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Schlomo Sapiens

By 9.11.15

Scientists allegedly found remains from a previously unknown branch of the human family in a dark South African cave. In the daylight of Central New England I regularly glimpse offshoot homo sapiens while walking through the city.  

The South African scientists call their find homo naledi. I call mine schlomo sapiens.

These occasionally sub-linguistic, often morbidly obese schlomo sapiens schlomo: Urban Dictionary for lazy person and not Hebrew dictionary for Solomon — represent about as long an evolutionary step from homo sapiens as homo sapiens do from homo naledi. The direction of that step remains up for science to determine.

Political Hay

A Week of Insult, Jail, and Redemption

By 9.11.15

Donald Trump is a brave truth-teller…right?

When he says to Rolling Stone about Carly Fiorina, Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!” don’t you think he’s probably talking about her face? Don’t you think he’s just calling her ugly?

Instead, he claims he was talking about Fiorina’s “persona.” Seriously, Donald? You expect us to believe such an obvious lie? Even Hillary couldn’t get away with such a whopper. So grow a pair and fess up.

Trump then went on to slam Fiorina’s professional career and called Ben Carson an “OK doctor.” A one-man wrecking crew, The Donald.

Free Market Accountability Project

Big Pharma’s ‘Orange’ Threat Level

By 9.11.15

With patent reform about to return to the legislative docket, lobbyists and advocacy groups are scrambling either to try to cram in their various pet ideas, or to kill the project altogether.

I hate to say it, but the reform-killers are almost preferable, since their strategy doesn’t usually require messing with the content of the bills. Those trying to alter what is being debated, on the other hand, are almost never doing so with anything but naked crony capitalism in mind. And they have hired the best crony capitalists around, including even one of the architects of Obamacare.

Live From New York

Raise a Glass to Freedom

By 9.11.15

It was a beautiful Labor Day weekend in New York. Central Park, the 9/11 Memorial, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art beckoned. And, thanks to an enterprising daughter, my wife and I were able to score tickets for the new Broadway musical production, Hamilton, which was sold out over the entire three-day holiday.

One might hesitate to spend a king’s ransom on tickets to a show about one of America’s Founding Fathers told in rap, hip-hop, R&B and a few big production numbers. But one should not, must not hesitate to do so. It is no accident that both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal went gaga over Hamilton. And Peggy Noonan could hardly contain herself, calling it a “masterpiece.”

Freedom Watch

The Artificial Intelligence Revolution

By 9.11.15

“What is the most popular recreational activity in Bolivia?”


“Uggh. Revolting!”

“Revolting? That is the second most popular…”

Here in the US of A since 1776, we have more of a problem with mindless conformity than with revolting. Yet the word is out that a serious revolt is underway at Central Command. Yes, that sounds like the plot of a science fiction B-movie, but so does most of what has been going on lately in Washington, DC… not to mention the campaign trail.

Campaign Crawlers

Mr. Saccharin Sunshine Underwhelms

By 9.11.15

During the rare moments when Stephen Colbert wasn’t talking over him, Jeb! Bush said a couple of things the other night that go a long way to explaining why, with enough campaign cash to pay off the national debt and buy every adult in the lower-48 a Prius, Jeb!’s support as measured in the polls is stuck in the mid-single-digits.

Warning: You should be sitting down for this.

“I don’t think Barack Obama has bad motives,” Jeb! said. “I just think he’s wrong on a lot of issues.” 

This is taking the concept of the loyal opposition a bit far.

Another Perspective

Gavin Newsom Is No Kim Davis

By 9.10.15

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee complained on ABC’s This Week that both Gavin Newsom and Kim Davis broke marriage laws but there’s a double standard. The GOP presidential hopeful put it this way: “You’ve got Democrats who ignored the law when it was the law to have traditional marriage. Gavin Newsom, in San Francisco as mayor, performed same-sex weddings even though it was illegal. Did he ever get put in jail? He most certainly did not.”

The big difference is that Newsom, now California’s lieutenant governor, knew when to stop. Thus Newsom fired back to Huckabee on Twitter this week: “Once the court ordered me to stop, I did. I was never in contempt of court — unlike Kim Davis. Get your facts right.” Newsom told me Wednesday, “We would never have defied a court order.”

Religious conservatives such as Huckabee want to see Davis’ five-night stint in jail as proof of the left’s war on Christianity. They argue that it was excessive for U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning to jail the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk for standing up for her religious beliefs.

Special Report

Those Yellow-Stain Blues

By 9.10.15

It’s a lucky thing the driver wasn’t crushed when a three-story-tall lamp post fell on top of a car stopped on the corner of Pine and Taylor Streets in San Francisco on a Monday evening last month.

The base of the lamp post had been corroded after countless soakings with urine from San Francisco’s ubiquitous homeless, prompting a spokesman for the city’s Public Utilities Commission to encourage people and dogs alike to water fire hydrants rather than light poles because the fire hydrants are made of stronger cast iron.

That collapsing lamp post is a perfect metaphor for urban Democrat governance. If you want to know what inevitably results from allowing the Far Left to run cities cleared of middle-class voters over decades, picture vast armies of homeless bums gleefully micturating on public infrastructure, while public officials merely beg for more clichéd choices amid terror of alienating a prominent, if noisome and not quite sane, constituency, until that piddle-drenched infrastructure inevitably topples.

The Obama Watch

How Obama and Hillary Minimize September 11th

By 9.10.15

It is a fairly safe bet that President Obama and Hillary Clinton will mark the 14th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001 with kind words for those who perished in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and their families. They will make a point of singling out the police and firefighters who lost their lives in the Twin Towers. They will also tell us that those responsible for the attacks do not in any way represent Islam. Upon uttering the usual platitudes they will move on to the next thing.

A Further Perspective

Patent Legislation, Pending

By and 9.10.15

Forty years ago, nearly no one cared about patents or patent law. Now, almost everyone does. The reason for the revisionism: the evolution of the economy. Splicing DNA became possible in the late 1970s. It started to become profitable in the Reagan-era 1980s. Personal computers were nearly unheard of when Ronald Reagan was elected President. By the end of his term, Apple Computer was one of the world’s most important corporations. A combination of neo-liberal politics and economics shifted society’s relationship with science. Biotechnology, and computing, and capitalism formed a lucrative, new relationship with America that lasts to this day.

The rate of patenting new inventions in the U.S. has been increasing in recent decades and stands at “historically high levels,” according to research by the Brookings Institution. While the growth in patent applications slowed a bit after the IT bubble and the Great Recession, the rate of patenting by U.S. inventors is at its highest point since the Industrial Revolution.