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May 2014

"Avoid these mistakes on Social Security and selling investments"

If I were made Education Czar I'd be sorely tempted to require all citizens to take 5 to 10 hours instruction in the US tax code. It's fairly amazing that a 62- year-old could write an advice columnist and ask this:

I just sold a portion of a mutual fund for a $30,000 gain that is in the bank for the time being. How long do we have to reinvest without paying a capital gains tax?

"Liberal Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Valise"

I like the phrase "Liberal Privilege". Let's make it happen.

McIntosh argues that white privilege is “like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks."

Her essay lists 50 statements, as might be spoken by a white person, that demonstrate the structural advantages of being white and suggest the structural disadvantages of being black.  One example: “I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.”

As I surveyed the items in this invisible knapsack, a thought occurred to me.  Were I to swap the words “political identity” or “political ideology” for “race” and “color,” much of the list could easily apply to conservatives.  Thus was born the notion “liberal privilege.”

With this in mind, I have created a knapsack of invisible items that make up liberal privilege – what I call the “invisible valise,” as it’s a little bit bigger and sturdier than a knapsack.  Don’t expect the phrase “liberal privilege” to catch on right away, but we can all dream about the day when students feel comfortable telling their peers, “Check your liberal privilege.”

Two fine pieces on the politics of climate change

Ross Kaminsky, "Brass Balls and Climate Change: The Regime's Final Pivot Into Permanent Cynicism".

Greenland is a favorite subject for climate alarmists because its ice sheet has been losing mass for a couple of decades. (They seem to forget that the Vikings settled on a verdant Greenland beginning a millennium ago, leaving about 500 years later just before the Little Ice Age.) Antarctica, pace the report’s distortions, has been gaining mass for at least as long. The dirty little secret: Antarctica’s ice mass is 9 times that of Greenland. And Antarctica by itself holds roughly 90 percent of the world’s sea ice.

To disguise the fact that the huge ice sheet is gaining mass while the (relatively) small one is losing mass, the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC), demonstrating the many grains of salt with which to swallow the current Assessment, says, “Together, the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets contain more than 99 percent of the freshwater ice on Earth.” Right. And together, blacks and Asians make up 79 percent of players in the NBA.

Salena Zito, "Climate Gravest Threat Only in D.C.".

One thing Dutton already has won is the sentiment of a country dumbfounded that President Barack Obama last week defined climate change as the most pressing issue facing the country. Obama did so as part of a huge public relations campaign — yes, campaign — that included asking people to pressure Washington to act on the issue.

Not jobs. Not the economy. Not rebuilding our aging infrastructure. Not gang violence, or education.

Climate change.

And he and his party ridiculed anyone who disagrees.

A couple of things about all of this smack the sensibilities of regular folks.


"How To Speak Gibberish & Win A National Debate Title"

Rod Dreher:

In other words — and this is no exaggeration — we must privilege gibberish and racial harangue that has nothing to do with the question under debate, because facts and logic are — wait for it — racist.

The other national finals wasn't much better

Hard as it is to imagine, this is a throwback to what now must be regarded as "the good old days" of policy debate.

My opinion: if this is what the debate kids want to do, fine, but they shouldn't be allowed to call it "debate". Call it something else. It's as if Taylor Swift tried to perform at La Scala.