IT’S ALMOST LIKE BIOLOGY MAKES A DIFFERENCE: Men’s Top 3 Sexual Regrets Are Extremely Different from Women’s.
December 2, 2013
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VIDEO: Watch the Pro-Gun, Daniel Defense Ad the NFL Won’t Run During the Super Bowl. The NFL has become a bunch of lefty wusses. Pathetic.
CHANGE: Why US baby boomers are retiring in Latin America. “The exodus south is being driven by a confluence of factors. The baby boom generation – the largest in history – is reaching retirement age, and millions are looking for places to spend the next phase of their lives. As the most educated, well-traveled, and adventurous generation in history, many of these boomers are deciding to retire outside the country – including in Latin America. They’re also looking for places that will allow them to stretch their 401(k)s after they lost a lot of money in the last stock market collapse. With the US economy remaining so tentative, and health-care costs so aggressive, retirees want to live where they can afford greens fees and where a trip to the emergency room won’t bankrupt them.”
NAVAL TRADITION: Don’t Wash That Coffee Mug! “You may not be able to embrace your loved ones while you are gone, but at least you can still taste the same coffee you drank the day you left.”
IF MORE PEOPLE RESPONDED TO CRIME THIS WAY, THERE’D BE MUCH LESS CRIME. WHICH MAKES THIS A SELFLESS, VIRTUOUS ACT. ‘She was a fighter. She shot him’: Defiant 76-year-old woman dies in shootout with gang of three who tried to rob her of bingo money.
The results were striking. After only a week, the young men who had not exercised displayed a significant and unhealthy decline in their blood sugar control, and, equally worrying, their biopsied fat cells seemed to have developed a malicious streak. Those cells, examined using sophisticated genetic testing techniques, were now overexpressing various genes that may contribute to unhealthy metabolic changes and underexpressing other genes potentially important for a well-functioning metabolism.
But the volunteers who had exercised once a day, despite comparable energy surpluses, were not similarly afflicted. Their blood sugar control remained robust, and their fat cells exhibited far fewer of the potentially undesirable alterations in gene expression than among the sedentary men.
Hmm. I wonder what Gary Taubes would say about this?
READER BOOK PLUG: From reader Rick Zalon, Coyote Point Casino, which he describes as “a reality-based satirical take on Indian gaming, identity politics and the modern university.”
SCIENCE: Raising Children Together Makes Husbands And Wives Less Loved. And the effect is more pronounced for unmarried, but cohabiting, parents.
PUERTO RICO: The Next Detroit? “The implications are serious for Americans outside Puerto Rico both because a taxpayer bailout would be expensive and a default would be far more disruptive than Detroit’s record bankruptcy filing in July. Officials in San Juan and Washington are adamant that a federal bailout is not on the table, but the situation is being closely monitored by the White House, which recently named an advisory team to help Puerto Rican officials navigate the crisis.”
MICKEY KAUS: Eddie Murphy in Reverse.
The ultimate extension of this principle is a sort of reversed image of the world Eddie Murphy memorably sketched on Saturday Night Live, in which white people don’t have to pay for newspapers or food etc. the way anyone else does. In this reverse-Murphy world, the affluent pay more for everything. Every individual good is means-tested.** They pay more for health care–why not also for auto licenses and parking violations and pet tags and meals and newspapers? They aren’t taxed–if they stay home and count their money, they’re safe. They’re just punished for their income classification every time they venture out into the community. Redistribution gets turned into a pervasive, day to day form of social inequality and disrespect–an effect multiplied by the apparent assumption by Democrats that the semi-affluent don’t really have a right to bitch about it. They’re supposed to be unseen and unheard–almost non-citizens.
What was it Obama said? You can come along, but you’ll have to ride in the back and shut up?
SAY, THIS SOUNDS SORT OF FAMILIAR: ‘It Feels Like Education Malpractice:’ What one woman learned from 10 years of teaching in a New York City public school.
I went in as an idealist. I’d seen all the movies, seen all the poor kids and heroic teachers. But those movies were fake. They started out with a real story but turned it into a happy ending when there wasn’t one. It was grueling. You had to save these kids, but if one was running around the room or dancing on the tables or beating another kid up, you had to deal with it yourself. They’re unhappy kids and they’re going to look for fights to express their frustration. . . .
I saw that no matter what I wanted for the kids, it wasn’t going to happen. The system purported to be supporting students just wasn’t there. They need remediation, tiny class sizes, one-on-one attention—they need parenting, basically. Their parents are affected by the same Toxic Stress that they are, and it repeats itself in a cycle from parent to child. In America, the wealthiest school is going to get ten times more funding than the lowest one. For every dollar my school was getting, one in the suburbs was getting ten dollars. That’s huge. The kids come in disadvantaged, and they’re subjected to this disadvantaged school. My school was completely third-world.
Reading the whole thing, though, I don’t think she learned as much as she should have. Maybe she’ll read my new book when it comes out next month. . . .
GREG MANKIW RESPONDS TO THE POPE’S HALF-BAKED IDEAS ON ECONOMICS. I think the key factor here is that he’s from crony-capitalism-capital Argentina, and that he has mistaken what goes on there for the operation of free markets.
HAPPY CYBER MONDAY! Take advantage of Amazon’s Cyber Monday Deals Week!
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And also today only: Save 50% on Top Toys from Mattel and Fisher-Price.
UPDATE: Insurance Companies Say Health Care Website Is Still Flawed. “The problem is that so-called back end systems, which are supposed to deliver consumer information to insurers, still have not been fixed.” So while they’ve been pointing at the front, there’s still no backend. It’s a Potemkin website.
THIS SEEMS MORE LIKE GOOD NEWS FOR REPUBLICANS: More liberal, populist movement emerging in Democratic Party ahead of 2016 elections.
Last week Frank J. Fleming, one of the funniest bloggers around, tweeted: “At this point in the Obama presidency, we were supposed to be talking about how we needed to repeal the 22nd Amendment,” which limits presidents to two terms.
We laughed and gave Fleming a retweet. On Wednesday we observed that it’s hard for a political humorist to keep up with the real-life absurdities of the Obama crowd. To illustrate the point, along comes Jonathan Zimmerman, a historian at New York University, with an op-ed in the Washington Post arguing that we need to repeal the 22nd Amendment.
Now of course the way this was supposed to work was that Obama would be such an amazing president that he would come to seem indispensable. There were people who felt that way about Reagan and Clinton in their last years in office. Probably someone somewhere would still stake that claim on Obama’s behalf, but we doubt even Slate would publish such a far-fetched argument, never mind the Washington Post.
So Zimmerman doesn’t argue that Obama deserves a third term to continue his great success, only that “Barack Obama should be allowed to stand for re election [again]” and that “citizens should be allowed to vote for–or against–him.” Where it gets funny is in Zimmerman’s resort to the 22nd Amendment as an excuse for the failures of Obama’s first and second terms.
In fact, Obama’s abuse of the IRS and other government agencies to get re-elected in 2012 is the single best argument for the 22nd Amendment.
START A PROGRAM TO HELP MEN’S HEALTH, GET BUSHWHACKED BY ANGRY FEMINISTS: “Movember is divisive, gender normative, [and] racist.”
How is it racist? “Movember reinforces the ‘othering’ of ‘foreigners’ by the generally clean-shaven, white majority.”
Othering? President Hayes is not amused.
ANSWERING THE STUPID QUESTIONS OF POLITICALLY-CORRECT TWITS: “Is it ever OK to borrow from other cultures?” We’re Americans, dumbass. That’s what we do. It’s our culture to do so.
A HOUSE JUDICIARY HEARING TODAY ON the President’s duty to take care that the laws are faithfully executed.
WILL OBAMACARE destroy the home health care industry? “The clear conclusion is that saving money is more important to CMS than serving those who are so sick they cannot leave home without assistance. . . . It is obvious that they turned a deaf ear to our pleas on behalf of aged, infirm, disabled, and dying Americans.”
JOEL KOTKIN: The Revolt Against Urban Gentry.
Couched in progressive rhetoric, the gentry urbanists embrace an essentially neo-feudalist view that society is divided between “the creative class” and the rest of us. Liberal analyst Thomas Frank suggests that Florida’s “creative class” is numerically small, unrepresentative and self—referential; he describes them as “members of the professional-managerial class—each of whom harbors a powerful suspicion that he or she is pretty brilliant as well.”
The revolt against this mentality surfaced first in New York perhaps because the gaps there are so extreme. Wall Streeters partied under Bloomberg, but not everyone fared so well. The once proudly egalitarian city has become the most unequal place in the country, worse even than the most racially divided, backward regions of the southeast. In New York, the top 1 percent earn roughly twice as much of the local GDP than is earned in the rest of country. The middle class in the city is rapidly becoming vestigial; according to Brookings its share of the city’s population has fallen from 25 percent in 1970s to barely sixteen percent today. . . .
This new demography—essentially a marriage of rich, young singles and the poor—has created an urban electorate increasingly one-dimensional, and less middle class, not only in economic status, but also, perhaps more importantly, in attitude. This can be seen in the very low participation rates in de Blasio’s victory in New York, where under one quarter of the electorate voted in the election compared to some 57 percent in the 1993 Giuliani vs Dinkins race. Historically, middle class voters were the most reliable voters and their decline has led to record low participation not only in New York, but also in Los Angeles, where new Mayor Eric Garcetti was elected with the lowest turnout, barely twenty percent, in a contested election in recent memory.
The decline in voter participation occurs as cities are becoming ever more one-party constituencies. Two decades ago a large chunk of the top twelve cities were run by Republicans, but today none are. America’s cities have evolved into a political monoculture, with the Democratic share growing by 20 percent or more in most of the largest urban counties.
Under such circumstances the worst miscues by liberals are largely ignored or excused as politics and media take place in a kind of left-wing echo chamber. Even the meltdown of the healthcare law, which has hurt the president’s approval rating in national polls, seems to have not impacted his popularity in urban areas.
It’ll work until they run out of other people’s money.
FALLEN ANGELS WAS JUST A SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL, RIGHT? RIGHT? And now it’s global COOLING! Return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 29% in a year. “A chilly Arctic summer has left 533,000 more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 29 per cent. The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013. Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores.”
December 1, 2013
I THINK WE SHOULD DRAFT PEOPLE TO BE BELTWAY PUNDITS, AS RANDOMLY-CHOSEN AMERICANS COULD CLEARLY DO JUST AS GOOD A JOB: Dana Milbank: Restore The Draft.
UPDATE: Michael Lotus emails: “Can you imagine if the same thugs who are using the IRS to harass and intimidate their political enemies had the power to conscript people? There is zero prospect it would not be politicized and used to punish opponents of this administration. These people cannot be trusted at all, about anything. It would be insanity to grant them further power.” True.
The future of Europe’s second-biggest country was hanging in the balance last night as hundreds of thousands of people flooded cities across Ukraine, demanding revolution in protest at the President’s decision to snub the European Union for Russia.
In the biggest show of anger yet against President Yanukovych’s decision to pursue a deal with Vladimir Putin, protesters defied a hastily passed law banning demonstrations. They gathered in huge numbers, with 500,000 believed to have taken to the streets of the capital, Kiev.
A half-million people at an illegal pro-Western protest is a big deal.
FALLEN ANGELS WAS JUST A SCIENCE FICTION TALE, RIGHT YOU GUYS? RIGHT? Scientists increasingly moving to global cooling consensus.
MEOW: Norwegian soccer player’s wife criticized for post birth body. “Caroline Berg Eriksen posted a picture of herself in her underwear four days after giving birth. Some were outraged by the picture but one doctor advises ‘life is unfair.’” We must have a government program to remedy that, or at least to ban publication of photos that might make other women feel bad about themselves.
WAR ON SCIENCE: Muzzling of federal scientists widespread, survey suggests. “Twenty four per cent of respondents said they ‘sometimes’ or ‘often’ were asked to exclude or alter technical information in federal government documents for non-scientific reasons. Most often, the request came from their direct supervisors, followed by business or industry, other government departments, politically appointed staff and public interest advocates.”
Luckily, this is in Canada. I’m sure nothing like this could happen in our federal government.
FASTER, PLEASE: Black silicon slices and dices bacteria. “Originally discovered by accident in the 1980s, black silicon is silicon with a surface that has been modified to feature nanoscale spike structures which give the material very low reflectivity. Researchers have now found that these spikes can also destroy a wide range of bacteria, potentially paving the way for a new generation of antibacterial surfaces. . . . This represents an exciting prospect for the development of a new generation of antibacterial nanomaterials that could be applied to the surfaces of medical implants, making them far safer.”
MEGAN MCARDLE: A Fight Over Contraception Won’t Help ObamaCare.
I gather that both supporters and opponents of the mandate think the Supreme Court will probably rule that corporations (at least closely held ones such as these two) are going to be granted an exemption from the mandate if they have clear religious objections.
Social media was on fire over this when it happened, and I confess that I am struggling to see why. There was a lot of outraged talk about how corporations aren’t people, of course, but a lot more about employers trying to control their employees’ sex lives, treating women as second-class citizens and so forth. To judge from these reactions, you would think that birth-control pills were a scarce resource that could only legally be obtained through employers. In fact, generic birth-control pills are available for $25 a month through a Costco pharmacy, $50 if you want a brand name.
“But that’s expensive for a young woman on a budget!” you are about to cry. And I am about to answer that it doesn’t get less expensive because an insurer buys it. Regular, predictable expenses such as birth-control pills cannot be defrayed by insurance; they can only be prepaid, with a markup for the insurer’s administrative costs. The extra cost is passed on by the insurers to your employer, and from your employer to you and your fellow workers, either by raising your contribution or lowering the wage they are willing to offer. There’s obviously some cross-subsidy from your fellow employees who don’t use birth control, but overall, there’s no particular reason to force insurers to cover a minor and predictable expense.
The administration didn’t force employers with a religious objection to offer contraception because it made financial or medical sense; they did it because it had great symbolic value to Barack Obama’s political base. And much of that symbolic value seems to actually come from the willingness to coerce people who object to buy the stuff.
Obama, and his supporters, quite clearly take joy in coercing those seen as enemies to do things they find objectionable. It is indicative of a deep psychological disorder. Call it the “smell the glove” presidency. . . .
THIS NEW YORK TIMES PIECE ON THE OBAMACARE DEBACLE — WHICH IS CLEARLY MEANT TO BE SYMPATHETIC — REVEALS AN INEPT AND OUT-OF-TOUCH WHITE HOUSE. Key bit: “The story of how the administration confronted one of the most perilous moments in Mr. Obama’s presidency — drawn from documents and from interviews with dozens of administration officials, lawmakers, insurance executives and tech experts working inside the HealthCare.gov ‘war room’ — reveals an insular White House that did not initially appreciate the magnitude of its self-inflicted wounds, and sought help from trusted insiders as it scrambled to protect Mr. Obama’s image.”
Initially? According to the story it took them a month to start taking the problem seriously.
You see, Linda Walther Tirado, or “KillerMartinis,” as she’s known on her Kinja screen name, wrote this brain-grating essay, and it’s all about being subjected to the pitfalls of poverty. Linda’s not actually poor, though, nor was she raised in what most would describe as poverty. Unless you consider a boarding school education as a marker for poverty, anyway.
The inferences on what it’s like to be poor — from the roach-infested living quarters to the lack of wholesome food — would almost be laughable, if they weren’t such freakin’ gross stereotypes written by a person who has never experienced true poverty. That little fact takes it from laughable to infuriating.
What’s also infuriating is that Linda — who is panhandling for $100,000 worth of donations on GoFundMe — wrote this piece, and the comments and rebuttals to it, while masquerading as a “poor person,” but has now decided to clean up the mess by copping to her past as a person from a much different background.
It’s Potemkin villages all the way down. But hey, there’s good money in telling lefties what they want to hear.
THE WAGES OF “QUANTITATIVE EASING:” Central bank money-printing has impoverished a generation of older, small savers.
Intergenerational unfairness is one of those intellectually sloppy complaints that nevertheless commands a strong following among a certain cadre of privileged young metropolitan types. It even has its own think tank – the grandly named Intergenerational Foundation. . . .
Yet for those who continue to insist that the baby boomers have had it cushy, consider the following. Say you have done the right thing throughout your working life, and saved when means allowed. . . .
One reason for these now painfully low annuity rates is rising life expectancy. Yet the bigger explanation is officially sanctioned, ultra-low interest rates. Central bank money-printing may or may not have saved Western economies from ruin in the aftermath of the financial crisis, but it has also disfranchised a generation of older, small-time savers.
Just as the main demographic bulge of post-war retirees come to buy their pensions, they find themselves – thanks in part to these interventions – confronted by the lowest rates of return in history.
A recent report by the management consultants McKinsey tried to put hard numbers on the consequences. Their findings were shocking. Since 2007, the world’s four most influential central banks have injected more than $4.7 trillion of new money into the world economy.
The effect has been to help drive both short- and long-term interest rates to record lows. The chief beneficiaries, as you might expect, are governments with big deficits. In the UK alone, ultra-low interest rates are reckoned to have saved the Government some $120 billion since the start of the crisis.
Highly indebted households will also have derived a major benefit. Without these interventions, many would be facing foreclosure. What tends to be forgotten, however, is that most households are net savers, not debtors. On the McKinsey figures, households as a whole have lost out to the tune of $110 billion – a massive transfer of income from people to government, amounting to nearly half of what the Government collected in income tax last year.
It’s financial repression. And it’s produced a Senior Squeeze that, in this country at least, would be getting a lot more media attention under a Republican administration.
WHEN I SEE ONE OF THESE THINGS NOW, MY PRESUMPTION IS THAT IT’S A FAKE: Shocking discovery in hoax bias incident at Vassar College.
Reports of bias incidents at Vassar College that involved hateful messages left on students’ doors were actually elaborate hoaxes — and the perpetrator is none other than the student member of the Bias Incident Response Team, The Daily Caller has learned.
This fall semester at the liberal arts college in New York saw a curiously high number of bias incident reports. On Nov. 14, the college sent a mass email to students advising them that Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) had received at least six reports in the last few months of hateful and insensitive messages being scrawled and spray painted on student residences. Messages included “Avoid Being Bitches,” “Fuck Niggers,” and most prominently, “Hey Tranny. Know Your Place.” . . .
Five days after the email was sent, Vassar President Catharine Hill sent a follow-up email announcing that the bias incidents were hoaxes perpetrated by two students. The students wrote the vile messages and then filed the reports themselves, claiming to be the victims of unknown haters.
Well, if you wait around for real hate incidents of this time, you might wait a long time. Then people might wonder if they even need a Bias Incident Response Team.
MARK STEYN ON THOSE SUSPICIOUS IRS AUDITS: Dissent Is The Highest Form Of Tax Bracket.
A couple of weeks back, cancer patient Bill Elliot, in a defiant appearance on Fox News, discussed the cancelation of his insurance and what he intended to do about it. He’s now being audited.
Insurance agent C Steven Tucker, who quaintly insists that the whimsies of the hyper-regulatory bureaucracy do not trump your legal rights, saw the interview and reached out to Mr Elliot to help him. And he’s now being audited.
As the Instapundit likes to remind us, Barack Obama has “joked” publicly about siccing the IRS on his enemies. With all this coincidence about, we should be grateful the President is not (yet) doing prison-rape gags.
Obama’s a putz, and the people at the IRS who are implementing this should have their names, and their boss’s names, and their grandbosses’ names publicized.
November 30, 2013
A THANKSGIVING LEG OF LAMB REPORT FROM HERSCHEL SMITH: “Followed your recipe. Everyone loved it. Done on the outside (like I like it), and very rare on the inside (like some of my clan like it). It’s very hard to get it to 140 degrees F for a large piece of meat.” Yeah, I used to rely on a meat thermometer, but now I just slice into it to check when it seems about time. Crude, but effective.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: American Lawyer: ‘White Flight’ Hits Nation’s Law Schools.
MY EARLIER POST ON CHEAP BOURBONS PRODUCED THIS FROM ROGER SIMON:
So you might want to share “Sazeracs a la Simon” with your readers. This is an absolute killer drink. If you have more than two you will be in the ICU and it’s somewhat more pricey than the cheap bourbon… but, hey, it’s the holidays.
4 parts Rittenhouse rye (best rye around and for a mid-range price $25.99 – all prices BevMo)
1 part Kubler Absinthe (good, clear absinthe for $44.99…but you won’t need much. Some recipes call for only swirling it, but I say go the whole Van Gogh, hence one part… I mean-what do you need two ears for anyway?……Nevertheless, if you find this bottle going down quickly, see a doctor fast)
Dash of Angostura bitters – but if you don’t have, no one will notice
Shake in a Martini shaker, Mr. Bond, and pour into a glass with ice and a tiny bit of sugar. Extra points, if you have one of those block ice things.
Enjoy, but make sure you have a designated driver. Secret of this drink: the Rittenhouse is 100 proof and the Kubler is 106.
As you can tell, I’ve already had one myself. Second one: no email.
And, check out the Kindle Deals Of The Day.
Also, deals on Instant Video.
READER APP PLUG: Reader Glenn Howes writes: “I notice that sometimes you’ll publicize a reader’s book or something similar. Well, just today, I published a free children’s app, Frog Draw, which I’m quite proud of and put everything I’ve learned in 20 years of being a pro coder into. It’s aimed at 6-8 year olds and is a shape drawing app that amongst many other features allows you to put funny hats on people, although I hope children will find more creative uses for it.”
CHARLOTTE ALLEN: Silicon Chasm: The class divide on America’s cutting edge. “You can laud this underbelly barrio as vibrant immigrant culture or you can decry it as an instant-slum product of untrammeled illegal border-crossing, but it represents an important fact on the ground: These are the people who earn their livings tending to the needs of the high-tech ‘creative class’ that has made Silicon Valley famous. I could see them on Atherton Avenue, the amanuensis class heading up from Menlo Park in their wee panel trucks and Dodge minivans and their Ford flatbeds fitted out with racks for garden tools among the Bentleys, BMWs, Audis, and Lexuses that are the standard Atherton vehicles. . . . Master and servant. Cornucopian wealth for a few tech oligarchs plus relatively steady but relatively low-paying work for their lucky retainers. No middle class, unless the top 5 percent U.S. income bracket counts as middle class. Silicon Valley is a tableau vivant of what many economists and professional futurologists say is the coming fate of America itself, a fate to which Americans, if they can’t embrace it as some futurologists hope, should at least resign themselves.” Hopey-Changey!
This might profitably be read alongside Joel Kotkin’s Entrepreneurs Turn Oligarchs.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Cheap Bourbons, Ranked. Doug Weinstein was always a fan of Evan Williams in college, but he drank his bourbon with Coke. I always sprung for Jack Black, or Old Weller.
PERSONALLY, I FAVOR N.C. WYETH: Kitsch or Kitchen Sink?: Illustrating Conservatism with Andrew Wyeth and Thomas Kinkade. I have Arthur Conan Doyle’s The White Company, with N.C. Wyeth’s illustrations. Interestingly, this was a huge bestseller in its day — rivaling Ben Hur — but is barely remembered today. Probably too politically incorrect and manly or something.
WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Genetically modified cells monitor blood fat levels and release hormones to make you feel full, tested on obese mice help them lose weight.
WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: How NASA might build its very first warp drive. “That’s a significant change in calculations to say the least. The reduction in mass from a Jupiter-sized planet to an object that weighs a mere 1,600 pounds has completely reset White’s sense of plausibility — and NASA’s.”
But note the key caveat: “Mathematically, the field equations predict that this is possible, but it remains to be seen if we could ever reduce this to practice.”