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educationvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Cheaters and plagiarizers — once and future

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Plagiarizing was once clear-cut. Those intrepid college students who drove to a paper mill (which back in the day was a real warehouse full of papers) and bought someone else’s paper — they knew they were cheaters. If someone wrote a paper for you, you knew you were a lazy cheater. Xeroxing a big chunk of an encyclopedia and putting it word for word into your paper: Obviously, cheating! [Read more →]

terror & war

Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels

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Thursday “fun” link.

Libya’s esteemed leader gets escorted to Hell. (Not for the faint of heart, btw).

h/t Mike Riggs

books & writing

Lisa reads The Kingdom of Childhood by Rebecca Coleman

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Judy McFarland’s life is a mess. Her marriage is crumbling, her school is going bankrupt, her best friend just died. She’s started to think about escape — her youngest son will be graduating soon and then she could leave, get a divorce, do whatever she wanted. Unfortunately, she doesn’t wait until after graduation. In Rebecca Coleman’s The Kingdom of Childhood, she makes some terrible choices that devastate the people around her.

You really want to feel sorry for Judy. The school she has loved and supported for more than 20 years is financially unstable. Her husband, Russ, is withdrawn, caught up in his own career struggles and out of touch with the family. Her daughter, Maggie, away at college, is rebelling against the very principles her parents found so important. Her son, Scott, is silent and sullen (a typical teenager).  Her best friend, Bobbie, died of cancer and every day, Judy has to walk by the classroom where she used to teach. It’s a miserable situation for anyone. [Read more →]

moneyThe Emperor decrees

Re-basing the currency

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What would you think of a monetary system with NO borrowing, NO taxation and NO reserves? It is simplicity itself. When the government needs some dough to build a fighter jet or provide orthodontia to a retired race horse, they just print it up. All bonds will be retired, on schedule and as issued (except TIPS, we’ll have to do something about them) but no more will be sold. Taxes? A dusty anachronism. And since this is fiat money, not based on crappy Italian cars but rather on the forceful declarations of government, there is no need to keep gold or silver stocks as the US currently does. We will call this Infinity Money, an appealing brand name. Inflation? Oh hells yeah! Hyperinflation? Perhaps so but now in the computer age the handling of numbers forty digits long is no great chore and as in the Weimar Age, once the numeric string is too long and the tail end isn’t worth a single grape we just cut off a dozen or so zeroes from all accounts on a date certain, I’m thinking midnight every Friday so you can restart the melting of your valuables fresh on Monday. This solves many, many problems. For one, we are constantly told that the billionaires and krillionaires are maliciously keeping trillions in their vaults so they can lounge among the greenbacks and deprive Danish Lit majors of productive employment. No more. Anyone who hoards our un-earned money will see it evaporate like dry ice so high-risk, high-growth investments will be the only recourse. The consumer likewise will not keep his money in his pocket because his pocket (or more accurately, his card) now has an extra-dimensional rift within it that will empty out the value at the pace of a flushing toilet. Consumer spending spikes. Investment spikes. Savings? Well, there won’t be any actual savings but there will be investment in goods and services. It is said in Weimar Berlin that the streets were awash in cocaine and prostitutes of all descriptions. Now that is an enviably energetic economy! [Read more →]

race & cultureterror & war

In the Arab Market

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Gilad Schalit is a free man today and he became a man in the custody and care of Hamas. Schalit was a nineteen-year old jew from a nation of jews, stolen like a comely goat from his post, as he was a soldier; a jewish soldier from a nation of jewish sodiers. As far as can be divined, the raid that claimed him was conceived and launched, involving months of tunneling by many hands, for the very purpose of capturing a jewish soldier and ransoming prisoners from the jewish jail. Schalit was of no consequence personally. He was just a jew.

For five years Schalit has paid the price for that crime. As yet we have no word from him as to what conditions he was kept. Almost certainly those were far better than exist in Palestinian jails in Gaza and the West Bank, which are filled mostly with “collaborators”, either with jews (and just the allegation of this can get one killed in the street) or the other entity. In Gaza, Hamas jails those with sympathy to Fatah. In the West Bank, Fatah jails those favorable to Hamas but in either case a five year sentence would be grueling and would show a mark or two. Schalit seems to have been kept in marketable condition as befits his status, not as prisoner of war or justice, but as a commodity. [Read more →]

moneypolitics & government

A fortuitous burst of x-rays

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Often, inside a fat guy abides a small man.  This is the reality exposed to the nation last week by the antics of New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie. What else is there to make of that display? While the media and candidates are chewing their cuticles down to the nub, Christie prances in a gunslinger approved performance where he rattles the tools around in the back shed while telling the expectant world that he is not up to anything. And then, he really isn’t. Well, he’s not up to running but he IS up to a perverse faux obeisance at the Reagan Shrine, including some ritual canoodling  with the widow Reagan, a pro forma popping of Christie ’12 balloons and then an immediate, fawning, truly disgusting appearance with Mitt Romney where they each break their own necks patting each other and themselves on the back. Noted expert on all things, Christie declares that no comparison of any kind can be legitimately made between Romneycare and Obamacare. Not suprisingly, he offers no foundation for his absolutism, simply a promise to write such nonsense out of sane discourse. Here, in a Mormon approved ceremony, Romney and Christie exchange lachrymose compliments and pledge until Death do They Part. Chris shows that he is down for the struggle with reason and perception and willing to endorse whatever inanity necessary to grease the skids for Mitt to the nomination and then the coronation. Christie might as well have simply announced while extending a signet ring: L’establishment de Republique? C’est moi! They say that Christie is conservative for New Jersey. Yes, and as a New Jersey native I can also inform you, he is quite fit. [Read more →]

black helicopter watch

Something the Brits do better than we do…

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Prime Minister of Great BritainI used to read the Times of London primarily for the book reviews and Jeremy Clarkson’s columns until Murdoch decided to overcharge for the privilege. I do still pull up The Guardian for a variety of reasons. One is that Ana Marie Cox, the equally lovely, younger,equally red-haired version of Dulcinea Dowd who would have been a lot of fun listening to chat with Molly Ivins about Michelle Bachman, has returned to professional blogging and is now doing it for The Guardian. Very cool. The other is that they frequently have columns like this one — the author’s defense of his belief, nay conviction, that the Prime Minister of Great Britian is a slithering reptile.

I do not know why we can’t routinely get it this right… Here are some of the great lines from the piece that should be printed out and posted on every thinking person’s desk when looking for inspiration on how to effectively eviscerate the trolls toiling the bells of American economic justice and freedom.

… writes vividly and from the heart and, if his byline photo is anything to go by, appears to be a perfectly reasonable man (specifically, Ross Kemp). He deserves the benefit of the doubt. But I fear in his rush to reprimand the “Modern Left”, he has overlooked one key fact: David Cameron is a lizard. Yes, David Cameron is a lizard. A lizard that devours live foals in its lair. And as far as Archer is concerned, it’s perfectly fine for this limbless, non-human, Cameron-reptile-beast-thing to squirm across the stone floor of its den merrily excreting the bones of its victims, yet I’m “depraved” simply for writing about it. This is the tragedy of the Modern Right. They’re idiots. Well, let me spell it out: You cannot dehumanise a lizard. Not without humanising it first, by giving it a little top hat, say, or a monocle. Maybe put some lipstick on it. And a wig. Teach it to walk sexy. That’s the way. (Mike’s comment — Like a pitbull, or a momma Grizzly!)

Seriously, we need to spend time practicing to be this good. There is an art, a craft, a honed skill to political commentary and invective, and these awful people deserve the best of that art.

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Dan Wheldon killed during IndyCar race

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Sports may often feel like life and death to a fan, but in the end, it is all just a bunch of games, right? Death should not be a part of sports. There are many things in this world worth dying for, and I imagine that very few people would list the playing of a game very high on that list. There is little worse than when a human being loses his or her life while playing sports. It just seems like such a waste. On Sunday, IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon was killed during a massive wreck only eleven laps into the series’ final race of the season in Las Vegas. [Read more →]

animalsBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten excuses of Malcolm Brenner, who just wrote a book about his sexual relations with a dolphin

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10. As a youth, he was always having wet dreams

9. They were thrown together when he was out scuba diving one day and accidentally got caught up in a tuna net

8. After seeing the recent Morgan Freeman movie, he was inspired to go out and get some of that ‘dolphin tail’

7. He loves the ocean, but felt a non-mammal would be a bit too kinky

6. He was trying to make his goldfish jealous

5. In his teens, he completely flipped for Flipper

4. He thought a killer whale might be a bit too risky

3. He didn’t fall in love with her on porpoise

2. There was just something about her ‘come hither’ blowhole

1. He always heard Finnish girls were the best

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

politics & governmenttrusted media & news

Bourgeois kiddies of the world unite!

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When I first saw the mob of pasty-faced bourgeois Bohemian children camped out on Wall Street I thought: not again. Ever since the late 1980s, when all that hippy nonsense turned two decades old, a segment of Western youth has suffered from 60s envy. Thus we periodically witness attempts to rekindle the romantic flame of protest which – we are constantly reminded – burned so brightly in those halcyon days.

Me, I’ve never suffered from 60s envy. Woodstock is to blame: I was 16 when I watched the concert film and was shocked to learn how much of the music was not Jimi Hendrix but rather, puerile and twee garbage like Country Joe and the Fish or John Sebastian. [Read more →]

politics & government

There are some who call me… Tim

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Do you know who I occasionally catch myself feeling like when arguing with the Occupy Wall Street supporters?  Tim the Enchanter, from Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail.

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moviespolitics & government

A month for remakes

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all workpolitics & government


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There was a very sadly missed opportunity not long ago. It was a brief flash of insight from Administration PR man Jay Carney. Don’t worry, it didn’t last and has not been repeated but somewhere deep in the mind of this poor confused fellow he discovered a simple fact and, intentionally or not, exposed it to a gaping press. “Well, the White House doesn’t create jobs. The government together — White House, Congress — creates policies that allow for greater job creation.” What possessed Mr. Carney to publicly rubbish the fundamental Creation Myth on which sits the whole contraption of Obamaism? There must have been a demonic home-invasion in his little skull, invisible to video or audio but perhaps if we slow it way down and turn it way up we will see the ghost of Milton Friedman dashing in his one eye, speaking his piece and then fleeing through the other. Either that or Jay stumbled on a bit of good sense accidentally, which happens, but then quickly throttled it in its infancy, which also happens. [Read more →]

politics & governmenttrusted media & news

Clown college reunion — ad infinitum

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Homey the Clown. Krusty the Clown. Bozo the Clown. Herman the Clown.Michelle the Clown. Will someone save us from these meddlesome clowns? Dear god…and, I am an anti-theist. [Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads Zero History by William Gibson

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Zero History by William Gibson was one of the emergency books I picked up on my trip to Amsterdam and what a lifesaver! It kept me from going crazy on the flight over, although it almost kept me from getting any sleep! It’s a wild ride through secret territory that kept my attention every second.

Zero History is about fashion…sort of. It’s about underground fashion — so secret that there are no stores, no catalogs, no websites. There is only a mailing list and if you’re lucky enough to be on it, maybe there’s a cryptic message. The meet might be in Tokyo. Or London. Or Perth. Bring cash. [Read more →]

moneyrace & culture

The Chocolate Parachute

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Duck Season couldn’t last forever, now it is Wabbit Season. We are on the hunt following the scent of money. Of course if we really COULD sniff out greenbacks we wouldn’t have to be out hunting but we are, searching for, as the plaintiff chants have it, our cars, our homes, our money, our jobs. They have been stolen. Well, if they haven’t been stolen at least they are not where we left them. Or where we want them. Good enough. If there has been a theft there must be a thief. The roving two-headed momba troll, Cornell Smiley is turfing over the land looking for someone to cuff up. Now, they can’t say what crime might have been committed and if they are asked just who did the committing, again, they cannot respond with a name or two but just a vague description of C. Montgomery Byrnes. It so happens that their tormentor does have at least one particular fellow in the stocks but Tavis and West are having none of that. Their response is instant and unequivocal…. Now, why you wanna hassle a brother? [Read more →]

art & entertainmentmusic

Weird sex objekt: how to enjoy Kraftwerk’s Electric Cafe

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Like many people I enjoy the music of Kraftwerk and think that their reputation as musical pioneers is entirely justified. Indeed I would choose to listen to Trans Europe Express or The Man Machine over anything by The Beatles any day. Come to think of it, I’d listen to their 2003 album about riding bicycles over anything by The Beatles any day, but that’s another matter. I enjoy their dry humour, their minimalist, retro-futurist aesthetic, their decades-long dedication to pretending they are robots… and of course, their music.

And yet, there is a problem. And if you know Kraftwerk then you will know its name: [Read more →]

moneypolitics & government

A plausible candidate

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Although there is feverish energy and tumult, there is also consternation. While everyone agrees it is time for heroics, we’re still holding on for a hero. So far, no go. The crowd searches each others’ eyes and scans the vids. It seems almost anyone would do, given the givens, but somehow every nomination inspires a plurality of objection so the top candidates rattle along on the shoulders and heads of the second tier-types while the also rans, run up behind. And the clock is ticking, no one can ignore that. Whom, oh whom will we ever find to send to the Head Office? Head Office, of course, is a fine American can-do euphemism for the latest French engenue taking Hollywood by storm. Not Anouk Aimee, the guillotine. [Read more →]

books & writingfamily & parenting

The Jessie Books & National Coming Out Day

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In honor of National Coming Out Day, I’d like to steer your awareness in the direction of a project I hold very close to my heart… a project that will maybe, one day, help eliminate the need for a specified day where the public and government are encouraged to raise their awareness of something that in my opinion, is seemingly natural. Sadly, that is not a nationally shared opinion — yet. Luckily for most, although “she” came out last week, I would like to introduce you to a little girl named Jessie. My co-authors Phylliss DelGreco, Kathryn Silverio and I have written a series of children’s books. Seven books (one for each day of the week) about a little girl named Jessie, growing up in the city with her two moms. The focus of each story is Jessie and her adventures. The focus is not on her parents. Jeanne Sager wrote a wonderful blog about “The Jessie Books.” She summed it up perfectly, “… they created a series of books about a little girl who just so happens to have two moms, but otherwise is exactly like any curious tot who enjoys playing… She’s not OK despite her moms. She’s OK. Period.” [Read more →]

artistic unknowns by Chris Matarazzomovies

Bruce versus Hal: Technology and art

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Shark Night, 3D came out a few months ago, you know. I saw in a preview commercial — just one time. Didn’t go out to see it. What I gathered is this: it is a movie about a night with lots and lots of sharks who come at you in 3D. Oh, and there are girls in bikinis — who, I imagine, come at you in 3D as well, but that is neither here nor there. 

It might have been a great movie (though I doubt it).  [Read more →]

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