DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for February, 2011

‘Firefly’ Flutters Over To Science Channel On March 6

28th February 2011

Read it.

And they’re doing them in the right order this time.

As a special treat for ‘Firefly’ fans, star of Science Channel’s ‘Sci-Fi Science,’ and the co-founder of string field theory, Dr. Michio Kaku, will be commentating on the science behind ‘Firefly’ for each episode. From terra-forming to anti-matter, Kaku will be explaining why the science fiction featured in the show really isn’t that far from “science fact.”

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Anti-Gaddafi protesters storm Berlin Libyan embassy

28th February 2011

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The unidentified protesters flashed the victory sign and shouted “God is Greatest” in Arabic as they were led away.

One protester, giving his name as Sheikh Rooky, told Reuters that the embassy staff are “on the side of the people” and condemn the “massacres happening in Libya” but fear the possible repercussions for speaking out against Gaddafi.

As opposed to the possible repercussions of speaking out for Qaddafi, I presume.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Nigeria: Muslims storm Christian village, murder mother and her four children

28th February 2011

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That’s some fine Religion o’ Peace™ you got there, Mohammed.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Debunking the Myths of Desert Storm

28th February 2011

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The problem with a totally left-wing media is that they try to re-write history to suit their agenda. As a result, we need people to keep the truth alive.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Small Nuclear War Could Reverse Global Warming for Years

28th February 2011

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A small price to pay to get AlGore to STFU.

Today, with the United States the only standing superpower, nuclear winter is little more than a nightmare. But nuclear war remains a very real threat—for instance, between developing-world nuclear powers, such as India and Pakistan.

Yeah, maybe we could solve that whole Pakistan problem, too. Win-win.

UPDATE: Some specifics are considered here.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

British Airways worker guilty of plotting to blow up plane

28th February 2011

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Rajib Karim, 31, used his position at the airline to plot an attack with Anwar al-Awlaki, a notorious radical preacher associated with al-Qaeda.

Yeah, there’s a real British name for you.

Don’t hire Muslims. ‘But that’s discrimination!’ Yeah, but it’s also good common sense.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Iran call London 2012 logo racist

28th February 2011

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Iran have protested against the already controversial logo of the 2012 Olympic Games, saying the emblem is racist and spells the word “Zion,” the ILNA news agency reported on Monday.

I am not making this up.

Sadly, neither are they.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Seeing the Past

28th February 2011

Scott Adams lets his inner socialist out to play yet again.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Jihadist planning White House rally says Obama must “embrace Islam” or be put on trial when Muslims take over U.S.

28th February 2011

Read it.

Hell, they can have him now.

Posted in Living with Islam. | 1 Comment »

The Last Doughboy

28th February 2011

George Will celebrates the last American veteran of The Great War.

Buckles never saw combat, but “I saw the results.” He seems vague about only one thing: What was the First World War about?

The First World War was also the first ‘modern war’ in which the government of the United States, under the reins of its most fascist President ever, decided to stick its nose into the sort of conflict that hitherto had been considered solely the business of the Europeans.

On June 28, 1914, an assassin’s bullet in Sarajevo killed the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian empire. The war that followed took more than 116,000 American lives — more than all of America’s wars after the Second World War. And in a sense, the First World War took many more American lives because it led to the Second World War and beyond.

Funny how Democrat Presidents seem to have a talent for getting us into these wars and shit. (Republicans are more constrained — ‘kick some wog ass and go home’ is more their style, except we seem to have lost the ability to go home afterward.) Sigh.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

What’s So Great About Being Productive?

28th February 2011

What he said.

Why do you want to be so productive? I’m serious. Take a moment and ask yourself what it is that you want that makes being productive so necessary? What makes you spend so much time and energy thinking and worrying about it?

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

What hope is there if doctors won’t respect unborn children?

28th February 2011

Melanie Phillips lays it out.

You really do have to wonder which is the more extreme effect of our politically correct culture — the way in which it brutalises people, or the way it turns them into cerebrally-challenged automatons?

Both attributes were on startling display in the latest piece of advice to emanate from no less august a body than the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

This guidance, intended for all doctors, nurses and counsellors advising women contemplating having an abortion, said such women should be told that terminating a pregnancy was safer than having a baby.

To which one can only ask: safer for whom, precisely? Not for the baby, certainly.

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NBC Mislabels Dem Mayor as ‘R’ After Providence Fires All Its School Teachers

28th February 2011

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Well, he’s obviously a Republican at heart, right? Right?

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Libyans Using Coded Dating Site Messages To Avoid Government Monitoring

28th February 2011

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‘My hovercraft is full of eels.’ means ‘The revolution starts Wednesday.’ Pass it on.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

How To Turn A Laser Into A Tractor Beam

28th February 2011

Read it.

We have the technology — or will presently.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

From an Undisclosed Motel 6 in Illinois

28th February 2011

David Kahane has some fun with the fleebaggers.

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing this from an undisclosed location (full disclosure: I’m in South Beloit, Ill.). The answer is, I’m showing my solidarity with the heroic proletarian working-class stiffs and Joe Six-Packs who make up the Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio lamister-legislator delegations, now appearing on milk cartons across the nation as your various state Gestapo goon organizations try to hunt them down. And all for the simple “crime” of answering to a higher moral authority.

For shame!

Yes, I knew it would come to this: that one day you racist, teabagging wingnuts would finally achieve your dream to outlaw the Democratic party, held since the day Abraham Lincoln took Andrew Johnson hostage as vice president, thus setting the Democrat up for impeachment. Why, Dred Scott himself did not suffer the way these good and men and women have suffered, far from their families, unable to sleep, waiting for the inevitable knock at the door. Even singing patriotic ditties such as “If I Had a Hammer,” “Joe Hill,” and “The Banana Boat Song” helps alleviate the Dostoevskian gloom only a little.

Read the whole thing.

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

Upending Our Caste System

28th February 2011

Kevin Williamson doesn’t like unions much.

Nearly 90 percent of government employees in the United States are employed at the state and local level. A very large number of them, many millions, belong to public-sector unions. State and local bureaucrats are much more likely to be unionized than federal bureaucrats — more than twice as likely, in fact; 19 percent of federal workers are unionized, but 30 percent of state workers are, and 43 percent of local workers. These are very high levels of unionization across the board — only 8 percent of private-sector workers are union members — but much, much higher at the state and local level. That is significant because, contra Polman, McCartin, and the bulk of the Democratic commentariat, these unions do not influence public policy mainly through engaging in collective bargaining. They influence it by determining the outcome of elections.

Many union critics in the past few days have referenced Stanford professor Terry M. Moe’s fascinating paper “Political Control and the Power of the Agent,” published by the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization in 2005, citing a single extraordinary fact: In the elections Professor Moe studied, union support was as valuable as incumbency in determining winners. That fact is, in and of itself, sobering: Incumbency is generally the most powerful factor in elections — short of a major scandal or similar political catastrophe, incumbents most often are relatively secure in their reelections. The fact that union support turns out to be not only as powerful a factor but, in fact, a slightly more powerful factor in the most significant contests demands a reevaluation of our fundamental thinking about who is really in charge of our state and local governments.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Those darn communists

28th February 2011

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Apparently Eric Hobsbawm is at it again.

It is a deeply puzzling thing.  The grip, that is, of Marxism on the minds of so many evidently intelligent people.  I think I understand the appeal of Marxism on the brain of the early twenty something, having suffered through it, not to mention my poor father, myself.  (That is, he suffered through my infatuation with Marxism.)  But it goes way beyond that. You have to think that if our planet were ever to be discovered by some moderately ethical star faring race, and they were able to appreciate along with everything else the history of communism and all its acolytes, the case against just sterilizing the muddy ball on which we live would be made considerably weaker.  What an appalling, nasty, weak-minded and heartless batch of insects it makes us look. And even that’s unfair to insects — ant colonies work well at least.  They don’t set up little ant gulags.  If the aliens arrive, somebody will have to make sure Hobsbawm STFU.  He merits the dubious distinction of having made scholarship a crime against humanity.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Reflections on World on Fire

28th February 2011

Bryan Caplan has some thoughts on Amy Chua’s less controversial book.

The negative side effect of free-market reforms: The market-dominant minorities disproportionately benefit, increasing popular resentment.  The negative side effect of democratization: Market-dominant minorities disproportionately suffer, because the majority finally gets a chance to legally enforce its resentment.  Pushing both reforms on developing countries simultaneously – which Chua claims the U.S. government habitually does – gives the worst of both worlds: Increasing resentment – and the opportunity to politically act upon it.  If the stars align badly enough, preaching democratic capitalism gives you Yugoslavia or Rwanda.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

20-Ton Mayonnaise Spill Shuts Down Part of Mo. Interstate

28th February 2011

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Police closed the eastbound lanes of the section of Interstate while crews worked to clean up the 40,000 lbs of mayonnaise that spilled out Saturday after the driver of the tractor-trailer lost control and drove into the median.

I’m sure Republicans are to blame somehow.

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UK, Germany fly secret missions into Libya

28th February 2011

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The secret military missions into the turbulent North Africa country signal the readiness of Western nations to disregard Libya’s territorial integrity when it comes to the safety of their citizens.

What ‘territorial integrity’? Libya is falling apart into what it was before the Italians nailed it together back in the ’30s: a bunch of tribal territories with some city-states on the Mediterranean coast sandwiched between French Algeria and British Egype (one of which is Tunisia).

As long as Qaddafi can pay his soldiers, he’ll own Tripolitania, and nobody cares what happens in Cyrenaica or Fezzan except with respect to oil. I don’t know where exactly the Libyan oil fields are located, and don’t care enough to look it up, but I’m sure Qadaffi has some, and would be willing to let go of the rest in exchange for being left alone.

And of course Obama is in full college seminar mode, poking the Europeans and saying ‘Hey, you guys really ought to be doing something about this. I’ve outlined some ideas on this whiteboard; be sure to take good notes, because this will be on the test.’

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 3 Comments »

“Why are medieval books so big?”

27th February 2011

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The question then becomes, I guess, why were medieval books the size they were?  And the answer to that is simple: medieval books were the size they were because medieval sheep were the size they were.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Why Civilizations Rise and Fall

27th February 2011

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In the Middle Ages, the Middle East was at the forefront of optics, metallurgy, and mathematics. Its largest cities, libraries, and marketplaces dwarfed those in Europe. Subsequently, over the next half millennium, the Middle East slipped behind Europe in many realms, including science and medicine, finance and business, and literacy and living standards. But just as Confucianism and Taoism could not explain China’s failures, Islam, often blamed for the Middle East’s shortcomings, raises more questions than it answers. If Islam’s supposedly retrograde system of beliefs explains the Middle East’s recent failures, what accounts for its earlier successes?

Until the 1700s, the East and the West remained politically independent of each other, regardless of which side was ahead, and neither side enjoyed unchallenged military supremacy. The last reversal, moreover, had another unique trait: self-reinforcing growth. In both regions, the level of development had been constrained for millennia by the limitations of agrarian life. Since 1700, when world trade fell under European control, the West has developed at a dramatically accelerating rate. Today, its development, as measured by Morris, is over 20 times as high as its 1700 level. The East, with some lag, has also developed to unprecedented heights: Morris calculates its level of development to be about 13 times as high as its record level before 1700.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Traditionalism in a Changing World

27th February 2011

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I feel that holiday traditions may, and often do, play a role of some determinative, even normative importance in our lives, whether we realize it or not. Thus there is value in being able conceive of and respond to them distinctly. I feel that way because traditions are deeply associated with many other things I take seriously: local engagement, cultural identity, historical memory, familial attachment, and other “communitarian” goods. These don’t constitute a perfectly indivisible bundle, of course, but “traditionalism” is a thread that runs through them and to a degree connects them. Speaking up for tradition in our economically globalized and hyper-mobile world may be essential to making a case for the communitarian perspective as a whole.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Extreme aging in the federal judiciary—and the trouble it causes.

27th February 2011

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Well, that’s the problem with lifetime appointments. The Roman Catholic Church has the same problem.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

The Urban Energy Efficiency Retrofit Challenge

27th February 2011

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‘Progressives’ and other hipsters want us all to live in dense urban cores. Well, there are problems with that….

Gas forced air is the standard heating solution for new construction in Chicago and much of the Midwest. This may not apply to the largest buildings, but certainly to single family homes and most of the new construction condos in Chicago. Being able to upgrade building systems is key to energy efficiency, because buildings are the number one source of carbon emissions. In the city of Chicago, about 70% of all carbon emissions come from buildings. And while multi-unit buildings may be inherently more efficient in some regards, they create huge challenges for upgrades because of all the shared infrastructure and lack of access to the roof, exterior walls, and utility feeds. This might not apply in some cases where there is, for example, a shared boiler where one upgrade takes care of all units. But for most new construction condos outside of high rises, I strongly suspect they were built without energy efficient furnaces and in a way that effectively precludes upgrading to current technology.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

The Stranger

27th February 2011

Bryan Caplan dispels some smoke and smudges some mirrors.

What are you morally forbidden to do to a stranger?  You may not murder him.  You may not attack him.  You may not enslave him.  Neither may you rob him.

What are you morally required to do for a stranger?  Not much.  Even if he seems hungry and asks you for food, you’re probably within your rights to refuse.  If you’ve ever been in a large city, you’ve refused to help the homeless on more than one occasion.  And even if you think you broke your moral obligation to give, your moral obligation wasn’t strong enough to let the beggar justifiably mug you.

Notice: These common-sense ethics regarding strangers, ethics that almost everyone admits, are unequivocally libertarian.  Yes, you have an obligation to leave strangers alone, but charity is optional.

One last question: What fraction of your “fellow citizens” have you actually met?  Virtually zero.  The vast majority of your countrymen are, in fact, utter strangers to you.    When you tell your kid “Don’t take rides from strangers,” you don’t make an exception for anyone who happens to share your citizenship.  Modern government – and most of political philosophy – is just a massive effort to pretend otherwise.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

It’s time to remake the House Appropriations Committee.

27th February 2011

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The overhaul must penetrate deep into the committee’s longstanding culture, in which appropriators, their professional staff, and legions of lobbyists serve as a mutually reinforcing triad bent on increasing spending today, tomorrow, and forevermore.

In The Power of the Purse, the classic 1966 study of the appropriations process, political scientist Richard F. Fenno Jr. describes a set of mores within the post–World War II House and Senate committees that would shock today’s Washington cognoscenti. Appropriators of that era, it seems, saw their primary role as fiduciaries for beleaguered taxpayers — as protectors of the purse, as it were.

During those days, committee members viewed executive-branch bureaucrats warily, sensing that bureaucrats’ primary interest was in expanding their fiefdoms. Bureaucrats, committee members knew, padded their annual budget requests well beyond what was actually required to run their programs. The primary role of appropriators, committee members believed, was to serve as a counterweight to this tendency, paring back whatever budget requests the bureaucrats submitted. Their investigative and legislative energies were directed toward saving taxpayers a few hundred thousand dollars here, a few hundred thousand there.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Does the Constitution really say that children of illegal immigrants are automatic citizens?

27th February 2011

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To Kobach, it is “nonsensical” to understand “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” as meaning anything other than that at least one of the parents must be a citizen of, or at least legally residing in, the United States. Talking about United States v. Wong Kim Ark, the Supreme Court decision in 1898 that many view as having settled that all babies born in the U.S., regardless of parenthood, are citizens, Kobach points out that Wong Kim Ark was the son of Chinese immigrants legally living in this country at the time of his birth.

“There are two very powerful reasons why I think the majority of the Supreme Court would agree with us. And one is that every ounce of evidence of original intent says that our understanding is correct,” says Kobach, remarking that the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment intended that birthright citizenship be given only to children whose parents had no allegiance to a different country.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

World’s Ocean circulations revealed by lost ship load of toy ducks

27th February 2011

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Every cloud has a silver lining.

The humble toys are part of a shipment of 29,000 packaged ducks, frogs, turtles and beavers made in China for a US firm called First Years Inc. They were in a crate that fell off the deck of a container ship during a journey across the Pacific from Hong Kong in January 1992.

Since that moment, they have bobbed tens of thousands of miles. Some washed up on the shores of Hawaii and Alaska; others have been stuck in Arctic ice. A few crossed the site near Newfoundland where the Titanic sank, and at least one is believed to have been found on a beach in Scotland.

Now the creatures, nicknamed the “Friendly Floatees” by various broadcasters who have followed their progress over the years, have been immortalised in a book titled Moby-Duck. It not only chronicles their extraordinary odyssey, and what it has taught us about currents, but also lays bare a largely ignored threat to the marine environment: the vast numbers of containers that fall off the world’s cargo ships.

Think of the PhD theses in the making here. (Hey, tenure doesn’t grow on trees, you know.)

And think of the Pulitzer Prizes awaiting the ‘journalists’ who can come up with the scariest headlines.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Survey Reveals Why High School Students Drop Out

27th February 2011

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And nobody catches on to the fact that the problem is the modern batch-processing factory-style school.

Why do students drop out?
* 47 percent of dropouts said classes weren’t interesting.
* 43 percent missed too much school and couldn’t catch up.
* 38 percent said they had too much freedom and not enough rules.
* 35 percent said they quit because they were failing.
* 32 percent said they had to get a job and earn money. 88 percent had passing grades, and 70 percent said they could have graduated if they had tried.
* 69 percent were not motivated to work hard; 66 percent would have worked harder if more had been demanded of them.

All problems that could be fixed with individualized, computer-based, self-paced instruction.

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Catholic College Fires Openly Gay Priest in Pennsylvania

27th February 2011

Read it.

What puzzles me is why a nominally Roman Catholic college would hire a heretic ‘priest’ as a teacher in the first place.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

4 Decapitated Bodies Found in Mexican Border City

27th February 2011

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Sure, let’s open up the borders — we really need more people like that in this country.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

NJ: Monmouth County’s SCAT bus drivers stage sickout

26th February 2011

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Monmouth County transportation employees staged a sickout Friday that left 174 developmentally disabled clients waiting for a bus that never came and county officials scrambling to get critically ill patients to their dialysis appointments.William K. Heine, a county spokesman, confirmed that two-thirds of workers did not come to work. Of those 25 workers, eight had a pre-approved day off. The others — 14 bus drivers and three office workers — called in sick.

Skudera said when she was told about the sickout, she assumed it was linked to the solidarity movement behind unionized workers in Wisconsin whose collective-bargaining rights are at risk.

Look for … the union label….

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UK: New mothers swap fruit vouchers for booze and cigarettes

26th February 2011

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Hundreds of thousands of new and expectant mothers are given shopping coupons worth up to £322 a year, per child, in a bid to ensure that they feed their families healthily.

The programme, which gives 600,000 women on benefits vouchers specifically for milk, fruit and vegetables, was introduced by Labour four years ago, replacing a Second World War scheme which provided only free milk.

As well as trading vouchers for alcohol and cigarettes, supermarkets and small convenience stores had allowed them to be used to pay for nappies, baby products, general groceries, bread, eggs and meat, the report found.

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

Markets work even when you don’t want them to.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

The Rise of the Adolescent Mind

26th February 2011

Victor Davis Hanson points out that the grownups aren’t in charge any more.

We live in a therapeutic age, one in which the old tragic view of our ancestors has been replaced by prolonged adolescence. Adolescents hold adult notions of consumption: they understand the comfort of a pricey car; they appreciate the status conveyed by a particular sort of handbag or sunglasses; they sense how outward consumption and refined tastes can translate into popularity and envy; and they appreciate how a slogan or world view can win acceptance among peers without worry over its validity. But they have no adult sense of acquisition, themselves not paying taxes, balancing the family budget, or worrying about household insurance, maintenance, or debt. Theirs is a world view of today or tomorrow, not of next year — or even of next week.

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Pakistan: Hindu temples turned into picnic spots, hotels

26th February 2011

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Authorities are apathetic, because as far as those authorities are concerned, these temples are offensive structures that have no right to exist in the first place.

Another example of the essential fascism of Islam. ‘Everything in the Ummah, nothing outside the Ummah, nothing against the Ummah’, to paraphrase Mussolini.

Posted in Living with Islam. | 1 Comment »

The Islamic agenda is not coexistence, but dominion.

26th February 2011

Andy McCarthy lays out some inconvenient truth.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference is the closest thing in the modern world to a caliphate. It is composed of 57 members (56 sovereign states and the Palestinian Authority), joining voices and political heft to pursue the unitary interests of the ummah, the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims. Not surprisingly, the OIC works cooperatively with the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most extensive and important Islamist organization, and one that sees itself as the vanguard of a vast, grass-roots movement — what the Brotherhood itself calls a “civilizational” movement.

Muslims are taught to think of themselves as a community, a single Muslim Nation. “I say let this land burn. I say let this land go up in smoke,” Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini famously said of his own country in 1980, even as he consolidated his power there, even as he made Iran the point of his revolutionary spear. “We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah.” Muslims were not interested in maintaining the Westphalian system of nation states. According to Khomeini, who was then regarded by East and West as Islam’s most consequential voice, any country, including his own, could be sacrificed in service of the doctrinal imperative that “Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.”

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Cryonics and Technological Inevitability

26th February 2011

Read it.

Why didn’t the Romans use hot-air balloons? They certainly had the technology.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Court Dwarfs in the Poverty Palace

26th February 2011

Roland Shirk kicks over a rock — and finds the Southern Poverty Law Center.

A group that began as Klan Watch, back when the Klan still (barely) existed, SPLC has since had to reinvent itself as an all-purpose watchdog keeping a keen eye on the activities of groups such as… Civil War Reenactors, Catholic monks, and opponents of Islamic terror. Given the happy decline into obscurity of white racist and anti-Semitic groups (anti-Zionists don’t count, no matter how many Jews they kill), SPLC has been forced to look a little harder for its targets. Since the only people outside of psych wards and tiny little compounds in Idaho who still preach the mass repression or murder of others based on religion are Muslims, and are by definition innocent, the standards for what makes a hate group will have to broadened a bit.

The alternative is too ugly to contemplate: SPLC might have to declare “victory” and go home, and its officers might have to sacrifice the six-figure incomes they earn by churning out letters that scare elderly Holocaust survivors into writing them fat checks. That money might instead be wasted on legacies to their grandchildren, when it could go to good use gold-plating the toilet fixtures on SPLC’s glittering Poverty Palace. Men like Morris Dees would have to find jobs at Starbucks.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | 1 Comment »

3 dead in assassination attempt on Mexican mayor

26th February 2011

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Sure, let’s open up the borders, we really need more of these people in the United States.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

UK: Murderers launch campaign for freedom based on their human rights

25th February 2011

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Three murderers who were expected to die in jail have launched a campaign for freedom based on their human rights and the European Court of Human Rights has agreed to hear the cases.

Jeremy Bamber, Peter Moore and Douglas Vinter – who killed 11 men between them and were each given “whole life” tariffs – claim their sentences amount to “inhuman or degrading treatment” and breach their right to a fair trial.

You knew it had to happen.

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

Solo Drivers In Los Angeles Will Soon Be Allowed To Drive In Carpool Lanes For A Fee

25th February 2011

And the frog starts to boil.

Step 1. Come up with some plausible excuse to carve off special lanes for the privileged, even though that increases congestion for everyone else. ‘Oh, we have to have carpool lanes to ecourage people to carpool and so reduce emissions and save the world.’ No mention of the fact that the extra emissions of people crawling along at five or ten miles an hour vastly outpaces any savings from the minuscule number of people who carpool.

Step 2. Don’t mention the fact that Mr Rich Liberal Democrat and his chauffeur can use the carpool lane, as can the sixteen illegal immigrants in a POS van on their way to trim hedges for same, while Joe Sixpack on his way to a construction job site can wave to them while he’s stuck in traffice.

Step 3. Once we’ve got people used to the idea of special privileged lanes, let’s charge people to use them, once again giving the Crust a way to bypass the Great Unwashed while charging people for the use of roads that were built using their tax money.

Sounds like a win-win for the government; the only loser is the ordinary middle-class taxpayer, and who cares about them?

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Barack and Michelle Obama name openly gay man as social secretary

25th February 2011

Read it.

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

This has been widely touted as ‘the first time a man has been social secretary’.

I don’t even have to say anything, do I?

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 3 Comments »

Zimbabwe Professor Arrested, Tortured For ‘Treason’ For Watching News Videos About Egypt & Tunisia

25th February 2011

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Zimbabweans are lucky they are no longer suffering under the boot of the racist white former regime Thank God for the U.N. and the international community, or who knows what kind of hell they would be living in now.

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Qaddafi didn’t need his army. He may not be the only ruler who thinks so.

25th February 2011

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Although once a soldier himself, Qaddafi has had little use for his own military. The sudden rebellion in Libya has caused the regular army in Libya to collapse. This was a feature of the army, not a bug. A recent report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies on the military balance in North Africa described the poor state of the army’s training, leadership, and logistical support. In particular the authors singled out the lopsided ratio of Libya’s weapons supplies to manpower as “militarily absurd.” Like all autocrats propped up on the tiniest sliver of support, the last thing Qaddafi would have wanted was a cohesive and functioning army patrolling Libya’s streets.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Kidlandia Personalizes Fantasy Maps For Kids

25th February 2011

Read it.

I want the Joe Biden map.

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

Restaurant Refuses To Serve TSA Agents

25th February 2011

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Apparently, a Seattle area restaurant (right near the airport) has announced that it’s refusing to serve TSA agents in protest of the way the TSA treats passengers who wish to fly.

Now that’s comedy.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | 1 Comment »

The Second-Best-Selling Book in America Costs $0.99

25th February 2011

Read it.

The second best-selling book in America, a thriller by Lisa Gardner called Alone, was first published in hardback in 2005, when it cost $25. Now you can pick it up for just $0.99–but only as an ebook. And its ebook sales are the sole reason it is now topping bestseller lists.

So the key to the best-seller list is to cut the price to the bone. The benefit to the reader is obvious. The benefit to the author is almost as plain: Selling an e-book has virtually no marginal cost — you give them a copy of some bits, which costs you next to nothing, and they give you real money (well, if government fiat currency counts as real money); the more copies you sell, the more revenue you get to spread your fixed costs over.

And hitting the NYT best-seller list is the surest route to big advances and publicity budgets, which means better sales for subsequent books.

Anyone who pays attention to Apple’s App store has seen this tactic before: game developers regularly discount older titles to $0.99 in hopes of climbing the charts — the idea is that they make up on volume what they lose on each sale, because a buck is the magic price point at which impulse buys occur. Plus, getting onto the most-downloaded list, whether you’re selling an app or a book, generates enormous amounts of additional sales.

I’m surprised that it’s taken these people this long to figure it out.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Castrating the Military

25th February 2011

John Derbyshire, Patron Saint of Dyspepsia, lets loose.

Our nation’s actual military is ahead of VMI in these matters. They are aiming for an organization that exists not to fight wars, still less—heaven forbid!—to win them, but to celebrate diversity.

Most Americans first heard news of this development on November 8, 2009, when General George Casey, reacting to the Fort Hood shooting, told a TV interviewer: “As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.” We were further enlightened shortly afterward on learning that Fort Hood, like most US military bases, is a gun-free zone.

Turning military bases into gun-free zones is merely a rest stop along the road to making them testosterone-free zones. That in turn appears to be part of a scheme to fold the military into our culture of grievance, complaint, “rights,” and teeming swarms of lawyers stripping all the sense and virtue from the populace like locusts on wheat. A correspondent who knows the territory tells me: “Guys who served a single tour will get out and join the post office where veterans get very preferential treatment. Then they retire from the post office and head over to the VA claiming service-related handicaps.”

Hey, military men have government jobs, too.

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