Dazzling Knowledge

Friday, October 27, 2006

Results of my latest Tickle Test

Pat, your player style is Happenin

You want to be there when it happens. That's what keeps you on top of everything that's going on. Whether you find yourself hanging in the hottest new restaurant, catching the latest underground poets, or starting the hippest new party scene, you're sure to be the VIP wherever you go.

Always working a new angle about something or someone, you're not afraid to show off your smarts or be a little aloof to those who don't quite get it. Got it?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Remember Minesweeper?

Enjoy. Just make sure you get to work and stuff.

Can't. Wait. For. Borat!

This looks like it could be the funniest movie ever. Check the Unofficial Homepage.

The Great Paradox of Political Economy

Jonah Goldberg has an article on the absurdity of claims politicians make about the economy. My favorite is how all of these parasites claim to "create jobs." They do nothing. We do everything.

"Meanwhile, the single-most underreported good-news economic story of the 21st century so far is the explosion in American productivity. From 2000 to 2004, productivity in the United States grew by 17 percent. That is a staggering number which tells us more about the long-term health of the American economy than statistics about the GDP, unemployment or wage growth. Those four years — which include a recession and 9/11 — are almost better than all of Bill Clinton’s eight years in office (which also saw impressive productivity growth).

This isn’t a partisan point. Bush and Clinton deserve virtually no credit here. The credit goes to American ingenuity and technological innovation (chiefly in the form of computers finally paying off on a massive scale). But these improvements aren’t easily captured in the statistics that bureaucrats are paid to keep on top of, and politicians can’t claim credit for them, so the media ignore them. Collectively, policymakers are like a man looking for his car keys only where the light is good.

This predicament is a byproduct of the great paradox of political economy. Free markets are better than any other system in the world at solving those things we want economics to solve. But it doesn’t feel that way. Markets shake things up and make us feel insecure even as the big picture continues to brighten. People want guarantees — even though the lack of guarantees makes American ingenuity possible — and politicians are only too happy to oblige."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Modern Democracy; Or, Idiots Electing Morons

I'm not what you'd call a political creature. In fact, I loathe politics as much as I do organized religion and the Phillies' front office. But this certainly makes for some entertaining reading.

Vote Libertarian, Green, Socialist, Ranting-Old-Man-On-The-Corner, whatever, but don't have to tell your grandkids someday that the reason they're being taxed 60% of their welfare check to fund the War In Iraq ("Celebrating 40 Years Of Inflicting Freedom!") is because you helped support these dumb-asses.

Man, this soapbox is giving me vertigo; I think I'll step down now.

America's Dumbest Congressmen [Radar Online]

Monday, October 23, 2006

Shaquille O'Neal Terrorizes Innocent Family in Wrong-Door SWAT Raid

From The Agitator:

"Extremely weird botched raid in Bedford County, Virginia, in which a family was terrorized at gunpoint by a raiding SWAT team on an Internet child porn raid. As it turns out, the special anti-child porn police unit, called the"Blue Ridge Thunder," made a mistake while tracing the IP address, and sent the raid team to the wrong home. Here's the raid victim's letter to the editor.

That all would be strange enough. But it gets weirder. If you read through this MetaFilter thread, it appears that of all people, NBA star Shaquille O'Neal participated in this raid -- as a police officer. One MeFi poster who lives in the area claims to have seen O'Neal. Another says O'Neal's presence on the raid was confirmed in the local newspaper"

Whole thing here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Scientists find large meteorite in Kansas

As Chamomiles says, "Oh please, let there be a small, unharmed alien baby inside." Story here.

Family of faggot fans fly the flag

I defy you to find three sentences in this article that are not hilarious.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Well, I don't see any racism there

"Immigrants have been accused of debasing our culture, overcrowding our schools and hospitals, and lowering our wages. Now a Harvard professor is blaming them for sending African-Americans to jail.

George Borjas of Harvard University, a Cuban immigrant, writes in his latest National Bureau of Economic Research paper that "As immigrants disproportionately increased the supply of workers in a particular skill group, we find a reduction in the wage of black workers in that group, a reduction in the employment rate, and a corresponding increase in the incarceration rate."

The story goes as follows. Low-skilled immigrants arrive in America and take jobs away from African-Americans. Due to the lack of job opportunities, African-Americans are drawn into illegal activities, get arrested, and are then put in prison.

Let's for the moment ignore the insulting assumption that African-Americans are more likely than others to turn to crime if they cannot find work. The major problem with Mr. Borjas's argument is that young black men began withdrawing from the labor force in the 1960s, when the share of immigrants in the labor force was less than 1%."

Whole thing here.

What do you think the Crocodile Hunter is up to now?

Maybe this?

Single-parent job plan fuels divorce frenzy

"BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese education officials have scrapped a job cut plan that allowed single-parent teachers with children to stay in work after it prompted a rash of divorces, a Chinese newspaper said on Wednesday.

The plan to cut teachers in primary and middle schools in Dandong, in northeastern Liaoning province, had resulted in 41 teachers at a single school filing for divorce in a week, the Shanghai Daily reported.

"In comparison, their town divorced a total of 34 couples in the whole of 2005," the paper said."

To those who ignore the law of unintended consequences and continue to push statist policies, we salute you! Whole thing here.

Friday, October 13, 2006

More on Immigration

I've decided to give more attention to the immigration issue. I like the issue, it's hot, and it's an excuse to give dazzling knowledge a bit of a flavor (Spicy Mexican!). Here's a link to a debate among three bloggers: conservative (build a wall), libertarian (let Mexicans work here), and liberal (bash Bush).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Principled Immigration

This is one of the most thoughtful articles I've seen on the issue of "illegal" immigration. (Note that "scare quotes" are intentionally included around the "quotation marks.")

"Not for the first time, the world finds itself in an age of great movements of peoples. And once again, the United States is confronted with the challenge of absorbing large numbers of newcomers. There are approximately 200 million migrants and refugees worldwide, triple the number estimated by the UN only seventeen years ago. In the United States alone, about a million new immigrants have entered every year since 1990, bringing the total immigrant population to more than 35 million, the largest number in the nation’s history. Though Americans take justifiable pride in our history as a “nation of immigrants,” the challenges are more complex than those the nation previously surmounted. For sending and receiving countries alike, this is a time of exceptional stress—and yet, a moment that offers opportunities as well.

"Opinion leaders in the aging societies of Europe and the United States have generally avoided mentioning the relation between the birth dearth and the need for immigration. Consequently, there has been little discussion of what should be obvious: An affluent society that, for whatever reason, does not welcome babies is going to have to learn to welcome immigrants if it hopes to maintain its economic vigor and its commitments to the health and welfare of its population. The issue is not who will do jobs that Americans don’t want. The issue is who will fill the ranks of a labor force that the retiring generation failed to replenish.

"Overshadowing all other concerns is alarm over the fact that there are 11 or 12 million immigrants in the United States who have entered or remained in the country illegally. To comprehend the depth of feeling attached to that issue, one has to keep in mind that there is no country on Earth where legal values play a more prominent role in the nation’s conception of itself than the United States. That was one of the first things Tocqueville noticed in his travels here in the early 1830s, and, as the country has grown larger and more diverse, its reliance on legal values has become ever more salient. In the culture struggles of the late twentieth century, Americans had to rely more heavily than ever on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the rule of law to serve as unifying forces. Persons who come from societies bound together by shared history, stories, songs, and images can easily overlook or underrate the importance of this aspect of United States culture. Persons who come from societies where formal law is associated with colonialism may well find the United States’ emphasis on legality rather strange. But no solution to the challenges of immigration is likely to succeed without taking it into account."

The whole thing is a bit long, but a good read for those interested in the topic. Maybe not for racists and union protectionists.

If long articles aren't your thing, here's a cartoon about "the job-stealing, disease-carrying terrorist invasion from the south!"

It's Business Time!

Enjoy the Flight of the Conchords.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Male Restroom Etiquette

A YouTube cartoon instructional on how to behave in the can.