DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for March, 2015

Parents Must Sign Permission Slip Before Kids Can Eat Oreos

26th March 2015

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Never trust a teacher named “Mrs Porter”.

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Look the Other Way, You Racist!

26th March 2015

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Culture-enrichers throughout the West are adept at gaming the system in their host countries. Wherever there is mass immigration into white countries, there are immigrants lined up waiting to grab government handouts, taking from their naïve hosts whatever they can get, by fraudulent means if necessary.

The following investigative report from Channel 7 in Australia reveals a perfect child care scam — perfect for the culture-enrichers, that is. Dishonest companies (run at least in part by immigrants) take massive quantities of money and pay it out to people who watch other people’s kids, while other people get paid to watch theirs. That is, all these people have well-paying full-time jobs watching each other’s kids. Furthermore, the companies that issue fraudulent qualifying “certificates” to the caregivers are the same ones that receive the government money to pay for the child care.

When exposed, the immigrants know exactly how to press the right politically correct buttons with white people: they call the TV crew “racists”.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off on Look the Other Way, You Racist!

Stunning! Obama Administration Declassifies Document on Israel’s Nuclear Power

26th March 2015

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Obama revenge for Netanyahu’s Congress talk? 1987 report on Israel’s top secret nuclear program released in unprecedented move.

In a development that has largely been missed by mainstream media, the Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel’s nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.

Obama is sort of the anti-Marine: ‘No worse friend, no better enemy.’

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To Where Will Muslims Migrate After Europe Cracks Down on Immigration?

26th March 2015

Steve Sailer is not afraid to ask the hard questions.

European voters are tiring of anti-Semitic massacres by Muslim youths. The odds of a major crackdown on immigration to Europe from the Muslim world are steadily increasing, with, for example, France’s National Front getting Strange New Respect even from liberal but ethnocentric American journalists such as Jeffrey Goldberg, William Saletan, and Stephen Erlanger.

That raises the question, however: if Europe clamps down on immigration, where will the Muslim masses head next? Australia and Canada are possibilities, but the Big One is, of course, the United States of America. Will this be good for the Jews?

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off on To Where Will Muslims Migrate After Europe Cracks Down on Immigration?

What Your Child Gets for Your $38,300 Tuition Check: New, Improved White Privilege

25th March 2015

Steve Sailer casts an eye on the Other Left Coast.

Here’s another installment in my continuing series Learning from New York. For my entire life, the residents of New York City have instructed the rest of America on what to believe. During the first half of my life, New Yorkers themselves seemed to more or less believe what they were telling the rest of us, and thus their great city deteriorated. During the second half of my life, however, New Yorkers stopped worrying about the disconnect between the advice they were ladling out for the hinterlanders and how they actually ran their own city. And New York City has consequently ascended to new extremes of safety and luxury.

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Bowe Bergdahl Charged With Desertion

25th March 2015

Read it.

And about damned time, too.

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Chuck Norris Fights for the A-10 Warthog

25th March 2015

Read it.

And, really, who could do it better?

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No Matter What You Do, Modern Liberals Will Tell You You’re Wrong.

25th March 2015

John Stossel turns over a rock.

From the 1930s to 1960s, as rich white people moved into New York City, urban planner Robert Moses got city bureaucrats to condemn and destroy busy black neighborhoods. The city called the neighborhoods “blighted” and moved many of the poor into rent-subsidized apartment complexes called “projects.” Many quickly became slums.

Now times have changed. Some rich, white people want to move into poorer, non-white neighborhoods because they like diversity (and cheaper real estate). So today the newcomers are attacked by liberals because they cause “gentrification.”

Guilty of being white and not-poor! Off with their heads!

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Fat? Sick? Blame Your Grandparents’ Bad Habits

25th March 2015

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Your DNA genome has “on/off” chemical switches that collectively are known as your epigenome. So your epigenome is unique and changes every time a switch is flipped. Because your epigenome’s switches are considered reversible when they are passed from parent to child, many scientists view this to be “soft evolution,” i.e., not guaranteed to be as enduring as when a mutation arises in the core DNA genome.

The epigenome can be passed on, sometimes reversed, sometimes reinforced. Unlike in classic Mendelian genetics, it is hard to predict and quantify, so you can just imagine how this variation in experimental outcomes has driven many careful, traditional scientists who believed the DNA code was the be?all and end-all of heredity completely crazy. They would try to eliminate all the variables, use genetically identical rats, and sometimes get completely different results. So it is no surprise that for decades epigenetics was ignored or pooh-poohed by funders, senior biologists, and science magazines. There was no reliable way to trace the precipitating event and no way to easily predict which individuals would be affected in future generations.

So how do our epigenomes become informed about life around us, particularly the epigenome of a fetus or a yet?to?be?conceived child? Most of the science points to our neural, endocrine, and immune systems. Our brains, glands, and immune cells sense the outside world and secrete hormones, growth factors, neurotransmitters, and other biological signaling molecules to tell every organ in the body that it needs to adapt to a changing world.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off on Fat? Sick? Blame Your Grandparents’ Bad Habits

Finally: Sunlight in the Office Cubicle

25th March 2015

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“It’s a great challenge,” said Gordon Gill, a Chicago architect. “Everybody wants the daylight; nobody wants the glare, and you only want the heat when it’s cold outside.”

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Why the SAT Isn’t a ‘Student Affluence Test’

25th March 2015

Charles Murray points out some inconvenient truth.

Spring is here, which means it’s time for elite colleges to send out acceptance letters. Some will go to athletes, the children of influential alumni and those who round out the school’s diversity profile. But most will go to the offspring of the upper middle class. We all know why, right? Affluent parents get their kids into the best colleges by sending them to private schools or spending lots of money on test preparation courses. Either way, it perpetuates privilege from generation to generation.

The College Board provides ammunition for this accusation every year when it shows average SAT scores by family income. The results are always the same: The richer the parents, the higher the children’s SAT scores. This has led some to view the SAT as merely another weapon in the inequality wars, and to suggest that SAT should actually stand for “Student Affluence Test.”

It’s a bum rap. All high-quality academic tests look as if they’re affluence tests. It’s inevitable. Parental IQ is correlated with children’s IQ everywhere. In all advanced societies, income is correlated with IQ. Scores on academic achievement tests are always correlated with the test-takers’ IQ. Those three correlations guarantee that every standardized academic-achievement test shows higher average test scores as parental income increases.

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Professional Dancer With Huge Birthmark on Her Face Refuses Surgery: ‘It Makes Me Unique’

25th March 2015

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It’s certainly less disturbing than a tattoo.

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Was There Anything Unusual About Miami’s Economy in 1980-84?

25th March 2015

Steve Sailer does an entertaining fisking of Yet Another NYT Thumbsucker.

In “Debunking the Myth of the Job-Stealing Immigrant” in the new NYT Magazine, we see another tribute to the golden oldie study by economist David Card that because wages in Miami didn’t fall relative to four other cities from 1980 to 1984 despite the Mariel Boatlift of May 1980 increasing Miami’s supply of labor, ergo that proves that the law of supply and demand doesn’t apply to immigration.

But, was ceteris truly paribus in Miami in 1980-84 relative to Card’s control group of other American cities? Or was there anything else boosting the economy of Miami from 1980 to 1984 that wasn’t happening on the same scale elsewhere?

To research this apparently extremely obscure topic in economic history, I spent a half hour on Youtube. I’ve interleaved some video evidence regarding the unique source of Miami’s early 1980s prosperity above and below.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off on Was There Anything Unusual About Miami’s Economy in 1980-84?

Global Warming Is Now Slowing Down the Circulation of the Oceans — With Potentially Dire Consequences

25th March 2015

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Washington Post. The sky is falling. Women and minorities hardest hit. *Yawn*

If you’re going to phone it in, it might as well be a bomb scare.

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Federal Workers Owe More Than $3.5B in Unpaid Taxes

25th March 2015

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‘We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.’ — Leona Helmsley

The House Oversight Committee is scheduled to consider a bill Wednesday that would make someone with a “seriously delinquent tax debt” ineligible for federal employment.

That sounds like a step in the right direction.

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The Results of a New Stanford University Study Could Surprise Charter School Critics

24th March 2015

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Yeah, by rubbing their noses in a little reality.

Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) has a new study out finding urban charter schools outperform traditional public schools (TPS) in urban areas.

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

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Hillary Lectures Reporters, Gets Standing Ovation

24th March 2015

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Hillary Clinton told a crowd of journalists that she wants a new beginning in her relations with the press. Then, to prove her sincerity she entertained questions for 20 minutes.

Just kidding. Clinton did talk of a new beginning, but she took no questions, according to the National Journal.

The assemblage of hard-nosed reporters was clearly put off by Clinton’s unwillingness to take questions. Accordingly, Clinton received only polite applause when she finished her remarks.

Just kidding. Charmed by Clinton’s one-liners (almost certainly written by someone else), the journalists gave her a standing ovation.

In her remarks, Clinton offered the reporters tough love, or something. She called on them to focus on “serious” and “substantive” journalism going forward.

Translation: Don’t burden my presidential campaign by discussing anything that goes to my character or integrity.

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How the California Dream Became a Nightmare

24th March 2015

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Important attention has been drawn to the shameful condition of middle income housing affordability in California. The state that had earlier earned its own “California Dream” label now limits the dream of homeownership principally to people either fortunate enough to have purchased their homes years ago and to the more affluent. Many middle income residents may have to face the choice of renting permanently or moving away.

However, finally, an important organ of the state has now called attention to the housing affordability problem. The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) has published “California’s High Housing Costs: Causes and Consequences,” which provides a compelling overview of how California’s housing costs have risen to be by far the most unaffordable in the nation. It also sets out the serious consequences.

..

These causes result from conscious political decisions. While California’s coastal counties do not have the vast stretches of flat, appropriately developable land that existed 50 years ago, building is increasingly  prohibited on that which remains (for example, Ventura County, northern Los Angeles county and the southern San Jose metropolitan area).

Demonstrating an understanding of economic basics not generally shared by California policymakers or the urban planning community, LAO squarely places the blame on the public policy limits to new housing construction:

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Scientists Are Making Chocolate Tastier and More Cancer-Fighting

24th March 2015

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And ya gotta love that.

From a cocoa tree to a candy bar, chocolate undergoes a radical transformation. Workers pick pods from the cacao tree, then remove the bitter seeds from inside the pods to be fermented, then dried in the sun. The dried seeds are then roasted and combined with sugar, milk and other ingredients to create the final product.

The delicious stuff loses some of its nutritious components during this process, such as polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that have been shown to help stave off cancer and heart disease. To preserve more antioxidant activity, the researchers decided to add one extra step to the chocolate production process: storing the pods for a few days after they’re harvested but before removing the seeds to be fermented and dried. This isn’t traditionally done, and they didn’t know what effect this step would have on the nutritional content, so the researchers tested different storage times for 300 pods. They found that the ideal storage time was seven days; when the seeds were then processed as usual after that storage time, they maintained more antioxidants than seeds that were not stored or were stored for more time. The researchers believe that the stored beans were higher in antioxidants because they had the time to absorb more nutrients from their outer husks, but not so much time that they started to break down.

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The Case for Cruz

24th March 2015

Almost worth it….

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

The New York Times Should Seriously Consider Not Writing About Science Anymore

24th March 2015

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Enter The New York Times. America’s so-called “newspaper of record,” the once proud Gray Lady, has seen better days. Its circulation is dwarfed by that of its crosstown rival, The Wall Street Journal. Founded merely 33 years ago, USA Today’s circulation and influence has skyrocketed. And The Economist, a weekly British newspaper, has grown to become perhaps the most influential print publication in the world.

What has gone so wrong for the NYT? Many things are to blame. The paper’s leftish editorial page is out of step with a large portion of the American public. A high-profile scandal, in which journalist Jayson Blair was caught fabricating articles, damaged its credibility. The biggest factor, however, is the rise of credible challengers — both print and digital — that simply do better journalism. There is little incentive to spend money to read the NYT when superior news coverage (and more sensible editorializing) can be found elsewhere.

The NYT’s science coverage is particularly galling. While the paper does employ a staff of decent journalists (including several excellent writers, such as Carl Zimmer and John Tierney), its overall science coverage is trite. Other outlets cover the same stories (and many more), in ways that are both more in-depth and more interesting. (They are also usually free to read.) Worst of all, too much of NYT’s science journalism is egregiously wrong.

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Democrats and Their Masters

24th March 2015

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The Democratic Party appears to take the sacramental view of abortion. Any act that might tend to deter an abortion is to be resisted. It’s the abortion equivalent of the positive good school of slavery. If the party as a whole doesn’t subscribe to this view, its funders certainly must.

Thus the dramatic turnaround in Democratic support for the Justice for Victims of Sex Trafficking Act of 2015. It passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with broad bipartisan support. Yet even the bill’s Democratic supporters in committee, such as Minnesota’s own lighter-than-air Senator Amy Klobuchar (a cosponsor of the bill) and angry former comedian Senator Al Franken, turned against it.

One of the core principles of the Peter Pan Party appears to be that nothing must be allowed to impede taxpayer funding of abortions.

Committee Democrats claim that they were shocked, shocked to discover the Hyde restriction on abortion funding in the bill. They didn’t know what they were doing when they voted for it! They didn’t mean it.

Klobuchar and other committee Democrats blame their staffers for failing to inform them that the bill included the language. Beyond that Klobuchar has not strayed.

I wonder if that would have worked at Nuremberg. ‘Honestly, judge, our subordinates failed to inform us that Jews were being killed! It’s not our fault!’

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

“Bionic Leaf” Makes Fuel From Sunlight

24th March 2015

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Here’s a new way to make fuel from sunlight: starve a microbe nearly to death, then feed it carbon dioxide and hydrogen produced with the help of voltage from a solar panel. A newly developed bioreactor feeds microbes with hydrogen from water split by special catalysts connected in a circuit with photovoltaics. Such a batterylike system may beat either purely biological or purely technological systems at turning sunlight into fuels and other useful molecules, the researchers now claim.

“We think we can do better than plants,” says Joseph Torella of Boston Consulting Group, who helped lead the work published February 9 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

The Orwellian Obama Presidency

24th March 2015

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Under Mr. Obama, friends are enemies, denial is wisdom, capitulation is victory.

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The World Turned Upside Down, Obama Style

24th March 2015

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As he works toward a deal blessing Iran’s nuclear program, President Obama has undertaken a full-throated assault on Israel. The Obama administration treats America’s enemies as friends and friends as enemies. It is Obama’s version of “the world turned upside down.”

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$1 Billion TSA Behavioral Screening Program Slammed as Ineffective “Junk Science”

24th March 2015

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The claim arose in a lawsuit (pdf) filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has tried unsuccessfully to get the TSA to release documents on its SPOT (Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques) [pdf]) program through the Freedom of Information Act.

SPOT, whose techniques were first used in 2003 and formalized in 2007, uses “highly questionable” screening techniques, according to the ACLU complaint, while being “discriminatory, ineffective, pseudo-scientific, and wasteful of taxpayer money.” TSA has spent at least $1 billion on SPOT.

The ACLU, of course, would be opposed to any screening program that treats, oh, say, young Middle Eastern males differently from white grannys from Iowa. (Although I’m fully prepared to believe that anything run by the TSA is based on junk science; I’d just like the analysis to come from a credible source.)

‘Behavioral screening’ is the method that Israelis use for their airline, so obviously it doesn’t work worth a darn — look at all those Israeli airline planes being hijacked and blown up.

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The Rules of Racialists — Part One

24th March 2015

Victor Davis Hanson sets out what you are allowed to think and say in Barack Obama’s America.

We live in such a strange world. Our government compiles exhaustive statistics on race and crime, but to cite them can be racist. Authors write, properly so, according to canons of racial propriety and careful consideration, and then newspapers print scary racist commentary that follows without worry over its repercussions. Elites of all races navigate around race and class in matters of choosing homes, schools, and entertainment, and then lecture others on their illiberal Neanderthalism for trying to poorly emulate, according to their reduced stations, the patterns of picking a home, school, or golf course embraced by a Barack Obama or Eric Holder — or Rev. Wright.

For now we need to review the rules that racialists use and to navigate carefully around them. The stakes are quite high.

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Out of Yemen, U.S. Is Hobbled in Terror Fight

23rd March 2015

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Thank you, Barack Hussein Obama (um, um, um…)

Question: If Obama were actually a secret Muslim, what would he be doing differently?

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off on Out of Yemen, U.S. Is Hobbled in Terror Fight

Black People Don’t Drink Coffee

23rd March 2015

Jim Goad examines the dark underbelly of the coffee problem.

Since this article is about the intersection of race and coffee, is there truly a whiter brand of coffee than Starbucks? I mean “white” not in the Viking-warrior sense but in the Stuff White People Like sense. Starbucks, that Seattle-born corporate caffeine giant that makes the shittiest coffee in world history and charges credulous customers ten times its value, may employ the occasional dark-skinned so-called “barista”—I hate that term—but finding a black customer in a Starbucks is like finding a unicorn at a 7-Eleven.

This is why it’s a sharp pointy pinnacle of irony that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz—yes, he’s Jewish, because a dozen of you would have mentioned it in the comments anyway—recently launched a publicity blitz encouraging his baristas to engage their customers in an ongoing dialogue about race relations in America.

Right. OK, then, I’ll take a Venti Americano. While you’re preparing my hot beverage, let’s chat about The Bell Curve.

“We’re not in the business of filling bellies,” Schultz told 60 Minutes in 2006. “We’re in the business of filling souls.” Yeah, well, you’re filling my soul with bullshit right now and I’m politely asking for you to stop.

Posted in Whose turn is it to be the victim? | Comments Off on Black People Don’t Drink Coffee

Dealing With ISIS

23rd March 2015

Francis Fukuyama has some advice for us.

The starting point for a sensible policy rests on the realization that the U.S. and other democratic countries have no reason to favor one religious sect over another in the Sunni-Shiite war.

Yup. We want them both to lose.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off on Dealing With ISIS

Making Density Affordable

23rd March 2015

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The Antiplanner once wrote that “the definition of a socialist is someone who doesn’t understand that subsidizing something is not the same thing as making it affordable.” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has often been called a socialist, and seems to fit the mold, proposing to make some housing “affordable” by confiscating money from others.

Specifically, de Blasio’s administration has demanded that, in order to get a permit to build a new school building, Collegiate School–a private school that traces its roots back nearly 500 years–must contribute enough money to build 55 units of “affordable housing.” Worse, those 55 units are estimated to cost at least $50 million (nearly $1 million per unit is affordable?), and if they cost more, Collegiate has to pay the difference. (If they cost less, the city pockets the difference.)

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Brain Scientist Tries to Uncover Why White People Are Prejudiced Against Gypsies

23rd March 2015

Steve Sailer does an extended Fisking of an article in the New York Times by a typical SWPL academic.

Granted that New York Times articles are low-hanging fruit, it’s still a great example of the art. Recommended.

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The Jihadi Factory

23rd March 2015

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According to the Tunisian interior ministry and private security sources, approximately 3,000 Tunisians have joined the Syrian civil war, the overwhelming majority of them aiming to fight against President Bashar al-Assad. Soufan Group, a security consultancy firm, notes that this number is starkly disproportionate to the country’s 11 million inhabitants, and suggests that Tunisia has contributed more fighters to IS than both Saudi Arabia and Turkey. It may seem surprising that the Arab Spring’s only democratic success story has produced so many extremists. In fact, the country’s shaky democratic transition may itself be a primary cause. Lacking the heavy-handed security apparatus of an authoritarian state, but not yet strong or prosperous enough to offer its citizens a better life, Tunisia has become fertile territory for extremist recruiters — as demonstrated by this week’s bloody terrorist attack in the center of Tunis, for which IS has claimed responsibility.

Gee, that ‘Arab Spring’ really turned out great. Wonder what Obama’s next magical trick will be.

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Dems Want to Empower Boehner

23rd March 2015

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And why not? He’s been a good friend. Republicans … not so much.

House Democrats fighting for leverage in the GOP Congress are hoping they can empower an unlikely ally: Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

‘Unlikely’? Only if you haven’t been paying attention.

By banding together in veto-sustaining majorities against conservative proposals demanded by Boehner’s right flank, Democrats hope to both sink those GOP measures and grease the skids for more moderate compromises.

Which makes you wonder why Boehner is being such a pal.

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Missouri Approves Affordable Cow Act

23rd March 2015

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The same group of state lawmakers that have staunchly opposed expanding insurance coverage to low-income people under Medicaid expansion just unanimously approved a measure that subsidizes dairy cow insurance for farmers.

She says that as if it’s a bad thing.

Possible reasons:

1. They can afford it but not the expansion to Medicaid. Oddly enough, that’s even mentioned in the article; editor must have missed it.

2. Farmers make campaign contributions and low-income people typically don’t.

3. Cows contribute to the economy more than low-income people.

Feel free to add your own.

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Misunderstanding the Millennials

22nd March 2015

Read it. Futher discussion of the way that the Peter Pan Party, journalist strain, mistake their fantasies for the real world.

Urban theorists, such as Peter Katz, insist that millennials (the generation born after 1983) have little interest in “returning to the cul-de-sacs of their teenage years.” Manhattanite Leigh Gallagher, author of “The Death of Suburbs,” asserts with certitude that “millennials hate the suburbs” and prefer more eco-friendly, singleton-dominated urban environments.

Such assessments thrill the likes of real estate speculators, such as Sam Zell, who welcomes “reurbanization” as an opportunity to cash in by housing a generation of Peter Pans in high-cost, tiny spaces unfit for couples and unthinkable for families. Others of a less-capitalistic mindset see in millennials a post-material generation, not buying homes and cars and, perhaps, not establishing families. Millennials, for example, are portrayed by the green magazine Gris as “a hero generation” – one that will march, willingly, even enthusiastically, to a downscaled and, theoretically, greener future.

In reality, these views reflect more fantasy than reality, as a host of surveys of millennials demonstrate. When asked – in a 2010 survey by Frank Magid and Associates – where would be their “ideal place to live,” more millennials identified suburbs than previous generations, including boomers. Another survey, published last year by the National Association of Homebuilders, found that 75 percent of millennials favor settling in a single-family house, 90 percent preferring the suburbs or even a more rural area but only 10 percent the urban core.

This, not surprisingly, is not what you read about regularly in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. Young reporters, virtually all of whom live in dense, expensive places like New York or Washington, instinctually believe the world they know first-hand, the one in which they and their friends reside, epitomizes their generation. Most Americans, however, are not young, highly educated or likely to ever be Manhattan or Brooklyn residents. Indeed, only 20 percent of millennials live in urban core districts; nearly 90 percent of millennial growth in major metropolitan areas from 2000-10 occurred in the suburbs and exurbs.

 

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Estimating the Impact of Robots on Productivity and Employment

22nd March 2015

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We find that industrial robots increase labour productivity, total factor productivity, and wages. At the same time, while industrial robots had no significant effect on total hours worked, there is some evidence that they reduced the employment of low skilled workers, and to a lesser extent also middle skilled workers.

Told you so.

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Frank Bruni Is Wrong About Ivy League Schools

22nd March 2015

Read it. The picture is of Yale, of course, with Harkness Tower in the distance.

Frank Bruni’s new book, Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, argues that the college you attend doesn’t really matter so much. The coveted Ivy League—and the wider range of elite schools—have more applications than ever before, but Bruni recommends that anxious students and their status-obsessed parents caught up in the admissions madness should calm down and relax—the school you go to cannot define you.

And, of course, that’s not an argument anybody’s making. The school you go to opens — or closes — doors, and that can be of inestimable value.

Which is, of course, both trite and true. In life, you are what you make of each opportunity. Yet Bruni himself, an influential New York Times columnist and prominent member of the US elite, makes an argument that somewhat contradicts his own educational history. After all, he graduated from a top public institution—The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill—and an Ivy League graduate school—Columbia University.

Would he be where he is today if he had just chosen a college or graduate school at random?

Doubtful.

To Bruni’s credit, he does conduct some research to support his point. For example, he examined the American-born chief executives of the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500 and noted that roughly 30 went to an Ivy League school or equally selective institution.

However, why stop at 100? Why not examine the entire Fortune 500? That is, in fact, what I did in my research (pdf), published two years ago. And in an extended analysis from 1996 to 2014, I uncovered that roughly 38% of Fortune 500 CEOs attended elite schools (see the paper for the full list) for the last two decades.

Of course, that depends on how many schools are on your list of ‘elite schools’. Still, I doubt if it’s more than 25, in which case that 38% looks pretty impressive.

Based on census and college data, I estimate that only about 2% to 5% of all US undergraduates went to one of these elite schools. That makes all these US elite groups well above what you would expect in the general population. And this doesn’t even include the percentage who went to a “non-elite” graduate school.

And that’s puts things in perspective. When 5% of your candidates wind up with 38% of the top slots, there’s something going on.

But among people similar to Bruni’s social and family circle, who appear fixated on which college to go to, perhaps their hunch is not wrong. This is likely because many of these people know that where they went to school opened doors for them, regardless of the quality of the education they received—and that is why they want their kids to have those same opportunities. As members of the US elite, they want their kids to at least match if not surpass them, to have an advantage in life, and to reap the enormous benefits that come with that privilege. As my research shows, if you want to become a member of the US elite, an elite school (or grad school) appears to improve your chances.

And that’s what it’s all about. This is especially the case in the academia cohort of the modern clerisy. It is a truth universally acknowledged that your chances of a tenure-track position are far greater at Midwestern State University if you graduated from Princeton than at Princeton if you graduated from Midwestern State University.

Fun exercise for the reader: Compute out what percentage of Supreme Court Justices graduated from just Harvard Law, Yale Law, Columbia Law, or Stanford Law.

 

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Why the Phantom Fatwa?

22nd March 2015

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I wrote about President Obama’s March 19 statement on the Persian new year in “Our Supreme Leader is a Supreme Fool.” In the statement Obama asserted: “Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon.”

Obama’s assertion follows closely on Secretary of State Kerry’s assertion to the same effect. I quoted Kerry’s citation of the fatwa in “Of fatuity and fatwas.”

The fatwa, however, doesn’t exist. It has never been seen. As Andrew McCarthy explains, the fatwa is a patent hoax. Andy writes (emphasis in original): “The invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has done extensive research into compilations of Khamenei’s published fatwas…No such fatwa has ever been published.” Andy links to MEMRI’s two 2013 posts in search of the fatwa in the omitted sentence.

Democrats are the Peter Pan Party — they refuse to grow up, and think that if they believe something hard enough, it comes into existence.

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Islam Bulldozes the Past

22nd March 2015

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The recent bulldozing by the Islamic State (ISIS) of the ancient cities of Nimrud, Hatra, and Korsabad, three of the world’s greatest archaeological and cultural sites, is just this group latest round of assaults across the large area under its control. Since January 2014, the flamboyantly barbaric ISIS has blown up Shi’i mosques, bulldozed churches, pulverized shrines, and plundered museums.

Worse, the ISIS record fits into an old and common pattern of destruction of historical artifacts by Muslims.

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Thought for the Day

22nd March 2015

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

22nd March 2015

Let’s Work Together

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The Robots Are Coming

22nd March 2015

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Put all this together, and we can start to see why many people think a big shift is about to come in the impact of computing and technology on our daily lives. Computers have got dramatically more powerful and become so cheap that they are effectively ubiquitous. So have the sensors they use to monitor the physical world. The software they run has improved dramatically too. We are, Brynjolfsson and McAfee argue, on the verge of a new industrial revolution, one which will have as much impact on the world as the first one. Whole categories of work will be transformed by the power of computing, and in particular by the impact of robots.

Frey and Osborne’s conclusion is stark. In the next two decades, 47 per cent of employment is ‘in the high-risk category’, meaning it is ‘potentially automatable’. Interestingly, though not especially cheeringly, it is mainly less well-paid workers who are most at risk. Recent decades have seen a polarisation in the job market, with increased employment at the top and bottom of the pay distribution, and a squeeze on middle incomes. ‘Rather than reducing the demand for middle-income occupations, which has been the pattern over the past decades, our model predicts that computerisation will mainly substitute for low-skill and low-wage jobs in the near future. By contrast, high-skill and high-wage occupations are the least susceptible to computer capital.’ So the poor will be hurt, the middle will do slightly better than it has been doing, and the rich – surprise! – will be fine.

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In Defense of a Beautiful Boss

21st March 2015

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It shouldn’t come as any surprise that someone out there writing for The Economist has a problem with the looks of our bosses.  Leftists have been waging a war against nearly every personal advantage for years: if they aren’t upset because your parents are rich, they’ll insult you because your parents are white, or maybe because you have a penis.  In their most unreasonable moments, they might even be upset that you deserve your own job.  It seems only reasonable to expect that sooner or later, they would be complaining about whether or not our bosses keep themselves in shape.

This is because at the heart of all leftism lies an unreasonable envy of all advantage (disguised as an advocacy of the disadvantaged) and an unhealthy hatred of actual diversity (disguised as an appreciation of difference).  They call life a meritocracy when your successful parents raise you to win, which is a lot like complaining that your parents raised you at all.  It’s almost enough to make you wonder whether they loathe the laws of cause and effect.  In the fight against all odds – not his, but everyone’s – the leftist hasn’t only forgotten that different people breed different people; he’s forgotten that different people are diversity itself, and that diversity, the thing he claims to be championing, means that someone is going to have natural advantages.

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Nano-Architecture

21st March 2015

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To visit the lab of Caltech materials ­scientist Julia Greer is to enter a realm where the ordinary rules of physical stuff don’t seem to apply. Greer designs and builds nanomaterials that behave in ways surprising to those of us who spend our days in a world where strong materials like ceramic and steel tend to be heavy, while lightweight ones are weak. When Greer controls architecture at the nanoscale, the rules change.

If materials like Greer’s could be produced in large quantities, they could replace composites and other materials used in a wide range of applications, because they’d be just as strong at a fraction of the weight. Another possibility is to greatly increase the energy density of batteries—the amount of power they can hold at a given size. To do that, researchers have been trying to develop electrodes that are lighter than the ones used in today’s batteries but can store more energy. However, promising electrode materials such as silicon are prone to cracking under strain. An electrode made by coating a metal nanolattice with silicon could have crack-resistant toughness in its very structure. The key to creating such wondrous materials is an arsenal of specialized machines—some of which Greer has rebuilt to suit her purposes—that make it possible to precisely control structure at the nanoscale over relatively large areas.

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The Coming Ice Age

21st March 2015

Betty Friedan (you remember her, right?) discusses ‘climate change’ — in 1958.

As Ewing and Donn read the evidence, an Ice Age will result from a slow warming and rising of the ocean that is now taking place. They believe that this ocean flood — which may submerge large coastal areas of the eastern United States and western Europe — is going to melt the ice sheet which has covered the Arctic Ocean through all recorded history. Calculations based on the independent observations of other scientists indicate this melting could begin, within roughly one hundred years.

It is this melting of Arctic ice which Ewing and Donn believe will set off another Ice Age on earth. They predict that it will cause great snows to fall in the north — perennial unmelting snows which the world has not seen since the last Ice Age thousands of years ago. These snows will make the Arctic glaciers grow again, until their towering height forces them forward. The advance south will be slow, but if it follows the route of previous ice ages, it will encase in ice large parts of North America and Europe. It would, of course, take many centuries for that wall of ice to reach New York and Chicago, London and Paris. But its coming is an inevitable consequence of the cycle which Ewing and Donn believe is now taking place.

So ‘global warming’ will lead to a new Ice Age. Who knew?

Of course, Betty Friedan has moved on since than and so has the rest of the ‘progressive movement’, but this certainly accounts for all of the AlGore-come-to-town blizzards we’ve been seeing.

Just sayin’.

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Write Privilege

21st March 2015

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White privilege — the concept that whites benefit from structural racism in ways that similarly situated nonwhites don’t — has been hotly debated among academics for decades. But recent events — from the riots and protests in Ferguson, Mo., to the closure of a University of Oklahoma fraternity over its racist chants, to this week’s beating of a black University of Virginia student by campus police — have reinvigorated that debate, along with calls for teachers to talk directly with their students about white privilege.

For professors inclined to answer those calls, just how should they do it, particularly in a writing class? That was the topic of a popular session Thursday at the annual meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. The session was led by Ersula Ore, an assistant professor of writing at Arizona State University who found herself at the center of a debate about police racism on that campus last year, when she was body-slammed by campus police after they stopped her for jaywalking and she refused to show her ID. (Ore is African-American.)

The new clerisy is on the march through the institutions, leaving no mind unmowed.

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Touring Portland’s Brand New Car-Free Bridge

21st March 2015

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Okay, it seems like now Portland is just showing off. The city is putting the finishing touches on the Tilikum Bridge, a multi-modal span that will serve buses, cyclists, pedestrians and trains — but no cars.

Hipster Portland has successfully regressed to 1900. Way to go, Portland.

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Thought for the Day

21st March 2015

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Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe. . . .

There is no Eden. There never was. What was that Eden of the wonderful mythic past? Is it the time when infant mortality was 80%, when four children in five died of disease before the age of five? When one woman in six died in childbirth? When the average lifespan was 40, as it was in America a century ago. When plagues swept across the planet, killing millions in a stroke. Was it when millions starved to death? Is that when it was Eden?

— Michael Crichton

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USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

21st March 2015

Analog Memory Desk,

Blue Freedom Portable Hydropower Plant.

Briefcase Barbecue.

Pick-Pocket-Proof Pants.

eTape16 digital measuring tape.

Nite Ize Gear Tie.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »