Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nice little piece of corruption

I have only recently commented that I am a supporter of unions. While I oppose government meddling in the workplace I firmly believe that workers organizing in order to get a bigger return on the labor they invest is not only a fine idea but another way in which the marketplace can regulate itself.

Of course it falls apart when the government gets involved. Since the unions have effectively bought and paid for the Democratic party they are getting some serious perks that non union folks don't have access too. Like government bailouts to keep their jobs from vanishing like everyone elses are, or this little piece of corruption.

It is one thing for union members to get a better deal from their employer than non union workers, they should. The government however should treat all workers as equals and not favor those who shovel in the campaign cash.

Is Europe a utopia?

A comment left by Rightardia on a previous post reads:

One could argue that a function of government is to regulate capitalism. This appears to be an essential function of government after the financial meltdown in the US. It is clear that capitalism needs to regulated and the 'invisible hand of free enterprise' frequently needs to be rapped on its knuckles.'

As usual, this oft-parroted cliche conveniently leaves quite a bit out. But never mind that for now. We've got some myths to destroy.

The Europeans have a more equitable system than in the US. Europeans are now taller, healthier and happier than Americans. You can call it socialism, people-ism or the welfare state. The European approach to government is more humane than the bad deal Republicans have been offering the average American.

Is this true? Is Europe a utopia in comparison to the US? Well, not exactly.

Should we copy Europe? by Walter Williams
Learning from the failing European welfare states
Sweden: Poorer than you think, by William Anderson
Europe vs. America
Europe's Recession Prompts New Look at Welfare Costs, by Roger Cohen*
Beyond those health care numbers, by Greg Mankiw
A little health care history, by Lee
New Evidence on Gun Control II: The British Experience, by Paul Craig Roberts

*This article is from the early 90's!

Last but not least, we might ask why Europeans are rejecting leftist parties at the moment. Maybe they just don't realize how good they have it?

All statistical and empirical evidence has its share of pit-falls. But since ideas like "freedom" and "civil liberties" are obviously not going to persuade statists, empirical evidence is sometimes necessary.

None of this is not, of course, to defend the current system in the United States, but Europe clearly has its own share of problems and unintended consequences.

Voluntary socialism is a failure

The evidence is mind-boggling. It simply does not work.

Therefore, "left-libertarianism" is empirically and scientifically wrong.

That is all.

George Reisman On Socialism

"Socialism is not actually a positive economic system. It is merely the negation of capitalism and its price system; as such the essential nature of socialism is one and the same as the economic chaos resulting from the destruction of the price system by price and wage controls"

"I need to anticipate a possible misunderstanding concerning my thesis that socialism is totalitarianism by its very nature. This concerns the allegedly socialist countries run by social democrats such as Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries which are clearly not totalitarian directorships.

"In such cases, it is necessary to realize that along with these countries not being totalitarian, they're also not socialist. Their governing parties may espouse socialism as their philosophy and their ultimate goal, but socialism is not what they have implemented as their economic system. Their actual economic system is that of a hampered market economy, as Mises termed it.

"While more hampered than our own in important respects, their economic system is essentially similar to our own in that the characteristic driving force of production and economic activity is not government decree but the initiative of private owners motivated by the prospect of private profit."

Monday, June 29, 2009

Franc tries to justify collectivism again...and fails again

Poor, poor Franc. SE and I continue to pick on him, and he never gives us a reason to let up. His latest lame-brained attempt to justify collectivism: Profit is not justified by entrepreneurial risk.

He writes:

The “libertarian” capitalists often use risk as their rationale for accepting the profit motive. In this reasoning, profit is the reward that capitalist owners get for taking the risks that the workers aren’t taking.

Actually, no. Risk is an important factor, no doubt about it. But time preference is equally important. Some people are willing to take the money and run, while others are willing to wait if compensated with profit.

And of course, the most important factor of all--at least from a libertarian perspective--is the "mind your own goddamn business" factor. There is no reason for consenting adults to have to "justify" anything to Franc, or to any other collectivist. They can set up whatever contracts or conditions for use of each other's property that they damn well please. They act in their own self-interest, and simply disregard the arbitrary moralists and mystics of the Tremblay and Chomsky variety.

If I'm only willing to lend you my property on the condition that you give me part of what you produce with it, then tough luck! Even if there was nothing in it for your sorry ass at all (and there is), it doesn't mean I have to "justify" diddily shit.

For one thing, this is absolute bollocks, since the workers take just as much risk as the owners.

Um...no. If the workers were taking the same risks and responsibilities as the owners, they would be the owners.

Workers have to contend with losing their jobs

What they don't have to worry about losing is all their money (which in Franc's world will grow on trees, right inside of the magical mutual banks with zero interest rates).

Franc goes on with his Marxist beliefs:

Let us be clear on this: the capitalist concept of profit is nothing more than a rent on capital, predicted on the concept that capital participates in the making of the full product. Benjamin Tucker has already refuted this nonsense 120 years ago. Capital is not owed a wage because only people produce, not money or tools. Profit is therefore nonsense.

So a person who puts extensive time, effort, or money into the capital being used is worthless and has done nothing significant. Brilliant insight!

Maybe Franc picked this up from Obama's book. Or a Mao Zedong speech, perhaps?

But more importantly, if it’s true that risk-taking is a skill that capitalist owners must have in order for their business to be successful, then it should be a job rewarded like any other. Just as mutual banks providing capital should be rewarded for their work, not with rent on capital but with a wage, risk assessers should be rewarded for their work, not with rent on capital but with a wage.

Spoken like a Soviet central planner! Dictator Franc will decide through fiat how payment will work, who will be "rewarded," and who will be eligible to receive wages.

As George Reisman has warned, Franc's doctrine is economic suicide. His freakishly bizarre system (no profits, no interest, no rent) would have almost zero capital accumulation, and thus very low standards of living. But that has always been the goal of collectivism: to make everyone equally miserable.

21st Century Debtors’ Prison

The jailers of the 19th century — even in the pre-Civil War South — largely abandoned the practice of imprisoning people for falling into debt as counterproductive and ultimately barbaric. In the 1970s and ’80s, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that incarcerating people who can’t pay fines because of poverty violates the U.S. Constitution.

Apparently, though, some states and county jails never got the memo. Welcome to the debtors’ prisons of the 21st century.

Guilty of Being Poor

"Transforming" into a hater of action movies

I saw the new Transformers movie this weekend, and man oh man, was it a piece of crapola. I haven't been this disappointed since...well...Terminator 4. I really need to stop letting my roommate drag me to see these cheesy movies.

Either these flicks are terrible, or I've grown out of action movies altogether.

Down with public rec centers

I just finished buying membership at a private fitness club, and couldn't be happier.

I've had it with my local public rec center. Being open to the entire damn community (and every last member's screaming, sobbing children), the public rec center is a loud, annoying, inconvenient, disgusting mess.

It is appallingly crowded and overstuffed every second of every day. It closes far too early. It attracts people who want to goof around, at the expense of those trying to conduct a serious workout. Its low-quality machines and equipment are quickly deteriorating. And its pool sucks.

No more! No more, I say!


I have recently been discussing and reading my favorite philosopher Epicurus. I have based a good portion of my personal philosophy on his work. The philosophy of Epicurus is what today would be described as a libertarian atheist. Particularly his view of justice which is that justice is a compact to not harm or be harmed. That is it, no metaphysical or transcendental nonsense tacked on, just a simple contractual agreement from which all laws should draw their authority. If something causes no harm then the law has no business with it, if something causes harm then justice has been violated and must be restored. To Epicurus the purpose of justice was the same as the purpose of everything else, to facilitate security and happiness. Happiness and freedom from pain were the natural goods of Epicurean philosophy, everything else is a means to those ends.

I would say our government and system of law is far removed from this idea of justice. The law does not serve the interests of security and happiness, it is more often than not the thing that restricts those goods. The government of the united states is used in the service of ideology and it's own power. The largest crimes in our country are not those that cause harm, but those that violate arbitrary government regulations. The buying and selling of certain goods and services notably sex and drugs but including everything that is not properly stamped and regulated by some office or official. It is contraband that drives our law enforcement not individual harm. The government spends billions preventing people from buying a joint or a blow job or even unpastuerized milk, but they claim they lack the manpower to investigate rapes and burglaries. Laws are passed to regulate drinking and smoking and sex, there are entire departments devoted to these things yet we still have unsafe streets, rapes, murders, and robberies. Perhaps even if the government will not accept limitations on what it is allowed to regulate at least they will accept some priorities. Before investigating drug sales or organic milk producers they first have to secure us from murder and robbery. When the citizenry is reasonably secure from actual harm then they can go about enforcing their arbitrary nonsense.

Tara's Comments On Forcing Religion On Children

A reader of this blog, Tara, sent me the following email (presented here with her permission). She tried posting it as a comment on my post Is Forcing Religion On Children Child Abuse?, but it wouldn't allow her to publish it (I think Blogger limits the numbers of characters you can have in a comment) and so I present it here:

I can certainly understand your skepticism, especially in light of your childhood memories of "Christians."

For the record, Evangelical young people do NOT stay in the faith. In fact, around 90% leave the faith in college, never to return. The reason is most cannot contend for the faith. They know the songs, the camps, the games, etc., but they have no clue of the doctrines of the Christian faith. They are caught up in the "feel good" mentality and believe everyone is basically good and Jesus loves them all.

While I use the term "religion" lightly here, Mormons stay Mormons because there is a LOT at stake if they convert to Christianity. So much of their lexicon mimics Christianity, so why would they convert? Besides, it's a works-based 'faith'. They ignore (or obviously not taught) the Doctrines of Grace that the bible spells out, thereby not even coming close to real Christianity. This is heartbreaking as these are some of the sweetest, kindest people I've ever met.

Islam is a forced religion as well. This is proven true near daily...just look at Iran. They want to be free of a theocracy. (Also, it is observed in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia.) If you're not conformed, you're dead. This too, is a works-based "faith", again having nothing to do with real Christianity.

Tongue-speaking and "gifts" like that make me skeptical of any church that practices it. (They don't like it if other Christians speak out against it.) I can see where it was needed when Christ walked the earth. Healings, banishment of demons, feedings of many and such were a necessity. The incident of tongue-speaking was not at all what it is today. When the disciples spoke in "tongues" it literally meant language. The people surrounding them all spoke different dialects and languages, and it was by the Supernatural that when the disciples spoke in their OWN language that day, the hearers were hearing the gospel in THEIR own language. There's not a need for that now either, since the bible is obviously translated into every known language out there. (But I have a feeling you know this already.)

Back to your original question: yes, it is wrong to force religion on children. Since I am not a fan of "asking Jesus" into my heart (which is not correct...it is not biblical and it is not even remotely what Jesus, John the Baptist and the disciples/apostles taught) nor do I believe in the Sinner's Prayer (once again, not biblical) I don't teach my children that.

I do however, try to live my life as a role model, remembering who I was before and who I am now. Yes, I do share bible studies and devotions with my sons (they are teenagers now) and they do attend church with us. I've shared with them about how I'd asked Jesus into my heart and said the Sinner's prayer and how that absolutely did not work. (One whiff of trouble and most turn from the faith.) My kids see it with their own eyes.

I cannot say that religion perpetuated from my upbringing...I was raised Methodist and then my parents became upset with something said in a bible study and now, they only go once a year, if that. By the time I had reached high school, they didn't go at all for a long, long time. My father used to tell me that being "born again" was hogwash (he didn't understand it then and he's really mean about it now) and how I wasn't to believe anything in the Book of Revelation because it wasn't true. Hmmm.

My husband was raised Methodist as well and even he walked away from the Methodist church as I did. At this point, my parents think we're in a cult and they have forbidden any conversation regarding God. And although I do not speak about God to them, my mother still finds my blog offensive. The kicker: my parents consider themselves Christians.

I've lost a job because of my faith, friends because we didn't want to go get drunk all the time, family members because we've had to audacity to admit to them and others that we were quite depraved and unable to help ourselves.

I'm sure it would be nice if I gave you the whole rundown about how we were drug abusers, out-of-control drunks and thieves, but we weren't. We were just two parents trying to make ends meet in a crazy world and how one day we were confronted by our sins and realized that everything we had believed was wrong. That's it.

No bells and whistles, snake-handling, writhing on the floor, tongue-speaking nuttery going on here.

Children who have religion thrust upon them in a manner such as Mormonism, Jehovah's Witness, Islam, Hindu, etc. find themselves nearly incapable of questioning what it is they believe. Do they really believe it or do they believe because their parents told them to? Believe me when I tell you that we ask our sons quite often if they believe something because we told them or because they honestly believe it to be true. They ask a lot of questions, just as we do. We are learning daily what it means to have this faith.

I hope you are not offended because I unloaded here. I know that sometimes when I speak openly about these things I get a lot of crap handed back. But I just wanted you to know there are those of us out there who are not what society believes as "normal Christians." The Ted Haggards, Rick Warrens, Rob Bells and Brian MacLarens do not speak for us. Neither does Pat Robertson, Jesse Jackson, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen and TD Jakes.

However, we do ascribe to Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, John Piper, John MacArthur and Paul Washer. We are considered Reformed (or Calvinist, if you will) Christians.

And I happen to find your blog enlightening and your questions genuine.


Bill Bennett: Fascist Monster

This conservative scumbag served as Drug Czar under the first Bush, and was also a member of PNAC. He once noted that "if you wanted to reduce crime, you could ... abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." Charming.

The world will be a better place when his blithering old ass drops dead.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Farrah Fawcett and Ayn Rand

A recent email exchange with the late Farrah Fawcett reveals the unlikely friendship between the Charlie's Angels star and the novelist Ayn Rand...

... here are a few things that almost no one knew about Fawcett:

1) Fawcett and the writer Ayn Rand shared a birthday, February 2.

2) Rand, the inventor of the philosophical system called Objectivism, never missed an episode of Charlie’s Angels. She was such a Fawcett fan, in fact, that she sought to cast the actress as the lead in a planned TV miniseries version of her best-known work, the gargantuan novel Atlas Shrugged. (NBC later scrapped the project).

3) Rand, perhaps better than anyone else, helped Fawcett understand her place in American culture.

Fawcett and Rand

h/t to Sheldon Richman

What do people think of this?

I frequently read Weird nut Daily as more of a source of entertainment than a source of news. Occasionally there is something there that I agree with but more often than not it is just propaganda for the right wing brand of big government, ant-freedom scumbuckets. However this is one of those that I agree with. According to my best estimate the advice given on answering the census is constitutionally correct, however I am not a lawyer. Is there anyone reading with a bit more expertise than I who might be able to clarify, what a citizen must answer on the census? I for one would prefer not to answer more than the constitution requires. Specifically the number of people in the household and how many are of voting age. However I would like to know what the law requires and what actual penalties I can expect for not answering the more intrusive and unconstitutional questions.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Creating the progressive utopia

A nifty guide

Is Forcing Religion On Children Child Abuse?

-image source

Most people get religion in their youth, usually because of their parents. Thus the children of Mormons usually grow up to be Mormons, the children of Muslims Grow up to be Muslims, the children of Evangelicals grow up to be Evangelical Christians and so on. Sometimes an adult will convert to a religion, of course, usually for emotional, irrational reasons, but even in those cases (e.g., a lapsed Catholic who becomes saved by inviting Jesus into his heart and then adopts fundamentalist Protestantism) the person grew up in an atmosphere of belief where they were told God exists, Jesus (the Catholic Jesus) is real, etc. But what would happen if children were allowed to eventually make up their own minds when old enough to really reflect on the questions involved?

When I was a child I was a natural skeptic. My Dad became "born again" after my parents divorced, and on weekends when my sister and I stayed with him, we were subjected to church on Sunday. I always hated church of any kind, the whole thing was boring or silly to me, and I would ask questions about it. But not too many questions. I was very close to my dad, and as a small child you naturally believe what a parent tells you (how could they be wrong?) so I accepted the whole scheme for quite some time until I grew out of it. But even in those days I remember my doubts. My dad got involved with the Pentecostal movement, the tongues speaking, prophesying religion. I can recall a late night adults-in-a-circle speaking in tongues session during which I fell asleep on the floor of the house of worship. I thought to myself well, it must all be true, because how could they be talking like that if Jesus isn't real?. I was too young and ignorant to understand that the phenomena of glossolalia was just a bunch of gibberish.

The truth is though, that that's how religions perpetuate themselves, and those that don't eventually die out (as happened with the sex-forbidding, no procreation allowed, Shakers). That movement is a real world example of what happens when there are no children to indoctrinate with the faith.

But if God, Jesus, and Allah are real beings, why feel the need to force belief on kids? Wouldn't the overwhelming truth of the One True Faith overcome all objections? Wouldn't its reality be obvious, without cramming it down the throat of an innocent child? And if faith is so important to the idea of salvation, shouldn't parents want their offspring to see the truth of it all on their own? How valid can "saving" faith be when it's not a matter of real, unencumbered choice?

If parents routinely forced children to smoke and drink before adulthood, potentially polluting their young lungs and livers, most would consider it child abuse. How is polluting young minds with irrationality any different?

Demorats Push Through Destroy the Economy Bill

The ruling political party, acting much like the rubber-stamp legislative body in some fascist/socialist dictatorship, rammed through an unread (that's right, members of Congress are allowed to vote yes for something they haven't even read, is that responsible governing?) 1500 page "cap and trade" bill.

The bill mandates a cut of 17% in so-called greenhouse gases by 2020 and a whopping 83% cut by 2050. All carbon emissions will now carry a literal price-tag, increasing costs across the economy and adding what amounts to another regressive tax on the poorest among us (don't ya just love "compassionate" liberals), but the DemoRATS don't care about ordinary people (in spite of their lies), no it's all about more Federal control of our lives by the ruling class.

Also notice how statists (like religionists) think that something can be commanded into existence on a whim, by a mandate that they pulled out of their ass. The bill "mandates that 20 percent of electricity comes from renewable sources and increased energy efficiency by 2020." That's right, wave a magic wand called a bill and it will happen because Messiah Obama has ordered it so.

Get ready for more poverty followed by more laws to "solve" the new crisis that government created in the first place.


Government Gave Us the Health Care Crisis

Rather than being used as a pre-payment plan for routine care, [health] insurance should only cover unpredictable, catastrophic costs.

As a comparison, homeowners often carry fire insurance, but seldom maintenance insurance. You buy fire insurance to guard against a catastrophic loss, which is a low probability but high cost event. As a result, fire insurance is relatively affordable, since premiums paid by all those homeowners whose houses do not burn down more than pay for the losses on those few whose houses do.

On the other hand, no one carries home maintenance insurance to pay for a clogged drain or broken garage door. If insurance paid for the plumber visit every time a toilet overflowed, we would now have a plumbing crisis, and Congress would be looking to rein in runaway plumbing bills with “national plumbing insurance.”

by Peter Schiff

Friday, June 26, 2009

Vin just about sums it up.

Here is an article that pretty much says it all.

The "choice" that wasn't

Politicians are used to redefining words in Orwellian ways. Obama has become a master at this, especially in his recent discussions of health care. "I just think that people should have a choice! My option is just one of many!" and other nonsense.

Silly me, I thought the whole point of "choice" was that you get to decide.

Since this is "choice," surely you can choose not to pay for the program, right? Of course not. Nobody will be given a "choice" on whether to fund this miserable boondoggle. Anyone who doesn't contribute will be incarcerated.

Since this is "choice," surely you can choose not to buy insurance, right? Think again.

Since this is "choice," you can decide to stick with your current plan, right? Well, if you have a cool employer, maybe. Maybe not. This is starting to sound like the sort of "choice" a rapist gives a limbless victim.

Since this is "choice," its supporters surely want us to have as many options as possible, right? Except that even its supporters admit the entire point is to take away (not expand) choice.

Exhibit A:

Obama says (or, more accurately, lies) that he wants true competition. But it is an interesting form of "competition" where one party depends on voluntary support and the other can rely on extorted contributions. Or where one party has to follow the rules written by the other party--which isn't subject to those same rules.

If Obama wants true competition, there's a simple offer we can make:

The government bureaucrats should be able to offer their health care plan on the free market. That is, they should be free to compete with other entrepreneurs, but on a level playing ground. First, they must depend on consumer satisfaction and private investors rather than coercive taxation. Second, they must follow all of the same rules and regulations as everyone else.

Does anyone seriously think the government would beat the competition? The question is so absurd that it's bizarre just to ask it.

The goal of the program is to obliterate choice and competition through force, not to improve health care or provide superior service.

Like "liberty," "peace," and "family values," the politicians have turned yet another word into its exact polar opposite.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson, RIP

Michael Jackson was one of the most vilified people in modern history. To some degree, it's understandable. He was a weird, weird dude. But however strange he was, and whatever bizarre things he did, I could never help but feel a little sorry for the poor guy. He was a flawed, confused, and deeply troubled individual. But he will be remembered.

RIP, Mike.

Road Freedom, Government "Education" and Hypocrisy

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Red Light, Green Light

One summer I remember we played the children's game red light/ green light at my cousin's house. We would line up one side of the front lawn and then pick someone to be the stoplight. That person would then shout "Green light!" and the object was to keep getting as close as possible to the "stoplight" until you reached it, without getting caught moving, because the person playing the light could at any time yell "Red light!" at which point you had to freeze. But if you couldn't stop in time before they turned around after shouting "Red light!", you were out of the game. You had to make sure you didn't start off too fast on the green lights such that you couldn't stop in time when they turned around to try and catch you moving (and if they did see you move, you were out).

But that was only a game. Make a mistake at a real stoplight and you could be "out" permanently. My dad has always advised me to pause when a light turns green and not rush out into the intersection, advice I haven't always followed. I'm in as much a rush as anyone when driving around town, and we all seem to hate stoplights (can't we find a way to abolish the damn things?) and do anything to avoid stopping at one (thus the "yellow means put the pedal to the metal" syndrome) or, once stopped, having to wait for even a split second longer than necessary (which is why the horns start blaring behind you if you fail to instantly move once the light changes-"Ignore those jerks!" Dad always says).

Last night I decided I would make a quick trip to the supermarket, so I got in my car and headed out into the semi-darkness. Around the block from the house there is a stoplight and I have to make a left turn to go in the direction of the store. As I approached the light it was red, and remained so until I came to a complete stop. It quickly turned green, however, but instead of venturing into the intersection after a couple of seconds (and I usually pause at least that long) I hesitated. I don't know why, but my mind was momentarily distracted, and I waited for a few seconds longer (and there were no cars behind me) and then, just as I was about to proceed a small sedan came racing through from my left. It had run the red light at high speed. Why? Why do people do that? Is it worth saving a few seconds? Keep in mind this wasn't one of those people that saw a yellow and simply hoped to beat the red. Several good seconds went by before that car ran the light. They had absolutely no way of knowing if someone would cross in front of them or not.

I came that close to possibly being killed by someone with no concern for others or even their own life. So please, wait for a few seconds before moving when you see that green light, and if you are a complete, reckless maniac, reform yourself or get off the roads!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I have a confession to make

I think I'm addicted to Free Talk Live. It's simply brilliant. I rarely miss an episode (mostly because I do around 2 hours of driving a day, and listen to all the podcasts in my car). The acts of civil disobedience committed by the hosts and their friends (eg, refusing to move a couch, putting on illegal puppet shows, etc) are nothing short of hysterical.

Just a minute ago, I was listening to clip of the show that made me laugh out loud. It involves a dumb social democrat getting his ass handed to him. Enjoy!

Blog of the Moment: Brad Spangler

A Marxist is understood as a follower of Marx’s political thought or later variants of it. A Marxian, however, could refer to anyone substantially influenced by Marx, but not necessarily a “Marxist” strictly speaking. One loses credibility by inaccurately labeling people as “Marxists” with reckless disregard for what that word specifically means. However, it’s not out of line to label an establishment social-democrat a “Marxian” if you are prepared to make the following point — that they subscribe to the same particular key error that Marx made in economics. That error is the supposition that oppressive capitalism, best understood as state driven monopolization of capital, derives from market exchange rather than state granted privilege, forcible transfer of wealth by the state and assorted other statist market distortions.


Ed McMahon, RIP

No long tribute here or anything, just wanted to acknowledge the passing of a television legend.

McMahon was named by Entertainment Weekly as the greatest sidekick of all-time for his work alongside Johnny Carson for thirty years (1962-1992) on the Tonight Show.

Class warfare

I am not wealthy, successful perhaps if one is very generous with their terminology, self sufficient for the most part would be more accurate. I am also not a booster for the wealthy, I am an economic Darwinist and have no interest in government mucking around in the private sector, and I surely don't feel bad for failed CEO's and such. However the idea that the rich are our enemy and that they need to be punished for their wealth is ridiculous. I just found a silly little propaganda piece, trying to paint everyone who believes in market economics as a shill for the rich. In this article the author talks about apologists for the wealthy. He tries to dismiss the idea that higher corporate and estate taxes slow economic growth. This only makes sense through a class warfare perspective. Try looking at it from a personal one. If you are working a job and you can either work a forty hour week and earn a modest income or put in a bit of overtime and make an excellent wage, what do you do? Many would take the overtime. However what if working the overtime put you in a higher tax bracket resulting in a net loss of income? I for one wouldn't work more to earn less money. The same is true for business owners and investors. If spending millions of dollars and creating hundreds of jobs will result in profits in excess of the investment, then that is what they will do. On the other hand if taxes and fees result in such investments being unprofitable they won't, or they will do business somewhere that is profitable. Pretty simple. A bunch of class warfare propaganda may make the self pity sector feel better but it doesn't change economics.

The author also complains that CEO salaries are increasing faster than worker wages. Again from a class warfare perspective this is a compelling point, however take a look from the other side. You own an auto shop. You have two employees, a skilled mechanic who brings in the bulk of your profit, and a guy who sweeps the floors. If you lose the mechanic you will have to hire a similarly high paid replacement, further you don't think you can find one who will make you as much money. On the other hand if you lose the guy who sweeps up, you can hire another one within a day. Do you pay the mechanic more than the shop sweeper? If another company tries to hire your ace mechanic, do you pay him more in order to keep him? Corporate CEO do not make money for nothing. They are paid millions and billions because they earn that much for their companies. Or at least the company that hires them believes they will. If the guy on the production line was making the company billions he would be paid millions also. A good manager, like a good worker is going to try to get as much pay and benefits as he can. Most of us wouldn't feel guilty about taking a higher paying job or demanding a raise, yet many of us resent corporate managers do the same.

The left serves up this class warefare bullshit to justify restrictionss, and taxes on industry. They do this for three reasons. The first is to put industry under government power. Regulations and government bailouts give the federal government power over private industry. The second is to decrease the income of the working class, by hurting the overall income of America they make people more dependant on government handouts and social survices. A populace dependant on handouts is going to vote for whoever offers the most handouts. Also a dependant population is not going to risk their means of support by speaking out against the government or making waves. Lastly corporate taxes supply the money to pay for all of these handouts.

Sure it feels good to resent the wealthy, especially in times like these. However the best thing for the economy is for the government to totally back off and let the rich make money. When the rich make money they hire people and buy stuff. That puts money in everyones pockets. Better yet money that is earned rather than begged leaves us free to oppose the governments attempts to deprive us of freedom and supress our freedoms. If you look at both the Democrats and Republicans all you will see are big government power grabbers, who are responsible for our current financial woes. Maybe we should start blaming them, instead of the corporations which used to provide us with an income.

Escape From Reality?

I wasn't going to post anything right now. It's late, I'm tired, and I don't feel like writing anything (even though I've got blog post ideas up the wazoo). But I got to thinking, what if this blog were my livelihood? (thank God it's not!), and it were my duty to post constantly to keep food on the table (I love food, don't you? Of course I love it too much, but that's another post), would I be escaping from reality if I slacked off to do something some might consider escapist?

And what is escaping from reality anyway? Certainly the abuse of drugs and alcohol qualify, but what else fits the category? Video games? TV viewing? Reading trashy novels? Is it okay to escape once in a while? How about more frequently than that? Is it always wrong or just wrong if you seek such escape chronically? Or is it not wrong at all?

If you could escape reality by transferring yourself (your consciousness) into a happy virtual world, where no worries or cares would ever haunt you again, would you do it?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tom Snyder Interviews Ayn Rand

Since we seem to have been a little on the subject of Ayn Rand and Objectivism lately, here's an interview Rand did with the late great Tom Snyder.

Here are the links to parts 2 and 3:

Part Two

Part Three

"I had to kill my family because they were demons!"

It's a good thing this guy wasn't a godless atheist. He would have no sense of morality!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Is libertarianism of the Left or of the Right?

Left and Right did not refer merely to which side of the assembly one sat on or one’s attitude toward the regime. That attitude was a manifestation of a deeper view of government. The Left understood that historically the state was the most powerful engine of exploitation, although the various factions disagreed on the exact nature of exploitation or what do to about it. Marx had no monopoly on the idea. On the contrary, he appropriated it (then degraded it) from the early 19th-century bourgeois radical liberals Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer, who first formulated the theory of class conflict. In the liberal version two classes (castes) arose the moment government engaged in plunder: the plunderers and plundered. The plunderers were those who used the state to live off the work of others. The plundered were those the fruits of whose labor were stolen — all members of the industrious classes, which included those in the marketplace who produced and exchanged peacefully and who were not themselves plundering others.

...Marx changed the Comte-Dunoyer thesis for the worse by moving employers with no links to the state from the industrious to the exploiter class. This related to his labor theory of value...

Libertarianism: Left or Right?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The horrifying Leonard Peikoff

LRC should stick to politics

Lew Rockwell's site is great, but I find that a lot of the non-political articles (on "health," etc) are pure quackery. Today, the science/health article tells us that we shouldn't bother shampooing our hair. Um.....ok.

If you consistently followed LRC's daily health advice, you would probably either be dead in a dumpster or suffering from multiple diseases. I wish they would just stick to politics.

Quick thoughts on Objectivism

Like many libertarians, I am a big fan of Atlas Shrugged, and have some Objectivist leanings. However, I don't normally call myself one. Why not?

First of all, I'm not a kool-aid drinker. Objectivists are far too cult like and ideologically lockstep for me. I don't think every line Rand ever wrote was gospel, and don't need anyone else to tell me what my opinion is on something. Objectivists are also very hostile toward "libertarianism" (or at least their strawman version of it), believing it is "evil" or something, which is just ridiculous.

Objectivists also have a lot of authoritarian leanings. Most contemporary Objectivists are hard-core warmongers. Even Bill O'Reilly was frightened by their foreign policy views...so frightened that he said they weren't much different from the Nazis.

Yes, my friends, when coupled with an Objectivist, O'Reilly is the voice of reason. Is that horrifying, or what?

These pro-war and anti-civil-liberties views seem completely at odds with Rand's opposition to foreign interventionism, war, and statism. Unfortunately, Rand herself was pretty inconsistent on those issues. Looks like she should have "checked her premises," because contradictions don't exist! (For a great parody of Objectivism, see The Ideal Randian State, by Anthony Gregory.)

Objectivists also cling to the state myth and "social contract" that Lysander Spooner and others have completely refuted.

Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism (or free market anarchism, or whatever you want to call it) is fully compatible with the best parts of Objectivism, while rejecting all of the war crimes, torture, and authoritarian tendencies that have come to be associated with the philosophy.
Objectivists fall into the same warmonger trap that conservatives fall into. Their logic goes like this:

1) Enemy X is totalitarian, collectivist, and statist.
2) Therefore, Enemy X is a threat that cannot be reasoned with. So "we" must blow it off the map.

Premise 1 is usually true. Most of the US' past and present enemies are (or have been) totalitarian, collectivist, and statist. Nobody with half a brain thinks I'm a supporter of radical Islam, or Communism, or whatever.

Premise 2 is where the warmongers fall into severe error. Yes, there are plenty of monstrous ideologies around the world, but we should never let the state exploit them in order to recklessly expand its own power. There will always be a limitless pool of "bad guys" out there, but that does not give the US government the right to bomb civilians, set up torture dungeons, repeal civil liberties, loot the US taxpayers, wrap its tentacles around the economy, and impose puppet governments all over the entire world, in a vain attempt to make the world one big peaceful utopia.

A state that looks for "monsters to destroy" is one that will always become a monster itself.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bill Maher calls for total tyranny

How in the world did Bill Maher ever come to be known as a "libertarian?"

In this video clip, Maher expresses his frustration at the few tiny scraps of freedom remaining in the United States. He is furious that Obama has not yet enacted total Stalinism. Good grief.

I'll have a Galt with cheese

Sales of Atlas Shrugged have exploded under the Obama regime, and conservatives are starting to appreciate Ayn Rand.

Perhaps if they would listen to Ayn Rand on the subject of Church and State, they would once again attract sane people to their party. Don't count on it.

Toss Those Obama T-shirts in the Trash

It’s time to toss those Obama t-shirts in the trash.

On Monday the Democrat controlled House voted 226-202 to approve a rushed $106 billion dollar war spending bill, guaranteeing more carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan (and lately Pakistan) until September 30, 2009, which marks the end of the budget year. The Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill’s first draft last month, with the final vote on a compromised version to occur in the Senate sometime in the next couple of weeks.

The majority of opposition in the House came from Republicans who opposed an add-on to the bill that would open up a $5 billion International Monetary Fund line of credit for developing countries. This opposition in the House led Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday to quip, “It’ll be interesting to see what happens here. Are my Republican colleagues [in the Senate] going to join with us to fund the troops? I hope so.”

No longer can the blame for the turmoil in Iraq and Afghanistan rest at the feet of George W. Bush alone. This is now Obama’s War on Terror, fully funded and operated by the Democratic Party.

These Are Obama’s Wars Now

That old fraud and hypocrite, the dishonorable Harry Reid, actually pulled the "support the troops" crap. When are all those Bush and Cheney hating "liberals" going to openly start protesting warmonger and mass-murderer Obama? (To be fair, a few--but far too few--are protesting).

Isn't it funny how the left is only really anti-war when Republicans are in charge.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Libertarian Classic: The Incredible Bread Machine

I discovered the book this film is based on when I was in community college. I remember being excited to find such a politically incorrect treatise in the college bookstore. At the time one of my instructors was an open Marxist who taught a course called "Russia and China, alternative societies", extolling the virtues of the workers' paradises.

video via LRC Blog

From the YouTube channel misesmedia:

Released in 1975 by World Research, Inc. Includes an introduction by then-Secretary of the Treasury, William E. Simon, and interviews with professors Walter Heller (University of Minnesota) and Milton Friedman (University of Chicago). Moderated by Dr. Richard Rogge (Wabash College). The film also features a cameo appearance by Murray N. Rothbard. Written by Karl Keating, Susan Love Brown, Patrea Post and Stuart Smith.


A Belgian girl claims she had 56 stars inked on her face against her will after falling asleep in the tattoo parlor.

via Strawberry Anarchy

From one of the comments at Strawberry Anarchy:

It might look kind of cool now, but what will her face look like 40 years from now? I hope she's able to have some removed...But when you look at who the tattoo artist was, I'm not that surprised.

I'll pay for half those star tattoos to be removed, says the man who engraved 56 on 18-year-old girl's face


If I buy DVDs anymore these days, it's usually the random ones you find in the Wal-Mart value bin. That's where you'll find all the bargain hunters cheapskates gathered, their hands flipping and digging through dozens of discs, hoping to find a movie that doesn't suck (or at least one that, even if it kinda sucks, is still worth the five bucks).

One day not too long ago, I dug deep into the cheapo bin and pulled out what looked like a winner (and for the record, it actually is) , a movie called Bug, directed by William Friedkin, the guy that brought us The Exorcist. That fact combined with the title gave me the mistaken impression that the film was a remake of the 1975 Bug, which was written by the master of gimmicky low-budget horror, William Castle.

Expecting mutant bugs galore upon placing the disc into my DVD player, I knew this was one of those movies unsuitable for Mom. Mom is a movie watcher, and she'll frequently let me know of my deficiency in supplying her with gems from my personal collection. The few times I've tried to meet her demand, though, I've been subjected to listening to various versions of "How can you watch stuff like that?"

Now, what Mom actually means by that is any film that she doesn't consider "real". This includes anything that can be labeled science fiction, fantasy or supernatural horror, which pretty much means that about 80% of my collection flunks the Mom Watchability Test.

But after I'd finished watching this newest Bug, I knew it wasn't associated with the earlier film of the same name and I felt it was right up Mom's alley. Sure, the main characters were paranoid lunatics, but it was certainly "real" in the sense that Mom meant.

Intense, yes, but she watched crime and thriller movies all the time. So, when I next visited, I brought it along for her to view at her leisure (which is pretty much every single afternoon and evening). She seemed skeptical upon seeing the cover of the DVD case, but I pointed out it starred Ashley Judd. That seemed to convince her of its suitability.

When next we spoke, I asked her how she liked the movie.

"What were you trying to do, giving me a movie like that, kill me?" she said. "How can you watch horrible stuff like that? And how can you let your poor mother watch something that sick. You know I'm old. It's not funny, I can't take stuff like that. I'm still trembling."

She paused. "And besides, I've never seen Ashley Judd looking so terrible and ugly before."

Needless to say, I've had to do some serious rethinking on what qualifies as a "Mom movie".

Evolution vs. Creationism


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Charlie Reese's most insane quote ever

I surprised some people once by saying that I would rather live in a neighborhood of Islamic fundamentalists than in a neighborhood of atheists and agnostics. That's true. You can count on the morality that Islam teaches; there is no morality for atheists and agnostics, except what they arbitrarily choose.

-"Religion essential"

Charlie does realize that the Islamic fundamentalists would immediately execute him for being an "infidel," right?

Obama refutes intelligent design just by existing

Holy shit, this guy is a moron. He's either mentally ill or deliberately trying to destroy the country.

He should pull a GW and go on an immediate vacation for the rest of his term. He has done quite enough.

When to believe in miracles

Never! Unless a miracle happens right in front of you, and you catch it on videotape, and you aren't delusional, and it isn't some kind of magical illusion (a la David Blane). Not that there's any chance of that ever happening.

Thus, it goes without saying that there's no reason to believe that any the miracles in the Bible happened. None. I don't care if there were "witnesses." Even today, there are delusional people who make outrageous claims about things they've supposedly "witnessed." Just look at the massive number of idiots who believe in ghosts and conduct seances. Nuff said.

If we laugh at "divine witnesses" today, why on Earth would we take the "witnesses" of the ancient past seriously? People back then were as gullible, irrational, and fearful as it gets. Add in the dubious history of Christianity's emergence, and we have even less of a reason to believe.

For whatever reason, Christians find it hard to accept that their magic book was written--badly--by humans. Well...the kazillion other religions are obviously man-made, are they not? Whether you're an atheist or a theist, one thing is for certain: they can't all be true. Thus, we have a ton of hucksters out there inventing religions. This is an absolute indisputable FACT.

All of them speak of miracles, gods, supernatural beings, and other silliness. And what a coincidence: all of this miraculous hokum happened long ago, without a trace of evidence!

"Don't think, just believe!"

No. I refuse to believe in their bullshit. The only evidence they've given us is mere say-so.

Say-so is not enough for me to believe in all of these miracles. If it is for you, then you're simply a fool.

Dr. Utopia Trys to Sell His Snake Oil

via Liberty Portal

Why Is There Nothing Rather Than Something?

Why? From our earliest years we ask questions. Why is the sky blue...why do birds sing...who made God? The answers are sometimes based on fact, but in many cases we receive an invented answer from someone-a parent when we are very young-who hasn't a clue but is afraid of declaring "I don't know".

All of the questions of the above type are merely little versions of the ultimate why, which is, why is there anything at all?, though it's often expressed as Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing? But most often, those who ask it have a ready answer: God. Which is very curious, as I've never encountered a religious person who believes there was ever a time when there was nothing. On the contrary, there was always a big something according to such people.

The devastating reply should be obvious to the unbiased. Why is there a God rather than nothing?

So, why is there nothing rather than something? You're puzzled perhaps? The question is nonsense, you say? There isn't "nothing", there's something. But that's the point. There is no such thing as "nothing". There is existence, and to ask any question at all presupposes it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Atheism: The Case Against God

Atheism and the Case against God Atheism and the Case against God rikky51 Only what is visible to the human eye is real; atoms are not visible to the human eye; therefore, atoms are not real. The human eye needs help to see atoms. The human mind needs help to see (understand) God.

For those unfamiliar with George H. Smith, he's a market anarchist just like me and SE.

I haven't read this book in its entirety yet, but hope to.

Is Marx Back?

The means of production are being seized

The financial collapse has been manna for Marxists...

In Germany (where they’re thinking of nationalizing banks), sales of Das Kapital, Karl Marx’s masterwork, increased tenfold last year.

Even mainstream economists are now making radical, Marx-like noises. Willem Buiter, an economist at the London School of Economics, last week proposed socializing and nationalizing the entire banking system, given that it can’t keep itself afloat as a private enterprise.

h/t to The Commentator

Debating Intellectual Property Rights

via FEE blog

The following excerpts are by Jeffrey Tucker:

Should You Give Away Your Precious IP?

Here is a scenario that helps you see how the state's IP laws distort people's judgment.

Let's say I get a phonecall from the company "Simply Asia" and they inform me that my grandfather invented a unique noodle shape and that the patent on it passed to me in probate. Now, until this moment my life had been perfectly normal, flowing by day by day like every other life, but now I am aware of a long-hidden treasure in my family history.

What do I think? I think: $$$$

You might too.

You would want to know more about this company, how many noodles they expect to sell, how much money you are going to get per noodle, how big a house you will be able to buy, how fast your new Maserati will drive on the autobahn, and what date you can retire from your day job.

So it is. Not that you had anything to do with the stupid noodle design. It is an accident of fate that the patent happened to fall into your hands. But you don't think about that fact. All you can think about is you newfound wealth. You are imagining a scene from the opening of the Beverly Hillbillies. Black gold, Texas tea.

Sadly, the company that wants to put the noodle in production informs me that they want to give me $500 and be done with it forever. I'm thinking: who do these people think they are? What a ripoff. My family's noodle design is fantastically valuable! Maybe I will produce it myself and not let these robbers in on the deal. The gears in my wild imagination start turning and turning and turning.

However, it turns out that I really don't know anything about the noodle market. I don't know how to make them, package them, sell them, or anything else. A month or two goes by and I lose interest in the whole noodle thing. Having turned down the company, I'm no worse off than I was before. But I won't call them back and take the $500 because, who knows? Maybe next year I can get into the whole noodle-making thing.

We know the end of the story. Nothing happens. The noodle stays out of production. The noodle company is sad but not devastated. There's always another shape of noodle it can sell.

That's the story of hundreds of books. Thousands of books. Tens of thousands of books. Thanks to horribly egregious copyright legislation, books published from the late sixties onward are typically under copyright for 100 years, meaning that someone besides the author is charged with administering rights. That person is usually completely ignorant of book publishing and the content of the book or why it matters. All he wants is money that is not there. More often than not, this person will refuse to make a deal. And the book stays out of print, for the rest of our lifetimes at least.

This is what copyright extensions have amounted to: great impediments to printing books and preserving literary legacies. Already, provisions of the law have burned more books than most despots in human history. And this has only just begun. We are going to be seeing this nonsense for another 100 years at least.

Sad to say, many of the books that will fail to be printed are great books. But they might as well have never been written. The author is in no position to protest because he or she is six feet in the ground. His or her legacy, about which the heir cares less than nothing, is buried too.

The problem is that within the structure of IP there is no rational way to price anything. The property is made scarce only by the state. Its scarcity is otherwise wholly artificial. The function of prices is to rationally allocate scarce goods but when goods are infinitely reproducible and made scarce only by the state, pricing too becomes akin to pricing under socialism. You just end up making things up in the face of radical information asymmetries.

The Mercantilism of Our Time

Someone handed me a book the other day – a cult classic among music geeks – and urged me to read it, and, when I had finished, sign my name in the front cover. That way I could be added to the already long list of readers in the front cover, each of whom add added his or her scrawl to the book after having read it.

How charming!

Except for one thing: this is complete violation of the spirit of intellectual property law. All these readers were sharing the same book instead of buying a new copy. Think of the revenue lost to the publisher and the royalties lost to the author! Why, if this gets out of hand, no one will ever write or publish again! These readers are all pirates and thieves, and they should probably be subject to prosecution.

So goes the rationale behind intellectual property law. It's what economists call a "producers' policy," design to create maximum revenue for one side of the economic exchange, consumers be damned. In that sense, it is exactly like trade protection, a shortsighted policy that stymies growth, robs consumers, and subsidizes inefficiency. It's Bastiat's "petition of the candlemakers against the sun" all over again.

Apply the IP principle consistently and it's a wonder we tolerate public libraries, where people are encouraged to share the same copy of a book rather than buy a new copy. Isn't this also an institutionalized form of piracy?

The defenders of IP would have to admit that it is. They are often driven to crazy extremes in sticking the claim that copying is a form of theft.

I asked one emphatic correspondent about the ethics of the following case. I see a guy in a blue shirt and like it, so I respond by wearing one too. Is this immoral?

No, he said, because the color blue occurs in nature.

What if a person draws a yellow happy face on the blue shirt? Can I copy that? No, he said, this would be immoral. I must ask his permission and gain his consent. Actually, it's even worse than this case suggests. If even one person had previously worn a blue shirt with a happy face, no one else on the planet would be able to do that without seeking consent.

It should be obvious that if everyone were required to seek the permission for the use of every infinitely reproducible thing that "belongs" to someone else – every word, phrase, look, vocal inflection, chord progression, arrangement of letters, hair style, technique, or whatever – or if we were really to suppose that only one person may possess the unique instant of any of these things, civilization would come to a grinding halt.

Sadly, this is where our laws are tending. Right now, there are laws being considered that would step up IP enforcement to the point of clear absurdity. Just last week, YouTube removed the background music of countless videos for copyright reasons, even though such videos help popularize the music. Even home performances of songs written in the 1930s – young kids playing piano and singing – were taken down at the behest of producers.

People are talking about extending patents to sports moves, extending copyright to story lines, imposing a central plan on computer design to comply with patents, forcing everyone on the planet to obey U.S.-style IP laws by means of military force. Kids are going to jail, institutions are hiring internal police forces to watch for IP violations, and an entire generation is growing up with a deeply cynical attitude toward the entire business of law.

We are at a prohibition-style moment with regard to IP, just as with liquor in the 1920s. The war on the banned thing isn't working. Those in power face the choice of stepping it up even further and thereby imposing a militarized state in place of anything resembling freedom, or they can admit that the current configuration of law has no future and bring some rationality to the question. Other societies have indeed crushed innovation with this very impulse.

Do you know why we celebrate Columbus Day instead of Cheng Ho Day? Cheng Ho was a great Chinese explorer who, in the early 15th century, took his fleets to Africa and the Middle East, but he was forced to stop when the elites in the home country began to feel threatened by his discoveries. The Chinese government won the war on exploration, and became static and inward. You can win a war on progress but the gains over the long term are few.

Realize that for young people today, the initials RIAA and MPAA are the most hated on the planet – the equivalent of the IRS of a past generation. The heck of it is that these are private entities. Think what this means.

Capitalists of the world, please pay attention: you have a serious problem when an entire generation is being raised to HATE private, capitalistic institutions. Now, you and I know that these institutions are doing something illegitimate, namely enforcing "intellectual property," which is really nothing but state coercion. Still, this besmirches the reputation of free markets. So too is a generation of socialists being raised to hate U.S. foreign policy on the belief that its export of IP is a form of capitalist imperialism.

For these reasons, no one has a stronger interest in abolishing intellectual property than supporters of capitalism.

The New Frontier in IP

Monday, June 15, 2009

J. Neil Schulman's Alongside Night, Free!

Alongside Night Free PDF Edition

“J. Neil Schulman’s Alongside Night may be even more relevant today than it was in 1979. Hopefully, the special thirtieth anniversary edition of this landmark work of libertarian science fiction will inspire a new generation of readers to learn more about the ideas of liberty and become active in the freedom movement.” --Congressman Ron Paul

Building on the prophetic novels of Orwell, Rand, and Heinlein, J. Neil Schulman created in Alongside Night the first of a new generation of libertarian novels, telling the story of the last two weeks of the world's greatest superpower through the perceptive eyes of a young man caught up in the maelstrom of the final American revolution.

Alongside Night scored lavish praise for a first novel when it appeared in 1979, winning accolades from luminaries such as the English novelist many consider the greatest of his generation, and from the American to win a Bicentennial Nobel Prize in Economics. Ten years later the Libertarian Futurist Society voted the book into the Prometheus Hall of Fame for novels embodying the spirit of liberty, alongside Orwell's 1984, Rand's Atlas Shrugged, Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, and Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

J. Neil Schulman's classic novel of the last and first days of America is available once again, and perhaps, this time, its prophetic clarion call will be heard ... if there's still time.

-from AlongsideNight.com

h/t to out of step

Conservapedia's hilarious entry on atheism


In a nutshell, we are: mass murdering Communists, charity-hating grumps, promiscuous, suicidal, mentally ill, immoral party animals (ok, maybe they're right about that last one).

And did you know that the "evolutionary position" is "losing public support?"

Funny stuff.

Blue Jean Blues

I can pretty much wear blue jeans to work any day of the week. We don't have "causal Friday", we have causal everyday. This applies to our department mostly, but a few others as well. The rest of the company wear the usual capitalist exploiter attire, with their fancy capitalist pig shoes, dress pants, tucked in shirts and even sometimes neckties (an example of super-evil capitalist accoutrements).

According to my buddy Franc, these capitalist cowards are cheating us workers out of our full due for our labor. Using Franc's formula I calculate that capitalism is costing me $82.52 an hour in lost wages that are rightfully mine, and I've only been working at the 17 year old business about a year! Capitalist bastards!

But on to my pants, which is what this post is really about and what I know you really want to read.

I have a favorite pair of jeans that I purchased from the Poor Person's Retail Paradise, also known as Wal-Mart. These jeans have served me well through many weeks and many washes, faithfully covering my natural nakedness and thereby permitting me to earn a living.

Recently though, I experienced the falling keys syndrome. This happens when your keys enter your pocket and then slide down your hairy leg to the ground, whereupon a puzzled expression crosses your face and you repeat the steps several more times before discovering a gaping hole in your right jeans pocket.

The solution was obvious, a sewing kit! But mere thread is no match for sharp metal lock-openers, and this band-aid approach proved a complete failure when the keys won the contest three sewings in a row.

So I put a patch in the pocket instead. It held and my faithful jeans were back in service! Who says $8.00 pants aren't a good buy?

Well, the other day, when I got up during work to use the bathroom (alright, restroom), I noticed as I walked down the hall that my fly was unzipped. Easily corrected, I thought, as my fingers discreetly grabbed the zipper tab and pulled. I quickly realized that the zipper on my barely broken in blue jeans was broken.

For the rest of the day I was glad I wasn't a part of the tucked-in shirt capitalist class, but could instead proudly wear my socialist workers shirt untucked, letting it cover an otherwise open embarrassment.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bernie Sanders is after your health care

Oh boy. I just finished watching a horrid interview with Bernie Sanders (available here) where he uncritically regurgitated every health care myth and leftist talking point in the book.

A few weeks ago, I threw together a somewhat comprehensive post showing just how misleading Sanders' statistics and comparisons are. Sanders has either never bothered to read a rebuttal to a single one of his arguments, or he's just flat-out lying through his teeth.

Just to use a brief example: Sanders is angry that the US spends more money on health care than other countries. He doesn't mention the horrifying ways in which other countries "save money:" by giving their patients cheap drugs instead of surgery (regardless of how many lives it endangers), skipping blood screening tests (even if it means giving patients AIDS-infected blood), denying care to vast numbers of sick and dying citizens, and so on. It is surprising that a leftist would want to "cut costs" by ripping out someone's feeding tube.

Sanders could care less about innovation being crushed flat, regardless of all the people it will kill. To make an omelette, you have to break a crap-load of eggs, eh Bernie?

This is not to say that I support the current health care system in the US, which is nothing close to a real free market. But the Bernie Sanders road is not healthy.

Talk about awkward

So I was in some random bar/club last night with a number of friends, and lo and behold, I run into...my high school math teacher!

I was tempted to say hi, but it just would have been too awkward. I don't even know if he would have remembered me. And he seemed to be enjoying his margarita, so I left him in peace.

Ah, the marvel of god's "design"

I usually hate blogging (or even reading) about these types of doomsday stories, because they're just depressing.

That being said, let's look at the wonder of god's "design" this week:

Venus or Mars might smash into Earth in an attack triggered by movements of Mercury. These rogue planets could attack us in as little as 3.5 billion years, according to news reports of a scientific paper published this week in the scientific journal Nature.

Tell me, theists: what kind of inept idiot of a "creator" would have come up with a design this shitty? Doesn't this make your precious deity a bit of an incompetent moron?

Going Gravel

It costs about $100,000 to pave a mile of road, but only $10,000 to turn that same length of road to gravel.

Due to the Bush/Obama Depression, Michigan is reverting to gravel. Government roads suck anyway, but now they're really going to suck.

Gravel roads, another Obamanation coming soon to your town!

Obama's Collateral Damage

Yes, it's President Obama's war now, and the blood of innocents is on his hands. He has chosen to escalate the war in Afghanistan, to send another 21,000 U.S. troops to the country. He is now guilty for the loss of innocent lives.

Tears streaming down her face, the Afghan woman sat in a corner of a room with no roof and broken windows, mourning 19 of her closest and dearest relatives. “They were parts of my heart,” she said.

Six weeks after American warplanes bombed her village in Farah province, on Afghanistan’s remote western border, mistakenly killing dozens of innocent women and children, the terror of the moment when the bombs fell and the ground erupted, turning one mud-walled house after another into rubble, still lives in her mind.

“I lost them all at a glance. Why am I still alive?” the 62-year-old woman asked.

The dead men, women and children, many of them her relatives, now lie in graves. The survivors still wonder why their families were wiped out by American airmen with whom they had no quarrel.

According to Barack Obama's government , those lives were worth only $2000.00 each (that's the "compensation" paid to the families of those killed).

Looks like once again, in spite of liberal assurances that this guy was different and was going to bring us real change, we have a mass murderer in the White House.

Deadly Cat Food

Or maybe I should say, deadly government? Once again the state is guilty of causing unnecessary suffering and death (though what else is new?), this time for domestic cats and their owners.

At least 30 cats have died after eating irradiated dry cat food imported from Canada into Australia by Champion Petfoods (and only Australia made the irradiation mandatory out of the 60 countries the pet food company exports the product to).

Even cats aren't safe from government insanity, it appears.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Put a pickle in my ass?

Someone did a Google search for "put a pickle in my ass" and ended up at my pickle story.

Were they looking for a how-to on shoving a pickle where the sun don't shine? Did they want other's pickle-in-ass experience stories?

Have you, dear reader, ever put a pickle in your ass?

Am I missing something? I've never in my entire life had any cucumber, pickled or not, in my ass.

Preacher Prays for Obama's Death

via [GBG] Atheist News

My Day

I went to bed tired (after midnight, of course) even though I had to get up early for work, and had worked late the night before (late shift Friday, early shift Saturday--is that what Franc means by exploitation?) and when the alarm clock sounded at 5am, I turned over in bed, wanting another half-hour at least.

Showering, shaving, getting something prepared for lunch, it seems like it will take too long, but each time I manage it. I arrive at work a little early, deal with the frustration of my super slooooooow computer, and get ready for another eight hours of anticipating going home time.

While at work I drink too many diet sodas, which seems to provoke a headache. I stop for my mail on the way home, discover that I missed a payment because they didn't send me a statement.

I go to Wal-Mart, the working man's friend, and get some Fritos and look for the companion bean dip. It's sold out. I buy what I don't want instead, the jalapeno cheddar dip.

I get to my street, and find cars everywhere, flowing out of drive-ways like discarded children's toys, no spots left anywhere...wait, there is one right in front, I may just be able to squeeze in...but no. Some woman in a fancy little SUV beats me too it (is there a party somewhere near?) so I drive all the way to the end of the street, find a lone spot, get my bags from the trunk and walk back to the house, to discover that the SUV woman has apparently thought better of parking in that just right spot in front of where I live.

I go inside, eat the corn chips and cheese dip, and go online to write this post.

How was your day?


Is it safe to denigrate Muhammad yet?

Remember back when idiot Muslims rioted all over the place and killed people over a few (hilarious) cartoons mocking their stupid beliefs? Every media milquetoast was horrified of offending them. Even Comedy Central wouldn't touch it with a 20-foot pole (they censored South Park).

I, too, was offended by the anti-Islam cartoons. I was offended because they weren't sufficiently disrespectful to the laughingstock that is Islam.

masterpieces are from a contest held at Right-Thinking a few years back. So what ever happened to the "denigrate Mohammed" movement? It's as if people just forgot about it, which is a shame, because there's a lot of comedic opportunity here.

Having a good laugh at Pascal's Wager

Friday, June 12, 2009

Oh, the smoke rings we'll blow

So the "hard left" liberal Democrats are finally running the show.

Have they ended US imperialism? No.
Have they shut down the US empire? No.
Have they uttered a single syllable of apology for the hundreds of thousands of innocents that have been murdered, raped, decapitated, and tortured by the US military? No.
Have they abolished the CIA or DHS? No.
Have they restored the Bill of Rights? No.
Have they reduced the unaccountable power our out-of-control executive branch has acquired? No.
Have they ended the racist war on drugs? No.
Have they ended corporate welfare or privileges? God no.
Have they taken any semblance of a stance against torture? Of course not.

They haven't done anything worth a damn. But they can take away your tobacco!

Thank goodness they're going to use the iron fist of the nanny state to smack us in the right direction. At least Ralph Nader will have slightly less godawful columns to write--he'll get to move on to the other 234,543,654,231 industries he wants to shut down.

It sure is a good thing the Democrats are in charge, instead of those rotten Republicans.
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