Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cardinal to Emanuel: Just what exactly are Chicago values? « Hot Air

First, a native Chicagoan who also happens to lead the Archdiocese of Chicago wrote an open letter to Emanuel asking for clarification on the meaning — and enforcement — of “Chicago values.”  Francis Cardinal George called this “a defining moment” for civil unions, and not the kind related to marriage:

Recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the “values” that must be held by citizens of Chicago. I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval. Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city? Is the City Council going to set up a “Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities” and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it? I would have argued a few days ago that I believe such a move is, if I can borrow a phrase, “un-Chicagoan.” …

via hotair.com

July 31, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Why ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Resonates - Bloomberg

I agree with David Frum that the most toxic part of the speech is Barack Obama talking about the sources of success:

I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

Really? The president is always struck by people who take credit for their own successes? Obviously, every successful outcome in life -- and every failed one -- arises from a combination of internal and external factors. But the president’s tone when he said this, amused by the very idea of people taking credit for their achievements, was off-putting.

Frum mostly talks about why this statement irks rich people, but I believe it resonates badly with people at all income levels. Lots of people -- most, I hope -- are proud of something they’ve achieved in their lives and feel like that achievement owes much to their own hard work and talents. You don’t have to make over $250,000 a year to be annoyed when the president mocks people for taking credit for their achievements.

And it’s an especially jarring statement because of what it’s used to justify -- higher taxes, with the implication being that they are called for because people do not deserve their own pre-tax wealth. People are rightly unnerved by an argument that amounts to “we can tax you because you didn’t deserve this anyway.” Faced with such an argument, defending your own contribution to your success isn’t just a point of pride -- it’s an argument you must make to defend the principle that you are entitled to your own private property.

via www.bloomberg.com

July 31, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (3)

The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) | Threat Level | Wired.com

The breakthrough was enormous, says the former official, and soon afterward the agency pulled the shade down tight on the project, even within the intelligence community and Congress. “Only the chairman and vice chairman and the two staff directors of each intelligence committee were told about it,” he says. The reason? “They were thinking that this computing breakthrough was going to give them the ability to crack current public encryption.”

via www.wired.com

This is the same article as linked below. I just wanted to highlight this claim. I find it hard to believe that NSA has built a computer so fast it can break AES by brute force attack. I'm not an expert but that sounds like pretty wild stuff. Maybe some readers know better. --TS

July 31, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) | Threat Level | Wired.com

Rather than Bibles, prophets, and worshippers, this temple will be filled with servers, computer intelligence experts, and armed guards. And instead of listening for words flowing down from heaven, these newcomers will be secretly capturing, storing, and analyzing vast quantities of words and images hurtling through the world’s telecommunications networks. In the little town of Bluffdale, Big Love and Big Brother have become uneasy neighbors.

The NSA has become the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever.

Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks.

via www.wired.com

I have a dream of building a gigantic data center in Idaho. It strikes me as a good place for one. --TS

July 31, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

How do you say "you didn't build that" in Chinese?
Tom Smith

GOP should be going after Asian voters. I bet "you didn't build that" comes over pretty poorly at the end of a 16 hour day in your shop.

July 31, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stephen Moore: The Man Who Saved Capitalism - WSJ.com

It's a tragedy that Milton Friedman—born 100 years ago on July 31—did not live long enough to combat the big-government ideas that have formed the core of Obamanomics. It's perhaps more tragic that our current president, who attended the University of Chicago where Friedman taught for decades, never fell under the influence of the world's greatest champion of the free market. Imagine how much better things would have turned out, for Mr. Obama and the country.

via online.wsj.com

I miss the Age of Friedman. How much better it would be to prove him right by our prosperity instead of by our failure.--TS

July 31, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Revenge of the Sociologists | The Weekly Standard

On the phone, Mark Regnerus sounds a little shellshocked. Professional sociologists hardly ever sound shellshocked.

“I knew it would be controversial,” he says. “But this is worse than I ever could have imagined.”

It refers to a scholarly paper Regnerus published last month. This is the hell that broke loose as a result.

Regnerus is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas. His paper, appearing in the journal Social Science Research, carried the title “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,” which is not a lapel-grabber. The subject was “gay parenting.”

via www.weeklystandard.com

This is a must-read. Shocking but not surprising. --TS

July 28, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (2)

The collapse of the liberal church - The Globe and Mail

Two weeks from now, the United Church of Canada will assemble in Ottawa for its 41st General Council, where it will debate church policy and elect a new moderator. The top item on its agenda is a resolution calling for a boycott of products from Israeli settlements. Fortunately, nobody cares what the United Church thinks about Israeli settlements, or anything else for that matter, because the United Church doesn’t matter any more.

via www.theglobeandmail.com

July 28, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (4)

Maryland’s Unconstitutional School Discipline Quotas

Crimes and infractions are not evenly distributed across racial groups, as the Supreme Court noted in United States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456 (1996).  As that 8-to-1 Supreme Court ruling noted, there is no legal “presumption that people of all races commit all types of crimes” at the same rate, since such a presumption is “contradicted by” real world data, in which “more than 90% of” convicted cocaine traffickers “were black” in 1994, and “93.4% of convicted LSD dealers were white.”  But the Maryland Board of Education has chosen to ignore reality by proposing a rule that would require school systems to discipline and suspend students in numbers correlated to their race, and require school systems that currently don’t do so to implement plans to eliminate any racially “disproportionate impact” over a three-year period.  Thus, it is imposing quotas in all but name.

via www.openmarket.org

July 28, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Don't Blame Sitting—Yet—for Shorter Lives of the Sedentary - WSJ.com

You may want to sit down before reading this.

via online.wsj.com

July 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)