DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for January, 2012

Posture-Correcting Suspenders Make You Sit Up Straight With Stretchy Fabric

31st January 2012

Read it.

We have the technology.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Afghan Woman Strangled to Death by Husband ‘Because She Gave Birth to Daughter’

31st January 2012

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

A Populist Campaign of One Percenters

31st January 2012

Victor Davis Hanson draws back the curtain just a bit.

The problem with President Obama’s us-vs.-them fairness campaign is that the Democratic technocracy that runs the redistributionist state is so deeply embedded within the One Percent that it is impossible to hide the hypocrisies. Today’s Big Money is not the staid GM and IBM of the ’60s, but the hipper Wall Street and Silicon Valley where millionaires can still wear the same sort of clothes, listen to the same sort of music, and adopt the same sort of platitudes as the left-wing counterculture of Occupy Wall Street. Without that veneer of coolness, someone who milked Freddie, Fannie, or Citigroup would be reduced to an Enron- or Halliburton-style caricature.

This week we heard that consumer populist and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is, by both net worth and salary, part of the One Percent herself — as well as a past consultant to insurance companies seeking to avoid litigant claims. All three of Barack Obama’s chiefs of staff were Wall Streeters; all three made their Wall Street millions in very little time; two had some sort of association with Freddie and Fannie. Peter Orszag of both OMB and Citigroup is emblematic of the technocratic class’s revolving door between “public service” and ever more enhanced billets back on Wall Street. And, fairly or not, even good handlers cannot keep Michelle Obama’s taste for the aristocratic life of high fashion out of the press.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Palestinian Authority TV Airs Show Praising Attackers Who Killed Five Members of Jewish Family as “Heroes”

31st January 2012

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But deep down, they really want peace! Once again, the “moderate” guys are caught acting less than moderately. In the case of the PA, “moderate” means “not as bad as Hamas,” but the distinction is often shown to be largely wishful thinking.

Late last year Amjad Awad was convicted of the murdering Ehud and Ruth Fogel, along with three of their young child-ren, Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, 3 months old, before fleeing the scene. His cousin Hakim was convicted a month earlier. Both men were sentenced to five consecutive life sentences by an IDF court.

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Racist Occupy Wall Street: Movement ‘Clearly’ Has Race Problems, Says Occupy Newark Leader

31st January 2012

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Another dirty little secret claws its way out.

People inside the Occupy movement — including one of the leaders of the Occupy Newark encampment — claim that Occupy Wall Street is racist against people of color. These new accusations of racism are based on people’s personal experiences with the increasingly secretive and “fascist” Occupy Wall Street leadership and the actions of OWS participants.

No surprises here. These are Children of the Crust, born to rule.

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

Elizabeth Warren Earns $429,000 — Worth Millions … but Not Part of 1 Percent

31st January 2012

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So take pity on Harvard’s Elizabeth Warren, the scold of the 1 Percent who is currently running for the Senate in Massachusetts after getting hosed by the Obama administration. Warren is widely credited with pushing for the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency that would simplify credit offerings so that all of us idiots who bought houses we couldn’t afford could blame somebody else. Faced with opposition from Republicans, Obama tossed Warren aside as the first hea of the CFPA.

So she wants the ‘Ted Kennedy seat’ in the Senate as a consolation prize. In Taxachusetts, she’ll probably get it.

Hard to see how Warren wouldn’t be, by most standards, wealthy, according to the Personal Financial Disclosure form she filed to run for Senate shows that she’s worth as much as $14.5 million. She earned more than $429,000 from Harvard last year alone for a total of about $700,000, and lives in a house worth $5 million.

She also has a portfolio of investments in stocks and bonds worth as as much as $8 million, according to the form, which lists value ranges for each investment. The bulk of it is in funds managed by TIAA-CREF.

But she’s not one of THEM, however.

“I realize there are some wealthy individuals – I’m not one of them, but some wealthy individuals who have a lot of stock portfolios” she told [MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell].

Just poor as a churchmouse, that’s our Lizzy.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | 1 Comment »

Denmark: No Comprehensive Car Insurance in Muslim Area — Too Many Burned Cars

31st January 2012

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Scotch Tape Unleashes X-Ray Power

31st January 2012

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In a tour de force of office supply physics, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have shown that it is possible to produce X-rays by simply unrolling Scotch tape.

Next step: nuclear fusion.

“We’re going to do that,” said Seth J. Putterman, a professor of physics at U.C.L.A. “I think it will work.”

Bear in mind that this is from the New York Times so you’ll want to check it with another source.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Another Blow for the Climateers

31st January 2012

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Hard on the story noted here the other day of new doubts about catastrophic global warming from the scientific mainstream comes the news from Britain’s MET office, which is one of the primary nodes of the global warming establishment, that global temperatures have now been essentially flat for the last 15 years.

Time for AlGore to write another book, I guess, or for Michael More to make another ‘documentary’.

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

African National Congress Centenary Celebration ‘Faulty’ Condoms Recalled

31st January 2012

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The 1.35m government-issue contraceptives were delivered to guesthouses, hotels, restaurants and bars before the conference began in Bloemfontein earlier this month and all bore the South African Bureau of Standards stamp.

The “Choice” condoms were aimed at promoting safe sex among the 100,000 party faithful, some of whom were dubbed “pantypreneurs” by the local media because of their penchant for late-night bars and bed-hopping.

Here’s a great idea for the upcoming Democratic National Convention. It so totally symbolizes the Obama program: You’ll get screwed, and nothing productive will come of it.

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

Neglected Tropical Diseases

31st January 2012

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(I have this image of a tsetse fly sitting by the window, weeping into a handkerchief, and looking disconsolately at the phone.)

And what, exactly, are Neglected Tropical Diseases? I thought you would never ask.

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of 17 diseases that disproportionally affect the very poor.

Now, one might be forgiven for asking, ‘What, exactly, is it about “the poor” that entitles them to such priority concern? Do they generate a major share of the world’s wealth? No? Do they make life easier and more productive for you and me? No? Then WHO GIVES A SHIT?’ But that would be politically incorrect — because, you see, you have failed to notice that key term, ‘disproportionately’. Everything must be proportionate. Incomes must be proportionate, education must be proportionate, job distribution must be proportionate, diseases must be proportionate, and for all I know Superbowl tickets must be proportionate. The only thing on this planet that is not permitted to be completely and totally proportionate is government handouts.

But the poor we have always with us — just open to any page of a major newspaper, and their affairs are being interminably discussed — and so we must concentrate on their diseases above those that afflict, say, people who produce stuff that make our lives better. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for people who nobody would ever miss, not even their neighbors.

Funny thing about this list: It appears dominated by diseases that people wouldn’t catch if they kept themselves and their kids clean, didn’t pee in their water supply, and didn’t stick around Third World hellholes. Maybe there’s a hint there. Perhaps they could come to Michigan — oh, wait, they already are.

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

Why Bank of America Sucks

31st January 2012

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Absolutely all of the businesses along Market Street allowed such access during Saturday’s parade welcoming home our U.S. military, well, all except the Bank of America Plaza. Bank of America was so adamant about denying access to their precious “patio”, as one security guard described it as he repeatedly told me to leave, that they made sure these large barricades were in place before many arrived.

But wait, there’s more.

At least 160 active members of the U.S. military had their homes “illegally foreclosed upon” by the Bank of America, according to the Justice Department.

Well, they only got $45 million in the Great Obama Bank Bail-Out, so maybe they’re feeling unappreciated.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Meet the NYC Teacher Who Gets Paid $100K to Ogle 8th Grade Butts & NOT Teach

31st January 2012

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New York City, of course. Welcome to the Other Left Coast.

The NY Post introduces the world to 66 year old New York City public school teacher Alan Rosenfeld, the rajah of the city’s “rubber room,” or holding pen for teachers on full pay who are kept away from the classroom.

In 2001, Rosenfeld was accused (but not convicted) of “ogling eighth-grade girls’ butts at IS 347 in Queens” and the typing teacher has been kept away from students as a result. He pulls a salary of $100,049 and can’t be fired or forced to retire.

Ooh, ooh,  I want to be a typing teacher when I grow up. Make money! Meet girls! Can’t beat it, son.

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

Shocker: In New ‘Fast and Furious’ Report, Democrats Clear Justice Appointees of Wrongdoing

31st January 2012

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Well, I’m glad we’ve cleared that up.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Nepali Maoist leader adopts millionaire’s lifestyle

31st January 2012

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

After all, Mao did much the same thing….

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

Obsession With Safety Is Ruining Our Playgrounds

31st January 2012

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From California, of course.

Last fall, a state inspector strode into Great Beginnings preschool and declared the tree house and climbing structure too high. They would have to come down or be surrounded by extra padding.

The metal ladder to the playhouse, which had been there 30 years, could pinch the children, said Beverly Wright-Chrystal, a state child care licensing representative. Also, a log worn smooth by generations of boys and girls playing horsy and hide-and-go-seek would have to be sanded and painted because of a potential “splinter hazard,” Wright-Chrystal determined.

Marian Stocking, who opened the Long Beach preschool in a converted house on 4th Street in 1978, had the offending equipment hauled away. Watching it go, some of the children cried out, “Tell those bad men to bring our log back.”

Good luck with that, kid. Welcome to the Left Coast.

When I was in Law School, my torts professor would spend Friday’s class examining the latest WTF ruling that had come out of the California Supreme Court. Those sessions certainly contributed to my decision not to make my living practicing law.

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La Torre de Babel

31st January 2012

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It seems odd that someone can be born and raised in the United States, and even graduate from a high school in the United States, and still not understand basic English.

Arizona has become a bellwether for what will likely be America’s grandest cultural divide of the 21st century: the demographic struggle between Anglos and Hispanics, two groups that are split along a seemingly intractable linguistic rift. Arizona is home to an ongoing immigration dispute that has pitted the governor against the president. The state recently outlawed a “Mexican-American Studies” program that was deemed to encourage Hispanic resentment against Anglos.

On the other hand….

This has all fallen on deaf ears in the heat-wilted border town of San Luis, AZ, probably because nine out of ten residents speak Spanish at home. The 2010 US Census pegged the city’s population as slightly over 25,000, with a decisively dominant 99% of its residents being Hispanic. (The quotient was less than 90% in 2000.) So as someone who’s fluent in Spanish but only possesses “survival English” skills, Cabrera would adequately represent her local constituency.

It’s not clear to me why ‘good English’ is necessary for someone to represent a constituency that is 90% Spanish-speaking. It’s not as if there aren’t enough people around who are bilingual and can provide translation services in cases where they are necessary. We don’t insist that American military personnel speak Arabic in order to do ‘nation-building’ in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a position on a city council, not an executive job where the officeholder is required to serve the public generally. Sure, it would be a good thing if she were to speak better English, and I certainly hope that this incident motivates her to get better at it, but still, I don’t see why it’s so necessary in this case. Is puzzle.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Government Accounting Is Like Lemonade Stand Economics

31st January 2012

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It is tempting to think that the Soviets perfected negative-value-added investment — the stuff produced is worth less than the value of the resources to produce it. However, most families have experienced this first hand.

It usually surfaces with an entrepreneurial adolescent deciding it would be a good idea to sell lemonade at the curbside to passersby

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One Reason Why We’re So Far In Debt

31st January 2012

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Over the last three years, the number of Americans on food stamps has skyrocketed by two-thirds and stands at a record-high 46 million citizens, or one out of every seven people in the United States.  Despite the historic rise in food stamp use, however, the Obama Administration believes not enough people are receiving food stamps who should be and is offering $75,000 grants to groups who devise “effective strategies” to “increase program participation” among those who have yet to sign up.

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

Japan’s Population to Shrink Two Thirds by 2110

31st January 2012

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Japan’s population is expected to shrink to a third of its current size over the next century, with the average woman living to over 90 within 50 years, a UK government report said on Monday.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

Cities Made of Paper

31st January 2012

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Origami architect, Ingrid Siliakus, can spent up to two months painstakingly creating entire cities purely from folding pieces of paper.

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What the Top 1% of Earners Majored In

30th January 2012

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According to the Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey, the majors that give you the best chance of reaching the 1 percent are pre-med, economics, biochemistry, zoology and, yes, biology, in that order.

And there you have it.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 3 Comments »

Explorers Raise hope of Nelson ‘Treasure Trove’ on Victorian Shipwreck

30th January 2012

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Explorers believe they have found a submerged treasure trove of artefacts once owned by Lord Nelson – including his sword – in the wreck of a ship sunk almost 90 years after his death.

 

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India Factory Workers Revolt, Kill Company President

30th January 2012

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Workers at the Regency Ceramics factory in India raided the home of their boss, and beat him senseless with lead pipes after a wage dispute turned ugly.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

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Hollywood Edition

30th January 2012

Aaron Klein has a great idea.

Since they’re so persnickety about licensing agreements, let’s amend all of our terms of use to require all movie moguls to use a special “Hollywood Edition” of our products.

Here are some of the special new features we’ll be giving them…

  • Before you can do a Google search, you have to sit through five minutes of ads for Google Chrome, Chromebooks by Samsung, Android Phones by Motorola, and that amazing straight-to-video blockbuster, Google+. And oh yeah, don’t even think about trying to skip the ads. A cute little red “X” appears in the corner of your screen if you try to do that.
  • Microsoft Word will no longer allow you to read or edit movie scripts that are obvious takeoffs from other movies. We get the message: remixing content to make something new is wrong. Bonus for us: this would have stopped you from absolutely ruining “Arthur” in the remake.
  • If you fly off to your vacation home in the south of France, your Mac won’t boot up at all. Remember, it’s your fault for traveling – just buy another one with the right “region code.”
  • Twitter still works fine in the Hollywood Edition. But all tweets are delayed for about three hours, unless you want to pay $10 a day to see them immediately. Bonus for you: every other tweet will offer you some really overpriced popcorn.

So enjoy “Hollywood Edition,” you movie moguls. Remember, we’re doing this for YOU because you’re the customer, and we want to make sure you’re well entertained.

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

Why More People Should Ride Mass Transit

30th January 2012

Tim Cavanaugh turns over a rock and watches what wriggles out.

How many public transit expert/advocates actually ride on public transportation?

Damned few. I’ll bet you a paycheck on that one.

I have met more than three folks, in and out of the establishment media, who speak with authority about mass transportation yet somehow can never get around to using it in the heat of their daily struggles. Judging by this storied Onion headline, I’m guessing others have met such people as well.

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

I wonder this every time an expert makes the case for more intelligently planned transit networks featuring smarter coordination throughout the hub or loop or grid. There’s one thing you learn by your second day of using transit when you actually don’t have a choice: For every transfer in your itinerary, you need to double the time allotted for the trip.

That’s because it’s not just taking you, it’s taking a bunch of other people, too. When you’re the only guy using the bathroom, it’s pretty quick. When you share it with others, it takes longer. Anybody who grew up with siblings knows the answer to that one. (Hm. I wonder how many ‘experts’ are only children? That would explain a lot….)

But the reality of transit use in the non-hypothetical universe is that you don’t need smarter hubs or better coordination or more efficient transfers. You don’t need experts planning out more brilliant three- and four-transfer itineraries. You need more shit running more frequently to more destinations.

Transit doesn’t suck because it lacks central planning. It sucks because it’s artificially scarce.

The basic problem with ‘mass transit’ is that it carries you from where you aren’t to where you don’t want to be, with stops in between to waste your time by picking up and dropping off people other than you. That’s the long and the short of it. If ‘mass transit’ started at your door and went to the door of your destination, it would be great. But it doesn’t. So it’s not.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Taxpayers Pay Teacher to Do Union Work During School Hours

30th January 2012

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

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

In re Newt: Anybody Whom Egan Hates So Much Can’t Be All Bad

30th January 2012

Tom Smith shares my sentiments about the pretentious New York Times columnist.

I resent the NY Times calling his “the view from the West.” Seattle is not “the West”.  The West begins somewhere around the Black Hills in the north and maybe El Paso in the South and extends to the Cascade Mountains and the Sierra Nevada respectively.  West of that is whatever you call the stretch from say, Carmel to Seattle, I’ve heard “Ecotopia” suggested.  South of that is the Central Coast and the Central Valley and below that is Southern California.  SoCal is not “the West”, although it is part of “the West Coast”, which is not the same thing.  You can’t wear Birkenstocks or flip flops in the West because they would pull off  when you stepped in a cow pie.  In the West, you just gaze at the horizon for a while instead of saying “Yes — No.  I mean.  It just doesn’t feel that way to me.”   (After you gaze at the horizon for a while you can say, “See them pronghorns over there?” This is a reliable conversation opener.)  In the West you don’t have to explain to anybody the inherent idiocy of the idea of an electric car because they know what it’s like to drive from Cheyenne to Salt Lake City in December.  I like to ride refers to horses not $1500 bicycles.  In the West, the skies are not cloudy all day, which they certainly are from Portland to Seattle.  Nobody in the West actually saw the movie “Brokeback Mountain” which was, in any event, fiction written by a woman who had no business moving to Wyoming and who came from Maine or something.  Nobody who has spent their whole life in the West has actually seen mold in the wild.  In the West, “dude” refers to a cowboy wannabe, not just anybody.  While Starbucks has spread everywhere, the prefered drink of the West is still coffee black, highly caffeinnated and so hot you can’t taste it.  One could go on, but in brief, the view through the mists of Seattle is not “from the West.” Oh.  I see it says “the West Coast.”  So I guess this rant was completely unnecessary.

 And that says all you really need to know about the New York Times: ‘West’ means ‘Left Coast’, not, you know, West.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

National Reconnaissance Office Declassifies Spysats, Puts Them on Display

30th January 2012

Read it.

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

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

What’s Wrong with Peak Oil Theory? Consider ‘Peak Gas’.

30th January 2012

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BLUF: Both have been proven wrong repeatedly by Actual History. A rational person is therefore justified in thinking such theories to be bullshit.

But read the whole thing.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

The 2012 Oscar Noms: More Proof Hollywood Doesn’t Care About You

30th January 2012

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We don’t care about Oscar because Oscar stopped caring about us.

Let’s look at the Best Picture nominees:  “The Artist,” “The Descendants,” “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” “Hugo,” “Midnight in Paris,” “The Help,” “Moneyball,” “War Horse” and “The Tree of Life.” For many of these, that’s the first time anyone has looked at them – only three of these movies are even nearly within even the loosest definition of a “hit.”

And, indeed, I feel no impulse to see any of them, even at the Dollar Theater.

Hollywood defaults to the darlings of the urban elite – I’m doubting “The Tree of Life’s” mopey, soul-searching spiritual journey through time and space and Sean Penn’s soul did a lot of business outside of hipster-infested coastal cities where neo-beatnik audiences in skinny jeans snapped their fingers in approval of the groovy insights Terrance Malick flashed on screen in the place traditionally filled with things like ”a plot,” “action” and “a point.”

But you knew that….

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 3 Comments »

The Myth of GOP Stinginess

30th January 2012

Andrew McCarthy stumbles across a whited sepulcher or two.

Yes, I know, Obama is the one driving us off the cliff. But as McConnell and his fellow Republicans are well aware, he couldn’t have filled his tank without them — and they are the guys who got us halfway up the summit before handing the president the car keys. No one is falling for this week’s debt-increase “disapproval” charade, the stage for which was set by last summer’s sleight-of-hand, when Republicans agreed to borrow another $2.4 trillion. As if to prove that Obama has not cornered the market on cynicism, the GOP apparently feels the need to insult your intelligence while it helps our latter-day Robin Hood take from the unborn to give to the insatiable.

For the record, it was Republicans who nearly doubled the national debt during the Bush years — increasing it by almost $5 trillion. Some context: It had taken the nation over 200 years to accumulate roughly the same amount of debt rung up from 2001 through 2008 — a time during most of which, besides holding the White House, Republicans held the Senate (with McConnell in the leadership, first as whip and later as leader) and the House (with now-speaker John Boehner in the leadership, first as a committee chairman, then as leader).

Let he who is without pork….

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Egyptian Revolution, One Year Later: Prepare for Egypt As an Enemy

29th January 2012

Read it.

 

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Graphene: The Perfect Water Filter

29th January 2012

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Researchers from the home of graphene, the University of Manchester in England, have discovered — seemingly by chance — one of the most important properties of graphene yet: It’s impermeable to everything but water. It is the perfect water filter.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Why the Presidential Election Doesn’t Matter

29th January 2012

In the Good Old Days™ we had something called the Spoils System, whereby anybody who got elected to office was entitled to replace all of the existing government employees with his own picks. Needless to say, a lot of these where Friends & Family, but as one went up the Hierarchy of Greeds one soon had to depend on people who were unrelated and, lets face it, not all that friendly. So, as a result, the elected official had to select from among the people who supported him for office; which meant that, whatever he stood for, they more or less stood for the same thing. So every election the entire cast of officeholders would change.

Nowadays, however, we have a ‘reform’ call the Civil Service System, regarding which, as with most government programs, the name is the exact opposite of what it purports to be doing — in this case, it indicates that government employees are obliged neither to be civil nor to give service. But, aside from the name, it’s chief impact has been the fact that once you get hired for a government job, the only way you can lose it is to die (and sometimes not even then). So elections don’t lead to changes the way they used to.

Bottom line: No matter who is elected President, the government will be run by the same malicious morons who run it today. It’s like being electrocuted: No matter what it feels like, you can’t let go.So don’t spend a lot of time fashing yourself about it.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

WAT

29th January 2012

Watch it.

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed at anything so hard this year.

Well, so far, anyway.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | 2 Comments »

Big Brother Is Now Your Diet Coach

29th January 2012

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A product of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP ), SuperTracker is an online tool located at choosemyplate.gov that helps users set and maintain dietary goals. Create a user profile at the site, and you can track the calories you consume each day, record your daily physical activities, set weight management goals, and see how close you come to eating the USDA’s recommended daily allowance of dark green vegetables. SuperTracker, an expanded version of previous tools called the MyPyramid Tracker and the MyPyramid Menu Planner, debuted in December 2011. In its first month, it reportedly attracted more than 700,000 registered users. Any day now, then, we should expect to see either the end of the obesity epidemic or SuperDuperTracker, an even more intrusive and hands-on government effort to engineer our behavior. If you’re a betting man, bet on the latter.

Homework: Determine whether it’s Democrats or Republicans who are more likely to be attempting to control what you can eat through government action. Extra credit if you find the largest number of ‘it’s for the children!’ excuses.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

There’s a Dole in my Bucket…

29th January 2012

Mark Steyn looks at Romney’s latest triumph.

When the rap on your campaign is that you’re the guy whose turn it is, the establishment candidate of no fixed beliefs whom the base doesn’t trust, a fellow waging an empty, passionless campaign and whom the media are already palpably longing to hail for the graceful dignity of your concession speech, what better way to kill that damning caricature than to trumpet your support from …Bob Dole.

Yeah, that’s the ticket. What better way to demonstrate what a winner you are then to be endorsed by losers?

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Knowledge Is a Universal Natural Resource — And Locking It Up Hurts Everyone

29th January 2012

Mike Masnik points out, at greater length than I have the give-a-shit to do, why the concept of ‘intellectual property’ is a loser.

One of the more important points in understanding some of the fights over the ridiculousness of today’s copyright and patent laws is to recognize how knowledge (information) is a natural resource. It is the input that makes other great things. Economist Paul Romer’s famous research really showed how knowledge and information as a resource is what creates economic growth. Once you recognize that fact, you begin to run into problems when you think about locking up that natural resource. Think of other natural resources. Do we think the world is better off if there’s a greater supply of each of those? An abundance? If we have an abundance of wheat, that’s a good thing. If we have an abundance of energy, that’s a good thing. There may be side effects of such abundances, but the overall abundance is something worth cherishing.

 

Posted in Think about it. | 3 Comments »

Arrest Spotlights Racism Concerns in English Soccer

29th January 2012

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Police in England arrested a man Saturday on suspicion of making a racially abusive gesture at a high-profile soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester United earlier that day, they said Sunday.

And I’m sure that’s the most important thing they had to do that day.

Sheesh.

Meanwhile, back in the real world:

We’ve featured a number of articles recently about racially-motivated larceny and violence in Britain and Denmark. Other stories about similar events in Norway, France, Germany, and Sweden have been included in the news feed — although in the case of Sweden, one has to read between the lines to detect the ethnic component of most crimes, since the media go to great lengths to avoid giving any clue about the racial or religious background of criminals.

The attackers in all these cases are either immigrants or descendants of immigrants, usually from Africa, the Arab world, or South Asia. Their modus operandi is to converge in groups of five to twenty “youths” on a white native of their host country, choosing their victim for his exposed position and relative helplessness.

And what are the ‘authorities’ doing about it?

Media reports of these incidents typically describe the attacks as “inexplicable” or “random”. Police spokesmen often tell reporters that the perpetrators’ motive is unknown. Despite the obvious racial animus behind most of the crimes — including the expression of racial epithets while the victim is being beaten or stabbed — there seems to be a widespread reluctance to discuss race when the attackers are “brown” and the victim is white. A cone of silence descends over the press and the authorities. Under those circumstances, from their point of view, race simply doesn’t exist.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Fried Food May Not Be All Bad

29th January 2012

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Despite much research into the relation between dietary fat and coronary heart disease in recent decades, no prospective study has comprehensively investigated the association between consumption of fried food and subsequent risk of coronary heart disease.

The linked prospective cohort study by Guallar-Castillón and colleagues fills this gap. The study comprised 40,757 people (about two thirds of whom were women) and was conducted in five regions in Spain that traditionally have widely varying diets. Participants were interviewed at baseline (1992) about their usual diet and food preparation. Sixty two per cent of study subjects reported using olive oil for frying and the remaining participants used sunflower or other vegetable oils.

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Brown Fat, Triggered by Cold or Exercise, May Yield a Key to Weight Control

29th January 2012

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It is brown fat, actually brown in color, and its great appeal is that it burns calories like a furnace. A new study finds that one form of it, which is turned on when people get cold, sucks fat out of the rest of the body to fuel itself. Another new study finds that a second form of brown fat can be created from ordinary white fat by exercise.

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College presidents alarmed over Obama’s cost-control plan

29th January 2012

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A sad day, when the prospect of a smaller subsidy from taxpayers is characterized as ‘Presidential overreach’.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

29th January 2012

Still the One.

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

Thoughts on Education

28th January 2012

Jeff de Chambeau has some interesting ones.

For all the complaints about how the movie industry is stuck in the 1960s, our education system is stuck in the 1760s. And proposed updates, like Blackboard’s unforgivably bad software (WebCT in my day), do nothing to change how education works, they just digitally codify outdated practices and give university administrators the mistaken impression that they’ve managed to stay with the times.

Henry Ford is reputed to have said, ‘If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have told me a faster horse.’

An “education,” whether for its own value or to help you get a job, is–at least to me–about developing the skills to find the information you need, assess its value, integrate it into the context at hand, and make a better decision than you otherwise could have. These skills aren’t taught at university; we develop them to cope with university.

An interesting notion: What if the value of a college education were the thrown-in-the-deep-end skills we develop while attempting to cope with being at college? One of the most valuable skills to have in the Real World is how to ‘fake it ’till you make it’, and God knows that skill is of supreme value in college.

In the “real world,” having a copy of your notes is called being prepared. Instead, university exams expect us to tie one hand behind our backs and master a skill we’ll seldom if ever use again.

I suspect that it’s because, in the medieval universities where the current Higher Education system developed, reference materials verged on nonexistent — if you didn’t have it in your head, you didn’t have it, period.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

What’s YOUR Bubble Score?

28th January 2012

Check it out.

I got an 8.

Posted in Think about it. | 7 Comments »

From the Chronicles of Journalistic Excellence

28th January 2012

Yuval Levin throws a flag on the play.

This morning, Reuters ran a hit piece on Marco Rubio, trying to pile up various reasons why he shouldn’t be the Republican vice presidential nominee. But apparently the Reuters reporters failed to fact check the Democratic talking points they were given before running them as a news story: So far, Reuters has published five separate corrections to the story (all noted at the bottom), in each case dealing with a factual assertion in the original that was blatantly false. An hour ago, there had only been three corrections published, so we should probably stay tuned for yet more.
Don’t ya hate it when that happens?

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Canada: Bomb Threat Disrupts Honor Killing Trial

28th January 2012

Read it.

Poor Mohammad Shafia can’t catch a break. First, his first wife and daughters die in a tragic accident that just happens — pure coincidence! — to show all the signs of an Islamic honor killing, and now this, which won’t help his Poor Victimized Man of Peace act one bit.

I guess when you’ve been arrested for making obscene phone calls, you don’t use your phone call from the police station to make an obscene phone call.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Verbling Raises $1M to Link Up Language Learners Through Video Chat

28th January 2012

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So if you speak French and want to learn English, you’ll be paired up with a native English speaker who wants to learn French. You start in one language and halfway through the video session, a timer tells you when to switch to the other. Speakers are also matched by their language levels, and to aid in the conversation, Verbling will suggest topics according to the ability of the participants, such as “What chores are you responsible for in your home” or “what kind of music do you listen to?”

And Berlitz and Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone all feel the cold wind of disintermediation on the backs of their necks….

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Michigan Union Bosses Hate School Choice

28th January 2012

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Sometimes it is good to be in the union.

It is something of a cliché that teachers are poorly paid. Teacher union official, on the other hand, can be a very nice gig.

148 of 334 MEA staff and officers are paid six figures. Counting Ms. Salters, the top of the payroll includes 6 people who take more than $200,000 a year from Michigan teachers:

  • LUIGI BATTAGLIERI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: $267,367
  • ARTHUR PRZYBYLOWICZ, GENERAL COUNSEL: $238,475
  • STEVEN COOK, VICE PRESIDENT: $228,799
  • THOMAS FERRIS, SOUTHERN ZONE DIRECTOR: $207,525
  • GRETCHEN DZIADOSZ, AED UNISERV: $200,869

Public Affairs Director Pratt, standing athwart education reform yelling “STUDENTS,” took $174,879 from Michigan teachers last year.

How did Michigan taxpayers survive before the Michigan Education Association?

Indeed.

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