Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Grateful Dead

Or, an incentive to murder our employees.

[Acme Shit] is an equal opportunity employer and offers a comprehensive benefits package including: medical, dental, vision, 401k, paid time off, company sponsored life insurance, long term disability, flexible spending account options, and a pro-active and accessible HR department that focuses on the staff's health and happiness.

Company sponsored life insurance? Hmm…

Business life insurance can help you meet the needs of your employees. More often than not, employees are not only looking for better wages or compensation; they are also looking for better insurance benefits. One very cost-effective solution to this problem is to offer your employees life insurance through your business.

In fact, you'd be surprised how many people actually don't have any life insurance at all. [In my line of business, we call them "the sane."] Therefore, employer-sponsored life insurance can prove to be very attractive — for the purposes of employee retention or attracting new talent.

Most of the time, employees are grateful to have been offered any sort of life insurance coverage. [???]

Offering life insurance to your employees is relatively cheap and makes a very attractive fringe benefit that every employee will appreciate. So, if you're considering different methods to better retain quality employees, then offering company-sponsored life insurance should be one of the first benefits you offer.

Life insurance? Grateful? Why would I want life insurance? I might just as well tattoo "murder me" on my forehead?!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Alex = Cool History / Lit Geek

(HT to Kent McManigal.)

My nerd test result: says I'm a Cool History / Lit Geek.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!

From this time forward, you'll hold the title:

Cool History / Lit Geek

Carry it proudly!

Monday, March 28, 2011

No Bucks without Buck Rogers

Here's a great article on the "heroic" folly that is human space flight.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Friends of Gaddafi

In other news, the Libertarian Party (LP) officially renamed itself Friends of Gaddafi (FroG).

The French protested, as they are already called frogs and are not friends of Gaddafi.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Immorality of Low Flow Toilets

Rand Paul complained to the looters about invasive environmental regulation in general and that his low flow toilet doesn't work in particular. Now the hippies believe if they buy him a working low flow toilet, they're off the hook and he's bound to give in.

If he doesn't, it's allegedly not his toilet that's full of shit, but he. Turns out it's the hippies that are full of shit. Again, the hippies are trying to delude everyone, most desperately themselves, with green smoke and water mirrors.

Yet the problem is not clogged toilets or expensive, harmful light bulbs. This is not a mechanical, but a moral problem. Fascism — a nominally free system where all decisions are made and enforced by the state — is not OK, even if the toilets run on time.

And often, they do not:

Most waterless urinals however do not remove odor staining on the surface of the urinals, if not normally cleaned. Even when maintained according to recommendations, flushless urinals emit a fish-like odor that most people find unpleasant. In February, 2010, the headquarters of the California EPA removed waterless urinals that were installed in 2003 due to "hundreds of complaints" including odors and splashed urine on the floors.

As Ayn Rand observed, in the long run, the moral is always the practical and immorality always impractical. Even if you don't mind being told at gunpoint what to do.

Don't build another dam; lower the water in the toilet. The hippies say that for desirable innovation and progress, the government has to set the bar, and the market has to clear it. But what they do not tell you is what the producers would have done with their money, resources, and time if they had not been busy for years jumping through hoops, lowering the water in toilet bowls, getting those pesky low flow toilets to work.

Now, maybe the producers in question would have spent their resources going golfing, like Obama spends his worthless time. Or maybe these resources would have been allocated to finding a cure for cancer. (One presumes that Obama's and his taxpayer-funded leisure class' penchant for golf and madness bracketing makes them believe the former.)

We simply do not know. What we do know is that the decision was not made by businessmen, engineers, and scientists, but by the people's democratically elected representatives, whose concern is not the conquest of nature, but the conquest of men.

Those representatives in turn were chosen in an election where the sage and the village idiot have an equal vote. What's more, generally neither the people nor their representatives have any expertise in the fields where they presume to enforce their final solutions at gunpoint.

If water shortages do become a problem, like maybe in the Southwest, the solution has to be decided by the market, where the number of "votes" one person gets is determined by their productivity. In a democracy, every last moron gets an equal vote. In capitalism, productive people, being richer, have more power than unproductive people, and people who are affected by the problem, being more willing to spend money on it, have more say than carpet-bagging activists.

The first commenter who tries to refute that by anecdotal evidence wins a toaster. Only that no dead tree toaster will be delivered to you, as my contribution to cutting unnecessary "carbon." In the spirit of environmentalism, progress, networking, and replacing mechanics with electronics, I'll get you an e-toaster.

Obviously, democracy is not absolutely evil, and capitalism is not absolutely good. Even in democracy, the rich sometimes have more power than the poor. Even in capitalism, human beings make mistakes.

It's just that capitalism works way better than democracy. Do you generally get better service from private businesses or from your friendly neighborhood government?

In times memorial, there has never been a completely capitalist society. Even in the times of the Old West, which may have been the closest the world has come the capitalist ideal, there was a Washington, DC, and a federal government doling out subsidies and favors.

Yet in the past, the follies made were at least pro-man follies much of the time. The first transcontinental railroad, Hoover Dam, the Apollo program, the New York World Trade Center, the eradication of smallpox — railroads, dams, rockets, buildings, and medicines for which there was not yet a market. But if government-funded follies they were, they were nevertheless heroic follies.

From the follies the man-hating green government is sponsoring today, man won't profit in the foreseeable future. They're exclusively for the protection of Mono Lake and of hypothetical ice bears from a probably imaginary global warming.

If anybody wants to protect Mono Lake or the like, they should please spend their own money, resources, and time on it. I might even give them a twenty or so, particularly if that means I never have to see the government again.

And anyone who believes they have a human right to potable water without producing it or paying for it, or that anybody else has a duty to provide it to them free of charge: Go squeeze turnips.

Quote of the Day

"Do what thy manhood bids thee do, / From none but self expect applause: / He noblest lives and noblest dies / Who makes and keeps his self-made laws."

— Richard Francis Burton

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Moral Lacuna of Libertarianism

"We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his own people that there will be no mercy."

The Obama

Little did I expect I'd ever have to side with Obama against Ron Paul.

While nation building like in Iraq is not a good idea — the war there should have ended the day Saddam was caught — and it may be legitimate to speak of a welfare-warfare state in that context, the vicious, inhuman nature of the libertarian extremist anti-war attitude is now in plain sight.

While this was going on…

Meantime, hundreds of cars full of civilians headed out of the city, a Reuters correspondent said.

"Do we have to wait till he (Gadhafi) kills us all before the (world) acts. We are very disappointed," said Adel Mansoura, an air traffic controller fleeing with his family.

"When we heard the U.N. resolution, we were very happy and thought we had our freedom but now we have been left on our own to the killers," he said at a petrol station where dozens of other cars lined for fuel as they fled.

The head of the rebel National Libyan Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, said the international community must act swiftly to protect civilians from Gadhafi's forces.

"Now there is a bombardment by artillery and rockets on all districts of Benghazi," he told Al Jazeera television. "The international community is late in intervening to save civilians from Gadhafi's forces."

"Today in Benghazi there will be a catastrophe if the international community does not implement the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council," he said. "We appeal to the international community, to the all the free world, to stop this tyranny from exterminating civilians."

…Ron Paul had this to say:

"Last week we once again heard numerous voices calling for intervention in Libya. Most say the US should establish a 'no-fly' zone over Libya, pretending that it is a benign, virtually cost-free action,"

Yes, it is.

"…and the least we could do to assist those trying to oust the Gaddaffi regime."

You bet.

"Let us be clear about one thing: for the US to establish a 'no fly' zone over all or part of Libya would constitute an act of war against Libya. Establishing any kind of military presence in the sovereign territory…"

Glad to see that the mystic and meaningless title "sovereign nation" still is a license to murder.

"The administration has stated that nothing is off the table as they discuss US responses to the unrest. This sort of talk is alarming on so many levels. Does this mean a nuclear strike is on the table? Apparently so."

Behold the death of a weak argument from ludicrous hyperbole.

"In this case, I would like to make sure we actually follow the black letter of the law provided in the Constitution that explicitly grants congress the sole authority to declare war. …the president … would have no authority to engage in hostilities because we have not been attacked…"

If a government like Gaddafi's slaughters the people it pretends to protect, any other nation or any private organization has an absolute right to go in and help the victims defend themselves, while taking any reasonable measure to avoid collateral damage. This is a natural right stemming from every individual's human right to life, which takes precedence over any national or international law, which at this point becomes null and void.

Anybody who would put the law above human lives is less than a human being.

"This is not our fight."

Where have I heard that before? Ah, yes, appeasing the nazis. Now, that was a good idea.

So if you ever see Ron Paul assaulted, like when BrĂ¼no tries to ass rape him again or a Gaddafi terrorist aims a missile at his plane, don't help Paul. He wouldn't want it.

Boy, am I glad that clown didn't get elected. (Never thought I'd say that.) Obama may be even more cowardly than the French, but at least he's been shamed into action instead of clinging to his delusions. Turns out Obama is indeed a better, or at least a less evil, person than Ron Paul.

"We don't have the money for more military interventions overseas… We have to rely on the Fed's printing presses and our ability to borrow from China to fund these wars."

A couple missiles and some jet fuel won't drive the budget over the brink. But if it need be to help human beings being slaughtered while fighting for their freedom, keep the presses rolling and palm off another couple billion dollars in bonds on the Chinese.

As far as I am concerned, Paul and his ilk of Libertarian peaceniks have crossed the moral event horizon. If the French are braver than you, you're doing something wrong.

How, then, do minarchist libertarians and objectivists arrive at such delusions?

Minarchism and more narrowly objectivism hold that there must be governments, or else there would be chaos — which is somehow bad. Also, for some reason there's no world government — as would be logical if there were one "objective" set of laws — but mankind is arbitrarily divided into countries, or nation states, or rather tribes.

Every tribe has a government to pacify, arbitrate between the members of, and defend only its own tribe, as governments must be funded by enforced taxation, and it would be wrong to use that money forcibly collected for the "common defense" of our tribe to unselfishly and altruistically defend a foreign tribe.

What's more, our soldiers enlisted to defend their own families and tribesmen. Thus, they will readily fight for the worst scum, if only it belongs to our tribe, but it would be wrong to expect them to fight for worthless foreigners, be it defenseless women and children or whatever.

Thus, objectivism and minarchist libertarianism both evict themselves from the realm of morality. Belief systems that encourage their followers to idly stand by while a few miles away mass murder is committed, which they could prevent at little cost or risk to themselves, cannot claim to be moral in any way, shape, or form.

Ayn Rand, who founded objectivism and injected it with her mistaken notion of minarchism, correctly observed that a morality is a code to sustain human life, and that self-sacrifice is immoral. (Why would you value anyone's life more highly than your own?) Yet these two belief systems she shaped forbid saving life even if no self-sacrifice is involved and thus become self-contradictory and, at least in their politics, invalid. Minarchist libertarianism, which unlike objectivism is not a comprehensive philosophy, but merely a political ideology, is thus completely invalidated.

Now, what's the difference between minarchist libertarianism and anarchist libertarianism, between objectivism and (anarcho-)capitalism? Let's stick with the example of the Libyan civil war.

On an objectivist aircraft carrier, the captain would address his crew like this:

"As we get our funding from American taxpayers, and you enlisted to protect only America, we are not authorized to defend foreigners. Therefore, we'll sit here, waiting for a direct threat to America to emerge, enjoying the Mediterranean sun, and watching those bloody foreigners getting slaughtered. Their problem if they can't by themselves handle the dictator of the country allotted to them."

This is the moral bankruptcy of objectivism, or at least of libertarian politics. (In fairness I should point out that the better sort of objectivists finds a workaround for that dilemma by declaring that helping freedom fighters is in the US national interest or that every human life has an intrinsic value.)

On a capitalist aircraft carrier, the captain would address his crew like this:

"We get paid for defending our customers, and you signed on to fight on their behalf. However, every once in a while, we hand out free samples to people who are not yet our customers, like those Libyans over there. If anyone of you has a problem fighting for Libyans, there's the gangway."

This is the moral nature of capitalism.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Why I Am Not Worried about Japan's Nuclear Reactors

(HT to Joshua Zader.)

Very timely. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, eco-terrorists!

And stop bitching either about your "global warming" delusions* or about your "nuclear energy is unsafe" delusions. You can have only one or the other.

Unless you want to return man to the age of the windmill. And it that case, you're truly insane.

Update: "Fukushima Is a Triumph for Nuke Power: Build More Reactors Now!"

"You might say that I was the only one whose health was affected by that reactor near Harrisburg. No, that would be wrong. It was not the reactor. It was Jane Fonda. Reactors are not dangerous."

Edward Teller

* Or are you calling those delusions "climate change" now?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chris Ward Couldn't Make Money with Plates

Port Authority honcho Chris Ward couldn't make money if you sent him the printing plates in a gift box.

Developers of 1 World Trade Center have abruptly scratched plans for a Windows on the World-type restaurant on the top floors of the iconic, 1,776-foot-tall tower now rising downtown.

Plans for the eatery … were shelved due to concerns about design and construction costs and the difficulty of finding a restaurateur willing to run a likely money-losing operation, sources said.

"These things are always money-losers. We think we can achieve a far better financial return given the [quality of the] space and avoid all the complexities," Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said.

The former owners of Tavern on the Green, the Strip House chain, and Windows on the World itself were among many restaurateurs who expressed interest in taking on a reborn Windows.

"In 2000, its final full year of operation, it reported revenues of US$37 million, making it the highest-grossing restaurant in the United States."

Windows on the World is a license for printing money. If you can't make money with that, it's a miracle you can find the way to your refrigerator to ward off death by starvation. Does your wife keep feeding you, Chrissy Snow-Ward?

The only loser here is you, Chrissy. You couldn't find your own ass with a map and GPS.

I expect your immediate resignation. The only reason you don't is that you'd starve, as you couldn't even run a hot dog stand.

" 'We do not build vanity projects at the top of tall buildings,' said PA Executive Director Chris Ward."

But you do build vanity projects next door to tall buildings, huh? Like that pointless mega-memorial Disneyland of Death?

" 'We are committed to finding the highest, best, and most practical use for this space — one that does not require subsidizing a restaurant with public money for years to come,' he said."

So what do you morons want to put there instead? Thanks to that coward Silverstein, there aren't going to be any offices at a decent height like that.

So what are you going to put onto those floors? More mechanical and communications equipment, like you wasted the other upper floors on?

I want my restaurant back, you government-funded imbeciles!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Man to English Dictionary, Lesson One

(The companion volume to the RLC Woman to English Dictionary.)

Man: "But you've got a boyfriend!"

English: "I don't find you attractive (enough to backstab a bro)."

Man: "What's your boyfriend got to do with anything?"

English: "I want to jump you."

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

That's Chutzpah

When the mail hits your eye like a slap from blue sky
That's chutzpah
When the world seems to honk like something's gonna plonk
That's chutzpah

Certain friend of a friend snubbed me on Facebook, but put my email on his business email list.

There isn't even an unsubscribe link in that spam mail.