DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for November, 2012

Our Enemy, the Payroll Tax

30th November 2012

Ross Douthat turns over a rock.

 WE have two political parties in America, runs a saying that conservatives like to quote. One is stupid, the other is evil. And when they join forces to do something that’s both stupid and evil — well, that’s what we call “bipartisanship.”

Heh.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Whitewashing the Early Twentieth Century Progressives, Part 10 Billion

30th November 2012

Read it.

Tim Egan in the Times: “The Progressives of the early 20th had an amazing run — direct elections of senators, regulation of monopolistic trusts, modernization of public schools, cleaning up the food supply — with only one major blooper: Prohibition.” I’m not a big fan of either the Seventeenth Amendment or of antitrust law, but put those aside; what about, among other things, residential segregation laws in the South and border states (fortunately invalidated by the Supreme Court, much to the dismay of Progressive commentators), eugenics legislation, hostility to the Equal Rights Amendment/support for “protective” law for women only, support for American imperialism (at least via one of the Progressives’ great champions, Theodore Roosevelt–and Woodrow Wilson didn’t exactly distinguish himself with American intervention in World War I, which may be the single greatest “blooper” in American history), and support for state legislation monopolizing certain fields on behalf of incumbent businesses (see, e.g., New State Ice v. Liebmann)? Do these count as only minor bloopers, or has Progressive support for these policies slipped down the old memory hole?

As I’ve consistently noted, today’s “Progressives” are not the same as yesteryear’s “Progressives.”  They do share a general affinity for government regulation of the economy, but modern Progressives believe in civil rights and civil liberties (albeit not exactly in the same ways that I believe in them), while those of a hundred years ago were generally hostile or indifferent to such liberties.  But if modern liberals like Egan are going to cite the old Progressives as their forebears, they should at least be cognizant of the full range of policies that were considered “Progressive” one hundred years ago.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

On Online Learning Site Udemy, Quarter of Approved Teachers Earn $10K or More

30th November 2012

Read it.

The San Francisco-based startup told GigaOM that a quarter of its approved instructors will close out the year with at least $10,000 in income from courses purchased on its site. The company declined to share the total number of instructors offering classes on Udemy but said the figure has climbed 300 percent in the last year. About 60 percent of all instructors on the site are “approved,” meaning their courses meet a checklist of standards and can be searchable by students online. The site has attracted about 400,000 registered students, which is about a 520 percent increase from last year.

The future of education?

On Udemy, anyone can create a video-based course on a range of topics – from web design and entrepreneurship to yoga and photography. Instructors can choose to offer them for free, but the average price for a course is $19 to $199. Many of the top classes draw about 500 students, with some reaching students in the low thousands. For each class, Udemy takes 30 percent of the earnings.

Thirupuvanam said dozens of instructors in all kinds of disciplines are making upwards of $10,000 but the highest earners tend to teach more technical topics (Microsoft Excel and Python, for example) or business and entrepreneurship. The most popular instructors, he continued, are especially passionate and knowledgeable about their material. And they put in about 30 to 40 hours or more to prepare the curriculum, produce high-quality video and interact with students via message boards. Instructor Victor Bastos, for example, has earned $325,000 over the past 12 months from his class on web development. But even a class on the “art of black and white photography,” taught by photographer David Nightingale, has made $31,000 in just four months.

Self-publishing for instructors. I’m sure someday there’ll be an app for that.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Khan Academy Founder Proposes a New Type of College

30th November 2012

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In a chapter titled “What College Could Be Like,” Mr. Khan conjures an image of a new campus in Silicon Valley where students would spend their days working on internships and projects with mentors, and would continue their education with self-paced learning similar to that of Khan Academy. The students would attend ungraded seminars at night on art and literature, and the faculty would consist of professionals the students would work with as well as traditional professors.

That giant sucking sound you hear is the sphincters of every university faculty member on the continent tightening up.

In the book, Mr. Khan also advocates for a separation of universities’ teaching and credentialing roles, arguing that if students could take internationally recognized assessments to prove themselves, the playing field would be leveled between students pursuing different forms of higher education. Although students would not be graded in the imagined university he describes, they would compile a portfolio of their work and assessments from their mentors.

Oops. Every bureaucrat in the Department of Education just laid a brick.

This could prove entertaining.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

WSJ: “The Racializing of American Politics”

30th November 2012

Steve Sailer has the scoop.

The big money conservative press is starting to get alarmed by all the in-yo-face-white-boy chest-thumping since the election (much of it coming from white boys, of course).

Democrats have been trying to racialize American politics ever since they pulled the wool over the eyes of black people about who was actually responsible for segregation and Jim Crow, with notable success. As long as it keeps working, they’ll continue to do it.

Indeed, the Lamestream Media are trying to convince people that Hispanic is a ‘race’ and Muslim is somehow a ‘race’, with some success (at least among the purported victims). As with ‘white Hispanic’ in the Trayvon Martin case, if there isn’t a racial angle to a story, they’ll be happy to manufacture one. Can anyone seriously pretend that Barack Obama would be anything at all, much less President, if he wasn’t half-black?

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

How Secret Negotiations Play Into Democrats’ Hands

30th November 2012

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So now John Boehner is angry that the White House leaked a one-sided version of his latest conversation with President Obama to the press:

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Republican leaders are fuming after a late night phone call with President Barack Obama was leaked to the press, despite an agreement that it would not be, according to several GOP aides.

As if this should come as a surprise! It sounds as though Boehner and his aides are starting to get a clue:

Republicans believe the president is more interested in raking them over the coals publicly than striking a deal privately.

Really! They’ve figured that out, have they? I guess they noticed that the Democrats never put forth any sort of plan to deal with the nation’s collapsing finances, but instead demagogue the issue by pretending that the only thing going on is that Republicans are trying to protect rich people.

Of course the Democrats aren’t serious about “reaching a balanced deal.” Of course they don’t have any intention of cutting either discretionary spending or entitlements. Is John Boehner really the last person in the world to figure this out? Nevertheless, despite the blindingly obvious fact that the Democrats are incapable of acting in good faith, Boehner says “he remains hopeful that a deal can be reached in the coming weeks.”

Being a slow learner is almost the definition of Republican Congressman these days. One wonders when they’ll get tired of playing Charlie Brown kicking the football.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 3 Comments »

Spies and Superspies and SKYFALL

30th November 2012

Read it. (contains ‘spoilers’, although you really can’t spoil this film)

Concur.

Minor correction: I have no idea what Wright means by ‘MNoG'; the initials in question are GCMG, Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George, the highest honor given to civil servants after a long and distinguished career, and entirely appropriate for a retired M. (Actually, nowadays she’d be made a Life Peer and go on to stink up the House of Lords, not that the House of Lords means much any more.)

The last Real Bond Movie I saw was ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE, in which George Lazenby plays what I think is the quintessential Bond that Fleming actually had in mind, rather than the made-for-TV version perpetrated by Sean Connery — nothing against Connery, but his (highly commercial) take on the role wasn’t what Fleming wrote; I was gratified to think that maybe they were getting it right after all these years. But no. The next movie reverted to Connery, and I quit. When I heard that they were getting Roger Moore to do them, I thought, ‘Great. Beau Maverick as secret agent. No thanks.’

Of course, in these politically correct times, the Enemies of Bond all have to be Nasty Rich White Men (dude, if you’ve got enough money for a Private Island Fortress and Henchmen, you’re not going to rock the boat by pissing off a government) or The Evil CIA (trust me, any employee of the CIA would give one of his testicles to have equipment even half as nice as what Jason Bourne regularly faces) or some other boogeyman of the chattering classes … not the real enemies of our civilization such as the Chinese or Islamic terrorists or asshole tinpot third-world dictators like Assad or Chavez. (That would be too much like Real Life, and nobody goes to the movies for Real Life, as every Disney product makes plain.)

But SKYFALL is worth seeing. It makes no bones about the fact that in a world full of politicians and evil people there really are no good choices and never any good days; the best you can do is hope you get the one that sucks the least. And there are a lot of little homages to the ‘classic’ Bond films and themes, which we old farts appreciate. And I’m going to make an effort to watch the other Craig Bond films; I think I’ll like them.

Oddly enough, shortly thereafter I had occasion to watch one of the mossbacks, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, which reminded me that there once was a day when smoking was no big deal and men customarily wore hats in public. The production values were on the level of a GET SMART episode and I was moved to reflect that we have indeed changed much in the last fifty years.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

The Best and Worst Run States in America

30th November 2012

Read it.

Oh, look — the top five are all Flyover Country states run by Republicans.

Oh, look — the bottom five are all Left Coast or Other Left Coast states run by Democrats.

Wonder how that happened?

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

AAA Warns E15 Gasoline Could Cause Car Damage

30th November 2012

Read it.

But who cares? The ethanol lobby and the ‘progressive’ eco-nazis own more Congressmen than you do. Suck it up.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

A Map for Every Grocery Store Ever

29th November 2012

An Informative Chart.

Based on a thoroughgoing statistical analysis that would scare the crap out of you if you saw what they know about you.

I especially like #13: Lady from 1992 paying with check. WOMAN, IT’S A NEW CENTURY! GET A FARGIN DEBIT CARD!

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

How Hamas and Islamic Jihad Use Journalism as a Cover for Terrorism

29th November 2012

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Hiding among journalists isn’t the only way that Palestinian terrorists try to avoid IDF reprisals. Sometimes they go a step farther and disguise themselves as actual journalists. All the terrorists have to do is paint “TV” on their car and the IDF will be accused of targeting innocent journalists. That’s exactly what happened on Nov. 19.

Muhammed Riad al-Shamalah — the commander of Islamic Jihad militants in southern Gaza and the head of Islamic Jihad’s military training programs — was driving through Gaza City in a black Mitsubishi Lancer when the IDF struck the rear of his car. Palestinian television later broadcast images of the vehicle, which had “TV” spray painted on the hood. There was no television or communications equipment inside the car.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

A Step Toward a Universal Cancer Blood Test

29th November 2012

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People usually find out that they have cancer after developing symptoms or through a screening test such as a mammogram—signs that may appear only after the cancer has grown or spread so much that it can’t be cured. But what if you could find out from a simple, highly accurate blood test that you had an incipient tumor? By sequencing the abnormal DNA that a tumor releases into a person’s bloodstream, researchers are now one step closer to a universal cancer test. Although the technique is now only sensitive enough to detect advanced cancers, that may be a matter of money: As sequencing costs decrease, the developers of the method say, the test could eventually pick up early tumors as well.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Japanese Firm Offers 4-tonne GIANT MECHs for Just $1.3m

29th November 2012

Read it.

The Kuratas robot weighs in at 4 tonnes, and is 4 metres (13 feet) tall, so the pilot straps in at the head, ready to stride across the most desolate apocalyptic wasteland and do battle with combatants with equally disposable resources, though they’ll have to make do with ball-bearing guns for the moment – until the real apocalypse arrives at least.

We have the technology.

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Mutants Swarm Among Us, Say Geneticists

29th November 2012

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Humanity has entered a new genetic era, according to a newly published study, with well over half the mutations found having occurred “recently”. Potentially troublesome genetic changes are particularly common among those of European heritage compared to those with African forebears, the research shows.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 3 Comments »

The Parental “Diversity” Dilemma

29th November 2012

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Look at the history of most progressive charters and you’ll find they are initiated by white people who fit into one or more of the following categories:

Unnerved by the high percentage of low-achieving, low-income kids at their neighborhood school.
Unwilling to risk the lottery system for the good schools in their district.
Unable to afford private school, or a house in a homogenous suburb.
Unsure their kids are going to be able to compete with the top kids in their neighborhood school (particularly in high school)
Unhappy with the public school’s treatment of their idiosyncratic little snowflake.

These are people who would move to homogeneous environments, but can’t.

Welcome to the world of SWPL rationalization.

Using taxpayer dollars for upscale liberals (they are, usually, liberals) who don’t want their kids in the overly “diverse” local schools or have a little snowflake who just isn’t good enough to compete in a more competitive public school.

Say it ain’t so, Joe….

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Iran: Muslims Murder Jewish Woman to Seize Her Property for a Mosque

29th November 2012

Read it.

Tuba N., whose family requested not to reveal her last name, was murdered by her Muslim neighbors, who had harassed her family for years in an attempt to drive them from their home and confiscate the property for the adjoining mosque.

On Monday, while her husband was in Tehran attending to business matters, “thugs broke into her home, tied up her two sisters who were living with her, and repeatedly stabbed her to death.” Afterward, her attackers allegedly butchered her body and cut off her hands, a sister who witnessed the event told her relatives in the US, who conveyed the information to Amir.

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

Costly Words

29th November 2012

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I have several pet peeves, and one of them is the idea that when Americans get to keep their own money, it somehow “costs” the government.

Yeah, me too. The assumption seems to be that anything you earn belongs to the government automatically, and they graciously allow you to keep some of it, aren’t they the nice ones.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

The Brotherhood Delusion

29th November 2012

Rich Lowry explains that the Muslim Brotherhood are not your friends.

In the signature revolution of the Arab Spring, the country turned its back on a secular dictatorship only to fall into the arms of what looks like a budding Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship. Meet the new pharaoh, same as the old pharaoh. Except Egypt’s old form of misgovernment may soon look progressive by comparison.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Egypt’s ‘Moderate’ Despot

29th November 2012

Jonah Goldberg looks at the fruits of Obamanation diplomacy.

What do you call a leader of a theocratic and cultish movement with a deep and clear disdain for democracy who suddenly assumes dictatorial powers?

A “moderate,” of course.

‘Meet the new boss … Same as the old boss….’

Ever since the Muslim Brotherhood broke its promise to stay out of Egypt’s presidential election in the aftermath of the revolution, many Western observers have been in denial about what has been going on. In less than half a year, Mohamed Morsi has deftly built the foundation for despotism.

Much as the Nazis brilliantly cast themselves as reformers sweeping away the corruption of the Weimar Republic, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have been using the effort to clean up the detritus of Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship as an excuse to consolidate power.

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

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

The Autism Advantage

29th November 2012

Read it.

I’ve always wished I were autistic. Of course, I’ve always wished I were an only child, too, and that didn’t happen, so I guess I’ll just work with what I’ve got.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

Miracle of the Loaves

29th November 2012

Read it.

A crack team of international boffins have done a “shotgun sequencing” of the wheat genome that will help increase wheat yields and thereby feed the world.

No, it won’t, because the ‘OMG THEY’RE MESSING WITH GENES WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE’ enviro-nazis will fight it tooth and nail.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Government Defines Poverty Upward, Media Don’t Notice the Trick

29th November 2012

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The poor you have always with you, especially if the government gets to decide who’s ‘poor’.

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

Mali: Islamic Supremacists Silence Musicians

29th November 2012

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“‘They say sharia forbids it,’ says Rakiatou Wallet Tannal, an aunt of the newborn girl, referring to Islamic law. ‘That’s their sharia, not the sharia of Muslims.'”

Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Hadith Qudsi 19:5: “The Prophet said that Allah commanded him to destroy all the musical instruments, idols, crosses and all the trappings of ignorance.” (The Hadith Qudsi, or holy Hadith, are those in which Muhammad transmits the words of Allah, although those words are not in the Qur’an.)

Muhammad also said:

(1) “Allah Mighty and Majestic sent me as a guidance and mercy to believers and commanded me to do away with musical instruments, flutes, strings, crucifixes, and the affair of the pre-Islamic period of ignorance.”

(2) “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.”

(3) “Song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage.”

(4) “This community will experience the swallowing up of some people by the earth, metamorphosis of some into animals, and being rained upon with stones.” Someone asked, “When will this be, O Messenger of Allah?” and he said, “When songstresses and musical instruments appear and wine is held to be lawful.”

(5) “There will be peoples of my Community who will hold fornication, silk, wine, and musical instruments to be lawful ….” — ‘Umdat al-Salik r40.0

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Top 10 Trophy Wives

29th November 2012

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I’ve never really understood denominating the acquisition of an appendage the chief function of which is to spend your money as a ‘trophy’. This resembles calling a bleeding ulcer a ‘gastronomical achievement’.

Originally, a trophy was the pile of arms & armor of defeated foes left on the battlefield in a ginormous ‘Nyah nyah!’ Unless you marry the widow of your chief enemy whom you have just ground Conan-like into the dirt, it’s not really (technically speaking) a trophy wife; you’ve merely hooked up with an expensive sex toy that comes complete with a complete set of lawyers. How is this an achievement? I see this vision of a champion runner tripping and falling on his face just after crossing the finish line … not very edifying.

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

Derbtown

29th November 2012

John Derbyshire, Patron Saint of Dyspepsia, looks at elections.

It’s not issues, it’s race and religion. All those acres of print, all those months of TV time given over to talk about taxation, education, protecting small business, protecting Social Security, America’s role in the world, a path to citizenship, opportunities for women, deficits and debt, unemployment, abortion, fracking, gay marriage…nobody gives a rat’s ass about any of that—nobody but a tiny and ignorable minority on each topic. People vote based on vague, generalized images of the parties—on gestalten.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Mouse Lifespan Extended Up to 24% With a Single Treatment

29th November 2012

Read it.

… if, of course, what you want are long-lived mice….

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

100% Plus Taxation Key to Permanent Dem Majority

28th November 2012

William Jacobson has figured it out.

Is it possible to pay more than 100% of your last dollar of income in taxes? And if it were, would you bother to earn that last dollar?

Herein lies the key to how Democrats will obtain a permanent, economically-enslaved majority if universal income-based health care subsidies are enacted. And it is much worse and more nefarious than even the Wall Street Journal recently pointed out in Confessions of an ObamaCare Backer.

The scheme is simplicity itself. Welfare phaseouts create a huge ‘hump’ or curb that has to be gotten over before increased income will overcome the negative effect of losing benefits. Most poor people can’t get over that hump, so they’re trapped in low-income dependency on government benefits.

It isn’t until the taxpayer is making over $60,000 a year that he starts getting more net benefit than he was getting at $18,000. And there aren’t many underclass that can jump from $18,000 to over $60,000 — or would be willing to suffer through the hammering they get climbing up the hard way. They’re not that stupid.

In addition to all the other problems with highly subsidized, income-tested health care benefits, will come an even more permanent underclass which, being economically rational, will choose not to earn another dollar rather than lose more than a dollar of benefits.

Result: A locked-in permanent Democrat-voting underclass.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Fast Food Robot Builds the Perfect Burger

28th November 2012

Read it.

While preparing for the launch of its new restaurant chain, the company doesn’t have to worry about potential chefs because it plans to start the world’s first “smart restaurant” chain. All cooking is done entirely by robots.

The company proudly boasts on its product page: “Our alpha machine replaces all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant. It does everything employees can do except better.”

And that’s certainly a better-looking burger than I’ve ever seen come out of a fast-food kitchen.

Single-item menus, zero line cooks and almost no wait times, Momentum Machines proposed restaurant is entirely minimalist and tailored to improve upon the guests’ experiences. Capable of pushing out approximately 360 burgers per hour, the machine takes up only 24 square feet, allowing for more spacious seating areas and hopefully more time spent improving the overall dining experience.

Hey, all you people who depend on flipping burgers for your living — guess what? YOU’RE NOW UNEMPLOYED! Or will be as soon as they get this on the market.

And the higher the Democrats raise the minimum wage and mandate expensive benefits like Obamacare, the sooner fast food companies can financially justify replacing you with a robot and THE SOONER YOU’LL BE UNEMPLOYED! Isn’t that tremendous?

How’s that vote for Obama working out for you now?

Posted in Whose turn is it to be the victim? | 3 Comments »

Unattractive People Demand Action to Protect Boondoggle

28th November 2012

The Other McCain is on the case.

In terms of newsworthiness, it might be a clever idea to have, say, Brad Pitt and Anne Hathaway stage a naked protest in Harry Reid’s office, demanding action to reduce out-of-control federal spending. On the other hand, it’s hard to see the logic of sending out a bunch of ugly freaks to harass John Boehner about their pet boondoggle….

Indeed. What, exactly, do they think they’re accomplishing, other than pissing people off? Oh, and getting publicity of course, very little of which is positive.

Seven naked protesters swarmed the office of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Tuesday for some 20 minutes of loud chanting against cuts to AIDS funding.

Really? Are they under the delusion that this sort of thing will help prevent cuts to AIDS funding. Really?

In other words, it’s about money — tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded grants — and the people who get that money are insisting that they won’t give up one red cent of it, despite the fact that the federal government is headed toward bankruptcy.  As far as I’m concerned, HOPWA belongs in the same “Stuff We Can’t Afford Anymore” category as Big Bird and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

British Company Claims Biggest Engine Advance Since the Jet

28th November 2012

Read it.

Reaction Engines Ltd believes its Sabre engine, which would operate like a jet engine in the atmosphere and a rocket in space, could displace rockets for space access and transform air travel by bringing any destination on Earth to no more than four hours away.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Ice Sheet Melt Massively Overestimated, Satellites Show

28th November 2012

Read it.

How about that Global Warming, eh? Aren’t you glad that The Science Is In?

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Quote of the Day

28th November 2012

‘The worst things in life are also free.’

 

Posted in Think about it. | 3 Comments »

Antiwhite Bigotry Goes mainstream.

28th November 2012

Read it.

…where, of course, it has always felt right at home.

“Ambassador Rice is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi matter,” the letter states. We noted Tuesday with some amusement that Rep. Jim Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, was claiming that “incompetent” was the latest code word for “black.”

I’m sure fellow lifelong Democrat Bull Connor would have agreed with him. Good to see enemies agreeing on something.

Let’s examine this argument carefully. The Post acknowledges that “we can’t know their hearts.” But it finds a (literally) prima facie reason to suspect them of invidious motives: Almost all of them are persons of pallor. The Post is casting aspersions on Duncan and his colleagues based explicitly on the color of their skin. And it is accusing them of racism!

And employees of the Post would respond to this reaction with stunned incredulity — after all, everybody knows that only white people can be racist! (Don’t you know anything?)

The trouble with a diverse coalition based on ethnic or racial identity is that solidarity within each group can easily produce conflicts among the groups. Permissive immigration policies, for example, may be good for Hispanics and Asians but bad for blacks. Racial preferences in college admissions help blacks and Hispanics at the expense of Asians.

One way of holding together such a disparate coalition is by delivering prosperity, so that everyone can feel he’s doing well. Failing that, another way is by identifying a common adversary–such as the “white male.” During Obama’s first term, the demonization of the “white male” was common among left-liberal commentators, especially MSNBC types. The Post has now lent its considerably more mainstream institutional voice to this form of bigotry.

David Horowitz wrote a very revealing book on the subject.

The danger for the country is that a racially polarized electorate will produce a hostile, balkanized culture. In 2008 Obama held out the hope of a postracial America. His re-election raises the possibility of a most-racial America.

Not that Obama cares….

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Car Bombs Kill 23 Shi’ite Muslims in Iraqi Capital

28th November 2012

Read it.

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

It Doesn’t Pay to Work

28th November 2012

Read it. And examine the chart.

As quantitied, and explained by Alexander, “the single mom is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.“

Your tax dollars at work. Welcome to the Obamanation.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Carnegie on the School Ethic

28th November 2012

Bryan Caplan has some wise words.

Education teaches people to show up on time, sit down, shut up, stay awake, and follow orders.  So it’s tempting to say, “School inculcates the work ethic.”  But that’s not quite right.  School inculcates the school ethic – and while the school ethic and the work ethic overlap, the overlap is far from perfect.

At least, that’s the plan. Judging by some of the people I’ve gone to school with, it doesn’t always work out that way in real life.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Sorry, Vegans: Eating Meat and Cooking Food Is How Humans Got Their Big Brains

28th November 2012

Read it.

Although this isn’t the first such assertion from archaeologists and evolutionary biologists, the new studies demonstrate that it would have been biologically implausible for humans to evolve such a large brain on a raw, vegan diet and that meat-eating was a crucial element of human evolution at least a million years before the dawn of humankind.

Guess it’s time for #OccupyScience to straighten these h8ters out….

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Politico: Blacks Fear a White Person Will Win Seat Formerly Held by Jesse Jackson Jr.

28th November 2012

Read it.

Because, of course, when it comes to Congress, the  color of his skin is more important than the content of his character. Even the most casual observer of the Congressional Black Caucus would know that.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

What Goes Around, Comes Around

28th November 2012

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Obama Administration Briefly Considers Developing ‘Explicit Rules’ for Killer Drones, Abandons Process After Romney Loses Election

28th November 2012

Read it.

Because, you know, Republicans are too dumb to know who to kill, so they need explicit guidelines and firm rules. The Obamassiah, not so much.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Hamas: “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah”

28th November 2012

Read it.

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

Why Economic Backwardness Persists

28th November 2012

Read it.

Why do some societies maintain institutions that cause economic backwardness? This is the vital question that MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and Harvard economist James Robinson asked in their seminal 2006 article, “Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective” in the American Political Science Review. Their analysis concluded that all too many rulers have clearly calculated that it’s better to keep their people in poverty than risk losing the privileges of political power.

Or, in the case of Democrats, reduce a previously prosperous people to penury in order to pursue progressive policies and, incidentally, promote their own privileges and political power.

The answer to this puzzle is what the two economists call the “political replacement effect.” As they explain, “Political elites will block beneficial economic and institutional change when they are afraid that these changes will destabilize the existing system and make it more likely that they will lose political power and future rents.” Rent in this case is the wealth that political elites divert from the productive parts of society to themselves via taxes, corruption, exclusive licenses, import restrictions, monopoly ownership, and the like.

In other words, Democrats.

However, innovation is stifled in those regimes where the elites are somewhat entrenched but fear replacement. In such cases, the elites calculate that economic liberalization might empower rivals and end up depriving them of the looted wealth their current political position affords them.

I’m thinking Congressional Black Caucus, here; New York being the poster child, but any major metropolitan area will probably do.

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Maybe Buffett Is Just So Rich He Never Says “Meh”

28th November 2012

The truth is spreading.

In this Warren Buffett piece I’m seeing linked approvingly, we once again find our brave hero Warren Buffett making the courageous and selfless argument that millions of nouveau-riche folks who aren’t nearly as wealthy as him – yes, yes, him too, but mostly the nouveau-riche folks beneath him – all need to be taxed more. (To understand the straightforward mathematics that are likely to be motivating this viewpoint, see this post of mine.)

I keep tellin’ ya….

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

NBC Scare Tactics: Climate Change May Put Statue of Liberty Underwater

28th November 2012

Read it.

 In yet another example of climate change fearmongering following Hurricane Sandy, on Monday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams hyped a fantasy illustration from the New York Times: “…an artist’s depiction of the Statue of Liberty submerged in New York Harbor, a kind of what-if warning about climate change and our new coastlines up and down the east coast.”

Actually, that might not work out the way they want it to. A sea-level rise sufficient to put the statue under water would erase most of the bluest areas of the country; almost all of the Left Coast and the Other Left Coast, and the Blue pimples that stretch along the Gulf coast of the south, including Texas.

I’m good with that.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Barnes & Noble Decides That Purchased Ebooks Are Only Yours Until Your Credit Card Expires

28th November 2012

Read it.

That’s because ‘purchased’ e-books are not actually bought, they’re just licensed. (Read the terms of service for B&N — or Amazon, for that matter.) And B&N are stupid people, which is why they’re going broke.

This is why you need to download, jailbreak, and back up any e-books that you ‘purchase’ if you want to keep them.

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Bloomberg Wants Nearly $10 Billion From Feds for Hurricane Sandy

28th November 2012

Read it.

After all, what could be more fair than sticking America’s taxpayers with the tab for cleaning up New York?

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

End of the Line in the ICU

28th November 2012

Read it.

You will not find a group less in favor of automatically aggressive, invasive medical care than intensive care nurses, because we see the pointless suffering it often causes in patients and families. Intensive care is at best a temporary detour during which a patient’s instability is monitored, analyzed, and corrected, but it is at worst a high tech torture chamber, a taste of hell during a person’s last days on earth.

Not to worry! Under Obamacare, all that will become an expense to the government, and so not authorized.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

A Startup That Squeezes Electricity Out of City Water

28th November 2012

Read it.

The water that sloshes through city pipes can both quench your thirst and generate electricity. However, the latter is far less common. But that’s the proposition from startup Rentricity, which has developed equipment that uses water pressure to produce electricity and helps water suppliers reduce their energy costs.

We have the technology.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 3 Comments »

Unions 2012: The Rap Sheet So Far

28th November 2012

Read it.

Traded the brown shirts for purple, they have.

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Special Report: Silicon Valley’s Dirty Secret – Age Bias

28th November 2012

Read it.

When Randy Adams, 60, was looking for a chief-executive officer job in Silicon Valley last year, he got turned down from position after position that he thought he was going to nail — only to see much younger, less-experienced men win out.

Finally, before heading into his next interview, he shaved off his gray hair and traded in his loafers for a pair of Converse sneakers. The board hired him.

“I don’t think I would have been able to get this CEO job if I hadn’t shaved my head,” says Adams….

They’d have hired him faster if he had grown a goatee as well. That would have made him look Hip And Trendy.

Adams has supplemented his makeover by trading in his button-down shirts for T-shirts, making sure he owns the latest gadgets, and getting an eyelid lift.

After all, nothing says technical competence like dressing like a kid who lives in his parents’ basement.

On the other hand, in a field where everything technical you knew five years ago has no value today, it’s hard to say that the people who prefer kids don’t have a point.

Plus they’re cheaper, of course.

And who wants to work someplace that’s run by Old White Guys? That’s not the Obamanation, where all the Hip And Trendy people live.

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