Nov 242012

Luo Boagen and his wife are hereby inducted as members into the Honorable Order of Leviathan Ankle-Biters.  No, they didn’t take on Leviathan, at least not directly, but they have the spirit that it takes to do it.

Luo Baogen and his wife are the lone holdouts from a neighborhood that was demolished to make way for the main thoroughfare heading to a newly built railway station on the outskirts of the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province.

Dramatic images of Luo’s home have circulated widely online in China this week, becoming the latest symbol of resistance in the frequent standoffs between Chinese homeowners and local officials accused of offering too little compensation to vacate neighborhoods for major redevelopment projects.

via China builds road right around “nail house” as owner Luo Baogen refuses to sell – CBS News.

Nov 232012

The Surgeon-General is confused. Thanksgiving is a time for families to sit around and discuss what topics government should be sticking its nose into.  It’s not a time for government to tell families what to discuss.

Surgeon-General Regina Benjamin has declared Thanksgiving to be the nation’s ninth annual Family Health History Day: “An important step in prevention and wellnes is learning about health conditions in our families that may put us at increased risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, mental illness and many others,” Benjamin says. She wants us to track illnesses from one generation to the next so health care providers can predict what may befall each of us.

via Gov’t Tells Americans What to Discuss at Holiday Dinner; Declares Thanksgiving ‘Family Health History Day’ | CNS News.

Nov 222012

It has been a while since I last handed out one of these, but Andrea Hernandez is an especially deserving recipient .  The Rutherford Foundation helped, too.

Andrea Hernandez won’t have to leave her high school for refusing to wear a badge designed to track her every move there – yet – her attorneys announced today.

The school had reportedly offered to allow Hernandez to wear a non-functional badge, giving the appearance of support for the program, but she declined.

via Judge Grants Reprieve To Student Expelled For Refusing To Wear Tracking Device Badge | CNS News.

Nov 192012

This means embracing the sequester, which demands more than $1 trillion in reduced spending over the next decade. The sequester became law in 2011 to resolve the showdown over increasing the federal debt limit. But the sequester’s cuts to both defense and social programs were thought to be so unpalatable to both parties that the pols would be forced to find other ways to reduce the deficit before the cuts begin on January 1. Mr. Obama’s re-election may change the political calculus.

Right now Republicans say they oppose both defense cuts and tax hikes. But most members of the GOP caucus will likely accept a leaner Pentagon to spare further harm to a stagnant economy, and to begin to restrain deficit spending. Says Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, “The only thing worse than a defense cut is no cut at all.”

via Political Diary: Learning to Love the Sequester –

Nov 172012

Um, I think this goes beyond “authoritarian.”

At Western Michigan University, it is considered harassment to hold a “condescending sex-based attitude.”

Free speech is about protecting oddballs. It means protecting dissenters.”It even means letting Ann Coulter speak.

via The Weekend Interview with Greg Lukianoff: How Free Speech Died on Campus –

Nov 172012

Merkel stands up to Putin’s human rights violations while Obama provides them aid and comfort .

Rising public disgust with Russia’s drift toward reactionary and incompetent authoritarianism, combined with business revulsion at the wholesale corruption consuming what is left of the Russian economy, have reduced the attractiveness of the “Russia pole” for German foreign policy. Today we see something no one could have imagined even a decade ago: the chancellor of Germany is using tougher language with Russia than is the president of the United States.

via The Complicated Geopolitics of Decline: Germany & Russia Edition | Via Meadia.

Nov 162012

Blue states are where the rich get richest and poor the poorest.  Cause and effect might go both ways, in a vicious circle. If so, it’s a good thing for blue politicians and their cronies, if not for the people themselves.

The CBPP’s attitude toward all that? Never mind. Their attachment to the blue state model reminds one of the communist apologists who insisted in the face of all evidence that the system just hadn’t been tried hard enough. At least they’ll be getting their laboratory in the years ahead. California has just voted to double down on blue state policies with higher taxes and Democratic supermajorities in the state government. The nation will be watching.

via Political Diary: Liberal Blues –

Nov 162012

Like I said, I could like some of President Obama’s policies if not implemented with so much cronyism and corruption.  (One wonders if most of the critics of Haliburton were not very sincere.)

XP has received information demonstrating that the unprecedented number of failures in the DOE program relative to what DOE officials have claimed to be “the most expensive and extensive due diligence in history” is explained by manipulated reviews, in the due diligence effort, on behalf of what the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigations found to be “favoritism” in published investigation reports. A senate ethics investigation states, in published reports, that “negligence and mismanagement by DOE officials” was a regular occurrence.

via Lawsuit Alleges “Corruption and Negligence” at Department of Energy.

Nov 152012

It’s all about critical thinking – teaching students to think for themselves. Education vs indoctrination.

Frankly, I have a hard time getting my mind around this story. A teacher in a 6th Grade “journalism” class at a public school in Southern California distributed the materials below to students. The materials are highly critical of ALEC, The American Legislative Exchange Council, a membership organization of conservative state legislators. The students were assigned to use the materials to write news articles critical of the organization. Did I mention this was for 6th graders?

via 6th Grade Class Given Assignment to Write Stories Against Conservative Organization.