Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gender studies are worthless, or haven't you heard?

Rutgers, oh my, what are you doing?  BeyoncĂ© studies? 
Queen Bey 101 is taught by PhD candidate Kevin Allred, who explained to the Rutgers Today newspaper exactly what students can expect from the class.  
"This isn't a course about Beyoncé's political engagement or how many times she performed during President Obama's inauguration weekend," he said.

"Rather, the performer's music and career are used as lenses to explore American race, gender and sexual politics."
And for those diehard fans of Bey's other half, they can enroll in the Georgetown University course dubbed, "The Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay Z."   
That's it.  I've had it. I no longer pity the parents who send their kids to get these bullshit degrees and get stuck not only with the bill, but also with taking care of their forever children living in their basements or above their garages.

If you can't see how stupid this is, you deserve the misery.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Wendy Davis wants to be governor

I hope everyone is seeing what I am seeing.  The lies they lay out are pretty substantial - "a divorced teenage mother living in a trailer who earned her way to Harvard and political achievement."  When some facts came to light - she divorced at 21, and re-married a well-to-do husband - a friend of her father's who cashed in his 401k to pay for her Harvard education - she sais she is "learning about using broader, looser language." 

Learning about broader language?  Yeah, ok.  Was she learning about broadening her horizons when she committed adultery and divorced her husband the day after he paid off her student loans?  What strikes me is how she talks about herself:

On 'earning' her education: “I’m a Texas success story”
On the family finances: “I was a vibrant part of contributing to our family finances"
On her divorce and losing custody of the children: "While I’ve been a good mother, it’s not a good time for me right now.”
On being ordered to pay child support: "That was at my request"

People who know her say something a little different:
A former colleague and political supporter who worked closely with Davis when she was on the council said the body’s work was very time-consuming.
"Wendy is tremendously ambitious,” he said, speaking only on condition of anonymity in order to give what he called an honest assessment. “She’s not going to let family or raising children or anything else get in her way.”
He said: “She’s going to find a way, and she’s going to figure out a way to spin herself in a way that grabs at the heart strings. A lot of it isn’t true about her, but that’s just us who knew her. "
It's so clear the woman is a nutcase.  I hope everyone sees it.

Update: John Lott sees it.
Davis did very briefly live in a mobile home and she briefly was a single mom working two jobs. But a lot is left out and incredibly misleading. Her second husband earned her way through her last two years at Texas Christian University and all of her time at Harvard Law School. Her second husband took care of her kids, even the ones from her first marriage (seriously!).  
... She escaped poverty by getting married to a 13 years older lawyer who paid for her way through college, took care of her children, and the man got custody of her kids because she was so focused on her own work. It is nice that she was worked hard enough to graduate from Texas Christian and get into Harvard Law School, but to say that her hard work got her out of poverty is a bit much, unless you include the dating market as your way of working your way out of poverty.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

They will never impeach this guy. They all lust after the same power for themselves, after all.

They all lust after the same power for themselves, after all.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday he would not wait for Congress to pass legislation to advance his policy priorities this year and said he was "getting close" to finishing a review of U.S. surveillance practices - to be unveiled on Friday. 
Obama, speaking to reporters during a cabinet meeting at the White House, foreshadowed his upcoming State of the Union address and what appeared to be a new messaging strategy by emphasizing his ability to take executive actions without approval from lawmakers. 
"We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we're providing Americans the kind of help that they need," he said. 
"I've got a pen, and I've got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions ... and I've got a phone that allows me to convene Americans from every walk of life," he said.
Out of control spending.  Out of control bureaucracyOut of control legislatureOut of control security apparatus.  Out of control president.  Our congress lets the president write his own laws, lets the justice department choose which laws to enforce, and then congratulates themselves for prosecuting baseball players who used steroids.

These guys call North Korea a rogue nation? The US is a rogue nation. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Over 100 Seattle businesses add themselves to Victim Zone list

I have an idea, let's create a list of places where criminals know there will be no danger to themselves, and publish it online so that any of those criminals can use it as a target reference.  Afterall, criminals need to make a living too, and they should be able to do so in a safe working environment.
"In the face of inaction at the federal level on gun control laws, in the face of inaction at the state level on gun control laws, this is an opportunity for businesses, individuals in a community, to take action themselves," Mayor Mike McGinn said at a news conference on Thursday. 
Participating businesses have placed a "Gun Free Zone" decal in the window. Police could consider a visitor who violates the rule a trespasser. 
A full list of businesses can be found at 
"Thank you to these businesses for partnering with Washington CeaseFire to change the culture of gun violence in our city," said McGinn.
Well, at least those of us who are still sane can use this as a list of places not to do business with.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Rational prohibitions

Our government is irrational.  You see it every day, every time you watch the news or pick up a paper.  It is incapable of behaving in a rational way.  It is a beast, growing daily in order to maintain itself, gobbling up freedoms as they get in its way.
I propose that the government should be strictly limited in what it can prohibit.  Specifically, the government can only prohibit that which is rational to prohibit, and those rational prohibitions are composed of these three basic harmful actions:
  1. assault - physically harming a person or their property.
  2. theft - taking property without permission.
  3. fraud - lies of comission and ommission, contract violations, including entering into contract with someone incapable of informed consent, such as a child or a mentally handicapped person.
Note that all three of the basic harmful actions above require at least two parties, and therefore no prohibitions involving a single person could stand.  If you can't show how an act is one of these three, or a combination of two or all of them, then prohibition of that act is not rational and should be struck down. 

This would be a better place if the federal, state, and local governments were constrained by these 3 prohibitions.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Vergara v. California

I really didn't think Californians had it in them, especially since students major in utterly worthless fields.  Here's to hoping they get somewhere with this.
Vergara v. California: The California Supreme Court has long recognized that equal opportunity to access quality education is a fundamental right guaranteed by the California Constitution. While having a truly high-quality education depends on many components, research shows that effective teachers are the single most important factor to ensuring a student’s academic success. 
With the help of Students Matter, nine California public schools students filed the statewide lawsuit Vergara v. California against the State of California in May 2012.  
Read the Plaintiffs’ full complaint. The lawsuit seeks to strike down five provisions of the education code that, separately and together, push some of our best teachers out of the classroom and entrench grossly ineffective teachers in our schools, creating an arbitrary, unjustifiable and unconstitutional inequality among students:
  • Permanent Employment Statute, which effectively guarantees all teachers permanent employment, also known as tenure, after only 18 months on the job and meaningless evaluations and before new teachers even complete their beginner teacher training program;
  • Dismissal Statutes, which institute a costly, time-consuming and nearly insurmountable set of obstacles for school administrators to dismiss a single ineffective teacher; and
  • Last-In, First-Out Statute, which forces school districts to make decisions about district-wide layoffs and subsequent reassignments based solely on teacher seniority, with no consideration for performance in the classroom.
In May 2013, the state’s two largest teachers union, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers, chose to join the case as defendants through a motion to intervene. The California Superior Court of Los Angeles County has allocated four full weeks for the Vergara v. California trial, beginning on January 27, 2014. View the full Vergara v. California case timeline and read about what happens if we win.
Good luck, kids!  If the suit fails, the best way to drive that nail home will be to drop out and learn to weld.  Thousands and thousands of jobs are available for welders.  I'll be watching.

How silly can the federal government get?

Sell drugs for a living?  Better report it to the IRS.  Wouldn't want to get in trouble...
Illegal activities. Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity.      
Yes, this is real.  I am sure all of the drug dealers out there are talking to their accountants and trying to figure out if any of their product is tax-deductible.

In another section the document instructs you to self report welfare fraud:
You must include in your income any welfare payments that are compensation for services or that are obtained fraudulently.

This chart speaks for itself

Monday, January 6, 2014

Resolutions, resolutions!

I resolve to give up sugar and cream in my coffee, fast food, all soda, and to get my ass back to the gym.  This year I will surpass my previous max bench press of 355#, squat of 355#, deadlift 355#, and bicep curls 170# (machine weight).  It's been a year and 3 months since I tracked these, and almost a year since I last lifted.  Let's see how it long it takes, but...

Gonna be ripped again!  Woohoo. :)

What about your goals?  Make them, meet them, tell the world!



Saturday, January 4, 2014

Endangered spider find shuts down construction and bankrupts construction company

You may remember the story about the spider find shutting down a $15 million highway project a bit over a year ago.  If not, here's a recap:
in San Antonio, Texas, the discovery of a Braken Bat Cave meshweaver, an eyeless spider named for the unique web it spins, has halted a highway construction project. 
The $15 million project was stopped until authorities can determine how to protect the spider's habitat, which happens to be in the middle of the construction zone. The meshweaver had not been seen in three decades, and biologists like Jean Krejca have been on hand to "observe and preserve" the site because it is filled with natural resources like songbirds and cave animals. Krejca compared the discovery of the meshweaver to "stumbling on a new Galapagos Island in terms of the biological significance of the region." Though only one spider was found, researchers believe the entire area might be a habitat for the meshweaver.
After spending more than two million dollars, this project has been shut down for more than a year, and will remain shut down until they complete a redesign that the federal government approves. Nice to know that one spider has such quality representation in our government.  When it's people in the way, usually the government either cites eminent domain to force people out, or uses a small unpaid tax bill to steal their property out from under them.  Yep, our government sure does like spiders more than people.

Furthermore, Ballenger Construction has indicated that the halting of this project is one of the reasons they went bankrupt.  So in addition to the millions of wasted taxpayer dollars, the termination of the project is in part responsible for the loss of more than five hundred jobs and the sad end of a nearly eighty year old family owned business. 

I know many of us are keen on protecting endangered species, but we really need to think about protecting people too. It's ridiculous to place a higher value on a spider than on people.  We're talking about one spider, out of one species out of the more than three dozen species found in Texas, four thousand species found in the U.S., and forty thousand species found in the world.  In exchange for protecting this spider, we've allowed the government to hurt hundreds of people and waste millions of dollars.

I am going to take issue with this damned spider even being on the endangered species list.  According to Wikipedia, only two specimens have ever been collected.  How can we call a species endangered if we don't know anything about it?  It lives in caves, for fuck's sake.  How many damned caves are there?  How well studied are they?  How many smaller than a dime sized spiders are you going to be able to find in a cave with no freaking light?  Millions of dollars lost and lives destroyed over one misclassified fucking spider.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

You cannot give them rights that you do not have yourself

One of my favorite videos.

From I have the transcript:
Liberty is based on the principle of Self-Ownership. You own your life. To deny this is to imply that another person has a higher claim on your life than you do. No other person or group of persons owns your life. Nor do you own the lives of others. 
You exist in time : Past – Present – Future. This is manifest in Liberty, Life, and the product of your Life and Liberty. To lose your Life is to lose your Future. To lose your Liberty is to lose your present. To lose the Product of your Life and Liberty is to lose that portion of your Past that produced it. 
A product of your Life and Liberty is your Property. Property is the fruit of your labor, a product of your Time, Energy and Talent. Property is that part of nature which you turn to valuable use. Property is also the property of others given to you in voluntary exchange with mutual consent. Two people who exchange property voluntarily are both better off, or they wouldn’t do it. Only they may rightfully make that decision for themselves. 
At times, some people use Force and Fraud to take from others without voluntary consent. The initiation of Force or Fraud to take life is Murder; to take Liberty is Enslavement; to take Property is Theft. It is the same whether these actions are done by one person acting alone, by many acting against a few, or even by officials with fine titles. 
You have the right to protect your own Life, Liberty, and justly acquired Property from the forceful aggression of others. And you may ask others to help defend you. But you do not have the right to initiate force against the Life, Liberty and Property of others. Thus you have no right to designate some person, organization, or institution to initiate force against others on your behalf. 
You have the right to seek leaders for yourself, but you have no right to impose rulers onto others. 
No matter how officials are selected, they are only human beings, and they have no rights or claims that are higher than those of any other human beings, regardless of the imaginative labels for their behavior or the numbers of people encouraging them. 
Officials have no right to murder, to enslave, or to steal. You cannot give them any rights that you do not have yourself. 
Since you own your life, you are responsible for your life. You do not rent your life from others who demand your obedience. Nor are you a slave to others who demand your sacrifice. 
You choose your own goals, based on your own values. Success and failure are both necessary ingredients to learn and grow. 
Your action on behalf of others or their action on behalf of you is virtuous only when it is derived from voluntary mutual consent. For virtue can exist only where there is free choice. 
This is the basis of a truly free society. It is not only the most practical and humanitarian foundation for human action, it is also the most ethical. 
Problems in the world that arise from the initiation of force by government have a solution. The solution is for people of the earth to stop asking government officials to initiate force on their behalf. 
Evil does not arise only from evil people, but also from good people who tolerate evil by others to achieve their own ends. In this manner good people have empowered evil people throughout history. 
Having confidence in a free society is to focus on the process of discovery in the marketplace of values rather than to focus on some imposed vision or goal. 
Using government force to impose a vision on others is intellectual sloth and typically results in unintended perverse consequences. 
Achieving a free society requires courage to think, to talk, to act. Especially when it is easier to do nothing.