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Kansas state rep: Black people 'responded the worst' to marijuana because of 'their genetics'

A GOP lawmaker in Kansas said that African-Americans "responded the worst" to marijuana because of their "genetics" and "character makeup."

State Rep. Steve Alford (R) said at a “Legislative Coffee” session on Saturday that Jim Crow-era policies banning drugs such as pot were to protect other citizens from the drug use of black Americans.

“Basically any way you say it, marijuana is an entry drug into the higher drugs,” Alford said, as first reported by The Garden City Telegram. “What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas and across the United States.”

“What was the reason why they did that? One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African-Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that,” he continued.

Not sure if this dimbulb president is stupid enough to believe what he actually said, or unintentionally smart in revealing how racist the drug war has been these past 40+ years. The majority of drug arrests for marijuana possession are of black Americans, despite them using drugs at the same rate as white Americans.

Not to mention that the entire drug war was created back in the 1970s by the Nixon administration as a way to suppress black Americans and anti-war protesters:

"You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."

And also that the crack epidemic was started by the CIA in order to fund weapons for the Contras. So yes, the federal government targeted black Americans with crack for the sake of the military industrial complex could sell and trade weapons. The drug war is hella racist!

The Surprising Revolt at the Most Liberal College in the Country

Yet another example of college Social Justice Warriors running amok on campus. This particular story involves several protests at Reed College in Portland, Oregon over the curriculum of its humanities courses, which they claim contain too many white people.

The protests and demands would be bad enough, but what makes it worse is how some of the protests have affected the health of one of the professors:

One of the first Hum professors to request that RAR not occupy the classroom was Lucía Martínez Valdivia, who said her preexisting PTSD would make it difficult to face protesters. In an open letter, RAR offered sympathy to Martínez Valdivia but then accused her of being anti-black, discriminating against those with disabilities, and engaging in gaslighting—without specifying those charges. When someone asked for specifics, a RAR leader replied, “Asking for people to display their trauma so that you feel sufficiently satisfied is a form of violence.”

But another RAR member did offer a specific via Facebook: “The​ ​appropriation​ ​of​ ​AAVE [African American Vernacular English]​ ​on​ ​her​ ​shirt​ ​during​ ​lecture:​ ​‘Poetry​ ​is​ ​lit’ ​is​ ​a​ ​form​ ​of​ ​anti-blackness.”

During Martínez Valdivia’s lecture on Sappho, protesters sat together in the seats wearing all black; they confronted her after class, with at least one of them yelling at the professor about her past trauma, bringing her to tears. “I am intimidated by these students,” Martínez Valdivia later wrote, noting she is “scared to teach courses on race, gender, or sexuality, or even texts that bring these issues up in any way—and I am a gay mixed-race woman.” Such fear, she revealed in an op-ed for The Washington Post, prompted some of her colleagues— “including people of color, immigrants, and those without tenure”—to avoid lecturing altogether.

Seriously, f*** these people. If you think protesting your petty demands require triggering someone's PTSD, then you are not a decent human being. You are not a warrior for "social justice." You are a garbage human.

America has become so anti-innovation – it's economic suicide

Apparently, The Guardian wants us to believe that America is “anti-innovation” because of “free-market capitalism” and cites the Juicero as proof:

Juicero is hilarious. But it also reflects a deeply unfunny truth about Silicon Valley, and our economy more broadly. Juicero is not, as its apologists at Vox claim, an anomaly in an otherwise innovative investment climate. On the contrary: it’s yet another example of how profoundly anti-innovation America has become. And the consequences couldn’t be more serious: the economy that produced Juicero is the same one that’s creating opioid addicts in Ohio, maiming auto workers in Alabama, and evicting families in Los Angeles.

These phenomena might seem worlds apart, but they’re intimately connected. Innovation drives economic growth. It boosts productivity, making it possible to create more wealth with less labor. When economies don’t innovate, the result is stagnation, inequality, and the whole horizon of hopelessness that has come to define the lives of most working people today. Juicero isn’t just an entertaining bit of Silicon Valley stupidity. It’s the sign of a country committing economic suicide.

Meanwhile, the “ebil” venture capitalist Elon Musk, through his many contributions through his many companies, has helped develop:
  • reusable rockets that could potentially send people to Mars.
  • solar roofs that help generate electricity while being more durable and competitive than regular roof shingles.
  • electric cars that are more affordable and energy efficient than their fossil fuel counterparts.
  • a revolutionary high-speed train that can travel faster than an airplane by traveling through a vacuum tube, all the while being more energy efficient.
  • an automated underground car tunnel that could potentially alleviate traffic jams and allow cars to travel up to 125 mph.
Meanwhile, the public sector has not only potentially hampered many of these efforts such as the Hyperloop and car tunnel due to cumbersome bureaucracy, but in many cases, has outright banned the direct sale of Tesla cars.

If America is “anti-innovation”, it is because of government bureaucracy, not the free market.

Also, America currently ranks as the fourth most innovative country in the world. The USA may not be #1, but it’s hardly low enough to be considered “anti-innovation.”

Donald Trump blames constitution for chaos of his first 100 days

On his 100th day in office on Saturday, facing historically low popularity ratings, a succession of intractable foreign crises and multiple investigations of his links with Moscow, Donald Trump reminded the nation that 1 May was Loyalty Day.

The day is a US tradition dating back to the cold war, when it was a bolster to stop May Day becoming a rallying point for socialists and unionised workers, but for an embattled president learning politics on the job it has an added resonance.

In an interview with Fox News to mark the 100-day mark, he declared himself “disappointed” with congressional Republicans, despite his many “great relationships” with them.

He blamed the constitutional checks and balances built in to US governance. “It’s a very rough system,” he said. “It’s an archaic system … It’s really a bad thing for the country.”

You know, if there's one good thing about the Trump administration, it's that it proves that we still have a system of checks and balances within our government that works to prevent total tyranny. So of course a petty tyrant like Trump doesn't like it and blames it for the problems within his administration rather than blaming himself.

And as far as those first 100 days go, he certainly has a lot to be embarrassed about, having broken 80 promises in those 100 days.

But of course, it isn't his fault. It's those dang "checks and balances"!

In which he not only digs himself into a hole, but only ends up digging himself into it even deeper:

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer appeared to forget about the Holocaust when comparing Hitler with Syrian President Bashar Assad during a cringe-worthy televised briefing with reporters on Tuesday.

“You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons," Spicer said, in an attempt to argue that Russia and other countries that are not standing up to Assad are on the wrong side of history.

Spicer's rendering ignored the horror of the Holocaust, where gas chambers were used as part of a genocide campaign that killed 6 million Jews as well as millions of others including Gypsies and gay people.

Many expressed shock on Twitter as Spicer went on to field other questions. Spicer was given a chance to recover in a follow-up question, but instead evoked more gasps.

“He was not using gas on his own people the same way,” Spicer said. He referred to the Syria bomb victims as "innocent."

He then added awkwardly that he was aware of "Holocaust centers" and that he meant that Hitler did not use gas in the middle of towns.

The suggestion that Holocaust victims were not Hilter's "own people" — intended or not — hit a sore nerve for Jews and other victims who considered themselves loyal subjects of Germany.

Perhaps he should have taken Mark Twain's advice about it being "better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt."

Libertarian ideology is the natural enemy of science

Not going to go into much detail with this, as the entire article emits bogon after bogon, but I'll highlight this bit of projection:

The ruthlessly individualist philosophy fetishised by the modern disciplines of Ayn Rand conveniently ignores the fact that humans do not exist in a vacuum, and that individual actions often have consequences for all. The mantra that profit is a panacea for everything and that personal rights trump collective good is frequently misguided and potentially disastrous.

Donald Trump made 61 statements in his speech. 51 were false

As I said in my blog post about his address to Congress, if I wanted to spend more than an hour watching a man struggle with honesty, I'd watch "Liar, Liar."

Also, for even more details about the bogons in his speech, I'd recommend PolitiFact's assessment:

Donald Trump says torture 'absolutely' works

Two things:

First, no it doesn't.

Second, f*** you, you orange f***ing f***er! You make me embarrassed to call myself an American.

No, You Should Not Put Jade Eggs in Your Vagina Because Gwyneth Paltrow Tells You To

Gwyneth Paltrow believes that women can receive magical powers by sticking jade eggs up their hoo-hahs.

It's your typical celebrity-endorsed New Age woo.

I--I've got nothing.

Cory Booker Joins Senate Republicans to Kill Measure to Import Cheaper Medicine From Canada

You'd think that with the GOP set to strike down government-mandated healthcare, that they'd push the free market as a viable alternative; and yet they just struck down a bill that would allow Americans to purchase cheaper medicine from other countries:

The Senate voted down the amendment 52-46, with two senators not voting. Unusually, the vote was not purely along party lines: 13 Republicans joined Sanders and a majority of Democrats in supporting the amendment, while 13 Democrats and a majority of Republicans opposed it.

One of those Democrats was New Jersey’s Cory Booker, who is considered a rising star in the party and a possible 2020 presidential contender.

In a statement to the media after the vote, Booker’s office said he supports the importation of prescription drugs but that “any plan to allow the importation of prescription medications should also include consumer protections that ensure foreign drugs meet American safety standards. I opposed an amendment put forward last night that didn’t meet this test.”

This argument is the same one offered by the pharmaceutical industry. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), which lobbies against importation, maintains that it opposes importation because “foreign governments will not ensure that prescription drugs entering the U.S. from abroad are safe and effective.”

The safety excuse has long been a refuge for policymakers who don’t want to assist Americans struggling with prescription drug costs. Bills to legalize importation passed in 2000 and 2007, but expired after the Clinton and Bush administrations refused to certify that it would be safe. The Obama administration also cited safety concerns when opposing an importation measure in the Affordable Care Act.

And as for the man who helped strike down the bill, Cory Booker (a Democrat), to no one's surprise, he's bought and paid for by big pharmaceutical companies:

Booker and some of his Democratic colleagues who opposed the Sanders amendment are longtime friends of the drug industry. As MapLight data shows, Booker has received more pharmaceutical manufacturing cash over the past six years than any other Democratic senator: $267,338. In addition, significant numbers of pharmaceutical and biotech firms reside in Booker’s home state of New Jersey. Other Democrats receiving six-figure donations from the industry, like Casey, Patty Murray, and Michael Bennet, opposed the amendment.

Granted, the guy is a Democrat, so unlike the Senate Republicans, he doesn't pretend to care about the free market. But he is supposed to pretend to care about healthcare, and thus preventing customers from access to affordable medicine is the exact opposite.

So a pox on both the houses of the Democrats and Republicans for voting this bill down. They have the inevitable deaths of Americans on their hands.

I'm sure most of you have already heard the story about four Chicago teens kidnapping a mentally-disabled kid and beating him up--all on Facebook Live!

That, in and of itself, is infuriating enough, but perhaps even more infuriating is the Chicago PD's response to it.

This is what Chicago Commander Kevin Duffin had to say about the incident:

“Kids make stupid mistakes, I shouldn’t call them kids, they are legally adults, but they are young adults and they make stupid decisions. That certainly will be part of whether or not we seek a hate crime, determine whether or not this is sincere or stupid ranting and raving.”

Kids make stupid mistakes?

Stealing a candy bar during a free candy giveaway is a stupid mistake.

Running through a red light and crashing into another car mere seconds before the light would have turned green would be a stupid mistake.

Getting caught cheating during a test, only to learn that you were copying the answers to the worst student in the class, would be a stupid mistake.

Livestreaming yourself and your friends torturing and beating up a mentally-disabled person whom you kidnapped while flinging racial slurs at him?

That is not a mistake. That is straight up psychopathy!

Idiot Extraordinaire somehow feels like too kind of a title to give him.

General Discussion / Imagining A More Libertarian Future
« on: January 05, 2017, 02:57:34 PM »
Currently, I'm running a series of open thread posts on  my blog to elicit discussion on future technologies and developments and the best political/economic policies by which to help bring them about. I've decided to repost those open threads here as to prompt discussion here as well.

Here's my first post thus far about self-driving cars and infrastructure:

What were once considered science fiction are quickly becoming reality. Companies like Tesla and Uber are currently developing their own autonomous vehicles, with Google set to release its own Waymo model as soon as this year. As many as 10 million self-driving cars are speculated to be on the road by 2020. In fact, self-driving cars are expected to become so commonplace that human driving may be prohibited!

But while self-driving cars are awesome, they’re only as good as the roads they’ll be driving themselves on. Sadly, our crumbling roads are not in the best shape. The American Society of Civil Engineers graded American roads with a D+, and the Global Competitiveness Report ranked America 16th in the world for overall quality of infrastructure. Most Americans, ranging from business to labor, agree that our roads need to be fixed. The question remains: “How?”

Politicians from Barack Obama to Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have suggested increasing infrastructure spending (potentially through a gas tax hike) to help fund construction projects. However, conservatives and libertarians have pointed out that most government infrastructure spending tends to be grossly inefficient, and many so called “shovel ready jobs” are revealed to be corporate boondoggles. As Steve Chapman from Reason Magazine explained: “Pouring funds into highways, bridges, airports, dams and other projects is easy. Spending money wisely is hard.”

So the question still remains: who will build the roads? Should the public sector invest in increased infrastructure spending, or is there a better, more efficient solution to be found through the private sector? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

So, yes, feel free to reply with your own thoughts and comments here.

Self-Driving Cars Will Make Organ Shortages Even Worse

That's a real headline, folks! The actual article isn't better:

[Self-driving cars] will also change the way we die. As technology takes the wheel, road deaths due to driver error will begin to diminish. It’s a transformative advancement, but one that comes with consequences in an unexpected place: organ donation.

Yes, those new-fangled self-driving cars will be a menace to society because less people will be dying in car accidents, and therefore, we'll end up with less organs for transplants!

Seriously, how twisted can you be when you try to spin a potential decline in traffic accidents as a bad thing?

And are we really at risk of losing potential organ donors due to self-driving cars? Even the article itself states that only 1 out of 5 organ donations come from the victim of a car crash. That means the other four do not.

But of course, what can we do if we no longer harvest organs from car crash victims? It's not like we have the technology print organs out of thin air.

Oh wait!

I'm sure most of you have already seen this video discussed by Thunderf00t and the Amazing Atheist. But here it is in all its un-glory without need for commentary:

And here's a Reason Magazine article with more context about the video. These people are as stupid as they sound:

Essentially, these students believe that modern scientific understanding is too Eurocentric. One explained:

"I have a question for all the science people. There is a place in KZN called Umhlab'uyalingana. They believe that through the magic' you call it black magic' they call it witchcraft' you are able to send lightening to strike someone. Can you explain that scientifically because it's something that happens?"

Many people laughed at this remark because, well, witchcraft is not something that happens. But according to the student, witchcraft is like Isaac Newton's theory of gravity—it's just one way of explaining the world, among many.

"Decolonising the science would mean doing away with it entirely and starting all over again to deal with how we respond to the environment and how we understand it," the student continued.

And just in case you thought to yourself that nobody in their right minds would take these folks seriously, here's a sympathetic op-ed defending them. This is not satire, folks! I wish it were:

Essentially the UCT student in the video was not saying UCT must stop teaching science, but that institutions should also take some of the unexplained, traditionally African phenomena and place them under the same microscope they would any other unexplained phenomena.  Traditional African medicine should be a field of scientific study with as much gravitas as the contents of Gray’s Anatomy (textbook not that awful TV show).

Discrediting legitimate scientific hypotheses merely because they aren’t western European is what the issue is here. Not science itself. You pretty much can’t disprove science unless you use science to counter it, much like Newton’s Third Law.

I'd say that feminist SJWs are equally as dangerous as YECs, but that would be false equivalency. Nobody in academia takes YECs seriously. However, academia as a whole is sympathetic towards feminist SJWs.

Props to Charles Thomas for sharing this fail of an article on Facebook. Seriously, this is an article that exists. And, no, sadly, this is not The Onion:

Five Reasons Measles is Better Than Autism

Again, that is a real article. No, it is not The Onion. Sadly, it is not. Here's how the dimbulb who wrote this article shared it on Facebook:

Wow. If there was a dictionary entry on "projection", this image would be right underneath it. This woman is projecting so much that she can be used to summon Batman.

As for the article itself, here's a quick sample of the bogosity:

When a child gets autism? There’s no easy bouncing back. A bowl of chicken soup ain’t gonna solve this problem (though soup can help to heal autism).

Autism results in long-term neurological damage with can affect a child for lifetime, though there are children who recover through the hard work of their warrior mamas! Indeed, many studies … have found that gut health has a profound impact on the behaviors of those on the autism spectrum, and interventions such as diet and probiotic supplementation may be helpful.

Yeah, you know what's really hard to bounce back from? Measles. We're not talking about the Chicken Pox here. This was a much deadlier disease that could do serious damage to people. And as for Autism? Very few cases are the "regressive" type that she harps on about. Many of them such as myself are "high-functioning."

If you want an excellent rebuttal to this bogosity, I'd suggest reading this blog post, which does a good job smacking down the scientific ignorance and "neuro-bigotry":

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