DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for February, 2009

Italy to build the world’s largest suspension bridge between Calabria and Sicily

25th February 2009

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But that trick never works….

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Double-amputee New Zealander has mermaid dreams fulfilled

25th February 2009

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We have the techology.

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Byrd: Obama in power grab

25th February 2009

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“He can’t spend all that money — only we can spend all that money.”

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | 1 Comment »

Magnets taped to crocodiles to keep them away from neighbourhoods

25th February 2009

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We have the technology.

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

Japanese Commission Challenges UN: Global Warming Not Man-made

25th February 2009

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Apparently the Japanese don’t have to deal with the same faux upper class that we do.

A Japanese energy commission released a report last month challenging the supposed international consensus that man is responsible for warming the planet while claiming that climate modeling — the questionably accurate process of predicting the future so key to Nobel Laureate Al Gore’s myth — is immature and akin to ancient astrology.

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Temporary Peace Trumps Freedom of Speech

25th February 2009

Paul Weston discusses the current state of freedom in Britain.

Hint: It’s on its way out.

“We don’t have absolute freedom of speech in the United Kingdom, because I myself have voted on laws preventing people inciting racial hatred and violence.”

Mr Vaz, an immigrant of Yemeni/Portuguese extraction, is clearly proud of the part he has played in restricting the ancient and bloodstained freedoms of Britain. No doubt Vaz is pleased the dark days of 1990 are now behind him, when he wrote to the Guardian to claim “there is no such thing as absolute freedom of speech“ as he attempted to ban the publication of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses.

This is precisely the problem with unassimilated immigrants: They tend to bring their bad habits with them. We’re all familiar with the tendency of Mexican and other Latino immigrants bringing their “take it to the streets” political practices to places like Los Angeles. Britain, being a smaller country and surrounded by Cheese-Eating Surrender-Monkeys, has it a lot worse. Without eternal vigilance, it really could happen here.

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British researcher shot in Ecuador while searching for monkeys

25th February 2009

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Let that be a lesson to us all.

Quite frankly, looking at the photograph, I don’t see “British researcher”; I see “hippy drifter”. No doubt somebody else saw the same thing.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

APSA-lute Freedom

25th February 2009

Mark Steyn takes a look at freedom of speech in Canada.

Once a government gets comfortable with regulating opinions, even institutions that exist for the very purpose of examining ideas learn to get with the program.

Hint: It’s on its way out.

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Shopping is ‘throwback to days of cavewomen’

25th February 2009

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Not really news, but a useful reminder.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Portable toaster invented to warm up packed lunches

25th February 2009

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We have the technology.

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Man who wrote ‘The Art of Armed Robbery’ on trial over armed robberies

25th February 2009

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

Next: The Book Tour.

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Jonah Has a Cold

25th February 2009

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I just loaded up on Theraflu, so I probably won’t make it through Obama’s whole speech (though I am recording it). In fact, I’m so goofy on cold drugs, I could swear Nancy Pelosi is wearing some kind of puke green San Francisco hippy flophouse hoodie, or maybe a couch cussion cover from the same house. That can’t be right, can it?

Update: From a reader:

Pelosi is wearing a puke green Jane Jetson dress.

He should get a cold more often.

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

George W Bush to visit Europe on speaking tour

25th February 2009

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They hate you, but they’re paying you big bucks. They mock you as inarticulate, but they want you to come speak to them.

What a world.

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Syria ‘builds missile facility on ruins of destroyed nuclear reactor’

25th February 2009

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Barn door locked? Check.

Syria has denied secret nuclear activities but has blocked IAEA inspectors from visits beyond an initial inspection to the Al Kibar site.

Hiding something? Check.

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California School Spends $10G a Year to Teach AP Spanish to Kids Who Speak Spanish

25th February 2009

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No wonder they’re going bankrupt.

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

Seven Shot Along Mardi Gras Parade Route in New Orleans

25th February 2009

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I see that New Orleans is finally recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

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Gaza Militants Launch Rockets Into Southern Israel

25th February 2009

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Not really news, but a useful reminder.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Baltimore Reporter Out of a Job After Posting Doctored Video Clip

25th February 2009

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A reporter for an NBC affiliate in Baltimore who inserted a racist remark into a video clip of FOX News’ John Gibson and posted it on YouTube is no longer employed by the station, FOXNews.com has learned.

Bias? Ain’t no media bias here.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

MSNBC Introduction for Gov. Jindal: ‘Oh God’

25th February 2009

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Bias? Ain’t no media bias here.

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Linguistic Cliches: Progressive Edition

24th February 2009

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So here’s a progressive cliche that has always puzzled me: working families.

As used, I think it’s supposed to mean something like “working class families” but of course we don’t have class in America so you can’t say that.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Play “O-BINGO” with Obama Tonight!

24th February 2009

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I don’t care who you are, that’s funny.

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

Utilities Jumping into the Solar Game

24th February 2009

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In the last 24 hours, two power producers ordered up a gigawatt of solar power. That’s twice the total solar capacity the United States had installed in 2007.

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Stuff White People Like #122 Moleskine Notebooks

24th February 2009

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Since all white people consider themselves to be “creative,” they are constantly in need of products and accessories that will allow them to capture their thoughts.  One of the more popular  products in recent years has been the Moleskine notebook.

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

Artificial trees could function as solar-wind harvester

24th February 2009

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Marvell’s SheevaPlug Linux PC fits in its power adapter

24th February 2009

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

Crunching credit

24th February 2009

Megan McArdle squints at American Express.

It used to be that credit-card companies lured customers with cash rewards. Now American Express Co. is paying to get rid of them. The card issuer is offering selected customers a $300 AmEx prepaid gift card if they pay off their balances and close their accounts.

And why, you might ask, do they do this seemingly unbusinesslike thing?

I am also willing to bet that we see a whole lot more of this if Congress gives bankruptcy judges the ability to cram down mortgages in Chapter 13, as they almost certainly will.  The provision is going to attract a lot more people into bankruptcy, and those people are going to shed a lot of their unsecured (read:  credit card) debt.  I’d expect that credit card lenders are already desperately trying to weed out those most likely to enter Chapter 13.

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FBI chief on Somali suicide bomber: “It appears that this individual was radicalized in his hometown in Minnesota”

24th February 2009

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Well, I’ve always had my suspicions about Minnesota….

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Swedish princess announces engagement online

24th February 2009

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And about fargin time, too.

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Who is Inspecting Your Food? Depends What You’re Eating

24th February 2009

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If you go into a restaurant and order a cheese pizza that arrived there frozen, the FDA is in charge of inspecting it, the AP says. But if it was frozen and has pepperoni on it, that would be the Agriculture Department’s problem. Meantime, both the FDA and the Agriculture Department would be responsible if the pizza were made fresh at the restaurant and the pizza had meat on it.

There’s more. Some fish is inspected by the Commerce Department, the AP explains. And while the FDA handles most food-safety work, at least 15 government agencies play some sort of role.

Government agencies, like labor unions, are hell on wheels when it comes to guarding their turf — unless it’s a disaster, and then their fingers are out and pointing.

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

The renter/owner divide

24th February 2009

Megan McArdle ponders an interesting wrinkle in the housing mess.

Playing with mortgage terms cannot prop up prices, because it cannot create more homebuyers, nor convince them to pay more than they want for a house.

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Excessive PlayStation gaming causes new skin condition

24th February 2009

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Let that be a lesson to us all.

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Born believers: How your brain creates God

24th February 2009

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This is why Christian theology is so difficult to grasp: Its basic premise is, uniquely, that God isn’t just like us, but amazingly different.

Most self-styled Christians try to understand that but get it wrong — some a little, some a lot … and some even found entire spinoff religions (like, say, Protestants) based on that sort of misunderstanding.

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Official US aid policy is to slow down emergency aid as much as possible when people are dying.

24th February 2009

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Well, they probably wouldn’t put it like that, but that is the consequence of a practice known as aid tying, whereby US aid must be spent on products from US companies. For emergency food aid, this causes huge delays in food shipments as the food has to come from the American Midwest rather than from easily available sources close to the emergency site. Bloomberg.com reported in December 2008 on the six-month journey of a bag of dried peas from Nebraska to Ethiopia, while in Ethiopia a grandfather watched seven of his grandchildren starve to death, victims of a famine foreseen for months.

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Why the Americans Might Accept Taliban Rule in the Swat Valley

24th February 2009

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Basically, because they’re suckers.

With their Western educations, the members of the Pakistani elite do what they can to pretend that they, and not the vast primitive masses of Pakistan, are the “real Pakistan.” In this respect, they are like all those ramrod-straight terry-thomas-moustachioed Pakistani generals who for decades fooled their American counterparts, carefully explaining that Islam was “a bulwark against Communism” and that they, therefore, were so much more deserving of American aid, especially military aid, than India. India, after all, was dominated by its New Left Book Club leader Jawaharlal Nehru and his marxisant, bandung-conferencing foreign minister, who even allowed the Soviets in to build steel mills and suchlike, Krishna Menon. And the Americans fell for it, and have been falling for that Pakistani line, or some variant on it, ever since — right up until the day before yesterday.

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Scientists discover Alps-scale mountain range under Antarctic ice

24th February 2009

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So once the ice sheet melts due to AlGore’s hot air, and New York City is under 30 feet of water, these will be available for skiing. A win-win.

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Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street

24th February 2009

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It was a brilliant simplification of an intractable problem. And Li didn’t just radically dumb down the difficulty of working out correlations; he decided not to even bother trying to map and calculate all the nearly infinite relationships between the various loans that made up a pool. What happens when the number of pool members increases or when you mix negative correlations with positive ones? Never mind all that, he said. The only thing that matters is the final correlation number—one clean, simple, all-sufficient figure that sums up everything.

The damage was foreseeable and, in fact, foreseen. In 1998, before Li had even invented his copula function, Paul Wilmott wrote that “the correlations between financial quantities are notoriously unstable.” Wilmott, a quantitative-finance consultant and lecturer, argued that no theory should be built on such unpredictable parameters. And he wasn’t alone. During the boom years, everybody could reel off reasons why the Gaussian copula function wasn’t perfect. Li’s approach made no allowance for unpredictability: It assumed that correlation was a constant rather than something mercurial. Investment banks would regularly phone Stanford’s Duffie and ask him to come in and talk to them about exactly what Li’s copula was. Every time, he would warn them that it was not suitable for use in risk management or valuation.

… the quants, who should have been more aware of the copula’s weaknesses, weren’t the ones making the big asset-allocation decisions. Their managers, who made the actual calls, lacked the math skills to understand what the models were doing or how they worked. They could, however, understand something as simple as a single correlation number. That was the problem.

It’s all the fault of Banker Barbie, for whom math is apparently too hard.

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The Amazing Stimulation of a $1 Check

24th February 2009

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The state of Washington sent out $1 checks to the 250,000 food stamp recipients in the state.

This little token apparently triggers $43 million in aid from the Feds.

Ribas says the $1 check is a one-time move to leverage the federal money. He says next year the state will be able to trigger the federal assistance through a routine deposit in food stamp accounts.

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As Long as We’re Passing Out Piles of Cash, Why Not $900M for Hamas?

24th February 2009

Andy McCarthy looks at a bit of stimulus you might not have heard about.

The UNRWA is effectively an arm of Hamas in Gaza (and elsewhere).  In its second term, the Bush State Department was reckless in enabling Palestinian terrorists on its utopian quest for Middle East peace.  As in so much else, Obama is taking that parlous policy and multiplying it by a hundred.

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Pluto politics hits Springfield

24th February 2009

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Like some sort of rulers of the universe, state lawmakers are considering restoring little Pluto’s planetary status, casting aside the scientific community’s 2006 decision downgrading the distant ice ball.

The push for a state decree on Pluto comes from state Sen. Gary Dahl, a Republican whose downstate district includes Streator, birthplace of Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh. Dahl told colleagues Pluto is important to the local community, which considers the vote to downgrade Pluto to “dwarf” planet was unfair as it involved only 4 percent of the International Astronomical Union’s 10,000 scientists.

Jeez, even the Republicans in Illinois are idiots. There must be something in the water.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | 1 Comment »

Questions for Dambisa Moyo

24th February 2009

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Note that, although a native African, she passes the “paper bag and ruler” test.

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For DIY brewers, Prohibition lasted until 1978. But once unleashed, they revolutionized the industry.

24th February 2009

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

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

Fried eggs could help keep blood-pressure down

24th February 2009

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Well, then, I’m doing my part for health. (I’ve heard that bacon intensifies the effect. I’m on board with that, too.)

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Malaysia: Constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion “doesn’t apply” to Muslims who want to leave Islam

24th February 2009

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Not really news, but a useful reminder.

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What if They Held Breakout Sessions and Everyone Broke Out?

24th February 2009

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Holding a “fiscal responsibility summit” at the White House in the middle of a government spending spree is a bit like having an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at a frat house on homecoming weekend.

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USS Scranton Deploys in Newest Uniform

24th February 2009

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The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Scranton (SSN 756) departed Naval Station Norfolk’s Pier 3, Feb. 20, as part of the Eisenhower Strike Group, with the entire crew wearing the newly released Navy working uniform.

Because, you know, it’s very important to have a CAMOUFLAGE UNIFORM when you’re ON A FARGIN SUBMARINE and you’re OUT AT SEA. You never know when some sonar operator will attempt to ambush you on the mess deck.

I know Barack Obama isn’t responsible for this travesty but I’m going to blame him anyway, because that’s the Spirit of the Times.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Florida tries to end a trial bar racket.

24th February 2009

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AGs send jackpot cases to the trial attorneys, who turn around and kick some of their contingency-fee winnings back to the AGs in campaign contributions. By outsourcing the work, Attorneys General can file more cases, raising their political profile. The lawyers, meanwhile, wield the power of the state and its publicity machine to force companies to settle.

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South and souther

24th February 2009

Mark Steyn looks at the economy.

So why would you invest right now? From the point of view of investors in mortgage-backed securities, the “Hope for Homeowners” plan boils down to a government-mandated unilateral rewrite of the terms of your investment. It’s different in degree from, say, investing in a copper mine in Africa and then finding that this week’s president-for-life is going to nationalize without compensation. But it’s not so different in principle. And, if you’re an investor, what you have to ponder is whether the “Hope for Homeowners, Change for Mortgage Lenders” approach might soon spread to other areas of economic activity. Right now, that seems a safe assumption.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | 2 Comments »

Chicago Rushes Head First Into ‘Limitless’ Surveillance

24th February 2009

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Under the auspices of fighting crime and preventing terrorism, Chicago’s Police Superintendent Jody Weis is hyping CCTV as having “limitless” crime-fighting potential. The reality, as is evident to anyone who has actually researched this type of thing, is that studies have shown municipal surveillance cameras to have little to no positive effect on crime. Further, London is widely known to have the most extensive CCTV network in the world, but that served as little deterrent to the terrorists of July 2005. But instead of bringing this up, the Sun-Times and Chicago officials point to a test in which “live video was used to catch a petty thief in the act of sticking his hand in a Salvation Army kettle outside Macy’s State Street.” Given the cost in both dollars and civil liberties, it is hard to justify catching petty criminals stealing some coins from charity.

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Green Nuclear

24th February 2009

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Why nuclear power should be part of the renewable-energy portfolio.

Not that the enviro-fascists will ever let us have it. They have noise, and we only have science. In this degenerate modern world, noise wins out over science more often than not.

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From the Labs: Information Technology

24th February 2009

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On-chip cooling could increase performance and decrease power consumption.

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