DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for May, 2009

Couple: County Trying To Stop Home Bible Studies

28th May 2009

Read it.

Broyles said, “The county asked, ‘Do you have a regular meeting in your home?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you say amen?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you pray?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you say praise the Lord?’ ‘Yes.’”

The county employee notified the couple that the small Bible study, with an average of 15 people attending, was in violation of County regulations, according to Broyles.

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

Muslims kill Hindu boy for dating a Muslim girl

28th May 2009

Read it.

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

Guess what the girl has to look forward to. Go ahead, guess. I dare you.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

‘Buffy’ back on big screen without Joss Whedon?

28th May 2009

Read it.

Now that’s just wrong.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Mother fits teenage son with GPS tracking device on gap year

28th May 2009

Read it.

It had to happen.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Empathy vs. Impartiality

28th May 2009

Jonah Goldberg cuts to the chase.

Why make this complicated?

President Obama prefers Supreme Court justices who will violate their oath of office. And he hopes Sonia Sotomayor is the right Hispanic woman for the job. Here’s the oath Supreme Court justices must take:

“I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as (title) under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

Contrast that with Obama’s insistence that the “quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles” is the key qualification for a Supreme Court justice. According to White House talking points, Judge Sotomayor’s “American story” of humble origins — she was raised in the South Bronx — best prepares her for the high court because it shows “she understands that upholding the rule of law means going beyond legal theory to ensure consistent, fair, common-sense application of the law to real-world facts.”

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Google may strip ‘beta’ tag from some apps

28th May 2009

Read it.

The end of an era.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Explorers, don’t forget your inflatable cloak

28th May 2009

Read it.

Good advice under any circumstances.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Russian Scientist: UFO Crashed Into Meteorite to Save Earth

28th May 2009

Read it.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

New Book Offers Survival Guide for Conservatives in Blue States

28th May 2009

Read it.

Author Harry Stein has written a book for the elephant in the room. It’s called “I Can’t Believe I’m Sitting Next to a Republican,” and he calls it “a survival guide for conservatives marooned among the angry, smug, and terminally self-righteous.”

Which is to say: liberals.

Well, the solution (of course) is not to live in a blue state. That’s especially true if you want low taxes and things like, oh, employment.

“I sat down with a bunch of conservatives in San Francisco, (including) a gay man who was talking about what it was like being a gay conservative in San Francisco.

“He said it’s a lot harder being conservative than it is to be gay,” Stein told FOXNews.com. “His friends all turned on him.”

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Energy Secretary’s White-Paint Proposal Puzzles Climate-Change Experts

28th May 2009

Read it.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Critics Question Auto Task Force’s Ability to Steer

28th May 2009

Read it.

The combined total of auto industry experience the 24-member federal auto task force brings to the bailout talks equals zero, raising doubts about the group’s capacity to handle General Motors’ and Chrysler’s meltdowns.

Sort of a metaphor for the whole Obama Nation.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Decoding antiquity: Eight scripts that still can’t be read

27th May 2009

Read it.

Nine, if you count my younger brother’s handwriting.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Virtual fossils reveal how ancient creatures lived

27th May 2009

Read it.

Presumably they’re more accurate than the climate change models that have lodged themselves in AlGore’s fevered brain.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Canada’s governor general eats raw heart after gutting seal

27th May 2009

Read it.

I am not making this up.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Darpa Plans Triple-Target Missile Demo

27th May 2009

Read it.

Thank God that somebody in the government understands that one of the core functions thereof is, you know, defending the country.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

The Judge Speaks: A Sotomayor Sampler

27th May 2009

Read it.

Condemned out of her own mouth — and Obama along with.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

The Rising Marginal Cost of Originality or What is Wrong with Modern____

27th May 2009

David Friedman finds the key to modern culture.

It explains why, to a first approximation, modern art isn’t worth looking at, modern music isn’t worth listening to, and modern literature and verse not worth reading. Writing a novel like one of Jane Austen’s, or a poem like one by Donne or Kipling, only better, is hard. Easier to deliberately adopt a form that nobody else has used, and so guarantee that nobody else has done it better.

Of course, there might be a reason nobody else has used it.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Insect Repeller just in time for summer

26th May 2009

Read it.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Burris Pleads for Senate Appointment on Taped Call

26th May 2009

Read it.

And the Party of Corruption strikes again. But nobody cares, because they only care if it’s a Republican.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Rising sea levels: Survival tips from 5000 BC

26th May 2009

Read it.

I’m thinking that throwing AlGore into a volcano probably couldn’t hurt. It would certainly  reduce certain gas emissions.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Divers discover wreck of ship sent to help Bonnie Prince Charlie

26th May 2009

Read it.

Guess it didn’t work.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Scientists identify genes behind ageing process

26th May 2009

Read it.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Google Finally Recognizes Memorial Day With Holiday Logo

26th May 2009

Read it.

As with most nerdly people, those who work at Google (including those who run it) have never really left adolescence — they don’t have to, so why would they? — and their priorities are adolescent priorities.

The problem with being a grownup is that you sometimes have to sigh and do what needs to be done, even if it means giving the kids a free ride as well.

No one who works for Google has ever hand-washed dishes or scrubbed a toilet. I guarantee it.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Millionaires Go Missing

26th May 2009

Read it.

Maryland couldn’t balance its budget last year, so the state tried to close the shortfall by fleecing the wealthy. Politicians in Annapolis created a millionaire tax bracket, raising the top marginal income-tax rate to 6.25%. And because cities such as Baltimore and Bethesda also impose income taxes, the state-local tax rate can go as high as 9.45%. Governor Martin O’Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were “willing and able to pay their fair share.” The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would “grin and bear it.”

One year later, nobody’s grinning. One-third of the millionaires have disappeared from Maryland tax rolls. In 2008 roughly 3,000 million-dollar income tax returns were filed by the end of April. This year there were 2,000, which the state comptroller’s office concedes is a “substantial decline.” On those missing returns, the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million less in taxes than they did last year — even at higher rates.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Dick Cheney’s Second Act

26th May 2009

Read it.

By goading a sitting president into responding to his arguments on his terms, Dick Cheney won the contest with Barack Obama last week before either said a word. And his re-emergence onto the public square seems to be driving everybody nuts.

Fun is where you find it.

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

Why Christians Accepted Greek Natural Philosophy, But Muslims Did Not

25th May 2009

Read it.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Palestinian Muslims desecrate Christian graves

25th May 2009

Read it.

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Why Muslims Like Hitler, but Not Mozart

24th May 2009

Read it.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

How Tech Changes Our Thinking About War

24th May 2009

Read it.

An interesting perspective. Everyone is familiar with the cliché that armies prepare to fight the last war, and history is full of examples of victory going to the side that broke free of that mindset first (WWI is the poster child here). What happens when someone manages to create a “theory of the next war” that looks at technological change and correctly extrapolates that change onto the battlefield? This may be a contribution in that direction.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Justify Judeo-Christianity!

24th May 2009

Read it.

I’m going to crassly misappropriate Razib’s discussion here as further support for my theory that Islam is a Satanic parody of Judaism.

And Noah Millman walks right into it.

… Islam looks, from the outside, rather like an imitation of Judaism…

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

LittleSis

24th May 2009

Check it out.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Two Great Depressions

24th May 2009

David Friedman does an interesting historical comparison.

We can learn a little more by looking at a different Great Depression—the one that didn’t happen. From 1920 to 1921, the consumer price index fell by 10.8%, more than in any year of the Great Depression; it fell another 2.3% in the next year. Unemployment rose to about its 1931 level. Looking just at that data, it’s obviously the start of a depression.

Harding did what Hoover is supposed to have done, reducing taxes and government expenditure. By 1923 the recession was over. It was the Great Depression that didn’t happen.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Gettin’ In Their Kitchen

24th May 2009

Read it.

Dick Cheney is in President Obama’s kitchen.

How do we know?  Because the White House scheduled a major foreign policy speech this past week for one major reason – to address the concerns about Obama’s recent decisions on GITMO and the release of interrogation memos, raised most prominently by none other than Darth Vader’s twin, Dick Cheney.

When did you ever hear of Bill Clinton feeling compelled to respond to Dan Quayle’s criticism?  Or Ronald Reagan feeling compelled to respond to Walter Mondale – before or during the 1984 campaign?

A pity that Dick Cheney will never run for President. It would be refreshing to have a grownup in charge of the government for a while.

Dick Cheney’s been playing in the major leagues for 35 years.  Try as it might, the White House can blame the Bush Administration until the cows come home, but it won’t change two central points about Cheney.  He will forget more about national security and foreign policy in an afternoon than our nascent president will come to know in 4 years.  Second, Cheney was part of a presidential administration that kept America safe for 7 plus years, without another terrorist attack – a fact not lost on the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and, increasingly, not lost on the public.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Fathers of daughters become more left-wing, academics claim

24th May 2009

Read it.

Well, that would explain a lot.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

‘Stop eating lamb and drinking beer if you want to save the planet’

24th May 2009

Read it.

Well, you certainly can’t say that the British taxpayer is getting anything different for their money than the American taxpayer is.

Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.

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

Change a-comin’

24th May 2009

Jeff Jarvis is just full of interesting ideas. Unfortunately his thinking on the subject of change seems to be curiously incomplete.

There are three responses to change: (1) Resist it, which is futile. (2) Complain about it, which is unproductive. (3) Find the opportunity in it.

Actually, I can think of two more just off the top of my head: (4) suppress it, and (5) control it. These don’t appear to have occurred to him, and absent dealing with them his discussion is fatally flawed.

One might argue that (4) is merely a species of (1), but it isn’t, really; “resist” is passive, whilst “suppress” is active. Anyone can resist, but only those with power can suppress, and that takes it in an entirely different direction. It is of the essence of the conservative personality type to resist change, and when conservative people hold the reins of power, that resistance is often expressed as attempted suppression. (And that has no connection with popular ideas of political ideology — what happened in Eastern Europe in 1989 was a conservative attempt at suppressing change, and was rightly so characterized by the dinosaur media, outraged howls from American “conservatives” notwithstanding.)

That suppression of change never works has embedded itself into popular myth, but it remains a myth nevertheless; the Chinese Emperors successfully suppressed change for centuries, until their society was broken by European technical superiority. That same technical superiority gives any modern state adopting it (North Korea, anybody?) the means to suppress change so long as outside forces refrain from rocking the boat.

Similarly, (5) might arguable be considered a species of (3), but I suggest not. Finding opportunity in change appears to be a “Find the silver lining in every cloud” approach — what the Army calls “embrace the suck”. I see this as qualitatively different from an attempt to control change. Both perspectives view change as inevitable, leaving the only question our response to it; but jumping on the boat is not quite the same thing as attempting to seize the tiller. Jarvis is one of the former, and looks at change in terms of economic opportunity. AlGore and his ilk number among the latter, and their response to change has both economic and political dimensions.

I look forward to Jarvis’s next book, chiefly because I want to see whether this incomplete approach leads him into a defective approach, which I suspect that it might.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

Buckle up, but most likely you’ll be stopped anyway

24th May 2009

Lileks understands the dialectic.

Well. Years of watching “Cops” leads one to suspect that if they want to pull you over, they will. The fellow who has nine Hefty bags of weed in the trunk always has a burned-out license plate light, or something. Sir, did you know that your decal of Calvin relieving himself on a Ford emblem is not authorized by the cartoonist and is a violation of copyright laws? Step out of the car, please.

So much for the ACLU.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Sharing as a civic duty

24th May 2009

Jeff Jarvis has an interesting view concerning information on social media.

The crowd owns the wisdom of the crowd and to withhold information from that collective knowledge—a link, a restaurant rating, a bit of advice—may be a new definition of antisocial or at least selfish behavior.

This strikes me as statism wearing a Clever Plastic Disguise, the sort of argument one would hear from a communist who had embraced the electronic age. I’m pretty sure Ayn Rand would recoil from it in horror.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Mirror on America

24th May 2009

David Brooks demonstrates why, even though he’s a wussy RINO, he’s often worth reading.

Schama was born in Britain and makes documentaries for the BBC, but he has spent more time in the United States than most Brilliant authors, having taught at Harvard and now Columbia. But this is very much an outsider’s book, and if Schama doesn’t come from a strictly European perspective, let’s just say he comes from the realm of enlightened High Thinking that exists where The New York Review of Books reaches out and air-­kisses The London Review of Books.

His book is called “The American Future: A History” (which is a puerile paradox before you even open the cover), and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the American future.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

Businessman hunts down thief in his helicopter

24th May 2009

Read it.

Hah.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Al Qaeda recruits back in Europe, but why?

24th May 2009

Read it.

Perhaps they’re there to blow something up. That’s just a guess, you understand.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Bangladesh emerges as a safe haven for jihadists from Britain

24th May 2009

Read it.

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Court Upholds Searches Of Muslim Groups in Va.

24th May 2009

Read it.

An appeals court yesterday upheld the legality of federal raids on a Herndon-based network of Muslim charities, businesses and think tanks, a case that caused a firestorm in the Muslim community.

I’d certainly like to cause a firestorm in the Muslim community. It is, after all, their turn.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Army’s ‘Future Soldier 2030′ Equipped With Super-Human Technology

24th May 2009

Read it.

Assuming, of course, that there’s enough money to do so, which doesn’t look likely.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Taliban threatening and beating people dressed in Western attire

23rd May 2009

Read it.

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Teeth hint that right-handedness is an ancient trait

23rd May 2009

Read it.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

“Why Are You So Mean?”

23rd May 2009

Holly Lisle, famous science fiction writer, says what I think, in much better words. (Hey, she’s a professional writer.)

I never claimed to be nice. I can be kind, but I detest niceness—it is pretending to be someone you aren’t in order to gain social approval. I’m not looking for anyone else’s approval. I already have my own.

Preach it, sister.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

The Intellectual Property Asshole Competition

23rd May 2009

Read it.

You can’t make this stuff up.

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

What Are We Stimulating?

23rd May 2009

Mark Steyn isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions.

The third job is a “Marketing Specialist” to increase “public awareness of ARRA-funded services.” Rural Vermont’s economy is set for a serious big-time boom: The critical stimulus-promotion industry, stimulus-coordination industry, and stimulus-supplementary-funding industry are growing at an unprecedented rate. The way things are going we’ll soon need a Stimulus-Coordination Industry Task Force and Impact Study Group. By the way, these jobs aren’t for everyone. “Knowledge of ARRA” is required. So if, say, you’re the average United States senator who voted for ARRA without bothering to read it, you’re not qualified for a job as an ARRA Grantwriter.

I don’t want to give the impression that every job funded by the stimulus is a job coordinating the public awareness of programs for grant applications to coordinate the funding of public awareness coordination programs funded by the stimulus. SEVCA is also advertising for a “Job Readiness Program Coordinator.” This is a job coordinating the program that gets people ready to get a job. For example, it occurred to me, after reading the ad, that I might like to be a “Job Readiness Program Coordinator.” But am I ready for it? Increasing numbers of us are hopelessly unready for jobs. Ever since last November, many Americans have been ready for free health care, free daycare, free college, free mortgages — and, once you get a taste for that, it’s hardly surprising you’re not ready for gainful employment. I only hope there are enough qualified “Job Readiness Program Coordinators” out there, and that they don’t have to initiate a Job Readiness Program Coordinator Readiness Program. As the old novelty song once wondered, “Who Takes Care of the Caretaker’s Daughter While the Caretaker’s Busy Taking Care?” Who coordinates programs for the Job Readiness Program Coordinator while the Job Readiness Program Coordinator’s busy readying for his job? If you hum it, I’ll put in for the stimulus funding.

The bad news is our children will not enjoy the American Dream. The good news is they’ll be able to apply for an American Dream Readiness Assistance Coordination Grantwriter Program. May the Funds be with you!

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Tocqueville Surfs

23rd May 2009

Read it.

Last December’s floods washed out park roads, bridges, and facilities at Kauai’s Polihale State Park. Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) studied the damage and released a statement two months later, declaring, “We know that people are anxious to get to the beach. However, the preliminary cost estimate of repairs is $4 million.” The DLNR’s response to this natural disaster was to look for more state or federal funds. Its main objective was to grab a fee-generated windfall for the department, ironically entitled the “Recreational Renaissance” fund. DLNR’s chair, Laura Thielen, proclaimed: “We are asking for the public’s patience and cooperation to help protect the park’s resources during this closure, and for their support of the ‘Recreational Renaissance’ so we can better serve them and better care for these important places.” An original timeline for the work was set for late summer, but according to local resident and surfer Bruce Pleas, “It would not have been open this summer, and it probably wouldn’t be open next summer.”

From food donated by area restaurants to heavy machinery offered by local construction companies, a project originally forecast to cost millions and take months (if not years) to complete has been finished in a matter of weeks with donated funds, manpower, and equipment. As Troy Martin from Martin Steel, which provided machinery and five tons of steel at no charge, put it: “We shouldn’t have to do this, but when it gets to a state level, it just gets so bureaucratic, something that took us eight days would have taken them years. So we got together—the community—and we got it done.” Cleaning up the park was a major undertaking involving bridge-building, reconstructing bathroom facilities, and use of heavy equipment to clear miles of flood-damaged roadways.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

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