19 November 2013

Denigrating Achievement

Thomas Sowel:
"The very word "achievement" has been replaced by the word "privilege" in many writings of our times. Individuals or groups that have achieved more than others are called "privileged" individuals or groups, who are to be resented rather than emulated.
The length to which this kind of thinking — or lack of thinking — can be carried was shown in a report on various ethnic groups in Toronto.
It said that people of Japanese ancestry in that city were the most "privileged" group there, because they had the highest average income.
What made this claim of "privilege" grotesque was a history of anti-Japanese discrimination in Canada, climaxed by people of Japanese ancestry being interned during World War II longer than Japanese-Americans.
If the concept of achievement threatens the prevailing ideology, the reality of achievement despite having obstacles to overcome is a deadly threat.
That is why the achievements of Asians in general — and of people like the young black man with no arms — make those on the left uneasy.
And why the achievements of people who created their own businesses have to be undermined by the president of the United States.
What would happen if Americans in general, or blacks in particular, started celebrating people like this armless young man, instead of trying to make heroes out of hoodlums?
Many of us would find that promising and inspiring. But it would be a political disaster for the left — which is why it is not likely to happen."

I'm glad I don't live in Seattle

Seattle... land of endless traffic, tons of gray, cold, rainy days, and rabid fruit bats:

"Seattle City Councilmember-elect shares radical idea with Boeing workers
Seattle City Councilmember-elect Kshama Sawant told Boeing machinists her idea of a radical option, should their jobs be moved out of state 
“The workers should take over the factories, and shut down Boeing’s profit-making machine,” Sawant announced to a cheering crowd of union supporters in Seattle’s Westlake Park Monday night.
This week, Sawant became Seattle’s first elected Socialist council member. She ran on a platform of anti-capitalism, workers’ rights, and a $15 per-hour minimum wage for Seattle workers."
 If you were thinking of opening a business in Seattle, you probably shouldn't. It isn't just this woman, after all: remember that thousands more idiots are the ones that elected her, and they would be your customers. 

12 October 2013

Don't Snatch The Pebble, Grasshopper

Scott Adam's Secret of Success: Failure:

Throughout my career I've had my antennae up, looking for examples of people who use systems as opposed to goals. In most cases, as far as I can tell, the people who use systems do better. The systems-driven people have found a way to look at the familiar in new and more useful ways.
To put it bluntly, goals are for losers. That's literally true most of the time. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds, you will spend every moment until you reach the goal—if you reach it at all—feeling as if you were short of your goal. In other words, goal-oriented people exist in a state of nearly continuous failure that they hope will be temporary.
If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize that you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction. Your options are to feel empty and useless, perhaps enjoying the spoils of your success until they bore you, or to set new goals and re-enter the cycle of permanent presuccess failure.
 Makes sense to me.

One example: debt elimination. If you're pursuing it, you're probably doing so because debt makes you unhappy.

As a goal, it can be done. And then what?

If it's a goal, you very well may reload yourself and pursue debt elimination again. So you become unhappy again so that you can be happy for a brief moment until you become unhappy again... That sucks.

You probably will incur debts again at a later date. That's a failure from the perspective of the goal-oriented approach. It's a mere event from the perspective of the system-driven approach.

If debt elimination is a byproduct of a system you build, and you consistently execute on that system, you don't have to think about it. It just happens. Your happiness will not be dependent on being debt free, but upon your tending to avoid it when possible, and to reduce and eliminate it when you can't avoid it.

Any wave is a tsunami in the case of the former; a wave may only rock your boat in the case of the latter, and a tsunami is actually a tsunami if one does come.

One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy. -- Aristotle

Goals are singular, finite things. They are inflexible, incapable of adaptation, can be knocked down, surpassed and diminished, etc. Whatever happiness they bring has an expiration date.

Systems can be perpetual, resilient,  and adaptable. Whatever happiness they bring is a byproduct, a "surplus" generated by a usefully functioning machine, if you will. It's an indication that the system works, and it can be maintained.

29 September 2013

This Is John Galt

From market-ticker.org, by Karl Denninger: It's Called Evolution, Gentlemen
In short, if you want it in two words, it's this: I'm done.
I choose instead of either active participation through funding of our government's BS or violence to peacefully withdraw my consent.  To refuse to labor.  To make do with less -- a lot less.  I choose to reduce my voluntary contribution to the tax hoard that is misspent or forms the foundation against which our government borrows, giving the proceeds to those who think that doping it up is a grand past-time or shoveling guns, missiles and money to terrorists while groping our grannies, using the very existence of the terrorists we gave the guns and missiles to as justification for what any civilized society would call sexual assault.
The portion of that which I earn by my efforts that I am able to retain in real terms shrinks by the day, and I have concluded that the balance of benefits and harms, especially the harms done to others using my tax dollars, is no longer acceptable to me.
My decision will not change until America changes.  Until it wakes up.  Until the people demand and the government of this county, this state and this nation recognize everyone's fundamental rights -- that shall not be infringed means what it says, that shall pass no law means what it says and all branches of government stop using taxpayer dollars to arm terrorists, maintain and promote medical monopolies, promote and empower banking cartels while excusing violence and fraud, both financial and corporeal, committed against the people of this nation by those entities and the agents of government itself. 
I have seen enough frauds committed by and with the active involvement of government to become convinced that this is what, in the main, my tax dollars are buying.  Whether it be Angela Corey's apparent intentional withholding of evidence from George Zimmerman's counsel (and now her firing of one of the people who tried to do the right thing), the rip-off of pension funds and the taxpayer through both looting of the funds and ridiculously over-promised rates of return or the literal thousands of citizens that have had their homes foreclosed upon through blatantly fraudulent process and perjured documents, enough is enough.
I will not accept mere political promises as they are rubber checks without a penalty for being fraudulently issued and over the last 20 years they have always bounced.  I instead demand action, indictments, prosecutions, break-ups of monopolies, impeachments, business closures, the end of deficit spending and reform. These are not discussion points, they are demands.  They are demands that I have every right to make because it is with the fruits of my hand and mind that this government has foisted upon the American people these frauds, costs and harms.  I have written too many large checks to the IRS over the years only to see this crap not only continue but accelerate in the harm done to our nation -- and especially our youth.
I hope, pray for and encourage others to also peacefully withdraw their consent.  If enough of us who are the producers in this nation do so then government will have no choice but to bow to our will or collapse.  My decision in this regard, if ratified by concurrence of just a small percentage of the population, represents what I believe is the only remaining lawful and peaceful way to accomplish that goal.
I'm on board. My own withdrawal of my productivity from the vampire that is the Federal government will take time, but I'm moving in that direction. I'm reorganizing my investments so that they are not Federally taxable (this does not include using IRA accounts, 401(k)'s, etc; I am dismantling mine before they are confiscated). I am eliminating my debts that generate interest income for the Feds and for their favored corporations. Ultimately, I will bring my personal productivity down to a level that they do not tap into, and/or into forms of voluntary trade with others that they cannot tax at all.

As the author says, it will only take enough of us, not all of us. The goal will be reached even faster if we put our government's creditors on notice that this is what we intend to do. Are you listening, China?

HT: Captain Capitalism

27 September 2013

Again, Ban All You Want, We'll Just Print More

Defense Distributed brings us yet closer to a fully 3D-printed firearm:

3D Printing Now Brings You Semiautomatic Pistols (The Better To Scare Control Freaks)
It's not yet ready for prime-time (it has yet to be tested), but 3D printing tinkerers have developed a design for a semiautomatic pistol. In fact, the developer says a full-automatic version would be easier to make with available materials. What a long way we've come, in just a few short months, toward the ultimate goal of rendering gun control laws a complete joke. Well...they were already a joke (though a dangerous one). It's more accurate to say we've come a long way toward rendering such laws moot, and easily bypassed by even those with limited technical skills.
The future is not in centralized power.

26 September 2013

Category Creep

Right now there are two categories for health insurance: smoking and non-smoking. That has been the major lifestyle choice that interested the actuaries of health insurance providers for decades. 

Now that .gov is taking an even bigger stake in health insurance, and medical care generally, than ever before, watch for that to expand!
Yesterday, you may have belonged to a non-smoking classification. You had a certain premium that you paid.
Tomorrow, you could be part of the non-smoking, meat eating classification. There will be a new premium for that. No doubt a higher one.
Do you like to ride motorcycles? Maybe you're in the Motorcycle riding, beer drinking, smoking class. You'll have an even higher premium!

The list could go on forever, and it probably will. Why? Because when .gov assumes a financial interest in health care, and seeks to lower your individual impact on the system as the system increasingly changes to exist for its own sake, it will take an increasingly aggressive role in managing your life and lifestyle.

High premiums are the weapon they will use to discourage behavior they deem "unhealthy." That may at times pertain to things that truly are unhealthy, but more often it will probably be whatever some .gov type just personally doesn't like.

They can't mandate a higher premium just for you and your particular pleasures. Obozocare incorporates one of the most awful ideas ever heard of in insurance: community rating. That's where they set premiums based on "your community," charging everyone the same based on how much medical services are being consumed in a given area (basically, whatever healthy, responsible decisions you make for yourself that might otherwise earn you a lower insurance premium will be negated by the crack heads that live near you).

The way around that is to just come up with new categories to put you into. 

Don't think it could happen this way?
Have a look at the taxes on cigarettes and booze, and in particular why some keep clamoring for them to be even higher than they are now. The precedent was set a long time ago for using .gov enforced disincentives to certain behaviors. Your hobby is next.

22 January 2013

Japanese Finance Minister: Government Should Let Old People 'Hurry Up And Die'

"Japan's finance minister Taro Aso said Monday the elderly should be allowed to "hurry up and die" instead of costing the government money for end-of-life medical care.
Aso, who also doubles as deputy prime minister, reportedly said during a meeting of the National Council on Social Security Reforms: "Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. You cannot sleep well when you think it's all paid by the government."
Read the complete Business Insider article here.

The article I've quoted and linked to goes on to describe Aso's statements as him "putting his foot in his mouth." Really? I don't think so. Then again, I'm not a politician who will say anything and/or hide any truth so as to cling to power.

This is the truth. The longer people live who do not have their own funds with which to do so, the longer someone else must pay for them to exist. The only real problem with Aso's statement, unless Japanese culture is very different in this regard, is that hardly anyone loses sleep over "the government" paying for the prolonging of their metabolic functioning (as opposed to their life - two very different things). In the minds of most people "the government" is some sort of real entity separate from the individuals who make it up, and the individuals it forcibly extracts resources from. This reification of an abstract allows many to carry on being supported by theft without experiencing a shred of guilt.

Aso's statements also reveal a further bit of truth, and that is the nature of the relationship between an individual and a collectivist society: if you're not an asset, you're a liability.

Don't fool yourself into believing that this only applies to the elderly.

16 January 2013

Gun Control Explained

I'm tired after a long day on the road doing pest control stuff, so instead of attempting to write a whole bunch, here's a pic that explains why the obsession over firearm magazine size is dumb:

I think the people who buy into this crap must think that a shooter can't just... oh, I don't know... carry more than one magazine?!

Let's say there were such a thing as a 3,000,000 round magazine. It wouldn't do the shooter much good if he/she fired a few rounds off and was then killed when someone fired back; the remaining rounds can't fire themselves. Take firearms away from good people who would attack the shooter, reduce the number of people who can fire back, and the shooter can use up that whole magazine...

(by the way - I have no idea who made this pic, I found it on Facebook. Credit to whomever it was, don't credit it to me if you decide to share it from here.)

13 January 2013


Elsewhere on the web this evening I saw someone repeat a falsehood about the 2nd amendment of the U.S. Constitution that I see out there on a regular basis, that the 2nd somehow doesn't actually restrict the Federal government from barring possession of firearms by individuals.
Most of the time, it's not worth pointing out to people who say this stuff that they're wrong because they're not really interested in being right. They just want to remain comfortable in their beliefs and not be bothered with that pesky truth stuff. 
So now to save my own time, I just present them with this: GunCite.com
It's everything they think they know about the 2nd, firearm crimes, the utility of firearms for self-defense, etc., but actually don't know, which they probably won't want to know and consequently won't read.

12 January 2013

Captain Capitalism: The Shaming of John Galt

Captain Capitalism: The Shaming of John Galt
"As the "enlightened electorate" decides to ignore reality and go down the path of socialism they will once again face the annoying reality that it is against human nature to pay for other people's stuff.  And since it is their stuff that is threatened, they will have to go into overdrive to "shame" people for not wanting to become slaves.  Like the ramblings of the middle aged woman, it will not be sensical, it will not be logical, and it will theme on people who decide to work less and "go Galt" as being greedy or selfish.  It will be amorphous and intangible, assuming you somehow have a societal obligation to the country and "community" to work harder for the "larger good."  That there is something more important than the individual and only the most selfish and evil of people refuse to acknowledge the superiority of this commune.  It will also parallel (akin to feminist shaming language) is that you are not a "real man" or you are not "manning up" and owning up to your responsibilities you have to society.  In reality it is nothing more than shaming language and lies to get you to operate against your best interests.
I'd like to say most people have the intellectual capacity and independence to identify such BS or at least stand up to it.  Alas, the fact some many adult-children swallowed whole the global warming BS and now pursue "going green" as a religion (while mocking Christianity at the same time) only confirms a majority of them will actually believe they owe it to society to slave away for other people.  Just promise me a favor.  When the middle aged woman who's hopelessly brainwashed starts to lecture you for daring to only work 4 hours a day, do not be a fool and fall for it.  Shamelessly Enjoy the Decline instead."
Indeed. I've had this experience before, too. I like to turn it back on the drone who tries to heap shame on me for not wanting to sacrifice myself to the collective: I ask him/her if working to pay off someone else's debt is what they wanted to do with their life, are they enjoying it/does it make them happy, etc. Except for the hard core liars or the truly brain washed, they'll either say "no, but...", or they'll change the subject (which means, "no").  They almost never stop insisting that I should climb back into the sheep pen with them (the inflated ego/false self-esteem training people are raised with now prevents immediate admissions of error by most), but at least a trace of red pill gets into their system.

07 January 2013

The D.C. Clothesline: If They Come for Your Guns, Do You Have a Responsibility to Fight?

"A constitutional republic protects the rights of the individual even when their ideas are very much  in the minority. If I were the only person in America who believed in the 2nd amendment, I would still be within my rights to call upon it. You would all think I was insane and possibly celebrate if I was gunned down, but in the end I would be the only true American among us."
Read the full text of this well-written piece here.

As for me, my answer is a firm "yes."

The Payroll Tax Cut Expiration: "This hurts seriously!"

In the words of Brian Sozzi, chief equities analyst at NBG Productions, the end of the Social Security payroll tax holiday "hurts seriously." 

A few stories that have appeared online in the last couple of days echo that:

Since that last headline included a hash tag, I decided to pull it up on twitter to see what's there; it's pretty entertaining: #whyismypaychecklessthisweek. Here's a few choice selections:
"Still upset w/your lower paycheck? Try this: don’t think of it as a tax, think of it as a penalty. Better now?"
"Because you are one of the many millionaires and billionaires that are earning $50-$250k ;)"
"Because you are not on Food Stamps, SSDI, Section 8 Housing, Obamaphone, or in Prison you racist conservative."
"because you get your news from The View and voted for Obama. Trust me, you deserve less pay."
That last one wasn't one of my favorites, but I included it because of my own anecdotal "man on the street" moment this evening, which inspired this post:

While standing in line at the grocery store, I overheard the customer ahead of me lamenting her reduced paycheck. From what she said, I could tell that she was one of the people I consciously avoided becoming, someone who became accustomed to having that money available to spend. For her new-found financial distress, she blamed Obama.

As far as I know, that's not quite accurate - my reading on the matter points to the expiration of the tax holiday being due to neither side of the aisle showing much interest in extending it into a third year. However, mistaken as it may be to pin this particular matter on Obama, I think it's a good primer for people who may still be suffering from hope-nosis to begin getting angry with the man. It might make it easier for them to identify the source of a lot of reduced opportunities and higher costs that they'll be facing thanks to the policies he represents.

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