DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

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Archive for the 'Dystopia Watch' Category

The world is rapidly going downhill. Unfortunately, we can’t get off.

Speaking Truth to Power

23rd November 2014

Sarah Hoyt points out the intellectual inversions characteristic of Crustian propaganda.

One of the most fascinating conceits of our ruling powerful elites — be they in entertainment, politics, governance, jurisprudence or news reporting — is the often repeated assertion of being some kind of underdog “speaking truth to power.” This comes with the concomitant illusion that anyone opposing them is paid by powerful interests.

Never mind that the ones making the accusation are usually in positions of power and receive recognition all out of proportion to their achievements, (no, really, Mr. Obama failed to deliver his first book, so they contracted for a second with an exponentially bigger advance. When he delivered an auto-biography instead of a book on race relations, it was taken and lionized. I challenge any writer/personage not of the establishment to replicate this feat.) Never mind that the dissenting voices often have to come out in less respected and far less rewarding channels, it is against those of us who speak the actual truth against those who yield actual power that the finger of mercenary interest is pointed.

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Finland: Typing Takes Over as Handwriting Lessons End

22nd November 2014

Read it.

 

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Report: Two Black Panther Terrorists Arrested in Ferguson Bomb Plot

22nd November 2014

The Other McCain is on the case.

Two men suspected of buying explosives they planned to detonate during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, once a grand jury decides the Michael Brown case, were arrested on Friday and charged with federal firearms offenses, a law enforcement official told Reuters.

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

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Florida State University President Thwarted Concealed Carry For Self-Defense On Campus

22nd November 2014

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As news reports announced 31-year-old Florida State University alumnus Myron May drew a handgun and opened fire “in or near” the FSU library on November 20, one aspect of the story was conspicuously missing—namely, that FSU President John Thrasher played a key role in defeating a bill to allow students with concealed carry permits to carry guns on campus for self-defense.

It’s more important to be In With The In Crowd (to be fair, the guys who pay his salary) than protect your students against killers.

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Milwaukee Police Chief Drops Mask, Tells Truth About Crime Victim Demographics

22nd November 2014

Read it.

And then a reporter asks Flynn what his response would be to the people present at the meeting, who thought he was “being disrespectful by being on [his] phone and being inattentive.”

This is the straw that breaks Flynn’s back:

Well, I was on my phone, and yes, that’s true.

I was following developments about a five-year-old little girl that was sitting on her dad’s lap and just got shot in the head by a driveby shooting.

If some of the people here gave a good god damn, about the victimization of people in this community by crime, I’d take some of their invective a little more seriously.
 
The greatest racial disparity in the city of Milwaukee is getting shot and killed. HELLO.
 
80 percent of my homicide victims, every year, are African-American. 80 percent of our aggravated assault victims, are African-American.
 
80 percent of our shooting victims, who survive being shot, are African-American.

Flynn continues, saying that some of the agitators present at the townhall meeting in question “know all about the last three people killed by the Milwaukee Police Department over the last several years,” but that those same people, “who have the most to say,” are completely “MIA” when it comes to dealing with the endemic violent crime existing within the Black community. Flynn is just another part of the Brahmin class (this is easily seen when he mentions that, even given the crime demographics, the biggest problem for Milwaukee is “high-capacity, high-quality firearms in the hands of remorseless criminals who don’t care who they shoot,”) that can no longer ignore the reality in front of him.

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‘We need the bad stuff to live.’

21st November 2014

Gavin McInnes tells it like it is.

Killing sexism also leaves women unsafe. When you tell girls they’re as tough as men, they go out and get wasted with no escort to make sure they get home safe. They strut down the street in the middle of the night through the bad part of town, almost daring criminals to attack them. When a black thug pulled a gun on Nicole duFresne in NYC in 2005, she said, “What are you going to do now, shoot us?” So he shot her. And her beta male boyfriend had an African funeral ceremony for her to promote peace and tranquility. How wildly unnatural.

Girls don’t rule the world. Evil does.

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University Drops Term ‘Freshman,’ Replaces It With ‘First-Year’

20th November 2014

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Sorry, ‘first-year’ is already claimed by law school. Try ‘FNG’ instead.

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Schools to Parents: Pick Up Your Kids From the Bus or We’ll Sic Child Services on You

20th November 2014

Read it.

School administrators in Tampa, Florida, are insisting that parents pick up their kids from the bus stop after school lets out. And if they fail to comply, they could receive a visit from child services.

Why is all this statist crap happening in Florida?

According to the Tampa Bay Times, district policy forbids kindergartners to walk home and requires bus drivers to bring them back to school if their parents don’t appear on time.

I was the only one in my family who went to kindergarten, and I walked about a half hour each way, by myself. The worst thing that ever happened was I was late getting home when it rained because I had too much fun jumping in puddles without spoil-sport grownups along to interfere.

Time to homeschool….

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Gruber Earned $5.2 Million From Obamacare Deception

20th November 2014

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MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, the Obamacare architect who bragged about deceiving the “stupid” American people to secure passage of the bill, has been paid an estimated $5.2 million by the federal government and 12 state governments for consulting services to assist in the design and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Doing well by doing good.

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The World’s Biggest Chocolate-Maker Says We’re Running Out of Chocolate

19th November 2014

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Chocolate deficits, whereby farmers produce less cocoa than the world eats, are becoming the norm. Already, we are in the midst of what could be the longest streak of consecutive chocolate deficits in more than 50 years. It also looks like deficits aren’t just carrying over from year-to-year—the industry expects them to grow. Last year, the world ate roughly 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than it produced. By 2020, the two chocolate-makers warn that that number could swell to 1 million metric tons, a more than 14-fold increase; by 2030, they think the deficit could reach 2 million metric tons.

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2014 Global Slavery Index

18th November 2014

Read it.

Think slavery was ended long ago? Think again.

The table below shows the prevalence of slavery, based on the percentage of the population enslaved and the estimated number of people enslaved by country.

No, Ferguson doesn’t even show up.

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Rejected Asian Students Sue Harvard Over Admissions That Favor Other Minorities

18th November 2014

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Harvard University’s affirmative action policies, which the school says are aimed at achieving diversity on the vaunted campus of Cambridge, discriminate against Asians who often can’t get in despite having higher test scores and grade-point averages than black and Hispanic students who are accepted, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.

Good luck with that.

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New Cbo Study Shows That ‘The Rich’ Don’t Just Pay Their ‘Fair Share,’ They Pay Almost Everybody’s Share

17th November 2014

Read it.

Facts are such tedious things, that’s why ‘progressives’ prefer to ignore them.

 

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Trustafarians Want to Tell You How to Live

17th November 2014

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Americans have always prided themselves on being a nation of the self-made, where class and the accident of birth did not determine success. Yet increasingly we are changing into a society where lineage does matter—and likely this process has just started, threatening not only our future prosperity but the very nature of our society.

Poster child: AlGore and anybody descended from Joseph P. Kennedy.

 

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Special Types of Entitled

17th November 2014

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Apparently kicking back at the idiocy of the Social Justice Warriors brings the really special entitled ones crawling out from under whichever rock they were hiding under. That or there’s just something in the air at the moment. Or maybe the water.

Honestly. Apparently the moment you scratch a statist you bring out an obsession with genitalia and/or the end product of the digestive system.

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Liberal Bullshit

16th November 2014

Walter Voegeli investigates that whooping sound.

It’s difficult to banish the glum suspicion that life in the 21st century, for all its economic and technological benefits, necessitates putting up with much more bullshit than our ancestors had to.

Frankfurt limits his discussion of bullshit to descriptive statements, analyzing and regretting our departure from the standard of truth. He does not take up the question of prescriptive statements, the mainstay of politics. Criticizing Republican proposals to cut spending on Head Start and other educational programs, for example, President Obama said, “We know that three- and four-year-olds who go to high-quality preschools, including our best Head Start programs, are less likely to repeat a grade, they’re less likely to need special education, they’re more likely to graduate from high school than the peers who did not get these services.” The first part of Obama’s statement is not bullshit, because it does nothing worse than employ the politician’s constant companion, the selectively revealed half-truth. Children who attend the best Head Start programs show positive results but, as we have seen, Head Start attendees overall are no better off than peers not enrolled in the program. Obama invokes the sunny side of the law of averages without acknowledging its grim side: If children who attend the best Head Start programs do better than their peers, children who attend the worst programs must, necessarily, have developmental problems even more severe than those afflicting children in a control group who never enrolled in the program at all.

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The Hippie Uniform

16th November 2014

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Through the modern miracle of the Internet it is now possible to buy hippie uniforms from China wholesale at “high quality and low prices”.  The phrase “hippie uniform” may sound like a contradiction in terms, but as the Washington Post’s article on mathematician Jonathan Touboul explains, it’s entirely natural. Most hippies are doomed to don — and to change — uniforms.

Touboul concluded that is because “hipsters” define nonconformity in terms of the ‘perceived mainstream’ and because of delays in rebellion toward it, they entered into oscillating states which effectively doomed them to uniforms.

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Gang Members Allegedly Kidnapped VA Cop, Drove Him to Banks Before His Death

16th November 2014

Read it.

But they won’t get the death penalty because that would be raaaaaaacist.

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‘ Why I can’t stop reading Mormon housewife blogs’

15th November 2014

Read it.

I’m a young, feminist atheist who can’t bake a cupcake. Why am I addicted to the shiny, happy lives of these women?

Another victim of Identity Politics and Voice of the Crust stares through the bars of her ideology at the Happy Hunting Ground in which she will never get to live.

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The Loneliest President Since Nixon

15th November 2014

Peggy Noonan understands the dialectic.

Mr. Obama is doing what he knows how to do—stare them down and face them off. But his circumstances have changed. He used to be a conquering hero, now he’s not. On the other hand he used to have to worry about public support. Now, with no more elections before him, he has the special power of the man who doesn’t care.

I have never seen a president in exactly the position Mr. Obama is, which is essentially alone. He’s got no one with him now. The Republicans don’t like him, for reasons both usual and particular: They have had no good experiences with him. The Democrats don’t like him, for their own reasons plus the election loss. Before his post-election lunch with congressional leaders, he told the press that he will judiciously consider any legislation, whoever sends it to him, Republicans or Democrats. His words implied that in this he was less partisan and more public-spirited than the hacks arrayed around him. It is for these grace notes that he is loved. No one at the table looked at him with colder, beadier eyes than outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , who clearly doesn’t like him at all.

,,,

Vladimir Putin delivered the unkindest cut, patting Mr. Obama’s shoulder reassuringly. Normally that’s Mr. Obama’s move, putting his hand on your back or shoulder as if to bestow gracious encouragement, needy little shrimp that you are. It’s a dominance move. He’s been doing it six years. This time it was Mr. Putin doing it to him. The president didn’t like it.

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Family of First U.S. Ebola Victim Settles With Dallas Hospital

13th November 2014

Read it.

Man dies of incurable disease, so naturally the family sues the hospital that failed to cure him.

Modern American law being what it is (“whoever has the deepest pockets has to pay”), the hospital caved.

There’s our civilization falling in front of your very eyes.

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A Future Brouhaha for Social Media Justice Warriors

13th November 2014

Steve Sailer turns over a rock.

While the clickbait headline on the WaPo’s frontpage refers to “pronouns,” the article refers to “nouns.” These days you must say “343 firefighters died in the World Trade Center on 9/11? because saying “343 firemen died in the World Trade Center on 9/11? is an insult to the memory of all the firewomen who died on 9/11.

In the 21st Century, for instance, you can tell if somebody is a Bad Person or a Good Person by whether they use the old “B.C. and A.D. ” (Bad Person) or the new “B.C.E. and C.E.” (Good Person).

Doesn’t “B.C.E.” stand for “Before Christian Era” you might ask, so what’s the point?

Oh, no, it stands for “Before Common Era.”

Now, you may wonder what was so “Common” about the era that began in 1 C.E., but you’re missing the point. The point is that you are one of those Bad People.

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Black Ohio Democrat Denounces “Plantation-Style Management” by His State Party

13th November 2014

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Democrat John Barnes, a member of the Ohio state legislature, has pulled back the curtain on the racial politics that pervade his party. Barnes, who is African-American, alleges in a lawsuit against the Ohio Democratic Party and its outgoing chairman Chris Redfern that he faced discrimination, retaliation, and defamation at the hands of his own party for refusing to join the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus and for raising the issue of racism by Democrats.

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The Union That Devoured Education Reform

12th November 2014

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With Bloomberg gone, the political will to reform Gotham’s schools has collapsed. Current mayor Bill de Blasio opposes any reform proposals not endorsed by the union. His schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, exchanged hugs and kisses with UFT president Michael Mulgrew this spring at a press conference announcing an expensive nine-year contract. Mulgrew has said that de Blasio’s election constituted a “seismic shift” in the relationship between city government and its public school teachers. Though some tinkering may continue on the margins, the project of making the city’s schools better has been shelved. De Blasio will likely do little to overhaul the dysfunctional system, and students will continue to fail in city schools set up to protect the interests of adults, not children.

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So-Called National Cathedral to Host Islamists

12th November 2014

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The Washington Post reports that the Washington National Cathedral will host a Muslim prayer service this Friday. The cathedral, part of the Episcopal Church, has long been the site of important services, including memorial services for presidents, some of whom are buried there. But the Cathedral has never before been used for Muslim services.

This is not the first time that the Episcopal Church has sent a message via its policy on usage of the Cathedral. As Munro reminds us, in 2011 evangelicals were excluded from services commemorating the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

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Detroit Led U.S. in Murder, Crime Rates, FBI Says

12th November 2014

Read it.

Being run by Democrats will do that for you.

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U.S. Soldier Who Fled Iraq War May Be Able to Claim Asylum in EU

11th November 2014

Read it.

Of course he can.

He said Mr. Shepherd, who is currently living in Bavaria, could face up to 18 months in prison in the U.S. for desertion.

I guess the days when they shot people like that are long gone. Pity.

I’d mention that he was black but that would be raaaaaaacist. (Truth is like that.)

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Foodie Elite Push Obama to Create National Food Policy

11th November 2014

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This country is too full of fascists who think that we need a ‘National Policy’ on everything under the sun – and pandering politicians only too ready to take them up on it.

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House Ethics Panel Probing Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush for 20 Years of Free Office Space

11th November 2014

Read it.

Another crooked black Democrat politician. This is news?

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The Benghazi Brief – Ghosts Beyond The Wire

11th November 2014

Read it.

Everything you need to know about what happened in Benghazi. It’s long but very thorough.

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Obamacare Architect Says Lack of Transparency Helped Law Pass, Cites ‘Stupidity of the American Voter’

11th November 2014

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Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber said that lack of transparency was a major part of getting Obamacare passed because “the stupidity of the American voter” would have killed the law if more people knew what was in it.

Yet another proof that Democrats aren’t really into democracy in any meaningful way.

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Army Vet Killed After Party Celebrating Recent Return From Afghanistan

10th November 2014

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An Army veteran who survived the treacherous battlefields of Afghanistan was gunned down Sunday in his old neighborhood in Los Angeles while celebrating his homecoming from the wartorn land.

Francisco Garcia, 21, had left his party and was standing on a sidewalk when a man pulled up and yelled at him before shooting him in the early-morning hours Sunday.

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Police ID Mike Brown’s Mother as Alleged Robbery Attacker

9th November 2014

Read it.

Mike Brown was trash and he came from trash, and that’s becoming plainer and plainer.

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Obama’s Eric Holder Replacement

8th November 2014

Steve Sailer gives us the news.

Jeez, if he just tried a little harder he could have found a black woman with a Hispanic surname. What an opportunity missed!

Of course, Steve focuses on the less important aspects of the pick:

So, kind of a parody of an Obama AG nomination: an upper crust black woman (Obama isn’t comfortable around blacks who didn’t go to Harvard), but with experience working with Rev. Al to fight the Greatest Problem of Our Time, the White Racist War on Black Babies’ Bodies.

By the way, all this obsession lately with the phrases “black babies” and “black bodies?” I wonder if it’s really a setup by the thinner-lipped sort of Talented Tenth Harvard African-Americans who see themselves as the natural leaders of the black masses to get their blacker potential rivals to embarrass themselves trying to say “black babies’ bodies.” Somebody should try to get Jesse Jackson on video attempting to say “black babies’ bodies.”

That would indeed be amusing, to the extent that anything about Jesse Jackson is amusing.

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It’s Really Easy to Smuggle Drugs Into Rikers Island Prison, Investigation Finds

8th November 2014

Read it.

Although you would think that the ‘legalize ‘em all, let Rand sort it out’ crusaders at tReason magazine would be all for that. But I guess not.

It’s been a bad public relations year for the violence- and corruption-plagued Rikers Island Correctional Facility in New York City. Reports of prison guards savagely bludgeoning inmates to death—and more often than not getting off scot-free. Hundreds of inmates suffering serious injury from guard brutality. A culture of fear and intimidation to suppress any repercussions for officers and their superiors. And all this at a hefty price for taxpayers.

So, how much do you care:

[] Not much

[] Even less than that

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Your Next Project Needs a White-Hat Jerk

7th November 2014

Read it.

Yesterday, I ambled up to a colleague’s shiny new iPhone 6. I saw that it was charging, and I said “Hey Siri, from now on call me Penis-Face”. Guess what? Siri duly changed his nickname in his contacts and said “Ok, from now on, I’ll call you Penis-Face.” I exploited a ‘feature’ of iOS 8—when an iPhone is connected to power, it constantly listens for the term “Hey Siri”, followed by a command. Then it executes that command.

What I did wasn’t really malicious, but it was a dick move and a childish prank. However the point is that I shouldn’t have been able to do it. Someone on the development team for iOS 8 should have seen that a prank so obvious is something jerks are going to want to do.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

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The Rise of the Factual Feminist

7th November 2014

Gavin McInnes observes a new trend.

Young women today are realizing their grandmothers didn’t have it so bad. The greatest generation sure seems happier than all these divorced baby boomers bitching about their ex-husband as they take half his salary every month.

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Why Are Americans So Fascinated With Extreme Fitness?

6th November 2014

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As one woman pauses to wipe the sweat from her eyes, she spots me studying her. I’ve been trying not to stare, but it’s a strange spectacle, this John Henry workout of theirs, hammering away in front of a women’s fitness center, just a few doors down from a smoke shop and a hair salon. It looks exhausting, and more than a little dangerous. (What if a sledgehammer slips and flies from one woman’s hands, braining her companion?) It also looks fruitless. Why not join a roofing crew for a few hours instead? Surely, there’s a tunnel somewhere that needs digging, or at least some hot tar that needs pouring.

Hint: Fifty percent of the population is below average in intelligence. That’s a lot of gym memberships.

 

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Rights, Shmights. It’s All About the Money.

6th November 2014

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Michael Brown’s mother has been named as one of the ‘attackers’ who assaulted and robbed vendors selling t-shirts commemorating the youngster’s death.

Pearlie Gordon, 54, Brown’s mother-in-law, and two men were selling ‘Justice for Mike Brown’ merchandise when the subjects ‘jumped out of vehicles and rushed them’ during what police are classifying as an armed robbery.

Obviously they weren’t letting Mom wet her beak.

More here.

The robbery is apparently part of a family feud over who is allowed to benefit from the sale of Michael Brown memorabilia such as T-shirts.

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San Diego Very Close to Electing First Openly Gay (and Libertarian) Republican Congressman

5th November 2014

Read it.

That will make a lot of ‘progressive’ heads explode.

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“Why Add to the Problem?”

4th November 2014

Freeberg cuts to the root.

From watching the video, one becomes aware of an uneasy truth: Too many people who see something wrong with some of the behavior see something wrong with all of it. This creates a problem in the definitions: If everything qualifies, then nothing does. Yes, saying “Hello” does cross the line. The activists won’t stop short of a new taboo, criminally enforced, that a man may not address a woman until she speaks first.

That is practically the definition of a caste system. And that’s the real issue here. Leftists, far from being all about equality, are all about castes. They’re all about special social privileges for identified classes. The real story here is that we have a “lefties feeding on their own” moment because, once again, they’re in conflict with their own kind about which privileged class should enjoy the most exalted privileges.

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Excavating the Egyptian Revolution.

4th November 2014

Read it.

In February of 2011, as the revolution gathered strength in Tahrir Square, all across the country the police disappeared, and in the Buried teams of looters opened more than two hundred pits. It wasn’t until the end of March, after President Hosni Mubarak resigned and the national situation had stabilized somewhat, that village police resumed patrols of the site.

The evidence was clear: looters had mistakenly targeted a modern structure. Adams speculated that it might have been a shepherd’s hut from the nineteen-fifties, or even a field house from an early archeological dig. Around the turn of the last century, large-scale excavations dramatically reshaped the landscape, leaving mounds of backfill all across the Buried. Adams told me that looters often targeted these mounds, which they assumed were situated above buried tombs. “It’s a mistake,” he said. “But we don’t want them to know that.”

Presumably it’s safe to assume that none of the Egyptian looters read The New Yorker.

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The History of Fertility Transitions and the New Memeplex

4th November 2014

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Only tiny pockets of culture that maintain extreme separation from the new pattern – especially through refusing outside education and preventing women from contact with the outside world – have fertility patterns plausibly consistent with uncontrolled fertility. These may include the Amish and Hassidim in the United States. Once the fertility transition to controlled fertility occurs in a population, its fertility generally continues to decline until it is below replacement. The benefits of the new pattern are increased material wealth per person, a reduction in disease, starvation, and genocide, and upward social mobility. The main drawback is the onset of a dysgenic phase that may end civilization as we know it.

I know a number of situations where four grandparents only have one grandchild, the only child of two only children.

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Teacher Spends Two Days as a Student and Is Shocked at What She Learns

4th November 2014

Read it.

Mostly she learns that the Factory Model of education, which hasn’t changed in 200 years, is pretty inefficient.

But students move almost never. And never is exhausting. In every class for four long blocks, the expectation was for us to come in, take our seats, and sit down for the duration of the time. By the end of the day, I could not stop yawning and I was desperate to move or stretch. I couldn’t believe how alert my host student was, because it took a lot of conscious effort for me not to get up and start doing jumping jacks in the middle of Science just to keep my mind and body from slipping into oblivion after so many hours of sitting passively.

The urge to drift off to sleep during class is universal. And yet nothing is done about it.

I was drained, and not in a good, long, productive-day kind of way. No, it was that icky, lethargic tired feeling. I had planned to go back to my office and jot down some initial notes on the day, but I was so drained I couldn’t do anything that involved mental effort (so instead I watched TV) and I was in bed by 8:30.

That not only sounds like my schoolday, that sounds like my workday as well.

In eight periods of high school classes, my host students rarely spoke. Sometimes it was because the teacher was lecturing; sometimes it was because another student was presenting; sometimes it was because another student was called to the board to solve a difficult equation; and sometimes it was because the period was spent taking a test. So, I don’t mean to imply critically that only the teachers droned on while students just sat and took notes. But still, hand in hand with takeaway #1 is this idea that most of the students’ day was spent passively absorbing information.

Students are treated like widgets moving down the assembly line, having things done to them by the worker bees. Imagine what would happen if you tried to train a cat or a dog like that.

In addition, there was a good deal of sarcasm and snark directed at students and I recognized, uncomfortably, how much I myself have engaged in this kind of communication. I would become near apoplectic last year whenever a very challenging class of mine would take a test, and without fail, several students in a row would ask the same question about the test. Each time I would stop the class and address it so everyone could hear it. Nevertheless, a few minutes later a student who had clearly been working his way through the test and not attentive to my announcement would ask the same question again. A few students would laugh along as I made a big show of rolling my eyes and drily stating, “OK, once again, let me explain…”

Welcome to Law School, where first year is dedicated to the proposition that the professor is God and you are a rock.

I have a lot more respect and empathy for students after just one day of being one again. Teachers work hard, but I now think that conscientious students work harder. I worry about the messages we send them as they go to our classes and home to do our assigned work, and my hope is that more teachers who are able will try this shadowing and share their findings with each other and their administrations. This could lead to better “backwards design” from the student experience so that we have more engaged, alert, and balanced students sitting (or standing) in our classes.

Don’t hold your breath….

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Thought for the Day

4th November 2014

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The Case Against Liberal Compassion

2nd November 2014

Read it.

All along, while the welfare state was growing constantly, liberals were insisting constantly it wasn’t big enough or growing fast enough. So I wondered, five years ago, whether there is a Platonic ideal when it comes to the size of the welfare state—whether there is a point at which the welfare state has all the money, programs, personnel, and political support it needs, thereby rendering any further additions pointless. The answer, I concluded, is that there is no answer—the welfare state is a permanent work-in-progress, and its liberal advocates believe that however many resources it has, it always needs a great deal more.

All conservatives are painfully aware that liberal activists and publicists have successfully weaponized compassion. “I am a liberal,” public radio host Garrison Keillor wrote in 2004, “and liberalism is the politics of kindness.” Last year President Obama said, “Kindness covers all of my political beliefs. When I think about what I’m fighting for, what gets me up every single day, that captures it just about as much as anything. Kindness; empathy—that sense that I have a stake in your success; that I’m going to make sure, just because [my daughters] are doing well, that’s not enough—I want your kids to do well also.” Empathetic kindness is “what binds us together, and . . . how we’ve always moved forward, based on the idea that we have a stake in each other’s success.”

Freeberg annotates:

“A democrat is a fella who’s so nice he’ll give you the shirt off someone else’s back.” Anyone can recite that, too. People did, once. And, this realization did keep democrats out of the halls of power. At least the Senate and the White House, about half the time. The difference between then and now is not that people have forgotten this, but that for the last few years the feeling has set in that there’s something right about this, that if the other guy has a shirt in the first place, he must have swiped it from some fourth party.

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Amazon, Like Other Tech Firms, Largely Male and White

2nd November 2014

Read it.

If that’s the sort of thing that bothers you, feel free to run around screaming and pulling your hair. We promise not to laugh.

I should like to propose that anyone who uses the word ‘under-represented’ except in speaking of a political system be thrown in the lake until they quit.

That’s my idea; what’s your idea?

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“This terrible CVS receipt shows why Apple Pay has little to fear from retailers.”

2nd November 2014

Dan Fromer does this stuff so you don’t have to.

While Apple Pay is designed to make payments as easy as possible—by riding on existing payments infrastructure, with security and privacy in mind—using CurrentC actually looks harder than typical payment techniques. Because it’s designed to skirt the existing credit-card infrastructure, CurrentC’s current version only supports payments via checking accounts and certain store cards. And it comes with a questionable privacy requirement: To “confirm your identity,” CurrentC demands both your driver’s license number and social security number.

No CVS for me, thanks.

It is, of course, possible that CurrentC’s management will learn from its mistakes and improve its experience. Especially, if, say, Apple opens up the iPhone’s NFC chip—which it uses for contactless payments—to other app makers in the future. But the brick-and-mortar retail industry has few tech or user-experience successes to offer as proof that it’s going to get it right this time. (Witness its dispiriting collection of implementation failures in e-commerce, store design, previous mobile payment apps, or keeping our credit card numbers secure. Or just take yourself through the current checkout process in any large chain store.) Everything about MCX and CurrentC looks like it’s being instituted to make things better for retailers first and customers later.

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

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How Publishers & Copyright Gave Amazon the Very Power That Publishers Now Hate

2nd November 2014

Read it.

It’s all about the DRM, baby.

We’ve been meaning to weigh in some more on the whole Amazon/Hachette battle, because lot of misinformation has been spewed around (including by Paul Krugman). Unfortunately there have just been too many other things to cover and we haven’t had the time to do a more thorough piece. However, Tim Lee, over at Vox, has a good short piece detailing how many of the publishers’ problems are really because of copyright law and the stupid DRM that the publishers themselves demanded — and which now gives Amazon its power over them in the market. The issue? The DMCA and the fact that Section 1201 makes it illegal to circumvent any DRM (even if for non-infringing purposes). End result, all those books on Amazon are stuck on Amazon.

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Is Social Psychology Biased Against Republicans?

2nd November 2014

Read it.

Hint: Yes.

On January 27, 2011, from a stage in the middle of the San Antonio Convention Center, Jonathan Haidt addressed the participants of the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. The topic was an ambitious one: a vision for social psychology in the year 2020. Haidt began by reviewing the field that he is best known for, moral psychology. Then he threw a curveball. He would, he told the gathering of about a thousand social-psychology professors, students, and post-docs, like some audience participation. By a show of hands, how would those present describe their political orientation? First came the liberals: a “sea of hands,” comprising about eighty per cent of the room, Haidt later recalled. Next, the centrists or moderates. Twenty hands. Next, the libertarians. Twelve hands. And last, the conservatives. Three hands.

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