The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Dog story

Yeah, I know.

August 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Repugnancy of the Repugnant Conclusion

If you read the post immediately below, you will see what this post is about.  Basicly, a well known Swedish philosopher wrote about the "Repugnant Conclusion," the idea originally (sort of) floated out by Derek Parfit that (repugnantly) we ought to have as many children as possible because that was the way to maximize happiness.  

My real objection is to Derek Parfit and calling this a "repugnant" conclusion.  What a snooty-nosed, supercillious, I am so much classier than everybody, way to state his conclusion.  Repugnant? Come on! There are lots of words you could choose, without implying that the really gross thing about such a world would be all the poor babies throwing up on your grand piano.  Sadly, this is quite in line with my impression of Professor Parfit.  I had the singular honor of studying philosophy at Oxford when he walked its halls, and I could not for the life of me see what all the fuss was about. Oh, alright, I could, but never has a fuss been made about anyone who was fussier.  But I got mine.  One time I attended a seminar at the Oxford law faculty at which Dworkin, Parfit, and A.K. Sen presided.  It was that kind of place.  Parfit made a presentation about how if a strong majority of people agreed to something, that was the thing to do.  He liked democracy, it appeared.  But Dwokin was not having it, but seemed to unable to come up with any real objection.  So I raised my hand (it wasn't really quite a seminar of equals) and said, "In the Soviet Union, one side gets 99 percent of the vote, and yet no one thinks that means the side that has won is particularly legitimate (!)"  Parfit was flummoxed, perhaps as much from an American semi-undergraduate coming up with an objection as by anything else.  But Dworkin delightedly picked up the objection and ran with it.  He introduced himself to me after the seminar and I had not even left my seat.  On my left was seated HLA Hart and on my right Charles Taylor.  Oxford was that kind of place.

Why then did I leave?  I could not stand never having any money -- that was the main thing.  And I forsaw a life of penury if I stuck with philosophy.  So I became a law professor where my quirky insights are much less valued to be sure, but I could afford (and here we swing back to the conclusion) lots of babies!  We had four boys. LWJ and I have done our part.  Mostly LWJ, but still.

The so-called repugnant conclusion is not so repugnant.  Even if we take total happiness as the goal, we face an optimization problem.  You want to optimize happiness not population, and that will reach its peak well before population does.  The Malthusian world, with everybody at subsistence, is a world of abject misery, where many of the people really would be better off dead.  So you end up with a more crowded world but not one where people don't make some effort not to over populate. I'm not a utilitarian because I think these calculations are utterly impossible to make in any event.

August 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog: So much for trying to bring philosophy to the public

Torbjorn Tannsjo, Kristian Claëson Professor of Practical Philosophy at Stockholm University, asked me to share the following experience he recently had.

via leiterreports.typepad.com

August 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

America Is So in Play - WSJ

I said: Cesar, you’re supposed to be offended by Trump, he said Mexico is sending over criminals, he has been unfriendly, you’re an immigrant. Cesar shook his head: No, you have it wrong. Immigrants, he said, don’t like illegal immigration, and they’re with Mr. Trump on anchor babies. “They are coming in from other countries to give birth to take advantage of the system. We are saying that! When you come to this country, you pledge loyalty to the country that opened the doors to help you.”

He added, “We don’t bloc vote anymore.” The idea of a “Latin vote” is “disparate,” which he said generally translates as nonsense, but which he means as “bull----.”

via www.wsj.com

The Democrats are appealing to a constituency that doesn't vote, yet. This is Peggy Noonan BTW.

August 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Grit And Legal Education: Female Students Are Grittier Than Males

Although research indicates that grit predicts successful performance in a variety of contexts, grit is underexplored in the context of legal education.

via taxprof.typepad.com

I don't know what grit is but I'm sure females have more of it.

August 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Crazy Like a Visionary by Roger Kimball, City Journal August 23, 2015

In part, the story Vance tells is the familiar litany of the lucky Silicon Valley entrepreneur who, still in his twenties, comes up with some clever Internet wheeze that he parlays into a zillion dollars and early retirement. Musk certainly managed the first bit. He enrolled in Stanford but left after a few days. In 1995, he and Kimbal started the business that would become Zip2, which Vance describes as a sort of “primitive Google maps meets Yelp.” They lived in their tiny office, sleeping, like pets, on beanbags beside their desks and showering at the YMCA. It was still the early days of the Web and at first their efforts to sell their product were met mostly with puzzlement. Within a few years, however, business was booming. In 1999, the Musk brothers and their investors sold the company to Compaq Computer for $307 million. Elon’s share amounted to $22 million. He bought a small prop plane and learned to fly. He also spent $1 million on a McLaren F1 sports car that Ralph Lauren had his eye on. Soon afterward, he was driving with a friend down Sand Hill Road, that Mecca of venture capitalists in Menlo Park, to see an investor. “Watch this,” Musk said. He floored the car, which spun out, hit an embankment, and gyrated in midair. It was not the maneuver he intended. The windows and wheels, Vance reports, were blown to smithereens, and the body of the car damaged. “The funny part is,” Musk said to his friend, “it wasn’t insured.” They then thumbed a ride to the venture capitalist’s office.

via www.city-journal.org

Meh.

August 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Teen-Agers Are the Worst - The New Yorker

Every adult has gone through adolescence, and studies have shown that if you ask people to look back on their lives they will disproportionately recall experiences they had between the ages of ten and twenty-five. (This phenomenon is called the “reminiscence bump.”) And yet, to adults, the adolescent mind is a mystery—a Brigadoon-like place that’s at once vivid and inaccessible. Why would anyone volunteer to down fifteen beers in a row? Under what circumstances could Edward Fortyhands, an activity that involves having two forty-ounce bottles of malt liquor affixed to your hands with duct tape, be construed as enjoyable? And what goes for drinking games also goes for hooking up with strangers, jumping from high places into shallow pools, and steering a car with your knees. At moments of extreme exasperation, parents may think that there’s something wrong with their teen-agers’ brains. Which, according to recent books on adolescence, there is.

via www.newyorker.com

August 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Teen-Agers Are the Worst - The New Yorker

Every adult has gone through adolescence, and studies have shown that if you ask people to look back on their lives they will disproportionately recall experiences they had between the ages of ten and twenty-five. (This phenomenon is called the “reminiscence bump.”) And yet, to adults, the adolescent mind is a mystery—a Brigadoon-like place that’s at once vivid and inaccessible. Why would anyone volunteer to down fifteen beers in a row? Under what circumstances could Edward Fortyhands, an activity that involves having two forty-ounce bottles of malt liquor affixed to your hands with duct tape, be construed as enjoyable? And what goes for drinking games also goes for hooking up with strangers, jumping from high places into shallow pools, and steering a car with your knees. At moments of extreme exasperation, parents may think that there’s something wrong with their teen-agers’ brains. Which, according to recent books on adolescence, there is.

via www.newyorker.com

August 28, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

7th Circuit Court: Illegal Immigrants Have Second Amendment Rights Too - Breitbart

In a case regarding a specific gun control law which bans “unauthorized aliens” (illegal immigrants) from possessing firearms in the United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit did the work of a contortionist by upholding the law while also pointing out that they “see no principled way to carve out the Second Amendment and say that the unauthorized (or maybe all noncitizens) are excluded.”

via www.breitbart.com

H/t JGS. But can they form illegal immigrant militias?

August 27, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

What Did the 14th Amendment Congress Think about "Birthright Citizenship"? - Online Library of Law & Liberty

Candidate Donald Trump’s recent proclamation that he is opposed to so-called “birthright citizenship” for the offspring of illegal aliens born in the United States has, like many of his campaign statements, set off hysterical paroxysms of outrage and protest. I do not support Donald Trump for President, but much of his appeal lies in the fact that he is willing to address taboo subjects in a way that the public—tired of candidates and elected officials cowed by rigid protocols of political correctness—finds refreshing. The topic of “birthright citizenship” is a perfect example.Within a week of issuing his immigration reform plan calling for the end of “birthright citizenship,” there has been more discussion (fueled by considerable popular interest) of this poorly-understood aspect of immigration policy than I can remember in my lifetime. Whether or not one agrees with Trump’s platform, one has to concede that he is advancing a national conversation on a critically important issue.

via www.libertylawsite.org

August 27, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The long, slow death of the rule of law in America - The Orange County Register

What’s truly unsettling is that it has been widely taken as read among both the media and the general public that Mrs. Clinton will likely avoid serious legal consequences for her behavior because the Justice Department is ultimately answerable to President Obama – and Democrats will not use the instruments of government to destroy one of their own. Whether that eventually proves true, the sentiment itself reveals a troubling trend in American politics.

While it’s far from unheard of for public officials to apply less-exacting standards to their partisan allies, it’s unnerving that the segments of society charged with keeping those officials in check – namely, the media and the voters – now regard such lack of principle as so unremarkable that it barely merits mention. We have transformed into a country in which it’s difficult to imagine precisely what kind of official malfeasance would be met with more than a shrug of the shoulders.

via www.ocregister.com

This is egggzactly the point. I heard about some Brit who was in Uganda when Idi Amin was rising to power. One day the chap who lived across the street from him was hauled away by the state security thugs -- he was a judge. The Brit was on the next flight to England. That could happen here, without so many palm trees. If it happened it would happen the way people go broke, first slowly, and then suddenly. Mark Steyn made this point in his inimitatable way on Rush's show the other morning. He compared the US to Canada where a couple of senior politicians are currently being investigated or prosecuted for corruption involving $8000 in travel expenses and about $100K for something or other. Nothing all that massive. He asked why in the US did we not see similar rule bound persnicketiness? Because, he said simply, we are too *corrupt*! At least it gives me and my estimable groundskeeper something to talk about in comparing the US to Mexico.

August 27, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dozens go topless at UCSD to 'Free the Nipple' - 10News.com KGTV ABC10 San Diego

"Yes, I just want everyone to learn to love themselves and love other people, too, so the world can be a better place," said Anni Ma of Free the Nipple UCSD, who helped organize the event on campus.

via www.10news.com

I'm not sure how I missed this story before. I'm sure like so much else, nipples want to be free. Whether they nevertheless should not be is, of course, the question.

August 27, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Boys from Bonita take on Texas in World Series game - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

BONITA (CNS) - The team representing the Sweetwater Valley Little League is scheduled to play Thursday for a berth in the U.S. Championship Game of the Little League World Series against the only team it has lost to.

The Bonita-based Sweetwater Valley all-stars will face their counterparts from the Pearland West Little League of Pearland, Texas, who defeated Sweetwater Valley, 8-4, on Sunday.

via www.cbs8.com

Out in the dusty reaches of East County baseball is very, very serious business, starting when you're old enough to swing a bat. Way too serious for our kids. AYSO soccer was more their speed. Bonita is about thirty minutes southwest of us, but we get the idea. When we went out for little league for the first time, a man missing some of his important teeth told us to watch out for his son, because he wasn't kidding with his fast ball. And he wasn't. As ever, the parents are a lot more competitive than the kids, and you really can't blame them, as a kid with professional ball chances is the only thing that will get some of these families out of the hollers. God bless 'em.

August 27, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Happy National Dog Day! Here are some videos of presidents and their dogs. - The Washington Post

Wednesday is National Dog Day, one of the more-than-365 pseudo-holidays each year that give us an opportunity to try out a new hashtag on social media. In this case, though, it's a welcome one, for a variety of reasons. First, the day is meant to promote dog adoption which is a good thing that you should do. Second, dogs are objectively great. And, third, the other news out there in the world is so numbingly grim and horrible that talking about dogs is in all ways preferable.

via www.washingtonpost.com

We're dog people. What can I say.

August 26, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Israel: The Case Against Attacking Iran | RealClearWorld

On Aug. 21, Israeli Channel 2 Television aired a recording of Ehud Barak, Israel's former defense minister and former prime minister, saying that on three separate occasions, Israel had planned to attack Iran's nuclear facilities but canceled the attacks. According to Barak, in 2010 Israel's chief of staff at the time, Gabi Ashkenazi, refused to approve an attack plan. Israeli Cabinet members Moshe Yaalon and Yuval Steinitz backed out of another plan, and in 2012 an attack was canceled because it coincided with planned U.S.-Israeli military exercises and a visit from then-U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

via www.realclearworld.com

August 26, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration experts: Jeb Bush had a point on ‘anchor babies’ - Seung Min Kim - POLITICO

Aides to Bush say he was referring to the so-called “birth tourism” trend, in which foreign women travel to the United States specifically to give birth so their child will be a U.S. citizen. With very limited exceptions, anyone born on U.S. soil automatically obtains citizenship.

In recent months, federal authorities have been increasingly scrutinizing “birth tourism,” which has been most recently tied to Chinese women who come to the United States and intend to return home with a child who has U.S. citizenship, which confers significant health care, education and civic benefits.

via www.politico.com

August 26, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stephen Hawking believes he’s solved a huge mystery about black holes - The Washington Post

According to Hawking's idea, the particles that enter a black hole leave traces of their information on the event horizon. When particles come back out — in a phenomenon called Hawking Radiation — they carry some of that information back out, preserving it. Technically, anyway.

via www.washingtonpost.com

I have a story about Hawking radiation, but I'll tell it to you later.

August 26, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Too Many Law Students, Too Few Legal Jobs - The New York Times

WILMETTE, Ill. — Ten months after graduation, only 60 percent of the law school class of 2014 had found full-time long-term jobs that required them to pass the bar exam.

via www.nytimes.com

Ay chihuahua.

August 26, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Donald Trump’s appeal — an Obama for the right | New York Post

This is just craziness. Trump still believes Obama was born in *Kenya*? Obviously, Obama was born in Indonesia.

August 26, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The end of China’s growth model - The Boston Globe

Since 2008, the Chinese government has attempted to reduce export dependency, but it is using the wrong tool. It believes that China exports too much, when in fact it is because Chinese household income is too low. It put in place policies that inflated real estate prices, often in regions such as Guangdong, which are China’s export engines. The rising real estate value has crowded out Chinese exports while doing little to boost Chinese income. The ensuing massive investment boom is no different from an export-driven strategy, except that there is a time delay. Between 2008 and 2015, the Chinese trade surplus did shrink, but so did the GDP growth rate. The devaluation earlier this month is a final acknowledgment that China has to choose between restructuring and growth, but it cannot have both.

To get out of this bind requires more economic and political reforms and less stimulus measures. The most dangerous aspect of China’s growth model is its addiction to debt and to the idea that gimmicks, such as inflating asset bubbles, are real policy solutions. The most meaningful reforms call for a less intrusive and a more accountable state and a government that earns its legitimacy not by impressive GDP statistics but by the public services it provides.

via www.bostonglobe.com

It seems to me the China story is about central planning and how it just doesn't work. I'm not seeing much of that in the MSM.

August 25, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Truth Behind a Snake’s Deadly Embrace - The New York Times

He joined with his colleague Charles F. Zwemer and several undergraduates to do just that. Their conclusion, reported in The Journal of Experimental Biology, is that blocking blood flow — not stopping the breath — is what kills the prey.

For anyone who studies snakes, the evolution of constriction is important. This method of killing appeared very early among snakes, and it also evolved independently among different snakes. Dr. Boback said that snakes called black racers, common in the Southeast, are constrictors, but evolved separately from boas, and more recently.

via www.nytimes.com

August 25, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

California Dreaming - The New York Times

Along with pictures of the Hellenistic boxer and the Italian pope to illustrate the illusions of power, the bruises of life, the persistence of hope and the limits of change. Relax — we’ve been here before.

via www.nytimes.com

Ay chihuahua. Richard Cohen whiffs on this one. WTF is he on about?

August 25, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Insiders: Trump’s appeal is Kardashian-esque - The Washington Post

As evidenced by The Post’s Ruth Marcus’ smart dismantling of Donald Trump’s immigration policy in her piece, “The false assumptions underlying Trump’s immigration plan,” Trump’s attempt to lay out specifics opens the door to criticism.  Just as having to act or sing could be career suicide for Kim Kardashian, having to articulate coherent policy proposals is a buzzkill for the Trump movement.  In fact, they may be his kryptonite.  As Marcus writes, “The outcry is understandable; the facts prove Trump wrong.”  The question is, how long can Trump avoid talking about serious policy positions?  When you actually listen to his stump speech, you hear different exclamations of his self-proclaimed prowess in virtually everything, but not a lot about how he will handle this or that problem. Will part of his inevitable decline be a result of him having to say how he will actually change things via Congress, negotiations with foreign leaders and executive actions?

via www.washingtonpost.com

August 25, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Fed’s Stock-Price Correction - WSJ

The unfolding stock-market collapse—the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 1,000 points on Monday morning, rebounding later to nearly 600 points down, following several days of decline last week—is the inevitable result of the Federal Reserve’s policies, namely quantitative easing that produced abnormally low interest rates. The decline on Wall Street has spread to every stock market on the globe, many of which were also weakened by their own policies of excessively easy money.

via www.wsj.com

But debt's still good, right? Professor Krugman?

August 25, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 24, 2015

IRS State Migration Data: Taxpayers Flock To Texas & Florida, Flee From New York, Illinois & California

Texas, Florida, Colorado, and South Carolina shined. The state of Texas had the largest influx of new taxpayers for a total of 72,032 new tax returns, representing 152,477 exemptions. Florida was behind Texas, with 27,991 returns representing 73,789 exemptions (see Table 1).

For the worst states, New York took center state with 51,825 less tax returns representing 113,861 exemptions. Illinois placed in the second worst spot with 31,708 less tax returns representing 68,245 exemptions. California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania followed respectively (see Table 1).

via taxprof.typepad.com

August 24, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Why women sleep worse than men - The Globe and Mail

According to a 2005 Statistics Canada survey, women reported more problems getting to sleep and falling asleep than men (35 per cent versus 25 per cent).

via www.theglobeandmail.com

LwJ goes out like a light. Me, not so much.

August 24, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Giant Galaxy Ring Shouldn't Exist | The Institute for Creation Research

The possible existence of this giant ring of galaxies is of great interest because it would violate one of the fundamental tenets of the Big Bang model, namely the assumption that matter and energy, on cosmic distance scales, are distributed uniformly in space. But such a uniform, or homogeneous, distribution of matter implies that giant structures, such as this ring of galaxies, should not exist.

via www.icr.org

No, I'm not a nutbar; I just thought this galaxy ring discovery was kinda inneresting. Assuming it is a discovery.

August 24, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

What Is Really Going On: Market Liquidity Worse Than During The Flash Crash; 4500 Crash Events; Constant Halts And Unhalts | Zero Hedge

Curious why few if any traders can actually execute any trades, whether buys or sells? The reason is that despite the relative calmness of the index prints, what is going on beneath the surface is an unprecedented wave of constant halt and unhalts as all stop levels were taken out, many in circuit breaker territory, making it virtually impossible for any matching enginge to, well, match buyers and sellers.

Here is a sample:

via www.zerohedge.com

August 24, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stocks Plunge, With Dow Losing 1,000 Points - The New York Times

PARIS — The global market turmoil continued on Monday, as stocks fell sharply in the United States, Europe and Asia, led by another big sell-off in China. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 1,000 points in the first minutes of trading.

via www.nytimes.com

August 24, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stocks Plunge, With Dow Losing 1,000 Points - The New York Times

PARIS — The global market turmoil continued on Monday, as stocks fell sharply in the United States, Europe and Asia, led by another big sell-off in China. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 1,000 points in the first minutes of trading.

via www.nytimes.com

August 24, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ten Racist Things You May Not Have Thought Of | National Review Online

10. If too many white males are in your class, that’s racist. The Harvard “Voices of Diversity” project interviewed 200 students at four U.S. colleges and found that racist and sexist “micro-aggressions” — subtle but hurtful digs — are a serious problem. Examples: finding that most of the people in your class are white males, other students rolling their eyes when you speak, and “a slight raising of the eyebrows or eyes following you in the dining hall.”

via www.nationalreview.com

August 24, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

How Obama Transformed America - WSJ

American democracy has historically relied on three basic constraints: a shared commitment to the primacy of the constitutional process over any political agenda, the general necessity to achieve bipartisan support to make significant policy changes, and the natural desire of leaders to be popular by delivering peace and prosperity. Mr. Obama has transformed America by refusing to accept these constraints. The lock-step support of the Democrats’ supermajority in the 111th Congress freed him from having to compromise as other presidents, including Reagan and Mr. Clinton, have had to do.

While the Obama program has transformed America, no one is singing “Happy Days Are Here Again” or claiming it’s “morning in America.” Despite a doubling of the national debt and the most massive monetary expansion since the Civil War, America’s powerhouse economy has withered along with the rule of law.

via www.wsj.com

August 23, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Civil War and the Corruptive Effects of Religious Absolutism - The Atlantic

What kept the nation feeding an entire generation into the Civil War’s meat grinder, especially if the war’s endgame prospects were so unclear? The answer, in Stout’s version, was American religion. A war which began as a fairly colorless constitutional dispute over secession was transformed by a tidal wave of “millennial nationalism” into a crusade with no off switch. Faust flips the causal equation. If religion did not exactly drive Americans to war, then war drove Americans to religion as the justification for its lethally expensive costs. “The war’s staggering human cost demanded a new sense of national destiny,” wrote Faust, “one designed to ensure that lives had been sacrificed for appropriately lofty ends.” A nation guided by realpolitik knows when to cut its losses. A nation blinded by the moral gleam of a “fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel” and charmed by the eloquence of a president with an uncanny knack for making his assessment of political problems sound like the Sermon on the Mount, obeys no such limitations.

via www.theatlantic.com

But that might be a good thing.

August 23, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stand-Up Comics Have to Censor Their Jokes on College Campuses - The Atlantic

This was not a case of professionals approaching a technical problem as an intellectual exercise. Money was riding on the answer. They had come to Minneapolis in the middle of a brutal winter for the annual convention of the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA), to sell themselves and their comedy on the college circuit. Representatives of more than 350 colleges had come as well, to book comics, musicians, sword swallowers, unicyclists, magicians, hypnotists, slam poets, and every kind of boat act, inspirational speaker, and one-trick pony you could imagine for the next academic year.

via www.theatlantic.com

August 23, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Prospect of Self-Inspections by Iran Feeds Opposition to Nuclear Deal - The New York Times

To the most strident opponents of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, the suspicious behavior at a military base about 12 miles southeast of Tehran has become a rallying call to defeat the accord, especially as it now appears that Iranian officials may be allowed to take their own environmental samples at the site and turn them over to inspectors.

via www.nytimes.com

August 23, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump Vows to Fight Against the ‘War on Christmas’ | Mediaite

“I go out of my way to use the word ‘Christmas,'” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told an Alabama radio host, seemingly in an attempt to capture the crowd of voters that, like Bill O’Reilly and Fox & Friends, think the word “Christmas” is under assault.

“There’s an assault on anything having to do with Christianity,” Trump told Yellowhammer Radio host Cliff Sims on Friday. “They don’t want to use the word Christmas anymore at department stores…. There’s always lawsuits and unfortunately a lot of those lawsuits are won by the other side.”

As president, Trump vowed, “I will assault that. I will go so strongly against so many of the things, when they take away the word Christmas.”

via www.mediaite.com

August 23, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hillary Clinton Will Interrupt Vacation to Campaign in Midwest - The New York Times

Among the places where Mrs. Clinton enjoys stalwart support are the Hamptons, where she and Mr. Clinton have spent the past several summers, walking their dogs on the beach, attending clambakes and raising money for their family’s philanthropic foundation. This summer, the fashion designer Tory Burch is among those hosting fund-raisers for Mrs. Clinton.

via www.nytimes.com

August 23, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

What kind of monster is Amazon? - The Globe and Mail

“Bezos rightly sees that taking seriously a certain notion of progress and commerce requires treating the corporation like a church – and not as one of those nice, friendly mainline denominations, but as a missionary order or doomsday cult,” wrote Matthew Schmitz, deputy editor of First Things. “Sacrifices that it would be unreasonable to demand for a mere business look very different when they are expected in the service of a religious cause. The question remains whether the religion is true or false.”

via www.theglobeandmail.com

Also good.

August 23, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tech oligarchs tightening their grip on Democrats - The Orange County Register

Fundamentally, Silicon Valley worships at the altar of “disruption,” seeking ways to create at least the prospect of megaprofits by doing things differently. Change is celebrated by those who benefit the most from it. But groups – from cab drivers to Hollywood tradespeople, even hotel workers – whose livelihoods are threatened by the disruptions of the “share” economy, may not be so sanguine.

Other aspects of the Silicon Valley mentality – what Ferenstein calls “the politics of the creative class” – reveal the unconscious elitism of its worldview. Although their industry is overwhelming based amid the Bay Area’s suburban sprawl, the Internet oligarchs, he claims, want “everyone” to move in to the urban center, something not remotely practical for most middle- and working-class families. Other policies advocated by the oligarchs, such as pushing for ever-higher energy prices, don’t threaten their lifestyles but are devastating to the classes below them.

Perhaps the biggest area of disagreement between the oligarchy and the populists is the role of labor unions. Simply put, the oligarchs are, at best, indifferent, if not hostile, to union influence. After all, tech has blossomed virtually without organized labor, which remains a bulwark of Democratic operations. Silicon Valley-backed attempts to reform schools, or weaken pensions for government workers, can expect ferocious opposition from the unions.

Another potential dividing line can be seen on immigration, where left-leaning groups like the Economic Policy Institute have campaigned against attempts by establishment Democrats and Republicans alike to expand the H1B and other “guest worker” visa programs. In a moment of politically incorrect candor, Sen. Sanders suggested that the kind of “open borders” policy advocated by Silicon Valley, libertarians and immigration activists would result in “substantially lower wages” for working-class Americans.

via www.ocregister.com

This is good. RTWT.

August 23, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Don't Wash Your Spinach? You May Not Want to Read This

(Newser) – If you don't wash the pre-washed spinach you buy from the store, you may want to stop reading. Actually, even if you do wash your spinach, you still may want to stop here. According to new findings by food safety researchers out of the University of California, Riverside, bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella can survive even the bleaching process used in food processing plants thanks to the many folds and contours in a typical spinach leaf. In fact, 15% of a typical spinach leaf sees itself exposed to only trace amounts of disinfectant. What remains can be much more than that: "Following rinsing under the low bleach condition, upwards of 90% of adhered bacteria were observed to remain attached to and survive on the leaf surface," per the university.

via www.newser.com

August 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

New Study Finds That Humans Should Kill Smaller, Younger Animals | Mother Jones

The authors suggest that human hunters start thinking small. In the case of fisheries, they suggest focusing on smaller catches—a process of narrowing entrances into traps and nets and using hooks to allow larger fish to evade capture. To preserve top carnivores on land, Darimont and coauthor Tom Reimchen say that tolerance—and a decreased emphasis on prized trophy kills—is the best way to bolster dwindling populations.

via www.motherjones.com

The cuter, the better.

August 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Every county in America, ranked by scenery and climate - The Washington Post

I know this because in the late 1990s the federal government devised a measure of the best and worst places to live in America, from the standpoint of scenery and climate. The "natural amenities index" is intended as "a measure of the physical characteristics of a county area that enhance the location as a place to live."

via www.washingtonpost.com

San Diego is very nice, according the the US Government.

August 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Trouble with Teaching Computers to Think for Themselves, by David Berreby

First, though, we need to make sure our self-driving cars don’t mistake school buses for rugby shirts, and don’t label human beings in photos as gorillas or seals, as one of Google’s neural nets recently did. In the past couple of years, a number of computer scientists have become fascinated with the problem and with possible fixes. But they haven’t found one yet.

via nautil.us

I've seen guys who looked like gorillas. And there are probably some slinky seals out there too.

August 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

China Conducts Fifth Test of Hypersonic Glide Vehicle | Washington Free Beacon

China this week carried out another test of a new high-tech hypersonic glide vehicle, an ultra high-speed missile designed to deliver nuclear weapons and avoid defenses.

via freebeacon.com

August 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Iran Nuclear Deal Is the Product of Dangerous, Blinkered Logic | National Review Online

It’s increasingly clear that the key terms of the Iran deal — the terms that deal in any way with verifying Iranian nuclear activity, past and present — are a joke. As the text of a side agreement released released by the AP yesterday confirms, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will actually rely on Iran to inspect itself at the crucial Parchin nuclear site, providing “mutually agreed” upon photos, videos, and environmental samples to IAEA monitors. And the deal’s broader monitoring regime eschews “anytime, anywhere” inspections in favor of a process that provides Iran written notice of requested access to suspicious sites, followed by a weeks-long dispute-resolution process that still won’t guarantee such access is granted.

via www.nationalreview.com

August 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Donald Trump's Eminent Domain Love Nearly Cost a Widow Her House | Cato Institute

The billionaire mogul-turned-reality TV celebrity, who says he wants to work on behalf of “the silent majority,” has had no compunction about benefiting from the coercive power of the state to kick innocent Americans out of their homes.

via www.cato.org

August 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Dow Drops More Than 1,000 Points - Barron's

Traders had to take cover against a market swoon that clobbered stocks around the world last week. Intensifying anxiety about slowing economic growth, particularly in China, sent stocks down a painful 6% on the week. It culminated in a nasty blowoff Friday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 500 points.

via www.barrons.com

August 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

George Will: Trump defines down the GOP

WASHINGTON — It has come to this: The GOP, formerly the party of Lincoln and ostensibly the party of liberty and limited government, is being defined by clamors for a mass roundup and deportation of millions of human beings. To will an end is to will the means for the end, so the Republican clamors are also for the requisite expansion of government’s size and coercive powers.

Most of Donald Trump’s normally loquacious rivals are swaggeringly eager to confront Vladimir Putin, but are too invertebrate — Lindsey Graham is an honorable exception — to voice robust disgust with Trump and the spirit of, the police measures necessary for, and the cruelties that would accompany, his policy. The policy is: “They’ve got to go.”

via www.timesheraldonline.com

August 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 21, 2015

With High-Profile Help, Obama Plots Life After Presidency - The New York Times

Correction: August 18, 2015

An article on Monday about President Obama’s future after he leaves office described incorrectly the business founded by Fred Eychaner, who donated $1 million to Mr. Obama’s library. Mr. Eychaner founded Newsweb Corp., which owns community newspapers and radio stations; he did not found a Chicago “television empire.”

via www.nytimes.com

Allrighty then.

August 21, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Steven Spielberg and the Temple of Obama | Washington Free Beacon

Trapped in a room with a collection of pompous and entitled people utterly convinced of their brilliance and moral purity, whose conversation ranges from what’s in this month’s Atlantic to what’s in this week’s Economist, who haven’t been told No in years—and then being informed that there is no escape? This, friends, is the vision of hell that greeted me in Monday’s paper: not of other people but of self-important ones, in a well-appointed house with no exit, eating an organic gluten-free farm-to-table meal and endlessly repeating the conventional wisdom as if they were coming to it for the first time. To look at the plans for Obama’s retirement is not just to see that big-dollar fundraising never stops. It is to peek inside the Bobo abyss, to visit the purgatory of the coastal elite—to enter, in horror, the balsamic inferno.

via freebeacon.com

This is why people support Trump.

August 21, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (1)