Friday, March 29, 2013

An Original Prank

An original prank from my very own mind.

The plan is to get two pieces of sturdy paper which are the same color as the victim's ceiling.  Tape them next to each other, with the outside edges taped to the ceiling over the victim's shower.  Use a weak piece of tape to connect the two pieces of paper.

Then run a string from the far side of the tape to the towel.

Put a bunch of flour on the paper.

It may take some figuring to run the string in such a way as when the towel is pulled on the center tape is removed, dropping the flour on the victim.

The result is: the victim
  1. takes a shower 
  2. is wet 
  3. grabs a towel to dry off 
  4. gets covered in flour, which sticks to the wet person
  5. lol
This idea was inspired by a trick in this book: Get Even: The Complete Book of Dirty Tricks

disclaimer: I have not tried this.  Also don't do it.  After you've finished not doing it, tell me how it went.

Gay Marriage

Part of a post at Monster Hunter Nation:
The fact that the media and activists care more about redefining the term “marriage” and telling Christians that they are backwoods klansmen, than assuring gay peoples’ civil liberties to enter into contractual agreements tells me that this controversy is mostly being used as a smoke screen. You’ll note that when you call it something other than marriage, and it does pretty much all the same things as marriage, even Utah and Alabama doesn’t get particularly spun up in opposition. If you’ve got a ballot initiative that says Gay Marriage, you’re shocked when Catholics vote no? Why not have a ballot initiatve that says consenting adults can form a civil partnership that allows visitation rights, joint filing of taxes, parental custody, and coequel property ownership? GASP! But where would be the controversy in that? Then we wouldn’t be able to scream about hatey hate mongers and stuff.

My sincere belief is that this wouldn’t even be any issue at this point if it didn’t benefit the democrats to have a controversy which takes attention away from fiscal matters. Sure, in a few years you’ll be able to marry a bucket of fried chicken if you want, but we’ll be too broke to buy the chicken… Don’t worry gay people, the minute you cease to be a useful diversion for the progressive movement they’ll drop you like a hot potato. Ask an illegal immigrant Mexican or a kid in the innercity. :) 
I recall listening to the radio on election day last year.  One person interviewed said that he was undecided when he entered the voting booth, but then decided to vote for Obama because he thought that Obama's position on gay marriage was better than Romney's.

In other news: Is the national debt over $17 trillion yet?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Submitted Without Comment

from the Whited Sepulchre:

Corruption Not Incompetance

I was wrong in thinking that the government was incompetent when it cam to spending millions of our dollars in a wasteful way.

Let's look at another example from the Antiplanner:
Meanwhile, on the other side of DC, Arlington, Virginia–the same city that wants to spend $250 million on a 4.9-mile streetcar line–just finished installing a $1 million bus stop. Not surprisingly, construction took longer than expected.

Of course, not satisfied to spend a mere $1 million on a single bus stop, Arlington plans to build a total of 24 of these gold-plated bus stops. After all, why spend $5,000 on a shelter that protects customers from rain when you can spend a million dollars of other people’s money on a fancy bus stop whose “roof may not keep rain off the heads of those waiting”?
$1 million per bus stop is very wasteful.  But the companies who will build the bus stops will make money, which they'll use to make campaign contributions to politicians, who will be encouraged to vote to give those companies more projects to build, etc.

It is incredible that things like this happen.

We can read often about the decline in newspaper readership; they wonder what they can do to return to prominence.   I have a suggestion for you newspapers: write some stories on how much of our money is wasted by the government.  Point out which politicians get large campaign contributions from the companies that get government contracts.  Go through government budgets and point to areas of outright waste. 

Or you could continue to write about celebrity relationships and wonder why readership is down.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Converting Temperature

Those of us in America measure temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.  The rest of the world measures temperature in degrees Celsius.

Occasionally you may want to know the temperature in your familiar Fahrenheit, but only know the temperature in Celsius.

There is an easy way to convert them, approximately:  times two and add thirty two

For example: 10 degrees C x2+32 is 52 degrees F

This is not exactly correct, but it is reasonably accurate.

According to this website 10 degrees C is actually 50 degrees F.

Times two plus thirty two is a lot easier than doing the real math.

How often do you need the exact temperature anyway?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A book of philosophy predicted the fracking boom...70 years ago

What if I told you that around 70 years ago a book of philosophy was published that predicted the oil fracking boom in North Dakota?

What if I told you that that book would describe the state where the fracking (acquiring oil from shale) occurred would make the state with the lowest unemployment rate in the country and make it become a major economic power in the country?

What if I told you that around 70 years ago a book of philosophy was published that predicted that the countries of Europe would go bankrupt?

What if I told you that around 70 years ago a book of philosophy was published that predicted the collapse of a major bridge across the Mississippi river?

What if I told you that around 70 years ago a book of philosophy was published that predicted that the government would be in the business of making rules for big businesses in order to prevent new businesses from succeeding?

What if I told you that around 70 years ago a book of philosophy was published that predicted massive unemployment?

What if I told you that around 70 years ago a book of philosophy was published that predicted the breakup of some large companies because they are "monopolies," when really those companies didn't spend enough on supporting politicians?

What if I told you that around 70 years ago a book of philosophy was published that predicted the crumbling of our culture and society?

What if I listed a dozen other predictions made by this book warning of the dangers of big government and their occurrence today?

Would it be worth a read?

You could argue that you could find plenty of parallels between real life and any book of fiction.  That is true.  But if the author witnessed most of those things in one country, moved to avoid it, and then warned of the dangers of big government in a philosophical book of fiction, then wouldn't that be worth a read?

I have one last question for you:

Who is John Galt?

Monday, March 25, 2013


When I was in high school one of the first things the head track guy said was that drinking soda is unhealthy.  So I figured because I'm mostly indifferent about it, I'll stop drinking it.  For the most part I don't drink soda.  If I'm thirsty, and soda is all that is available, then I'll have one, but I prefer anything else.

As a result of this the last time I tried to drink a regular Mountain Dew I could not finish it. 

I went a few years without visiting a certain fast food restaurant.  I was in a hurry once and stopped in.  I spent the rest of the afternoon in the bathroom.

This past weekend I went out to my hunting property to do a few things.  (I actually just got stuck in some snow.)  On the way back I was exceptionally hungry.  Options were limited at the only gas station for around 50 miles.  I got some whole milk and I went for some Frito's because the bag was heavy and I was hungry.

I ate about a quarter of the bag before I realized that I could taste nothing but salt.  Cili Cheese wouldn't seem to be a weak flavor, but all I could taste was salt.  My lips were dry and cracked from running around in this cold Wisconsin spring and my cracked lips stung with all of the salt.

Despite being ravenous, I only ate half of the bag.  I'm still amazed at how I really could only taste salt.

Completely stopping eating unhealthy food for a period of time may eliminate your desire to have it ever again.   My improved eating habits still need work, but I have no desire for an awful lot of foods that aren't any good, even if I once liked them.

Our Political System Stinks

I am interested in politics.  When I say that, what I mean is I find the solving of complex problems and political issues interesting.

I have no interest in gaining political favors, or the political process, or determining how to get some bill passed through congress.  I think that the issues are interesting.

This may be a failing on my part.

Last week I posted on how incompetent government run passenger trains are.  I asked, "just how incompetent is the government?"

Keoni Galt commented that the government is not incompetent it is doing exactly what it means to do.  Politicians are getting re-elected, helped by funding from companies who get paid by the government to build the trains, operate the trains, etc.  And the local politicians get to point to the new trains to the citizens.

The actual issues, which I find interesting, can be found to work or not work on their merits.  We can try political experiments to see if the places with price controls work or not.  We can look at data and see if school vouchers mean kids learn more or less.

But all that is besides the point.

We could eliminate Obamacare, Social Security, etc.  Eliminate the income tax, remove rules and regulations, etc.  And while all of that would improve things, the underlying problem would remain.

In order to improve the politics of our country, we need to work with a system that, for example, has money extracted from productive people, enters the government, goes to people like teachers, of which some goes to teacher's unions, which then goes to democrat politicians.  Our political system, for example, takes money, by force, from the people, and funds one of the two major political parties.

And then we have situations where large companies can get the government to tax, regulate, and tariff, their competitors out of business.  A man who builds a company by providing goods and services can be downright heroic.  But many of the biggest companies today exist by having the government prevent their competitors from growing or even existing.

This is all kinds of stupid.  Each issue has solutions that may, or may not work, but our political system itself is deeply flawed.

Why aren't more of us anarchists?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Gender Relations 100 Years Ago in the 3rd World

Two of my favorite books are about exploration and hunting poor parts of the world about 100 years ago.

100 years ago W.D.M. Bell was hunting elephants in Africa, and Roy Chapman Andrews was exploring East Asia for scientific purposes.  In Bell of Africa and Heart of Asia most of the books are about hunting and exploring.  There are many similar books that are about hunting in Africa and exploring China, but where these two books are different is that they spend time describing the lives of the locals that they come across.

In Bell of Africa, Bell writes about how a wife is very valuable to a man.  A man's wife tans game hides, cooks food, makes clothing, brews beer, etc.  An African man would acquire many wives in order to increase his wealth.

One thing that Bell and the Africans disagreed on was weather or not a wife should be beautiful.  Bell, being a European, favored having a beautiful wife.  The Africans found this a strange idea because beautiful women are wanted by all men, and beautiful women want all men.  Apparently the best looking African women did not get married, but they were not virgins either.

Another interesting note was that African women were known to be able to work harder, and longer, and were able to carry more weight than their men were able to.

One last point of gender relations interest was that when Bell would shoot an elephant he would take the tusks and give the meat to nearby villagers.  The native men would take all the meat that they could and then they would give it to their wives.  If a man had meat and is friend asked for some, then he had to give it away out of politeness.  Once the meat was in his wife's possession, then it would not be given to anyone.  If the wife gave valuables away, she would be beaten by her husband.

Roy Chapman Andrews was exploring much of East Asia during this time.  He determined that Korean women were the most appealing.

He also discovered that when an important visitor, such as himself, visited with a Mongolian tribe the chief would give one of his daughters to live with the honored guest while he stayed with them.  They were not concerned with sleeping around.  They thought that if a woman was not desired by many men, then she must not be much good.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

To the Right of Attila the Hun

Occasionally someone may claim that someone's political beliefs are " to the right of Attila the Hun."  This is a silly claim.

In the first place using the terms "right" and "left" was meant to describe the French Parliament just before their revolution.  Those that sat on the right favored monarchy and those on the left favored traditional liberalism.

I think I'm right in saying that neither I, nor Attila, have an opinion on the French monarchy.

Incidentally, if you want to compare my political thoughts to some great conqueror, then I'd say that I mostly agree with Genghis Khan.

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford is a good book.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Just how incompetant is the government?

Another post from the Antiplanner points out the stupidity of government run trains.

Such a commuter-rail line would build on the “success” of Portland’s Westside Express Service from Wilsonville to Beaverton. This line, which was built with a mere 60 percent cost overrun, attracted a whopping 724 round trips per average weekday in 2011 by zipping along at an average speed of 34 mph. The line collected a total of $386,000 in fares against operation and maintenance costs exceeding $6.6 million.

When the capital costs are annualized at 2 percent and added to the operation and maintenance subsidies, the total is enough to give every daily round-trip rider a brand-new Toyota Prius every fifteen months for the next 28 years! Even longer if Portland doesn’t scrap this boondoggle when it is worn out. So, obviously, the line should be extended from Wilsonville to Salem. At least, if you live in a fantasy world.

It would almost be amazing if it wasn't our tax dollars being spent.

This government overspending, lack of results, and waste of time exists everywhere else the government does things.

If I remember rightly, one of my first blog posts was to point out that we could balance the federal budget by eliminating all welfare and giving each of the poorest Americans a check for $40,000 each year.  That would be cheaper than what we are doing now, and yet we have more poor people.

Perhaps it is a waste of time to only look at, or debate, one issue.  Government spending is so far gone that even the revenues of $386,000 vs some expenses totaling $6.6 million on a project will go unnoticed by nearly everyone.  And some people will still want more stupid trains.

Both sides agree that government waste is bad, neither side will admit that the waste is everything, everywhere.

Why aren't more of us anarchists?

Celebrate gun Control

My favorite author writes that attempts at gun control in America are amusing:
If I were an extremely cynical gun manufacturer, I would save some extra profits to give to Democratic candidates for president. Such presidents come to the White House under a cloud. No matter how many photo ops they hold with guns, many people suspect that they want to ban them.

It’s not a crazy assumption, either. In government’s ideal world, the politicians and their bureaucratic armies would have all the guns and the people would have none.
We know this from experience too. Look what happens in a natural disaster when FEMA takes over under martial law. They confiscate weapons. Heck, it’s true when the U.S. invades a foreign country. The people are disarmed, all in the name of keeping order. They did this in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So it’s not paranoia to suspect that government wants to disarm the population. That’s as true at home as it is abroad. It is all a matter of whether powerful rulers can get away with it.
Apparently many people in America do not like our government and do the opposite of what it wants us to do.
Even since Clinton’s Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, trial balloons have been a “buy” signal in the gun market. Really, the whole thing is hilarious. The president’s threat to ban even small classes of weapons — inevitably — causes a massive, populationwide scramble to buy as many guns as possible. Talk about unintended consequences! These small-time gun skeptics end up being the direct cause of a whole population of people arming themselves to the teeth!
His article is interesting in that he does not own guns but argues for them being legal.  It is a different perspective than the standard pro or anti gun arguments.  It is the same with me opposing smoking bans despite my dislike of leaving bars smelling like smoke.
In short, it is a bull market in weapons and ammunition. Ironically, the whole mania has been set off by the government’s own anti-gun language. It’s getting to the point that the best path to business success in America is for some powerful politician to suggest that your good or service might need to be banned.

What a symbol of the ineffectiveness of government in our time! The whole nation figures that government is up to no good (all polls show that government is more deeply unpopular than ever before), so whenever government says one thing, the people run out and do the other. It’s a great turn of events in the history of public policy and, truly, one worth celebrating!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mass Transit Doesn't Grow the Economy

If you want to understand how government affects you locally, then you are making a mistake if you don't read the Antiplanner.

Apparently the city of Indianapolis wants to create a light rail system in their city.
“A robust regional transit system is necessary to spur our region’s continued economic growth, to preserve our ability to compete for jobs and talent, and to address growing challenges with congestion and air quality compliance”
The Antiplanner also notes that Indianapolis looks at the mass transit systems of cities like Denver, Minneapolis, and Portland with envy.

Does mass transit encourage people to move towards the cities with mass transit?

The opposite seems to be the case.

Take note citizens of Indianapolis: your local government wants to spend more than $1 billion of your dollars (and these projects always go way, way over budget) to create a mass transit system that few people will ride and will not encourage economic growth in your area.

Quote of the Day, 3/19/2013

Montpelier is the only state capital in the US without a McDonald’s, which – technically – makes it a backwards, third-world hellhole.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Quote of the Day, 3/18/2013

If Pro-Gunners were as violent as Anti-Gunners say they are, logic would dictate that there would be no Anti-Gunners left.

-Skidmark via Wirecutter

Political Experiments

I have written some, on this blog, about having political experiments to see what works and what doesn't.

Deng Xioping is the Chinese leader responsible for moving China towards the more market friendly economy that it now is.  He apparently started doing so by going to the poor places where the people were starving and told them to do whatever they need to in order to survive; they no longer needed to strictly follow the communist laws.  Even the conservative* communist Chinese government officials would agree to allow starving people to do what they need to in order to live.

Surprise, surprise, the private family farms produced more food than the communist run farms and so then more of the country was allowed to privately farm.

When Hong Kong was turned over to China Deng allowed some of the neighboring areas to follow Hong Kong's non-communist lead.  And things improved for the surrounding areas.

Apparently he could not have said, "we need more free markets," because the conservative communist Chinese officials would have opposed him.  But because he allowed "experiments" instead progress was made.

I think that a fine case can be made for giving each state more freedom from the federal government.  Things that work can be copied and things that don't can be avoided.  This federal laws thing is a bad deal for everyone.

We don't have a near dictatorial government here, so having our strong leader suggest that some places be exempt from the federal laws for a while may not be a possibility; but it is something to think about.

Watch the book talk about Deng Xioping at Book TV: Deng Xioping and the Transformation of China

*Apparently, the Chinese government officials who want to stick to their communism are called "conservatives".  This should be a notice to those of you who only think of political labels as they pertain to American politics.

It would make some sense to use terms like "conservative" and "progressive" as their definitions are outside of politics.  The conservative Chinese officials are "conservative" because they wish to maintain the standard operating policies of their recent history (post-1949).

If "conservative" were to mean: "maintain things as they are," then shouldn't "conservative" mean the American democrats, greens, "liberals," etc?

Who is more conservative: a person who wants to maintain the income tax, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid as it is or someone who wants to radically change all of those?

The federal income tax is 101 years old.  The past 101 years is more than 1/3 of American history.  In China a conservative is someone who wants to maintain the politics of the last 60 years.  So shouldn't Americans who want to maintain the politics of the last 100 years be called "conservatives"?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Red Pill Expected Results

I was reading a post at Hooking Up Smart and it struck me that there are red pill sites for women that point out that the jerks may be the most attractive men, but the men that you [women] pursue should have some degree of betaness in order to be good to you and stick around.

Then we have many sites that tell men to be more of a jerk in order to be more attractive.

If sites like HUS and Heartsie are successful in prodding their respective audiences towards their respective goals, then we will have a situation where more girls are looking for greater betas and more men become alphas.

This would seem to be a problem.  We could end up with girls who recognize the men who will not commit and avoid them; when those same men have just learned how to become the men that women should avoid.

Theoretically, both sides should be pushing towards the middle.

While I appreciate the fact that there are websites pointing out the best things for men and women to do, I doubt that enough people will take that advice for the impasse to occur.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Protest Warrior

I was reminded of the Protest Warrior organization by comment to the SlutWalk article on ROK.

Protest Warrior was very cool.  They went to anti-war rallies and held signs that seemed to agree with the anti-war protesters, until their signs were read more clearly.


A commenter pointed out that similar signs might be funny at the slutwalks.

All the sign ideas I could come up with would just be anti-slut, not subtlety so.

A suggestion from another ROK commenter: "Who ate all the hot chicks?"

Does anyone have a better suggestion?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

John Galt Day, March 2013

 Many of you claim to support "going Galt," so put your actions where your word are:

In a Friday the 13th speech to supporters in Roanoke, Va., Pres. Obama said, "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help…. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."
Headlines screamed:
"Business Owners Furious at Obama Insult"
"Obama’s "You Didn’t Build That" Enrages Business Community"
"Slap In The Face To Hard-Working Americans"
Mostly it’s been the Conservative pundits, columnists, talk show hosts appropriately incensed, burning up bandwidth and air waves with passionate push-back. "This from a guy who has never run a business!" "This man has lived off tax-payer money his whole life!" "How many businesses has Obama run?" "This man was raised by Marxists and Communists. This proves he hates Capitalism and American Exceptionalism!" 

So far, so good. But living in our 24 Hour Non-Stop News Cycle World, by the time you’re reading this the story could already be ancient history: "Oh! This happened LAST Friday?!"

It doesn’t have to be that way. What if on August 13th,, the "anniversary" of "You Didn’t Do That" Day, business owners of America showed the statists just who John Galt is and declared "John Galt Day", close their business for the day, keep the kids home from school? Starve the Beast of its taxes; the ultimate government groin kick. 

Next day, announce that come September, it will be TWO days. Use FaceBook, Twitter, talk radio, blogs to spread the word, invite others to join. You don’t have to be a major chain or Big Box store to send a crystal clear message. Imagine independent truckers pulling over, shutting down for the day. Mom & Pop stores of all sorts and types lock up andtake the family on a picnic. Notify the MSM: Welcome to the John Galt Day Flash Dance! 

It doesn’t have to be All In, All At Once (and probably wouldn’t). It would more likely start like one of those cool flash mob dances all over the Internet. Watch! I dare you not to smile! And as Milton Friedman once told Walter Williams: Whenever you talk about Freedom, smile!

Sure, the Big Boys will probably take a pass. Best Buy, Bass Pro, Macy’s, Old Navy, Target, Wally World – they’ll be all "biz-as-usual". So what? Every individual can declare his/her own personal John Galt Day. Isn’t everyone basically "in business" for themselves? Aren’t you? Isn’t "the individual the smallest minority"? (Ayn Rand). So, as a "minority business owner, I’m closed in honor of John Galt Day!" 

Think about it:

*"Gone Galt" signs hanging in business windows everywhere!
*Voice Mail message: "Hello, you’ve reached Exceptional Services. We are closed in honor of John Galt Day. We’ll be back tomorrow. Thanks for your business. For more information, read Atlas Shrugged."

Simple. No massive organizing. No herding cats. No moving parts. Literally: a spontaneously combusted Just Do It. A current event silver bullet at Big Government. A gold nugget of Freedom for everyone to see. Or, if you prefer, a bitch-slap response to a Presidential insult.

Call your neighbors! Text your friends! Ask your favorite business places to take the day. Get the local Chamber of Commerce behind it! Show your appreciation giving them your business!
John Galt Day. August 13, 2012. 

Just do it – for Freedom! (And it will feel really, really good!)

Stuff I Missed

Is this not the best way to describe it:
And, hey — good news! They’re going to pickle Chavez and put him on permanent display!
He's gonna be pickled! HA!


The government would seem to be incompetent
If we assume that the dropouts have similarly failed to learn the basic skills, that means that about 17.6% of the students in the New York City public school system are learning basic skills.

The public schools aren't useless, they are worse than useless.  Forget online education and homeschooling, children would probably learn more from playing video games all day for 12 years.  And it would cost a lot less to provide every "student" with a PlayStation and a new game delivered every month.
If we just looked at, say, reading, then I'll bet that their are an awful lot of video games that would teach reading.


What would you ask the first [so called] lady?

If your rumored run in 2016 was successful, how long would you blame the previous administration for the sorry state of the union?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Do multinational corporations have a duty to maintain a strong presence in their home countries?

In a debate at the Economist's website they ask if companies should spend lots of their money in the country in which they were founded.

I am not going to cover the stupidity and arrogance of the debater that wants companies to stop outsourcing.  I'd like to just look at one of his arguments:
The argument for the first duty is eloquently made by Clyde Prestowitz:2 "Corporations are not created by the shareholders or the management. Rather they are created by the state. They are granted important privileges by the state (limited liability, eternal life, etc). They are granted these privileges because the state expects them to do something beneficial for the society that makes the grant. They may well provide benefits to other societies, but their main purpose is to provide benefits to the societies (not to the shareholders, not to management, but to the societies) that create them." Historically, the nature of American corporations has changed from having customised, societally focused charters in the early 1800s, to retaining an avowed societal obligation in the 1970s, to the condition today where we can seriously debate whether they have a duty to country. 
This part of his argument can described as saying: because the government allowed the creation of the company, that company is obligated to do things the way that that government wants them to.

Let's remind ourselves of what actually happens in the creation of a company.  This assumes that the prospective company is actually able to find all the laws and forms needed to start.

"I'd like to form a company that will provide goods and/ or services to people who will voluntarily exchange their money for my goods and services."

"Fill out forms 1307, 1214, 7376,....

If you want hire any employees, then you need to conform to the tens of thousands of pages of our labor laws.  If your product is X, then you need to conform to tens of thousands of labor laws about their manufacture, the tens of thousands of laws about their safety, the tens of thousands of laws about...

You must provide your financial statements according to the thousands of laws that govern accounting.

Then you must pay more than 1/3 of your profits to me (the government).  And you must pay whatever tariffs on anything that you export.

Btw, I will be handing out subsidies to many of your competitors because they spend millions lobbying us to do so.

I will also be creating new laws and regulations that your competitors asked for because they don't want your competition.  They'd prefer that we regulate you to the point that you are unable to exist profitably.  They did spend millions lobbying us to do so.

If we find some mouse on your intended building site, then you will be prevented from setting up shop.

If we find a puddle in your parking lot, then we will declare it a wetland and prevent you from setting up shop."
Others who oppose  outsourcing say, "but look at all the roads, etc. that the government provides."  This was part of the point of Obama's "You didn't build that" speech.

They ignore the fact that we all, including companies already pay for that with taxes.  And they ignore how awful the the roads, etc that we get are.

Public roads are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year.  The literacy rate of some cities, with public schools, is less than 50%, see: Detroit, Milwaukee.  There are hundreds of murders in cities with thousands of publicly funded public safety officers.

People who oppose outsourcing don't do so because they are more noble than those that don't, they want people, and companies to do what they think is best.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Hugo Chavez bough the farm. 

I've always thought, for whatever reason, that I might prefer Venezuela over Columbia and Brazil.  I wouldn't want to visit until the political arrangement is sorted out, but I'm more inclined to go there now that he's gone.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I recommend that the government do nothing.

Clearly the U.S. budget is not balanced. 

Clearly it cannot be balanced unless significant changes are made to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and unemployment benefits.   Because spending on these programs, alone exceed the total revenues of the U.S. government.  tables 1.1 and 3.1

Clearly there is no plan to make any changes to entitlements.

Since these are the facts, what should our government do to improve our economy?

I suggest that it do nothing.  It is true that an unbalanced budget is bad.  Adding more than $1 trillion to the national debt each year is bad.  But our government is so incompetent that even their attempts to fix these massive problems only make things worse.

Our government is thoroughly incompetent at everything. (see: literacy rate in publicly schooled cities like Detroit and Milwaukee, see: the war on drugs, see: border security....)

Incompetently changing the laws every so often can only complicate things.  Adding new rules and regulations can only complicate things.

I suggest holding all laws exactly as they are now through at least the next four years.  It is more difficult to make plans when we don't know what the laws will be.  Businesses will be better able to plan the next four years if they know that there will be no new laws and regulations that they need to comply with.  Entrepreneurs will be better able to make plans if they know what the laws are going to be. 

We'd all have four years to make the most with our known quantities and we'd not need to spend time trying to figure out what all the new rules will be.

Stability in the awful economy may be the best way for people to work to improve the economy.

Its not a good solution.  A balanced budget should be the first priority of every government, business, and person all the time always.  But since their is no prayer at all for any sort of good solution, let's stick with the terribleness that we know, rather than add more to what we don't.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Chapter from my book: Antlers Not Horns

Can be found at my hunting blog Shoot Deer.

Much editing will occur before it is finished.

A Better Poverty Documentary

I recently attempted to watch several documentaries about poverty.  Why is it that all poverty documentaries seem to only be interviews with poor people and about how bad it is to be poor and also capitalism sucks? 

It is unpleasant being poor, it seems.

One of the documentaries that I attempted to watch made the claim that poverty is the result of colonialism. 

News for you documentary makers: many people were poor before colonialism.

Are there any documentaries on poverty that actually relay new and/ or interesting poverty related information?

I've got an idea for a poverty documentary/ experiment.

Find three comparable poor cities somewhere.  Leave one city alone for the control.  Make free market changes to one city.  Make progressive changes to the third city.  Then the documentary could follow the progress and track the results to see what improves the lives of the poor the most.

City A for the control city.

City B as the free market city could have a "sweatshop" open up  where some citizens could choose to work there for wages.

City C could add minimum wages, require that all employers pay for employee's healthcare, add environmental laws to prevent the use of some of the land, there could be increases in the number of taxes and increases in the tax rates, there could be forms that need to be filled out before any actual action takes place, then there could be lots more forms that need to be filled out, then the city could have a year long delay as the forms are discussed by the geniuses in government, then we could find out that the wrong forms were filled out and new forms need to be filled out, then a rare fungus might be discovered that prevents the operation from going into effect, then the tax rates could be raised again and the whole production could begin again.  And then taxes could be raised again.

We should find a real progressive to think up the ideas for City C, in case he does not like my suggestions.

Wouldn't that be a more interesting documentary on poverty than the ones that we have currently which are nothing but interviews with poor people lamenting how bad it is to be poor?

And it would end with actual results!  We could see whether or not minimum wages, for example, improve the lives of the poor!

I'd be willing to work on this documentary.  Would anyone care to fund it? Or know a good cameraman?  Or writer? Or...

(Side note: which progressive proposals would actually make any sense if we want to grow the economy?  Raising taxes?)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Does anyone else...

...listen to 10 minute songs just to hear a line like, "I am fond of chiffon"?

The guitar playing is good too.

Friday, March 1, 2013

It isn't Left vs Right

While looking at the politics of the Nazis for yesterday's post I discovered that left vs right isn't the best way to describe the political arrangement of contemporary America.

Using the words left and right to describe political persuasions was originally done after the French Revolution.

The Historical origin of the terms (left and right wing politics):
The terms Right and Left refer to political affiliations which originated early in the French Revolutionary era of 1789–1799, and referred originally to the seating arrangements in the various legislative bodies of France. The aristocracy sat on the right of the Speaker (traditionally the seat of honor) and the commoners sat on the Left, hence the terms Right-wing politics and Left-wing politics[citation needed].

Originally, the defining point on the ideological spectrum was the ancien régime ("old order"). "The Right" thus implied support for aristocratic or royal interests, and the church, while "The Left" implied support for republicanism, secularism, and civil liberties.[3]

Because the political franchise at the start of the revolution was relatively narrow, the original "Left" represented mainly the interests of the bourgeoisie, the rising capitalist class (with notable exceptions such as the proto-communist Gracchus Babeuf). Support for laissez-faire capitalism and Free markets were expressed by politicians sitting on the left, because these represented policies favorable to capitalists rather than to the aristocracy; but outside of parliamentary politics, these views are often characterized as being on the Right.
The reason for this apparent contradiction lies in the fact that those 'to the left' of the parliamentary left, outside of official parliamentary structures (such as the sans-culottes of the French Revolution), typically represent much of the working class, poor peasantry, and the unemployed. Their political interests in the French Revolution lay with opposition to the aristocracy, and so they found themselves allied with the early capitalists. However, this did not mean that their economic interests lay with the 'laissez-faire' policies of those representing them politically.

As capitalist economies developed, the aristocracy became less relevant and were mostly replaced by capitalist representatives. The size of the working class increased as capitalism expanded, and began to find expression partly through trade unionist, socialist, anarchist, and communist politics, rather than being confined to the capitalist policies expressed by the original 'left'. This evolution has often pulled parliamentary politicians away from laissez-faire economic policies, although this has happened to different degrees in different countries.

Thus, the word 'left' in American political parlance may refer to 'liberalism' and be identified with the Democratic Party, whereas in a country such as France these positions would be regarded as relatively more right-wing, and 'left' is more likely to refer to 'socialist' positions rather than 'liberal' ones.
The words used to describe politics are important because without a common language and common meanings for terms we spend time merely deciding the language that we will converse in.  I expect that in past times there may have been political debates about which speaking language treaties would have been conversed in.  If France and Prussia were going to negotiate, then the Prussians would have lost face if the common language used was French.

Today we spend lots of time politically defining our words.  Those on the "left" and those on the "right" cannot, for example agree if President Obama has overseen spending cuts, or if he has been willing to negotiate with congressional republicans.  We keep hearing a debate about what the words mean and what the facts are; its no wonder that so little time seems to be spent solving the actual issues.

When the left and right were first used to describe political orientation the right meant monarchists and the left meant the new ideas of capitalism and meritocracy.  No one would suggest that modern republicans want to return America into a monarchy.  The right and left terms don't mean what they did.

How many times have you heard that historical politician X would not recognize his political party today?  This is always quite likely because the politics of any era are different from the politics of any other era.

The political issues of today cannot be as easily compared to the issues of the past as they are in contemporary debate.

Words like progressive, liberal, conservative, and libertarian are better words that right and left to describe the political beliefs of people are.

For future reference:

Incorrect: The American left does not understand history or basic economics.

Correct: Liberals Progressives do not understand history or basic economics.