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Ether Mind

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Saturday, April 30, 2005

No one reads blogs on the weekends

Hope for the future, and a some sucking up to readers.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Only Women Bleed

-Alice Cooper

And it's disturbing, but tonight I want to address Women's Suffrage, which is more or less a dead issue. Vox Day has mentioned it a few times, and he raises a valid question:

"Did women's suffrage enhance, degrade or make no difference to American liberties as laid out in the Bill of Rights?"

Let me start by saying I support women's sufferage. It's an interesting question, though, because from the liberal Rights Ethics position (the basis for Libertarianism and most of the Right Wing), the right to vote doesn't exist.

So, if it could be conclusively shown that women's sufferage led to authoritarianism, then the ethical solution would be to end women's suffrage. The unethical solution would be to seize power onesself once this occurs.

For various practical reasons, including my post from last night, I don't think this should be done. There is a proposition that decentralised power tends to reduce authoritarianism. This proposition is based on some theory and a fair amount of supporting evidence, but the evidence is useless for this particular analysis, because power has been in the hands of women very rarely.

*coughleopatra, cough*

Although increasing the franchise from monarch to oligarch to republic of white males increased the rights of the individual in several cases- Magna Carta, Rome, Athens, et cetera, women are fundamentally different.

Slight biological differences which ultimately make for key disagreements. Is it dishonorable to ask for directions?

I've kinda lost interest in this, actually, so I assume you have too. Key points:

1) Voting is not a right, but a contractual obligation the US has incurred.
2) Women tend to be more social, as a direct result of their methods of survival and finding a mate. Perhaps, left to their own devices, they would create a society based on a completely different ethical model where currency represents social status rather than material wealth, and the means of production are shared on the basis of status.

3) They didn't. So, good night.

We Got Hosed, Ayn Rand

I realised this morning that we capitalists and Libertarians have indeed been had by the Bush administration. We supported his demagaoguery on social issues, his incessant playing to conservative religious people, because we knew that once elected he would reduce the scope and size of the federal government and pack the courts with judges who know how to do their jobs.

We even supported the faith-based initiative because it made sense.

Today, I thought, we've got it backwards.

The social conservatives supported his demagoguery on economic issues, because they knew that he would oppose gay marriage, make it look like America had some moral values after all, and pack the courts with judges who know how to do their jobs.

No, no, I'm merely jittery about tax reform next year. The fiscal crisis Bush has been creating will materialise, spending will finally be cut, and...

Yes, that must be it. Take deep breaths, guys. This will all turn out all right.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Power to the People

is a good idea, though I'm not quite sure how it is related to socialism, environmentalism, or anti-war activism.

What is a good government? One that performs the goals of government well. Some see those goals as protecting us from ourselves, but of course those individuals are morons. Their entire worldview is predicated on a flawed ethical model, and when it doesn't fit reality they cry. A government that protects us from ourselves by limiting our actions makes us slaves, not safe.

The primary goal of government, among others that can be debated in circles for hours, is to protect us from each other. We do this now with threats of retaliation. All-powerful robot gaurdians could do this better, but....

So a government is good if it protects us from each other. All of this is a preface to a premise I need, which is,

Democracy is not innately superior to monarchy, meritocracy, oligarchy, or anarchy. There is no 'right' to vote, as voting is an abstracted, human-created method of organisation.

However, as we compare these types of government, we see that as more power is distributed among greater numbers of people, the less oppressive the governments tend to be. Democracy can succeed in not oppressing 51% of the voting population at any one time, which is a fairly high fraction.

Note that 49% of the voting population is not is such fine shape. Since there are so many issues, and non-cohesive voting blocs for each, we all compromise and have a grand old time. In a state of pure partisanship, that system might disintegrate.

So, power to the people is the only way to prevent the abuse of individual rights. Political power is nice, but somewhat fleeting. The government exists only in our minds, and the military or a coalition of interest groups could easily overthrow it if they so chose.

There are also, more tangibly, firepower and economic power. All power can be capitalised and reduced to economic power, but the use of force can overturn economic power instantly. Economic power can defend itself only by hiring mercenaries, ie, by being converted to firepower.

Note that guns and money are the main things that the left wing likes to take away.

Class dismissed.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Adventures of Johnny American... Close TOW Home

The world of tomorrow is a world of freedom, and of consequences... A world of storied history and sketchy story lines... Men are free to decide their own destinies, but few are free from the destinies they choose. Into this world of the year 2000 is thrust a young man whose destiny was set, not by the rumblings of a machine, but by the turning of the stars... These are the Adventures of Johnny American.

Last time, Johnny received a knighthood from the valiant Sir Uppysweet as the veteran lay dying. Partly in testament to Johnny's heroism, and partly due to the syphilis gnawing at Uppysweet's brain, Sir Johnny must now lead his decimated platoon to abstract strategic victory in an ideological battle between other parties.

How did the Kingdom of the Frank get dragged into this? Perhaps the answer lies ahead...

(morning song, peppy bird noises. A feminine yawn.)
(humming and soft footsteps)
Eliza: Let's see what's on the telly, shall we?
(burst of static)
Announcer: As always, this is Ryan Shapiro with the LWNG news team, bringing you vital news without the fluff. Yes, here at LWNG News, we get right to the story without any annoying-
(burst of static)
Eliza: How depressing. I hope your father gets back before you're born, kid. I hope he gets back... Well, how about that newspaper, huh?
(quiet whistling. a door opens. loud whistling.)
Johnny: Hey, is there any OJ left?
Eliza: Joh- Johnny! You're home!
(poignant pause. no, more poignant than that. yeah.)
Johnny: Well, the war's only fifty kilometers that way. I figured I'd swing by for lunch on my way to the secret mission.
Eliza (shaken): Yes...
(Frigidaire door opening. Rummaging noises.)
Johnny: Say, I just realized, you're practically living in a war zone. In fact, if the People's Republic realized we had an undefended border... Hrm. I can't have my baby and her fetus living in a war zone. Maybe you should go to Urbane City or Metroton... Honey?
Eliza: Yes, dear?
Johnny: Why is there a pickle in the jelly?
Eliza: I was hungry. I am pregnant, you know.
Johnny: I still don't see how you can have a baby when we're not married. Actually, we need to get married soon. Maybe you could plan that one day while you're sitting around.
Eliza: What did you just say?
Johnny: I said I love you? And you'll look beautiful in your wedding dress but we need to do it soon.
Eliza: But what if you can't make it?
Johnny: I can always put Lucky in charge of the platoon for a few hours, run over, and run back.
Eliza: I thought you said Lucky died, in your letter.
Johnny: Well, I'll ask him when I see him. You- did you paint?
Eliza: Yeah, see, I didn't like the yellow.
Johnny: Yellow?
Eliza: Oh, I painted the place yellow.
Johnny: But it's pink now. Bright, neon pink.
Eliza: I told you, I didn't like the yellow.
(burst of static)
Announcer: Ryan Shapiro here, with the news you need-
Eliza: I hate the auto-telly.
Announcer: when you need it. There is a missile hurtling toward your apartment, Johnny American.
Eliza: Wha-
(kaBOOOOOOM!!!! BOOM!!! SCARY!!!!)

(sound of rubble)
Announcer: Breaking news- the war has spread onto King Wilmagne's home soil! Here with me, conveniently, is analyst Dig Doug Scheiffer. Doug, how did the Kingdom of the Frank get dragged into this?
Doug: Well, Ryan, it started with a border dispute between the People's Republic and an interstate manager, but Wilmagne entered the fray on the side of the crazy anarchist capitalist pigs.
Announcer: Is this an illegal war for oil, Doug?
Doug: Gold bricks, Ryan, but you were close.
(static fade)

What fate has befallen our fearless friend and his fulsome fiancee? Find out, in the next exciting episode of The Adventures Of Johnny American.

Friday, April 22, 2005

I'm Gonna Get Court-Martialed For This One...

But here are the coordinates for Area 51: 37.399263 N, 116.223850 W

Just kidding. I mean, those are the coordinates for Area 51, but anyone can go look it up on google and see satellite images. The good stuff's underground.

Incidentally, my dad used to work on water towers and some time in the 1970s he did one for the military. It was near White Sands, NM. It was miles out in the desert, with no other buildings nearby. It had a capacity equivalant to that of a town with 40,000 population. Plus or minus.

But Hanger 18 is common knowledge too, so I thought I'd share some more bits of common knowledge that aren't common.

* I use asterisks because my bullet points are cute flowers.

* Global warming is real, verifiable, and caused by humans. However, it has prevented a semi-apocalyptic ice age from destroying our civilisation.

* 75% of scientistific papers agree on global warming. 25% agree with each other, but not global warming.

  • The environmental movement is a front for the commies. That's why I only recycle under cover of darkness.

* President Bush has not lied to the American people once. He has his cabinet do it. Out of all those bums, there is always at least one who believes the propaganda, so it's not really lying.

* Colin Powell, you poor man.

* Americans are now paying down their credit card debt partially because of higher interest rates. This is also partially because every American owns 2.3 stereos, 1.2 computers, and 15.9 cameras. By June, experts estimate that the number of Play Station Portables will exceed the number of Americans able to use them.

* Experts aren't. I could be considered an expert in dozens of fields, but the press hardly ever calls me. I bring this up because this guy has a video of a professor bluffing a laptop thief, and the melodious Michelle Malkin has a response from an 'expert' debunking the bluff. The 'expert' makes mention of 'junior hackers' and says even they would know that the technical info is false... But the expert is in reality a moron, and the tracking of a stolen laptop when activated in a Wi-Fi zone via its DMAC address is completely possible.

'Junior hackers.' Pfeh. The rest of the response is readily realised to be really reasonable, regarding the reality of the bluff.

* Only freaks and weirdos read blogs on weekends. I did not know this until a recent Saturday post about the topic.

* Rush Limbaugh is popular because most people are distracted from his annoyingness by the necessity of driving.

* Ann Coulter is in no way "hot," except to the elderly, the blind, ideologues, and, well, I'm a nearsighted ideologue and I still don't.... Nevermind.

* The Bush twins don't look like each other.

* Freedom isn't really worth dying for, but you have to be willing to die in order to keep it. That's why freedom fighters are so angry- they have an internal philosophical conflict.

* Actually, they are angry because authoritarianism is a bad thing. *cough* Religious Right, I'm looking at you.

* Obesity isn't really that bad, unless you mind being fat.

Have a pleasant weekend, although I don't see how you can with the genocide in Darfur. Have you so much as written a letter to the editor? No. You're abetting the murderers. Shame on you. Also, your tax dollars fund the UN troops who prostitute little girls. How can you in good conscience pay your tax bill, knowing this, and not even voice a complaint to the government?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Origins Of Effeminem

1) Literal explanation
I needed a handle that reflected my fragmented mind, so I picked a nice 3 in 1 package.
Field Marshal Mathers
Effeminem
Dim Lady
If you're out of touch and need an explanation, google Marshal Mathers, Eminem, and Slim Shady

2) Fanciful explanation
Effeminism is based on changing our society to create a slightly greater gender equality. But why? There is enough legal and social equality now that no one's rights are abridged. Sure, little girls are encouraged to be useless and dependent, but no one forces them. They can be ambitious and successful in any field if they want.

OK, but I'm a clever guy, I'm a narcissist, I live by rights ethics, I barely see the world around me as others see it... Hence I decided Feminism Lite was for me. I want to create a society where it is more likely that the kind of mate I want will exist.

Q: Will, won't you be long dead before that happens? Is this not a mere microcosm of the dream of every utopian to live within his own ideal society?
A: Yes. However, I believe that to increase human happiness, the direction we need to move is towards more rationality and enlightenment. Few would disagree with that; it seems like a truism. Yet we still encourage women to follow role models like the chick in Clueless. Not overtly, but implicitly. And how can Man be happy without a counterpart that complements him?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Effeminism Lives

From Wittingshire, via Dave the physicist, some hearsay:

"Why do girls go around in bikinis?" he groused. "Of all the dumb things to wear."

This struck me as funny, which provoked him still further.

"It's just like underwear," he said. "They wouldn't go walking down the street in their underthings, would they? So why go around in bikinis?"

"Girls wear bikinis because boys like them," I said.

He stopped short and stared at me, incredulous.

"Not boys your age," I went on. "Teenagers, and grown up men. They think women look pretty in bikinis--but that doesn't mean they think women should wear them in public."

He was still staring at me, utterly flabbergasted. Finally he found his tongue: "It disturbs me," he said formally, "that you are telling me that one day I will think girls look pretty in bikinis. That disturbs me. I know what I think, and I don't think that."
Despite my puritanical streak, I'm a bit of a closet nudist. You can easily read Genesis to see unnecessary clothing as a sin. Clothes, no clothes, whatever. They're practical. I don't see how a miniskirt or thong underwear is evil in and of itself.

So I don't have a problem with, say, lowrise jeans because they show an extra inch of skin. All fashion is only relative to last year's.

I have a problem with the fact that they are worn specifically to sell sex. I mean, why is this necessary? Did men recently start saying to themselves, "Gee, I'm glad that woman is dressed modestly. Now I may think chaste thoughts and concentrate on work."

There was no question mark there because I know darn well we don't think that.

Well, regardless of the effectiveness, I just don't see inciting lust and whatnot as a good thing. Besides the morality, the pernicious influence of useless ornamentation on our evolution, and the decreased productivity on casual Friday, there is an Effeminist problem:

Women dressing to attract mates- even when they have no intention of mating- promotes the social schism that says men are productive and women are here to breed. There is biological truth to this, but if a woman has 3 kids, that takes 3 years at most from her working lifetime. (Bear with me.) Since women tend to live longer, that means the biological necessity of giving birth and nursing makes no difference as far as careers go... And what else is there? Economic power is equivalent to social and political power.

Ok, there is the small issue of raising the kids. There are however, viable alternatives to having the biological mother quit working to raise them. 50 hours of daycare per week is NOT a viable alternative, by the way.

There is the father, there are elderly freeloaders, there is the possibility of alternating schedules between parents, there is communal child raising. All have been successful. It depends on the goals of the family. The stay-at-home 1954 mother is fine if that's what they want.

My point was, we should not perpetuate a false divide between genders that goes any farther than biological reality does.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Adventures of Johnny American... Johnny Got His Gun

In the strange and fantastic world of tomorrow, men may at last decide their own destinies... Few choose wisely, but fewer will turn from their paths once set. Into this world of the year 2000 is thrust a young man whose destiny was set, not by the rumblings of a machine, but by the turning of the stars... These are the Adventures of Johnny American.

Last time, Johnny finally made it through the draft process and started a new career as cannon fodder. Granted, it pays better than his custodial work, but grave dangers await...

Johnny: My left arm. I wonder what they've done with it. When you cut a man's arm off you have to do something with it. You can't just leave it lying around. Do you send it to hospitals so guys can pick it to pieces and see how an arm works? Do you wrap it up in an old newspaper and throw it onto the junk heap?
Sir Uppysweet: What in the non-denominational spiritual being's possible name are you babbling about?
Johnny: I'm reading this book. The main character's name is Johnny too.
Sir Uppysweet: Knock it off. You're creeping everybody out. It's not good to go into battle with raw nerves.
Johnny: Sir, I had a question about that.
Sir Uppysweet: What?
Johnny: Shouldn't we be trained first?
Sir Uppysweet: Wellll... maybe. But as it stands, only knights are trained.
Johnny: How do you become a knight?
Sir Uppysweet: Finish knight training.
Johnny: But that doesn't make any se-
PFC Lucky: Sir! There's a battalion of armor approaching!
Sir Uppysweet: Ready the horses!
Johnny: But they have tanks...
Sir Uppysweet: Death before dishonor!
PFC Lucky: My horse is sick.
Johnny: The infantry outflanked our horses!
Sir Uppysweet: That's ironic.
(volleys of gunfire, in stereo)
PFC Lucky: Wow! They hit my helmet! I think I'll take it off and look.
(gunshot followed immediately by scream)
Johnny: Medic!
Medic Pierce: Coming! I'll save that kid's life if it's the last th-
(gunshot followed immediately by scream)
Johnny: Noooo! LUCKYYYYY!!!!!!
(enraged scream)
PFC Dean: He's charging the flag tank!
Sir Uppysweet: That's one stupid boy. A stupid, brave, stupid boy.
Johnny: You bastards! You killed Lucky!
(metal on metal, explosions, gunfire)
PFC Dean: Hey, maybe we can win! YEEEEAAAAARGHHHHHHH!!!!!!
(metal on metal, explosions, gunfire)
Johnny: That was a pretty gruesome death that Dean just had.
Sir Uppysweet: Yes, but you destroyed the flag tank! Without constant micromanagement, socialists cannot function.
Johnny: Whereas if you bought the farm, no one would notice.
Sir Uppysweet: You did it! The land mines helped, of course. Since I get to take most of the credit, I grant you a battlefield knighthood.
Johnny: Can you do that?
Sir Uppysweet: Just did. No one knows all of the rules, anyway... And now... (cough)... I can die...
Johnny: You weren't wounded..?
Sir Uppysweet: Syphilis... leave me now.

Will Johnny survive the war that has already claimed two comrades? What kind of crummy ending was that, anyway? These questions, and more, may be answered in the next exciting adventure of Johnny American.

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Nuge

This is also cool.

Nugent sounds much better on the live album, by the way. Wish he would go on tour again... Hmmm, what if it were free for NRA members? That would work toward his goal. The goal in the link. Read link now.

Oh, yeah, via gopbloggers, the newest entry on my blogroll.

Flashback

I had to secure the rights to use this... This is a conversation I had Friday...

Me: I owe the IRS 2500 bucks
This Dude: You do?
Me: yeah, well, i don't really owe it to them, but if I don't pay it they'll put me in jail
This Dude: Sounds like your up the creek without a paddle.
Me: eh
This Dude: So, what are you going to do?
Me: what all good americans do
This Dude: Cheat.
Me: hell yes
This Dude: Hope you don't get audited.
Me: well, I can cheat legally, that's the beauty of having a corrupt government
This Dude: Yep. As long as you mail your taxes by midnight, you should be ok.
Me: I do mine online
This Dude: That's the best way. How much do you think your refund will be?
Me: well, as I said, I owe them money, so I will get a bill
This Dude: That sucks.
Me: yes, it puts a damper on things. however, I still have enough cash. It may delay my real estate investments- which I don't have yet
This Dude: Well, it will happen. Just give it time.
Me: yeah. like a week. 3 years, more likely
This Dude: You have a long wait my friend.
Me: yes!!! I just saved 2200$
This Dude: That's a start.
Me: now I only need a few nmore loopholes and I'll get my refund back
This Dude: Sweet.
Me: I love you, Tom Delay and other congressmen who've made a mockery of our tax system over the years.
This Dude: They suck.
Me: but capitalists like me can live at the expense of the working class.
This Dude: True.
Me: except for sales tax. Damn Ppoenix light rail project.
Me: Phoenix I mean
This Dude: My dad paid his taxes back in early February.
Me: I would have, but some various agencies didn't send me the forms. like the broker. actually I got that one.
This Dude: Paying taxes is a [edited]
Me: that's why we're secretly building a network of nuclear-armed militias to overthrow the government
Me: just kidding
This Dude: It sounds like a good idea.
Me: I wonder if having a car explode is deductable. I thought it was, but this site is vague on that particular issue.
This Dude: What site are you using?
Me: taxactonline.com. i'm deducting it
This Dude: I have to go now.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

This is cool.

A Politician Aptitude Test.

SPOILER:
Sort of- I got mostly 1s and 3s, so supposedly I'm too honest... Although I admit that I chose the honesty option in the Nixon dilemma because it was the best way to take vengeance on my incompetent lackeys. The 3s are good.

Bah

Well, others have covered this, but I felt like posting and am too tired to create the greatest Johnny American ever.

Hugo Chavez is a Socialist dictator who is massing a ridiculously overpowered army for no apparent reason.

Hugo Chavez hates us.

Bush helped overthrow Chavez once, but someone found out and we had to let him regain power.

Chavez rules Venezuela. Venezuela supplies 12% of our oil. Ergo, Chavez has us by the short hairs.

Chavez is a socialist dictator who hates us, is allied with Castro, and controls a significant part of our energy supply. He is amassing an army that can pose a slight delay to our tanks.

China wants oil. China is socialist. China is our rival.

Our hegemony over the Americas must be protected. Even if some unnamed power does not become involved, we cannot allow an anti-US socialist alliance.

I would take aim at Cuba. One missile and a free trade agreement could take care of it.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Taxing my patience

It's the tip of the top,
the cream of the crop,
like having your own ice cream shop
Blue Bell homemade ice cream
the perfect way to say
have yourself a Blue Bell country day

Ice cream makes me so much happier than taxation. Granted, I don't have income, [update: I forgot about 30k or so. Dangit.] and I don't buy much, but I still have to try to figure out which box goes where- when I know ahead of time it will all equal zero. [update: It equalled 400$. Dangit.] Dividends of 50 bucks. Woo-hoo. As if I don't have enough to do tomorrow.

Yeah, I can wait until the last minute because I have all the paperwork... [update: mostly] It's symbolic resistance against the man. Or else foolhardiness. I usually file in Jan or Feb, but somebody didn't want to send me their paperwork... I forget who. Some government agency, I know that.

Anyway, I'm thinking about getting a new car. With my driving habits, they usually only last 6 to 8 weeks- the last one blew up, and the one before that did some acrobatics before burying itself up to the axles. I'd get a Charger or Impala or something, but....

I prefer to spend a couple thousand bucks on a junker, since I know it won't last long anyway.

If I needed to, I suppose I could count that as a catastrophic loss. Hmmm.

Can I count caffeine dependence? (snare and hi-hat)

That depends. (laugh track)

I didn't even know he was Jewish.

Anyway, there will be more inciteful humour later todayish, possibly involving the IRS as a terrorist revolutionary organisation. IRS... PLO... IRA.... NOW... See? I might be tempted to do a RWCOTW on Jules Verne.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A Real Capitalist

*Never discriminates based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion... Except of course that the receptionist is always a 23 year old white girl with good assets.

*Would sell ice cubes to Eskimoes.

*Would sell guns to socialists.

*Would sell sales training to other capitalists.

*Loves America, when doing so is profitable.

*Hates cronyism and nepotism, but uses them when they are available.

*Would have covered this blog with google ads and Amazon links.

*Hey, that's not a bad idea.... yes it is.

*Would sue Spacemonkey for stealing his format, then steal the lame IMAO format in retribution.

*Would sell his dog to a Korean chef.

*Enjoys long walks on the beach... I'm talking to you, Displacethoughts girl.

*Sucks up to everyone.

Dynamic Equilibrium

Well, it looks like time for an update on the state of Social Security Reform, aka the stealth destruction plan.

Hard to do an update when absolutely nothing is happening, but my perceptions of this steady state of blahness have been refined over the past weeks.

Bush's plan is to have no plan, until at last the political will of his opponents is exhausted. Already, Leftblogs have moved on (pun unintentional) to attacking Delay futilely, harassing Gannon for being gay, and denouncing Republicans for harassing gays.

At some point after the SS Reform national tour, Bush will come up with a plan and try to get it through congress in 2 days. 3 if necessary, no more than a week. This plan will include some means of diverting existing SS income from the government to the market. Add-ons and benefit/tax adjustments are superfluous, because their only purpose is to make SS secure.

That's not the goal. That's a side effect which a lot of people are ambivalent about.

So, the American people aren't thrilled by the idea of controlling their own money. The group that is most actively opposed is the AARP and non-affiliated old people. Since any proposed plan would affect them in no way whatsoever, I think it's pretty sick that they would be so authoritarian as to oppose it and prevent the rest of us from having a better future. Boils my blood like a lass in a plaid skirt.

Anyway, the opposition to SS Phase-out I mean reform is hard to guage. For one thing, all the polls are biased. All the actors are biased. Even the bias seems biased.

I haven't been able to find many people who wholeheartedly endorse phase I mean reform, but most of the younger people- all of the younger people I 've spoken to, actually- agree there is a problem. They call it a pyramid scheme rather than a Ponzi scheme, but whatever.

The idea that reform is needed has taken hold more effectively that the personal accounts idea. I suppose reform would be nice. I guess.

The problem is not that SS will go bankrupt; the problem is that it is an unsustainable scheme that has gradually grown into a bloated entitlement regime that helps almost no one in a real sense.

It's morally bankrupt right now, so...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Here's the thing, Volume I

And I may be a year late on this one-
Telling people that Bush lied about WMD or a connection to 911 is ineffective if they still believe in WMD or a connection to 911.

Contrariwise, those who never believed it will not believe that they were made to believe it...

Huh? Personally, I never believed in WMD until recently, when I read many pieces of incontrovertible proof. I question the sanity of anyone who cites World Tribune, theaux.

I never believed in Santa, either. Notice that that's an anagram for Satan. What does Santa do? Distract from the religious message we inserted into the pagan Winter Solstice festival, that's what.

Think about it. Just not too hard.

Well, time to take off my tinfoil hat and put the "not an idiot" hat back on. Until Next Time...

Good Idea/Bad Idea

Follow the links... It's worth it.

Utopia, for once

The nature of man must change before the nature of society can change. This is what prevents a Utopia from being successful.

The corollary is that if we want a Utopia, we must change the nature of man. But how? By correcting sentence fragments such as "But how?" No. By changing the culture, which is transmitted from individual to individual and forms the basis of our thoughts and actions.

Democracy is a form of society superior to feudalism. Would you trust illiterate peasants to vote and sustain a modern democracy like the United States? It could work, but it would much more readily fail. Although democracy is innately superior by certain standards, it cannot work when applied to a society that is not prepared for it.

In 1000, in France, democracy would have been an unattainable Utopia. It is now a reality.

I have no doubt that it will be possible for us to improve on democracy someday, if and when society is prepared. Yes, that is Utopian. No, I don't expect it to be any time soon. I also doubt that Marx, Rand, or myself can logically deduce the form of such a future society.

I like to build castles in the air, and then put a foundation under them, but there is a practical purpose to my diatribationalizationism:

We must put more effort into changing the nature of man. The way he interacts is exploitative. Now, unlike the commies, I don't reckon we can eliminate greed with modern psychological 'psience.' Certainly, ethical and moral systems are in place that cause individuals to act contrary to their own self interest, or at least seem to. That may not even be necessary, if systems are developed to make self interest benefit society. Here's the thing: If people are aware that they are exploitative, they will be aware of others, and it will cease.

I was thinking specifically of the interaction between genders. Men and women do things to each other they wouldn't do to their own gender. Well... maybe not, but anytime you mix them, there are unfortunate knife fights, cat fights, fault-based divorces, implicit prostitution and general mayhem. As long as we permit this sort of thing in the most important area of human conduct- sex- it's bound to spill over into other important things, like money, power, and engineering.

Rather than have a car that crashes once a month, a patrilinear system of identity theft, and systematic theft from 49% of the people, couldn't we have a society based on, say, mutual respect and a system of personal honor hobbesian in its pragmatism?

HAHAHAHAHA.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Weekend Roundup

Here are a few odd thoughts that I won't ever put into full-rant format. If you're a compulsive surfer, skip on down 2 posts to the latest Johnny American.

1) It seems there's still argument over whether the civil war was about slavery or states' rights. The answer is nuanced, so the truth is whatever you want to spin it as for partisan gain.

I would say states' rights, nominally. Today, we say "the United States is," whereas before 1860 they said "the United States are." Here's the thing. The states' rights issue was caused by slavery. The legality of slavery caused the evolution of a distinct social and economic system, divergent from that of the North. The two systems had totally different needs. The south wanted low tariffs, the North wanted high tariffs. Et cetera. They had no reason to be United, anymore. Then the North started plotting to destroy the South's economy and (crummy) culture.

So... it's all opinion, really.

Jackson is my favorite general. Too bad he had to wander onto a range and get shot 3 times by his own men. That was plain bad luck. Also good marksmanship. Was he standing behind a target or something? Really.

2) The libertarian party is more like a cult than a political party. Visit the stamp in the corner for more information on that.

3) Democracy sucks, but it protects the rights of 51% of the people. Too bad there's not a system that protects the rights of 100%. You'd think that the majority would put safeguards into place to protect them when they became the minority, but they frequently don't.

4) Political Science isn't much of a science, and it was less so in 1789. So we really just lucked out with our constitution.

5) Here's a conversation I had, with family unfriendly portions removed. It revolves around the feedback loop of Pop Culture.

Me: is it wrong to like Lillix for their music? morally wrong? i think it might be
Some guy: bah, only morally wrong according to our culture
Me: so if I do some [edited] and start [edited], [edited] up their [edited] with a [edited] [edited], [edited] Lindsay, [edited], and then eat [edited], it's ok as long as I don't overeat
Some Guy: !
Me: what
Some guy: nothing, lol, gluttony is bad

Edit: I realised that the fourth [edited] was only the word "trailer." I meant tour bus.

Wow, I managed to combine sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Nice. Remember kids, drugs are bad for you. We only want to legalise them because state control is worse than drugs. You don't want to be a smelly hippy.

6) Seriously, Johnny American. He makes the fellas say hey and the ladies want to scream.

Johnny American Index

This post will be permalinked, updated, and referenced in the future by and to all episodes of The Adventures of Johnny American.

The back story...
A Dystopia of the Day

Johnny's first appearance before he was spun off
Dystopia of the Day... Return of the Machine

The Adventures of Johnny American, from the beginning.
Season 1
Sock Hop Mayhem
Johnny Goes to College
Inside the Commune
Shock and Awe
Ad Infinitum
1st Round Draft
Johnny Got His Gun
Close TOW Home
Johnny Come Lately
Saison Finale

Season 2
Stuck in the Middle With You
Back to School
Mission Improbable

The Adventures of Johnny American... 1st Round Draft

In the strange and fantastic world of tomorrow, men may at last decide their own destinies... Few choose wisely, but fewer will turn from their paths once set. Into this world of the year 2000 is thrust a young man whose destiny was set, not by the rumblings of a machine, but by the turning of the stars... These are the Adventures of Johnny American.

Last time, Johnny American made his way to ye towne hall to answer his draft summons. He was directed to the 'group W' bench, where he has been waiting since. Unbeknownst to Johnny, Number One has killed the Manager of Route 71 and is coming... for Johnny. (tritone #1)

Jonny (singing): Tomorrow's just another day... Another way to spend my day... all by myself... Staring at the TV screen... flipping through my magaaaazine... I wonder if I'll get a gun, or a lance.
Seneschal: All right, people. Quiet down. All of you are on the Group W bench because you have what we consider unsavory backgrounds. You may not be fit for military service. Now, we'll check your records later, but let me separate the worst offenders for the W queue. When I call your name, state your crime. Mike Jones?
Jones: I fought the law, and the law won.
Seneschal: That doesn't sound so bad. Go up to medical. Ruben Carter?
Carter: They say I shot three men in a bar. But it was overturned on appeal.
Seneschal: Then go to medical. Jeffrey Dahmer? Go to room 217, please.
Dahmer: You're sending me back to prison?
Seneschal: No, I'm sending you to get a security clearance so you can be an MP. Michael Jackson?
Jackson: I didn't do anything.
Seneschal: Well, it doesn't matter. We don't allow women in combat. Johnny American?
Johnny: Uh, I don't know... I'm not a criminal. And can you tell this lady to stop touching me?
Seneschal: Ms. Jackson, you may leave now. American, your file says...
(rustle, rustle)
Seneschal: You never returned a library book entitled "Mommy, why are we different from boys."
(silence)
Seneschal: Go to room 442, psychology.
(transition theme, footsteps)
Johnny (singing): You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant...
Dr. Jung: No, no, it's happening all over again!
(running, glass breaking, scream)
Johnny: What?
Dr. Who: You'll have to excuse my associate. He has a bit of trauma from his work during some police action.. you very likely just killed him... but we won't judge you, here. Sit down... We want to know what made you become a deviant, Johnny.
Johnny: Is that like a chauvenist?
Dr. Who: Yes, exactly... We're glad you're not in denial... It will make our job easier...
Johnny: Why do you keep saying we?
Dr. Who: Paranoiac personality...
Johnny: What?
Dr. Who: detachment from reality...
Johnny: Who?
Dr. Who: Yes?
Johnny: Who?
Dr. Who: What?
Johnny: Yes.
Dr. Who: Let's start over. What made you check out the book, "Mommy, why are we different from boys?"
Johnny: Well, apparently I'm a chauvenist.
Dr. Who: Yes.
Johnny: So my bethrothed said that I should learn more about women. So, I went to the library.
Dr. Who: A wise course of action.
Johnny: That's what I thought. But all I could find out is that they have iron deficiencies and cry alot. So then I spent a couple of days trying to stick a magnet to Eliza's face. Then she said to leave her alone. So I went back to the library, and I finally found a book with pictures.
Dr. Who: Well, you sound very responsive to your partner's needs. In a (cough) progressive society, that would be a virtue, but under King Wilmagne...
Johnny: If you don't like it, just change your vote.
Dr. Who: That's all right. The money's good, here.
Johnny: Yeah, it's shiny. So am I done here?
Dr. Who: Yes.
(writing)
Dr. Who: There, I've certified you fit for duty. Go on up to medical.
Johnny: Uh, thanks.
(transition theme)
Johnny: You want me to go in a cup???
(transition theme)
Johnny: Walk like a duck?
(transition theme)
Johnny: Turn my head and- HEY!
(transition theme)
Johnny: I know I have low body fat, I was the quarterback my whole senior year.
(transition theme)
Johnny: M. A. D. E. B. Y. C. H. A. R. T. S. U. N. L. I. M. I. T. E. D. G. R. A. D. E. A. R. E. C. Y. C. L. E. D.
(transition theme)
Johnny: Can't we just skip all this and get to the killing?
(transition theme)
Johnny: Hello again, Dr.
(transition theme)
Johnny (singing): War? Huh, good god yall, what it isn't good for, absolutely nothing.. What? No, sir, it's an i-God. It has a million tiny records inside, one for every sound, and they can be set to play any song from punch cards....
(transition theme, birds, footsteps on pavement, door opens)
Johnny: Eliza? I' m home.
(silence)
Johnny: Johnny, went to get duck tape and spam for nuclear winter. Be back soon.

What will Johnny be doing in the Frank Army? Will Eliza really be back? What happened to Johnny's i-God? These questions, and more, answered during the next exciting adventure of Johnny American.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Sorry

about the no posting- I had a tight deadline and I haven't had time to post or sleep since Thursday morning. I did manage to take a short nap today around 2:00 to 4:00. Well, I slept standing up and in a car.

Anyway, I feel a breaking news story coming up. Maybe later next week- "Guam attacked!" or "French Citizens are Revolting!"

Probably something will blow up. That's my prediction. 25 to 150 dead.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Solution to the SS/Medicare Problem

It's questionable whether Social Security will have serious budget shortfalls in the future. With some back-door benefit decreases, it would be fine. Bush's plan, although he claims not to have a plan, is to make up for the benefit decreases by putting the money into stocks and hoping for the best. This has serious side effects.

Medicare, now, Medicare is the real problem. Medicine makes people live longer, so they get older, so they need more medicine, in a sort of death-spiral of treatment costs. The increase in longevity also increases the time that the elderly receive SS checks.

So the combination of these two benefits, a few years down the road, will drive marginal tax rates through the roof for you people who pay payroll taxes. Well, more accurately, you will be eating cat food and buying insulin on the black market, while your children pay high marginal tax rates. Same difference.

I will be avoiding wages in order to protest FICA.

The solution, however, is relatively simple: Work for a living. Back in the "day," everyone worked until they died. Then the depression came around, and FDR had the brilliant idea of fixing the economy by reducing the number of workers. He did this by paying people to retire, and taking the money from... Payroll taxes... This has a similar effect to decreasing minimum wage, which I might discuss tomorrow.

If you don't like your job, there's no reason to get up in the morning. Sure, you might want money, food, laundry soap, et cetera, but all of that only keeps you alive so you can keep going to the job you don't like for 40 years.

At this point, someone will say, this idiot must not have a family to support. I work for them, not for myself. >: ( Grrrrr.

Well, ok. I'm just saying, don't retire. The short term economic impact will be to lower wages, but the long-term impact will be to improve growth and productivity and therefore real wages. Plus, you'll have cat food for your cat, not yourself.

Many years ago I wrote something about... Let's see... The sudden increase in life span in England before the Renaissance, due to crop rotation or something, and its resultant increase in productivity. It takes 22 years to train someone for our economy. The longer they work, the greater the ratio of productive years to unproductive years. If it takes 10 years to pay back the first 22 years of screwing around, that leaves 33 years of profit. Raising the average retirement age by 8 years would raise GDP by 25%.

These numbers are fake but accurate. Of course, many people die before retirement age. To raise the average, we would have to lower the incidence of accidental death, murder, and death from illness. Since these people never collect retirement benefits anyway, I call it a wash for my purposes.

Raising the retirement age is not an original idea, but given the other benefits of staying active in old age, I think it deserves more attention and less despisal. Partial retirement? How about we just stop withholding FICA for people eligible to retire? Then everyone would get a 15% pay raise when they turn 65. This would have effects similar to reducing contributions and raising the age of eligibility, but it would be optional, and would probably provide a net savings.

(I'm not expecting people to do this out of the goodness of their hearts. Forfeiting a good SS check for a slightly better paycheck might not entice most people. Howevah, as we know, the good SS check is an endangered species. And yeah, I know of forced retirement. Don't you have any faith in my analytical skills? Do you really want me to add another 8 paragraphs waterproofing my thesis?)

The only "undesireable" effect is increasing labor supply, since there will be a lag of a few years before there are jobs created to absorb them, but what with the laws of economics, that's a short-term evil that can be minimised by careful phase-in of any regulatory change.

The Adventures of Johnny American... Ad Infinitum

In the strange and fantastic world of tomorrow, men may at last decide their own destinies... Few choose wisely, but fewer will turn from their paths once set. Into this world of the year 2000 is thrust a young man whose destiny was set, not by the rumblings of a machine, but by the turning of the stars... These are the Adventures of Johnny American.

Last time, we witnessed the outbreak of war between the People's Republic and the Free Staters- deadly rivals who should never have had a shared border. Yet, almost as if by the twisted hand of a mocking Divine Author, the two societies- one socialist in the extreme, the other governed loosely by a cadre of mysterious "capitalists," were set to war. Our hero, Johnny American, has just been drafted into the fight by his King, Wilmagne of the Frank.

Johnny: I can't believe I've just been drafted into the fight by my King, Wilmagne of the Frank!
Eliza: Well, if you had been on time picking me up, none of this would have happened.
Johnny: Don't blame yourself, honey pumpkin.
Eliza: I'm blaming you. And what is a honey pumpkin?
Johnny: What? I guess I better go down to ye towne hall and get that out of the way.
Eliza: Oh, god. This is just bad.
Johnny: Don't worry, I'm sure that the war will be over soon. The socialists and capitalists can't hate each other that much.
(transition theme)
(ragged breathing, sporadic gunfire in background)
Manager: Your skills have improved, Number One.
G-Man #1: My skills are beyond even yours, now.
(zwoozhing sounds, crackle of electricity)
Manager: You have become adept with the use of force, but there is more to the way of the capitalist.
G-Man #1: Superior force is all that matters. Even now, I can feel you becoming weaker.
Manager: You are overconfident.
(zwoozhing sounds, crackle of electricity)
G-Man #1: I promise you, you will bow before the power of the dark side of the dialectic.
Manager: No, Number One. I will live free, or I will die. In life there is hope, and in death the forces of capitalism grow even stronger.
G-Man #1: You are an old fool, Mr. Randall.
Manager: That name is as dead as the copy shop manager who once wore the name tag.
(zwoozhing sounds, crackle of electricity)
G-Man #1: There is no escape for you.
Manager: And there shall be none for you. Already, I have seen the one who will be your undoing.
G-Man #1: Do you speak of the one they call Johnny American?
Manager: That idiot? Of course not.
G-Man #1: Your forecasting is clouded by the randomness of your economy. Do not annoy me with prophecy.
Manager: Your unbelief is irrelevant. Very well then... Peter... Let us end this.
(more zwoozhing sounds, crackle of electricity, clatter as something falls)
G-Man #1: The student has become the teacher; the circle is complete.
(crack of thunder)
(transition theme)
Eliza: You barely touched your breakfast.
Johnny: I'm sorry, flounder.
Eliza: That's all ri- flounder?
Johnny: You don't like flounder?
Eliza: Pastries are more traditional for pet names, hon.
Johnny: What about Strawberry?
Eliza: Only strippers are named after fruits.
(silence)
Eliza: Well, you better get going.
(transition theme. chickens clucking, anvil pounding, many voices)
Johnny: Excuse me, where do I report for the draft?
Crone: On the third floor, flounder.
Johnny: Uh.
(doors click shut, crowd noises stop. Greensleeves plays in a confined space. There is a tone, and doors hiss open. Footsteps.)
Johnny: I'm here to report for the draft.
Seneschal: Name?
Johnny: Johnny American.
Seneschal: Go sit on the bench marked 'W.'
(transition theme)
Duke Jesse: His majesty is ill.
Sheriff Roscoe of Knottinwood: Indeed. I fear for the worst.
Duke Jesse: You fear my accession, you mean.
Sheriff Roscoe of Knottinwood: It is far from a sure thing. I fear losing Wilmagne when we are in a state of war. He is among the last of his kind, the last of the warrior kings.
Duke Jesse: Only because we took care of the rest of his kind...
Sheriff Roscoe of Knottinwood: They were always dangerous, you know this.
Duke Jesse: At times like these, it would be well to have that danger on our side.

Will Johnny survive the draft? If he does, will he survive the war? These questions, and more, may be answered during the next exciting adventure of Johnny American!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Apologia

I couldn't make that last post any more unconfusing than it was, so here's something that'll make me look good by comparison- a left-wing blogger! huzzah! Gratuitous ad hominem insults aside, here are some quotes from a Monday post at Leftcoaster:

"As Kos says, this [Sen. Cornyn's remarks on anti-judge violence] in essence is offering a rationale for, and enabling domestic terrorism. Why do DeLay and Cornyn hate America so much?"

My, how the tables have turned. It seems like just yesterday that part of the ideological spectrum was was rationalising terrorism, excusing terrorists, and spewing forth anti-American bile. Who was that? It must have been the nationalist right wing.

Seriously, the senator's remarks were stupid (and they're available at every Leftblog), but it's hard to say how much was partisanship, how much was plain stupidity, and how much was unconscious bias. They were not as bad as they are being spun, of course. The interesting part is next:

"Lastly, if Cornyn and DeLay think that there may be a connection between violence against lifetime appointment judges and their allegedly political decisions, does that mean that DeLay and Cornyn would have found it acceptable if millions of Democrats had made direct threats against the GOP majority in the Bush V. Gore case?"

Cornyn named no names, gave no examples of specific cases, and said nothing overtly partisan. Steve at Leftcoaster just assumes that the activist judges making politically motivated decisions are Democrats. That is a Freudian slip if I've ever seen one.

"Would DeLay and Cornyn somehow excuse any subsequent violence that may have ensued against Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and the rest of the gang by wondering if there were a connection?"


So if Scalia and Thomas were murdered after the decision was made, an attempt to investigate would be a partisan move? Curious.

I honestly don't see how wondering about a connection "excuses" the violence. If I said that crazy right-wing extremists were killing judges for money, that would be explaining the motive. Would that "excuse" the violence? This is typical of left-wing reasoning- not necessarily in a bad way; they just tend to equate money with morality. If someone is poor, it's because someone else is evil. If there is a reason to kill a judge, it makes it less of a crime- therefore there cannot be a reason.

Of course, the actual connection between judicial activism and anti-judge violence is imaginary. Cornyn is jacked up on this one.

Monday, April 04, 2005

What Does GOP Stand For, Anyway?

Irwin Stelzer at The Weekly Standard has an article about free trade. I'm not sure what else to say about it, since it seems to be pointless rambling, but it does mention several pieces of common knowledge that I take issue with.

Subsidies like the EU subsidizationalization of Airbus are supposed to "hurt" America. We "need" to stop them. Let me get this straight. Airbus is able to sell us better technology at lower prices. This saves us money- and the money we save is actually being paid for with the taxes of Europeans. At the same time that these taxes go almost directly into our wallets, high taxation reduces the willingness of their other industries to hire, to increase production, and to compete with American companies.

Europeans paying us to buy from them. Sounds good to me.

The trade deficit with China is bad. We need to stop it. Hmm. The trade deficit consists of the Chinese sending us cheap consumer goods, while we send them worthless pieces of paper that have declined 20% in four years.

Also, China spends 200,000,000,000$US per year keeping its currency low. The trade deficit is 162,000,000,000$US. It seems to me that we're making money off of this, too.

Foreigners are buying up our bonds! Oh no! This allows us to spend all we want and to borrow at low rates of interest! Whatever shall we do? As long as the spending has a rate of return higher than the interest, this is yet more profit for us. Too bad most spending is wasted. I include long term scientific research and education as spending that has a return, but... cubist art? Why would we want to give grants to the cubists? That would be like selling airplanes to the EU at below cost. Idiocy.

If we could count on another few trillion in low-interest bond issues, that would be an excellent argument for SS phase-out. I mean reform. *cough* It's always a good idea to borrow money and play the stock market... as long as you win.

On the other hand, someone is bound to buy a controlling interest in America eventually.

Oh, wait. They're called the GOP. HAHAHA. In your faces! 4 more years!

Anyway, all free trade is a marginal gain, including free trade that is answered by predatory trade. Governments who try to meddle in the markets end up losing money to those who don't. The only excuse for interfering with the market is to prevent the statistical deviations in the marginal rates from hitting zero and starving someone to death.

I suppose I should explain that, although it seems self-evident once it is grasped. The market always seeks the "best" solution. However, the market's idea of a good solution may be the starvation of 12 million telemarketers. While helping the telemarketers may reduce the overall growth of the economy, it also reduces the number of annoyingly peppy corpses. The same is true with welfare programs. The choice is between safety and profit; it is possible to trade economic growth for a social safety net, but neither one can be had for free. Those who promise both are bad promisers. Er, charlatans. "Mis-leaders."

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Gaahhhhhh

"I'm on Social Security, and it's probably the best investment I've ever made," said the club's president, 75-year-old Maurice Labens. "As long as I live I'll have some income from it, even if I live to be 150. I'd hate to see that get messed up." - latimes.com, via the morons at Dailykos

So, Social Security is an investment. I thought it was a wealth transfer from the young and productive to the old and unproductive.

So, she wants to work for 45 years, retire, and then be taken care of by others for 85 years. Add her childhood, and thats 105 +- 5 years of being a bum.

So, she wants to deny younger workers the chance to help themselves, even when doing so would not affect her in any way.

By the way, the club she is president of is the Better Investment Group, an investment club.

In related news, somebody (a member of the Neolibertarian Network) noticed the following: Bush's plan is to let workers invest their money in the stock market. This will be a huge sum of money, and the eventual result is that workers will control the means of production. That is the definition of communism.

A Peel to Religious Conservatives

While I'm not as pessimistic as QandO about it, I am a little concerned about the activities of you religious conservatives. I mean, I like you guys. I'm religious, though not conservative. I'm radically right. It's just, I think some people are beginning to let their love of their neighbors eclipse their better judgement, just as some on the left let their envy and guilt eclipse their 'better' judgement.

When you come right down to it, the crazy Lefties want to help people; Christians want to help people; losing sight of the original goal is what separates crazy lefties from sane marxist lefties, and religious conservatives from clinic-bombers.

Take the Terri Schiavo thing. I didn't want to comment while she was alive, because the logical construct of the situation requires many if-else choices and some of them are predicated on disputed facts. I agree with federal intervention, because the situation was time-sensitive and there wasn't enough information to be comfortable that justice was being done.

The law was followed. Of course, the reason we have federal appeals is that the law can bring about asinine results. The best solution may not have been reached, but given the number of disputed facts, I think the justice system worked. "Err on the side of life" is a good plan, but any such "benefit of the doubt" principle only changes the point where decisions become questionable. There will still be some situation where there is a good case for death, but some case for life. If this seems like gibberish, well, it's not. Read it again.

Yet many people are calling for the showdown between legislature and judiciary. Despite the gross excesses of the latter recently, I hope that a procedural change of some kind can result in judicial restraint, rather than resorting to a power struggle that the judges might win.

Or take gay marriage. I still maintain that marriage is a religious institution and a binding contract; the government should stay out of it, burn all marriage records, and just enforce the contractual parts. Look at it from the evil capitalist point of view. We will be able to sell a lot more bouqets, food, dresses, tuxes, kegs of beer, and various wedding services, every year. There will also be a higher demand for divorce lawyers. And just think of all the designer furniture they'll buy!

Or take the decency laws. Clothing makes people more attractive, thus increasing the incidence of extramarital sex. And why are we regulating Howard Stern? If you can't make your kids listen to wholesome music like, oh, um, DC Talk, that guy Steve, and um... AC/DC, then you deserve what you get.

No stop signs, speed limit
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Like a wheel, gonna spin it
Nobody's gonna mess me around - AC/DC, Highway to Hell

Oh, right. I was trying to start a dialogue between the wings of the GOP, to avoid any future rift.

See, Christianity and Capitalism are both based on Judaism, with a few minor alterations. This is what makes the GOP alliance so much stronger than the marxist-anarchist-deviant-smelly hippy-good intentions alliance the Democrats have strung together. However, Christianity stresses the "Love thy neighbor" and "Vengeance shall be mine" parts while Capitalism stresses the part with "Thou shalt not steal, or else thou shalt be smitten, not with a moderately attractive coworker, but by the hand of God. In the case of thy smiting, it shall be the more-disappointed-than-angry fist of God..."

If we're God's children, does that make a plague child abuse?

I am actually a devout Christian, to the extent that one can say that about oneself. However, we must not forget that the crusades and the inquisition all seemed like good ideas at the time. We cannot stand idly by while injustice is done, but going on the offensive isn't the solution either. The statistics recently have shown society is getting slightly better, not worse, and we need to try to make this trend continue.

My point is, don't try to make pornography illegal; try to make people stop watching it. Don't restrict liquor sales on Sunday; minister to alcoholics. Don't try to fine Howard Stern for making fart jokes and interviewing porn stars and setting them up with his audience; fight the cause, not the effect.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Dystopia of the Day

So Sandy Berger got a 10,000$US fine for stealing important documents and burning them or something. The news reports are a little vague on that part. Since the maximum fine is 100,000$US, or about 9 kilos, plus a year in prison, the punishment works out to about 5 to 10% of the maximum.

Historical documents ought to be worth 15%, at least. I'm just happy that he didn't get away with the 1984esque escapade, and was instead thwarted by the Library Police.

Yes, the Library Police, also known as Treasury division 6. When someone uses a white house machine to fax their butt to Moscow, the Library Police investigate. When someone puts the original rough draft of the Declaration of Independence on the wrong shelf, the Library Police find them- and make them pay.

The Library Police are above the law. The Library Police are everywhere. The Library Police ar coming for you.

Do you think they don't know about that time you sneezed in Soldier's Pay and just turned the page? Do you think that the copy of McNally's Luck you kept when you moved is unaccounted for?

Oh, no. They know. And right now they have bigger fish to fry, but one day- one day soon- the Library Police are coming for you.

Let us examine the case of Danny Briskow from Long Island. He inadvertently kept the reserve copy of A Princess of Mars for an extra week. One week turned into two, and soon the 1912 copy of Burroughs' classic was lost forever in Briskow's attic. But the story doesn't end there.

After nearly three years of sending out late notices, the local library staff made the decision to call Treasury, divison 6. The call was made at 7:03 PM on a Tuesday, just after closing time.

By 8:14 PM, the Library Police special operations team was en route to Long Island.

Around 10:30, local residents heard a disturbance. Said Angie Crawford, a neighbor, "I was just about to watch the Late Show when I heard what souned like two cats, you know. So I looked outside for my Essie, and that's when I saw them kicking in Danny's door."

Danny Briskow lost not only a night's sleep, but his home, his job, and his wife. "I can't believe that I lived with... a book-thief for three years!" said Lisa Briskow, his wife.

To comply with a court order, Danny Briskow isn't allowed within 100 feet of a book until well into the next decade. He is currently serving a 14 year sentence in a federal facility.