Friday, August 31, 2012


"It is also worth noting that the current administration is against coal, natural gas, nuclear power and dams."

What is the clerisy? Joe Kotkin at New Geography writes about them and how they are affective American culture and the upcoming election:
This largely well-heeled “middle class” still adores the president, and party theoreticians see it as the Democratic Party’s new base. Gallup surveys reveal Obama does best among “professionals” such as teachers, lawyers and educators. After retirees, educators and lawyers are the two biggest sources of campaign contributions for Obama by occupation. Obama’s largest source of funds among individual organizations is the University of California, Harvard is fifth and its wannabe cousin Stanford ranks ninth.

Like teachers, much of academia and the legal bar like expanding government since the tax spigot flows in the right direction: that is, into their mouths. Like the old clerical classes, who relied on tithes and the collection bowl, many in today’s clerisy lives somewhat high on the hog; nearly one in five federal workers earn over $100,000.

Essentially, the clerisy has become a new, mass privileged class who live a safer, more secure life compared to those trapped in the harsher, less cosseted private economy. As California Polytechnic economist Michael Marlow points out, public sector workers enjoy greater job stability, and salary and benefits as much as 21% higher than of private sector employees doing similar work.
If you ask people if they are better off now than 4 years ago, chances are if they say 'yes' they are in the modern clerisy.

Like chocolate? It seems like either you love it more than air or you can take it or leave it. Well some research suggests that chocolate may reduce the risk of stroke. It certainly seems to make people smile.

Democrats are dropping in general popularity according to some polling data. You should all know I have little patience with polling but they can over a time period show trends, if properly done. In this case, it confirms something we already know: both parties are losing popularity and are losing membership, Democrats faster then Republicans. And from where I sit, that's a good thing.

Don't tell anyone I'm a conservative! Actually I don't care, but if you work in Hollywood its long been known you have to keep your mouth shut on politics if you disagree with the left, if you want work. However, there are a lot of other areas where that's true as well. At Instapundit, readers keep saying something like "I would ask that if you do anything with this, you do not associate my name with anything. It would pretty much destroy me professionally." Other readers commented:
If you are Black, Hispanic, work in Hollywood, Journalism, Law or Academia you must hide your true beliefs or your life/job will be targeted. This is the real battle for the future.

Identifying with conservative issues, and I’m not even talking social issues, is professional death in the non-profit world. So, please, if you use this, don’t use my name.

My wife, on the other hand, works in a liberal profession. The few times she’s let her true feelings show, she’s been met with disdain, antipathy and outright disgust. She’s afraid to put a Romney sticker on her car for fear of it being vandalized in the employee parking lot.
Data is not the plural of anecdote, but does anyone seriously doubt this effect is real? The establishment will not tolerate dissent.

Mark Regnerus at University of Texas wrote a paper on a study that showed children are better off with a mother and a father, instead of say, two fathers. The university immediately began an investigation into scientific misconduct and ethical violations by this awful person. They recently dropped the investigation, noting that there was no misconduct and the research does suggest this conclusion.

Low interest rates are a boon for big banks and are great for rich people to borrow and invest with, that's why they love Quantitative Easing. But for regular folks, it just means .35% interest on savings. Glenn Reynolds in an opinion piece in USA Today writes:
Some years ago, when earning say 5% on your money was realistic, a $360,000 portfolio of CDs would produce $18,000 a year in interest — that's $1500 a month. Couple that with an unexceptional Social Security payment of about the same amount, and that's $36,000 a year, $3,000 a month. Nothing fancy, but enough to get by.

Now change that 5% to 0.9% and you're earning $3,240 per year, or about $270 a month. Add that to $1,500 a month in Social Security and you've got $1,770 a month to live on; just $21,240 a year. That's a brutal 41% cut in income. And it is why many senior citizens around the country are being forced to draw down savings to make ends meet.
But if they raise the interest rates with 16 trillion in debt, the interest payments become overwhelming. We're already seeing the debt increase a trillion in less than a year - and accelerating - with present interest rates. This is unsustainable, to use a popular leftist word.

Are we running out of auto mechanics? This story in the USA Today suggests so, but Instapundit reader Dan Dressel disagrees:
I work directly with auto part stores and repair shops, and all I can say is don’t believe the hype. A lot of shops have closed the last two years due to the recovery, and there are a lot of young, trained mechanics out there doing other things. As soon as a good job turning wrenches opens up (and they can’t go back on unemployment after working six months), they’ll leave whatever service position they have and get back under the hood.
Dressel suggests perhaps the article is meant to direct young people to attend, say, GM mechanic schools which are heavily advertised. Mobility in an economy is a strength, allowing people to get work in another field when theirs suffers or collapses.

Andrew Ferguson at The Weekly Standard didn't much care for Romney. Me either, really. As I've written in the past, he seems too self-awarely a politician, too willing to say what people want to hear, and his campaign a little too mechanically precise and clinical. But last night's convention, which I didn't watch but checked live blogs on, is changing that for Ferguson and me, and I suspect a lot of others. Romney's life is almost a caricature, the kind of person an editor would reject in a book as being too unbelievable. He saved lives, he gave away his multi million dollar inheritance and built himself up from scratch, he pulled people out of burning buildings, he shut down the Bain office to help find a missing girl, he gave money to people just to help them. He's either been incredibly skilled at building a persona for political gain, or he really is that nice a guy.

That doesn't mean I agree with all of Romney's politics or that negates his two-faced tendency to make speeches, but it does change his persona. And for people that only knew him as the robotic job killer at Bain and the white millionaire, that's only helpful for the Romney campaign.

Economic news may be bad but the legacy media has worked hard at making it seem not so bad, under a Democrat president. Ed Driscoll sums it up at Pajamas Media:
Actually, the MSM has most of those bases covered. High gas prices? Good news says NBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Politico. High meat prices? Helps fight global warming, says “Scientific” American. Heck, the whole flatlined economy helps the environment, according to Democrats John Kerry and Claire McCaskill. Think of retirement as a permanent case of what the L.A. Times called “funemployment” in 2009, and the joys of what Virginia Postrel dubbed the MSM’s serious case of “Depression Lust,” at the end of 2008.
Should Romney win in November, expect the coverage to... adjust.

There is some good economic news, though. Manufacturing in America has been picking up, and while this sector is not booming exactly, its doing better than elsewhere in the world:

ManufacturingI expect unemployment to drop and growth to pick up in the last quarter of this year.

What is the Masonic handshake? For centuries this cryptic method of connecting fellow members of the semi-secret society has been only speculated at by non members but Weird Universe reveals the code:
  • Sunday sign: right hand in pocket of breeches, with thumb out, pointing to the left side.
  • Monday sign: left hand in left pocket, thumb out, pointing to the right side.
  • Tuesday sign: right hand in right waistcoat pocket, with thumb out, pointing left.
  • Wednesday sign: the reverse—left hand in left waistcoat pocket, with thumb out, pointing right.
  • Thursday sign: right hand in right coat pocket, with thumb and forefinger out, pointing downwards.
  • Friday sign: exactly opposite—for right, read left.
  • Saturday sign: putting the first three fingers of the right hand to that part of the right eyebrow next the ear, and so drawing it along till the 3rd finger touches the nose.
Don't do this at the ballpark, the guy at bat might bunt.

MSNBC has abandoned all attempt at seeming like an actual news network and spent the entire RNC finding evil in every single situation, showering it with contempt, and a barely-sane Chris Matthews muttering about racism constantly like Gollum. They specifically cut away from or just outright skipped every single speaker that was a minority for two days, but finally showed most of Marco Rubio's speech. Fox News skipped several of these speeches as well for the bigger names, but showed some, and their commentary didn't continually focus on racism they secretly pulled out like numerologists finding messages in a text. Its clear that one was showing what they figured would pull in advertising and viewers, and the other was trying to avoid anyone getting the impression that perhaps Republicans aren't hateful bigoted racist monsters. NBC carried the torch as well, clipping all minorities out of their Tuesday Night speech page.

GOP womenObama's reelection team put out another ad, this time featuring women who once were Republican but now just cannot vote for Romney this year because they found out that it opposes abortion at all possible stages of pregnancy without restriction! Why, who knew? Except at least half of the women in the ad are... Democrats. Poor trolling. Meanwhile at the Mega Independent, a few more of these Republican women for Obama were found.

Remember ACORN? As I've written about several times, its still around (and still getting federal dollars, despite a ban from congress), its just split up into many different names. Cause of Action has released the various names of activist groups formerly known as ACORN, 174 of them, and they're very active still.

Internet commerce is largely untaxed right now. You have to pay sales tax if you live in a sales tax area, but otherwise the transactions are untouched by federal, state, and local government. And governments hate that. Perhaps inspired by Chief Justice John Roberts, the IRS is looking at a plan to implement a new broadband "fee" to get some more of that sweet internet cash. Don't bother writing your congressman. Vote for someone who'll stop this and other attempts to take internet freedom away.

An architect took a look at various popular entertainment sources and laid out blueprints for their homes and environments, such as the apartments from Friends, the Sopranos, the Brady Bunch house, and so on. Ever wonder what the town of Mayberry looked like, or Al Bundy's home was laid out? Now you can see. You can buy framed prints, too, which could be fun. But not cheap.

Believe it or not, Joe Biden thinks he has a shot at the presidency in 2016. He's working on a team and thinking about it and The New Republic writer Noam Scheiber is taking him seriously. I think Joe needs to find some good caretaker and retire to comfort.

Four soldiers plotted to take over an army base, then kill the president to create a new revolution and change the country. Haven't heard of this story? Wonder why its not front page number one news during a presidential election? Me too, and here's a hint: the press is describing them as an "anarchist militia." See how they don't mention right wing or conservative, or even Republican there? Yeah.

Some folks, usually academics on the left, keep calling for an IQ test to vote. Clearly, they argue, only a mongoloid idiot would vote Republican and if we clear out the sub-normal IQ crowd Democrats would rule. There's a problem with this theory that these folks haven't really considered very closely: minorities tend to test poorly in IQ tests (largely due to the nature of the tests and too common minority culture - its white to study and be good in school, homes!). Jim Goad ran the numbers at Taki's Magazine and if you dumped anyone under 100 IQ from voting... Democrats suffer massively in elections. For example, the McCain/Obama vote in 2008? McCain wins by 51-49.

After films such as Waiting for Superman and the general anger of the public against poor, shoddy education and teachers keeping jobs they shouldn't have, Teacher's unions have taken quite a beating lately. As with all public employee unions, I'm totally opposed to teachers unions, and it turns out that more and more teachers are, too. According to Stephen Sawchuck at Education Week:
By the end of its 2013–14 budget, NEA [the National Education Association] expects it will have lost 308,000 members and experienced a decline in revenue projected at some $65 million in all since 2010. (The figures are expressed in full-time equivalents, which means that the actual number of people affected is probably higher.)
It should be very difficult for a teacher of good conscience to stay in these unions.

Why isn't President Obama doing better in this election? Why does the polling trend toward Romney and away from him? Well President Obama thinks he knows: its your fault, Obama supporters.
But the folks asking me about this don’t want an explanation — they want to know what I’m going to do about it.

And the fact is that solving this problem is up to you ….

We’re losing this air war right now.

I don’t have as much time to campaign this time as I did in 2008, so this whole thing is riding on you making it happen.
Of course what he really means is "you aren't giving me enough of your money." Given your track record with money, President Obama, maybe they're just not trusting you to use it wisely.

Circumcision, once standard and presumed, is less common these days and there are some who think it is an evil barbaric practice. However, a recent report by the National Academy of Pediatrics seems to confirm what supporters have argued all along: its cleaner, helps protect against disease, and overall beneficial. Maybe God knew what he was doing all along.

According to the federal government too few of you are living on the dole. Unhappy that people who are eligible to be on food stamps and other government assistance aren't signing up as much as they could, is reminding people they don't have to stand on their own or get help from neighbors and family. They won't rest until everyone is on the teat.

What does your electric car run on? Oh sure, you plug it into the wall, right. But what's that socket connected to? Coal and natural gas, mostly. About 30% of the power generated in America is coal, 40% natural gas, and 9% each hydroelectric and nuclear power. That's right, your Volt runs on coal and petrochemicals. You just take it second hand.

And that's the Word Around the Net for August 31, 2012. See you in September.

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