Thursday, April 27, 2006
I thoroughly enjoy being a father. In spite of all the "work" and such, it's absolutely wonderful to be chased around the back yard by a two-year-old pirate. I also love giving dinosaur rides--similar to horsy rides, but they usually end in a faux mauling.
Would I even have bothered to read any of the Harry Potter books were it not for my daughter? Can I be more proud than when she reads a new book to me? The other day, she asked me why it gets warmer in the Spring, hot in the Summer, cooler in the Autumn, and cold in the Winter. I told her about the Earth, it's solar revolution and it's tilted axis. She thought about it a moment and then confessed that she did indeed seem to feel that she was leaning a bit more ever since the season had changed, and she wondered if this might make learning to ride her bike more difficult.
I don't think that I can possibly think about my children without smiling. Strangely enough, no matter what I'm smiling at, I can't help but think instantly of them.
Is there anything more perfect then the face of a happy child? Perhaps, if that child is sitting on a pile of gold and precious jewels...
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Seriously, there's already been documentaries on television. Remember that one in which you could actually hear the bodies hitting the pavement as desperate people lept from the burning heights of the twin towers? Furthermore, there's already been a made-for-TV movie about the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania. So what's too soon about this? It's been nearly five years.
Considering that Hollywood was producing films depicting actions in World War II while World War II was being fought and while Americans were dying by the hundreds of thousands, I'm pretty sure that people should be able to handle a picture about one of the doomed flights that took relatively few lives on that September morn.
Before you react by how casually I dismiss the number dead on 9/11, pay attention to the word "relatively." Compared to other conflicts and disasters, 9/11 was hardly the physical catastrophe that it is made out to be. From 1861-1865, the Civil War saw over 700,000 men die. The three day long Battle of Gettysburg was witness to over 50,000 losses. One of the most popular songs of the day was called "The Vacant Chair," and that chair symbolized the fathers, brothers, and sons who were gone forever. http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/parton/2/vacant.html.
Let's compare this to songs on today's top 40 (the number 23 single is currently "I'm N Luv (wit a stripper)".)
On March 22, 1622, the English colonists in Virginia suffered losses equaling nearly 25% of their entire population. Men, women, and children were surprised on that Good Friday morning and massacred (http://www.jamestowne.org/massacre.htm). Comparatively, the attacks on 9/11 produced rather negligible casualties.
I think it's a sign of how weak people are nowadays. It's also a sign of a very pathetic form of egotism. Honestly, the "trauma" of 9/11 is largely imagined, for most Americans were witness to the events via television and knew no one actually killed in the attack. This "trauma" has been carefully groomed and extended by the media (it makes good business) and the government (it helps us overlook its expansive growth, tyrannical policies, and basic ineptness).
I'm not saying that the events of 9/11 did not inject a hefty dose of anxiety into the minds of Americans, no matter how disconnected they were to the actual events. It was scary, no doubt. But stuff happens, and life goes on. Those who think that it is too soon are actually trying to place themselves at the center of a drama that exists in their minds, to capture attention and generate sympathy to ease the burden of an undeserved ego.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Considering that politicians are to blame for the so-called “gas crisis” (check out the number of refineries in the United States and compare it to demand, then consult all of the red-tape involved that has discouraged—no, prevented is a better word—more refineries from doing business), why is it that the people now look to these same politicians for a “solution”?
My gut instinct is to say that people are ignorant at best or stupid at worst. Perhaps that means that I am wise at best or arrogant at worst. In any case, I'd still rather be me.
There’s something in the American people that craves monarchy. They want a figurehead either to thank for their blessings or to blame for their misfortunes. Freedom? Hell, that’s too much responsibility. I just wish that I didn’t have to be lumped in with the so-called “popular sovereignty” that rules this land of the somewhat and less and less free.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Rated PG-13 for language, graphic violence (not really, but it sounds cool), and crude humor (oh, what an immature guy can do with a pound or two of flesh tone modeling clay).
Friday, April 14, 2006
So the Mexicans are swarming into the United States and bringing with them steady 98.6° body temperatures (which will naturally warm the surface temperature) along with their picante-fueled methane anal emissions (a greenhouse gas of the worst kind).
This I established.
What I omitted was to observe how the Mexicans are moving north, and that they'll keep moving north. Eventually, they'll move into Canada. Now you see the problem, don't you? The polar ice caps are in Canada! Seriously, see for yourself what happens when you turn your freezer up to 98.6°, add some tortillas, frijoles, and Pace (it's made in San Antonio--not like that other stuff that's made in New York City).
Good God Almighty! I entered this into my computer model, and it looks like the world will end somewhere in the spring of 2011: probably on Cinco de Mayo (because nature abhors a vacuum but loves irony).
Basically, I felt like posting something, but nothing too in-depth...
1. When people think that Social Security is some kind of bank account into which they've paid and thus deserve.
--It's not, and you don't. The Social Security that we're paying now is a form of legal plunder, whereby the productive members of society (e.g. those working) are forced to pay for another's non-productivity.
The common defenses include
a.) But how else will the elderly and disabled afford to live?--While we may pity the elderly and disabled, we still lack the right to use the coercive powers of the state to redistribute wealth.
b.) In the end, you get your money back once you retire.--If you live that long. Wouldn't it be better for me to invest that money in an IRA? Besides, it's my money. I worked for it. Let me decide what to do with it. If I hit retirement age and haven't saved up enough to retire comfortably, it's my own fault. It shouldn't be your burden, and you shouldn't be my burden. If you're a dear relative or friend, and I can spare the money, I'm the kind of person who will help out as much as I can. On the other hand, if you burned every relative and made few friends because you were a jerk, then maybe you deserve to feel alone in the twilight years.
2. That there is a House of Representatives made up of not a single person whom I have selected to represent me.
3. People who think that health care is a right. As commonly used, "heath care" refers to medical services, and pharmaceuticals. Medical services are provided by skilled professionals (e.g. doctors, nurses, therapists, and all other medical/hospital employees). Pharmaceuticals (i.e. medicines) are the fruit of laborious (and expensive) research and development, R&D done by skilled professionals. Unless I offer something valuable in exchange for such services and goods, I have no right to them. Just because we need doctors and medicines sometimes to live does not make them a right. I need food, but that doesn't give me the right to go into Outback Steakhouse and demand a prime rib regardless of my ability to pay for it. I should not be able to force a doctor to treat me. Then again, that's not what people are asking for so much with this "National Health Care" dribble. What they're promoting is for me to receive treatment and force YOU to pay for it. There was a time when this was called theft.
4. No matter how hard and long you pinch, shake, and dance, the last few drops end up in your pants. I hate that.
5. How politicians think that it's their jobs to "create" jobs. I thought that in a republic (such as the USA is supposed to be), the government's job was to protect its people's life, liberty, and property. The best thing that a politician can do (in terms of economics), is to cut all the red tape and step out of the way. Laissez-faire, baby.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
I just finished putting in some data to a computer model. Holy crap, I just realized that the human body's average temperature is 98.6.° Since this body temperature remains constant throughout the year, it won't be long until the 98.6° round-the-clock body-heat emitted from all these millions of Mexican immigrants begins to affect the climate here in the United States. That's right: Mexicans are causing global warming!
What makes it even worse is that they are consuming more and more picante sauce. Rather than settle for a nice, mild pico de gallo, they're going strait for the hot stuff. These spicy farts contain copious amounts of methane gas--a substance which, I have been told, is "more than 20 times as strong a greenhouse gas as CO2" (source: see the comment made to my global warming argument). That's right folks, we're talking about a Mex-ane catastrophe on the horizon.
The evidence is really overwhelming.
Think about it. Mexico's really hot, especially when compared to, say, Minnesota. What, other than latitude, is the major difference between Minnesota and Mexico? Mexico has lots of Mexicans. As these Mexicans pour into Texas, they'll heat everything up with their body heat and picante-methane emissions. Soon, Texas will be uninhabitable. Once they've ruined Texas, it's on to Oklahoma, then Kansas and Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa, and outward in all directions.
It will become even worse once they penetrate Utah. Once there, the Mexican custom of large families will collide with the Mormon tradition of polygamy. Oh my God, it's like the perfect storm. Now, José will have twelve kids with twelve wives. (that's 144 kids) They'll start knocking on people's doors, dressed up in Chachiruleado suits, trying to sell us chiclets while asking if we'd heard the good news brought by the prophet Joseph Smith.
And now I tire of this. I just hope that the xenophobes feel adequately mocked and grateful that their progenitors crossed the Atlantic at least a hundred years ago and not the Rio Grande today.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
So the Earth's climate is on the rise. The problem is the cause and effect attitude taken by so many. In logic, the error is called post hoc, ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this). What makes this error even more egregious is that we're not even talking about the climate change as an "after this."
Consider: the argument is that CO2 emissions have risen dramatically in the last 200 years and exponentially in the last hundred. During this period, there have been measured increases in the global temperature. The trend toward warming is not, however, in dispute. What's in dispute is that it has occurred "after" the increased levels of CO2, and is therefore the result of increased CO2 levels. This is how people see the global warming issue: that the climate was steady until factories and automobiles started spewing vast quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere, and that the climate has been warming ever since.
By Tuesday, even my five-year-old daughter should be able to find the flaw in this. That's when she's going to see Ice Age 2. The main conflict in this movie is the rapid warming of the Earth and the ensuing consequences. Think about it. The climate has been warming for close to 20,000 years.
Here's the problem with our CO2 (cause) and global warming (effect) scenario. 20,000 years BEFORE factories and automobiles produced mass quantities of CO2, back when "heavy industry" meant some fat guy fashioning arrowheads made out of stone, the Earth's climate warmed all on its own.
Scientists have long supported Occam's Razor when distinguishing between causes: the simplest explanation is the most likely. Now, given that the Earth's temperature has been warming for over 20.000 years and humans have been producing mass-quantities of CO2 for only 200 or so years, which is the more likely reason why temperatures today are a little bit higher than they were when they were first measured over a century ago: natural or human causation? The answer, of course, is that the most likely cause for global warming now is the same cause for global warming 20,000 years ago. When someone says that X is caused by Y, he should make sure that X came after Y. Otherwise, something else had to be the cause.But there's something about human causation that many people like. For one, the belief in human causation will spur governments to force people to change their modes of transportation and production. Statists love this. It's a great way, actually, to convince people that the government should manage industry (if they don't, presumably, we'll all die). Environmentalists don't care if it's a lie, so long as it results in more and more regulations on industry. Viewed in this light, the present ado over global warming is a combination of ignorance and error (the whole cause and effect thing), and a conspiracy of statists and environmentalists whose arguments are so lacking in validity that they must resort to lies and scare tactics.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Jack Bauer, from Fox's 24, is the coolest character in the history of television. Of all the things that I have said and will say on this site, you can bite me if you disagree with this assessment.
By the way, has anyone else noticed that every problem that Bauer solves is one created by the government that employs him? (you didn't think that I'd post something non-subversive, did you?)
Saturday, April 01, 2006
I was robbed today. Thousands of dollars, all of which I had earned, was transferred from my ownership to another’s because I did not feel comfortable looking down the barrel of a gun. Since no guns were present at the time of the transfer, and the exchange took place quietly, perhaps extortion is a more apropos term than robbery. Whatever the case, I did not wish to part with this money, and I did so only under duress.
Here’s how it happened. The thugs had made it clear that we had only two weeks left. If we did not pay up in two weeks, then the consequences would be severe. I would be robbed of more money and could very well be kidnapped and harmed if I dared to defend my property. Jennie and I talked it over. We knew that the police would be of no help. Indeed, they are accomplices and receive a nice cut from the crooks for allowing this to happen. While I am the owner of three firearms and have access to many more, we quickly dismissed the idea of defending ourselves. Moving away was not an option either. Every solution other than simply handing over the money would have cost us more, so we decided to choose our lives over our money.
I scheduled the exchange for 3 P.M. this afternoon. Natalie was napping, so we had to wake her up. When she complained, I explained that if we didn’t give over the money soon, then we could lose everything, and she may never see me again. She asked me why we wouldn’t call 911. I told her that they wouldn’t help. That’s when Jennie told me to stop talking about it.
Theft is defined as “the act or instance of stealing; larceny.” To steal is defined as “To take (the property of another) without right or permission.” In its most frightening form, it’s called robbery, which is defined as “larceny by threat of violence.” However, the common expression for what happened to us that we paid our income taxes.
Supposedly, we live in a country governed by the consent of the governed. A social contract exists, through which the people volunteer to cede certain powers (e.g. my power to harm others) in exchange for the protection of a government (e.g. the government will make sure that no one harms me). In essence, I agree to follow the laws, and the government agrees to enact and enforce laws designed to protect my life, liberty, and property. Most people accept this as the only “good” form of government.
But no such contract exists. I certainly did not sign it, so how can I be legally forced to obey a contract that I never signed? How am I governed by my consent if I have never consented to be so governed? How do the “representatives” at the local, state, and federal levels “represent” me if I did not vote for them?
The answer to all of these, in one form or another, is that I am forced to consent. This is an oxymoron. The Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc defines consent as “compliance in or approval of what is done or proposed by another; specifically : the voluntary agreement or acquiescence by a person of age or with requisite mental capacity who is not under duress or coercion and usually who has knowledge or understanding.”
There is nothing voluntary about the income tax. It was not a voluntary agreement between me and the state and federal governments. We did not negotiate the rate of taxation, nor did we discuss the application the funds once surrendered. By definition, consent requires that the “acquiescence” occur while one “is not under duress or coercion,” but that’s exactly how the IRS collects the tax: by threatening me with fines, the seizure of my home, possible imprisonment, and even death (should I dare to defend my property).
This means that I am not governed by consent. I am governed by “dominance through threat of punishment and violence” (which, consequently, is a definition for tyranny).
While I might be free-er than I could be, only a fool or a liar would dare suggest that I am free, that my life, liberty, and property are my own and to be dispensed according to my own discretion.
Most people will criticize my point of view with something akin to “there is no better way.” This is nonsense. I ask only to be asked. If the local government or a private company offers me, say, a fire department, I, as a homeowner, will gladly subscribe. So what if I don’t? Then I leave myself open to the loss of my home. Should such an arrangement actually be made in such a way, then my homeowners insurance would surely require it, so I would buy into the fire department. This is better than the simple coercion of taxation, for I have consented to it. I bought a home via a mortgage. The mortgage company, to protect its investment, requires that I buy homeowners insurance. Whichever homeowner’s insurance company I patronize requires me to invest in a fire-protection company. If I don’t wish to do so, then I don’t apply for a mortgage. I do no jail time. If I cease paying my fire-protection dues, then I am in breach of a contract that I signed, and may lose my insurance policy and thus may lose my home to the mortgage company or be obliged to pay all of the outstanding balance on my mortgage (a lot depends on the language in the contract).
Some might reply that my desire to own a home forces me to secure a mortgage, which in turn forces me to have insurance, which in turn forces me to pay for fire-protection. This is not an accurate summation. I only need a mortgage for my home because I do not have the money to put down to buy my house outright. A mortgage, then, is someone else’s money. This means that the mortgage company has the right to determine to whom and under which conditions they will loan its money. I do not have the right to dictate these terms, since it is not my money. My rights have not been violated. Perhaps my preferences have been superceded, but my preferences are not equal to my rights. Consider, I would prefer to drive a Ferrari instead of a Chevy. That I could not afford the Ferrari and had to settle for the Chevy was not unjust.
What I mean, by all of this, is that the income-tax is unjust. It exposes the tyrannical soul of even a less-malevolent government, such as that in control of the United States. Should my idea of consent be applied, the government knows that it would only receive funds to match some of its wants and needs. This would limit its powers. It would find itself unable to wage unjust wars and unable to curry favor with special interest groups by redistributing wealth from those who produce it to those who simply wish to consume it. In essence, the income-tax proves that ours is a government not unlike those we have been taught to abhor. It is the instrument of violence and theft. No consent is required. Hell, they don’t even ask for it to at least feign the pretense of consent.