Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Creepy, Sinister Sexlessness Is Descending on the Tech World

A Creepy, Sinister Sexlessness Is Descending on the Tech World: "Dressed up as "anti-harassment," this new refusal to engage with basic human reality is a sign that something is going a bit wrong with the psychology of the tech startup world. Is it any wonder the products made by this new, puritanical generation of entrepreneurs aren't capturing the public's imagination? 
Should we be surprised that the sexes are more awkward about talking to each other than ever before, when the entire tech industry is awash with useless, counterproductive middle-class guilt-fuelled "women in tech" initiatives that do nothing to help tech and nothing to help women? 
Before we even get to how creepy and strange it is to start legislating about "sexualised environments" at a tech conference, think about the subtext here. Because they're not talking to their female attendees, are they--despite the fact that the only incident of sexual assault at London tech conference I can ever remember was perpetrated by a woman, in 2011. "

'via Blog this'

Chivalry Is Dead, Long Live Feminism

Chivalry Is Dead, Long Live Feminism: "Well, our brave new world of gender equality—in which we scoff at gender differences and men and women are encouraged to act the same—often proves harmful to women and girls. While the modern feminist movement won women tremendous freedoms educationally, professionally, personally, and sexually, it often leaves women feeling anything but empowered. The reality is these freedoms have too often come at the expense of all values and traditions. We’ve in effect thrown the helpful social mores out with the old-fashioned bathwater. But it’s the modern feminist movement, which ushered away any hint of traditional chivalry and gendered expectations, that’s in part to blame. Certainly few want to return to an age when gender roles were excessively rigid, but feminists have gone to extremes and encouraged a culture that undermines healthy gender relationships. Men who hold doors are now viewed as part of the patriarchal society. And girls are expected to just “be one of the guys.”"

'via Blog this'

Donna Brazile pens the most dishonest defense of teacher tenure in memory « Hot Air

Donna Brazile pens the most dishonest defense of teacher tenure in memory « Hot Air: "So while we started out on this journey allegedly talking about why tenure should not be abolished and how this is a winning issue for Democrats, we immediately swerved off to a poll showing that parents largely think that their children’s teachers are pretty nice people who take on the important job of educating our young people. In the words of so many of the young people in question, allow me to say… Duh.

But since the author refused to address the core question which she herself brought up, allow me to take up the task. There actually has been recent polling done on the question of teacher tenure. It was conducted this summer by the Harvard Program on Education Policy, and the results will seem rather counterintuitive to those falling in line with Donna Brizile’s claims. People are opposed to teacher tenure by a two to one margin."

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Ebola nurse Kaci Hickox violates quarantine, dares you to do something about it « Hot Air

Ebola nurse Kaci Hickox violates quarantine, dares you to do something about it « Hot Air: "Once portrayed in the press as the face of noble resistance to Gov. Chris Christie’s draconian policy of consigning health care workers who were potentially exposed to Ebola in West Africa to a mandatory quarantine, nurse Kaci Hickox is rapidly expending the media’s politically-motivated goodwill.

While it is fair to say that most members of the medical community believe that Hickox is not a threat to those around her – she has tested negative for the disease, reports that she is feeling fine, and would not be contagious at this stage even if she were infected – some medical professionals are not entirely positive that Ebola cannot be spread by asymptomatic individuals. It is out of an abundance of caution that a number of states, including Hickox’s home state of Maine, have requested that at-risk individuals abide by a voluntary in-home quarantine."

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

VOEGELI: Why liberals can't govern - Washington Times

VOEGELI: Why liberals can't govern - Washington Times: "Tomasky was addressing a rhetorical and political problem: Democrats’ failure “to mount a stronger case” for activist government. One the eve of the 2014 midterm elections, however, the failure to vindicate activist government is more basic. The problem is what Democrats, especially those in the Obama administration, are doing, rather than what they are or are not saying.

As recently as June 2013, more Americans approved than disapproved of
President Obama’s job performance, according to the Real Clear Politics average of the major polls on the question. But by December of last year he was more than 15 percentage points “under water,” with disapproval ratings above 55% and approval ratings just over 40%. It has now been more than a year since Obama’s disapproval number was less than 50% at any time, or his approval rating above 45%. With less than two weeks until Election Day, the average is 41.4% approve and 53.6% disapprove."

'via Blog this'

Remember that Hitching Post gay wedding case? Yeah… never mind « Hot Air

Remember that Hitching Post gay wedding case? Yeah… never mind « Hot Air: "I rather suspect that everyone in the area (outside of a handful of activists who would probably want to force it into the courts as they have done with bakeries and photographers) was glad to see this dispute go away. You might be able to find a judge willing to take your case if it’s a completely secular service open to the public, such as hall rentals and photo albums. But do you really want to drag this elderly, adorable husband and wife into court and tell them they have to do something which violates their religious tenets? You may as well be the prosecutor in Miracle on 34th Street who had to prove that Santa Claus isn’t real.

Case closed."

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How badly managed is the Red Cross? « Hot Air

How badly managed is the Red Cross? « Hot Air: "The last item on the list – along with similar, shocking events in the report – speak of a media diversion tactic, not just poor logistical management. There is a difference between making a mistake, being bad at your job, and spending time and resources to try to hide exactly how badly you are doing from the public. The coverage of the activities of the Red Cross in recent years seems to document a slow progression between those three stages of #fail, as the kids like to say.

Last year I was down in Tennessee covering the VW auto workers union debate and happened to speak with a person who told me that they never donated blood any more during the company Red Cross blood drives. The reason given was that they just stockpile it and sell it all, so it’s not like poor people in accidents are getting it for free. I wrote that woman off as some sort of conspiracy theorist and went on my merry way. But the more stories like this I saw, the more I began to wonder if I was writing her off too quickly.

And then I saw this. We should never assume that anyone is beyond scrutiny, no matter how much of a charitable icon they may be."

'via Blog this'

Dems: It’s going to be a bad cycle, and there’s one reason why « Hot Air

Dems: It’s going to be a bad cycle, and there’s one reason why « Hot Air: "Part of the reason why the White House is facing these crises is because they didn’t have long-term strategies for dealing with emerging issues. That is especially true in regard to Iraq, Syria, and in a larger sense the entire “Arab Spring” upheavals that undergird much of the chaos in the Middle East. Obama bombed Moammar Qaddafi’s regime without any thought of securing the ground to help shape the outcome, and turned Libya into another Somalia, this time on the Mediterranean. The same thing nearly happened in Egypt until a military coup booted the Muslim Brotherhood out of power. He ignored advice from long-range thinkers like Robert Gates and Leon Panetta on Iraq, opting to seize a short-term political benefit at home instead of maintaining a grip on events in Iraq.

So yes, the problem for Democrats is the incompetence of the Democrats running the federal government and foreign policy. That is the main problem, along with the fact that those Democrats on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue have acted like a cheerleading section and/or a political protection squad for Obama rather than force him to improve his performance, and now voters don’t trust them to act any differently in the final two years of the Obama presidency. They may still eke out enough seats to control the Senate, although that’s increasingly unlikely, but if this continues another two years, they may find themselves locked out of the White House for the foreseeable future. At least someone will be in charge if that happens."

'via Blog this'

TSA confiscates a toy ray-gun belt buckle. Because security. « Hot Air

TSA confiscates a toy ray-gun belt buckle. Because security. « Hot Air: "On his return flight he was not so lucky, nor so early to the airport, and couldn’t afford to fight several levels of TSA authority to maintain ownership of his favorite novelty belt buckle, which again, is obviously a dangerous weapon.

As Malone rightly points out, the TSA is really bad at actually doing things to keep you safe, but great at stealing stuff from people.

Meanwhile, in Utah, six uniformed police officers show up because someone throwing a “Monster Mash” party at a private facility had a permit, but not the correct permit for dancing. The dancing was unauthorized. Enjoy your Halloween, people, and just pray you come back with all your stuff. Who knows what could “pose a threat” out there on the streets?"

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How to end Gamergate: A divide-and-conquer plan.

How to end Gamergate: A divide-and-conquer plan.: "When Polygon editor Ben Kuchera tweets, “The legacy of the hashtag will be in its ability to prove how terribly this industry treats women,” he makes no sense. Gamergate is mostly made up of consumers, not industry members. (Developer Brianna Wu has pointed out that Gamergate is merely a symptom of a much larger problem.) Through sleight of hand, Gamergate absorbs the sins of gaming companies and media organizations. It’s a neat trick, making Gamergate a convenient target of ostracism that serves to make the rest of us feel better about ourselves and non-Gamergate elements of society. It has led to the endless flame wars that do nothing but prolong harassment, rather than solutions that would end it, in the hopes that if people scream loud enough, Gamergate will go away. In truth, we bear collective responsibility for these larger problems."

'via Blog this'

NAS study looked at global one child policy to save the environment « Hot Air

NAS study looked at global one child policy to save the environment « Hot Air: "Wait… you mean that even a globally devastating slaughter of two billion people won’t save us? Damn the bad luck.

I’m fairly sure that we are all aware that there is some theoretical limit to how many people can be supported by the planet. Of course, that number has risen exponentially as mankind’s technological capabilities have advanced and we’ve learned to produce more food and materials from smaller areas. But a “cure” for a max population scenario is a rather dubious area of research at this point, without even going into the.. shall we say… tricky question of exactly how you were going to limit these births and how you would enforce the mandate. There should be enough frightening phrases in just that one paragraph above to give anyone pause. But as I’ve noted in a few previous excursions into the work of this organization, you should be reminded yet again… you are paying for almost all of the funding for the NAS.

Now we can all go binge watch a few dozen episodes of Life After People. Enjoy!"

'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gawker is toxic to brands who partner with them |

Gawker is toxic to brands who partner with them | "The irony that he headlines Gamergate as fascism, a totalitarian ideology that denies independent thought, while skewering brands for attempting to distance themselves from the publication that serves the party line is not lost on anyone. Who in their right mind would want to risk a brands billion dollar reputation on a publishing house that cheered the Glenn Beck ad boycott, but then talks shit about any brand wants to distance themselves from them? Gawker made their name on the Gawker Stalker, Gawker hoped to bankrupt Chick Fil A over charitable donations. Gawker celebrated when Firefox Chief Brendan Eich was ousted because he too had made donation Gawker did not approve of. Boycotts like this are the results of politicising everything, and now it's finally come full circle. There's a reason newspapers had a strict line drawn between editorial and advertising departments, one that now not only has been blurred by native advertising but also the birth of "ad studios" and "featured partner" at the likes of clickbait publications such as Gawker and Buzzfeed, who have spent more energy courting ad agencies than they did chasing down twitter-conversations to report on. Don't say we didn't try to warn you."

'via Blog this'

#GamerGate: an un-PC rebellion | Free speech | Video games | spiked

#GamerGate: an un-PC rebellion | Free speech | Video games | spiked: "But gamers have started to fight back. They have taken to social media in huge numbers to defend their hobby against the new onslaught of cultural warriors. With most gaming journalists taking the side of the activists, gamers know they can only rely on their own voices. Gathering around YouTube personalities (who now have several million hits on their videos) and a small number of friendly journalists and academics, the movement known as GamerGate has taken the entire industry by storm. It has dragged prominent figures like Jimmy Wales and huge companies like Stardock, Electronic Arts and Intel into the fray. And it simply refuses to go away.
The movement has no specific list of demands, but it is quite clear what its general attitude is. It wants the cultural warriors out. It wants the cosy clique of activists and journalists to lose their influence. It wants the demonisation of gamers to end. It wants diversity, not conformism."

'via Blog this'

Heather Mac Donald: The Democratic Embrace of Al Sharpton - WSJ - WSJ

Heather Mac Donald: The Democratic Embrace of Al Sharpton - WSJ - WSJ: "In 2008 the Associated Press reported that Mr. Sharpton and his business entities owed nearly $1.5 million in taxes and penalties, as well as tens of thousands of dollars in fines for unpaid workers' compensation and unemployment insurance. By this year Mr. Sharpton’s tax liabilities had ballooned to $4.7 million, according to the New York Post. He still owes the Federal Election Commission $208,000 for the improper use of campaign money during his 2004 presidential bid."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, October 25, 2014

On #GamerGate

As a routine part of every #GamerGate article, I will say I am against harassment and bullying of anyone.  Those people sending death and rape threats to anybody are the scum of the earth.  I hope they’re caught and locked up.  The world would be a better place without them walking around free.

There’s been a lot said about #GamerGate over the last two months or so, but I thought, why not add my voice?  I’m pro-#GamerGate, but why is that?

Well, as a fiscal libertarian, I’m typically against the feminists criticizing video games as sexist.  But, beyond that, the gaming press, as a whole, really seems to hate its audience, i.e. gamers.  That needs to change, along with the developer bribes and other undisclosed freebies.  And let’s reform the Metacritic bonus structure that seems to exist under AAA game development (but that’s getting off-topic now.)  That’s not really good for anybody.

Video games aren’t sexist.  The video game industry isn’t sexist.  Are there fewer women in the video game industry than in the nation at large?  Yes.  There’s a simple explanation for that, though.  The fields where video game companies hire employees from, such as computer engineering, are largely filled with men because men get most of the degrees in those fields.  Even though more women are getting undergraduate degrees than men at this point, the fields aren’t 50/50.  Why should we expect them to be?  Imposing a female quota, even informally, is not the solution.  Encouraging more women to go into those fields is a start, but why have more men naturally flocked to those fields than women?  Let’s get some more research on that.  I imagine more men are interested in computers as a hobby than women, so they’d naturally want to get a degree in something they’re already familiar with or interested in, but I don’t exactly have evidence to prove this.  It just seems more computer hobbyists are men.

Video games get derided as sexist and racist and a whole bunch of other bad words.  Yes, women in video games tend to be dressed revealingly.  Why is this bad?  A majority of hardcore (play video games ten or more hours a week) gamers are men.  And men like attractive women.  Not really that hard to figure out.  There are plenty of other women in gaming that don’t fall under the Dead or Alive standard.  But the existence of over curvaceous and busty females is supposed to be a bad thing.  Why?  Games are fiction, why do all women in them have to conform to the average female?  There isn’t any reason for this to be so.

Now, as to the racism charge.  A lot of protagonists in AAA game titles are white, brown-haired (usually very muscular) males.  OK, but that’s not always the case.  Steve, the stand-in avatar in Minecraft (one of the bestselling video games in history,) is black.  And that’s for the games where the race is actually distinguishable.  We never even see any actual part of Shovel Knight.  And what about the games where you play an alien species?  And then there are all the games with character customization, like Skyrim where your species is even up to your choice.  Why do a lot of AAA games titles feature white male protagonists?  Western nations are the primary audience for video games these days, and the majority of those countries are white.  With men being the primary target audience for these games to begin with, putting two and two together makes that obvious.  Hell, most action movies feature a dark-haired white protagonist.  (I don’t really understand the lack of blonde or other-haired protagonists.)

The current slate of feminists criticizing video games, most closely represented by Anita Sarkeesian, is not good for the video game industry.  What they ask for doesn’t seem to be in the realm of suggestions or wanting more of things that aren’t seen much.  As the simple response to something like that is, hey, make a game that fits that, nothing stoppin’ ya.  Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms exist to get the funding they seek.  No, what they seem to desire is censorship or preventing future games that have tropes or themes they don’t like from ever existing in the first place.  It’s not very helpful that Anita and others make this case with shoddy research and opinions.

Anita, like Jack Thompson before her, likes to claim that video games influence players’ behavior in the real world.  Instead of violence though, Anita claims video games make gamers sexist, somehow.  Why she wasn’t laughed away like Jack Thompson was, who also received rape and death threats, is a mystery.  It may have something to do with the subset of gaming journalists who sympathize with her political views (which are clearly liberal to far left in leaning.)  But the brand of feminism she preaches seems to follow not the Sex Positive “liberation” feminists of the ‘60s and ‘70s, but the anti-pornography crusaders.  That school of feminist thought has some pretty radical theories, which not all followers of it espouse, of course, but are still there.  Some claim that all heterosexual sex is rape of the woman.  This is the school of thought where objectification of female sexuality came from.

The Sex Positive feminists believe in the “liberation” school of thought.  In short, breaking free of the puritanical views of sex asking women to cover themselves and wear dresses below the knee is a good thing.  Women can dress how they like, say what they like, and do what they like.  If somebody has a problem with that, well, they can stick it in their pipe and smoke it.  They want to wear pants?  Fine.  They want to wear dental floss-thin bikinis on the beach?  Go ahead!  They want to wear a frumpy sweater and sweat pants?  Why not?  This is not the school of thought that Anita espouses.  In truth, her views tread closer to the prudish social conservatives of yore.  She’s John Lithgow in Footloose.  The Sex Positive feminists are Kevin Bacon.

Are certain tropes overused in video games?  Sure.  Is this a bad thing?  Not really.  Yes, Link still saves Zelda every time (outside of a couple where she isn’t present.)  Since Twilight Princess is my favorite video game ever, I can understand where Anita is coming from, but I don’t really care.  The reason Zelda even gets taken “captive” (her body is taken over by Ganondorf) in that game is because she sacrifices her physical form to save the life of Midna.  I could go over examples in other Zelda titles, but I don’t really see the point.

In short, these tropes exist.  Similar tropes exist in movies, television shows, and books.  One can say the writers are just being lazy, but I say, nay, there’s a good reason these clichés are used.  They ingrain certain morals in people.  A simple man from humble beginnings rises up to save a woman kidnapped by a clearly evil douchebag teaches chivalry, a good thing.  Honestly, something not a lot of boys are taught these days in formal education.  The other tropes are just common elements of stories where a good force does battle against a bad one and, generally, ultimately succeeds.  Most video games follow that framework because the player controls the protagonist (usually.)  If one really has a problem with these tropes, make a game that doesn’t.  Or buy games that don’t.  If enough people do that, developers will make more games to fill the demand for games like it.  I’m very much in favor of free markets, so that’s the approach I’d go with.  The problem as it were will correct itself eventually.

I could get into all the other myriad ways Anita is wrong or incorrect, but plenty of people before me have done that.  I just focused on the broad, sweeping points.

Ethics in gaming journalism, well, just doesn’t seem to really exist.  Developers pay for positive coverage or demand it in exchange for early access to games.  This is bad.  But the problem is already starting to correct itself.  The rise of the YouTube Let’s Player has led to massive fanbase of people who have become millionaires posting video game footage with commentary to YouTube.  This is a very positive development.  The fans of these people such as PewDiePie and the Game Grumps seem to trust these people more than the gaming journalists.  And the YouTubers love them back!  Why shouldn’t they?  Their living is dependent on views.  These fans send them fan art and other gifts and even strips the audio from their videos to make animated shorts.  With Disney buying Makers Studios for a cool half billion, many popular YouTubers even have a major movie studio behind them now.  Video gaming on YouTube is serious bidniz.  At the same time, gaming journalism is faltering as more people trust these YouTubers than the gaming press.  A mass migration to YouTube over gaming sites has been happening for a long time now.  And I doubt much will stop it unless the gaming press seriously reforms itself.

What would these reforms look like?  Apart from the ones I mentioned in the third paragraph of this rant, there are probably plenty of good ideas.  Disclosure of personal or financial relationships with the games and developers these people are writing about would be nice.  But a conversation is the start.  Something the gaming press is steadfastly opposed to.

I may write more on this later, but these are my thoughts as of now.  I’m assuredly pro-#GamerGate and little could change that.

NOTE:  I’ll add links later.

Holman Jenkins: The Ebola Anti-Hysteria Hysteria - WSJ - WSJ

Holman Jenkins: The Ebola Anti-Hysteria Hysteria - WSJ - WSJ: "If Washington’s reason for resisting a travel ban from the hotzone countries is fear of being accused of racial profiling, politicians will be relieved by the rainbow coalition of the afflicted in the U.S.—two black, one Asian, one white."

'via Blog this'

Christie, Cuomo enact stricter travel restrictions as new patient showed symptoms in NJ, tests negative « Hot Air

Christie, Cuomo enact stricter travel restrictions as new patient showed symptoms in NJ, tests negative « Hot Air: "Christie went on to say, We are no longer relying on CDC standards. We will ensure that New York and New Jersey standards are met. The assembled press corps completely failed to summon up one person to say that it was about time. These new restrictions go well beyond what the Obama administration has been willing to commit to so far. Department of Health officials from each state will now be on the ground at both JFK and Newark airports to monitor all flights with passengers coming from anywhere near the affected regions. All healthcare workers arriving there who have been working in those countries will go into quarantine. Anyone else coming from the region, even if they are not healthcare workers and weren’t in contact with the afflicted will be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine who will go into quarantine and who will be monitored and put on restricted travel and interaction with the public."

'via Blog this'

Friday, October 24, 2014

The terrifying idea that the economy might stay stuck forever just got more terrifying - The Washington Post

The terrifying idea that the economy might stay stuck forever just got more terrifying - The Washington Post: "The U.S. economy has fallen, and it can't get up.

At least that's the way it seems. That's because our slump hasn't really ended, even though the Great Recession officially did more than five years ago. Growth has been low, unemployment is still high, and it'd be even more so if the labor force hadn't shrunk so much. And all this, remember, has happened despite interest rates being zero the whole time. It's the opposite of what we would have expected: big crashes are usually followed by big comebacks. So why has this time been different?

Well, it hasn't — not if you compare it to other recoveries from financial crises. These, as economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff have shown, tend to be nasty, brutish, and long: it takes, on average, eight years just to make up lost ground. But even so, this doesn't fully explain the kind of persistent economic weakness we've seen here and most everywhere else. Look at Japan. Its own bubble burst in the 1990s, and since then even zero interest rates haven't been enough to save it from first one, and then two, lost decades. The same is happening to Europe today. Bad recoveries, it seems, have a way of turning into bad economies that never get better."

'via Blog this'

HHS official to Congress: I’m totally in charge, but that doesn’t mean I can prioritize Ebola prep over puppet shows « Hot Air

HHS official to Congress: I’m totally in charge, but that doesn’t mean I can prioritize Ebola prep over puppet shows « Hot Air: "Harrington’s report came just as the NIH director was complaining that, “if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this.” Though reporting on the alleged “slide” proves that’s nonsense, it does seem worth asking the NIH, then, about how they prioritized their spending. The answer is they don’t. They don’t have to. And, that’s why giant government bureaucracies that can forcibly take their funding from future generations of voters with basically no function for demanding a return on that money aren’t really so great at figuring out what to cut and what to keep.

Further, the posture of Lurie in this exchange reveals, as it so often does, that government officials are surprised and slightly miffed at the notion that they should be asked to prioritize or justify their spending of other people’s hard-earned cash. Just like their “competence” in fighting Ebola, we should all take it for granted that their doing right by us and shut up about it because we’re not doctors. Jordan doesn’t, at which point we learn that, even though Lurie has asserted in front of Congress that she’s in charge of all the decisions, she actually shouldn’t be held responsible for any of the bad ones. She knows nothing of those."

'via Blog this'

Video: The ultimate Debbie Wasserman Schultz clip « Hot Air

Video: The ultimate Debbie Wasserman Schultz clip « Hot Air: "I really did laugh out loud. My memory’s hazy on whether it was Dubya or Bill Clinton, but I remember reading years ago an account of a joint press conference held by the presidents of the United States and China. At one point, someone asked the Chinese leader a question he didn’t want to answer, so … he didn’t. He just paused silently after the question was finished and waited for a question more to his liking, which apparently was common practice in China. Debbie’s not quite at that point yet but she’s getting close: Lately, when asked an uncomfortable question about the relationship between Senate Democrats and The One, she opts to answer an imaginary question more to her liking instead. Three times in the span of 90 seconds here, Halperin and Heilemann ask her which competitive Senate races Obama is involved with. Three times, she answers the question as though they’d asked her about competitive races generally — gubernatorial, House, whatever. It’s like asking someone what their favorite type of doughnut is and having them answer, repeatedly, that Eggo is their waffle brand of choice. W-w-w-what?"

'via Blog this'

Liberal Journalists Invent Fictional World to Attack Scott Walker - Conn Carroll

Liberal Journalists Invent Fictional World to Attack Scott Walker - Conn Carroll: "Yes, if you ignore reality and pretend that government unions are perfectly willing to just give their members' benefits away, then sure, Walker's Act 10 wasn't necessary.

But back here in the real world, government unions exist only to perpetuate themselves, and for no other reason. They are nothing but a drain on taxpayers, teachers, principals, local governments, and students. Weakening government unions was the wisest and most critical part of Walker's Act 10.

Oh, and by the way, back here in reality, the Wisconsin economy just created 8,400 private sector jobs in September, the highest monthly job gain in over a decade."

'via Blog this'

All in: Democrats plan full-court press to defeat Walker « Hot Air

All in: Democrats plan full-court press to defeat Walker « Hot Air: "Part of the reason behind this disparity is that many of Walker’s ideological kin have been completely sidelined under penalty of law throughout this entire election cycle, thanks to the partisan ‘John Doe’ witch hunt, which has been thrown out of court by both a state and federal judge.  The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that it’s not the role of federal courts to interfere with a state investigation, however, dealing a blow to muzzled conservative organizations in Wisconsin, and to free speech itself.  The decision is being appealed to the Supreme Court.  In mid-October, one of the same lower court judges finally lifted the indefinite, Democratic prosecutor-imposed ban on issue-based ‘coordination’ between Walker’s campaign and right-leaning groups.  The Left has been happily coordinating away throughout 2014, of course, with labor unions spending big against Walker.  (Reminder: Liberals don’t oppose money in politics.  They oppose conservative money in politics).  And while we’re on the topic of insidious political collusion, read this.  Quite a coincidence, no?  On the Republican side of the ledger, Weekly Standard writers Stephen Hayes and John McCormack — both native Wisconsinites with deep ties to the Walker team — report anxiety in the ranks.  Some Republicans in the state are whispering about whether the Republican Governors Association has neglected Walker’s race, with some even suggesting that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has deliberately moved to tank a potential 2016 rival."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gawker: 'Dishonest Fascists' of GamerGate Could Cost Us 'Millions'

Gawker: 'Dishonest Fascists' of GamerGate Could Cost Us 'Millions': "But in a sign that Gawker may be watching what its writers say more closely in future, editorial director Joel Johnson published a front-page statement on the site reiterating that Gawker does not condone bullying.
That will come as news to Gawker's many past victims, such as Pax Dickinson, ousted chief technology officer of Business Insider, about whom Gawker published scandalous claims without even contacting him, causing him to lose his job.
Dickinson yesterday published a thoughtful blog post about the policing of language online by Gawker, and their intolerance of anyone who does not pay obeisance to political correctness online.
The irony of Gawker's career-destroying, far-left authoritarians squealing about fascism and bullying will not be lost on observers. "I've been told that we've lost thousands of dollars already, and could potentially lose thousands more, if not millions," wrote Gawker's Read last night."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

When All You Have Is the Race Card . . . | National Review Online

When All You Have Is the Race Card . . . | National Review Online: "I certainly believe that some of the hype has been overdone. But you know what I think is primarily driving the fear of Ebola? It’s just a hunch, mind you. And, please, don’t hold me to this. But here’s my guess: It’s the horrifyingly lethal disease that kills most of its victims by liquidating their organs. Another major factor contributing to the climate of fear: The worry that the people who brought us the ObamaCare website are running the fight against Ebola as well. Fear of African immigrants is way, way, way down the list. If it’s on the list at all. 

Okay, call me crazy."

'via Blog this'

Wendy Davis vs. Principle | National Review Online

Wendy Davis vs. Principle | National Review Online: "Perilously, we are starting to see this attitude more and more frequently. When Salon’s Katie McDonough asks bitterly, when will “women’s lives . . . matter more than abstractions,” this is precisely what she means: that we should ignore the principles and strictures of republican government in the name of our preferred outcomes. In this manner, too, have we come to discuss the ever-diminishing scope of private property rights, our debates centering nowadays not on whether individuals should have a general right to decide whom they will serve, but on why anybody would be asking these questions in the first instance. Think you should be able to decide who comes into your bar? Drop the act, Bubba, you must be in the Klan. Grotesque as it is to watch a woman running for public office in 2014 attempt to convince her fans that her opponent is George Wallace, Davis’s real crime was not hyperbole. Instead, it was to have contributed willfully to the metastasizing civic ignorance of those she seeks to serve. Davis saw an opportunity to add a couple of points to her tally at the expense of the republic in which she lives, and, unashamedly and repeatedly, she took it. Rarely has a crushing loss been so richly deserved."

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What to Do about ‘Inequality’ | National Review Online

What to Do about ‘Inequality’ | National Review Online: "The Right has spent about 40 years working to liberate resources available for the education of young children through vouchers and other school-choice measures, and in recent years have paid a great deal of attention to attempting to put a brake on the ridiculous inflation of college expenses. But it’s tough to get a handle on costs when you’re paying Professor Krugman a couple hundred grand a year to not teach a course on inequality and helping Professor Warren pay the mortgage on her million-dollar mansion. Imitating Democrats of yore, those same people stand in the schoolhouse door when it comes to getting poor and largely minority children out of terrible schools. Start a business? “You didn’t build that!” insists President Obama. George W. Bush thought it might be wise to help people save real money for their own retirements — money that could have been left to their children, helping to build intergenerational wealth, something that is crucially lacking in the permanent underclass. Democrats compared him to Adolf Hitler."

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Kochs’ next dastardly deed: Creating good public defenders for low-income accused « Hot Air

Kochs’ next dastardly deed: Creating good public defenders for low-income accused « Hot Air: "The story goes on to quote the head of this organization acknowledging, a bit sheepishly, that Koch support for highly trained public defenders for vulnerable poor people might prevent good liberals from supporting highly trained public defenders for vulnerable poor people. But it’s the Kochs who are irredeemably ideologically driven and heartless. Always remember that."

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Autopsy shows Michael Brown shot twice at close range « Hot Air

Autopsy shows Michael Brown shot twice at close range « Hot Air: "That’s true, as police officers (like private citizens) have to stop shooting when the threat is neutralized. But that will very much depend on what actually happened when Brown turned around on that street. If he had his hands up in a surrender pose as Ferguson protesters claim, then Wilson will still face prosecution for homicide in some form. If these autopsy results show Brown was charging after originally attempting to go for Wilson’s gun in the initial struggle, though, it will be impossible for courts to conclude that Wilson couldn’t have found that to be a reasonable threat to his safety, especially after being injured in the initial assault. Small wonder that the DoJ wants to wash its hands of the Brown case, and to do so as quietly as possible."

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Developers On 'Gamergate:' Misogyny Isn't A Gaming Problem, It's An Internet Problem

Developers On 'Gamergate:' Misogyny Isn't A Gaming Problem, It's An Internet Problem: "Dawe feels the best way to deal with online harassment is to ignore it. If someone feels her life is in danger, she should alert authorities but not give the online trolls any publicity, Dawe suggested. This is the opposite of what developer Zoe Quinn, Brianna Wu and feminist blogger Anita Sarkeesian did. All three women openly tweeted about their harassment, also alerting the online community that they were leaving their homes.

“The main thing is not to respond to it. The more you stoke the fires and argue with random trolls, the more they are going to come at you because they are getting visibility and satisfaction,” Dawe said. “It's also very dishonest to use something that regularly happens on the Internet and attribute it to a group, who just want game journalists to stop insulting them, by default.”

Robalik also believes it's unfair this type of negative behavior is automatically being attributed to the gamergate movement, when, in fact, this type of behavior happens all the time."

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Male strippers on Ebola-infected nurse’s flight pretty appalled by CDC’s irresponsibility « Hot Air

Male strippers on Ebola-infected nurse’s flight pretty appalled by CDC’s irresponsibility « Hot Air: "“If a stripper can make a decision that’s more responsible than the CDC, then surely other people can make those decisions, too” Goode, who comes from a family of pharmacists, told the Daily News. “It’s not rocket science.”"

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GOP rep: What if terrorists self-infect and bring Ebola into the U.S.? « Hot Air

GOP rep: What if terrorists self-infect and bring Ebola into the U.S.? « Hot Air: "BuzzFeed’s point here, I guess, is that it’s bad form for a congressman to articulate this possibility even if plenty of Americans are already worried about it because that would be fearmongering, quite unlike what Democrats do routinely with climate change, the “war on women,” horsesh*t like this, etc etc. It’s one thing for the rank-and-file boobs on the right to see terrorists under every rock, it’s another for a man in power who’s, um, almost certainly going to be reelected anyway to broach the subject. But never mind that. What’s the actual argument for why Last’s point is stupid? I can see the argument for why an Ebola attack is inefficient: If you’re an Al Qaeda or ISIS ringleader who’s eager to kill a bunch of Americans, it’s easier to send someone into the U.S., have him buy a couple of guns and a few hundred rounds on the black market, and then open fire on the subway. You might kill a few dozen people that way. To kill the same number with Ebola, you’d have to enter the west African hot zone, try hard to get infected, immediately hop a plane to the U.S. via Europe (doing everything you can to suppress an early fever so that you’re not screened out at the terminal), wait while your viral load builds and then hop on the subway. An infected terrorist might have the strength to do that, but the longer he waits to let the disease spread in his system, the weaker he’d get."

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'Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor' Paid Branding Deals Should Have #GamerGate Up In Arms - Forbes

'Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor' Paid Branding Deals Should Have #GamerGate Up In Arms - Forbes: "Recently, popular YouTuber John Bain, aka TotalBiscuit, revealed that YouTubers were being offered deals to receive early review copies of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and would be paid to promote it so long as they didn’t say anything negative about the game. Anyone who chose not to sign up wouldn’t receive a review code."

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Supporting GamerGate Does Not Make You a Bully

Supporting GamerGate Does Not Make You a Bully: "And that’s when I felt ashamed of myself for considering taking the easy way out and slinking off to leave people who love gaming and are passionate about reforming this industry to fend for themselves.
How did the evil, violent members of GamerGate respond? By launching a fundraiser for the PACER Center, an organization dedicated to “expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families.” At the time of this writing, the campaign has received over $10,000 in donations.
It’s actions like these that give the lie to the media smear campaign to brand GamerGate as a hate movement. This follows the effort by early GamerGate supporters to step in and contribute to The Fine Young Capitalists, an organization dedicated to promoting women in the gaming industry, after attempts to derail their fundraising campaign by progressive activists."

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Friday, October 17, 2014

What’s happening in the video game industry matters to America | Rare

What’s happening in the video game industry matters to America | Rare: "Gamers have fought not to be controlled by a group of people who believe they know what’s best for everyone, which the right should also understand.

Their biggest mistake was underestimating the size and fight of the dog that is the gaming community. In short, it’s big.

The video game industry is a massive, multi-billion dollar industry that habitually outperforms Hollywood as the top cultural medium. Currently, the most watched person on YouTube is a guy who records himself playing and commentating on video games.

The video gaming community has its own professional leagues with sponsors. It has generated charities that have raised millions of dollars. Games are even being used more and more in schools as a teaching tool.

This is all due in part to the fact that video games have become more than just getting Mario to the princess or shooting your friends online. Video games have become the great story teller of our time."

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Video: The pro-legalization remix of “Because I Got High” you’ve been waiting for « Hot Air

Video: The pro-legalization remix of “Because I Got High” you’ve been waiting for « Hot Air: "The advocacy version of the song has a bit of a mellower feel, and features lyrics that are a reflection of the legalization crowd’s attempts to turn around the image of marijuana and its users. Instead of emphasizing all the responsible and adult things he couldn’t do because he got high, Afroman cites medical uses, all the drugs he didn’t do because he was high, and the resulting tax revenue from marijuana sales. I’m not sure Afroman himself is the ideal messenger for this cultural makeover, but he’ll get clicks. And maybe the message is, “If Afroman can be responsible, anyone can.” Up next, Snoop Dogg visiting the H&R Block months before the filing deadline. Because he got high."

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

GamerGate: Part I: Sex, Lies, and Gender Games -

GamerGate: Part I: Sex, Lies, and Gender Games - "As often happens, reality is more complex than any of these narratives. While the gamers' revolt has very legitimate issues, is also true that it has been linked to some very ugly misogynist harassment of feminists. It also seems clear that the overwhelming majority of GamerGate supporters reject such tactics—and that harassment related to this conflict has been a two-way street. For a supposed misogynist "hate mob," GamerGate includes a lot of vocal women—and they have their own complaints of gender-based abuse, such as being called gender traitors or even "male sockpuppets." Finally, the feminism GamerGate rebels against is not simply about equality or  diversity; it is an authoritarian, far-left brand of gender politics that views everything through the lens of patriarchal oppression and tolerates no dissent."

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Anti-American Exceptionalism | National Review Online

Anti-American Exceptionalism | National Review Online: "Ms. Longoria’s error is interesting to me because it is an example of anti-American Exceptionalism, i.e. the common belief among progressives that the United States is uniquely backward and knuckle-dragging in various critical ways. Most often, you hear that idea’s characteristic phrase — “We’re the only country in the civilized world that . . . ” in the context of the health-care debate, or when Democrats are arguing for sundry welfare benefits or employer mandates such as maternal leave.

For instance, during the debate over the Affordable Care Act, our reliably ignorant friends at ThinkProgress lamented that the United States was the only advanced country that did not provide “universal health care” to its residents, and noted that the United States performs relatively poorly on health metrics vis-a-vis Switzerland, among other countries. But Switzerland doesn’t exactly have what you’d call “universal health care,” at least not in any way that is distinct from the United States, in which Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs perform much the same role — albeit relatively poorly — as European social-welfare programs. Switzerland has 60-odd private insurance companies offering lots of different kinds of health-care plans, some with relatively high deductibles; individual rather than employer-based coverage; and an individual mandate — sort of an idealized version of Obamacare, minus the class-warfare rhetoric, the homeopathy subsidies, and the implementation by nincompoops."

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It’s time to ask PolitiFact: What is the meaning of “is”? « Hot Air

It’s time to ask PolitiFact: What is the meaning of “is”? « Hot Air: "According to, the word “could” means “to express possibility” and “conditional possibility or ability.” In other words, Cruz was literally correct — and should have been given a rating of “True,” which is something PolitiFact admitted even as it gave a different rating.

More recently, PolitiFact looked at a statement by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who is in a tightening race with former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown. In an ad, Shaheen said that Brown — when he was a politician in Massachusetts — “pushed for a law to force women considering abortion — force them — to look at color photographs of developing fetuses.”

PolitiFact ranked this statement as “accurate but [needing] clarification,” and gave it a “Mostly True” rating.

However, like its Cruz rating, PolitiFact ignored its own analysis and a basic dictionary definition in giving this ranking."

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You can find out your 2015 Obamacare premiums… after the election « Hot Air

You can find out your 2015 Obamacare premiums… after the election « Hot Air: "We are apparently to presume that the system administrators won’t know what the rates are going to be on November 1st? Or October 21st? Or… now? And yet somehow they will miraculously know what the rates are the week after the election. Man… that’s one seriously lucky coincidence of timing.

Keep in mind that the providers of this insurance are still in the private sector, even though customers are being routed through a government site and sometimes subsidized by the taxpayer. And through 2014 those premiums have continued to go up and are projected to keep rising. And it’s not just the base premiums which have consumers alarmed. In an effort to curb the bottom line on the bill, insurers have taken to jacking up deductibles wherever possible, cutting into the consumer’s pocketbook even further.

Is there some reason to think that the premiums and deductibles that consumers will find for their new Obamacare policies won’t be rising as well? (Keeping in mind that we were originally told they would be going down, not just rising less quickly.) But you wouldn’t want the hoi polloi finding out about this before they go to the polls, eh? It might cause some sort of unrest."

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

“Weekend of Resistance” in Ferguson takes disturbing turn « Hot Air

“Weekend of Resistance” in Ferguson takes disturbing turn « Hot Air: "At this point you may be wondering what the heck most of that has to do with Michael Brown or relations between police and the black community. The answer is pretty much nothing. But having observed numerous other protests, this shouldn’t be all that shocking. Whenever large scale social unrest breaks out and crowds gather, the two ideological groups which seem to flock to the violence – and seek to augment it – are the anarchists and the communists. (The irony of this should be lost on none of us, given that the two seek precisely opposite social reformation goals.)

But if the protesters and the OBS interlopers can each serve the purposes of the other, if only for a short period of time on completely superficial aspects of the underlying issues, then the mixing of the amassed forces is probably inevitable. Still, this is the sort of messaging we need to keep an eye on because it can swell out of control on a moment’s notice in a social tinderbox such as this."

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Obama contradicts CDC in reassuring west Africans: You can’t get Ebola sitting next to someone on a bus « Hot Air

Obama contradicts CDC in reassuring west Africans: You can’t get Ebola sitting next to someone on a bus « Hot Air: "A nice catch by CNS, which notes that O’s advice seems to conflict with the CDC’s advice. The CDC says you should “avoid public transportation” in the U.S. if you’re running a fever above 101.5 after having recently returned from west Africa, suggesting that casual transmission in close quarters in public spaces is possible. (Shouldn’t you avoid public transportation if you’re running a high fever as a rule? You might have something more contagious than Ebola, like the flu.) The CDC also says that spending “a long amount of time” within three feet of an infected person is risky, a scenario that logically includes a long bus ride. In fact, a spokesman for the CDC told the LA Times recently that “I’m not going to sit here and say that if a person who is highly viremic … were to sneeze or cough right in the face of somebody who wasn’t protected, that we wouldn’t have a transmission.” Well, there you go. If there’s a risk of transmission on a plane, why wouldn’t there be a risk of transmission on a bus?"

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Milbank: Why would GOP want Secret Service to protect Obama? « Hot Air

Milbank: Why would GOP want Secret Service to protect Obama? « Hot Air: "Milbank was, unfortunately, not the only news outlet to echo the toxic charge that Republicans would not be all that upset if harm were to come to Obama. In the pages of The New York Times, reporter Peter Baker marveled over the fact that the GOP is apparently “showing concern for the president’s safety, even while criticizing him.”

The article suggests that even Obama should be “wary” of Hill Republicans showing distress over threats to the president’s wellbeing, and wondered if inquiries into the efficacy of the Secret Service was not a ruse designed to reduce voter confidence in the federal government ahead of the midterm elections.

This is all evidence of a cancerous partisanship, one which Democrats would easily recognize in Republicans but somehow fail to see manifested in themselves. If people like Milbank have grown so hateful of their political opponents that they cannot even recognize humanity in them anymore, they do their readers a disservice by continuing to serve in an analyst’s role; their judgment has grown too clouded, their sense of prudence overpowered by animosity.

For everyone’s sake, maybe it is time for Milbank and others who share this venomous opinion to take a breather."

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Washington Post reporter: White House spin on Cartegena is “demonstrably false” « Hot Air

Washington Post reporter: White House spin on Cartegena is “demonstrably false” « Hot Air: "It’s been said many times. But more than the prostitute, more than the possible threat such unauthorized visitors might pose, more even than the cover-up itself, I’m struck by how just how small a controversy warranted this aggressive a cover-up and recriminations for the White House. If they went to this much trouble to protect a donor’s son from a two-day news cycle, exactly what problem is not worth a cover-up?"

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The Pedophile Phone? | National Review Online

The Pedophile Phone? | National Review Online: "Anti-snooping solutions are available at both ends of the market. Sophisticated criminals use military-grade encryption and complex communications and financial networks to evade detection; low-level drug dealers long ago discovered the virtues of anonymous, prepaid phones combined with a little operational discipline. In that regard, privacy is a little bit like tax evasion: Everybody knows that there are billionaire crime-syndicate potentates who evade taxes, and that there are struggling waiters and bartenders who are less than vigilant about reporting cash tips to the IRS; but from the Treasury’s point of view, neither one of those is a huge problem. The problem comes when ordinary Americans — the sort of people who buy iPhones — start getting froggy about their taxes, and you find that you don’t have enough agents to investigate them, courts to try them in, or jails to put them in. You get a reminder of what “government by consent” means in practice, as Connecticut demonstrated with its ill-considered gun registry, which Connecticut residents, including the police themselves, simply refused to comply with. There are many ways to reduce government’s practical power, and voting is only one of them."

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Video: Harry Reid aide manhandles Jason Mattera for asking about Reid’s personal wealth « Hot Air

Video: Harry Reid aide manhandles Jason Mattera for asking about Reid’s personal wealth « Hot Air: "The best part is Reid trudging along as the confrontation plays out without bothering to look back. I wonder if that’s because he’s used to things like this happening around him or if it’s just an artifact of how powerful, shady people who are accountable to no one behave."

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Video: Mitch McConnell’s Democratic opponent dodges question on whether she voted for Obama — four times « Hot Air

Video: Mitch McConnell’s Democratic opponent dodges question on whether she voted for Obama — four times « Hot Air: "What’s more damning, admitting that she voted for O, which everyone assumes anyway, or painfully dodging the question repeatedly? How about this for an answer: “Yes, I did vote for him, but I’ve been deeply disappointed in his performance these past two years. He’s taken the country too far in a liberal direction, which is why we need more conservative Democrats in the Senate. We can influence the president in a way that Republicans can’t.” That’d be a bald-faced lie but serviceable spin. Instead she resorts to this. Amateurs."

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Can Liberalism Be Saved From Itself? : Sam Harris

Can Liberalism Be Saved From Itself? : Sam Harris: "Kristof made the point that there are brave Muslims who are risking their lives to condemn “extremism” in the Muslim community. Of course there are, and I celebrate these people too. But he seemed completely unaware that he was making my point for me—the point being, of course, that these people are now risking their lives by advocating for basic human rights in the Muslim world.
When I told Affleck that he didn’t understand my argument, he said, “I don’t understand it? Your argument is ‘You know, black people, we know they shoot each other, they’re blacks!” What did he expect me to say to this—“I stand corrected”?
Although I clearly stated that I wasn’t claiming that all Muslims adhere to the dogmas I was criticizing; distinguished between jihadists, Islamists, conservatives, and the rest of the Muslim community; and explicitly exempted hundreds of millions of Muslims who don’t take the doctrines about blasphemy, apostasy, jihad, and martyrdom seriously, Affleck and Kristof both insisted that I was disparaging all Muslims as a group."

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Chris Matthews to Obama: Stop 'Pandering' to 'Ethnic Groups' | The Daily Caller

Chris Matthews to Obama: Stop 'Pandering' to 'Ethnic Groups' | The Daily Caller: "Matthews was on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” Wednesday discussing his most recent book on the relationship between Ronald Reagan and former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. Matthews pointed out that when the country faced serious problems during the Reagan presidency, both parties were able to sit down and compromise. He wondered why no one could do that on issues like illegal immigration.

“Why don’t the Democrats say that? Why doesn’t the president say, instead of pandering to the Hispanic vote and liberals, why doesn’t he just say ‘You know what, I’m willing to strike a compromise. We need to get tough on illegal immigrants?’”"

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Did White House pressure IG into blocking probe of staffer in Secret Service scandal? « Hot Air

Did White House pressure IG into blocking probe of staffer in Secret Service scandal? « Hot Air: "Ruemmler, as readers may recall, has been mentioned as a possible short-lister to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General. This should effectively kill her chances of getting that nomination, or any other job requiring Senate confirmation. Even if one doesn’t believe that Ruemmler knowingly misled people about the aide’s involvement, being part of a cover-up (even unwittingly) is not a resume-enhancer for the top law-enforcement job in the United States. If Ruemmler handles an investigation this clumsily and this gullibly, exactly why would anyone put her in charge of any investigative bureau, let alone the largest in the country?

Ruemmler’s woes are the least of the problems for the White House, though. This is a full-blown cover-up, potentially a case of obstruction of justice, and appears to show that the Obama administration has corrupted the Inspector General process. And for what? The prostitute scandal wouldn’t have cost them the election, and Dach could have been kicked out of the White House with no repercussions except perhaps his dad’s contributions to the DNC. The cover-up is always worse than the crime, but this is the most absurd example of that paradigm in memory."

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Nebraska school district urges teachers to be more inclusive, stop referring to “boys and girls” « Hot Air

Nebraska school district urges teachers to be more inclusive, stop referring to “boys and girls” « Hot Air: "How many transgendered middle-schoolers does Lincoln have that a solution this comprehensive is needed? If you want to teach sensitivity to “gender difference,” just devote a class hour to it. The sort of sustained Orwellian campaign they’re describing to treat kids’ use of binary gender terms as a thoughtcrime in need of constant correction is odd. Frankly, if I were the parent of a kid who’s androgynous and worried about him being bullied, I think I’d prefer less attention to this issue in class than more attention. Younger children might not perceive an androgynous classmate as different to the same degree that pubescent kids would; spending too much time emphasizing that some people aren’t really girls or boys might give the bullies more reason to see a girlish-looking boy as something strange.

Oh well. The school board is meeting to discuss it on October 14th. Can’t wait."

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Report: NBC courted Jon Stewart to helm “Meet the Press” « Hot Air

Report: NBC courted Jon Stewart to helm “Meet the Press” « Hot Air: "Well, of course they did. Stewart would have to transition from his position as ring-leader of a self-righteous consciously left-leaning production of elaborate political theater staffed by a crew of reporters trained to mislead any interview subject they disagree with and plug every package into their preplanned narrative to…

Hm, well, I guess he’d have to transition to doing it weekly."

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'Acting White' Remains a Barrier for Black Education -

'Acting White' Remains a Barrier for Black Education - "It's careful work that shows that indeed, black American teen identity often includes a sense of school as the province of whites—which is hardly surprising given black Americans' history in this country. Clifton Casteel did a study in Elementary School Guidance and Counseling in 1997 in which white eighth and ninth graders tended strongly to say they did homework for their parents, while black kids said they did homework for their teachers—that is, the black kids had a quiet sense that school was not for what "we" are at heart. Then, Harvard's Roland Fryer has shown that among black teens, the better one does in school the fewer people report him or her as a friend—and to much more of an extent than among kids of other races."

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The Ebola Democrats - WSJ - WSJ

The Ebola Democrats - WSJ - WSJ: "This portrait of CDC poverty is even dumber than the notion that Republicans are to blame. Liberals focus on the agency’s base budget authority, which has fallen to $5.792 billion in 2014 from $6.389 billion in 2010.

But a lot of the CDC’s funding arrives outside of the normal budget process, with Congress making emergency and supplemental appropriations as the need arises, as with Ebola. The Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) has also supplanted dollars that used to be distributed through regular order.

Counting all sources, the CDC and its sister unit the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry ran a budget of $10.791 billion in 2014. The average for the Obama years is $10.823 billion including the stimulus, while the average for George W. Bush ’s second term was $8.721 billion (all-in data are available only as far back as 2003). This year’s CDC budget is a 35.2% increase over a decade ago. What austerity?"

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Study shows: People don’t know difference between correlation and causation « Hot Air

Study shows: People don’t know difference between correlation and causation « Hot Air: "According to the abstract, at least, they didn’t take a look at any groups. Their abstract is pretty specific: “We examined associations between state-level religiosity/conservatism and anonymized interest in searching for sexual content online using Google Trends (which calculates within-state search volumes for search terms).” All they looked at was state-level data and made their own assumptions about the causative impact of conservatism and religion. That may be described in several ways, but scientific isn’t one of them."

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They Are Coming for Your Children | National Review Online

They Are Coming for Your Children | National Review Online: "The Left’s model of society is still the model of Marx and Bismarck: one big factory to be managed by experts. The government schools are an assembly line for human widgets, who are in theory there to be taught what the state requires them to know in order to fulfill their roles as workers, administrators, and other bits of human machinery. That is the assumption behind President Obama’s insistence that “if you quit on school, you’re not just quitting on yourself — you’re quitting on your country.” Students are also there to be instructed in the official, unspoken state ideology: submission to official power."

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Just a reminder: This election will be decided by people who don’t know who Joe Biden is « Hot Air

Just a reminder: This election will be decided by people who don’t know who Joe Biden is « Hot Air: "What’s illuminating about this vid, expertly culled by Kimmel’s staff, is how it shows off different degrees of derp. You’ve got people who haven’t the faintest idea who Joe Biden is; you’ve got people who find his face vaguely familiar but can’t quite place it; you’ve got people who suspect he’s a politician but can’t say more than that; you’ve got people who have dim memories of other politicians’ names, even if they’re blanking on Biden’s (the “Condoleezza Rice” guy); and then you’ve got my favorite, the woman who likes to stay informed about current events and therefore is confident that Biden’s a senator. All of their votes will count just as much as yours this fall. All of them."

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The ‘Common Calorie’ Revolt | National Review Online

The ‘Common Calorie’ Revolt | National Review Online: "“Kids can’t learn when they’re hungry,” parents shouted to school-board members at a recent meeting in Harlan, Ky. School districts are complaining they are losing revenue because students won’t eat food they consider tasteless and are either brown-bagging it or buying food off-campus. In the past, school lunch programs operated at no cost to local taxpayers because students who could pay the full cost subsidized the free and reduced-lunch program and the schools could also use vending machines and à la carte menus to make money selling other items to students.

All that is changing. In the 2012–13 school year, 47 percent of school meal programs reported revenue losses, and nine of ten reported higher food costs. An increasing number of schools that don’t have a large number of students participating in the free or reduced-lunch programs are dropping out of the federal initiative entirely. Douglas County in Colorado withdrew its high schools this year because it feared that the new national standards would close its popular Subway franchise and other à la carte sales, crippling its meals program. For the first time ever, participation in the federal school-lunch program has fallen, from 31.93 million in 2011 to 30.51 million last year. “Fewer students are eating school meals, and the escalating costs of meeting overly prescriptive regulations are putting school meal programs in financial jeopardy,” Patricia Montague, CEO of the School Nutrition Association (SNA), told me last month."

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Bret Stephens: Hong Kong Pops the China Bubble - WSJ - WSJ

Bret Stephens: Hong Kong Pops the China Bubble - WSJ - WSJ: "These are the people for whom every conceivable door in China is already open. What about the nonelite? What about the people who don’t have a politically connected relative, or can’t afford to bribe a party official for a contract or a doctor for a medical procedure, or lack the funds to leave the country, or simply intend to pursue an honest calling in life, and do so honestly?

These are the people for whom the demonstrators in Hong Kong were also marching. “Don’t make us like the rest of China,” is an implicit theme of the movement. It comes from people who understand that what is hailed in the West as “the China dream” is a hoax. Dreaming is the essential freedom: There can be no true dreaming when the state regulates the sorts of dreams its people may have.

Where the real dream lies is in the minds of China’s cheerleaders in the West. These are people with the souls of technocrats. They look to Beijing now—as they did to Moscow in the 1960s—as a model of government in which wisdom comes from the top, national energies are put in the service of gigantic projects, and autocratic consensus replaces democratic fissiparousness. They seek life (and politics) without contradictions. Five or 10 years from now, when the China bubble has burst, they’ll be making a fetish of some other promising technocracy."

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On most fronts, the coalition war against ISIS is failing « Hot Air

On most fronts, the coalition war against ISIS is failing « Hot Air: "So long as the allies fight this war with the paramount political objective being to ensure that U.S. forces are not forced to engage ISIS directly, this war will be longer and messier than it likely has to be."

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Risen: Journalists must fight or become irrelevant - Central Maine

Risen: Journalists must fight or become irrelevant - Central Maine: "Risen said he and other journalists have debated that issue in the newsroom.

“I don’t think any of this would be happening under the Obama administration if Obama didn’t want to do it,” Risen said. “I think Obama hates the press. I think he doesn’t like the press and he hates leaks.”

Risen said he thinks one of Holder’s most important jobs is to protect Obama from direct criticism.

“He has often tried to do it on this issue.”

New York Times reporter Matt Apuzzo, a 2000 Colby graduate and former reporter for the Morning Sentinel, asked if Risen thought that in some cases, government secrets should be kept as such.

“Should there not be some secrets, in keeping some things safe?” Apuzzo asked.

Risen said there are certain things that should be kept secret, such as information about U.S. combat plans, which should be protected."

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Single customer wins shootout with four armed robbers in Texas bar « Hot Air

Single customer wins shootout with four armed robbers in Texas bar « Hot Air: "There may be more to the story of the customer – described by the bar owner as a hero – than meets the eye, but more details will be required. The report states that the customer who fended off the robbers also “fled the scene” before the police arrived. There could be any number of reasons for this. He may have simply been frightened about the fact that he had likely killed a couple of people and panicked. He could have lacked the proper permits for his weapon and feared retribution from the law, or had other reasons to wish to avoid a confrontation with the police. Or perhaps he just didn’t want to become the story."

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Clash of the Progressive Pieties | National Review Online

Clash of the Progressive Pieties | National Review Online: "A strange thing: Nothing in the modern world has contributed to the devaluation of women as pitilessly as has the reduction of motherhood to the status of a take-out order of ovum foo young, and yet nothing is held so sacred by feminists. I cannot imagine that when the early feminists wrote about the “commodification of women” that they ever imagined it would get so literal, with product warranties and all."

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Friday, October 3, 2014

NY considers raising minimum wage for tipped workers « Hot Air

NY considers raising minimum wage for tipped workers « Hot Air: "Government reps – and many of their allies in the media – are claiming that such protests are nonsense and citing various sources which proclaim that increasing the tipped minimum wage won’t hurt businesses’ bottom line. That’s got to be some fascinating math. Holding all other expenditures and sources of revenue static, increasing your labor costs by 37% across the board won’t change the bottom line? It turns out that these amazing new math claims seem to be coming from labor unions, and they are not only wrong, but they are not terribly popular with most of the people who actually work for tips."

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Charles Krauthammer: The real reason winning the Senate matters - The Washington Post

Charles Krauthammer: The real reason winning the Senate matters - The Washington Post: "The Democratic line is that the Republican House does nothing but block and oppose. In fact, it has passed hundreds of bills only to have them die upon reaching the desk of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He has rendered the Senate inert by simply ensuring that any bill that might present a politically difficult vote for his Democratic colleagues never even comes to the floor.

Winning control of the Senate would allow Republicans to pass a whole range of measures now being held up by Reid, often at the behest of the White House. Make it a major reform agenda. The centerpiece might be tax reform, both corporate and individual. It is needed, popular and doable. Then go for the low-hanging fruit enjoying wide bipartisan support, such as the Keystone XL pipeline and natural gas exports, most especially to Eastern Europe. One could then add border security, energy deregulation and health-care reform that repeals the more onerous Obamacare mandates."

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New Crystal Could Let Divers Breathe Underwater : Discovery News

New Crystal Could Let Divers Breathe Underwater : Discovery News: "Scuba diving is great fun until your tank starts running out of oxygen. But what if you could just gather the oxygen from the water that's all around you on a dive? A new material synthesized by researchers in a lab could do just that.

Scientists have created a crystalline material that can pull all the oxygen out of room with just a spoonful. And it can release that oxygen when and where it's needed. What some have dubbed the Aquaman crystal offers tantalizing promise for those tethered to bulky equipment."

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ben Affleck To Play Guy with Secret Nighttime Identity But Isn't Batman This Time | I Watch Stuff

Ben Affleck To Play Guy with Secret Nighttime Identity But Isn't Batman This Time | I Watch Stuff: "Apparently our go-to guy to play guys who sneak off at night to take on a skilled, confrontational alter ego, Batman v Superman and Daredevil star Ben Affleck is in talks to now be one of those again in The Accountant. As reported by Variety, the film would see Affleck in the title role, taking a part once attached to Will Smith, that of a mild-mannered bookkeeper who moonlights as some kind of lethal assassin. Warrior's Gavin O'Connor is being eyed to direct and finally give the assassin thriller genre the element it's long been missing: scattered scenes of tax preparation."

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Voting Is Already Way Too Easy

Voting Is Already Way Too Easy: "I can summarize the report in one sentence, as well: Let’s degrade elections in America. The report, for example, suggests that no one in the country should have to wait longer than “30 minutes” to cast a ballot – or, in other words, voting should entail 15 minutes less exertion than ordering Chinese takeout. Nowhere within the recommendations – or elsewhere, for that matter – do we ever ponder whether voters have a civic responsibility to know who the vice president is before getting an ‘I voted’ sticker."

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Small California winery to close doors after being fined for using volunteers « Hot Air

Small California winery to close doors after being fined for using volunteers « Hot Air: "A state spokesperson’s response was to whine about what might happen if there were a “catastrophic accident” (lawsuits?) and that it wasn’t “fair” for wineries that have to pay employees to compete with wineries who don’t. I don’t think anybody was worried that this $11,000-a-year empire was going to put anybody out of business, and it’s the state that mandated this system in the first place. Whenever anybody who works in government talks about creating a level field for the marketplace, you know some small business owner somewhere is about to get screwed over. The story notes that there are many small wineries like this one in the area who rely on volunteers. They had to send them all home."

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Three words. Tetris. The movie. « Hot Air

Three words. Tetris. The movie. « Hot Air: "Traditionally we see this sort of development go in the other direction. A blockbuster movie comes out in some sort of action, thriller or science fiction genre and then a video game is put out based on that story. With very few exceptions these games tend to be unplayable disasters. Movie studios simply don’t have the time, resources or, frankly, the interest to do this right. The games all too often wind up looking like a different game model with new faces pasted on the characters using off the shelf game engines. The studios can’t invest the same level of effort that shops like Rockstar and Electronic Arts put into really innovative, successful games."

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The new New Math: Byzantine subtraction in Common Core « Hot Air

The new New Math: Byzantine subtraction in Common Core « Hot Air: "I’m pretty good with patterns, so I see what the intent is with this method. It’s to build the answer through a series of additions, taking four steps on paper plus a number of cognitive judgments along the way. What I can’t see is why anyone would ever need to use this method to actually subtract one number from another. In the old New Math, breaking equations down into components based on the places in the numbers could boost understanding of algebra and help one learn to do more complex equations in the head. That’s clearly not the case here — the “counting-up method” requires a paper calculation and more complicated cognitive judgments than simply subtracting and carrying over. Furthermore, as one of Erick’s commenters noted, even if one argues that it prepares children for higher math functions, how do you deal with negative numbers using this method?

As Erick concludes, the only possible value in putting this in a textbook is just that it’s new. I’m all for new when new improves on old, but … this is sheer nonsense."

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Climate Change Has Jumped the Shark

Climate Change Has Jumped the Shark: "Lay aside for now all of the arguments that can be made about the weaknesses of catastrophic climate change predictions.  In fact, for purposes of discussion, let’s assume that the worst-case scenario is likely to come true.  The paradox of climate change is exactly this: the more serious the problem, the more implausible are the remedies of the environmental community.  That’s what ought to make the climate campaigners realize that last weekend’s mega-march in New York City represents the dead-end for their cause.  Truly we can invoke that overused cliché that climate change has “jumped the shark.”

Here’s why: From the beginning 25 years ago the arguments over climate science have dominated the scene and distracted us away from the fundamental problem: the prescribed method for preventing climate change is essentially replacing nearly all hydrocarbon energy, in the space of less than two generations.  Climate orthodoxy calls for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, worldwide, by the year 2050, which would take the United States back to a level of hydrocarbon energy use last seen more than 100 years ago.  For the developing world, it means remaining poor for several more decades."

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Neil deGrasse Tyson, C.P. Snow and the science vs. culture battle « Hot Air

Neil deGrasse Tyson, C.P. Snow and the science vs. culture battle « Hot Air: "That’s why it makes me rather sad to see him veering off into matters of politics and public policy. I was already well aware of his liberal leanings when venturing into subjects not involving a telescope. I’ve listened to several podcasts that he’s done with Chris Hardwick (you can listen to one example here) and while he’s always an enjoyable member of any panel, during an in-depth interview which ranges into casual areas, his liberal philosophies show up fairly quickly. (Anybody looking for more of this material on Tyson should really consider going through the three Nerdist podcasts he did, because there’s plenty of material there.)

I try to be one of those people who can segregate the ideology of actors, musicians, and even scientists from their primary work. If I refused to watch any movies starring people with hefty liberal biases I’d probably never walk into a theater again unless Clint Eastwood does another movie. The same goes for music. If they’re not beating me over the head with it, I try to sit back, relax and enjoy the show. And in the future, the odds are that I’ll do the same with Tyson. At least as long as he sticks to outer space."

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US: Our collateral damage policies don’t apply to Syria, Iraq air strikes « Hot Air

US: Our collateral damage policies don’t apply to Syria, Iraq air strikes « Hot Air: "During Israel’s operation in Gaza Barack Obama continually blasted Israel for the civilian casualties despite the fact that Israel went out of its way to avoid hitting civilians and Hamas used its civilians as human shields. Today the White House acknowledged the strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq. In other words he ripped Israel though it was doing everything it could, but Obama told the American military that civilians deaths were not that important."

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