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August 2009
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India Wants Pakistan To Win

Some peculiar mathematics at the Champions Trophy.

Unfortunately for India, Pakistan lost the game. Though, it was incredibly close. The game went to the last ball of the match.

It's now Pakistan vs. New Zealand and England vs. Australia in the semi-finals. I'm hoping for a Pak-Aus rematch in the final. Thus, Pakistan will get two grand opportunities:

  1. Pay back Australia for the thrashing in the 1999 World Cup final.
  2. Win a second global cricket tournament within 5 months.

The Deflated One

Hit & Run:

As Katherine Mangu-Ward noted this morning, the president's attempts to narrow his pledge so that it does not include the taxes he ends up raising (such as the federal cigarette tax, raised a few weeks after he took office, or the proposed levies on Americans who fail to buy health insurance) recently prompted a testy exchange with George Stephanopoulos in which the ABC interviewer cited the dictionary definition of tax, which Obama saw as evidence that Stephanopoulos was "stretching a little bit."

It's obvious. Dictionaries are racist!

Choosing Misery

Vox Popoli:

I've always said that men won the Sexual Revolution. Reading Dowd's column, I'm not sure what is funnier. Is it the fact that feminism has made women less happy or the fact that so many women will still cling to the "gains" that are making them miserable?

Last summer I was having lunch with a couple of ladies at my workplace and the conversation turned to happiness. One of them simply asked, "Are you happy?"

I said, "Yes."

"Why do you think that?"

"Well, I look at the past few years. Each one has been better than the last. I've graduated, got a stable job and I'm able to live in the Western world. There is little reason to be unhappy."

There was no reply from the ladies. I, of course, asked, "What about both of you? Are you happy?"

They both said, "No." They didn't elaborate even when I asked for the reasons. One was married with kids, the other was single. It was quite a sad spectacle. They live at the apex of comfort and safety, yet are going through life in a glum state.

I wonder why.

Depression in England

Times Online via Vox Popoli:

When I fly back to England, I know that I will notice two things: the old place will look surprisingly and miraculously green, and the girls will look like recycling bin bags full of windfalls, with a relentless, stroppy, obstinate and defiant plainness. When everything is wet and cold, English girls glower beneath their frizzy split ends, with their baggy pink eyes, defensively regarding the world over broken veins and puce, dripping noses, pursing their thin lips over badly shuffled teeth.


"The Utter Failure of Feminism"

So writes a reader of Vox Popoli.

SS is clearly an elite and exceptional example, but she is nevertheless describing the sad reality for far too many women of my generation. They are smart, educated, and successful, and yet, regardless of whether one looks at them from a traditional perspective or a secular evolutionary one, they are failures as women. Now, this is not to say that a woman should not be permitted to choose a path as an evolutionary dead end who primarily contributes to society by creating Powerpoint demonstrations, reading celebrity magazines, and raising felines. We all possess the inherent right to go to Hell - or if you prefer, Oblivion - in our own particular way.

So very true.

In response to the comment below: I didn't mention nor imply that women should "turn off" their brain. Do you actually think that motherhood is synonymous with that? In addition, they don't "solely" have to be homemakers. The women who wrote in above has a degree in a hard science. She came to a realization that her education pales in comparison to her need for motherhood. Hopefully, her life won't "solely" revolve around her future child but it will certainly be more fulfilling.

Understanding Economics

They're shocked:

Workers at the Stella D'oro cookie factory in the Bronx were still in shock Thursday as the news sunk in that the business had been sold and was moving to Ohio.

They wondered how they'd pay their rents and mortgages, how they'd find another job in today's recession and what they'd do without health insurance.

Workers, who already went through a long, bitter strike that ended in July, trudged out at the end of the day's shift Thursday with hangdog faces and tales of heartbreak.

They went on a strike for higher benefits and pay. They were told that to pay those benefits, the firm would be sold -- and they'll lose their jobs. That has come to pass. So, why are they shocked?

Vox Popoli:

I realize it is hard for children and liberals to understand this, but jobs don't come from the magic job-creation fairy. Or the government, for that matter. Yes, many businessmen, especially the mercenary executive class, are scum, but not even scum can stay in business when they don't make a profit.

It's a Bug?

Back when I was attending a boarding high school in the US, one of my friends asked me if I liked music by this certain band. I had never heard of them. He was stunned. He, then, proceeded to play their songs on his laptop and asked me which mp3s I would like. "Uh, I wouldn't really listen to that," was my straightforward response. He was shocked! He had bought tons of their CDs and I was rejecting their free music. He shook his head.

It was The Beatles.

The Idiocy of Bangalore Tom

Jonah Goldberg on Thomas Friedman:

If only America could drop its inefficient and antiquated system, designed in the age before globalization and modernity and, most damning of all, before the lantern of Thomas Friedman's intellect illuminated the land. If only enlightened experts could do the hard and necessary things that the new age requires, if only we could rely on these planners to set the ship of state right. Now, of course, there are "drawbacks" to such a system: crushing of dissidents with tanks, state control of reproduction, government control of the press and the internet. Omelets and broken eggs, as they say.

A great post. Read it all.

Jihad Against Jihad?

Tambi Dude sent me this link today:

In the fall of 2007, Islamists set up a stand at Toronto's annual Word on the Street book festival where they distributed a free booklet titled Towards Understanding Islam, written by Mr. Maudoodi. In the booklet, Mr. Maudoodi exhorts ordinary Muslims to launch jihad, as in armed struggle, against non-Muslims.

"Jihad is part of this overall defence of Islam," he writes. In case the reader is left with any doubt about the meaning of the word "jihad," Mr. Maudoodi clarifies: "In the language of the Divine Law, this word [jihad] is used specifically for the war that is waged solely in the name of God against those who perpetrate oppression as enemies of Islam. This supreme sacrifice is the responsibility of all Muslims."

One of the comments there:

To abandon jihad means to abandon Islam. Islam without Jihad is like tiger without its teeth. The only way to abandon jihad is to abandon islam, which is what I have done. I am sure Tarek must have also done the same, but since no muslim can say that in public without the risk of seeing his head on the floor, he is talking in coded languagge.

Can't argue with that. One finds clear and concise language here but only under the cloak of anonymity. 

Intel i-Infinity

Intel's new, mainstream processor will be released soon. It's called the Core i5. After the silly Core, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad naming scheme, Intel settled for the Core in strategy -- where n is a number.

Of course, this hasn't really made things simple. The chaos is just a bit more elegant. We already have the Core i7, Core i5 will be out shortly and then in a few months, we'll get the Core i3 and the Core i9. Intel has added further convolution by:

  1. Using two different sockets across these four lines. So, if you buy a Core i5 this year, and later you'd like to upgrade only your processor to a Core i9 (a six-core beast due in 2010), then you're out of luck. You have to upgrade your motherboard to get a different socket which will accept a Core i9.
  2. Using the 45-nm process today and then later switching to the 32-nm process. Now, this would be great if we could actually tell the difference between the two by just the name of the processor but, as far as I can tell, we can't.

I once upgraded my processor. So, I certainly do not like having this option being made more difficult and expensive. And I clearly remember in early 2008 when new 45-nm Core 2 Duos sat next to the older 65-nm Core 2 Duos. The pricing of such processors made sense from the cost-side but not from the performance-side. You see, Intel was selling older ~$300 processors that were slower than their ~$250 newer processors.

Now, a logical customer would see that those two processors have the same name and conclude that the more expensive one ought to be faster. But, no. It looks like we'll see a similar scenario next year.


Mark Steyn via Instapundit:

On Friday, Aug. 28, the principal of Eagle Bay Elementary School in Farmington, Utah — in the name of "education" — showed her young charges the "Obama Pledge" video released at the time of the inauguration, in which Ashton Kutcher and various other big-time celebrities, two or three of whom you might even recognize, "pledge to be a servant to our president and to all mankind because together we can, together we are, and together we will be the change that we seek."

Bwahahaha. Clowns can be so funny.

Oh and don't miss the reporting by the New York Times which Steyn describes in the beginning.