DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for September, 2010

Things That Are Not Ironic

30th September 2010

An Informative Grid.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Spanish fathers entitled to breastfeeding leave

30th September 2010

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Spain is not what once it was.

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

UK: ‘What’s happened to the chaps?’

30th September 2010

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I went to a wedding recently at which the groom was an ex-public schoolboy in his twenties. No more prime specimen of girlie manhood are you likely to see. Here was Osric from Hamlet made flesh, a prancing popinjay of prettification. He’d probably spent more getting his hair done than the bride had spent on her dress. It was stomach-churning.

Yet the effect of this wet noodle on the assembled women was electrifying. As he got up on stage and started telling his bride how much he loved her, bursting into tears within 30 seconds, they literally began to drool. For them, this Barbie Man was the new masculine ideal. And let me tell you, his bride was an absolute knockout. In the good old days, men would have conquered continents for less. Yet here she was, giving herself to a man she probably could have beaten in a fight.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Pig learns to walk on two legs

30th September 2010

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The little porker that could.

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

Solar Window Light

30th September 2010

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Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

When it comes to Islam, constitutional protections are no longer to be taken seriously.

30th September 2010

Clifford May kicks over a rock.

You may have noticed that Molly Norris’ comic is not in the paper this week. That’s because there is no more Molly.

The gifted artist is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, “going ghost”: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity. She will no longer be publishing cartoons in our paper or in City Arts magazine, where she has been a regular contributor. She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program — except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab. . . .

Where does this leave us? Significantly less free than we used to be. One may satirize, criticize, and even demonize Christians and Jews. Such speech remains protected by America’s Constitution. But when it comes to Islam and the sensibilities of overly sensitive Muslims, constitutional protections are no longer to be taken seriously. To even discuss these matters, as I am now doing, risks — nay, ensures — being castigated as an Islamophobe.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Are we raising a generation of nincompoops?

30th September 2010

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Well, yeah. In the Good Old Days, we had the Scouts to keep the old skills alive; nowadays they’re more concerned with mutliculturalism and homosexuality than knots and campfires.

Posted in Whose turn is it to be the victim? | 1 Comment »

You Can’t Kick Me Off Facebook, I Quit!

30th September 2010

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Another excellent reason to avoid Facebook.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Men naturally switch off during rows, scientists claim

30th September 2010

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While women may be frustrated the men glaze over mid-argument research shows that they naturally “tune out” in stressful situations.

Their partners on the other hand may become more “clingy” and seek emotional support in times of stress creating even greater friction between the sexes.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Combat Barbie goes back to the Army

30th September 2010

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The outgoing Miss England, nicknamed Combat Barbie, is donning her uniform again and returning to the Army after a year out as a beauty queen.

Miss Hodge, who won a bravery award in 2005 while serving in Iraq with the Royal Anglian Regiment, said: “I’m a little bit nervous because I’ve lived a different life for a year, but I’m looking forward to it because I have missed my job.

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Stem cells used to save woman’s leg

30th September 2010

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Doctors have managed to save a woman’s leg after it was broken in a hit-and-run crash, by repairing it with stem cells in a groundbreaking operation.

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Toxic Tolerance

30th September 2010

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In one of his essays a couple of years ago, El Inglés coined the phrase “deranged altruism” to describe the apparently suicidal policies practiced by virtually all Western nations. Our countries have deliberately imported millions of inassimilable foreigners, many (or most) of whom are either criminal, or indolent, or both. The new residents are showered with uncountable billions of euros, pounds, kroner, francs, and dollars — an investment which can never possibly pay for itself, no matter how many generations we wait.

A close cultural cousin to deranged altruism is an impulse that might be labeled “toxic tolerance”. This is the imperative never to offend anyone, no matter how evil, duplicitous, or exploitative they might be. We are brought up to be nice at all costs, so that the impulse to be accommodating and generous to those who do not deserve it — even when it is patently dangerous to do so — is acted upon with almost no conscious deliberation. Muslims, with their long tradition of scripturally-prescribed dishonesty, are especially adept at manipulating and exploiting our toxic tolerance.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

The Larry Summers view of airports

30th September 2010

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It’s clearly not easy, being Larry Summers. For all his millions, he still needs to travel from A to B, and keeps on finding himself stymied. First of all he lost his Harvard town car and chauffeur when he moved to Washington, and stood out there for demanding a similar car and driver in recompense for not getting the job of Fed chairman.

As an economist, Summers should know that it makes perfect sense for great resorts to spend enormous amounts of energy on the kind of quality he’s talking about: that’s their comparative advantage, the very heart of what they’re selling. Meanwhile, Summers isn’t really even the customer of the airports he’s passing through: the airlines are the customers, and the passengers are the goods being transported. So the airport doesn’t have much in the way of economic incentives to ease Summers’s way.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

GOP SCANDAL: Which Senators Are Protecting Backstabber Lisa Murkowski?

30th September 2010

The Other McCain is irate.

[Lindsey] Graham tells us that he is “OK” with Murkowski keeping her ranking status.

Worthless bastard.

Don’t hold it in, Stacy, tell us how you really feel….

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Flying gyrocopter jump-jeep gets $3m from DARPA

30th September 2010

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I suspect that they’re trying to do too much with too little, here. But I suppose it’s worth exploring.

Update: Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so.

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

Advocates Cite Purported MOVE Act Violations in Seven More States

30th September 2010

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An organization fighting to ensure that all overseas members of the U.S. military have the opportunity to vote has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder listing what it says are violations of the federal MOVE Act in two states and in multiple counties in five other states, FoxNews.com has learned.

And, of course, Holder doesn’t care — the last thing he wants is more military personnel, most of whom vote Republican (and can you blame them?), to vote in these crucial mid-term elections.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 3 Comments »

U.S. Worsens Mexican Violence by Returning Criminal Aliens to Border Cities, Mayors Say

30th September 2010

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A coalition of Mexican mayors has asked the United States to stop deporting illegal immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes in the U.S. to Mexican border cities, saying the deportations are contributing to Mexican border violence.

Well, we could always send them … where? Are we supposed to keep them in the U.S.? Send them to Afghanistan? What?

But critics in America say the Mexican lawmakers are simply trying to pass the buck to the U.S. and its taxpayers. They say the Mexicans should take responsibility for their criminals, who are putting both Mexican and American lives in danger.

Well, duh.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Reporters Freak as Ann Coulter Meets Gay GOPers

29th September 2010

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And the universe did not collapse. How odd.

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

Gold To Go ATMs dispense precious metals to the superwealthy, heading to the states this year

29th September 2010

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The devices can be found currently in the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, Bankshop in Reutlingen, Germany, The Westin Palace in Madrid, and the Orio al Serio International Airport, and they’ll be hitting Las Vegas and Florida sometime this year.

You have to distrust the motives of people who will give you real gold and take dirty paper or electrons. What do they know that you don’t?

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

Vitamin D Found to Influence Over 200 Genes, Highlighting Links to Disease

29th September 2010

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The extent to which vitamin D deficiency may increase susceptibility to a wide range of diseases is dramatically highlighted in newly published research. Scientists have mapped the points at which vitamin D interacts with our DNA — and identified over two hundred genes that it directly influences.

So remember to take your vitamins.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Dems Retreat to Bicoastal Base

29th September 2010

Michael Barone looks at the coming election.

Get an outline map showing the 50 states, and take a look at the latest poll averages from Pollster.com in each race for senator and governor. Color in the percentage (rounded off; no need for tenths) by which either the Republican or Democratic candidate is leading (I use blue for Republicans, red for Democrats) in each state.

The results are revealing, even breathtaking.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

In Praise of Frozen Vegetables

29th September 2010

Megan McArdle is always worth reading.

In many cases, frozen produce is superior to the industrially farmed stuff trucked a zillion miles to your house:  out of season, for example, you are better off baking with frozen fruit, which is picked ripe and flash frozen near to its source, than using “fresh” fruits which are picked green so that they can withstand the lengthy journey to your house.

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Wireless Voice Calls are Obsolete

29th September 2010

Scott Adams points out an inconvenient truth.

While voice calling is getting worse, texting is becoming easier. More smartphones have full keyboards. And texting isn’t the huge inconvenience that phone calls are. I explained in another post that all phone calls have a victim, i.e. the person receiving the call. You’re ALWAYS in the middle of doing something else when someone calls to yack. The worst offenders are the people in cars who don’t have satellite radio, or books on tape, and they’re just calling to make their drive less boring.

Another great advantage of texting is that it thwarts bores. Bores love voice conversations. In a pinch, they will send you overlong emails. But texting forces boring people to be brief.  How great is that?

Plus, in many cases, you can cost the other guy 25 cents any time you want to send him a message, and that’s worth more than money.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Unemployed father sells skills on ebay without setting minimum bid

29th September 2010

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This is call a ‘free market in labor’. This is what labor unions hate. The mechanism of that hate is the ‘minimum wage’. Labor unions have lots of votes, so politicians love the Minimum Wage. Of course, the people whose jobs disappear because of the Minimum Wage vote, too, so politicians take care of them with Welfare Benefits, whereby the Minimum Wage is subsidizd by the taxpayers.

But sometimes the Welfare Benefits don’t accomplish their intended goal, because Welfare Benefits come from the government, and the government always takes ten times as long and costs ten times as much when it tries to do something.

“Because of the business in France and moving back to Britain, it is likely to be four or five months before all the paperwork is sorted out and I can get access to any benefits. My money is running out and so I need to work.”

Remember that what the government giveth, the government can taketh away. But you’ve always got the free market to fall back on.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Today in Assassination News . . .

29th September 2010

Kevin Williamson is always worth reading.

I am not a lawyer, but it seems clear to me that the state of our law is such that anybody with sufficient legal training can make a reasonably strong-sounding argument for any policy he chooses, and that if his argument is wrong, it is likely to be wrong in ways that are non-obvious. The respectable legal world is large enough to contain both Glenn Greenwald and Andy McCarthy, Antonin Scalia and Craig Becker; in the vast space that separates their thinking, anything could crop up — it’s the legal equivalent of one of those blank spots on medieval maps labeled “Here Be Monsters.”

Well, I am a lawyer, and he’s exactly right.

Whatever role common sense played in the law has long since been expunged, with both lawyers and judges competing to see who can make the cleverest sophistries that money can buy rather than trying to find the truth and promote justice.

That’s why I’m not working as a lawyer; there’s a lot of money but no self-respect in that game.

But ordering the premeditated, extrajudicial killing of an American citizen in Yemen or Pakistan is no different from ordering the premeditated, extrajudicial killing of an American citizen in New York or Washington or Topeka — American citizens are American citizens, wherever they go.

Here’s where Williamson and I part ways.

An ‘American citizen’ who flees and hides in a foreign country while plotting against America is not an ‘American citizen’ except in a purely symbolic sense. (The fact that our government hasn’t taken steps to remove that citizenship merely testifies to the corruption and incompetence that seems to be emerging as the distinguishing characteristic of administrations extending back to the beginning of the twentieth century.)

One cannot legitimately claim the rights of American citizenship without being willing to shoulder the obligations of American citizenship — that way lies madness, and a country willing to ignore that distinction is merely committing suicide slowly. That is NOT why we hired these people.

And this is where I part ways with so-called ‘libertarians’ who show up in the news from time to time. (The writers and editors of tReason magazine come immediately to mind.)

They are great advocates of inalienable, irrefutable, irreformable, damned-near-invincible rights, and pay no attention to the equally legitimate rights of the potential (and actual) victims of these coddled super-citizens for whom they wring their hands so self-righteously.

The primary function of a government is to protect its citizens, and sometimes that requires doing nasty things to a minuscule subset of those citizens who constitutes a clear and present danger the rest. Where to draw that line is a hard and dangerous choice, and worthy of all the thought and humility that we can put into it; but it’s a choice that has to be made, and those who insist that it isn’t allowed are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

A Motive For Bad Web Design

29th September 2010

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See ads on the page? Chances are the publisher gets paid by the pageviews—maybe not directly, but the volume of traffic is what dictates the price of the ads. This means that to make money they have to get you to visit as many pages as possible on their site. Doesn’t matter what you do on the page, they can’t track that effectively yet, all that matters is that the ads load.

The swine.

This creates a tension between you and the publisher since the motivations for your visit differ. You’re there because you want to learn, be informed, or be entertained. The publisher wants you there because they’re making money for having you there. They make even more money when you browse more of their pages, loading more ads in the process. Their primary motive is not to teach, inform, or entertain because the visitors are not paying them for that service. Indeed, the visitors are not even the customers—the real customers are the advertisers who are purchasing eyeballs by the thousand.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

Russia is set to gain a stranglehold over fuel supplies to a crucial US airbase in Central Asia after striking a deal with the government of Kyrgyzstan

29th September 2010

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Hillary is just doing a bang-up job as Secretary of State, isn’t she?

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Sept. 29, 1920: Radio Goes Commercial

29th September 2010

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1920: The Joseph Horne department store in Pittsburgh advertises ready-made radio receivers that can pick up a local broadcast station. Commercial radio is just weeks away.

Ah, those were the days. A convenient advertisement for Supply Side Economics:

Conrad tested and tweaked his equipment for hours on end in his spare time. But his voice got tired of making constant announcements of his call letters and location, so he started playing gramophone records to give it a rest.

Sure enough, those with their own transmitters started radioing requests for specific music. Those who had only their own scratchy receivers phoned or wrote in. Conrad was radio’s first DJ, and he was building an audience.

Horne’s department store had something new in 1920: the first shipment of ready-to-use radio receivers. Nothing to build, just plug-and-play. The store placed an advertisement in the Pittsburgh Sun heralding the miracle that you could listen to music over the air:

Air concert picked up by radio here. The music was from a Victrola in the home of Frank Conrad. Mr. Conrad is a wireless enthusiast and puts on these wireless concerts periodically for the entertainment of many people in this district who have wireless sets. Amateur wireless sets are on sale here $10 and up.

The signal was building a demand for the hardware. The hardware was marketing itself with the signal.

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Six Facebook, Twitter mistakes that can get you fired

29th September 2010

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Job termination due to behavior on Facebook seems to increasingly be in the headlines. A recent survey from email security firm Proofpoint  finds seven percent of organizations have fired an employee because of activity on social media sites. Another 20 percent said employees have been disciplined over social media activity. It’s statistics like this that inspired Megale to launch his Facebook group Fired Because of Facebook.

She misses the obvious #1. Being on Facebook or Twitter.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

The Next Crisis Will Come from the States

29th September 2010

Veronique de Rugy kicks over a rock.

The looming crisis: municipal debt.

To anyone who claims that the reason state and local governments have trouble meeting their budgets is lack of revenue rather than overspending, I would suggest a look at the growth in municipal debt since 2000. According to a new report by the Meredith Whitney Advisory Group, it has doubled since then. Spending has grown much faster than revenues. And those were the good years, the years when states’ coffers were filling up quickly. Just not as fast as needed to satisfy state and local governments’ endless appetite for spending.

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Buried at Stonehenge: boy with the amber necklace

29th September 2010

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The teenager is believed to have been part of a wealthy group that travelled 1,600 miles from southern Europe to Britain, taking in the stone circle along the way.

The boy – aged 14 or 15 – had travelled to Britain from Spain, Italy, Greece or France, crossing the English Channel in a primitive wooden boat or canoe around 1550BC.

No relation to Justin Bieber … that we know of.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Europe’s antiterror message to US: Sure sucks to be you

29th September 2010

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As the threat of major terror attacks rises, the European Commission has chosen to take action.  Of a sort.  It’s about to violate its existing antiterror agreement with the United States – and in a way that will make the current threat worse.

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On which issues will we become less moral?

29th September 2010

Tyler Cowen is not afraid to ask the hard questions.

Ross Douthat considers the hoary question of which current practices we will someday condemn, linking also to Appiah, who raised it, and Will Wilkinson.  Prisons, factory farming, immigration barriers, and abortion are among the nominations.  I would suggest an alternate query, namely which practices currently considered to be outrageous will make a moral comeback in the court of public opinion?  Torture and loss of privacy — in some of its forms at least — already seem to be on the rise, at least in terms of their acceptability in the United States.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

First flight for ‘flapless’ plane

29th September 2010

Watch it.

Engineers at BAE Systems in Lancashire have developed the world’s first ”flapless” plane, which uses jets of air to control its movements rather than the flaps on its wings.

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‘Tasteless’ Iron Curtain game

29th September 2010

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The game is called 1378 KM, named after the 1,378 kilometre long Iron Curtain that stretched across Europe from 1945 to 1991.

Game players become border guards along the hated ‘inner German border’, which was pulled down 21 years ago.

Points are won by gunning down escapers in the ‘killing zone’ between east and west.

Sounds like a typical tasteless video game to me. The more people remember this crap, the better the chance of our avoiding it in the future.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Gender Equality in China

29th September 2010

Check it out.

Forward, Comrades, into a brave new world!

(AlGore, eat your heart out.)

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

How Obamacare destroyed the child-only health-insurance market.

29th September 2010

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Thanks a lot, Barry.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Colbert & Ironic Rot

29th September 2010

Jonah Goldberg has had enough.

Stephen Colbert’s “testimony” before Congress last week was a clear sign that ironic rot (if you’ve got a better term, let me know) is sinking into the foundation of our political system.

In the 1990s, Washington fell in love with Hollywood in an unprecedented way. In countless films, politicians, reporters, and pundits played themselves. There was also an influential — and occasionally funny — sitcom called Murphy Brown that jumped back and forth from make-believe to reality. Things got particularly confusing when Vice President Dan Quayle criticized the show for glamorizing out-of-wedlock births, and the show’s creators responded by having the fictional Murphy Brown whine about personal attacks on her lifestyle.

Colbert’s testimony reduced the topic to a black-and-white issue in which people on the other side are fools or bigots worthy of cheap mockery. I thought the whole point of Colbert was to stand against that sort of thing by making fun of it, not by doing it. Are our politics really improved by making congressional hearings even more of a joke? Were they truthiness-deficient?

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

Pedophiles Find a Home for Social Networking — on Facebook

29th September 2010

Read it.

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Inhofe Says EPA’s New Boiler Rule Could Kill Nearly 800,000 Manufacturing Jobs

29th September 2010

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The top Republican on a Senate environmental panel released a scathing report Tuesday that he contends shows that the Environmental Protection Agency’s new proposed rule on cleaning up boilers nationwide could devastate America’s manufacturing base and imperil hundreds of thousands of jobs without providing any real public health or environmental benefits.

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

The EPA is one of the many innovations for which Richard M. Nixon is no doubt burning in Hell.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

Magnets Able To Change The Hand You Write With

28th September 2010

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Gordon Ramsay TV chef drowns in Hudson

28th September 2010

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Joseph Cerniglia, a 39-year-old father of three, died after he jumped into the Hudson River, which separates New York and New Jersey, from the George Washington Bridge.

Mr Cerniglia appears to be the second chef to have committed suicide after appearing on one of Ramsay’s programmes, in which the UK chef delivers robust and expletive-filled judgments on restaurants and cooks.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

U.S. States Renamed for Countries With Similar GDPs

28th September 2010

An Entertaining Chart.

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China and Japan Face-Off Worsens

28th September 2010

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Ponder a war between China and Japan.

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The Hot New Thing in Biometric Security is… Ears

28th September 2010

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And yet ears are among the easiest things to alter with prosthetics or plastic surgery.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

As home-schooling moves to mainstream, stigma fades

28th September 2010

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Some good news for a change.

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

The Dead Just Keep On Voting

28th September 2010

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There are 116,000 dead eligible voters in Massachusetts.  And in Florida, one major newspaper recently investigated and reported that almost 15,000 dead Floridians are still hanging around on the election rolls – just six weeks before one of the most vicious and important election cycles in our history.  Can it be the sun?  Most States have similar statistics.  Every two years, states must report to the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) information about the integrity and accuracy of their voter rolls.  The latest report is not good news for our democracy – or our international reputation.  South Dakota, Texas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Indiana report in excess of a dozen counties with more registered voters than breathing human beings old enough to vote.  West Virginia, Maryland, Iowa and North Carolina also reported having eligible deceased voters on their rolls.  The list goes on and on.  And so does the real risk that these voters will have illegal votes registered in their names.  Close races, like the Franken/Coleman race in Minnesota can be decided on just a handful of votes.  We may have to go to purple thumbprints at this rate.  Hugo Chavez must be howling at this American disgrace.

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Australian women break record for racing in stilettos

28th September 2010

Read it. And watch the video, of course.

Gotta love Australians.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Liberalism’s Greatest Failure?

28th September 2010

Jonah Goldberg is always worth reading.

Amidst all of this talk about education this week, there’s an omission that drives me crazy. Yes, yes, the horrid state of American education is an American problem, and to that extent we’re all to blame in some abstract sort of way. But is there another major area of American public policy that is more screwed up and more completely the fault of one ideological side? Which party do the teachers’ unions support overwhelmingly? What is the ideological outlook of the bureaucrats at the Department of Education? Which party claims it “cares” more about education and demagogues any attempt by the other party to reform it? Who has controlled the large inner city school systems for generations? What is the ideological orientation of the ed school racket? Whose preferred teaching methods have been funded and whose have been ridiculed?

You know the answer to all of these questions. And yet to listen to the debate this week, you would think this is all a bipartisan problem because Republicans share the blame for refusing to fund schools enough.

There are two problems with this canard. 1) Bush and the GOP congress massively increased education spending and 2) the problems with our education system have almost nothing to do with how much money we spend.

Indeed – the more money we spend, the worse the problem gets.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Democrats and the wealthy

28th September 2010

Half Sigma is always worth reading.

… there doesn’t exist a political party in the United States today that is anti-rich. Maybe back in the 1930s. Today, Democrats love rich people. As I keep pointing out, rich people voted for Obama over McCain in the last election. Nearly all major Democratic politicians are rich people. Democratic politicians often are people who made millions of dollars in BIGLAW, Wall Street, and real estate. When a non-rich guy, like David Paterson, by some miracle becomes the governor of New York (because the previous super-rich governor, Eliot Spitzer, had to step down in disgrace), the Democrats can’t wait to replace him with the multi-millionaire Andrew Cuomo. (Normally, you’d expect Democrats to be behind a blind black guy, but I guess that affirmative action stuff is only for private industry and academia.)

The difference between Republicans (of the libertarian economist type) and Democrats is that Republicans believe a person’s wealth is nearly exactly equal to the value they created, while Democrats believe that no one’s wealth is related to the value they created. Republicans believe that the wealthy have done a better job of creating value while the Democrats believe that the wealthy have done a better job of doing the right things such as going to Harvard. Thus Democrats and Republicans alike believe that the wealthy are more deserving of being wealthy than the middle class.

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