DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for November, 2008

Couple Claims CNN Endangered Their Lives During Mumbai Attacks

30th November 2008

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A British couple caught in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, last week claimed Sunday that CNN endangered their lives by broadcasting their whereabouts.

According to the South Wales couple, the terrorists were monitoring CNN in order to locate westerners in the hotels under attack.

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Obama to nominate Hillary as Secretary of State Monday despite Constitutional prohibition

30th November 2008

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Hillary’s nomination will be made in the face of the Constitutional prohibition in the Emoluments Clause (Article I, Section 6, clause 2):

No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time: and no person holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office.

This issue has been discussed quite a bit in the blogoshpere during the last couple of weeks. One of my favorite Constitutional scholars, Professor Eugene Volokh — the Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, has written about Hillary and the Emoluments Clause. Professor Volokh concludes “it is beyond dispute that Senator Clinton is currently ineligible for appointment as secretary of State.” I agree.

But when did the Constitution ever matter to a Clinton? or to a Democrat?

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | Comments Off

The message from Mumbai

30th November 2008

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The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: “Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again,” he said.

Your future under Islam. Don’t say you werent warned.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic hits 10,000

30th November 2008

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Boy, those Zimbabweans are sure lucky they’re no longer under the boot of that oppressive white regime.

Thank God for the U.N. and the international community, or who knows what sort of hell they’d be living in now.

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Secret theme behind Narnia Chronicles is based upon the stars, says new research

30th November 2008

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A demonstration of the infinitely malleable nature of the term “research”.

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Congo: Hutus and Tutsis ‘will always kill each other’

30th November 2008

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This attitude comes as no surprise to some of us. The “Why can’t we all just get along?” crowd at the Washington Post and similar cultural lesions will, of course, just shake their heads in bewilderment, since their mental toolbox doesn’t contain anything that will allow them to get a grip on the thought, much less cope with the reality.

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Secular Right

30th November 2008

John Derbyshire, Patron Saint of Dyspepsia, has started a new blog for the non-religious right. The linked article is a fine example of what you can find there.

When I said that “Any given theology is of zero interest to anyone outside the tribe,” I meant of interest in the way that a real intellectual discipline — math, biology, history — is of general interest. From the fact that a person wants to study microbiology, I can deduce nothing about his tribe or fictive tribe (e.g. religion). From the fact that a person wants to make a serious, engaged, non-hostile study of Islamic theology, I can deduce with high probability that he is a Muslim.

Further indicia of quality are that Walter Olson and Heather MacDonald blog there. Well worth your time.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Everything You Need To Know About Hitler’s “Missing” Testicle

30th November 2008

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Somebody make it stop. This incessant fixation on Hitler’s sexuality, on his alleged perversity. I think it’s fair to say that the very apex of cultural stupidity in our era is the compulsive conjunction of Hitler and sex. He was a “predatory” homosexual. He engaged in excretory practices with his underage half-niece. And, one of the most enduring, a myth I thought I had refuted once and for all but that now rears its head again: Hitler had only one testicle.

Isn’t it obvious by now what this is about? Our need to prove that Hitler was not “normal,” thus not like us, normal human nature thereby exculpated from producing a Hitler. It fills a need to reassure ourselves there is no Hitler potential in human potential. We’re off the hook.

Although ordinarily I think it a good rule that if something appears in Slate magazine, the truth is the exact opposite, every rule has its exceptions, and this appears to be one.

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Blogging the Qur’an: Suras 77-86

30th November 2008

Know your enemy.

You may not be interested in Islam, but be assured that Islam is interested in you.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

At the U.N., a Firebrand Increasingly in the Mainstream

30th November 2008

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The Rev. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, a revolutionary Nicaraguan priest, sounded like the old-school, 1980s-style Latin American leftist he is when he began his presidency of the 192-member U.N. General Assembly in September.

I give up — what business does a “revolutionary Nicaraguan priest” have being President of the U.N. General Assembly? And what benefit has any “revolutionary Nicaraguan priest” ever brought to Nicaragua, much less the rest of the world? Truly, this is Fantasy Land. And your taxes are paying for it! Aren’t you proud?

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How many human lives is a flat panel TV worth?

30th November 2008

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I don’t doubt that many people shop at Wal-mart in order to save money, but I seriously doubt that this insane mob of people consisted mostly of suburban mothers looking for jumbo-sized diaper packs. No, these were people looking for slashed prices on electronics, outdoor gear, and clothing. These were bargain shoppers, for sure, but no one who stepped on Damour’s chest was there because they had run out of bread and heating oil.

One of the great blind spots that “caring people” have is the inability to appreciate that there are people in the world who just don’t care. Appreciating that historically demonstrable fact is the true basis of wisdom.

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Washing hands ‘affects moral judgment’

30th November 2008

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Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

The Great Acorn Mystery

30th November 2008

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The major difference between a big-newspaper “journalist” and a random character on a kid’s morning TV show appears to be the pay scale.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Federal-Employee Unions Fear Unfairness, Seek List of Hired Political Appointees

30th November 2008

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Two powerful employee organizations are pressing the Bush administration to prove that in its final weeks, political aides are not improperly winning career government jobs at the expense of more qualified workers.

I don’t think this was written as a satire, since it’s in the Washington Post rather than The Onion, but I had to look to make sure, and I’m still not certain.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | 2 Comments »

Joe Who?

30th November 2008

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Was Joe Biden’s nomination for Vice President – a pick elicited first by the criticisms of Hillary Clinton, then John McCain, for Barack Obama’s relative foreign policy inexperience – a shallow attempt to dispel the disparaging ‘naiveté’ narrative? Will Vice President Cheney, a man who has expanded the powers of the Office of the Vice President more than any VP in recent memory, be succeeded by a wall moth? Survey says: Yes.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that….

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The Krugman Recipe for Depression

30th November 2008

Amity Schlaes gives Krugman some noogies.

Here’s the meat:

Mr. Krugman is a new Nobel Laureate, teaches at Princeton University and writes a column for a nationally prominent newspaper. So what he says is believed to be objective by many people, even when it isn’t. But the larger reason we should care about the 1930s employment record is that the cure Roosevelt offered, the New Deal, is on everyone else’s mind as well. In a recent “60 Minutes” interview, President-elect Barack Obama said, “keep in mind that 1932, 1933, the unemployment rate was 25%, inching up to 30%.”

The New Deal is Mr. Obama’s context for the giant infrastructure plan his new team is developing. If he proposes FDR-style recovery programs, then it is useful to establish whether those original programs actually brought recovery. The answer is, they didn’t. New Deal spending provided jobs but did not get the country back to where it was before.

And here’s the moral: Even somebody who has impeccable Establishment credentials can be demonstrably wrong in pursuit of a political agenda. This is why it’s important not to just believe somebody because they have a lot of tickets punched, but to make them show you the numbers, and be able to explain them in terms a non-specialist can understand. “Trust me, I’m an expert” is the worst of all bases for public policy.

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Finally, the Pressing Issue of Tubers

30th November 2008

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I am not making this up.

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Stuff White People Like: Providing Victims for Terrorism

30th November 2008

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Alan Scherr was an art professor with a comfortable life in the Maryland suburbs, but he spent 25 years studying Transcendental Meditation in a quest for something more. The search took him and his family to Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, where they shed their old life in Silver Spring and meditated in the complex of a New Age mystic.

So you know he’ll come to a bad end. If you saw this in a movie you would think, “Sheesh, what a hackneyed cliché.” And you’d be right.

As they mourned the deaths, family and friends struggled to comprehend how a man defined by his quiet spirituality had met such a violent end — along with the daughter who was raised in part by monks in the family-like atmosphere of the rural Synchronicity compound, 30 miles from Charlottesville.

Hint: There are evil people in the world, evil people who don’t give a shit about your search for peace.

Naomi, a high-achieving student who was home-schooled at the compound and planned to attend boarding school in New York next fall, was shot next, Lang said. “It’s hard for me to imagine the rationale for shooting a 13-year-old girl in the back of the head,” he added. “Naomi was the sweetest, loveliest, most innocent young girl.”

You don’t need to imagine it — just accept that there are others who do, who will gladly do it to you if given the chance.

Master Charles remains in India, where he escaped the attacks by spending 45 hours locked in his hotel room.

And that’s their response. if you close your eyes hard enough, you’ll become invisible.

And let’s not forget their enablers, people who write articles like this for the Washington Post.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Somebody Get Me A Gun

30th November 2008

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Apparently the Mumbai terrorists were surrounded by police whose primary concern was to hide and ensure their own safety rather than doing something about the situation.

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President-elect Barack Obama proposes economic suicide for US

29th November 2008

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If the holder of the most powerful office in the world proposed a policy guaranteed to inflict untold damage on his own country and many others, on the basis of claims so demonstrably fallacious that they amount to a string of self-deluding lies, we might well be concerned. The relevance of this is not to President Bush, as some might imagine, but to a recent policy statement by President-elect Obama.

Don’t blame me, I voted for McCain.

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Ocean currents can power the world, say scientists

29th November 2008

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It won’t satisfy the eco-nazis, of course, who won’t be happy until we’ve regressed to using candles and horses. But it’s nice to know.

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Children flee from wild boar at church

29th November 2008

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Germany reverts to the Middle Ages.

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Vicious drug turf war turns Mexican border town of Tijuana into a killing zone

29th November 2008

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One of the primary functions of a government is to ensure that people can go about their daily business in peace. It would appear that Mexico does not, effectively, have a government.

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It’s Not the Cold War

29th November 2008

Mark Steyn connects the dots.

It’s not an either/or scenario, it’s all of the above. Yes, the terrorists targeted locally owned hotels. But they singled out Britons and Americans as hostages. Yes, they attacked prestige city landmarks like the Victoria Terminus, one of the most splendid and historic railway stations in the world. But they also attacked an obscure Jewish community center. The Islamic imperialist project is a totalitarian ideology: It is at war with Hindus, Jews, Americans, Britons, everything that is other.

In the ten months before this week’s atrocity, Muslim terrorists killed over 200 people in India and no-one paid much attention. Just business as usual, alas. In Bombay, the perpetrators were cannier. They launched a multiple indiscriminate assault on soft targets, and then in the confusion began singling out A-list prey: Not just wealthy Western tourists, but local orthodox Jews, and municipal law enforcement. They drew prominent officials to selected sites, and then gunned down the head of the antiterrorism squad and two of his most senior lieutenants. They attacked a hospital, the place you’re supposed to take the victims to, thereby destabilizing the city’s emergency-response system.

What’s relevant about the Mumbai model is that it would work in just about any second-tier city in any democratic state: Seize multiple soft targets and overwhelm the municipal infrastructure to the point where any emergency plan will simply be swamped by the sheer scale of events. Try it in, say, Mayor Nagin’s New Orleans. All you need is the manpower. Given the numbers of gunmen, clearly there was a significant local component. On the other hand, whether or not Pakistan’s deeply sinister ISI had their fingerprints all over it, it would seem unlikely that there was no external involvement. After all, if you look at every jihad front from the London Tube bombings to the Iraqi insurgency, you’ll find local lads and wily outsiders: That’s pretty much a given.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

There is no Tool You do Not Need

29th November 2008

The Hog advises on tools.

I don’t just want tools. I want tools that make things easy. Over and over, I have said that the real purpose of tools is to end frustration. My idea of hell is spending every day doing jobs with the wrong tools. While listening to rap. And wearing bell bottoms. And drinking Budweiser. In France.

This principle is why people who create new slot designs for fasteners should be released naked in the middle of the Libyan desert at midnight. During the scorpion rut. Every time a new slot design is created, people who want to be able to turn screws have to buy at least three new drivers and a bunch of bits. I have tons of these things, I and I still can’t turn all the screws I encounter. That leads to fun activities like trying to turn screws with a small Vise Grip. Put it on, start to turn, watch it pop off. Repeat for four hours. Check Expedia for fares to Libya.

I already know the name of my next book. “1,000 Exotic Fasteners and How to Strip Them.”

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Teen rapper killed rival over song lyrics on internet

29th November 2008

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And what does this tell us about rap music and the “culture” that spawned it?

Go on, take a guess.

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Rachel Maddow Wants Show Trials for “Criminal” Bush Officials While Extending Presumption of Innocence to Terrorists

29th November 2008

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Maddow also demonstrated her odd predilection toward condemning Bush officials as guilty who’ve yet been charged with anything, much less convicted, while wringing her hands over the fate of horribly misunderstood terrorists such as Salim Hamdan, bin Laden’s “driver.”

As has been mentioned before, the freaky alliance between left-wing fascists in America and Islamic fascists overseas is based on the fact that both groups hate and despise America.

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Copts Under Siege in Cairo

29th November 2008

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Last weekend in the suburbs of Cairo, a congregation of Coptic Christians was besieged inside a newly-opened church by thousands of angry Muslims. It seems the Copts had had the temerity to open the church in a converted factory, and, as we all know, Islamic law forbids the establishment of new churches anywhere in Dar al-Islam.

The Muslim mob quickly converted the church into a mosque by praying there, and then went on a rampage against the church and the homes and businesses of Christians.

Bear in mind that the Copts are the original inhabitants of Egypt. How would the world press react if Native Americans opened a sweat lodge in Omaha and were immediately attacked by mobs of screaming Baptists? The question answers itself.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Saudi offer for Moscow mosque, Orthodox call for church in Arabia

29th November 2008

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Guess, if you can, which one will actually happen.

C’mon, take a chance.

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Biodiesel tax break backfires

29th November 2008

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Domestic producers of the renewable fuel have been selling huge quantities of biodiesel in Europe and in other foreign markets, where prices are often better, and then receiving a $1-per-gallon tax credit from Uncle Sam.

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

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2 gunmen kill each other in shootout at Toys R Us in Palm Desert

29th November 2008

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Note that this did not occur in a “God & Guns” state, but rather in left-wing California.

Note further that no indication was given of the perpetrators’ race or ethnicity. According to current journalistic practice, this suggests strongly that these people were Non-Asian Minorities.

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U.S. Troops Kill Taliban Commander, Clad in Woman’s Clothes

29th November 2008

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Servants of the Father of Lies.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Ohio Police Chief Shoots Himself While Teaching Daughter Gun Safety

29th November 2008

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Just a reminder that time and fortune happen to them all. Presumably the girl learned a valuable lesson from this.

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Dozens of Centuries-Old Artifacts Found During Connecticut Road Construction

29th November 2008

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An excellent reminder that Europeans have over four centuries of history on this continent.

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The Millman Chart and the GOP

28th November 2008

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I love these charts that people create to try to peg others politically.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Keep staggering on

28th November 2008

Mark Steyn keeps us all focused.

Britain has clearly decided it has a golden future as one vast theme-park for The Onion.

Couldn’t have put it any better myself — except to point out that it is a theme-park run by Stephen King.

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Confessions of a Metropolitan Conservative

28th November 2008

John Derbyshire, Patron Saint of Dyspepsia, discourses on metroconservatives.

Race-conscious Chinese people use the word “banana” to refer to a fellow-countryman who has “gone Anglo.” Such a person is yellow outside but white inside — a banana, see? Well, perhaps we milk and water conservatives are similarly inauthentic — red outside but blue inside. (I’ve been trying to think of some common object to use as a metaphor here. Is there anything that is red outside but blue inside? The best that the combined brains of the Derbyshire family could come up with is: a lovesick Apache.)

Think about that for a while.

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Free-piston engines could be used to generate electricity as efficiently as, and less expensively than, fuel cells.

28th November 2008

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Why rats can’t vomit

28th November 2008

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Just in case you were wondering. I know I was.

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Bamboo Bike Maker Grows His Frames, Bonsai Style

28th November 2008

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Why Alternative Energy Isn’t

28th November 2008

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As oil prices recede from all-time dollar highs and some of the hot air gets let out of energy policy debates, it’s a good time to remember that here’s a key concept missing from almost every popular discussion of the subject: energy density. Specialist economists get it, but almost nobody else does. It is important to understanding why most forms of “alternative energy” are mirages, and what a sane energy policy would actually look like.

Wisdom. Attend.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

My Idea of Heaven

28th November 2008

It is raining small furry animals outside, which means that all the nimrods who were camped out at Best Buy are miserable. I am inside a warm house, with food in the fridge, plenty of cold Pepsi, and no place I have to be for the next three days. I have the Internet and two huge stacks of books, one from the library and one from my wallet. My wife is asleep, which means that I don’t have to look at any cute pictures of cats.

It don’t get any better than this, as we say here in Texas.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off

Competent Elites

28th November 2008

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One of the major surprises I received when I moved out of childhood into the real world, was the degree to which the world is stratified by genuine competence.

But entering the real world, I found out that the average mortal really can’t be an executive.  Even the average manager can’t function without a higher-level manager above them.  What is it that makes an executive?  I don’t know, because I’m not a professional in this area.  If I had to take a guess, I would call it “functioning without recourse” – living without any level above you to take over if you falter, or even to tell you if you’re getting it wrong.  To just get it done, even if the problem requires you to do something unusual, without anyone being there to look over your work and pencil in a few corrections.

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A Giant Yacht Sails to San Francisco

28th November 2008

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The Maltese Falcon is, when measured at the water line, the longest privately owned sailboat in the world, according to David A. Kaplan, who hung out with Mr. Perkins and wrote “Mine’s Bigger: The Extraordinary Tale of the World’s Greatest Sailboat and the Silicon Valley Tycoon Who Built It.”

Wouldn’t mind having one of these.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off

The “Outside the Box” Box

28th November 2008

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Whenever someone exhorts you to “think outside the box”, they usually, for your convenience, point out exactly where “outside the box” is located.  Isn’t it funny how nonconformists all dress the same…

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The College Town Is Obsolete

28th November 2008

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Colleges and college towns have become bastions of intolerance and enforced conformity. Political correctness? That’s not the tenth of it. I’m talking about the stifling of speech, dissent, or any deviation from orthodoxy. Colleges have gone from citadels of intellectual openness to dungeons of intellectual coercion. And in support of what? High ideals such as the canons of Western thought (freedom, liberty, justice, sovereignty of the individual, the inviolability of property rights)? More often, it’s the undermining of the same.

If this is news to you, you haven’t been paying attention, and you certainly haven’t experienced being flunked for your views (not your scholarship), having your perfectly reasonable points of view confiscated and trashed and/or burned (if they appeared in print), being shouted down, prevented from gaining a hearing, or having your audiences intimidated and threatened, your tenure denied, your application rejected, or your grant stripped.

The Gothic Gulag is alive and well in blue America.

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Heinlein on Voting: Would You Bet Your Life On It?

28th November 2008

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Sign me up. I’d like to see how many Democrats in Congress could solve a quadratic equation — or recognize the quadratic formula if they saw it.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Two Mumbai gunmen were British

28th November 2008

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Britain, exporter of jihadists. Will this revelation lead to any searching questions about what is being taught in mosques in Britain? Will it lead to any public discussion about immigration and assimilation, or about British values and Sharia? Somehow I doubt it.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Washington, Our New Wall Street

28th November 2008

Charles Krauthammer gets dyspeptic.

In the old days — from the Venetian Republic to, oh, the Bear Stearns rescue — if you wanted to get rich, you did it the Warren Buffett way: You learned to read balance sheets. Today you learn to read political tea leaves. You don’t anticipate Intel’s third-quarter earnings; instead, you guess what side of the bed Henry Paulson will wake up on tomorrow.

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Man wakes wife from coma – by biting her toes

28th November 2008

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Hey, don’t ever say you don’t find useful information here.

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