DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for December, 2011

Doctors Discover Copyright Law: Cognitive Screening Test Killed Over Infringement Claims

31st December 2011

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We’ve certainly talked about how ridiculous patents have gotten in the way of health care professionals and doctors providing the best care they can. Beyond basic things like gene patents, the idea that diagnostic tests are patentable is somewhat horrifying for anyone with any sense of decency when it comes to trying to keep people healthy. But, apparently the issue doesn’t stop there, and the medical community is suddenly grappling with some doctors using aggressive copyright enforcement to block competing diagnostic tests from being available.

As I shall ever maintain, the whole concept of ‘intellectual property’ is bogus.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

How Women Are Like the Vietnam War

31st December 2011

An Informative Graph.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

2011: The Year the Wheels Fell Off

31st December 2011

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Not a very good year for the dyspeptic.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

UK: College ‘Sacked Head and Wife for Being White Christians’

31st December 2011

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Professor Malory Nye, 47, claims he was dismissed from his job at the Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education in Dundee, Scotland, because its hierarchy viewed his race and religion as a threat to its Muslim values.

His wife Isabel Campbell-Nye, 42, alleges she was also forced out of her position as head of the college’s English language centre because she brought in too many students who were not Muslims or Arabs.

A rather pointed reminder that ‘diversity’ is not a Muslim value.

  1. Thank God you don’t live in Britain.
  2. Without eternal vigilance, it could happen here. Probably in Dearborn.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Annals of Government Medicine

31st December 2011

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Britain’s National Health Service has taken a lot of heat because patients often wait a year or more for operations, and many die in the meantime. The NHS could have responded to this criticism by making its operations more efficient so that waiting times could be reduced, like a private company would, for fear of losing business to competitors. But in government medicine, such incentives are lacking. So the NHS did the next best thing: it started rotating people out of the hospital prematurely to make room for new patients, thereby reducing the new patients’ waiting time, but increasing the likelihood that the prior round of patients would need to return.

Surely the Obamassiah can bring the blessings of this excellent system to his grateful worshipers in America?

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Rick Santorum, Earmarxists, and the Pro-Life Statist

31st December 2011

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Rick Santorum is a pro-life statist. My friend Ned Ryun introduced me to the term and his post on pro-life statists written in the wake of Congressman Mark Souder’s resignation sums up every issue I have with Rick Santorum.

I dearly love the term ‘earmarxist’.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Britain’s Ministry of Defense Using Video Game Tech to Increase Combat Simulation Realism

31st December 2011

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I was wondering when some country would start doing this. Given Britain’s money troubles, it makes sense.

Unfortunately, this sort of ‘training’ don’t produce the reflexes and muscle memory that live training does.

But I suppose it’s better than nothing.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Taliban Jihadi in Afghan Army Murders Two French Soldiers

30th December 2011

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As I have said many times in the context of many similar incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no reliable way to distinguish a peaceful Muslim from a jihadist. This is yet more fruit of the unwillingness to make even a cursory attempt to take that fact into account.

Indeed, a ‘peaceful’ Muslim is by definition a ‘bad’ Muslim, because jihad is a mandatory obligation on all Muslims.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Somalia: “Alarming Increase” in Women and Girls Who Have Been Raped as Spoils of War

30th December 2011

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The Qur’an sanctions sex with captive and slave women: “And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you” (4:24). Al-Shabaab is acting barbarically, but as far as they are concerned, they are acting within their rights and not forbidding what Allah has made lawful. They are not at all alone among Muslims in endorsing or engaging in this behavior.

Is it not interesting how many things are explicitly allowed Muslims by the Koran that would be hanging offenses in a more civilized culture? Must be that damned Islamophobia again.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Freedom Failed: Birmingham’s Edge 12 Movie Theater Closes Early on Christmas Because 400 Black People Riot

30th December 2011

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Oh, yeah, diversity. Great stuff, ain’t it?

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 3 Comments »

Barack Obama and Family Go Snorkelling in Hawaii

30th December 2011

At your expense.

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

Chapter and Verse

30th December 2011

Gates of Vienna cites its sources.

The source I cited was ’Umdat al-salik wa ’uddat al-nasik, or The reliance of the traveller and tools of the worshipper. It is usually referred to as Reliance of the Traveller when quoted in English. My references were from the Revised Edition (published 1991, revised 1994), which is billed as “The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law ’Umdat al-Salik by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 769/1368) in Arabic with Facing English Text, Commentary, and Appendices”, edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. The publisher is listed as amana publications in Beltsville, Maryland.

The book is considered an authoritative source on Sunni Islamic law because it is certified as such by Al-Azhar University in Cairo. There is no higher authority on Sunni Islamic doctrine than Al-Azhar. To give the book additional gravitas, it has also been certified as an authoritative source of Islamic law by the governments of Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.

Reliance of the Traveller is thus a useful tool for us “Islamophobes”, since no Muslim can credibly assert that it does not represent the “true Islam”.

I have a copy. It makes for interesting reading. You ought to get a copy, too. It’s not that expensive, less than $26 at Amazon — a cheap price to pay for the enemy’s playbook.

Under sharia, all human actions are either halal (permitted) or haram (forbidden). If the Koran mentions an action as having either status, that codifies it completely. Similarly, if the sayings of Mohammed (in the hadith) mention an action with approval or disapproval, it is codified in the law as halal or haram respectively.

Since Mohammed was the perfect man, whose life serves as an example for all Muslims to emulate, an action becomes automatically halal if Mohammed is known to have engaged in it. This is why beheading Jews or marrying nine-year-old girls is legal under sharia.

You can run, but you can’t hide.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Repo Men

30th December 2011

Kevin Williamson shows the wires that make Obama & Co. twitch.

For a few measly millions, Wall Street not only bought itself a president, but got the start-up firm of B. H. Obama & Co. LLC to throw a cabinet into the deal, too — on remarkably generous terms. President Obama, for a guy prone to delivering prim and smug little homilies denouncing greed, greed, greed — the only of the seven deadly sins that truly offends Democrats (though Mrs. Obama has done some desultory work on gluttony) — is strangely comfortable among the Gordon Gekkos of this world. Shall we have a partial roll call? Beat the drum slowly and call out the names: With unemployment still topping 9 percent, the catastatic world economy teetering on the brink of another, even larger financial catastrophe, and trillion-dollar U.S. deficits as far as the green-shaded eye can see, let’s hear it for Obama’s first National Economic Council director, Lawrence Summers (of hedge-fund giant D. E. Shaw and venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz), who has had some nice paydays courtesy of Lehman Bros., JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup. Let’s hear it for Citigroup’s Michael Froman, deputy assistant to the president and deputy national-security adviser for international economic affairs, for Hartford Financial’s Neal Wolin, deputy Treasury secretary, for JPMorgan’s William Daley, Obama’s chief of staff, and for his predecessor, Rahm Emanuel of Wasserstein Perella. Let’s hear it for Fannie Mae’s Tom Donilon, national-security adviser. (No, seriously: One of the luminous interstellar geniuses who brought Fannie Mae to its current aphotic state of affairs, upside down to the tune of trillions of dollars, is running national security, and the former director of the White House Military Office, Louis Caldera, was on the board of IndyMac when it finally went toes up — sleep tight, America!) And, lest we forget, let’s have three big, sloppy cheers for economic-transition team leaders Robert Rubin (Goldman Sachs, Citigroup) and folksy tax enthusiast/ghoulish billionaire vulture Warren Buffett.

That’s a pretty fantastic lineup, from Wall Street’s point of view, but the real bonus turned out to be Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, who came up through the ranks as part of the bipartisan Robert Rubin–Hank Paulson–Citigroup–Goldman Sachs cabal. Geithner, a government-and-academe man from way back, never really worked on Wall Street, though he once was offered a gig as CEO of Citigroup, which apparently thought he did an outstanding job as chairman of the New York Fed, where one of his main tasks was regulating Citigroup — until it collapsed into the yawning suckhole of its own cavernous ineptitude, at which point Geithner’s main job became shoveling tens of billions of federal dollars into Citigroup, in an ingeniously structured investment that allowed the government to buy a 27 percent share in the bank, for which it paid more than the entire market value of the bank. If you can’t figure out why you’d pay 100-plus percent of a bank’s value for 27 percent of it, then you just don’t understand high finance or high politics.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

“The Police Have No Obligation To Protect You. Yes, Really.”

30th December 2011

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So why do you pay taxes? Ask Obama — after all, he’s The Smartest Guy In The Room™.

(Two words: ‘concealed carry’)

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Pick-pocketed in Peckham

30th December 2011

John Derbyshire chronicles the rapid slide of Britain into the ranks of failed states.

The late Sam Francis gave us the invaluable term “anarcho-tyranny” to describe that state of society in which “we refuse to control real criminals (that’s the anarchy) so we control the innocent (that’s the tyranny).”

 

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Ode to the Welfare State

30th December 2011

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There is nothing new under the sun.

 

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99 Percent? Top 25 Occupy Wall Street Backers Worth Over $4 Billion

30th December 2011

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Occupy Wall Street attacks income inequality and the richest 1 percent, adopting as its slogan ”we are the 99 percent.” In October, its protesters staged a ”millionaires march” in New York City, parading to the homes of wealthy citizens such as Rupert Murdoch and David Koch. But only some riches bother the Occupiers, who have ignored the massive wealth of celebrities in their own ranks.

The top 25 richest celebrities supporting Occupy Wall Street, according to the website Celebrity Net Worth, possess a combined net worth just over $4 billion.

While JP Morgan and Chase banker Jamie Dimon (worth $200 million) was one of the targets of the ”millionaires march,” he has a net worth less than five of the celebrities supporting OWS.

I may need a new category: ‘Posturing Watch’

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

Most Top Donors Lean Blue

30th December 2011

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It isn’t until you get to #19 on the list that you hit one that leans Republican.

After all, Republicans are the Party of the Rich™. Everybody knows that.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Preventive Care: It’s Free, Except When It’s Not

30th December 2011

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Bill Dunphy thought his colonoscopy would be free.

His insurance company told him it would be covered 100 percent, with no copayment from him and no charge against his deductible. The nation’s 1-year-old health law requires most insurance plans to cover all costs for preventive care including colon cancer screening. So Dunphy had the procedure in April.

Then the bill arrived: $1,100.

Otter Obama to America: ‘You fucked up! You trusted us!’

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

Giant Crocodile Steals Lawn Mower at Australian Reptile Park

30th December 2011

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A giant saltwater crocodile named Elvis with an apparent affinity for household machinery charged at an Australian reptile park worker before stealing his lawn mower.

Gotta love Australians.

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Welcome to Londonistan: Hidden Tide of ‘Honour’ Violence in Britain’s Communities

30th December 2011

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The number of women from Britain’s ethnic communities coming forward to report so-called “honour” attacks has more than doubled in three years, new figures show.

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

The Establishment Moves Rightward

30th December 2011

Jonah Goldberg wakes up.

I’ve made a disturbing discovery: I am a member of the conservative “establishment.” I feel like Michael Douglas at the end of Falling Down: “I’m the bad guy?”

In a world where Ron Paul is considered a serious candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination, anything is possible.

Largely in response to the real and perceived excesses of the Bush years and the overreach of the Obama administration, the base has become more populist. In particular, the rank and file of the GOP and the conservative movement have become deeply disenchanted with what they see as the rubber-spined, foot-dragging quislings drinking from a trough of Chablis at some Georgetown party. The term “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) has become an epithet of ideological enforcement, spit out in much the same way Mao cursed “running dog capitalists.”

I’m good with that.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Welcome to Londonistan: Sharia in Action

30th December 2011

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As Muslims never tire of reminding us, Islam is not just a religion; it’s an “entire way of life”.

The technical term for which is ‘totalitarian’.

For example, from the authoritative source on Sunni Islamic law ’Umdat al-salik wa ’uddat al-nasik, or The reliance of the traveller and tools of the worshipper — commonly referred to as Reliance of the Traveller when cited in English — we learn this useful information (from Book O, “Justice”):

o1.2 The following are not subject to retaliation:

[…]

(2)

a Muslim for killing a non-Muslim;

[…]

(4)

a father or mother (or their fathers of mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring; …

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Fight the (Imaginary) Power

30th December 2011

Steve Sailor looks at literature.

The more popular it is to worry over some organized threat, the less of a danger it likely is in reality. After all, if some group or institution was truly fearsome, most people would either be terrified into silence or admiration.

However, actual pagans traditionally complained that Christianity was too female-friendly. But Brown is practically Edward Gibbon compared to his successor as a global publishing sensation, the late Stieg Larsson, author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (or as it was originally titled in Sweden, Men Who Hate Women). Himself a hate-filled lefty nerd, Larsson concocted an elaborate fantasy world for true believers in the conventional wisdom.

You may have somehow garnered the impression that Sweden is a politically correct social democracy where the main problems women face (qua women) are oppression and rape at the hands of Muslim immigrants whose traditional misogyny is sometimes excused in the name of multicultural sensitivity. Otherwise, Scandinavia would appear to be a feminist utopia. As WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, currently appealing against extradition to Sweden on “sex-by-surprise” charges filed by two women scorned, has complained, “Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism.”

Very few Americans go to subtitled foreign films anymore; thus, the Swedish adaptations of Larsson’s books were the three top foreign-language box-office films of 2010. I was at the local art-house cinema in 2010 when the third thriller debuted, and it looked like Twilight for the elderly. The lobby was jammed with shuffling octogenarians. The restroom lines were moving so slowly that I fear many Larsson fans may have missed their favorite sexual-torture and sadistic-revenge scenes.

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

The 9 Oddest Job Interview Questions Asked at Tech Companies in 2011

30th December 2011

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Being a software developer pretty much uses the same skillset as a good police detective. One useful question, not on this list, is whether the candidate reads murder-mystery fiction for fun.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Another Record-Breaking Federal Register? Federal Regulations Surge in 2011

30th December 2011

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This morning’s edition topped out at a rather incredible 81,245 pages for the year, with three days left for Uncle Sam to rack up still more mandates in 2011.

This is notable, because nominally, tomorrow’s Federal Register stands to surpass last year’s all-time high of 81,405. Each year I assemble such facts and figures about the regulatory state in Ten Thousand Commandments, and nothing is improving, at a time in our economic history when things need badly to improve.

There used to be a saying, ‘The only thing that saves us is that we don’t get all the government we pay for’. When the government is borrowing at the current rate, however, that may not be a comfort.

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

Health Care Principles and Problems

30th December 2011

Jerry Pournelle speaks some inconvenient truth.

Any discussion of conservative principles and health care has to begin with some facts. One of those facts is that the courts have in essence nationalized a form of universal health care: they have decreed that emergency rooms cannot turn people away for lack of insurance or other means to pay for the treatment they demand. Moreover, there is, I think, a general consensus among the American People that the spirit of this mandate is acceptable: people should not die in hospital waiting rooms while trying to prove they can pay. Of course that seldom happens, and often the treatment demanded is not urgently needed, but we are agreed that people ought not be denied emergency care.

That simple principle works with some populations with strong moral and ethical principles that include limits on what they think they are entitled to. It works in many American communities to this day. It may work in Massachusetts for all I know. It does not work in Southern California, where eleven hospitals have closed their emergency rooms, and the once world class trauma center network we had is nearly forgotten. The hospitals close their emergency rooms because they can’t afford to keep them open: the alternative would be to close the whole hospital. (Another alternative, triage in the waiting room doesn’t work and subjects the hospitals to crippling law suits. The Courts in essence won’t permit it.)

And that is the essence of the “health insurance problem.” Insurance is not welfare, and requiring equal premiums for all insured – granting the ‘right’ to insurance for those with pre-conditions at the same premium as those in good health – is not insurance at all. The obvious strategy for those with crippling pre-conditions is to buy the insurance, while for those in good health it makes sense to buy no insurance at all until symptoms appear, then rush out and buy it. Given that rational economic strategy of the customers, the obvious rational strategy of insurance companies is to declare bankruptcy, and for their executives to get into some other line of work, possibly as welfare administrators.

The reductio ad absurdam of this process is something like the National Health Service in Britain, where health care is a universal right, health care workers are employees of the government, and everything is as efficient and cost-effective as the United States Postal Services. Whenever the government gets involved, the process becomes politicized, and what’s right perforce gives way to the outcome of political power relationships. The poster child for this is Detroit, that bastion of civilizational success.

Health Insurance became widespread largely because it was a way for employers to compete for good workers during a labor shortage in a time of wage controls: the business could deduct the insurance payments as a cost of doing business, while the insurance benefit was not taxed as income for the laborer. The result was widespread insurance among the employed, and that led to the situation of establishing one’s insurance status when being admitted to hospital – and that led to the horror stories of people dying in the waiting room while filling out forms. And that made health insurance a political problem.

But the political problem never really addressed the question: Who must pay for what? What are you obligated to pay for my health problems?

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Congress Gets Richer as Voters Struggle

30th December 2011

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The wealth gap between members of Congress and ordinary Americans is growing larger, with nearly half of all lawmakers now worth more than one million dollars, according to US media reports Tuesday.

US lawmakers are increasingly likely to be multimillionaires and are on average nine times richer than the other Americans, according to data made available to the New York Times and Washington Post.

‘Occupy Wall Street’? How about ‘Occupy K Street’? (But, of course, the Crust wouldn’t allow their Useful Idiots to do that….)

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Islamic Honor Killing in Texas: “Santa” Who Murdered Family on Christmas Morning Was Muslim Who Didn’t Like His Daughter Dating a Non-Muslim

30th December 2011

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Aziz Yazdanpanah, a Muslim, didn’t like his daughter’s non-Muslim boyfriend and was exhibiting stalker behavior. “She couldn’t date at all until she was a certain age, but when he was going to let her date she couldn’t date anyone outside of their race or religion.”

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

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

 

Posted in Living with Islam. | 1 Comment »

The Five Worst Op-Eds of 2011

30th December 2011

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Like their earth-mother Ayn Rand, the arrested adolescents at tReason magazine have a finely-honed bullshit detector.

Starring Thomas Friedman, Peter Beinart, Bret Stephens, David Brooks, and Simon Winchester, all certifiable Voices of the Crust.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Car Owner Takes Legal Fight Away from Lawyers

30th December 2011

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Heather Peters is an angry consumer who knows she has little chance of winning a war with Honda Motor Co. and its army of high-priced lawyers.

The Los Angeles resident is miffed that her 2006 Honda Civic hybrid doesn’t get its claimed fuel economy. And she isn’t satisfied with a proposed class-action lawsuit settlement that would give trial lawyers $8.5 million while Civic owners would get as little as $100 and rebate coupons for the purchase of a new vehicle.

Barring lawyers from courtrooms could lead to the same counter-intuitive but positive results as removing traffic signals and signs from roads and intersections.

If she’s successful in getting others to follow her example, Peters could inspire a whole new litigation strategy in the auto industry and other businesses. Working together but filing lawsuits independently, consumers could force companies to go mano a mano with individual plaintiffs in far-flung courtrooms nationwide.

Call it a small-claims flash mob.

Look for legislators (the best that money can buy, and most of them lawyers themselves) to run, not walk, to ban this ‘loophole’.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

The Family in Upheaval

30th December 2011

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Everyone knows that the intensification of work in the global economy and the erosion of the male-breadwinner family have created a crisis for parents organizing child care and couples trying to juggle work and married life. But what most people don’t realize is that the male-breadwinner family was invented only 150 years ago, to solve an earlier crisis of work, marriage and family life. The current crisis is as broad as its predecessor, and its ultimate resolution no more predictable now than the future was understandable in the mid-19th century.

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Saudi Arabia: Nigerian Man’s Hand Amputated for Theft

30th December 2011

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Perhaps they could work a deal with Minnesota to police the Mall of America.

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Riot at the Mall of America

30th December 2011

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Notice that this sort of thing happens in blue states like Minnesota, not red states like Texas.

Notice also that the rioters were not white people. Deduce from that what you will.

The moral, I suppose, is that civilization faces various threats against which we do not yet have adequate antidotes.

Other than, oh, say, armed citizens who would quell such riots before they properly begin. As sometimes happens in, oh, red states like Texas.

Minnesota has a shall-issue concealed carry law that’s worked well, despite the metro DFL’s prediction of street bloodbaths. But the law does allow establishments to ban concealed carry, and the Mall of America does so. Which is one reason I rarely go there. I figure I can go other places that choose not to make me an easy target.

The problem with leaving such civil disorders for the police to handle is that when police aren’t on hand you have no recourse. It’s difficult for a corpse to get much satisfaction from suing some gang-banger who’s probably on welfare anyway.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Seven Devastating Facts About 2012

30th December 2011

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As we enter 2012, the presidential candidates would do well to wrap their minds and messages around these seven mathematical facts:

Every day, the U.S. government takes in $6 billion and spends $10 billion.  This means that every day the federal government spends $4 billion more dollars than it has.
The real unemployment rate is a jaw-dropping 11 percent.
Every fifth man you pass on your way to work is now out of work.
College graduates are now 34% less likely to find a job under Obama than they were under President George W. Bush.
Every seventh person you pass on the sidewalk now relies on food stamps.
The ravages of the Obama economy now mean that more Americans live under the federal poverty line than at any time in U.S. history since records have been kept.
Under President Barack Obama, every fifth child in America now lives in poverty.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

The “Progressive” Label Is Back in Vogue

30th December 2011

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If the progressive label seems less radical today, it is only because progressivism is less well known than its liberal progeny. It was initially an academic phenomenon far removed from American politics. Particularly in the post–Civil War American university, professors — many of whom had obtained their graduate training in German universities, and whose thought reflected the “intoxicating effect of the undiluted Hegelian philosophy upon the American mind,” as progressive Charles Merriam once put it — articulated a critique of America that was as deep as it was wide. It began with a conscious rejection of the natural-rights principles of the American founding and the promotion of a new understanding of freedom, history, and the state in their stead. From this foundation, the progressives then criticized virtually every aspect of our traditional way of life, recommending reforms or “social reorganization” on a sweeping scale, the primary engine of which was to be a new, “positive” role for the state. As the progressives’ influence in the academy increased, and growing numbers of their students sallied forth into all aspects of endeavor, this intellectual transformation gradually began to reshape the broader American mind, and, in time, American political practice. “A new regime in thought,” as Eldon Eisenach writes, “began to become a new regime in power.”

Like Ely and many of his fellow progressive academics, Dewey initially embraced the term “socialism” to describe his social theory. Only after realizing how damaging the name was to the socialist cause did he, like other progressives, begin to avoid it. In the early 1930s, accordingly, Dewey begged the Socialist party, of which he was a longtime member, to change its name. “The greatest handicap from which special measures favored by the Socialists suffer,” Dewey declared, “is that they are advanced by the Socialist party as Socialism. The prejudice against the name may be a regrettable prejudice but its influence is so powerful that it is much more reasonable to imagine all but the most dogmatic Socialists joining a new party than to imagine any considerable part of the American people going over to them.”

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UK: ‘Deep in the forest, I wait expectantly for my prey – the secretive wild boar’

30th December 2011

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The last time the animal we are looking for was spotted in significant numbers was in in the Middle Ages, rootling through the deep-pile oak leaf carpet of the forest floor, just before it was hunted to extinction.

But three populations of wild boar have now become established in Britain, following their escape from farms which breed them for their excellent meat. While the ferocious creatures of lore have a tendency to burst from the undergrowth, the sounders – or boar families – of Sussex and Dorset live mostly peaceful, retired lives, keeping out of sight of poachers.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 3 Comments »

Flying Windmills

30th December 2011

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The 120-pound craft has rotors on its wings to lift it into the sky helicopter-style; a thin tether attaches it to a platform. Once in the air, the craft begins to glide like a kite, its 26-foot wingspan tracing circles 250 feet overhead. Now the propellers become generators, spinning freely and generating electricity that flows down the taut tether—and, someday, into the local grid.

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Exoneree’s Ex-Wife Takes Him to Court For a Piece of the Millions He Got From the State

30th December 2011

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This week, ex-wife Traci Tucker will ask a jury for a portion of Phillips’s millions. It’s what legal experts call a “case of first impression.” There is exactly zero case law regarding what, if anything, a former spouse is owed if an innocent man gets convicted and the state compensates him handsomely for his troubles. The two were married for 10 years, almost all of it during his imprisonment. Phillips says he didn’t see much of his wife after the first three years on the inside. They divorced in 1991. “She’s been with a guy for 20, 25 years,” Phillips tells Unfair Park. “They’re married and have a child now. She didn’t do that time. She didn’t visit me down in prison or take care of me.”

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Plano, Texas, Tops List of America’s Safest Cities

30th December 2011

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We don’t have many Democrats, for one thing.

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Shark Left Beached After Attack by Killer Whale

30th December 2011

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The killer whale, also known as an orca, appeared to be herding the sharks towards the beach at Tuatapere’s Blue Cliffs which is popular for fishing and swimming.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

How to Handel Christmas

29th December 2011

Watch it.

 

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

Institutional Memory and Reverse Smuggling

29th December 2011

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I worked for several decades at a large petrochemical company. In the early 1980s, we designed and built a plant that refines some hydrocarbon type stuff into other hydrocarbon type stuff. Over the next thirty years, institutional memory of this plant faded to a dim recollection. Oh, it still operates, and still makes money for the firm. Day to day maintenance is performed, and the skilled local crew is familiar with the controls, valves, safety systems, and other such.

But the company has forgotten how it really works.

Posted in Think about it. | 3 Comments »

9 Signs the World Will End in 2012

29th December 2011

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Just in case you were wondering. I know I was.

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Canadian Tourists Find Severed Human Leg Outside Florida Rental Home

29th December 2011

Read it.

You know, as you do.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Elisabeth’s Barrenness and Ours

28th December 2011

The Gospel according to Mark Steyn.

Our lesson today comes from the Gospel according to Luke. No, no, not the manger, the shepherds, the wise men, any of that stuff, but the other birth: “But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.”

If the problem with socialism is, as Mrs. Thatcher says, that eventually you run out of other people’s money, much of the West has advanced to the next stage: It’s run out of other people, period. Greece is a land of ever fewer customers and fewer workers but ever more retirees and more government. How do you grow your economy in an ever-shrinking market? The developed world, like Elisabeth, is barren. Collectively barren, I hasten to add. Individually, it’s made up of millions of fertile women, who voluntarily opt for no children at all or one designer kid at 39. In Italy, the home of the Church, the birthrate’s somewhere around 1.2, 1.3 children per couple — or about half “replacement rate.” Japan, Germany, and Russia are already in net population decline. Fifty percent of Japanese women born in the Seventies are childless. Between 1990 and 2000, the percentage of Spanish women childless at the age of 30 almost doubled, from just over 30 percent to just shy of 60 percent. In Sweden, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, 20 percent of 40-year-old women are childless. In a recent poll, invited to state the “ideal” number of children, 16.6 percent of Germans answered “None.” We are living in Zacharias and Elisabeth’s world — by choice.

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Mit Researchers Locate Genes That Help Underlie Memory Formation, Zap Some Mice

28th December 2011

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Over time, the neurons in your brain are going to change. And that’s only natural. When you experience a new event, your brain encodes the memory by altering the connections between neurons, which is caused by turning on several genes within these neurons. Recenty, a team of neuroscientists at MIT published their findings in the Dec. 23rd issue of Science in which the group was able to pinpoint some of the exact locations of memory formation within the brain.

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The Bigger Picture: Muppets, Avengers, and Life In The Age Of Fanfiction

28th December 2011

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This is the Age of Fanfiction.

When I first signed onto the Internet in the mid-’90s, I was unaware of just how big fanfiction was, but I quickly learned.  We live in a time where copyright means very little to younger people, and it’s not just because they want free movies or free music.  More than that, they want to be able to play with the amazing toys that they’ve been given by filmmakers and comic book writers and TV creators, and they want to do so without the constraints that copyright creates.  If they want Robocop and the raptors from “Jurassic Park” to team up with “My Little Pony” and solve crimes, they don’t care who owns what.  They want what they want, and the Internet became a place where people could easily and quickly and, most importantly, freely share stories in which Kirk and Spock got it on or The Simpsons met the X-Files or Indiana Jones fell through a wormhole and went on an adventure with Han Solo.

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Why Marriage Eludes the Modern Woman

28th December 2011

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The second reason women struggle with marriage — which is part and parcel of the first — is they’ve been taught that the world revolves (or should revolve) around them. This attitude is a bona fide deal breaker. So much about marriage requires putting oneself last, or being quiet rather than demanding, or taking the higher road and not having to have one’s way all the time. Simply put, married life presupposes a maturity modern women don’t have.

Tell a man he’s dispensable, and he’ll quickly prove you right.

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Blueseed: A Startup That Plans to House Would-Be Immigrant Innovators 12 Nautical Miles from Silicon Valley

28th December 2011

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Most so-called “high-skilled” immigrants (scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and the like) come to the United States under the H-1B visa program. Congress caps the number of visas issued at 65,000 each year and allows an additional 20,000 exceptions for immigrants with advanced U.S. degrees.

Last week U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services announced that the Fiscal Year 2012 cap was reached, which was two months ahead of last year’s pace. ComputerWorld noted that before the recession, the cap was routinely reached in just a week. It took only one day in 2007.

A number of people associated with National Review argue that every degree from an American University ought to come with a green card for those who need them. That certainly might serve to balance a little the guys who are digging the drug-running tunnels under the Mexican border.

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