Thursday, May 28, 2015
I strongly and consistently opposed the Iraq War that was initiated by former President George W. Bush and would equally strongly oppose any similar large-scale military venture today. But with ISIS gaining strength and calling on followers through social media to launch terror attacks in multiple nations, there is an urgent need for multilateral action to destroy ISIS before ISIS succeeds in mass murdering more of us.
What is most interesting from the cultural point of view about the preposterous nonsense of trigger warnings for Victorian books is the obvious thirst or desire for victimization that they express. Victims are the heroes of the politically correct; their victimhood confers unique moral authority upon them ex officio. And since many would like to be a unique moral authority, it follows that they would like to be a victim. The fact soon follows the wish, at least in their own estimation; and this, of course, provides much work and justifies much power for the self-proclaimed protectors of victims. University teachers become the curators of figurines of the finest porcelain, which only they are allowed to touch.
I don't know what Criminal Law teachers even do. Mergers is pretty harmless by comparison.
The U.S. economy is at a critical juncture. The Federal Reserve’s very easy monetary policy during the past few years has been the root of both good and ill: reduced unemployment on the one hand and increased financial risks on the other. The danger now is that the inevitable rise in interest rates over the next few years could cause substantial losses to banks and investors that, in turn, could weaken the economy’s overall performance and lead to another economic downturn.
“You hit this adolescent stage, and it’s exciting because suddenly the world is full of conflicting ideas, whereas before it was pretty straightforward,” Schlozman told Fusion. As the world around you changes and previously held truths begin to crumble, why wouldn’t it be possible for the supernatural to be real, too?
Then you hit late middle age and the opposite happens.
I’m at the Royal Veterinary College, about 20 kilometers outside of central London, watching four biologists put their shoulders into the task. A Komodo dragon, which recently died in London Zoo for unexplained reasons, lies on a steel gurney in front of them. Their task, over the next three days, is to dissect it and measure all of its muscles. So, first, the skin must come off.
Instead, she sat her husband down and told him something that more and more progressive couples are beginning to realize. They loved each other and wanted to stay together — but in the age of Tinder and Ashley Madison and OkCupid, they also both wanted to have other options. Options they knew were just a click away.
“Interesting, introspective, happily married D.C. professional,” reads Jessie’s profile on the new non-monogamous dating site Open Minded. “I’m into building deep and loving relationships that add to the joy and aliveness of being human.”
I'm against this as it would mean sleeping with other people than LWJ.
Harvard neuroscientist: Meditation not only reduces stress, here’s how it changes your brain - The Washington Post
The White House on Thursday, in no uncertain terms, put the onus on the Iraqis to fight and defeat the Islamic State -- even as a new report warned foreign fighters are flocking to the battlefield at a historic and dangerous pace.
"The United States is not going to be responsible for securing the security situation inside of Iraq," Press Secretary Josh Earnest told Fox News.
Oh dear, oh dear!
Almost Friday Funny – Tesla is apparently recharging ’emissions free’ electric cars with a diesel generator | Watts Up With That?
A real fight is brewing ahead of the 2016 Republican presidential primaries. It's a war over the way the last GOP administration waged the war on terror. The question to be settled: Is this still George W. Bush's party?
I think you really have to judge policies by their results, not their intentions. Otherwise, I'd probably be a Democrat. Maybe not, but probably. Many of them are nice people; but increasingly, that's not the case. Anyway. By results, our invasion of Iraq appears to have been an unmitigated disaster, though well intended. Yes, I was for it when I thought Saddam was cooking up biological weapons, and I still think maybe he was beginning to, maybe. But he was not all that far along, evidently.
I’ve admired the Clintons’ foundation for years for its fine work on AIDS and global poverty, and I’ve moderated many panels at the annual Clinton Global Initiative. Yet with each revelation of failed disclosures or the appearance of a conflict of interest from speaking fees of $500,000 for the former president, I have wondered: What were they thinking?
When a sopping wet like Kristof jumps ship, you've got problems. But who will the Dems come up with now?
We found, for all three major minority groups, that the best places were neither the most liberal in their attitudes nor had the most generous welfare programs. Instead they were located primarily in regions that have experienced broad-based economic growth, have low housing costs, and limited regulation. In other words, no matter how much people like Bill de Blasio talk about the commitment to racial and class justice, the realities on the ground turn out to be quite different than he might imagine.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
The report, “The Art of the Gouge,” says NYU admits the highest number of foreign students of any U.S. university, thus gaining large profits from extra costs charged to non-Americans. Blogger Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism says NYU has been operated “as a real estate development/management business with a predatory higher-education side venture,” picking up huge chunks of Greenwich Village real estate and financing expensive city and country homes for allies and some favored professors.
Via instapundit. I wonder what they say about Ricky Revesz (or maybe it's Revezs.) He was E-in-C of the The Yale L.J. when I attempted to get on it. I didn't know nothing then. I spent long, long hours in the Yale Computer Lab composing my article in gibberish so it would come out in print. It didn't come out the way I planned it -- it came out better! If I had seen the future in just word processing, I coulda been a contender. Oh well.
When Beck winds up his dismal portrait of police violence, he cites a list of “extremist” categories supposedly culled from government documents. It includes “those that talk about ‘individual liberties,’” “those that advocate for states’ rights,” “anyone that is opposed to Agenda 21,” and “those that “believe in the right to bear arms.”
I'm not sure what Anne Marie's beef with Beck is exactly. That he doesn't put people of color enough in the front and center? I wonder what percentage of police victims are actually white?
Try reading these messages not as a catalog of scandal (which doesn't appear to be there) but as fragments of an epistolary novel of Imperial Washington, written in the modern genre of email. There's a faint echo of Anthony Trollope in the revelations of petty plots, coy flattery and bids for influence. The fact that Libya, the nominal subject of most of the messages, is going down the drain is almost an afterthought.
How things work.
The creation of Fox News in 1996 was an event of deep, yet unappreciated, political and historical importance. For the first time, there was a news source available virtually everywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a conservative tilt. Finally, conservatives did not have to seek out bits of news favorable to their point of view in liberal publications or in small magazines and newsletters. Like someone dying of thirst in the desert, conservatives drank heavily from the Fox waters. Soon, it became the dominant – and in many cases, virtually the only – major news source for millions of Americans. This has had profound political implications that are only starting to be appreciated. Indeed, it can almost be called self-brainwashing – many conservatives now refuse to even listen to any news or opinion not vetted through Fox, and to believe whatever appears on it as the gospel truth.
Professor Jobling said: "The population expansion falls within the Bronze Age, which involved changes in burial practices, the spread of horse-riding and developments in weaponry. Dominant males linked with these cultures could be responsible for the Y chromosome patterns we see today."
So we're related?
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Scientists came to this conclusion after studying the tanned buttocks of dozens of volunteers. In study after study they have found that a base tan affords almost no protection against future ultraviolet exposure. In fact, it actually puts otherwise pale people at risk of developing skin cancers.
Whether we are pinching the cheeks of an adorable toddler or enveloping a beloved pet in a bear hug, most of us have experienced the strange drive to give something cute a gigantic squeeze. New research by two Yale University psychologists details how the sight of something cute brings out our aggressive side. Rebecca Dyer and Oriana Aragon investigated “cute aggression” by showing study participants slide shows of either cute, funny or normal animal photographs. As they watched, the participants held bubble wrap. The researchers, attempting to mimic the common desire to squeeze cute things, told subjects to pop as many or as few bubbles as they wished. People watching the cute slide show popped significantly more bubbles than those viewing the funny or control pictures, according to results presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual meeting in New Orleans. “Some things are so cute that we just can't stand it,” Dyer concludes.
Do the smartest presidents make the best presidents? This question invariably emerges as a topic of spirited debate when the U.S. presidential election approaches. In 2004, former New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines asked, “Does anyone in America doubt that Kerry has a higher IQ than Bush?” Citing Bush’s and Kerry’s scores on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery—an IQ-like test that the military uses to determine whether a recruit is qualified for enlistment—the conservative pundit Steve Sailer countered that there was no doubt that, in fact, Bush had the higher IQ. And the chatter about IQ has begun for next November’s election. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton is “smart enough to handle the job” and “may have a higher IQ than Bill”, while among Republican hopefuls, Jeb Bush is the “smart brother” and Ted Cruz “towers as the smartest presidential candidate”. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker may not be the smartest candidate but “our most intelligent presidents have often been our worst presidents” anyway.
A federal appeals court on Tuesday denied the Obama administration’s request to lift a hold on the president’s executive actions on immigration, which would have granted protection from deportation as well as work permits to millions of immigrants in the country illegally.
Mutant rats size of cats invading Britain | Latest News | Breaking UK News & World News Headlines | Daily Star
“I thought: ‘Blooming heck, where the heck have they come from?’ They were just huge but they were quick. I had to try to catch them when they came out and one of them looked straight at me with its beady eyes. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
"It sounded like one lady walked up and asked the other lady if she was in line for the waffle maker. She didn't answer so this lady started to make her waffle. The other confronted her and said, 'That was my waffle' and the other lady said, 'No, it's mine' and then it went down hill from there," Cole said.
Newser) – Imagine channel-surfing one night and stumbling on a reality show about life in a crushing Nazi regime. Well, that show exists in the Czech Republic—and some people aren't too thrilled to see the Nazis turned into casual entertainment, the Guardian reports. Called Holiday in the Protectorate, the show follows three generations of a family trying to survive in a re-creation of the Nazi-ruled protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. They cope with paltry rations, German soldiers, Gestapo interrogations, blackmailers, and Allied bombing raids, but $40,000 awaits if they can last for two months, Variety reports. "When starting the project, we knew that it may provoke a discussion on how far such a genre may go," says director Zora Cejnkova.
Generations of Dutch citizens still trek to the graves of US World War II soldiers | Public Radio International
The Dutch came to honor the more than 8,000 Americans from World War II who are buried there in the Netherlands American Cemetery.
Ton Hermes, president of the Foundation for Adopting Graves at the American Cemetery in Margraten, calls it a "gesture to comfort the people of America."
The burial ground is one of about a dozen European cemeteries for US troops slain in World War II.
But what's different about the one in Margraten is that each of the graves is cared for by a Dutch citizen.
This is a cool story.
Imagine meeting your English professor by the trunk of her car for office hours, where she doles out information like a taco vendor in a food truck. Or getting an e-mail error message when you write your former biology professor asking for a recommendation because she is no longer employed at the same college. Or attending an afternoon lecture in which your anthropology professor seems a little distracted because he doesn’t have enough money for bus fare. This is an increasingly widespread reality of college education.
Most of the actual decline in believers from 2007 to 2014 was concentrated among Roman Catholics and the Protestant mainline, and among those most loosely tethered to religious faith. Evangelical Christians held pretty steady, which set up an odd chain of reactions. Secularists were pleased about the decline of Christianity. Some conservative Christians were pleased about the decline of theological liberalism. The latter is evidence of an old grudge.
Tyler Carlisle, who graduated this month, attacked fellow student Alexander Michaud, 21, a member of Yale's class of 2017, according to a statement from the university. Both were from Manchester, N.H., according to their Facebook pages. Police said they were aquaintances, but were not believed to be roommates.
Both POR members.
Her new book, “Primates of Park Avenue” (Simon & Schuster), is a chronicle of her time as a wife and mother on the Upper East Side and the culture shock that ensued. Martin, who will say only that she’s in her 40s, used her background in anthropology to understand the behavior on display: the segregation of men and women, the abuse of alcohol and drugs, the wild displays of competition, the conspicuous consumption and, above all, the deification of children.
Friday, May 22, 2015
On Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit rejected (PDF) the University of Notre Dame’s argument that the accommodation regulations require it to contract with an insurer which, because of the contract, then provides contraception coverage to Notre Dame’s employees. The decision is a master work in missing the point. Notre Dame had argued that such a contract violates its religious opposition to contraception. Bizarrely, a divided panel of the court held that, “Although Notre Dame is the final arbiter of its religious beliefs, it is for the courts to determine whether the law actually forces Notre Dame to act in a way that would violate those beliefs.” The panel decision goes on in conclusory fashion to note that “Notre Dame thus could ask [its insurance provider] to outsource contraception coverage for both students and staff to an entity that does no business with Notre Dame,” despite the fact that requiring Notre Dame to ask its provider to facilitate the contraception coverage is precisely the activity Notre Dame finds violates its religious beliefs.
From the new and improved Posner. For the pragmatics to change, the election returns will have to change.
It’s also a moment of truth for the tech giants, too. Google infamously knuckled under to China’s demands for censorship and cooperation against dissidents last decade as the price for access to their vast market. Six years ago, CEO Eric Schmidt suggested, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place[.]” They’ve since toughened their stand on censorship and governmental interference, mainly because their customer base got irate over Google’s actions.
What to do, what to do.
Ask a Catholic audience whose name they associate with the Catholic Church and science. “Galileo!” they shout. Ask them about Lemaître, Grimaldi, Stensen, Secchi—or Piazzi—and you get blank stares. Is it any wonder the science-religion warfare myth persists?
May 21, 2015 One of the most underappreciated stories in recent years is the deterioration of the Democratic bench under President Obama's tenure in office. The party has become much more ideologically homogenous, losing most of its moderate wing as a result of the last two disastrous midterm elections. By one new catch-all measure, a party-strength index introduced by RealClearPolitics analysts Sean Trende and David Byler, Democrats are in their worst position since 1928. That dynamic has manifested itself in the Democratic presidential contest, where the bench is so barren that a flawed Hillary Clinton is barreling to an uncontested nomination.
But less attention has been paid to how the shrinking number of Democratic officeholders in the House and in statewide offices is affecting the party's Senate races. It's awfully unusual to see how dependent Democrats are in relying on former losing candidates as their standard-bearers in 2016. Wisconsin's Russ Feingold, Pennsylvania's Joe Sestak, Indiana's Baron Hill, and Ohio's Ted Strickland all ran underwhelming campaigns in losing office in 2010—and are looking to return to politics six years later. Party officials are courting former Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina to make a comeback bid, despite mediocre favorability ratings and the fact that she lost a race just months ago that most had expected her to win. All told, more than half of the Democrats' Senate challengers in 2016 are comeback candidates.
Well I hope so.
The shootout between members of rival outlaw motorcycle gangs in Waco has brought out a great deal of stupidity on the left — too much stupidity to catalogue, in fact. But let us look at a few lowlights.
I think I feel a Sons of Anarchy embed coming on.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Siberian wolf bone shows dog domestication much older than previously thought, researchers say - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Previous research based on genetic data from modern-day wolves and dogs estimated dogs were first domesticated 11,000 to 16,000 years ago based on an estimate of how quickly mutations occurred across the genome.
But recent genetic information from a 35,000-year-old wolf bone fragment, likely part of a rib, found below a frozen cliff in Siberia has shown canine domestication may have occurred much earlier.
In addition to striking a deep nerve in the most elite circles of Washington, the case has also raised soul-searching questions about why, when so many people die violently in impoverished parts of the city, these murders have attracted so much intense news coverage and discussion.
That was, again, more than three years ago, and despite Downey’s impassioned plea, Gibson is still persona non grata in Hollywood. But Downey hasn’t let up trying to revive a fellow addict’s career. He’s now saying the only way he’ll do another Iron Man movie is if Gibson is allowed to direct it. Of course, there’s always a chance Gibson really is a monster. But I choose to take Downey’s word that it’s time to forgive, because I’d rather live in a society where we err on the side of too much forgiveness than not enough.
A man who regularly suffered a blocked nose can finally breathe easy after he sneezed out the cause – part of a toy dart that had been stuck up a nostril for more than 40 years.
Steve Easton, 51, often had a case of the sniffles or a headache and put it down to hay fever. But his nasal passages are now clear for the first time since childhood after one big blow cleared the problem.
I'm relieved for him.