DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for April, 2012

Are Apple’s Tax Games Bad for America?

30th April 2012

Read it.

Never mind the insane and arcane details. The big picture is that the world’s countries have built a great tax maze by competing to offer the most attractive rates to multinational companies, and the most sophisticated firms know how to navigate the labyrinth. It’s not unlike a shopping pro using coupons, sales, and return policies to pay bottom price at competing electronic stores — except at a much more complex and international level.

The reaction to the Times story has been fraught with indignation. But readers on every side of the federal tax debate ought to get used to this sort of thing. Yes, it’s frustrating, and yes, it’s morally debatable. But no matter what, U.S. multinationals are going to make most of their money overseas. No matter what, they’re going to use (legal) overseas loopholes to hide their money from our relatively high corporate tax rate. And, no matter what, we’re not going to see the vast majority of this money. And maybe we shouldn’t. Apple is an American company, but it makes two-thirds of its money overseas and its Asian market is growing almost three times faster than the American market.

Who wins in this system? Not the U.S. government, which is poorer for our efforts to have a high marginal tax rate that drives money out of the country. Not Apple and other multinationals, whose business plans are shaped by tax arcana rather than endogenous business strategies. And not Americans, who benefit neither from the tax money we don’t see nor the domestic investments we don’t get.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

‘Supersizing’ the College Classroom: How One Instructor Teaches 2,670 Students

30th April 2012

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Boyer describes his course as an “Intro to the Planet” that brings “the average completely uninformed American” up to speed on world issues. His approach? Decentralize the rigid class format by recreating assessment as a gamelike system in which students earn points for completing assignments of their choosing from many options (1,050 points earns an A, and no tasks, not even exams, are required). Saturate students with Facebook and Twitter updates (some online pop quizzes are announced only on social media). Keep the conversation going with online office hours.

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

Group Launches App Allowing Travelers to File Complaints on TSA Screeners

30th April 2012

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We have the technology.

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

British Aid Worker Khalil Dale Beheaded by Taliban in Pakistan

30th April 2012

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The decapitated body of a “gentle and caring” British aid worker has been found almost four months after he was kidnapped in Pakistan with all the hallmarks of a Taliban execution, police said.

I guess ‘gentle and caring’ aren’t Muslim values, either.

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | 1 Comment »

The New Reactionaries

30th April 2012

Victor Davis Hanson lays out certain ironic characteristics of those who call themselves ‘progressive’ but really aren’t.

About fifteen years ago, many liberals began to self-identify as progressives—partly because of the implosion of the Great Society and the Reagan reaction that had tarnished the liberal brand and left it as something akin to “permissive” or “naïve,” partly because “progressive” was supposedly an ideological rather than a political identification, and had included some early twentieth-century Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover.

But twenty-first century progressivism is not aimed at political reform. There is no new effort at racial unity. There is not much realization that we are in a globalized, rapidly changing, high-tech economy or that race and gender are not as they were fifty years ago. Instead, progressivism has become a reactionary return to the 1960s—or even well before.

Actually, if you actually listen to what they say, they’d like to put us back before 1900, where most of the country was wilderness, most of what was left was farms, the height of transportation technology was the railroad (both within cities and between cities), and the automobile was a toy for the rich.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Laser System Paints Information on the Road Ahead

30th April 2012

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Head-up displays, which project visual data onto the windshield and the driver’s view of the road, are debuting in a growing number of car models. But more vibrant, compact, and efficient displays being developed by Microvision, a company based in Redmond, Washington, could help the technology become much more common.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

College Dropout Became Mathematical Genius After Mugging

30th April 2012

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Working behind the counter at a futon store in Tacoma, Wash., is not the place you would expect to find a man some call a mathematical genius of unprecedented proportions.

Jason Padgett, 41, sees complex mathematical formulas everywhere he looks and turns them into stunning, intricate diagrams he can draw by hand. He’s the only person in the world known to have this incredible skill, which he obtained by sheer accident just a decade ago.

Guess the demand for mathematical geniuses in the job market isn’t what it once was.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Harvard’s ‘Populist’

30th April 2012

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There’s a reason why most would-be politicians start by running for lesser offices, as Massachusetts Democrats are finding to their chagrin this spring, as their anointed US Senate candidate springs one unpleasant surprise after another.

The Warren campaign is becoming an excellent illustration of the Cerberus-like combination of government, academia, and the media that Mencius Moldbug used to call The Cathedral.

Last week, news broke that Harvard Law had cited Warren as a minority hire — a Native American — when it was under criticism for lack of faculty diversity in 1996. Asked Friday for proof of her Indian ancestry, Warren’s said it’s part of her family “lore.”

Of course, one must be a member of a fashionable minority if possible. Don’t bother us with pesky facts.

Better a Native American than a ‘white Hispanic’, presumably.

When the campaign began, The Boston Globe saluted Warren for her “rise from poverty” as a child in Oklahoma City. Since then, as the truth has trickled out, the narrative has evolved. Goodbye poverty, hello to “the jagged edge of the middle class.”

We’ve learned that, by 1965, Elizabeth’s family had three cars, including a white MG that the hard-scrabble Native American drove daily to her tony high school. Still, the Globe insisted, the MG was “beat up.”

Well, that’s all right, then. That surely qualifies as Working Class. Don’t bother us with pesky facts.

Last Friday, she released four years of tax returns. Over those four years, Warren and her husband, another Harvard Law prof, averaged $300,000 more than Sen. Brown and his spouse, a TV anchor. In 2009, the Warrens made $981,000 vs. the Browns’ $249,000.

Even the Globe had to admit that Warren was “in the top 1 percent of earners” — ironic, considering her bragging that she provided the “intellectual foundations” of Occupy Wall Street.

Hey, it doesn’t matter who you really are, what matters is who you want to be. Don’t bother us with pesky facts.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Czech Metal Thieves Dismantle 10-Ton Bridge

30th April 2012

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The gang reportedly arrived at a depot in Slavkov, in the east of the country, with forged paperwork claiming that the footbridge over the disused railway track had to come down.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Wind Farms Can Cause Climate Change Finds New Study

29th April 2012

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Usually at night the air closer to the ground becomes colder when the sun goes down and the earth cools.

But on huge wind farms the motion of the turbines mixes the air higher in the atmosphere that is warmer, pushing up the overall temperature.

Satellite data over a large area in Texas, that is now covered by four of the world’s largest wind farms, found that over a decade the local temperature went up by almost 1C as more turbines are built.

This could have long term effects on wildlife living in the immediate areas of larger wind farms.

It could also affect regional weather patterns as warmer areas affect the formation of cloud and even wind speeds.

Please excuse me while I laugh my ass off….

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

‘Eve Online’ Economy Attacked by Massive Alliance of Players

29th April 2012

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EVE Online’s largest economic hub is currently under attack by a massive alliance of the game’s most ruthless players, infamously known as “Goonswarm,” and they may succeed in damaging it. For those who haven’t heard of it, EVE is a gargantuan space-based MMO from developer CCP Games that’s been home to several rich tales of high-stakes drama since it launched in 2003. The open-ended game is like a Lockean dreamworld in its no-security (“null-sec”) areas, that are open to scamming, murder, corporate espionage, economic manipulation, ruthless warmongering, and mind-boggling heists. But many of EVE’s law abiding players stay within safe high-security (“hi-sec”) areas that have mostly protected them from null-sec raiders, much to the chagrin of Goonswarm and its allies. According to some players, many of those in null-sec, including Goonswarm and its leader, resent hi-sec’s existence and aim to force their vision of the game on hi-sec players (who they insultingly refer to as “empire dwellers”). To accomplish that, they’re waging economic warfare and aiming to strike fear into all those who play in hi-sec space.

Following a 30-day ban that resulted from his efforts to mock a suicidal player, Goonswarm leader Alexander “The Mittani” Gianturco is leading “Burn Jita:” an attack on hi-sec space that’s intended to crash the game’s market for an important resource and cut off trillions of player-made assets through blockades. Eurogamer reports that The Mittani and his team of over 1,500 players have spent months planning the Jita attack, and have built an army of 15,000 small, single-purpose suicide ships that render the protection of Hi-sec’s AI police useless. So far, they’ve destroyed thousands of ships, and continue to attack vessels in hi-sec space — but it’s not clear if the attack has succeeded in crashing the market, as conflicting reports about its stability have surfaced on the web.

One of the most glaring defects of the ‘progressive’ worldview, to which ‘progressives’ are functionally blind but which appears to Real World People™ as a great gaping hole, is the inability to accept that there are evil people in the world, and that these evil people not only act to work evil on everybody else but also combine in groups whose major reason for existing is to make those evil works more effective. This is a fairly blatant example of such a dynamic, which has the virtue of all simulations in that it leaves behind the clutter of daily details and thus makes more stark the operation of underlying principles.

As in real life, those who work to create dystopias for their own benefit nevertheless realize (whether consciously or unconsciously) that a well-ordered and peaceful society is superior to the world that they strive to make (and far too often succeed), and so are eaten up with envy and hatred that just reinforces their evil tendencies. One of the most attractive features of The Lord of the Rings is that the struggle between these monsters and the rest of creation is perennial and ongoing, and that those who try to ignore it only make the triumph of evil more certain.

The resemblance between this operation against the hi-sec space Jita and the ongoing jihad against Western civilization ought to be sufficiently obvious as to require no comment.

While other MMO developers would likely prevent such a scenario from occurring, CCP welcomes Goonswarm’s efforts. EVE Online senior producer Jon Lander tells Eurogamer that Goonswarm “is going to do exactly what you’re able to do in the game, and people will have to roll with it” — he says the attack on Jita is “absolutely brilliant.” And lead game designer Kistoffer Touborg tells Eurogamer that “we want people to be able to do this. If Goonswarm want to do it, we want them to do it and we want them to have a great time doing it.” Touborg adds that “the worst thing we could do is to stop it happening… it would be against everything we stand for.”

In other words, just as with real life, there is no grown-up who is going to step in at the last minute and make sure of a happy ending.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

The Future of Science

29th April 2012

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Almost every technological and medical innovation in the world has its roots in a scientific paper. Science drives much of the world’s innovation. The faster science moves, the faster the world moves.

Progress in science right now is being held back by two key inefficiencies:

  • The time-lag problem: there is a time-lag of, on average, 12 months between finishing a paper, and it being published.
  • The single mode of publication problem: scientists share their ideas only via one format, the scientific paper, and don’t take advantage of the full range of media that the web makes possible.

The stakes are high. If these inefficiencies can be removed, science would accelerate tremendously. A faster science would lead to faster innovation in medicine and technology. Cancer could be cured 2-3 years sooner than it otherwise would be, which would save millions of lives.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

‘Today in Dearborn, We’re Standing Up Against the Barbarity of Honor Murder’

29th April 2012

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Except for Dennis, of course.

The Islamic supremacist and Leftist brownshirts will be out in force, but we are going to stand nevertheless. Today at the Hyatt in Dearborn from 5 to 8PM we will hold the Jessica Mokdad Conference on Honor Killing.

 

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Nigeria: Muslims Slaughter Christian Students at Sunday Service

29th April 2012

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

The Worst Thing That Can Happen

29th April 2012

An Informative Chart.

Believe it.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

‘We’re the Wolf PAC and we’re coming.’

29th April 2012

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Actually, they’re just breathing hard. And eventually they’ll get over it, because, like the ‘occupy’ movement, their generation has endemic ADHD, and soon another squirrel will cross their paths, and then — all gone, leaving nothing behind but a monumental pile of trash that the grownups will have to clean up, at taxpayer expense.

Nothing better illustrates the ‘graphic novel approach to life’ adopted by far too many of the post-Boomer proletariat than this silly petition.

For one thing, the right in question belongs, not to the corporation as such, to the management of the corporation as agents for the shareholders. So there’s no ‘there’ there — no attribute of a corporation qua corporation to remove. Just as your attorney can spend money on your behalf on political speech in exercise of your First Amendment right, so can a corporation, acting on behalf of the shareholders, individual citizens, in exercise of their First Amendment rights.

(The question whether the shareholders want ‘their’ corporation to exercise their First Amendment rights in any particular individual manner is a question of corporate governance, not of Constitutional right. This is what happens when people not trained in the law attempt attempt political action based on a misapprehension — the problem ain’t what they know, but what they ‘know’ that ain’t so.)

For another thing, that a corporation is in law a person is of the essence of the corporate form of doing business. Wipe that out, and we return to the quasi-partnership joint stock arrangements that were the best that people could do before the Industrial Revolution (which the corporate form was a key ingredient in fostering). So our kiddies are not only ignorant of the law, they are also appallingly ignorant of both history and economics. Somehow that doesn’t surprise me.

This is what comes of sending your kids to government schools: A lot of indignation, but no real knowledge.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

29th April 2012

I Can See Clearly Now

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

Muslim Persecution of Christians: March, 2012

29th April 2012

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The war on Christianity and its adherents rages on in the Muslim world. In March alone, Saudi Arabia’s highest Islamic law authority decreed that churches in the region must be destroyed; jihadis in Nigeria said they “are going to put into action new efforts to strike fear into the Christians of the power of Islam by kidnapping their women”; American teachers in the Middle East were murdered for talking about Christianity; churches were banned or bombed, and nuns terrorized by knife-wielding Muslim mobs. Christians continue to be attacked, arrested, imprisoned, and killed for allegedly “blaspheming” Islam’s prophet Muhammad; former Muslims continue to be attacked, arrested, imprisoned, and killed for converting to Christianity.

Not really news, but a useful reminder.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

‘Heart Shrinking’ Trial Aimed at Combating Heart Failure to Begin

28th April 2012

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The first trial in humans using electricity to shrink the heart of patients suffering from heart failure is about to start.

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Parents Who Sued School Over Son’s Punishment for Cheating Receive Hate Messages

28th April 2012

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Jack Berghouse doesn’t dispute that his son, a sophomore at Sequoia High School, copied someone else’s homework. But the Redwood City father believes the school district was wrong to kick his teenager out of an English honors class for the offense, and his decision to sue has embroiled the family in a public, opinionated debate.

Why not? Everybody else does it.

“I’m getting a lot of hate calls at my office,” said Berghouse, who practices family law. “I had no freaking idea this would happen.”

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

Perhaps lawyers ought not to be allowed to reproduce.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Losers at the Game of Life

28th April 2012

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Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of violent video games is that constantly playing them will make you a pussy. Compulsive gamers don’t experience enough real sex and violence to become grown men.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

The Real War on Women

28th April 2012

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Honor killings are at the heart of the real war on women, as Lee Habeeb critically reminds us. But they are not a problem only in Turkey, Pakistan, and other Muslim-majority countries. The practice is emerging here in the U.S., though you won’t find any mention of it in the Violence Against Women Act that passed the Senate on Thursday.

Over the last couple of years, American cases of violence against women in order to preserve the honor of a woman’s family have been reported in the media and by human-rights groups, but no police records are kept nationwide on these crimes. Congressman Frank Wolf (R., Va.), chairman of the House commerce-justice-science appropriations subcommittee and a dedicated human-rights champion, thinks it’s important to know more about the extent of the “honor” violence occurring here. He has initiated legislation directed to finding out and, tellingly, he has done so outside the politically correct VAWA.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Sun’s Twin Has a Nine-Planet Solar System — and It’s Just 127 Light Years Away

28th April 2012

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Well, then, let’s just pop on over.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

The Old Order Changeth

27th April 2012

Stanley Fish has some fun with ‘literary studies’.

I was pleased to see that the program confirmed an observation I made years ago: while disciplines like physics or psychology or statistics discard projects and methodologies no longer regarded as cutting edge, if you like the way literary studies were done in 1950 or even 1930, there will be a department or a journal that allows you to proceed as if nothing had happened in the last 50 or 75 years.

Absent are the titles that in the past gave reporters an opportunity to poke fun at academics who apparently had too much time on their hands. This year the only candidate for that kind of attention is “The Material History of Spider-Man,” but given the serious study devoted to comic books in a number of disciplines, there’s not much there to ridicule. By the evidence of this program at least, literary scholars are no longer gifting critics and pundits with an open invitation to skewer them.

Once again, as in the early theory days, a new language is confidently and prophetically spoken by those in the know, while those who are not are made to feel ignorant, passed by, left behind, old. If you see a session on “Digital Humanities versus New Media” and you’re not quite sure what either term means you might think you have wandered into the wrong convention. When the notes explaining the purpose of a session on “Digital Material” include the question “Is there gravity in digital worlds?”, you might be excused for wondering whether you have become a character in a science fiction movie. And when a session’s title is “Digital Literary Studies: When Will it End?”, you might find yourself muttering, “Not soon enough.”

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

A Range of Perspectives

27th April 2012

Mark Krikorian brings it to the front burner.

This struck me when I read a notice for an upcoming event at Brookings. It features the expansionists’ favorite economist, plus two roundtables “representing a range of perspectives.” Here’s the range: NPR’s ombudsman, 3M’s general counsel, the HR guy for a California ag business, Chuck Hagel (here’s more on his 2006 amnesty bill), the founder of a Silicon Valley VC firm, the head of La Raza, and the president of a leftist labor union. So: a pro-amnesty economist, a pro-amnesty media person, a pro-amnesty corporate guy, a pro-amnesty farmer, a pro-amnesty former politician, a pro-amnesty investor, a pro-amnesty professional ethnic, and a pro-amnesty union boss. Some “range”!

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Former TSA boss: Resentment of Agency ‘Dangerous to Security’

27th April 2012

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“The fracture between the common traveller and the people providing the services is broken,” said Hawley, “and I’ve used the term ‘toxic,’ and I think that is dangerous to security when neither side are particularly listening to the other and I think that is what needs to be fixed.”

Of course, the obvious response is: Well, whose fargin fault is it that the TSA is resented? Hmmm?

And don’t get me started on that whole ‘security theater’ thing….

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | 4 Comments »

New Navy Uniform Could Monitor Sailors’ Pee for Signs of Nuclear Attack

27th April 2012

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Well, you know, that’s not the sort of thing that you want to be uncertain about….

ONR’s ideal uniforms would use a bevy of “integrated sensors built into fabric” to monitor every aspect of a soldier’s wellbeing, and then transmit that information to medical personnel. In addition to vital signs and bullet wounds, the fabric sensors should be able to “detect exposure to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive agents” by tapping into biomarkers found in soldiers’ blood, saliva, sweat or urine. And where bullet wounds are concerned, the threads would do much more than merely detect their location. They’d also “estimate the depth of penetration and the affected surrounding organs.”

Personally, I’d trade it all for some Storm Trooper crotch protection. Sailors think about that sort of thing, you know.

Posted in You can't make this stuff up. | 1 Comment »

Cindy Sheehan’s Wild Rant Over Tax Evasion

27th April 2012

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Luke Skywalker is alive and well, but he is trapped in Cindy Sheehan’s body.

She’s baaaaack….

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Do the Wealthy Work Harder Than the Rest?

27th April 2012

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‘I could have been Bill Gates, but I didn’t have the working.’

A new study offers evidence  that higher-educated (and therefore higher-earning)  Americans do indeed spend more time working and less time on leisure than poorer income groups. In fact, while income inequality may be growing, “leisure inequality” – time spent on enjoyment – is growing as a mirror image, with the low earners gaining leisure and the high earners losing.

A red herring — it’s irrelevant whether the wealthy work harder; the work they do is more valuable, in the eyes of the only people competent to judge: Those who are paying for it. Even those who pretend to be in favor of free markets have this inner compulsion to substitute their own judgments about what something is worse for that of the market in cases where what is going on seems massively ‘unfair’, but they need to get over it.

The more surprising discovery, however, is a corresponding leisure gap has opened up between the highly-educated and less-educated.  Low-educated men saw their leisure hours grow to 39.1 hours in 2003-2007, from 36.6 hours in 1985. Highly-educated men saw their leisure hours shrink to 33.2 hours from 34.4 hours.  (Mr. Hurst says that education levels are a “proxy” for incomes, since they tend to correspond).

That’s because low-educated men tend to be on welfare, be it unemployment ‘insurance’ or whatever. Let’s tell the truth, here, guys.

(The study defines leisure as time spend watching TV, socializing, playing games, talking on the phone, reading personal email, enjoying entertainment and hobbies and other activities.)

I have no doubt. Better add ‘smoking weed’ in there to be complete.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

How to Answer an Awkward Question

27th April 2012

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I spoke with a woman at a recent networking event. After she finished telling me about her children, she turned the conversation to me: “Do you have kids?”

To be fair, the question wasn’t unreasonable; she was searching for a common bond, as people often do at these kinds of events. And maybe I was looking a bit haggard that night.

But this was the first time anyone had asked me that question, and my mind reeled with the possible implications: Did she think I looked older than my age? Was I giving off a maternal vibe? I didn’t know whether to scoff at her question or to make a joke of it, so I did both – and then, worried that I had come across as anti-motherhood, explained that I wasn’t married yet and kids were still a long ways off.

I usually just answer ‘Not that I know of’, but I imagine that, for a woman, that would make an awkward situation even more so. On the other hand, ‘Not any more’ would just shut the conversation down straightaway — if that’s what you’d like to do, which in many cases it might be, I gather.

Actually, the answer is just not to speak to other people, and I’m good with that.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Mit Creates Glare-Free, Self Cleaning, Water Repellent Glass

27th April 2012

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And it may even shine your shoes for you, for all I know. (Of course, nobody wears shinable shoes any more; that’s just a metaphor. Don’t overthink it.)

The glass would essentially look nearly invisible because of the lack of glare, fog or any other visual cue that the eye can see. And the water beading attribute turns into a glass cleaner of sorts. Check this video showing the beads rolling off the glass and pulling dust where the droplets bounce off.

I think I’ll open a book on when the first lawsuit brought by some old duffer who walks through it because she couldn’t see it.

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

Republicans Prepare Contempt Citation Against Eric Holder Over Fast and Furious

27th April 2012

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And about time, too.

(You know that if it were Congressional Democrats preparing the citation against a Republican Attorney General, the headline would be ‘Congress Prepares Contempt Citation for Obstructive Attorney General”.)

Nothing will come of it, of course — nothing ever does — but at least Congressional Republicans seem to have rented a spine from somewhere, even though they’ll have to return it in a week or two.

UPDATE: Apparently the trigger has not yet been pulled — and I’ll bet you serious money that it’ll just be waved around a bit for effect and then quietly dropped. That’s how these things go in government; a lot of kabuki dancing and posturing to find out Whose Dick Is Bigger Than Whose, which generally reveals that neither party has one to speak of. Not like the good old days, when a Congressman could beat another into unconsciousness just because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

O Canada: Ontario’s Tax the Rich Plan’s Problem: Who Is Seriously Going to Pay It?

27th April 2012

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The precise Bay St. venue may change, from accounting office to law firm, but the offhand joke remains the same.

“We’re all moving to Alberta,” says Jason Safar, tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “Get on the bus.”

Or, in a slight variation, get ready to move Dec. 31 — all to avoid a new Ontario surtax on incomes above $500,000.

Fly, little goosie, fly away.

Someone earning a $500,000 salary pays about $215,000 in combined federal and provincial income tax.

“They already pay a large amount of tax,” Safar says. “They’re feeling singled out and persecuted.”

Well, that’s because they are. Funny thing about that.

And, of course, Ontario will not only lose the new leeching, but the remainder of what their targets were paying before they moved. So it’s likely to yield a net loss of revenue, which politicians seem to be perennially too dumb to figure out.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Churchill on the Buffett Rule

27th April 2012

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Churchill appreciated, as modern ‘progressives’ and their catamites do not, that rich people and their organizations are the ones that drive prosperity for everybody. Whacking them is like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs — a greedy and shortsighted strategy.

This money-gathering, credit-producing animal can not only walk—he can run.  And when frightened he can fly.  If his wings are clipped, he can dive or crawl.  When in the end he is hunted down, what is left but a very ordinary individual apologizing volubly for his mistakes, and particularly for not having been able to get away?

But meanwhile great constructions have crumbled to the ground.  Confidence is shaken and enterprise chilled, and the unemployed queue up at the soup kitchen or march out upon the public works with ever-growing expense to the taxpayer and nothing more appetizing to take home to their families than the leg or the wing of what was once a millionaire.  One quite sees that people who have got interested in this fight will not accept such arguments against their sport.  What they will have to accept is the consequences of ignoring such arguments.  It is indispensible to the wealth of nations and to the wage and life standards of labour, that capital and credit should be honoured and cherished partners in the economic system.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Elite Afghan Soldier Kills U.S. Special Forces Mentor

27th April 2012

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“The shooting took place after a verbal conflict where the Afghan special forces soldier opened fire and killed an American special forces member and his translator,” Hamid told Reuters.

At least 18 foreign soldiers have died this year in 11 incidents of so-called green on blue shootings, which are an increasing worry for both NATO and Afghan commanders, eroding trust as Western combat troops look to leave the country in 2014.

The latest shooting will be of grave concern to both sides, at it is the first involving a member of Afghanistan’s new special forces, which undergo rigorous vetting as part of their selection into the country’s top anti-insurgent force….

Another reminder of the inconvenient truth that there is no way to tell accurately beforehand when any random Muslim will decide it’s time to do a little jihad. None.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Copenhagen, Denmark: Three Armed Muslims Arrested “In the Process of Preparing a Terrorist Act”

27th April 2012

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

The Outrage Over Racist Girls

27th April 2012

Half Sigma is getting really tired of all the Identity Politics.

As I wrote yesterday, if you randomly looked into apartments in the Williamsburg and Greenpoint areas of Brooklyn being shared by twenty-something women, in the vast majority of cases they’d be inhabited by all white people. All you have to do is walk around Williamsburg to see that it’s an extremely white place. The “hipster” movement just doesn’t have much attraction to non-white people. (The geography of Brooklyn, mainly the BQE and the Newtown Creek, keep this area walled off from outside NAMs. The Hispanics still living there are slowly being squeezed out by the forces of hipster gentrification, and the city had the foresight to never erect any housing projects in this area. Or perhaps the real reason for lack of housing projects is that it was originally considered an industrial area unfit for human habitation.)

If instead of four white girls there were two white girls, a black girl, and an Asian girl, would more people watch the show? The answer is no. Fewer people would watch because fewer people would see themselves in the show. No matter how many Asians and blacks you stick into a show about SWPLs, Asians and blacks aren’t going to be interested in watching, because it’s not a show about themselves.

So the real reason some hardcore liberal types are upset about Girls is because they think that HBO is sending the wrong message to proles and others who don’t think correct thoughts about race. Or maybe the real reason is because the show reminds them of their own racist lives which don’t have the correct mix of diversity, and this makes them feel guilty.

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

Union Leader Says Education Reforms Are an Attack Against ‘Human Rights’

27th April 2012

Read it.

Is teacher tenure a “human right”?

That’s what the head of the Nevada State Education Association seemed to suggest in a television interview last weekend.

Appearing on a local news show, NSEA President Lynn Warne said the Silver State’s new education reforms – which focus largely on teacher tenure – “really struck at the heart of what are educators’ rights, workers’ rights, human rights really.”

No doubt the next step is a complaint to the U.N. Human Rights Council (notable members: China and Cuba).

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

Why Modern Playgrounds Suck – The Death of Awesome Play Equipment

27th April 2012

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Hard to play when you spend your childhood encased in bubble-wrap.

It’s a known fact that children are gigantic wuss-bags, and that they really need to toughen up. I think that potentially life threatening play equipment is the way to do that, and I’m disgusted by the fact that see-saws, merry-g0-rounds, and even spike pits are missing from the playgrounds that North American children play in each day. Do you think that children in Somalia whine and complain when they scrape their knee, or hit the wooden trim on the park as they jump from a swing? I don’t think so. Try playing in a mine field and then tell me that the jungle gym is too high.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Let’s Hear It for the Arab Spring

27th April 2012

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Egyptian husbands could soon be legally allowed to have sex with their dead wives for up to six hours after their death, local media is claiming.

The controversial new law is claimed to be part of a raft of measures being introduced by the Islamist-dominated parliament.

It will also see the minimum age of marriage lowered to 14 and the ridding of women’s rights of getting education and employment.

Yeah, I guess that’s worth overthrowing your government. In fact, an Arab screwing a corpse sounds like a great metaphor for the Dar al-Isam throughout history.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Apple ‘Frustrated’ as Plans for New Austin Facility Are ‘in Peril’

27th April 2012

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Because of the local government, of course — the local Democrat-controlled government, which is apparently less interested in new jobs and economic growth than they are in wetting their beaks.

But this week, Dave Porter, senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, said those plans are now in doubt, according to The Statesman. He said the problems stem from the county government, which has allegedly been holding up the deal by asking for new conditions tied to the financial incentives.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Obama Backs Down on Farm Chore Ban

27th April 2012

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I suppose one can credit the Obama administration for knowing when to admit it is wrong, but one also has to wonder what it says about the administration, or the bureaucracy, that it constantly tosses out these ideas only to have them overruled. Imagine all the bad press the administration could save itself if these ideas were shut down at some earlier stage before they became official proposals, and all the time and money that could be saved if the people who sit around dreaming up these overreaches were given the opportunity to seek more productive work in the private sector.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

They Don’t Even Lie Well Any More

27th April 2012

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Not that they ever did….

This comes back to mind with the firestorm over the comments of EPA regional administrator Al Armendariz where he described his philosophy of regulatory enforcement that’s right out of Scalia’s analogy:

    “I was in a meeting once and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement. It’s kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean: they’d go into little Turkish towns somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they’d run into, and they’d crucify them and then, you know, that town was really easy to manage over the next few years.”

Of course, Armendariz should be fired immediately.  Of course, that won’t happen.  Instead, he’s issued a lame apology: “I apologize to those I have offended and regret my poor choice of words. It was an offensive and inaccurate way to portray our efforts to address potential violations of our nation’s environmental laws.”  Yes, it was offensive, but it was a highly accurate description.  His only mistake was candor.  The White House is backpedalling just as fast as it can, but Jay Carney has become an especially unconvincing liar.

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

Diversity Training Doesn’t Work

27th April 2012

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Over the years, there had been a number of incidents at Bedia in which individuals had felt misunderstood, mistreated, or disrespected. Eventually, someone sued.

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

All it takes is one I’m-the-victim whiner and your diversity training (and the expense of it) goes down the drain.

Diversity training doesn’t extinguish prejudice. It promotes it.

No shit. Nothing solidifies prejudice like making a big deal out of it — as, say, diversity training does.

A study of 829 companies over 31 years showed that diversity training had “no positive effects in the average workplace.” Millions of dollars a year were spent on the training resulting in, well, nothing. Attitudes — and the diversity of the organizations — remained the same.

It gets worse. The researchers — Frank Dobbin of Harvard, Alexandra Kalev of Berkeley, and Erin Kelly of the University of Minnesota — concluded that “In firms where training is mandatory or emphasizes the threat of lawsuits, training actually has negative effects on management diversity.”

Nothing solidifies prejudice like making a big deal out of it — as, say, diversity training does.

But it’s deeper than that. When people divide into categories to illustrate the idea of diversity, it reinforces the idea of the categories.

Which, if you think about it, is the essential problem of prejudice in the first place. People aren’t prejudiced against real people; they’re prejudiced against categories. “Sure, John is gay,” they’ll say, “but he’s not like other gays.” Their problem isn’t with John, but with gay people in general.

But the ‘experts’ either don’t know that (they’re ignorant) or won’t admit it (they’re prejudiced — there’s irony for you).

Categories are dehumanizing. They simplify the complexity of a human being. So focusing people on the categories increases their prejudice.

And making a big deal out of ‘diversity’ just demonstrates to people that they live and work with a lot of strangers, because if you didn’t, nobody would make a big deal of diversity. ‘Let’s celebrate the fact that we have all these minorities here!’ merely causes people to focus on how many minorities you have here. This is not a strategy destined for success.

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

Oslo, Norway: 69 Percent Increase in Rapes (76 Rapes in 91 Days). Share of Non-Westerners Among ‘Attack-Rapists’: 100 Percent.

27th April 2012

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The jihad on “uncovered meat” has just begun. Norway distinguishes two kinds of rapes: rape and attack-rape. In rapes, the rapist and the victim know each other beforehand, while an attack-rape is when the two do not know each other before the rape. In Oslo, 100 percent of the attack-rapes are committed by non-Western immigrants with a “view of women” that makes them rape, according to the leading police officer, Hanne Kristin Rohde.

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

Be careful not to step in the Diversity.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Astronomers Find New Planet Capable of Supporting Life

27th April 2012

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Re-analysing data from the European Southern Observatory, the astronomers found Gliese 667Cc is a solid planet with roughly four and a half times the mass of Earth.

The University Göttingen and University of California scientists have calculated the planet recieves ten per cent less light from its red dwarf star than the Earth gets from the Sun.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Miss Fiji’s Hair is Too Straight, Say Critics

27th April 2012

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The decision to award the title to Torika Watters, who is of mixed European-Fijian heritage, prompted hundreds of racist and violent comments which had to be removed from the official Miss World Fiji Facebook page.

That’s impossible, of course; Everybody Knows that only white people can be racist.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Death of the Moderate . . . Democrat

27th April 2012

Erick Erickson rings the death knell.

What is most interesting about it from a conservative perspective, however, is how there has not been a ton of coverage about the death of the blue dogs — more dogs dead in Barack Obama and the left’s war on dogs. Had moderate Republicans been defeated, we would have major stories on pretty much every news network and on the front page of every paper in America.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

UK: Recipients of Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals Criticised for Selling Awards on eBay

27th April 2012

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Thousands of the medals are being issued on behalf of the Queen to honour the dedication and service of public sector workers as she marks 60 years on the throne.

However, scores of the commendations are already trading hands on eBay for as much as £300 each with some recipients openly snubbing the Queen’s gesture on the auction site.

“I could have a nice, shiny medal or the cash, and, personally, I’d rather have the cash.”

We have the technology … to be real assholes.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

UK: Pupils Failing to Study British History at School

27th April 2012

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Lessons in history are being increasingly undermined by an “incoherent, fragmented and repetitive” curriculum that leaves most children feeling “bored”, it was claimed.

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

The subject is also being distorted by a poor-quality exams system, which places an excessive emphasis on broad enquiry skills over core knowledge, researchers said.

After all, one must be hip, and trendy.

In a damning conclusion, experts claimed that English schools were more likely to downplay their own country’s history than those in any other European nation.

And let’s not even get started talking about the history of nations whose main contribution to world history is genocide and oppression, like the Muslim world.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »