Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ponti Whacked

Being a part of the automotive industry as I am, I feel it obligatory to post something about the demise of Pontiac, especially since one of my co-workers is an enthusiast of the brand.

My parents married in 1962, and shortly after the wedding, purchased a new car, a 1962 Pontiac.

1962 Pontiac

On their honeymoon there was an accident (well, technically, on the trip back from the honeymoon) when my dad rear-ended another car. My mom has told the story many times over the years. "Our brand new Pontiac, and he wrecked it! And I was the one who paid for it from my savings, not him! Our beautiful, new Pontiac, and he wrecked it, that's what he did!"

Pontiac has been around since 1926, but perhaps it's a blessing it's being killed off now. What with the government running things, the next generation of Pontiacs could have ended up like this:

Goodnight, Pontiac.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

General Morons

In all my years as a financial analyst, I have never seen a company as grossly mismanaged as General Motors. This automaker’s financial destitution indicates GM’s management team, laborers, and related union executives may be the most incompetent in U.S. history. It is abundantly clear Americans love automobiles. Hence, it is a no-brainer that the U.S. is a market where a company could become hugely successful and wealthy by manufacturing and selling cars. Since GM’s founding in 1908, it has managed to accumulate – as of fiscal year-end December 31, 2008 – a deficit working capital position of $32.7 billion and a deficit equity position of $86.2 billion. So in the course of 100 years, General Motors has sold millions upon millions of automobiles and has managed to become profoundly insolvent. The Three Stooges could have done a better job of running an automaker.

The marketplace has spoken; GM has failed and it should be liquidated. New entrepreneurial and wealth-creating opportunities most likely will emerge from such a liquidation. To continue down the present path assures more wealth will be destroyed by the financial black hole known as General Motors.

Liquidate General Motors

With the government now telling GM how to run the business, though, we will finally have competent, intelligent management of the great automaker, with new, innovative green vehicles to help insure America's energy future:

How could anything go wrong? I mean, seriously, with Obama in charge, the economy is going to come roaring back soon, so why not the same with General Motors?

Big Brother Britain

h/t to LRC blog

What the hell is wrong with the UK? That nation is quickly spiralling down into the abyss of totalitarianism, a complete absence of any freedom, even the liberty to buy and sell quick food like chicken and rice. Look at the photo above. When I saw it my first reaction was to laugh out loud, as if I was reading a story in The Onion (which is now nearly needless as a source of satire and parody), but almost immediately after there was anger and sadness. Look at the cops as they stand outside the little Jamaican cafe, violating the basic human right to earn an honest living providing a product or service that people want. Those pawns that wear the uniform of the State may be low on the totem pole of nanny state insanity, but they are no less culpable than the power mad criminals who create such "laws" in the first place, for they are the enforcers of that evil, and the whole panoply of sick, wicked, anti-life, anti-law, and anti-justice edicts that issue forth continuously from the illegitimate monopoly called government. The police rightly earn that disparaging sobriquet, pig.

The action is intended to combat child obesity by reducing the number of shops selling unhealthy fast food near schools and parks.

Said one of the owners of the restaurant: 'It's ridiculous. They just arrived here this morning and told us they were shutting us down. It looks like we are terrorists or something.

'But all we are doing is selling good food. It's not even unhealthy. We sell Jamaican-style rice and peas, and jerk chicken.

'It is not greasy stuff. And we hardly have any schoolchildren in here at all.'

And if you think that's bad, it gets worse. The government in Britain now wants to give the police and "security" services the power to...

snoop on every single communication made by the public with the data then likely to be stored in an enormous national database.

... even text messages and visits to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter would be tracked.
- (source)

If you live in the United Kingdom, say goodbye freedom, hello Big Brother. Unfortunately we in the United States aren't far behind you, but our Bill of Rights does act as a minor check on tyranny. Too bad the Black-Robed Tyrants that insist on calling themselves Federal Judges refuse, for the most part, to uphold and enforce it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Barack Obama, Servant of Satan

Video via Reflections on Playboy.

Another amazing reverse speech analysis reveals the fact that this world belongs to the devil.

Well, maybe not.

Prologues and Epilogues

In skimming through a book of advice for fiction writers, I came across a section on the use of prologues and epilogues in novels. The advice was to avoid prologues all together and just get right to the action. I can't object to that, but I have read novels that used prologues (in fact I'm reading one now) and there is no doubt that sometimes they work.

Another objection that this author had, though, was that too many readers simply skip them completely, the same way most people don't bother reading the acknowledgments page (I'm a weirdo, I even read those). Now, that I don't really understand. If it's part of the novel, why wouldn't you want to read it? What kind of novel readers are these?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Obama, Criminal Police State Scumbag

Obama, the liberal hero, turns out to be no better than (and in some instances, worse than) the evil George W. Bush. He now wants to overturn a 1986 Supreme Court ruling (an opinion written by the only half-way decent member of the current court, John Paul Stevens) that prevents the cops from initiating questioning of defendants unless their lawyer is present. Solicitor General Elena Kagan said that decision "serves no real purpose" and provides only "meager benefits". No real purpose or benefits to the Almighty State, that is, but plenty of benefit to ordinary people caught in the trap of the police state, kangaroo court system that is passed off as "justice" in this country.

But, of course, Obama and his minions don't serve or represent the people. Any hope that Obama was going to bring "change" can now be seen for the complete delusion it always was, and the sham of "democracy" and voting is once again exposed as a total fraud, for we clearly live in a one-party system masquerading as offering real choice, when all we ever get is more of the same.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Baby Preachers

Uh, what the...this is just plain sick (by the way, I just typed palin instead of plain, hmmm). Maybe Richard Dawkins had a point about children and religion after all, dontcha think maybe just a little bit, you Dawkins hating zombie worshipers?


And another

I'm Sick

Try not to be alarmed. I'm just letting you know that I'm not feeling well. Everyone at work has been sick numerous times this year. I was talking to Ned the other day, and he tells me he's been sick on and off for the last five months. He said every time he starts to get better, it comes back again. He was getting a sore throat and that feeling you have when you know you're coming down with something.

I myself had not been sick for a good while until a few weeks ago, and I ended up missing two days of work (actually more than that, as I took my vacation just as I was starting to feel ill, and then had to postpone going back to work after that for another two days). Well, just since this morning, I feel it again. I'm not happy about it, but I just am not well enough at the moment to compose blog posts. Hopefully in a few days (or, optimistically speaking, even sooner) I'll be back. If you see a post before that, my robot can be held responsible. He is a foolish fellow in many ways, being an early robot model, and will not think it imprudent to pass off his efforts as my own (he's an excellent mimic). How early is he, you ask? I can't say for sure, but he claims he's very old, and calls himself The Andersen Man. I may present his story here sometime in the future, though I'll probably label it fiction, just to protect all concerned.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tu quoque

One of the lamest arguments (actually a fallacy) of religious apologists when confronted with atrocities done in the name of religion is to throw back the accusation at the opponent. It usually takes the form of bringing up supposedly atheistic regimes such as Stalin's Soviet Union or Nazi Germany (ignoring for the moment that the Nazi State wasn't "atheist"). The problem is, even if atheism is the cause of atrocities or worse atrocities, this doesn't address the point in the slightest.

The point being, of course, that religion has seemingly motivated violence, persecutions and killing (even though we are repeatedly informed by theologians and other religious apologists that religion is a necessary source of morality and that the god/gods of these religions is "good").  There is nothing in this particular charge against religion that says it is the sole cause of violence or persecution, but simply that it is a cause of such things, and that therefore it may be that its elimination would be all to the good. That is what the believer must address.

As to atheism, it is not in any way a worldview in and of itself, but just lack of belief in something (gods). Atheists as a group don't generally agree on much outside of that lack of belief, not even on the subject of materialism, which many wrongly assume is part of atheism. An officially atheist government, like the totalitarian Stalin regime, must therefore have something else behind its motivation to cruel actions than simple non-belief in a god (I know some will say that's all you need, following Dostoevsky, but the opposite is actually the case, i.e., if God exists and you are His follower, anything is permitted, including burning heretics at the stake or flying planes into the skyscrapers of the infidels). 

No, what you need is a collectivist faith, such as Marxism-Leninism (which even has its own holy scriptures) to commit such horrendous acts.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Real Reason Conservatives Are Outraged At Obama

Conservatives by conscious choice have tied their fortunes to politics in general and the GOP in particular. Politics is nothing more than gang violence over turf. The turf is us. The winner gets to control and loot the American people. So now the other gang controls the turf, and conservatives don't like it.

Weak-Tea Parties.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter Report

Yes, I know it's a bit late to post about Easter, but then again, this is an Easter report, which makes it necessarily after the fact. Besides, I was too lazy tired to write it up earlier.

In the photo above can be seen one of many childhood Easter mornings; mornings that had everything to do with chocolate eggs and bunnies and nothing (that I can recall) to do with a god-man rising from the dead. In fact, the only supernatural or magical being my sister and I associated with the Holiday was the Easter Bunny, pictured, in my mind at least, as a giant rabbit with a prominent cotton-tail that delivered baskets of candy once a year.

This mental image was no doubt partly created and reinforced by my mother's claimed encounter with the big bunny when she was a child. She told the story many times of waking up way early one year to beat her sister to the chocolate cornucopia that awaited them on Easter. As she came around to the back of the house she was surprised by the sight of what appeared to be a huge puffy tail disappearing down the hill. She ran after it and just as it was hopping out of view completely, saw it turns its head. "It was real. It was really the Easter Bunny!" she would tell us. Now, Mom wouldn't have lied to her own kids, would she? This was eye witness testimony, after all, better even then the "evidence" for Santa Claus, another magical being, but one that no one (at least no one I knew) ever claimed to have seen. Certainly our parents had never suggested that either of them had seen the jolly fat man in the flesh at any time.

When, years later, I finally did do a little contemplating on the alleged resurrection of Jesus, I asked myself why he had to leave the planet at all, especially since he was soon to return anyway (so he said). Why not stick around for a spell, do some more miracles, prove his back from the dead status beyond any reasonable doubt (which Christians claim is the case now anyway, when it obviously is not) and then go to "Heaven" if he felt like it. No one, no army for that matter (not even an Army of One) could threaten him bodily harm again. He'd already been killed and now had even more amazing magical powers than before. He was Super Jesus. I mean, this is God we're talking about, not just some guy, right? If belief in Jesus and his divinity is essential to avoiding a terrible fate (hell fire forever) then the real proof of the whole wonderful thing is not an empty tomb and some alleged post-resurrection appearances that exist only in what became the Christan scriptures, but the person making their identify publicly known to as many as possible over a considerable amount of time. Why disappear and float (ascend) into the sky (Heaven is in outer space? Why not just dematerialize like in Star Trek?) unless the whole thing is made up, unless none of it ever really happened and you need a story as to why he's not around any more (though he's comin' back real soon, you know). It doesn't make sense.

But back to this Easter. I was again at Mom's for another Holiday. She had a ham, and of all cured meats, I think ham is the most irresistible. So, as I filled my plate with food, I was ready for a real Easter dinner, an Easter of eating something other than chocolate bunnies and candy eggs. This was my thought until I sat down, and fork in hand, began to consume the variety before me. The ham itself was heavily glazed and very sweet, but worse was the fact that everything else seemed to be also. The yams were candied to the point of being more Willy Wonka in origin than Gordon Ramsey, and even the vegetables (green beans and carrots) had not escaped a sugary fate. I'd had my Easter candy after all, only it was disguised as real food, though I'm sure my body couldn't tell the difference.

Later, as I lay on the couch recovering, I searched in vain for a showing of The Ten Commandments, an erstwhile Easter television tradition (broadcast time four and a half hours or so) that I miss. I don't mean to say I believe a word of the Moses tale, but the movie is fun to watch, in the same way one can enjoy Clash of the Titans without believing the Greek gods are real.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What Kind of Anarchist?

I took this quiz here. My results:

You Scored as Anarcho-Capitalist

Anarcho-capitalism is perhaps more closely linked with the libertarian tradition than anarchism as it favours a free market and a stateless society. Private businesses would replace the functions of the state. This form of anarchism is largely an American phenomenon and first emerged in the 1950s (although it arguably has its roots in 19th century individualist anarchism and classical liberalism). Key thinkers include Murray Rothbard.

Christian Anarchist

Now, since I am in no way a Christian or even a theist, I do wonder how I ended up as 15% "Christian Anarchist", though of course to the extent that certain Christians are against the State, I consider them allies in the cause of freedom.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"While laughing at the resurrection of Jesus Christ, they believe in a resurrection of all life from nothing!"

Appropriate for Easter, the post title comes from here. And while we're on the subject of insane anti-evolution rants, check out crackpot David J. Stewart's latest creationist screeds:

Solid Evidence Against the Fable of Evolution
Did Giraffes Climb Trees?
DNA: The Silver Bullet for Evolution

Some of his gems:

The Bibles dates the creation of the human race at about 4004 B.C. As much as evolutionists scoff at this teaching, there is not one shred of evidence to disprove it. The oldest civilization on record is Egypt during the time of Joseph in Genesis and then Moses in Exodus.

If mankind evolved from the same life's source without any intervention from a divine God, then how did we end up with over 7,000 languages in the world today? Evolution cannot provide any plausible explanation for this. The Bible says that God confounded the languages of men at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:7).

The orbit and gravitational pull of the moon are critically important to the earth's tides of the ocean and for our keeping of time. The moon didn't just happen one day. If you consider all the things that would have had to occur for life to form on earth without a divine God, the odds are not only astronomically improbable, but utterly impossible to say the least. The Bible teaches that God created the moon and stars on the fourth day of creation. But according to National Geographic magazine, a planet the size of Mars collided into the earth, and a huge chunk of the earth broke away, and that's how our moon formed.1 No one with a functioning brain could believe such a thing. Why isn't there a crater in the earth where the moon once resided? There are deep oceans across the globe, but none of them deeper than ONE-THOUSANDTH of the earth's diameter. Nearly all of the earth's core is molten lava, which wouldn't have been able to sustain such a massive impact from a planet the size of Mars. And why is the moon so round? If the moon was formed by a massive collision on earth, then why did the moon stop at the appropriate distance from earth and maintain a perfect orbit? It's sad that people are eager to blindly accept the bizarre claims of evolutionists, while sinfully denying the perfectly sensible claims of the Word of God.

There are thousands of proofs of God's creation. Evolutionists say some really crazy things, like teaching that giraffes grew long necks to reach their food. There are thousands of short-necked herbivores in the world today who found plenty of food right on the ground. Were their ancestors stingy to the giraffes and forced them to find food elsewhere? Did giraffes climb trees for the millions of years they had short-necks? It is simple common sense questions like these that put evolutionists to utter shame. Evolution is anything but science, because the so-called evidence they claim to have is bogus. “Belief” is defined as: “a vague idea in which some confidence is placed.” Evolution by the very definition of the word is a belief. 1st Timothy 6:20 warns us about "science falsely so called." Evolution is false science.

DNA is conclusive proof that God created a man a man, an ape an ape, a fish a fish, a bird and bird, et cetera. Evolutionists became fools on their own, Romans 1:22, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."

Let me respond to Mr. Stewart with this (which I created here):

You are as deluded as a Catholic chiropractor with magnetic shoes who is performing psychic surgery on the edge of the Grand Canyon while on LSD. Therefore I will ignore you while I sing to my tomato plants.

Coincidence: The Video


video via You Made Me Say It

Hitler the Christian

My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognised these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who-God's truth!-was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple...
-Adolf Hitler

This bombast may have been occasioned by circumstantial expedience. But it is at the least suggestive of identification with a violent, vengeful God, all the more remarkable in its abstraction from the largely irenic context of the Gospels. It is probable that Hitler's imagination of himself as an Aryan Jesus-come with sword to cleanse the world of the money-changers-was not a fugitive state of the man's mind. An identification with a destructive, omnipotent being, its incorporation into his grandiose self, or a reinforcement or sanction by it, may well have played a part in the boundless rage and destructiveness that Hitler unleashed on the world.
-from Against Religion by Tamas Pataki

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Corporations, Walmart and the Free Market

Saint Walmart? (here, the question mark is not superfluous)

All libertarians agree that the various non-market policies, subsidies, regulations, as well as penalties and taxes, ought to be abolished. But I honestly have never seen a coherent argument that shows that Walmart would be anything but bigger and even more prosperous in a real free market.-Stephan Kinsella

Ron Paul on North Korea

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Watch It

While visiting my parents recently something happened to my watch, or maybe something happened to me, I'm not sure, but the watch disappeared. I immediately suspected my mom (she's always the Prime Suspect in such cases, due to her inability to leave the property of others untouched) figuring it was another example of her neatness obsession, which causes her to remove things from the place you left them and put them instead in place where you'll never think to look for them, i.e, where they're out of view.

Well, unsurprisingly, she denied having anything to do with the mysterious vanishing. I searched in vain for the missing timepiece, looking high and low, but not finding it. With my infant Catholic background (I was baptized but thereafter never did anything with the religion of my birth) I should have perhaps called up St. Anthony for assistance, which would have proved useless, but might have inspired some extra searching on my part, which might have lead to the location of the watch, which could have lead me to attribute the finding to the saint (if, that is, I was still of a superstitious mind).

As it turned out, the watch (a recently purchased one) did not show up and I've been forced to repeatedly look at my cell phone to learn the time, which is inconvenient when I'm on my breaks at work. I prefer just glancing at my wrist to see when I must return to to my self-imposed slavery.

No doubt my watch will turn up after its battery has died, and of course, as is usual, I will not bother replacing the battery. It will join its sister watches in a special drawer dedicated to a special kind of watch, those that are correct only twice a day ( a specialness that they share with certain people, such as Christians, who are only right by accident).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Here is a comment I wrote in reaction to this post by The Commentator.

Funny you should write this post. I've been thinking the same thing recently. I was even going to write a post titled "Overthrow Google". They are simply getting too powerful.

Also, if Google doesn't like you for some reason, they can manipulate where you end up in their search results. This would be tolerable if Google didn't control 70% or more of the search engine market. With "google" now nearly synonymous with "search", the problem becomes obvious, and so does Google's enormous power.

The same thing is happening with YouTube (owned by Google), and again, when people go looking for videos, it's YouTube, not some other service.

I recommend using Yahoo search and others more frequently now, just to increase the competition somewhat.

I haven't being doing a lot with my blog lately for these same reasons. When you're on Blogger, Google ultimately owns you, which is why I've been thinking of moving my blog and domain name to a self-hosted site using Wordpress as my blog platform. I don't want to ever be under any one's thumb.

I once defended Google, but I'm getting tired of them now. Power corrupts, after all.

As to when (or if) I'll move this blog, even I don't know the answer, but I suspect I will, eventually.

Emergent Information in the Absence of Central Design

The idea of emergent information in the absence of central design is what theists and statists cannot understand, or at least DO not understand. This is a very important principle of the reality that we exist in, and it is a MAJOR stumbling block for most people that prevents them from agreeing with, or even understanding, the atheist and anarchist (and scientific) arguments.

The Power of Individualism

Crackpot In Philosophers' Clothes

The world just makes more sense from the perspective of Christian theism than it does from any other perspective.

Everything that Christians use to criticize their opponents is in fact a flaw of their own belief system.

Are Taxes Payment For "Services"?

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