The Happy Slave

This is my surrender to the Powers that Be, who wish we all were just happy little slaves, tooling along without a care in the world, doing what our better-educated masters tell us to do, not daring to step out of line. I'm so bad at surrender...

Location: Indianapolis, United States

I'm an old-fashioned Get-out-of-my-face-atarian. So long as the gubmint left me alone, I had no problems with it. Gubmint wants to run my life, so I'm doing something about it. (Not just blogging, either.)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Got me good threads.

As a break from my tedious political drivel, I'm going to talk about new suits. I bought me a few last week. Now, that's no big deal for some of you, but the last time I got a suit, they were always three-piece, and anybody who wanted to look good had a double vent. I consented to two-piecers, but I insisted on two buttons instead of three. I've never been rail-thin, and you've got to be rail-thin to look good in those Italianate three-button suits. Nothing wrong with Italianate suits, they can look pretty darn good on the right guy, but I'm not that guy. This time, I broke with family "tradition" and got wool instead of "blend" or (even worse) 100% synthetic--from a clothier, even paid for tailoring. Now, as you'd guess, I had to go with bigger measurements after many moons, but I was floored at what measurements had to be bigger. My waist hadn't changed since freshman college, but my chest went up four inches! I guess moving heavy things every weekend pays off. My neck also went up two inches--so there are some tradeoffs.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Stuck on Stupid State

There is a state in our union that so very often produces bizarre stories and stupid behavior that a weird news story site has given it its own special category. I refer, of course, to the state of Florida. Once again, Florida proves that it is stuck on stupid. In an effort to deal with the housing bubble, the idiots in the Senility State have decided to give handouts to everybody who makes less than about $70,000 per year. Let's think about that. We have a housing bubble, home prices are obscenely inflated. What is the government's "solution"? Hand out money to keep the prices inflated! This program ultimately will only help real-estate speculators and similar fatcats. A market so excessively high needs to crash now, because it will eventually crash, no matter what the government does. If it crashes later, it will be worse than if it crashes now. Government handout scams for "affordable housing" will only prolong the illness and make things far worse when the inevitable crash happens. What "should" government do? Government should let the market determine. If an area is too expensive for the middle income family to live in (see below on "middle income"), then middle income families have every right to go somewhere affordable. It's part of that whole "freedom of movement" right we have. Now, as for what constitutes "middle income", a lot of geeks (especially, unfortunately, Libertarian geeks) are severely out of touch when it comes to evaluating income levels. Here's a dose of reality: According to the US Census, the "median" (that's "middle" for those of you who can't handle simple statistics) US household income is around $44,000 per year. That's gross income, by the way. Of course, the "exact middle" is not too broad, so let's say that "middle income" is the income of the "middle third" of the population. It's a rational category. So, what would we get if we use this? "Lower income" (the lowest 1/3 of the population) would be $0 to $27.5k, "middle income" would be $27.5k to $65k. Everybody above $65k would, by impartial and objective mathematic criteria, be upper income. It's simple math--if you have the income of the highest 1/3 of the population, you are "upper"--on a three-tier system. So you out-of-touch wastrels who whine about how you just "can't get buy" on less than $100k only show the extent of your lack of thrift. Feel free to whine to me about how "hard" your lives are. Those of us familiar with the real world will give you all the sympathy you deserve. What does it say about our attitudes when we have decided the best way to deal with a mass market (housing) that has priced itself out of the reach of 2/3 of the population requires government subsidies? Think about that. I predict that most of you won't think at all about the matter. If idle speculators wish to price themselves out of the market, they deserve to lose their investments.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Callahans not welcome on Yahoo

Once again, we get proof that some people really need to get outside once in a while. Verizon has deemed the name "Callahan" to be unacceptable. Why did they do this? Because "Callahan" has the letter combination "allah" in it! Hardcore compugeeks (I'm of the softcore variety, myself--I have these things called "children" and a "wife" who even speaks to me) really shouldn't try their hand at social engineering, it only reveals how utterly inept they are at real life. Yes, it's technically Yahoo doing this, but Verizon owns Yahoo, so Verizon is ultimately responsible for Yahoo's policies. Note that names like "allchristiansmustdie" are perfectly okay with Verizon. So are names like "killeveryarab", "hitlerismylord", "aryanpower4evah", "wipeoutniggaz", "slaughterthosejews", "nuke_dem_jews", and many others. However, anything containing "Callahan" is prohibited. I guess Verizon hates Irishmen.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Putting my foot further in.

Well, I'm putting my foot further in. Can someone explain to me how it is that a taxation system will reduce EVERYBODY'S tax bill and still remain revenue-neutral? "Fair Tax" is a shell game, a scam, a con-job designed to delude the dogmatic and fantasists while distracting from the fact that its proponents have done nothing at all serious about cutting spending. "Fair Tax" is nothing but rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. How many times does this have to be said before it sinks in? I don't give a Flying Vonnegut about whether or not something might or might not be part of an "anarcho-capitalist" pie-in-the-sky political fantasy. From my standpoint, it's pretty much the same-old same-old. Connected fat-cats get their built-in exemption ("investment properties"); the proposed system has built-in social engineering ("investment properties"); and nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, as in nothing at all is built in for mandatory spending cuts. How long are people going to blindly let these "Fair Tax" shills piddle down their legs and tell them it's raining? Cut spending first. Until I see some massive spending cuts coming from the people who natter on about "Fair Tax", I will not believe a single claim they make about it. Something is up. It promises to be too much for too many people. It's too slick to trust. It's a floor wax and a dessert topping!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Fair taxes vs. "Fair Tax".

Okay, I'm going to do it. I'm going to alienate the few remaining totalitarian Libertarians who aren't already burning me in effigy. I do not like Fair Tax. There, I said it, and I said it in public. I don't like it, I just don't like it. It stinks. The Mises Institute explains it all better on many levels than I could, with one exception. In addition to all the problems mentioned for the Fair Tax and inherent in any consumption tax in general, the "Fair Tax" has an inherent unfairness built into it. It exempts properties used for "investment" purposes. Where one exemption is permitted, another will be permitted, and the exemptions will be stretched. Once again, government will shift tax burdens around until we're as bad or worse off than before. Likewise any tax exemption is merely a form of social engineering, and how could any libertarian of any stripe approve of social engineering on the part of government? Finally, Fair Tax and all similar proposals are foredoomed if they are meant to fix the economic drain that is our government. None of these proposals have any sort of mandatory spending cuts built in. All Fair Tax does is redesign how the money is extorted from people. In other words, Fair Tax is ultimately rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Not only will it turn out to be useless, but it will be a deadly distraction from actually dealing with the real problem, out-of-control and bloated government.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

RealID is a free pass for terrorists.

Remember how RealID was sneaked in through the back door? Remember what the hardcore Soviet-style totalitarians who wanted to implement it said it would do? It would magically make us all "safer" by requiring RFID in all drivers licenses in the USA. Well, guess what! As usual, when dealing with totalitarian goons, they were nothing but a pack of liars. It is possible to "sniff" and CLONE a RFID tag! And "security" chips can be cloned, too! That's right. Running around with all of these RFID-based identifications will make it EASIER for terrorists to pass themselves off in the USA, now. Thank you, George W. Bush and your merry band of neosoviets. You have made us even more vulnerable to terrorism by your police-state tactics. Now, we can be even worse than East Germany. Hooray for the Republican party for being a bunch of freedom-hating anti-Americans and backing it, and hooray for the Democratic party for being too cowardly to fight it.

Friday, February 03, 2006

More Muhammedy goodness!

Somebody's got a good site over the whole Muhammed cartoon kerfuffle. Y'know, I used to be ashamed of some of my fellow rednecks, then I learned more about the rest of the world. Today, all rednecks can hold their heads up high for their cosmopolitan attitudes and sophisticated enlightenment by comparison.

Looney? I didn't know the meaning of loonie!

Okay, I have to admit it, but I hate admitting it. I actually agree with Neal Boortz. This is just scary, but it's not nearly as scary as the hardcore, totalitarian, dirka-dirka fascist response of "the Muslim world" to nothing but a few stupid cartoons. Dear dimwitted religious fanatics: Get some clues and get some lives worth living. Great day in the morning! Blasphemies get committed against Christianity far worse than this. There was one dimwit that did a "portrait" of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a big piece of elephant poo as part of her body! And let us not ignore this little "gem", shall we? Have Roman Catholics or the Orthodox Christians marched out by the thousands into the streets demanding that the government "punish" these guys? Did Catholic gunmen violate the museums in question the way Muslim gunmen assaulted an EU consulate? Have multiple Catholic hierarchs stated that no apology would be enough, but that the governments of the USA and the UK must "punish" not only the artists but the museums that "published" their works? No and no, again no and no. Of course not. That's because, whatever flaws we might have, most of us "high-church" style Christians at least understand the basic fundamentals of this little thing called "civilization". Y'know, Muslims used to be really good at the whole "civilization" thing, too--even better than Europeans. What happened? How'd they lose any and all sophistication or cosmopolitanism and turn into a bunch of narrow-minded, chanting, gun-toting religious bigots? So, if any Muslims read this, prove me wrong. State flat-out that, even if it might be blasphemous, in a modern, civilized country, artists have the legal right to be blasphemous and newspapers the legal right to publish blasphemy, even if you hate it to the core of your being. Prove me wrong. Flat out state, as a Muslim, that you believe there should be no punishment, whatsoever to the artists or newspaper for these cartoons. State, flat-out and without equivocation (that's "weasel words" for the Kentuckians in the audience) that, even though the cartoons are offensive and maybe even downright nasty, there is no legitimate call for using violence in response, it is completely wrong to use violence in response, there is absolutely NO JUSTIFICATION, WHATSOEVER, for the overblown and hyperbolic response of "the Muslim world" to just a handful of stupid cartoons. I lay down my gauntlet. No Muslim will identify himself as such and meet this challenge, because to do so would require being an enlightened individual who truly believed in basic and fundamental liberties.