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November 2010
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January 2011

The Fairer Sex?

Code Monkey Ramblings:

The real question the left should be asking itself is why it has started coming full circle back into a race-free version of the Myth of White Female Virtue that caused more than a few men to get murdered because of careless and even malicious statements made by women in years past.

Silly monkey. Women never lie. Those men who think otherwise are sexist, misogynist, fascist pigs!

Oh yes, shaming language is totally cool when the target is a man.

Time to Pay the Bill

The Fiscal Times:

But just how flush is a family of four with a $250,000 income? Are they really “rich”? To find the answer, The Fiscal Times asked BDO USA, a national tax accounting firm, to compute the total state, local and federal tax burden of a hypothetical two-career couple with two kids, earning $250,000.

Interesting. Though, what's going to affect the average Joe is these terrible little taxes:

States and municipalities have been steadily raising income tax rates to help close gaping holes in their budgets. Property taxes are also increasing, even though real estate values have cratered. And sales taxes are hitting record levels, in some areas nearing 10 percent. Gas taxes, alcohol taxes and hidden surcharges on everything from airline flights, ferry rides, soda, vehicle registrations and rental cars have also been stealthily rising.

Politicians can only soak the rich for a while before they simply stop working or move. Then it really is the definitely-not-rich crowd which sees the higher taxes in the form of higher prices.

The Truth is Ugly

Jihad Watch:

Interestingly enough, when Islamic spokesmen in the U.S. talk about making sure people understand Sharia law, they actually mean that they want to make sure people don't understand it. In Malaysia, no such obfuscations are necessary.

It does require constant effort to portray the Religion of Perpetual War as the Religion of Peace.


The geniuses have created a new task force:

The CIA's Counterintelligence Center is leading the new task force, which is also made up of more than two dozen members from departments across the agency.

The official name of this group is the WikiLeaks Task Force, otherwise known as WTF.

A Dreary Christmas

Catholic News Agency via Jihad Watch:

Egyptian Christians face significant public and private discrimination, including policies that make it nearly impossible for them to build churches. In November, a crowd demonstrating for their right to build a church in Giza clashed with police, who fired on unarmed protesters.

More than 150 people –including some children– remain in jail following that incident, in a country notorious for police brutality and other human rights abuses.

More on those peaceful Muslims in "moderate" Egypt:

They're particularly offended, he noted, by “people who want to change their religion” – specifically, Muslims who want to become Christians, who can expect ostracism and may face death threats.

Precious Freedom

Strike the Root: A Conversation With Vox Day.

If man is so evil and foolish, and libertarianism is the enlightened philosophy behind the best form of governance, what are the prospects for libertarianism in the future? Do you believe we are doomed to forever be in the minority?

The prospects for libertarianism are generally poor. Unfortunately, the people of the West have demonstrated a strong inclination to continue looking to government in order to solve the problems caused by previous government interventions. I do believe libertarians will always be in the minority for the simple reason that most people fear genuine freedom due to its intrinsic requirement of self-responsibility.

After living in Saudi Arabia and Canada for 10+ years each, this rings true.

Muhammad Madness

Classical Liberal provided this link:

Shock and protest reign in the Pakistani civil society. Naushad Valyani, a Muslim doctor in Hyderabad (Sindh province) was arrested for blasphemy in the last few days. His crime is to have snatched and thrown in the trash business cards from a sales representative, named Mohammad, who proposed the purchase of certain drugs.

OMG! Muhammad is selling drugs! If you buy, you'll get stoned; if you don't, you'll be stoned!

A person who worked in the international students office of my university told me a story about Muhammad. You see, a new international student needed some documents. He went to the office of the registrar and requested them. The lady working there asked for his last name.

"Muhammad," he said.

"Your first name?"

"Muhammad," he said.

The surprised woman, "Don't you people have other names?"

The emotionally shattered student went to the international students office and complained. They then talked to the woman about being "sensitive" to such students.

In Pakistan, they'd probably kill such a blasphemer twice! First the hanging, then the beheading. Praise be to Allah!

Allah Can't Stand Criticism

Dan Shapiro:

The recent UN Human Rights Council draft resolution on "Combating defamation of religions" would make George Orwell roll over in his grave. If adopted by the UN General Assembly, it will give governments around the world unacceptable powers.

Later in the article, he writes:

Individuals have human rights to be protected; ideas, ideologies, religions and states do not.

What a profound concept! Why does such a simple idea have so much trouble penetrating the skulls of Muslims?

Fracking Mother Earth *

What the frack?

Natural gas doesn't run our lives: As a fossil fuel used to generate electricity, it's in a distant second place behind coal. But with new domestic gas sources—much of it made available thanks to hydraulic fracturing—that all could change, along with (someday) the way you cook your food, heat your home or even drive your car. Here's a look at the facts behind this controversial new way to get to U.S. gas.

I just can't resist:

fracking has prompted concerns about safety and environmental impact.

Link via Instapundit.

* Yes, I'm juvenile.

Ungrateful Goons

David Thompson on "protests" by college students in the UK:

One enormous placard read, “We are not your slaves!” An odd sentiment, really, from people so engorged with entitlement they assume an almost aristocratic right to other people’s labour and other people’s earnings. A more honest placard might have read, “You will pay for things I want or I’ll smash up your stuff.” But that would sound like extortion more than slavery.

Thuggery has a long and proud tradition on the left. Violence is perfectly fine as long as the cause is "just".

Ignoring the Austrians

Classical Liberal posted this link in the comments:

when looked at critically, the budget position of the United States is no better than that of the more feckless EU countries, while several of its states are close to bankruptcy. Japan too has debt levels so high that its credit would be questionable in any crisis. Rich country government debt, since 1694 considered the safest of all assets, could be forced into write-down as rollovers proved impossible. If that happened, the global economy, in which confidence would have vanished, would almost certainly descend into a recession that would rival the Great Depression and might well prove permanent as overpopulation, resource and environmental problems overwhelmed its ability to recover.

I agree with the main point: A huge price will be paid for many years of mal-investment in the US and other richer parts of the world.

In the 1930s, for the first time in human history, the American government decided to pay farmers to not grow food. Why? To keep food prices high and the farmers happy. This economically destructive policy was used right in the middle of the Great Depression. Recently, the American government has taken productive dollars away from taxpayers and given it to businesses that are failing. These workers are making products that are not profitable in the market but such businesses have enough muscle to steal money from taxpayers. Again, it's another policy that makes little economic sense.

The immediate future will bring a lot of pain. As Vox Day has stated, we are in the Great Depression 2.0.

Bad Incentive Structure

Greg Mankiw:

when I hear economists advocate the extension of UI to 99 weeks, I am tempted to ask, would you also favor a further extension to 199 weeks, or 299 weeks, or 1099 weeks? If 99 weeks is better than 26 weeks, but 199 is too much, how do you know?

Unemployment insurance ought to be of a short duration. When it lasts more than a year, it starts to look like a lifestyle choice. Besides taking money away from productive sectors of the economy and handing it to people who aren't working isn't a smart policy.

Cash + Heaven for Murder

Reuters via Jihad Watch:

A hardline, pro-Taliban Pakistani Muslim cleric Friday offered a reward for anyone who kills a Christian woman sentenced to death by a court on charges of insulting Islam.

The reward -- $5,800 -- might seem small to us but in that part of the world it's equivalent to more than two years worth of average income.

Here is the follower of the Religion of PeaceTM in his own words:

"We expect her to be hanged and if she is not hanged then we will ask mujahideen and Taliban to kill her."

Those Krazy Koreans

Indigo Jo:

Yesterday I was having a discussion with my aunt, who asked me if I had heard of Sarah Palin making that ridiculous statment about their North Korean “allies”. She was concerned that this would not harm her chances of becoming president in the least, because it fed into the American ignorance culture, in which a large proportion of voters will not think anything less of you if you don’t know much about what goes on outside America.


she was a huge asset to Barack Obama in the last election, as some people who would otherwise have voted for McCain did not like the idea of Palin being a heartbeat away from the presidency. They are unlikely to vote for this ridiculous woman after this gaffe.

Palin was an asset for McCain. Had he picked someone else, it's likely he would have lost by a larger margin. This gaffe was a slip of the tongue. She did correct her mistake and then later pointed out many errors that Obama has made which oddly didn't sway voters away from him.

Even in 2011

Really Right Stuff thinks the Nikon will release their next-generation DSLR camera in the summer of 2011. It'll be called the D4.

This is a sensible prediction. Nikon has waited about four years between each major upgrade to their pro-level DSLR line. The D3 came out in 2007. So, it won't be a surprise when the D4 debuts next year.

What is surprising is that RRS put out a catalog with that information. I'm betting Nikon is not happy about this.