May 20, 2012
NEWS YOU CAN USE: On The Scene At The Octomom Porn Video.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: On The Scene At The Octomom Porn Video.
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE to be targeted. “For people like Aaron and myself, and so many others who’ve had their livelihoods disrupted simply for exercising their First Amendment rights, there is no other more important story than the progressive left’s campaign of political (and criminal) intimidation.”
And here’s more from Aaron Worthing, which I should have linked earlier.
As a famous man once said, punch back twice as hard. Plus, what Andrew Breitbart said.
MORE TROUBLES in Euroland.
PAUL MIRENGOFF: The long shadow of Barack Obama’s identity crisis.
“Is GOP trying to sabotage economy to hurt Obama?”
That’s the headline on yesterday’s Associated Press story by Charles Babington. The headline appeared on the main Yahoo page, which is far more heavily trafficked than any newspaper, and was picked up, based on a Google News search, by several hundred newspapers. The article doesn’t conclude that Republicans are deliberately hurting the economy, of course. That wasn’t the idea: the idea was to attribute plausibility to what is in fact a laughable suggestion.
IN CUBICLE FARMS, a plea for “sonic privacy.” “In general, people do not like the acoustics in open offices. . . . The noisemakers aren’t so bothered by the lack of privacy, but most people are not happy, and designers are finally starting to pay attention to the problem.”
Plus this: “The original rationale for the open-plan office, aside from saving space and money, was to foster communication among workers, the better to coax them to collaborate and innovate. But it turned out that too much communication sometimes had the opposite effect: a loss of privacy, plus the urgent desire to throttle one’s neighbor.”
Bottom line: “You talk to more people in an open office, but I think you have fewer meaningful conversations.”
UPDATE: Reader John Muth writes:
I’m surprised no one has picked up the REAL reason for the spread of cubicles, even in the face ample scientific evidence that knowledge workers are more productive in hard-wall offices: cubicles don’t require government approval or inspection to build or reconfigure. You just bring in a crew and do the work. With hard-wall offices you have permit application and approval, inspections at various stages of completion (inspection timing is at the convenience of the inspector, meanwhile work stops until he/she deigns to show up), final occupancy permits, etc.
I’m not saying we should get rid of building inspections, but under current processes cubes are the only way to go, even though they suck as a working environment.
Another side effect of regulation.
ANOTHER UPDATE: John Tierney, the author of the piece, emails:
Thanks for linking to the cubicle piece. That’s an astute comment by your reader about cubicles being a reaction to regulation. In the course of talking to designers, I heard complaints about the difficulties in meeting building codes when they tried to include different kinds of rooms in an office.
And I was told that even high partitions in cubicles are taboo if a designer wants try to get their building certified “green” — the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating. To get the rating, you need to meet various standards for reducing energy use and increasing the amount of natural light throughout the office. The practical result, I was told, is that you can’t build tall cubicles that would block light from the windows.(I think 42 inches may be the max height for partitions.) Of course, it’s nice to have more natural light in an office. But I bet a lot of cubicle dwellers would trade the light for higher partitions and more privacy.
A SMARTER WAY to water your lawn.
CUTTING THE CABLE: Roku boxes and other streaming media players.
CLARICE FELDMAN: Naked Came The Kenyan Cherokee.
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Recovery? Just 16 States Have Gained Jobs Under Obama. “Just 16 states have seen job growth since President Obama took office, according to state employment data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The remaining states have lost a combined 1.4 million jobs since January 2009.” Rick Perry’s Texas has done best. Jerry Brown’s California has done worst.
ANOTHER READER BOOK PLUG: Reader Chris Remy writes: “Would you mention my novel, Fifth Column? It’s got Nazis, spies and Nazi spies!”
CONGRESSMEN SEEK TO END PROPAGANDA BAN.
An amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences is being inserted into the latest defense authorization bill, BuzzFeed has learned.
The amendment would “strike the current ban on domestic dissemination” of propaganda material produced by the State Department and the Pentagon, according to the summary of the law at the House Rules Committee’s official website.
The tweak to the bill would essentially neutralize two previous acts—the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987—that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from our own government’s misinformation campaigns.
ADVICE FOR NEXT YEAR’S college freshmen. Well, mostly for freshwomen, really.
WHAT PEOPLE WHO MAKE COMMERCIALS don’t bother getting right.
PUBLIC EDUCATION UPDATE: N.C. Teacher Tells Student He Could Be Arrested for Talking Badly About Obama.
Well, Missouri prosecutors were singing a similar tune in 2008. But one wonders why we should support institutions that overwhelmingly see themselves as shock troops for one particular party.
THE WORLD’S MOST SCENIC workouts.
AT AMAZON, HDTVs for $500 and less.
SOMEBODY SHOULD’VE SHOT THEM: Suspects wielding hammers and batons attack diners at Tinley Park restaurant.
It was the middle of the lunch rush Saturday, and Mike Winston was working in the kitchen of his Tinley Park restaurant, the Ashford House, when a waitress screamed a fight had broken out in the dining room.
Police call the melee at the restaurant a targeted assault by a mob that Winston said wielded metal batons and hammers. Ten diners were hurt in the attack, and three of those were hospitalized.
Tinley Park police had five suspected assailants in custody, and Winston said 18 young men, all wearing hooded jackets and obscuring their faces with scarves and other coverings, stormed into the restaurant.
Seriously, people like this should expect to be shot. And in a civilized polity — which Chicagoland isn’t — they would have been.
UPDATE: Reader David McCune writes: “For truth-in-advertising purposes, the attackers really should have been using hammers and sickles.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Steven Den Beste forwards this story claiming that those beaten were white supremacists: “A law enforcement source Sunday said the group beaten at a Tinley Park restaurant Saturday was made up of white supremacists, and those who assaulted them were protesters attacking their beliefs.”
Not clear how they know that, but, well . . . They told me if I voted Republican people would be beaten by hooded thugs for their beliefs — and they were right!
I mean, I hate Illinois Nazis too, but I wouldn’t beat ‘em just for their beliefs.
Plus this: “Mike Winston, who owns the restaurant, is facing $10,000 to $15,000 in damage to his business, as well as a loss of revenue as customers keep their distance.”
MORE: Reader DRJ writes: “The local edition of the Chicago Sun Times has a lot more detail than the link from Stephen Den Beste. Maybe they were white supremacists but they registered their lunch party as an Irish heritage group.”
And Moe Lane writes: “From my reading of the article, those asses at ARAG started up on bystanders after they finished whaling on their targets. I personally don’t give much of a sh*t if Illinois Nazis get pounded; but actual innocents were also apparently targeted, and that’s a big issue right there.”
Yes, note this:
The attack wasn’t a random act of violence, police said. But the attack apparently spilled over to others in the restaurant.
“Once they attacked the table, they went and started hitting random people,” Winston said. “Four or five people got knocked over the head pretty good, enough to require stitches,” he said.
He chased after one of the attackers “and had him on the ground, then five guys got out of a car and started kicking the (crap) out of me,” Winston said.
Winston said he was kicked in the back of the head and suffered several bruises, but he was the only restaurant employee who was hurt.
“They did a whole lot of damage,” he said. “They flipped over tables, they broke half the dishes.”
Like I say, somebody should’ve shot ‘em.
CHANGE: Italian university switches to English for success. “The 149-year-old university, located in Italy’s business capital Milan, is set to become the first Italian place of higher learning to teach all its graduate courses in English when it kicks off its academic year in 2014. The aim is to kit out its students with the right stuff to gain access to the global jobs market. It’s also meant to attract top-class international students at a time when competition among universities worldwide is hotting up. . . . The university – one of the world’s top 50 engineering schools according to QS World University rankings – will offer all its Master of Science and PhD courses in English and will invest 3.2 million euros to attract international faculty.”
IS THIS REALLY A GOOD IDEA? In-the-know folks talk about reducing nuclear warheads — big reductions.
PROF. MARK PERRY: The Unsustainable Higher Education Bubble; It’s Showing Signs Of Stress, Has The Deflation Started? Hey, my book doesn’t come out until next month.
DIRECT DIGITAL: Novel casting process could transform how complex metal parts are made. “A Georgia Tech research team has developed a novel technology that could change how industry designs and casts complex, costly metal parts. This new casting method makes possible faster prototype development times, as well as more efficient and cost-effective manufacturing procedures after a part moves to mass production. . . . Suman Das, a professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, has developed an all-digital approach that allows a part to be made directly from its computer-aided design (CAD).”
TOM FOLSOM: Finding Superman in Cyberspace. I am mentioned, along with Capt. Mal Reynolds, in footnote 5.
IN THE MAIL: From S.G. Redling, Flowertown
“Mitt and Ann Romney’s marriage is strong because they believe they will live together in an eternal afterlife…” Writes Jodi Kantor in the NYT, citing “relatives and friends” as the source of information. It’s a whole long article about Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.
Fascinating! But what I’d like to know is what Barack and Michelle Obama are picturing for the afterlife. NYT, can you clue me in? Because I feel like there are so many things we never found out about Obama the first time around in 2008. How about now?
Don’t be silly. Looking into Barack Obama’s church or religion is racist or something.
#OCCUPYSELFPARODY: “Eat The Rich And Smash The State.” Remember, these are the folks for whom Elizabeth Warren was claiming intellectual parentage.
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Voters, Depositors Could Bring Europe Down.
An invisible bank run is a hard thing to watch; not only is it less telegenic than the old-fashioned kind, one relies on numbers from official government agencies for statistics. How much money left the banking system today? How many banks need emergency liquidity to meet the tide of withdrawals? In the old days, reporters could and did watch lines form outside the banks and watch the armored trucks arrive with cash. These days it is happening anonymously and you only know what they tell you.
They are very unlikely to tell you the truth. Officials lie like rats in times of financial panic; they do it out of a sense of duty. They will insist that a given country will never leave the euro until the moment that it does; they will say that a deposit freeze is unthinkable until they announce that they’ve done it; they will tell you a bank is rock solid until the moment they padlock its doors. This is all for your own good, of course. They don’t want you to panic — and they want to make sure that your money is trapped when they take it away or turn it from gold into straw.
Bank runs, even virtual ones, are the method by which public fear can blow up the eurozone.
MORE PUBLIC-SCHOOL SEX SHENANIGANS. Remember, if this were a Catholic school or something, it would be indicative of systemic rot. But since it’s a public school it’s just a couple of bad apples, waddyagonnado?
CAMPBELL BROWN: President Obama, Stop Condescending To Women. To be fair, he’s condescending to pretty much everybody. That’s kind of his thing.
Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose “God damn America” sermon set off a firestorm during the 2008 campaign, agreed not to publish an account of the episode until after President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, according to an interview Wright conducted with the author of a new book on Obama. Wright said he made the decision at the urging of a friend and mentor, the prominent University of Chicago emeritus professor Martin Marty.
In the interview, Wright told Ed Klein, author of The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House, that he keeps a cardboard box of documents and notes detailing his experiences beginning in March 2008, when the controversy over his sermons began. “It’s a painful box to look at,” Wright said.
So many things they don’t want us talking about, these days.
ON CALL: NAACP Offers Obama Political Cover On Gay Marriage. “Polls show that Blacks as a group are opposed to gay marriage. Obama needs the full, enthusiastic support of Black voters and potential voters. The NAACP’s resolution should be understood as an effort at damage control with this constituency. Anyone who finds this assessment too cynical should consider the timing of the announcement.”
EUROPE: Days Of Turmoil.
WISCONSIN: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel endorses Scott Walker in the recall election. “Even though the Journal Sentinel does not give particularly good press to our Governor, it does support him in the recall election, mainly, it seems, because recall elections are different.”
EARTHQUAKE HITS ITALY: A Twitter roundup at Twitchy.
EDUCATION: The Unteachables: A Generation that Cannot Learn. “The unteachable student has been told all her life that she is excellent: gifted, creative, insightful, thoughtful, able to succeed at whatever she tries, full of potential and innate ability. . . . It sounds good. The problem, as traditionalists have argued (but without much success), is that the utopian approach hasn’t worked as intended. Rather than forming cheerful, self-directed learners, the pedagogy of self-esteem has often created disaffected, passive pupils, bored precisely because they were never forced to learn.”
TO BOLDLY GO where no bond has gone before.
So the lunatic theory that Barack Obama doesn’t meet the minimum eligibility requirements to be president of the United States was first advanced by Barack Obama’s official representative. Where did she get that wacky idea from? “This was nothing more than a fact-checking error by me,” says Obama’s literary agent, Miriam Goderich, a “fact” that went so un-”checked” that it stayed up on her agency’s website in the official biography of her by-then-famous client up until 2007:
“He was born in Kenya to an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister.”
And then in April 2007, someone belatedly decided to “check” the 16-year-old “fact” and revised the biography, a few weeks into the now non-Kenyan’s campaign for the presidency. Fancy that!
When it comes to conspiracies, I’m an Occam’s Razor man. The more obvious explanation of the variable first line in the eternally shifting sands of Obama’s biography is that, rather than pretending to have been born in Hawaii, he’s spent much of his life pretending to have been born in Kenya.
After all, if your first book is an exploration of racial identity and has the working title “Journeys In Black And White,” being born in Hawaii doesn’t really help. It’s entirely irrelevant to the twin pillars of contemporary black grievance – American slavery and European imperialism. To 99.99 percent of people, Hawaii is a luxury vacation destination and nothing else.
Whereas Kenya puts you at the heart of what, in an otherwise notably orderly decolonization process by the British, was a bitter and violent struggle against the white man’s rule. Cool! The composite chicks dig it, and the literary agents. . . . In a post-modern America, the things that Gatsby attempted to fake – an elite schooling – Obama actually had; the things that Gatsby attempted to obscure – the impoverished roots – merely add to Obama’s luster. Gatsby claimed to have gone to Oxford, but nobody knew him there because he never went; Obama had a million bucks’ worth of elite education at Occidental, Columbia and Harvard Law, and still nobody knew him (“Fox News contacted some 400 of his classmates and found no one who remembered him”). In that sense, Obama out-Gatsbys Gatsby.
The thing about Obama is, there’s no there there. It’s composite all the way down.
SPENGLER: Why Invent Mohammed?
REMEMBERING WHEN Bill Maher was interesting. Ah, those were the days, my friend.
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Robert Reich to Graduates: “You’re F*cked!” “The job market you’re heading into is still bad. Fewer than half of the graduates from last year’s class have as yet found full-time jobs. Most are still looking. That’s been the pattern over the last three graduating classes.”
COURAGE: Heroic, Courageous Gay President Steers Clear of Prop 8 in California. Hey, it passed because of black votes.
A FISH, A BARREL, A SMOKING GUN: Dana Loesch verbally smacks Tommy Christopher for conspiratorial, condescending article.
Seems like Christopher’s role has been to serve as a punching bag lately. And he fills it so well!
FACEBOOK: This Time Is Different?
INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM: Stacy McCain on Brett Kimberlin.
NOT VERY IMPRESSIVE: Just seven protesters for NOW’s big anti-Limbaugh rally?
UPDATE: More mockery.
NEUROLOGY: Reopening The Phineas Gage Case.
VARIOUS READERS HAVE ASKED FOR PICTURES FROM CAYMAN, but I didn’t take many on this trip. I’m writing a followup piece on my eating-invasive-species column, but I didn’t do a lot of general photography. But here’s the view from my hotel window:
WARREN BUFFETT buys 63 endorsements for Obama.
TABITHA SOREN’S PHOTOS OF PEOPLE RUNNING.
A SCENTED CANDLE THAT smells like a Man Cave.
GLENN DERENE REPORTS ON SpaceX’s Launch Abort.
REPORT FROM ACADEME: Smartypants Philosopher Intellectual Wants To Make Your Porn More “Highbrow.”
AT AMAZON, markdowns in Patio, Lawn & Garden.
GOOD NEWS: Chen Guangchen heading to NJ right now.
ROGER SIMON TO MEDIA MATTERS: Attack me all you want, but please spell my name right.
QUICK FIXES for leaky A/C units.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Tuition War in Texas: UT Faculty Wants More. “You can always make a case for more revenue, and even with the higher tuition proposed under the plan, UT remains one of the great bargains in American education, but American universities need to lead by redesigning themselves to deliver a better product at a lower cost. Faculty senates know what faculties want—and it is almost always more resources to go on doing things the same way but in more comfort. But faculty senates are generally focused on protecting the rights and the privileges of the academic guild. Sometimes guild interests align with the public interest; often, they do not. . . . UT faculty by and large think that what Texas needs is a flagship public university which is a first class research university—as that concept was developed in the second half of the twentieth century. What the state actually needs is a first class twenty-first century university, and that is almost certainly something that delivers more education to more students at less cost per head than the universities of the last century.”
Then there’s the whole “I support Bill Powers” astroturfing.
Somebody should write a book on this phenomenon.
ROGER KIMBALL: Who is Barack Obama? The Question that Won’t Go Away.
BAD SEX? Blame Your Mattress!!
THE GLENN SHOW. With a different Glenn. No, not that one.
HOW TO BE a bald woman.
HOW TO BACK UP YOUR GMAIL.
MICKEY KAUS: Democrats To Joe Sixpack: Get Lost.
GREEN MURDER: Red Tape Hobbles a Harvest of Life-Saving Rice.
Vitamin A deficiency affects the immune system, leading to illness and frequently to blindness. It probably causes more deaths than malaria, HIV or tuberculosis, killing as many people every single day as the Fukushima tsunami. It can be solved by eating green vegetables and meat, but for many poor Asians, who can afford only rice, that remains an impossible dream. To deal with the problem, “biofortification” with genetically modified food plants is 1/10th as costly as dietary supplements.
“Golden rice”—with two extra genes to make beta-carotene, the raw material for vitamin A—was a technical triumph, identical to ordinary rice except in color. Painstaking negotiations led to companies waiving their patent rights so the plant could be grown and regrown free by anybody.
Yet today, 14 years later, it still has not been licensed to growers anywhere in the world. The reason is regulatory red tape deliberately imposed to appease the opponents of genetic modification, which Adrian Dubock, head of the golden rice project, describes as “a witch-hunt for suspected theoretical environmental problems…[because] many activist NGOs thought that genetically engineered crops should be opposed as part of their anti-globalization agenda.”
It is surprising to find that an effective solution to the problem consistently rated by experts as the poor world’s highest priority has been stubbornly opposed by so many pressure groups supposedly acting on behalf of the poor.
The Greenshirts don’t care about the poor. They don’t like humanity.
BARACK OBAMA, NOT ACTUALLY A “HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR.”
WHY GOVERNMENTS RUN OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY: “Nobody told Hurricane librarian Rebecca Elliot that the $22,600 Internet router in the branch library’s storage closet was powerful enough to serve an entire college campus. Nobody told Elliot how much the router cost or who paid for it. Workers just showed up and installed the device. They left behind no instructions, no user manual.”
It was funded by “stimulus” money, of course.
PHIL BOWERMASTER: Should I put my weight loss on my resume?
MY BROTHER AND HIS BANDMATE’S Top Ten Places To Have A Beer.
AT AMAZON, 30% or more off on men’s Dockers pants.
SORRY, CHARLIE: Bill Clinton Abandons Old Ally Charlie Rangel.
BUT DON’T WORRY, IT’S NOT RACIAL: Another gang beating in Baltimore. “In Thursday’s reported assault, Guglielmi said the 19-year-old victim was white and the attackers were all juvenile black males.”
SCIENCE: Singularity University launches synthetic biology accelerator. “The new program will give three initial companies a leg up in getting their startups off the ground. . . . Those companies are Evolutionary Solutions, which is building a genome synthesis device; Modern Meadow, which is using tissue-engineering techniques to generate large amounts of animal protein for textiles and food; and SoilGene, which is blending bioinformatic and metagenomic strategies to ‘survey land opportunities for the natural resources and agricultural sectors’.”
NILE GARDINER: The UN proposal for a global financial transaction tax is socialism writ large on a world scale. Our horrible global political class should have fewer resources at its disposal, not more.
CONSERVATIVE BLOGS LEARN OF BRETT KIMBERLIN.
HOW CHANGES IN STRAIGHT MARRIAGE paved the way for gay marriage.
THE WISDOM OF Captain Mal Reynolds.
LOWER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Half of Florida high school students fail reading test.
More on the lower education bubble, here.
WISCONSIN: Judge deals setback to state unions on dues withdrawals. “State unions were dealt a setback Friday when a federal judge said they would have to get their members to opt in, rather than opt out, to having the state deduct union dues from their paychecks.”
SPACE-X ROCKET LAUNCH aborted. “The engine ignition sequence for the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket started up at the three-second mark Saturday morning, but the onboard computers automatically shut down. So instead of blasting off on a delivery mission to the space station, the rocket stayed on its launch pad amid a plume of engine exhaust. . . . Tuesday is the earliest that SpaceX can try again to send its cargo-laden Dragon capsule to the space station. The California-based company — formally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp. — is targeting every third day for a launch attempt to save fuel in case of rendezvous problems at the space station.” Well, it is rocket science.
A KINDER, GENTLER APPROACH to analyzing nuclear weapons parts.
HOWIE CARR ON ELIZABETH WARREN: If The Moccasin Were On The Other Foot. “But aren’t the rich Trustafarians who want to pretend there’s no story here the very same liberals who supposedly believe so fervently in affirmative action?”
Personally, I’d consider Elizabeth Warren a hero if her intent had been to so thoroughly undermine the “diversity” ideology. Maybe she’s still an accidental hero, sort of. . . .
IN THE UK, the Nanny-State Apocalypse Is Now.
21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Should I confess my Facebook flirting?
TEN TOY-AND-GAME-BASED MOVIES that would be better than Battleship.
UPDATE: Steven Den Beste writes: “I’m looking forward to ‘Lego — the movie’.”
NEW FRONTIERS IN implantable gadgets.