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TODAY IS BETTER THAN THE GOOD OLD DAYS Print E-mail
Written by Richard Rahn   
Thursday, 26 December 2013

If you think things are bad, you might be consoled in knowing that most things for most people on the globe were never better than in 2013.  We may pine for "the good old days," but in truth the good old days were not so good for most people compared to now.

The good news is that most people are living longer with more real income and more security than they did a year ago, a decade ago, or at any time in history. Global personal safety is at a record high. The number of people killed in wars last year was at most a few thousand -- a tragedy, but only for a minuscule portion of the world's population -- unlike the tens of millions killed per year during the world wars of the last century. Violent crime and murder rates are declining almost everywhere in the world.

Life expectancy is highly correlated with economic well-being and the quality of medical care. Global poverty is diminishing at a very rapid rate, and very few now starve to death, but when they do, it is almost always caused by incompetent or venal governments.

If things are really getting better, which they are, then why so much pessimism?  Science writer and frequent TTP guest columnist Matt Ridley explains it well in his book The Rational Optimist:
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HOW OBAMA PLANS TO GET THE WOMEN'S VOTE BACK Print E-mail
Written by Steve Grammatico   
Friday, 27 December 2013

News item:  New York Post, December 27, 2013:  Women Comprise Biggest Opposition to Obamacare

OBAMA: That's impossible. I'm polling below zero?

WHITE HOUSE POLLSTER: I've never seen anything like it, sir. The "negative numbers" poll hypothesis was discarded a generation ago. The only explanation is that even the imaginary voters we regularly survey to boost your ratings are down on you.

OBAMA: Intolerable. I want my blocs back. Women--my women!-- have slip-slided away. HHS?

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: We're paying for abortions now, Mr. President. Regain women's loyalty by paying them to have abortions, say $500 per protoplasmic blob.  And think of the benefits to humanity of all the fetal stem cells we'd harvest.

OBAMA: Make it so. George?

SOROS: Giff generous bonus for twins und triplets, zir.

OBAMA: Excellent! New fertility and abortion clinics will spring up all over the country to cash in, meaning an uptick in the next year's jobs reports.

JOE BIDEN:
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HALF-FULL REPORT 12/20/13 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 20 December 2013

Jack Kelly sure is right - Christmas has indeed come one week early.  Not only has there been the series of judicial decisions he itemizes - but day before yesterday, the clueless losers trying to con twenty-somethings into buying Zerocare completely and totally jumped the shark.

Just in case you got lost in the Asteroid Belt and didn't see it, Zero's two-digit IQ lobbyists of OFA (Organizing for America) actually tweeted this pitch:


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The nerdy metrosexual twit in his onesies is an OFA employee named Ethan Krupp.  Dubbed "Pajama Boy," the tweet has gone instantly mega-viral with a tsunami of ridicule and mockery flooding the internet.  Two samples plucked from the flood:
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WHAT TO READ 2013 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Last January, we started the year with What to Read (1/03).  It was a list of books I'd read during 2012.  So many of you found it useful that I thought I'd provide such a list for 2013.

I thought I'd do this now, a week before Christmas, to give you a chance to provide a Christmas present from the list.  The links are to the Kindle edition on Amazon, each with multiple comments and quotes.  You can inexpensively gift someone instantly with the Kindle edition - I read all of these on my iPad - while there's still time for Amazon to deliver a hard copy, or there's your local bookstore.

I kept the list not to all the books I read this year, but to just those I thought would be of real interest to TTPers.  There are several I think it quite important for you to consider. I'm sure you'll find at least one or two fascinating either for yourself or someone you care for. Or a regressive libtard you want to educate and/or infuriate.  

And, please let us know on the Forum what books rang your bell this year.  Here we go.

Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror
Erik Prince

I've known Erik since he was 15 years old, as his father Ed was my friend.  Ed Prince was one of the finest men I've ever known - and Erik is the same.  Erik is an extraordinary American patriot hero - and who was treacherously betrayed by his country's leaders.  His book just came out last month, and I cannot recommend it more highly.  If we ever get a rational pro-American government again, Erik should be our #1 choice for Secretary of Defense.
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CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas has come a little early for lovers of liberty, thanks to five federal judges and a White House task force.

*The National Security Agency's collection of "metadata" on nearly all telephone calls made to, from or within the United States appears to violate the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said Monday (12/16).

"I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate' and ‘arbitrary invasion' than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval," Judge Leon said. 

*During oral arguments in a different case last month, U.S. District Judge William Pauley also expressed skepticism about the legal basis for the NSA collection program.

Three more judges gave us Christmas presents.
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SORRY LIBERALS, SANTA CLAUS IS WHITE Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Thursday, 19 December 2013

The portrayal of Santa Claus as an old white man makes her uncomfortable, wrote Aisha Harris in Slate Dec. 10.  Santa should be portrayed as a penguin instead, she said.

It bothers me not at all that Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela were black.  But if it did, would that justify me demanding you pretend they were white?

"This is ridiculous. Yet another person claiming it's racist to have a white Santa," said Megyn Kelly (sadly, no relation) on her Fox News program.  "And by the way, for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white."

Liberals exploded with indignation.  To call Santa white is "racist," they said. 

"Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn't mean it has to change," Ms. Kelly retorted.  "Jesus was a white man, too. He was a historical figure. That's a verifiable fact -- as is Santa."

That incensed liberals more.  "Fox News' Megyn Kelly refuses to apologize after declaring that Jesus, Santa were white," said the New York Daily News.

Next thing you know, that racist Jezebel will claim the sun rises in the east, water flows downhill, it gets dark when the sun goes down.
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THE FIVE SURPRISES OF INHERITED IQ Print E-mail
Written by Matt Ridley   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Recently, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, outraged the Left by claiming people of low IQ need people of high IQ to carry them on in life.  Mr. Johnson has thus sparked a recent burst of interest in IQ, that despite the Left's apoplexy has been encouraging in one sense.

As Robert Plomin, probably the world's leading expert on the genetics of intelligence, put it to me, there used to be a kneejerk reaction along the lines of "you can't measure intelligence," or "it couldn't possibly be genetic." This time the tone is more like: "Of course, there is some genetic influence on intelligence but . . ."

The evidence from twin studies, adoption studies and even from DNA evidence is relentlessly consistent: in children, in Western society, the heritability of IQ scores is about 50 per cent. The other half comes equally from family (shared environment) and from unshared individual experiences: luck, teachers, friends.

This numerical precision easily misleads us into thinking genes and environment struggle against each other. In fact, they are like two pillars supporting an arch: nature makes you seek out nurture, which brings out your nature. But here is where things get interesting.

The acceptance of genetic influence on intelligence leads to some surprising, even paradoxical implications, some of which turn the assumptions of both the Right and the Left upside down.  Particularly to those of Mr. Obama, who is totally clueless in this regard.
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IT'S NOT POLITICIANS WHO DENY REALITY, IT'S VOTERS Print E-mail
Written by Richard Rahn   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013

"Only 12 percent of likely U.S. voters favor a federal budget that increases government spending, but that's just what the bipartisan budget deal passed by the House last week does. It restores billions cut by the sequester on March 30 and puts off potential savings for several years."

This quotation does not come from some conservative blogger, but from the respected polling company, Rasmussen, in its report of Dec. 14.

Why do the stated preferences of the voters so differ from the actions of their elected representatives in Congress and the White House?  The simple answer is:

Most people understand that the endless growth in federal spending is going to lead to disaster, but each voter likes the specific spending programs that benefit him and thinks that spending cuts ought to be made elsewhere.

So, the reality is this:
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SUCCESS REQUIRES FAILURE Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Joel Wade   
Thursday, 19 December 2013

A friend of mine built a very successful company, sold it for a substantial amount, then took some time off to get his MBA at Harvard Business School. Ironically, for years after getting that degree, he wasn't able to make a penny in business.

He had become too careful, too wary of failure.

Who likes to fail? I don't. Failure can feel humiliating. But if we're not willing to risk failure, we won't be able to make the bold moves necessary to really succeed, either.

Learning to deal well with failure is a skill. It's something that we can learn, practice, and master. Not that anyone wants to become a master at failure; we want to become masters at dealing with failure... and masters at learning from our failures.

Our failures can be more effective teachers than our successes; and with understanding and practice, we can learn to make the most of them, even turning those failures into triumphs.
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THE REAL PAJAMA BOY Print E-mail
Written by To The Point News   
Friday, 20 December 2013

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HALF-FULL REPORT 12/13/13 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 13 December 2013

Might as well have some fun first before we get to the grim stuff.

Yesterday (12/12), Zero was awarded the Lie of the Year Award.  Of course, virtually everything he utters is a lie, but "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," takes the prize.

So much so that there's a new term in golf.  Golfers now call a bad lie "an Obama."

Then there's Selfiegate.  Google the term and you'll get 350,000 hits even though it was just invented.  On Tuesday (12/10) while attending the Mandela funeral service in Joburg, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, sitting between Brit PM David Cameron and Zero, snapped a "selfie" - a self-taken smartphone pic - of the three of them.

A press pool photographer snapped a shot of them doing so - with Mrs. Zero looking witchily annoyed at her husband enjoying the hot blonde's company and not hers.  It went totally viral.  Selfies at Funeral! was the headline outrage all over the world.  Like giggling teenagers! huffed the London Daily Mail.  It prompted a plethora of spoofs, such as:
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ADVENTURE 2014 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Monday, 09 December 2013

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It's been a very adventurous year.  TTPers joined me venturing to Tahiti in January, Somaliland and Somalia in February, Bolivia in March, Antarctica and remote islands in the South Atlantic in April, the Hidden Alps of Albania in July, Hidden China in September, after which I wandered off myself to Oz and lost islands in the South Pacific.

So, what's on tap for Adventure 2014?  First up is Hidden China II in February.  The picture you see above is real.  It's the Hani Rice Terraces in Yunnan, China close to the border with Vietnam. 

This is an experience beyond exotic to unknown magical places.  I hope you can be with me.  Click on the link above or on Hidden China II now up in the left side bar for the details - and many more cool pictures.

I'm in the final planning stages for what follows.  In March, there's Hidden India: The Seven Sisters.  There's a part of India truly hidden away, separate from the rest of the country to which until very recently no foreigners were allowed.  You still have to get special permits - which we have.
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THE PRISON GUARDS OF THE PAST Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 12 December 2013

It's a brilliant metaphor, isn't it? 

It's all encompassing, describing Democrats led by their Prison-Guard-in-Chief, Establishment RINOs from Boehner on down, public unions, teachers unions, the welfare-state/social-worker bureaucracy, EPA fascisti, climate alarmists, eco-luddites, the Enemedia, the majority of professors and administrators in academia, all supported by a libtard judiciary.

All of them, epitomized by our Zero of a President, are prison guards of the past, desperately demanding they keep their corrupt perks and power by keeping us locked up in a prison of the status quo and government failure by force of arms - government guns and thieving taxes.  

I'd love to claim the metaphor as mine, but it's not.  It's Newt Gingrich's in his new book Breakout.  It's even in the subtitle: Breakout: Pioneers of the Future, Prison Guards of the Past, and the Epic Battle That Will Decide America's Fate.

We've had an entrepreneurial information revolution - but we have seen no remotely revolutionary advances whatever in education, healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, much less government.  How come?  Because the old order has a veto.  Because the prison guards of the past are the enemies of the future.
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THE FUNDAMENTAL THREAT Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Thursday, 12 December 2013

Rising income inequality poses "a fundamental threat to the American dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe," President Barack Hussein Obama said Dec. 4.  He pledged to make reducing it the focus of the rest of his presidency.

During his first term, the incomes of the top 1 percent grew by 31.4 percent, the incomes of everyone else by just 0.4 percent. On Mr. Obama's watch, 95 percent of income gains have gone to the top 1 percent.  When George W. Bush was president, only 61.8 percent did.

But if Mr. Obama is serious about reducing income inequality, he should focus on Washington D.C. The average wage of federal civilian workers in 2012 was $81,704, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  For workers in the private sector, it was $54,995.  With benefits, compensation for federal workers averaged $114,976 -- 74 percent more than for private sector workers.

Clearly, the way to end this unconscionable threat to our way of life and what we stand for is to cut federal workers' pay by 74%.
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OBAMA'S OPIATE Print E-mail
Written by Daniel Hannan   
Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Last week (12/04), Mr. Obama confirmed the suspicion of many that he is indeed a Marxist by giving a speech claiming that "income inequality" is, according to him, "the defining challenge of our time."

Yesterday (12/10), the Drudge Report headlined a speech given by David Simon, producer of the HBO show, The Wire, entitled "My Country Is A Horror Show."   Marx was right about capitalism, according to Simon, which is why capitalist America is heartless and cruel and doesn't care about the poor.

Thus I was involved in a revealing exchange yesterday. Something I had tweeted about this prompted a series of responses along the lines of "Typical: like all capitalists, you don't like poor people."

I couldn't help tweeting back: "I love all these ‘capitalists don't like poor people' tweets. It's true: we want to turn them into rich people. It's socialists who need their client groups."

What's fascinating here is not just that the Leftie tweeters are wrong; it's that, like Mr. Obama and Mr. Simon, their premises are lifted directly from Karl Marx.
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