April 16, 2017

The Cure For Cancer (theory rant from Sept 2015)

Disclaimer: This post (from a September 2015 rant) assumes the fusion reactor in our solar system is not the lone cause of cancer. 

Also disclaimed: I eat meat without guilt but I've been talking myself out of just about everything lately.

What if the ultimate, pristine understandings of the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) not only applies to all life but to anything that was ever alive? Where you couldn't harvest crops or slaughter animals and would need to either adopt an ethic that does not feature starvation or secure an inorganic fuel for your body. And what is that substance? 

Strictly speaking, you'd also have to drink water that does not contain life immoral for you to consume. You can't boil the water because that would kill sovereign organisms. You need water that is somehow pure of all life. Extensively filtered? Organisms effectively evicted? Just like an evicted (as opposed to aborted) baby, organisms in the water have been displaced from their original vessel without harm. But what could you possibly eat except the bodies of dead plants and animals? Maybe that substance, if it exists, is the closest to the fountain of youth in Nature. Maybe even the cure for cancer. Cancer in this case directly tied somehow to the consumption of organic or once-conscious material. If the Non-Aggression Principle applies to all life in this manner, then libertarianism is actually the cure for cancer and we are doomed until that substance is yanked from the universe.

Could we survive off water and vitamins alone? Must we consume some amount of plant or animal life? I started to make a pretty good case to myself for some variation of the vegan diet being necessary but even that is not strict enough. Assuming for this rabbit-hole that eating organic material is definitely a source of cancer, then why would that be? If all plant and animal life is sacred then consuming any such life would be cannibalism. If doing so results in cancer it seems Nature does not approve. Cancer might be Nature's kill-switch to prevent any of its constituent parts from consuming or becoming the whole. The poison released by one kill or salad may not be fatal but such 'violations' will culminate in the defense of all remaining life against that particular predator. 

Another way to look at the NAP applied in this way is that cancer-causing elements in the deceased could vary based on the manner of death. Where a pig enduring the stress of a slaughterhouse releases more of the poison into its body than a pig who gets a surprise bolt through its skull. That pig didn't panic; it was chewing its slop and never knew an instant of fear. Free range chickens never knowing the stress of  a hatchery would offer less of a cumulative cancer risk; their minds have not flooded their bodies with additional toxins. Looking at it this way, Nature wouldn't seem to be looking to punish violations of life as much as punishing prolonged stress or torment. 

Nature: Consume life to sustain yourself if you must; I have ensured you do not do so in perpetuity and that every moment of fear, panic, and confusion in your prey is more poisonous than the last.

Consistent with this: humans suffering Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) would be less desirable meals for the health-conscious human cannibal. As if life's ultimate defense is postmortem. The especially cruel cause their prey to be proportionately more toxic or maybe less delicious. Maybe a lion sneaks up on a sleeping gazelle and notices an improved flavor over yesterday's gazelle caught after a prolonged chase. I can't help but think of that drawing of a frog in a bird's beak but the frog's hands are outside choking the bird. I'd feel silly saying hunter-gatherers behaved immorally but could live suggesting they may not have had sufficient technology.

Editor's Note: This was a Twitter rant and has been edited. 

March 20, 2017

An Ethical Cost Of The Non-Aggression Principle

Suppose you inhabit a world where violent acts occur. You identify the aggression of one person against another as the common trait of those activities. An ethic called the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) identifies that commonality as behavior which is desirable to oppose.

The identity of the ethic is limited to opposing aggressive behavior.

A necessary ethical cost of opposing aggression is a commitment to knowing if there is aggression, not how there is aggression.

A necessary ethical cost of opposing aggression is a commitment to whatever is without that aggression.

I contend that, by adopting the NAP, a person restricts themself from condescending to the manner in which others behave non-aggressively. To do so is to reject the peace they claim to hold the NAP's values in pursuit of.


November 14, 2016

Trump As Hitler (theory rant from March 2016)

The gist of this particular theory is: the (world's combined) Left might prefer/want a Republican to win in 2016. Which is one theory among many. It's just as easy to theorize that they want to keep the presidency. The tidbit that pretty much inspired this theory was a report/study from a few weeks ago, before trolling Trump's hands went mainstream, that claimed Hitler had a micro-penis. Just as 'Trump Is Hitler' and 'Fascism Has Returned (though it never left)' and 'Trump Is Finally Saying Out Loud What We've Been Trying To Warn You The Racist War-Mongering Baggers Have Always Privately Believed' claims were hitting a fever pitch, Hitler, whose every aspect has been scrutinized for 70 years, suddenly had a micro-penis when Trump's hands became a mockery. Instead of being another cultural parallel like white supremacy, economic ignorance, etc. between the movements behind Hitler/Trump, this new claim about Hitler, as Trump's hands were an item, provided similarities between the men/personalities leading those movements. So I couldn't help but think that this was tailor-made to help bind the roots of Trump's motivations/inspirations to Hitler's. Someone other than Trump would be bound to Hitler in some other foundational sense. Or maybe in the same way. Maybe it was always going to be a micro-penis.

This seemed like part of a deeper psychological effort than the rote gold standard of "Republicans are Nazis". In addition to shaming Republicans collectively as Nazis, leaders/notables are shamed personally as Hitlers. I was casually aware enough of politics during Bush's presidency to know Hitler comparisons are not new so I think the timing and convenience of micro-penis implies a seedy coordination that is more sophisticated than scribbling little mustaches onto Repubs'/Cons' pictures. If I take deeper coordination as a given, then what deeper plan is it serving? IMO, just that Hitler's penis is associated with the word 'research' lends any relevant comparisons a credibility that is not normally expected from or considered in the making of "So and So is a Nazi" protest signs. So, as Trumps hands come to be mocked and he and his supporters are inherently (though casually) compared to Hitler and Nazis, along comes 'credible' information which bolsters those comparisons. Maybe I can't relate to the financial and institutional means of the masterminds of this strategy that they could and would produce credible scientific/research material for the internet's digestion just for kicks. Coordinate and fund bullshit research only for it to be churned into irrelevance by the next day's or hour's meme du jour. That seems like a waste of time IMO but maybe I don't have the resources to contemplate that kind of latitude. Assuming for the purposes of this theory that Hitler's micro-penis is not a miraculous coincidence in this stranger-than-fiction world, what is that deeper purpose? 

Defeating Trump in the election seems like the obvious and maybe only purpose but I'm not sure comparisons to Hitler, however esteemed or credentialed their origin, are any more effective than giving Trump mustaches or putting Trump's head on the bodies of Nazis in the absence of actual fucking atrocities. Godwin's Law does not exactly suggest a tendency to grade each other's Nazism responsibly. Comparing a candidate whose policies haven't been enacted, whose theoretical genocide is pending until after the election, seems as irrelevant in Godwin's universe as comparing physical features. Where the candidacy of Hitler's clone would be un-phased by physical comparisons by virtue of Godwin's Cesspool. If scientific comparisons are no more persuasive than photoshops, why bother with the expense of 'credible', pre-genocide Nazi comparisons? Why hire a few (costly) experts to support your claim of someone's Nazism when you can scribble a mustache on their picture for free? Why the extra effort on a claim as legitimate in Godwin's Cesspool as claims without that effort? If defeating a political opponent is the goal and comparing them to Hitler is a tactic, why the extra time to organize or forge research when you can shoop a mustache on Trump for the same effect? Why waste time? 

I've criticized the claim that "people are stupid" (for doing those things present company would never do) even though it can feel so right. Ultimately, the claim is untrue or at least incoherent. Someone has asked if you can explain a 'bizarre' action/event and your response is to imply that:

1) while members of your species are stupid in general, you are not counted among them
2) that all humans are stupid and you are not counted among them
3) that all humans are stupid and you're one of them. 

I doubt stupidity survived as a dominant trait through ages of evolution so 1) incoherent 2) incoherent 3) incoherent. One way or another you've introduced or promoted an untruth to the world. However humorously or sincerely or privately or publicly you claimed that "people are stupid", I don't think it is true and I'm not sure it can be true at this stage in the evolutionary ballgame. At the very least, our competence to survive is ancient. If humans act purposefully and humanity persists, it seems that we must sometimes act purposefully to survive. Stupidity is not helpful in this regard. Long story short, we are freaky genius monkeys with a knack for survival that is more deliberate than whimsical. More careful than hopeful. Maybe grant that others have a good reason for doing what they're doing even if it is not apparent to you. Suspect guile before stupidity. 

So if Godwin's Cesspool regards all Hitler/Nazi comparisons not accompanied by genocides as equally frivolous, why the extra time to lend such a claim any scientific credibility? I have reasons to think doing so was not a deliberate waste of time. Then time was the answer. 

Instead of wasting time to fluff a tenuous comparison between Hitler's and Trump's hands that would only be sacrificed to Godwin's Cesspool, maybe the suggestion that Hitler and Trump have a micro-penis in common was meant to survive Godwin's Cesspool. That the credibility of the report was not wasted on the Cesspool but is intended to rise from it. To rise from the slime of comparing Hitler to a genocide-less Trump to a vindication of that comparison when president Trump comes to be responsible for a comparable atrocity. If the micro-penis comparison is intended to rise from the Cesspool it cannot reasonably be expected to do so only in the hope that Trump might do something terrible. It could only be intended to rise from the slime in the eventuality of an infamous event. Because I doubt Trump is motivated politically for the purpose of genocide or lesser bloodthirst, it seems that a massacre in his name is anticipated and will be drawn out of him whether he likes it or not. A drone attack 'meant' for Al-Qaeda actually kills thousands of civilians. Some kind of bad intel or betrayal that leads to a massacre worthy of Nazi comparisons or some unique infamy. A massacre that now validates every warning lobbed into the cesspool and incriminates every feature Trump and Hitler share, including a micro-penis. Where a credible report that Hitler had a micro-penis, once thought to be wasted in the Cesspool of comparing Trump's murder-less micro-penis to Hitler's, is now evident of a physical similarity between two notorious criminals. 

This may start to get weird. 

Granting there's a good reason to do so, why would the plotters of a scheme to lure Trump into Hitler-esque notoriety decide to promote a micro-penis as the feature these villains share ahead of all other similarities? Why is the evil a penis and why is it small? The people behind this scheme are party to a massacre they will then blame on a scapegoat. In this instance, the scapegoat would be a Republican president and his political opposition would benefit from the sleaze cast over that president and his party. I've said the best strategy for abusive power is to promote as much untruth as possible so that their opposition is as ignorant as possible. I won't rehash that now. If such a principled, abusive power staged this fake massacre in order to vilify a president and his party then it follows that promoting micro-penises as a relevant feature of mass-murderers itself promotes as much untruth as possible. Where the greater the threat a micro-penis is alleged to pose the less likely that threat. Where the bigger the penis the likelier the threat.

Editor's Note: The content of this post was copied from a Twitter rant on March, 6, 2016. Other than some spelling changes and a new format, nothing has been changed.

UPDATE: I want to be clear about what I am saying in the final passage because, upon further review, I think it is important. I am not saying is that it is true that the bigger the penis the greater the threat. I am not saying that in order to promote untruth you would claim that the smaller the penis the greater the threat. I am saying both claims are untruth . The fact that individuals act, not groups, and we do so with our brains (or at least not with our genitalia), absolves all penises from culpability. What I am saying is that you can promote untruth by blaming any penis. And I also think it is informative of the moral compass of the position-holder when a small/large penis is blamed. That, in their minds, if their strategic/moral worldview is informed by the irrational belief (held as truth) that larger penises are indeed a bigger threat, then to promote the most untruth as possible, they would blame smaller penises.

February 22, 2016

Antonin Scalia Could Have Been Assassinated

With all due respect to RedState author and blogger, Moe Lane, I disagree with the incompetence he assigns members of the Obama administration (and maybe by extension their sympathizers and cohorts) to dismiss the possibility of them executing a plot to murder Antonin Scalia.

Since the only inspiration I find to use this blog anymore is in the afterglow of a Twitter exchange with someone who has considerably more political and cultural influence than I have and whose acknowledgement of my offerings to the ether features aspects I can then ridicule in the hopes of provoking further interaction across media platforms, I would like to offer a critique of the tendency to flatly dismiss the most nefarious explanations as akin to flatly guzzling them.


The Drudge Report's headline last week reported in red that Scalia was found dead with a pillow over his head. That the scant information available has the pristine, cryptic quality of also wrapping him in tinfoil is difficult for me to ignore. To grant this detail mundanity in an innocent or natural theory of events is to suggest that A) Scalia's eyes were covered out of respect by the first person who discovered him and that reports he was discovered with a pillow over his face are technically true of subsequent viewers and that this technicality, known (somehow) with certainty by those glossing over the pillow, was exploited in order to bait those without this super secret inside knowledge into suspecting foul play (and therefore into looking like conspiracy nuts) or that B) Scalia, as he lay dying, placed the pillow over his own face as part of either an obscure ritual or an attempt to smother himself in conspiracy.

The manner of death of a person in such a pivotal position is as scandalous as need be relative to the vogue of one's particular depravity so you can't believe everything you read. 24-hour rule. Remember, this is an election year and there is a lot at stake. Keep your eye on the ball. That's just what they'd want you to think. Let's not be hasty. So I can understand Moe cautioning his followers and readers from adopting the most sensational of possible circumstances surrounding Scalia's death, but he does so not based on evidence to the contrary or because unethical or illegal behavior would be uncharacteristic, but, in part, because a previous scandal, Fast And Furious, was exposed by virtue of an incompetence he implies would be symptomatic of all other conceivable attempts (or at least this attempt) at competence. He does not dismiss an elaborate murder plot for being an unlikely or unsupported possibility, but as something that certainly did not happen. With all things being equal, a claim as unsubstantiated as a murder plot.

Instead of crucifying Moe for thinking he can just tweet without scientific rigor whenever he pleases, I want to consider why he might have chosen the option he did. Why natural causes when murder is just as valid with the same information? Why natural heart attack instead of poison heart attack instead of no heart attack at all but that's what we're supposed to think?

In Human Action, Ludwig Von Mises describes all human action as purposeful and aimed at removing or alleviating unease for a more satisfactory state of affairs. So I wonder if the unease soothed by actively dismissing a murder plot springs from an unease to validate a motive or state-of-mind that is inconsistent with or inconceivable to the dismisser. Where a murderer's relative deviation (or perceived or necessary deviation) from one's own sense of propriety is rejected more satisfactorily as the unease of accepting the deviant as a fellow member of one's species or culture intensifies. Where flatly dismissing a murder plot absolves everyone of suspicion and liberates future pursuits from the complication or distraction of any unease not dispelled when the slightest consideration of a murder plot, in the absence of a perpetrator, implicates everyone. Where rejecting the most conspiratorial or intricate explanations might have the dual benefit of initially seeming sober and optimistic while also being the easiest to forgive in the event that the 'unthinkable' proves to be true.


TO BE CONTINUED....

December 21, 2015

Kylo's Amateur Mind Meld (WARNING: SPOILERS)

This is just a quick post to address one of the many questions The Washington Free Beacon's Sonny Bunch posed regarding plot elements of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In his piece entitled "Rey from Star Wars is basically just John Cena", Bunch asks how Rey, who is not a Jedi, could even know the Jedi Mind Trick and telekinesis are things.

When Han Solo tells Finn and Rey that Luke Skywalker, The Jedi, and The Force are all true, Rey does not respond, "Yah, I know." She instead gazes in wonder at the magical possibilities. How then could this industrial picker, isolated on a desert planet her entire life, shortly thereafter not only conceive of the notion, but then earnestly attempt to telepathically persuade a stormtrooper into releasing her from captivity, especially since Han Solo did not offer any particulars? This is my theory.

It is important to note this exchange between Solo, Finn, and Rey happens before Kylo Ren attempts the Mind Meld on Rey to extract the missing piece of the map. It is during this psychic struggle that I believe Rey acquires the knowledge of The Force's and her own (heretofore dormant) Force-capable potential. It is Kylo Ren's incomplete tutelage under Skywalker that permits Rey a glance at this potential. It is Kylo's lack of mastery over this technique that provides Rey the knowing of things that we don't grant she can know.

If Kylo's training had been successfully completed, he likely would not have been sloppy enough to spill The Force's beans, to subconsciously reveal to Rey that she has tools like the Jedi Mind Trick and telekinesis at her disposal.

UPDATE: Sonny Bunch was kind enough to consider the possibility of this theory.


Editor's Note: Thanks, Sonny!

February 9, 2015

Immunity From The Herd

Several potential presidential candidates addressed the ongoing measles outbreak and kicked off a debate about whether or not to forcibly require vaccinations.  I hadn't tackled the issue philosophically so I began with the premise that it would be immoral to force someone to get vaccinated and also immoral to force someone to interact with the unvaccinated.  That it's moral to deny science and to endanger yourself and also moral to discriminate against those plaguemares by refusing them onto your property.

And that would be a very popular discrimination. Popular not because you alone hold that view, but because many others share that view. But if the morality of a discrimination depends upon its popularity, and you alone do not constitute popularity, then others necessarily dictate who you may or may not prohibit, violating the premise.

  
Popular opinion as a moral authority violates the premise. Lawful enforcement of that popular opinion violates the premise. So if the popularity of a discrimination cannot alter its morality, then all discrimination is equally moral. To deny the morality of the least popular discrimination is to violate the premise. In a country or system where laws may be repealed or its constitution amended to require violation of the premise, it becomes necessary to persuasively defend the morality of the least popular discrimination from popular legislation or else cede the morality of discrimination altogether.

Racial discrimination seems to be the most polarizing and unpopular so it's necessary to defend the morality of hanging a 'Whites Only' sign in a store window. I do so in the context of attempting to persuade someone to accept the premise instead of using sabotage or legislation to remove the sign.

To be continued...

August 12, 2014

Terminal Pedantry

Red Eye ombudsman Andy Levy was a guest on the AoSHQ Podcast this week and at one point used the term 'micro-aggression' to describe a woman clutching her purse when a black person approaches. A similar example, provided by the race-baiter-in-chief,  is a car door locking when a black person walks by. While I agree that these behaviors may hurt the feelings of the offended race/gender/religion, I strongly disagree with using the term 'micro-aggression' in these cases and think it does more harm than good.

I don't know all of the subtle differences between the non-aggression principle, the zero-aggression principle, and all of the other narrow variations but, to me, as a libertarian, the initiation of force against another person or their property (what I generally call aggression) is immoral. I don't think a person's thoughts can ever be aggressive, regardless of how vile and immoral they would be in practice. The only thought crime I can conceive of would be a cyborg with a human brain directing limbs or objects against another person, but even then I'm not sure there's a difference between using thoughts to maneuver flesh or machinery.

Credit: www.blu-ray.com

When I envision that woman clutching her own property and essentially making an effort to avoid conflict, however biased or unwarranted, it seems like a disservice to freedom and libertarianism to say she behaved immorally, however microcosmically.

Let's imagine that woman clutching her purse and then getting punched and mugged. Did she start it? She was technically the aggressor, 'micro-aggression'-users must say. Is a woman securing the clasp of her bag the equivalent of a finger in the chest? Was she asking for it?

So, in my opinion, as far as the language of liberty goes, 'micro-aggression' is a misnomer, and a harmful one at that. It is very similar to the 'CC' phrase that I will never utter again, except that 'micro-aggression' might actually have a place.

Reaching out and touching someone's hand as they grasp a pole on the subway and filming their reaction for youtube because you are unfunny could possibly be described as a micro-aggression if you were ranking aggression on a scale of micro to murder. But that's about it.

When I hear 'micro-aggression' in place of self-expression, I hear 'hate crime'. When I hear 'hate crime', I hear 'thought crime'.

Clutching a purse or setting a car alarm simply cannot be associated with aggression. There are plenty of other words like bias, preference, or bigotry that accurately describe the behavior, that wouldn't muddy 'aggression', and still be recognized as an exercise of free expression. Peaceful people come in the ignorant and paranoid varieties, too.

UPDATE: Andy Levy himself has responded to tonight's story requesting a clarification.


He thinks that he was mischaracterized and that's probably true but he inspired a small exercise and serendipitously replied within minutes to the publishing of that exercise so Thanks Andy!

UPDATE 8-14-14: Reworded the opening paragraph to remove any motivations I had assigned Mr. Levy.

June 4, 2014

EXCLUSIVE REPORT: Part II of Project Veritas' Hollywood Eco-Scam Series Gets Release Date

I can exclusively report, or at least report that I was nominally informed exclusively while thousands of others potentially became aware, that Project Veritas will release the eagerly anticipated sequel to their exposé of eco-hypocrites from two weeks ago.

The anticipation since has been dark and merciless but it appears the doctor is in. James O'Keefe took to Twitter this evening and shared with me, and through me exclusively to the rest of the world, that our satisfaction will finally arrive early on the morning of Thursday, June 5, 2014. That's tomorrow morning. Early.


Like I said.

Editor's Note: Thanks, James!

April 16, 2014

Turbotax: To Have And To Hold

Despite being morally opposed to their wretched existence, I would still appreciate some decency from my tax-preparers. An understanding of our relationship beyond the tedium and fees straight on through to the slavery. Perhaps some philosophical alignment as we navigate the cruel forces which brought us together on this day. Something unspoken, transmitted chemically, validating a mutual bloodlust.

But since I just used Turbotax*, I'd like them to reconsider the language of the first step in their process:

"...the portion the (federal) government kept" - Turbotax

The government did not keep anything, Turbotax; it took. It stole. It collected. However you want to say it. The government did not hold a portion back of what it allowed me to possess. The IRS is not permitting me an honorary slice of a whole which it provides. Instead, I'm left with a remainder after whatever political whim confiscates my money by force this year. I think some simple rephrasing would do better justice to the situation. Might I recommend some of the pep and hustle of Boxes 15-20?

"...state taxed...hard-earned..." - Turbotax

"Taxed". "Hard-earned". Consistent with this language and insight, Boxes 1-6 could read: "Let's start with the money you made this year, and the portion the federal government taxed. That's what these boxes are about." Nice and easy. I'm not asking Turbotax to tell me the government will screw me based on these figures, I would just like to know they understand the nature of this transaction.

They approached the state tax section so heroically that it's a wonder the same species could have written the federal section. Maybe they assigned a Progressive to Boxes 1-6 and a Tea Partier to 15-20 and their personalities shone through and Turbotax is to be applauded for their diverse and unpredictable tone. 

Or maybe Turbotax labored over every syllable of those blurbs and what we have is exactly what we're meant to have. With this possibility in mind, there are a couple of reasons these blurbs can be read as anti-federalist, pro-centralized-government subtleties.

 1) Notice how a (non-specified) government 'keeps', yet a (non-governmental) state 'taxed' 'hard-earned money'? One is nebulous and a keeper, the other specific and a taker. The federal government has been othered as non-aggressive while the state is the explicit taxer.

2) In Boxes 15-20, the word 'too'. This, Turbotax could claim, is proof they meant the government also taxes hard-earned money. Fine. I will just note this is the (federal) government from several sections ago that also taxes hard-earned money, and that the jab is taken in the state tax section, allowing the (federal) government's blurb to remain pristine. The correlation between the (federal) government and taxes, linguistically, is distantly removed. Maybe some ass-covering by Turbotax just in case there are people like me, but do note that the government as keeper blurb is untainted by these revelations.

Subtle, yes, but that is the nature of psychological warfare.

Whether it's philosophically inconsistent copy or centralized-government astro-turfing I leave to you.

*I experienced no technical problems filing my taxes.

December 23, 2013

Duck Post 1

A response to this from Ace.  I'm going to post it in the comments there, too.

I know that you know that a company has right to fire employees.  Another way of saying it is to say that it is a moral act to fire an employee.  It is moral to act within your rights. The fired employee doesn't have a right to the job, and you are not required to employ them. It may not be wise, or it may be the best decision ever made, but either way it was a moral act to fire them. If we can agree to this point then I ask: what is right if no one is morally wrong?

You think it was wrong for Robertson to be fired. The people running A&E thought it was a proper response. It's hard to disagree with either of you. I don't like people getting fired for nothing-burgers, but I also understand that gay marriage is sweeping the nation and a very gay-heavy Winter Olympics is right around the corner so there is probably a heightened sense right now and no one wants to be 'that guy'.

A cable channel nods to the cultural zeitgeist (not just GLAAD) which is sympathetic to rejects homosexual discrimination and a rugged, self-sufficient multi-millionaire proudly shares religious beliefs with no hesitation.

Who is 'right' here?

Edit: Poor wording

December 15, 2013

Capitalist Gives Capitalism a Bad Name


Doug Kimball gives Capitalism a bad name.

He did so Thursday on Ricochet in a piece entitled "Capitalists Give Capitalism a Bad Name" and I hope to discredit much of what he wrote. If it is inappropriate to cite him in the manner I have, then I am happy to adjust the format (somehow). Chunks from Mr. Kimball's piece are in bold with my responses below.

Time Magazine has named Pope Francis Man of the Year for 2013.  It’s fitting, I think, as the Pope's less than flattering statements about capitalists have left statists, communists, socialists and the editors of Time all atwitter. 

The ignorant Pope said some ignorant things which pleased Progressives and Mr. Kimball goes on to agree.

William F. Buckley once said, “The trouble with socialism is socialism; the trouble with capitalism is capitalists.” Jonah Goldberg reminded us of this in a recent column. Before we go all Libertarian MMA on all this capitalism bashing, it must be said: capitalism, like democracy,  can be a very destructive thing when unfettered and without conscience. 

Here, the casual use of the word 'destructive' to describe capitalism is troublesome. With no other context, the word 'destructive' has a negative connotation. It sounds like immoral damage. My challenge to Kimball is to submit an instance of this negative destruction for debate.

Capitalism is the absence of coercion. If I send a wrecking ball through your home without your permission I am being destructive. That of course is not Capitalism. But if I have your permission then I am simply remodeling. That is Capitalism. Is it technically destructive that I take down a wall to remodel? Yes. But wasn't it done for constructive purposes (and with your permission)? So, is it accurate to say my work was destructive? If you want to impugn me.

Capitalism, in its purest state, strives for cost avoidance, market dominance, and monopoly.  Competition is key to an efficient market, but the true capitalist seeks to eliminate competition at every level by every means possible. This is difficult, but not impossible. Thus, for capitalism to work, capitalists must be restrained from unfair practices that constrain competition. 

I'm glad he brought up Capitalism in its purest form but it's troublesome that he would assign it only the mission to conquer. Some Capitalists may strive for microscopic efficiency and market dominance, but that is not a prerequisite. Chopping just enough wood for your neighbors that you can feed yourself is as pure an act of Capitalism as being the largest tech company. The true Capitalist, Mr. Kimball, is entitled to the fruits of their own labor and functions without being coerced or coercing others. Capitalists do not need to be restrained because Capitalism does not encompass the restrainable. Actions such as property sabotage and theft are immoral and should be punished because they are not Capitalistic.

Determining what is unfair can be difficult. There is a point where large corporations, with their access to capital and influence, become political creatures of a sort; they lobby for political advantage, seek protection for technological advantages, look for tax benefits, seek out government contracts and generally seek any advantage that will allow their profits to defy economic trends. Large corporations even lobby for increased regulation when it can deliver a disadvantage to smaller competitors. This explains the cozy relationship some large corporations have with political players who are hardly friends of capitalism. 

Everyone except Capitalists seek special advantages from the government. If we seek economic sanctions on competitors we are Fascists (Corporatists).  Having your buddies in government cripple smaller competitors by doubling the minimum wage is Fascism. Buying government contracts is Fascism. Seeking any political bludgeon against competition is Fascistic. Even with the slightest regulations, an otherwise faithful Capitalist would only succeed by jumping through hoops and playing The Game. But they are no longer a functioning Capitalist; they've been extorted out of Capitalism into Fascism. Mr. Kimball seems to recognize this political entanglement is not friendly to Capitalism, yet implies we remain Capitalists while acting Fascistically. This is troublesome.

The problem with capitalism has always been the capitalists — that is, the men who bypass the need to build the most efficient business in favor of using cronyism to penalize and thwart competition, to fix the system to their advantage. “It’s just business” is not an ethical justification for cronyism, any more than it is for treating employees with contempt, ignoring regulations, or condoning unsafe or illegal practices. 

The problem is sentences like these. As we learned above: Fascists use cronyism, not Capitalists. The most troublesome phrase for Capitalism is 'crony Capitalism'. It is deeply enshrined in our manner of speaking about government corruption and it must change. Even 'crony' itself is poison because the slur's only popular context precedes 'Capitalism'. Fascism is the appropriate nasty word so I recommend that. Or Corporatism, but it unnecessarily dings corporations. 

Perhaps WFB and Pope Francis should have modified their criticisms. The problem with capitalism is that it is run by men — a species remarkably prone to self-aggrandizement and delusion to justify unethical, unfair and unsafe business practices. They're the ones who give capitalism a bad name.

I hope that Mr. Kimball modifies his criticisms. The problem is not Capitalism, it's giving Fascism its name.

***Edited: Wording in second to last paragraph. Removed 'needs to disappear' and replaced with 'is poison' for tone. 4-17-14***

November 22, 2013

The Shoe In The Mirror Theory

Today, on the 50th anniversary of his assassination, the White House managed to photograph JFK's portrait just as Barry occasioned by, entranced to such unimaginable depths of reflection that any of us would not likely find our way back should we embark upon them.


Oddly enough, it was because an opportunity here for peak-shamelessness went unexploited that I even looked twice. I thought for sure Barry would be eye-locked with his superior predecessor in existential osmosis, but he isn't. And even though I'd seen the portrait before, my mind never wondered beyond the frame what Kennedy was actually looking at. But all of a sudden here's this near-floor-to-ceiling photo-op of nothingness with which to follow his line of sight and...that's when you see it: the shoe in the mirror.


It looks like Barry's shoe or someone's (shoe) just behind him stepping over a Red line. Some kind of red sash or holiday ribbon. But notice the upward turn of the Red line; Barry would have to be holding the material taut and we can't see him doing that.

Regardless of how it was achieved, Kennedy was murdered by a Red communist coward and, if you were to strech him a bit, his leg and foot would be anatomically correct with the reflection.

And since I think Barry&Co. are spiteful cowards with bloodthirsty pedigrees I'm theorizing that this scene was meticulously staged and meant to convey, however cryptically, on this conspiracy-rich anniversary, that Kennedy crossed a line - a Red line.

Correction: The first sentence of this post suggests the photo was taken today. Evidence has been provided which suggests the photo was taken in 2009. Though the date the photo was taken on is irrelevant to the theory, I would like to be accurate.

UPDATE: A reader from another site has a different picture from roughly the same time as the one in question.


So, it's not a sash or a banner, it's a rug. A rug that Barry is standing unnaturally upon.  This makes you wonder how many photos were taken from how many angles and why the White House settled on the one they did.

He is standing in the exact position as in the original photo.  Look at his foot exceeding the corner of the rug in both pictures. A photographer snapped one of those photos, moved to a new location, and snapped the other (we don't know the order). All the while, Barry's foot remained planted in the same awkward position. And it just so happens that position aligns his reflection with a natural extension of Kennedy's body in the photograph chosen? No, I don't think so.

September 21, 2013

Medicare: A Fraud Harming Workers

Kevin D. Williamson recently took to Twitter to promote his latest, The Price Of Politics, and translated the $90B ($90,000,000,000) in annual Medicare fraud into a stunning analogy:

It's a brisk, depressing piece and I encourage you to read it.  The world's largest hedge fund is smaller than the combined theft against our workers and our elderly that elected officials are willing to tolerate every single year.  What else but a government program could be such a pushover? Maybe a junkie.  Ace summed it up beautifully as a "ghostwritten suicide note".

This $90B, this gigantic fraud, is so offensive that I did math and what I found is startling.

According to this, if I have things straight, there are currently 155.5 million people in the workforce.

When you divide the $90B in annual dollars grifted from Medicare by the 155.5 million workers contributing to the fund, you get an average personalized theft of $578.78 from each worker.

For a casual glance at how Medicare dollars are collected, I referred to this page which says a tax of 1.45% is collected from each employee.

To cover just the cost of fraud committed against them, Americans have to earn more than $39,915.86 a year if they even want to begin to contribute to what they imagine resembles health security. If you make less than $39,915.86 a year, your entire contribution to Medicare has been defrauded from the government. 

(Editor's Note: I am not an economist, nor do I really know anything about Medicare. There are probably more nuances to achieving the precise figures I'm after, but it's as start. If you have more reliable numbers or insight then please share because I'm confident it will be ugly regardless.)

Update: Erased an opening salvo that was probably not very helpful.

July 10, 2013

Wa∩ted

Best-selling author and Washington Examiner columnist, David Freddoso, tweeted the following yesterday:

Udall is Colorado Democrat Senator Mark Udall (of Obamacare infamy).  His opponent's sidekick, as Freddoso notes, could shoe a horse:

2014 U.S. Senate Candidate, Randy Baumgardner (R-CO)

That is Randy Baumgardner, and he will be at least one of Udall's Republican challengers for U.S. Senate in 2014.  He is a rancher, former Colorado state employee, and wears the kind of stache that makes you wonder who's grooming whom.  Randy needs to round up as many votes as possible to defeat Udall and, if he implemented the following ad campaign, likely would not be worse off.

Mustaches have enjoyed a major renaissance in the last few years.  Whether Randy is an excruciating hipster or has always looked like a boss is beside the point; the mustache, love it or leave it, is relevant. 

My first thought was replacing the 'm' or 'n' in Baumgardner with a mustache.  Then I thought about replacing the 'n' in Randy.  Those were not original ideas as Freddoso pointed out:


That's a great image for playful use on the web, but probably not appropriate for a statewide campaign.  Then I came up with this:


Obviously a graphics artist could make the '∩' look more like an actual mustache, but imagine that on billboards, bumperstickers, store windows, etc.  No name, no office, no other information.  People will wonder what it means, ask others if they know, and some will know damn well.  The sooner this stubbles up the better.

And the font evokes a certain hardness. The Old West.  You think about the outlaw on the poster but you also maybe get the essence of the deputy who hung the notice.  It definitely evokes firearms (to Americans and movie-goers) and that is a crucial voter base in Colorado considering their new firearm restrictions.  If a candidate isn't fighting for gun-owners and the Second Amendment in upcoming elections they will not have connected with a passionate ally.  So the font alone harmonizes well with the concerns of self-defense advocates in Colorado.

Now, once every Coloradan's awareness has been infringed by the 'WA∩TED' enigma, (let's call it 6 months before election day), the billboards and bumperstickers and store windows get an update:


 and just


But with better staches.  And 'Randy' seems like an easy word to brand.  Simple, sexy, two-syllables. 'Baumgardner' is a mouthful for casual use.

Bonus Material:

1)  The '∩' symbol is used mathematically to denote an intersection.  Some math fun to be had.
2)  The '∩' symbol is also a horizontal flip of the 'U' in Udall.  Some graphical fun to be had.
3)  #WA∩TED and #RA∩DY are both functioning hashtags. 

Editor's Note
Full disclosure: As of this writing, I don't know anything else about Randy Baumgardner.  I do know damn well that Colorado Democrat Senator Mark Udall voted for Obamacare and in doing so is shamed for all time.

April 25, 2013

BRIDGESTONE TIRES (Boston Strong Commercial)

*Scientific environment. Serious, sincere spokesperson.*

SCIENTIST: "We at Bridgestone have a passion for excellence and your safety is our highest concern."

*Montage of actual tests that are performed on tires, scientists checking off lists with approval*

SCIENTIST:  "In light of a recent event in Boston, we challenged our scientists to recreate those conditions to ensure that our standards are still being met."

*Close up of a pile of dog crap. A tire enters the picture from the left and flattens the pile with a squish*

SCIENTIST: "Still safe."

*Bridgestone logo with #BostonStrong below*

April 24, 2013

Bridgestone: Boston Strong

@BenK84 from Ace of Spades HQ had a damn good idea this morning:


He suggested Firestone, but Bridgestone had some unfortunate press following the Boston bombings because Sailor (#2) wore their hat that day. So here are some thoughts:

1) Tire commercials usually show water flowing over the treads to demonstrate how traction is maintained. I humbly suggest doing a similar demonstration with blood. Instead of the treads evacuating water, a narrator could draw our attention to the way the innovative design desanguinates.

2) Zoom in on a dummy's head as it is being compressed by the weight of a tire. The tire grinds the dummy's head back and forth, back and forth. Maybe even a ridiculous shot of a car driving straight over a dummy, with no educational merit whatsoever.

3) Before the blood/tread test, a vial full of terrorist blood is shown before being poured on the tire. Maybe there is some kind of explanation about the blood used. A scientist decries the availability of terrorist blood, so they use the closest known analogue: dog's blood. A golden retriever is on a bed with IVs among the various instruments and gauges. Or maybe the world's ugliest dog makes a cameo.

4) Maybe they use shit instead. "In light of recent events, we tried to duplicate the conditions in our laboratory." A steaming pile is slowly squished by a tire. We get an underview of the process through the glass floor and narration from a scientist. 'Fecal displacement' or something. 'Scat-ter'.

I'll try to think of some other things. A laboratory or test facility setting seems best. A scientist walks us over to the tread/blood/fecal demonstration as a test car in the background hurtles at a wall with a dummy pinned to the bumper.

Bridgestone could be as psychotic as they please as long as they end the commercial with #BostonStrong.


March 19, 2013

The Ketchup Prophecy

Some oracles watch the sale of socks and underwear as their gauge for the health of the economy. I started watching ketchup in '08 and '09 when fast food places weren't automatically throwing in a couple of packets with my meals. I understood there was belt-tightening so I asked for them. Then gradually the employees started asking if I wanted ketchup, then they started slinging gratuitous packets again.

Maybe for the last month, but definitely for the last couple of weeks, they've been going dry on me again.

March 5, 2013

The Optics of A Lie: Esquire and Osama bin Laden's 'Shooter' (conspiracy theory)

It is late April of 2011. You're in a top-secret meeting discussing the infiltration of Osama bin Laden's (OBL's) compound. In a few short days, the administration's ignorant cult will hail the calls made in this meeting as gutsy. In order to conjure this circle-jerk, an operation which will result in OBL's capture or death must be planned. After logistics and timing have been decided, the matter of personnel must be settled. You overhear the following exchange:
ARMY GENERAL: We'll need the finest operators we have. Experience, stealth, accuracy. Guts...living, breathing gutsiness. Ones that know what they're doing and what the hell they're talking about. Elite.

ADMIRAL: My finest team will lead. They're max-elite. We need another member, equally as elite. Rudimentary knowledge of firearms a plus.

MARINE GENERAL: I've got a spare for you, Admiral; a danger to mankind. He knows something of firearm accessories.
You surmise that the most elite force in the world has been assembled. Then they surmise that you know too much and plot to discredit you.

Because according to a report from Esquire, the 'Shooter' who killed OBL either doesn't know how to properly express his interaction with guns, is lying to Esquire, or is a fictional character made up by someone at Esquire who doesn't know anything about guns. Which would be consistent with Esquire already either lying about Shooter's health benefits or dutifully reporting Shooter's ignorance of his own damn future, which does not bode well for anyone's credibility as we look at this bizarre statement (h/t @alimhaider, as reported by @BillGertz):
"In that second, I shot him, two times in the forehead. Bap! Bap! The second time as he's going down. He crumpled onto the floor in front of his bed and I hit him again, Bap! same place. That time I used my EOTech red-dot holo sight. He was dead. Not moving. His tongue was out. I watched him take his last breaths, just a reflex breath."
Emphasis mine, but what precedes it is just as important. An "EOTech red-dot holo sight" sits on top of a rifle or pistol and is what you aim through. It's also a generic phrase; there are many different models for different uses, all of which are EOTech red-dot holo sights. 'Holo' is short for holographic. It has a very cool 'floating' reticle and it's an easy way to acquire your target while maintaining situational awareness (you can keep both eyes open). These sights are readily available for purchase and are widely used by our troops. Put another way, they are professional-grade optics of death that you can buy.

From someone's ebay sale of an EOTech

"That time I used my EOTech red-dot holo sight."

If Shooter was talking to other SEALs he would probably just call his sight his 'sight'. He's allegedly speaking to journalists so he may be dropping some knowledge on them; that makes a shred of sense. More than anything, it just seems frivolous and wreaks of sponsorship. It's just so weird. But once you put "EOTech red-dot holo sight" in context, it's more important how it was used than that it was used. The sight was used 'that time'. That Bap. Not for those first two Baps, those were 'those times' and they were in OBL's forehead. The third Bap, That Bap, was fired into a heap of scum on the floor. This is Shooter's version of events:
In a dark room, with an alert target using a hostage as a shield, Shooter manages two bullets into OBL's forehead.
Other Bap!
Other Bap!
With OBL on the floor like the stain he is, Shooter uses his state of the art precision aiming device for the first time.
That Bap!
You know how we humanize celebs and say 'they shit like the rest of us'? Well, Navy SEALs aim like the rest of us.  You don't use your "EOTech red-dot holo sight" for the first time on your third shot, especially when those first two were headshots.

So, if Shooter is pimping for a brand, what's their slogan?
When your target already has brain vents...trust us.

It doesn't make any sense. Not to mention this misstatement is part of a report which Esquire already corrected after they admittedly 'misstated' Shooter's health benefits. Fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again.

With all of this in mind, here are some possibilities:

#1) Shooter is real, he shot OBL, and he cheated on his aptitude battery because he is a moron. He's also probably why the stealth chopper crashed.
#2) Shooter is a real person and either duped Esquire by himself or is part of a government conspiracy (maybe with Esquire) to deepen intrigue surrounding the raid.
#3) Shooter is fake, created entirely by Esquire (maybe even with government help).

Theory #3 explains these misstatements as the flaws of a lie. Esquire would be doing this for the power that goes along with the perception of having access to OBL's shooter. It would be hard for them to do this very long without official rebuttals so political involvement would be helpful. Flattering facts of the raid could be 'corroborated' by Shooter. They can shame Veterans Affairs in the public eye by misstating benefits. They can use generic phrases like "EOTech red-dot holo sight" to raise awareness while their political allies seek to criminalize such things. They can probably pull a few moves we haven't seen yet. What Theory #3 predicts we will see, though, is a politician citing OBL's shooter as having used an EOTech and that such advanced technology does not belong on our streets.

(Editor's note: I am not suggesting that OBL is still alive or that his death was a hoax. I question Shooter's reliability as a source and, given Esquire's health benefit hairsplitting, even Shooter's existence. I am also not suggesting that Esquire or Shooter may have created this character specifically to target EOTech sights; it's a perk.)

November 14, 2012

Scorpio Killer Humanism

Ted Turner said in an interview recently that it was "te[(rrible?) rrific?]...good that (American) troops are committing suicide (in greater numbers than die in combat)." Fuck him and his mother.

 Ted Turner

In recent years I've generally tried to live life with a tolerant, free-market state of mind and as strongly as I rejected Turner's words emotionally, I felt trapped philosophically into giving them credence. If our soldiers are so demoralized, we will recoil and disfavor decisions which might put them in that position. The market of humanity will bias toward peace. And that's good, right? Wait, that can't be right, because that would mean I agree with Ted Turner and he is lower than shit. Luckily that isn't what he said.

A school bus is loaded with children. The bus driver changed a tire the day before and left one of the lugs loose. The tire finally comes off and every inhabitant dies in a crash. Is it good that those children died so that another driver double-checks their own lugs?

NO.

But if a lesson is learned - good. After the evening news, maybe a few people will go out and kick the tires before tomorrow's commute. Check the fluids, get a tune-up. Maybe just be more thoughtful, if only for a day. THAT is good.

Is it good that people will lose their jobs, some even unwittingly as a result of their own vote (for a traitor) in an election?

NO.

But if a lesson is learned - good. Maybe they will sour on the regulation that cost them their temp work or shut down their mine. They might blame the politician and party that passed it. THAT is good.

Is it good that more soldiers are committing suicide than die in combat?

NO.

Ted Turner is an asshole.

(There will be future posts on this subject very soon and I am open for debate in the comments.)

Editor's Note: I know damn well that is not Ted Turner.

October 7, 2012

September 14, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Jason Dufner - Unburdened By Destiny

Legendary comedian Norm McDonald has quickly become a bookie's saboteur while hypnotizing the Golf world (and indeed the rest) with masterful sessions of exploration and cold reason, arriving invariably at models of ordained futures. Only a few short days ago he predicted Rory McIlroy's victory at the BMW Championship down to the stroke at -20. Rightly so, his knowledge of next weekend's Tour Championship has been highly sought after and he has delivered this evening...a full 10 days ahead of schedule:


 Jason Dufner 3-time winner on the PGA Tour.

Freshly aware of his destiny, Dufner's first response to next weekend's victory was coveted by the Golf press and I am proud to exclusively report his reaction:


Congratulations.

UPDATE: Thanks to @NormMacdonald and OpieRadio for linking to my story!

August 14, 2012

Demon Veep

Ben at Ace of Spaces HQ tweeted about wanting Paul Ryan and his Mom do some campaign commercials so I threw out an idea which he liked so now I'm going to riff on it. I'm open to improvements, especially the granny's subdued/distant monologue.


IDEA 1

Open with a shot of a child's bedroom and an adult black man sleeping on his right side in a child's bed. Next shot is the back of the man's head, which reveals a massive and characteristic ear, as sheep begin to jump over his head. He coos with approval and drifts off to sleep.

A wide shot of what appears to be a man pushing Granny in a wheelchair toward the edge of a cliff. Tight shot on the back of a man's figure with a delicate, fuzzy sheep head and neck, trembling inside a broad and distinguished suit, bouncing as we hear the bouncing of the wheelchair over rocks. [Our dreamer lets out moans of approval throughout]. We now sense the void in front of DemonVeep and his passenger as they slow to a stop at the precipice.

The camera halts, and begins an orbit around DemonVeep which will reveal his face. As the orbit begins, we hear small talk from the elderly passenger about her grand-kids and their activities. Her voice is slightly distant and the orbit and music imply a sinister revelation of the head, but we hear her. "...and the kids are fine..." The orbit completes, and we stare DemonVeep in his terrible eyes. [Our dreamer is giddy with delight] "I'm just glad to know there's enough money left for them. Thanks to..."

DemonVeep shrugs a cold, comical shrug, and with it, dumps granny off the cliff.

"...youuuu..."

[Maniacal laughter]

Maybe a dummy shot where the dummy is obvious. Maybe not, those can be dumb.

Below, a jogging/bow-hunting Paul Ryan is jogging/stalking by and catches Granny heroically, then goes about his business.

[Our dreamer wakes up with a terrible cry]

If possible, it would be cool to sample Vader's infamous "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" to express the cry but any jolt of panic will do.

IDEA 2

My initial tweet about this actually had Evil Paul Ryan with glowing red eyes pushing granny off the cliff and Good Paul Ryan catching her but I totally forgot about that once I started writing. Everything else is the same.

IDEA 3

Ok, I departed almost entirely from my original tweet. Take out the man in the child's bed intro, the moans of approval and the laughter, and just start with the wide shot of the cliff. Evil Paul Ryan and Good Paul Ryan. Obama wakes from dream.

IDEA 4

Seeing Paul Ryan actually catch the Granny might be off-putting and little too much pre-success-hero-worship of the brand we saw for Barry. Maybe instead, since we see Granny forcibly launched down the face, we just see her adjusting her skirt (subliminally now able to stand) and Paul Ryan is already 20 feet away, on about his business. There is no heroic catch and stupid exchange of grins, just a safe Granny and a jogging/stalking-again Paul Ryan.




July 12, 2012

The Four Judges Theory

I'm not going to spend much time on this but it's a valid theory about the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision and I haven't seen anyone toss it out.

The most popular theory at this point seems to be that Roberts is a fame-whoring shit-ass. Another theory is that Roberts is running a risky yet genius gambit which will lead to the political defeat of Obamacare and arguably a more republican death for this anti-freedom disgrace.

But when I considered the genius theory, I supposed that the genius must also have dawned on the Four justices who dissented. Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Kennedy could not all be blind to the legendary finesse, this gambit of guile. But fidelity to this vision would also mean a 9-0 decision and a fatal rebuke of the sensibilities of the Tea Party and millions of other liberty-loving Americans who are nearly unhinged at this point.

Which is exactly why Four conspired to dissent.

The leaks from the deliberations painted a simple illusion of resentment.

The chatter from the Left before the verdict was whether a 5-4 decision with an activist Roberts could ever be legitimate. They were scared. These baggers might abort their deformed, mutant love child of a law and have a party. We were scared, too. What if Kennedy pulls a Kennedy and drowns us all? No one expected Four activist judges in a dissent to salvage the American psyche - until repeal.

April 21, 2012

Obama Ate A Dog

You know Obama ate a dog, right? AllahPundit summed up the story nicely at Hot Air thusly:
"See, I thought the dog-eating thing was a surreal goof on the left’s moronic preoccupation with Romney’s dog..."
Team Barry was actually going to give Romney grief about his dog surviving a family vacation and instead are buried under an avalanche of infinite and unflattering one-liners. Not only is Obama a disgraced failure, he is also now a bona fide joke. I actually had a back and forth with the author of the story on Twitter a couple of days before he became god-king of the internet. Anyway, there are some awesome photoshops out there and I'm just piling onto the bonfire.




Telebone

A couple of weeks ago I told rdbrewer on Twitter that I had a vision of the future and asked him to think "interactive pornography".  It totally slipped my mind and then ironically AceofSpadesHQ had a bit about sex robots in tonight's Overnight Thread and reminded me that I owed rdbrewer that vision. A vision far nobler than animatronic masturbation.

For the life of me I can't find the video (or any video) that inspired the vision.  There were a few people standing around a 3-D model of a skyscraper or hotel or some kind of complex and a fabric descended on the model and sort of vacuum-sealed around it. This is smart fabric or nano fabric, so the dimensions of the fabric are calculated and saved. Halfway around the world, another architect needs the model yesterday and, poof, a 3-D model pops up on their smart fabric printer/modeler. Wherever I saw it, it made an impression.

So obviously I sexualized it almost immediately and thought about a porn star pumping into a sleeve and on the other end a paying customer of any persuasion is getting it from their favorite buck. And then I thought about hundreds of women getting nailed simultaneously by the same stud, who is watching dozens of them live on webcam on a massive display of monitors. Every motion of every session could be recorded and replayed at will.

Female porn stars could wear smart fabric inserts which paying customers could access from anywhere on earth.

I don't know if this is trans-sex or tele-sex or what but at some point in the future it seems viable.

A married couple could use it. They record themselves (with smart fabric) having anal sex, he now enters her vaginally and activates the smart fabric so she receives the anal session and now double penetration.

On a more somber note, widows/widowers could remain intimate with departed lovers.

So yah, that was the vision.

March 6, 2012

Amazon Is Playing Games

I wrote a review for the Communist Manifesto on March 2, 2012.  Amazon sent a confirmation email on March 2, 2012 letting me know my review was live on their site. It wasn't listed on my profile as my most recent review so I thought maybe there was a lag so I gave it a couple of days - no luck. This morning I just happened to be looking for comments on past reviews and there was my Communist Manifesto review from March 2, 2012...dated June 20, 2011!

You might be wondering why that matters as long as my review was accepted and tallied. The problem is, Amazon keeps a running list of recent reviews on the front page of each product. They feature the top 3 reviews directly under the product, then 10 of the most recent off to the right side.  The very bottom review of the 10 most recent was posted three months ago...meaning that review has stayed on the front page for three months waiting for someone to come along, write a new review, and bump it to another page. Which means my review had a good chance of being on the front page for no less than 3 months! And clearly that was unacceptable to someone at Amazon.

My review submitted on March 2, 2012:

1/5 stars selfish drivel

it takes a soft mind to believe legalizing theft and destroying private property has a prosperous future. had the authors been gainfully employed they might have viewed the world less selfishly. there is no more solipsistic ideology in the world than what is put forth on these pages.

From my email, alerting me my review from 'June 20, 2011' had been accepted.



UPDATE: Welcome to the morons from Ace of Spades. Not sure how you got here but thanks for blowing up my stats.

UPDATE: Same day, just adding some shenanigans that put Amazon on my radar in the first place. Full disclosure, I'm currently a satisfied yet suspicious prime member. They've lost so much money to me in free two-day shipping that I almost feel sorry for them.

At least as early as March 12, 2011, I tried to stream the Ayn Rand documentary A Sense of Life through Amazon's instant video on my television (a service that I also pity them for offering). Sadly, I got a content error and couldn't watch it. Luckily, every single other movie I wanted to watch worked fine. But even from that first attempt I was suspicious because it wasn't happening in a vacuum. At the same time, there was buzz for the upcoming Atlas Shrugged movie and people, such as myself, might just have wanted to prime their pumps for the big show with a little perspective. So I tweeted my disgust. I continued to tweet my disgust until March 21, 2011, at which time the movie's content continued to err but I stopped bitching for whatever reason. All this time, anticipation for the movie's April 15, 2011 release was building and there was probably a larger than normal interest in all things Rand. For at least nine days using Amazon's instant video service, that was a futile desire. I ended up watching A Sense of Life some time in November of 2011 when Atlas Shrugged came out on video.

Probably another update or two coming up.

UPDATE: Over the past year I've probably bought a dozen economics books. Most recent was Hayek's The Fatal Conceit so an economics theme runs through Amazon's book recommendations. There I saw Adam Smith's masterpiece The Wealth of Nations looking for a home. I scrolled down to revel in some 5-star reviews because it sends the purchase off on a good note. And what do you know? The only displayed review in the editorial review section, before the general reviews, is this turd by former socialist Robert L. Heilbroner:

"Adam Smith's enormous authority resides, in the end, in the same property that we discover in Marx: not in any ideology, but in an effort to see to the bottom of things."

Nevermind that Marx was trying to see the bottom of a bottle. Nevermind whatever tenuous comparisons can be made between the men's motivations. The Wealth of Nations was published over 40 years before Marx was born and if either man deserves to be named in the others editorial review section, it is Adam Smith. But you won't see him there, you will only see this olive branch:

"...Marx and Engels's critique of capitalism and its deleterious effect on all aspects of life, from the increasing rift between the classes to the destruction of the nuclear family, has proven remarkably prescient..."