DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for the 'Dystopia Watch' Category

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

Lessons From a ‘Local Food’ Scam Artist

3rd March 2015

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Working summers at an authentically quaint roadside produce stand, a teenage salesperson is schooled in the not-so-subtle art of how to con a foodie from the big city.

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Inside Alibaba, the Sharp-Elbowed World of Chinese E-Commerce

3rd March 2015

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Faking orders, or “brushing,” as it is called in China, involves paying people to pretend to be customers. It lets vendors pad their sales figures and, in theory, boost their standing on online marketplaces, which often give more prominence to high-volume sellers with good track records.

Typically, vendors pay brushers the cost of the products they are ordering, plus a fee. The brushers place the orders and make payments using that money. The vendors then ship boxes that are empty or full of worthless trinkets, while the brushers write glowing reviews.

The practice is considered a form of false advertising, which is prohibited in the U.S. and China. Chinese sellers found doing so face fines and restrictions on their business. But Mr. Cui, who asked to be identified only by his last name, said he relied on fake orders because he felt there was no other way for his products to be seen.

Brushing puts Alibaba at risk of further regulatory scrutiny following its $25 billion initial public offering in September, and calls into question the volume of transactions actually conducted on its platforms, a metric analysts cite in saying it is the world’s largest e-commerce platform. Alibaba says it doesn’t condone fake transactions and that it scrubs them from reporting on merchandise volume, which amounted to 1.68 trillion yuan ($274 billion) for its two main shopping platforms, Taobao and Tmall, in the fiscal year ended March 2014.

Note the Crustian logic: Merchants engage in fraud, but it’s Ali Baba that gets ‘further regulatory scrutiny’. For the Crust, any bad thing is just another excuse to increase their meddling.

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The Eugenics Plot Behind the Minimum Wage

28th February 2015

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The famed Fabian socialist Sidney Webb was as blunt as anyone in his 1912 article “The Economic Theory of the Minimum Wage”:

Legal Minimum Wage positively increases the productivity of the nation’s industry, by ensuring that the surplus of unemployed workmen shall be exclusively the least efficient workmen; or, to put it in another way, by ensuring that all the situations shall be filled by the most efficient operatives who are available.

The intellectual history shows that whole purpose of the minimum wage was to create unemployment among people who the elites did not believe were worthy of holding jobs.

And it gets worse. Webb wrote:

What would be the result of a Legal Minimum Wage on the employer’s persistent desire to use boy labor, girl labor, married women’s labor, the labor of old men, of the feeble-minded, of the decrepit and broken-down invalids and all the other alternatives to the engagement of competent male adult workers at a full Standard Rate? … To put it shortly, all such labor is parasitic on other classes of the community, and is at present employed in this way only because it is parasitic.

Further, Webb avers: “The unemployable, to put it bluntly, do not and cannot under any circumstances earn their keep. What we have to do with them is to see that as few as possible of them are produced.”

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The Harry Potter LARP Organizers Want to Buy Their Own Castle

28th February 2015

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There are an absurdly large number of people who refuse to grow up. And they are increasingly taking over the modern world.

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We Think of Nemtsov

28th February 2015

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Boris Nemtsov’s assassination in Moscow’s center resembles something out of the times of Stalin’s Great Terror. The authorities’ reason for sanctioning the killing must not be made too mysterious to the people. The significance of the death must be clear to all, and his death must serve as a lesson. His bullet-ridden body plastered all across Russian newspapers yesterday was a warning: “Look, even a man like that cannot feel safe.” Nemtsov was one of those opposition leaders who visited the West often, who attended various conferences, acting like an informal foreign minister of this “other Russia”. Cynics used to say that talks held in hotel lobbies in Zurich don’t bother the Kremlin. Boris’ crumpled body, beamed into every television set across Russia yesterday, is a clear message to all opposition leaders, journalists and independent activists in Russia: “Don’t think that abroad you can say what you want. The authorities keep an eye on you whether you are in Warsaw or Washington. Enough is enough: time to choose sides.”

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A Decline in On-the-Job Training

28th February 2015

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A certain amount of job training happens through the basic experience of showing up for work everyday. But in some cases, more specific training is called for, which can either be sponsored or provided by an employer, or by the worker. Here’s some evidence from the recently released 2015 Economic Report of the President, by the Council of Economic Advisers, showing a decline in employer-provided and on-the-job training in recent decades. This data is collected only irregularly, when the Census Bureau decides to include the “module” that includes this particular set of questions. But with the most recent data in 2008, it seems pretty unlikely that employer-provided and on-the-job training have risen in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

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Harvard Dorm Rooms, 1899

27th February 2015

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And these people were eventually running the country. No wonder things went to Hell. (Reminder: Both Roosevelts were Harvard men.)

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The Coming Coup in China

27th February 2015

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Whether Xi Jinping is confronting corruption, engaging in just another CCP purge, or some of both, the PLA is stuck dangerously in the middle.

Things could get interesting.

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Screwed by Seniors

26th February 2015

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Remember Occupy Wall Street, when thousands across the country took to the streets, sleeping in tents to protest the ultra-rich 1 percent? The occupiers’ frustration was real, but their ire was misdirected. They should have launched an Occupy the AARP movement instead.

Government policies that transfer cash from the relatively young and poor to the relatively old and wealthy are the real scandal. In 1970, Social and Medicare accounted for 20 percent of federal spending. They have since grown to 40 percent; by 2030, they will be more than half. And these numbers understate the level of federal spending for the elderly. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, some 28 percent of spending on Medicaid, a program designed to offer health care to families in poverty, goes to older Americans.

Not to mention the crushing Federal debt that they will have to pay off — if it ever does get paid off and not just shucked, which is what governments have historically done.

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While Grijalva Grates

26th February 2015

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Former CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson asks herself how the media would treat a given behavior if it were practiced by a Republican. If the media would go ballistic, Attkisson suggests, the same behavior ought to be deemed newsworthy when a Democrat practices it. As she explains in her memoir Stonewalled, she calls it The Substitution Game.

Now comes the wretched Democratic Rep. Raúl Grijalva to give us the opportunity of playing The Substitution Game. Grijalva has sent letters to seven university presidents based on his concerns about the heterodox climate-related testimony of professors at the institutions. He seeks “detailed records on the funding sources for affiliated researchers who have opposed the scientific consensus on man-made global warming,” as the Washington Post’s Joby Warrick puts it in “House Dems: Did Big Oil seek to sway scientists in climate debate?”

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Student Gov’t Rep Removed From Office Over Opposition to In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants

26th February 2015

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Voices of the Crust, come here and get flesh.

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Among All the Best People

26th February 2015

Richard Fernandez turns over a rock.

The flip side of fame is often fear. Take the fate of Jonathan Gruber. In 2006 president Obama told an audience that he had “stolen ideas liberally” from Gruber, “one of the brightest minds from academia and policy circles”.  Gruber once had multiple contracts worth millions to supply economic modeling to the president’s signature healthcare program.  He was riding high.

Then Rich Weinstein an investment adviser from Philadelphia found a series of videos taken at small forums in which Gruber confided to audiences the less than flattering inside dope on Obamacare.  It portrayed an administration laughing at ignorant voters for believing in the promises of the program.  After the videos were publicized Gruber’s world began to fall apart.

If you really want to understand what holds the liberal establishment together the one-word answer is fear. Fear among the rich has a different flavor from fear among the poor. The poor are often so used to deprivation and insecurity that it holds no special terrors for them. When you’re already a bum and a good day is when you can eat the whole box of macaroni and cheese; when you’ve been unemployed for longer than you can remember, then “you’ll never work in this town again” can be answered by “so what?”

High flyers on the other hand, have an awful long way to fall. Nobody wants to finish up like the fictional Stanton Carlisle, who descends from the heights of the entertainment industry, fleeing police trouble and winds up working in a carnival freak show, eating live chickens for a living. And therefore media will be paying very close attention to the fate of Jonathan Gruber, formerly “one of the brightest minds from academia and policy circles”.  If there’s one thing you don’t want, it’s to wind up like Gruber.

The chains of patronage are hard to avoid in exalted circles. According to Elias Groll writing in Foreign Policy, Rudy Giuliani is a consultant for Qatar. That’s nothing. The Clintons have collected over two billion dollars from foreign governments and lobby groups through their foundation.

‘Chain of patronage’ is an elegant term for the wind beneath the wings of the Crust.

You haven’t arrived until everyone is offering you job; and once hired you don’t make waves with money like that at stake. The great and the good are bound together by chains of gold.  Some will argue this is a good thing. The Clintons were perhaps the first prominent American politicians to understand that Globalization made it possible for an international elite to settle all disputes by means of cash payments or penalties.  Once the top men had reached an understanding, the elites could jointly rule over the international taxpayer, thus abolishing conflict forever.  In today’s world no longer are patronage relationships limited to national borders, as was formerly the case.  Today, political deal-making is global.

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Donation to Clinton Foundation While Hillary Was Secretary of State Violated Ethics Agreement, Report Says

26th February 2015

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I don’t usually associate ‘ethics’ and ‘Clinton’.

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Hillary to Run as Patricia Arquette

25th February 2015

Steve Sailer connects the dots.

Yesterday, I pointed out that Patricia Arquette’s Academy Award acceptance comments sounded like a trial run of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 argument for electing her President: it’s the white moms’ turn, and all the trendier minorities need to return some favors. From the New York Times today, an article detailing how accurate that was.

You know, Margaret Thatcher was became leader of the Tory Party on February 11, 1975, more than 40 years ago and was elected Prime Minister 36 years ago.

If Hillary wins a couple of terms, in 2023 we will still be reading the same articles about glass ceilings.

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Fiorina to Clinton: ‘Flying is an activity, not an accomplishment’

25th February 2015

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Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO who is flirting with a Republican presidential bid in 2016, took some tough shots Tuesday at the likely Democratic front-runner – effectively accusing Hillary Clinton of running for office on a record of air travel.

“Like Hillary Clinton, I too have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe,” Fiorina said. “But unlike Hillary Clinton, I know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment.”

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Not Looking Good for Hillary: Patricia Arquette’s Feminist Oscar Speech Denounced for Racism, Cisgenderism

24th February 2015

Steve Sailer will never lack for material.

The basic idea behind Hillary Clinton’s run for the Presidency in 2016 is that while she’s kind of old and mediocre at politics, she is a woman, and it’s about time for a woman to be elected, and Hillary’s been waiting a long time, so who else are you gonna give it to?

At the 2015 Oscars, the Hillary stand-in role was played by Patricia Arquette. Patricia is a middle aged white mom lady, and she’s been doing this acting thing for a long time, and so it seemed like it’s about time she won something.

One of the reason I have no interest in the Oscars.

What’s wrong with Democrats?

Well, you know what’s wrong with Democrats. It’s that certain other Democrat, the one you spent so much to defeat in the 2008 primaries, who decided in 2012 to unleash the crazies to get himself re-elected. It’s getting harder and harder to stuff the nuts back in the jar.

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Want to Understand the Conflict in Ukraine? Compare It to Ireland

23rd February 2015

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A clue might be found in the view that prevails in the US Congress, where Ukraine is seen as the latest former Soviet republic trying to break free from an overbearing imperium that refuses to let go – a view that is propelling President Obama to supply Kiev with weapons. The parallel I have in mind is Ireland, or rather – to be specific – the evolution of relations between Great Britain and Ireland over the past century or so, that has left Northern Ireland with the status it is today.

This is how it works. For Russia read Great Britain; for Ukraine read Ireland, and for the ‘pro-Russia rebels’ read the unionists of what is now Northern Ireland. If you turn a map of the island of Ireland on its side, you have something like a miniature version of Ukraine. This is, of course, no more than frivolous coincidence. But the ‘rebel’ region of Ukraine, as it stands today, is about the same, proportionally, in area and population, as Northern Ireland is to the Republic.

Like the north-eastern counties of Ireland, this part of eastern Ukraine has long held the greatest concentration of heavy industry in a largely agricultural land. Like what is now Northern Ireland, eastern Ukraine’s economic ties with its far-bigger neighbour are much closer than those of the rest of the country. Its cultural affinity – which in eastern Ukraine is partly religious (Orthodoxy), and partly a matter of looking east rather than west – is also much greater with Russia than it is with, say Poland, or erstwhile Austro-Hungary, which is the direction western, and increasingly central,  Ukraine, chooses to face. Compare Northern Ireland, with its Protestantism and its close ties of kinship across the water.

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Children Aren’t Worth Very Much—That’s Why We No Longer Make Many

23rd February 2015

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A basic truth of the modern world, which is why you don’t hear much from the Malthusians and Zero Population Growth chicken-littles these days.

The nineteenth and twentieth centuries have been characterized by a massive decline in fertility, beginning in rich western countries and spreading all over the world. It is a transformation that is still underway in poor countries today.

Except that it’s not a decline in fertility — people are just as fertile now as ever, if not more so — but a decline in people exercising their fertility … which they can more easily do because of improved baby-prevention technologies and the feminist cult of abortion-on-demand.

In the modern world, children are an economic drain, not an economic benefit; rather like a very expensive pet. Only where children are an economic benefit, such as qualifying single women to claim government benefits and establish their own households, do we see levels of childbearing that compare with historical norms.

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A Smoking Gun in the Kremlin?

23rd February 2015

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Dmitry Muratov, the editor of Novaya Gazeta, the scrappy investigative journal that is perhaps best known in the West for regularly publishing pieces by the late Anna Politkovskaya, says he has in his possession a strategy document drafted and accepted by the Kremlin which outlines in broad strokes just what Russia’s long game in Ukraine may be….

He said the overall strategy included plans on how to break Ukraine into automonmous sectors, immediately attaching now war-torn southeastern Ukraine to Moscow’s tax union, with a longer term plan for annexation.

The plan suggested “the main thrust should be Crimea and the Kharkhiv region, with the aim of initiating the annexation of the eastern regions.”

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As Office Space Shrinks, So Does Privacy for Workers

23rd February 2015

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The average amount of space per office worker in North America dropped to 176 square feet in 2012, from 225 in 2010, according to CoreNet Global, a commercial real estate association. Though more recent figures are not available, real estate experts say there is no doubt that workers are being shoehorned into even less space.

This means that everyone will get to hear those loud calls about how long your mother-in-law will be staying or why the $1,500 medical bill the collection agency insists you owe should really be covered by insurance.

The problem is that the savings by putting everyone in one big room is easy to quantify, and the loss of productivity and morale is not.

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Happy Chinese New Year From China’s New Aircraft Carrier

23rd February 2015

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China’s new aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has a 14,700 square meters flight deck that allows a wide array of uses. But it’s a safe bet that a setting for a music video was not on the radar screen of either its original Ukrainian builders of recent US Office of Naval Intelligence threat analyses.

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Silicon Valley Adulteress Sues for $16 Million

23rd February 2015

Steve Sailer looks at the sordid underbelly of the Crustian Narrative.

As I’ve been pointing out for a couple of years, we constantly read news stories out of Silicon Valley about male chauvinist brogrammers oppressing women whose only dream in life since they were little girls has been to code. And yet, upon inspection of the details, another word often comes to mind: adventuress.

Keep in mind that Ms. Pao broke it off after Mr. Nazre failed to divorce Mrs. Nazre. You might think that Ms. Pao’s predation upon Mrs. Nazre’s marriage might be an issue, but that’s missing the point, which is that John Doerr is a deep-pocketed rich white man and therefore must pay. Woman v. woman conflicts, while fascinating to other women, don’t fit well within the dominant feminist legal and media frameworks, so they are of no serious interest.

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American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn’t Exist

22nd February 2015

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(That’s when they’re not indoctrinating kids for a world that cannot ever exist.)

We “learn,” and after this we “do.” We go to school and then we go to work.

This approach does not map very well to personal and professional success in America today. Learning and doing have become inseparable in the face of conditions that invite us to discover.

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How Green and Peaceful Really Is Greenpeace?

22nd February 2015

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Hint: not much.

For the best part of half a century Greenpeace’s constant campaigning on environmental issues has been an almost unmitigated success. Its effectiveness has brought it both astonishing wealth and almost unimpeded access to decision-makers. During this time, it has had what amounts to a free pass from the media, its claims and methods rarely questioned by credulous environmental correspondents.

But are the wheels finally coming off? Looking back over the last few years it’s easy to get that impression: an organisation that once seemed untouchable has found itself having to answer some very sharp questions about the way it behaves and operates.

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America a House Divided Over Race

22nd February 2015

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Here’s the real tragedy: Some 50 years after the passage of sweeping nationwide civil rights legislation, the institutionalization of affirmative action and billions poured into addressing urban poverty, many African American youth remain well outside the mainstream, unmoored to the economy and far too liable to get into confrontations with law enforcement. This is clearly connected with such factors as the preponderance among African Americans of 70 percent single-female-headed households, nearly half of which are poor.

Hmm, here’s a thought: Perhaps it was the ‘ sweeping nationwide civil rights legislation, the institutionalization of affirmative action and billions poured into addressing urban poverty’ that caused this bad situation? Just maybe?

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The Progressive Ideas Behind the Lack of Free Speech on Campus

22nd February 2015

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Is an academic discussion of free speech potentially traumatic? A recent panel for Smith College alumnae aimed at “challenging the ideological echo chamber” elicited this ominous “trigger/content warning” when a transcript appeared in the campus newspaper: “Racism/racial slurs, ableist slurs, antisemitic language, anti-Muslim/Islamophobic language, anti-immigrant language, sexist/misogynistic slurs, references to race-based violence, references to antisemitic violence.”

No one on this panel, in which I participated, trafficked in slurs. So what prompted the warning?

Speech police today, thought police tomorrow.

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Some Minorities Are More Equal Than Others?

22nd February 2015

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If you break into admission statistics to elite colleges and universities you discover a pattern of “disparate impact” (as the civil rights term of art goes) against Asians. It appears Asians are being actively discriminated against just as Jews were for decades.

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At New York Private Schools, Challenging White Privilege From the Inside

21st February 2015

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If the Soviet Union had possessed this comprehensive an indoctrination system, it would still be with us today.

Steve Sailer connects the dots:

I think that’s key to understanding what’s going on. Start with the premise that couples who spend $40k per year in tuition per child aren’t doing that to have their child lose his privileges, they are doing that to augment their scion’s privileges. Indoctrinating your child in the dominant rhetoric of the era he will live in not only makes him less likely to make a career-damaging slip up, it makes him more cunning at how to attack and destroy his white rivals whenever they make rhetorical slip-ups as he claws his way to the top. You don’t need to be fair to the people you meet on the way up if you’re never coming back down.

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O Beautiful, For Specious Guys…

21st February 2015

Mark Steyn says what I’ve been saying for a while now….

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, because conspiracies are generally a comforting illusion: the real problem with Obama is that the citizens of the global superpower twice elected him to office. Yet one way to look at the current “leader of the free world” is this: If he were working for the other side, what exactly would he be doing differently?

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Clintons’ Foundation Has Raised Nearly $2 Billion — and Some Key Questions

20th February 2015

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Since its creation in 2001, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has raised close to $2 billion from a vast global network that includes corporate titans, political donors, foreign governments and other wealthy interests, according to a Washington Post review of public records and newly released contribution data.

Sure, foreigners are all in with the Clintons’ efforts to do whatever it is that the Clinton Foundation does.

 

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New High-School Physics Curriculum Includes Lessons on White Privilege

20th February 2015

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A high-school physics teacher has developed his own six-day curriculum that he uses to teach about institutional racism, privilege, and social justice as part of his seniors’ physics classes. The teacher, Moses Rifkin of University Prep in Seattle, has also been promoting the lesson plan to other high-school science instructors. John Burk, a math and physics teacher from Delaware, said that he learned about the curriculum when he met Rifkin at a People of Color Conference and gushed that it “brilliantly brings lessons about social justice, privilege, and institutional racism into the physics classroom.”

Home-schooling keeps looking better and better.

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How Vladimir Putin Is Waging War on the West – and Winning

20th February 2015

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Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the old Soviet empire is no more. Most of the old Warsaw Pact countries have joined the European Union and Nato. Central Europe’s transition from communism to democracy has been widely acclaimed as a huge success, and indeed is widely copied and studied the world over. Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, even Romania and Bulgaria are all more open and generally more prosperous than ever before. Germany is triumphantly unified, and Europe is whole and free.

Can Vladimir Putin really pick all of this apart? Well, while most of us weren’t watching, he has certainly tried. We’ve spent the past decade arguing about Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, almost anything but Russia. Meanwhile, Russia has been pursuing a grand strategy designed to delegitimise Nato, undermine the EU, split the western alliance and, above all, reverse the transitions of the 1990s.

Much of the time, they are pushing on an open door.

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ISIS in Libya Threatens Rome, Hillary Clinton Hardest Hit

19th February 2015

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Here’s something else that ISIS’s rise in Libya won’t improve: the prospects of the Democratic party’s heir apparent. Hillary Clinton’s claim to be a serious, credentialed candidate largely rests on her tenure as Secretary of State; at the top of her list of accomplishments in that office are the Libya campaign (which she lobbied a reluctant President Obama to undertake) and the reforms in Burma. Now Libya is very visibly sliding from bad to worse—and Burma doesn’t look good either.

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Black Students in San Francisco 15x as Likely as Whites to be Arrested

19th February 2015

Steve Sailer connects the dots.

So, white grown-ups are a minority in the San Francisco public schools, but their remaining presence is still looked upon as the most obvious explanation for the problems of black students. Even when whites are an actual minority, they remain the Legacy Majority. Sure, white employees of the San Francisco public schools probably voted for Obama 5 to 1 or 10 to 1, but they remain permanently tainted by their race.

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Foreign Government Gifts to Clinton Foundation on the Rise

18th February 2015

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Gee, I wonder why?

The Clinton Foundation has dropped its self-imposed ban on collecting funds from foreign governments and is winning contributions at an accelerating rate, raising ethical questions as Hillary Clinton ramps up her expected bid for the presidency.

Somehow I don’t associate ‘ethics’ with Hillary Clinton.

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Two Sex Scandals You Missed

18th February 2015

The Other McCain ignores the Narrative.

The liberal media generally ignore sex scandals unless they involve a Republican politician or a Catholic priest, so maybe you didn’t hear about Mohammad Abdullah Saleem, the Illinois imam who allegedly perpetrated “decades of assault and child sex abuse . . . within the community of Indian and Pakistani Muslim immigrants.”

Tony Jones became a progressive religious celebrity, touring like a rock star on the “emergent” speaking circuit while his marriage was falling apart. If we are to believe the allegations of his ex-wife, Julie McMahon, Tony Jones developed a pornography habit and “starting in 2007, Mr. Jones began asking her repeatedly for sexual behaviors she found repellent, including anal sex.” Of course, this is the progressive gospel of “emergent” theology: “Thou shalt watch porn and do it in the butt.”

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The Scolding Ritual

18th February 2015

Freeberg connects the dots.

The consumers have been losing their voice. We have quite a few transactions being closed, only for the benefit of the supplier, many of them without the consent of the consumer or only with consent from the consumer that has been somehow perverted. It’s either been regulated when the will is not there, or given freely but without due consideration, more as a conditioned response.

While that’s happening, we have a decline in masculinity, almost as if there was some orbiting radioactive source breaking down our stores of testosterone. Our culture is not what it was before. Too many women have a need to scold men, and because consumers are tailoring their orders around the whims of suppliers and learning to like it that way, too many men are manufacturing a need to be scolded.

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Train Derailment Sends Oil Tanker Into West Virginia River

17th February 2015

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Gee, how could we avoid tragedies like this in the future? Oh, I don’t know — a pipeline, maybe? That’s just a guess, you understand.

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A Closer Look at Silicon Valley’s Dismal Vaccination Numbers

16th February 2015

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There are no guarantees that smart people can’t do really really dumb things. (Consider how many of them voted for Obama….)

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When Do Brownies Become Brownshirts?

16th February 2015

Jim Goad notices a disturbing trend.

There’s a fun new group for socially aware prepubescent girls of color in Oakland called the Radical Brownies. This fledgling organization is not affiliated with the Girl Scouts of America and was formed in December by a black woman and a Hispanic woman who describe themselves as “queer women of color and avid trans allies.”

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Woman Stung by Scorpion on Flight From Los Angeles to Portland

16th February 2015

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Let that be a lesson to us all.

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Bill’s Libido Threatens to Derail Hillary — Again

15th February 2015

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Really — what has he got to lose? She doesn’t dare divorce him; that would hurt her political career far beyond any negative effect it would have on him. Indeed, if he were ‘single again’, it would open the floodgates. Manhattan would sink from all the females heading to Noo Yawk to get a piece of the ol’ horndog hisself.

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DePaul Students Claim Divestment From Israel is a Queer Feminist Issue

15th February 2015

Read it.

And I, for one, am prepared to believe it.

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The Killer, the Reporter, and the Southern Poverty Law Center

14th February 2015

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Craig Hicks, the man who murdered three Muslims in North Carolina this week, had a Facebook page. One of the groups he liked on it is the Southern Poverty Law Center.

An AlterNet article about Hicks—reprinted today in both Raw Story and Salon—includes several long quotes from Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Guess what subject never comes up?

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Obamacare Benchwarmers Working the Refs Again

14th February 2015

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The Wall Street Journal mentions this morning that our now-socialized health care sector is filing panicked Supreme Court briefs in the upcoming King v. Burwell case that emphasize not legal arguments but the disruption to their business model if Obamacare’s state subsidies are struck down. In other words, they mostly submitted policy briefs to the Supreme Court—not legal briefs. I wonder if their lawyers gave them the appropriate policy wonk discount, since we work cheap compared to K Street lawyers. Somehow I doubt it.

Meanwhile, it is widely thought that in the first Obamacare case, NFIB v. Sebelius, the supporters of Obamacare “worked the refs”—specifically that a concentrated campaign to affect Chief Justice Roberts’s views worked to get him to change his mind by appealing to his jurisprudential minimalism, and to his concern for the political reputation of the Court. Who know if this actually contributed to Roberts changing his mind about the case and casting the deciding vote to uphold most of Obamacare, but that’s water under the bridge now.

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Study Shows Heavy Adolescent Pot Use Permanently Lowers IQ

12th February 2015

Read it.

Well, that certainly accounts for some of the positions pushed by tReason magazine.

But ‘studies’ are behind Global Warming and the warnings against cholesterol, too, and we know how those worked out.

On the other hand, I’m prepared to believe this one, based on (granted, limited) anecdotal evidence.

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UPS Hates Coming To Your House, to Begin Tacking on Surcharges for Residential Delivery

11th February 2015

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Guess the USPS is coughing up blood in the alley….

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Squid Ink

10th February 2015

Sarah Hoyt turns over a rock.

I’m doing this in my PJs, in a comfy heated office (filled with cardboard boxes) sitting at the black glass desk of Evil command. I’m drinking a beverage grown on another continent and transported by tech and human power across the world, so I can enjoy it.

I’m privileged. We are privileged beyond the dreams of kings and queens of past centuries.

Unfortunately when they tell you to “check your privilege” that’s not what they mean.

This is a phrase increasingly deployed by people (usually women – rolls eyes) with an academic background and its meaning is … liberal squid ink. If you’re telling them that Welfare was a disaster for black families (it was) and that affirmative action not only has been a disaster for many organizations, but corrodes the soul (you never know why you were hired. I have friends in that position) and institutes birth-privilege based on who your ancestors were (aka nobility) they will say “check your privilege.” This really doesn’t mean a heck of a lot. It can’t, because they have no idea who you are, or indeed if you have ever received any privilege growing up.

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Obama Adviser Says Obama Repeatedly Lied About Gay Marriage for Political Gain

10th February 2015

Read it.

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

I’ll bet he lies about being a Christian, too. Just sayin’.

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The Fiddling With Temperature Data Is the Biggest Science Scandal Ever

10th February 2015

Read it.

When future generations look back on the global-warming scare of the past 30 years, nothing will shock them more than the extent to which the official temperature records – on which the entire panic ultimately rested – were systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified.

Two weeks ago, under the headline “How we are being tricked by flawed data on global warming”, I wrote about Paul Homewood, who, on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog, had checked the published temperature graphs for three weather stations in Paraguay against the temperatures that had originally been recorded. In each instance, the actual trend of 60 years of data had been dramatically reversed, so that a cooling trend was changed to one that showed a marked warming.

This was only the latest of many examples of a practice long recognised by expert observers around the world – one that raises an ever larger question mark over the entire official surface-temperature record.

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