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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I found it! I found the liberal's Utopian society!

I can't find an honest liberal to ask this question to. What I want to know is: what do they really want? Since no liberal is willing to honestly answer this question, I just have to go by what they've been saying for years in the public sphere. Based on what I've read and on what I've heard, I have to just assume that what they want is heaven on Earth. They want a Utopian society. Am I wrong? They want every hungry-belly, fed. They want every naked body, clothed. They want the sick healed, the angry soothed, the ignorant taught, the aroused satisfied, and the foolish given wisdom. Liberals want everything!

But, no, that's not it exactly, because they are themselves perfectly aware that while wants are infinite, resources are finite. So, liberals understand that they can't have everything. They get that, but then they take that small understanding and then they just run with it, kind of like Forrest Gump.

In their simplistic ideology, resources are finite. There's just enough to go around, but the mean rich people seem to have hoarded away all the resources and left nothing for the poor. Therefore, the liberal's solution to creating a perfect Utopian society is always to redistribute the wealth around. That's what they want every single time. Tax the rich. They want less rich people. Their quest is for the perfect society where no one is rich and no one is poor. Where might I find a place like that?

In the child-like mind of the liberal, life is like snacktime at kindergarten. There's a package of cookies and there's a jug of milk, and everyone is supposed to be given their fair share by the big person in charge. If a kid somehow winds up with more cookies, that's not fair. His extra cookies should be taken away. If a kid didn't get a fair share of milk, that kid will be given more. If a kid tries to bring his own deluxe chocolate chip cookies and eat those instead, the teacher will tell that kid that he can't do that unless he brought enough chocolate chip cookies for the whole class.

Yes, kindergarten is the closest thing to utopia any of us will ever see. What a perfect place! Nothing is demanded of us. Whatever we paint or draw is praised by the big person in charge. If someone speaks meanly to us we can tell on them and they'll get in trouble and be made to stand in the corner. We get lunch and snacks and nap-time and if we have an accident in our pants, why the big person in charge will take care of that too. It's no wonder why liberals want to recreate that perfect seeming world out in the real world.

Here's where the dividing line separates the liberals from the conservatives. Conservatives understand that the real world can't be kindergarten perfect. In the real world people do what best serves their own self-interest. If liberal kindergarten rules are applied to the real world there are immediate negative consequences.

Some specific examples include taxing the rich and redistributing their wealth to the poor. The consequences are immediate and negative. The poor receiving the wealth are happy doing nothing. They're back in their kindergarten heaven. Meanwhile the wealthy are moving somewhere with lower taxes. So ask yourself this simple question: which is better, a smaller slice of a real big pie, or a bigger slice of nothing at all? California's liberals have run wild. As a result of this the wealthy and private industry of every kind are packing up and moving out. Vast swaths of the urban centers in this state will soon look eerily similar to Detroit.

Some liberals might have thought that kindergarten was great. I thought it was boring and pointless, and the only thing I actually learned in kindergarten, was not to bring anymore deluxe chocolate chip cookies.

Monday, May 28, 2012

You get what you get.

The kid behind the counter told me, "You get what you get."
My son Trey was talking to me some time ago, recounting another one of life's small humiliations we all deal with, it seems like several times every day. Trey was waiting patiently in the school cafeteria lunch-line. When he passed through, he secured his tray, and made his choices from the available selection. The young man behind the counter served Trey a portion of spaghetti, but Trey was not pleased with the quantity. He objected, "That's not enough!" To which the teenager replied: "You get what you get."

It was such a small thing, really. Trey was not pleased. He believed he was treated unfairly. He was dissatisfied with both the product, and the service, yet there was no avenue under which he could seek redress, no higher authority under which he could demand accountability. There was no other choice he could make. He had certainly not brought with him an alternative lunch. The amount he received was probably within the envelope of allowable portion sizes. Furthermore, Trey was aware that a long line of students were waiting on him to move along, and so making a fuss for another ounce or two of pasta was not a worthy trade-off in terms of time or popularity. So he got what he got.

This example encapsulates in one small anecdote, the fundamental deficiency of both monopolies and the government―these are often one and the same. When we wait in line, and there's a government worker at the end of that line, we get what we get. When we have no other recourse, when the government alone is the sole provider of something that we require, we must toe the line, wait in line, shuffle forward hat in hand, and take what they choose to give us.

What is the winning strategy in a regime based on something other than capitalism? Having friends in high places certainly helps. Being a suck-up and a toady, and a backstabber are all pluses when dealing with someone who can unilaterally decide your fate. Bow and scrape and have a tear-jerker of a story. Be self-effacing and don't forget to memorize a selection of "sincere compliments." Leave your self-respect at the door, take a number and wait.

There are too many people, in my opinion, who are quite content with such a system. They don't mind waiting. In fact, they are pleased to wait as long as it takes, because they have nowhere else to be and nothing else to do. Give them a television to watch and they'd consider it a veritable paradise on Earth.

These people contentedly waiting, I will never understand them. We have all watched as these self-satisfied, smug, punctilious followers of rules and regulations, have everything just handed to them. Meanwhile, we founder in uncharted oceans of regulations with crushing shoals of red-tape.

The happily waiting are savants of "the system," while we busy few, we just get what we get.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Not that I'm an Apple-Hater mind you...

This is a vainglorious monument to vanity so unparalleled that I am truly held in awe! I’m in awe of the almost godlike hubris which is displayed by the builders of this idolatrous cathedral. While these Apple employees worship in their obscene temple to Lord Jobs, they might want to glance outside the windows every now-and-then.

If they’re sharp on the look-out, one day, they might have some warning when comes the ravening Mongol Horde riding across the sunbaked plains towards their oh-so-fancy cock-ring of a building, carrying blood-drenched ironmongery in their fists, holding cold-blooded murder in their hearts and displaying the green-eyed glint of envy in their shining eyes.

What purpose does this pagan temple of Jobs have in the eternal corporate war of ideas and innovation? Thank God I'm not an Apple stockholder. You think they'd rather have dividends than obscenely lavish “campuses?”

And, when California goes tits-up bankrupt in a few more years—right on schedule—the howls of hungry wolves will be as nothing to the howls of hungry and envious hate-filled Californians carrying with them the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and storming the glass walls of this palace of arrant pride with hammers and woe.

And when this tower of Babel finally is torn down at last, the good people of California will set fire to the pieces.

Two views forward from the past

The book 1984 was written by George Orwell more than 35 years before 1984, and was published in 1949. As current events correspond more and more closely to the fictional account in the novel, bloggers and pundits variously point them out. While there are many parts of the book that accurately portray the way our culture is now being shaped, there is one concept from 1984 that stands out above all the rest. Orwell imagined that the people of the future would adhere to an idea called: "Doublethink." Everyone now commonly refers to this concept as "cognative dissonance."
"To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself—that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink."
How can someone believe, for instance, that the solution to high gas prices is to increase the cost of making gasoline?

In another example of this, liberals with their undiminished support for both welfare and unemployment payouts somehow simultaneously hold the fundamentally oppositional idea that everyone should have a job, and that if you just give a man a fish every day, he'll never have to go fishing.

If one could somehow strip away all the lies, all the self-deception, all the emperor's new clothing, and lay bare the underlying philosophy behind the push for Big Government, what truths would these "dear-leaders" have to reveal?
Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power.

What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know what no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.

Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.” ― George Orwell, 1984 (published 1949)
In Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers—originally published in 1959—there is an intriguing political subtext which accompanies the plot. Heinlein imagines a benevolent oligarchy composed solely of veterans. In his future, only veterans of the various military and peacekeeping services would be entitled to vote or hold a public office. He called the right to vote and hold office a sovereign franchise, earned by completing a term of service.
“Historic examples range from absolute monarch to utter anarch; mankind has tried thousands of ways and many more have been proposed, some weird in the extreme such as the antlike communism urged by Plato under the misleading title The Republic. But the intent has always been moralistic: to provide stable and benevolent government. “All systems seek to achieve this by limiting franchise to those who are believed to have the wisdom to use it justly. I repeat ‘all systems’; even the so-called ‘unlimited democracies’ excluded from franchise not less than one quarter of their populations by age, birth, poll tax, criminal record, or other.”

Major Reid smiled cynically. “I have never been able to see how a thirty-year old moron can vote more wisely than a fifteen-year-old genius . . . but that was the age of the ‘divine right of the common man.’ Never mind, they paid for their folly. “The sovereign franchise has been bestowed by all sorts of rules―place of birth, family of birth, race, sex, property, education, age, religion, et cetera. All these systems worked and none of them well. All were regarded as tyrannical by many, all eventually collapsed or were overthrown.
Essentially, Heinlein argues that allowing just anyone and in fact nearly everyone to take part in the political process allows any such democracy to be eventually subverted by what right-thinking Americans would classify as: selfish evil bastards.
Force, if you will!―the franchise is force, naked and raw, the Power of the Rods and the Ax. Whether it is exerted by ten men or by ten billion, political authority is force. But this universe consists of paired dualities. What is the converse of authority? Mr. Rico.”

He had picked one I could answer. “Responsibility, sir.”

“Applause. Both for practical reasons and for mathematically verifiable moral reasons, authority and responsibility must be equal―else a balancing takes place as surely as current flows between points of unequal potential. To permit irresponsible authority is to sow disaster; to hold a man responsible for anything he does not control is to behave with blind idiocy.

The unlimited democracies were unstable because their citizens were not responsible for the fashion in which they exerted their sovereign authority...other than through the tragic logic of history. The unique ‘poll tax’ that we must pay was unheard of. No attempt was made to determine whether a voter was socially responsible to the extent of his literally unlimited authority. If he voted the impossible, the disastrous possible happened instead―and responsibility was then forced on him willy-nilly and destroyed both him and his foundationless temple.”
When Heinlein talks about a unique 'poll tax', he's referencing the fictional government of his futuristic society where only veterans are permitted to vote. After re-reading Starship Troopers, I can't recommend it highly enough. Don't bother watching the movie, because it leaves out almost all of the underlying political philosophy found in the novel.

Two authors from the past imagine two completely different futures. Orwell imagines the total triumph of Big Government. His dystopian world is made possible because its people inexorably traded away their last freedoms for a few more moments of security.

Heinlein imagines not quite a utopia, but a free society much like the United States used to be, but with a government controlled by those who had served an enlistment term, and had risked death and dismemberment therein.

I love this country. I love my father too. Both were born before me and both will certainly perish, probably before I do. The discussion about what we do afterwards must begin. It's almost certain that, much like in Egypt, America's armed services will play a large part in keeping order. After the first defaults, after further credit downgrades, after futile attempts at austerity programs inevitably fail, and once the rioting and looting begin in earnest, the military will be in the unique position to take over and restore the peace. Let us hope and pray that they behave and rule as officers, as gentlemen, and as patriots should do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Government should keep its grubby interfering mitts out of private enterprise.

This is not a distraction. This is what this campaign is going to be about, is what is a strategy for us to move this country forward in a way where everybody can succeed. That means I have got to think about those workers in that video just as much as I am thinking about folks who have been much more successful.
You see, even though Bain Capital was very successful, a few companies that it purchased ended up failing, notably the sad workers at GST Steel in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Bain Capital political advertisement aired by the Obama campaign called Romney a "vampire." The accusation is that Bain Capital headed by Mitt Romney engaged in "vulture capitalism." That's Obama's campaign strategy. He's going to accuse Romney of being out of touch with the common man. The argument is going to be that Romney is rich and he doesn't understand the problems faced by the middleclass and the poor.

That argument will undoubtedly resonate with many; I don't know how many, but the politics of envy are as old as thievery. Obama claims that he wants to "move this country forward in a way where everybody can succeed."

Take professional sports for example. Obama thinks every team should win. What about schooling? Obama thinks everyone should get an A+. Gamblers in Las Vegas should all succeed as well. Everybody should be able to go home after a weekend of gambling and take home a jackpot. And by the way, Obama doesn't think people should have to wait to die before their widows are able to collect on that life insurance policy. Obama believes we should be able to spend our own death-benefit, ourselves. Yes, Obama is definitely what you'd call an "Eat your cake and have it too," kind of President.

What about the steel industry, since Obama brought it up? Why have steel manufacturers continued to go bankrupt time after time in this country? Was there a Bain Capital Vampire sipping from the torn throat of every bankrupt steel factory in this country?

We all know why every profitable steel factory is located outside of this country, don't we? They're not based in the USA because they can't make a profit here. The reason? Democrats have moved this country forward in a way where nobody can succeed, not in the steel industry anyway. The hurdles an entrepreneur must jump over and the hoops he must jump through, such as United Steel-Workers, AFL-CIO, OSHA, EEOC, and the NLRB to name only a few, are so expensive, so exhausting, that really, it's just not worth even trying. Why not go some place where the government will actually allow you to make a profit?
And when you’re President, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot. Your job is to think about those workers who got laid off and how are we paying for their retraining.
Everybody in the country does have a fair shot. It's called The Constitution. There's nothing to figure out. It's right there in black and white. The President's job is not to make things ever-more fair. His job is to enforce and defend the laws of the Constitution.

The government didn't pay for their training in the first place. What makes Obama think that the taxpayers should be forced to pay for their retraining? Nowhere within the Constitution do I find anything about the government going into the retraining business. All these matters of jobs and training and retraining are best handled by the forces of capitalism and free enterprise. I think a business man understands this. I'm not sure a Community Organizer does.

There is a person who I think epitomizes the idea of the government putting its interfering hands into the business of private companies.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Is SpaceX a harbinger of the next gold rush?

Currently, NASA is dependent on Russia to fly crew to the station, at a cost of more than $60 million per person. Russia, Europe and Japan also fly cargo to the station.

SpaceX and a second company, Orbital Sciences Corp (ORB.N), already hold contracts worth a combined $3.5 billion to fly cargo to the station.

SpaceX also is among four firms vying to build space taxis to fly astronauts, tourists and non-NASA researchers.

An analysis by the U.S. Government Accountability Office shows that a similar program under traditional NASA procurement would have cost four to 10 times as much, said NASA's Alan Lindenmoyer, who manages the agency's commercial spaceflight initiatives.
NASA, like all government agencies, is highly inefficient. SpaceX, and similar corporations promise the one thing that money could not buy until now, and that's a ride into space for a regular civilian. There are people right now scratching their heads wondering why a private corporation is pursuing something that only wealthy governments had ever done. There is a question whether there is a profit to be made in the empty vastness of space. Can a private corporation find a niche giving astronaut taxi rides into space?

SpaceX may not make it. I have a feeling they're going to do just fine, but whether they succeed or not, historical ground has been broken today. Space exploration has been opened up to the common man and because of this fact, the sky's no longer the limit.

I'll tell you something that's troubled me my whole life, and that is that until today there was no more undiscovered country. There was no place for explorers, no place where a person could stand on ground no-one had already stood upon, see new vista's never before seen. SpaceX may not be the beginning, but it is a beginning.

There is more wealth in space just floating around in the form of asteroids and comets than it's even possible to imagine, and until now, no-one has gone after it. Just one asteroid, if captured and mined, could yield a fortune in rare metals. Even common iron, copper, silver, and lead are incredibly valuable in space, because carrying them up from earth takes a very expensive rocket and all that fuel.

Government employees don't worry about profits. They don't worry about expenses. They follow precise persnickety rules found in some massive rule book, and their primary concern is covering their asses. They do not take risks. Because of this, no government run entity will ever turn a profit. Take a quick peek at the financial shape of the U.S. Postal Service for example.

Incredible new innovations have already been brought about by our own space program, but even so, we've truly seen nothing yet. When, eventually, a corporation succeeds in capturing an asteroid, the outer-space gold rush will be on. With the iron found in one small asteroid, a space-station could be built.

A viable money-making space-station would be shaped like a donut and by spinning, it would have artificial gravity due to centripetal force. On this base housing long-term workers who would live there for a period of several years, exploration ships would be constructed and launched. It's very possible that comets and asteroids containing water could be captured by these exploratory vehicles. From these materials more ships could be built, requiring more workers, a bigger space station, and on and on and on, ad infinitum.

Update:
Here's a blog with a lot more information about asteroid mining.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fundamentally Transforming American History

The Obama Presidency is the very apotheosis of a mummer's farce!―(Thanks IMAO for hypnotically implanting that phrase into my psyche.)―Everyone knows about how Obama changed the White House website information to insert his own name and accomplishments into the biographies of every President since Calvin Coolidge.

Shortly after the news on this broke, Bloggers penned thousands of mocking, sarcastic, and satiric posts in response. People are unable to even begin to fathom an ego gargantuan enough to have perpetrated this act of almighty egotism. This is literally godlike hubris we're witnessing. To you and me it's beyond understanding. Well, actually, it's not quite beyond understanding. I have a theory:

The White House Website-edit is the culmination of the on-going African American history rewrite that our educational system has been perpetrating for the past fifty years. In the drive to help blacks feel good about themselves, and about the accomplishments of blacks in history, history itself has been systematically rewritten. The list of historical firsts by black activists, the list of innovations by black inventors, the list of important discoveries by black scientists, and mathematicians, grows longer and longer with each new rewrite of our world history textbooks.

The list of things you never learned were invented by black people include: chess and the typewriter. You may not believe that website, but there're plenty of them all saying essentially the same thing: math, science, and the doorknob, all supposedly black creations. If you find yourself unable to accept this for one-single-minute, you might be a racist. Sorry about that. You must either accept the story at face-value or you must leave the cool-ade party now and never come back!

(Repeat: "Leave the cool-ade party now, and never come back" several times in the ever-more strident voice of your best Smeagol impersonation.)

When Obama rewrites history, it makes him feel good about himself. When black people read about all the great things that Obama thinks he has done, and how his name is constantly invoked throughout every frame of every page of the White House webpage, he believes that this will make blacks feel good about being black, too. Obama's is just taking what our educational system has been doing all along, and bringing the history rewrite up-to-date.

Obama said America needed to be fundamentally transformed. Well, our teachers have succeeded in fundamentally transforming the information contained in history textbooks. Meanwhile Obama has been keeping busy between vacations by fundamentally transforming the White House's webpage.

Team Obama's Pawn-Snatching Strategy


As Team Obama battles Romney, it's worth looking at this match-up from non-traditional perspectives in order to better predict the eventual outcome. If one were to classify the Obama campaign in chess-playing terminology, it would be described as that of the pawn-snatcher.

The now infamous "war on women" featuring cause célèbre Sandra Fluke was a pawn snatch that the Obama camp briefly celebrated, when Rush Limbaugh made some unfortunate statements. Unfortunately that line of attack imploded when Hilary Rosen―a Democratic Party strategist―let slip the unofficial Democratic position on married stay-at-home house-wives. Hilary Rosen stated that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life, but Ann Romney fired back that raising five children and taking care of her husband and his household was a lot of work! The result has been a decided shift of female voters away from Obama and towards Romney.

The apparent coup Obama thought he had gained by this flamboyant pawn-snatch backfired and left his pieces over-exposed and under-developed.

Team Obama saw another apparently stranded pawn on the board in the person of George Zimmerman, a "white Hispanic." As race-hustlers Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson piled on, Obama saw this golden opportunity to gin up a "war on blacks." The mainstream media was thrilled to help out, and they began hyping this story with the now traditional and incessant shrieking cries of white raacism. Unfortunately this mainstream media drumbeat has begun to irritate many white Democrats. The story is no longer that a racist white man profiled and then shot a thirteen year-old black youth who was coming home with his Skittles and can of tea.

As―ever so slowly―the truth begins to slip out, America is discovering that what really happened is that a pot-smoking seventeen-year-old, wandering around suspiciously in a neighborhood where a rash of burglaries had recently been committed, confronted and then brutally beat―MMA style―a Hispanic man who was by-the-way also a highly respected and admired resident in this neighborhood. This "White-Hispanic" also has black, white, and even Asian relatives in his family. Further, he has tutored black children on his weekends for free. No-one who knows George Zimmerman believes this narrative of white-racism spun out by the mainstream media.

Even though the mainstream media has used the drumbeat to hype the Trayvon Martin story, and continually ignored―or spiked―the resultant rash of black-on-white violence in retaliation for the killing, people are still finding out the truth. They're finding out the truth in spite of the mainstream media. They're finding out the truth that across the nation we're all being systematically deceived, and it's beginning to make even some Democrats angry!

Another pawn, snatched by Obama, but his own position is weaker than ever. He's dangerously over-extended, and he hasn't bothered to look at any kind of defensive strategy. He apparently believes that his mainstream-media line of pawns will be able to block anything that comes across the board.

Obama's demographic pawn-snatching strategy continued, by including homosexuals. After Vice-President Joseph Biden announced his support for Gay marriage, Obama―under pressure from the gay community―announced his own support of gay-marriage. Unfortunately, this alienated a large segment of the black community, who are religious and who consider homosexuality to be an abomination. This fact does not seem troubling to Obama, perhaps because he sees the monolithic black vote as his by right of birth.

The Occupy movement represents Obama's remaining demographic. The young, specifically those who are college bound or attending, or recently graduated, may vote for Obama as they wait for their bailouts. I expect that Obama will probably claim victory with this demographic, but unless he does this very carefully, he stands at great risk of losing the votes of those who are not young... which is exceedingly dangerous for Obama because the old outnumber the young to a great degree, both in sheer numbers, and especially in their greater propensity to vote.

The game as it now stands, finds Obama still sitting at his starting position. His pieces are all over the board with no central strategy in mind. He has not prudently castled, and evidently assumes his almost completely undefended position is somehow invulnerable because of the row of mainstream media pawns standing in front of him. I don't have to be Gary Kasparov to predict the outcome of this match.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The "smart phone" is a really dumb idea.

I'm one of the few mobile phone owners who still uses a regular cell-phone. I have a cheap package without texting or data. I don't surf the internet with my phone. I don't download apps on my phone, and I don't watch movies on it. I just use it for what it's meant to do. I make and receive phone calls. When I'm in a car wreck, I call the police. When someone is turning blue and writhing on the ground in front of me, I call an ambulance. When I'm going to be late for work, I call my boss. When my wife needs me to pick up laundry detergent on the way home, she calls me.

Why am I so old-fashioned you ask? I'm old school when it comes to computers. My first computer was a Timex-Sinclair 1000. It didn't have a lot of features, but when you turned it on...it was on. Later I had a Commodore 64. It was a whole order of magnitude better than the Timex-Sinclair, and again, when you turned it on...it was on. My next computer was a Bentley-Turbo 10, which at that time was known as an "IBM clone." It ran an operating system that was called MSDOS, and for the first time in my computing career, I had to wait for this event that was called "booting up" before I could use my computer.

Since then, each computer has been ever-more powerful, ever-more capable of doing so much more, and has taken ever-longer to "boot up." Additionally, Microsoft has never succeeded in isolating their "Windows." One window inevitably interferes with another window, or some "process" interferes, or some virus interferes.

Viruses, those pesky infernal creations of bored or greedy computer geniuses...viruses are the main reason I don't have a "smart phone." When I need to call someone on the phone I don't want to have to wait for it to boot up, and I can't imagine how irritating it would be, to have to deal with viruses on my phone like I've had to deal with the never-ending selection of viruses that I've had on my various computers over the years.

Why no smart phone? Because when I turn my phone on, I want it to be on. When there's an emergency and I have to make a phone call, I have to be able to make it, no questions asked, no waiting for boot-ups, no sluggish crawling because of background processes, and no pop-ups or virus activity hindering the ability to just make a phone call.

Putting all this crap on a phone is like installing a washer/dryer combo in your car. Sure maybe it might sound like a good idea at first. You could dry your socks on your commute to work. But how would you do your laundry if your car was in the shop? What would happen to that washer-dryer combo when you had a front-end collision? What about the needless expense of hauling around all that extra weight? What about water sloshing out when you stepped on the breaks too hard, and where exactly would you store the clean as well as the dirty water?

The same exact situation exists with the so-called "smart phone." The fact is that when we need to go somewhere we depend on the car to get us there. Only a fool would redesign a car to do anything other than get you from point A to point B, and only a bigger fool would buy that multi-purpose washer-dryer car. Likewise, when we have to talk to someone else on the phone, we depend on the phone to make that call. Only the misguided and naive would redesign a phone so that it could be hijacked by some computer ninja lurking in a hacker-sweatshop operating out of China.

Go ahead; install that anti-virus software on your phone. Keep upgrading to the newest bad-ass iPhone on the market. But, there could come a critical moment upon which everything hinges, when you really need to make a phone call immediately! But your vaunted brand-new antivirus software fails to prevent the infection that disables or slows down your phone call exactly when you needed to make it. Why take that chance?

Yeah, maybe you're a fur-covered steering-wheel and fuzzy-dice hanging from the rear-view mirror kind of guy. But, would you trust a Microsoft or Apple operating system to control your car's transmission, brakes, fuel-injection? That really would give a grisly new meaning to the phrase: "Blue Screen of Death!"

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

[sic] is completely unnecessary [imo]

I pride myself on fairly correct grammar and punctuation in my writing. I make mistakes from time to time, but other than a stray comma or missing apostrophe, I think I do pretty well. Of course I always run spell check, but that―as you know―doesn't catch every mistake. I read a lot of blogs and this provides me with hours of thoughtful entertainment, and for this, I thank each of you who take the time do so. I can guarantee you though, that if you've written very much at all you've made some mistakes.

I don't care who you are or how big your audience is or what Ivy League university that you graduated Summa Cum Laude from, you've made grammatical errors that anyone can find somewhere in your blog posts.

So why is [sic] necessary? I get that people don't want other people to think that their quotation of some third person is their own mistake. Alright, so why not correct their misspelling or their grammatical error? A simple correction takes less time than bracketing "sic."

Is it because that idea didn't occur to them? Perhaps it's because they want someone to appear foolish? [Yes you know that's it.] I don't know; maybe it's like some kind of weird... samurai/blogger code of honor?

When I was younger, I used to love to argue with people on message boards. These arguments proved nothing, and were full of trollish silliness. There was always someone whose writing was full of errors and I couldn't resist the temptation of calling them out on it. And you know what? They'd quickly post examples of my own foolish foibles. So I learned, finally, to just stay on my point.

The [sic] tag is completely unnecessary, and in my opinion it cheapens and degrades the real message we're trying to convey to our readers. Don't get me wrong. If someone's message is wrong, as in, they're completely off-track and way off-base regarding the facts, then that definitely should be pointed out, but there's no reason to resort to personal attacks. And I believe that [sic] is just resorting to shallow digs that fall within the same category as calling them stupid or questioning their academic credentials.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How did they talk us into getting so fat and deep in debt?

We see the ubiquitous advertisements everywhere we turn. To me, they've become the background noise of traffic, car horns, train horns, and planes overhead. They're an unnoticed cacophony that surrounds me and gently pushes me in the direction I already wanted to go.

As I drive home they take over so many channels that even trying every preset I have programmed, yields only more commercials. Finally, I just hit seek. I'm seeking music, not a sales pitch.

The joke to me is that commercials for McDonalds and KFC are interspersed with commercials for diet pills, health club memberships, a million different shady debt-consolidation outfits, and just as many get-rich-quick schemes. The cure for one ill is the sure cause for another, in this never-ending cycle of throwing good money after bad.

It's all just such incredible b.s.! I can't believe people fall for this stuff, but apparently they do. They must be falling for it, or I wouldn't have to listen to these incredibly annoying commercials all the time. When you look at your credit card statements, when you step on that scale in the bathroom, do you ever wonder how you got to where you are? For me it wasn't a straight path. It was a long series of missteps and bad choices. I always took the easier path, even when I knew I was going in the wrong direction.

It took me years to become fifty pounds overweight. I could have shopped more carefully, examining what foods choices had the fewest calories, the least saturated fat, and the least sugar. My wife and I could have prepared healthy meals at home. But healthier foods end up costing a little more for some reason, and they never taste as good either. Funny how the better something tastes the harder it is on your body. I could have kept that weight off if I'd put in a genuine effort, but it was just so much easier to go to McDonalds.

I don't completely blame myself when it comes to the crushing debt burden however. I'll let my wife have most of the credit for that one. I could have done more to prevent her from maxing out our credit cards I suppose. It was just easier to stop arguing with her about it.

Well, I'm out of debt. That took years. Since January 01, 2012, I've lost forty pounds. That only took a few months because unlike the credit cards, I didn't have to battle the wife every moment to lose some weight. Both objectives were difficult. Both required doing the obvious thing, and not the easy thing. You want to get out of debt, first you stop buying unnecessary things. If you want to lose weight, you're going to have to diet and exercise. Sorry if you don't like those answers but nothing else is going to work.

If you hear a commercial telling you otherwise, it's just more of the same old b.s. that got you where you never wanted to be in the first place.

The sky is still falling, says Bloomberg Businessweek.

Oh Noes! The sky is still falling!
Another Earth Needed to Meet Humans’ Demand for Resources
By Alex Morales on May 15, 2012

Humans are using resources at such a pace they need another world to meet demand for land to grow crops and forests and raise animals, WWF International said.

People required 18.2 billion hectares (45 billion acres) of land by 2008, with 12 billion productive hectares available, WWF said today in its biennial Living Planet report. About 55 percent of land needed was for forest to absorb carbon dioxide emissions. The Earth takes one and a half years to regenerate natural resources used annually by human inhabitants, WWF said.

“We are living as if we have an extra planet at our disposal,” WWF International Director General Jim Leape said in the report. “We are using 50 percent more resources than the Earth can provide, and unless we change course that number will grow very fast. By 2030, even two planets will not be enough.”
There's a subtle irony in the fact that the WWF calls itself by the same initials as another famous organization that I used to watch on Sunday television as a kid. That was before the WWF sued the World Wresting Federation and made them change their name.

We're using up all the resources! And we're going to run out of everything! All the oxygen will be breathed up! All the clean water turned into dirty water...and pee! Apparently, we're just going to run out of land itself and stumble haplessly into the ocean!

Aside from the very pertinent question about what on Earth this eco-hysteria Henny-Penny opinion-piece is doing on Bloomberg Businessweek, one must ask is there any truth to it? The entire article is cloaked in the mantra of pseudo-scientific jargon, so that the more hysterical warnings will be given the level of fearful heed that this author and the "WWF" hope for. Words and phrases jump out: (hectares, biodiversity, sustainable, carbon dioxide emissions.) What about the claim that people "required" 45 billion acres of land by 2008? What evidence do they provide that this number is accurate?
The average person required 2.7 so-called global hectares, or biologically productive hectares, to produce the resources they consumed in 2008, the most recent data available, according to the report. That compares with the Earth’s so-called bio- capacity of 1.8 hectares per person, it said. The UN has said the world’s human population passed 7 billion in October.
That paragraph just throws another cloud of chaff into the breeze. The key figures claimed are 7 billion people, 18.2 billion hectares (12 billion productive hectares.) It further claims that every person needs 2.7 productive hectares, while only having 1.8 hectares. No evidence is presented within the article for any of these presented facts.

None of that matters, however. Even assuming all of the preceding is true, one claim stands out conspicuously over all the rest. "About 55 percent of land needed was for forest to absorb carbon dioxide emissions." I like forests. I think people should have lots of them. Obviously Bloomberg Businessweek thinks we should have lots and lots more forests than we do, otherwise we're all going to choke to death on other people's exhalations!

How important is that forest produced oxygen though? The author's argument is that we'd need another entire Earth's worth of land to meet the resource-needs of existing humanity. I wonder if he's considered that the Earth is 71% covered by these things called "oceans?" Additionally, perhaps he's forgotten that these oceans provide 75% of the world's oxygen?
Algae are plant-like microorganisms that preceded plants in developing photosynthesis, the ability to turn sunlight into energy. Algae cells contain light-absorbing chloroplasts and produce oxygen through photosynthesis.

Although plants generally get the credit for producing the oxygen we breathe, some 75% or more of the oxygen in the planet’s atmosphere is actually produced by photosynthetic algae and cyanobacteria.
Luckily, for humanity, we have another Earth available. In fact, we have four Earths. It's just that three of them are underwater. But even though they're a little too moist for people to live on, they still provide plenty of resources to meet the needs of humanity today and tomorrow.

Monday, May 14, 2012

If only we could lock a black-box around their deceitful necks!

I've commented before on the dishonest relationship between public sector unions and the Democratic Party.

Public sector unions—unions whose members receive their paychecks from the state—withhold their dues straight out of member's paychecks. Like Federal and state withholding, it's mandatory and employees have no choice but to accept it. Union leaders take a hefty chunk of that money as payment for their services, and then they take the rest of that money and funnel it into the campaigns of Democrats running for office.

In return for big campaign contributions the Democrats in power do everything they can to increase the wages and benefits of the public sector workers in their area of budgetary oversight.

In return for the higher government wages that were voted in by Democrats in power, the public sector workers don't complain too loudly about the mandatory union dues withheld from their paychecks.

It's a fetid swamp of corruption, and everybody who works in the government knows it's happening and has been happening for many decades if not longer. It's so crooked and dishonest that I've often been left scratching my head wondering how on Earth it hasn't already been outlawed. Now it all makes sense. You see, I learned something yesterday that I should have known all along, but I didn't. Maybe you don't know it either?

Yesterday, at four in the morning after waking up and being unable to return to sleep, I finally gave up that battle and got up. I was reading PJ Media's latest blog post called: No, George W. Bush Will Not Be the Last GOP President. I clicked a link in that blog that took me here. I watched the free preview―and intrigued―I went to Amazon.com and rented it for $1.99.

Did you know that China taxes our imports at rates of 17% up to north of 45%? In return we tax their imports at 2%. If you think this isn't fair, if you wonder how on Earth this can be true, you merely have to look to our dear leaders to understand that again the taxpayers are being screwed-over by unscrupulous politicians.

In "Fixing America," Steve Laffey explains that many American corporations have in effect become Chinese corporations. He mentioned Caterpillar and Wal-Mart as just two examples. In order for corporations to enter this market of more than 1.5 billion consumers, they first had to move their manufacturing to China. Goods made in China don't have that ruinous import tax levied. They're made in China and shipped back here and only taxed a pittance. Legislators when grilled on this question maintain that this tax rate is so low because―ostensibly―raising import tariffs would hurt American consumers. Actually it would hurt big corporations like Wal-Mart and Caterpillar who've moved their manufacturing operations to China while leaving their highly compensated lobbyists in Washington.

Lobbyists make backroom deals to keep USA tariff rates extremely low, even though China's rates are insanely high. It has been this unbalanced since the Second World War. Lobbyists are often former politicians themselves, who're now working in the private sector. The lobbyists offer lucrative deals to legislators in return for favorable legislation. In return for low tariffs on Chinese goods, lobbyists offer corporate campaign contributions and even future highly-paid lobbying careers.

I knew that China had higher tariffs. I just never realized they were that high. This explains the trade imbalance. This explains Wal-Mart prices. This explains why Republicans haven't exposed their Democratic brethren as double-dealing money-sucking vampires draining away the very lifeblood of our country. Because they're doing the same thing! This is more than just disgraceful.
The biggest difference in the way the Chinese and American governments raise revenue is that Beijing relies much more heavily on import taxes. More than 20% of Chinese central government revenue in 2009 was generated from import taxes, while the comparable figure for the US was just 1.4%.

The Chinese impose three major taxes on most imported products: a value-added tax of 17% on imported goods destined for domestic consumption, a variety of consumption taxes and also tariffs which vary by import category and are generally higher on manufactured goods. For example, there is a 45% tariff on motorcycle imports, which is particularly damaging for the US given that the US consistently enjoys a large trade surplus in motorcycles. Chinese value added tax and consumption taxes are typically waived for imported raw materials and inputs destined for goods to be exported.
Where to lay the blame...People are going to make self-serving deals. So there's no sense pointing at unions, corporations, lobbyists, or politicians, and saying that's the problem. The problem is within the system as a whole. It is completely broken because everybody's all just looking out for themselves instead of looking out for America. Well this story is about as old as Judas Iscariot. I wish politicians were like airplanes and had a black-box fastened around their deceitful necks. Back-room treason would be a little harder to get away with if the record button was always pressed down.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Why is betting on failure even legal?

I'm a neophyte when it comes to investing. I know little-to-nothing about how the system works. I'm just a regular guy, living paycheck to paycheck. My impressions of the shenanigans on Wall Street, the housing implosion of 2008, the failure of banks and their subsequent bail-outs, are all based on my own common sense. Common sense is sometimes far off the mark. So, if you have knowledge that I lack and you disagree with what I have to say regarding my opinion in this area where I admit I know little, please instruct me. I promise not to resent you for it.

The big news on Wall Street is how the London Whale lost two billion dollars of J.P. Morgan's money. J.P. Morgan is one of the largest banks in the world, and their share price dropped more than ten percent in reaction to this incredible blunder. There are more than three billion shares of J.P. Morgan, and millions of investors who own them. One guy, incredibly, was able to place billion dollar wagers using the money of a publicly traded corporation. Now, of course, people are screaming for more regulations.
Some $13bn was wiped off the value of America's largest bank after it admitted the scale of the trading activities of Bruno Iksil – nicknamed the London Whale for his bullish trading – and his colleagues in the bank's little known "chief investment office". The US Securities and Exchange financial watchdog was said to have begun reviewing the losses, the rating agency Standard & Poor's revised its outlook on the bank from stable to negative and Fitch Ratings downgraded it from A-plus to AA-minus.
The investment community reacted to the stunning news by dumping their shares. It's funny. If Bruno Iksil's gambling wagers had gone the other way, if he'd won, millions of investors would have jumped in to grab up more shares. Investors themselves are gamblers, so it's not the fact that he was gambling that upsets them; it's the fact that he lost so much. Gambling has become the backbone of our entire free-enterprise system, and that fact is upsetting to me.

We bet on everything. When we pay our life-insurance premium, we're betting that we're going to die sooner than the insurance company expects. When we pay for car-insurance we're betting that we're going to have a wreck. Health coverage is a bet that we'll get become sick or injured. Every stock in our portfolio is a wager. I can understand wagers like these. They make sense to me. But this...

I think it's good that people invest in a company, hoping that it will do well, hoping that they'll see a return on their investment. That's the American way. That's what entrepreneurs do. They invest in an idea, hoping people will like the idea and buy the good or service. Everyone wins when this happens. This is the opposite of what happens at a casino for instance. At a casino, for every winning bet there must be a losing one. Mostly the house wins and the gamblers lose. This is why the smarter gamblers place most of their bets on Wall Street and not in Las Vegas.

I don't like it that people are allowed to bet that companies will fail. These odd-ball investments, short-selling, options, and derivatives, belong in Las Vegas. These wagers are only winners when someone else is a loser, and that doesn't seem right to me. I think it's perfectly okay to bet on a winner, but why is it that on Wall Street, people are allowed to bet that a particular horse is going to lose the race? No bookie would ever take that bet. Why? Because it's too easy to put the fix in on that one horse.

Financial investors on Wall Street have come up with the craziest schemes imaginable to wager on every outcome under the sun. I don't think it should be this way. Something seems deeply wrong, both morally and financially with this focus on nothing but luck and odds.

When you invest in the stock of a business you're betting that the company is going to be a winner. You hope that they do well. You pray for them to do well. You talk about how great they are and try to convince everyone you know into also buying stock in the company and maybe even trying its products. You become a fan. You advocate on their behalf. If they win, you win. This is how America is supposed to work.

What about the reverse however?

If someone is betting that a company will fail, they hope that it fails. They pray that it fails. They talk about how crappy and lousy the company is and how shabby its products are. They become the company's biggest critic. They talk everyone they know out of buying either the stock of the company or its products. They do everything in their power to make sure that this company fails. If the company loses, they win. This is NOT how America is supposed to work.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Obama Campaign Roll Call

The Obama Campaign is taking roll call this spring. As his backers―ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, News Week, TIME, [virtually every news provider in the nation]―geared up for Election 2012, they might have first brushed the three-years of accumulated dust off of the cover of their personally autographed copies of Saul Alinsky's book: Rules for Radicals. Next, after a quick refresher on community organizing, they would have turned to the dog-eared page containing their favorite rule―number thirteen―which states: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." That rule would become the central strategy of the Mainstream Media's campaign to make sure Obama is re-elected.

The War on Women

You may recall that the campaign officially kicked off in early March, when Obama decreed that health insurers would from now on, have to pay the full cost of contraception and sterilization procedures, disallowing any medical co-pays and other measures that would shift a portion of the cost for these treatments back onto the women using them. Catholic churches―among others―were justifiably furious, and the First Amendment was quickly invoked. The Obama Campaign was momentarily set back on their heels, but quickly regrouped and trotted out Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University Law School student too poor to afford the high cost of birth-control.

The narrative as presented by the mainstream media: See here, this doe-eyed blushing just shy of virginal young woman, who simply wants to focus on studying law for her future career as an attorney, but who is unable to afford the necessary contraception that will allow her to accomplish that goal, and all because this evil law-school that she attends refuses to help her pay for it. They won't help her because of some antiquated superstition about "being fruitful," or something.

This was bait laid in a trap. They personalized it with Sandra Fluke; they succeeded in freezing it when Rush Limbaugh took the bait and called Sandra Fluke a slut. Then they polarized it. This wasn't just one man calling one woman a slut, no, this was much bigger than that. This was Evil Republicans calling all the women in America, a bunch of sluts!
President Barack Obama weighed in on what many have characterized as the "War on Women" in a press conference Tuesday, criticizing Rush Limbaugh for his incendiary comments about Sandra Fluke and speculating about which issues will matter to women in the 2012 elections.

"I don't know what's in Rush Limbaugh's heart, so I'm not going to comment on the sincerity of his apology," Obama said. "What I can comment on is the fact that all decent folks can agree on, that the remarks that were made don't have any place in the public discourse. And the reason I called [Fluke] is because I thought about Malia and Sasha, and one of the things I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about even ones I may not agree with them on. I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way, and I don't want them attacked or called horrible names because they are being good citizens."
This was a masterful use of rule 13 by Obama. Notice how he personalized it by attaching it to his own daughters. Rush had now apparently threatened to attack the reputation of Obama's own daughters. Next he polarized it. Obama attached the personal threat of mean Republicans attacking his daughters, to women in general with the label: "good citizens."

The War on Blacks

The target is more than just black votes. The goal is to engender the kind of active participation the Obama camp needs if they're going to win. They need more than black votes, they need black fury, and even more importantly, they need white guilt.

The narrative as presented by the mainstream media: See here, this young African-American boy. He just wants to play football, and eat a little candy once in a while. Isn't he adorable? You'd want him to date your daughter when he grows up, I bet. Well too bad, cuz he's dead! He was brutally gunned down by a racist profiling white bigot, who is being protected from paying for his crimes by the racist good-ol' boys who run Florida like some kind of big ol' bayou slave-plantation. Obama was right on time with his cue:
If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. I think [Trayvon's parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.

Obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through, and when I think about this, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and everybody aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together — federal, state and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.

I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen. And that means we examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident.”
Obama personalized it by again invoking his own kids. He polarized it by mentioning all the government agencies that failed to prevent the murder and then failed to punish the murderer. This isn't about one man killing another man in self-defense, no, no! This is Evil Republicans tyrannizing black folks like they have always done. This is about slavery and apartheid and segregation. The black folks are to be enraged by this. The white folks are to feel guilt.

The War on Gays

Now this one is a master stroke. Fresh on the heels of the revelation that Obama is in favor of same-sex marriages, Americans were treated to a 5000 word exposé that accuses Mitt Romney of being a bigoted bully, who picked on a kid in high school who was perceived by Romney as being gay.
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. — Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.
The 5000 word narrative―which was ready to print a few moments after Obama announced his acceptance of gay marriage―as presented by the mainstream media: See here, in lurid detail how the bigoted Mitt Romney lead a posse of other bigots on a mission to terrorize and forever scar the psyche of this unfortunate and apparently effeminate young boy. Romney hates gays and enjoys terrorizing them.

You can't get more personal and polarizing than attacking the character of the opponent himself as a homophobe and a bigot. Furthermore the language of the "exposé" is absolutely chock-full of prejudicial terminology. Notice that Romney didn't attend just any high school, no, he attended the "Prestigious Cranbrook, with a handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields." If you can hold your nose long enough to read the entire thing, you'll find this language throughout the article. Time and again the case is made that Romney is rich―and of course out of touch with the common man. In exhausting detail it explores the sad life of Romney's victim and finally laments the death of the man Romney supposedly bullied; it even goes on to suggest that it was Romney's campaign of terror which finally drove the man to his death some forty years later.

The War on Poor People
This class-warfare language in the Washington Post's Romney hit-piece portends what's apparently next up in the Team-Obama roll-call. I expect soon, to see a commercial where Romney is portrayed as a rich wall-street corporate-raider, buying up struggling mom-and-pops, firing the workers, and selling off the pieces. We'll even get to hear in Romney's own voice that he "doesn't care about the poor." Romney's out of touch. He's rich. He doesn't care about you.

They'll find somebody who's poor and who needs help that they can't get because of mean old Republicans. This, of course, will be a baited trap waiting for some naive conservative to step into. I wish we'd stop falling for these traps, but they're so inviting I guess it's hard not to. Maybe conservatives need to buy a copy of this Alinsky instruction manual? We can't win the game if we don't know the Rules.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Two Consenting Adults," is such a gay argument.

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's evolution on gay marriage unfolded at a Darwinian pace, like that of the giant tortoise. For more than a year — eons in politics — he danced up to the edge of endorsing it, always stopping short, still "evolving."

Until very recently, much of the betting was on Obama taking a pass on the touchy issue until after the election. Why pick that fight now?

On Wednesday, he picked it. Obama gave a heads-up to a spiritual adviser, among others, and staked his position in a TV interview as the first president to declare himself in favor of same-sex marriage rights.
In light of Obama's gay evolution, It seems appropriate to talk about the gayest1 argument in the universe. It's this idea that "Two consenting Adults," can do whatever they want. The first thing I did was Google the topic, and what do you know? It's already been done: Two Consenting Adults. Wintery Knight has a great post which discusses: A secular case against same-sex marriage.

Romney has announced that he is firmly opposed to gay marriage. He hemmed and hawed a little bit by mentioning that the issue is a "tender and sensitive topic." The last time I heard language like that, I was watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show and the cast was having dinner, Meatloaf, as I recall.

Another secular argument against gay marriage, was written by Ryan Normandin a Staff Columnist for MIT's newspaper, The Tech:
Gay marriage should not be made legal
Males and females, when married, are more likely to procreate, thus ensuring the continuation of American society. It is certainly to America’s advantage to have citizens, so there exists a compelling state interest justifying government subsidization of heterosexual marriage.

Same-sex couples are unable to procreate, meaning that there is no compelling interest to subsidize their marriages. Gay marriage is not a civil rights issue; it is a question of whether or not there exists a compelling enough interest for the government to subsidize and encourage gay marriage. As same-sex couples cannot procreate and, in fact, have the potential to harm any children they might raise, it is certainly in the interest of the federal government to maintain the stance it presented in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
The science is settled. Many studies have shown the harm of homosexuality on those who practice it and on their family members—especially children—who are exposed to this lifestyle. The reasons against gay marriage are numerous, and uncontestable. There is only one argument that supports it: "Two consenting adults."

If two consenting adults wish to shoot each other, is that okay? What about two consenting adults who wish to chop off one-another's limbs? Would you agree that two consenting adult siblings should be allowed to get married? What about three or four or thirty-something consenting adults? Can they get married and then require the government and health-insurance companies to subsidize their commune?

Since it's all about consent, what about necrophilia? I mean, if it's expressly agreed to in the deceased's will, should the widower be allowed sexual congress with the corpse? What if two consenting adults agree to have sex with another non-consenting adult? What if one of the consenting adults doesn't realize he consented, when he clicked "I agree" on a EULA? The idea that just because a couple of people agree to do something together means they should be allowed to, only goes so far.

One of the best comparisons to homosexuality I can think of is perhaps smoking. Both activities are hazardous to your health. Both activities offend those forced to be around it. Both activities cost the government billions of dollars every year as a consequence of the serious health-issues caused by them. They're both particularly harmful to children. Until recently, they were both discouraged by society. There is only one reason for doing either one of them, and that reason is that the participants seem to enjoy it.

Adults agree to buy and sell dangerous habit-forming and illegal drugs. Would you agree that they should be allowed to? Adults sometimes agree to consume vast quantities of alcohol, and then drive. Should that be allowed, just because they both agreed? It is obvious to anyone who understands the facts, that the practice of homosexuality should be discouraged by the state, not subsidized! Obama however, has just jumped up on the Big Gay Bandwagon, and he's going for a ride-along. Gays are just another demographic to Obama. He doesn't care about the consequences or who gets hurt; it's all about winning in November.
1 Like Obama's opinion, the word gay has also evolved. It is now commonly used to describe ideas arguments and activities, which are particularly stupid misguided or foolish-looking, especially when they make you seem uncool nerdy or childish. Ex: My father embarrassed me so much at the party last night when he tried to start that Limbo game. That was so gay!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Last gasp of freedom to be crushed under Google's self-driving wheels

The wave of the future is here. Computer driven vehicles have already taken to the roads on a limited basis and are now street legal in Nevada, but if all plays out as Google hopes it will, soon more and more vehicles will drive themselves. This of course, is the end of freedom as we know it. The age of the human driver ends shortly after the age of the computer driver begins.

When crashes occur, and they will, Google will use its army of attorneys and its massive weight in technology and technology experts to argue that if a crash occurred it was because the computer was overridden by the human driver. Following these discoveries, Google and others will push to have vehicles without any driver controls. They'll have emergency stop buttons like the ones on subway cars, but that's about it.

The ability to drive wherever the road leads will be taken away forever. If the road isn't on Google’s map, it can't be driven down. If Google doesn't want you to drive down a road, it can simply erase the road from its map! In return for this loss of freedom, we'll all be much safer. The thousands of accident fatalities that occur every year will no longer happen, and many people will celebrate this new technological breakthrough, caring nothing for the loss of freedom they sacrificed for a little more security.

This sudden push to take control away from the driver is not only confined to Google. Many of the newer cars on the road come with new computerized anti-collision systems. These camera activated systems cause the car to swerve and break when they detect the possibility of a collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian. This represents a dangerous and possibly fatal loss of control.

You don't have to stretch very far at all to imagine a situation where a computer would be unable to determine whether it would be better to swerve off of the road entirely to avoid an otherwise unavoidable collision. There are often situations where the only way to avoid a wreck is to speed up and try to get out of the way. I don't believe the computer will see it that way. Or, try this new twist on an otherwise typical horror movie plot: a victim frenziedly fumbling with the keys, gets in her car, starts the engine but instead of driving away, has her car stopped against her will by that same rapist killer who was chasing her. He stops the car by simply standing in front of it!
[Subaru's] EyeSight system processes stereo images to identify the vehicles traveling in front, as well as obstacles, traffic lanes and other items. The video information is relayed to the EyeSight computer, which is also networked with the car's braking system and electronic throttle control. Below speeds of approximately 19mph, EyeSight is capable of detecting pedestrians in the vehicle's path and can activate in order to mitigate or even avoid the collision. Under certain circumstances, Eyesight is able to bring the car to a complete stop, thus avoiding a collision.
Google car and those of a similar ilk merely advance humanity another step "Forward" into the loving and controlling arms of Big Brother. Big Brother will know where you've been, and he will decide where you go.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Do the TSA agents looking at our naked bodies take turns?

An al Qaeda bomb cell in Yemen was infiltrated by an inside source who secretly worked for the CIA and several other intelligence agencies.

"You never know what you don't know," Brennan said. "I think people getting on a plane today should feel confident their intelligence services are working day in and day out to stop these IEDs [improvised explosive devices] from getting anywhere near a plane, but also I think when they go through the security measures at airports, they understand why they're in place."

Authorities told ABC News that the device was non-metallic, meaning it could be easy to get through at least one layer of metal-detecting airport security, and had an improved triggering mechanism over the one that failed on Christmas Day in 2009.
You see everyone? You see how important it is for you to be endlessly hassled at the airport? When they fondle your crotch, they're not doing it because they enjoy planting recurring nightmares in your subconscious. They're not performing these completely unreasonable searches because they get some kind of sick thrill out of terrorizing and humiliating you. No no no! It's because there really are underwear bombs.

Aren't we all lucky that the CIA managed to gain control over this one? This CIA coup was almost perfectly planned out and designed. They got the bomb! Hurrah! The CIA doesn't seem to be telling us very much though. For instance, we don't know who made the bomb. We are so lucky and we should be so grateful to the CIA, because even though the maker of these new and improved bombs is still at large and still making bombs, the CIA managed to take one of his creations away from him.

Even though it is a fact that in the ten years and eight months (3892 days) since the unforgettable terrorist attacks of 9/11 the TSA has failed to discover a single terrorist attempting to board an airplane, we should be grateful that they are still trying. Yes, they've allowed a few terrorists―with bombs―to board airplanes, but each time this happened they instituted bold new security measures to stop that particular method of bomb smuggling from working again.

What if al Qaeda makes a bomb that looks like a carry-on bag? What if the turban the Arab guy is wearing is a bomb? What if the video-camera the Muslim is carrying is a bomb? What if the security-cleared airport maintenance worker is a member of al Qaeda? The TSA reminds me of Forrest Gump. They've been phenomenally lucky, incredibly persistent, and gosh they sure do mean well!

But this is not a foot-race or a ping-pong game. In this battle of wits, the TSA is always reacting, never anticipating. The worst part of it all, is that they refuse, they absolutely refuse! to use the one technique that has proven to be effective. They refuse to profile. In their zeal to prove they're not profiling, they eagerly grope two-year-old white babies. They fondle and rub at the crotches of ninety-eight-year-old grandmothers. They actively cooperate to provide as many naked body peep-show scenes of attractive young white girls as possible to the men in the secret rooms.

I wonder if they take turns in the peep-show theatre. If you knew they took turns, how would that shape your perceptions concerning this deeply troubling invasion of your privacy? That question demands an answer, but I doubt one will ever be forthcoming.
TSA agents in Dallas singled out female passengers to undergo screening in a body scanner, according to complaints filed by several women who said they felt the screeners intentionally targeted them to view their bodies.

One woman who flew out of Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport several months ago said a female agent sent her through a body scanner three times after the agent commented on her “cute” body.

“She says to me, ‘Do you play tennis?’ And I said, ‘Why?’‘You just have such a cute figure,’” Ellen Terrell recalled to CBS News in Dallas.

Terrell said the female agent appeared to be acting on a request from male agents who were in a separate room viewing the scans and who apparently asked the agent to send Terrell back through the scanner twice because the scan was blurry.

Monday, May 7, 2012

You want equality? You can't handle equality!

I was reading on The Other McCain about National Offend a Feminist Week 2012. I've heard lots of talk about this subject, but it kind of flew over my head. I'm not really up on what this feminism movement is all about. So I decided to look into it, starting with wikipedia.
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women.
Hey, I'm all for equality and fairness between the sexes. I just have a few questions. For instance:

If I get a girl pregnant, that's my baby too right? If she has the baby, I'm legally obligated to provide financial support for at least eighteen years. This is about fairness right? Why does the woman and only the woman get any say about whether that baby is born or not? If she chooses to have the baby and we later split up, why is it almost a virtual certainty that she will be given primary custody, and that I will be assessed child-support payments?

When I turned eighteen, I had to register with the Selective Service so that in the event of major conflict I could be drafted into the armed forces. So why didn't my sister have to do that? Speaking of the armed forces, why are women who gave a solemn oath to serve for their alotted period of time and go where they're told, allowed to end their enlistment early by getting pregnant, if they don't feel like being transferred overseas for example?

I guess feminists are out to change all those unfair rules? Well I'd say that it's about time! Does that make me a feminist too? No more paying for their dinner. No more opening doors for them. I'm sick and tired of the women getting into bars without having to pay a covercharge, when I'm never given that courtesy. If I decide to become engaged, should I expect the girl who proposed to me, to give me an engagement ring? I'm really kind of shy, so I think it's great that from now on the girls will be buying me drinks and asking me to dance instead of the opposite.

Before I get too excited about this whole feminism movement, I'd better find out what other feminists are saying:
The idea itself started as a passing snarky comment, at a meeting of the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project―the abortion fund with which I work. It was before the bill even passed―I think we were discussing all of the current legislation that was slated to legally subjugate women - HB1, HB462, etc. I made a comment about how we should keep legislators updated on our bodies, since they are "so concerned" about them. I may have also mentioned sending hand-painted valentines using menstrual blood. Just sayin'.

A few weeks later I was at home, sick in bed, and getting really bored. I was browsing Facebook, and found myself getting angrier and angrier as I read through a frenzy of posts about the newest competitors in the "which state can oppress people the fastest" Olympics. And all of a sudden, something kind of snapped.

All of my rage, all of my disgust, my stir-crazedness, culminated into a sarcastic Facebook post. I started with Senator McDougle, the Republican Caucus Chairman, and then made my way down the list of Representatives who had voted in this absurdist, shaming legislation. I went to each one, and I wrote this message:

Period blood? hand-painted valentines discussing menstrual cycles using period blood? Maybe I don't understand what this feminism stuff is all about after all? Feminism is about periods I guess. When girls have them, how heavy the flow is, perhaps some kind of odor rating? I'm not really in to discussions like these, but I suppose if we're going to do the whole equality thing, us guys could email female politicians about our farts. You know, frequency, decibel rating, duration, and of course the all-important room-clearing factor?

French Entrepreneurs, you can move here!

Construction of the [Statue of Liberty] began in 1875 in France, and was completed in June 1884. A design patent, for the statue was issued, by the United States Patent Office, on February 18, 1879. The statue was dismantled and shipped to New York, arriving on June 19, 1885. The statue then took four months to rebuild. On Lady Liberty’s tablet is inscribed “July 4, 1776 in Roman numerals, Day of America's Independence from Britain: July 4, 1776”, and inscribed upon the base for the statue is an excerpt from Emma Lazarus poem "The New Colossus" which reads as follows [excerpt]:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me
―by Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus," 1883
The unparalleled irony of France's gift is worth exploring in light of today's news from France. Markets are expected to open sharply lower because of the election of Francois Hollande, who has some big ideas, ideas that sound very similar to the Hope and Change ideas I heard in 2008.
"I am the president of the youth of France," [President elect Francois Hollande] told the assembled crowd of tens of thousands of supporters. "You are a movement that is rising up throughout Europe."

Francois Hollande said he would push ahead with his pledge to refocus EU fiscal efforts from austerity to "growth". The Socialist candidate has promised to raise taxes on big corporations and people earning more than one million euros a year. He wants to raise the minimum wage, hire 60,000 more teachers and lower the retirement age from 62 to 60 for some workers.
In short, Francois Hollande plans to implement the same failed economic policies that have bankrupted every nation that has tried them. Raising the minimum wage will only exacerbate the already high unemployment rate of 10%. If private businesses can't afford to hire the millions of unemployed now, how does he suppose they can afford to give those who are employed a big fat mandatory raise?

Some of his other plans include spending the money necessary to employ 60,000 more teachers. Like Obama, he plans to pile more debt onto an already down-graded credit rating. If Hollande succeeds in implementing his stimulus plan, look for further downgrades. I assume the French have the same problems with illiteracy and ignorance that we have here in the USA, and much like us, have the same foolish misconception that throwing more money at the problem will somehow solve it.

Higher debt and worsening unemployment are not enough for this new President. The last nail in France's economic coffin will be tapped in by sharply raising income taxes on France's wealthy and on the most successful corporations. This of course, is the same thing as begging the successful to leave France, taking all their wealth and productive expertise with them.

Investors on Wall Street are now pricing in the bad news that France's GDP is expected to plummet in the future as the most productive flee ruinous taxes, as France's credit rating is further downgraded, as classrooms are filled with teachers instead of students, and as they allow perfectly healthy sixty-year-olds to take it easy for the rest of their lives on the government's dime.
Wall Street stocks are expected to open sharply lower Monday after weekend elections in France and Greece led to a flight of money out of assets perceived to be risky into those seen as havens.

The euro, European stocks, bank shares and "peripheral" euro-zone sovereign bonds all suffered as funds moved into the safety of the dollar and assets like German bunds.

"Political chaos now prevails and the dollar is very strong as investors are fleeing Europe and are seeking any safer ports that might be available to them in this strong and strengthening political storm," said Dennis Gartman in his daily Gartman letter.
In light of changing circumstances here and abroad, perhaps a rewrite of the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty is in order. You don't want them France? We'll take them, and gladly.
Give me those who will take no more,
Your entrepreneurs yearning to breathe free,
The builders and makers of your teeming shore.
Send these, your fearless capitalists to me.
―by One-Eyed-Jack, "The Vantage Point," 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Freedom of speech is the one thing Liberals don't want you to have.

Liberals are absolutely opposed to certain kinds of freedom. I think that fact is self-evident in almost every plank of the Democrat Party platform. They're opposed to free enterprise. They're opposed to cost-effective energy solutions. They're opposed to allowing parents to decide what their kids learn in school, what they eat in school, what they wear in school. They're even opposed to allowing parents to discipline their own children with a spanking―one of the few traditional methods of discipline that actually gets results. They're opposed to letting the individual states make laws which try to keep illegal aliens from invading the towns and cities of that state. However, the freedom they are most against is the freedom of speech.

In Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, we saw liberals―and a few misguided moderates―attack a corporation called Citizens United, for violating election rules.
The decision reached the Supreme Court on appeal from a July 2008 decision by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Section 203 of BCRA defined an "electioneering communication" as a broadcast, cable, or satellite communication that mentioned a candidate within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary, and prohibited such expenditures by corporations and unions.
The backlash against that Supreme Court decision continues to this day. Liberals howled in disbelief! Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert turned from their usual mockery of conservatives in general to an all-out assault on the Supreme Court itself. The idea that "corporations are people" was subjected to endless mockery and derision. They ignored the self-evident fact that corporations are composed of people, and that corporations represent the will and the voice of those people. Colbert and Stewart both spent weeks of air-time building immense imaginary castles―in the air―and filled with the most absurd strawmen imaginable. Then they began mocking those strawmen―which were of course their own creations! Liberals across the nation absolutely loved it!

Why? You might think that this McCain–Feingold Act would bring fairness to elections. You might assume it hinders the progressivists as much as the conservatives. You might think that if corporations and unions were prohibited from using unlimited amounts of money to blitzkrieg the airwaves with endless campaign propaganda that this would bring fairness to election campaigns. If you thought that then you'd have fallen in the same trap that the idiot named John McCain did.

Who owns the mainstream media? Who controls the narrative every moment that a commercial is not playing? The advertisers pay through the nose for the few seconds when they are allowed to tell the public their opinion about whatever the argument is. This might be about which toilet paper is softer, and it might be about whether abortion is wrong, or it might be about whether rich people should pay higher taxes. The point is that a commercial is the only time when an advertiser―or in this case a political group against Hillary Clinton―gets to tell the world what they think. The rest of the time, the mainstream media is free to endlessly present their own version of the truth. And they do endlessly present their version!

You see, in the general election the liberals don't need advertisements to present their argument. They have the national media to do that for them for free. This BCRA bill was carefully engineered to allow progressivists to fully monopolize the narrative. No dissenting opinions would be heard by the undecided. Unfortunately for the left, the Supreme Court came along and kicked a big fat hole right through their carefully crafted nationwide echo chamber.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Julia, underneath Obama

Just saw "The Life of Julia," and while snorts of derision are mounting like a tidal wave already, I just want to take this opportunity to point out that this proves what I've been thinking, and hinting at, if not outright saying for some time now. Obama wants to be dictator for life. "The life of Julia" has some poor cartoon like character growing up under Obama, going to school under Obama, then going to college under Obama, a career under Obama, some kind of twisted and lonely lesbian partnership under Obama, growing old under Obama, retirement under Obama, and finally a casket under Obama. That's an entire lifetime under Obama. The American Dream...a lifetime stuck underneath Obama's skyward pointing...chin.

And you thought Fidel Castro was bad.

Occupy's Assault on Freedom

On Tuesday, a bloc of about 75 black-clad protesters used long poles, hammers and other objects to smash windows on vehicles and at some downtown Seattle businesses, including NikeTown, then shed the black clothes to merge back into the crowd of nonviolent protesters. As a result, few of those captured on camera vandalizing storefronts were arrested.
The destruction and violence followed by crying wolf paradigm so typical of left-wing politics is not only destructive to their own cause, but to liberty itself. Why don't the so-called “Peaceful Occupiers” condemn the “Black Bloc?” Why don't they actively work with police to identify these perpetrators of violence and vandalism, instead of actively aiding and abetting these violent law-breakers? It is this pattern of hypocrisy and destruction in action, apparently relished and admired by mainstream media and left-wing demagogues like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, which is not only destroying property and causing physical harm, but also destroying the freedom that Americans once enjoyed.

We understand that there is still to this day, racism. There are sometimes real examples of police brutality and examples of trigger-happy cops. However, no one believes it anymore when someone claims racism, because the left has cried wolf way too many times. Likewise, when someone is pepper-sprayed, or clubbed by baton wielding police at an occupy protest, or any other protest for that matter, it's people like those found in these “Black Bloc” gangs who make everyone think: those protestors just got what they had coming to them.

And so the Occupiers destroy not just windows, but liberty. They're not just painting graffiti on walls, they're painting over the freedoms guaranteed by our constitution. When a good citizen minding his own business is truly the victim of racism or police brutality, we find it very hard to believe.

This may just be another conspiracy theory, but if my ultimate goal was to turn this free country—The United States of America—into a totalitarian state that holds total control over every facet of our society, then I would use agitation propaganda methods [agitprop] like violent black flash mobs, like the New Black Panthers. I would celebrate when racial demagogues stirred up violence and riots and I would organize protests movements like Occupy—complete with its “Black Bloc” anarchy wing—to convince Americans to give me that kind of control.