Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Victory! Boys born as boys can shower with girls in Kentucky school « Hot Air

Victory! Boys born as boys can shower with girls in Kentucky school « Hot Air: "As I have said before, I’m pretty sympathetic to the idea everybody needs a bathroom. But what kind of a society has priorities like these?"

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Juris Imprudence - WSJ

Juris Imprudence - WSJ: "We'd like to note one Segall-McElroy flourish that's tangential to their argument but revealing as to their intent. In the course of their discussion of the justices' papers, they write: "We still have not glimpsed former Chief Justice Warren Burger's papers even though he retired when Reagan was president, there was still a moderate wing of the Republican Party, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA, now the subject of much Supreme Court controversy after Hobby Lobby) wasn't even a twinkle in Orrin Hatch's eyes." Hatch was the Religious Freedom Restoration Act's chief Senate Republican co-sponsor, but it was introduced by Ted Kennedy. The version that ultimately passed was introduced in the House, by then-Rep. Chuck Schumer. An earlier version was introduced in the Senate in 1990, by Joe Biden. The vote in the Senate was 97-3 in favor.

This was a thoroughly bipartisan bill. Are Segall and McElroy trying to rewrite history by presenting it as a Republican measure? Maybe not. Maybe they just didn't bother looking up the history--all of which we found on Congress's official website. But how can we take seriously their claims to care about government transparency when they don't bother to avail themselves of it?"

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Monday, September 29, 2014

State’s Marie Harf: ISIS couldn’t even have predicted how powerful ISIS would become « Hot Air

State’s Marie Harf: ISIS couldn’t even have predicted how powerful ISIS would become « Hot Air: "How much damage could the president have avoided doing to his administration if he had just said, “I underestimated ISIS and I overestimated the Iraqis.” His critics would have had a field day with it for 48 hours, but the media would have quickly moved on to another story. It would have disappeared in short order. Now, the intelligence community is out for blood, and the president has sparked a bureaucratic war inside the Beltway. Much like his response to ISIS, Obama’s underestimation of the intelligence community will likely prove to be shortsighted."

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

If Hillary were to pass, who do the Democrats have left? « Hot Air

If Hillary were to pass, who do the Democrats have left? « Hot Air: "Matt also looks rather dubiously at Brian Schweitzer and Bernie Sanders. (The Hot Air readership will now, I hope, join me in a moment of prayer. Dear Lord. Please, in Your infinite and inscrutable wisdom, allow the Democrats to somehow nominate Bernie Sanders. Amen.) One of the most interesting possibilities raised – and one which I think would bring joy to the hearts of conservatives and Republicans across the land – is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. There’s no question that he hungers for the job, but the record he amassed on his way to the big office in Albany has, sadly, most likely disqualified him from national office."

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How Bloomberg's Million-Dollar Desire For Gun Control Is Backfiring

How Bloomberg's Million-Dollar Desire For Gun Control Is Backfiring: "“Still,” Lott said, “honest research leads to real answers—not the political spin Bloomberg’s groups prefer.” Lott says because of this “the gun-control groups don’t want an honest debate. I’ve challenged Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun-rights groups [Everytown for Gun Safety and Mayors Against Illegal Guns] to debates many times but they always ignore me.”

I’d found the same thing. While doing the investigative reporting for my book The Future of the Gun I spent a lot of time with police officers, gun-rights lobbyists, inner-city gang members, public-health experts, engineers at firearms manufacturers, victims of criminals with guns, heroes who’d stopped a bad guy with a gun … but though I tried and tried Bloomberg’s group wouldn’t even answer an email.

When I told this to Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, he said, “If the gun-control groups can’t control the messaging they won’t even talk to you.” Gottlieb knows all about this, as he’s been publically asking Bloomberg and others who fund anti-gun-freedom legislation to debate him for years."

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Green war: To protect the environment, coalition will let ISIS keep major oil wells « Hot Air

Green war: To protect the environment, coalition will let ISIS keep major oil wells « Hot Air: "From a strategic perspective, the decision to leave ISIS oil fields intact makes little sense. A devil’s advocate perspective, however, would concede that it would not be wise to repeat of the devastation that was wrought in 1991 when Saddam Hussein set Kuwaiti oil fields alight. The environmental damage done by the Iraqi military’s maneuver was significant, and the move did reduce the efficacy of coalition operations.

The Pentagon seems eager to disabuse the press of the notion that they are conducting an environmentalist war. In a press conference on Thursday, a Pentagon spokesman suggested that the coalition forces were seeking to leave some revenue sources intact for the post-Assad regime."

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Ezra Klein: Despite what the conservative media says, Obamacare is working great in the “real world” « Hot Air

Ezra Klein: Despite what the conservative media says, Obamacare is working great in the “real world” « Hot Air: "Obamacare has shattered virtually every major promise its supporters advanced during the public debate of 2009 and 2010.  Premiums are still rising (sharply, in many cases), out-of-pocket costs are increasing, access to care is receding, millions have been unable to retain their preferred plans and physicians (with many more cancellation letters to come), the national health spending trajectory is still pointed upward, the enrollment process is still plagued by technical problems, major components of Obamacare’s less-than-secure website still aren’t built, nonpartisan experts agree that the law is harming the economy, a supermajority of Americans directly impacted by the law thus far say they’ve been hurt by it, and its overall approval rating has languished underwater by double digits for years on end.  “Working.” 

In Voxland, Obamacare is a success.  In the real world, it’s a mess.  But a lot of people who count themselves among the pro-empiricism, pro-science, “reality-based community” will never know that, because the voices they trust will never tell them."

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Audio: Iraq War critic says Iraq withdrawal may have been the worst strategic mistake of all « Hot Air

Audio: Iraq War critic says Iraq withdrawal may have been the worst strategic mistake of all « Hot Air: "Dexter Filkins has long been a skeptic and critic of the Iraq war, from his tenure at the New York Times to his current assignment at the New Yorker. Still, that hasn’t kept Filkins from reporting honestly on developments in the theater; in 2008, while at the NYT, he wrote extensively about the success of the surge just a few months before the presidential election. A month later, Filkins wrote again about the “literally unrecognizable” and peaceful Iraq produced by the surge. Six years later, Filkins was among the skeptics reminding people that the Iraqis’ insistence on negotiating the immunity clause for American troops was more of a welcome excuse for Obama to choose total withdrawal — and claim credit for it until this year — rather than the deal-breaker Obama now declares that it was."

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Can Jack Lew Add? - WSJ

Can Jack Lew Add? - WSJ: "As for fairness, Mr. Lew said on Monday that inversion transactions "may be legal, but they are wrong, and our laws should change." It must be fun for corporate executives to get a moral lecture from a guy who took home an $800,000 salary from a nonprofit university and then pocketed a severance payment when he quit to work on Wall Street, even though school policy says only terminated employees are eligible for severance."

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Climate change so important that cable news ignored Obama’s UN speech « Hot Air

Climate change so important that cable news ignored Obama’s UN speech « Hot Air: "Further confusing pundits, a total of 58 percent to 37 percent in this survey said protecting the environment should take precedence over ensuring economic growth. When asked to list their priorities, however, CBS observed that voters cited jobs and the economy “far ahead of the environment.”

The 'greatest challenge' of our generation simply fails to capture the attention of the nation in the same way as does, say, armed conflict with terrorist groups actively plotting attacks on American national interests. That suggests Americans’ priorities are right where they need to be."

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

#GamerGate, Anita Sarkeesian and Video Game Journalism

#GamerGate, Anita Sarkeesian and Video Game Journalism: "Anita Sarkeesian is not the mouth-piece of feminism in gaming, and nor should she be. That’s not to say I completely and vehemently disagree with absolutely everything she says. Indeed, some of her arguments are well-founded and presented. The issue, which many a studious observer has already pointed out, is that Sarkeesian focuses on the sensationalist to drive home her point, makes errors in her analyses, and, on occasion, misleads her viewers.

As with other forms of serious entertainment, video games need to come under close scrutiny to ensure studios, developers and publishers make more informed decisions and grow as an industry. Generally speaking, however, the gaming community deserves a better class of video game critics and reviewers to guide the industry."

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Stemwinder: Rand Paul rips Obama’s Syria plan, McCain, Kerry, Hillary, interventionists, anti-war hypocrites, you name it « Hot Air

Stemwinder: Rand Paul rips Obama’s Syria plan, McCain, Kerry, Hillary, interventionists, anti-war hypocrites, you name it « Hot Air: "Most of the 41 minutes that precede that are spent on a largely accurate critique of O’s goofy, possibly disingenuous plan to arm the Syrian rebels, although he veers off course a few times to take shots at Democratic nominees future and past (“I would like President Obama to re-read the speeches of candidate Obama,” he says of O’s usurpation of Congress’s war powers). I give him credit for largely sticking to his guns here: At a moment when his party’s trending pro-interventionist, this is a vehemently anti-interventionist speech, particularly towards the end. Iraq, Libya, Syria: Getting involved in other people’s fights almost always makes our problems worse, he intones — before, er, endorsing intervention against ISIS in Iraq. Ah well. I’m viewing this speech mostly as a consolation prize for the libertarian commentariat, which understands that he’s probably going to have to lurch a bit further towards the hawks to stay competitive next year. He may regretfully sell them out on foreign policy to win votes, but he can at least give their criticisms of hawks a showcase on the Senate floor."

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If We Can’t Trust Neil deGrasse Tyson, Who Can We Trust?

If We Can’t Trust Neil deGrasse Tyson, Who Can We Trust?: "Considering that Tyson is speaking at Apostacon on Friday night — to an audience full of skeptics — it would behoove them all to be on the lookout for these quotations or others like them. Do some fact-checking while you’re listening to him. Challenge him if you can’t verify what he says.
If a pastor or right-wing conservative did it, we’d be calling them out on it immediately. Tyson doesn’t deserve a free pass just because his intentions are pure. It certainly wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) get by in an academic setting, and just because he often speaks to a lay audience doesn’t mean he should make up quotations or fail to cite them if they’re real."

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Cranky T-Rex's Blog: Why #GamerGate Matters

Cranky T-Rex's Blog: Why #GamerGate Matters: "Gamers do not think girls are taking away their toys nor are they angry about women increasingly entering the industry, but they are tired of watching people who claim to be journalists pushing their particular social agenda, smearing people with the actions of the few trolls that exist in every community, and getting into bed with the subjects they cover.

Yes, the spark that ignited this firestorm involved the personal sexual activities of a female developer, but even then gamers were hardly concerned with her sexual proclivities, only the resultant conflict of interest her choice of partners had created. Rather than investigating if the accusations of malfeasance leveled against her and her partners had any merit, the games media sought to suppress any discussion of the issue at all. Were it not for that attempted censorship, the simmering pool of discontentment that had been building for so long within the community likely would not have been set ablaze."

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Andrew Kelly and Kevin James:The Democrats' Student-Loan Weapon - WSJ

Andrew Kelly and Kevin James:The Democrats' Student-Loan Weapon - WSJ: "Sen. Warren would likely argue that we are unfairly framing this as a zero-sum game. After all, her legislation supposedly pays for itself by raising taxes on millionaires. But policy makers always have an obligation to ask themselves whether they're tackling a problem in the most effective way before asking for even more money.

This is not a choice between billionaires and students. Instead, it's about a political party that has figured out that young, college-educated borrowers are a growing constituency who can be energized with generous post-college handouts."

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Watch ISIS’s Hollywood movie trailer goading U.S. to again invade Iraq « Hot Air

Watch ISIS’s Hollywood movie trailer goading U.S. to again invade Iraq « Hot Air: "ISIS is an amalgam consisting of disaffected youth, displaced Iraqi and Syrian opposition fighters, and anti-Western fundamentalists. It is a relatively small force, and has only enjoyed the military successes it enjoys because of the weakness of its adversaries. ISIS is a group unworthy of much of the awe they have inspired in the West.

It is, however, an organization that does seek to function more like a state than a terrorist organization. ISIS has organized municipal services and humanitarian services. It collects taxes and fields a police force which enforces Sharia law. It provides water, electricity, and sewage to its residents. It produces oil and petroleum products and sells them on the black market for a reported $3 million per day in revenues. Perhaps most consequentially, ISIS has a propaganda arm as sophisticated as anything Goebbels ever managed."

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Rand Paul: If it was wrong not to protect the Benghazi consulate, it’s wrong not to protect the one in Kurdistan « Hot Air

Rand Paul: If it was wrong not to protect the Benghazi consulate, it’s wrong not to protect the one in Kurdistan « Hot Air: "Telling our Sunni “allies” to fight their own battles is gooooood politics, and potentially a killer app when the rest of the field onstage at the debates next year is trying to one-up each other on who’s the hawkiest hawk of all. There’s a sound response to Rand’s point but it’s a response that his rivals will be reluctant to give — namely, that the populations of Saudi Arabia and Jordan are sufficiently pro-Islamist themselves that sending troops to fight ISIS in Syria might destabilize those regimes. We have to fight their battles for them to some extent, especially since ISIS might now be powerful enough to fend off an Arab military assault. As I say, though, no one wants to talk about that and Rand’s take on it has immense populist appeal in a war-weary country. He should stick with it and build on it."

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Audio: Joe Biden being Joe Biden, Jewish outreach edition; Update: “Poor choice of words” « Hot Air

Audio: Joe Biden being Joe Biden, Jewish outreach edition; Update: “Poor choice of words” « Hot Air: "Olivier cites a few of Biden’s greatest hits, including his 2006 statement on needing an Indian accent to go into convenience stores and his 2007 assessment of Barack Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” The media gave Biden a pass on these statements in the past, even though any Republican who uttered anything remotely similar would get pilloried for it, and the entire party with it. The term “Shylock” from a GOP politician would be held up as an example of the party’s latent anti-Semitism and analyzed to death.

Don’t expect the same thing here, although my first instinct last night was to think this might get more scrutiny. Even apart from the media bias on issues like this and the general pass that Democrats get on political correctness, Joe Biden is … well, Joe Biden. If he had an important job people might take his rhetorical flubs more seriously. As it is, though, Biden is the clown prince, and very much not the heir apparent, in the Democratic Party. He’s there for amusement purposes, and Indians, African-Americans, and Jews had better just get used to it until a Republican takes control of the White House. At that point, the national media will be sure to man the Perpetual Outrage Towers, along with the Homelessness Crisis beat positions."

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Confirmed: You can tell someone’s politics by their body odor « Hot Air

Confirmed: You can tell someone’s politics by their body odor « Hot Air: "WaPo describes the nuts and bolts of the study. Get a bunch of people to fill out a political questionnaire, then have them wear pads under their arms for 24 hours. Get another bunch of people, have them fill out the political questionnaire, then give each of them a snoutful of those musky pads. Result: A “small but significant” correlation between how pleasant the smeller finds the smell and how ideologically similar the source of the smell is to the smeller, i.e. liberals smell better to liberals and conservatives smell better to conservatives. Which makes sense, as there’s a fairly strong evolutionary reason to pair up with someone who shares your political beliefs: A household where mom and dad agree on the big stuff like religion and politics is more likely to be a tranquil household, and a tranquil household is better for the offspring who are responsible for passing along mom’s and dad’s genes."

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ObamaCare subsidies funding abortion coverage: GAO « Hot Air

ObamaCare subsidies funding abortion coverage: GAO « Hot Air: "Republicans were right about the Obama administration’s motives on this point, and Democrats in Congress made themselves complicit in the deception. Why shouldn’t that be part of the accountability of ObamaCare-supporting incumbents in this election cycle?"

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Thousands of American troops headed to Africa to fight… Ebola? « Hot Air

Thousands of American troops headed to Africa to fight… Ebola? « Hot Air: "It is odd, however, that the president is so willing to commit American defense personnel to a non-combat operation with limited repercussions for America’s national security when there are so many conflicts on that continent and nearby which are far more pressing. Will Obama deliver a speech to the nation in which he carefully explains why committing nearly twice the number of troops to combat Ebola in Africa is a circumspect mission which is critical to American security, or will he simply order their deployment without a care to the politics of the matter? One suspects the latter will be the more likely outcome."

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Study: Nightly network news covered Bush’s crumbling job approval 124 times to this point in year six — versus nine times for Obama « Hot Air

Study: Nightly network news covered Bush’s crumbling job approval 124 times to this point in year six — versus nine times for Obama « Hot Air: "With two years to go in Hopenchange, trust in the executive is just about as low as it ever was during the Bush years and is headed straight for Watergate territory. Trust in the federal government to solve international problems is now actually lower than it was under Bush. That data seems … kinda newsy to me, given that The One ran on a platform of restoring faith in the presidency after Dubya had allegedly mangled it almost beyond repair. If those numbers don’t grab you, though, how about the fact that O’s approval rating on foreign policy, specifically, has turned into a dumpster fire, chronically mired in the mid- to low-30s with the Economist having tracked him at 31 percent(!) in late July? A man who got elected promising to rebuild relationships abroad and make the world safer and more peaceful should, one would think, be doing better at this stage than disapproval ratings in the high 50s or low 60s. That seems like a newsy angle for the networks newscasts too. Why isn’t it being covered? Any theories?"

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We Invited Ayaan Hirsi Ali to Yale—And Outrage Ensued | The American Spectator

We Invited Ayaan Hirsi Ali to Yale—And Outrage Ensued | The American Spectator: "This student, the Muslim Students Association, and a little over thirty other organizations signed an open letter — with its fair share of cherry-picked quotes and mischaracterizations — that was sent yesterday in a school-wide email. But these students fail to understand the purpose of the university and the meaning and necessity of free speech within it.

The idea that free speech extends to only those with whom one agrees is close-minded. The idea that inviting an additional speaker is necessary in order to supposedly advance free speech, but really just to correct our own lecturer’s views, is ridiculous. The idea that a fellow undergraduate organization can dictate to another how to run its own event is shameless. And the idea that only so-called “experts” merit invitations is absurd. (After all, I don’t remember anyone fretting over Al Sharpton’s invitation to speak on the death penalty last week despite his lack of a criminal-law degree.)"

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John Kerry’s Stupid Condescension « Commentary Magazine

John Kerry’s Stupid Condescension « Commentary Magazine: "Memo to Secretary Kerry: the reason there’s a “tortured debate going on about terminology” is because the administration you work for is sending out not just different, but contradictory, messages about the nature of the conflict we have with ISIS. And while you may think it’s a “waste of time” to focus on whether we’re at war or not, it actually matters. The citizens of this nation deserve to know whether or not we’re at war; and one might expect a minimally competent administration to be saying the same thing rather than conflicting things. To dismiss these matters by saying he’ll answer the question “if people need to find a place to land” is quite patronizing, which raises this question: What exactly has Mr. Kerry ever achieved to make him believe he’s above the rest of us? He’s been wrong on virtually every major foreign-policy matter since the 1970s."

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Obama refuses to understand the enemy « Hot Air

Obama refuses to understand the enemy « Hot Air: "Obama’s allies are not fools. They make reasoned calculations just as does the president. If The Times’ account is to be believed, Obama doesn’t care to understand his enemy’s thinking – he views his own thought processes as superior. That is truly disheartening."

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Clinton insiders screened Benghazi documents before ARB probe, official says « Hot Air

Clinton insiders screened Benghazi documents before ARB probe, official says « Hot Air: "The ARB has insisted all along that they conducted a thorough and independent probe, a claim at which Maxwell scoffs on both counts in Attkisson’s report. This could let them off the hook, though. If State conspired to hide evidence from them, it will give the ARB an opening to withdraw their report — which would be a PR move entirely, since the ARB had no authoritative status otherwise — and give Congress even more validation for pursuing this in select-committee form. If Maxwell testifies to this in open session and the BSC finds one or more corroborating witnesses, it will put this right back front and center. And we may still yet hear from the unnamed advisers, too, as to what their orders were, and who gave them."

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Did Clinton Aides Withhold Damaging Benghazi Documents?

Did Clinton Aides Withhold Damaging Benghazi Documents?: "Several weeks after he was placed on leave with no formal accusations, Maxwell made an appointment to address his status with a State Department ombudsman.

“She told me, ‘You are taking this all too personally, Raymond. It is not about you,’” Maxwell says.

“I told her that ‘My name is on TV and I’m on administrative leave, it seems like it’s about me.’ Then she said, ‘You’re not harmed, you’re still getting paid. Don’t watch TV. Take your wife on a cruise. It’s not about you; it’s about Hillary and 2016.”"

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dinesh D'Souza Is Winning - NationalJournal.com

Dinesh D'Souza Is Winning - NationalJournal.com: "Certainly, D'Souza has always had a hearty streak of American boosterism—derived, he says, from his own immigrant's story. He was born in Bombay to a middle-class Catholic family that hailed from the former Portuguese colony of Goa. Sans family, he immigrated in the late 1970s to Arizona, where he finished high school and earned a scholarship to Dartmouth. He quickly became disillusioned by the tendency of his fellow classmates to criticize the U.S. and romanticize South Asia. "I said, 'What do you find particularly liberating about India?' " he asked The Washington Post in 1991. "'Is it the caste system? Is it dowry? Is it arranged marriage?' " He tried to impress upon them what to him was an obvious insight: Life was far better here than it was there. Three decades later, that is the theme of America."

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Peter Thiel: Competition Is for Losers - WSJ

Peter Thiel: Competition Is for Losers - WSJ: "To an economist, every monopoly looks the same, whether it deviously eliminates rivals, secures a license from the state or innovates its way to the top. I'm not interested in illegal bullies or government favorites: By "monopoly," I mean the kind of company that is so good at what it does that no other firm can offer a close substitute. Google is a good example of a company that went from 0 to 1: It hasn't competed in search since the early 2000s, when it definitively distanced itself from Microsoft and Yahoo!

Americans mythologize competition and credit it with saving us from socialist bread lines. Actually, capitalism and competition are opposites. Capitalism is premised on the accumulation of capital, but under perfect competition, all profits get competed away. The lesson for entrepreneurs is clear: If you want to create and capture lasting value, don't build an undifferentiated commodity business."

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Dems’ tax-inversion demagoguery a whopper flopper « Hot Air

Dems’ tax-inversion demagoguery a whopper flopper « Hot Air: "Rick Perry has managed to create a robust economy in Texas by cutting taxes and regulation and convincing companies like Toyota to relocate to the Lone Star State at the expense of tax-nightmare state environments like California. Rather than look for ways to penalize those who seek better tax environments, why not make the American tax environment more competitive by reforming the tax code here?

That kind of approach would take longer and more work, but like an elegant dinner with good and healthy food, the preparation pays off in the end. Demagoguery and class warfare are the fast food of politics — insubstantial, unhealthy, and counterproductive in the long run, but cheap and effortless in the short run. From the “war on women” to “unpatriotic corporations,” it’s clear what kind of diet Democrats want to feed Americans."

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Obama to Latinos: I'm not that into you | WashingtonExaminer.com

Obama to Latinos: I'm not that into you | WashingtonExaminer.com: "The White House sees Hispanics as mere electoral pawns, and disposable ones at that. President Obama makes a big deal out of giving Latinos a shout out, always enunciating the PC term as “Lateenos,” with the long E and the hard T, and always doing his best Cervantes imitation when pronouncing Spanish surnames. (Confoundedly, he doesn’t do that with Americans’ surnames when they hail from other European countries, like say, Germany: he doesn’t do the full Goethe with names like Rumsfeld, for example).

But that’s the extent of the lip service. Time and again, Obama has promised illegal immigrant activists that he would do amnesty, only to kick them to the back of the bus when that became politically expedient. In 2010, Hispanics famously gave the President 71 percent support after being ignored. So why not be dismissive of illegal immigration activists again?

But here’s what’s worse: His amnesty would have done nothing for the 45 million or so Hispanics who are in this country legally. It would not improve schools for their children. To do so he would have to tangle with the teachers’ unions, and in that contest, Hispanics are, again, numero two."

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Feminist Bullies Tearing the Video Game Industry Apart

Feminist Bullies Tearing the Video Game Industry Apart: "Quinn is not alone. There is a platoon of irritants in the media whose talents are vanishingly slight, but who generate column inches by the thousand for victimising innocents and manipulating their way around an over-sensitive industry. Some of them, such as Anita Sarkeesian, have no discernible higher purpose in life, except to bother innocent games developers. 
These women purposefully court – and then exploit – boisterous, unpleasant reactions from astonished male gamers and use them to attract attention to themselves. What's remarkable is how deeply unpleasant the skeletons lurking in their own closets often are, how completely those skeletons give the lie to their public image, and how uncritically their claims are repackaged by credulous games journalists."

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An Open Letter to the Video Gaming Community from a Self-Confessed Right-Wing Bastard

An Open Letter to the Video Gaming Community from a Self-Confessed Right-Wing Bastard: "I like reporting on stuff like that. It's what journalists are here to do, after all. And I'm not going to deny that I admire Margaret Thatcher, I hate most modern feminist movements and I think a lot of so-called rights campaigners play up the nasty comments they get for sympathy, and to win arguments. But I'm not here to stamp my politics onto your industry, unlike so many existing writers. And I've no interest in building a sinister network to take over your conferences. Perish the thought. Very frankly, I don't care enough about video games to try.
What I do see is a huge number of people left out in the cold. So if, on occasion, I'm moved to write something about what I see in the video games industry, I hope you'll come to it with an open mind. It's a fascinating subject, with a lot of cronyism and dodgy connections waiting to be exposed. That's catnip to a journalist like me. So let's drop the childish name-calling and just see how we get on, shall we? And if I get the taste for it, who knows? I might be up for starting a new games website with someone after all."

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Whoa: Former prosecutor says Wisconsin investigation fueled by “hyper-partisan” DA and union activist wife « Hot Air

Whoa: Former prosecutor says Wisconsin investigation fueled by “hyper-partisan” DA and union activist wife « Hot Air: "As we await the panel’s ruling — which is expected before the upcoming elections — a new report from respected journalist and Brookings senior fellow Stuart Taylor, Jr. sheds fresh light on the possible motivations behind the whole imbroglio.  According to a source described as a former prosecutor with firsthand knowledge of the investigation’s inner workings, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisolm’s efforts have been driven by intense partisanship.  The source says Chisolm’s wife is a fanatical anti-Walker agitator, and assesses the entire inquiry as a vindictive political crusade."

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Global Warming Was Worth It

Global Warming Was Worth It: "As Indur M. Goklany meticulously explores in his excellent book “The Improving State of the World,” in recent decades we have made the world a lot cleaner, healthier and livable for humans. And we did so without surrendering much wealth or freedom. I suppose it makes me a technoutopian to trust that we can adapt and create ways to deal with whatever consequences – and obviously there are consequences – a thriving modern world drops on us. Historically speaking, though, would it have been better for humanity to avoid an “Age of Pollution” and wallow in a miserable pre-Industrial Age, where poverty, death, disease and violence, were far more prevalent in our short miserable lives? Or would we have chosen global warming? I think the latter. And I think we’d do it again."

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Men Are Harassed More Than Women Online - The Daily Beast

Men Are Harassed More Than Women Online - The Daily Beast: "As long as the Internet exists, there will be rude, nasty, and unstable people on it—and sometimes, you will be attacked, especially if you write and speak on controversial subjects. We need a better middle ground between telling victims of harassment to grow a thick skin, and telling people they have a right to be shielded from all un-pleasantries. As we search for that middle ground, we should beware of paternalism based on the mistaken view that Internet nastiness is a particular problem for women."

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Uploading Nude Photos Is Like Not Wearing a Seatbelt: Stupid

Uploading Nude Photos Is Like Not Wearing a Seatbelt: Stupid: "When I'm minding my own business following the rules of the road, I have an expectation not to get T-boned because some jerk  ran a stop sign. But even though I have that expectation, I still wear a seatbelt -- and am required to by law.
Anyone who doesn’t wear a seatbelt is an idiot. The accident might not be my fault, but an "expectation that people should obey the traffic laws" doesn't mean I'm not an idiot.
You know who else is an idiot? Anyone who leaves their wallet on a restaurant table when they go to the bathroom or leaves their keys in an unlocked car or gives their Social Security numbers out on the Internet or violates any number of common sense rules millions of intelligent adults follow everyday even though we should have AN EXPECTATION NOT TO BE VICTIMIZED IN SOME WAY.
Anyone who puts anything anywhere on the Internet that they don't want the whole world to see is acting stupidly -- especially if you are famous. That's not right. I agree. But it is what it is."

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Tom Coburn is up for a constitutional convention « Hot Air

Tom Coburn is up for a constitutional convention « Hot Air: "But what I’m more curious about – if this actually were to come to pass – is the type of amendments which could garner the needed votes at the convention to make it out the door. And that would depend on the current makeup of the various state legislatures. The big, Democrat states wouldn’t have any sort of outsized voice in the process, since they would get the same vote as Wyoming on each proposal. The Democrats would obviously like to ram through some campaign finance restrictions to undue Citizens United, and perhaps some to cement entitlement programs in untouchable status. Conservatives will look at things to curb Executive branch power, force a more balanced budget, and perhaps restructure the tax code into a flatter shape. Maybe knock that pesky first phrase off the Second Amendment about militias just to eliminate confusion? I’m really not sure. What do you suppose will be put on the table if this were to actually happen, and what would have a chance of making it through?"

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5 Feminist Myths That Will Not Die | TIME

5 Feminist Myths That Will Not Die | TIME: "Why do these reckless claims have so much appeal and staying power? For one thing, there is a lot of statistical illiteracy among journalists, feminist academics and political leaders. There is also an admirable human tendency to be protective of women—stories of female exploitation are readily believed, and vocal skeptics risk appearing indifferent to women’s suffering. Finally, armies of advocates depend on “killer stats” to galvanize their cause. But killer stats obliterate distinctions between more and less serious problems and send scarce resources in the wrong directions. They also promote bigotry. The idea that American men are annually enslaving more than 100,000 girls, sending millions of women to emergency rooms, sustaining a rape culture and cheating women out of their rightful salary creates rancor in true believers and disdain in those who would otherwise be sympathetic allies.

My advice to women’s advocates: Take back the truth."

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Video: UK takes steps to keep British jihadists from returning « Hot Air

Video: UK takes steps to keep British jihadists from returning « Hot Air: "Where would the British jihadists go, if not back to the UK? Would they be arrested, or simply end up stuck in an airport indefinitely, unable to move in any direction? The Financial Times noted that this could end up putting Turkey on the spot to house the jihadists, as many of them traveled through Turkey to get to the front lines. That might make Turkey less cooperative in dealing with the situation it helped create in Syria in its haste to get rid of Bashar al-Assad. The notion of stateless exile may well have other nations concerned, too, who will eventually have to deal with the problem.

Still, at least the UK appears to be looking for specific solutions to deal with the problem of returning jihadis. The US and other nations who have nationals fighting in ISIS appear to be dealing with the threat with much less alacrity. Lacking specifics may be a problem for Cameron, but lacking any direction is a much bigger problem for the others."

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Great news: Homeland Security can’t find 6,000 foreign nationals in US « Hot Air

Great news: Homeland Security can’t find 6,000 foreign nationals in US « Hot Air: "We are approaching the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11, and it’s apparent that we have learned nothing from the attacks. More than a third of flight schools accepting foreign students still don’t have FAA security certification to prevent terrorists from training for another suicide flight. Congress was supposed to fix the visa system — and not just for student visas — in the wake of the 9/11 Commission report, which emphasized the need for better tracking of overstays and prevention of these kinds of disappearances. Commission co-chair Thomas Kean says that almost literally nothing has been done since."

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Latest ISIS beheading of an American exposes moral bankruptcy of our betters « Hot Air

Latest ISIS beheading of an American exposes moral bankruptcy of our betters « Hot Air: "Our intellectual betters are rationalizing their own cowardice. They are subjecting their morality to what they believe is a cerebral check on their base, animal impulses. But it is not rationality we are witnessing, it is bankruptcy. We are under attack, and it will not end because we chose not to respond."

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Bret Stephens: Obama's Curious Rage - WSJ

Bret Stephens: Obama's Curious Rage - WSJ: "As for Israel's supposed ill-treatment of Mr. Kerry, the president should read Ben Birnbaum's and Amir Tibon's account of his secretary's Mideast misadventures in the July 20 issue of the New Republic. It's a portrait of a diplomat with the skills and style, but not the success, of Inspector Clouseau. Mr. Obama might also read Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit's assessment of Mr. Kerry's diplomacy: "The Obama administration," he wrote in July, "proved once again that it is the best friend of its enemies, and the biggest enemy of its friends."

Both Haaretz and the New Republic are left-wing publications, sympathetic to Mr. Obama's intentions, if not his methods.

Still, the president is enraged. At Israel. What a guy."

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