DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for May, 2011

FDR Solicitor General Lied to Supreme Court about Japanese Internment

31st May 2011

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In Korematsu v. United States (1944), the U.S Supreme Court, packed to the hilt with 8 justices appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, upheld FDR’s notorious Executive Order 9066, which authorized the forced internment of Japanese-Americans as a matter of “military urgency” during World War II. It’s an ugly decision and the full story is even worse. As The Los Angeles Times reports, Neal Katyal, the acting solicitor general for the Obama administration, has admitted that one of his predecessors, FDR’s Solicitor General Charles Fahy, deliberately misled the Supreme Court in the case.

Well, he was a Democrat.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Prison Vouchers

31st May 2011

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In this Article, I invite the reader to indulge in a thought experiment. What would the world look like if, instead of assigning prisoners to particular prisons bureaucratically, we gave them vouchers, good for one incarceration, that they were required to redeem at a participating prison?

Many lawyers have entirely too much time on their hands. Many of these lawyers have as their day job teaching people to become lawyers. Don’t know how you feel about that, but it scares the shit out of me at times.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

‘Millionaires Control 39% of the World’s Wealth’

31st May 2011

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I declare, I don’t know what passes for journalism these days, but it’s not very impressive.

You would think, from the headline, and indeed from reading the article, that ‘millionaires’ control 39% of the world’s wealth. Right? Turns out, that’s not the case. First of all, ‘millionaire’ is just somebody who has $1 million in ‘investable assets’, which assets are ‘excluding homes, luxury goods and ownership in one’s own company’. So there’s a very good chance that Bill Gates, while being the world’s richest human being but prior to cashing out any of his Microsoft shares, wasn’t a ‘millionaire’ by this definition.

See how this trick works?

And, indeed, the so-called ‘world’s wealth’ is also limited to this same narrow definition of ‘investable assets’. And yet this supposed journalist (and you would think that somebody writing a regular column for the fargin’ Wall Street Journal would know something about journalism) immediately casts these restrictions aside and starts talking about ‘millionaires’ and the ‘world’s wealth’ in the ordinary, comprehensive sense of the terms.

As you can see from the accompanying chart, millionaires control 29% of North America’s wealth, while millionaires control about 38% of the wealth in the Middle East and Africa. While the chart makes it look like millionaire-wealth in America is more concentrated, we also have far more millionaires, so their wealth is more spread out among the millionaire population.

Well, no, they don’t. People with a million in ‘investible assets’ (and how many people have a million in ‘investable’, i.e. liquid, assets? Anywhere?) have that percentage of the world’s ‘investable assets’ — so all this tells us is the distribution of ‘investable assets’. But you wouldn’t know that from the remainder of the article.

Still, the data supports a trend we have been seeing for years: the rise of the global, winner-take-all (or most)  economy.

It doesn’t support anything of the sort. It says something that may or may not be interesting about ‘investable assets’, but doesn’t necessarily say anything at all about real wealth, much less anything about a ‘winner-take-all’ economy.

This is the sort of bait-and-switch reasoning that we’ve come to expect from ‘progressive’ demagogues (and I doubt that it’ll be more than 20 minutes before we see it in the fever swamps of The Huffington Post or The Daily Kos), but it’s very sad seeing it in the pages of the Wall Street Journal.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Government-Sponsored Discrimination Proliferates

31st May 2011

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The Congressional Research Service has issued a study entitled “Survey of Federal Laws Containing Goals, Set-Asides, Priorities, or Other Preferences Based on Race, Gender, or Ethnicity” that details 276 federal statutes that grant preferences in employment, contracting, or awarding federal benefits on the basis of membership in a preferred class (in 1995 there were 172 such statutes). The figure doesn’t include the numerous agency regulations that also discriminate in favor of preferred classes.

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

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

More Left Coast Blues

31st May 2011

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Hayward’s First Axiom of Environmental Energy is that there is no source of energy which environmentalists won’t oppose if it becomes feasible and scalable. Enviro opposition to wind power in Massachusetts is well known, but I’ve seen news accounts of as many as 70 wind-power projects that environmentalists have filed suit to delay or prevent. Now environmentalists are suing to stop a proposed 250 megawatt solar-power project on the Carizzo Plain in California.

That’s because ‘environmentalists’ don’t really want us to have ‘sustainable’ power, they want to cancel the industrial revolution and go back to depending on muscles to get anything done.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Rudolf Hess flight to Britain ‘approved by Hitler’

31st May 2011

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Rudolf Hess’s doomed flight to Britain in 1941 was approved by Adolf Hitler and was an attempt to bring the British into the war against the Soviet Union, according to a recently discovered document.

Well, you learn something new every day.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

The Watch That Watches You

31st May 2011

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For $199, the Nike Plus Sportswatch GPS is a smart watch that tells you how far you’ve gone, how fast and how often. The watch, which is powered by navigation company TomTom, also knows where you’ve been. It tells you how many calories you’ve burned and reminds you to run if you haven’t been running in a few days. Wonderfully, it also tells time.

 

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Egyptian General Defends ‘Virginity Checks’ on Protesters

31st May 2011

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Australia: Libyan student “upset” by how Australian women dress went on sexual assault spree and laughed at his victims

31st May 2011

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Tyranny leads to morally stunted people, whose internal mechanisms of self control never grow beyond responding to the threat of external punishment. Add to that the mentality that women who don’t meet some standard of modesty are fair game, as is often seen in Islamic countries (and imported into the West by characters like the “uncovered meat” Sheikh Hilali) and you get, well, this guy.

And the feminists say … [chirp...chirp...chirp]

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Egyptian sheikh says poverty in Islamic world can be solved by jihad and plundering the Infidels

31st May 2011

Read it. And watch the video.

Where did Sheikh Abi-Ishaq al-Huwayni get these ideas? Why, from Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, of course. Umar, the second caliph, said: “I advise you to fulfill Allah’s Convention (made with the Dhimmis) as it is the convention of your Prophet and the source of the livelihood of your dependents (i.e. the taxes from the Dhimmis.)” That is, subjugating the dhimmis and bleeding them dry is to be the source of the Muslims’ livelihood.

Muslims are quite up-front about the fact that their religion is a religion of parasites.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Mexico teacher sings to schoolchildren during shoot-out

31st May 2011

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A nursery school teacher in Mexico has been hailed a hero after a video showed her calmly instructing her pupils to duck and cover and sing songs as a fierce gun battle raged outside their school.

Not to take anything away from the stunning performance of this teacher, but … the tragedy is that she and her students have been placed in this position.

Then, loud bursts of gunfire break out, which local paramedics later confirmed were the sound of gunmen killing five people at a taxi stand a block from the school.

Monterrey has been plagued by a wave of drug-related violence, in which gangs linked to drug cartels have staged gunfights, blocked streets and opened fire on civilians.

Perhaps we ought to spend some of the effort we’re putting into places like Iraq and Afghanistan into solving the problem of the failed state on our southern border. It’s not going to fix itself.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Turkey celebrates 558 years of illegal occupation of Constantinople

31st May 2011

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Whenever you hear Muslims prating about ‘crusaders’, bear in mind that the crusades were an attempt to take back land and people that the Muslims stole from the Christians and Jews.

Nothing will ever equal the horror of this harrowing and terrible spectacle. People frightened by the shouting ran out of their houses and were cut down by the sword before they knew what was happening. And some were massacred in their houses where they tried to hide, and some in churches where they sought refuge. The enraged Turkish soldiers . . . gave no quarter. When they had massacred and there was no longer any resistance, they were intent on pillage and roamed through the town stealing, disrobing, pillaging, killing, raping, taking captive men, women, children, old men, young men, monks, priests, people of all sorts and conditions.

Robbery and genocide are built-in features of Islam, as Mohammed demonstrated throughout his life.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

WHEN KENNEDY BLINKED

31st May 2011

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In the 2008 presidential campaign Barack Obama served up President Kennedy’s conference with Khrushchev in Vienna in June 1961 as support for his thought that it would be a good idea for the president to meet unconditionally with leaders of the Iranian regime. As is so often the case when it comes to history, however, Obama didn’t know what he was talking about. By all accounts — and I mean all accounts — including Kennedy’s own, the Kennedy-Khrushchev summit in Vienna was a disaster. Historians continue to add to the record, but the record has been clear on this point for a very long time.

Here, of course, ‘blinked’ is a code word for ‘had it packed up his pooper’. Khruschev’s ability to roll Kennedy in Vienna directly led to the Cuban missile crisis.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

“Spiritual mentor” to Iran’s Thug-in-Chief says killing Israeli civilians allowed, suicide bombings a must

31st May 2011

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

How public education cripples our kids, and why

30th May 2011

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Boredom is the common condition of schoolteachers, and anyone who has spent time in a teachers’ lounge can vouch for the low energy, the whining, the dispirited attitudes, to be found there. When asked why they feel bored, the teachers tend to blame the kids, as you might expect. Who wouldn’t get bored teaching students who are rude and interested only in grades? If even that. Of course, teachers are themselves products of the same twelve-year compulsory school programs that so thoroughly bore their students, and as school personnel they are trapped inside structures even more rigid than those imposed upon the children. Who, then, is to blame?

By the time I finally retired in 1991, I had more than enough reason to think of our schools – with their long-term, cell-block-style, forced confinement of both students and teachers – as virtual factories of childishness. Yet I honestly could not see why they had to be that way. My own experience had revealed to me what many other teachers must learn along the way, too, yet keep to themselves for fear of reprisal: if we wanted to we could easily and inexpensively jettison the old, stupid structures and help kids take an education rather than merely receive a schooling. We could encourage the best qualities of youthfulness – curiosity, adventure, resilience, the capacity for surprising insight – simply by being more flexible about time, texts, and tests, by introducing kids to truly competent adults, and by giving each student what autonomy he or she needs in order to take a risk every now and then.

Inglis, for whom a lecture in education at Harvard is named, makes it perfectly clear that compulsory schooling on this continent was intended to be just what it had been for Prussia in the 1820s: a fifth column into the burgeoning democratic movement that threatened to give the peasants and the proletarians a voice at the bargaining table. Modern, industrialized, compulsory schooling was to make a sort of surgical incision into the prospective unity of these underclasses. Divide children by subject, by age-grading, by constant rankings on tests, and by many other more subtle means, and it was unlikely that the ignorant mass of mankind, separated in childhood, would ever reintegrate into a dangerous whole.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Coursification

30th May 2011

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What differentiates Coursification from other course management and online learning platforms is that it helps teachers offer a tailored, personalized curriculum to each student based on their performance and learning schedule. Each online course begins with a diagnostic assessment that identifies student learning gaps (specialized to the subject). After the diagnostic test, each student receives a personalized study schedule, which the teacher can simply import into the platform. The schedule is customized based on student proficiencies and the duration of the course.

At last, some attempt is being made to leverage technology to automate the educational process.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Occam’s Scimitar

30th May 2011

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PC MC is fundamentally incoherent, but since most people never examine it in detail, or even consciously, the essential irrationality never has to be addressed.

Some highlights:

  • No culture is better than another — but modern Western culture is bad, and all non-Western cultures are superior.
  • To consider the distinct characteristics of different genetic groups is racist — but white people are inherently xenophobic and intolerant compared with “brown” people.
  • Islam is a religion, not a race — but people who object to Islam are racists.
  • Violence, even in self-defense, is never justified — yet the violence of Muslims and other “brown” people must not be judged, but rather understood within its cultural context.

And so forth.

PC MC requires its adherents to practice doublethink constantly, in order to entertain all these diametrically opposed notions. All races are equal, but white people are especially bad. In order to promote equality, we must treat people unequally, with straight white men receiving the worst treatment of all.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Bangladesh woman ‘cut off attacker’s penis’

30th May 2011

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A Bangladeshi woman cut off a man’s penis during an alleged attempt to rape her and took it to a police station as evidence.

You go, girl.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

‘Help Me Bring the Weiner Hacker to Justice’

30th May 2011

Iowahawk is on the case.

I have never been much of a community activist, but I can no longer sit idly while America remains at risk of attack by the most nefarious identity thief in the history of Internet. And cheap page views are to be had.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Obama Nation: Obama Abroad

30th May 2011

Check it out.

Now that’s comedy.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Ukraine: Muslim girl stoned to death for participating in beauty contest

30th May 2011

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The fact that this was an extrajudicial killing doesn’t let Sharia off the hook. The fact that stoning is prescribed for adultery (as often as apologists might also try to deny it for non-Muslim consumption), where the murderers in this case apparently decided for themselves her actions were tantamount to adultery, doesn’t let Sharia off the hook, either.

No, the simple fact that this punishment exists in Islamic law, and Muhammad himself participated in it, means Sharia’s inherent defects where human rights are concerned have a direct bearing on this case. So does the broader sense that originates in Qur’an 4:34 that violence is an acceptable recourse against “disobedient” women.

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

On the plains of New Mexico, a band of elite marathoners tests a controversial theory of evolution: that humans can outrun the fastest animals on earth.

30th May 2011

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The pronghorn is the second-fastest animal on earth, while the men are merely elite marathon runners who are trying to verify a theory about human evolution. Some scientists believe that our ancestors evolved into endurance athletes in order to hunt quad­rupeds by running them to exhaustion. If the theory holds up, the antelope I’m watching will eventually tire and the men will catch it. Then they’ll have to decide whether to kill it for food or let it go.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Day After Joe Klein Says Obama Closer to Military Than Bush, Poll Finds Military Don’t Like Obama

30th May 2011

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Time magazine’s Joe Klein said on this weekend’s “The Chris Matthews Show” Barack Obama has a better relationship with the military than George W. Bush did.

Almost on cue, Gallup released a poll Monday finding military personnel and veterans give Obama lower marks than the rest of the population:

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

Actually, the greatest surprise is not that a Voice of the Crust would assert any expertise on what the military feel, but rather that any human being with an IQ greater than that of a carrot would believe such an assertion.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | 1 Comment »

The Weak Foundations of Arab Democracy

30th May 2011

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Note the assumption that Arabs have any interest at all in democracy. (Well, it’s the New York Times; they kinda have to assume that….)

This chronic weakness of civil society suggests that viable Arab democracies — or leaders who could govern them — will not emerge anytime soon. The more likely immediate outcome of the current turmoil is a new set of dictators or single-party regimes.

If Arabs get to vote at all, they don’t vote for the best candidate, or even for the candidate of a particular party; they vote for Uncle Achmed, on the assumption that when Uncle Achmed gets in office (and his hands on that office’s budget), he’ll pass out the patronage.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Were Quotas Inherent In Civil Rights Legislation From the Beginning?

30th May 2011

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These days, it is all about the money. The ability to dictate hiring equals the ability to come through for constituencies who have contributed many millions of dollars to the Democratic Party’s coffers. Quotas mean dollars, so they will continue unless and until the majority of Americans understand what is happening and care enough to change it.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Dallas/Fort Worth HOV lanes confusing for drivers

30th May 2011

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It’s not confusing at all. That’s what happens when government agencies get to write their priorities into your daily life, using your money.

“It is maddening to see those lanes totally empty. These HOV lanes are the only places in North Texas where there’s not a traffic jam,” said Patricia Cron, 65, who lives in north Arlington and takes Interstate 30 three to four times a week to visit her mother in northeast Dallas. “It is disappointing to me to have a fabulous new road, to see the result of that much labor, and have concrete that is virtually virgin.”

Of course, relieving congestion isn’t the point. The point is to reward favored classes with privileges at public expense. Me and my chauffer, for example, get to use the HOV lane. Not so Joe Sixpack in his pickup on his way to a job site — unless his name is Lopez and he’s got six Democrat voters crammed into the truck bed.

In Arlington, six months have passed since a $166 million Interstate 30 makeover was completed, yet a new HOV entrance installed between Cooper and Center streets as part of that project remains closed. Texas Department of Transportation officials are scrambling to fix a design flaw that has made it dangerous for drivers to switch between the HOV lane and main lanes in that area, increasing the potential for accidents.

Indeed. What’s the most frequently heard phrase on the rush-hour traffic reports? ‘HOV and left lane closed due to accident’. I’d love to see a statistical study on how much accident rates have increased since the introduction of HOV lanes.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Here’s what LAX passengers say TSA agents lost or damaged

30th May 2011

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Laptop computers are the item most often listed as lost or damaged in claim reports filed against the Transportation Security Administration at LAX, according to an analysis of TSA records.

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

At I.M.F., a Strict Ethics Code Doesn’t Apply to Top Officials

30th May 2011

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

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

1937

30th May 2011

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Obviously the last year in which Congressmen had skills other than wasting taxpayers’ money and lying to the public in order to get re-elected.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Salman Khan talk at TED 2011

29th May 2011

Watch it. That’s an order.

The future of education = individualized instruction + world-class presentation of information.

In 1996 there was a book, The Winner-Take-All Society, which explored the supposition that a key aspect of the modern world was that technology made the best performances in any human activity available to almost everybody, so nobody had to put up with crappy local performances any more. Who’s going to spend money on Benny and the Whiz-Tones when Michael Jackson is just a push-button away? Who’s going to suffer through an amateur local theater performance when the Royal Shakespeare Company is on a disk that cost less than a meal at McDonalds?

Push this out to education: All of a sudden, anybody with an internet connection can watch world-class teachers presenting knowledge in a way to which only rich kids enrolled at world-class universities used to have access.

… And the teachers would write and say, ‘We’ve used your videos to flip the classroom. You’ve given the lectures. So now what we do …’ — and this could actually happen in every classroom in America tomorrow — ‘… what I do is, I assign the lectures for homework, and what used to be homework, I now have the students doing in the classroom.’

This is huge, and will only get more and more huge.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Amazon.com lets you play with an Android virtual machine, try apps before you buy them

29th May 2011

Read it.

Ball’s in your court, Steve.

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

Cocks Without Tails

29th May 2011

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There’s a paradox buried deep within Western liberal attitudes toward Muslims, and it helps explain the otherwise incomprehensible behavior that multiculturalists exhibit when confronted with arguments, evidence, and finally proof that Islam is an aggressive ideology on the march. It will take a little digging, and several points of comparison, for me to uncover, but once I’ve done so, I hope my thoughts will help the reader deal more productively with the kind of people who are outraged by foolish stunts like Koran-burning, but blithely indifferent to suicide bombing, blasphemy laws, and the death penalty for escapees from Islam. To understand all is not to forgive all, but it can help build a bridge, across which we might be able to coax the occasional dupe back over to sanity.

Western liberals feel that as part of the upper-middle class of prosperous, First-World countries, they stand in a position of safety and strength. It seems to them—at least, they convince themselves—that members of Muslim minorities in such countries are comparatively weak. If that is true, then criticism of Islam or Muslim behavior appears in their eyes as bullying, the abuse of the weak by the strong. Their own self-images as broad-minded and magnanimous, cosmopolitan people are bolstered by acts of apparent generosity toward the weak. Indeed, their very status as members of Western elites depends on displaying such behavior—as the prestige of Renaissance Florentine bankers rested on their generosity toward the arts; that’s how they bought higher status than that city’s old nobility. To show a narrowness toward ethnic or religious minorities in the West is now a clear cultural marker that one is not in fact of the elite, but one of the lumpenproleteriat or lower-middle class philistines—whose anxiety and hostility toward the “Other” is merely a symptom of their fragile, fading standing in society.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Airborne Sound

29th May 2011

Check it out.

Massive collection of cheap sound effects.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Sesame Street and Friends ‘pumping out left wing messages’

29th May 2011

Read it.

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

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

The U.S. Postal Service Nears Collapse

29th May 2011

Read it.

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

The poster child for bureaucratic inefficiency and sclerotic uselessness, feels the wind of the scythe.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | 1 Comment »

Richard Stallman: Pro-‘Palestinian’, Anti-Israeli

29th May 2011

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I never did like Stallman. Now I know why.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Professor risks political storm over Muslim ‘inbreeding’

29th May 2011

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Prof Steve Jones, one of Britain’s most eminent scientists, has warned that the level of inbreeding among the nation’s Muslims is endangering the health of future generations.

He added: “Bradford is very inbred. There is a huge amount of cousins marrying each other there.” Research in Bradford has found that babies born to Pakistani women are twice as likely to die in their first year as babies born to white mothers, with genetic problems linked to inbreeding identified as a “significant” cause.

Studies have found that within the city, more than 70 per cent of marriages are between relations, with more than half involving first cousins.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Former Astronaut and Senator Wants to Dismantle NASA

29th May 2011

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Harrison Schmitt, a former U.S. Senator from New Mexico and Apollo Astronaut, says although “NASA’s had a good 50-year run,” it’s now time for a change.

Schmitt is proposing to start from scratch, by taking NASA’s deep space exploration efforts and putting them in a new agency. That agency, which Schmitt has dubbed the National Space Exploration Agency, or NSEA, would focus on missions to the moon and beyond.

Or, better yet, we could leave it to private enterprise, which is doing a great job without burdening the taxpayers.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Goodbye, New York State Residents are Rushing for the Exits

28th May 2011

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For more than 15 years, New York State has led the country in domestic outmigration: for every American who comes to New York, roughly two depart for other states. This outmigration slowed briefly following the onset of the Great Recession. But a new Marist poll released last week suggests that the rate is likely to increase: 36 percent of New Yorkers under 30 are planning to leave over the next five years. Why are all these people fleeing?

For one thing, according to a recent survey in Chief Executive, New York State has the second-worst business climate in the country. (Only California ranks lower.) People go where the jobs are, so when a state repels businesses, it repels residents, too. It’s also telling that in the Marist poll, 62 percent of New Yorkers planning to leave cited economic factors—including cost of living (30 percent), taxes (19 percent), and the job environment (10 percent)—as the primary reason.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

A century after his death, there is still an amazing amount to appreciate about WS Gilbert, of Gilbert and Sullivan fame.

28th May 2011

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I can’t help feeling that, here and elsewhere, Gilbert knew exactly what he was saying. “Where is Mrs Gilbert?” he once asked at the Savoy Theatre. “She’s round behind,” came the reply. “I know,” said Gilbert, “but where is she?” A member of the audience, seeing him standing in the foyer after one performance, mistook the dramatist for a commissionaire and brusquely ordered him to call him a cab. “Certainly,” said Gilbert, “you’re a four-wheeler.” “What!” exclaimed the man. “Well,” said Gilbert, “I certainly wouldn’t call you hansom.”

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

A Refrigerator that Runs Without Electricity

28th May 2011

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To give an idea of its performance, spinach that would normally wilt within hours in the African heat will last around twelve days in the pot, and items like tomatoes and peppers that normally struggle to survive a few days, now last three weeks. Aubergines (eggplants) get a life extension from just a few days to almost a month.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Bluegrass Cello

28th May 2011

Give a listen. Knowledgeable people will of course recognize this as the classic Irish tune The Little Beggar Man.

With thanks to Wheels Within Wheels.

 

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

Comedy Gold: Meghan McCain Blames Her Lousy Dating Life on Sarah Palin

28th May 2011

The Other McCain appreciates one of life’s little ironies.

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

Romney Hearts Ethanol Subsidies

28th May 2011

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That plus Romneycare means I don’t vote for Romney, not nowhere, not nohow.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Accoya Uses Chemistry Trick To Detoxify Exterior Wood Treatment Process

28th May 2011

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Most options for wood used in decks, outdoor furniture and siding are rarely entirely earth friendly, since they are often treated with heavy metals or toxic chemicals, or logged from unsustainable forests. One company is innovating in the space by altering the chemistry of the wood itself to make it weather and decay resistant.

This is really exciting stuff.

Accoya could be used in place of pressure-treated wood, although Ayala said the company sees itself as more competitive with tropical hardwoods such as teak and ipe. According to the company, Accoya wood requires less maintenance than its tropical counterparts, and comes with a 50-year warranty for wood used above ground.

I have this vision of a world full of paint-free wood.

“No natural moisture can penetrate that wood,” Halvarson said. “If you try and put a water based stain on it, it won’t take at all, but an oil based stain will wick all the way through the wood from one side to the other.” Since the wood is treated from the inside out, it can be cut and modified in a variety of ways without compromising protection.

 

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Yale, the Department of Education, and the Looming Free Speech Crisis

28th May 2011

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The only free speech at Yale is speech in line with the Politically Correct narrative embraced by the Crust. It was so when I arrived there in 1974 and has only gotten worse since.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Actually, We’re Not All in This Together

28th May 2011

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It is a small victory, I suppose, that leftists feel compelled to refer to themselves as progressives these days. But MoveOn is certainly correct that the collectivist notion of “all in this together” is central to the leftist worldview. One is reminded that the slogan of the totalitarians running the dystopia depicted in the dark, futuristic movie Brazil, was “We’re all in this together.” Here is Robert Reich, noted progressive and professor of public policy at my old alma mater, advising President Obama on how he should respond to Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan: “Obama must show America that the basic choice is between two fundamental views of this nation. Either we’re all in this together, or we’re a bunch of individuals who happen to live within these borders and are mainly on their own.”

It has been duly noted by scholars that the two great totalitarian philosophies of the 20th century, communism and fascism, had similar methodologies and similar goals, so to speak. Certainly, denigrating the importance of the individual and subsuming his or her personal interests to the greater goals of the national movement were integral to both those horrific philosophies. Yet this underlying anti-individualist, collectivist theme continues — not just on the left — in today’s political environment.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

“Evolution: Not Always a Good Thing”

27th May 2011

Freeberg has it right.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Pakistan: Christian sisters kidnapped, forced to marry a wealthy Muslim

27th May 2011

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“And the government, said Father John, ‘is complicit.'” He says that “the kidnapping of young women has become ‘common practice’, because the authorities and police are ‘puppets in the hands of extremists.'”

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Car Bailouts Left Behind Crash Victims

27th May 2011

Read it.

The company’s restructuring allowed it to wash away legal responsibility for car-accident victims who had won damages or had pending lawsuits before its bankruptcy filing. The same holds true for General Motors Co., which discarded the liabilities as part of its own $50 billion bailout and restructuring.

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