DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Title Nein From Outer Space

23rd August 2015

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The problem with nearly every government program or regulation is that it spawns a private sector industry to leach off the regulation, as well as a new constituency group to support the perpetuation or expansion of the regime.

Today’s example is the egregious Title IX sexual assault protocols for college campuses, which, as noted here previously, isn’t even a formal federal regulation. It proceeded from a “dear colleague” “guidance” letter from the Department of Education—an example of what legal scholars call the growing practice of “informal rule-making.” It may seem informal to you, but when you’re on the receiving end, with the threats and blandishments of the federal government coming at you, it seems about as “informal” as a request from Don Corleone.

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Tech Oligarchs Tightening Their Grip on Democrats

23rd August 2015

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The fundamental contradictions, as Karl Marx would have noted, lie in the collision of interests between a group that has come to epitomize self-consciously progressive megawealth and a mass base which is increasingly concerned about downward mobility. For all his occasional populist lapses, President Obama generally has embraced Silicon Valley as an intrinsic part of his political coalition. He has even enlisted several tech giants – including venture capitalist John Doerr, LinkedIn billionaire Reid Hoffman and Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla – in helping plan out Obama’s no-doubt lavish and highly political retirement.

Silicon Valley is full of stinking rich Politically Correct granola-crunchers, the Democrites natural core.

“They don’t like Sanders at all,” notes researcher Greg Ferenstein, who has been polling Internet company founders for an upcoming book. Sanders’ emphasis on income redistribution and protecting union privileges and pensions is hardly popular among the tech elite. “He’s an egalitarian liberal,” Ferenstein explains, “These people are tech liberals. Equality is a nonissue in Silicon Valley.”

But not in San Francisco, where the Underclass doesn’t really appreciate the tech elite and their effect on the cost of living. And the Underclass is a core Democrite constituency, too.

Some conservatives, such as pollster Scott Rasmussen, see Republican backing for Uber as an opening for the GOP. Yet Ferenstein’s poll of Internet founders reveals that barely 3 percent say they are Republicans; 18 percent are libertarian, while nearly half are Democrats. Republican operatives peg the tech donors to be 9-1 in favor of Democrats. Talk about unrequited love!

The problem is that these tech whizzes were raised ‘progressive’ and that’s the way they’ve stayed, politically; they don’t appreciate that Republicans are the true supporters of entrepreneurship, while Democrites would really like to expropriate all that ‘undeserved’ wealth.

Overall, the hotbeds of the tech and information economies, including media, have become the financial bedrock of the Democratic Party. The 10 leading counties for Democratic fundraising in 2012 included, for the first time, Santa Clara, as well as San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Given their domination of the ranks of wealthy people under age 40, one can expect that this power will only increase in the years ahead.

Unless they are rudely introduced to reality, which tends to happen to people as they get older.

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Thousands of Redheads Celebrate Their Recessive Gene at Festival in Ireland

23rd August 2015

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We need more recessives.

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Is the Left Self-Destructing? The Evidence From Britain

23rd August 2015

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More fun than watching the Hillary meltdown and the Democratic Party rage against the results of the Obama regime is to cast your gaze over to Britain, where the Labour Party seems to have forgotten the lesson of their 1983 election platform (which included a call for unilateral nuclear disarmament) which UK political junkies referred to as “the longest suicide note in history.”

Labour was crushed in that election, and having not been chastened by the recent election rout at the hands of the Conservatives and the Scottish nationalist party seems to be hankering for a repeat of 1983. By all accounts, the Labour Party is set to choose as its next leader Jeremy Corbyn, a deep-left radical who is generally regarded as completely unelectable if he indeed heads the Labour Party into the next election.

The pessimist in me says No. The fact that Labour gets any votes at all indicates that there is a deep streak of stupidity in the British electorate that will pull its fat out of the fire once again.

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Professor Who Compared Scott Walker to Hitler Is Teaching a Course on ‘Scholar Activism’

23rd August 2015

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

The graduate seminar will “explore the biographies and narratives of a diverse array of scholar activists, examine the sociopolitical and economic forces shaping their work, and consider what they have achieved and why,” according to the syllabus.

Raise your hand if you have any notion of how this has any bearing on a University education; I must confess I see none.

Hypothesis: I suspect that ‘Caitlyn Jenner’ will need to dredge up a hyphenated surname from somewhere if it intends to be taken seriously.

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Former National Security Adviser Scowcroft Endorses Iran Deal

23rd August 2015

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Is there a more Crustian name than Brent Scowcroft? Maybe Strobe Talbot. Or Stansfield Turner.

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The Times at Work

23rd August 2015

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When I wrote about Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new book Between the World and Me, I noted that he was this year’s officially certified angry black. He is officially certified by the New York Times through Jennifer Schuessler, the Times culture critic and gatekeeper. Schuessler’s July 17 profile of Coates attests that Coates’s book “has had an almost frictionless glide straight to the heart of the national conversation.” (The official publication date of the book was July 14; Schuessler was on top of the story.) I wrote about Coates’s book in the City Journal essay “An updated racial hustle.”

Michelle Alexander is the author of The New Jim Crow, a book decrying the “mass incarceration” of blacks in the United States. Alexander was 2012’s officially certified angry black. She was certified by Schuessler an adoring profile when her book took off in paperback that year. I wrote about Alexander’s book in the Power Line post “Deep secrets of racial profiling (4).”

When the Times got around to assigning Coates’s dreadful book for review, whom did they turn to? Michelle Alexander, of course. It’s almost funny.

Imagine an immensely large circle of people in New York, each breathing the other’s exhaust.

The Times’s treatment of Coates’s new book represents a variation on an old story. Earlier this year Bryan Burrough’s book Days of Rage on the terrorist left prompted me to reflect on the role played by the New York Times as an instrument of celebrity propping up the revolutionary left. As a corollary, the Times is invested in protecting the reputation of the left. It is, shall we say, not given much to introspection regarding the impact of its judgments.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | No Comments »

Thought for the Day

23rd August 2015

Socialism Trash boatd copy

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

23rd August 2015

You Are the Woman That I’ve Always Dreamed of

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

German Woman Starts Living on A Train – Because She’s Fed-Up Paying Rent

23rd August 2015

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The German college student gave up her apartment in spring. “It all started with a dispute I had with my landlord,” Müller told The Washington Post via e-mail. “I instantly decided I didn’t want to live there anymore — and then I realized: Actually, I didn’t want to live anywhere anymore.”

Instead, she bought a subscription that allows her to board every train in the country for free. Now, Müller washes her hair in the train bathroom and writes her college papers while traveling at a speed of up to 190 mph. She says that she enjoys the liberty she has experienced since she gave up her apartment. “I really feel at home on trains, and can visit so many more friends and cities. It’s like being on vacation all the time,” Müller said.

Kids, these are trained professionals — do not try this at home.

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

Huge Alligator Weighing 450kg Pulled From River in Alabama

23rd August 2015

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About 115lb of that gator was a deer in the gator’s stomach.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | 1 Comment »

Cuisine and Empire

23rd August 2015

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Food has replaced music at the heart of the cultural conversation for so many, and I wonder if it’s because food and dining still offer true scarcity whereas music is so freely available everywhere that it’s become a poor signaling mechanism for status and taste. If you’ve eaten at Noma, you’ve had an experience a very tiny fraction of the world will be lucky enough to experience, whereas if you name any musical artist, I can likely find their music and be listening to it within a few mouse clicks. Legally, too, which removes even more of the caché that came with illicit downloading, the thrill of being a digital bootlegger.

Once, it felt like watching music videos on MTV was a form of rebellion in plain sight. Nowadays, the channel doesn’t play any music videos. Instead, we have dozens of food and cooking shows, even entire channels like The Food Network dedicated to the topic. Chefs have become elevated to the status of master craftsmen, with names that have risen above the status of their restaurants, and diners revere someone like Jiro of Jiro Dreams of Sushi fame the way a previous generation worshipped the guitar sound of a rock god like Jimi Hendrix.

The food scene today offers a seemingly never-ending supply of scarce experiences, ingredients, and dishes. Cronuts you have to wait in line for a few hours to get your hands on. Pop-up restaurants that serve only on a few nights a week for a few weeks, then disappear forever. Restaurants that you have to sacrifice a goat to just to get a reservation, and then they’ll actually take that goat you killed and prepare your entire dinner from it, nose to tail. A white truffle add-on that tacks $80 on to a single piece of cured hamachi, and oh, the truffle is only available for four weeks a year and came over on a gondola from Alba, Italy, and the hamachi is one of the last of three members of its species so you know, you should probably try it before…oops, sorry, the chef says someone just ordered the last of it. Yep, it’s that couple at the corner table, and that’s the last plate that she’s Instagramming right now.

Foodies are the new Cool Kids, or want to be.

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Five Serious Truths About Illegal Immigration That GOP Candidates Have to Accept

23rd August 2015

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Not to mention everyone else … but we’ve learned not to expect miracles from Democrites.

Hey, GOP primary losers, you better get out there fast with a real immigration plan, because right now you are losing to Donald Trump and that makes you the epitome of loserdom. But unlike Trump, you should be serious about ending the illegal immigration nightmare. His supporters are. Hell, his opponents are, too. Yet some of you haven’t just flirted with amnesty – Rubio tried yet couldn’t score, but donor class puffball Jeb Bush has gotten to third base with amnesty and is trying to round home.

Which pretty much reflects my thoughts on the subject.

HOWEVER, there are other viewpoints — one such is that of David Henderson, who (as with the other George Mason University economists that I follow) is usually pretty sound on most issues. I would recommend that you read it in order to have a good grasp of both sides of the question.

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Will Quebec Join the Ummah?

23rd August 2015

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A crucially important piece of legislation, Bill 59, is currently being considered by the provincial Assembly in Quebec. It isn’t getting much attention outside of Canada, but if it passes, it will effectively empower the Quebec Human Rights Commission to implement UN Resolution 16/18 in the province. At that point Quebec will fall into line with a number of Western European countries, who have already passed laws that enforce sharia rules against Islamic blasphemy.

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The Bright Students Left Behind

22nd August 2015

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A great problem in U.S. education is that gifted students are rarely pushed to achieve their full potential. It is no secret that American students overall lag their international peers. Among the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, whose students took the PISA exams in 2012, the U.S. ranked 17th in reading, 20th in science and 27th in math.

What has gone wrong? Thanks to No Child Left Behind and its antecedents, U.S. education policy for decades has focused on boosting weak students to minimum proficiency while neglecting the children who have already cleared that low bar. When parents of “gifted” youngsters complained, they were accused of elitism. It is rich that today’s policies purport to advance equality, yet harm the smartest kids from disadvantaged circumstances.

The problem with No Child Left Behind is that it necessarily implies No Child Gets Ahead. No amount of effort will make a dumb kid smarter, but it’s very easy to hold a smart kid back.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

In China, Women Hired to Motivate Computer Programmers

22nd August 2015

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Maybe they know something we don’t.

We have a similar system in this country — the women are from HR, and promise that they’ll clean out your cubicle for you once they’ve escorted you from the building.

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Dresden Riots: Protesters in Germany Attack Refugee Buses Shouting ‘Foreigners Out’

22nd August 2015

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Looks like the open-borders Eurocrats are getting a little pushback.

Remember what happened the last time the Germans thought their government stabbed them in the back….

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The Hook

22nd August 2015

Freeberg nails it again.

A movement to outlaw all jobs that pay less than $15 an hour, would never attract enough support to survive. A movement to destroy the work ethic in children by awarding participation trophies, would suffer the same problem; it would eventually wither away and die. A movement to spare women from any and all responsibility, and help them blame men for all their problems in life, grant them legal authority to kill their unborn children no questions asked, ditto. All of these “movements” would need — have needed — a hook. A way to reel in those who care more about moral posturing than about politics, the ones who don’t pay attention, the ones who can be easily deceived.

It’s got to be about raising workers’ wages, building childrens’ self-esteem, empowering womens’ choices and demanding equal pay. Those “hooks” sell. Sure they are dishonest as expressions of the ultimate objective, but they’re being expressed to people who don’t have time or inclination to assess their sincerity, or lack thereof. So they have their hooking power. The clumsy-moderate sees the advertising, believes it if only on a tentative basis, starts to make an ego investment in it. That’s the hook. Once the ego is invested, good luck talking them out of it.

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Doing Well by Doing Good

22nd August 2015

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Scientists in the US have found a way to take carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and make carbon nanofibres, a valuable manufacturing material.

Their solar-powered system runs a small current through a tank filled with a hot, molten salt; the fluid absorbs atmospheric CO2 and tiny carbon fibres slowly form at one of the electrodes.

“Until now, carbon nanofibres have been too expensive for many applications,” he told journalists at the autumn meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston.

Carbon nanofibres are already used in high-end applications such as electronic components and batteries, and if costs came down they could be used more extensively – improving the strong, lightweight carbon composites used in aircraft and car components, for example.

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Yet Again, Americans Save French Butts

22nd August 2015

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Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler

What were the train people doing?

The actor, who has starred in French films such as Betty Blue, went on to allege that train personnel ran down the corridor and took refuge in a work car, locking the door and refusing to answer to passengers.

Americans: A pack, not a herd.

 

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

USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

22nd August 2015

Schrade Tactical Pens. One of these babies could save your life.

Hexayurt.

SpinChiller.

The Egg Calculator.

H0w to Build Your Own Cotton-Candy Machine. If, of course, that’s what you want to do.

GarlicShaker. Billed as ‘the iPhone of garlic peelers’. “Hey, Siri, peel me a clove.” Unlikely.

Turn the Apple Watch Into a Pocket Watch. More here.

All-Terrain Electric Skateboard. Supposedly.

Fold-Out Paper Sofa.

PotatoParcel. If you’re Irish, come into the parlor.

Bacon Scarf.

Stain Devils.

OnHub.

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Colo. School District Won’t Allow High School Football Team to Honor Fallen Soldiers O\on Jerseys

22nd August 2015

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A school district in Colorado denied a high school football team’s request to honor the military by wearing the names of fallen service members on the back of their jerseys, saying it would open the door to similar requests from other causes.

And that would require them to, like, make a decision, and that’s just too, too tedious for that government paycheck.

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Friend of US Servicemen Describes Terrifying Attack on European Train

22nd August 2015

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Air Force serviceman Spencer Stone remained hospitalized Saturday after being stabled, though the Pentagon said the injury was not-life threatening. Another passenger was wounded by a handgun in the attack, according to a police union official.

It remains unclear whether there was a political motive to the gunman’s actions.

Uh, yeah, sure.

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Sweet-Smelling Secrets of Mosquito-Repellent Grass

21st August 2015

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US scientists have identified the chemicals responsible for the mosquito-repelling activity of sweetgrass, a plant traditionally used by some Native Americans to fend off the bugs.

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ISIS: Militants Destroy Ancient Monastery in Syria Founded More Than 1,500 Years Ago

21st August 2015

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Isis have demolished an ancient monastery founded more than 1,500 years ago in central Syria Friday near a town where the extremists abducted dozens of Christians earlier this month, activists and a Christian priest said.

The extremist group posted photos on social media Friday showing bulldozers destroying the Saint Elian Monastery near the town of Qaryatain, which Isis captured in early August.

Posted in Living with Islam. | 1 Comment »

Becoming David Bowie

21st August 2015

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Will Brooker is studying David Bowie by trying to live like him for a year.

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

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

Scientists Pull Carbon Nanofibers Out of Thin Air

21st August 2015

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Rumpelstiltskin may have been able to spin straw into gold, but even he couldn’t pull carbon fibers from thin air. Yet that’s exactly what researchers at George Washington University have managed to do.

Led by Stuart Licht, researchers have created a solar-powered process that can turn carbon dioxide, a gas that contributes to climate change, into solid carbon nanofibers.

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U.S. Marines Foil Apparent Terrorist Attack on French Train

21st August 2015

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On a train in northern France, a young Moroccan stepped out of a bathroom with an AK-47 (or similar weapon) and opened fire. Several people were wounded, but happily three [later reports say two] unarmed U.S. Marines were nearby and they disabled and captured the assailant….

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Must Skim Milk With No Added Vitamins Be Called ‘Imitation’?

21st August 2015

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Of course — if the government is involved.

The Ocheesee Creamery in the Florida Panhandle produces all-natural skim milk from grass-fed cows with absolutely nothing added, yet the state says they have to call it “imitation..”

And while they argue about it, the dairy is dumping hundreds of gallons of skim milk down the drain each week.

Creamery owners Paul and Mary Lou Wesselhoeft were in federal court Wednesday as part of their nearly three-year-old battle with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, which argues that skim milk isn’t skim milk unless vitamins are added to it.

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What Makes a Billionaire Bad? Just Add Government.

21st August 2015

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“Income inequality” is one of the populist issues du jour, even if there is a certain logical incoherence in believing that the growing income of rich people is somehow necessarily bad for poor people.

A new economic study suggests that, actually, we can calculate when a billionaire’s riches harm the poor and when they’re helpful. The “bad” billionaires aren’t the ones who flood the marketplace with cheap goods and jobs that some folks want to blame for all our ills. Those billionaires help the poor (by providing cheap goods and jobs, obviously). It’s the billionaires who get and keep their riches because of their connections to the government and through crony capitalism who create the most harmful consequences of income inequality.

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ISLAMOCOPIA FRIDAY: What’s New in the Religion of Peace

21st August 2015

Migrant crisis: Macedonian police use tear gas and stun grenades on desperate migrants attempting to cross border from Greece

War with ISIS: Is Turkey’s buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

AP Interview: Libya wants allied airstrikes against IS

London ‘Draw Mohamed’ exhibition cancelled due to ‘real possibility people could be killed’

Brothers BEHEAD sister and parade head around village over love affair

Cairo bomb: Six hurt as massive blast destroys part of security building in suburb of Egyptian capital

Tunisia shooting: One dead after two men on a motorcycle open fire on three police officers in Sousse

Exhibition of cartoons depicting Prophet Mohamed cancelled amid security fears

ISIS affiliate claims responsibility for Cairo bombing that left 6 police officers injured

ISIS executes Palmyra antiquities chief and hangs him from ruins he spent a lifetime restoring

Libya: Bomb Us, Please

Turkey’s Multiple Wars

Yazidi refugees flee ISIS, but find door to US asylum closed

At least 80 killed in government airstrikes on Syria market, activists sa

War on ISIS: US-led forces carry out 22 airstrikes on Islamist targets in Iraq and Syria in 24 hours

ISIS militants crucify headless corpses and burn down hospital as battle for Sirte intensifies

Yemen: Saudi Troops Lead the Counteroffensive

Bombs in and around Baghdad kill 22 people, Iraqi officials say

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi repeatedly raped US hostage Kayla Mueller and turned Yazidi girls into personal sex slave

Muslims in the UK are attacking mosques. Does that make them Islamophobic?

Islamic State leader reportedly raped American hostage

US reportedly sees possible pattern in ISIS chemical weapons attacks

Tunisia terrorist attack will cost TUI up to £32m, says Thomson and First Choice owner

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World’s Oldest Message in a Bottle Ever Found Finally Washes Up After 108 Years

21st August 2015

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Morrissey Accuses Obama of ‘Being White on the Inside’ for ‘Not Helping His Own People’ During Ferguson Riots

21st August 2015

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A white guy accusing a black guy of not being black enough. And people take that seriously.

I like to think of Barack Obama as the son the Clintons never had….

 

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The Revolution Will Not Be Emphasized

21st August 2015

David Cole blows the whistle.

Leftists truly understand the power of labels. They know that labels, properly utilized, have the ability to stigmatize and marginalize. “Cisgender” is a perfect example. The left has persuaded millions of people to use a term that essentially means “I’m normal.” To understand how ridiculous that is, consider this: By most accounts, there are far more people in the world who have some form of dwarfism than there are people who self-identify as “trans.” Yet there is no special label for those of normal height. Imagine if “little people” demanded that everyone of normal height had to use a label to define themselves as “not a dwarf.” Such an idea would be ridiculed from the get-go, and justifiably so.

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Be Careful What You Wish For

21st August 2015

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Metro, Portland’s regional planning agency, funds its hundreds of planners out of garbage fees, which is why Portland has the highest garbage collection costs in the Pacific Northwest. But Metro also encourages people to recycle in order to reduce their garbage refuse.

As a result, Portland garbage has declined enough to threaten Metro’s budget. Metro’s response, naturally, is to tax recyclables, which would probably lead some people to stop recycling.

Funny how that works: When you tax something, you get less of it. You’d think that government employees would have realized that by now.

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The First Postmodern Political Machine

21st August 2015

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The Clinton political machine, like all machines, ultimately runs on money. Somebody has to pay the apparatchiks and loyal technicians who keep the wheels turning. In traditional machines, the money came out of the rough and tumble of local politics: You stroke City Hall, and City Hall strokes you. Private contractors who depend on city contracts, public sector unions, law firms, and Wall Street banks who manage city pension funds and peddle the city’s bonds: There is an army of special interests whose businesses do well when the Mayor is a friend. But the Clintons don’t do it that way anymore; they figured out something better.

The Clintons stand where money, influence, and celebrity form a nexus. When Hillary Clinton was running the State Department and Bill Clinton was shaking down contributors to the Foundation, the donors knew, or thought they knew, what they were getting. Now that Hillary is running for President, the donors have an even better idea of what good things might come to them—or what problems and complications could develop if they cut the Clintons off.

The machine gathers the cash that provides perches and incomes to Clinton loyalists; the loyalists keep the publicity machine pumping, keep the networks of contacts and patronage refreshed throughout the vast Clinton network, and staff what amounts to a permanent campaign. This is what party machines used to do: provide incomes for the army of operatives who would jump into action to make sure the machine stayed in office.

But the cash doesn’t come from a system of payoffs that go all the way from the cop on the beat up to the Board of Aldermen and the Mayor. The cash comes from donations and speaking fees. When the husband of the Secretary of State or potential next President calls about a special charity project, most people, even if they happen to be CEOs of major companies or senior government officials, take the call. More than that, there will be times when government and corporate officials will reach out and make the call themselves, rather than waiting passively to hear that the Clinton machine has an ask.

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Feds to Stop Calling Midget Raisins ‘Midget’

21st August 2015

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a regulation on Thursday to stop referring to midget raisins as “midget” after an activist group called the term offensive.

The government said the change was prompted by a request from the Little People of America, a nonprofit membership organization for people of short stature.

I am not making this up. (Cue Randy Newman.)

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How Google Could Rig the 2016 Election

21st August 2015

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Research I have been directing in recent years suggests that Google, Inc., has amassed far more power to control elections—indeed, to control a wide variety of opinions and beliefs—than any company in history has ever had. Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more—up to 80 percent in some demographic groups—with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated, according to experiments I conducted recently with Ronald E. Robertson.

Given that many elections are won by small margins, this gives Google the power, right now, to flip upwards of 25 percent of the national elections worldwide. In the United States, half of our presidential elections have been won by margins under 7.6 percent, and the 2012 election was won by a margin of only 3.9 percent—well within Google’s control.

Sky falling — film at 11. More here.

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First Wolf Pack in Decades Spotted in Northern California

21st August 2015

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No doubt riding Harleys.

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Slovakia Will Only Accept Christian Migrants

20th August 2015

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Slovakia has announced it will only accept Christian migrants when it takes in Syrian refugees under an EU relocation plan.

Interior Ministry spokesman Ivan Metik said the Eastern European nation will accept 200 Christian migrants from camps in Turkey, Italy and Greece, as Muslim migrants would not integrate as easily into Slovakia’s predominantly Christian population.

There are a lot of Muslim countries in the world — time for them to step up to the plate, seems like.

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Another EPA disaster, This Time in Rural Georgia

20th August 2015

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In Greensboro, EPA-funded contractors grading a toxic 19th-century cotton mill site struck a water main, sending the deadly sediment into a nearby creek. Though that accident took place five months ago, the hazard continues as heavy storms — one hit the area Tuesday — wash more soil into the creek.

With people like these protecting the environment, where is there room for polluters?

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

Massachusetts Obamacare Exchange Facing Legal Investigation

20th August 2015

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

Massachusetts Health Connector – the state’s failed Obamacare exchange – is faced with yet another challenge, this time a legal one. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is demanding the state exchange open its books in order to find out how the State government wasted hundreds of millions of dollars in a failed revamp of their healthcare exchange.

What’s to explain? They’re a state government. A Blue State government. Wasting hundreds of millions of dollars is what they do.

Although Massachusetts was the home of the Obamacare blueprint “RomneyCare”, the federal regulations imposed on the state broke an already working system and displaced thousands of Medicaid recipients.

Yeah, the Feds have a record of doing that.

While residents of the state were unable to get healthcare, the response from state officials was nonchalant. 41 days after the failed launch of the website Governor Patrick was asked about possible concerns with the exchange. His response was “No, none at all.”

He’s a black governor in a Democrite-run state. What could he possibly have to worry about? Tennis elbow? Having to wait for a tee time?

The skyrocketing costs and repeated malfunctions aside, the most disturbing aspect of the Massachusetts fiasco is the intentional concealment of the failures by the Commonwealth Connector Authority (CCA), the organization tasked with oversight of the transition.

Distburbing to whom? Not to anyone who has seen government employees (and their clients) in action before.

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Regional Tensions to Spark Submarine Manufacturing Boom in Asia-Pacific

20th August 2015

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The submarine market in the Asia-Pacific region is valued at $7.3 billion this year, but is projected to grow at an annual rate of 4.18 percent to reach $11 billion in 2025, according to a new report “The Global Submarine and MRO Market 2015–2025,” produced by Strategic Defence Intelligence, a London-based business information firm. The United States is expected to remain the largest market for submarines, with a projected cumulative spending of $102.2 billion over the next decade.

The growth in Asia is primarily driven by major countries such as China, India, Australia and South Korea, which are focusing more on developing their naval capabilities. This is attributed to the rising number of maritime conflicts and potential threats in the South China Sea as well as the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the report said.

“Growing Chinese assertiveness in disputes over islands in the South China Sea and the rapid modernization of China’s submarine fleet spurred the demand for submarines in countries such as India, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and Vietnam,” Sravan Kumar Gorantala, an analyst at SDI said in a statement.

Smaller nations such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore are also investing in submarine acquisitions in order to strengthen their naval arsenals, according to the report’s executive summary.

China, India and Pakistan prefer nuclear-powered submarines, the report said.

Of course they do.

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Quotation for the Day

20th August 2015

It is diverting to speculate why such care is devoted to the breeding of dogs and horses while the human race prefers to reproduce itself in a largely indiscriminate and haphazard fashion.

— Randolph Spencer-Churchill

Well, Margaret Sanger did what she could….

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Superconductivity Record Sparks Wave of Follow-Up Physics

20th August 2015

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A superconductor that works at room-temperature would make everyday electricity generation and transmission vastly more efficient, as well as giving a massive boost to current uses of superconductivity such as the enormous magnets used in medical imaging machines.

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Disney Plans Galactic Domination With Endless Star Wars Spin-Offs

20th August 2015

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

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Oil Wars

20th August 2015

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Shortly after the Antiplanner commented on low oil prices last April, the Saudis admitted that their goal in flooding the market with oil was to drive out high-cost producers such as owners of shale-oil and off-shore wells. Now it appears that this policy has backfired on the Saudis, as their economy is hurting from the low oil prices while the shale industry continues to produce oil.

The problem for the Saudis, says one analyst, is that low prices might hurt high-cost producers, but the shale frackers “are mostly mid-cost.” thanks partly to new technologies. This means that, once they’ve made the initial investment in drilling and fracking, they can continue to extract oil, covering their operating costs even when prices are low and won’t be put out of business by a temporary surge in production in the Mideast.

Meanwhile, the Saudi government has seen its revenues decline by more than 30 percent. This has led Standard & Poors to downgrade Saudi credit ratings, saying that the country’s economy is “undiversified and vulnerable to a steep and sustained decline in oil prices.”

In the Bad Old Days, the oil under Saudi Arabia would belong to various European governments, and the Saudis would be wandering the desert on camels rather than buying up most of London and Paris. Which arrangement is preferable is left as an exercise for the reader.

Posted in Living with Islam. | No Comments »

The Gold King Mine Fiasco: What It Tells Us About the EPA

20th August 2015

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We have written here and here about the EPA-caused spill of three million gallons of toxic liquid into the Animas River in Colorado. Private companies that have caused environmental disasters of that magnitude (or much less) have been criminally prosecuted; in some cases, individuals have been jailed. Will the EPA face similar accountability? Just kidding.

The EPA is one of the reasons that Richard Nixon will burn in Hell for all eternity.

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

Rachel Dolezal 2.0? Shaun King, Activist for the Black Lives Matter Movement, Outed as a White Man

20th August 2015

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I see no reason why a white man cannot be an activist for the Black Lives Matter movement. On the other hand, there are undoubtedly those who feel that anybody involved in pushing for more privileges for black people really needs to be black to have any credibility, which seems to me an expression of racism barely disguised.

‘I’m a victim, your a victim, he’s a victim, she’s a victim, wouldn’t you want to be a victim to?’ seems to be the theme of the age.

Posted in Whose turn is it to be the victim? | No Comments »

‘Cadillac Tax’ Key in Allegheny Technologies’ Lockout

20th August 2015

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A provision of the Affordable Care Act, which is one reason Allegheny Technologies locked out more than 2,000 union workers last week at 12 plants in six states, also could be a stumbling block in negotiations involving two other major steel producers whose contracts covering about 30,000 union workers expire in less than two weeks.

The federal legislation subjects employers to a 40 percent tax if premiums for health care coverage exceed prescribed limits starting in 2018.

The tax was imposed to pay for the premium and cost-sharing subsidies, Medicaid expansion, and other provisions designed to make health care coverage more affordable for more people. It was dubbed the “Cadillac tax” because many believed it would apply only to gold-plated coverage provided to high-paid workers.

However, 48 percent of companies are likely to be subject to the tax in 2018 and 82 percent could be liable by 2023, according to benefits consultant Towers Watson.

“We’ve been calling it the ‘Chevy tax,’” said Anna Fendley, a legislative representative with the United Steelworkers union. “This is a tax that’s really falling on the backs of working people.”

Every government employee ought to be required to recite the definition of ‘unintended consequences’ before receiving a paycheck.

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