Friday, December 14, 2012

"I can't be overdrawn. I haven't run out of checks." by Paul Krugman

Here's something from Paul Krugman of the New York Holy Times, on why we aren't having a debt crisis. 

We are not having a debt crisis. 
It’s important to make this point, because I keep seeing articles about the “fiscal cliff” that do, in fact, describe it — often in the headline — as a debt crisis. But it isn’t. The U.S. government is having no trouble borrowing to cover its deficit.
There you have it, folks.  From the #1 New York Times cheerleader and apologist for The Teleprompter Jesus. 
It's a variation on the old joke/bumpersticker that says "I can't possibly be overdrawn - I haven't run out of checks". 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Tale Of The Slave - by Robert Nozick

From the Duke University Educational Society.  Robert Nozick's "Tale Of The Slave".  Think of this as a progression for one slave to experience.   
The last question is a zinger. 

"The Tale of the Slave"
from Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, pp. 290-292.

Consider the following sequence of cases, which we shall call the Tale of the Slave, and imagine it is about you.
  1. There is a slave completely at the mercy of his brutal master's whims. He often is cruelly beaten, called out in the middle of the night, and so on.
  2. The master is kindlier and beats the slave only for stated infractions of his rules (not fulfilling the work quota, and so on). He gives the slave some free time.
  3. The master has a group of slaves, and he decides how things are to be allocated among them on nice grounds, taking into account their needs, merit, and so on.
  4. The master allows his slaves four days on their own and requires them to work only three days a week on his land. The rest of the time is their own.
  5. The master allows his slaves to go off and work in the city (or anywhere they wish) for wages. He requires only that they send back to him three-sevenths of their wages. He also retains the power to recall them to the plantation if some emergency threatens his land; and to raise or lower the three-sevenths amount required to be turned over to him. He further retains the right to restrict the slaves from participating in certain dangerous activities that threaten his financial return, for example, mountain climbing, cigarette smoking.
  6. The master allows all of his 10,000 slaves, except you, to vote, and the joint decision is made by all of them. There is open discussion, and so forth, among them, and they have the power to determine to what uses to put whatever percentage of your (and their) earnings they decide to take; what activities legitimately may be forbidden to you, and so on.

    Let us pause in this sequence of cases to take stock. If the master contracts this transfer of power so that he cannot withdraw it, you have a change of master. You now have 10,000 masters instead of just one; rather you have one 10,000-headed master. Perhaps the 10,000 even will be kindlier than the benevolent master in case 2. Still, they are your master. However, still more can be done. A kindly single master (as in case 2) might allow his slave(s) to speak up and try to persuade him to make a certain decision. The 10,000-headed monster can do this also.
  7. Though still not having the vote, you are at liberty (and are given the right) to enter into the discussions of the 10,000, to try to persuade them to adopt various policies and to treat you and themselves in a certain way. They then go off to vote to decide upon policies covering the vast range of their powers.
  8. In appreciation of your useful contributions to discussion, the 10,000 allow you to vote if they are deadlocked; they commit themselves to this procedure. After the discussion you mark your vote on a slip of paper, and they go off and vote. In the eventuality that they divide evenly on some issue, 5,000 for and 5,000 against, they look at your ballot and count it in. This has never yet happened; they have never yet had occasion to open your ballot. (A single master also might commit himself to letting his slave decide any issue concerning him about which he, the master, was absolutely indifferent.)
  9. They throw your vote in with theirs. If they are exactly tied your vote carries the issue. Otherwise it makes no difference to the electoral outcome.
The question is: which transition from case 1 to case 9 made it no longer the tale of a slave?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Don't congratulate Big Boi Patton on the Obama victory

A NYC radio station runs a segment called "Everyday Racism".
The guest in this clip was Big Boi Patton of Outkast.
Don't congratulate Big Boi on the Obama victory just because they're both black.  The similarities end there.  Big Boi is smart and has some talent, and had sense enough to vote Libertarian. 

Here's a fun video.  My favorite Outkast song, prob'ly because it isn't rap, and I'm too old for the other stuff.  I don't care how old you are, this is good stuff:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

People are strange

This is the desk of my freight broker/dispatcher, Linda. 
Linda is the only person who can find anything on this monstrosity. 
Linda is a "pile" person, and not a "file" person. 
She's very good at her job. 
We'd be lost without her. 
But God help us if she ever dies. 
We'll have to deal with this:

If there is any order or structure to that mess, I can't define it. 
But this is how Linda eats Skittles.  She has to sort them by color first. 

People are strange. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Government Cheese

"They'll turn us into beggars, cause they're easier to please...."

Give a man a free house and he'll bust out the windows
Put his family on food stamps, now he's a big spender
no food on the table and the bills ain't paid
'Cause he spent it on cigarettes and P.G.A.
They'll turn us all into beggars 'cause they're easier to please
They're feeding our people that Government Cheese

Give a man a free lunch and he'll figure out a way
To steal more than he can eat 'cause he doesn't have to pay
Give a woman free kids and you'll find them in the dirt
Learning how to carry on the family line of work
It's the man in the White House, the man under the steeple
Passing out drugs to the American people
I don't believe in anything, nothing is free
They're feeding our people the Government Cheese

Decline and fall, fall down baby
Decline and fall, said fall way down now
Decline and fall, fall down little mama
Decline and fall, decline and fall
Give a man a free ticket on a dead end ride
And he'll climb in the back even though nobody's driving
Too ******* lazy to crawl out of the wreck
And he'll rot there while he waits for the welfare check
Going to hell in a handbag, can't you see
I ain't gonna eat no Government Cheese

Hit this link before criticizing a single sentiment in this song.  Lord have mercy, what a mess.