DVD-Ninja Assassin



Ninja Assassin is a B movie. It doesn't pretend to be anything than an action flick with lots of sword play, guns, martial arts, and BLOOD--lots and lots of blood. You haven't seen geysers like this since Kill Bill. But for a B movie, it is pretty damn good. That is because it has a story.

Here's the gist of the plot. Orphans are snatched away for brutal ninja training. They are trained to become awesome killing machines. They are taught to extinguish their humanity and devote themselves mindlessly and heartlessly to the greater good of the clan. But they end up with two human beings in their midst that go rogue. The clan kills one and attempts to kill the other. You will have to watch the movie to see if they succeed or fail.

Ninja Assassin is an enjoyable film, and I recommend it.

Safety in the Workplace


Mike Rowe has written two articles on workplace safety recently:

What’s Riskier – Working Without a Net or Without Personal Responsibility?

A One Size Safety Approach Doesn’t Fit All or Make You Safer

The gist of Rowe's argument is that the responsibility for workplace safety falls on the worker not the company. This is a controversial opinion, but it is one that I agree with. Under the current rules, the company is responsible for any and every workplace incident even if the worker who got hurt was being utterly stupid and got themselves hurt. I don't even have to go on about the people who fake injuries just to get a check. But it makes the workplace suck royally.

I have never worked in a single workplace that has not endeavored to keep workers safe. Maybe I am lucky in that regard, but I have yet to see a business that thought it was a good practice to let their people get hurt on the job. This is because workplace injuries cost money. People will argue that this is a result of OSHA regs and litigiousness, but dangerous workplaces have a hard time recruiting and retaining good employees. They end up having to pay more money to get them to work there and pay more on their insurance.

As a working guy, I believe that my safety is my responsibility. If I do something stupid and get hurt, it is my fault. I remember taking a coworker from one of my jobs to the clinic to get his hand stitched up after he stuck it in a moving machine. He was cool about it, and the boss man paid for the stitches. The coworker didn't sue or anything. Why? Because he was a dipshit for sticking his hand in a moving machine. He knew it. I knew it. The boss knew it.

The problem with the workplace today is that many workers don't think safety is their responsibility. They think everything should be done for them. They should never encounter harm. And if they do, they will sue the living shit out of everybody. The result is that workplaces are toxic places to work. You have endless rules, and workplaces call their lawyers before they call you a doctor.

Some of my blue collar peers will take me to task over this position, but the irony I find is that the people who scream the loudest over worker's comp are the ones who ride their motorcycles with no helmet, smoke unfiltered Camels, drive fast cars, and drink and get into barfights. I remember a story of one guy who had wrecked his motorcycle and fucked himself up really bad. He couldn't afford the doctor bill, so he sneaked into work and tried to claim he was hurt on the job. His trick did not work, and he was fired.

The reality is that we live with risk on a daily basis. The workplace is often safer than the places we go to outside of work. The drive to work is filled with risk. People often contaminate themselves with food made at home in their filthy kitchens. Then, there are all those nutty weekend warrior activities they do involving boats, four wheelers, and guns.

When I work, I am always aware of what I am doing. I drive safe, and I keep my eyes open. I have found the greatest threat to my safety doesn't come from the company I work for nor from my own activities. The greatest threat comes from idiot coworkers who have no trace of common sense in their skulls. They don't give a fuck about anyone and certainly not themselves. My remedy for this is to take these people aside and threaten them with a severe ass beating. That seems to work.

I think workplaces should do what they can to make things safe such as having fire extinguishers handy, providing safety glasses and hard hats, and whatnot. But beyond that, people are responsible for their own safety. If they don't like this, they can always quit. Hey, safety is more important than money, right? But we all know that we take these risks in order to put food on the table and to pay the rent.

The sad fact is that a lot of workers game the system because they don't want to work. They want to get a check for doing nothing. This would be the guy who begged me to cut his grass for him because he didn't want to get caught doing it himself because he was collecting a worker's comp check for his "injury." I told him to go to hell. It is people like him that make companies not want to hire people in the first place. They never know if the guy will turn out to be a litigious dirtbag.

I am with Mike Rowe. Safety is your responsibility. Keep your eyes open. Use your brain. And work safe.

revolution

Shitty Deals--A Few Thoughts on Goldman Sachs

The past 24 hours have been interesting as Goldman Sachs and Fabulous Fab testified before Congress. Then, there is that "shitty deal" business that had me rolling.

I think the SEC case against Goldman is without merit. This is because everything Goldman did was legal. The implication was that Goldman sold products it didn't believe in. Unfortunately, that is most of the financial sector. The fact that Goldman lost money on the deal insulates them from criticism on this.

What people are shocked about is the nature of the business itself. The fact is that most of the financial world is about finding suckers and fleecing them of their cash. They provide value in much the same way a parasite benefits its host by making sure it never gets fat. In the case of suckers, the banksters make sure the suckers never get rich.

People ask me why I don't work in this sector when I know so much about it and could make so much money. The answer is obvious. I have integrity. It doesn't matter if the firm is Goldman Sachs or a local branch of Morgan Stanley. The goal is the shitty deal. Find a sucker and take his money. The Goldman defense is that their suckers are smart enough to know better. But if they knew better, why do they agree to these shitty deals?

This world is a world of bullshit, and you would have to be a total nihilist to go live in this world. You have to believe in absolutely nothing. I'm not quite there yet. I may not believe in deities, but I do believe in principles.

On a sidenote, Warren Buffett is the biggest hypocrite in Nebraska. He portrays himself as folksy and honest, but this is horseshit. He just lets Goldman do all the shitty deals for him. Then, he lobbies Congress to give him a pass on his own derivatives contracts which he likened to "financial weapons of mass destruction." He is just another Keynesian bullshitter.

The Blue Collar Experience



I have worked on both sides of the collar divide. I have done the white collar thing and the blue collar thing. I can tell you that the blue collar thing is way better. Without a doubt, working inside a climate controlled environment and drinking cocktails for lunch can be pleasant. But it isn't worth it to me. I don't belong in a suit and a tie.

People will think I am crazy for being like this, but I don't think they understand or appreciate the blue collar experience. Without a doubt, the job can be physically demanding. You work in extremes of hot and cold sometimes. You get rained on and dirty. Then, there is the danger that comes with the job. But it is worth it. There is an unbelievable rush that comes from doing real work. Here is a breakdown of the elements of the blue collar experience:

1. CAMARADERIE

Blue collar people don't always get along. Sometimes, there are fights. I've had a few. But these flare ups are short and over with. The reality is that there is a great deal of camaraderie among working people. This is because they work together as a team. There can be friendly rivalry, but it comes from wanting to do a good job. Blue collar people rib each other but in the good natured way of friends.

White collar people are not friends. This is because the white collar world is political. There is no camaraderie. There is only backstabbing and stealing of credit. You don't stab a working man in the back because he will take out a front row of teeth. White collar people are cowards who connive and scheme. There is no teamwork. There is only plotting and revenge.

2. PRIDE

Blue collar people take pride in their work. Sure, there are some slackers, but they are reviled by the group for being slackers. The simple fact is that there is an immense feeling of accomplishment when you get something done. You go home each night feeling like a winner. Even on the rough days, you know you will laugh about it later.

There is no pride in white collar work. This is because you don't actually do anything. You tell people what to do which they ignore. You are degraded by your superiors and co-workers. You feel like a total loser. Then, you go home, drink a lot of whiskey, and punch the pillow until you are exhausted and fall asleep. You grind your teeth in your dreams. You dread the next day. Weekends are all there is until they tell you that you have to work then as well. It is all futility and frustration.

3. PHYSICAL FITNESS

Working hard feels good. If you push yourself, you get an endorphin rush. Of course, some blue collar jobs are not as demanding such as driving trucks or operating equipment. But, for the most part, sitting in an office destroys your fitness, and the antidote is to hit the gym or go for a run. Working a blue collar job is a lot like playing a sport. And, when you get off, everything tastes better and feels better--water, Mountain Dew, a beer, a warm shower, sex, sleep. The only thing you get from being behind a desk is that winded feeling when you climb the stairs.

4. PROBLEM SOLVING

White collar people create problems. Blue collar people solve problems. The world could live without the ties but not the hard hats. The hard hats are what make the world go round. And you ask any blue collar man what his number one bitch is, it will be the myriad stupid rules and policies dreamed up by the bosses that make the job more difficult to do. But strip away the bullshit, and you have the problem which needs to be solved. It might be replacing a transmission on a truck, unclogging a toilet, moving furniture, or what have you. But you have the problem, and you provide the solution. This goes back to the pride thing. Despite the conventional wisdom, blue collar work involves your brain as much as your body. The work is not mindless. You lose yourself in a state of flow, but you are also attuned to your surroundings especially in a dangerous environment.

There are no solutions in white collar work. There is only the gamble. Will it work? Or will I get fired when it fails? White collar people deal with a lot of worry, anxiety, and depression. The blue collar person has stress on the job, but it is the good stress that ends when the clock is punched. The white collar person has the bad stress that never ends.

CONCLUSION

Blue collar work beats white collar work. It is real work that you can enjoy and be proud of doing. White collar work often pays more, but it also costs more, too. It costs you your health, your sanity, your liver, and your life. Some people work in office environments as data entry, customer service reps, or computer programmers and engineers. Those jobs are more like blue collar jobs than white collar jobs. With machinery, a lot of blue collar jobs are as cushy as any white collar job. But overall, the blue collar experience is superior to the white collar experience. At least I think so. I don't mind getting dirty and sweaty.


The people I meet, by and large, appear happier, more balanced, and better adjusted than most of my friends with white-collar jobs. They genuinely seem to love what they do. Most of them seem to be in on some sort of joke that your typical professional doesn’t get.
MIKE ROWE, Dirty Jobs

HEROES-Ron Paul



I have a lot of heroes, and they are quite different from one another in careers, lifestyles, and the like. But there are common elements in my heroes. They are all individualists. They see the world a bit differently than the rest of us, and they have the courage to stand in opposition to that world. They also have other attributes I admire such as being autodidactic, multiskilled, and the like. But of all my heroes, the one who comes closest to being my ultimate hero is Ron Paul.

Ron Paul is an intelligent, principled, and courageous man. He is an MD. He served in the Air Force as a flight surgeon. He taught himself economics. He ran for Congress and won. And he has been a valiant promoter and defender of freedom. People try and dismiss him as a kook and a crank, but they end up agreeing with him when they hear him speak.

I remember back during the 2008 primaries being ridiculed for supporting Ron Paul. Now, people remember me for supporting him when no one else would listen. People listen to Dr. Paul now. He is not a brilliant orator. He is not a slick politician. His popularity comes from his ideas, and they are important.

I do not always agree with Ron Paul, but he is without a doubt a great champion of liberty. I don't know what the future holds for him, but he would make a great president. As it stands, he is a great man, and I admire him.

Quotable Quotes

If you tell people where to go, but not how to get there, you’ll be amazed at the results.
GEORGE S. PATTON

I am just absolutely convinced that the best formula for giving us peace and preserving the American way of life is freedom, limited government, and minding our own business overseas.
RON PAUL

The entire American standard of living is artificially high right now, resting on the ability of Americans to borrow money from foreigners.
PETER SCHIFF

If a man has the right to self-ownership, to the control of his life, then in the real world he must also have the right to sustain his life by grappling with and transforming resources; he must be able to own the ground and the resources on which he stands and which he must use. In short, to sustain his human right.
MURRAY ROTHBARD

I think maybe we're not seeing heaven because one of us doesn't believe in it enough...Heaven could be like the pixie fairies of Bubble Yum Forest. You only see them if you really believe in them.
CARTMAN, South Park

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. SOUTH PARK DEATH THREATS

Trey and Matt have finally pissed off the Muslims. They are so pissed off that they are threatening to kill Matt and Trey. I hate Muslims. The world would be a better place without the abomination known as Islam.

2. TEACHERS AND TAXES

Teachers and their unions in various states are picketing and showing their asses for their remedy for state budget deficits--higher taxes. Basically, you as a citizen aren't ponying up enough of your hard earned dollars to keep these people in a job. Despite arguments to the contrary, public school teachers have it pretty easy. You get holidays, weekends, and a summer off each year. You get those sweet government benefits. And you don't have to do your job that well because it is virtually impossible to get fired. Basically, you show up and make your kids do practice tests for No Child Left Behind.

People ask me why I don't become a teacher. I prefer making an honest living.

3. DEADLIEST CATCH

I really enjoy this show. It is totally blue collar. I need to write a blog post devoted to blue collar television. It is insanely watchable.

4. GOLDMAN SACHS

I don't know how things will settle out for Goldman in the civil and criminal courts, but the verdict in the court of public opinion is in. Goldman Sachs is a cesspool of shysterism.

I'm not a big fan of the financial industry and firms like Goldman. I used to not care, but that changed when they became the recipients of my looted tax dollars. The disgust amongst the American people is palpable. Goldman taking government dollars is going to turn out to be the worst mistake it ever made.

5. REGULATION MANIA

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't hear someone calling for more government regulation of some industry. This is always the standard answer for every perceived "market failure." The other day, I got my order screwed up at Taco Bell. Do we need a new alphabet agency to correct this "market failure?" Heck no. I complained, and it got fixed right there. Why? Because they want me coming back next time and the time after that. Businesses make money by satisfying customer demands. When they fail to do this, they stop being in business. Only government sponsored businesses can remain in business and defy this economic truth. One of those is Goldman Sachs which critics say needs to be regulated. It boggles the mind.

Regulation attempts to replace the market mechanism of pain with the much less painful mechanism of government decree which is almost universally ignored. There is a reason firms like Goldman encourage former employees to work in government. Those employees will be the writers of the new regulations. Do you see why I laugh at the idiots calling for more regulation?

Government regulation is just a PR tactic to enable companies to keep fucking you over. Remember, Bernie Madoff always got a clear report from the SEC and other agencies. He went YEARS without getting caught. Why? Because people believed the SEC instead of Madoff's critics. There is no substitute for due diligence. Government regulation attempts to be that subsitute, and it always fails. ALWAYS.

Here's a tip. Stop bailing out failed companies and fraudsters at the expense of responsible companies and citizens. Let the market work.

6. PORN AT THE SEC

Employees at the SEC were discovered to be looking at porn on their government computers. So, what? Oh, yeah, that's my tax dollars at work.

The fact is that most people working in office environments from government to corporations to universities spend the bulk of their day goofing off on their computers. I know this because the bulk of my blog traffic happens during working hours M-F. Say what you will about us blue collar people. We aren't goofing off on the internet. We are working and earning the pay we get.

7. THE ELITISM OF STEVE JOBS

Steve Jobs is a control freak. He wants things his way, and we are fine with this because Steve's way is the Right Way. But what if isn't? What if I want porn on my iPad?

The Steve Jobs issue is a fascinating one because it flies in the face of "openness." Openness advocates are democratic and like the spontaneous order of open communities. Jobs is elitist. He is more Nietzschean than Popperian. The irony is how Steve Jobs used to battle IBM and Microsoft for their respective tyrannies. But Jobs did not hate them for not being open. He hated them for being inferior. Now, his enemies are Google and Adobe. But can we claim these rivals as being inferior as well?

The reality is that Microsoft beat Apple by being open. They licensed their software and let developers use it. This is why Microsoft won. Apple was stingy and elitist. This is also why you can buy a PC at a third of the cost of a Mac and why, today, you can get an Android phone on a decent network with coverage while the iPhone is excellent at everything except being a phone because it is stuck with AT&T.

The real question comes down to this. Who is right? That depends. Openness is for the masses. Elitism is for the elite. Jobs is fundamentally an elitist. He might embrace minimalism and wear jeans around the office. But Jobs is an elitist snob. He has better taste than us mere mortals. Is this correct? Absolutely. The guy makes great product that everyone else copies. His beef with Google is that they are plagiarists.

This same divide exists in libertarian circles with Objectivists taking an elitist viewpoint and Hayekians taking an egalitarian viewpoint. It is a fascinating philosophical divide which I won't resolve here. Something for further thought.

8. THE VOLCANO IN ICELAND

They need to form a government agency to regulate volcanic emissions. This will fix that problem. Planetary failure needs to be dealt with by centralized control.

Charlotte Allen on the Hypocrisy of the Simplicity Movement

Not Really Simple
http://incharacter.org/observation/not-really-simple/

Simplicity movement people always seem to shell out more money than the not-so-simple, usually because the simple things they love always seem to cost more than the mass-produced versions. On a website called Passionate Homemaking that's dedicated to making, among other things, your own cheese, your own beeswax candles, and your own underarm deodorant, you are also advised to cook with nothing but raw cultured butter from a mail-order outfit called Organic Pastures. The butter probably tastes great. It also costs $10.75 a pound - plus UPS shipping. At farmer's markets, where those striving for simplicity like to browse with their cloth shopping bags, the organic, the locally grown, and the humanely raised come at a price: tomatoes at $4 a pound, bread at $8 a loaf, and $6 for a cup of "artisanal" gelato.

Wealthy and well-born people admiring - and sparing themselves no expense in convincing themselves that they're cultivating - the virtues of humble folk is nothing new. Two millennia ago, Virgil, in his Georgics, heaped praise upon the tree pruners and beekeepers whom he likely could see toiling in the distance while he sipped wine on the veranda of his wealthy patron, Maecenas. Marie Antoinette liked to dress up as a shepherdess and hold court in her "rustic" cottage at the Petit Trianon. Other harbingers of today's simplicity movement were the arts-and-crafts devotees of the early 1900s who filled their homes with handcrafted medieval-looking benches and the 1960s hippies whose minibuses and geodesic domes that enabled their gypsy lifestyles usually came courtesy of checks from their parents.


* * *

Charlotte Allen makes a devastating critique of the simplicity movement and its adherents. Basically, she is calling it for it what it is--bourgeois hypocrisy. It is rich people paying through the nose to look humble. She also gets a slam in on Leo Babauta.

I don't really know how to respond to what Allen has written. I tend to agree, but I also tend to agree with Babauta as well. Who's right on this issue?

Here is where I agree with Allen:

-Buying local and organic is pretty stupid especially when the food costs so damn much.

-Looking down on blue collar people with their "inferior" tastes is not cool.

-True simplicity should not be expensive.

I suppose I practice what I call "blue collar simplicity." Basically, I buy whatever is on the shelf at Walmart. I like Walmart.

People have different lifestyles, and I am cool with just about every damn one of them as long as it isn't forced on me. I know I find it easier to live with fewer things than accumulating a bunch of shit I don't need.

Some reader comments on the article I liked:

Finally! Thank you for this article! I admit that I fell prey to the affluent simplicity lifestyle and took great pride in living the lifestyle you mention (what can I say, I grew up in Marin County). But somewhere along the way, I too had an epiphany about this movement which often appears to be (simply) rampant eco-cosumerism and myopic self-righteousness. Once I shed this outward display of not-so-simple simplicity (which wasn't easy), many in my "simplicity" circle thought I was crazy (or worse, had lost money in the stock market). While some of your comments may be overly harsh, you are ultimately right on...this is merely a different kind of luxurious lifestyle and does not reflect a shared or sustainable human existence. To truly live a simple life, one must demonstrate humility and an outward gaze toward others. It's not about the butter.

~

I think this article makes an important point. Actual simplicity -- that is, the conservation of resources by the general public -- is something that is sorely needed for the sake of environmental and economic sustainability. But our society is so angrily selfish that any such suggestion is met with outrage. The only way living simply, or living green, draws adherents is when it is turned into another snobbish commodity. The people who indulge in it should rightly be called on their actions.

It's possible to actually live simply. I know I will be called out as another self-important snob, but I don't have a car, a cell phone, a laptop, a TV manufactured after 1990, a microwave oven, a dishwasher, a washing machine... Yes, I'm using a computer, but it was bought new in 2002 for $600. All my furniture was either handed down or salvaged from the curb on trash night. I don't eat out. I rarely spend money on anything that isn't food, and while the food I buy is not organic (too expensive, sorry), my diet consists mainly of beans, vegetables, pasta, cheese, and chocolate.

Could I live more simply? Of course. But I don't do it as a movement, I'm just poor.

~

Oh, the wailing from the self-appointed arbiters of what is "the right way to live". A simple article pointing out the stupidity and hypocrisy of the yuppie "simplicity" movement was bound to bring out a bevy of smug finger-pointers, eager to shriek their defiance. It's hilarious that these "simplicity" hawkers don't even see the irony in their sitting in front of a modern, mass-produced, electricity-consuming computer to voice their hatred of all things modern, mass-produced and electrical. But what isn't funny is the raw arrogance of their belief that they have both the right and the supreme knowledge to dictate to other people how they should (or must) live their lives.

How about this for a concept: you live your life, and let other people live theirs. You want to live "simply", go right ahead. Go build a little hut in the wilderness, turn your back on the past four centuries, pick your berries, dig your roots, eat insects, whatever it takes to feed your self-righteous, pompous feeling of superiority. But leave the rest of us out of it. Those of us who like living in the modern world and actually enjoy things like hot showers, plastic bags, a huge variety of inexpensive foods from all over the world, access to all types of music at the touch of a finger, the convenience microwave ovens, and ease of travel, don't share your simple-minded, irrational fear and hatred of modernity. Being well adjusted to an easy, modern life of comfort and convenience, without having to work fourteen hours a day at back-breaking labor just to survive, might not be your cup of hand-grown herbal tea, but most of us don't share your neuroses: we like it here in the 21st century. So you go live the way you want to live, and stop trying to make the rest of us join you in your 15th century delusions of la dolce vita.

Of course, that will never happen. These back-to-the-simple life hand-wavers love to kvetch and moan about the evils of modern industrial life, but if they ever had to do without the products of industry, they wouldn't last a month. Drop one of them in the wilderness, a hundred miles from anywhere, and they'd starve, succumb to disease, or die of exposure before they could crawl back out. Take away their computers, their cell phones, their Internet, and they'd be helpless; they couldn't stand not having an audience for their fire-and-brimstone sermons on the evils of capitalism, factories, and life in the modern world. And like any stump-preacher delivering a harangue on the way other people live is pure evil, they're hypocrites: they don't practice what they preach. You want simplicity? It's very simple: top lecturing the rest of us on how we should live our lives, and go live "simply" somewhere else. We'll stay here and leave "the simple life" to the simple-minded.

~

"The problem with the simplicity movement isn't simply that you've got to be rich to live simply."

There are a lot of distortions and exaggerations in this article designed to shore up Allen's main point, which is that living simply is bad, baaaaaaad. It is clear that she's done her "research" from the comfort of a computer chair and hasn't really gone out and talked to people who are, well, actually living simply.

If she had, she would have found that the simple living movement is, at it's core, a rejection of the very kind of name-brand, high-dollar, boutique lifestyle about which she rails. People committed to simplifying their lives don't waste their hard-earned income on expensive flashy magazines full of high-priced goods. They buy their raw butter from local farmers at far more reasonable prices.

Living simply involves re-prioritizing how one's existing income is spent. Paying more for essentials, like food, is no biggie when you're not wasting your money on plasma screen TV's, fancy electronic bling, and a new car every year.

If Allen had done some real research, she would have known that that expensive butter cost far less, compared to the industrial gloop from the local food-mart. That's because much of what's found at the big-box store has been heavily subsidized by our tax dollars. Cheap food costs more than we realize, because we're paying for it in advance, every April 15th.

I'm also amused every time I see a corporate shill wail about the plight of the poor and their inability to afford the "simple lifestyle." The fact is that poor people are already living simply, but it's a form of simple living defined by McDonald's, Wal-Mart, and the Templeton Foundation.


~

If you wanted to live real simple you could always just, you know, buy your groceries at the same store as all the normal people. Why do white people always have to make things so complicated?

~

"Simplicity" has become another buzzword like "authentic" that has lost any substantive meaning.

~

One of the funniest shows on TV is something called World's Greenest Homes, where every house costs a gazillion. An enthusiastic architect type goes round interviewing the owners of vast piles with teensy wind generators, big enough to power a dim bulb, and the like, in the most hilarious display of self-absorbed wankery in decades. Love it.

~

I first saw the magazine when a well-meaning friend thought that it would be helpful to a Peace Corps volunteer in an impoverished Paraguayan campo. It had an ad for a $600 yoga mat; I laughed at the irony and cried at the idiocy.

The Paradox of Welfare and Charity




If by some strange event I was to become a gazillionaire and inclined to give it all away, there are a ton of causes I could and would give the money to. I would fund scientific and medical research. I would give generously to groups like The Innocence Project and the Institute for Justice. I would contribute to advancing the cause of freedom. I would consider even environmental and wildlife preservation. But there is one thing I would never do. I would never give a red cent to alleviate the poverty of another person. This is because all forms of welfare and charity do more harm than good.

When you bail out someone, you do two things. You alleviate their suffering, and you also increase it. It's like giving poisoned food to a starving man. In the short term, his hunger will have abated. In the long term, he will be dead. This is what happens when you extend charity to human beings. You fix their short term need but also give them no incentive or even a bad incentive to change the causes of their problems. I make no distinction in this between private charity and government welfare programs. The only difference between private charity and government welfare is that private charity will cease at some point. Welfare is forever.

This phenomenon is something I call the "welfare effect." I don't want to be judgmental on this because we are all susceptible to the welfare effect. To a greater or lesser extent, we profit from the labor of other people that we did not pay for, and it creates the wrong incentives. If the government gives me a check, I am going to cash that thing and save the dough or spend it. But knowing about the welfare effect makes me eschew certain things like applying for unemployment or counting on Social Security as a retirement plan or using my paid vacation. At this point, a lot of people will think I am a complete idiot, but I have found that the loss of free money is more tolerable than gaining it. This is because welfare does not make you richer. It makes you poorer.

The cause of poverty is elementary. You only have to do nothing to be poor. We were all born poor. Do nothing all day, and you will be poor. Wealth comes from activity. For wealth to exist, someone must work. This work can take many varieties, but it all boils down to human activity. I am sitting in a chair someone made. I am typing on a keyboard that someone else made. This computer is another item someone made. And I paid for it all with my own labor in exchange.

People who receive welfare and charity receive wealth they did not earn. They are being paid to not work. The result is that they stop working. This is why socialism fails. This is why socialist countries and communist countries see a decline in their living standards. People have no incentive to work. As this accumulates, the entire economy goes straight to shit. Welfare is a cancer. It doesn't make people richer. It makes them poorer. If you doubt this, look at Cuba or North Korea.

In order for an economy to work, someone must produce. Someone has to work to make the things we need to live and thrive. Welfare destroys this system because it pays people to be idle while telling the productive people they are suckers for working. People will decry capitalism for being heartless and evil, but it is this heartless and evil system than give the poor of today a better standard of living than that enjoyed by royalty a century ago. In addition, the difference between the poor and the rich today may be huge in terms of dollars but is only marginal in terms of quality of life. Bill Gates might drive a Mercedes while I drive a Toyota. But we both drive and watch the same movies and TV shows. And I can tell you that shitting in a gold plated toilet is not much different than shitting in one of those regular ones made from porcelain.

On a personal level, we all know people who are forever broke. They can't ever pay their bills. They are always in a perpetual state of need. The funny thing is that this perpetual need often comes with generous welfare support from friends, family, and the government. When you talk to these people, their ideas about money are very different than my own. For them, money is purely a matter of luck. Wealth does not come from production but by chance. I am able to pay my bills because I am lucky while they are unable to pay their bills because they are unlucky. The irony about these welfare junkies is how much they gamble which is totally in keeping with this worldview. When they hit a lucky streak, they can be quite generous with their winnings which is why so many lottery winners end up back in poverty.

I don't believe in luck. I believe in work. Luck is to be at the whims of nature which made us all poor from birth. A hunter may happen upon a buck, but it is the rancher tending to his herd that eats steak every night. This is why farming displaced hunting and gathering.

People that work hard and save their money are always castigated for their selfishness. They are hated which would be understandable from a hunter-gatherer viewpoint. By sharing the luck, everyone has something. By not sharing the luck, others will starve, and you will starve as well when your luck turns, and you need the "community." But this is a lie. You don't need the community. You need the marketplace but not the community. The community is the lie of shared poverty. The undeniable reality is that you are better off alone. This is why people with money have few friends. They can't afford them.

Welfare addicts hate work and will work diligently to avoid working. A welfare addict knows every freebie the system offers. They game and scheme to cash in on it. And they will do anything to avoid the misfortune of falling into a job. Once established in a stream of free income, they will quit working even though they are able to work.

As an individual, it behooves you to follow certain rules to avoid the welfare effect:

1. As much as possible, decline free money. Never apply for unemployment compensation, food stamps, or any other government assistance.

2. Never depend on friends and family for hand outs, loans, gifts, or anything else. Never borrow and never lend.

3. Always be gainfully employed. If you find yourself unemployed, treat the job hunt as your new job and work your ass off to find work. Take any work you can find.

4. Get rid of welfare addicts in your life. Do not associate with people who refuse to work or pay their own way. This may even require estrangement, a break up, or a divorce.

5. Realize that even with high taxes and other forms of government theft, you are still better off working. Being a taxpayer is still better than being a welfare recipient.

6. Never give to charities devoted to poverty relief. There is only one relief for poverty. It is work. The only charity hard working people need is freedom. Support that instead.
There is no point in trying to understand stupidity. It just is.

Hornberger Responds to Daily Kos

Economic Ignorance and Liberal Hypocrisy at DailyKos.com
http://www.lewrockwell.com/hornberger/hornberger179.html

No one denies that economic conditions were bad for many people in 1880. No question about it. No dispute there.

But in focusing on those bad conditions, Sumner makes a common mistake. He is comparing those conditions to conditions in which we live today or at least to some sort of ideal economic utopia. In doing that, he misses the important point, which is this: What were conditions for ordinary people prior to the Industrial Revolution? Answer: As Hobbes put it, life was nasty, brutish, and short – that is, much, much worse than it was in 1880 America.


* * *

Hornberger makes a devastating counterargument to the argument from the Daily Kos. Progressives are idiots who cherry pick their data. But if socialism works, why is North Korea such a hellhole? Why is China prospering under capitalism where it suffered under Mao? Why are leftards such blithering idiots?

Idiotic Quote of the Day

Unless the problem of global warming (the problem of persistent thermal imbalance of Earth) is addressed urgently and comprehensively - the rapid increase in global seismic, volcanic and tectonic activity is certain. Consequences of inaction can only be catastrophic. There is no time for half-measures.
TOM CHALKO, Australian scientist on global warming causing earthquakes and volcanoes

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/06/18/tech/main4191556.shtml

Things I Like and Things I Hate About Sarah Palin



Sarah Palin inspires a lot of love among her fans and a great deal of derision among her critics. Me? I have a certain fascination with her phenomenonal popularity and with the people who like her. But as for her, I don't consider myself part of her fan club though I would not hesitate to vote for her over Obama in a 2012 election. In fact, I would vote for just about anyone under the GOP banner if for no other reason than to obstruct the tomfuckery of a Democrat congress. There are things I like about Palin, and there are things I hate about Palin. Here they be:

THINGS I LIKE

1. Palin is blue collar.

Palin is not an elitist Ivy League east coaster. Her background is blue collar. She is from the common folk who do the bulk of their shopping at Walmart and own at least one item of camouflage clothing. The woman has killed a moose for Christ's sake.

2. Palin is small government and low taxes.

As a libertarian, I have to go along with Palin or any other conservative on this.

3. Palin rolls with the punches.

Plain gets slammed a lot, but she keeps plugging along. Palin has resilience and determination which are admirable traits.

THINGS I HATE

1. Palin is pro-war.

I hate war. I think Iraq is a mistake. I think we should get out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Palin is wedded to pro-war conservatives and the neo-cons on this issue.

2. Palin is a Bible beater.

I am an atheist, so I don't share Palin's sweet love for our Lord and Savior.

3. Palin is dumb as a box of rocks.

If you don't know something or haven't read it, just admit it. Don't fake it. The fact is that I am up on a great deal of stuff and could handle myself better in an interview with Katie Couric, and I am just a working man who reads. If you work in politics as Palin does, you need to know what the fuck is going on. As it stands, she is just a sock puppet for the GOP.

4. Palin quit her job.

I know governing a state with a population of less than a medium sized city is not as glamorous as being a full time pundit on Fox News, but when people elect you, it does come with the obligation that you finish your term.

5. Palin endorsed McCain.

Without a doubt, McCain picking Palin for the VP spot was her big break into showbiz. Naturally, she repays him by giving the motherfucker an endorsement in his senate run. This only shows to me that Palin is just another establishment hack giving and repaying political favors.

The conclusion I have drawn about Sarah Palin is that she is George Bush in a skirt. If given the Oval Office, she would be no different than W. This what I despise about her and most Republicans. They have no principles. They talk a great game to whip people into a frenzy, but they forget all that shit when they get into power. As governor of Alaska, Palin was just like any other hypocritical Republican. The reason she quit being governor is obvious. It would hurt her career and true ambition which is to be a political celebrity. You don't need an elected office to be one of those. Limbaugh, Coulter, O'Reilly, and others hold as much sway as any elected politician. I think she will remain a staple of Fox News and probably get her own radio talk show. I just wish she would learn how to read.

VILLAINS-Paul Krugman



Paul Krugman is an idiot. I wrote that sentence so all the people Googling "Paul Krugman is an idiot" will find their way to this article. Paul Krugman is a moron. Paul Krugman is a douche. Paul Krugman is a liar.

That is a less than elegant opening paragraph composed of suggested Google search terms. Needless to say, Paul Krugman has a lot of detractors, and I am one of them.

Paul Krugman is a leftard which wouldn't be so bad except that he is an intellectually disingenuous leftard. He is a Keynesian who plays loose with the facts. He has a scattershot approach to his thinking. Like Michael Moore, he slings shit against the wall and runs with whatever sticks even if what sticks totally undermines earlier arguments he made. As former NYT ombudsman Daniel Okrent put it, Krugman had "the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults."

Basically, Krugman is an idiot. His success comes from being a brilliant idiot. He has built a reputation as being a scholarly economist with academic credentials and a Nobel prize. Among his economics peers, he talks the talk. Outside of the academic arena, he is a blithering partisan fool. It is as if he were two completely different people. I often wonder if his economist wife writes his columns for him. At best, we can say that Krugman is a schizoid.

The reality is that Krugman says exactly what he thinks will get him the attention he craves. In academic circles, he craves respect, so he acts respectable. In political circles, he craves fame and notoriety, so he spews out whatever horseshit will get him headlines. And it works. Krugman is Michael Moore with a Ph.D.

The problem with being such an ass clown is that people recognize you as an ass clown later on. Even people who might be inclined to agree with you put some daylight between you and them. This is why you won't see Krugman with a position in the Obama administration anytime soon.

The Krugman solutions are these:

-Expand the welfare state to bring about European style socialism

-Stimulate aggregate demand with government spending

-Inflate your way out of debt

The problems with these solutions have been documented endlessly, but Krugman has a peculiar talent for ignoring all contrary arguments and seeing and believing only those facts which confirm the conclusion he has already drawn. To hear him talk or read his writings is dizzying. When cornered, he retreats into complexity. He will dazzle you with his bullshit. Compare this to a good Austrian or Chicago school economist who have the opposite talent of making their positions cogent and easily understood.

Krugman is a typical leftard--brilliant and stupid at the same time. These fucknuts resort to tricks instead of truth and rely on their reality distortion fields and their faux reputations to make an argument. But at the end of the day, ask yourself these questions:

-Can you make the poor rich by impoverishing the rich?

-Can you spend your way out of debt?

-Can you create wealth with a printing press?

Krugman's answer to all these questions is YES. This is why he is a fool, a fucktard, a cocksucker, a son of a bitch, a shithead, a douche, a worthless piece of shit, and a goddamn liar.

THE QUOTABLE KRUGMAN:

Those tax cuts, rather than the spending binge, are the primary cause of the (federal) deficit.

Unsustainable situations usually go on longer than most economists think possible. But they always end, and when they do, it's often painful.

The appeal to the intellectually insecure is also more important than it might seem. Because economics touches so much of life, everyone wants to have an opinion. Yet the kind of economics covered in the textbooks is a technical subject that many people find hard to follow. How reassuring, then, to be told that it is all irrelevant -- that all you really need to know are a few simple ideas! Quite a few supply-siders have created for themselves a wonderful alternative intellectual history in which John Maynard Keynes was a fraud, Paul Samuelson and even Milton Friedman are fools, and the true line of deep economic thought runs from Adam Smith through obscure turn-of-the-century Austrians straight to them.

To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.

During phases of weak growth there are always those who say that lower interest rates will not help. They overlook the fact that low interest rates act through several channels. For instance, more housing is built, which expands the building sector. You must ask the opposite question: why in the world shouldn’t you lower interest rates?

Consumers, who already have low savings and high debt, probably can’t contribute much. But housing, which is highly sensitive to interest rates, could help lead a recovery…. But there has been a peculiar disconnect between Fed policy and the financial variables that affect housing and trade. Housing demand depends on long-term rather than short-term interest rates — and though the Fed has cut short rates from 6.5 to 3.75 percent since the beginning of the year, the 10-year rate is slightly higher than it was on Jan. 1…. Sooner or later, of course, investors will realize that 2001 isn’t 1998. When they do, mortgage rates and the dollar will come way down, and the conditions for a recovery led by housing and exports will be in place.

Guys, read it again. It wasn’t a piece of policy advocacy, it was just economic analysis. What I said was that the only way the Fed could get traction would be if it could inflate a housing bubble. And that’s just what happened.

It’s true that if China dumped its U.S. assets the value of the dollar would fall against other major currencies, such as the euro. But that would be a good thing for the United States, since it would make our goods more competitive and reduce our trade deficit. On the other hand, it would be a bad thing for China, which would suffer large losses on its dollar holdings. In short, right now America has China over a barrel, not the other way around.

Quotable Quotes--H.L. Mencken Edition



A church is a place in which gentlemen who have never been to heaven brag about it to persons who will never get there.

A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.

A man may be a fool and not know it, but not if he is married.

A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.

Adultery is the application of democracy to love.

All government, of course, is against liberty.

All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.

Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't they'd be married too.

Before a man speaks it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks, it is seldom necessary to assume it.

Communism, like any other revealed religion, is largely made up of prophecies.

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.

Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

For it is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest that holds human associations together. Our friends seldom profit us but they make us feel safe. Marriage is a scheme to accomplish exactly that same end.

Husbands never become good; they merely become proficient.

I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.

I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.

I go on working for the same reason that a hen goes on laying eggs.

I write in order to attain that feeling of tension relieved and function achieved which a cow enjoys on giving milk.

If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.

Immorality: the morality of those who are having a better time.

Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.

It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.

It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.

It is not materialism that is the chief curse of the world, as pastors teach, but idealism. Men get into trouble by taking their visions and hallucinations too seriously.

Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.

Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution?

Men have a much better time of it than women. For one thing, they marry later; for another thing, they die earlier.

Most people want security in this world, not liberty.

Nine times out of ten, in the arts as in life, there is actually no truth to be discovered; there is only error to be exposed.

No married man is genuinely happy if he has to drink worse whisky than he used to drink when he was single.

No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes that she were not.

Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.

The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.

The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety.

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

The worst government is often the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.

There is a saying in Baltimore that crabs may be prepared in fifty ways and that all of them are good.

There is always an easy solution to every problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.

To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!

Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.

We must be willing to pay a price for freedom.

We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that the old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had one before.

Matt Lewis on Chris Christie

Christie Tackles New Jersey Budget: Angers Unions, Wins Conservatives
http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/04/18/christie-tackles-new-jersey-budget-angers-teachers-unions-wins/

. . .Chris Christie has become an emerging conservative hero, mostly by standing up for fiscal sanity in the Garden State. Almost immediately upon taking office, he passed pension and benefits reform. That meant public workers must contribute toward their own health care and it also created a formula for determining the pensions for newly hired employees. He also signed an executive order on transparency, forcing government agencies to post expenditures online with a search engine attached.

It's starting to earn him national attention. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, William McGurn noted, "If he is to survive the headlines about budget cuts and pull New Jersey back to prosperity, Mr. Christie knows he needs to put the hard choices before the state's citizens, and to speak to them as adults. He's doing just that."

And at a "Newsmaker Breakfast" sponsored by The American Spectator and Americans for Tax Reform last week, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said, "Christie is actually trying to fundamentally change New Jersey..." In a world where politicians are rewarded for taking the easy road, the portly and rumpled governor of New Jersey has become a rare commodity – an elected official willing to make hard decisions, despite the fact that he knows it will cost him politically.


* * *

Chris Christie is doing good in NJ. Unlike Schwarzenegger in California, this governor has some balls. (Somebody needs to bitch slap Arnold.) Christie looks more and more like the Real Deal. I can only hope he sticks to his guns because he is exactly what NJ and the rest of this country needs.

Firedoglake on The Streetcar Conspiracy

http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/41383

. . .this empire was created for one reason – to absorb as much of the streetcar industry as possible, and then to shut it down. Since this conspiracy of corporations was methodically destroying a very efficient and beneficial industry, there was antitrust action taken – but all that came of the proceedings were fines of $5000 for each company involved and $1 for the treasurer of GM who oversaw much of National City Lines’ operations.

It will surprise people on the Left to realize that leftards have wacko conspiracy theories as well. In this case, GM destroyed public transit in order to hook us on automobiles and make us dependent on fossil fuels.

In leftard conspiracy theories, the world is controlled by capitalists and corporations, and they are always the bad guy. Consumers are beguiled and hypnotized by marketing. Governments are co-opted by corporate money. And centrally controlled solutions run by "enlightened" minds are the answer. ALWAYS. Unfortunately, the facts do not support the theory.

This is what I pulled from Wikipedia on this conspiracy theory:

Randal O’Toole of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, argues that streetcars faded away at the invention of the internal combustion engine and rise of the private automobile and then the bus. At one time, nearly every city in the U.S. with population over 10,000 had at least one streetcar company. 95% of all streetcar systems were at one time privately owned.

Robert C. Post wrote that “nationwide, the ultimate reach of the alleged conspirators extended to only about 10 percent of all transit systems—sixty-odd out of some six hundred—and yet virtually all the other 90 percent also got rid of trolleys (as happened with all the tramcar systems in the British Isles and France).”

Cliff Slater conducted research on U.S. transit history, and concluded, “GM or not, under a less onerous regulatory environment, buses would have replaced streetcars even earlier than they actually did.”


I know where I live we have subsidized public transportation which no one takes. We also have Amtrak which no one takes either because it sucks and costs more than air travel. The reality is that people love cars and not just here in the USA but worldwide in Europe and in China now. Cars bring freedom, and freedom is as addicting as crack. This is the problem leftards have with cars. You get to go your own path and do your own thing. You don't have to conform to their routes and their schedules. Certainly, some people enjoy the "free" aspect of trolley cars. You are free to not have to own a car or maintain a space for it. But for most people, this blows. Even leftards prefer driving to riding the bus.

Daily Kos Slams Libertarianism

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/4/17/858324/-What-Conservatives-Mean-When-They-Say-Libertarian

The difference between actual Libertarians and Republicans hiding from their tarnished name is quite easy. Actual Libertarians are concerned about the freedom of individuals. Conservatives use Libertarian as a code word meaning "I want to continue to enjoy all the privileges I do now, but I don't want to share them with you and most of all I don't want to pay any taxes." Push come to shove, they're happy to abbreviate that to "Screw freedom. I just don't want to pay taxes."

* * *

Leftards stole the term "liberal" from the liberals, and now, they would like to steal "libertarian" from the libertarians. At some point, the lovers of freedom are going to run out of words to describe themselves.

This article slams the Gilded Age as being a time of wretched treatment of blacks, women, and working class people. Compared to today, this was a hard time to live. Compared to what had been before, it was a giant leap forward. Whenever a leftard tosses out these laundry lists of Bad Shit That Happened To People, you must always ask the question. Compared to what?

If you want to see what progressivism leads to, look no further than live under the Soviet Union, life under Chairman Mao, and life under the regime in North Korea. Ironically, thanks to technology, life there was better than life in the Gilded Age. East Germany did have cars and televisions.

The story of liberty and tyranny is akin to the parable of the wheat and the tares. These two visions compete, and when tyranny gets the upper hand, it is always bad. Leftards will argue that Somalia is free from government, and it sucks. But compared to the tyranny that preceded it, it is a giant leap forward.

Tyranny does not produce justice, freedom, or prosperity. The logical error that the author of this article makes is that our present justice, freedom, and prosperity is the result of good government. No, it isn't. It is the product of a free society that has strived in spite of government. Saying that government is good for you is like saying that dysentery is healthy because it helps you lose weight. In all the arguments I have heard so-called progressives make, they always resort to cherry picking the data and making false comparisons. In this case, the author makes the argument that the 1880s sucked because justice, freedom, prosperity, and the personal computer didn't drop from the heavens into the laps of its citizens. Therefore, we need to turn over our freedoms and our incomes to centralized control. Neat trick there.

Virtual Currency

I have been predicting this development for awhile, and it is now here. Welcome to virtual currency.

Virtual currency is where the internet invents its own money for trade. This flies in the face of legal tender laws, and I predict the government will crack down on this shit at some point. This is what governments do. They can't tolerate the economic freedom that a market based currency will provide.

The first player in this bold new arena is Dibspace. Here, the virtual currency is called a "dibit," and you can trade it for various services. I do not know if it will be successful, but I predict someone will be successful in this area. It is a bold new world.

George Will on the VAT and Repealing the 16th Amendment

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/16/AR2010041603993_pf.html

Money is time made tangible -- the time invested in the earning of it. Taxation is the confiscation of the earner's time. Although some taxation is necessary, all taxation diminishes freedom. Adding a VAT without subtracting the income tax would constrict Americans' freedom much more than the health-care legislation does. Because the 16th Amendment will not be repealed, adoption of a VAT would proclaim the impossibility of serious spending reductions and hence would be the obituary for the Founders' vision of limited government.

I agree with Peter Schiff's remarks that a consumption tax is preferrable to an income tax. Will makes the same points. The reality is that we will get both a consumption tax and an income tax. The government's appetite for the fruits of your labor is insatiable. It knows no end.

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. PETER STEELE

Peter Steele, bassist and front man for Type O Negative, is dead. This sucks. Truly great band.



Well i loved my aunt - but she died
and my uncle lou - then he died

I'm searching for something which can't be found - but i'm hoping
i still dream of dad - though he died

Everything dies - everything dies

My ma's so sick - she might die
though my girl's quite fit - she will die

Still looking for someone who was around - barely coping
now i hate myself - wish i'd die

Everything dies - everything dies
everything dies - everything

No why - oh god i miss you
no why - oh god i miss you - i really miss you
no no no no

No why - oh god i miss you
no why - oh god i miss you - i really miss you

Everything dies - everything dies
everything dies - everything - no no no no

Everything dies - everything dies
everything dies - everything


2. GOLDMAN SACHS GOING DOWN

The SEC is now going after Goldman Sachs for being slimebags. Unfortunately for the SEC, sliminess is not illegal. Did Goldman sell products to clients that they bet against? Certainly. But Goldman Sachs is not a fiduciary. As much as I despise these fuckers, I think the SEC should lay off. My problem with Goldman isn't what they do with client's money. It is what they do with my taxpayer dollars and whatever they get from the Federal Reserve. That shit is criminal. The SEC would be better off investigating the Fed. This will never happen.

3. OBAMA MOCKS TEA PARTIERS

It simply amazes me how arrogant this fucker can be. I cannot think of a single president in US history that openly mocked such a large segment of the population. This isn't mockery of another politician or an opposing political party. This is mockery of voting men and women. This is mockery of the American people. Stunning hubris. I will be delighted to see him swept from office in 2012.

4. ROETHLISBERGER

Big Ben is a sleazy ass motherfucker. It is only a matter of time before he does something that will stick in criminal court. Should the Steelers keep him? Hell no. The guy is an embarrassment. He was walking around with his pecker out of his pants. He's a fucking drunk, and he clearly has no respect for women. Dump his ass.

5. TEA PARTY FUCKTARDS

The problem I have with the Tea Party is how utterly stupid some of these folks can be. These would be the ones who want the government to keep their hands off Medicare. Then, there are the ones who are lamenting cuts to NASA. Without a doubt, this is a diverse movement. That is about as charitable as I can be about it.

Tea Party people are not exactly libertarians. They are angry, but it seems that is about it. There is no core philosophy there. I'm not sure what to make of it except I see the GOP establishment co-opting this movement for purely political ends. Plus, I'm tired of their birther bullshit and Obama-Islam conspiracy theories.

E.J. Dionne on Saluting the IRS

http://www.tnr.com/print/article/politics/saluting-the-irs

Yes, if you support our troops, you have to support the work of the Internal Revenue Service.

Champions of government's core functions have been far too timid in taking on the slanders directed against the IRS. When right-wingers tell IRS horror stories, progressive politicians are typically defensive: Well, sure, let's correct those abuses, but ... mumble, mumble, mumble.

It's time to tell the truth: that our tax system allows enormous leeway for innocent mistakes, that IRS agents often help hard-pressed taxpayers to work out reasonable ways of meeting their obligations, and that our system provides, as it should, many avenues through which taxpayers can exercise their due-process rights.

And rarely is it pointed out that if we stop IRS employees from trying to collect the money owed by those who cheat on their taxes, we are only increasing the burden on honest taxpayers.


I find few things more nauseating than watching a leftard lick the sole of the boot that crushes our freedom. Dionne is one sickening motherfucker in this article.

Here's the best way I can describe the IRS. Watch The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith. When you get to the part when the IRS raids his account and takes the last bit of money to his name rendering him and his son homeless, try to be grateful for all the IRS does for us.

DVD-The Box



Imagine a stranger with half of his face gone shows up on your doorstep. He gives you a box with a button on it. If you press the button, you get one million dollars and a stranger will die. If you do not press the button, he returns in 24 hours to retrieve the box, and you forfeit the million. Sounds interesting? Sounds like a movie you want to see?

Fight the urge to see this movie. Like pressing the button on that box, you will be left with a ton of regret namely the loss of the hour and a half you wasted watching this piece of shit movie. This movie sucks. You will feel like you were suckered and let down. This movie has an amazing premise and a suck ass ending. Do yourself a favor and pass on this one.

The Great Despair



I talk to my brother on a frequent basis, and he is a relative latecomer to my libertarian viewpoints. He never took an interest in politics. Now that politics is taking an interest in him, he has come to religion when it comes to opposing big government.

I have had some time to deal with the realities of government and what it does. That time produces a certain patience and long term outlook on things. My critics will point out how angry I can be over these things, but this is really a muted response on my part. It is hard to be passionate over decades, and I am getting to the decade mark on my libertarian conversion. Prior to that, I was a small government conservative, so I've had a long time to hate on leviathan.

My brother is more despairing. He asks me all the time what I think will happen. What he wants is a hopeful response from me. Can the swelling government and the national debt be overcome? Will we be like California on the national level? Or will the country wake up and join the Tea Party people and Ron Paul?

I don't know the answers to these questions. I know the answers to the problems, and I also know these answers are not currently popular. I also know that I am right. If America persists on its present path, it will meet with fiscal disaster. This means hyperinflation, higher taxes, and bankrupt entitlement programs. I heard these predictions my whole life, and they are arriving right on time. My 40s will be spent struggling. I knew this all the way back in high school from listening to people like George F. Will.

Things could be different, but they won't. Nothing in human history indicates to me that governments have ever done the smart thing. It is in their nature to grow and diminish human flourishing.

Ron Paul and the Tea Party movement give a certain glimmer of hope, but I remember Newt's Contract With America. That was a colossal joke. The Tea Party will merely face betrayal at the hands of just about any Republican except Ron Paul. The GOP Establishment is doing its best to dupe the Tea Party "rubes."

I'm neither optimistic nor pessimistic on these things. I can go either way. I didn't expect the Soviet Union to collapse, but it did. I thought Clinton would be a horrible president, but he was actually pretty good because he opted to not spend the budget surplus. I thought Bush would be even better than Clinton. I was very wrong on that one.

I can't see the future, so I don't make predictions. What I know is that nothing demands that humans make progress. History shows that human civilization can grow stagnant and even retreat into barbarism and tyranny. Our current technological and social advancements are actually an exception to the norm of human history. Yet, the last century has been one of the bloodiest in human history.

It is easy to give over to despair because the evidence is on the side of doom. But good things happen as well. All I know is that we are left with the same tasks. We learn. We strive. We work. We speak out. This is all we can do. Will it be worth it? I don't know. I am intimately acquainted with failure, so I don't let it bother me. In the long run, we are all dead. I have decided to die fighting.

Optimists cannot weather the long term. They fuel themselves on hope as long as that delusion can last. But I don't do this. I accept the worst that can happen. I take it into myself and let it tear into me until it is done, and I am on the other side of it. Then, I realize it was really nothing at all. That is the blessing of losing everything you have. If it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger.

When The Great Despair hits, I know I can handle it. I've been to the dark places before, so I'm not afraid to go there again. I fully expect this country to go to shit, but I might be pleasantly surprised. Either way, I have it covered.

Wes Wolfe on Third Parties

http://www.wolfereports.com/2010/04/14/everybodys-starting-third-parties/

We’ve never seen the wisdom in third parties. They don’t have staying power, lose more often than not, and tend to be filled with people who had “does not play well with others” written on their kindergarten report cards. You have to work within one of the two major parties, and if you have enough people who agree, you can change the party.

The examples of that sort of success are legend. In the early ’90s, Bill Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council dramatically changed the Democratic Party and moved it to the middle. In the ’60s, conservatives took over the Republican Party and never gave up control. Between the end of World War II and the ’60s, liberals and moderates from the Northeast, Midwest and Far West — and in the ’60s, a president from Texas — got together and ended the power Southerners had on the Party’s civil rights and social policy agenda. And there are other major and minor example that can be called up. Needless to say, it is possible to create a sea-change in major party politics.


Wolfe is a leftard, but I agree with him on this point of political strategy. Third party runs are a waste of time and money. I've already written a post on why I think the LP should close up shop here. Now, the Tea Party people are considering a similar move that I think would be disastrous.

Before you can change the country, you have to change a party. The reason we have two dominant political parties is because they are virtually blank states. They grow and evolve based upon their membership. This is how the party of Lincoln also became the party of Strom Thurmond. In addition, though there are restrictions on third parties that makes it hard for them, they are not so onerous as to prevent a massive popular movement from not being heard.

The success of Ron Paul shows the model to follow. Join a major party. Work within the party. Create an organization that promotes your beliefs. Raise hell in the primaries and at the grassroots level. This works. Wolfe shows how successful this approach can be.

I am a Republican. Though I do not always agree with the GOP on everything and I can be very critical of Republican fucktards like Lindsey Graham, I vote Republican. For me, the battles that matter happen long before the election in November. Working within a major party has a multiplier effect. The philosophy of liberty gets a hearing that it wouldn't have otherwise.

The problem that people have with the major parties is that they don't want their own beliefs diluted or suffer from guilt by association when members of a major party betray core constituencies. But the mass of the electorate doesn't look at parties so much as they look at individuals. People know that there is a big difference between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. I don't think anyone can accuse Ron Paul of being a sell out to the GOP establishment by running as a Republican.

I hope that Tea Partiers will eschew the notion of going third party and keep raising hell in the GOP.

A Reply to a Marginal Revolution Post

I tried to post this in the comments section at Marginal Revolution, but either a glitch or some tomfuckery prevented me from posting it. I put a lot of thought into it, and I hate to waste it. Here it is:


There is a lot of pointless back and forth on this issue that my eyes are strained in trying to read all the nonsense.

I can agree that negative liberty also needs positive liberty. What I find disingenuous is how people try to slip some form of welfare state or regulatory state in the back door as a necessary consequence of this reality. For instance, I hear the argument all the time that if I don't like the present state of affairs that I am free to go live as a hermit in the wilderness. Depriving myself of the positive liberty of living in society with all its benefits is harsh enough to make me tolerate the infringements on my negative liberty. But ultimately, I want my negative liberty in addition to my positive liberty.

I can bash on the government all day on my blog thanks to the First Amendment, but I do not do the same with my employer. That is because I want to keep my job and the paycheck that goes with it. But to be able to bash on my employer and also keep my job would be very liberating indeed. Unfortunately, a law requiring my employer to tolerate me bashing his business and continuing to pay me would deprive him of his negative liberty. OTOH, I could become my own boss and achieve the same end without depriving anyone of their negative liberty. Plus, I could become much richer as a result.

In social terms, there is a social cost to practicing negative liberty. You may be deprived of employment, housing, loans, and reputation as a consequence of your freedom. This social cost can be huge and not infringe on your life, liberty, or property. But the deprivation is every bit as severe as if you had everything you owned confiscated from you. Should the government remedy this? I don't think so. Here's why.

Under Jim Crow, privately owned businesses could deny service to blacks. We may find this repugnant today, but we must also acknowledge that it is perfectly acceptable under the negative liberty framework. But the positive aspect of this era was the creation of flourishing black communities like Harlem and a chance for black owned businesses to prosper and thrive as they served black patrons that the white establishment shunned or harassed. A modern parallel would be the thriving of Silicon Valley as a result of IBM only hiring starched collared types instead of Birkenstock wearing hippies like Jobs and Woz.

I think we should counterbalance our view of positive and negative liberty with the concepts of positive and negative tyranny. Positive tyranny would be the deprivation of negative liberty while negative tyranny would be the deprivation of positive liberty. I would make the argument that negative tyranny is actually beneficial in many ways. It may be unpleasant but necessary. For instance, it is the negative tyranny of the owners of this forum that keeps me from turning this post into an expletive laden diatribe.

To make these choices of positive and negative liberty and positive and negative tyranny requires a choice of values. We may find some repugnant in the same way that IBM found hippies repugnant. Or we may find some repugnant in the way that we find supporters of NAMBLA repugnant. The result of these clashes over values and which will predominate yields more negative results than positive results. (Imagine if IBM had been required to give employment to Jobs and Woz. Imagine a world without Motown or Stax records. Imagine a world without Playboy!)

Arguing that government should promote positive liberty is akin to arguing that a referee should prefer one team over another. This might be favorable to the preferred team, but it is bad for the game as a whole.

Bad Advice

Dear Charlie,

I just met this guy last week named Demetrius, and I am like TOTALLY in love with this dude. He is so handsome and strong. He does the sweetest things for me. Like, the other day, he told me to watch out for a pile of dogshit because I might step in it and mess up the interior of his car. He's always thinking about me. Plus, the sex is incredible. And he is a good provider. He gets $300 a week in unemployment, and he slings rock on the street.

My problem is that I am afraid I might lose him. Should I get his name tattooed on my ass? Will this make him stay?

IN LOVE IN PHILLY


Dear Philly,

Go for it.

C.




Dear Charlie,

I have been married for 15 years, and I love my husband dearly. But he has a habit I don't think I can take anymore. He passes gas.

When we first started dating, he did not do this sort of thing. In fact, the first time he ever passed gas was on our wedding night. It was an accident, but that seemed to open up the gates to getting gassed on a regular basis. He quit hiding it and started farting loudly with no apologies. Then, he started laughing about it like a crazy man whenever he would do it. And, the gas started smelling worse as his diet deteriorated into hot wings, beanie weenies, and beer. He farts in the car now. Then, last night, the final straw came. He subjected me to the Dutch oven. If you are not familiar with this, this is when your partner pulls the covers over your head while in bed to make you smell his work. Needless to say, I was not happy. I contemplated assault charges but relented. But I think our marriage is done.

What should I do?

GASSED IN GASTONIA

Dear Gassed,

I believe in fighting fire with fire. I recommend eating cheesy nachos, some deviled eggs, and baked beans. Then, when he is asleep, put your bare ass in his face and let it rip. Continued actions like this will teach him the error of his ways and force him to the negotiating table. From there, the two of you can agree to a cease fire and a cessation of hostilities.

You can't win this war, but you can turn it from hot to cold. It is called Mutual Assured Destruction, and it works. No nukes have been used since WWII. But, remember, you must always keep the nuclear option to maintain the peace.

Hope this helps.

C.




Dear Charlie,

I went to my dealer the other day to hook up with some of that bubonic chronic, and I was in a rush and just got my dime bag and split. That fucker sold me a bunch of Mexican dirtweed. I got ganked. What's a brother like me supposed to do?

SUCKER IN SARASOTA


Dear Sucker,

In a black market economy, there is no Better Business Bureau. You just a dumb fucknut who should have checked that shit out before he bought. Can you feel me?

Smoke your shit, and shut the fuck up.

C.



Getting Over



The world is full of liars and scam artists. You have grifters, hustlers, and con artists. But it doesn't stop there. There's insurance agents, stock brokers, mutual fund companies, Enron, Goldman Sachs, and the like. You have workers trying to get over on employers by hustling workmen's comp, milking the clock, and stealing office supplies. You have employers deceiving employees with promised wages, bonuses, promotions, hours, and the like. Finally, we have the politicians who are running the biggest con of all--government.

All of this activity I call "getting over." Unlike a streetwalker who gives you your money's worth (usually), these folks attempt to get ahead in life by not being the sucker. Life is just one big con, and the winners are the ones who don't fall for the con but get over on everybody else. This might be understandable among the criminal class, but it seems to be a feature of everyday life. If you have ever been jerked around by a salesperson, you know what I am talking about.

I choose honesty over deceit because I believe honesty is a better strategy for living. I believe that you get ahead in the long term by working hard and giving value for the dollar. I know this viewpoint is quaint, but if kleptomania and deceit made sense, Zimbabwe and other such countries would be the richest on earth. They aren't. Meanwhile, Bernie Madoff is sitting in a prison cell hoping his ass doesn't get beat (again!)

Getting over only works in the short term. I know a contractor who has built an entire career on getting over. He has to change the name of his business every few months to stay ahead of all the people he has gotten over on. Then, he finally got on the local news. The guy is virtually broke.

When you see all this getting over going on, you wonder if you aren't a sucker. The reality is that it is impossible to get through life without being a sucker once in awhile. But being a sucker is never your fault unless you fall for the same con again and again. All you can do is cut your losses and move on. It sucks, but that is the way it is.

The alternative to getting over is the path of hard work. You never hear hard work touted by the infomercial gurus as a way to become wealthy. No one ever tells you to be honest and virtuous. It all boils down to knowing the "tricks." The irony is that the biggest suckers are the ones who eschew work in favor of these tricks. The easiest way to not be a sucker is to not try and get over on people.

If you are someone who hates work, it is a safe bet that you are into getting over. If you are always looking for the easy way or the short cut or simply to not get your hands dirty, you are a get over type of person. There is a reason they are called "honest hard working blue collar men." That is because honesty and hard work go together. This is the reason why shyster Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein claimed to be "blue collar." Claiming hard work is the easiest way to claim honesty.

The fundamental vice of getting over is laziness. This is the kernel of all deceit. It begins with loafing. From the aristocracy to the political class to the corporate political class to financial types and what have you, the goal is the same. Avoid labor. Let the suckers do all the work while you skim off their effort.

I don't think work is for suckers. I think work is for the people who choose the honest path to prosperity. Societies that choose this path prosper. Individuals who choose this path prosper. Societies that choose to get over degrade and die. Look at what happened to Iceland. They transitioned from a real economy of industry and fishing to a bullshit economy of high finance. They have gone completely to shit. The USA is not far behind.

Choose to work hard. This is the honest path. You will be better off for it, and you are much less likely to be a sucker.