Thursday, June 03, 2010

Coin O The Realm

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In For The Jews

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Thinking about Iran and the Bomb the other day (what newspaper reader doesn’t?), it struck me as a curious coincidence that, for the second time in some of our lifetimes, Jews are being threatened with mass destruction in the name of the same ancient Indo-European word.

This is because “Iran” and “Aryan” are connected. The first ultimately derives from Old Persian arya or ariya, a term designating the Indo-European-speaking people of Persia, and is identical with Sanskrit arya — that is, the Indo-European-speaking people of northern India.
“Aryan,” on the other hand, is a modern European coinage, strongly tinged by racialist linguistic theories and constructions of history that gained currency in mid-19th-century Europe.
“Aryanism” is a strictly modern, anti-democratic political ideology, as are the politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It’s perhaps not such a coincidence, after all, that both have had it in for the Jews.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A Righteous Rant

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“Failure was not an option” for Gene Kranz and his Apollo 13 flight controllers and engineers. In contrast, failure clearly has been an option for President Obama and those claiming to have been on top of this situation “from day one” in his White House and in the Departments of Interior, Energy and Homeland Security. With no single, competent, courageous and knowledgeable leader in charge of a comparably competent, courageous and knowledgeable team as we had with Apollo 13, the Administration has been doomed to failure from the start. The President, without any experience in real-world management of anything, much less a crisis, has no idea how to deal with a situation as technically complex as the Gulf oil spill.

President Obama has shown repeatedly that the best interests of the American people are a lower priority than his ideological goal of changing America from what it has been, to some mystical, socialist utopia

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A Thousand Days Of Yesterdays

A series of quantum experiments shows that measurements performed in the future can influence the present.

Jeff Tollaksen may well believe he was destined to be here at this point in time. We’re on a boat in the Atlantic, and it’s not a pleasant trip. The torrential rain obscures the otherwise majestic backdrop of the volcanic Azorean islands, and the choppy waters are causing the boat to lurch. The rough sea has little effect on Tollaksen, barely bringing color to his Nordic complexion. This is second nature to him; he grew up around boats. Everyone would agree that events in his past have prepared him for today’s excursion. But Tollaksen and his colleagues are investigating a far stranger possibility: It may be not only his past that has led him here today, but his future as well.

Tollaksen’s group is looking into the notion that time might flow backward, allowing the future to influence the past.

Time since come and gone... where's the start and where's the end...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

Do you think you know the price of freedom?

And why are you squandering what these people have bought you with their blood like a spoiled and ungrateful child?
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Memorial Day Kiss

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The Anti-Slavery Party

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On his deathbed in 1874, Senator Charles Sumner (R-MA) told a Republican colleague: “You must take care of the civil rights bill – my bill, the civil rights bill.  Don’t let it fail.”  In March 1875, the Republican-controlled 43rd Congress followed up the GOP’s 1866 Civil Rights Act and 1871 Civil Rights Act with the most comprehensive civil rights legislation ever.  A Republican president, Ulysses Grant, signed the bill into law that same day.

Among its provisions, the 1875 Civil Rights Act banned racial discrimination in public accommodations.  Sound familiar?  Though struck down by the Supreme Court eight years later, the 1875 Civil Rights Act would be reborn as the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

During the twenty years of the FDR and Truman administrations, the Democrats had refused to enact any civil rights legislation.  In contrast, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the 1957 Civil Rights Act, which had been written by his Attorney General

Misconceiving China

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People often compare China’s urbanization to Western industrialization in the 19th century. In both cases, a large population moved from the country to the city. Society advanced from agricultural to industrial via manufacturing on a massive scale.

However, there is a key misconception about China’s manufacturing power.

In the United States and Europe, the manufacturing industry was created due to technology innovation. For example, railways came into existence because of the invention of the steam engine and automobiles were created because of technology breakthroughs in automobile engines.

In China, the manufacturing industry is being created in response to global demand. Chinese manufacturers take orders from Western companies that have designed products for their home markets. They have no involvement with product development, innovation, market research and even packaging. Chinese manufacturers have no experience in bringing their own products to overseas markets.

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Pravda On The Potomac

Release of the Federal Trade Commission's working paper on "reinventing journalism" makes it clear that there is no more time for diplomacy about this issue: President Obama is determined to federalize the news industry just as he has banking, autos, and health care.

Everybody who wants independent journalism had better wake up to these three facts about what is going:

* Journalists must understand that there is no way the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press will survive if the federal government regulates the news industry as envisioned by the FTC. Those who accept at face value protests to the contrary or the professions of pure intentions by advocates of government takeover of the news business are, at best, incredibly naive.

* Journalists who remain silent or apathetic about what is being prepared by the FTC for their profession become unintentional accessories in the strangulation of independent journalism.

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Not Up To The Task

An article in the The Star of Toronto about Canadian debt quotes CalTech behavioral economics researcher Colin Camerer on how we just aren't adapted to modern consumer credit and humans clearly can't handle it. Governments, also made up of humans, similarly can't handle debt rationally either.

How were consumers expected to fare in, if not a free-money environment, certainly an easy-money environment here at home? “The idea that you can walk into a store with a piece of plastic — you may even be a college student with no income — and buy $5,000 worth of stuff is unbelievable,” Camerer continues. “Thinking like a neuroscientist, nothing in our brain evolution has equipped us to make the right decision in that case.”

When we buy on credit the part of our brain that registers that we are acquiring some good experiences a stronger stimulus than the part of our brain that registers that we are taking on a debt or future obligation.

The brain, in other words, isn’t really up to the task.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Tiger

Familiar with the attitudes of Middle Americans from living among them (unlike the urban intelligentsia of East and West Coasts), Harris provides an apologia for them that is only slightly condescending. They are people whose whole ethos is "live and let live," yet are accused of intolerance for failing to embrace progressive agendas. They are also people who powerfully resent being told how to live. And they have been pushed too far.

The Tea Party movement has arisen in the U.S. (and could easily arise in English Canada) to redress an imbalance. The election of Barack Obama put a crown on the exponential growth of the state, and his extremely ambitious statist agenda is taking Middle America, very fast, to places it has never wanted to go.
Nor have we anywhere in view the sort of politicians who could ride the tiger; who have any notion how to radically downsize a government peacefully. Yet we are getting beyond the sort of thing we can vote on.
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Got A Grip

Fred Barnes tells us that Canada, considered an "honorary member of the Third World" not that long ago, "is now in a far better economic situation than the United States"

Its unemployment rate is lower, its budget deficit breathtakingly smaller (after nearly a decade of balanced budgets), its debt burden far lighter, its banks more stable. The Canadian dollar, once worth as little as .62 cents, is currently nearly at parity with the American dollar.

How did Canada accomplish this turnaround? By practicing what Republicans here only preached:

Beginning in the mid-1990s, Canadians came to grips with their fiscal crisis. They cut spending at both the national and provincial (state) level, reduced the size and payroll of government, slashed debt, and produced what Paul Martin, then finance minister and later prime minister, called smaller, smarter government.

Barnes points out that the initiative for these measures came from the Liberal governmen when it was in power

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Develop Some Appreciation

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All Checks

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No, really, Louis Farrakhan's private security force thugz call themselves the Fruit of Islam and they went nutso at the press covering President Obama in Chicago last night.

Byron York shares the pool reporter's email. Apparently, the Fruits thought the reporters, with their Secret Service escort, might be CIA spying on Farrakhan's tax-exempt mansion, which is just around the block from the Obamas' house.

Paranoia? Check.
Paramilitary? Check.
Religious? Check.
Not paying taxes? Check.

It think the press found Napolitano's extremists.

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