Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mandy, you promiscuous little wench ! !

Mandy has pushed out yet another litter.  1 male and 5 females. 
Hit the links, and then try to guess which one The Aggie named. 

Get on the list NOW if you want one of them. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Lives Of Others - Getting the crooked timber of humanity to yield to your vision

I saw The Lives Of Others last night.
If you haven't seen it, the film tells the story of an East German couple (prior to The Wall coming down), a member of the Stazi (the notorious secret police), and how the experience of spying on the couple leads the policeman to his redemption. 

It's probably one of the 10 best movies I've ever seen.

One of the saddest things about watching a film like this? 
1)  Not just the Socialist Body Count, which is a staggering number....
2)  Or understanding the diminished lives of everyone who had to live in the Communist system, but....
3)  Realizing that very few people in the U.S. understand the magnitude of the crimes committed by the Socialist regimes that were in power for most of the previous century.  I'd bet that typical college graduates can tell you more about the anti-Communist witch hunts of the McCarthy era than can tell you about the body counts achieved by the socialist governments that prompted the witch hunts. 

(In the U.S. during the McCarthy era, somewhere around 10,000 people lost their jobs or had to take less than desirable employment because of their previous association with the Communist party.  An army dentist who was promoted despite being unwilling to answer questions about his political loyalties became the subject of a media whirlwind.  93 people were convicted of belonging to organizations that advocated the overthrow of the U.S. government.  Around 300 actors and screenwriters were blacklisted and were unable to write for Leave It To Beaver.)
None of these things should have happened.  It was a bad time.  But let's look at what prompted the Red Scare: 

According to The Black Book Of Communisim, originally published in France, english translation published in 1999, these are the civilian lives claimed by Communism:

U.S.S.R. - 20 million deaths
China - 65 million deaths
Vietnam - 1 million deaths
North Korea - 2 million deaths
Cambodia - 2 million deaths
Eastern Europe - 1 million deaths
Latin American - 150,000 deaths
Africa - 1.7 million deaths
Afghanistan - 1.5 million deaths
The international Communist movement and Communist parties not in power: 10,000 deaths

The total approaches 100 million people killed.  I don't think that the crimes of the Socialists and the crimes of the United States can be seen as moral equivalents.   

Here's Claire Berlinski, writing for City Journal:

In the world’s collective consciousness, the word “Nazi” is synonymous with evil. It is widely understood that the Nazis’ ideology—nationalism, anti-Semitism, the autarkic ethnic state, the Führer principle—led directly to the furnaces of Auschwitz. It is not nearly as well understood that Communism led just as inexorably, everywhere on the globe where it was applied, to starvation, torture, and slave-labor camps. Nor is it widely acknowledged that Communism was responsible for the deaths of some 150 million human beings during the twentieth century. The world remains inexplicably indifferent and uncurious about the deadliest ideology in history.

For evidence of this indifference, consider the unread Soviet archives. Pavel Stroilov, a Russian exile in London, has on his computer 50,000 unpublished, untranslated, top-secret Kremlin documents, mostly dating from the close of the Cold War. He stole them in 2003 and fled Russia. Within living memory, they would have been worth millions to the CIA; they surely tell a story about Communism and its collapse that the world needs to know. Yet he can’t get anyone to house them in a reputable library, publish them, or fund their translation. In fact, he can’t get anyone to take much interest in them at all.

Then there’s Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, who once spent 12 years in the USSR’s prisons, labor camps, and psikhushkas—political psychiatric hospitals—after being convicted of copying anti-Soviet literature. He, too, possesses a massive collection of stolen and smuggled papers from the archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, which, as he writes, “contain the beginnings and the ends of all the tragedies of our bloodstained century.” These documents are available online at, but most are not translated. They are unorganized; there are no summaries; there is no search or index function. “I offer them free of charge to the most influential newspapers and journals in the world, but nobody wants to print them,” Bukovsky writes. “Editors shrug indifferently: So what? Who cares?”

The question is not so much "Who cares?" as "Why do we feel this way?"

For reasons that I'll never understand, a lot of intelligent people are able to give Socialism a free pass because the goals of Socialism are so "humane" and "egalitarian".   The death camps, which you have to have for the people who decline to be Socialized, are overlooked as a fluke, or the unfortunate products of Socialism veering from the true path.  (The Black Book Of Communism, which I'm only 1/10th of the way into, puts that myth to rest nicely.  The tragedy in Russia wasn't caused by Stalin corrupting the ideals laid down by Lenin.  Both of those jokers operated from the same playbook.)

Remember the 1960's era hippies, with their copies of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book
How many Fidel Castro apologists have you met in your life?  I've known about a dozen, and read pieces by dozens of others. 
Look at Sean Penn, praising Socialist nutcase Hugo Chavez

Now....what would happen to Sean Penn's career if he praised a Nazi?  What if Penn defended someone really horrible like Joseph Goebbels, but whose policies, if you look at the death count, were less harmful than those of Karl Marx ?  Would Sean Penn ever be in another movie?  But for some reason, the Chavez crimes against humanity and property are more wholesome and his defenders are more politically "aware". 

If someone praised Auschwitz "Doctor" Josef Mengele, invited him to speak at a church in New York City, and then crowed online about Mengele's greatness and wisdom, do you think that person would deserved to be shunned for the rest of his life? 
But why do we accept this with a shrug, when the guest of honor is mass-murderer Fidel Castro?   

Free-market capitalism isn't perfect either.  However, if capitalism is left alone (and if it's participants aren't declared Too Big To Fail), it has some self-correcting aspects that provide an incredible amount of wealth and prosperity to a massive number of people.  Here's Jonah Goldberg on the strengths and weaknesses of Capitalism vs. Socialism:

If by “capitalist” you mean someone who cares more about his own profit than yours; if you mean someone who cares more about providing for his family than providing for yours; if you mean someone who trusts that he is a better caretaker of his own interests and desires than a bureaucrat he’s never met, often in a city he’s never been to: then we are all capitalists. Because, by that standard, capitalism isn’t some far-off theory about the allocation of capital; it is a commonsense description of what motivates pretty much all human beings everywhere.

And that was one of the reasons why the hard socialism of the Soviet Union failed, and it is why the soft socialism of Western Europe is so anemic. At the end of the day, it is entirely natural for humans to work the system — any system — for their own betterment, whatever kind of system that may be. That’s why the black-market economy of the Soviet Union might have in fact been bigger than the official socialist economy. That is why devoted socialists worked the bureaucracy to get the best homes, get their kids into the best schools, (see: Obama, Sasha and Malia) and provide their families with the best food, clothes, and amenities they could. Just like people in capitalist countries.

It’s why labor unions demanded exemptions and “carve-outs” from Obamacare for their own health-care plans. And why very rich liberals still try their best to minimize their taxes.  (see: Hypocrisy Awards: The Whiteys)

The problem with socialism is socialism, because there are no socialists. Socialism is a system based upon an assumption about human nature that simply isn’t true. I can design a perfect canine community in which dogs never chase squirrels or groom their nether regions in an indelicate manner. But the moment I take that idea from the drawing board to the real world, I will discover that I cannot get dogs to behave against their nature — at least not without inflicting a terrible amount of punishment. Likewise, it’s easy to design a society that rewards each according to his need instead of his ability. The hard part is getting the crooked timber of humanity to yield to your vision.
"The hard part is getting the crooked timber of humanity to yield to your vision."   What a great sentence.  That's why the Socialists had to have the death camps, the thousands of torture rooms, the firing squads, the Gulags, and the re-education centers to straighten out the dissenters. 
It's also why the Stazi officer in The Lives Of Others was camped out above the German couple's apartment, listening in with a set of headphones.  There was always someone, somewhere, who wasn't loyal to the vision. 
I hope you'll rent the movie.     

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New legislation would prevent shoppers from changing retailers without documentation ! !

I spend a lot of money at Home Depot. 
When I give them my money, it's proof that I value ceiling fan pull chains, deck lumber, weed eater string, fertilizer and the expertise of Home Depot employees more than I value my money. 
When the group at Home Depot gives me their merchandise and their expertise in exchange for my money, it's proof that they had rather have my cash than their inventory of chains, lumber, string, fertilizer, or their free time. 

Each party in the exchange believes that they're getting the better end of the deal.  Otherwise, no exchange would be taking place.  

I'm no longer happy with the Home Depot closest to my home.  I want to start swapping my money with a Lowe's Home Improvement Center. 

Unfortunately, Congressman Alan Smithee (R-California) has introduced legislation that would require me to give my neighborhood Home Depot a series of documented verbal and written warnings prior to spending my money at Lowe's.  Plus, in some cases, the burden of proof would be on me to prove that I didn't stop purchasing time and materials from Home Depot because of the race, religion, age, sexual orientation, or political views of their employees.

Should I fail to follow the letter of the law, I could be required to pay unemployment compensation to the Home Depot employees who are affected by my shopping decision.  My attorney has told me that making the switch probably isn't worth the risk. 
And that's not the worst part....all I want to do is walk into a freakin' Home Depot, find an electrical department employee who can explain how to wire a multi-speed ceiling fan, buy a pull-chain from him, and get the hell out.  But the Smithee Bill would make me responsible for the electrical department employee's health insurance ! ! ! !   I don't want to be the employee's mother, I just want to purchase some of his time, his work, his opinions, and a pull chain. 

Please help lobby to kill the Smithee Bill, and all legislation similar to it. 

If you know what I mean. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A brief rant about illegal tamales

For the last couple of weeks, I've been working out of a new Jukt Micronics warehouse in Richland Hills, Texas. 
Three different ladies come by every morning, selling homemade tamales and breakfast burritos. 

As best I can tell, there's not a convenience store, grocery store, or restaurant within a half mile of this location.
I've established that none of these ladies have food-handler's permits, small business licenses, street vendor authorization permits, or any of the other competition-stifling apparatus that would keep these three ladies from getting my guys fed every morning.

If there is a risk associated with eating this food, it's one that my employees and I have accepted with our eyes wide open.  Compare these tamales with the 3-day old, shrink-wrapped, industrialized fodder in a retail establishment.  The stuff that the "illegals" provide will make you throw rocks at that mess.   

If you are a city health inspector, my email address is dapfortworth at aol dot com.  Please email me, and I will let you know when the food vendors are going to come by my warehouse.  I want to photograph your sorry ass writing health violations on some of the best food provided by some of the best cooks in North Texas.
Or you could just call in sick for the rest of your "career".  No one would miss you.  Just stay home.  You're a burden on society who does nothing but add to the debt level.     
End of rant.  Thanks for listening !  

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

To the True Believer, no proof is necessary. To the Skeptic, no proof is possible

British geneticist J.B.S. Haldane was supposedly asked what it would take to discredit the theory of evolution.
"Rabbits in the Pre-Cambrian" was his response.  The idea being that rabbits should be a late arrival on the world stage, and if a rabbit fossil were found in the wrong place, it would cause some problems. 

I heard or read that story quite a while back, and intended to use it for the beginning of this post, but in a different way.  While reading up on Mr. Haldane, the Cambrian layer of fossils, and rabbits, I found this tidbit:
The late J. B. S. Haldane famously said that all it would take to falsify evolution is a single Cambrian rabbit fossil, and that is exactly what has been uncovered by paleontologist Dr Wilfred Splenebyrst of the London School of Ergonomics.

“I checked and double-checked the dating, and then checked it again with three independent labs,” said Dr Splenebyrst. “There really is no doubt. This is a 520-million year old rabbit fossil.”

The new fossil, Paleohyrax reprobae, differs from modern rabbits in a number of subtle anatomical ways, lending weight to it being truly a new species from the Cambrian era. “This is definitely not a modern rabbit,” said Dr Splenebyrst. “It was about half the size and may even have been carnivorous. It appears to have been foraging for trilobites in the ancient tidal pools.”
I have no idea what a Cambrian era bunny means.  I kinda like the idea of a Monty Python/Holy Grail carnivrorous killer rabbit.  I like the idea that rabbits have been going at it for a long, long time.  I like the idea that if there is a God, she has a sense of humor, as shown by placing one of these critters this deep into the fossilized muck.
I know that this rabbit doesn't disturb my belief that we have evolved (and I hope we continue to).  As far as the Evolution vs. Creationism debate goes, if you acknowledge that there's a Cambrian era, you've wandered away from the Biblical idea of a 6,000 year old earth. 

Ok, back to my original point.....Someone asked Haldane what it would take to disprove evolution.  He told them. 
The primary theme of this website is Liberty vs. Statism.  What would it take for me to agree that a Statist mode of government is superior to a more Libertarian form? 

Well, look at Venezuela.  They're running out of water.  They're a major energy exporter, but they can't keep the lights turned on.  Heck, they're even running out of coffee.  But if Hugo Chavez, the socialist nutcase running the show, were to suddenly produce a prosperous nation in spite of nationalizing everything he touches, I would have to re-evaluate my worldview. 

If, in 20 years, ObamaCare™ turns out to have lowered medical costs (not prices, but costs) I would have to repent of just about every political and economic belief I've ever held. 

I've had a good time over the last two years with the Global Warmists.  If it doesn't snow and freeze, that's proof of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming - i.e., we control the weather).  If it snows and freezes, that's also proof of Global Warming.  I think the burden of proof is on those guys.  Is there any weather pattern that would be acceptable proof that AGW is a fantasy?  I don't think so. 

I'm probably misquoting Michael Shermer, but someplace in his "Why People Believe Weird Things" he makes the following statement:

"To the True Believer, no proof is necessary.  To the Skeptic, no proof is possible."

Monday, May 10, 2010

How to overwhelm Uncle Sam's entitlement system

I've said numerous times that I favor the "Open Borders" concept to immigration.  If you want in the door, come on over.  It would be the best possible way to overwhelm Uncle Sam's entitlement system. 

And how can we get all those folks in here, past all the border guards, the Tortilla Curtain, and the coast guard? 

Go here. 

Iron Man as a Libertarian Superhero ???

I saw Iron Man 2 over the weekend. 
The first movie in the series was great, but I only gave the sequel a 6 on the 10 scale.  Lots of stuff blown up, but no plot to care about, and no characters to care about, only one-liners strung onto a skeletal storyline. 

But the first 15 minutes of that movie are freakin' awesome.  Awesome.  Libertarian greatness is the only way to describe it. 
It seems that Congressman Henry Waxman a government dweeb wants to take away Tony Stark's Iron Man "unregulated weapon" for the good of the people, despite peace being preserved with Stark running around fighting evil on his own. 

Here's Kyle Smith, who disagrees with me about the first movie, describing the Congressional hearing that follows:

Meet Tony Stark — Capitalist Tool. I liked “Iron Man,” and liked it even more the second time I saw it, but it didn’t overwhelm me. And I felt it was a little wishy-washy on questions of capitalism and patriotism.

Not so with “Iron Man 2,” in which Tony Stark is a Randian hero who all but goes Galt when seemingly the only force that could ever defeat him — the U.S. government — begins to make the outrageous demand that his Iron Man technology is somehow public property. Because … well, it’s really important. And everyone knows that when it comes to important stuff, only the government can be trusted to handle it.

Stark makes the argument that the opposite is the case. He says he has made national defense a triumph by privatizing it (!). Yes, he actually uses the word privatize, and though I part with pure libertarians about this subject (no, I don’t think cops and the military should be privatized), to hear a superhero outlining such a bold stance is a tonic to say the least. (As I write virtually every time the subject is a superhero movie, these things are so predictable that I can barely pay attention to the latest by-the-numbers plot.)

Moreover, Tony is unapologetic about getting rich (he’s simply smarter than the competition), openly mocks the senators who are grilling him about his alleged selfishness and warns the government about handpicking winners in the weapons business (such as Sam Rockwell, who plays a rival industrialist who, though this is never explicitly mentioned, has obviously won Pentagon contracts by buying off lawmakers). He notes that evil-axis-dwellers such as the Iranians and the Norks are five to ten years from developing Iron Man technology, and that the cocky-but-inept Rockwell character is “more like 20″ years away.

In a very Howard Roark/Galt-ish moment, Stark chastises the government that it cannot take away his private property.
This section of the movie will be a YouTube classic within 15 minutes of being released on DVD.  Hopefully sooner.  Anyone hauled in front of Congress for a show trial should take notes.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day ! ! !

I almost forgot to post something appropriate for the holiday until I saw this on The Criplets' site. 
This is one that The Jihadist Safety Consultant sometimes play and sing together, usually to great acclaim when he can remember how to count. 
Happy Mothers Day ! !

Who Wants "Newsweek"?

The Boston Post asked the "Who Wants Newsweek?" question in a recent article about the once-great weekly magazine being put up for sale after years of declining readership. 

Newsweek's editor, Jon Meacham, is a good writer, but he suffers from a blinding affection for The Teleprompter Jesus, along with the typical inconsistencies that go with joining that cult.  Here's a pic from the cover story that Meacham wrote shortly after the bailout scam:

Later on, Meacham managed to make light of the Tea Party bunch who claimed Obama was some kind of "Crypto-Socialist". 
Go figure.  According to Meacham's cover story, I though we all were. 

Here's the closing paragraph of the Boston Post article:

It would be a mistake to argue that Newsweek’s center-left stance and Obama worship did it in. U.S. News and World Report converted to a monthly two years ago. No one can fault Newsweek for trying a new course. But maybe the world already has a surplus of must-see analysis and opinion.

Well, I disagree.  If you give your readers a steady diet of Barackaganda, you're going to lose readers.  Lordy, if I want a center-left stance, complete with "Obama worship", I can turn on Meet The Press.


 So goodbye, Newsweek.  You got me through many a dull Study Hall at North Sunflower Academy, 1974 - 1979.  And one other thing, compliments of these folks:

Well, at least we tried - The Tarrant Regional Water District's "River Of Slush" will keep flowing

Well, at least we tried. 

My friend Adrian Murray was unsuccessful in his bid to get a seat on the Tarrant Regional Water District board yesterday. 

Here's the Startlegram:

The campaign was marked by dramatically different depictions of the water district. Lane and Leonard said the district is a well-run organization that is aggressively seeking other water sources. Murray and Basham criticized the board for high-ticket purchases such as a helicopter and argued that the current leadership was recklessly spending public money and making its decisions in secret.

And here are a few blurbs on the Tarrant Regional Water District's Trinity River Vision Project from the Fort Worth Weekly, a periodical not overseen by the people who will profit from this boondoggle project.  This piece was written back in 2007, and I understand that the spending is now approaching a billion dollars. 
Just for some background, this is what the Trinity looked like before they spent the billion dollars.

View Larger Map

Here's what the Trinity looks like now that they've spent the billion dollars.  I think they've torn down two buildings so far.  If someone has a more recent photo of the non-progress, I'll gladly post it.

View Larger Map

Notice the subtle differences?  I don't either.  There aren't any.
Heck, we coulda dredged out a new river running from Burleson to Abbott for that amount. 
Sorry for the digression.  Here's the Fort Worth Weekly:

....According to records obtained by Fort Worth Weekly under the state open records law, the district will spend about $600,000 this year on outside lobbying firms. DFW Airport, by comparison, will spend $560,000 with two Washington lobbying firms, and DART has budgeted about $310,000. Fort Worth paid its Washington lobby firm $168,000 in 2006, and Dallas spent about $240,000.

....Trying to find out why the water district needs to spend so much on lobbying is difficult. Neither Trinity River Vision Authority director J.D. Granger — son of the congresswoman — nor water district board president Victor W. Henderson returned calls seeking comment. Board vice president Hal S. Sparks III said it was not “his place” to comment on such contracts and referred all queries to Tarrant water district general manager Jim Oliver.

....Clyde Picht, who lost to Lane in the water district board race last year, said, “This is a local agency that should basically be concentrating on delivering water cheaply and efficiently to the cities in North Texas. Why would they even need any lobbyists in Washington?”

He has recently announced he will seek a new term on Fort Worth City Council — in part to continue his opposition to the Trinity Vision project. “Their spending habits are getting out of hand,” he said. Picht noted that the water district is already spending more than $100,000 a year on J.D. Granger’s salary (remember, that's Congresswoman Kay Granger's boy - TWS), “and I figured maybe part of his deal might be that he has to call his mother every once in awhile. But I guess they have to hire someone in Washington to keep in contact with her.”

Since October 2001, the district has paid Washington lobbying firm Hicks-Richardson $256,653. The company is budgeted for $60,000 this year. Another Washington lobbying firm, Welch Resources, is due to receive $120,000 in fiscal 2007, and has been paid $290,260 since it first started lobbying for the river agency in 2004.

Local politically connected people are also getting big paydays. Political consultant Bryan Eppstein, who has worked on the campaigns of many water district board members as well as those of Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief, is getting a combined $30,000 a month from the water district and Trinity River Vision Authority for a communications/lobbying firm he will head. Included in the duties, according to the contract, are “the development and implementation of legislative and regulatory strategies.” The total worth of the contract, which runs through 2010, is $1.4 million.

....Former Texas House Speaker Gib Lewis, who handles lobbying in Austin for the Tarrant district, is budgeted to receive $60,000 this year. Since October 2001, Lewis has been paid $283,500 by the water district. Neither Eppstein nor Lewis returned the Weekly’s calls for this story.

....The $120,000 yearly contract with Welch Resources has raised even more questions from critics. Welch is run by former U.S. Rep. Mike Parker of Mississippi, who booked more than $1 million in lobbying contracts last year.

....Steve Hollern, a former Tarrant County GOP chairman, called the TRV a “massive transfer of wealth from private citizens to rich developers.” The lobbying, Hollern said, “is just part of the cost to keep this transfer going. But I have to give the devil his due. They plan and execute behind the scenes in ways that would make Machiavelli take notice.”

Move along, people, nothing to see here.  Please keep moving, please keep moving. 

Pics came from here and here.

In which the FCC seeks to regulate the internet

This is from the Denver Post:

Whenever people start talking about regulating the Internet, it gives us pause.
Why would you want to regulate a communications and economic platform that has been such a roaring success and has had so few problems?

1)  The government is filled with Student Council-type control freaks
2)  The government has absolutely nothing to fear from the mainstream media (and yes, this includes the dreaded Fox News) but the internet has proven to be an effective means of exposing government skullduggery. 
3)  All other forms or unnecessary government regulation have created more government jobs.  This regulatory project would do the same.   
So the announcement last week by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski that the agency planned to assert authority over the Internet raises all kinds of red flags.

Hell yes, it raises red flags.  Every street in America should look like one of Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution Rallies. 
But then, we are a sedate lot, and don't like to be alarmed until the wolf is at the door, or in some cases, until the wolf is blocking our view of American Idol.  You can hit the link up top to read the rest of the Denver Post piece, but you get the idea.  
Here's Harry Browne on government regulations in general and the FCC in particular:

There's absolutely no reason to have a Federal Communications Commission.

We don't need the FCC to apportion limited broadcast frequencies, because private companies will always find a way to accommodate whatever the market wants and needs.
We don't need the FCC to protect one company from infringing on another's frequency, because we already have police and courts who are supposed to protect property rights.
And we certainly don't need the FCC to protect us from people like Janet Jackson and Howard Stern, because private initiative has given us the remote control — the all-purpose self-censoring device that can keep out of our homes anything we find offensive.

I doubt that a single child's life was destroyed by the 1-second view of Janet Jackson's breast.
But I'm sure that thousands of careers, tons of good entertainment, and billions of dollars have been sacrificed to the Great God of Government Regulation.

It's time to free the airwaves.
It's time to junk the FCC.

The red flag pic came from here.  Censorship button from here.  The Dick Van Dyke show logo came from here