2017

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Anti-togetherness: The Virtues of Disunity

29th October 2017

Fred Reed lays out some inconvenient truth.

A Truth Not Welcome: People do not like being with those different from themselves . Sometimes, briefly, we find it interesting, as in traveling, but for extended periods, no. This distaste pervades society, often unnoticed, with consequences.

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Thought for the Day

29th October 2017

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Corporate Tax Burden Again

29th October 2017

The Grumpy Economist (love that name) points out some inconvenient truth.

I think every economist in this debate admits, if some reluctantly, that “corporations” pay no taxes. As an accounting matter, every cent corporations pay comes from higher prices, lower wages, or lower payments to shareholders. The only question is which one.  And indirect general equilibrium effects are central.  The question is not just, how do corporations respond immediately, but how do wages, prices, and capital in the whole economy adjust. “Make corporations pay their fair share” is just nonsense.

The only pool of money from which corporations can ‘pay taxes’ is the pool of money they get from their customers. Neither mangers nor shareholders reach into their own pockets to give this extra money to the government.

‘Corporate taxation’ is merely a stealthy way to get more money out of their customers. In that sense, it’s really a form of sales tax — which, as every economist knows (and every proglodyte ignores) is one of the most regressive forms of tax there is. So every proglodyte screaming ‘Tax the rich!’ when corporate tax rates are discussed are actually screaming ‘Tax the poor!’ without knowing it. (Screaming Without Knowing is what proglodytes do best.)

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Nov. 8 ‘Scream Helplessly at the Sky’ Might Just Be Major Media Event

29th October 2017

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With the anniversary of the election of Donald Trump to the presidency only a little over two weeks way on November 8, how are you planning to commemorate that momentous event? Well, for thousands of Social Justice Warriors who still can’t accept the notion of a President Trump the answer seems to be to scream helplessly at the sky. I kid you not. In fact they have named their event “Scream Helplessly at the Sky.”

Show the Trumpster you care! Your tears taste so sweet!

“Scream Helplessly at the Sky” should be way overmatched in terms of participation by “Laugh Hilariously at the Screen” when this event appears on the television news.

I’ll be there, with popcorn.

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Thought for the Day

28th October 2017

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Thought for the Day

27th October 2017

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Blue Blood, and Lack Thereof

27th October 2017

Severian sparks a national dialog.

Quick expansion on a comment I made on this piece at Z Man’s.  I’ve said here somewhere that we’d have been spared a lot of grief as a nation had we repealed the Constitution’s “titles of nobility” clause. Had we created Bill and Hillary Clinton Lord and Lady Cornpone, Duc and Duchesse d’Arkansas, they’d have no need to pester the rest of us in politics.

Our Elite actually gets its position via blue blood, but — since everyone has to take the SAT and go through the college application process — feels it got where it is on merit.  A British blueblood has “being a blueblood” as his life’s vocation; the phrase “our class does/don’t do that sort of thing, old chap” really means something to him.*  American bluebloods feel guilty about being bluebloods.  They feel they have to prove they deserve it.  So when they get bored, they don’t call up the hounds and go hunting like a proper knight-of-the-shire does; they start looking for people’s lives to Improve.

Meddling is the favorite hobby of the Crust.

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Plant Metaphor

26th October 2017

Freeberg gives it a think.

Imagine that we set a whole bunch of famous leaders down and gave them a pop quiz: “What is the purpose of government? What is the State for[?] Then we sort them into buckets.

One common answer would be “the State exists to create Utopia here on earth,” and guys like Lenin, Hitler, Mao, and Obama would be in that bucket. Their Utopias would all look different, and they’d employ different means to get there, but all those guys would agree that their governments are trying to create a perfect world.

Another bucket contains guys like Oliver Cromwell, Suleiman the Magnificent, Charlemagne, and Ferdinand and Isabella. Their answer is something like “government exists to give greater glory to God, and/or punish His enemies.”

A third bucket is full of guys who answered “the purpose of the State is to give me and my entourage the highest possible standard of living” — Genghis Khan, Louis XVI, pick your ancient empire-builder.

A fourth bucket reads “the State exists to keep the natural world in balance.” Egyptian pharaohs and Confucian emperors fit here — they have to do their daily rituals or the world falls out of whack.

A fifth — very small — bucket reads “Government exists to protect its people’s life, liberty, and property.” Here you find George Washington, Jefferson Davis, William Pitt, and (arguably) guys like Pericles and the consuls of the Roman Republic.

I’d argue that the guys in the “state as utopia” bucket are the Left, and the “protect the people’s rights” bucket are the Right. That leaves the vast majority of all governments that have ever existed in the middle three buckets…

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Thought for the Day

26th October 2017

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None of the Above

26th October 2017

Joe Bob Briggs looks behind the curtain.

One of the funniest writers in the sports department where I started my career—a quick-witted guy who should have known better—got promoted to editorial writer. This meant he was responsible for the daily Wisdom Decrees passed down by whoever dwells in those mahogany-lined offices with the big windows that always seem to contain photographs of presidents and home-run hitters.

He lasted three months.

“You can’t pay me enough to have an opinion every day,” he told me when he returned to the safe haven of minor-league baseball and publinks golf tournaments.

I feel the same way, and I don’t even work for an editorial page.

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“The Swagger of a Hungarian Cavalryman”

26th October 2017

Watch it.

I love these graphical music notation videos.

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The Universe Shouldn’t Exist, Scientists Say After Finding Bizarre Behaviour of Anti-Matter

26th October 2017

Read it.

Good thing there’s a consensus about global warming. That’s totally proven.

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Flake To Base: You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit

25th October 2017

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Flake is certainly living up to his name.

I think this is the first never-Trumper to bite the dust.

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Thought for the Day

25th October 2017

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The Modern World of a Medieval Sport

25th October 2017

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Ponder a world in which a lot of people prefer the Middle Ages to now.

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Social Capital and Labor Market Networks

25th October 2017

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We explore the links between social capital and labor market networks at the neighborhood level. We harness rich data taken from multiple sources, including matched employer-employee data with which we measure the strength of labor market networks, data on behavior such as voting patterns that have previously been tied to social capital, and new data – not previously used in the study of social capital – on the number and location of non-profits at the neighborhood level. We use a machine learning algorithm to identify potential social capital measures that best predict neighborhood-level variation in labor market networks. We find evidence suggesting that smaller and less centralized schools, and schools with fewer poor students, foster social capital that builds labor market networks, as does a larger Republican vote share. The presence of establishments in a number of non-profit oriented industries are identified as predictive of strong labor market networks, likely because they either provide public goods or facilitate social contacts. These industries include, for example, churches and other religious institutions, schools, country clubs, and amateur or recreational sports teams or clubs.

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Taxes and the Rich — Yes, They Pay Their Fair Share, and They Will After Tax Reform, Too

25th October 2017

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Our tax system is unfair, at least if you measure fairness by the fact that a very small number of taxpayers carry almost all the income tax burden.

 The top ten percent of earners, those making more than $138,000 in 2015, made 47 percent of the nation’s income, but they paid 71 percent of the nation’s income tax.  The top 1 percent, the people former President Obama decried the most, made 21 percent of the nation’s income in 2015, but they paid 39 percent of the nation’s income tax.

Not only are these people paying their fair share, they’re picking up other people’s shares as well.

The rich people who prose on about how their taxes are too low are free to write a check to the IRS.

Go ahead. We’ll wait. And wait … and wait … and wait….

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We Don’t Need No Stinking Metric System!

25th October 2017

Steven Hayward at Powerline reflects.

I’ve always been fond of the old line that “There are two kinds of countries in the world: those that use the metric system, and those that have been to the moon.” Heh. The American disdain for the metric system is one of those little tics that cosmopolite liberals like to point to as just one of many reasons for their contempt for America and its citizens. (They never seem to have the imagination to exploit the cognitive dissonance that might be had from gunowners’ acceptance of 9 mm ammunition.)

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Thought for the Day

24th October 2017

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It’s Time to Do Nothing About Guns

24th October 2017

Kevin Williamson looks behind the curtain.

Politics is not about policy: Politics is about tribe. Turn on Thom Hartmann’s radio program some time and, if you can stomach two minutes of it, you’ll understand what politics really is for many people: a license to hate. The indulgence of hatred is, for a certain kind of person — not an uncommon type, either — extraordinarily pleasurable, as is the expression of outrage, disgust, and indignation. You probably have seen this, in someone else or in yourself: In the course of detailing some outrage or act of buffoonery, one lists each detail, building up to a crescendo, and then — the smile. A big, wide smile of serene satisfaction announcing that the day’s outrage has been duly and deeply savored.

Politicians, and their media minions, have good reason to keep us stirred up, to keep our passions in a state of constant excitation. If we stopped and thought about things for a minute, we’d tar and feather the lot of them.

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Is There Anybody Who Actually Breaks Beer Bottles During Bar Fights?

23rd October 2017

Read it.

I’ve always wondered about that.

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Thought for the Day

23rd October 2017

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After Universal Basic Income, The Flood

23rd October 2017

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Imagine falling asleep in the 1990’s and waking up today. You nodded off watching the news explain looming pension crises, a need to raise the retirement age, and some really old guy talk about “cost disease.” You wake up in 2017 and all of that happened, we really are out of money, Baumol is dead, and many “millenials” aren’t sure what the definition of a “pension” is, exactly. Then you read about UBI. Many an article explain proposed positives, but none explain quite how we’ve made the leap from “we can’t pay for people’s retirement anymore” to “let’s give everyone money and see what happens.”

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Conservatives Teach, Liberals Restrict

22nd October 2017

Freeberg sums it up.

Conservatives desire to teach. Yes this is in contravention against the stereotype, with the “new ideas” emerging and conservatives saying “No no no to new ideas, for I am a conservative.” But conservatives conserve civilization, and civilization is conserved by way of teaching. The old teach the young, so the young don’t have to re-learn everything the hard way; that is how it works. This is how you tie a knot, tie a bow, start a fire, use a knife, shoot a gun, go to Church. Yes, conservatives get surly about certain things. But very, very few of them go so far as to say “My kids are not allowed to watch movies because the actors are liberals.” Certainly, they don’t make a political movement out of such a thing. They don’t have the time for it. They’re too busy at their jobs, building things other people can use.

Liberals desire to restrict. Constantly. We don’t even need to wait past the next sundown to see more examples of it anymore, they emerge daily. Cultural appropriation! Sexist! Racist! It’s become such an unremarkable event for them to add more examples, to embiggen the definitions. So they can restrict some more. “Toxic masculinity!” With one single sweeping pronouncement, they declare 48% to 49% of humans to be toxic…”Don’t teach that in science, take it to a mythology class where it belongs!”…dishonest. What they mean is they don’t want kids to be taught religion. Even if the parents wish it. “Prosecute climate denialism!”…criminalize the very act of disagreeing with, or merely questioning, their catechism.

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Thought for the Day

22nd October 2017

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Dinners With Harold

22nd October 2017

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If you don’t know who Harold McGee is, this will tell you.

If you do know who Harold McGee is, this will tell you more.

If you want to be a good cook, you need to find out who Harold McGee is.

Just saying’.

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We Can’t Stem the Tide of Language Death

22nd October 2017

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And why should we? Every article ever written on the prospect of languages dying out proceeds from the unspoken assumption that That Is A Bad Thing. I don’t buy it.

A language is a tool. Tools that no longer serve a purpose are abandoned. The sole criterion for whether a tool serves a purpose is whether it is used. Abandoned tools may have some historical interest, but that hardly justifies a massive effort to make sure that the tool is retained in use.

Consider the hitching weight. A hitching weight was a lump of metal or stone carried in a horse-drawn vehicle that, when the vehicle was stopped, was attached to the horse’s reins to keep the horse from moving. How much use is there for a hitching weight nowadays? So close to none as to be negligible. Ought we to have a crash program (complete with taxpayer funding) to ‘preserve the hitching weight’? The question answers itself.

Yes, languages are valuable indicators of how the groups that use them thought about the world.

Yes, languages ought to be fully documented, if possible, before they die out, just as examples of other abandoned tools ought to be stored in museums.

But neither case justifies going to extremes of effort or expense to do that. I personally feel that all this hoo-hah is just a tempest in a teapot ginned up by people who have an obscure hobby to get other people (like you and me) to pay them to pursue it.

We see a lot of that these days.

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Thought for the Day

21st October 2017

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Millennials LOVE Bernie’s Tax Plan…Until They’re Told It’s Trump’s

20th October 2017

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President Donald Trump’s tax plan seems to really resonate with millennials, but only when presented as if it were a proposal from Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Campus Reform asked a number of students at George Washington University if they supported some of the features of Trump’s tax plan, but sold the provisions as key parts of Sanders’s vision for tax reform.

Isn’t that amazing.

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Thought for the Day

20th October 2017

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The Curse of Good Intentions

19th October 2017

Viscount Ridley lays down some inconvenient truth.

The curse of modern politics is an epidemic of good intentions and bad outcomes. Policy after policy is chosen and voted on according to whether it means well, not whether it works. And the most frustrated politicians are those who keep trying to sell policies based on their efficacy, rather than their motives. It used to be possible to approach politics as a conversation between adults, and argue for unfashionable but effective medicine. In the 140-character world this is tricky (I speak from experience).

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How to Make a Little Rocket Man Costume for Halloween

19th October 2017

Scott Adams gives step-by-step instructions.

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Using DNA to Sketch What Victims Look Like; Some Call It Science Fiction

19th October 2017

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In phenotyping, scientists scan a person’s genes for variations known to influence traits like skin color, eye color, geographical ancestry and freckling. They then plug those markers into a set of algorithms to generate a profile. In recent years, pharmaceutical companies like Parabon NanoLabs of Virginia have begun recreating faces.

Parabon’s tests revealed that Monique was primarily of sub-Saharan African descent, and not white as investigators had believed based on the color of the skin found on her remains.

So Race Doesn’t Exist Genetically except when cops are trying to identify a corpse, in which case, hey, I guess it does.

Steve Sailer sums it up:

I do want to point out that even though we are constantly assured that Science Has Proven Race Does Not Exist Genetically, it’s actually completely uncontroversial in forensic science that DNA can determine the race of pieces of corpses found floating in a New York bay.

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Please Replace the Sword, Says Owner of Now-Hollow Stone

19th October 2017

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The legendary sword has been pulled from the stone – but the owner wants it back and a crowdfunding campaign has been set up to replace the blade.

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Here Is Who Really Pays the Most Taxes in America

19th October 2017

Walter Williams, a Real Economist, lays out some inconvenient truth.

Let’s look at who pays what, with an eye toward attempting to answer this question: Are the rich paying their fair share?

According to the latest IRS data, the payment of income taxes is as follows.

The top 1 percent of income earners, those having an adjusted annual gross income of $480,930 or higher, pay about 39 percent of federal income taxes. That means about 892,000 Americans are stuck with paying 39 percent of all federal taxes.

The top 10 percent of income earners, those having an adjusted gross income over $138,031, pay about 70.6 percent of federal income taxes.

About 1.7 million Americans, less than 1 percent of our population, pay 70.6 percent of federal income taxes. Is that fair, or do you think they should pay more?

By the way, earning $500,000 a year doesn’t make one rich. It’s not even yacht money.

But the fairness question goes further. The bottom 50 percent of income earners, those having an adjusted gross income of $39,275 or less, pay 2.83 percent of federal income taxes.

Thirty-seven million tax filers have no tax obligation at all. The Tax Policy Center estimates that 45.5 percent of households will not pay federal income tax this year.

There’s a severe political problem of so many Americans not having any skin in the game. These Americans become natural constituencies for big-spending politicians. After all, if you don’t pay federal taxes, what do you care about big spending?

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Thought for the Day

19th October 2017

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Thought for the Day

18th October 2017

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Thought for the Day

17th October 2017

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Scientists Document ‘Opportunistic’ Alligators Eating Sharks

17th October 2017

Read it.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that.

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MSNBC Panel Sees Racism ‘Code’ in ‘Take the Country Back,’ Values Voters Summit

16th October 2017

Read it.

Amazing how only leftist intellectuals can detect these ‘racism codes’.

Remember: If you hear the dog whistle, then you’re the dog.

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Scott Adams Reviews Trump’s Record

16th October 2017

Watch it.

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