Friday, August 27, 2010

i'm noticing a pattern

update & bump - read below

many years ago, my friend's dad was a long time santa fe railroad worker. just before the santa fe and burlington northern railroads merger, the atsf management began to (as he put it) "make his life more difficult", primarily with a couple of senseless relocations, and with other bureaucratic headaches of various types. from previous experience, he knew all of those were intended to get him to retire early, and not collect the final (and highest) tiers of retirement benefits.

several years ago, as mom's company was being bought out, she noticed several examples of similar managerial tricks being used to dissuade their employees from holding out for the severance package due to them.

this year, my company is in merger talks, and (while not being forced to relocate) i have been subjected to a larger number of anti-sensical bureaucratic headaches than in any previous year of my employment there.

coincidence? i think not!


i just hope the severance package is enough to hold me until obama's out and the economy recovers...


another pattern to be noticed:

after about seven years at a previous job, my then-boss decided to hold a series of meetings to expound some anthony-robbins-type of self-improvement principles he had found. though his method of presenting them was not particularly obnoxious, he did not realize what little motivation we would have to take "life lessons" from such a quirky (and pornography-addicted) scatterbrain.

at the time, that episode reminded me of a scene i had read (possibly in the h.h.g.g. trilogy) where the protagonist goes to ask advice of some acclaimed guru. when he arrives, he discovers (and the guru admits) that the guru is actually poor, sick, smelly, and hated by all his neighbors. the guru then tells the protagonist to "only follow my advice if you want to end up like me".

i quit that job within a few weeks.

fast-forwarding to today: it was suggested that i attend a "career path seminar" that was presented at work. though i actually like the supervisor who suggested it, the presenter was someone who represents everything i hope to avoid in my life and career.

now, while i'm not quitting this job without a safety net, i refuse to become a smarmy loud-mouthed suck-up for any reason, including getting or keeping a job or promotion.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

normal people don’t desire to spend other people’s money

When America's founding fathers...
designed our government, they put in a bunch of measures to protect us from being pushed around by tyrants.... basically we traded having one big, petty tyrant pushing us around for a bunch of little, even pettier tyrants all competing to push us around.

the palestinian problem

how did this phase start?
During the 1948 war and for many years afterward, the Western world — including the international Left — expressed hardly any moral outrage about the Palestinian refugees. This had nothing to do with Western racism or colonialism and much to do with recent history. The fighting in Palestine had broken out only two years after the end of the costliest military conflict ever, in which the victors exacted a terrible price on the losers... (particularly) the 11 million ethnic Germans living in Central and Eastern Europe — civilians all — who were expelled from their homes and force-marched to Germany by the Red Army, with... the approval of Roosevelt and Churchill.

Historians estimate that 2 million died on the way. Around the same time, the Indian subcontinent was divided into two new countries, India and Pakistan; millions of Hindus and Muslims moved from one to the other, and hundreds of thousands died in related violence. Against this background, the West was not likely to be troubled by the exodus of a little more than half a million Palestinians after a war launched by their own leaders.

the benefits of unemployment

Viewpoint: "Giving (the unemployed) another 20 weeks of leisure seems rather counterproductive and unfair to taxpayers":
No doubt there are people who struggle assiduously to find work but can't and who deserve some help. Nevertheless, it seems to me that the responsible thing to do is to provide assistance only to those who are really trying to help themselves. To simply dole out cash without monitoring the effort made by the recipients isn't charitable, it's foolish... Two years is more than long enough for those who refuse the jobs available to them or who decline to even look for work.

those wacky peaceniks...

...sure are getting violent

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

they vote no

via dustbury: "This "Obama is a Muslim" bit won't fly with me. You'll first have to prove that BHO worships something other than himself."

via imao: "Obama’s too competent at destroying America to be a Muslim terrorist."


school wants to track students

apple wants to track users

google wants to track users

these aren't the mark of the beast, they're just dress rehearsals...

blogging license

i say the city of philadelphia owes me $300 for the mental anguish of having to post about this nonsense ;)

that deficit graph

obama's sending our economy straight to h-e-double-hockeysticks...

Monday, August 23, 2010

ugh, that sounds correct

Symantec via Tom's Hardware: 92% of Emails are Spam


update: at least one of them has some unintentional "truth in advertising"...
The original message was received at Tue, 24 Aug 2010 02:53:52 +0200
from [#.#.#.#]

----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
(reason: Can't create output)

----- Transcript of session follows -----
procmail: Quota exceeded while writing "/everymail/home/sucker/Maildir/tmp/"
550 5.0.0 Can't create output
these days, there's a sucker born every nanosecond ;)

Friday, August 20, 2010

makezine in china

in the geopolitical context of stories like these, what (if anything) should we think about this?

in general i like makezine's blog, and the self-reliance and creativity it promotes, but this... not so much...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

not to build

there should be no question.

wasn't that marvin the martian...

...who got very angry indeed? not this time. referring to a different fictitious alien, lileks, "
almost lost my temper today, and as St. Yoda has noted, Anger leads to violence, violence leads to suffering, suffering leads to misquotes, or whatever . . . the freakin’ frog-goblin said.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Real Americans have had ENOUGH!:
The contempt for ordinary Americans displayed by the ruling class is reaching critical mass. There may never have been a time in American history when the governing, academic, cultural, and media elites have been more manifestly disdainful of the country’s values, traditions, principles, and people.

Individuals who express sincere concerns that the polices and practices of the elites are imperiling the nation’s economy and security are branded as racists and xenophobes by the anointed...

The same elites who lecture incessantly refuse to listen to the racist rabble populating flyover country. They have no problem listening, apologizing, and bowing obsequiously to our declared enemies, but insist on acting imperiously toward their fellow Americans.

When thousands flooded town-hall meetings to express opposition to Obamacare, they got Obamacare shoved down their throats. When twenty states sued,... legal elites scoffed that the Commerce Clause permits the federal government to compel the unenlightened to eat their vegetables. And when 71 percent of Missouri voters rejected the abominable bill, Robert Gibbs proclaimed that the vote meant “nothing.”

It’s certainly evident that it was, indeed, “nothing” to the ruling class. That class will pass a 2,000-page, $800 billion spending bill without even reading it. They will “redistribute” billions from disfavored groups to favored constituencies. They will rack up ethics charges like frequent-flier miles. They will take over giant car companies and financial institutions despite never having run so much as a pop stand. They will drop missile defense and open our borders because we’ve been on the wrong side of history all these years. They will shut down oil drilling in the Gulf, thereby sacrificing the livelihoods of thousands, without any empirical justification whatsoever. They will abandon our nation’s allies and embrace our enemies for no other reason than that it’s a different policy than George W. Bush’s. They will prosecute Navy SEALs but wink at the release of convicted terrorists. They will exhibit galactic ineptitude in cleaning the Gulf but assure us they can completely reorder the economy in response to the non-debateable evidence of global warming. They will raise our taxes so that our comparatives in the federal government can be paid twice as much as we are. They will sue Arizona for doing the job they refuse to do themselves. They will grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants by bureaucratic fiat. They will tell us what light bulbs to use, how much fat we may have in our diets, and how much water we may have in our toilets...

Perhaps in the recent past, with a compliant, JournoList-infected media providing cover, they could do anything. Not anymore. Americans have had enough.
(only slightly edited, to make room for this related next excerpt)
...governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

the keynes is dead!

keep him that way!
If there’s one positive to come out of the Great Recession, it should be the end of Keynesian economics as a serious policy choice. The notion you can grow the economy via North Korea-style command economics should have been long-dead... but Obama’s miserable failure may finally drive a stake through this productivity-sucking, economy-killing meme...


Government spending is not demand, it is command spending. To “aggregate” it with private sector demand is like counting your dog’s ringworm as a “pet” on a census form, at least for purposes of stimulating the economy. It does not follow the same rules as private sector spending, as it is always seized and distributed according to law/fiat by bureaucrats indifferent to costs and benefits, not exchanged consensually between self-interested private parties seeking to maximize their utility. That’s why Keynesianism is “unexpectedly” falling flat on its face before our eyes: it relies on a fallacious aggregation.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

yes it's an accident

...but it's also a great metaphor for the damage caused by the hot air blown by most politicians.


(to rephrase)

multiculturalism: all those bad customs that everyone came to the US to get away from

Saturday, August 07, 2010

i'm ba-aaack!

...having set a new personal record for miles driven in one day(-ish) : about 660 - Oakley KS to Amarillo TX - 10am Fri to 5pm Fri, Amarillo TX to Fort Worth TX - 11pm Fri to 5am Sat.

Other numbers of (dubious) note:
  • Grand total of miles driven this vacation: 4360 (ranks 3rd on my list)
  • Number of pictures taken: 1265 (hooray digital!)
  • Number of short detours just to take pictures: at least two dozen
  • Number of states I visited for the first time: 5 - ID, MT, SD, IA, NE
  • Number of annoying billboards seen on I-90 in South Dakota: eleventy-jillion-and-seventy-three
  • Number of presidential faces seen on Mount Rushmore: 4
  • Number of minutes before sundown I arrived at Devil's Tower: 16
  • Number of fat old motorcyclists seen: several hundred
  • Number of unreachable bug bites around my left shoulder blade: 4
  • Number of double rainbows seen: 3
  • Number of drives along the SD Badlands: 2
  • Average number of minutes per morning I wasted watching the Weather Channel show anything except actual weather: 23
  • Number of most-frequented motel: 6
  • Number of inexplicable new holes in my car's front right wheel well: 1
  • Number of spam emails received in those 11 days I was gone: 735