DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for March, 2011

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

31st March 2011

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Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

Wisdom. Attend.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

UK: Wind turbines ‘hit’ bat populations

31st March 2011

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Scientists found the blades of wind turbines were a major threat to bats particularly when they are migrating.

Bats are useful to farmers because they eat large numbers of crop damaging insects, reducing the amount that has to be spent on pesticides.

Gotta love that environmentally-friendly Green renewable energy.

Unless you’re a bat.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Decision on Lenin’s body needs to be made

31st March 2011

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I’m thinking, recycle it into toilet paper sounds about right.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Indian girls fall further into minority in latest census

31st March 2011

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Officials said they were alarmed at the tilting of India’s gender balance further towards boys amid growing concerns over the impact of female foeticide by families who prefer sons.

According to the census 914 girls are being born per 1,000 boys compared with 927 per 1000 in 2001. India now has 623.7 million males and 586.5 million females. Census Commissioner C. Chandramauli said the figures were a “matter of grave concern”.

China is having the same problem under it’s notorious ‘one child’ policy; like Indians, the Chinese are using gender-selective abortion to have sons rather than daughters.

Historically, when a population has more young males than young females, the result is war. Perhaps we can look forward, if that is the term, to eventual war between Indian and China — both of which are now, memorandum, nuclear powers.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

American Companies Not Hiring Even Though They Can Afford It

31st March 2011

Freeberg ponders the quality that dare not speak its name.

I’m talking about this so-called “research” people do, in which they find there is some significant difference between life in the U.S. and life abroad…they flesh it out, to such an extent that you’re pressed to come to a conclusion that there must be something different about the people who live here.

And then — they stop. They don’t define the difference. They don’t even offer a possibility. They just sort of drop it out there, like a stink bomb.

 

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

UK: Harrow teacher ‘in tears’ after pupils find topless photos

31st March 2011

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Joanne Salley, 32, is a former model and beauty queen but has taught at the leading public school for several years.

When the Cambridge graduate discovered the compromising pictures had been discovered and circulated throughout the £29,670-a-year school she was reportedly escorted home in tears.

The pictures were taken by Fiona Corthine, a fellow teacher who is head of photography.

Mrs Corthine apparently left the memory stick in a school photographic studio where it was found by an inquisitive pupil who then wasted no time in showing his friends.

Perhaps she will learn something from this little incident. Or perhaps not, in this degenerate modern age.

Posted in Whose turn is it to be the victim? | 3 Comments »

Karzai’s Reaction to the ‘Kill Team’ Photos

31st March 2011

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Karzai’s angry reaction is understandable. The deliberate killing of innocent civilians is a despicable act and a setback to winning the battle of hearts and minds. Such incidents fuel anti-American sentiments, serve Taliban and al-Qaeda propaganda, and make General Petraeus’ population-centric counterinsurgency efforts more difficult. Karzai is also right to pressure the coalition forces to do more to avoid civilian casualties in anti-Taliban air strikes. But the irony is that Karzai’s criticism of civilian casualties is only directed at the U.S. and allied forces, not against the Taliban.

According to the U.N, the Taliban were responsible for 75 percent of civilian deaths last year. Deaths caused by the Afghan government and foreign forces were 16 percent, down by 26 percent from 2009. But the public perception in Afghanistan is that U.S. troops are responsible for most of civilians killed. This is because President Karzai regularly lashes out at the United States, but refuses to blame the Taliban for civilian casualties. Government officials even do not use the term Taliban, and instead use vague terms such as “enemies of Afghanistan” and most recently “disgruntled brothers.” Indeed, in the same speech on Wednesday, Karzai thanked Taliban leader Mullah Omar, who has reportedly said that his forces are not involved in burning schools and attacking public places.

Perhaps the Let’s Spread Democracy Everywhere people will eventually realize that expecting gratitude from a Muslim is like expecting mercy from a snake. We should be destroying their ability to annoy us, and letting them do what they choose to with what’s left.

Posted in Living with Islam. | 1 Comment »

The Right & ‘Feminism’

31st March 2011

Jonah Goldberg responds to critics.

My column yesterday has generated a really interesting array of commenter, e-mail, and twitter responses. Many on the left simply think I have no standing to speak about feminism. There’s an interesting mix of identity politics and guild mentality in their arguments. Since I am a bad person who doesn’t agree with the professional feminist agenda, I can’t say anything about feminism with any credibility. Tellingly, nobody making such claims has offered anything like facts or counterarguments. They just say it is so.

Conservatism isn’t about teams and hoarding ideological chips. It is about figuring out what is right and wrong, discriminating between the enduring and the transitory. This means, as Lincoln said, that conservatism will tend toward adhering to the old and tried over the new and untried. But eventually the new and untried become the old and tried, and there’s no reason for conservatism to reject ideas proven by time simply because of their embarrassing leftist parentage.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

The fallacy of mood affiliation

31st March 2011

Tyler Cowen has some interesting thoughts.

I confess that a lot of my positions are chosen because they are most compatible with my mood of ‘grumpiness’. It certainly works for me.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Support For The Koch Brothers From An Unlikely Source: The United Steelworkers

31st March 2011

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Due to the sheer number of jobs that directly or indirectly benefit from Koch Industries, the Left’s undertaking to topple the Koch brothers and their companies may have the negative consequence of actually hurting those the Left purports to want to help—namely union workers. This has a top official with the United Steelworkers concerned.

One of the most glaring holes in the distributionist agenda is their perennial refusal to cope intellectually with production — their fight is about how to divide up a pie that apparently just drops from heaven — and so they keep shooting themselves in most of their lower body when they start agitating for ‘social justice’.

Notice that the union defense of the Koch brothers isn’t based on what’s fair or what’s best for America; it’s totally based on what’s best for union members. The essential message is ‘don’t cut off our nose to spite your face’. So principle is all well and good when only the other side is getting hurt, but another thing entirely when it comes out of the wallets of the kind of people the Left is supposedly defending.

So the problem for the advocates of a boycott against Koch is that it can only marginally hurt Koch, and the workers who are the epitome of what advanced manufacturing jobs in the United States ought to look like, would be the first casualties of a boycott. Of course, this will eventually drive a wedge between groups that are otherwise in political alignment.

In other words, don’t go pissing in the soup.

As in most such cases, ‘follow the money’ is a good rule of thumb.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Rise of the Ethnoburbs

31st March 2011

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Asians, who faced openly racist exclusion laws for nearly 80 years, huddled in Chinatowns, most of them on the West Coast. One was in Washington State, where the grandson of a house-servant would be named the first Chinese-American ambassador to China — Gary Locke. But his story is already one for the textbooks, the old route to the Asian-American Dream.

The new narrative comes from the ethnoburbs, a term coined in a 2009 book by Arizona State University professor Wei Li to describe entire cities dominated by a nonwhite ethnic group. They are suburban in look, but urban in political, culinary and educational values, attracting immigrants with advanced degrees and ready business skills.

As one would expect for somebody writing in the New York Times, Egan looks at the western U.S. from the viewpoint of a Peace Corps volunteer in the Andes, but even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Formula for perfect pancake unveiled by scientists

31st March 2011

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Dr Fairclough, a lecturer of mathematics and statistics at Wolverhampton University, has plotted the pancake’s creation down to the last detail.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

AARP Investigation Reveals Obamacare Will Enrich Non-Profit Seniors Lobby

31st March 2011

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An 18-month congressional investigation into AARP reveals that the organization stands to make more than $1 billion over the next 10 years from Obamacare, a law the seniors lobby supported despite opposition among its core constituency.

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

“AARP is most disturbed by the accusation that our support of any legislation would be done with revenue in mind,” AARP President Lee Hammond said. “AARP has long-maintained that we would gladly forgo revenue in exchange for lifetime health and financial security for all older Americans.”

And if you believe that one, they’ll tell you another one.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

AIDS vaccine in final testing

31st March 2011

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Twenty years after HIV geneticist Bette Korber first began tackling HIV, her hard work—some would say “obsession”—may be finally paying off as she and her team gear up for the first round of human trials of an HIV vaccine.

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

Bahrain hardliners to put Shia MPs on trial

30th March 2011

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Well, duh. That’s called ‘sedition’, and Muslims don’t put up with that shit the way liberals do.

I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Ex-South Africa rugby star ‘murders at least three people with an axe in revenge for gang-rape of his daughter’

30th March 2011

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A newspaper claimed the unnamed 34-year-old sportsman had launched a murderous rampage in revenge after his daughter was gang-raped and infected with HIV.

Only a Voice of the Crust could call that ‘murder’.

Meanwhile some fear the tragedy could create fresh fissures in South Africa’s fragile race relations.

The vast majority of South African rugby stars are white and it is possible the suspect could be accused of deliberately targeting black victims.

Perhaps he objected to a gang of black thugs raping and infecting his daughter. Does that come as such a surprise? It’s not as if the South African police are all that efficient at preventing — or solving — violent crimes.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Facebook finally drops “Intifada” page for promoting violence — after 350,000 sign up

30th March 2011

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Facebook’s record of pulling anti-jihad groups and leaving pro-jihad groups in place is well established. But this one was just too egregious even for the Leftist dhimmis who run Facebook.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Time to Unmask Muhammad

30th March 2011

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And past time.

To know why Islam is a mortal danger one must not only consider the Koran but also the character of Muhammad, who conceived the Koran and the entirety of Islam.

The Koran is not just a book. Muslims believe that Allah himself wrote it and that it was dictated to Muhammad in the original version, the Umm al-Kitab, which is kept on a table in heaven. Consequently one cannot argue with the contents. Who would dare to disagree with what Allah himself has written? This explains much of Muhammadan behaviour, from the violence of jihad to the hatred and persecution of Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims and apostates. What we in the West regard as abnormal, is perfectly normal for Islam.

A second insuperable problem with Islam is the figure of Muhammad. He is not just anyone. He is al-insan al-kamil, the perfect man. To become a Muslim one must pronounce the Shahada (the Muslim creed). By pronouncing the Shahada one testifies that there is no god that can be worshipped except Allah, and one testifies that Muhammad is his servant and messenger.

The Koran, and hence Allah, lays down that Muhammad’s life must be imitated. The consequences of this are horrendous and can be witnessed on a daily basis.

Those who don’t believe in the existence of Satan, or his influence in the world, need to consider carefully how to explain away Islam.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Have liberal intellectuals learned nothing from Iraq?

30th March 2011

Probably not.

So much for the hope that Iraq and Afghanistan might actually have taught the West anything lasting about trying to impose democracy at the point of a gun. Instead, it is as if Iraq, which, in the United States, was initially welcomed by most liberal internationalists and neoconservatives alike as a war of liberation, had never happened, and, instead, we have traveled backward in time. Remember those halcyon days of the late 1990s when Tony Blair was promising the world that in the future the West would fight wars in the name of its values, not just of its interests, in effect promising that the wars of the twenty-first century would be noble wars of altruism? If you don’t, well, don’t worry: If the war in Libya is any indication, you’ll have the chance to live them all over again. Of course, the catastrophe in Iraq was supposed to have sobered us, and made even the most ardent liberal interventionists realize that Pascal’s great phrase, “He who would act the angel, acts the beast,” expresses the stark truth about what we self-flatteringly call humanitarian interventions. But instead, here we go again.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Will the Durbin Amendment Stay? If So, Consumers Are Screwed.

30th March 2011

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After I wrote about Durbin’s amendment to the financial reform package, the Wall Street Journal took him on as well. The Wall Street Journal noted, “Congress’s 2009 effort to regulate credit cards shows what will happen. Do you like free checking? Enjoy it while you can, because unless you’re a high roller you will soon be paying for check-writing privileges. The price controls have also caused banks to deny credit to marginal borrowers—i.e., those with low incomes. Many have been forced out of the formal banking system and into the arms of payday lenders (if they’re lucky) and loan sharks (if they’re not). Mr. Durbin should have called his amendment the Payday Lender Empowerment Act.”

It is truly astonishing the number of nominally intelligent but actually appallingly stupid people get elected to public office. (I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and blame it on their being corrupt, but sometimes that’s a hard position to hold.)

In a nutshell, the Durbin Amendment will allow the Federal Reserve to price fix charges from banks. As a result, banks are responding with eradicating debit cards, restricting purchases, ending free checking, and driving up fees.

It was a foreseeable action by banks and one Congress can’t stop unless they get rid of the Durbin Amendment. The Senate will consider doing just that today. If the Senate fails to repeal it, say goodbye to free checking and unlimited debit card purchases.

Your tax dollars at work.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

How to become an exorcist

30th March 2011

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To become an exorcist you must be a Roman Catholic priest and have permission from your bishop to join the International Association of Exorcists.

No doubt Federal tuition assistance programs and the usual ‘diversity’ affirmative action regulations apply, so don’t get discouraged if you aren’t a priest or a Roman Catholic.

(‘International Association of Exorcists’ looks funny without ‘AFL-CIO’ after it, somehow.)

Posted in News You Can Use. | 3 Comments »

Libya: Arab revolts a boost for al-Qaeda says terrorist leader

30th March 2011

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Straight from the horse’s ass’s mouth, so to speak.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

On the frontiers of brain science

30th March 2011

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We haven’t mocked a Kennedy in a while, so I guess it’s time.

Until I read Howie Carr’s Boston Herald column this morning, I had missed the big news from Brown University. Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy has graciously accepted a two-year appointment as a visiting fellow at the Brown Institute for Brain Science, through the 2012-13 academic year.

Carr cruelly comments: “I guess the rocket-science school was full up. He is quite the scholar, of course.” Carr quotes Kennedy speaking on the floor of the House: ‘I myself have educated myself.’”

I haven’t mocked Brown (the Safety School of the Ivy League) in a while, either, so I guess it’s time for that, too.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

‘Fifty Ugliest Cars of the Past 50 Years’

30th March 2011

According to Bloomberg Businessweek.

And we all know what experts they are in cars (and ugly).

I’m not sure I agree that the Volkswagen Thing is ugly’ They were targeting a particular demographic (WWII German Staff Car Nostalgia) and I suspect they succeeded – I had a classmate in law school who was a reservist in the 101st, and he loved his.

Have to agree on the Gremlin and the Pacer, though.

But anybody who would call the DeLorean ‘ugly’ is certainly a Communist.

Posted in Think about it. | 4 Comments »

Proof positive that communism is not the solution for childhood obesity.

30th March 2011

Check it out.

So all you ‘activists’ can STFU. (Yeah, I’m lookin’ at *you*, Michelle.)

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

The current contenders for the Republican nomination are big-government pols.

30th March 2011

Michael Tanner lays it out.

Which is why Barack Obama, although he’s a walking dog turd, has a good chance of being re-elected. As my granddaddy used to say, ‘When people have a choice between a real Democrat and a half-way Democrat, they’ll pick the real Democrat every time. At least he’s honest about it.’

Hey, it worked for Clinton.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

Switch modular pocket knife

30th March 2011

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This is pretty cool.

Switch is the ultimate modular pocketknife, with 18 different attachments so you can mix and match your most frequently used tools.

No indication of which attachment will get you arrested by the TSA.

Here‘s a video review.

I must say that I’d be more impressed if the picture of the inventor didn’t make him look like the serial killer from a Stephen King movie. But that’s me.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Kitchen’s closed: Donner Lake diner to shut doors for good on Sunday due to ADA suit

30th March 2011

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Yet, like most small business owners in town, they were oblivious to the van that rolled into their parking lot roughly two years ago, driven by a man peering out a window, observing, scanning, canvassing their building and lot for imperfections. Imperfections he found and jotted down.

The man taking notes was attorney Scott Johnson, heralded and denounced for his countless Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits in California, lawsuits requiring businesses to quickly meet the federal law’s building requirements or settle through payment.

Weighing attorney fees, Gannam decided it would be cheaper to settle, and he required the Moneys make the needed upgrades as he said he’d seen other tenants do in town. But for the Moneys — who understand the law, like any other type of absolute, is only absolute if it can be paid for — the price was too high.

Note that the financial burden here was not laid on the property owner, but on the tenants who were actually running a business.

The end result? Donner Lake Kitchen — located at 13710 Donner Pass Road, just across the street from the sparkling blue Sierra lake of the same moniker — will serve up its final meal Sunday, Feb. 27, before shutting down for good.

Memorandum that the ADA was brought to you by President George H.W. Bush, who probably still thinks of it as an accomplishment.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

‘Virus-eater’ discovered in Antarctic lake

30th March 2011

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A genomic survey of the microbial life in an Antarctic lake has revealed a new virophage — a virus that attacks viruses. The discovery suggests that these life forms are more common, and have a larger role in the environment, than was once thought.

Let’s watch the race to patent it.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Emerging Asia can teach the West a lot about government

30th March 2011

The Economist is always worth reading.

Singapore. That’s all you need to know.

WHEN people talk about Singapore’s education miracle, they normally think of rows of clever young mathematicians. The hair-design and beauty-therapy training centres at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) are rather different.

Singapore is important to any study of government just now, both in the West and in Asia. That is partly because it does some things very well, in much the same way that some Scandinavian countries excel in certain fields. But it is also because there is an emerging theory about a superior Asian model of government, put forward by both despairing Western businesspeople and hubristic Asian chroniclers.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

North Carolina House Passes Anti-Community Fiber Bill

30th March 2011

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These bills have grown less popular as people became aware of them, and started to ask basic questions, like: “why should a huge corporation dictate what my town or city does with its own infrastructure?” Or: “Why should a random partisan bloviator 2,000 miles away dictate what my town or city does with its own infrastructure?” The fact is that these communities wouldn’t be putting this time and effort into infrastructure improvements if local monopolies and duopolies were meeting their needs.

Good question.

Time Warner Cable, who in most markets has the luxury of lagging on network upgrades due to limited competition, isn’t sure what to do with this “problem.” Like most large corporations unused to competition, they’ve gone the protectionist route and have spent millions lobbying North Carolina lawmakers like Rep. Marilyn Avila. As a result, well-lobbied North Carolina politicians do what well-lobbied politicians always do, and last night passed Time Warner Cable’s anti-community fiber bill with a vote of 81-37.

Your tax dollars at work … for Time-Warner.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Could thorium make nuclear power safe?

30th March 2011

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Thorium-fueled reactors are supposed to be much safer than uranium-powered ones, use far less material (1 metric ton of thorium gets as much bang as 200 metric tons of uranium, or 3.5 million metric tons of coal), produce waste that is toxic for a shorter period of time (300 years vs. uranium’s tens of thousands of years), and is hard to weaponize. In fact, thorium can even feed off of toxic plutonium waste to produce energy. And because the biggest cost in nuclear power is safety, and thorium reactors can’t melt down, argues Michael Anissimov in Accelerating Future, they will eventually be much cheaper, too.

Well, let’s see:

First, you have to get by the lobbying power of the existing companies that are set up to supply uranium fuel to nuclear plants.

And part of the reason Europe dropped the research, according to critics, is pressure from France’s uranium-based nuclear power industry.

Good luck with that.

Second, you have to get by the lobbying and we’ll-sue-your-ass power of the environmental groups, who won’t be happy until humans are extinct. Good luck with that, too.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

The Myth of the “Hate Crime” Wave Against Muslims

30th March 2011

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We’ve posted in the past about the spurious claims by CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood front groups that “hate crimes” against Muslims are increasing in the United States. When official law enforcement statistics are examined — rather than mere statements by Muslim apologists and their leftist friends — the actual incidence of such crimes is seen to be very low, and getting lower.

The sad truth is that Muslims are safer in the United States than they are in most Muslim countries.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

‘Let’s say it again: Florida’s legislators are for sale’

30th March 2011

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It is now legal in Florida for the leaders of our House and Senate, of both the Republican and Democratic parties, to operate what are laughably called “leadership funds.”

If you are an interest group in Florida, a corporation, a lobbyist seeking favor, you go to these “leadership” funds run by lawmakers …

And you pay them.

They will launder the money into local elections around the state, to keep electing more obedient followers.

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

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Obese Ohio Man Found Fused to Chair He Sat in for 2 Years

30th March 2011

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The unnamed man lived with two able-bodied roommates — including his girlfriend, who officials said fed him since he never got up — in a home in Bellaire, Ohio.

Man, how do you find a girlfriend like that? All the girlfriends I’ve ever had would have said, ‘Hey, you want food, get your lazy ass up out of that chair.’

UPDATE: Oops, he died.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

On a Senate Call, a Glimpse of Marching Orders

29th March 2011

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Moments before a conference call with reporters was scheduled to get underway on Tuesday morning, Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, apparently unaware that many of the reporters were already on the line, began to instruct his fellow senators on how to talk to reporters about the contentious budget process.

After thanking his colleagues — Barbara Boxer of California, Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, Thomas R. Carper of Delaware and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut — for doing the budget bidding for the Senate Democrats, who are facing off against the House Republicans over how to cut spending for the rest of the fiscal year, Mr. Schumer told them to portray John A. Boehner of Ohio, the speaker of the House, as painted into a box by the Tea Party, and to decry the spending cuts that he wants as extreme. “I always use the word extreme,” Mr. Schumer said. “That is what the caucus instructed me to use this week.”

A minute or two into the talking-points tutorial, though, someone apparently figured out that reporters were listening, and silence fell.

A rare glimpse of the sausage being made.

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

Want to lose weight – get a good night’s sleep

29th March 2011

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Scientists have discovered that you can double your chances of achieving your weight loss goal if you get between six and eight hours sleep a night.

Sounds like a plan.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Future Navy lasers will ‘burn incoming missiles,’ blast through ominous vessels

29th March 2011

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The United States Navy has been working on next-gen weaponry ever since the last-gen was present-gen, and if the next next-gen ever actually arrives, well… we don’t stand a chance at lasting very long. According to Wired, the Navy’s Office of Naval Research is expecting laser technology (as it relates to weaponry) to mature in the next score, and if all goes well, a free-electron laser could be mounted on a ship during the 2020s. As of now, FELs produce a 14-kilowatt beam, but that figure needs to hit 100+ in order to seriously defend a ship; unfortunately for those who adore peace, it seems we’re well on our way to having just that.

Yeah, baby.

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

Dire States

29th March 2011

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Three years after the stock market cratered in 1929, American schools suffered their own crash. School districts had managed to ride out the early years of the Great Depression; in fact, because many districts depended on property taxes, which didn’t crash as fast as income taxes, more than a few managed to increase spending.

But in the 1932–33 school year, many districts ran out of funds. With more than one in five workers unemployed, many households didn’t have the money to pay property taxes, so all of a sudden, the school boards didn’t have enough money to pay their bills. Some 2,200 schools in 11 states closed entirely—in Alabama, schools in 50 out of 67 counties shut down. Many more districts cut services or sharply reduced their hours; thousands of districts in the Midwest and South shrank the school year to fewer than 120 days.

Government activity is essentially parasitical, and you can’t get blood from a corpse. This is why it behooves you to laugh whenever a politician calls for an ‘investment’; it’s not an investment, because investments produce income; it’s just plain spending that s/he is too shy to call spending.

Politicians love to bestow goodies on their constituents, especially retirement benefits for public-sector workers—largesse that some future sucker ultimately has to pay for. Decades of this kind of behavior have left a lot of states with growing structural deficits.

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

Cuomo himself has described the process thusly: “The governor announces the budget; unions come together, put $10 million in a bank account, run television ads against the governor. The governor’s popularity drops; the governor’s knees weaken; the governor falls to one knee, collapses, makes a deal.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, over the past decade, New York’s spending has grown almost twice as fast as personal income.

Our American political system at its … finest?

Barro thinks the state may have finally hit its fiscal capacity, with businesses fleeing and the beginnings of a tax revolt in the New York City suburbs over property taxes and school costs. This has happened before—top personal-income-tax rates went up to 15 percent in the 1970s, and the result was an exodus of businesses, driven as much by middle managers outraged at their tax burdens, as by top executives incensed at the business taxes. But the governors and legislators who brought spending under control the last time around didn’t have the magnitude of pension and health-care burdens now facing the state.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money. The problem with soaking the rich is that they can stay dry someplace else much more easily than most.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Antitrust Revolving Door

29th March 2011

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Kirkland & Ellis LLP is pleased to announce a significant expansion of its already strong antitrust practice with the addition of former Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Tim Muris and his FTC Chief of Staff Christine Wilson to the Firm’s Washington, D.C., office. Muris is the only former FTC chairman with an active private practice.

No doubt.

“The enforcement experience of this group promises to provide our clients with unsurpassed insights about the regulatory environment in which they operate,” said Gene Assaf, a partner in the Washington, D.C., office who serves on Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee….

Translation: How to game the system.

Muris served as the chairman of the FTC from 2001 to 2004.

Another fine legacy from the younger Bush, the Nixon of a new generation.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

George W. Obama

29th March 2011

Daniel Pipes sings, ‘Meet the new boss … same as the old boss….’

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

New documentary explores jihad attack in Arkansas

29th March 2011

Read it. And watch the video.

“Losing our Sons” is a documentary film investigation into the first successful homegrown jihad terrorist attack on American soil. This is the story of a young African-American man from Memphis who converted to Islam, went to Yemen for terrorism training, and came back to murder a young Marine in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

One-On-One: Social Without The Media

29th March 2011

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Humans are very good at picking up all of the nonverbal signals that others give off. As good as videoconferencing is, you simply don’t get those with video or audio. All of these things, in person, add up into significant and lasting connections and impressions. I don’t think we’ll have a true long-distance in-person experience until we have fully immersive Star Trek-like holodecks.

You can also pick up some interesting diseases that way. Just sayin’.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Aussie Police probe virtual worlds for money trail

29th March 2011

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Australia’s Federal and State police forces have deployed resources to investigate virtual worlds to combat money laundering by cybercriminals.

NSW Detective Superintendent Commander Colin Dyson told iTnews at the Cards and Payments Australasia conference in Sydney today that cybercriminals were using virtual, gaming platforms to communicate and transfer funds around the globe.

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Electrons do….

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Maine governor removes pro-union mural

29th March 2011

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I guess the 1930s are finally over.

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The Disenchanted Forest

29th March 2011

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I’ve had days like that.

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Boy mauled by bear after skiing over lair

29th March 2011

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A Swedish boy has been mauled by a bear after he disturbed the hibernating animal by skiing over its lair.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

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Hyper Touch Guitar has no strings

29th March 2011

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‘Where we’re going, we don’t need strings.’

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Could church make you fat?

29th March 2011

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Fire-quenching electric forcefield backpack invented

29th March 2011

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Cademartiri and his fellow boffins at Harvard uni have tested their flame-zapping gizmo in the lab, using a 600-watt amplifier hooked up to a “wand-like probe”. This setup was apparently able to snuff out test flames “more than a foot high”. The team think that it should be possible to get similar effects with a less power-hungry system using 60W or less, raising the possibility of portable equipment.

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