Sep 29

Marxissus Wept

or, Poor-Me-Theus Unsound

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the President’s Marxism heaving into view as if a pirate ship long-feared, sailing at last into view past the rocky headlands of polite discourse to the sheltered waters of our increasingly uneasy political hamlet. The President of the United States is surely not a Marxist, though, right? I mean, that’s just a bunch of overheated and frankly unfair rhetoric, taking advantage of unfavorable economic winds, to smear the good ship of State just because of the waters in which it finds itself, left there in turn by a rapacious predecessor. Tell the men in the tower to check again, and this time to bring their wives along, to straighten their addled heads. You know how men will talk.

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Sep 29

China Wins Two for the Price of One

 

Siebert said the failure to release F-16C/Ds will weaken Lockheed Martin’s plans to extend the production line for the fighter.

“While Congress has been notified of Oman and Iraq’s desire for F-16s, the Taiwan order for 66 aircraft is very important to the long-term viability of the F-16 production to include the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin and the thousands of suppliers throughout the U.S.,” she said.
–From Defense News

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Sep 29

Autism/Asperger’s Clusters as a Fiction Component

According to the leading proponent of assortative mating, Simon Baron-Cohen, director of Cambridge University’s Autism Research Center (and cousin to the comedian Sasha Baron-Cohen), autism tends to run in families. While that’s not news — it’s been estimated that a family with one autistic child has a 1 in 20 risk of having a second autistic child — Baron-Cohen has expanded upon that theory to posit entire communities of people with some tendency toward autism or Asperger’s syndrome, a related disorder.

http://news.yahoo.com/assortative-mating-blame-rise-autism-152400736.html

http://healthland.time.com/2011/08/19/could-the-way-we-mate-and-marry-boost-rates-of-autism/

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Sep 29

Jack and the Boehnstalk

1. Is there an unspoken consensus among the leadership in Washington that things are about to get much worse?  It would answer some questions which I do not feel have been adequately answered yet, and I do not seem to be alone in this.

2. The rumor that those Senators and perhaps Representatives who voted against the recent bill will not be eligible to serve on the super-committee is disturbing.  There is an aspect to it that makes sense, as a whip device, but it doesn’t quite fit there.  it looks more like a weapon aimed at splitting or suppressing the Tea Party, in exactly the same way that Democrats use tax hikes to split or suppress the Republican Party.

Obviously, McConnell would like a unified front, but he knows he won’t get one.

If a Republican votes for a tax hike, that erodes support from the right.  This is why Democrats strive mightily to bring Republicans on board for even tiny tax hikes–it’s the weakness, not the expense, that dooms weak Republicans.  Similarly, if a Tea Party Republican votes for this awful bill, then the Tea Party will rightly savage that guy, and throw him in the same RINO bucket with the likes of Olympia Snowe, whom by the way we have to thank for ObamaCare (at one point, it was up to her, and she folded).

3. Boehner and McConnell seem to have negotiated with their democrat opponents while doing battle against their Tea party allies.  This is the same thing that happened during the budget/CR debacle, and I said so at the time.  And the first betrayal, the seating of big-spenders like sixteen-term Representative Hal “Prince of Pork” Rogers to important positions on committees that the GOP would be bit players on if not for the Tea Party.  Not only does the ideological stance of Rogers rankle, but the things he says about the Tea Party an about government spending are unacceptable.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/house-gop-appoints-prince-pork-hal-rogers-chair/story?id=12343673 Hal Rogers story from 2008, just after named to chair approps

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Sep 26

The Meaning of Life

People say that the ultimate question is the meaning of life, but I think that;s a cop-out.  People care very little for notions as abstract as that, although it can be fun to debate at the University duck pond, in terms as sweeping as they are impersonal.

A far better question is “Do I matter?” and I think that most of human activity can be divided into two types: that which makes a person matter, and that which makes a person appear to matter.  It’s a yes/no question and everybody wants the answer to be yes.  Failing that, they want other people not to know that the answer is no.

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