DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for May, 2009

Would You Slap Your Father? If So, You’re a Liberal

31st May 2009

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That depends on Dad; if he were a liberal….

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

Carbon nanotubes: Saladin’s secret weapon

31st May 2009

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Peter Paufler and colleagues at Dresden’s Technical University discovered carbon nanotubes in the microstructure of a 17th century Damascus sabre. Intriguingly, the nanotubes could have encapsulated iron-carbide nanowires that might give clues to the mechanical strength and sharpness of these swords.

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Down Memory Lane

31st May 2009

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They filibustered Estrada for years and he never made it onto the bench. So, when you see Barack Obama–who voted to filibuster Sam Alito!–piously denouncing “the political posturing and ideological brinksmanship that has bogged down this process” in the past, remember Miguel Estrada. Somewhere on this earth, there is a worse hypocrite than Barack Obama. I just can’t think who he is offhand….

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Futarchy considered retarded

30th May 2009

The inimitable Mencius Moldbug does it again.

The 21st-century American university is a pathologist’s dream.

Academia is a guild of talented and ambitious professionals who, by demonstrating their large and dextrous brains – not to mention their impeccable networking skills, and their infinite patience with the brown product of the cow – extract money, power, and/or status from USG. Need more be said?

Basically, the summary is this: prediction markets are a fine idea, whereas decision markets are… well… retarded.

I was going to use Dijkstra’s wonderful coinage, considered harmful, but on reflecting I feel that decision markets are too retarded to qualify as harmful. Communism is harmful. Maturity transformation is harmful. Futarchy is retarded.

Robin Hanson’s response is here.

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232 Sudanese slaves liberated from jihadi overlords

30th May 2009

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Makes you wonder what all those black guys who convert to Islam in prison are thinking.

On the other hand, if they were any good at thinking, perhaps they wouldn’t have been in prison in the first place.

Islam: Perfect religion for violent criminals. Be the first on your cell-block etc.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Video shows Taliban planning deliberate civilian murder to blame U.S.

30th May 2009

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

Reminder for the dimwitted: Islam is an oppressive totalitarian ideology with which no co-existence is possible.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Teleprompter

30th May 2009

Mark Steyn takes a look at the news.

Doesn’t Kim Jong Il have a compelling personal story? Like Sonia, he grew up in a poor neighborhood (North Korea), yet he’s managed to become a nuclear power, shattering the glass ceiling to take his seat at the old nuclear boys’ club. Isn’t that an inspiring narrative? Once upon a time you had to be a great power, one of the Big Five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, to sit at the nuclear table: America, Britain, France, Russia, China, the old sons of power and privilege. But now the mentally unstable scion of an impoverished no-account backwater with a GDP lower than that of Zimbabwe has joined their ranks: Celebrate diversity!

Maybe we’re the ones being parochial. If you’re American, it’s natural to assume that the North Korean problem is about North Korea, just like the Iraq War is about Iraq. But they’re not. If you’re starving to death in Pyongyang, North Korea is about North Korea. For everyone else, North Korea and Iraq, and Afghanistan and Iran, are about America: American will, American purpose, American credibility. The rest of the world doesn’t observe Memorial Day. But it understands the crude symbolism of a rogue nuclear test staged on the day to honor American war dead and greeted with only half-hearted pro forma diplomatese from Washington. Pyongyang’s actions were “a matter of . . . ” Drumroll, please! “ . . . grave concern,” declared the president. Furthermore, if North Korea carries on like this, it will — wait for it — “not find international acceptance.” As the comedian Andy Borowitz put it, “President Obama said that the United States was prepared to respond to the threat with ‘the strongest possible adjectives . . . ’ Later in the day, Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the North Korean nuclear test ‘supercilious and jejune.’ ”

The president’s general line on the geopolitical big picture is: I don’t need this in my life right now. He’s a domestic transformationalist, working overtime — via the banks, the automobile industry, health care, etc. — to advance statism’s death grip on American dynamism. His principal interest in the rest of the world is that he doesn’t want anyone nuking America before he’s finished turning it into a socialist basket-case. This isn’t simply a matter of priorities. A United States government currently borrowing 50 cents for every dollar it spends cannot afford its global role, and thus the Obama cuts to missile defense and other programs have a kind of logic: You can’t be Scandinavia writ large with a U.S.-sized military.

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Groom jumps into pool in wedding suit to save drowning girl

30th May 2009

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Magic Cars: A Modern Day Federal Fairy Tale

30th May 2009

Ed Wallace takes a look at the new government-managed auto business.

Forget the fact that just last week it was announced that Oklahoma’s wheat production would fall by 51 percent this year because it was too cold to get the fields planted on time in April; Global Warming is going to kill us all. And there’s only one way to stop it from happening: Start a cap-and-trade system on all carbon emissions. But some likelihood exists that this system to save the planet will be turned over to the same individuals who gave us $147-a-barrel oil last year. For those who haven’t snapped to this plan’s outcome, it’s a tax on every last bit of energy we use, whether it’s electricity or gasoline.

Here’s the reality: The E85 Flex Fuel credit for automobile production is still on the books, meaning we invent fuel efficiency numbers for any vehicle that can run on E85 ethanol. The Flex Fuel Chevy Suburban is rated right at 30 mpg by the Feds — in spite of the fact that if you actually use E85 ethanol, you only get 10 miles per gallon in town. So, if the president wants large SUVs to get 30 mpg, no problem: Simply build every last SUV (or light truck) to run on E85 and it meets the 2016 standards. On paper.

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Ohio man arrested for mowing unkempt grass at park

30th May 2009

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Anniversary of the Unthinkable

30th May 2009

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Despite Bertrand’s claim, there’s another reason other than geography for keeping Turkey safely parked on the corner of Asia. It’s that religion of love business. As they do on a regular basis, Turkish authorities are after somebody for insulting Islam — in this case, a Turkish writer with French citizenship, Nedim Gursel, who wrote a novel called Daughters of Allah. According to ABC News, he could get a year in a Turkish prison for “humiliating religious values” — the Islamic ones, specifically.

In fact, the oppression of Turkish Christians enters its 556th year today. On May 29, 1453, Constantinople, ignored by the West, fell to the Turks. It was the last day of the Roman empire — which must have seemed an unthinkable event. I think Steven Runciman said it happened at 5pm (I don’t have my copy of his Fall of Constantinople at hand), when the Emperor tore off his Imperial eagle, threw it in the dust, drew his sword, and disappeared into the fight.

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Government Corruption Friday

30th May 2009

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I won’t mention the party of these corrupt public official. I really don’t have to.

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

Back to The Good Life: thousands take up chicken ownership

30th May 2009

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Guess they don’t have zoning regulations and Home Owners’ Associations in Britain.

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How to brew beer in a coffee maker, using only materials commonly found on a modestly sized oceanographic research vessel.

30th May 2009

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

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Tattoos being used for medical alerts

30th May 2009

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The first time I’ve ever seen a good reason to get a tattoo.

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“The simple ultimatum — ‘stop hurting people or face death’ — is the only way you can talk to freaks that hate you and want you dead”

30th May 2009

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And that tells you everything you need to know about Islam.

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GP penalised for lack of complaints

30th May 2009

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Under the new payment system for family doctors, the surgery receives money for hitting targets and completing tasks.

One of the payments is dependent on being able to demonstrate how the surgery has dealt with complaints.

Dr Nicola Williams, a GP at the practice in Preston, said her practice would be missing out because a lack of any complaints mean no information could be provided.

This is the sort of thing that happens when government bureaucrats are in charge of the health care system. Think the insurance companies are a bunch of idiots? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

A spokeswoman for NHS Central Lancashire said the trust was unable to discuss individual cases, but had to adhere to national guidelines.

She said: “Practices are rewarded for using complaints and suggestions as a potential source of learning and development.”

Just sitting here waiting for Obamacare….

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‘See through’ swimsuit to eliminate tan lines

30th May 2009

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Yeah, that’s always been on the top of my Worry List.

Ladies, any man who is in a position to see that you’ve got tan lines is going to have higher priorities. Trust me on this one.

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Chicago Alderman Is Indicted

30th May 2009

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Democrat, of course.

Mr. Carothers is the first alderman to face federal charges since 2007. Twenty-seven city aldermen have been convicted of wrongdoing since 1972.

Mr. Carothers’s father, William Carothers, was also an alderman and was convicted in federal court of attempting to extort a hospital contractor for free remodeling work on his offices in 1981.

Not really news, but a useful reminder.

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The 20 Most Annoying People in a Bookstore

30th May 2009

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I know these people….

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The Role Of Abundance In Innovation

30th May 2009

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No surprise, when you’ve been paying attention. “Necessity is the mother of invention” is essentially the same conceptual framework as the Keynesian “demand-pull” approach to economics, and (as we’ve seen from history) that doesn’t accurately describe how the real world works.

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Lawmakers Using Public Funds for Eye-Catching Purchases

30th May 2009

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

The records show that some lawmakers spent heavily in the final months of the year to draw down allowances before the end of December — a time when U.S. households were paring their budgets and lawmakers were criticizing Detroit auto executives for taking private aircraft to Washington to plead their case for taxpayer funding.

Oh, such considerations are only for the Little People.

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An emotional fight over land for Flight 93 memorial

30th May 2009

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Blondes don’t have more fun, survey finds

29th May 2009

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All of my illusions, shattered.

You’ve got to wonder about a newspaper that doesn’t even know what Paris Hilton looks like, though.

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Edmund Burke (1729–1797) had a lot to say about the Obama administration.

29th May 2009

And Thomas Sowell is just the guy to tell us all about it.

When Burke wrote of his apprehension about “new power in new persons,” I could not help thinking of the new powers that have been created by which a new president of the United States — a man with zero experience in business — can fire the head of General Motors and tell banks how to run their businesses.

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Barack Obama rewards donors with ambassador posts

29th May 2009

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Change you can believe in! Or maybe not.

Mr Susman raised $200,000 for the campaign while Charles Rivkin, who is being sent to Paris, raised $500,000 as financial director of the California branch of Mr Obama’s campaign.

Such reasonable prices, too.

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Credit Cards Don’t Kill Credit Ratings, People Do

29th May 2009

Jim Manzi doesn’t have a high opinion of the left side of the Bell Curve.

It is an unfortunate reality that there are many people who are not equipped to get along in a capitalist system. They lack some combination of (rarely) the basic intelligence and (much more frequently) the emotional maturity and self-discipline required to make their way in a world in which others are not looking out for them. Much of the rationale for traditional notions of child-raising, education and social organization is to prepare people to live in such a world. That is, to produce actual adults. To the extent that we can count on people to act responsibly, we can have a less regulated economy that will tend to produce greater freedom and growth. But the problem of how to deal with the semi-incompetent is a real problem that will never go away entirely.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

Stimulus projects bypass hard-hit states

29th May 2009

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Just another fine day in the Obama Nation.

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Office Romance

29th May 2009

John Derbyshire, Patron Saint of Dyspepsia, offers a look at the lighter side of pessimism.

That’s right, stationery with an ‘e’. (The difference was immortalized, at least in England, on one of those vulgar comic postcards George Orwell wrote a famous essay about. A gorgeous female store assistant is being addressed by a callow-looking young man. He: “Excuse me, Miss, do you keep stationery?” She: “Well, sometimes I wriggle a bit.”) Stationery! I love the stuff. Paper, pens, notepads, folders, envelopes, markers, erasers, staples, push pins, paper clips, bulldog clips, poster board, display board, foam board, desk furniture … A stationery store is to me … what? Aladdin’s cave? Pah! — What did Aladdin know? You can’t do anything with a mess of rubies.

Preach it, brother.

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

Asshole Tactics in Action

29th May 2009

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What he said.

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Jailhouse Jihad

29th May 2009

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Should we bring Guantanamo inmates to U.S. prisons, as the Obama administration has proposed? FBI Director Robert Mueller doesn’t think that it would be wise to house such prisoners even in the ultra-high security Supermax facility: “The concerns we have about individuals who may support terrorism being in the United States run from concerns about providing financing, radicalizing others.” Radicalizing others is a real possibility: two of the four Muslims, James “Abdul Rahman” Cromitie and Onta “Hamza” Williams, who were arrested last week for plotting to blow up synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down an airplane, converted to Islam while in prison. When they went to prison, both were Baptists.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Chinese Junk

29th May 2009

John Derbyshire, Patron Saint of Dyspepsia, takes a look at a new book.

After studying Chinese at college, Midler lived and worked in mainland China through the 1990s before returning to the U.S.A. to take a business degree. In 2001 he went back to China, setting himself up as a consultant to American importers dealing with Chinese manufacturers. This has given him profound insights into the Chinese way of doing business. In Poorly Made in China he shares those insights. After reading his book, you will find yourself thinking carefully before putting Made in China items into your shopping cart.

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Zimbabwe’s destitute Britons to be repatriated

29th May 2009

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Bet they’re glad they stayed….

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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Electronic Heated Itch Relief

29th May 2009

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Really hot water from the tap works well too, and is a lot less expensive.

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Republican transformists

29th May 2009

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I think the term “Vichy” is appropriate to describe ersatz Republicans like Colin Powell and Tom Ridge (thanks Eric).

I like it.

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Downsizing Livestock with Mini-Cattle

29th May 2009

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In a world where people by cherry tomatoes and baby carrots, why not?

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What you should know about chiropractic

29th May 2009

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First, learn how to spell it.

Second, learn the etymology – from “cheiros”, Greek for “hand”, and “praxis”, Greek for “doings”. So basically somebody is doing you with their hands.

No wonder insurance doesn’t cover it….

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Why isn’t the future what it used to be?

29th May 2009

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Well, let’s see: Nanny-state health & safety laws killed the moving sidewalks and the computer-guided cars (See SEGWAY), climate-scare luddites gave us HOV lanes that killed the congestion-free highways, tort lawyers and government bureaucrats killed the paperless office, etc., etc.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 3 Comments »

Name That Party: Blago’s, Burris’s Party IDs Largely MIA in Latest Revelations

29th May 2009

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I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked.

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Dancing with the Dealers 3: Targeting GOP Districts

29th May 2009

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The latest finding from the closure list is that there appears to be “an extremely high correlation between dealers closing and congressional districts BHO lost”….

I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked.

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

The Case for Working With Your Hands

29th May 2009

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High-school shop-class programs were widely dismantled in the 1990s as educators prepared students to become “knowledge workers.” The imperative of the last 20 years to round up every warm body and send it to college, then to the cubicle, was tied to a vision of the future in which we somehow take leave of material reality and glide about in a pure information economy. This has not come to pass. To begin with, such work often feels more enervating than gliding. More fundamentally, now as ever, somebody has to actually do things: fix our cars, unclog our toilets, build our houses.

Anyone who has read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance will feel immediately at home. (And anyone that hasn’t is to be pitied.)

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A Message to President Obama From Christian Copts of California: Reconciliation With the Islamic World is a Two-Way Street

29th May 2009

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Mr. Obama: reconciliation cannot be separated from reciprocation. The Islamic World must not demand from us that which they are unwilling to retune to us and to extend to their own citizens of other religious. I hope you help them understand reconciliation is a two-way street.

Don’t hold your breath….

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Obama to visit Saudi Arabia — will he take in a beheading or an amputation?

29th May 2009

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Get Ready For a VAT

29th May 2009

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The minor problem is that Obama promised us a fiscally-responsible Presidency. He’s on record with a promise that when he leaves office, the Federal deficit will be no larger than 3% of GDP. (His first one will be 12% of GDP.) That’s not a problem because Obama can say whatever he wants and people will believe it. He will certainly claim that he fulfilled this promise, and be given credit for doing so, regardless of reality.

The serious problem is that no one knows what the impact will be of borrowing a trillion or more dollars every year for the forseeable future. Today, the public debt of the US is a bit more than 40% of GDP.  Sometime in the next five to ten years, it will hit 100%. Already there are signs that the bond markets are starting to find it a lot less attractive to lend money to the US Treasury.

There’s only one answer: a VAT, or value-added tax. Europe and Canada have had one for years, and it generates a gusher of revenue because it’s largely hidden from view. What happens is that every business that adds value to a good or service pays a tax on that value. The tax gets baked into prices at every step, so there’s no big ugly percentage that a consumer has to pay, as with a sales tax.

You start off with a tiny percentage, maybe less than 1 percent, and you expand it steadily as you need revenue. In Europe and the UK, it’s gotten up to the high teens now. This of course is in addition to income and payroll taxes.

My expectation was that Obama would wait till after the midterm election in November 2010, and then start sending out surrogates to float the idea of a VAT. After he himself was safely re-elected in 2012, he would come out and champion the idea himself and get it done.

It looks like we won’t have to wait that long. Already, the PR push has started. Eighteen months ahead of what I thought the schedule would be.

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Unforced error in Jaeger story

29th May 2009

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Quite frankly, the concept “Anglican Dominican nun” does not compute.

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Giant dinosaurs kept heads held high

29th May 2009

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Say it loud!

I’m exothermic, and I’m proud!

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Altruism repays the best-connected individuals

29th May 2009

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No doubt AlGore would like you to believe that that’s how he made all those millions in the last eight years.

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Ore. man calls 911 over orange juice at McDonald’s

29th May 2009

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Scientists Find New ‘Ebola’ Like Virus in Africa

29th May 2009

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Oh boy.

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Texas Woman Told to Remove ‘Offensive’ American Flag From Office

29th May 2009

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McLucas, a supervisor at Kindred Hospital in Mansfield, Texas, had displayed the 3-by-5-foot flag in the office she shares with the hospital’s three other supervisors. McLucas said one of her colleagues, a woman who immigrated to the United States from Africa 14 years ago, complained about the flag to upper management, and the hospital decided to take down the flag.

Anyone in the U.S. who finds the U.S. flag offensive ought to leave the U.S. That seems pretty straightforward.

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