Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Neurotic Society

I hope you can still follow this link. It is a funny, poignant and a little scary story of the Politically Correct Thought Police. (Hearafter, the PCTP). It is copyrighted and membership protected so you can't easily get to the original, but thanks to the ever-present caching, I found a source.
Considering his own neurotic restriction of access to his thoughts (or is that Paranoia psychotic), I wonder if he knows that "the Neurotic Society" isn't his own. The phrase was the title of a book all the way back to the early sixties. In any event, it is a great read.

James Phogan's Article (Just click cancel on the two "authorization required popups).

Friday, January 25, 2008

Repeal the 17th Amendment

Somewhere, we as a society have made some dreadful mistakes. Foremost among them is letting our modern politicians think they are smarter than the founding fathers of out constitutional republic.

This country was constructed as the United States of America. It was a union of sovereign states of sovereign people. These were people who were tired of being slaves to a ruling class foreign from their presence; and they crafted a constitution that carefully kept the power balanced, and kept at the lowest level, closest to the people.

In the early twentieth century, expedient and power-hungry politicians slipped some changes into the system in the name of the public good that started a change to all this.

The original United States Constitution did not call for the direct election of the Senate. The State could choose them any way it wanted under its own constitution. They could be chosen by the Legislature of the State or they could be appointed by the governor, or, even elected by the people of that State. They represented the State. And the House of Representatives represented the people of the state.

In the second decade of the twentieth century, these men who thought they were smarter than Jefferson, Madison, Adams and the rest, toyed with the system stripping the State out of the equation. They required the direct election of the United States Senate. So now the Senate is a second body of the changing whim of the populace rather than the specific interests of the various States.

So, are we still the United States? Or are we merely the People's Republic of America?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Ledger on Heath

I must be culturally illiterate. Nancy Grace on Headline News calls this guy not just a star, but a superstar -- Me? I never heard of him until he died. Oh, I heard of his movie, Brokebutt Mountain, but I had never heard his name before. Now every news program can speak of nothing else. I guess the election coverage is postponed and nothing else happened in the world in the last 24 hours.

Monday, January 21, 2008

World To End Tomorrow - Poor and Minorities Affected Most

Jane Fonda once babbled about children starving to death in North Georgia, and Peter Jennings defended her statement on national television; but the truth is that no one is starving in America except by their own choice. And even then, it is unnecessary - a few more pounds might just make them more attractive not less.

For children especially, we have AFDC, free and reduced breakfast and lunch in the schools, and it doesn't even count against your food stamps (or whatever polite euphemism your states uses to disguise the charity they truly are).

Just remember that what passes for poor in this country would be considered rich in others.

Warning - Not PC

Politically Correct is a euphemism. Politically Correct is self referential, for Politically Correct is a PC way of saying "lie".

By definition, Politically Correct is not factually correct; or the whole concept would be redundant and unnecessary. Truth would be all that was necessary.

Politically Correct is truth decided by a group, rather than observation or logic.

Politically correct is a merely a way of avoiding a truth that is perceived to hurt the feelings of people you fear .

Hard to get food

I suppose I had better explain that previous reference to "hard to get food".

Long ago ... in the days before the corner grocery store and fast food joint, the human diet came in fits and starts. Grains came at one time of the year, fruits in another, roots in the winter, and leaves filled in the gap. And meat. Meat was a big deal. Meat was hunted and only later raised for slaughter. While you could grab an apple, or root around for a root, you had to really want meat and its bounty of protein and necessary fat to go hunt for an animal. So your body really had to crave it to make you want to go through the effort of tracking, killing and butchering.

Fast forward to the twenty-first century. There is a grocery store on nearly every corner (or at least the ones that don't have a McDonalds on them). Meat is no longer hard to get. Neither are vegetables. But that evolutionary survival adaptation - hunger - has not scaled back to adapt to our cornucopia.

This one may take a while. Most survival adaptations occurred during the breeding years and reflected easily in surviving to breed and breed true. For in caring for my mother, I have noticed: that while there are plenty of (grotesquely) fat middle-aged people at Golden Corral, there are only skinny octogenarians at the buffet restaurant they frequent. And they don't breed in captivity.

In honor of Dr. King

I hate the way the word "racism" has been overused and improperly used. Prejudice would be a better word for their complaint. But I am always glad to see the proper word, bigotry, used.
I have always wondered though -- Why do we have prejudice hard-wired into our brains?
Was it some prehistoric survival skill? A skill that like our taste for hard to get food has outlived it usefulness.

And why do we have the prejudices we do? Why not different prejudices? Why not the avaricious Black and the lazy Jew? Why aren't the jails filled with Swedes killing each other on Saturday nights? Why isn't NASCAR filled with Chinese? Why do all the drivers in the Formula One have 'i' as the last letter of their name? How about that Mexican basketball team? There is a great little Scotch restaurant down on the corner. Oh, wait, there IS a little Scottish restaurant on the corner. Mc...

And why do individuals adhere to their own group's stereotypes, when that should be the last thing they would want to do?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Six Stages Of A Project

Those who know me know that I cannot stress this one enough. It may well be the lynchpin of all group actions. If you are working on a group project consider and determine where you are now.

From your second grade project to an Ocean Liner to a war, every project has the same six stages:

1) Great Expectations. Every project begins with hope. "We're going to build the Taj Mahal".

2) Diminished hopes. That scaling back to something possible. "OK, it'll just be an ordinary block building."

3) Utter Panic. The realization that it is not all going to come together.

4) Search for the Guilty. "Someone is to blame."

5) Punishment of the Innocent. "We must find someone powerless to pin this on."

6) The Heaping of Rewards and Praise on the Non-Participants. The executives and board members who never saw the job before, now are congratulated on what a great job they did.

There are only three possiblities

When you send money to the government there are three, and only three, possibilities.These are true whether you are an individual or a state.

1) You could get back more than you put in. This may make you a winner. But are you really? Or are you just a thief taking using the Government to steal from poor case number two?

2) You will get back less in money or services than you put in to the system.
In this case you have something to really complain about. You have been robbed!*

3) You may get back the same amount as you put in, in which case, what did you need them for in the first place?

* You may even think you are helping someone else, but it may not be who you think it is. That person who is standing between you and your beneficiary is not there as a charity gesture himself. You are benefiting him (or her) as well or greater than the ultimate beneficiary of your largess.

If you like the Unemployment Office,

For some reason, the American public is hell bent on leather not to have to write their own checks to pay for their medical care. Do they really think that they don't have to pay for their medical care if it comes from the U. S. Government? Or do they all think that they can get more than they pay for? Apparently, the state of our education system is that, YES, they all think they can get something for nothing.

There are a number of serious problems with the idea of putting the Government in charge of our health care, and none of them seem to matter in our headlong rush to commit medical suicide. It seems inevitable at this point that we will let the Government Bureaucrats have this potentially fatal control of our lives. I am not saying that there are not flaws nor need for improvement in our current system; but handing control of your life to someone further removed from you in never the solution to your problems.

First - think of every contact you have ever had with the Government -- The Post Office, the Driver's License office, jury duty, the military, taxes, the Veteran's Administration, your school board, the Unemployment Office -- Is there any of them where you or your opinion mattered? Was there any of them that ran efficiently? Was there any of them that had the latest equipment? Was there any of them where you were even remotely comfortable during your wait? Were there any of them where you felt the employees cared the least bit about you? WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THIS ONE WILL BE DIFFERENT?

Second - Do you think you will see you Congressmen, Senators, or other big-wigs at the same clinic you will be at? Dream on. their plans are for you, not for themselves.

Who are these people without healthcare? And to what extent are they without healthcare. In the United States anyone who comes to a hospital, private as well as public, will be treated. Ostensibly for "life threatening conditions", but we all have experience with people using the emergency rooms for non-emergency conditions. Why don't they have treatment at a regular doctor's office? Because they don't have insurance. Why don't they have insurance? Because they have chosen to spend their income on lifestyle -- color TVs, spinner wheels, and other "bling". And because they don't have to. The system enables, even prefers, foolish behavior. Also, the poor have Medicaid and the elderly Medicare.
In addition to the non-working poor, they are also young adults who have again consciously gambled and chosen a more advanced lifestyle than they would otherwise have banking on the statistical health of a young person. Why are we expected to insure someone who will not insure himself?

Is it even possible for the Government to allocate resources to the people without favoring one group over another? By this I do not mean just the political favorites groups that the Liberal Democratic proponents of Nation Health Care normally take care of. I mean the rationing of resources that will, of necessity, come with a government budget.
It has been said that the bulk of medical expenses come at the end of your life. This is not a coincidence. It comes because as we get older our bodies fail. But it also comes because as we get sicker our bodies fail. What better place for the Government to begin trimming expenses than to deny "Heroic care" to the old and terminally ill. After all there are irresponsible (friendly) voters to reward.
You think this will never happen? Ask a British senior citizen. Ask a Canadian cancer patient waiting 4 months for a sonogram that my 85-year-old mother got the same evening.

And what of the doctors? I know, they do it for the love of humanity. NOT! It is eleven or twelve years of hard work to become a doctor. They delay the gratification of a good salary for a better one later on. What incentive is there if they have only a uniform Government pay grade, however good, waiting for them? They would do better becoming lawyers. (Just what we need more hungry lawyers). Do you think you can enslave doctors to serve? Ultimately, we will, like Great Britain, have a shortage of physicians.

I could rant on and on about this (and probably will), but this blog is much too long to read.


Thoughts on law

There are many rules in life that are self-punishing.
These are often the most important. i.e. "Do not remove safety guard over blade of saw".

The Laws of Physics are not as easily ignored as the laws of man.

The Laws of Economics on the other hand, may be ignored, but at your own peril; for eventually they will eventually come back to get you. After Nixon froze wages and prices, Carter opened up the dam. Carter got the blame, but the real problem was the freeze.

The Laws of Government are often enacted for purposes other than their stated purpose. Morality laws, like drugs and sex, especially fit this definition. Do they really want to help the addict? Then why not send him to treatment? It would be cheaper.

Originally, for every stupid warning label, there was once someone stupid enough to do it. Now the lawyers have stepped in and thought of worse cases. Since the new warnings come from the mind of lawyers, I presume these are warnings of what lawyers might do. "Do not stick head in fan".

On Minimum wage

Congress is always looking for a feel-good issue to gather votes. It should be something that costs them nothing, sounds like they care, and fools the people into thinking some benefit will come of it. If some does, all the better; if it doesn't, so what. Minimum wage is such an issue.

Minimum wage is the only wage with a name rather than a number. It represents what you get if you bring NO experience, no work history, no work ethic, no education to an employer. If you earn minimum wage, the odds are that you are overpaid. If you earn it, it means that your employer would if he could, pay you less. He pays others more, why not you?
Raising the minimum wage only changes the numbers. For a while it pulls everyone else's wages down until they can get the spread back up to where it belongs. And that pulls the prices of everything else up to a new number where the ratio is the same as it was before we began, just a number we are unfamiliar with. The person who was earning the minimum wage? Oh, he is still earning the only payroll grade with a name. The bottom will always be the bottom.
Oh, by the way, even illegal aliens make more than the minimum wage - far more. If you earn the minimum wage you might think about why you aren't worth anything, rather than expect the government to make you more valuable to an employer. The Government can make you more expensive to an employer. It cannot make you more valuable.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Unaccostomed As I Am To Public Blogging

I never thought I would be on the old fogey side of the cultural equation; but I really do need a place to type my mind even if only for the catharsis. And besides, who wants to be the only person not to have one?
Unfortunately in the blog world you must hit the deck running. Well, I managed that with Flickr, so maybe I can do it here also. So much to learn, so much to explore, but we can do that over time. The next step is just to click on that little radio button right down he...