Introducing Occam’s Razor Scooter

I’ve finally got my own blog. If you like what you see here and you want to see more like it, head on over to Occam’s Razor Scooter. Because, why not?

We’ve Moved

Yep. Now we’re at ucheadline.com. Enjoy.

Rarer Than a Unicorn

“What’s rarer than a unicorn? A Jon Huntsman bumper sticker. And I found one.”

It’s Kind of Scary When the Chancellor of Germany Says Stuff Like This: German Chancellor wants ‘permanent’ supervision of Greece, warns of war

Better a Bottle in Front of Me Than a Frontal Lobotomy: Recession causing more people to drink alone

Guess Who He’s Talking About, Sasha, Malia, or Hillary Clinton?: Obama says “She’s been outstanding. She’s done a great job We’re really proud of her. …. She stepped up to the plate. She works as hard as anybody I’ve ever seen. She is tenacious. And we are really very proud of her. …”

Good. Now He Can Go Back To Punching People: Mayweather found not guilty of harrasment

So It’s Only Okay When Floyd Mayweather Does It?: Italian deputies in fist fight over reforms

Because Its Fun and We Wouldn’t Exist Without It?: Why sex is so important to us!

Hey, It’s My Home District. Oh Wait. Oh No, It’s My Home District: Chelsea Clinton considering congressional bid

Occupy: Pandora’s Box Opened in Oakland

Occupy finally turning openly violent may spell the movement’s end.

So it finally happened. After all this time of things going relatively smoothly, Occupy protests have at last turned violent, with the city of Oakland playing host to the inevitable turning point.

Perhaps it’s fitting that, after all this time, it was that old stand-by of police brutality that got us there in the end. Riot police in Oakland dispersed a crowd of several hundred people from the city’s Frank Ogawa Plaza on Tuesday night after having less forcibly cleared the area of an encampment earlier that morning. In the process, the officers used, among other things, tear gas canisters, concussion grenades, and bean bag rounds on the protestors, claiming in a statement that these were used to “stop [protestors] from throwing dangerous objects at the officers.

No matter who is really to blame for this particular, we all know how it looks. A group of peaceful protestors living communally in a public space was essentially attacked by trained and heavily armed riot police. Not just once, either; twice in less than twenty-four hours. Whenever something like this happens, the cops never come out of it looking good—but then again, when do they ever—and, more crucially, the protestors invariably change their tack in a less than lustrous way that ensures they achieve no real change. One need only look at the protests surrounding every G8, G-20, or G-n (for all n) conference in the last several years—or any similarly-minded recent protest in America or virtually any other industrialized nation, for that matter—to see this trend.

The simplified perception of these events described above is, ultimately, all that will matter, as that is the black and white story that the black and white newspapers will print on their black and white pages for all to see. Though this fact is unfortunate, it is almost pointless to decry it; when have things ever been different? If anything, sadly, it would perhaps be more pertinent to decry the impending aggression-laced protests that will surely follow this incident in Oakland, which saw a former Marine, of all people, sustain a skull fracture from a police projectile. The media really could not have asked for more.

At the end of the day, however, one can only hope that the Occupy movement will take no cues from other recent protests and its followers will stick to the peaceful principles that brought them this far. How likely that is to happen remains to be seen, but a guy can dream.

 

 

Posted by Ajay Batra

I Think We’re Turning Libertarian

Every few weeks Gallup puts out a poll on how Americans view a particular issue and commentators make their comments on how it benefits the Democrats or how it benefits the Republicans. Then another poll comes out and they move on to the next biggest thing. But if you take a look at all the polls together you will come to the same conclusion did. Which is, I think Gallup is trying to tell us something:

Today, a Gallup poll came out that said that a record low of 26% of Americans are in favor in banning hand guns.

A few weeks earlier another Gallup poll came out saying that for the first time 50% of the country favored legalizing marijuana.

In May, Gallup came out with a poll that showed gay marriage with majority support for the first time.

Yet another Gallup poll showed that 50% of Americans see the federal government as posing a threat to the rights of its citizens.

A Gallup poll in October of last year showed that a large majority of Americans think the federal government is too large and too powerful.

The conclusion, ladies and gentleman, is that America is turning into Gary Johnson. Or in more general terms, libertarian. Why is this?

Well think of every major endeavor that the federal government has taken over the past 10 years. From the deficit/debt problem to the Wall Street and car bailouts to the stimulus to the healthcare bill to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan it seems that the government can’t get anything right. Whether this assessment is fair or not, it seems that Americans are less willing to tolerate government its worst in exchange for when it is at its best.

So, to borrow the words of a certain professor, in the America of tomorrow you may see married gay couples with closets full of assault rifles lighting up joints to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Posted By Max Viscio

Mississippi to Vote on ‘Personhood’ Amendment

On November 8th, Mississippi will vote on a “Personhood” amendment to the state’s constitution. The amendment would brand all abortions, including in cases of rape and incest, IUDs, “morning-after pills” and the destruction of embryos created in laboratories as murder. Opponents of the measure have suggested it might prevent in-vitro fertilization treatments.

The ‘personhood’ movement comes out of a  a sentence in Roe v. Wade that states if the pro-life movement’s view of the fetus as fully human could be “established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.” While the movement has been embraced by a growing number of Social Conservatives, traditional pro-life organizations, including the National Right to Life and the Roman Catholic bishops, have opposed the measure. They suggest a state amendment would allow for a quick defeat by the US Supreme Court, which would undermine progress made in carving away at Roe v. Wade.

Proposals for similar amendments are in the works in Florida and Ohio. ‘Personhood’ proposals have already been defeated twice in Colorado.

Daily Wrap Up

“All the News in Fits of Print”

What Consenting Adults Do in Private is of No Concern to Me: Gingrich says Perry should “bump with me”

Uh Oh: Fears Euro summit could miss final deal

In a Philosophical Sense, Can We Really Know Anything?: Perry says he doesn’t know if Obama’s birth certificate is real 

I Blame Global Warming: Giant Lego man washes up in Miami

Putting the Dip in Diplomat: Huntsman offends 1.3 billion people

Save Us, Michele Bachman, From These Government Injections!: HPV now recommended for boys too

Look on the Bright Side, Lines Will be Shorter: Problems ahead with a declining population

Elvis Has Left the Building: 60 Elvis impersonators flee fire

Review: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

For me, picking out a biography to read usually involves treading the line between the pure esotericism of reading about some relatively obscure artist whose (typically auto) biography serves as nothing more than an absurdist piece of narcissistic embellishment or browsing through one of the many repetitive reformulations of a well-known figure’s life. So when I’m given the chance to read about someone whose personal exploits are, in their own right, juicy bits of clandestine esoterica I more or less halt anything I’m doing and buy the damn book.

Perhaps what makes Steve Jobs so fascinating in my eyes is that the more I read about the turtleneck-toting tech giant the more I can relate to him. Jobs is hardly the typical Fortune 500 CEO in that, quite frankly, he didn’t give a crap what shareholders thought.  This had always been attributed to Jobs’ infatuation with his products; however, Isaacson paints a different image entirely: one of selfish intent. In a way, Steve Jobs’ secrecy was not part of his manière d’être per say so much as a manifestation of his relentless desire for recognition. In a way it’s this departure from using Jobs as a paradigm for successful product-driven industry leaders that makes the book a worthwhile read. While the man accomplished much, he did so in ways so selfish that we might want to immediately dismiss the claims as unsubstantiated half-truths. For instance, he more or less forced his parents to pay for his stay at Reed College (even though they could barely afford it) where he eventually dropped out. Yet, what distinguishes Jobs’ selfishness is that each of these experiences were fundamental to his later success. For instance, while at Reed he took a calligraphy course that later led to typefaces for MacOS and experienced several LSD trips that helped him gain perspective on life.

Yet, such an anecdotal treatment of Jobs’ life leaves the reader more confused than enlightened. Certainly we get a unique picture of a harsh, self-motivated, angry man but I couldn’t help but thinking that Isaacson missed the point of it all. If Jobs really was the kind of man that thrived on whatever grandeur he could get then why did his passion surround his products and not his company? If Jobs really was just interested in his own external growth, then the only reason he would have allowed a biography to be written would be so that he can draw attention after he died. It would then also follow that if this were his sole interest then his biography would have to be a polemic oeuvre. In fact, that’s exactly what we get in Walter Isaacson’s portrayal of Jobs—a portrayal of the Apple mastermind that describes Jobs as he would like to be thought of. But is this all a façade? When reading the biography, I certainly got the impression that Jobs must have had a hand in editing the work; for even descriptions of his imperfect ego have an unnatural grandeur that could have only come from the narcissist himself.

Is it worth the $16 and 600 pages? If anything, you’ll a bit more about the business titan but don’t expect to learn about what actually drives the man. Given his secretive nature, this will probably be as good as it gets.

Posted By Alfredo Luque

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