DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for September, 2009

Why We Shouldn’t Listen to Overpaid Celebrities About Healthcare

30th September 2009

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By now you’ve likely seen Will Ferrell’s hysterical public service announcement concerning healthcare reform. In response, an as of yet unknown organization has created a fabulous video mocking Ferrell’s efforts.

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

Senate Finance Committee Approves Health Care For Illegals

30th September 2009

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Senate Finance Committee Democrats rejected a proposed a requirement that immigrants prove their identity with photo identification when signing up for federal healthcare programs.

This is simply another exercise in the Democrats attempting to not only nationalize the US health care system but use it as a magnet to attract a dedicated Democrat voting bloc, illegal aliens.

And, indeed, we need merely look to Britain, which has no such requirement, and is currently being turned into Londonistan as a result.

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Food and Health

30th September 2009

An Informative Chart.

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Muscle wasting in elderly could be reversed

30th September 2009

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Researchers have discovered a way of boosting the muscle regeneration process in old age back to the levels of the young.

They found that an enzyme that acts as a catalyst to repair and maintenance of muscles is much lower in older people than the young. By increasing its concentration in the elderly, they believe they can restore “youthful vigour” to old muscles.

That’s all we need, spry old people.

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Campaign asks for international treaty to limit war robots

30th September 2009

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Translation: “Uh-oh! Looks like the civilized nations are getting another technological advantage! We’d better get together with the other losers to tie them up with something before they start thinking they’re allowed to win!”

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Hail Caesar—The Birthplace of the Famous Salad Closes

30th September 2009

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This time, Brutus had nothing to do with the death of Caesar. Instead, it was a drop-off in tourism—partly due to fears about swine flu and escalating drug violence, on top of a bad economy—that hastened the demise of the Tijuana restaurant credited with inventing the Caesar salad.

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Mark Levin

30th September 2009

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If you didn’t listen to the Mark Levin show yesterday, you missed one of the greatest openings of a radio show ever. The Levin version of the Obama song was fantastic.

Triumph of the Will meets the Obama Nation.

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How To Motivate Large Numbers of People To Do a Dumb Thing, Without Anyone Associating the Dumb Thing With Your Name Later On

30th September 2009

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Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

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Honda EV-N Concept tucks U3-X personal transporter inside door

30th September 2009

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This is the car that Goofy uses to ride around Disneyland.

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China’s 60th anniversary of Communism: public barred from parade

30th September 2009

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It always astounds people when a Communist dictatorship acts like, well, a Communist dictatorship.

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A sickening light in the New York sky, &c.

30th September 2009

Jay Nordlinger sees the dystopia in which we live.

I remember a talk I had with the Diaz-Balart brothers, several years ago. They are Cuban-American congressmen from Miami. They were saying that it would be one thing if free people were merely indifferent to Cuba and its suffering under a totalitarian dictatorship. That would not be very admirable or nice, but . . . you could live with it. But why do so many free people boost, defend, and celebrate that dictatorship? That is what really, nastily rankles.

We’re learning more and more about the Obamas, as their tenure lengthens. Would it be okay if I said that they don’t appear to have a heckuva lot of trouble looking out for No. 1? That there is not exactly a crisis of self-esteem? A danger of excessive self-sacrifice? A danger that they will be too far down on their own “priority lists”?

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Touchless 3-D Fingerprinting

30th September 2009

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Mayor won’t stop begging

30th September 2009

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The new mayor of an Indian town is refusing to give up begging – because he’s making too much money.

Sounds like a lot of the mayors I read about in the newspapers. Although this guy is at least up front about it.

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Extended School Year Would Have Dire Economic Effects, Critics Say

30th September 2009

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Gee, that’s too bad. Of course, the fact that neither teachers nor students enjoy their time in school tells you everything you need to know about the educational system.

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ACORN May Face Trial for First Time as Nevada Prosecutors Allege ‘Widespread’ Criminal Policies

30th September 2009

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I doubt that it will ever happen while there are Demorats in Nevada. But it is certainly entertaining to read about.

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DNA tests on mummy show TB killed ancient Egyptian

29th September 2009

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Farmer’s daughter disarms terrorist and shoots him dead with AK47

29th September 2009

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Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Emperor Nero’s rotating dining room ‘discovered’

29th September 2009

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Remains of the fabled dining hall have been discovered on the city’s Palatine Hill, where emperors traditionally built their most lavish palaces.

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Trad Men

29th September 2009

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Trad is, quite simply, a safe haven for sartorially selective gentlemen amid the ever-growing chaos of department stores and runways.

“Trad is sort of the antithesis of what’s happening in fast fashion right now,” said Michael Williams, 30, who obsesses over classic American men’s clothing on his blog, A Continuous Lean. “It’s like the opposite of what all the men’s wear designers are doing,” Mr. Williams continued. “It’s not fashion; it’s clothes.”

J. Press safeguards the core values of our civilization.

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Confessions of a home-schooler

29th September 2009

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Mrs. Garden State Parkway: Well, you guys live in the city, right? I guess the public schools are out of the question.

Me: No, that’s really not true. There are some perfectly good schools in Brooklyn.

Real answer: There are, indeed, and in any other municipality you care to name. Now, it is true that the zoned public school in our multiracial, middle-class neighborhood has, let’s say, a checkered reputation and is mainly attended by children bused in from other parts of Brooklyn. It’s a uniform school run on a paramilitary model, ruthlessly devoted to driving up the test scores. Oh, and last semester the principal was arrested for assaulting a teacher. But, honestly, that stuff played only a marginal role in our decision making. There are numerous pretty good to very good schools in nearby neighborhoods that we could have applied to but never did.

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Guerrilla signs: 15 funny road and rail notices

29th September 2009

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Posted in You can't make this stuff up. | Comments Off

To create a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs.

29th September 2009

Thomas Sowell runs a highlighter over an inconvenient truth.

There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs.

Such people have been told all their lives how brilliant they are, until finally they feel forced to admit it, with all due modesty. But they not only tend to overestimate their own intelligence, more fundamentally they tend to overestimate how important individual brilliance is when dealing with real-world problems.

Someone recently pointed out how much Barack Obama’s style and strategies resemble those of Latin American charismatic despots — the takeover of industries by demagogues who never ran a business, the rousing rhetoric of resentment addressed to the masses, and the personal cult of the leader promoted by the media. Do we want to become the world’s largest banana republic?

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Brewer launches ‘Nanny State’ weak beer

29th September 2009

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A Scottish brewer criticised for making Britain’s strongest beer is fighting back by launching the weakest – and calling it Nanny State.

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Get a Government Job!

28th September 2009

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A one-stop-shop for all your it’s-better-to-leech-off-the-taxpayers information.

As researchers for The Free Enterprise Nation began compiling information about the pay and benefits disparity that exists between government/public education and those who work in the private sector, we’d hear an occasional “OH, MY GOSH!” or “OH, MY!” as they found another reference to shocking pay and benefits practices in the public sector. It might have been the first time they saw a State of California pensioner retiring at $500,000 a year…or perhaps the Illinois driver’s training teacher earning $170,000 a year and retiring at $130,000 a year…or perhaps the New York City workers who amass more than $100,000 in overtime in their last year before retirement, triggering a pension benefit in excess of their salary.

And in every case, these “public servants” retired in their 50’s, with free or highly subsidized health care and guaranteed annual increases in their pension benefits. Countless examples led to a new classification…”OH, MY!,” or “OM” for these examples.

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

Annals of Bureaucracy in the People’s Republic: Day Care

28th September 2009

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Bay State bureaucrats are turning day-care centers into stringent schools, where homespun “educators” will soon be required to write progress reports on gurgling infants, prepare toddlers for the rigors of kindergarten and even brush every child’s teeth.

The changes come in the form of new regulations passed by the state Board of Early Education and Care, which take effect in January.

Stay away from any state that has a Board of Early Education and Care.

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

All About Obama

28th September 2009

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Even Washington’s pet Republicans can’t stomach Obama.

Obama’s rhetorical method in international contexts — given supreme expression at the United Nations this week — is a moral dialectic. The thesis: pre-Obama America is a nation of many flaws and failures. The antithesis: The world responds with understandable but misguided prejudice. The synthesis: Me. Me, at all costs; me, in spite of all terrors; me, however long and hard the road may be. How great a world we all should see, if only all were more like…me.

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Registering for Class on the iPhone

28th September 2009

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Stanford University was one of the first academic institutions to come out with an iPhone app last October. Now Stanford has debuted an upgrade, dubbed iStanford, which lets students search for courses, add or drop them and see their grades.

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

Sweet Lies About Kids and Smoking

28th September 2009

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When it comes to cigarettes, the federal government can blow smoke with the best of them.

When it comes to escorting kids into addiction, such cigarettes are more like the eye of a needle than a gateway. You would never know from the government’s pronouncements that the nation’s three major tobacco companies—R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris, and Lorillard—don’t even make them. Notorious lines like Warm Winter Toffee and Winter Mocha Mint were removed from the market years ago. The only flavor the major producers use anymore is menthol, which happens to be one the FDA chose not to ban.

When I asked an FDA spokesperson what portion of the cigarettes smoked by teens are flavored, she told me the agency doesn’t know. So how does it know they serve as “a gateway for many children”? How does it know that banning them will have any effect on the number of new tobacco addicts? Actually, it doesn’t.

Siegel says that teenagers smoke because they want to seem older. But smoking something that tastes like bubble gum sends the opposite signal. Even when flavored cigarettes were more widely available, the great majority of adolescent smokers found them about as appealing as a Raffi concert.

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20 Lies in One Speech: Welcome to the Obama Nation

28th September 2009

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By our count, the president made more than 20 inaccurate claims in his speech to Congress. We have excluded several comments that are deeply misleading but not outright false. (For example: Obama pledged not to tap the Medicare trust fund to pay for reform. But there is no money in that “trust fund,” anyway, so the pledge is meaningless.) Even so, we may have missed one or more false statements by the president. Our failure to include one of his comments in the following list should not be taken to constitute an endorsement of its accuracy, let alone wisdom.

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Letters from Lord Byron hit out at fellow writer William ‘Turdsworth’

28th September 2009

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Gotta go with Byron on that one.

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More ghosts appear in Kent than elsewhere in UK, finds research

28th September 2009

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Pi symbols and binary code among ‘geek’ tattoos

28th September 2009

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No surprises here. “Geeks” and “tough guys” share the characteristic of not having fully grown up. Adults (age notwithstanding) don’t get tattoos. They may have some from an earlier arrested-adolescent stage of life, but we all have skeletons in our closets. I suspect that if there were some quick and easy way to remove tattoos, we wouldn’t see so many of them.

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Moctezuma: When one civilisation deserves its bloody nose from another

28th September 2009

Boris Johnson is not afraid to voice the unfashionable thought.

Well, if you want to see the other side of the story, and you want to meditate on at least one powerful argument for colonialism and imperialism, you must go to the British Museum, where they have just opened a magnificent exhibition of the life of Moctezuma. There, you are invited to imagine what it was like to attend the inauguration of the latest expansion of the Great Temple, in 1506, not long before the arrival of the white man.

First, you would file past the tzompantli, the huge racks of skulls, and then towards the reeking steps of the Templo Mayor. You would be led up the steps, slippery with blood, and at the top one priest would grab you by the hair, and four others would grab each limb. Then in an instant they would flip you expertly backwards on to the sacrificial block, and though your back would be very likely broken by the impact, the last sight to delight your eyes, before you lost all brain-stem function, would have been your own still beating heart, held aloft by the priest as the snows of Popocatepetl turned pink in the evening sun.

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FCC Diversity Czar demands more gays in media

28th September 2009

Steve Sailer is taken aback.

Wait a minute — “the need to have more people of color, gays …”

So, there aren’t enough gays in the media?

Who knew?

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Basic Economics Is Intuitive

28th September 2009

Bryan Caplan points out that economics isn’t hard if it’s explained properly.

Economists often off-handedly remark that basic economics is “counterintuitive.”  In one of the papers he presented at GMU, Scott Sumner has a whole appendix on “Why is economics so counterintuitive?”  Even my hands aren’t clean here: In The Myth of the Rational Voter, I wrote that “…Smith’s thesis [the harmony of private and public interest] was counterintuitive to his contemporaries, and remains counterintuitive today.”  However, the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that if basic economics seems counterintuitive, it’s being poorly explained.  If Bastiat could make econ intuitive, so can we.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Review of babysitting ban ordered

28th September 2009

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England’s Children’s Minister wants a review of the case of two police officers told they were breaking the law, caring for each other’s children.

Ofsted said the arrangement contravened the Childcare Act because it lasted for longer than two hours a day, and constituted receiving “a reward”.

I am not making this up. (Children’s Minister? Children’s Minister?)

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

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A brief guide to DNA sequencing

28th September 2009

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

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One time at D&D camp…

28th September 2009

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A summer camp. Run by a college. For Dungeons & Dragons.

I am not making this up.

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

“In Times Like These…”

27th September 2009

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And usually it’s socialism. You might say “In times like these, we have to pull together and nobody can make a profit providing a service so essential to the rest of us.” You would not say “Because it’s Tuesday and my butt itches, we have to pull together and nobody can make a profit providing this service.” With the latter, even a flaccid mind would immediately recognize — duh, hey wait a minute…if the service is so essential, how do we make sure it continues to be provided if nobody can make a profit providing it? But “In times like these” goes over like Free Ice Cream night in Hell. Why yes! That makes perfect sense!

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Muslims Provoked by Art

27th September 2009

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Oh, no! It’s happening again: the Islamic world is grievously insulted by a work of art produced by an infidel! More specifically, a French artist has showed disrespect for Muslim prayer mats.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Pakistan: All students — Muslim and non-Muslim — required to study Islam

27th September 2009

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

Pakistan is, of course, an Islamic Republic, but why is it that “there is no compulsion in religion” (2:256) seems only to be invoked by Islamic apologists in the West, and never where it could actually do some good for non-Muslims in an Islamic state? Hmmm, now why might that be?

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

In Pakistan: Village of German jihadists, converts to Islam

27th September 2009

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The Telegraph refers to these converts as “white,” as if their race were something noteworthy. In reality, as I have stated here several billion times, the jihad is not a racial issue, despite the best efforts of the mainstream media, CAIR, and libelblogger Charles Johnson to make it into one. Anyone, of any race, can become an adherent of the jihad doctrine and ideology.

It is actually noteworthy because (among other reasons) the people there are deep believers in the jihad doctrine and Islamic supremacism, and because the fact that they are converts to Islam shows that active jihadist recruitment is a key element of Islamic dawah — proselytizing — in Europe.

Robert Spencer is in the forefront of those who realize that to conquer the world and reduce any non-Muslim inhabitants to slavery or death is a core principle of Islam. All of the multi-culti bloviation by the current Crust can’t change that; it merely makes people mentally defenseless in the face of the danger.

This is not a racial issue — ‘Muslim’ is not a ‘race’ — but a cultural issue that is being distorted as a racial issue in order that it can be beaten with the Fashion Stick of Racism by the aforesaid Crust.

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Dentists, Bartenders, and Lawyer Unpopularity

27th September 2009

Walter Olson takes a peek.

In all the movies of recent years, there have been few surer audience-pleasing scenes than the moment in Jurassic Park where the dinosaur eats the lawyer.

When I started giving talks on problems with the American legal system, I made a point of letting audiences know that I was not (and am not) a lawyer. This started out as a simple disclaimer, a warning that they should not expect certain types of professional know-how from me. But though it may have begun as a caveat, it soon turned into an applause line. It gets me an enthusiastic response from just about every audience that’s not itself composed of lawyers: from undergraduates and retirees, from doctors and homemakers, from liberals and conservatives. I eventually refined the line into “I’m not a lawyer, I just criticize them,” which often draws a one-word response, “Good!”

Wally was two years ahead of me at Yale, and is one of the clearest thinkers and best explainers that I’ve ever met.

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Kuwait: Jihad against disco

27th September 2009

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There is no fun in Islam, as the Ayatollah Khomeini said.

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What is narcissistic personality disorder, and why does everyone seem to have it?

26th September 2009

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Take that, Facebook.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

The problem with “public” services

26th September 2009

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Something that has perplexed me for a long time is why we put up with government providing so-called public services. Ask the little people two questions and I think I know what the answers will be. “Would you send your children to an independent school if you could afford to?” “Would you use private healthcare if you could afford to do so?” There will be some who will answer in the negative on grounds of political ideology, but my guess is that the vast majority would give affirmative answers. Then ask them why they would use private-sector services and my guess is that they would say they are better than the services offered by the State. It would, of course, be fair to point out that many of the answers would not be based on direct knowledge of the superior quality of private-sector schools and hospitals (although increasing numbers are now receiving treatment in private hospitals where they have had to wait too long for a new NHS hip or the removal of a gall bladder). However, one factor cannot, in my view, be denied namely that those providing services in the private sector have to keep their standards high or they will lose customers.

It seems to me that the problem with State education and healthcare is that they are provided by the State rather than just funded by the State. It leaves them open to political interference which, as we have seen in spades, creates huge difficulties for those actually delivering the services at the bottom of the pyramid. Constant chopping and changing of performance criteria does nobody any favours. One manifestation of that problem is that a top-down nationwide system of anything requires so many layers of bureaucracy that vast sums of money are consumed passing information back and forth.

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Grace Mugabe, her ‘stolen’ farm and how she supplies Zimbawean milk to Nestle food giant

26th September 2009

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Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who has taken over at least six of Zimbabwe’s most valuable white-owned farms since 2002, sells up to a million litres of milk a year to Nestlé, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.

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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The Road Not Taken

26th September 2009

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Americans used to move to where the jobs were. But now home-ownership and health insurance freeze many of them to the spot.

A decade ago Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick in Britain argued that excessive home-ownership kills jobs. He observed that, in Europe, nations with high rates of home-ownership, such as Spain, had much higher unemployment rates than those where more people rented, such as Switzerland. He found this effect was stronger than tax rates or employment law.

Areas with high home-ownership often have a strong “not-in-my-backyard” ethos, with residents objecting to new development. Homeowners commute farther than renters, which causes congestion and makes getting to work more time-consuming and costly for everyone. Mr Oswald urged governments to stop subsidising home-ownership. Few listened.

The other threat to mobility is health insurance. A company can buy health insurance for its employees with pre-tax dollars; an individual can buy it only with after-tax dollars. So although soaring premiums are prompting many firms to drop or restrict coverage, most Americans still get their health insurance from their jobs.

This makes it hard for anyone with a sick child to quit and start a new firm. It also makes it harder to switch jobs, despite a law helping employees to stay in company plans for 18 months after they leave. Scott Adams of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found that married men with no alternative source of insurance were 22% less likely to switch jobs than those who, for example, could get covered by their wife’s employer.

Many quasi-socialists (artists and writers, for example) support government-provided health care in response to this situation, even though few of them realize it — most just think they’re being ‘progressive’ and ‘compassionate’, but they’re really reacting to a system that disadvantages people in their situation. It’s almost impossible in the United States to obtain affordable health insurance except through one’s employer, and except where that employer is large enough to offer health insurance — in other words, an organization large enough to offer Real Jobs … but artists and writers don’t want Real Jobs, which they regard as soul-killers; they want to pursue their Art.

America still suffers under the system that grew up in response to the wage controls of World War II, which has only gotten worse as various political processes pile cruft on top of cruft in a vain attempt to fix a system that is inherently flawed. Unfortunately, the only way to fix it is to return the focus onto the individual, and you may have noticed that nobody seems to be interested in doing that.

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Middleville woman threatened with fines for watching neighbors’ kids

26th September 2009

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Lisa Snyder of Middleville says her neighborhood school bus stop is right in front of her home. It arrives after her neighbors need to be at work, so she watches three of their children for 15-40 minutes until the bus comes.

The Department of Human Services received a complaint that Snyder was operating an illegal child care home. DHS contacted Snyder and told her to get licensed, stop watching her neighbors’ kids, or face the consequences.

And what can we learn from this?

  1. The government is not your friend.
  2. Government employees, even whenthey have common sense, aren’t allowed to do anything with it.
  3. Whenever the government gets involved in something, it rapidly goes to shit.

Posted in You can't make this stuff up. | Comments Off

Hamas TV show teaches kids to kill Jews

26th September 2009

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In the name of Allah, the benificent, the merciful.

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off