DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

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Archive for the 'Axis of Drivel.' Category

The inmates are in charge of the asylum.

A Crisis In Vancouver: The Lifeblood of the City Is Leaving

13th February 2016

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Actually, the crisis is the number of people ignorant of elementary economics who are allowed to write sky-is-falling articles like this one.

Come, let us fisk:

There is a growing societal divide in Vancouver that is threatening its future.

An assertion for which neither evidence nor argument are presented. Granted that it is part of the Narrative that person A having more money than person B is ipso facto a bad thing, just why it might be a bad thing is never backed up. OF COURSE IT’S A BAD THING! DIDN’T YOU HEAR ME? INEQUALITY!  Until your ears bleed. And saying, ‘Yeah? So?’ merely sets off another round of hand-waving.

The city is increasingly becoming an investor haven for the rich. Sure, there are some lucky souls, relatively middle-class people who got into the housing market before prices took off and who are now sitting on a gold mine. Most realize how fortunate they are, the lottery ticket they won.

Much like New York. Or London. Or even San Francisco. I don’t see those cities losing residents like, say, Aleppo or Damascus — the roads choked with handcarts, little children clinging to the skirts of their emaciated mothers, etc.

And they have consciences when it comes to the plight of those who have no hope of buying a house of any description in the city.

How is not being able to buy a house a ‘plight’? Let’s take a look at places where buying a house can be done with pocket change — Detroit, say — and see whether that place is more worth living in than Vancouver. I suspect not. Whatever became of the Narrative trope, Let’s Do Things Like The Europeans? People in Europe don’t expect to be able to buy a house, especially in a hipster part of the city; they rent, as they’ve done for hundreds of years. Don’t hear any whining out of Paris, or Rome, or Berlin, or Vienna, about the lack of housing affordability.

By now, everyone has a fairly clear picture of what is taking place; the confluence of factors that have led to the moment at which we have arrived; the global influx of capital, largely from China; low interest rates, a low Canadian dollar – all of which has created a price ascension that is beyond most people’s comprehension.

Only if you have to take your shoes off to count. The ‘low Canadian dollar’ is the fault of the government (but somehow I suspect that the writer of this article would be glad to give Justin Trudeau a blow job if asked). The ‘global influx of capital’ would, in any other circumstance be celebrated; when it’s housing, it’s a bad thing? How come?

For many young adults, however, the city increasingly represents a place of which they no longer can afford to be a part. Consequently, Vancouver faces an almost existential threat; what happens when the lifeblood of any community, those in their 20s and 30s, decide to leave?

Since when are people in the 20s and 30s ‘the lifeblood of any community’? The lifeblood of any community are people who can afford to buy things in that community and support local businesses; typically people in their 20s and 30s are on the low end of that demographic.

And when people in their 20s and 30s leave, you wind up like the small towns of the Midwest: Unemployment is high, good and services are unavailable, and the local mood is one of quite desperation. If Vancouver were going through the sort of process that, say, Detroic is going through, then there might be a valid point here. But I haven’t heard anything about it. Nor does this author provide any statistics to back up his assertion, as a Real Journalist would. So he’s just blowing hot air up our butts.

This is tiresome, so the rest is left as an exercise for the reader. But it’s just the same old Sky-Falling-Government-Must-Act song and dance we expect out of the Drive By Media these days.

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Bill Clinton Launches Attack on Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire

8th February 2016

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The former president appeared angry as he poured scorn on his wife’s opponent, portraying the Sanders campaign as dishonest and his healthcare proposals as unrealistic.

Being called dishonest by Bill Clinton is like being called ugly by a frog.

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Brown Staff Attends Social Justice and Diversity Retreat

4th February 2016

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Seemingly because contemporary American universities don’t already do enoughabout so-called social justice and diversity, Brown University’s Office of Campus Life and Student Services held a day-long “professional development” on the topics, and attendance topped 150 participants.

Called the “Social Justice Retreat: An Engaging and Open Space for Discussing Power, Privilege and Oppression,” both the morning and afternoon workshops during the January 19 affair “were packed with staff members,” according to Associate Dean Mary Grace Almandrez.

This is like mandating racial sensitivity training for the Obama White House. ‘Coals to Newcastle’ is the applicable cliche.

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More Comedy From The Times

4th February 2016

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As I mentioned the other day, stand-up comedians employ what they call “runners,” which are themes and punch lines they set up for recurrent laughs. Think of Jerry Seinfeld’s “did you ever notice. . .” or “not that there’s anything wrong with that” schtick.

Only days after the New York Times pranked us with their endorsement of John Kasich for the GOP nomination, they have returned with another of their comedy “runners,” in which they offer up “the conservative case” for a liberal idea, as though the Times really thinks we’ll fall for their good wishes for conservatism to prosper. They’ve done this repeatedly with bad ideas for climate change, criminal justice reform, tax increases, etc. The shorter version of all of these articles can be rendered “Why Conservatives Should Change Their Mind and Agree with Us.”

The ultimate in government regulation is empowering the government to regulate the process by which it is constituted by the people. The government is itself today the largest interest group in the nation—a fact that would horrify the founders. Giving the government more power to regulate political speech is to cement in place forever the primacy of the administrative state. Who thinks the government would regulate political speech against its own interest? Show of hands??

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Russian Air Strikes in Syria Make Reaching Civilians More Dangerous, Charities Warn

3rd February 2016

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Well, duh. I predict that the Russians will give this complaint all the consideration it deserves, i.e. none.

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Can Denmark Preserve Its International Reputation?

2nd February 2016

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A Voice of the Crust wags his finger. Unasked: Would it even want to?

 

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The Latest Misguided Attack on Charters and School Choice Is Heavy on Invective and Light on Facts

1st February 2016

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Sarah Lahm, a freelance journalist who has been an education fellow for The Progressive magazine, writes that “what passes for acceptable school choice rhetoric, behind closed doors, is frightening.”

This a nice opening to a hit piece on NSCW, especially to describe a public event that was held at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Not a lot of closed doors at that event, I’m guessing, especially since it was free and open to the public, but details, shmetails, right?

Lahm also clucks that the panel was all-white even as she notes that one of the intended participants was African American but he “was not able to make it.” And there’s this slag: “But that’s not all. The whole room was white, as far as I could see.” That would include Lahm, by the way.

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Guy With USELESS Degree From $62,965-A-Year College Is REALLY SAD About His Student Loans, You Guys

1st February 2016

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Slate, a once-semi-readable website,published a 2,925-word tome on Tuesday by a guy who is really sad because he managed to rack up $200,000 in student loan debt by getting a useless degree at a fancypants private college and then, by borrowing more cash to be a graduate student.

Lesson: Don’t waste your time in college getting a useless degree unless you have a trust fund that will support you while you whine about your First World problems.

Garner’s tale of woe and world-historical budgetary stupidity begins — as he tells it, in excruciating detail — when he was a high school senior. He was a “consumer” of the “vacuous platitudes” on college brochures, and so he excitedly applied to Connecticut College — a school which currently charges a comprehensive fee of $62,965 per year.

“My siblings and I had the privilege of expecting we would attend private colleges,” Garner explains, even though his family had become “financially stressed” when he was in high school.

As Robert A. Heinlein always used to say, ‘Stupidity is always a capital crime.’ Think of it as evolution in action.

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Remember When Pikas Were Going to Be Wiped Off the Face of the Earth Due to Climate Change? Never Mind…

1st February 2016

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The American pika is thought by many biologists to be a prime candidate for extirpation as the planet continues to warm, done in by temperatures too severe for this small mammal native to cold climates.

But a new study, published this week in the journal Global Change Biology, paints a different, more complex future for this rock-dwelling little lagomorph – the same order that includes rabbits and hares. Pikas may survive, even thrive, in some areas, the researchers say, while facing extirpation in others.

The research is important because pikas are considered a sentinel species for climate change impacts.

‘Sentinel species’ in eco-speak means ‘bloody shirt to wave to promote hysteria’. Just so you know.

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Clinton Family Unites to Urge Voters to ‘Stick With Experience’

1st February 2016

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Better the crook you know than the fool you don’t?

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What Are We to Make of Trump’s Blue-Collar Support?

1st February 2016

The L.A. Times illustrates why newspapers are dying.

Less obvious, or at least less discussed, is the parallel conundrum Trump poses for self-styled progressives. How far can they go in decrying Trump’s support among white blue-collar workers without seeming to write off what was once regarded as a core progressive constituency?

The delusion that blue-collar workers were ever a ‘core progressive constituency’ marks this as a prime Voice of the Crust moment. Who do they think voted for Nixon? and Reagan?

It could be argued that the writing-off has already occurred. There has long been a shift in left-liberal politics away from any broad identification with “the workers” — narrowly conceived as white, male and straight — in favor of specific social and environmental issues that pose no threat to existing economic structures. In that regard, Trump’s blue-collar support might be viewed as a vindication: Workers of the world, take a hike. We never liked you much anyway.

Well, that at least is honest enough. But they say it just to try to deny it, which means that they’re still delusional.

Still, there remains the vexing question of how a billionaire demagogue can win the loyalty of the very people whose class interests he opposes.

The assumption here is a cultural Marxist one, that ‘a billionaire demagogue’ has ‘class interests’ opposed to those of the working-class. It also harps on the traditional ‘progressive’ theme that if the workers only knew what their true class interests were, they’d vote for socialists. This is an article of faith, not fazed by facts on the ground.

What possible sense can we make of blue-collar workers of any age, gender or race supporting a man whose very existence rests on their exploitation and, increasingly, on their obsolescence?

Gee, that doesn’t fit the Narrative, so of course it can’t be true. And yet it is. Who can square this circle?

The usual answers — fear of terrorism, resentment of immigrants, disgust with the Washington establishment — are sound enough, but they don’t go very deep.

In other words, the facts don’t match the Narrative, so it can’t be that the Narrative is wrong — something else must be going on there. Now we’re getting into Conspiracy Theory territory.

It’s as if the impossibility of depth were a given.

As it is, in the religion of the Progressive. When facts don’t agree with Belief, the Belief is right, so there must be something wrong about the facts.

Fisking the remainder of the article is left as an exercise for the reader. It won’t be very difficult.

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Karl Marx is the Most Assigned Economist at American Colleges

31st January 2016

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And that sure explains a lot. Anybody who thinks that Marx is any sort of economist is an idiot; they might as well call Thomas Aquinas an economist.

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New Weasel-Phrase: ‘Religious Racism’

27th January 2016

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Faith schools have been accused of adopting an approach bordering on  “religious racism” by turning away pupils simply on the grounds of their religion.

I am not making this up. I’m curious as to what part of ‘faith schools’ these people don’t understand. Certainly their understanding of language leaves a lot to be desired.

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

And that’s it, in a nutshell — by controlling the words we use, these people are trying to control us. Understand what they’re doing, and resist.

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Economists Take Aim at Wealth Inequality

26th January 2016

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Well, economists who agree with the New York Times that ‘wealth inequality’ is ipso facto a horrible injustice.

These people — the top one-quarter of 1 percent of the country’s employed population — have enjoyed explosive gains in income and wealth in recent decades, even as salaries and wages stagnated for the typical American worker.

Note the use of the term ‘enjoyed’, as if this income had just dropped into their laps as they were somehow passing by on the street. No team of wild horses could get Nelson D. Schwartz to use the more accurate term ‘earned’, since that would be contrary to The Narrative.

Note that the entirety of the article is devoted to how much inequality is increasing — not one word attempts to justify the assumption that ‘wealth inequality’ is a Bad Thing.

They actually pay people to write this stuff.

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The Creation of a Crime Wave

25th January 2016

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James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University, is one of the most vocal proponents of the idea that mass shootings have not been getting substantially more common. It isn’t “the nature and number of incidents” that have really changed, he once wrote; it’s “the extent and style of news coverage.”

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Anthony Weiner Documentary Debuts at Sundance

25th January 2016

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I am not making this up.

n an early scene of the new documentary “Weiner,” former Congressman and scandal subject Anthony Weiner is biking through New York City.

“Are you somebody I’m supposed to know?” a passerby asks.

“Believe me, no,” Weiner says.

Like it or not, a lot more people are going to know a lot more about Weiner with this movie.

Although why anyone would want to defies explanation. Few people are more appropriately named than Mr Weiner.

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Jane Mayer Condemns the Koch Brothers for Not Being Progressive

23rd January 2016

Jonah Goldberg turns over a rock.

Charles and David Koch are billionaires. They own a very big company. They also are very prominent philanthropists, giving hundreds of millions to cancer research, concert halls, and other worthy causes. But what makes them hated and feared by progressives such as Mayer is their political work. They help fund some organizations and foundations, some purely educational, some partisan.

Liberal Democrats really hate the idea that there might somewhere, somehow, be a rich person who is not a Liberal Democrat. (It’s okay to be rich and a Liberal Democrat, like the Clintons and George Soros and the entire executive suite at Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, etc.)

“What people need to understand is the Kochs have been playing a very long game,” she told NPR’s Steve Inskeep. “And it’s not just about elections. It started four decades ago with a plan to change how America thinks and votes. So while some elections they win and some elections they lose, what they’re aiming at is changing the conversation in the country.” Dear God, it’s worse than I thought! They want to change the conversation! They want to persuade Americans to vote differently! The horror, the horror.

Oh, and Liberal Democrats really don’t like freedom of speech for anybody who doesn’t agree with them. Really hate it.

How, then, are the Kochs members of the radical Right? They are pro-gay marriage. They favor liberal immigration policies. They are passionate non-interventionists when it comes to foreign policy. They are against the drug war and are spending a bundle on dismantling so-called “mass-incarceration” policies. They’ve never seized a national park at gunpoint.

That just proves how sneaky they are.

They are members of the radical Right for the simple reason that they don’t like big government and spend money to make that case. Full disclosure: I’ve given paid speeches to some Koch-backed groups, despite the fact that I have my disagreements with the Kochs. They haven’t changed my mind, and I haven’t changed theirs. But the conversation continues. And that’s their great sin. Liberals are constantly talking about how we need an “honest conversation” about race or guns or this or that. But what they invariably mean is, they want everyone who disagrees to shut up. (That’s why they hate Fox News, too.)

Yup. Free speech for me and not for thee, that is the ‘progressive’ motto.

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Harvard Fellow Claims ‘Bigots Stealing Feminism’ After Migrant Sex Assaults in Europe

22nd January 2016

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Rather than condemning the rapes in Europe, this feminist calls people racists for noticing.

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Portland Community College to Devote an Entire Month to ‘Whiteness’-Shaming

19th January 2016

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Portland Community College has designated April “Whiteness History Month” (WHM), an “educational project” exploring how the “construct of whiteness” creates racial inequality.

“‘Whiteness History Month: Context, Consequences, and Change’ is a multidisciplinary, district-wide, educational project examining race and racism through an exploration of the construction of whiteness, its origins, and heritage,” PCC states on its website. “Scheduled for the month of April 2016, the project seeks to inspire innovative and practical solutions to community issues and social problems that stem from racism.”

This from the whitest city on the Left Coast. You’d think that they’d just Do The Right Thing and walk into the sea, giving the area back to the skraelings.

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Oscars 2016: Spike Lee Boycotts Ceremony Over Lack of Diversity

18th January 2016

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Finally, an incentive to watch the Oscars.

Perhaps they could create some new categories:

Best Token Fashionable Minority Affirmative Action Victim.

Best Supporting Token Fashionable Minority Affirmative Action Victim.

Best Celebrity Snit.

Best Excuse to Wildly Throw Around Accusations of Racism and Sexism.

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Some Inconvenient Gun Facts for Liberals

18th January 2016

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And this is in the New York Times, so it must be true, right?

We liberals are sometimes glib about equating guns and danger. In fact, it’s complicated: The number of guns in America has increased by more than 50 percent since 1993, and in that same period the gun homicide rate in the United States has dropped by half.

‘Glib’? I wouldn’t say that. ‘Delusional’? That I would say.

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‘Photographers Capture the Gap Between the Rich and the Poor’

14th January 2016

Read it and weep.

National Geographic, which until recently was an excellent magazine about travel and the wide world, is now just another Voice of the Crust.

Example: the subhead for the above title, which is “A new book looks at extreme priviledge in an unequal world.’ Not only do they not know what the word privilege means, they can’t even spell it correctly.

Presumably whoever wrote that line went to a government school — all the traces are there. (I suspect that Becky Little’s real first name is ‘Chicken’.)

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Brooks Borks Cruz

14th January 2016

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David Brooks, the pet ‘conservative’ columnist for the New York Times, reveals himself publicly as just another shill for the Crust.

For our younger readers, the transitive verb “to bork” is an eponym from the late Robert Bork, whom Ronald Reagan unsuccessfully nominated to the high court in 1987. Political lexicographer William Safire defined it as to “attack viciously a candidate or appointee, especially by misrepresentation in the media.”

Brutalism is a style of architecture, but Brooks means to repurpose the term as an ideological slur—and a religious one.

“In his career and public presentation Cruz is a stranger to most of what would generally be considered the Christian virtues,” Brooks writes. “Cruz’s speeches are marked by what you might call pagan brutalism. There is not a hint of compassion, gentleness and mercy.”

That line of attack is redolent of the late Sen. Howell Heflin, an Alabama Democrat who—as George Will noted the following year—said he opposed Bork in part because, as the senator put it, he was “disturbed by his [Bork’s] refusal to discuss his belief in God—or the lack thereof.”

Scott Johnson, a Real Lawyer, reviews the Haley case that causes Brooks such heartburn here and concludes that Cruz had a legitimate case.

I would be surprised if Haley did not know that Texas has a three-strikes law. When he committed the second felony he obviously knew that he had been accused of the first felony (he was convicted three days later). More importantly, when Haley stole the calculator five years later he certainly knew that he had two separate prior felony convictions, which would usually be considered “two strikes,” and Haley obviously did not know that the second felony was not technically a second strike because he did not raise it at trial. Nor did he raise this on his appeal of his conviction, which he lost.

The sentencing issue was raised for the first time on a habeas corpus application in state court, which was refused because his argument was not based on any facts that were not known at the time of the trial (the timing of the convictions was obviously in the record, it was just that nobody realized that the two prior felonies were not technically sequential to each other), and Haley had not raised the issue on appeal.

To permit defendants after all their appeals are exhausted to raise arguments that should have been raised at trial is a dubious proposition at best. The discovery of new evidence is one thing, but does a defendant have a perpetual right to suddenly say, “wait, I should have said…”?

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Hollywood Stars Follow Obama’s Gun Control Script, Tweeting White House Talking Points on Cue

14th January 2016

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My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

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Clinton: Female Politicians Govern Differently Than Men

13th January 2016

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A female president would be more attuned to the issues facing America’s families than a male president, Hillary Clinton argued in a new interview released Thursday.

“My life experiences, what I care about, what I’ve been through just make me perhaps more aware of and responsive to a lot of the family issues that people are struggling with, whether it’s affording child care or looking to get their incomes up because everything is increasing in cost,”

How to help struggling families? Increase taxes! (Yeah, that’ll help.) I suggest that Hillary either didn’t learn as much from her ‘life experiences’ or ignored what she did learn in favor of vote-pandering.

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Thought for the Day

12th January 2016

For all the hand-waving and raised eyebrows, I still haven’t seen any evidence that Donald Trump has lied even half as much as Barack Obama, much less Hillary Clinton. Where’s the outrage about that?

At least Trump is entertaining, something that nobody has ever said about Barry or the She-Wolf of Washington.

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This Is Not a Laundry List: The Last State of the Union Drinking Game Under President Obama

12th January 2016

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You, too, can play along.

Tonight’s State of the Union will be President Obama’s last, leading into a final presidential year that is unlikely to produce any major legislative action. And so, as multiple news outlets have reported, the speech won’t be a laundry list. Instead it will be more of a description of the sorts of outfits that he would like to see America wear.

As a report from RealClearPolitics describes it: “Gone in Obama’s eighth year are sweeping legislative ambitions. In their place: political storytelling aimed at a hoped-for Democratic successor and a Democratic Senate in 2017; maneuvers to protect seven years of governance; and lofty rhetorical riffs for the history books.”

Which brings us to the point of this post: Reason’s 2016 State of the Union drinking game—the very last under SOTU drinking game under president Obama! It’s the end of an era, folks. Drink up!

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Marching Against Campus Carry

10th January 2016

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Chanting, “Gun-free UT. Make it safe for you and me,” and, “Guns are not a teaching tool. They do not belong in school,” more than 200 attendees at the Modern Language Association’s annual meeting marched to the Texas Capitol Friday to protest the state’s new “campus carry” law.

I’ll bet very few of them are Texans. I hope they all live in gun-free zones; think of it as evolution in action.

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UC-Davis Medical Students Protest Racism in Healthcare, Fail to Say What’s Racist

9th January 2016

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Oh, pick pick pick. Everything is racist these days; they’re just trying to do their bit.

Putting tape on your mouth and standing in silent protest can make it hard for outsiders to figure out what your grievances are.

On the other hand, it keeps you from being annoying assholes, as most protesters are. I think that this trend ought to be encouraged.

Another grad student, Lucy Ogbu-Nwobodo, said “discrimination in the health system has a big impact on patients” – not enough so to explain what that is….

 

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Bernie Sanders, One Of The Greediest People On Earth, Says Greed Isn’t Good

9th January 2016

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Socialist Democrat Statist Collectivist Bernie Sanders took time from his busy schedule of nonsensical ranting Tuesday to denounce greed. It is, he said, “not good.”

It is truly painful to hear people use words they don’t understand. It’s made worse when it’s a favorite word that they use a lot.

Welcome to the Democrat Party.

Like most on his side of the political spectrum, Sanders doesn’t know how to use the word. Greed is not a company or a person working hard to make more money, and then working just as hard to keep what they have earned, what is rightfully theirs. Greed exists when a person or persons want to take money from those who have earned it and use it for their own purposes.

Without apology, we’ll say that the greediest people on Earth can be found in the U.S. Capitol and in state houses, and within the ranks of the beneficiaries of forced wealth redistribution who are always grasping for more. All of these people so achingly lust after other people’s money that they have no reservations about taking it by force and using it for themselves. What could be more greedy than that? Simply put, greed is the act of desiring something unearned. That’s not Webster. That’s common sense.

Not much of that in the Democrat Party.

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Bad Idea: President Bernie Sanders Would Cap ATM Fees at $2

5th January 2016

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Privately-owned ATMs probably aren’t charging convenience fees out of spite—they charge the fees because it costs a certain amount of money to maintain the service. Capping them would prompt ATMs to make up the money some other way, either by charging customers more for other features or by cutting services. Note that this isn’t theoretical: federal banking regulation of interchange fees prompted many banks to scale back on free checking and rewards programs that largely benefitted poor people.

But don’t expect a candidate who believes Americans should be limited to just a few kinds of deodorants and sneakers to grasp that.

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Professor Warns Students: Planet on Verge of Global Apocalypse Due to Human Activity

5th January 2016

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An assistant professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst concluded his comparative politics course earlier this month by telling students the planet is dying because of human activity – and there is little hope of reversing course.

Yeah, whenever I take a course on comparative politics, I wind up worrying about global apocalypse due to climate change. Every. Single. Time. And I look to assistant professors of political science to sound the alarm.

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The Myth of the ‘Pink Tax’

5th January 2016

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During the height of holiday shopping season, a consumer report stoked ample ill-will toward American manufacturers after purporting to show that women’s products are priced higher for completely arbitrary reasons. This so-called “pink tax,” said the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), affects almost every product marketed at American females, “from cradle to cane.”

‘Women and minorities hardest hit’ is one of the Timeless Tropes of the Narrative. Whenever a government agency starts beating one of these Crustian drums, you know that it will soon be followed by a demand for more government regulatory power over the lives of ordinary Americans — for their own good, of course.

Of course, individual consumers do have control over which products they buy, though. And while the pink razors with the butterflies on the packaging my be marketed toward women, no one’s forcing us to buy those over basic blue Bics. If the products in this study really were identical save for some totally non-desired factors, it seems likely that women, or at least a larger proportion of women, would simply choose the products marketed toward men.

Since they don’t, one can jump to one of two conclusions: either women are so brainwashed by marketing that they choose products against their own best interests because of it, or women find some discernible appeal in the women’s products—be that different ingredients, cosmetic factors, or whatever else—that make them worth paying more for. I’m going to go with the explanation that grants women a little intelligence and agency.

Of course, vast parts of the Narrative is based on the assumption that those who listen to advertising are just Mind-Numbed Robots who march out and do as the ads say, with no free will to resist — an outgrowth of the Crustian dogma that We Are Smart But They Are Dumb, ‘they’ being whoever doesn’t march to the Crustian tune.

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Bernie Sanders to Tell Wall Street: ‘Greed Is Not Good’

5th January 2016

Read it.

And Wall Street will laugh at Bernie Sanders, as it always has, because he has no chance of ever being President.

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The Times Stumbles Onto ….

4th January 2016

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The New York Times made itself a fool for the Rathergate film Truth. The Times not only published Stephen Holden’s breathless review of the film, the Times celebrated the film in a TimesTalks event featuring Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Dan Rather, and Mary Mapes, hosted by Times Magazine staff writer Susan Dominus. Holden also included Truth in his year-end best-of-2015 list (it’s number 7!). The Times went all in for this tribute to the greatest journalistic fraud of our era, as I noted in the City Journal column “Truth and the New York Times.”

In its year-end review of possible Oscar contenders, however, Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera stumbles onto the truth and blurts it out. Doesn’t this require some kind of a trigger warning for Times readers?

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Privilege, Pathology and Power

1st January 2016

Paul Krugman loves to criticize Republican rich people but doesn’t seem to make the connection with rich Democrats.

Wealth can be bad for your soul. That’s not just a hoary piece of folk wisdom; it’s a conclusion from serious social science, confirmed by statistical analysis and experiment. The affluent are, on average, less likely to exhibit empathy, less likely to respect norms and even laws, more likely to cheat, than those occupying lower rungs on the economic ladder.

The names that leap immediately to mind are Clinton, Obama, and Soros. Krugman has other ideas, of course.

And it’s obvious, even if we don’t have statistical confirmation, that extreme wealth can do extreme spiritual damage. Take someone whose personality might have been merely disagreeable under normal circumstances, and give him the kind of wealth that lets him surround himself with sycophants and usually get whatever he wants. It’s not hard to see how he could become almost pathologically self-regarding and unconcerned with others.

“Clinton” leaps immediately to mind in every American not living on one of the Left Coasts.

So what happens to a nation that gives ever-growing political power to the superrich?

They turn into a Crustian-dominated welfare state, where tame mobs of Underclass intimidate those who won’t Get With The Program. Take a look around you.

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Stop Adding Up the Wealth of the Poor

1st January 2016

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It’s the meme that refuses to die. It started, back in 2011, with the Waltons: six members of the family, we were repeatedly told, were worth as much as the bottom 30% of all Americans combined. I tried to address this silly stat back then, but now it’s gone global: back in January, Oxfam announced that the world’s 85 richest people had the same wealth as the bottom half of the global population. And now Forbes has come along to say that, actually, it’s not 85 people — it’s a mere 67.

Oxfam does a pretty bad job of footnoting its report, but I did manage to finally track down how it arrived at this conclusion. The 85 (or 67) number is easy: you just start at the top of the Forbes billionaires list, and start counting up the combined wealth until you reach $1.7 trillion. The harder question is: where does the $1.7 trillion number come from?

The answer is that it comes from a pair of tables in Credit Suisse’s 2013 Global Wealth Databook. First of all, you have to find the total wealth in the world, which you can find at the bottom of the fourth column on page 89: it’s $241 trillion. Then, you flick forwards to page 146, where you find the proportion of all global wealth held by each of the world’s income deciles. The top 10% have 86% of the wealth; the next 10% have 7.8%, and so on. Add up the bottom five deciles, and you get 0.7% (not 0.71%, which is the number in the Oxfam report; I have no idea where that extra basis point came from). And if you multiply $241 trillion by 0.7%, you get $1.7 trillion.

Basically, another instance of the Aggregation Fallacy.

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Dean Minow: How’s That Investigation Going?

1st January 2016

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On December 2, the law school’s dean, Martha Minow, sent an email to all alumni about the incident. It said, in part:

Several days ago, our community was shocked and saddened by the defacement of the portraits of some of our African-American faculty in Wasserstein Hall. The Harvard University Police Department is investigating this as a possible hate crime. The outpouring of support for these faculty members has been a heartening reflection of the community that I know and love so deeply.

Since then, there has been radio silence on the investigation. This is, perhaps, because a group of students set up a web site called Royall Asses that argued, highly persuasively, that “anti-racist” social justice warriors perpetrated the alleged hate crime as a hoax.

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10 of the Most Annoying Corporate Jargon Phrases That You Should [sic] Never Use at Work

30th December 2015

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“For purveyors of meeting bingo this is only good news. For the rest of us meetings have degenerated in to a quagmire of nonsensical verbal piffle,” he said in an article for Marketing magazine.

I’m wondering how they managed to weed it down to 10.

 

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World’s Richest Lose $20bn in 2015 as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Carlos Slim Take a Hit

30th December 2015

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I’m just positive that they’re losing sleep over it.

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Hospital Refuses Pregnancy-Related Care Again Because of Religious Directives

30th December 2015

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Today we filed a lawsuit challenging Dignity Health’s use of religious directives to deny basic reproductive health care to its patients. Filed on behalf of patient Rebecca Chamorro and Physicians for Reproductive Health, the suit argues that withholding pregnancy-related care for reasons other than medical considerations is illegal in California.

I just love that weasel-worded phrase, ‘Pregnacy-Related Care’. Whenever you see ‘basic reproductive health care’, you know it’s neither ‘basic’ nor ‘health care’.

The refusal of hospitals to allow doctors to perform basic health procedures based solely on religious doctrine presents a real threat to a woman’s ability to access health care.

The assumption here, of course, is that ‘health care’ is some sort of right that ‘health care providers’ have to provide whether they like it or not. In the old days that was called ‘slavery’, but of course the ACLU doesn’t dare use the correct terms in this propaganda piece because then the game would be up.

Patients seeking medical care from public institutions should not have to worry that religious doctrine rather than medical judgment will dictate what care they receive.

The term ‘public institutions’ is suppose to fool Low Information Voters into thinking that this is some sort of government-owned facility, which of course it is not.

Ten of the 25 largest hospital systems in the U.S. are Catholic-sponsored, and nearly one of nine hospital beds in the country is in a Catholic facility.

So a win here would be a big step forward in the ACLU’s campaign to force people to do something contrary to their religious beliefs just because the ACLU thinks they ought to. If the Catholic Church in the U.S. tried to do the same to the ACLU, you would be able to hear the screams of outrage in Kazakhstan.

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In Case You Missed It, John Kerry Is Bringing Peace to Syria

29th December 2015

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In a recap of “significant success[es]” in 2015, State Department spokesman John Kirby lists “Bringing Peace, Security to Syria.” Talk about a whopper. Even the obnoxious team of Jan Psaki and Marie Harf might have shied away from a claim this preposterous.

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Democrats Don’t Know ISIS

28th December 2015

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With each new speech they make, the nation’s two top Democrats continue to reveal their profound ignorance of what motivates the enemy both promise to defeat.

And they don’t want to know, because it intrudes reality into their ‘progressive’ fantasy world.

The White House trope that the prison camp in Guantanamo Bay must be closed because it inspires, recruits and ultimately creates terrorists is a stark illustration of the Obama administration’s failure to understand the threat posed by Islamism. Without offering any evidence, the president tells audiences that “Guantanamo has been an enormous recruitment tool for organizations like ISIL.” He argues that GITMO “is part of how they rationalize and justify their demented, sick perpetration of violence on innocent people.”

In reality the prison in Guantanamo Bay is not even a catalyst to the growth of the Islamic State. And until there are credible reports of jihadists, mid-attack, shouting “This is for Gitmo!” and “Release KSM!” rather than “This is for Syria!” and “Allahu Akbar,” no thinking person will believe otherwise.

Democrats making a statement as fact unsupported by any evidence, indeed contradicted by what evidence that actually exists? Say it ain’t so!

Explaining how American Muslims with “no criminal record or a history of terrorist activity” are motivated to join the Islamic State, the president pointed to a “notion of a gross injustice, that America is not living up to its professed ideals. We know that. We see the Internet traffic. We see how Guantanamo has been used to create this mythology that America is at war with Islam. And for us to close it is part of our counterterrorism strategy that is supported by our military, our diplomatic and our intelligence teams.”

Even Barack Obama can’t possibly believe that the Islamic State fighters would end their jihad if only the U.S. would change course and begin “living up to its professed ideals.”

Of course not, but he’s hoping that there are enough Low Information Voters out there that do believe it.

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The Marriages of Power Couples Reinforce Income Inequality

26th December 2015

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This is news? Another thumbsucker from the New York Times.

Of course, the point is not necessarily to say something new, but rather to say something: The more a Voice of the Crust pounds a particular idea, like Income Inequality or whatever, the more Low Information voters are likely to panic and allow government action to encroach even more on their personal freedom.

The notion of “making a good match,” a staple of the writings of Jane Austen and Henry James, continues in contemporary romance novels.

As it has since the time that mankind first adopted agriculture. Alexander the Great had his generals marry women from the noble families of conquered people in order to cement his power. Of course, the Times wasn’t around then to notice so it wasn’t all that important.

At the same time, income inequality commands increasing attention from economists.

Mainly because it is one of the buttons the Crust use to keep the Underclass riled up, and economists are as dependent on the Crust for funding as anybody else. Tenure doesn’t grow on trees, you know.

Lately we’ve been learning just how much these two topics are tied together.

Mostly from Voices of the Crust like the New York Times. These guys have a tendency to like to breathe their own exhaust.

Whether measured in terms of income or education, there are more so-called power couples today than in the past, one manifestation of a phenomenon known as assortative mating, or more generally the pairing of like with like.

Well, no, the reason we have more ‘power couples’ today is because in the modern world women have more access to power and so turn what would otherwise be a Normal Couple into a Power Couple. Assortative mating has been with us for thousands of years, as the term ebenbürtig testifies. But organs like the Times never stick to the truth when it doesn’t serve their agenda.

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‘Intense and Overwhelming Narcissism’

26th December 2015

The Other McCain looks at feminist objections to the ‘transgendered’.

Feminists coined the term “Peak Trans Moment” to describe the point at which they became disgusted with transgender ideology. One woman who related her experiences complained that transgender activists “expect to co-opt feminist time and attention away from their own issues to trans issues, and they expect it as their right.” Why aren’t transgender activists supportive of women?

Gee, that sure sounds familiar….

This is an insightful analysis, but where did transgender activists get their ideas of using “gender” as a weapon to manipulate others? Where did this victimhood mentality originate? Oh, that’s right — feminism.

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Prof: ‘Those Who Deny White Privilege Functionally Believe in White Supremacy’

22nd December 2015

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Politically progressive academics love to rant, particularly when it comes to racial issues.

When they hear about alleged acts of racial insensitivity, they are sometimes quick to condemn the white devils and declare their campuses to be toxic cauldrons of racist sentiment.

Sometimes these professors even jump into the fray before they know all the facts, or consider the possibility that the incidents were created by anti-racist activists who needed something to spark a protest. That sort of thing has occurred on numerous campuses around the nation.

One such professor is Joseph Kuilema, who teaches social work at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

These idiots are teaching your children. Be afraid.

 

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Troubling Times

22nd December 2015

Taki fisks the New York Times.

The latest Times ploy to undermine the American military is a very long, close-to-10,000-word diatribe by three of its “reporters” accusing an American SEAL outfit in Afghanistan of having committed a crime while training Afghan police officers back in 2012. The paper charges the SEALs with having beaten up an Afghan civilian—read a Taliban suspect—who later died after his rough treatment. It was never made clear despite the overheated verbiage who among the Americans and Afghans administered the beating. I would guess it was Afghan policemen, but the SEALs get the rap. The Times is calling it a cover-up. But Capt. Robert Smith, who thoroughly investigated the incident—he is now a military assistant to the secretary of the Navy—opted to drop all the charges.

The Navy, unlike the grubby Times, does not convict without definite proof, and while the victim was involved in perhaps planting a bomb, and having been captured and interrogated by both Afghans and Americans, the Navy dropped the charges. But not The New York Times. After all, the men involved were Americans, white and brave. Lying is a way of life among Afghans, so the SEALs had to have a very long and boring article, followed by an editorial, condemning them. Sulzberger and his motley crew should be forced to go and live in that pleasant land for some time, but that’s not how the world works. Incidentally, some Afghan pilots undergoing training in America have defected—yes, that’s the operative word—and have disappeared somewhere in our pleasant land without a trace. All I can say is, who can blame them? I’d rather be a fugitive in Uncle Sam’s land than a pilot in Afghanistan any day.

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CBS Edits Out Criticisms of U.S. Policy From Frank Luntz Focus Group With Muslim Americans

22nd December 2015

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When a CBS News segment featuring a focus group of American Muslims aired Friday, it highlighted their relationship to terrorism, with a particular fixation on how much responsibility they felt to condemn terrorist attacks.

But in interviews with The Intercept, two Muslim Americans who took part in the group complained that CBS edited out parts of the discussion where they raised their own concerns — including critiques of U.S. militarism, surveillance, and entrapment.

They also said that Frank Luntz, the right-wing pollster who led the focus group, silenced members of the group when they criticized discriminatory U.S. government policies.

When Luntz asked the group how they respond to attacks such as the recent one in San Bernardino, New York City activist Amelia Noor-Oshiro told The Intercept she asked Luntz, “Why don’t you ask that to people who actually commit acts of terror? Why don’t you ask that to White America who are responsible for a majority of domestic terror attacks?”

That didn’t make it into the on-air segment.

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Victims of ‘Cissexist Heteropatriarchy’

21st December 2015

The Other McCain discovers that his Bullshit Detector is ringing loudly.

Let me state clearly what should be obvious to longtime readers: I don’t like it when kids at elite colleges claim to be victims of oppression.

Self-pity as a basis for political activism is a very bad idea and should be discouraged. Generally speaking, young people are ignorant and foolish. Being highly intelligent is not a substitute for experience, and youthful enthusiasm should never be confused with actual knowledge. Do not tell me you are a victim of oppression if your Daddy is rich enough to send you to a school where tuition is $50,586 a year….

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Trump, Putin and Journalists

21st December 2015

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I admit that I never even heard of Putin killing journalists until after Trump received a glowing endorsement from Putin, then all of a sudden this makes Trump evil because Putin murders journalists. I tried to research this on Google, but found nothing.

News to me, too. Mind you, I wouldn’t blame him. I have a little list….

This blog post by Anatoly Karlin puts things into better perspective. Our supposed “ally” Recep Erdo?an is the one who has been imprisoning massive numbers of journalists. We really need to kick Turkey out of NATO ASAP. (Turkey was a decent place when the secular military controlled it, but now that they have a democracy of Muslims the country is clearly going to hell.)

Quite agree, quite agree. In fact, I suggest that NATO itself is obsolete now that Communism no longer controls Eastern Europe. But that’s me.

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