April 30, 2011

I have fond childhood memories of John Cleese in Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Disney’s non-cartoon The Jungle Book.  So I was interested to learn (via Five Feet of Fury) that Cleese (“a generous donor to the Liberal Democrats who . . . has appeared in several party political broadcasts”) seems to have joined what may be an emerging consensus that multiculturalism, the West’s great experiment, has failed:

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My Hero!

April 29, 2011

goofy staged photo-opWhile doing research for work, I ran across this picture on the Web site of the Council on Environmental Quality.  

A number of commentators have remarked on President Obama’s tendency to try to stay aloof and detached from the details of crafting policy, preferring to wait until members of Congress have done the hard work and then either jump on the bandwagon or criticize them for doing it wrong (e.g., in the health-care debate a couple of years ago, and in the budget debate now).

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While doing research for work, I ran into this, a compilation of empirical and other information tending to support the position that “placing women in physically demanding jobs in the military, as for example combat,” is unwise.  A couple of typical examples:

“Using the standard Army Physical Fitness Test, [an Army researcher] found that the upper quintile of women at West point achieved scores on the test equivalent to the bottom quintile of men.”

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“We appreciate your interest in the Secretary of Education’s Commission on Opportunity in Athletics. The Commission office closed as of March 15, 2003, and we are no longer accepting correspondence.”

The National Debt

April 19, 2011

Paul Ryan vs. the status quoA credit-rating agency warned yesterday that the United States may not be able to make good on its debt.  The agency said the odds are one in three that the United States will lose its AAA rating in the next two years, which would make it harder for the United States to borrow money, at higher interest, triggering a catastrophic debt spiral.  NRO’s Kevin Williamson gives some good background and explanation, while NRO editor Kathryn Jean Lopez points out that if you read National Review, you would have seen this coming.

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Light ≠ Heavy

April 17, 2011

I love, but some of these product descriptions read as if they were written by someone whose main job isn’t writing:

“This hat is light in weight and comfortable to wear, unlike heavy bulky hats.”

“‘Jersey Fresh – as Fresh as Fresh Gets,’ is the slogan for the Jersey Fresh branding and promotion program. It promises consumers that the product is the freshest it can be.”

“The Division of Marketing and Development is authorized by the Milk Control Act State of New Jersey to effectuate the orderly flow of milk from the farm to the consumer.”

“Submit thirty-five (35) copies of the application forms and all required documentation . . . .”

Of Cabbages and Kings

April 14, 2011

If you’re a fan of President Obama, you should probably just skip this one.  Read the rest of this entry »

Republican House speaker John Boehner and Democrat Senate majority leader Harry Reid appear to have reached a final deal on this year’s budget.

If you’re just joining us, the Democrats didn’t pass a budget last year for this fiscal year (October 2010 to September 2011), possibly because they could already see the rising tide of public sentiment against government spending and thought passing any kind of Democrat budget would only hurt them even further in last November’s elections.  Read the rest of this entry »

Ministry of Love

April 6, 2011

George Orwell’s dystopian 1984 imagines a totalitarian state that even rewrites the language to perfect its black-is-white pro-government propaganda.  Among other things, the department of prisons and torture is called the “Ministry of Love”.  (The department of propaganda itself is called the “Ministry of Truth”.)

In the real world in 2011, there’s a network of “clinics” whose primary business is terminating pregnancies; it’s called, ironically, Planned Parenthood.  Read the rest of this entry »

The American Spectator today has a pretty detailed April Fools’ Day gag; parts of it are pretty funny.

I also learn from Tech Crunch that Google has a tradition of April Fools’ Day product releases (e.g., Google Romance).  This year, Google continues the tradition with Gmail Motion.

The government of the state of Minnesota has an Office of Minority and Multicultural Health.  (Since today is April Fools’ Day, I’ll add, as Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up!)  Are you feeling multiculturally healthy today?

I guess it’s no worse than universities’ calling foreign students “international students”, or calling a black person a “diverse individual”.  But “political correctness” doesn’t just arbitrarily substitute one term for another; I think it also erodes our ability to think clearly about the things we’re talking about.