DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for February, 2012

2 American Servicemen Killed in Afghanistan

25th February 2012

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At least two Americans were killed inside the interior ministry in Kabul, a senior Afghan police official said Saturday.

According to the International Security Assistance Force, initial reports indicated that “an individual” turned his weapon against NATO service members.

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

“They were part of the advisory mission there,” the official said. “At this stage we can’t say why they were killed.”

Possibly the only one in the world who can’t. (1) They weren’t Muslim and (2) they were American.

Posted in Living with Islam. | 2 Comments »

Verizon Drops Muslim Cable Channel A YEAR After Owner Beheaded His Wife at TV Studio

25th February 2012

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Well, you know, they don’t want to rush into anything.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off on Verizon Drops Muslim Cable Channel A YEAR After Owner Beheaded His Wife at TV Studio

Boffins Build Blood-Swimming Medical Microbot

25th February 2012

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And about time, too.

The breakthrough at the heart of what her group’s ISSCC paper defines as “fully autonomous implantable systems with locomotion” was how to wirelessly supply power to a tiny chip that can swim in your blood – or in any fluid, for that matter. Simply put, earlier assumptions about how electromagnetic power would traverse human tissue were wrong.

It had been assumed for years that the high-frequency waves required for antennas small enough to fit on an intraveneous voyager would be absorbed by muscles, guts, and other innards, but Poon’s research discovered that not to be the case.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off on Boffins Build Blood-Swimming Medical Microbot

Chelsea Clinton Planning to Stay on at NBC; Insiders, Critics Wonder Why

25th February 2012

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Children of the Crust will never lack for employment. Of course, no one named Bush would ever get such an opportunity.

NBC insiders tell FoxNews.com that Clinton is doing a job meant for deserving journalists within the network who have toiled for years, and sometimes decades, in the trenches to get the chance to produce segments and report them on air.

And yet businessmen who have worked just as long and hard for their success, and actually produce something of value, are fair game, eh? Sauce for the goose, I think.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 3 Comments »

UK: 50p Tax Rate ‘Failing to Boost Revenues’

24th February 2012

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The amount of income tax paid fell sharply last month in the first formal indication that the new 50p higher rate is not raising the expected amount of revenue.

Funny thing about that — when you go to soak the rich, the rich take shelter … and you lose not only the increase but even what you would have gotten at the old rate. When will governments learn that people react to disincentives?

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Obama Approaches the Key 50% Mark

24th February 2012

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‘What “key 50% mark”?’, I hear you ask. The key 50% mark at which the tax-eaters outnumber the tax-payers. That’s the tipping point at which the  tax-payers realize that theirs is a losing demographic, and so the rush to go from tax-payer to tax-eater becomes a flood, and the system slides every faster into bankruptcy, at which point the starving masses are willing to do anything to keep the wolf from the door, and so the New World Order arises in waves of blood and iron.

Mark my words. It’s coming. And it probably speaks Arabic.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 4 Comments »

Double Standards

24th February 2012

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 I think it gets it exactly right, that while both Santorum and Obama say that marriage is between a man and a woman only, everybody knows that only Santorum actually means it, and Obama is just saying so.

We seem to have discovered a moral hazard that is really, really hazardous and arguably not very moral either.  It would be funny if it weren’t so sad that the descendants of the people who brought us prohibition should now have done so much to create a society where the men sit around and play video games and the women work and have babies the fathers of whom are long gone (see above) in ever increasing numbers.  And the solution to this is somehow that we all should subsidize the already dirt cheap Pill (presumably because cigarettes and lottery tickets are so expensive).  And all this somehow follows from hygiene.  Very strange.  It’s all as clean and sterile as a condom still in its foil wrapper and as pastel as diaphram case and yet it ends up with a 4 month old whose daiper hasn’t been changed in two days.  Go figure.  But here I am being naive.  I am forgetting that the solution to failed policy is always more of the same.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

Paraprosdokian, Anyone?

24th February 2012

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No, it’s not a joke involving Armenians.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.

8. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.

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

Report: Afghan Police Rescue 41 Children From Becoming Suicide Bombers

23rd February 2012

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off on Report: Afghan Police Rescue 41 Children From Becoming Suicide Bombers

N.J.: Town “Official Bemoans $12K in Paperwork to Remove Tree From Creek”

23rd February 2012

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New Jersey: “The state Department of Environmental Protection requires permits and engineering work totaling $12,000 before the township can pull a tree out of a creek near Pittstown, Committeeman Scott Bauman told the Township Committee on Feb. 9.” The tree fell on private property and is causing a drainage problem by obstructing the creek.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | Comments Off on N.J.: Town “Official Bemoans $12K in Paperwork to Remove Tree From Creek”

Pancake Day: Prof Smith’s Perfect Pancake Flipping Method

23rd February 2012

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Don’t say we never have useful stuff here.

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Michelle Obama Loves the Corporate Cash in Exclusive Colorado Ski Resort From Non-Union Employers

23rd February 2012

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Welcome to the 1%, Michelle.

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China’s High-Speed Rail Project Runs Out of Steam

23rd February 2012

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Not even a Communist dictatorship can make trains useful.

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Heavy Hangs the Bandwidth That Torrents the Crown

23rd February 2012

Andy Ihnatko calls out the entertainment establishment.

Consumers couldn’t make their desires any more clear. We’ve got money to spend on TV and movies, but now we’re looking for it on iTunes and Netflix and through all other kinds of network-connected devices. If a distributor shows up in any of those places with a product we want, we’ll buy it.

[Added to clarify: and if they don’t show up in those places, they’re making torrenting that much more attractive. They’re just feeding the monster they’re trying to fight. That’s crystal-clear.

Moral: Make it easy for people to give you their money for your content. Otherwise they’ll get it through channels where the money doesn’t go to you.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off on Heavy Hangs the Bandwidth That Torrents the Crown

Judge: Washington State Cannot Force Pharmacies to Sell Emergency Contraceptives

23rd February 2012

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In a ruling that appears headed toward appeal, a federal judge has ruled that Washington state cannot force pharmacies to sell Plan B or other emergency contraceptives.

At last — some pushback on the notion that pregnancy is a disease and, therefore, preventing it is somehow ‘health care’.

The state’s true goal in adopting the rules at issue was not to promote the timely access to medicine, but to suppress religious objections by druggists who believe that such drugs can have an effect tantamount to abortion, U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton said in his ruling Wednesday.

Ya think?

Of course, they would never dream of forcing Jewish or Muslim storekeepers to sell pork products.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

Officials: String of Bombings Kill at Least 50 in Iraq

23rd February 2012

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The apparently coordinated bombings and shootings unfolded over two-and-a-half hours in the capital Baghdad — where most of the deaths were — and 11 other cities. They struck government offices, restaurants and one in the town of Musayyib hit close to a primary school. More than 200 people were injured.

 “What is happening today are not simple security violations — it is a huge security failure and disaster,” said Ahmed al-Tamimi, who was working at an Education Ministry office a block away from a restaurant that was bombed in the Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah in northern Baghdad. He described a hellish scene of human flesh and pools of blood at the scene.

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off on Officials: String of Bombings Kill at Least 50 in Iraq

Kuwaiti Legislators Call for Ban on Construction of Churches

22nd February 2012

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Funny how that keeps happening, in places far removed from one another. The common thread is Sharia’s prohibition on building new churches or repairing old ones.

Christianity in Muslim lands is expected to die a slow death by strangulation and never reappear, though the plan has not always worked as human nature and common sense sometimes prevail to ignore or relax enforcement of unjust laws. But as long as those laws remain, they are a ticking time bomb that can still go off. And those time bombs are going off all over the reach of the “Arab Spring” and beyond.

But you’re not supposed to notice. And if you notice, you’re not supposed to say so.

Another pointed reminder that freedom of religion is not a Muslim value.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off on Kuwaiti Legislators Call for Ban on Construction of Churches

Dozens of Peacekeepers Held in Darfur

22nd February 2012

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The joint UN/African Union UNAMID peacekeeping force has been repeatedly caught in the crossfire during almost 10 years of fighting between government troops and insurgents in Sudan’s remote west.

But the capture of more than 50 soldiers will be seen as a major setback for an already stretched mission, set up to keep the peace in a territory the size of France.

I think I may need a new category: The UN — Money Well Spent.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Scientists Build a ‘Perfect’ Single-Atom Transistor

22nd February 2012

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We have the technology. Somewhere.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

“Easily accessed evidence proves Mr. Krugman wrong.”

22nd February 2012

Don Boudreaux, Chairman of the Economics Department at George Mason University (and apparently a better economist than Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman), takes The Mouth That Roared to the woodshed.

… contrary to Mr. Krugman’s claim, Hoover proudly trumpeted his administration’s high-spending and interventionist policies.  On the campaign trail in 1932 Hoover bragged that “We might have done nothing.  That would have been utter ruin.  Instead, we met the situation with proposals to private business and the Congress of the most gigantic program of economic defense and counterattack ever evolved in the history of the Republic.”

Hoover was as big a spender as Roosevelt; he just didn’t get as much chance to indulge it. He’s a favorite target for BushWhacking by the left, but (as with Obama whacking Bush), it’s mostly lies.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off on “Easily accessed evidence proves Mr. Krugman wrong.”

UK: Ministry of FeelGood Makes a Ruling

22nd February 2012

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Liam Aitchison, 16, was found dead in a derelict building in the Steinish area of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in November.

His death was later raised during a newspaper review section on the Wright Stuff show.

He put on a Scottish accent and said ”there’s been another murder”, copying a phrase from TV detective show Taggart, while talking about the teenager’s death with guest Charlie Baker in December last year.

His remarks prompted 2,358 complaints to Ofcom from viewers of the broadcast on December 6.

A statement issued on behalf of Liam’s family at the time said the comments were ”very upsetting”, ”insulting” and ”insensitive”.

To begin with, it wasn’t a news show, it was a talk show, and these Sensitive Souls need to get over themselves. If they don’t like the way the guy does his show, don’t watch. Eventually his ratings will go down enough that he’ll be canned — if enough people agree with them. If not, too bad; don’t watch it.

The more important point, however, is that however much this might be a matter between the guy who made the remarks and his employer, it is most certainly no legitimate business of a government agency.

The reason it’s worth thinking about is, that Britain is about a year farther down the path to cultural toiletry than we are, and if something stupid is happening in Britain, we have a limited amount of warning before it shows up on our shores.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on UK: Ministry of FeelGood Makes a Ruling

Nigeria: Bomb Explodes Outside Church During Worship Service, Wounding Five

22nd February 2012

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off on Nigeria: Bomb Explodes Outside Church During Worship Service, Wounding Five

The Great Factory Worker Shortage of 2012

22nd February 2012

Steve Sailer isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions.

So, why would you invest in getting trained (typically, on your own dime), when executives have been boasting to Wall Street for years about how they’ll offshore your future job the moment you start to make real money?

Indeed.

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The Long Wait Is Over

22nd February 2012

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I actually wish there were such a product.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off on The Long Wait Is Over

New Hampshire Man Arrested for Firing Gun Into Ground While Catching Suspected Burglar

22nd February 2012

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No one was injured in the incident, but when the police arrived, they made two arrests. Hebert was charged with two counts of burglary and drug possession. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. Fleming, meanwhile, is scheduled to be arraigned March 20 on a charge of reckless conduct, which could potentially land him a sentence similar to the one Hebert faces.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on New Hampshire Man Arrested for Firing Gun Into Ground While Catching Suspected Burglar

Climate Scientist Admits Stealing Docs From Conservative Think Tank

22nd February 2012

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Prominent climate scientist Peter H. Gleick relied on deceit and subterfuge to solicit a cache of sensitive internal documents from conservative think tank The Heartland Institute before leaking them to the press — a fresh scandal that further darkens the highly charged debate on planetary climate change.

Not to mention forgery.

The documents consist of climate policy statements, fundraising documents, board meeting notifications and even tax filings — as well as a memo titled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy.” That memo, apparently the anonymous document that inspired Gleick to take action, describes plans to create an anti-global warming science campaign for grade schools that will “dissuad[e] teachers from teaching science.”

The Heartland Institute calls it a forgery — and Bast says he believes Gleick may have written it.

But all’s fair in progressive politics.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on Climate Scientist Admits Stealing Docs From Conservative Think Tank

Feds Say Animal Welfare Activist Plotted Murder for Hire to Kill Someone Wearing Fur

22nd February 2012

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And yet if she were an anti-abortion activist, it would be all over the papers and all over the airways.

 

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Animal Rights Group Says Drone Shot Down

21st February 2012

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A remote-controlled aircraft owned by an animal rights group was reportedly shot down near Broxton Bridge Plantation Sunday near Ehrhardt, S.C.

Imagine that.

Steve Hindi, president of SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness), said his group was preparing to launch its Mikrokopter drone to video what he called a live pigeon shoot on Sunday when law enforcement officers and an attorney claiming to represent the privately-owned plantation near Ehrhardt tried to stop the aircraft from flying.

“It didn’t work; what SHARK was doing was perfectly legal,” Hindi said in a news release. “Once they knew nothing was going to stop us, the shooting stopped and the cars lined up to leave.”

In other words, they were a bunch of shits devoted to sticking their noses into other people’s business — their citizenship may be American, but their hearts are European.

He said the animal rights group decided to send the drone up anyway.

“Seconds after it hit the air, numerous shots rang out,” Hindi said in the release. “As an act of revenge for us shutting down the pigeon slaughter, they had shot down our copter.”

Quelle domage.

He claimed the shooters were “in tree cover” and “fled the scene on small motorized vehicles.”

Laughing like loons all the way, I’m sure.

“This was SHARK’s first encounter with the Broxton Bridge Plantation, but it will certainly not be the last,” Hindi said in the release. “We are already making plans for a considerably upscaled action in 2013.”

Perhaps the next time higher caliber weapons will make their appearance. I should think a drone an even more challenging target than a clay pigeon. Just sayin’.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | 3 Comments »

Irish Social Workers Are Horrified by Their Ruthless English Counterparts

21st February 2012

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Such is the reign of terror now being imposed on innocent English families by social workers that scores of parents have been fleeing with their children to Ireland to escape their clutches. I have followed a dozen such stories over the past two years, and in all of them two things stand out. One is that the English social workers seem prepared to stop at nothing to get the children back. The other is the extraordinary contrast between them and the Irish social workers, who again and again have satisfied themselves that the children are at no risk from their loving parents and are astonished by the ruthless behaviour of their English counterparts.

No surprises here. Britain has traveled much farther down the road to perdition than any reasonable person could have anticipated even twenty years ago, and for all their fecklessness the Irish don’t have a fascist bone anywhere about them.

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Un Official: Evicting Homeless Could Violate International Human Rights

21st February 2012

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An appointee to the United Nations Human Rights Council has issued a four-page memo warning Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson that local officials could be violating the human rights of the homeless people living within the city. In the January 23rd dated letter, Catarina De Albuquerque, the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation for the United Nations human right council, says that the current policy of evicting the homeless from their “tent cities” and denying the homeless with safe access to clean water is, in effect, prohibited discrimination based on their economic and social status.

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Media Myth Debunked: Income Inequality Is Actually Plummeting

21st February 2012

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Imagine that.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 2 Comments »

Fasting Once a Week Could Help You Live Longer

21st February 2012

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Friday, say. And if you’re really serious about being healthy, you might add Wednesday on top of it.

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Shabaab Suicide Bombers to Launch Series of Attacks in Time With David Cameron Conference

21st February 2012

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

On the other hand … if they succeed in blowing up David Cameron, perhaps the Conservative Party might actually get a Real Conservative leader for a change. It could happen.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off on Shabaab Suicide Bombers to Launch Series of Attacks in Time With David Cameron Conference

Forget Self-Improvement

21st February 2012

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You can spend your life fretting about how healthy, interesting, or successful you are. In fact, a whole industry depends upon this, and is eager to help you make plans to change.

On the other hand, you might consider simply finding what you love, and letting the rest take care of itself.

Posted in Think about it. | 3 Comments »

Aspirin and Eugenics

21st February 2012

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The web is abuzz. Rick Santorum has a friend who thinks Bayer Aspirin is a contraceptive pill! The horror!

It is an illustration of a generation gap. Recall that in 1953 Arthur Clarke’s Childhood’s End, in keeping with the various theories derived from the voodoo sciences of Freud and Jung about sexual repression, postulated that technology would someday develop a reliable contraceptive pill, and that, together with an infallible means of identifying paternity, would bring about a sexual revolution in which sex would be decoupled from marriage and families. No one would be repressed or suffer from psychological disorders due to sexual frustrations. The human race would enter an new era, and the childhood of the race would end. This was all incorporated into a story with benevolent aliens and flying saucers. A thoroughly New Age story.

In those times, there were two means for contraception: condoms and abstinence, and the only 100% reliable one was abstinence. Condoms were advocated widely but mostly for prevention of sexually transmitted disorders, and they didn’t always work, either for that or for contraception – particularly since it was fairly common to forget the condom in the heat of the moment. The best way for a girl to avoid pregnancy was to keep her knees together. Using an aspirin pill as a reminder to do that was optional. Foster Friess, a wealthy supporter of Rick Santorum, was astonished when he had to explain that joke. It’s another illustration of the generation gap.

After which the press calls for Santorum, who wasn’t part of the interview and certainly said nothing of the sort, to apologize to women, because Friess used a high school joke about abstinence. What he is to apologize for is not clear.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off on Aspirin and Eugenics

First Lady’s Aspen Trip Marks 16th Vacation in 3 Years for Obama Family

21st February 2012

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Sometimes it is good to be the King President.

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The Wages of Generational Theft

21st February 2012

Bob looks down the road.

A child born today will be $49,078 in debt when he draws his first breath, and the amount just keeps rising (see U.S. Debt Clock for up-to-the-minute figures). While all presidents and congresses that have failed to balance the federal budget are culpable — not to mention the voters that elected them — the national debt has risen higher and faster under Barack Obama than under any other administration in living memory. He has done what we would once have thought impossible: made some of his big-spending predecessors look fiscally responsible by comparison.

I especially like the poster.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off on The Wages of Generational Theft

Who Shut Down Keystone?

21st February 2012

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Some analysts (including myself), when pondering the Obama decision to reject Canada’s application to build a pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf coast, have laid the blame at the feet of the environmental movement and political operatives within the Obama administration. I’ve speculated that the decision was purely political, and I presumed it was driven by the intense urge to shove a thumb in the eye of Congressional Republicans. Turns out, I was wrong.

Now we know that the decision to reject the Keystone pipeline really came down to the desires of one ultra-wealthy person: Susie Tompkins Buell, a leading donor to Democrats….

Democrats: Party of the Rich, although you’re not supposed to know that.

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The Dumbest Generation: Gen Y’s Political Stupidity in a Single Chart

21st February 2012

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A new survey from the Pew Internet Center confirms every suspicion I harbor about people my age: Despite unprecedented access to information, technology, wealth, and food, we are basically retarded.

Can’t disagree.

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Congrats, U.S. Government: You’re Scaring Web Businesses Into Moving Out of the U.S.

21st February 2012

Mike Masnick sounds the alarm.

The federal government has been paying lip service to the idea that it wants to encourage new businesses and startups in the US. And this is truly important to the economy, as studies have shown that almost all of the net job growth in this country is coming from internet startups. Thankfully some politicians recognize this, but the federal government seems to be going in the other direction. With the JotForm situation unfolding, where the US government shut down an entire website with no notice or explanation, people are beginning to recognize that the US is not safe for internet startups.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

Playing Video Games ‘Improves Eyesight’

21st February 2012

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Rare conditions like childhood cataracts cause near blindness in infancy, and even if corrected with surgery patients suffer from impaired sight throughout their adult life.

But playing video games could help improve their sight by teaching the brain to spot small details, follow movements and spot subtle light changes.

Everything bad is good for you.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off on Playing Video Games ‘Improves Eyesight’

‘Act of Valor’ Star Roselyn Sanchez Preferred Working With Navy SEALs to Hollywood Actors

21st February 2012

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As, indeed, who wouldn’t?

“What surprised me was how unaffected and cool they were,” Sanchez told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column of the SEALs. “Here they were doing a Hollywood movie and it wasn’t a big deal, they went along for the ride, they did their thing and they were incredible. I didn’t see any diva behavior. It was new for me to work with guys that even if they were waiting around for eight hours and didn’t have a trailer, they were content. It was refreshing.”

“The caliber of these guys was just so unbelievably amazing,” McCoy added. “They were some of the most competent, intellectual, dynamic men you have ever met in your lives,” he said. “Given the weight of the subject matter and paying respect to their communities, the only way to do it was with the real guys.”

When you care enough to send the very best.

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Analysis: ‘Fair Share’ in Taxes? Not by the Numbers

21st February 2012

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“The top 10 percent income earners pay about 70 percent of federal income taxes,” says Will McBride of the Tax Foundation. “The bottom 50 percent of tax filers have, they pay almost no federal income tax. They pay about 3 percent of federal income taxes.”

President Obama’s phrase that everyone should “pay our fair share of taxes” has become something of a political mantra. He has used the expression in dozens of speeches, beginning back in his State of Union address in January. More recently, he told University students in Virginia, “we do expect everyone to do their fair share.”

But for many of the people who pay no taxes, the government also allows tax credits, which end up providing refunds.

“Close to a hundred billion in checks sent out by the IRS (go) to folks who have no tax liability,” McBride said. “So the IRS is becoming a spending agency.”

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How Much Would It Cost to build the Death Star?

20th February 2012

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Obama’s on it. It’ll be in the next budget, powered by wind and solar.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

Was Stonehenege Built for Sound Effects?

20th February 2012

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Steven Waller said the ordering of stones at the rock monument in Wiltshire could be an attempt to recreate a sound illusion known as an “interference pattern” during prehistoric pipe-playing rituals.

The effect happens when two sounds clash, and results in some people hearing a louder noise and some a softer noise, depending on where they stand in relation to the source.

People taking part in a ritual dance around a pair of pipers would have heard the music unexpectedly grow quieter as they moved past certain spots due to this natural phenomenon, Mr Waller said.

This would have created the illusion that the sound was intermittently being muffled by invisible obstacles as the dancers circled the pipers, he said.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

How Target Figured Out a Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did

20th February 2012

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Not that there’s anything wrong with that….

Posted in Whose turn is it to be the victim? | Comments Off on How Target Figured Out a Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did

Canadian Digs Out Basement Using Only Radio Controlled Scale Tractors and Trucks…Since 2005!

20th February 2012

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And we’re talking about the whole nine yards here – he starts by transporting the excavator on an RC truck to the basement, unloads it, digs and uses other trucks to transfer the dirt up to the ground through a spiral ramp! He even has a miniature rock crusher!

We have the technology, but ya gotta be patient….

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Hundreds of Tibetans ‘Detained and Forced to Undergo Political Re-education’

20th February 2012

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It always surprises people when the Chinese Communists act like Communists.

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Gnostics and Good Intentions

20th February 2012

Jerry Pournelle reminds us that there is nothing new under the sun.

Back in my professor days I assigned Eric Vogelin’s New Science of Politics as one of the books to be read by my senior political philosophy students. Vogelin thought the world threatened by modern Gnostics, and predicted much from that analysis. As for example, when an economic policy, such as TARP, or the Keynesian economic stimulus program doesn’t work; or when the invasion of Iraq freed the people from Saddam Hussein but did not build the stable democracy of free men, there are always good reasons, and the blame must not fall on those whose honorable intentions failed in their noble missions. These are the men of action, who march in step with the flywheel of history. They are the midwives of the new and beautiful world – and when their actions fail, they must not be blamed. They meant well, and the world didn’t cooperate.

Of course there is another view: that we don’t understand the world all that well, and that our social sciences are mostly voodoo rituals. Neoconservatism grew out the Trotsky interpretation of Marxism, and modern Liberalism has deep roots in Fabian Socialism which was once known as Marxism with a human face – but which was able to overlook many of the horrors of the Soviet campaign to build a great society to transform the human condition. Young people now don’t remember that at one time communism was the hope of the world. Marx truly understood the world, and that knowledge was available to guide the actions of the Party as it sought to make a more beautiful world.

And when things didn’t work, there were always good reasons.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off on Gnostics and Good Intentions

“More” or “Less”? Is That a Trick Question?

20th February 2012

Read it. And watch the video.

On Tuesday, Jeff Sessions, ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, asked acting OMB Director Jeffrey Zients a simple question: Does President Obama’s FY 2013 budget–the matter on which Mr. Zients had come to the Senate to testify–increase spending compared with current law (most recently, the debt ceiling compromise that was reached last summer). For some reason, Zients was utterly stumped. He was never able to come up with a coherent answer, let alone a straight one.

Today it happened again. Tim Geithner took his turn at the Budget Committee, and Sessions asked him the same thing. Geithner, like Zients, was confounded. The concepts of “more” and “less” seemed to be too much for him.

It is hard to know what to make of this arithmetic ineptitude on the part of the Obama administration. Is it possible that they don’t know the answer? No. The only explanation is that they know the answer, but prefer that the American people don’t find it out.

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