DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

A 12-Legged Pod You Can Ride

27th May 2015

Read it.

Me want.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | No Comments »

When Family-Friendly Policies Backfire

27th May 2015

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Family-friendly policies can help parents balance jobs and responsibilities at home, and go a long way toward making it possible for women with children to remain in the work force. But these policies often have unintended consequences.

My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised. (More accurate: ‘These usually have consequences the exact opposite of what was intended.’)

They can end up discouraging employers from hiring women in the first place, because they fear women will leave for long periods or use expensive benefits. “For employers, it becomes much easier to justify discrimination,” said Sarah Jane Glynn, director of women’s economic policy at the Center for American Progress.

Saw that comin’.

Spain passed a law in 1999 giving workers with children younger than 7 the right to ask for reduced hours without fear of being laid off. Those who took advantage of it were nearly all women.

Over the next decade, companies were 6 percent less likely to hire women of childbearing age compared with men, 37 percent less likely to promote them and 45 percent more likely to dismiss them, according to a study led by Daniel Fernández-Kranz, an economist at IE Business School in Madrid. The probability of women of childbearing age not being employed climbed 20 percent. Another result: Women were more likely to be in less stable, short-term contract jobs, which are not required to provide such benefits.

Economics works even when you don’t want it to. Politicians need to learn that the world is not Burger King, and you can’t just wave a magic law and Have It Your Way.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Young, Poor and Needing a Job, Not a Raise

27th May 2015

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Los Angeles is the latest large city in recent years to lift its local wage floor well above the federal minimum of $7.25. Seattle and San Francisco are already implementing $15 minimums, which likewise have been proposed in New York City and Washington, D.C. Last year, Chicago passed legislation that will boost the minimum in stages to $13 an hour in 2019, a 58% increase over five years.

The biggest backers of these measures tend to be unions, who want to reduce the supply of labor by increasing its cost. Unions call for higher minimums in the name of helping the working poor, reducing inequality, increasing purchasing power and so forth. But a union’s primary objective is to protect its members, and Big Labor’s minimum-wage advocacy primarily is in the service of pricing nonunion workers out of the labor force. The average union worker in Los Angeles earns more than $27 an hour, a wage that is easier to command when people who will work for less are too expensive to employ thanks to a mandated minimum wage.

Yeah, unions — the workers’ friend.

Politicians like President Obama and civil-rights groups like the NAACP insist that the minimum wage is an effective antipoverty tool. But most minimum-wage earners do not hail from poor households, let alone head them. Rather, they tend to be teenagers or young adults working part time. The majority of poor families in the U.S. have no workers. What they need most is a job, not a raise.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | No Comments »

L.A. Unions Seek Exemption From Minimum Wage Hike They Helped Push Through

27th May 2015

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Hey, rules are for the little people, not the insiders.

For much of the past eight months, labor activists have argued against special considerations for business owners, such as restaurateurs, who said they would have trouble complying with the mandated pay increase.

But Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, said Tuesday night that companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Con Artists

27th May 2015

Don Boudreaux, a Real Economits, pulls back the curtain.

An irony that would be comical if its consequences weren’t so dire is that government’s power expands as voters demand that politicians protect them from being deceived and cheated in private markets. Ponder this strange fact: Politicians whose deceptions in elections are readily tolerated are asked by voters to police against possible deceptions by entrepreneurs in private markets. It’s like asking the brute who just robbed you at gunpoint to serve as your personal bodyguard. True, he’s got a gun and isn’t afraid to use it, but why would you trust him to wield his weapon in your interest rather in his own interest?

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

‘Chicago has seen 146 murders so far this year. What would it mean to cover them responsibly?’

27th May 2015

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One of DNAinfo’s first projects was also one of its most ambitious: a timeline of every murder within city limits. When the hyperlocal website launched its Chicago branch in late 2012, they hoped to raise the standards of local crime reporting. “The idea is to do old-school reporting in a new medium,” the Reader reported. “Knocking on doors. Shoe leather.”

DNAinfo’s murder timeline raised the bar for crime reporting in Chicago, but also raises some fundamental questions: Why should we tell isolated stories about violent crime? Do reports of shootings serve impoverished neighborhoods or illuminate institutional violence? What, to put it simply, is crime reporting for?

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

The Huddled Masses of Beverly Hills

27th May 2015

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As somebody who lives in the the flatlands over the mountains from Beverly Hills, I’m struck by how many people, such as this Guardian reporter, assume unthinkingly that Beverly Hills residents and immigrants are antonyms.

But the Census Bureau reports that 37.4% of the residents of Beverly Hills are foreign born.

I guess we’re all supposed to have been programmed to believe that immigrants are necessarily “huddled masses,” which doesn’t fit well in our heads with living large in Beverly Hills.

But if you grew up anywhere within 20 miles of Beverly Hills, you’d have started noticing the place filling up with immigrants right after OPEC raised oil prices in 1973. Persians and Arabs who had gotten rich back home — let’s not ask how — were appearing in large numbers by 40 years ago. Rodeo Drive leapt up into the stratosphere of luxury with some of the impetus coming from crazy shopkeepers like new immigrant Bijan of Beverly Hills.

It’s really hard to be aware of patterns that your ideology doesn’t encourage you to regard.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Supreme Court Finally to Look Into Rotten Boroughs

27th May 2015

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Obviously, we don’t give one vote to one person — or at least not yet we don’t let anybody who sneaks into the country vote. But we typically count them for drawing up state legislator and House districts, which seems like an oversight from the Warren Court’s era of low immigration.

The court has never resolved whether voting districts should have the same number of people, or the same number of eligible voters. Counting all people amplifies the voting power of places with large numbers of residents who cannot vote legally, including immigrants who are here legally but are not citizens, illegal immigrants, children and prisoners. Those places tend to be urban and to vote Democratic.

Also, there are several potential intermediate levels between counting everybody, whether here legally or illegally, and counting only eligible voters. For example, as Judge Posner suggests, you could count all voting age American citizens (including felons who have lost their voting rights since they are still our fellow American citizens). Or you could count legal immigrants as well.

The bottom line is that the current system of counting illegal immigrants is absurd, while other alternatives are least arguable.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

‘John Wayne Day’ in Texas Honors Actor’s 108th Birthday

27th May 2015

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All due respect to the Duke, but this just goes to show that even Texas politicians can be remarkably silly at times.

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

Taxing Organic Products Could Solve California Water Problem, Experts Say

27th May 2015

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California is currently experiencing its fourth year of extreme drought, and in response Governor Jerry Brown has mandated a reduction of the state’s water use by 25%, proposing reductions in lawn acreages, rebates for replacing old toilets, and forbidding homeowners from using potable water for irrigation. However, environmental experts Terry L. Anderson, and Henry I. Miller, both fellows at Stanford University, claim to have a better idea. In their proposal “How Taxing Organic Products Could Solve California’s Water Shortage,” published last week on National Review Online, Anderson and Miller state the need for a revenue–neutral tax on all organic products (which would diminish their demand), while outlining how organic agriculture is less efficient and more wasteful than conventional and genetically engineered agriculture.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Amnesty International Accuses Hamas of Torturing, Killing Palestinians in New Report on Gaza Conflict

27th May 2015

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Oh, I’m sure they have something bad to say about Israel there, too. But it’s nice to have one of these international mind-everybody-else’s-business groups wake up, even for a day.

Posted in Living with Islam. | No Comments »

Glossary of Science Fiction Ideas, Technology and Inventions

26th May 2015

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There is nothing new between the covers.

The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Google Doodle salutes Sally Ride, the First American Woman in Space

26th May 2015

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But of course they can’t do anything special for Memorial Day.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Return to Stephanopoulos

26th May 2015

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The mainstream media adjunct of the Democratic Party is not loosening its grip at ABC News or anywhere else among the mainstream media. It’s time for Stephanopoulos to go, if only to help them keep up the pretense that they are something other than what they are. ABC News, however, must not see it that way. I therefore appreciate the opportunity afforded by Stelter’s interview of Continetti to return to this illuminating story.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Mapping the Grand Canyon’s Gruesome Legacy of Death

26th May 2015

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Thanks to the folks at Esri and elsewhere, we now can explore the canyon’s sprawling geography of death. “Over the Edge 3D” is an interactive, comprehensive map of the landmark’s bloody legacy, inspired by the 2001 book Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon. True to its name, the map can be viewed in 3D if you have Chromadepth glasses. But exploring it with no special gear is also depressingly gripping, like doing a scavenger hunt where all the “prizes” are helicopter accidents, drownings, heart failure, or being crushed by a falling mule.

Think of it as evolution in action.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Irish and Scots May Have Been First to Settle Iceland, Researcher Finds

26th May 2015

Read it.

Hah.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

The NAACP’s Monster Under the Bed

26th May 2015

David Cole turns over a rock.

The NAACP’s sole weapon is fear. The organization gets its way because many businesses and public figures live in fear of being slapped with the label “racist.” But what, if anything, frightens the NAACP? No, it’s not your conservative blog or podcast, so don’t flatter yourself. The NAACP isn’t scared of you. The NAACP witch-hunters aren’t scared of anyone who tries to counter their fear tactics with logic and rationality, because they know that in the end fear always trumps reason.

However, there is one person who scares the bejesus out of the NAACP leadership, and he’s one of their own officials: an unstoppable, unkillable bugbear named Reverend Curtis Everette Gatewood. NAACP leaders cower in his presence. Gatewood dislikes Jews, Israel, immigrants, and non-Christians. He’s damned Hillary Clinton supporters to hell, applauded the Baltimore rioters, compared black moms who stop their sons from rioting to white slave masters, co-organized a protest meeting at which Obama was repeatedly called a “nigger,” and pledged the NAACP’s support to an organization that opposes the NAACP, hurls racist bile at Asian immigrants and Jews, and calls Martin Luther King an “uncle Tom.”

And yet the national NAACP can’t, or won’t, get rid of the guy.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Convert or Die!

26th May 2015

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Mayor Bart De Wever of Antwerp has been threatened with death if he does not convert to Islam. His response? To hire a bodyguard.

But he’s the mayor, for crying out loud! You’d think he could send an armed police battalion to roust all the usual suspects out of certain culturally enriched neighborhoods. He could then make sure that they fully understood their status in his city, and keep them on their best behavior — or else.

But this is Europe we’re talking about, and that’s not how they do things in Modern Multicultural Belgium…

Posted in Living with Islam. | No Comments »

In Memoriam: the Fifth Amendment

26th May 2015

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The Fifth Amendment, which says that government may not take private property for public use without due compensation, was once interpreted to mean that government cannot take private property for private use at all and must pay compensation when it take it for public use. But over time it has come to be reinterpreted to mean that government can take property rights through regulation without compensation and it can take private property from one owner and give it to another private party with compensation.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Iran’s Kurdish Rebellion

26th May 2015

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The demographic profile of Iranian Azerbaijan reveals the ethnic diversity of Iran. The country is not entirely Persian, as many outsiders believe. Turkic, Kurdish, and other non-Farsi languages are spoken by large minorities.

The recent turbulence in Mahabad began as such urban troubles often do, with an alleged abuse of power, a death, and rapid communication through the streets. According to the English-language web portal of the Kurdish newspaper Rudaw, which is professional and reliable, in the first week of May a Kurdish woman, Farinaz Khosrawani, aged 25, died after she fell, jumped, or was pushed from the fourth floor of the Tara Hotel in the city. Ostensibly, the victim, while employed at the hotel, sought to escape a rape attempt by an Iranian state official.

Posted in Living with Islam. | 1 Comment »

The Secret Life of the Aluminum Can, a Feat of Engineering

25th May 2015

Read it.

This is fascinating.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Education: The PhD Factory

25th May 2015

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In some countries, including the United States and Japan, people who have trained at great length and expense to be researchers confront a dwindling number of academic jobs, and an industrial sector unable to take up the slack. Supply has outstripped demand and, although few PhD holders end up unemployed, it is not clear that spending years securing this high-level qualification is worth it for a job as, for example, a high-school teacher. In other countries, such as China and India, the economies are developing fast enough to use all the PhDs they can crank out, and more — but the quality of the graduates is not consistent. Only a few nations, including Germany, are successfully tackling the problem by redefining the PhD as training for high-level positions in careers outside academia.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Researchers First too Create a Single-Molecule Diode

25th May 2015

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Under the direction of Latha Venkataraman, associate professor of applied physics at Columbia Engineering, researchers have designed a new technique to create a single-molecule diode, and, in doing so, they have developed molecular diodes that perform 50 times better than all prior designs. Venkataraman’s group is the first to develop a single-molecule diode that may have real-world technological applications for nanoscale devices. Their paper, “Single-Molecule Diodes with High On-Off Ratios through Environmental Control,” is published May 25 in Nature Nanotechnology.

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IRONY: Paid Protesters in Ferguson Now Protesting Not Getting Paid

25th May 2015

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No one even questioned that there were paid protesters in Ferguson. Most people assumed it.

Most likely the same organizations that paid ‘grassroots’ protesters in Ferguson are paying them in Baltimore as well.

This is how the left rolls because they know their protests would flounder without an influx of paid outsiders to keep them going. Of course, they don’t care that it hurts the citizens of the cities they are in.

These left wing groups just want to be sure they will somehow get Big Daddy Government to make more laws or hand over more taxpayer money for their “cause”.

Well now some of the paid hacktivists are protesting the organization that was paying them to protest. Why? Because they didn’t get paid!

It’s hell being a tool of the Left. Black lives matter … if the price is right.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Why Do Americans Not Drive Diesels?

25th May 2015

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So why would more Americans not drive diesels? From the European perspective, it would suit the driving style of the States perfectly, with lots of relaxed muscle available at low rpms to cruise vast interstate networks that are the envy of the world. Better mileage means fewer fill-ups, and the on-paper improvements in fuel economy would, overnight, take the US fleet one massive step toward President Obama’s targeted 54.5 mpg national average by 2025. Simply stated, diesel should “work” in the US.

1. Diesel fuel is sufficiently more expensive than gasoline that the added mileage doesn’t save you anything.

But with more diesel purchasers, the laws of the marketplace would kick in, bringing prices into greater alignment.

Fine. You first. I knew an early adopter once. He died.

2. Gasoline is everywhere, diesel not so much.

Ask me a hard one.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

The Rise of the Mile-High Building

25th May 2015

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The mile-high skyscraper makes a little more sense to build now than it did when Frank Lloyd Wright designed one nearly 60 years ago. Wright imagined, on the fringes of Chicago, a habitable 528-story sundial called the Illinois. That idea wasn’t buildable then; its successor would still be risky, financially ruinous, slow to construct, and inefficient to operate. But that doesn’t mean a mile-high skyscraper won’t get done. “Going big has been a trend ever since the pyramids. It has little to do with practicalities,” says Jay Siegel, an executive and engineer with Allianz, the company that might one day insure this theoretical Hubris Tower. The technology of supertall buildings is a bit like genetic testing or nuclear energy: a volatile form of power. Technological capacities have outpaced our judgment. We know we can do it, but we don’t know when not to do it. And so some endlessly wealthy mogul, most likely in South Asia or a Gulf emirate, will eventually move into a preposterously expensive penthouse so far above the Earth’s crust that the air is thin and gales hammer at the glass. A mile’s not science fiction. It’s not even an outer limit.

Utopian nonsense, predicated on the pipe-dream that 9/11 didn’t happen and we’re all marching forward into the ever-better future.

Islamic terrorism, starting with airplane  hijackings in the 70s up to the mass-murder of 9/11, has uncovered the dirty little secret that modern technological life is incredibly fragile, depending on everything going right all of the time in order to work its wonders.

I no longer fly because flying is inherently unsafe. If something doesn’t work properly, you all die. I am no longer willing to take that risk. Trains the same way — you are putting your safety into the hands of people you don’t know and (judging by the headlines) no reason to trust.

‘Oh, but you drive, don’t you?’ Yes, I do, because I have enough control over that process that I can increase the safety factor sufficiently to be comfortable with it.

I will not work or live in a building tall enough, and famous enough, to say TARGET to any nut-job who finds the Next Clever Mass Murder Tool, especially with the Voices of the Crust trumpeting HATE THE RICH and HATE BIG BUSINESS 24/7. The best way not to be a target is to avoid hanging out with targets. (You will notice that all of the tallest buildings recently have been in Muslim countries, where presumably they don’t need to worry about some jihadist doing a dive into the masonry.)

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Plants Could Pave The Way For Greener Roads

25th May 2015

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Asphalt contains bitumen, a product of the oil-refining process. But some scientists and engineers believe that they could get the same results by using lignin, a compound found in all kinds of plants. Lignin is strong: it binds together material in trees. It is also plentiful, and currently discarded as a waste product in the process of making paper.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

None Dare Call It Slavery

25th May 2015

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The following news story concerns a Somali man in Arizona who forced a young girl to “marry” him, and then locked her up and assaulted her when she resisted the arrangement. Because the “groom” had cut a deal with the girl’s parents — presumably involving money — the media reports refer to the young woman’s predicament as an “arranged marriage”.

In his commentary, Vlad points out that the correct terminology for these nuptials is “forced marriage”, since the girl was dragged into unholy matrimony against her will. Furthermore, to be forcibly confined and compelled to commit sexual acts under the threat of violence is to be a slave — a sexual slave, as has been the lot of so many women in Islamic cultures over the past 1400 years.

If political correctness were not in control of our public discourse, the word slavery would be prominently featured in all these news stories.

By the way — this incident has a Mohammed Coefficient of 100%.

Posted in Living with Islam. | No Comments »

‘Only in America can the media take a deadly shootout among white and Hispanic bikers and somehow make it all about black people.’

25th May 2015

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And only in America can these same media megaphone-mouths complain about “the media” without realizing that for all intents and purposes, they are the media.

At least one victim was a member of the larger and better-organized Bandidos gang. His name was Manuel Isaac Rodriguez, so I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that like George Zimmerman, he was one of those “white Hispanics.” The only shooting fatality that was allegedly “unaffiliated” with an organized biker gang was Jesus Delgado Rodriguez—again, I’ll presume he was a “white Hispanic.”

That’s right—even by a low estimate, cops killed four presumably white gang members. And yet no whites rioted. To my knowledge, the last group of reckless arsonists who tried to burn Waco down was the ATF in 1993.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | No Comments »

Asians Are the New Jews

25th May 2015

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Today, nearly 5 percent of Americans have Asian ancestry, tracing to countries from India to Japan. The Pew Research Center reports that they are “the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States.”

They are overrepresented in fields like medicine, engineering and computer science. In Silicon Valley, they hold half of the tech jobs. For immigrants once associated with menial or subservient work, the transformation has been titanic.

But some things have stayed the same—such as the representation of Asian-Americans at Harvard, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious university. In 1992, they made up 19.1 percent of the undergraduate student body. In 2013, they made up 18 percent.

Today, according to a survey by The Harvard Crimson, Asian-American freshmen had higher SAT scores than any other ethnic group. It’s not enough for them to be as good as everyone else: To get in, they have to be considerably better.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Inside the Obsessive World of Artisanal Cocktail Ice

24th May 2015

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“If you’re talking premium liquor, you expect premium glass and ice too,” says Andrew Bohrer, a longtime Seattle bartender and co-founder of the Washington State Bartender’s Guild.

I am not making this up.

Posted in You can't make this stuff up. | No Comments »

Diamonds Are Bullshit

24th May 2015

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The next time you look at a diamond, consider this. Nearly every American marriage begins with a diamond because a bunch of rich white men in the 1940s convinced everyone that its size determines your self worth. They created this convention – that unless a man purchases (an intrinsically useless) diamond, his life is a failure – while sitting in a room, racking their brains on how to sell diamonds that no one wanted.

Wisdom. Attend.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Play War: Homemade Recreational Battlefields

24th May 2015

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You’re looking at a world of gameplay, of simulated war, fought by an army of paintball enthusiasts who spend their weekends shooting one another with gelatin shells of colored dye. Paintball is an industry of equipment suppliers who rely on amateurs to design and build the playing fields. Typically, a few friends with a Bobcat construct a combat stage by incorporating whatever materials remain on the land from its previous use, and whatever can be salvaged nearby. Old agricultural machines, remnants of fallen buildings, shipping containers, cable spools, loading pallets, railroad ties, junked cars, concrete fittings, PVC pipes, obsolete communication towers: The detritus of an industrial century is pushed to the urban margins to create apocalyptic playgrounds. Collectively, these sites represent a range of military conflicts at home and abroad, past, present and future.

It takes some imagination to read these free-form interpretations of castles, spaceships, and Islamic villages. But for the 9 million players that use them, all that’s needed is the symbolic form, a suggestion of meaning. Over the years, the sites take on new complexities, as buildings are layered with patchwork repairs and surfaces acquire an abstract expressionist patina of exploded pigment. They hold the memories of battles won and lost, testifying to the power of personal narrative. We were here then. That’s where I caught them. Authentic hauntings.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

The Difference Between Memorial Day & Veterans Day

24th May 2015

Bob Mayer reminds us.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

We Did Nothing Wrong, and They Destroyed Our Stores

24th May 2015

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Apparently Black Lives Matter, but Yellow Lives Don’t.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

See-Through Solar Is Tomorrow’s Threat to Oil

24th May 2015

Read it. (autoplay video)

Solar energy is the future. The problem is, it’s been the future for a long time. And while progress has been made, using the sun as a primary source of power hasn’t really broken through.

One possible breakthrough, however, is becoming clearer—literally. The engineers at Ubiquitous Energy are developing solar panels that are completely transparent and as thin as a laminate. They can do this by creating see-through solar cells that absorb only the invisible parts of the solar spectrum—ultraviolet and infrared radiation.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Free the Seeds!

24th May 2015

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The Open Source Seed Initiative wants to make carrot seeds more like software. That may seem like an odd project, but consider this: It’s currently possible to patent plants with certain traits, whether they are created through traditional breeding or biotech modification. Worried that the trend of increasingly vague, aggressively enforced patents was discouraging innovation, a group of scientists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison got together in 2012 with the goal of producing and distributing seeds outside of the conventional intellectual property framework—much in the same way that the open source Linux operating system exists in parallel with Microsoft Windows and iOS, or the anyone-can-edit resource Wikipedia competes with Encyclopaedia Britannica.

The situation is so bad that if a farmer buys seed from, say, Monsanto and raises a crop, that farmer cann0t use that seed to plant another crop because Monsanto can (and will) sue his ass off for patent infringement. Patent and copyright are relics of statism past that need to be excised from our polity if we don’t want progress to come grinding to a halt.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

What to Learn in College to Stay One Step Ahead of Computers

24th May 2015

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Don’t ever say we don’t have useful stuff here.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Our Bond With Dogs May Go Back More Than 27,000 Years

24th May 2015

Read it.

Now, there‘s a scary thought.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Who Benefits From Other People’s Transit Use?

24th May 2015

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In the May 11 issue of Finance and Commerce, Matt Kramer, a local Chamber of Commerce representative lobbying for additional public transit and transportation spending (currently being debated at the Minnesota Legislature) is quoted as saying “Every person who is riding transit is one less person in the car in front of us.”

This is a fascinating quote. First is the use of “us.” So the Chamber of Commerce (probably correctly) identifies riding transit as something someone else does (since “we” are still in the car) and goes on to imply that it benefits us because there will be fewer cars. (Actually he says fewer people per car, but I think he meant fewer cars, not that it would reduce carpooling.) And I suppose he could mean he rides the bus, and the car in front has fewer people (or there were fewer cars in front), but I don’t think that’s what he meant, since the arguments in the legislature are mostly about building and operating new facilities — such as LRT lines or freeway BRT, rather than supporting existing buses driving in traffic.

‘Get those proles in their POS cars off our roads and out of our way!’ is a key building block in the ‘progressive’ program — not that they’ll ever admit it.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

24th May 2015

Dreamer

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | No Comments »

ABC Spokeswoman in Stephanopoulos Flap Worked in Clinton White House

24th May 2015

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

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | No Comments »

Foundations Plan to Pay News Media to Cover Radical UN Agenda

24th May 2015

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The United Nations Foundation created by billionaire Ted Turner, along with a branch of media giant Thomson Reuters, is starting to train a squadron of journalists and subsidize media content in 33 countries—including the U.S. and Britain–in a planned $6 million effort to popularize the bulky and sweeping U.N.-sponsored Sustainable Development Goals, prior to a global U.N. summit this September. where U.N. organizers hope they will be endorsed by world leaders.

The unprecedented media push is formally intended to start on May 25 but is already underway. It is intended to help breathe some new life into a sprawling U.N. effort–supported by, among others, the Obama administration–to create a global social and environmental agenda for the next 15 years.

They’re not even bothering to hid it any more. (What does this do to the old ‘progressive’ standby that all rich people are Republicans?)

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Matthew Weiner as the George W. Bush of Hollywood

23rd May 2015

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His father, Dr. Wiener, worked at Johns Hopkins in the Baltimore ‘hood, so it’s not implausible to wonder if the Wieners were guilty of the the now much denounced practice of “white flight.” As we all know, when white people leave cities due to black criminality, they are actually causing, using their White Privilege Time Machine, the black criminality they reacted to.

But having engaged in white flight is a psychologically fraught topic for white liberals, especially for white liberal Jews who are in the business of telling everybody else how to remember the past, so it tends to lead to issues that may ramify in indirect fashions.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

The End of Farming

23rd May 2015

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Modern biotechnology could put dairy farms out of business. And not just dairy, but lots of other farms as well, including those that produce meat, leather, and even staple starches. In fact, the amount of land devoted to agriculture could shrink by 80 percent in the next few decades.

Modern agribusiness has converted traditional farming into something that resembles a factory without walls or a roof as it is possible to get. It’s only a matter of time and technology  before they close the circle.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Confessions of an Overeducated A/C Man

23rd May 2015

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College is not for everybody, popular mythology to the contrary notwithstanding.

For a young person in America, college is the thing to aspire to. It’s the go-to option for virtually every American looking to maintain or enhance his station in life. Higher education embodies the values, hopes and dreams of millions of young people and their families. The stories write themselves. Here a first generation freshman, out to do his family proud. There a young woman out to better herself and shatter a glass ceiling or two. Everywhere the expectation that “This Is How You Get The Good Life.” Why, without the credentials offered by as prestigious as institution as one’s ability, tenacity, savings and, yes, connections can muster, you’re liable to be stuck with the dregs—working dead end jobs with no hope of advancement, living wages, or health insurance!

What tripe.

Next time you’re in a coffee shop, ask your barista if they’re going to school and for what. Or better still ask if they’ve graduated. Ask your bartender. Ask your server. Ask the guy stocking groceries at the Whole Foods. If they’re not still in high school, odds are they’re enrolled, in school or recent grads. Odds are good they’ll find themselves doing something similar after graduation.

While the average student is now in need of remedial classes, that same student is paying far more out of pocket for the privilege of relearning what he didn’t master in high school. And then he will go on to required courses in Women’s or African American or Chicano Studies. When Boomers went to school, these parasitic pseudo-disciplines were still embryonic rather than metastasized.

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A Plea for Culinary Modernism

23rd May 2015

Read it.

As an historian I cannot accept the account of the past implied by Culinary Luddism, a past sharply divided between good and bad, between the sunny rural days of yore and the gray industrial present. My enthusiasm for Luddite kitchen wisdom does not carry over to their history, any more than my response to a stirring political speech inclines me to accept the orator as scholar.

The Luddites’ fable of disaster, of a fall from grace, smacks more of wishful thinking than of digging through archives. It gains credence not from scholarship but from evocative dichotomies: fresh and natural versus processed and preserved; local versus global; slow versus fast: artisanal and traditional versus urban and industrial; healthful versus contaminated and fatty. History shows, I believe, that the Luddites have things back to front.

That food should be fresh and natural has become an article of faith. It comes as something of a shock to realize that this is a latter-day creed. For our ancestors, natural was something quite nasty. Natural often tasted bad.

Have you ever wondered how come people who want the world to return to how it was before 1900 (except for bicycles instead of horses) are called ‘progressives’? Wouldn’t ‘regressives’ be a better term?

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A Puzzler

23rd May 2015

Warren Obama spat copy

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USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

23rd May 2015

Portable Folding Kayak. Well, you never know when you might need one….

TGX Tactical Flask.

Electric Boot Dryer.

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Has The Urban Planning Profession Declined? (Like Planners Claim)

23rd May 2015

Read it.

I read this charge about the decline of American city planning frequently from architecture/planning writers. But can anyone please tell me what the hell they are talking about? The fact is that land use regulations–the most essential planning tool– have grown substantially in America in the last century, and even more so in recent decades. Zoning has transformed from merely separating incompatible uses to policing the design, coloration, placement, shape, density and “form” of buildings. Lots that years ago would have been subdivided in suburbia, or built upwards in cities, are now, respectively, preserved. Practically every city of minor significance has a planning department (not to mention an urban development corporation and design review board). Whereas America’s great legacy cities–New York, San Francisco, DC, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia–adopted their built pattern during the relatively laissez faire industrial era, and thus in a manner that was dense, walkable, and attractive, land use controls often prevent them from furthering these goals today–and prevent newer cities from mirroring the old ones.

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