DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for November, 2015

Cruz: Most Violent Criminals Are Democrats

30th November 2015

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He’s right, you know. Think of some gang-banger sitting in stir for the next 20 years. Think he’d vote Republican? The question answers itself.

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The Selective Argument That Political Rhetoric Leads to Violence

30th November 2015

Jim Geraghty assembles a complete list of ‘progressive’ whining over violence other than their own.

Let me get this straight. In the eyes of the Left… ….criticism of Planned Parenthood means something like the shooting in Colorado “was bound to happen”… …but chants where people describe police as ‘pigs’ and call for them to be ‘fried like bacon’ doesn’t lead to attacks on police… …when an event by Pamela Geller is targeted by an Islamist shooter, it is “not really about free speech; it was an exercise in bigotry and hatred” and the attempt to kill her means she has “achieved her provocative goal”… … while at the same time, investigators contend we may never know what motivated a 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez to kill four Marines and a sailor in an attack on Chattanooga’s U.S. Naval and Marine Reserve Center last July…

 

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Russia and Norway Are in a Two-Way Battle to Repeatedly Reject the Same Refugees

30th November 2015

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Reminds me of the scene in Fellowship of the Ring where Merry and Pippin are bouncing the dragon firework back and forth. Hey, guys, eventually the firework goes off….

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off on Russia and Norway Are in a Two-Way Battle to Repeatedly Reject the Same Refugees

Clinton Opened State Department Office to Dozens of Corporate Donors, Dem Fundraisers

30th November 2015

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As secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton opened her office to dozens of influential Democratic party fundraisers, former Clinton administration and campaign loyalists, and corporate donors to her family’s global charity, according to State Department calendars obtained by The Associated Press.

Still waiting for that expose from Salon. I guess they’re too busy focusing on Google.

 

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The Greens: Fighting for Your Right to Be Cold!

30th November 2015

Read it. And watch the video.

The following video features clips from yesterday’s demonstration by global warming activists in Ottawa. In addition to their leftist knee-jerk racism — why are Indians touted as having a unique moral authority on “climate change”? — they are volunteering to fight for the right of their comrades in the Frozen North to remain frozen.

With an agenda like that, how can they lose?

 

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This Cloth-Making Technology Is Turning Trees Into Noodles

30th November 2015

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Faced with tightening competition for the textiles it’s been making for almost 100 years, Omikenshi Co. is trying to get into the health-food business, using its cloth-making technology to turn trees into noodles.

The Osaka-based company’s best-selling product is rayon, a fiber made from tree pulp. Using a similar process, Omikenshi is turning the indigestible cellulose into a pulp that’s mixed with konjac, a yam-like plant grown in Japan. The resulting fiber-rich flour, which the company calls “cell-eat,” contains no gluten, fat and almost no carbohydrate. It has just 60 calories a kilogram (27 calories a pound), compared with 3,680 for wheat.

Um. Okay. (Cue the next trendy restaurant….)

 

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

The Terrorists Among Us

30th November 2015

Slate, of course, let’s us know the Party Line on the Planned Parenthood situation.

Tendentious sub-head: Forget Syria. The most dangerous religious extremists are migrants from North and South Carolina.

Let’s see: Just because there are dangerous people already in the United States is somehow an argument for our bringing in more from overseas. I’m sure it makes sense to the Bright People at Slate, but I’m afraid it says non sequitur to me.

From Wikipedia: “William Saletan, a Jewish native of Texas, graduated from Swarthmore College in 1987.” He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, so he apparently escaped Texas as soon as he could. I rather doubt he’s ever lived in North or South Carolina, so I guess that makes him an expert…?

Oh, and in 2004 he wrote a book — Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War. No doubt that explains why abortion is now illegal in the U.S. Oh, wait….

This guy appears to be a poster child for the ‘progressive’ ability to live in a fantasy world and write about it as if it were reality. I wish I could get a job like that.

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Sugar-Free Drinks May Damage Teeth, Study Says

30th November 2015

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I’d put this right up there with ‘ethanol is actually bad for the environment’, but I’m too busy laughing.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off on Sugar-Free Drinks May Damage Teeth, Study Says

Cleveland to Repay Millions after “Jock Tax” Ruled Unconstitutional by Ohio Supreme Court

30th November 2015

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The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from the Cleveland Board of Review last week, cementing the Ohio Supreme Court’s ruling that the “jock tax” applied to visiting N.F.L. players violated their due process rights. As a result, the Cleveland city government may be on the hook for millions of dollars owed back to professional athletes, according to data from the Cleveland Collections Agency.

The two former NFL players, Jeff Saturday and Hunter Hillenmeyer, both won their cases against a levy the Tax Foundation calls “arbitrary,” “unrealistic,” and “poorly targeted,” in the Ohio Supreme Court earlier this year. The Court’s decision in the former case struck down the tax Cleveland levied on Saturday even though he did not accompany his team, the Indianapolis Colts, to their game there. Calling the regulation “ambiguous at best,” the justices ordered the city to refund Saturday for the tax applied to his salary because he neither played in the scheduled game nor was present in Cleveland at the time.

In Hillenmeyer’s case, the justices took a more nuanced approach, finding the formula the city used to tax players unconstitutional, not the tax itself. Cleveland, grossly overstepping the bounds of its powers of taxation, argued that a 2% tax levied on the players entire salary, or 1/20th of their total salary, came from a calculation of the amount of games played in the preseason and regular season, 20, with one of those taking place in Cleveland. The court disagreed with this faulty logic, asserting that a NFL player’s total salary is derived from attendance at practices, off-season trainings, and a myriad of other duties.

Heh. Bloodsuckers lose one for once.

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

Abortionists and Planned Parenthood Shooter Are Just Two Sides of the Same Coin

30th November 2015

Matt Welch speaks truth to power.

As I’m sure you heard, a mentally insane man shot several people — mostly cops, a few civilians — in and around a Planned Parenthood clinic on Friday. One can presume that a number of precious unborn children were also murdered in separate incidents at the clinic that day, but they will never be named, mourned, or memorialized.

And that’s it, in a nutshell.

Now, even though the shooter is a rambling reclusive lunatic with no coherent motivations, left wingers have used this incident to smear the pro-life movement and position themselves, and the abortion industry, as victims. Frustratingly, many on the right have made a show of condemning the attacks, but they haven’t forcefully pushed back against these hypocrites who condone the murder of children and then act SHOCKED and OUTRAGED when some violence spills back in their direction.

Funny how ‘progressives’ never seem willing to ask the question they keep pushing their opponents to ask: ‘Why do they hate us?’

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off on Abortionists and Planned Parenthood Shooter Are Just Two Sides of the Same Coin

Google’s Insidious Shadow Lobbying: How the Internet Giant Is Bankrolling Friendly Academics—and Skirting Federal Investigations

30th November 2015

David Dayen, contributing writer for Salon, is shocked, shocked that Google is spreading its money around to buy a little influence.

I’m thinking that David Dayen doesn’t get out much.

I’m willing to bet that David Dayen is too young to remember the days when Microsoft was too apolitical to have a lobbying operation in Washington, D.C., and as a result got bogged down for TEN YEARS in a bogus ‘anti-trust’ suit prompted by people who were less pristine and more government-savvy. (Microsoft has since learned better.) Say what you will about Google, they’re not stupid, and they can learn from the mistakes of others.

(I’m waiting for the day when David Dayen, or some other squeaky clean do-gooder at Salon, does a similar expose regarding, say, the Clinton Foundation. I am not, however, willing to hold my breath waiting for it.)

 

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Pay the Piper – And Let Only the Piper Determine What to Play!

30th November 2015

Don Boudreaux, a Real Economist, has some harsh words about feeders at the government trough.

For the head of Planned Parenthood to self-righteously complain about the “politicization” of women’s health care as her organization receives tens of millions of dollars annually in government subsidies – money forcibly extracted by government from taxpayers and then given to Planned Parenthood – is an astonishing feat of hypocrisy. No one who is ethically mature demands money from Smith and simultaneously complains when Smith expresses opinions about how that money is spent.

People – such as this head of Planned Parenthood – who use politics to seize other people’s money and who then are surprised and angry when such money comes along with attached political strings are inconceivably naive (at best). They are akin to the person who orders a kosher ham sandwich – or, alternatively, they are akin to the would-be pet owner who wants a dog that flies and meows rather than one that walks and barks. Such people, in short, are detached from reality.

Actually, that’s not all there is to it. As long as ‘health care’ involves procedures that a large number of people, in conformance with traditional morality, regard as out-and-out murder, then ‘health care’ is going to be politicized, because what constitutes murder, under the law, is inevitably a political question.

The same problem would arise where there a large population of Muslims in the U.S. who made it a practice to behead apostates from Islam. They don’t regard that as murder, but justice, based on the law they know. The fact that non-Muslims consider it murder is of absolutely no interest to them, except as an annoyance.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off on Pay the Piper – And Let Only the Piper Determine What to Play!

Wu-Tang Clan Sold the Single Copy of Its Secret Album for Millions of Dollars

30th November 2015

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If you’re a hardcore Wu-Tang Clan fan, you can stop combing your couch for loose change and eating instant ramen: the single physical copy of the group’s secret album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin has been sold. Forbes reported the album’s sale through online auction house Paddle8 yesterday afternoon, and later confirmed that the album had been sold to a “private American collector” for a total somewhere in the millions.

The auction house hasn’t shared an exact number yet, but it confirmed that the price was high enough to make Once Upon a Time in Shaolin the most expensive single album ever sold. (It’s breaking a record previously held by Elvis Presley — Jack White bought a rare version of his first song ever for $300,000 in January of this year.) The sale was actually made in May, but it took months for the buyer and the Wu to sort out the contractual language and protections surrounding the album. In any case, the sale price is high enough to make you feel a little better about shelling out an extra 10 bucks to hear the new Adele record.

Cue whining by the Usual Suspects about the 1% getting stuff the rest of us can’t.

I am pleased that it was an American collector, not a Russian kleptocrat or a petrodollar Prince or a Slightly-Pink-Chinese tycoon.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off on Wu-Tang Clan Sold the Single Copy of Its Secret Album for Millions of Dollars

Caliphate Accompli

30th November 2015

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At the G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey, Barack Obama gave one of the most bizarre performances of his presidency. The November 16, 2015 speech was notable, first, for its gloating over imaginary successes at a time when failures are evident and, second, for the emergence of a new strategy against the Islamic State (ISIS).

In the gloating category, the president touted his administration’s handling of Libya 26 days after Congressional hearings exposed the lies of Benghazi, boasted of improving worldwide airline security 17 days after an ISIS bomb downed a Russian passenger jet, and hectored his political foes for suggesting he reconsider accepting thousands of refugees from Syria just 2 days after it was learned that one or more of the Paris suicide bombers had come to France from Syria as refugees. It was as though he was trying to eclipse the bad timing of his November 13 interview with George Stephanopoulos, when he claimed to have “contained” ISIS only hours before the Paris attacks.

But the short speech and the long Q&A session were even more remarkable for illustrating the administration’s deliberate tactic of attempting to embarrass and belittle ISIS verbally – as though words alone will halt its growth.

Worst. President. Ever.

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Hacker Predicts AMEX Card Numbers, Bypasses Chip and PIN

30th November 2015

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Brainiac hacker Samy Kamkar has developed a US$10 gadget that can predict and store hundreds of American Express credit cards and use them for wireless transactions, even at non-wireless payment terminals.

The mind-blowing feat is the result of Kamkar cracking how the card issuer picks replacement numbers, and in dissecting the functionality of magnetic stripe data.

It means criminals could use the tiny gadget to keep pillaging cash after cards have been cancelled at businesses that do not require the three or four -digit CVV numbers on the back of cards.

American Express has been notified and says it is working on a fix.

I should hope so. I am very glad I do not use an Amex card.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on Hacker Predicts AMEX Card Numbers, Bypasses Chip and PIN

UC Scientists Create Malaria-Blocking Mosquitoes

30th November 2015

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Using a groundbreaking gene editing technique, University of California scientists have created a strain of mosquitoes capable of rapidly introducing malaria-blocking genes into a mosquito population through its progeny, ultimately eliminating the insects’ ability to transmit the disease to humans.

Wonder what pretext the eco-Nazis will use to bitch about: ‘Frankenbugs’?

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off on UC Scientists Create Malaria-Blocking Mosquitoes

Clinton Proposes $275 Billion in New Infrastructure Spending

30th November 2015

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

Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled the first piece of a new jobs agenda on Sunday, promising hundreds of billions of dollars in fresh federal spending in an effort to compete with the liberal economic policies of her primary challengers.

I’d hesitate to call what her ‘primary challengers’ are proposing as ‘economic policies’, any more than I’d call abortion ‘health care’. But this is what Democrites do: They get elected by promising to spend more of Other People’s Money than the other guy, and cling to office by actually spending as much as they can of Other People’s Money, and voters wonder why they can’t afford nice stuff any more. *sigh*

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Video: Skateboarder Falls 450 feet Off Bridge in Stunt Fail

30th November 2015

Read it. (Well, watch the video.)

Darwin Award nominee.

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Obama Insists ‘We Have to Do Something’ About Mass Shootings but Can’t Say What or Why It Would Work

30th November 2015

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Funny how that works.

Actually, it’s not funny at all, considering how much we’re paying this clown.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | Comments Off on Obama Insists ‘We Have to Do Something’ About Mass Shootings but Can’t Say What or Why It Would Work

Suspected Burglar Dies in Chimney After Homeowner Unknowingly Lights Fire

30th November 2015

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A suspected burglar who became stuck in the chimney of a house in California has died after the homeowner lit a fire without realising anyone was inside.

Think of it as evolution in action.

(Ponder the fact that British newspapers often have better coverage of interesting American news than the Drive-By Media.)

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Australian Surfers Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman on Mexico Road Trip Feared Dead After Burnt Out Van Discovered

30th November 2015

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A subtle hint not to visit a country where there is open warfare between police and drug dealers.

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Barking Back at Black Lives Matter

30th November 2015

Jim Goad looks behind the headlines.

The weekend before last, Donald Trump egged on a frenzied crowd of sweaty Alabama rednecks as they beat, kicked, and bludgeoned a peaceful Black Lives Matter activist, while last Monday night five peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors in Minneapolis were shot by a group of armed white supremacists who came looking for trouble and fired wantonly into the crowd. This is all part of the ongoing terror and violence that our white supremacist society routinely rains down on noble, longsuffering black Americans.

Of course that’s all bullshit. But that’s the impression you’d get from reading most media accounts.

Let’s “deconstruct” these real-life events, shall we?

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off on Barking Back at Black Lives Matter

Intelligence: America Does Poorly in Cold War II

30th November 2015

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The CIA recently has a crises on its hands when it was realized that finding out what is happening inside Russia has become much more difficult. This has been a growing problem since the 1990s but has gotten worse since Russia began invading its neighbors and reviving the Cold War era police state. All that went into high gear with the invasion of Georgia in 2008 and escalated in 2014 with attacks on Ukraine. Now Russia is threatening most of East Europe and the CIA finds itself blinded. The CIA is seeking to regain some of its Cold War era competence in this era and that is proving difficult.

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Climate Media Watch

30th November 2015

Steven Hayward at PowerLine blog passes the popcorn.

I’m not sure what’s going to be more fun over the next 10 days—watching John “Long Face” Kerry prattle on, or reading the predictable stories in the media about how the conference is “deadlocked,” “going into overtime,” and announcing, at the 11th hour, a “breakthrough!” that will save the planet—at least until we can all meet again next year to repeat the farce.

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18,000 Years of Climate and Civilization

30th November 2015

John Hinderaker at PowerLine blog points out some inconvenient truth.

Petrophysicist Andy May has prepared a poster-sized chart that shows the current state of knowledge about the Earth’s climate over the last 18,000 years, along with a history of human civilization during that time. You could spend a long time studying the chart, which tells you most of what you need to know to understand why climate alarmism, as currently manifested in the Paris conclave, is–scientifically speaking–a joke. You also should read his long post about the data in the chart. For now, I am simply going to post it. It is in PDF format, you can download it and study it at your leisure.

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Ethanol: Bad for Climate and Pocketbook

30th November 2015

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A federal program, once launched, is impossible to kill. It doesn’t matter if the scheme wastes money. It doesn’t matter if the program doesn’t work. It doesn’t even matter if the program does the very opposite of what it is supposed to do. Every government program enters the world with an army of fairy godmothers prepared to fend off any effort to cut the cord. Hence, the staying power of ethanol.

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Principal Accused of Fixing Failing Grades Behind Teachers’ Backs

30th November 2015

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The principal of DeWitt Clinton HS, a struggling Bronx school in Mayor de Blasio’s multimillion-dollar Renewal program, changed students’ failing grades to passing without teachers’ knowledge or consent, insiders told The Post.

In one case, Santiago Taveras gave a senior who received a “no show” in a global-history class a 75 and changed her failing 55 grade in gym to a minimum passing 65, records show. She then got a credit for each class, which she didn’t deserve, several staffers charged.

“He thinks he’s God and can do whatever he wants,” one said.

Sounds like a school official to me.

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Woman Survives Car Crash, Dies Trying to Retrieve Her Things

29th November 2015

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A 25-year-old woman whose car flipped over on Long Island on Sunday emerged from the wreckage relatively unscathed — only to be struck and killed as she later went back to retrieve her property, police said.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

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The Serial Swatter

29th November 2015

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Early one weekend morning in January 2014, Janet was sleeping fitfully in her parents’ home in Toronto. A junior studying elementary education at a nearby college, she had gone home for the weekend in a state of nervous collapse. For months, someone going by the name ‘‘Obnoxious’’ had been harassing her online. He had called her cellphone repeatedly and sent her threatening texts. Worst of all, he had threatened to ‘‘swat’’ her at school — to make a false emergency call to the police and lure a SWAT team to her door.

Janet was afraid to go to sleep; she kept thinking that he was going to swat her in the middle of the night. He said he was going to swat her family, too. Her father owned a bar, and her mother worked at a hotel. They were from China, and their English wasn’t great. They didn’t know much about her life online, and they would never understand why someone would stalk their daughter on the Internet.

Around 6:30 a.m., her father jostled her awake and said she needed to come downstairs. When she got to the top of the steps, she saw her family’s living room ‘‘covered in cops.’’ There were at least five officers in riot gear, guns drawn. They had bulletproof vests and pads and helmets with visors. She remembers the eerie silence of the officers — they said nothing at all. She had no idea what to do with her hands. ‘‘I was scared to move,’’ she says. ‘‘I wanted to go downstairs with my hands up. I was afraid they would shoot me. I was so scared. I feel like they just didn’t really let their guard down until I told them what happened.’’

It could happen to you.

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There Are No Excessive Commutes

29th November 2015

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The Antiplanner tried to demolish this myth fourteen years ago in The Vanishing Automobile, but now Daniel Schleith, a geographer from the University of Cincinnati, is bringing it back. Schleith calculated the “minimum commute” that would be required in the nation’s 25 largest urban areas if jobs and housing in those areas were “balanced,” and compared that with the actual average commutes in those areas. The difference between the two is the “excess commute.”

This method makes two related and equally fallacious assumptions: First, that the only purpose of transportation is to get to and from work, and second that the only factor that should be involved in choosing a home location is proximity to work. In fact, commuting makes up only less than 20 percent of our travel, and the other travel we do is only one of the many factors that might lead us to choose a home location that isn’t as close as possible to work.

“In urban planning,” observed Yale political scientist James Scott in his book, Seeing Like a State, “it is a short step from parsimonious assumptions to the practice of shaping the environment so that it satisfies the simplifications required by the formula.” Unfortunately, too many cities have taken that short step and greatly interfered in peoples’ lives to try to shorten commutes.

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Two Observations on the Planned Parenthood Murders

29th November 2015

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Whenever there is a high-profile shooting incident, liberals scan the news eagerly, hoping that political hay can be made out of it. With the Planned Parenthood murders perpetrated by Robert Dear, they apparently think they have hit the jackpot. Perhaps, in political terms, they are right, but I doubt it.

Unnamed law enforcement sources are being quoted to the effect that after his arrest, Dear said something like “no more baby parts.” QED! say Planned Parenthood spokeswomen. The Center for Medical Progress’s videos are to blame. But do liberals really want to argue that wrongdoing shouldn’t be exposed, for fear that a lunatic may take vigilante action against the wrongdoers? I don’t think so.

To take just one of countless examples, imagine that a nut tries to assassinate one of the Koch brothers–by no means a far-fetched hypothesis, given the insane hatred that has been stirred up against them by the Democratic Party. In that event, would the Democratic Party take responsibility for the acts of the crazed assassin and apologize for its attacks on Charles and David Koch? I doubt it.

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Newborn Baby Found Buried Alive Under Asphalt and Rubble by Los Angeles River

29th November 2015

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What’s the big deal? Just think of it as a really-late-term abortion. Turn it over to Planned Parenthood to be sold for parts. Problem solved.

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Tahir Elci: Kurdish Human Rights Lawyer Shot Dead During Press Conference in Turkey

29th November 2015

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A prominent Kurdish lawyer and rights activist, who faced criminal charges for defending Kurdish rebels as not terrorists, has been shot in the head and killed in Turkey.

Tahir Elci, 49, was caught in a gun battle between police and unidentified gunmen as he delivered a statement calling for an end to violence between the Turkish state and Kurdish rebel group the PKK.

Two policemen were also killed in the shoot-out in Turkey’s south eastern city of Diyarbakir, with another 11 people injured.

If the Russians want to smash Turkey, I have no objection.

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Refugee crisis: Clashes as Macedonia Begins Building Border Fence to Keep People Out

29th November 2015

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Welcome to the fifth century. Be careful not to step in the Diversity.

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Firefighter Who Flunked Physical Injured 10 Days Into Job

29th November 2015

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A firefighter who was allowed to graduate the Fire Academy despite failing physical tests has already gone out on medical leave — just 10 days into the job, The Post has learned.

Probationary firefighter Choeurlyne Doirin-Holder injured herself Monday while conducting a routine check of equipment at Queens’ Engine 308 in South Richmond Hill. Getting off the truck, Doirin-Holder missed a step and landed on her left foot, suffering a fracture, sources said.

I suppose it would be considered a cheap shot to point out that something like this was predicable and predicted. The mythologies of Political Correctness, which ignore actual physical differences between men and women in service of The Narrative, have as little mercy on their supposed beneficiaries as on their nominal enemies.

Doirin-Holder, who turns 40 this month, is one of 282 “priority hires” passed over in 1999 and 2000. Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis ordered they must get preference as victims of past discrimination against minorities.

Which is fine when it’s just a question of hiring and paying government workers who are members of politically favored groups (all of whom just happen to vote most often for Democrats — purely a coincidence, I’m sure), but when they’re actually called on to do the job, things get a little bit embarrassing.

Since she was injured on duty, she is eligible for a disability pension that would pay three-quarters of her annual salary, tax-free, if deemed unfit to return.

Thereby accomplishing the original political purpose without any benefit to the public. Win-Win!

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Groupthink

29th November 2015

Don Boudreaux, a Real Economist, examines one of the chief intellectual deficiencies of our time, which I have often discussed here under the title of “Aggregation Fallacy”.

A danger of collectivism of any sort – from formal collectivism such as state-imposed communism to informal and less-obvious forms of collectivism, such as gathering statistics on a nation’s “balance of trade” – is that it clouds thinking.  Collectivism not only masks differences that distinguish individuals who comprise whatever group is constructed, in whatever fashion, into some collective, it also causes people too easily to attribute thought and action to the group rather than to the individuals who make-up the group.

This is illustrated daily in most of what passes for News Media these days, in which some ‘journalist’ will cherry-pick some general statistic such as the number of deaths in a certain period in a certain general group, and then draw some tendentious conclusion, typically supporting a call for government action to infringe the rights and freedoms of people that the journalist just happens to dislike. “The Rich”, “The Poor”, “Working Families”, “Gun Nuts”, and “Fundamentalists” are common whipping-boys for this sort of treatment, although this sort of thing never seems to apply to groups that the Chattering Classes favor, like Muslims or Black People or Government Employees.

Last night at dinner the discussion turned to the hideous Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado.  My close and wise friend Lyle Albaugh observed that many “Progressives” tend to lump together into a fictional collective all people with some anti-government views.  So when a middle-aged white male violently attacks an institution, such as Planned Parenthood, that is an icon of the “Progressive” left, left-wing commenters, along with others with left-wing sympathies, often lump all limited- and anti-government folk together into some fictional group that is feared to be especially prone to commit violence of the sort that occurred last week in Colorado.  (Remember how, just after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Tucson in 2011 Paul Krugman blamed right-wing ideology for the crime?)

And, indeed, the perpetrators of crimes need not even belong, in any sense that a rational adults would recognize, to whatever group is being trotted out for the Two-Minute Hate, in order to sprinkle with magical victim-blood the objects of their disaffection.

 

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off on Groupthink

Is Getting Old A Disease?

29th November 2015

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On June 24, researchers will meet with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a very specific reason: they want to test a drug that might slow the aging process. If they succeed, they will show for the first time that aging is in fact a condition that can be treated with medicine, which could boost progress—and funding—for anti-aging research. And based on some comments made by officials late last month, the FDA seems inclined to say yes, according to Nature News.

Aging researchers don’t claim to seek immortality; rather, they want to keep more people healthier for longer. Drugs that have been developed over the past decade have been ineffective and sold with false promises. But the researchers behind the proposed experiment, called Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME), say they’re in a better position now thanks to animal studies that have hinted at particular physiological pathways that can lead to greater longevity.

Socialism is a disease. Getting old is a misfortune.

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Fate of ObamaCare Co-ops Uncertain After Half Collapse

29th November 2015

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

And it’s not as if nobody told them ahead of time that this would happen.

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

29th November 2015

Refugee

 

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Little Asylum Center on the Prairie

29th November 2015

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Justin “Baby Doc” Trudeau is Canada’s newly-elected Liberal prime minister. Mr. Trudeau has vowed to bring 25,000 “Syrian” “refugees” into the country by the end of the year, and is exerting considerable political pressure in an effort to make sure his plan is implemented.

The new influx of migrants is not popular in all parts of Canada, especially out West.

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Exams Around the World

28th November 2015

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Test-taking is a dreaded experience that the country’s kids and young adults share with their counterparts across the globe. The ritual at its core doesn’t vary much: Students sit at a table or a computer desk (or sometimes, as shown below, on the floor), pencil and/or mouse in hand, the clock ticking away mercilessly. America for its part is home to what The Atlantic has described as an “alphabet soup” of standardized tests, including: the NAEP, SBAC, PARCC, ACT, and, of course, SAT. Testing has become increasingly notorious in the U.S., to the point that tens of thousands of parents across the country have opted their kids out of standardized tests.

I’ve never understood the angst in Certain Circles about testing. My first impulse is to assume that those who worry about tests are those who know they are likely not to pass (or whose kids are likely not to pass), and extend that into a presumption that the test-haters are achievement-haters who want everybody to get a trophy just for showing up, again as a sublimation of their own feelings (or knowings) of inferiority. I’m sure that has a lot to do with it.

In America, perhaps all the testing helps explain why “all-nighters” and Adderall abuse are the norm on many college campuses. But there is an unhealthy obsession with acing the test abroad, too. Fraudulent college applications are reportedly rampant among students in China—the birthplace of the standardized test—aspiring to attend school in the U.S. And hundreds of people in India were recently arrested in connection with a massive cheating scandal. (Many of those arrested were believed to be family members of the 10th-grade test-takers.) Meanwhile, as NPR has reported, “the relentless focus on education and exams is often to blame” for suicide among teens in South Korea, the leading cause of death for that demographic.

Another, perhaps complimentary, explanatory character flaw is an apparent desire to make sure that Da Poor Iddle Kiddies never have to face the bleak prospect of stress in their lives, as exemplified by the current Crybully Crisis on college campuses. (This is what helicopter parenting leads to: A generation of weaklings who take refuge in their fascist impulses.) My attitude toward somebody who would commit suicide because of a test is something on the order of think of it as evolution in action; if you can’t face a test, you’re not going to survive Real Life, so better quit now before you’ve wasted everybody’s time. But that’s me, and I’m a notorious hard-heart. Ask anybody.

I’ve always regarded a test as a puzzle to be solved, rather than a hurdle to get over. Like looking in a mirror, it gives you a better idea of who you are and where you fit. And that’s good to know.

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The Mad Men Account

28th November 2015

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This review is somewhat dated but captures perfectly, I think, what I disliked about the series.

To my mind, the picture is too crude and the artist too pleased with himself. In Mad Men, everyone chain-smokes, every executive starts drinking before lunch, every man is a chauvinist pig, every male employee viciously competitive and jealous of his colleagues, every white person a reflexive racist (when not irritatingly patronizing). It’s not that you don’t know that, say, sexism was rampant in the workplace before the feminist movement; it’s just that, on the screen, the endless succession of leering junior execs and crude jokes and abusive behavior all meant to signal “sexism” doesn’t work—it’s wearying rather than illuminating.

I grew up reading fantasy and science fiction, so it doesn’t bother me to see a tendentious fantasy on screen — I can roll with it. I remember that time, and it brought back a lot of memories — my first job, right out of college, was with a Wall Street law firm, and almost all of the secretaries had ash trays on their desks — but I found it disappointing because of its heavy-handed assumption that everyone watching it would share its sniggering “Wow, life pre-Woodstock really sucked, didn’t it?” attitude, to the extent that it was almost a self-parody.

Nevertheless, it captures a lot of the truth of that time, primarily because the writers and producers included things that they might not have have if they been more perceptive.

This impulse might be worth indulging (briefly), but the problem with Mad Men is that it suffers from a hypocrisy of its own. As the camera glides over Joan’s gigantic bust and hourglass hips, as it languorously follows the swirls of cigarette smoke toward the ceiling, as the clinking of ice in the glass of someone’s midday Canadian Club is lovingly enhanced, you can’t help thinking that the creators of this show are indulging in a kind of dramatic having your cake and eating it, too: even as it invites us to be shocked by what it’s showing us (a scene people love to talk about is one in which a hugely pregnant Betty lights up a cigarette in a car), it keeps eroticizing what it’s showing us, too. For a drama (or book, or whatever) to invite an audience to feel superior to a less enlightened era even as it teases the regressive urges behind the behaviors associated with that era strikes me as the worst possible offense that can be committed in a creative work set in the past: it’s simultaneously contemptuous and pandering. Here, it cripples the show’s ability to tell us anything of real substance about the world it depicts.

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Potatoes Reduce Risk of Stomach Cancer

28th November 2015

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HAH!

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Student Publication Mocks ‘Safe Spaces’ and Gets Targeted for Defunding

28th November 2015

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Don’t make fun of the crybullies or you’ll be targeted for retribution.

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Islamist Rebel Fighter Killed by Air Strike in the Middle of Filming Video

28th November 2015

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Irony – it’s not just for breakfast any more.

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Indian Man ‘Divorces Wife With Text Message After She Was Gang Raped’

28th November 2015

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An Indian woman has allegedly been divorced by her husband by text message after confessing to being gang raped.

The woman, who remains unnamed, said she received a message saying “talaq” three times after telling her husband about the incident, according to The Daily Mail.

Sharia law states men can divorce their wives instantly by repeating the word “talaq”, or “I divorce you”, to her three times.

And the feminists say: [chirp] … [chirp] … [chirp] ….

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Black Tape at Harvard Law

28th November 2015

A black Harvard Law Professor gets it right.

Questioners often seem to assume that I should feel deeply alarmed and hurt. I don’t.

The identity and motives of the person or people behind the taping have not been determined. Perhaps the defacer is part of the law school community. But maybe not. Perhaps the defacer is white. But maybe not. Perhaps the taping is meant to convey anti-black contempt or hatred for the African-American professors. But maybe it was meant to protest the perceived marginalization of black professors, or was a hoax meant to look like a racial insult in order to provoke a crisis, or was a rebuke to those who have recently been taping over the law school’s seal, which memorializes a family of slaveholders from colonial times. Some observers, bristling with certainty, insist that the message conveyed by the taping of the photographs is obvious. To me it is puzzling.

At least they have grownups teaching at Harvard Law, regardless of the arrested adolescence of the students.

What I find puzzling is how so sensible a piece got published in the New York Times.

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Thought for the Day

28th November 2015

Draft Mitt

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USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

28th November 2015

Darth Vader Talking Cookie Jar.

Pocket Spectrometer.

Damaged Screw Remover.

Fever Scout.

Moonshine Maker.

Fake Freckles. I am not making this up.

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Arrest in Execution-Style Killing of Chicago Boy, 9

28th November 2015

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Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Tyshawn Lee was lured into a south side alley and killed earlier this month to get back at his father, a member of a rival gang.

Waiting for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protesters. Waiting. Waiting….

 

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