DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for October, 2012

‘Won’t you please come to Chicago … and get shot.’

29th October 2012

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Chicago experienced more waves of violence on Saturday night and Sunday morning as one person was killed and six more were wounded by gunfire in the city with perhaps the nation’s most draconian gun-control laws.

Funny how the places with the strictest ‘gun control’ laws always seem to have the worst record on gun violence. One might almost think that there was a connection between the two.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

The Perils of Always Ignoring the Bright Side

29th October 2012

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The rapidly growing use of shale gas in the U.S. has also driven down carbon-dioxide emissions by replacing coal in the generation of electricity. U.S. carbon emissions are falling so fast they are now back to levels last seen in the 1990s. So the two technologies most reliably and stridently opposed by the environmental movement—genetic modification and fracking—have been the two technologies that most reliably cut carbon emissions.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Livescribe Outs Sky WiFi Smartpen for $170, Lets You Record Written Notes and Audio Straight to Evernote

29th October 2012

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Branded the Sky WiFi Smartpen, it works with proprietary physical notebooks to preserve your handwritten notes and linked audio files on a minimum of 2GB of onboard storage, and then it sends them directly to your Evernote account via WiFi — from where you can access them on pretty much any PC, tablet or smartphone. If you’re wondering a how the pen selects the right network and enters a password, then it’s actually pretty straightforward: Livescribe’s new stationery is printed with connection buttons that, in conjunction with the OLED display on the pen itself, guide you through the procedure in a few seconds. The latest notebooks also have buttons for sending your captured thoughts to Google Drive, Dropbox and Facebook, although those services won’t be activated until early next year.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Given Tablets but No Teachers, Ethiopian Children Teach Themselves

29th October 2012

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 With 100 million first-grade-aged children worldwide having no access to schooling, the One Laptop Per Child organization is trying something new in two remote Ethiopian villages—simply dropping off tablet computers with preloaded programs and seeing what happens.

The goal: to see if illiterate kids with no previous exposure to written words can learn how to read all by themselves, by experimenting with the tablet and its preloaded alphabet-training games, e-books, movies, cartoons, paintings, and other programs.

Early observations are encouraging, said Nicholas Negroponte, OLPC’s founder, at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference last week.

Jerry Pournelle’s wife, Roberta, long ago developed a computer program (The Literacy Connection) that will permit an illiterate person to teach himself to read in less than a year with no outside assistance. We have the technology, but the government and the unions won’t allow it to be used.

Earlier this year, OLPC workers dropped off closed boxes containing the tablets, taped shut, with no instruction. “I thought the kids would play with the boxes. Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, found the on-off switch … powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child, per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs in the village, and within five months, they had hacked Android,” Negroponte said. “Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera, and they figured out the camera, and had hacked Android.”

Elaborating later on Negroponte’s hacking comment, Ed McNierney, OLPC’s chief technology officer, said that the kids had gotten around OLPC’s effort to freeze desktop settings. “The kids had completely customized the desktop—so every kids’ tablet looked different.  We had installed software to prevent them from doing that,” McNierney said. “And the fact they worked around it was clearly the kind of creativity, the kind of inquiry, the kind of discovery that we think is essential to learning.”

Freedom works every time it’s tried.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Wisconsin Tea Party Rally Parking Lots Filled With Nails

28th October 2012

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Attendees at a Racine, Wisc., Tea Party rally Saturday were met with a parking lots full of nails deliberately placed there early in the morning before the event, which I attended.

This incident adds to a week where a gay Republican campaign worker was brutally beaten and, in a separate incident, a son of a local state senator was hospitalized after defending his Romney sign after two people attempted to remove it from his yard.

I’m sure George W Bush was behind it all.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Saudi King Urges UN Action Against Religious Insults

28th October 2012

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“I demand a UN resolution that condemns any country or group that insults religions and prophets,” he said during a meeting at his palace with religious figures and heads of hajj delegations in the Mina valley where pilgrims were performing final rituals of hajj.

Well, uh, first you’ll have to take the passages out of your schoolbooks that call Jews pigs and monkeys — oh, sorry, that’s the Koran that calls Jews pigs and monkeys, so I guess you’ll have to get rid of that, too.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

No Tasteless Political Jokes at Left’s Expense as Hurricane Sandy Approaches Blue States

28th October 2012

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In August, the left found it amusing to speculate about Divine judgment when Hurricane Isaac seemed to be approaching Tampa, FL as the Republican National Convention began.

Even when Isaac veered west and followed a similar path to that taken by Hurricane Gustav in 2008–which also coincided with the Republican convention, in St. Paul, MN–and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, some on the left celebrated the GOP’s misfortune.

As Hurricane Sandy bears down on heavily Democratic mid-Atlantic and northeast states, no one, left or right, is joking.

Well, except for me, of course. You want tasteless political jokes, I’m your boy.

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

Humanitarian Hypocrisy

28th October 2012

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Fifteen leaders from U.S. Christian denominations—mostly Protestant, including the Lutheran, Methodist, and UCC Churches—are asking Congress to reevaluate U.S. military aid to Israel, since “military aid will only serve to sustain the status quo and Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories.”

These are the same church leaders who utter nary a word concerning the rampant persecution of millions of Christians from one end of the Muslim world to the other—a persecution that makes the Palestinians’ situation insignificant in comparison.

Lenin had a term for it: Useful Idiots. Modern governments are run by them.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Cursive, foiled again

28th October 2012

Gene Weingarten is a man after my own heart.

As a person who is both old and grouchy, I have to fight the temptation to be a curmudgeon. So I am always looking for common ground with the young and the hip. (I like Ghostface Killah! Mostly! When his grammar isn’t really bad!)

Keeping the curmudgeon in me at bay isn’t easy, because I am increasingly annoyed by unacceptable modern incursions into what is Right and Proper, dagnabbit. I experienced this the other day when I saw a page of notes taken by my Washington Post colleague Rachel Manteuffel for a story she was writing. It resembled a page from an economics textbook.

“You don’t write in cursive,” I said.

“I was never taught cursive,” she said.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Suicide Bomber Hits North Nigeria Catholic Church

28th October 2012

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What peaceful, friendly people! Wouldn’t you just love to have some for neighbors?

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

Of course, as we all know, the real problem is Islamophobia.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Elephant Personalities Revealed by Scientists

28th October 2012

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In a new study of African elephants, researchers have identified four distinct characters that are prevalent with a herd – the leaders, the gentle giants, the playful rogues and the reliable plodders.

Hey, tenure doesn’t grow on trees, you know.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

US Navy Tests First 11-Meter Missile-Firing Sea Drone

28th October 2012

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The almost zodiac-like craft has been an ongoing project over recent years, and contains a fully automated system which the Navy calls a “Precision Engagement Module” which uses an Mk-49 mounting with a dual missile launcher manufactured by Rafael.

I suggest they call it a ‘Wetator Drone’.

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

In Search of the Final Solution: Celebrities Line Up With Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to Fund Abortion Crusade

28th October 2012

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You have to wonder about the level of intelligence of people who can call killing innocent children ‘Reproductive Rights’. Oh, wait — it’s Hollywood; no intelligence necessary.

Next, they’ll be calling Auschwitz a ‘Jewish Rights Center’.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 8 Comments »

Rise of the Tiger Nation

28th October 2012

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You want unrestricted immigration? Fine: China, Korea, Japan — bring ‘em on. Our economy would explode.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

28th October 2012

Let’s Hang On

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

‘Earn your Trident every day…’

28th October 2012

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 The news has been full of the attacks on our embassies throughout the Muslim world, and in particular, the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in Benghazi , Libya . However, apart from the shameful amount of disinformation willingly distributed by the Main Stream Media and the current administration, there’s a little known story of incredible bravery, heroics, and courage that should be the top story of every news agency across the fruited plain.

Know their names: Tyrone Wood. Gene Doherty. Neither will get the honors that they deserve. Memory eternal!

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

Al Qaeda’s Zawahri Calls for Kidnap of Westerners

28th October 2012

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What peaceful, friendly people! Wouldn’t you just love to have some for neighbors!

Of course, as we all know, the real problem is Islamophobia.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Spooked Cow Tramples to Death Palestinian Trying to Slaughter It for Muslim Feast

28th October 2012

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Let that be a lesson to us all.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Napolitano Says More Than 3,000 Illegal Immigrants Applying Daily Under Deportation Reprieve Plan

28th October 2012

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Which merely underlines the magnitude of the illegal immigration problem, and illustrates that the Federal government (Janet Napolitano, bureaucrat, collecting a paycheck) isn’t doing a whole lot about it.

This is like Samsung putting out a press release saying ‘Hey, 3000 people a day are bringing in their TVs to be fixed! What a successful program!’ Hey, if you were doing your job properly, the program wouldn’t be needed.

(It says something deeply troubling about our culture when Justin Bieber looks more like a girl than Janet Napolitano.)

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Saturday Night Card Game (If You Can Hear the Dog Whistle, You Might Be a Racist)

27th October 2012

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You know when it’ll be clear that racism is all but dead and buried?  When so-called liberals stop accusing black conservatives of being Uncle Toms and Aunt Jemimas.

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

Deep in the Heart of Texas: Private Donors Build a Medical Complex the Size of a Small City

27th October 2012

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Deep in the heart of Michigan, corrupt public officials build an urban behavioral sink and call it ‘Detroit‘.

Compare and contrast.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 3 Comments »

A Tale of Two States: America’s Future Is Either Texas or California

27th October 2012

Steve Sailer explains it all to you.

I know which one I want….

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

AP Writers Claim Their ‘Poll’ Shows ‘Majority Harbor Prejudice Against Blacks’

27th October 2012

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 The latest and possibly last (we can hope) preelection poll from partnership between the Associated Press and GfK Roper International purportedly tells us that most of us “now express prejudice toward blacks” whether we “recognize those feelings or not.”

After all, it’s not as if ‘blacks’ had given them any cause — quiet, peace-loving, productive citizens that they are.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Reusable Shopping Bags May Give Consumers the ‘Runs’ for Their Money

27th October 2012

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It’s not easy being green.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

The Stepford Children

27th October 2012

Watch the Young Pioneers of the Democrat Party sing for the Dear Leader.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Pakistan: School Textbooks Teach Hatred of Non-Muslims

27th October 2012

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This shouldn’t surprise anyone. As I explained in connection with similar textbooks in Saudi Arabia, there is abundant material in the Qur’an and Sunnah to support this hatred.

What peaceful, friendly people! Wouldn’t you just love to have some for neighbors?

Posted in Living with Islam. | 2 Comments »

American Publishers Shocked! Shocked! to Find Hatred of Jews and Christians Taught in Saudi Textbooks

27th October 2012

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These American publishers rightly excoriate the hatred of Jews and Christians and Islamic supremacism in Saudi textbooks, but they shouldn’t be surprised by it: it is simply Qur’anic Islam, although I am sure these men have been so filled with Religion of Peace nonsense by politically correct propagandists that they have no idea of that.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

These Are Confusing Times to Be a Vampire

27th October 2012

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In the early days, things were clearer: you were a filthy, exsanguinated revenant, doomed to wander graveyards after dark, feeding on the blood of living humans (often children), sleeping in coffins, biting necks and hiding your face from sunlight, mirrors and God. You were a rat whisperer. One step up from a zombie. You were neither rich nor sexy. You did not sparkle.

But then the Romantics discovered you, and you went from being an underground word-of-mouth legend to a supernatural star of page, stage, screen and cereal box. The newly industrialized culture was mesmerized by you. No longer a mere monster, you ascended to metaphor.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Bahrain: Bomb Factory Discovered in Mosque

27th October 2012

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What peaceful, friendly people! Wouldn’t you just love to have some for neighbors?

Of course, the real problem is Islamophobia.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Make the First Time Special

27th October 2012

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

Feigning Free Speech on Campus

27th October 2012

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 Since the 1980s, in part because of “political correctness” concerns about racially insensitive speech and sexual harassment, and in part because of the dramatic expansion in the ranks of nonfaculty campus administrators, colleges have enacted stringent speech codes. These codes are sometimes well intended but, outside of the ivory tower, would violate the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech. From protests and rallies to displays of posters and flags, students have been severely constrained in their ability to demonstrate their beliefs. The speech codes are at times intended to enforce civility, but they often backfire, suppressing free expression instead of allowing for open debate of controversial issues.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Male or Female? Or Does It Matter?

27th October 2012

We report, you decide.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

Personalizing Animals

27th October 2012

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So much that is wrong comes out of our elite universities these days.  Too few pay attention.

A society that treats animals as if they were people eventually comes to treat people as if they were animals. Why not? There’s no difference in their eyes.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Get Ready for the Coming Employment Roller Coaster

27th October 2012

Read it. And think about it very carefully.

One job for life hasn’t been true for a while, but in the tech space even expecting to have one skill-set for life may be asking too much. Jobs may last less than a decade before becoming obsolete. So how do we cope?

I’ve seen this in my own life. The longest period I’ve ever had the same job was the six years I did in the Navy, and that was … well, a while ago. I’ll go to work for a company and the future looks bright — and then the company gets bought and my job gets cut, or they hit a rough patch and I get cut, or they get a new director whose emphasis is other than what I’m doing and the only way my manager can make his budget work is by dropping me in the dumpster. Or the manager just decides she wants somebody younger (and cheaper) who’s up on whatever the fashionable tech fad might be — and those change every three or four years, so that’s the measure of the max amount of time you can expect to keep your job … if you’re lucky. I’ve been fortunate enough to have managed three career changes in the last 20 years, and I hope this latest one will see me through to retirement — but no way would I put money on it.

Prior to this century, experience in a field just made you more more and more valuable. But that’s not necessarily true any more, and it’s becoming less and less true for more and more fields as the pace of change accelerates. This is especially acute in the Information Technology business: Experience is no longer an advantage. What you knew five years ago has at least a 50% chance of being utterly worthless to you today; every day that passes takes a certain percentage of what you worked hard to learn, and just flushes it down the toilet. Unless you are willing to make your job your hobby, and relentlessly pursue it in your ‘spare’ time as well as on the job, you are continually falling behind.

Employers understand this, and it affects how they treat employees, whether they are willing to admit it or not. If you were hired to do A, because you’re reasonably good at A and they needed A when they hired you, but now they need B, and you can’t do B, then you are gone to make way for somebody who can do B, and it doesn’t matter a damn how well you can do A because they don’t need A any more — sad to say, they don’t give a shit about you, because they can’t afford to, now that they’re competing with other firms that are doing B. Too bad about old Joe, but he just can’t seem to keep up (and, tell the truth, at his age it’s probably too much to expect him to, so let’s just cut to the chase and hire a kid).

And if you don’t have a trust fund and want to keep eating (and providing for your family, if you can afford one under these circumstances), then your choice is either to attempt to find somebody who is still in need of A (and that will get harder and harder) or scramble like a madman trying to come up to speed on B even if you have no interest in doing B. And we’re not talking about Gender Studies majors or Master’s degrees in juggling, but simple productive tech skills that were perfectly valuable five years ago but just aren’t needed any more.

This is what is making the Welfare State almost inevitable: People get tired, and stop even trying to keep up, much less get ahead. They just give up. They just drop out. They think: I’ve busted my butt for twenty or thirty or forty years trying to be a productive member of society, and it’s all turned to shit regardless of what I do. The government will pay me (barely) enough to sit in front of the tube and drink beer and eat pizza, so why not just do that? It’s not much of a life, but at least it’s a life, and I won’t have to work myself into a heart attack trying to catch a train that is always leaving the station just a little bit faster than I can run.

So they’ll vote for anybody who will promise to make their handouts easier to get and easier to keep — but they’ll still resent it, and the anger will build and build and build across the generations. And the result will be another Mussolini or Lenin or Mao who will promise to make it all right again, just as it was for our parents (or, increasingly, grandparents), so that we will have work to do that makes us feel good about ourselves and can pay for the lifestyle that we are sure, just sure, we deserve. But the only ones who wind up with that lifestyle are the ones in charge of the machine, just as in the old Soviet Union, and the rest of us will be eating potato soup and drinking vodka and waiting for the Worker’s Paradise that never comes.

Not that I’m bitter. Hey! It’s free! Just swipe your EBT!

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

‘Is it considered ”safe sex” if a girl jumps in front of a train afterwards?’

27th October 2012

The Other McCain raises a disturbing issue.

The flapping sound is chickens coming home to roost. And, funny thing about that, they’re all wearing ‘Vote Democrat’ buttons.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 4 Comments »

The Flat-Earth Theory of Job Creation

27th October 2012

Robert Samuelson spanks the New York Times.

 Who creates most jobs? Hint: It’s not the government. Almost everyone seems to grasp that the private sector is the true jobs machine. But here’s a notable exception to the consensus: the editorial page of The New York Times. The other day, its lead editorial was “The Myth of Job Creation: The government does in fact create jobs, important jobs, millions of them.” In 35 years, I can’t recall ever writing a column refuting an editorial. But this one warrants special treatment because the Times’ argument is so simplistic, the subject is so important and the Times is such an influential institution.

The Voices of the Crust at the Times ignore the fact that the ‘jobs’ the government ‘creates’ are tax-eaters, not tax-payers.

What the Times omits is the money to support all these government jobs. It must come from somewhere — generally, taxes or loans (bonds, bills). But if the people whose money is taken via taxation or borrowing had kept the money, they would have spent most or all of it on something — and that spending would have boosted employment.

Job creation in the private sector is mostly a spontaneous and circular process. People buy things they need and want. Or businesses and private investors take risks by investing in new products, technologies and factories. All this spending, driven by self-interest and the profit motive, supports more jobs. In a smoothly functioning market economy, the process feeds on itself. By contrast, public-sector employment grows only when government claims some private-sector income to pay its workers. Government is not creating jobs. It’s substituting public-sector workers for private-sector workers.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Obama vs. the Rule of Law: He’s Agin It

27th October 2012

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Public Law 112-86 gave the TSA 180 days to find a way to expedite security screening for members of the military who are in uniform and present official orders. With the deadline passed, little has changed: A few airports allow military members to use shorter lines that were already available to other preferred passengers, and elsewhere our military personnel are screened through the normal lines. As Cantor’s report notes, the Obama administration’s TSA is violating both the law’s letter and its intent.

My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised. But the Gestapo was never subject to ordinary laws, everyone knows that.

Despite a law banning the use of taxpayer dollars to lobby for or against abortion rights in foreign countries, the Obama administration sent $18 million to Kenya specifically to lobby for a constitutional referendum that would expand abortion access there.

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

The White House’s 2013 budget proposed creating a network of manufacturing institutes that would connect public and private research-and-development efforts, and the Department of Commerce promised that a $1 billion legislative proposal would be forthcoming. No such legislation was ever introduced, let alone passed, but the president decided he might as well go ahead anyway. “We’re not going to wait — we’re going to go ahead on our own,” he said, and did just that, setting up a pilot institute with funding that had been appropriated to various executive agencies for other purposes.

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

It would be one thing if the administration were setting aside laws that it believes conflict with the Constitution. In these cases, the administration does not assert any such conflict. It merely ignores laws that get in the way of policies it finds congenial.

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

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

Ambassador Chris Stevens Set Up by Obama Regime

27th October 2012

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Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

Sounds to me as if they were deliberately abandoning the consular staff.

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights.

One of the basic duties of government is to protect its citizens. Any sane government will attempt to protect its employees and especially diplomatic agents.

The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

Far more than jailing state-legal weed vendors, this is a Firing Offense on the part of Obama and his minions.

And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent [it] by the hand of Uriah. And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.

UPDATE: Jerry Pournelle has a theory.

Leon Panetta is nether evil nor incompetent, or at least he wasn’t when I knew him as a California Congressman very friendly to the space development movement. His statement that we do not send forces into unknown threat situations is a generality that is often true; but it does provide a clue as to the White House reasoning in the Benghazi crisis. I see a glimmering: they were terrified of another Black Hawk Down incident. If we sent in a helicopter team from Italy it would be a one-way mission, victory or die: they’d have bingo fuel when they got to Benghazi and there wasn’t any safe place to go other than the consulate grounds. And the political consequences of something like Black Hawk Down would be horrible. Political managers never make bets like that. Montrose’s toast is not for them.** And once one goes down that road, it is difficult to turn back. Don’t throw good money after bad. Cut your losses. Some hands you have to fold even if you had to make the first blind bet. Etc.

UPDATE: Bookworm has a different theory.

Reading today’s news, I finally and fully understand what it means “to politicize something.”  It means that, in the face of a crisis, an administration’s response is guided, not by what’s right, but instead by what will fool the American people into continuing to support that administration.  Obama made a cold, brutal calculation that, if he wanted the American people to believe that his (or Panetta’s) Osama kill order destroyed Al Qaeda, he would forever after have to pretend that Al Qaeda doesn’t exist.  To do so, he would have to ignore completely all Al Qaeda activity, including the cold-blooded slaughter of four Americans.  Rather than admitting that Al Qaeda wasn’t as dead as he thought it was, Obama sowed the ground of his Potemkin Village with American blood….

I favor this theory.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

27th October 2012

Flow perforated cutting board

Ultimate Spatula

AppleHour – cheap Apple device accessories.

How To Strip DRM from Kindle E-Books and Others

Learn Anatomy

Get-A-Way Driver Pocket Tool

Cut Even Slices of Cake

How to Weaponize Office Supplies

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Are People With GED’S More Like High-School Graduates or High-School Dropouts?

27th October 2012

Read it.

While GED holders are as smart as graduates, in terms of future outcomes (annual income, unemployment, divorce, drug use) they look exactly like dropouts.

The study made clear that “non-cognitive skills” like persistence, planning and self-control can be more important than intelligence in the long run.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Deadly Attacks Hit Iraq as Muslims Mark Eid Festival

27th October 2012

Read it.

A wave of attacks that came as Muslims marked the second day of Eid al-Adha, a major festival, claimed at least 15 lives in the Baghdad area and in the northern Sunni city of Mosul, police officials said Saturday.

At least five Shiite pilgrims were killed when a roadside bomb in Taji, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad, struck a minibus carrying them to visit Al-Askariya, or the “Golden Mosque.”

A dozen more were wounded in the blast. Police said most of those killed and injured were Iranian pilgrims.

A roadside bomb also exploded in an outdoor market in al-Mamel Shiite neighborhood in northeastern Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 13 others, police officials said.

In Mosul, about 380 kilometers north of Baghdad, five people were killed and seven more wounded in four separate attacks in different locations in and around the city, according to police officials.

What peaceful, friendly people! Wouldn’t you just love to have some for neighbors?

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Not-So-Happy Dance Friday

26th October 2012

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

Line Drive to the Head

26th October 2012

Another Amazing GIF

Just a flesh wound….

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

TSA Fails Again With Adjustable Boarding Passes

26th October 2012

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The reputation of possibly America’s least-favorite fondlers, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), has taken yet another hit with the discovery that its shoddy security allows passengers in its PreCheck system to pick their own security status.

PreCheck allows some frequent fliers willing to pay $100 for a background check to skip some of the onerous security checks, like taking off shoes and unpacking laptops or toiletries. PreCheck customers are still subject to more intensive searches on a randomized basis, however.

Aviation blogger John Butler discovered that the barcode information used for the boarding passes of Precheck fliers wasn’t encoded, and could be read by a simple smartphone app. It contained the flier’s name, flight details, and a number, either a one or a three, with the latter confirming the passenger was cleared for lesser screening.

It would be a relatively simple job to scan the issued boarding pass, decode it, and then change the security setting if you are planning to bring something naughty aboard, or even change the name on the ticket to match a fake ID. After putting the new information into a barcode, and a couple of minutes of cut and paste, the new boarding pass would work as normal, Butler explained.

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

Lebanon: Muslim Cleric Preaches Peace, Is Immediately Shot Dead

26th October 2012

Read it.

Well. That would appear to settle any question about Islam being a Religion o’ Peace™.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Important Firsts

26th October 2012

Sonic Charmer brings up an important point.

Suddenly seeing multiple stories/speculation today regarding the question that I’m sure was on everyone’s mind, who will be the ‘first black James Bond’? (The consensus seems to be Idris Elba, who I think is “Stringer Bell” from The Wire.)

This makes total sense because of course there has to be a ‘first black’ everything, and James Bond is a thing, so there has to be a first black one. It’s not as if James Bond is a specific literary character with any sort of fleshed-out backstory involving a Scottish father (!), a Swiss mother (!!), a family pedigree whose motto translates to ‘The World Is Not Enough’, a single curled lock of dark hair falling onto his forehead, looks that remind Vesper Lind of ‘Hoagy Carmichael’, or any number of other character traits that on the face of them would seem to logically preclude his being ‘black’.

There just has to be a first black one. Period.

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One in Four British Babies Born to Foreign Mothers

26th October 2012

Read it. (That’s for a fashionably sufficient expansive definition of ‘British’, of course.)

Tony Blair’s party was working from the same playbook as Ted Kennedy’s party: Immigrants need social services (i.e. handouts) and the Left are the party of handouts, so let ‘em all in and they’ll vote for us forever. It worked for the 19th century, it worked for the 20th century, and it’ll probably work for the 21st century as well.

  1. Thank God you don’t live in Britain.
  2. Without eternal vigilance, it could happen here. If Obama gets re-elected, it’s a sure thing.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Freeberg Cuts to the Chase

26th October 2012

Read it.

I was going through a litany of favorite left-wing issues, categorizing them according to how they meshed up with what I perceived to be three primary base human impulses. Those three impulses being: Resentment, desire for a centrally controlled and micro-managed nanny-state, and belief in a godless universe. Abortion is godless, not only in the act, but in the beliefs upon which it is based. The baby is “tissue.” To those who then ask, if the baby is nothing more than a clump of cells and the rest of us labor under no moral obligation to preserve it, then how are any of the rest of us more worthy of protection than that “tissue”? And the honest answer is: We’re not! Boys, girls, gays, straights, babies, old people, every year in between we’re all just randomly growing and regenerating carbon-based stuff. Stuck here on a tiny rock in space by unplanned cosmic forces. Nothing glorious about us at all. Certainly no reason for being here, no mission, no purpose. Just sit around and be happy. Play a video game and chow down a Happy Meal. Do whatever pleases you.

Posted in Think about it. | 3 Comments »

Why Does Everyone Hate Women?

26th October 2012

Megan McArdle is not afraid to ask the hard questions.

As it happens, I agree that Stephanie Cutter gets singled out because she’s a reasonably attractive woman, and the cause is sexism.  But not special Republican sexism.  I suppose it’s only natural that liberal woman commentators who become the subject of vitriolic attacks from men–attacks that highlight their appearance, marital status, and presumptive stupidity–would assume that this happens because conservatives are sexist.  But the sad fact is that conservative and libertarians get this stuff too.

As Phyllis Schlafly so famously said, it’s no wonder liberal women think men are pigs — their men are pigs.

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Former Joe Biden Aide Writes Angry Tell-All

26th October 2012

Read it.

Oh, pick pick pick….

Adding another wild-card to the 2012 campaign’s final days, a former aide to Vice President Joe Biden has written a tell-all Washington memoir in which he lacerates the former Delaware senator as an “egomaniacal autocrat” who was “determined to manage his staff through fear.”

That’s the most positive thing I’ve heard about Biden in decades. Perhaps I’ve misjudged the man.

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