DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for October, 2009

DST is gone, but who pilfered the savings?

31st October 2009

Lileks does the time change. And he’s nicer about it than I would be….

Few people can remember if we’re going off DST, or on DST, or whether DST was banned as a hazardous chemical, or how daylight is being saved. In a blind trust? A jar in the garage? If we save 20 minutes, is there a matching contribution from our employer, and is it taxable? There are so many questions, first among which is: WHY?

John J. Miller from NRO hates it, too (as, of course, all Right Thinking People do).

As Michael Downing points out in his new book, Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, urban businessmen were a major force behind the adoption of DST in the United States. They thought daylight would encourage workers to go shopping on their way home. They also tried to make a case for agriculture, though they didn’t bother to consult any actual farmers. One pamphlet argued that DST would benefit the men and women who worked the land because “most farm products are better when gathered with dew on. They are firmer, crisper, than if the sun has dried the dew off.” At least that was the claim of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, chaired by department-store magnate A. Lincoln Filene. This was utter nonsense. A lot of crops couldn’t be harvested until the morning dew had evaporated. What’s more, morning dew has no effect whatsoever on firmness or crispness.

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Trick or Jizyah!

31st October 2009

You want scary?

We’ll give you scary.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Mystery of Argleton, the ‘Google’ town that only exists online

31st October 2009

Read it.

An English “Brigadoon”?

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

‘Truth to Power’

31st October 2009

Mark Steyn sometimes likes to point and laugh.

Valerie Jarrett announced the other day that “we’re going to speak truth to power.”

Who’s Valerie Jarrett? She’s “Senior Advisor” to the president of the United States — i.e., the leader of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth. You would think the most powerful man in the most powerful nation would find a hard job finding anyone on the planet to “speak truth to power” to. But I suppose if you’re as eager to do so as his Senior Advisor, there’s always somebody out there: The Supreme Leader of Iran. The Prime Minister of Belgium. The Deputy Tourism Minister of the Solomon Islands. But no. The Senior Advisor has selected targets closer to home: “I think that what the administration has said very clearly is that we’re going to speak truth to power. When we saw all of the distortions in the course of the summer, when people were coming down to town-hall meetings and putting up signs that were scaring seniors to death. . . . ”

Ah, right. People “putting up signs.” Can’t have that, can we? The most powerful woman in the inner circle of the most powerful man on earth has decided to speak truth to powerful people standing in the street with handwritten placards saying “THIS GRAN’MA ISN’T SHOVEL READY.” Was it only a week ago that I wrote about this administration’s peculiar need for domestic enemies?

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The Broken Political Equation

31st October 2009

Read it.

In general, if the strategic political forces are aligned properly, then the tactical level concerns resolve themselves. This mathematical rule in politics (it is very close to applied chaos theory) regularly produces victory for those applying the rule.

There are oh so very many outright political violations that irrationalism – an identifiable and documented strain of ideologies, among them, fascism — can only explain the behavior of the White House and the House and Senate leadership.

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‘Hogwarts’ castle hires Disney boss to improve tourism

31st October 2009

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The medieval castle, seen by millions of Harry Potter fans in the films, is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland.

We have the technology.

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Thailand: “More than 3900 people have died in shootings, bomb blasts, beheadings and crucifixions” since 2004

31st October 2009

Read it.

Beheadings? Crucifixions? Those who insist that this is simply a nationalist insurgency with an Islamic character that is only incidental should take note: no other group around the world besides Islamic jihadists is practicing “beheadings and crucifixions” with any regularity in 2009. And why are “beheadings and crucifixions,” both of which one might be forgiven for thinking of as relics of a distant and barbaric past, happening in Thailand at all?

Why, because Islamic jihadists — contrary to the prevailing wisdom of the learned analysts — read and follow the Koran.

“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter…” — Koran 5:33

“Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks…” — Koran 47:4

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Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon Granted to All Persons of European Descent

31st October 2009

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Walter Williams is one of the two smartest black people in the United States, the other of course being Thomas Sowell. Unlike Dr Sowell, Dr Williams sometimes takes over the microphone for Rush Limbaugh, and that is always a treat.

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

Accents and Dialects of the UK

31st October 2009

An interactive map.

At last I can understand what Ricky Gervase is saying.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Rent-a-Goat in Action! Clearing Brush the Way Nature Intended It

31st October 2009

Read it.

Well, yeah.

Wonder if they eat kudzu.

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Why Every Country Has a Different F#$%ing Plug

31st October 2009

Read it. Includes a great and useful map.

The more you look at the writhing orgy of plugs in the world, the sillier it seems. If you buy a phone charger at the airport in Florida, you won’t be able to use it when your flight lands in France. If you buy a three-pronged adapter for le portable in Paris, you might not be able to plug it in when your train drops you off in Germany. And when your flight finally bounces to a stop on the runway in London, get ready to buy a comically large adapter to tap into the grid there. But that’s cool! You can take the same adapter to Singapore with you! And parts of Nigeria! Oh yeah, and if said charger doesn’t support 240v power natively, make sure you buy a converter, or else it might explode.

I interpret this as God telling me not to travel. But that’s me.

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Green Berets get wearable combat smartphones

31st October 2009

Read it.

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

Sir Christopher Lee knighted by the Prince of Wales

30th October 2009

Read it.

And about fargin’ time, too.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Report: Dozens in Congress Under Ethics Scrutiny

30th October 2009

Read it.

Nearly half the members of a House panel in control of Pentagon spending, including Rep. John Murtha, are under scrutiny by ethics investigators in Congress, according to a leaked report.

This actually does come as a surprise. Usually they don’t even bother.

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

What Sets Off School Fire Alarms

29th October 2009

An Informative Chart.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

NYT: So, they had to shoot a guy. Please don’t ask any more…

29th October 2009

Read it.

Let’s be blunt: the FBI shut down a proto-cell of radical fringe Black Muslim domestic terrorists – which is something that’s going to please everybody, with the possible exception of CAIR.  And as can be seen from the links, most news organizations are capable of reporting on this in a forthright fashion… but the New York Times takes until the second-to-last paragraph to even hint at it.  Which is problematical; after all, the idea here is for a newspaper to report on what happened.  Not to make its readers have to go out and find out what really happened…

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

STIMULUS WATCH: Stimulus jobs overstated in report

29th October 2009

Read it.

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

When the Obamassiah can’t even depend on the AP to be in the tank for his program, well….

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Thoughts on Health Care Reform

29th October 2009

Steve Landsburg isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions.

1. Insurance is not part of the solution; it’s part of the problem. Many people—and especially poor people— get too little health care in this country. That’s largely because many other people—and especially rich people—are overinsured. People with insurance demand more health care, which drives up prices. More insurance coverage will make this problem worse, not better.

3. A public option can only make things worse. A government run insurance system can only do one of two things: Mimic the private insurers, or do something different. If it mimics the private insurers, it serves no purpose. If it does anything different, it can only be worse.

After all, what can it do different? Approve more claims? But where will the money come from? Higher premiums? But we’ve already agreed that if people wanted that kind of insurance it would already be offered. A more efficient bureaucracy? But if there were a way to save money by streamlining the bureacracy, why wouldn’t all those greedy private insurers have adopted it already? Does anyone believe that the major insurance companies are too lackadaisical to make an easy extra buck?

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Fox News Communicates With Pirates Holding British Couple Hostage

29th October 2009

Read it.

But apparently the British government is off somewhere playing with themselves.

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Canadian folk singer killed by coyotes, park official says

29th October 2009

Read it.

Everybody’s a critic.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

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Eco-Nuts Out to Destroy Life As We Know It

29th October 2009

Read it.

The 350.org protesters, who want to drop CO2 in the atmosphere to that level, were especially critical of the United States:

“You have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and gases more than any other nation in history. Despite this, you refuse to sign the Kyoto agreement so that you can secure the profit of your greedy companies and industries.”

Oops, that’s wasn’t the eco-nuts, that’s a direct quote from Usama bin Laden in 2002. –While Al Qaeda and eco-nuts use different tactics, they share a similar enemy: civilization.

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American Cultural Superiority

29th October 2009

Read it.

Picking on gamers is way too easy, though. The article also shows that having a significant chunk of the population hunt for sport is very useful in war. This is a case where American culture and society are clearly superior to Europe – in most of the US a lot of regular folk hunt because it’s often cheaper than buying beef from a butcher, whereas in Europe hunting is an expensive elite hobby. I know that if every villager could cheaply hunt in Europe we’d soon eat all our deer because our population is too dense except for parts of Scandinavia and maybe some of the former Soviet bloc. Large numbers of rural hunters are, unfortunately, just not a possibility for most European countries – the lower supply of game animals per capita necessarily drives up the price of hunting.

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

Iraq arrests over 60 security force members — including 11 senior officers — over Baghdad bombings

29th October 2009

Read it.

Sure, all ready to pack up in Iraq and shift focus to Afghanistan.

Time to kiss the horse and leave.

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UN Aids Jihadis

29th October 2009

Read it.

Hey, it’s all about priorities. Perceived gender sensitivity is more important than preventing people getting blown up by Muslims. It all makes perfect sense — if you’re the U.N.

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The Least Transparent Administration in History

29th October 2009

Read it.

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

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

Ryukyu Kingdom Festival Tsunahiki

29th October 2009

Read it.

Each team is made up of 15,000 people, pulling a 656 ft rope.

Whenever I read a science fiction story that involves an alien species, I can never get into it unless the alien species is at least as weird as the Japanese.

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Zimbabwe deports United Nations torture official

29th October 2009

Read it.

And the chickens come home to roost….

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.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Our Friends The Pakistanis

29th October 2009

Read it.

When Rohde’s captors took him across the border into Pakistan, he was “astonished” to find “a Taliban mini-state that flourished openly and with impunity. . . . All along the main roads in North and South Waziristan, Pakistani government outposts had been abandoned, replaced by Taliban checkpoints. . . . We heard explosions echo across North Waziristan as my guards and other Taliban fighters learned how to make roadside bombs that killed American and NATO troops.”

These tribal areas, “widely perceived as impoverished and isolated,” in fact had “superior roads, electricity and infrastructure compared with what exists in much of Afghanistan. . . . Throughout North Waziristan, Taliban policemen patrolled the streets, and Taliban road crews carried out construction projects. . . . foreign militants freely strolled the bazaars of Miram Shah and other towns. Young Afghan and Pakistani Taliban members revered the foreign fighters, who taught them how to make bombs.”

The obvious implication is that the Pakistani government and military were permitting the Taliban to control territory and maintain elaborate bases of operation, safe havens where combatants — Afghans, Pakistanis, Arabs, Uzbeks, Chechens, Uighurs, and others — could rest, train, and prepare to fight American and Afghan forces on the other side of the frontier.

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Situational Awareness

29th October 2009

Steve Sailor is always worth reading.

Military researchers have found that two groups of personnel are particularly good at spotting anomalies: those with hunting backgrounds, who traipsed through the woods as youths looking to bag a deer or turkey; and those who grew up in tough urban neighborhoods, where it is often important to know what gang controls which block.

Personnel who fit neither category, often young men who grew up in the suburbs and developed a liking for video games, do not seem to have the depth perception and peripheral vision of the others, even if their eyesight is 20/20.

The best troops he’s ever seen when it comes to spotting bombs were soldiers from the South Carolina National Guard, nearly all with rural backgrounds that included hunting.

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Software That Fixes Itself

29th October 2009

Read it.

Let’s see, the programmers who are responsible for the software that doesn’t work in the first place are to be depended on to make it fix itself. Guys, if you knew how to fix what was wrong, why not make it work right to begin with? Sheesh.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

An all-too-modern homecoming

29th October 2009

Jay Nordlinger is disappointed.

Got a letter from Corona, Calif., the home of Centennial High School. My correspondent began, “I thought you might be interested in hearing this, because it will remind you of Ann Arbor” — Ann Arbor, Mich., my hometown. “Friday night,” said the correspondent, “was our homecoming game. At halftime, we usually get parade floats, made by the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes.” But not this year. “We were treated to marchers from United Latino Students, the Filipino Student Union, the Black Student Union . . . It was amazing how the students were segregating themselves at an event where everyone comes to cheer on a team with blacks, Hispanics, whites, and Asians, all of whom care about the team colors and no others.”

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Man tried to rob bank with spoon

29th October 2009

Read it.

Guess the Poles don’t have that “We’ll fire you if you resist” policy.

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

ACORN Still Eligible for Donations Through Government’s Combined Federal Campaign

29th October 2009

Read it.

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

Somali Pirates Hijack Thai Fishing Vessel

29th October 2009

Read it.

The latest seizure means pirates are now holding a total of eight ships.

And is anyone doing something about that? Apparently not.

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FAA Slow to Alert Military of Wayward Plane

29th October 2009

Read it.

The Federal Aviation Administration violated its own rules by taking more than 40 minutes to alert the military after losing communication with a Northwest Airlines flight last week, according to officials familiar with internal reviews under way at several federal agencies.

The pilots got their licenses jerked – which would appear to be an appropriate penalty; they won’t work as pilots again. Will any of the bureaucrats at the FAA lose their jobs? Don’t hold your breath….

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

District Judge Concludes E-mail Not Protected by Fourth Amendment

28th October 2009

Read it.

In relevant part:

The Fourth Amendment protects our homes from unreasonable searches and seizures, requiring that, absent special circumstances, the government obtain a search warrant based on probable cause before entering. This is strong privacy protection for homes and the items within them in the physical world.

When a person uses the Internet, however, the user’s actions are no longer in his or her physical home; in fact he or she is not truly acting in private space at all. The user is generally accessing the Internet with a network account and computer storage owned by an ISP like Comcast or NetZero. All materials stored online, whether they are e-mails or remotely stored documents, are physically stored on servers owned by an ISP. When we send an e-mail or instant message from the comfort of our own homes to a friend across town the message travels from our computer to computers owned by a third party, the ISP, before being delivered to the intended recipient. Thus, “private” information is actually being held by third-party private companies.

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A Radar System made for an Army Helmet

28th October 2009

Read it.

A useful thing.

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

Foldable Kitchen Scale saves you on counter space

28th October 2009

Read it.

A very clever idea.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Canadian woman killed by coyotes

28th October 2009

Read it.

I guess there are some things that a single-payer plan can’t fix.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Wife of LA Dodgers owner demands divorce money for private jet and clothes

28th October 2009

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The wife of the Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has filed divorce demands which include £20,000-a-month for clothes, travel by private jet and her old job back as chief executive of the baseball team.

And women wonder why men avoid commitment.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

The Nationalization of Your Children

28th October 2009

Read it.

  1. Thank God you don’t live in Britain.
  2. Without eternal vigilance, it could happen here. Probably in Massachusetts (People’s Republic East) or California (People’s Republic West).

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Housing As Busing

28th October 2009

Read it.

No Neighborhood Left Behind.

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Minox NV mini II makes night vision pocketable

28th October 2009

Read it.

We have the technology.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Taliban welcomes Hillary Clinton to Pakistan with car bomb that kills 90

28th October 2009

Read it.

You’ve got to hand it to the Taliban, they really know how to show a girl a good time.

Posted in Living with Islam. | 1 Comment »

Freedom and Peace; Thinking and Feeling; Me, Rick and Sonja

28th October 2009

Read it.

Nobody asked, but you know what I’m sick of? I’m sick of the Jean-Luc Picard train o’ thought…that when a peace-loving side meets up with a war-making side, the peace-loving side can simply communicate its thoughts and preferences that war not happen — and unilaterally decide that it is not to take place here.

That’s caused quite a few wars in the past, you know. That’s the biggest out of many reasons why I’m sick of it. FU, Capt. JLP.

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British adventurer travels world on bike but has it stolen from Southampton

28th October 2009

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Geoffrey Williams, 53, pedalled across the vast Sahara Desert and escaped from a Hungarian jail during his epic travels on the 1949 touring bike.

He also narrowly avoided being shot by border guards as he travelled from Hungary to the old Yugoslavia with nephew Philip ‘Phizzy’ Middleton, 42.

The cycle has survived numerous crashes including one which was so serious that Mr Williams had to undergo surgery on his back.

But now the yellow bike, nicknamed Celia, has gone missing after thieves managed to negotiate 7ft-high gates, a metal chain and two padlocks.

Britain is becoming a Third World country.

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Bullets used by British soldiers ‘too small to defeat Taliban’

28th October 2009

Read it.

Well, duh. The 5.56mm round was developed for use in jungles, like – ta da! – Vietnam; it doesn’t have the range for open-country fighting.

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Indian engineer ‘builds’ new glaciers to stop global warming

28th October 2009

Read it.

Shucks, AlGore can do that just by coming to town to give a whine speech.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

“YOU MAY BE A TALIBAN IF…”

28th October 2009

Read it.

1. You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to liquor.
2. You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can’t afford shoes.
3. You have more wives than teeth.
4. You wipe your butt with your bare hand, but consider bacon “unclean.”
5. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.
6. You can’t think of anyone you haven’t declared Jihad against.
7. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.
8. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.
9. You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least four.
10. You’ve always had a crush on your neighbour’s goat.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Fido, a.k.a. the Climate Criminal

28th October 2009

Jonah Goldberg sticks up for the family pooch.

The government cannot have my dog.

Don’t tell that to the authors of the new book Time to Eat the Dog?: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living. They calculate that dog owning is much worse than SUV driving for the planet. So when you see a car heading to the dog park with some happy labs drooling out the window, you should think “climate criminals.”

Meanwhile, in less surprising news, cats (long known as the handmaidens of Satan) have roughly the ecological paw print of a Volkswagen Golf.

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