John Hayward

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First Citizen of the Ineptocracy

The more I reflect on the denouement of the Neil deGrasse Tyson phony-quotes saga, the more I'm convinced he would be the perfect First Citizen of the Ineptocracy.  In this sad-trombone age of massive faceplants - more money and power centralized than ever before, in the hands of an alleged "elite" that can't do anything right - the value placed on credentials over performance has never been greater. Oct 3, 2014 10:56 AM PT

Man vs. machine: the strange death of Air France Flight 447

After a day of consuming increasingly disturbing Ebola news, how about an entirely different sort of horror story?  William Langeswiesche at Vanity Fair has an extensive, methodical, and terrifying account of the Air France Flight 447 crash from 2009, which resulted in 228 fatalities.  He argues it's the most significant airline disaster of recent years, as it spotlights the point at which automated systems fail, and pilots accustomed to using those systems can't cope with the confusing mass of data flung at them by previously helpful systems. Oct 2, 2014 2:51 PM PT

Neil deGrasse Tyson finally kinda sorta admits he got that Bush quote wrong

After imperiously declaring that his infallible mind-powers override objective reality, scientist/entertainer Neil deGrasse Tyson finally got around to admitting he's been misrepresenting the allegedly intolerant and stupid George Bush quote he's been deploying during seminars for years. Oct 2, 2014 1:29 PM PT

How Big Data Could Either Solve Corporate Diversity Issues or Make Them Worse

Are you feeling a bit paranoid about the use of data-mining tools to sift through huge piles of online information to predict or manipulate your behavior?  How would you feel if companies started using Big Data to find job applicants, with an eye toward increasing racial diversity? Oct 1, 2014 9:08 AM PT

The White House fence-jumping story gets even worse

I can't take my eyes off the saga of White House fence-jumper Oscar Gonzalez for a minute, without the story running behind my back and breaking the furniture or piddling on the carpet.  Today's worsening of the story comes from the Washington Post, dispelling the impression you might have been given that Gonzalez was basically tackled in the front doorway.  Nope - those statements from the Secret Service are, as the saying goes, no longer operative.   Sep 29, 2014 1:59 PM PT

Crazy kit-bashed fighting vehicles of the Kurdish peshmerga

There aren't many silver linings to the dark cloud of ISIS, but one of them is newfound Western appreciation for the Kurds, a remarkable people who got shoved off the stage of history during the 2000s, because American liberals were desperate to make the invasion of Iraq look like a total mistake.  Sympathetic people victimized by Saddam Hussein complicated that narrative. Sep 29, 2014 11:15 AM PT

Wow: Joni Ernst suddenly opens a 6-point lead in Iowa

Teacups are rattling in the hands of Democrat consultants across the land, as another closely-watched neck-and-neck race suddenly turns into a big lead for the Republican candidate... and it's the race to fill the seat left behind by left-wing dinosaur Tom Harkin, no less.  The Des Moines Register calls it the latest twist in an "amazing race": Sep 27, 2014 5:59 PM PT

Sarah Palin has fun with her own gaffe

It was fun watching the liberals who saddled America with Barack Obama - known for dismissing a deadly terrorist enemy as al-Qaeda's junior varsity, blurting out that he has no strategy for defeating them, and blowing over a billion dollars on the worst website launch in history - rip into Sarah Palin for getting the address of the White House wrong in a speech.  She said "1400 Pennsylvania Avenue" instead of 1600.  Meanwhile, the current Vice President has to be led carefully across Pennsylvania Avenue by adults holding both of his hands, lest he be distracted by a shiny object and run headlong into traffic. Sep 26, 2014 8:33 PM PT

Meet the Lottery-Winning Drug Dealer with a Food Stamp Card

When contemplating the failure of the War on Poverty after 50 years and $22 trillion spent, I mentioned the outrageous government overhead, waste, and fraud that makes up a big part of that figure.  It's both absurd and immoral to talk about the benefits of any program without looking at its cost and efficiency.  I say "immoral" because seizing money from law-abiding taxpayers to finance programs known to be corrupt, on a massive scale, is nothing less than theft.  The morality of such actions can still be debatable even when the programs work fairly well, but when they clearly don't, their immorality becomes obvious.  The same can be said about ObamaCare, which is spending so much to accomplish so little that its remaining defenders should be laughed out of polite society. Sep 26, 2014 11:30 AM PT

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