Monday, November 30, 2009

An open letter to the writers of open letters

Dear authors of open letters,

Thank you for the time you put into your work. Nobody appreciates it more than I. When I see that a new letter has been written--whether it be by Ralph Nader, Michael Moore, immigration-restrictionists, neocon think-tanks, or Ron Paul supporters, the first thing that crosses my mind is "thank god someone put so much effort into this!"

After all, I have little doubt that such figures are immediately alerted that someone has written them an open letter, and that they eagerly dash off to read it. When you write an open letter to the president (or whoever), they most certainly read the whole thing and change their minds when appropriate. I'm planning on writing an open letter to Dick Cheney today, requesting that he turn himself in for war crimes! Nonsense, you say? We shall see. I'm hoping to make it extra persuasive.

Just kidding, authors. You know as well as I do that writing an "open letter" is meaningless. That's not to say that all of them are bad. But maybe instead of pretending to write to someone you know will never read or consider your arguments, you should just write in the normal, straightforward fashion.

Or not. It actually doesn't really matter. I just wonder how effective these open letters are at convincing the person you want to convince.


Asswipe Blogger at Skeptical Eye

(I wanted to make a post like this eventually, and the Michael Moore letter I just posted gave me the perfect excuse.)

A Michael Moore letter I can endorse!

Dear President Obama,

Do you really want to be the new "war president"? If you go to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do -- destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they've always heard is true -- that all politicians are alike. I simply can't believe you're about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn't so...

...So now you feel backed into a corner. 30 years ago this past Thursday (Thanksgiving) the Soviet generals had a cool idea -- "Let's invade Afghanistan!" Well, that turned out to be the final nail in the USSR coffin.

There's a reason they don't call Afghanistan the "Garden State" (though they probably should, seeing how the corrupt President Karzai, whom we back, has his brother in the heroin trade raising poppies). Afghanistan's nickname is the "Graveyard of Empires." If you don't believe it, give the British a call. I'd have you call Genghis Khan but I lost his number. I do have Gorbachev's number though. It's + 41 22 789 1662. I'm sure he could give you an earful about the historic blunder you're about to commit...

An Open Letter to President Obama from Michael Moore

Fifty Things do NOW!

Such as No. 24: Get over it: Voting doesn't help at all.

And No. 39: Stop obeying the state in some new way. Tell your friends about your success doing so.

And one that is great advice, No. 2: Switch off the TV. Read books!

I read a lot, but still have to break the TV habit. I waste far too many hours watching reruns of old sitcoms.

Politicians and Serial Killers

...cut from the same cloth.

Psychopathy is a personality disorder manifested in people who use a mixture of charm, manipulation, intimidation, and occasionally violence to control others, in order to satisfy their own selfish needs.

Interpersonal traits include glibness, superficial charm, a grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, and the manipulation of others. The affective traits include a lack of remorse and/or guilt, shallow affect, a lack of empathy, and failure to accept responsibility.

Serial killers and politicians share traits

From the link directly above is this statement: Ironically, these same traits exist in men and women who are drawn to high-profile and powerful positions in society including political officeholders.

Come on, deep down you've always known our rulers are psychopaths. Just one more good reason to become an anarchist and stand in opposition to hierarchies!

h/t to Liberty Pulse


I recently said here that I love the rain, and I do. I really, really, do! Did I mention a slight problem I have with it though? No, I don't think I did. You see, the rain is wonderful until you get behind the wheel of your car and have to drive home in the dark on a crowded freeway that you're forced to share with speed-intoxicated maniacs. The lead foots don't seem to realize that YOU SHOULD SLOW DOWN when the freeway is wet and the rain is coming down so hard that your wipers have difficulty keeping up with the job of giving you a clear view of the road.

I made it home safely the other night, but it was one hell of a scary ride.

The Coming Global Oil Crisis

Sometimes complex truths become more clear when we put them in very simple terms. Around the world, political leaders are still living in the delusion that we have time on our hands to find sensible alternatives to oil. But global oil production has peaked.

Especially for the USA, the automobile is our nemesis. In the 21st century it is a travesty that it takes 4,000 pounds of metal to move 200 pounds of people. That's only 5% efficient!

See also Our Petroleum Predicament , which presents an editorial from the November 1976 issue of Fishing Facts.

h/t to The Commentator

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My mediocre return hath come

I haven't been posting much recently, mostly because none of my pals had to work during Thanksgiving week--opening the door for all kinds of shenanigans (frankly, it's been an entire week since I crashed at my own place, which is ridiculous). I needed a week of complete idiocy and I got it. Now I can go back to doing what I love best: complaining about stuff through the blogosphere!

Hellz yeha

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Five Reasons NOT to Become a Vegan

An Ode to Democracy

Hat tip: Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy

Weather Games

No, it can't be, I told myself. It was fairly warm on Thanksgiving, and though EVERY weather report I listened to said it would cool off a little through the weekend, NO ONE said anything about any precipitation.

So what do my attentive ears hear (or think they hear) this morning? The pitter-patter of little drops, that's what! It must be my imagination, but I go to the bathroom window for confirmation. And yes, it's coming down quite steadily. Woo hoo! I love the rain! It's what makes this time of year so great for me; holiday atmosphere and "bad" weather. What a combo! Plus football, which is often played in the worst of weather conditions.

Top 10 weather games in NFL history

Friday, November 27, 2009

Some Black Friday laughs

This stuff cracks me up no matter how many times I watch it (not safe for work)

Howard Roark Speech From The Fountainhead

via The Gold Bug

Too Many Malthusians

Since 200 AD, scaremongers have been describing human beings as ‘burdensome to the world’. They were wrong then, and they’re still wrong today.

...Malthusians always...underestimate the genius of mankind. Population scaremongering springs from a fundamentally warped view of human beings as simply consumers, simply the users of resources, simply the destroyers of things, as a kind of ‘plague’ on poor Mother Nature, when in fact human beings are first and foremost producers, the discoverers and creators of resources, the makers of things and the makers of history. Malthusians insultingly refer to newborn babies as ‘another mouth to feed’, when in the real world another human being is another mind that can think, another pair of hands that can work, and another person who has needs and desires that ought to be met.

Too many people? No, too many Malthusians

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Origami Turkey Day

I've tried origami and I'm a miserable failure at it. Maybe you'll have better luck, perhaps inspired by the day to make an origami Thanksgiving turkey centerpiece for your table.

And a bit of a different kind of paper turkey:

What is Thanksgiving?

The comments at YouTube for the above video included some "politically correct" ones like the following:

It's "about thanking the countless indians that we raped and murdered, and also stole from. we destroyed this continent with our so called 'civilization' and sky scrapers and pollutants. and we just sit back, stuff our mouths and laugh with each other about it."

I suppose I should have a positive attitude to such attitudes, but I have a visceral reaction to what I perceive to be knee-jerk "anti-white" leftism. As if things were all hunky-dory before the Europeans arrived in North America. And I say this having moved quite far to the "left" myself (or at least coming to believe that my views naturally fall on the left side of the political spectrum) and while recognizing that Thanksgiving is a state created "holiday" designed to evoke government worship.

But on a more basic level, how often do people think of it that way? For most it's just a time to get together with family and friends and enjoy a great meal and it's sometimes the only time during the year that a whole family is together at the dinner table. So that's what I celebrate today, millions of Americans getting together and eating themselves into a stupor while watching parades and football games, with the women (no, I'm not being sexist, but at every Thanksgiving feast I've been to, both within and without my own family, it seems that the females carried the burden of preparing the food) wondering afterward why they spent hours preparing a meal that was then consumed in twenty minutes or less.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Netanyahu Announces Settlement Non-Freeze

Good news in the paper this morning. Great news, in fact. According to Ha’aretz:

Netanyahu declares 10-month settlement freeze ‘to restart peace talks’

Yes indeed, there’s gonna be peace in the Middle East!

I’m being sarcastic, of course. As I’ve come to learn, whenever there appears to be good news in the Israel-Palestine saga, there’s always a catch.

The catch this time can be found five paragraphs into the Ha’aretz article, where it’s revealed that Netanyahu’s settlement freeze excludes East Jerusalem. Explains the prime minister: “We do not put any restrictions on building in our sovereign capital.” Later into the article, we learn that the freeze also excludes homes already under construction, as well as non-residential buildings. “We will not halt existing construction and we will continue to build synagogues, schools, kindergartens and public buildings essential for normal life in the settlements.”

So, in other words, Bibi has called for a “freeze” in settlement construction that doesn’t actually freeze settlement construction. Presumably this non-freeze means that Israel will go ahead with plans to build 900 new housing units in the West Bank settlement of Gilo. If you’ve been following the headlines, you’ll remember that it was only last week that Israel announced it would build these units.

“I hope that this decision,” Bibi states, “will help launch meaningful negotiations to reach a historic peace agreement that would finally end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.” He adds: “We have been told by many of our friends that once Israel takes the first meaningful steps toward peace, the Palestinians and Arab states would respond.”

Not surprisingly, Palestinian leaders were quick to decry Bibi’s non-freeze announcement. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat pointed out that this is not “a real settlement freeze,” and PNA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad noted that the “exclusion of Jerusalem is a very serious problem for us.”

So it looks like there aren’t going to be peace talks after all

Now I imagine that some of you might be tempted to side, or at least sympathize, with Bibi here. After all, you might be thinking, at least he’s shown himself willing to make some concessions. Sure, his offer is disappointing, but at least it’s something, right?

But this view only makes sense if we disregard international law. Because, according to international law, all of the West Bank, including all of East Jerusalem, is Occupied Palestinian Territory. Which, among other things, means that Israel does not have the right to build settlements there.

So it doesn’t make sense to praise Bibi for promising to limit the number of settlements Israel builds on Palestinian land, just as it wouldn’t make sense to praise a criminal who, after stealing your credit cards, promised to watch his spending.

Of course, in Bibi’s defense, he’s probably offered as much as members of his far-right coalition will allow. Which means that, unless the Obama administration tires of enduring one bitch slap after another and shows that it’s willing to stand up to the Israelis—and, of course, the only way to do that is to freeze—I mean, really freeze—foreign aid—then we’re not going to have peace talks anytime soon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ron Paul: End the War in Afghanistan!

Via Liberty Pulse

Man in Japan Weds Anime Game Character

Obama’s Killers

If history classes ever resume in our public schools, it’s important — since global terrorism has no discernible end -- for students to know and debate whether our history of extra-judicial killings accompanying deaths of innocent civilians, is at war with America’s values and our rule of law.

...the United States is very much involved in the NATO air strikes — in addition to drone planes — that murder children, women and men who are not even suspected to be “militants.”

Nat Hentoff: Obama’s Extra-judicial Killers

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tex's Last Email

"Tex" recently left his long-time employment with our company. I'll miss his cowboy boots, cowboy hat, cowboy shirt (well, cowboy T-shirts, anyway), and cowboy humor. He walked slowly and drove a fast Pontiac. He couldn't wait to leave work everyday (not unusual among wage slaves, actually) and would often request to go home early, which privilege he was often granted when things got slow around the old salt mine. He could always be heard to ask "Is it ___o'clock yet?" in reference to whatever time it was that equaled quittin' time.

To pass that time and the long hours of drudgery more quickly, he would send out countless emails, sent to him by friends, doctors, and relatives. Sometimes it would be funny photos of children or animals, or jokes like the following, from his very last humorous email:

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale
to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.
The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.
The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah".
The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"
The little girl replied, "Then you ask him ".

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."
The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honor" thy Father and thy Mother, she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?"
Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, "Thou shall not kill."

The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture.
"Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say, 'There's Jennifer, she's a lawyer,' or 'That's Michael, He's a doctor.'

A small voice at the back of the room rang out, "And there's the teacher, she's dead."

A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, "Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face."
"Yes," the class said.
"Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn't run into my feet?"
A little fellow shouted, "Cause your feet ain't empty."

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray:
"Take only ONE. God is watching."
Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."

Dear Creationists

Are the tactics that these Christians engage in "Christian"? Perhaps so, considering that the whole belief system is a pack of lies. From the beginning of its sordid history, Christianity has tried to suppress opposing views, which is curious indeed if the evidence for it is so overwhelming.

Why Don't Christian Sites Link to Skeptical Sites?

SNL Goes Anti-Government

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Bottom Line: War is Murder

When I turned on my computer this morning, I intended to write another article explaining why I believe the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable. Soon into writing, however, I realized that I just couldn’t do it; my heart wasn’t into it. I’m tired of making amoral arguments in an attempt to persuade amoral Americans to oppose an immoral war.

The truth is that I don’t really care if the war in Afghanistan is winnable, just as I didn’t really care if Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. I’m against war for one reason and one reason only. War is murder. That’s it. That’s why I get so pissed off when I read through the news every morning. That’s why I spend my free time slaving away at this blog. At times I might give different arguments trying to convince others to oppose war, but all that matters is that war is murder.

Deep down, we all know this. We know that there aren’t clear-cut battle lines in Afghanistan with the righteous Americans on one side and the wicked Islamists on the other. We know that US bombs are falling in civilian areas, killing innocent people.

As I’ve repeatedly argued, such killing only serves to inflame the population and recruit more terrorists, consequently making us all less secure. But again, that’s beside the point. The point is that, regardless of the consequences, the US military shouldn’t be killing these people. It doesn’t matter that these people live halfway around the world. It doesn’t matter that they’re Muslims. It doesn’t matter that most of them undoubtedly hold anti-Western sentiments. There is nothing more precious than life, and nobody has the right to take this from anyone else.

When I see these pictures, I can’t help but wonder how we would feel if this were happening to us. Imagine that our country had been overrun by extremists, people as bad as the Taliban, and that a foreign army subsequently launched an invasion in hopes of “liberating” us. Imagine that this foreign army routinely dropped bombs in our neighborhoods, demolishing homes and school buildings and community centers where extremists were believed to be hiding. How would we feel?

How would we feel if one of our sons or daughters happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? How would we feel knowing that we’d never again see them, never again have the joy of watching them open presents on Christmas morning or hearing them laugh with their friends? Would we chalk their death off as mere “collateral damage”? Would we feel that the bombing, so long as it also ended up killing numerous extremists, had been worth it? Obviously not.

But if it’s wrong to kill innocent Americans, then it’s wrong to kill innocent Afghans. Because people are people, and Americans are no more entitled to life than Afghans are, and vice versa.

So that’s the bottom line. War is murder. And since we know that murder is wrong, since we wouldn’t want anyone to murder our loved ones, we should speak out when other people’s loved ones are being murdered. It’s as simple as that.


Photos courtesy of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)

As old as the pyramids?

They had heart disease in ancient Egypt? That still doesn't mean our modern processed food diet isn't less healthy, does it?

Toss Out the Myths With the Embalming Fluid

In the above cartoon I see a little problem with the "politically correct air", as the critics of the "food police" aren't advocating not eating at all, just that the case for so-called "healthy eating" is overstated. A correct analogy would be with the issue of air pollution. In Mexico City you can live while breathing the awful air, you just might not live as long if that's all you breathe your entire life.

The Greatest Band Ever

Is The Commentator right?

They accomplished all this in seven years: 20 Reasons the Beatles are the Greatest Band Ever

Friday, November 20, 2009

CIA Secret Torture Prison Found

Lithuania agreed to allow the CIA prison after President George W. Bush visited the country in 2002 and pledged support for Lithuania's efforts to join NATO.

Rand Paul: Neocon Totalitarian

Ron Paul's son goes neocon:

BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY – Leading United States Senate candidate Rand Paul today criticized the Obama administration’s decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center and try terrorism suspects in United States Civil Courts.

“Foreign terrorists do not deserve the protections of our Constitution,” said Dr. Paul. “These thugs should stand before military tribunals and be kept off American soil. I will always fight to keep Kentucky safe and that starts with cracking down on our enemies.”

Wow. Rand Paul is a fascist, and totally ignorant to boot. "Foreign terrorists do not deserve the protections of our Constitution" is a completely nonsensical statement. First, because we do not know they are terrorists (that would be the entire point of that pesky "trial" thing). Second, because there's no reason why "foreigners" should be denied the same protection as everyone else. Third, because it makes zero sense to try criminals in military tribunals.

Dr. Paul believes in strong national defense and thinks military spending should be our country’s top budget priority. He has also called for a Constitutional declaration of war with Afghanistan.

Yeah, a "Constitutional declaration" ought to make the bloodbath in Afghanistan A-OK.

Is this guy for fucking real?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hungry In America?

Right Klik debunks the hype.

Stones or Zeppelin?

I've been in rock and roll all my life and I'm well aware that The Rolling Stones have been called the best rock and roll band. Don't get me wrong because I love Mick and the Stones, and the Beatles were my major musical influence, but here's why I think that Led Zeppelin is the best rock and roll band of all time:

Led Zeppelin is the #1 Rock and Roll Band of All Time

Because I Want To

Great songs and personal favorites from what is still arguably the greatest rock and roll band of all time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

To Post Or Not To Post...

...that is sometimes the question. And so it was for me the last couple of days. I chose, for my own very personal reasons, not to blog or post about anything. Not even a video that I could have easily searched for, or the regular Music Monday post started a few weeks back. Why?

Well, in the worst of times blogging can be therapy of sorts, but it can also be an empty, pointless thing, as when your whole world might be crashing down around you and the utter inconsequentialness of maintaining a blog becomes apparent. How do you blog, for example, when the person you love most in the entire world is sick and in the hospital? I don't write much about certain people in my life, or if I do, it is only with the most minor of mentions. My girlfriend falls into this category. Our life is a private thing, and I prefer keeping it that way. When I do post personal stories, she is never in them, and that's deliberate on my part. I might write about Mom and Dad, or people (disguised somewhat) I work with on the job, but I'm limited in what I feel I can or should write about my private life with her.

But she fell ill recently with a bad case of the flu, and though they released her from the hospital this morning, where she spent the last four days, she is still recovering and in need of rest. And she is the most important thing in the world to me, everything else is a distant second. I've come to realize that I can never take anything for granted, and that I'm still human, and not a robotic wage slave, (or blogger) or anything but a simple person who is more grateful than anyone could ever be to have someone to share the travails of this temporary vail of tears with.

All my complaints about life and work and struggling to even have the necessary money to pay the rent every month have melted away. Oh, I'm sure they'll return, but perhaps, if I keep things in perspective, when they do come again, they'll be dressed in a more colorful wardrobe, one that reminds me that behind every trouble there is something called life, and that that is something worth having and treasuring, and that to be trouble free is to not be at all.

I'm a very lucky guy.

O'Reilly shows his ignorance of war, terrorism and the Constitution yet again

Breaking news, I know.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A game that just made my Sunday

My usual Sunday/Monday night of buffalo wings, beer and football just got way badazz. The Colts come roaring back and beat the Patriots by one point in the last minute! Muahahahahaha. This more than makes up for the Broncos losing to the Redskins (damn them and their fake punts!).

Ray and Kurt find a worthy debate forum

See more at Atheist Cartoons

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Liar in Chief

Instead, he took us to the cleaners on behalf of the banksters.

The Statist Auto Industry

At a special Reuters summit in Detroit, numerous auto industry executives are cited as suggesting that the government raise taxes on gasoline substantially to spur the adoption of fuel efficient vehicles. States Tim Leuliette, chief executive of privately held parts supplier Dura Automotive, “In the United States, we’re afraid to touch the fuel price. We’ve got to continue to raise taxes in the United States so that, by the end of the next decade, gas is about $8 a gallon in today’s terms.”-Auto Execs Urge Government to Tax Fuel up to $8/Gallon to Increase Fuel Efficiency

The Auto industry has always had strong ties to the government, but after bailouts to save the losers GM and Chrysler (Chrysler should have been given a merciful death back in the 1980s) and the evil Cash for Clunkers scam, we can see clearly what has always been obvious, that big business cares nothing for free markets, and is not, as Ayn Rand claimed, "America’s persecuted minority".

I think it's safe to say the modern American capitalism is a complete fraud and that liberty lovers should stop calling themselves "capitalists". It only confuses the issue when we do so, because in the popular mind, the cozy corporate/state alliance is capitalism.

Some short movie reviews

The Box--6/10

So you're given a box by a stranger with a scarred face, who tells you that if you press the button inside a person you don't know will die. However, you will also receive a million bucks! What do you do? If you're Cork, you call the police and tell them a mentally ill con artist is snooping around your house. If you're Cameron Diaz, you put your trust in the random creepazoid and push the button.

The first half of The Box is great. It's mysterious, creepy, involving and well paced. The second half is a convoluted jumble of special effects and distracting subplots involving aliens, quasi-zombies (?), the afterlife, and supernatural gobbledegook. It all felt excessive in hindsight.

Law Abiding Citizen--6/10

Pissed off at the justice system that got his wife and daughter's murderer off the hook, some a-hole takes justice into his own hands--and while in prison! What's that, you say? That doesn't make any sense? You're right, it doesn't, and that's the biggest problem with this otherwise entertaining thriller. When you eventually learn how this guy is killing people from behind bars, you'll shake your head in shame. It is not just impossible but totally preposterous.

The Fourth Kind--7/10

Despite being a total hoax based on lies, I enjoyed this faux documentary for doing what few films have done--making a horror (not action) movie about alien abductions, and doing so without any grand special effects or Michael Bay tactics. It's closer to the Mothman Prophecies than Independence Day, and some of it is genuinely creepy! Clever stuff. Just remember that it's all fake.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Libertarians the only true REPUBLICans left

Dr. Rand Paul, son of Congressman Ron Paul, has raised more than eyebrows and money during his run for the U.S. Senate; he's also raised questions as to whether his loyalty is to the "wing-nut" libertarian Republican "fringe" or to the G.O.P. and the people of Kentucky.

Rand Paul, Are You Really a Republican? KY Wants to Know

This is not a post

Please don't read this, for this is not a post. I can't post post right now, to much going on, too...tired to even spell the word "too" right. I get home late from work, in a job with lots of pressure to produce, and just want to sleep, or at most watch some TV for a few minutes. For the first time in years I'm watching that stupid Survivor again on Thurs. nights, waiting to see when Russell finally goes (saved by an "immunity idol" last night, to the apparent shock of those who otherwise would have successfully voted him off).

A true Southern gentleman left his employment with the company I work for, the other day was his last, and I found myself down about it, for he was quite the character and a genuine "what you see is what you get" kind of guy, unafraid to speak his mind (getting him in hot water often with the management) and kind to a fault, to everyone, but in particular to his fellow wage slaves. He's off to new adventures with his wife, moving to another state, where he'll be called Tex once again, and irritate the powers that be there as well, I'm sure.

When I'm by myself, and seemingly have the time, I know I'm going to blog like mad. I have ideas for real posts with my own thoughts, stunning in their brilliance, that somehow never get written, and the mad furious blogging, with ten posts a day flying from my typing fingers, never, sadly, materializing.

It's always something I have to do that I let get in the way, if not the night before, then the next morning, when I have to get up and do things even before going into another day at the job... all the time in the world never seems to be enough, and I find myself wanting to get off the damn...

This is not a post. Perhaps tomorrow, or even later today (though who knows, I'm up very early for Saturday shift at work, and work late Friday nights) there will be a post from me. And I have no more idea than you do what it will be about.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Talk about a crazy week

I did something this week that I've never done before. I called in Tuesday morning and quit my job cold turkey. I quit because my boss was constantly bullying, intimidating, and micromanaging me at work, to the point where I felt uncomfortable even showing up. This man was the biggest psycho I ever worked for, and was a frothing-at-the-mouth asshole to me from my very first day of work.

As soon as I called in to quit, the asshole's tone quickly changed. Suddenly he was "so sorry" about all that happened and believed I was a "perfect employee." He was clearly desperate for me to stay. Well, then maybe he shouldn't have been a total dickhead to me when I was there?

Although I'm unemployed during a depression, I feel absolutely fantastic. I could simply not show up to that hostile, totalitarian work environment for another day. And based on what I've read on websites like the workplace bullying institute, it may have been one of the better decisions I've ever made.

The downside is that I (not the bully) am the one who will ultimately pay the price for being harassed at work. Employers want applicants to list their previous employers and give the OK to contact them--something I obviously can't do in this case. They will assume it is due to my incompetence, which it isn't (by my asshole boss' own admission).

Oh well. I still feel that it was the right decision. If I'm unemployed, then I'm the happiest unemployed man on the planet right now. Fuck that raging asshole of a boss.

The Dow Jones is CRASHING!

Bracket Creep Returns

Courtesy, of course, of the working man's friend, the Party of Compassion. As this article points out, government experienced a massive windfall due to inflation pushing people into higher tax brackets over decades (ended under Reagan with indexing for inflation), even though in inflation adjusted dollars their incomes did not actually increase. Now wicked witch Pelosi and her evil minions want to bring this kind of thievery back, by sneaking it into their phony health reform bill. But what else would you expect from a gang of thieves like Congress?

All of those twentysomethings who voted for Barack Obama last year are about to experience the change they haven't been waiting for: the return of income tax bracket creep. Buried in Nancy Pelosi's health-care bill is a provision that will partially repeal tax indexing for inflation, meaning that as their earnings rise over a lifetime these youngsters can look forward to paying higher rates even if their income gains aren't real.

In order to raise enough money to make their plan look like it won't add to the deficit, House Democrats have deliberately not indexed two main tax features of their plan: the $500,000 threshold for the 5.4-percentage-point income tax surcharge; and the payroll level at which small businesses must pay a new 8% tax penalty for not offering health insurance.

The Return of the Inflation Tax

The Social Contract Defined and Destroyed & Anarchy Proven

The Social Contract: Defined and Destroyed:

The Proof of Anarchy:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Private Nudity A Crime?

Yes, it is possible to be arrested for being naked in your own home. You'd think the cops (supposedly there to "protect and serve" and catch real crooks) would have something better to do between donut breaks than responding to a call about private exposure of private parts. I can understand completely the guy in question wanting the total freedom of total nakedness when no one else is around. It's something I've often found myself doing when I have a whole house or apartment to myself, though I usually only find myself in a clothing-free state during the summer months.

So, the man is seen having his morning coffee while wearing his birthday suit by a crazed "there oughta be a law" woman who then calls the police on him. I mean, you should never really consider calling the cops under any circumstances, but for this? This reveals once again that the State and its evil agents (the pigs that came to the poor man's house arrested him!) are not the only ones to watch out for or to despise. If not for lunatic pro-government sickos like the woman whose first instinct was to sic the Gestapo on a harmless fellow human being (I would have said fellow "citizen", but I now believe that term is just a statist fiction), the state could not exist and continue its oppression.

Every person who reacts with hostility or tried "arguments" when they're presented with anarchist views is therefore the enemy of liberty and a larger part of the problem than the clowns wearing the state's uniforms.

h/t to Mindful Drivel

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Leave Afghanistan to the Afghans

The presence of U.S. and NATO troops on Afghan soil breeds resentment among both the warlords and the population, making it easier to recruit insurgents and target the occupier. This is the same phenomenon that helped trigger al-Qaeda’s attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

This is not to say that America deserved to be attacked; it is only to say that we need to understand why it happened.

Our strategy in Afghanistan must learn from—not repeat—our past mistakes. The insurgency in Afghanistan and the wider radicalism seeping through Islam is fueled in large part by unnecessary U.S. encroachment in Muslim countries. If we stick around we only put ourselves in harm’s way.

Get Out of Afghanistan

Dennis Kucinich: Why I Voted NO (on fascist "reform")

We have been led to believe that we must make our health care choices only within the current structure of a predatory, for-profit insurance system which makes money not providing health care. We cannot fault the insurance companies for being what they are. But we can fault legislation in which the government incentivizes the perpetuation, indeed the strengthening, of the for-profit health insurance industry, the very source of the problem...

...instead of working toward the elimination of for-profit insurance, H.R. 3962 would put the government in the role of accelerating the privatization of health care. In H.R. 3962, the government is requiring at least 21 million Americans to buy private health insurance from the very industry that causes costs to be so high, which will result in at least $70 billion in new annual revenue, much of which is coming from taxpayers. This inevitably will lead to even more costs, more subsidies, and higher profits for insurance companies - a bailout under a blue cross.

Read the rest here.

Kucinich, while still somewhat naive on the subject, sees the healthcare "reform" for what it really is: the Democrats making us all slaves of the insurance companies (which they claim to hate).

How George W. Bush spends his retirement

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Second Coming (of Ted)

Ted Haggard starts a new church.

h/t to Evolved and Rat/i/onal

Music Monday: Revolutionary Times

Phil Ochs in 1969. It must have seemed like quite a revolutionary time, and it almost was. The 1968 popular uprising in France (betrayed by the fascist left); the protests against the Vietnam War in the United States; the general feeling that change was in the air. And yet it led to no substantial altering of the system. One could even argue, outside of social liberalization (gay rights, abortion rights, etc, which was progress) that things have only gotten worse as far as governmental control and oppression go. The war protests of the time fizzled out, after Nixon effectively ended the draft and earlier, in June 1969, began withdrawing troops from Vietnam.

Will it be different this time, with something stirring once again? The back of the State's lapdog media has finally been broken by the Internet, and people no longer have to rely on government shills posing as journalists to get their news and information. And ironically, the seeds of a possible coming collapse of the horrific and evil American Empire may have been planted by old Tricky Dick himself, when, in 1971, he removed what was left of the gold standard, leaving, for the first time in history, a purely fiat paper currency. The final collapse of the Federal Monstrosity in D.C. is therefore inevitable, and it can't last much longer (perhaps even helped along by the heath care "reform" legislation looming). But it's up to all of us to ensure that what follows is liberty rather than an even worse tyranny.

Street Fighting Man

And from what I consider The Rolling Stones best album, Beggars Banquet (released in 1968) comes Street Fighting Man. From Wikipedia:

Originally titled and recorded as "Did Everyone Pay Their Dues?", containing the same music but very different lyrics, "Street Fighting Man" is known as one of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards' most politically inclined works to date. Jagger allegedly wrote it about Tariq Ali after Jagger attended a March 1968 anti-war rally at London's U.S. embassy, during which mounted police attempted to control a crowd of 25,000. He also found inspiration in the rising violence among student rioters on Paris's Left Bank, the precursor to May 1968.

On the writing, Jagger said in a 1995 interview with Jann Wenner in Rolling Stone,

"Yeah, it was a direct inspiration, because by contrast, London was very quiet...It was a very strange time in France. But not only in France but also in America, because of the Vietnam War and these endless disruptions. ...I thought it was a very good thing at the time. There was all this violence going on. I mean, they almost toppled the government in France; DeGaulle went into this complete funk, as he had in the past, and he went and sort of locked himself in his house in the country. And so the government was almost inactive. And the French riot police were amazing."

Beggars Banquet

Screw you and your copywrong claim, ABKCO, you pro-state corporate pigs!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Arthur Silber on the fascist healthcare "reform"

The lies begin with the name itself. The bill is titled: Affordable Health Care for America Act.

In fact, the bill's primary purpose has absolutely nothing to do with providing "affordable health care." The purpose is to extract as much money as possible from "ordinary" Americans -- and to do so at the point of a gun (what do you think those financial penalties and even possible prison time are, if not a gun pointing directly at your head?) -- and shovel it directly to already-engorged insurance companies. Americans will be forced to buy insurance, which as we all know, many of us through deeply painful personal experience, has nothing whatsoever to do with health care. And Americans will be forced to spend money for largely useless insurance -- which insurance will often be entirely useless just when they need it most critically -- in amounts that may devastate them and their families.

How might we refashion the bill's title, in an attempt to render it just a bit more accurate? After all, we surely can agree that we should at least try to speak and write in ways that correspond to the facts in even a vague, approximate manner, if only from time to time. Hmm ... let's try this..

Vile War Propaganda

Some conservative Republican I know on Facebook posted this despicable poster:

Note the vile propaganda. The brown people having their heads blown off in ______ (fuck it, I can't even keep track of all the countries we're in anymore--fill in the blank yourself) are not civilians, insurgents, children, bystanders, or people using self-defense against a brutal occupying force. Certainly they are not human beings. No, no. They are "terrorists." History started on 9/11, doncha know (the terrorists just woke up one morning and decided that they hated freedom) and so now our brave, heroic "snipers" are out there shooting "terrorists" in the name of freedom!

In reality, the military is loaded with idiots who barely graduated high school, bullies who get off on harming others, murderous psychos (Timothy McVeigh, anyone?), control freaks, rapists, and other piss-ignorant yahoos and authoritarian types. The sniper in this picture would likely be scrubbing port-a-potties if he wasn't out randomly shooting "terrorists" on the taxpayer's dime. Hell, I wonder if he can even read.

The sniper is little else than a cold-blooded, murderous animal who loves killing, wounding and hurting others. He rationalizes his murders by deluding himself into thinking they are "terrorists." But they are real, living human beings.

The only terrorist is the coward hiding behind his gun in the hills.

Easily Influenced?

A book (I can't say the book, as I'm reading more than one) I'm currently reading portrays Orson Welles during 1938, the year of the notorious War of the Worlds broadcast. In several passages, Welles's eating habits are described (though how accurately, I don't know) and let's just say he had a BIG appetite. He might skip one baked potato when ordering his two steak dinners, or turn down the second helping of mashed potatoes and gravy when feasting on two plates of piled high fried chicken (without skimping on the biscuits, however), and for the brief period of this "diet" he'll restrain himself with an amazing display of willpower by refusing to order any dessert.

Well, let's just say I've been attempting a diet myself (for going on two years now) and have made enormous progress by holding my weight to the same level during those two years (I call it the Weight Neutral diet) and I've learned to control my eating quite well. Until lately, when I've noticed myself taking liberties.

The other day, at work, they had free breakfast for us weekend workers. Nothing elaborate, just bananas, and cereal, yogurt, Pop-Tarts, bagels, cream cheese, etc. I'd brought my own breakfast consisting of two big breakfast sandwiches, but I nevertheless went over to the little makeshift breakfast table and added a bagel with cream cheese and a banana to my meal. How did I justify this caloric extravagance? I'm not sure, but in the back of my mind, I was thinking about Orson Welles.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I think I'm going to be sick

What kind of sick piece of garbage would make a video game like this? (Warning: *not* safe for work.)

Gerald Celente on King World News

King World News

Audit the Fed Bill Gutted criminal parasite and bankster supported Mel Watt.

(h/t to Liberty Pulse)

Especially troubling about the gutting of the bill is the connections the Democrat Watt has with the banking industry. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) has its headquarters in his congressional district, which is based in Charlotte, but worse, the majority of contributions to Watt’s campaign has come from corporations in the real estate, finance and insurance industry.

Watt’s largest contributors included American Express (NYSE: AXP), Wachovia, Bank of America and the American Bankers Association. Altogether the financial industry donated over $217,109 to Watt, which was over 35 percent of the overall contributions he received.-Bank-Connected Democrat Mel Watt Strips H.R. 1207 of Almost Everything

There has been lots of speculation on why Representative Mel Watt has done his best to make sure that the Audit the Fed bill will be gutted, and why the Congressman is willing to promote the same irresponsible and unaccountable bubble-inflating behavior that got us to the current Fed-sponsored, bubble-reflation attempt, which is practically guaranteed to end much worse than just a few Goldman competitor banks imploding here and there.

A Less Than Opaque Look At Mel Watt's Motivations To Kill The "Audit The Fed" Bill

Representative Mel Watt's top contributors (2007-2008):

#1 Bank of America

#2 Wachovia Corp

#3 American Express

#4 American Bankers Assn

Rape in the U.S. Military

via The Punk Patriot

A Small Group of Rogue Americans

Was Judas Iscariot a Legendary Figure?

I consider Judas Iscariot a legendary figure, more fiction than fact, simply because all we do know is that he maybe was an Apostle to Jesus Christ. Historically speaking we do not know whether he truly betrayed Christ or not. The Bible may say he did, but here is where part of the problem lies. The Bible isn’t always internally reliable and should not be trusted as the definitive word without further investigation of the uncovered evidence. So let us look at what some of the evidence is and what it reveals about the Judas figure of Christian storytelling traditions. As we shall see, these added insights will also prove that Judas Iscariot is a fictional character, at the very least a legendary figure without historical ties.

The Judas Enigma: Legendary Fiction and the Unbelievability of Judas Iscariot

Tristan Vick's blog is Advocatus Atheist

Friday, November 6, 2009

Killing sprees: signs of a sick society?

Ft. Hood shooting one day, engineering firm the next.

Maybe it has something to do with our society being fucked up?

Democrats: A Party of Wimps

While I don't support Obama's takeover of the healthcare system, I am nonetheless perplexed at what a bunch of wimps the Democrats are. They could pretty much ram this thing through if they wanted, but don't have the balls to do so (and thank goodness).

They're literally afraid to enact their own agenda!

Democrats: a party with no balls.

Perhaps if Americans weren't being taxed to soak foreigners with depleted uranium, there would be more resources available for healthcare? Perish the thought.

Michael Anthony Interview

“You are going to war!” Michael Anthony remembers a drill instructor telling him and some fellow recruits during basic training. “It is no longer a question of if you are going to go, but a question of when. Look around! In a few years, or even a few months, several of you will be dead. Some of you will be severely wounded or so badly mutilated that your own mother can’t stand the sight of you. And for the real unlucky ones, you will come home so emotionally disfigured that you wish you had died over there.”

Soon thereafter, Anthony found himself in Iraq, where he spent the next year working as an operating room medic. In his newly-released memoir, Mass Casualties, he tells about this year, describing how all of his drill instructor’s predictions came to fruition. As I wrote last week, Mass Casualties is an extraordinary work, enjoyable to read but also important for its honest portrayal of life in the military.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Anthony. Here’s what we talked about.

You’ve written on your blog that the TV show M*A*S*H does a better job portraying the realities of military life than many of the “real life” stories you’ve seen in the news. Explain to those who haven’t read your book, why you feel this way. What does M*A*S*H get right that so many news stories don’t?

The first thing that comes to mind is the word “Absurdity.” M*A*S*H got across the real absurdity that comes with war, and it has nothing to do with pro or anti war, just the realities. So many times, I see war movies or a war related TV show/episode, or books, and they all seem too perfect. As if everything is worded perfectly, and all the situations come full circle beginning, middle, end. It’s almost so dull, that I could probably (and this goes for most Veterans I know) watch, any TV show or movie, and if it’s about the military or war, predict what’s going to happen or how things are going to be portrayed. It’s like people already have this perception of the military and war, that the media just fills in the perception rather than tell what really goes on. And anything against the grain, they don’t report because it’s outside of people’s perceptions.

But that’s what M*A*S*H was all about, the craziness of war, that people would never believe goes on. I remember watching one episode and there was a man walking around in woman’s clothes, and I thought that was so funny because, I do remember a few instances where there were guys walking around in drag. It’s little things like that, when most people think of war, they don’t think of men/women goofing around and walking around in drag or doing crazy things. So when you tell them crazy little stories like that, they never believe them; but if you told them a story of a building blowing up, thirty people getting shot, etc., etc., they’d believe that in a heart-beat.

People often assume that just because people go to war, there’s no fun. I think M*A*S*H showed that people make do with what they do. In Iraq, I had the worst times of my life, my worst month, week, day, and hour, all happened in Iraq; but you know what, some of the most fun times of my life also happened over there. So, I go back to my original word, M*A*S*H captured the Absurdity of the situation, and that everything isn’t perfect.

I definitely got the impression that people in your unit were always trying their hardest to create some sense of normalcy. Which, I imagine, largely explains the clowning around, the obsession with office gossip, etc. Of course, it’s impossible to create a sense of normalcy when you’re in a war zone, when you know you might get blown to pieces by a mortar rocket at any given moment. So, in an attempt to escape from reality, many in your unit turned to drugs. Exactly how many people do you think were using drugs?

Well, you’re absolutely right; people did take and get into drugs for a way to escape what was going on. I mean, you’re over there, and if you close your eyes, your thoughts go to the last several things you’ve seen—death, and destruction, and if you open your eyes you see all the death and destruction going on. In an attempt to get out of the circle, people would take drugs, and then when you close your eyes, you see spirally lines and different colors, instead of death. I mean if those were your options, what would you choose? I can’t say for certain how many people were doing drugs, but I can say there’s enough going on that it’s a problem.

What types of drugs are we talking about?

Some of the drugs I’ve heard of going on over there, and have seen—and done—and that are being abused are: Percocet, Vicodin, Pot, Coke, Heroin, Hash, Salvia Divornium, Ambien, Robitusin, Dust-Off, Whip-its, Opium and NyQuil.

And if people weren’t popping pills to escape, they were popping them to sleep! Many people were popping sleeping pills like Pez, or some type of sleep medication/remedy.

Suicide, of course, is another—really, the ultimate—way to escape from reality. At one point in “Mass Casualties,” you describe how a fellow soldier started to show signs that he was suicidal. Although it seemed clear that this individual might try to harm himself, his officers refused to send him away to receive the care he needed, fearing that doing so might make them look bad. Was this an isolated incident?

I wish I could say that was an isolated incident of one suicidal-soldier not getting the care he needs. However, if you look at the statistics for active duty soldiers and veterans, more soldiers have killed themselves than have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. The statistics say five active duty service members commit suicide a day, and some statistics have up to eighteen veteran suicides a day, and a thousand attempts a month! And on top of all this, Katie Couric recently did a series of news casts that exposed that the Veterans Administration was actually trying to cover up these suicide numbers!

When you went over to Iraq, you knew there’d be Sunni insurgents trying to kill you. But did you have any idea that so many of your problems would come from your own commanders? Obviously you didn’t expect to be coddled, but some of your leaders seemed completely self-absorbed, at times even sadistic.

There was a joke that our unit had while in Iraq. Someone would ask us: “Do you hate the Iraqis?” and we’d answer: “No, the only people I hate are in my unit.”

I gave the Iraqis the benefit of the doubt. I can understand if someone wants to fight for religious reasons, I can understand if someone doesn’t want a foreign Army running their country. I can understand why some of the Iraqis didn’t want us there.

What I can’t understand is how our leaders saw fit to treat the soldiers as they did. We worked in a hospital and a severely wounded patient didn’t get seen for one hour, because there was an awards ceremony going on. Our commander didn’t want to open our hospital early so he lied and said we were operating when we weren’t. I had to do extra guard duty just because two higher ranking people wanted to have an [adulterous] affair.

There are too many peccadilloes of human nature that are missed and not talked about, and it’s to the detriment of our soldiers that these situations aren’t talked about. And the only way to fix them, or to do something about them, is to admit them—that’s always the first step.

I keep reading in the news that returning soldiers aren’t getting the care they need, which seems to be one reason why veterans have such high rates of drug addiction, alcoholism, divorce, suicide, etc., etc. Are these reports accurate? What’s been your personal experience with the VA?

Absolutely, these reports are accurate. Being a veteran makes you more likely to smoke cigarettes, have an alcohol/drug problem, to attempt to kill yourself, kill yourself, and end up homeless.

As far as the VA goes, recently Katie Couric did a series of newscasts that exposed the VA for trying to cover up suicide numbers.

So what’s the answer? What should we—what should the VA, what should the average citizen—be doing to better help veterans?

Recently the Army Times had an article stating that the only consistent cure for PTSD is exposure therapy. This is where Veterans get together and share their stories and hear the stories of other veterans. The only cure is to understand and to be understood.

If people want to help our returning veterans then they’ve got to be willing to hear the full story and not just the parts they want to hear. We’ve got to listen to the worst, most decadent parts of the war, because this is where real growth is going to come from. We’ve got to learn and share the real stories!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


via The Whited Sepulchre

Goodnight and Good Morning

I'm going to bed. I'm tired and have to get up early. Tomorrow I start a new (though temporary) position at work and I really don't feel like going in and doing that, but as a wage slave I have no choice, now do I? Anyway, my post on babies burning in Hell will have to wait, and I'm so sorry you'll be deprived of that for at least another day, but stay tuned and you'll miss nothing (and I mean that)!


Patent Twit of the Week and the Patent Twit's Response

By Kevin Carson at the Center for a Stateless Society:

Gene Quinn, a patent lawyer and IP-hawk, has recently challenged the anti-IP movement — in the tone of a belligerent drunk announcing he can lick anyone in the bar– to back up its contentions with facts and arguments. Such facts and arguments are lacking, he taunts (in an Eric Cartman voice?), for the obvious reason that none exist.

When people like Stephan Kinsella call his bluff, Quinn generally manages to weasel out of it. Most recently, Quinn was scheduled to debate David Koepsell, but at the last minute cancelled because he (ahem) got sick. Quinn, in lieu of the original debate format, later participated in a pathetic exchange of soundbites on the Laura Flanders show.

The weightiest of Quinn’s “unanswerable” points is the supposed insufficiency of marginal cost-based pricing for recouping high R&D costs.

Quinn’s argument assumes an obsolete industrial model, and ignores the extent to which the capital-intensiveness and overhead cost of innovation itself are themselves affected by IP. Patents can tip the balance between alternative business models, promoting an artificially high-capitalized, high-overhead, bureaucratic model of R&D.

Patents are one way of dealing with R&D cost. But another way is modular design, which economizes on development cost by reusing the same R&D effort for a particular module or platform over a wide family of products.

Open source, P2P design models may also be considerably cheaper because they are more agile (see Eric Raymond, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”); for example, homebrew CNC machine tools generally achieve Factor 10 or Factor 20 cost reductions over their proprietary equivalents.

Patents also tip the balance toward less agile forms of production in another way: the legal process of securing a patent is an enormous outlay that can only be amortized by large-batch production.

And the process of gaming the patent system diverts R&D dollars into some very wasteful avenues. For example, most drug R&D cost goes, not to developing the version actually marketed, but to securing patent lockdown on all the major possible variants (so a competitor won’t market a rival drug).

Artificial property rights are a source of additional capitalization costs and overhead.

Also, studies have shown that the total productivity benefits from the cumulative effects of incrementally tweaking designs, and all the other Hayekian stuff that goes with a tinkerer observing a technology in operation and fiddling with it, outweigh those from major generational leaps. So an IP regime that incentivizes major generational leaps, while erecting transaction costs against derivative development, seems of questionable benefit.

Defenses of both patents and copyright based on the inadequacy of marginal cost pricing to recoup up-front outlays are wrong-headed in another way.

The only effect of abolishing IP is to do away with monopoly rents from design or content ownership as such. It doesn’t affect the rents that result from the transaction costs of setting up production, or from being first to market and knowing one’s market better than the competition.

These things, which all fall under the head of what Chris Anderson calls “freemium,” are sources of value that would exist even without rents from IP as such. So it’s still possible to make money from being first mover, and from the authentication advantages that come with being identified as the product’s developer; you just can’t make as much money from it.

High among “freemium” services, for the majority who value time and convenience along with bare price, is authenticity: buying a copy that’s certified to be complete, defect-free, and in the format you need.

And in general, the person who originally develops a product is likely to have a better knowledge of his market, and be in a better position to profit from an ongoing relationship with his market as he develops products geared to their particular needs — especially if he also serves the market through customization and customer support.

Shakespeare worked without copyright, which meant he made money by actually performing the plays with his theater company. That meant, in turn, that he got lots and lots of little piles of money from keeping on writing plays and performing them, instead of collecting a big pile from a one-hit wonder.

BTW: Most of Shakespeare’s work was done on the folk culture model, with heavy reliance on mashups from other storytellers, and hence would be illegal under modern copyright law.

In the realm of physical production, the first company to develop a new product will have first-mover rents for the time it takes to duplicate the process. After that, it will have rents from customer goodwill. That goodwill will include the common sense assumption that the company will be best at offering upgrades to a product it originally developed, and will probably be the most reliable source of customer support.

To sum up: the producers who find themselves being driven out of business by competition based on marginal cost are generally the corporate dinosaurs who CAN’T survive without monopoly rents on IP, because they really are too stupid to think of any other way to make money.-Gene Quinn: Patent Twit of the Week

Arrogant statist jackass Gene Quinn had a response, nicely summed up by Stephan Kinsella:

I don’t mean to be cruel. But poor Quinn’s post on his site about this is so appallingly inept, it displays such a lack of intellectual acumen and facility in the rudiments of intelligent discourse, that one can only feel embarrassed for him. I’m going to be charitable and assume that his strength lies in patent law. It seems to me that Quinn is doing this all as a schtick for getting clients. It’s just heat and noise to him, a way to flash and make casual onlookers think he’s involved and knows what he’s talking about. It’s a way to make clients think he’s passionate about their cause, in some political sense. But it’s not serious argumentation.

Quinn seems to think it's some kind of an argument to attack those he disagrees with by pointing out that they "are the same ones that think all laws are illegitimate and that the consensus opinion is that income taxes are illegal". He asks: "Do you want to be associated with such lunacy or trust the economic future of the US to the positions of those who think the government is illegitimate?"

Yes, Gene, those of us who have broken free of state brainwashing do indeed think that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are "illegitimate" as you put it. That the destructive and cruel War On Drugs is illegitimate. That the destruction of the economy by deficit spending, incentive destroying taxation and the creation of fiat money is illegitimate. And on the economy, nothing could be funnier or more ironic than Quinn's line about the economy and who do you trust? as we head into what may be another Great Depression, created, of course, by that very same government that Gene Quinn wants us all to trust so much.

To pro-state shills like Quinn, it's lunacy to refuse to love Big Brother and to fail to fall in line like a good little unquestioning sheeple.

Related Posts with Thumbnails