DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for June, 2009

Make Like a Dolphin: Learn Echolocation

30th June 2009

Read it.

Be the first on your block.

Of course, making clicks reveals your position and draws fire, but hey, no rose without a thorn.

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Revs. Sharpton, Jackson Jockey for Position in Michael Jackson’s Memorial Spotlight

30th June 2009

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

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Father Who Ditched Nine Kids Via Safe Haven Law Has Twins on the Way

30th June 2009

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Gary Staton, 37, became a single father in February 2007 when his wife, RebelJane, died of a cerebral aneurysm shortly after giving birth to the couple’s ninth child. Unable to handle the burden alone, Staton made national news more than a year later on Sept. 24 when he dropped off his children — ages 1 to 17 — at a hospital in Omaha. According to the law at the time, parents could hand children up to age 18 over to state custody without prosecution. Legislators would later amend the law to limit its reach to infants up to 30 days old.

“RebelJane”? God help those kids and the genes with which they’ve been burdened.

This is the world we live in. In a properly ordered society he would have been castrated when he dropped off the first nine.

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Spaceport America is coming soon

30th June 2009

Speed the day.

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And The Award for the Most Tax-Oppressive Developed Country in the OECD Goes to…

30th June 2009

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It sucks to be us, but not as bad as it sucks to be certain flavors of European. (Except for the Swiss, of course; they always come out ahead in these things. If they only spoke English, I’d move there in a heartbeat.)

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Vince Lombardi Politics

30th June 2009

David Brooks is back on the reservation, if only for a visit.

Freud said we’re forever changed by the traumas of our youth, and so it is with the Democrats and Clintoncare. Even as you watch the leading Democrats today in their moment of glory, you can still see wounds caused by the defeat of the Clinton health care initiative. You see the psychic reactions and the scars and the lessons they have taken away so that sort of debacle never happens again.

All of this has produced a ruthlessly pragmatic victory machine. Last week Democrats were able to pass a politically treacherous cap-and-trade bill out of the House. The Democratic leaders were able to let 44 members vote no and still bribe/bully/cajole enough of their colleagues to get a win. This was an impressive achievement, and a harbinger for health care and other battles to come.

The great paradox of the age is that Barack Obama, the most riveting of recent presidents, is leading us into an era of Congressional dominance. And Congressional governance is a haven for special interest pleading and venal logrolling.

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Cherry Pie

30th June 2009

Ruhlman does the good stuff.

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Burke’s Peerage to include illegitimate offspring

30th June 2009

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Man in Guatemala arrested for Twitter messages

30th June 2009

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It was only a matter of time.

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The politics of the hidden agenda

30th June 2009

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Be careful — they’re watching you ….

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How Star Wars, Star Trek, The Matrix, and Harry Potter are Actually the Same Movie

30th June 2009

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There is nothing new under the sun.

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The Best Money Advice, in Ten Words or Less

30th June 2009

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Massachusetts Universal Healthcare System Breaking Down Already

30th June 2009

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When Governor Mitt Romney instituted a universal healthcare plan for Massachusetts in 2006 he proclaimed it a conservative idea. “It’s a conservative idea insisting that individuals have responsibility for their own health care,” he said. “I think it appeals to people on both sides of the aisle: insurance for everyone without a tax increase.” The plan passed and was put into practice. But has it worked? Has it been successful?

For a time, many thought it might but cracks in the system are already being seen. These cracks are instructive as a lesson on how Obamacare will crash and burn just like Romneycare is now in the process of doing.

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

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Cap-and-trade-war

30th June 2009

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The bottom line about the international aspects of climate change is that the very idea of an effective response assumes the existence of a generally cooperative international environment. It doesn’t assume the non-existence of the odd “rogue” state here or there, but it assumes the absence of any kind of serious great power rivalries. Not just China, but also India and probably Russia, Brazil, and Indonesia as well are going to need to cooperate in a serious way with the OECD nations on this. And I just don’t see how you’re going to get where you need to get through coercion. If anything, I think attempted economic coercion of China is more likely to wind up breaking down solidarity between the US, EU, and Japan than anything else. First, we impose our carbon tariff. Then suddenly Airbus and European car companies are getting all kinds of sales because the EU hasn’t followed suit. Now not only are the Chinese mad at us, we’re mad at the Europeans. Optimistically, at this point everyone decides coercion is unworkable and we start to back away.

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I wonder whether they would trade us….

30th June 2009

Check it out.

I’m sure they’d want some money along with, but we’d still profit on the deal.

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Banana Democrats

30th June 2009

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During his campaign, President Obama made a big deal of criticizing leaders who are elected democratically but don’t govern democratically. He’s had a chance to show that it mattered in Honduras. He didn’t.

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China bans virtual cash for real-world trade

30th June 2009

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So what are they afraid of? Communist bureaucrats are very dependable — if they ban something, it’s almost certainly good for you.

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Man uses nail clippers in DIY circumcision

30th June 2009

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Just to make you keep your legs crossed the rest of the day.

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Banned Pakistani groups ‘expand’

30th June 2009

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Militant groups banned in Pakistan are expanding operations and recruitment in Pakistani-run Kashmir, according to a government report seen by the BBC.

Guess that really worked, huh.

Despite the fact that the groups mentioned in the report are banned under Pakistan’s terrorism act, it does not advocate any action against them other than to keep an eye on their activities.

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The late Medieval shift away from carbs and toward meat

30th June 2009

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The past may have always been worse than the present, but some periods were better than others. And as Thomas Malthus showed, what made for an enjoyable era was plenty of disease, war, and other disasters beforehand — to clear out a good chunk of the population, leaving much more stuff to go around per person among the survivors.

So, the simple way to get plenty of this vitamin is to steal it. Find an animal that has spent all day processing the plants that are rich in the precursors — this animal will have created true vitamin A from all this junk, and it will have stored most of the unused portion in its liver. Kill this animal and eat its liver — and boom, you’ve hit the vitamin A jackpot. And all without letting a single leaf of spinach enter your mouth.

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Light therapy offers ‘non-invasive’ treatment for breast cancer

30th June 2009

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Ricci and Unions

30th June 2009

Steve Sailer is always worth reading. Always.

In general, in cities that have tipped toward minority political dominance, where conmen like Rev. Kimber are trying to get their hands on control of the jobs, unions sometimes provide a bulwark against race discrimination.

This provides a new/old perspective on the much-denounced subject of teachers’ unions. It’s widely believed that if only we got rid of teachers unions, then we’d have superstar teachers in every inner city classroom. Yet, history suggests that we might wind up with worse teachers because rising politicians would try to fire the old white teachers and give their jobs to co-ethnics.

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The ‘little red schoolhouse’ of legend, whatever its flaws, made more sense than the warehouse-schools of today.

30th June 2009

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Tacked to my wall is a lithograph of the famous Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington. For many years, it graced my mother’s one-room schoolhouse in Lime Rock, N.Y. Antiquarian relic or enduringly relevant image? The same question may be asked of the “little red schoolhouse” itself, whose reality and legend are the subject of “Small Wonder.” Jonathan Zimmerman, a professor at New York University, sets out to tell “how — and why — the little red schoolhouse became an American icon.” Mr. Zimmerman proves a thoughtful and entertaining teacher.

Sometimes the old ways are best.

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Ancient settlement could be bulldozed

30th June 2009

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Well, it’s Afghanistan. They’re the ones who dynamited the famous ancient Buddha statues. What do they care about anything that happened pre-Islam?

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Taliban Scrap Peace Deal in Pakistan Tribal Area

30th June 2009

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

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Obama Announces New Energy Standards for Lighting

30th June 2009

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Ponder whether this is really any business of the Federal Government.

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Islam, War, and Deceit: A Synthesis

29th June 2009

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Before being in a position to answer such questions, one must first appreciate the thoroughly legalistic nature of mainstream (Sunni) Islam. Amazingly, for all the talk that Islam is constantly being “misunderstood” or “misinterpreted” by “radicals,” the fact is, as opposed to most other religions, Islam is a clearly defined faith admitting of little ambiguity: indeed, according to Sharia (i.e., “Islam’s way of life,” more commonly translated as “Islamic law”) every conceivable human act is categorized as being either forbidden, discouraged, permissible, recommended, or obligatory. “Common sense” or “universal opinion” has little to do with Islam’s notions of right and wrong. All that matters is what Allah (via the Koran) and his prophet Muhammad (through the hadith) have to say about any given subject, and how Islam’s greatest theologians and jurists — collectively known as the ulema, literally, the “ones who know” — have articulated it.

Consider the concept of lying. According to Sharia, deception is not only permitted in certain situations but is sometimes deemed obligatory. For instance, and quite contrary to early Christian tradition, not only are Muslims who must choose between either recanting Islam or being put to death permitted to lie by pretending to have apostatized; many jurists have decreed that, according to Koran 4:29, which commands Muslims not to “destroy themselves,” Muslims are obligated to lie.

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Raymond Ibrahim testifies before the U.S. House of Representatives

29th June 2009

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The greatest hurdle Americans need to get over in order to properly respond to the growing threat of radical Islam is purely intellectual in nature; specifically, it is epistemological, and revolves around the abstract realm of “knowledge.” Before attempting to formulate a long-term strategy to counter radical Islam, Americans must first and foremost understand Islam, particularly its laws and doctrines, the same way Muslims understand it—without giving it undue Western (liberal) interpretations. This is apparently not as simple as expected: all peoples of whatever civilizations and religions tend to assume that other peoples more or less share in their worldview, which they assume is objective, including notions of right and wrong, good and bad.

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Meet Dento-Munch, the Robot That Bites

29th June 2009

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The Brevity Act: Time for a 28th Amendment

29th June 2009

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lier this year, Congress passed a “Stimulus” Bill.  It was 973 pages long. This past Friday, the House passed a “Climate Change” Bill.  It was more than 1200 pages long.

Yet the bill that was passed on June 26, 2009 by 219 of our elected representatives — people to whom we’ve entrusted our Constitution, men and women who have sworn an oath to uphold it – was more than 1200 pages long.  That’s over 100 times longer than the U.S. Constitution!  And not one member of Congress, NOT ONE, read the whole thing!

A word comes to my mind to describe this: “INSANE.”

2000 words is about 5 single spaced pages in a 12 point Word document.  If it’s longer than that, then it’s too complicated to be a single law or bill, so it must either be cut or turned into multiple bills, each requiring a separate vote.

An excellent idea whose time has come.

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Skeleton reveals violent life and death of medieval knight

29th June 2009

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At least he didn’t have to listen to rap music.

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Pakistani family shot dead in ‘honour killing’ after wedding

29th June 2009

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Relatives dressed in police uniforms stormed the bridegroom’s house in the district of Charsadda, in North West Frontier Province.

“The assailants took the bridegroom out while some of the attackers climbed the wall and entered the house. They killed the bride, the mother and sister of the bridegroom,” said Saleem Jan, a police official for the Charsadda district.

“They beat them first and then shot them dead,” he told AFP news agency.

The groom’s father was also killed, another police official told AFP.

Now, let’s see — were they Presbyterians? No, I don’t think so … Maybe Baptists? Uh, I suspect not … Surely they couldn’t have belonged to the Religion o’ Peace™?

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Grant System Leads Cancer Researchers to Play It Safe

29th June 2009

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For “grant system” read “government funding”.

One major impediment, scientists agree, is the grant system itself. It has become a sort of jobs program, a way to keep research laboratories going year after year with the understanding that the focus will be on small projects unlikely to take significant steps toward curing cancer.

Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy strikes again.

The institute’s reviewers choose such projects because, with too little money to finance most proposals, they are timid about taking chances on ones that might not succeed. The problem, Dr. Young and others say, is that projects that could make a major difference in cancer prevention and treatment are all too often crowded out because they are too uncertain. In fact, it has become lore among cancer researchers that some game-changing discoveries involved projects deemed too unlikely to succeed and were therefore denied federal grants, forcing researchers to struggle mightily to continue.

Your tax dollars at work, so to speak.

In other words, had we been depending on the government to support the necessary research, large numbers of women would be dead now. Private money (of the worst kind: corporate money) came to the rescue.

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Cycling 180 miles a week damages your sperm

29th June 2009

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I’ve always suspected as much.

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Military Robots and the Laws of War

29th June 2009

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In one case, a group of Iraqi soldiers saw a Pioneer flying overhead and, rather than wait to be blown up, waved white bed sheets and undershirts at the drone—the first time in history that human soldiers surrendered to an unmanned system.

In technology circles, new products that change the rules of the game, such as what the iPod did to portable music players, are called “killer applications.” Foster-Miller’s new product gives this phrase a literal meaning. The Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection System (SWORDS) is the first armed robot designed to roam the battlefield. SWORDS is basically the Talon’s tougher big brother, with its gripping arm replaced by a gun mount that can carry pretty much any weapon that weighs under three hundred pounds, ranging from an M-16 rifle and .50-caliber machine gun to a 40mm grenade launcher or an antitank rocket launcher. In less than a minute, the human soldier flips two levers and locks his favorite weapon into the mount. The SWORDS can’t reload itself, but it can carry two hundred rounds of ammunition for the light machine guns, three hundred rounds for the heavy machine guns, six grenades, or four rockets.

The small UAVs, like the Raven or the even smaller Wasp, fly just above the rooftops, sending back video images of what’s on the other side of the street; Shadow and Hunter circle over entire neighborhoods; the larger Predators roam above entire cities, combining reconnaissance with the ability to shoot; and too high to see, the Global Hawk zooms across an entire country, capturing reams of detailed imagery for intelligence teams to sift through. Added together, by 2008, there were 5,331 drones in the U.S. military’s inventory, almost double the number of manned fighter planes. That same year, an Air Force lieutenant general forecast that “given the growth trends, it is not unreasonable to postulate future conflicts involving tens of thousands.”

In some ways, this seems reasonable. Many wartime atrocities are not the result of deliberate policy, wanton cruelty, or fits of anger; they’re just mistakes. They are equivalent to the crime of manslaughter, as compared to murder, in civilian law. Unmanned systems seem to offer several ways of reducing the mistakes and unintended costs of war. They have far better sensors and processing power, which creates a precision superior to what humans could marshal on their own. Such exactness can lessen the number of mistakes made, as well as the number of civilians inadvertently killed.

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AIRPod looks dorky, makes friends easily

29th June 2009

Read it.

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Dinosaur demise brought the rise of the elephants

29th June 2009

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Which makes a certain degree of sense.

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27 Reasons To Be Big

29th June 2009

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So there.

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Westminster Abbey to be given a corona in first change for 250 years

29th June 2009

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Skier saved from death plunge by Blackberry

29th June 2009

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David Fitzherbert’s half-inch wide handset in his breast pocket caused him to get wedged in a crack of ice, stopping him from falling further.

Sounds almost like one of those Superbowl commercials.

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At least 85 sharia ‘courts’ operating in Britain, says Civitas report

29th June 2009

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Some decisions of Islamic tribunals are already considered legally binding and could theoretically be enforced in civil courts in England and Wales.

  1. Thank God you don’t live in Britain.
  2. Without eternal vigilance, it could happen here. Probably in Michigan.

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“Milk”

29th June 2009

Steve Sailer remembers the inconvenient stuff.

A great tragic story could be made about how Milk’s gay liberation movement unleashed its own nemesis. Within two decades of Milk’s arrival, gay rights had transformed Castro Street into the plague spot of the Western world, with AIDS killing its 10,000th San Franciscan in 1993.

Left out is almost everything that could add context and flavor, such as Milk’s alliance with Jim Jones’s Maoist Peoples Temple cult. Just ten days before Milk and Mayor George Moscone were murdered by working class politician Dan White, 907 ex-San Franciscans drank the Kool-Aid in Jonestown.

At least on TV, the suave candidate displayed only a hint of his native Long Island accent, while Penn plays him as an annoying noodge. And, oddly enough, the real Milk was better looking than the movie star. Penn, who in the 1980s would add slabs of muscle for roles as rapidly as Mickey Rourke did for “The Wrestler,” is now, at only 48, as wrinkled as a Shar Pei puppy.

During television appearances, Milk came across as a calm, moderately masculine presence, with only slight gay mannerisms. In contrast, Penn’s histrionic act sets your gaydar clanging like the meltdown siren at a nuclear power plant. That’s important, because Penn’s decision to play Milk as utterly unable to pass for straight robs Milk’s story of much of its interest. The real man, who had served without incident as a Naval officer, chose to come out of the closet.

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Pugnacious Puffy Pants

28th June 2009

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Things they never taught you at Academy of the Rapier.

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Oldest Human Hair Found in Hyena Poop Fossil

28th June 2009

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

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Animal autopsy: Inside the world’s biggest animals

28th June 2009

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

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Fire Dept. Diversity Promotions, Chicago-Style

28th June 2009

Steve Sailer just keeps on nosing around.

In the meantime, here’s a great John Kass column from the Chicago Tribune on February 14, 2009 (or as the day is known in Chicago history, St. Valentine’s Day) that’s highly relevant to the Ricci case. The background is that in the 1990s, Chicago spent a fortune on devising the perfect unbiased police and fire promotion civil service tests. When the test creation process was complete, everybody in Chicago agreed that, finally, a non-discriminatory test had been perfected. Of course, it turned out that whites ended up earning 95% of the scores high enough for promotion, so a political firestorm ensued. For a while, Mayor Richard M. Daley stoutly defended a test on which no expense had been spared, but eventually he caved in and announced that some of the top scorers would get promotions but other worthies would get promotions too, based on “merit” in order to bring “diversity” to leadership positions. This “merit” system was extended to firefighters.

And don’t miss the adventures of the exciting Boyle brothers. Read The Whole Thing.

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Catalonia pays homage to the EU, not Spain, as push for independence grows

28th June 2009

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“Well, with King Ferdinand spinning in his grave like that we figured it would be a shame not to harness that as a source of green power….”

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Investigation: Debbie Rowe Allegedly Made Claims Michael Jackson Not Father of Her Children

28th June 2009

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We are deeply in tabloid-land, here, but it makes a great deal of sense. I’ve seen pictures of the kids, and they don’t look half-black; they look like archetypically white kids — not even the indicia of black ancestry that, for example, Barack Obama exhibits, much less that of Colin Powell or Eric Holder.

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Gay liberation caused the AIDS epidemic.

28th June 2009

Steve Sailer just loves to stir the pot.

The 1970s were not a time when gay liberation “advanced haltingly;” in reality, the 1970s were when all effective legal restrictions on industrial scale homosexual promiscuity were utterly ended in precisely those cities — e.g., San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York — where AIDS broke out most virulently in the early 1980s.

Instead, we’re all supposed to believe AIDS was caused by discrimination against homosexuals in the military, the absence of gay marriage, and/or Ronald Reagan. Indeed, it’s precisely because the evidence for cause and effect is so overwhelmingly clear that the pressure to lie and to submit to others’ lies is so intense.

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The Great Divide

28th June 2009

Steve Sailer looks a the mortgage meltdown discussion.

In public, there are only two sides: the liberal (Corporate Greed!) and the libertarian (Government Interference!).

In contrast, the real divide is between the overwhelmingly dominant Diversity Dogmatists, liberal and libertarian, versus the tiny number of Diversity Heretics. Personally, I don’t oppose government regulation of the mortgage business to prevent over-optimistic borrowers and lenders from causing defaults down the road, so I’m not a libertarian on this. But, in this case, the federal government was (and still is) regulating in the wrong direction: toward more risk.

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