Friday, January 25, 2013

Intuit Declares Itself As An Enemy

I've used Turbotax and Quicken for years.  No longer.  Unless an abject apology and reversal of policy is offered by Intuit, and I DO insist on the abject apology, there will be no further business from me, or my house.  Indeed I will advocate against them at any reasonable opportunity from now forward.

It seems strange---wonder if anyone could make a mint writing a business book with a central thesis of, avoid pissing off your core customers?  Nah...too Occam's Razor'ish, we must use Occam's butterknife.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Laws Are For The Little People

Notice that in DC, David Gregory won't get charged, but I bet this guy does.  In this case he defended the child of one of his neighbors, a true Good Samaritan.  For this he must be punished.  If you happen to be on a jury, make sure to remember who...whom.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pope Benedict Needs to Get His Senior Minions In Line

This is a serious unforced error.  Being perceived to have taken Obama's side in the gun rights war will alienate a LOT of people.  And it will do so on a manner largely orthogonal to the Gospel.  Get your minions in line Benedict. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Final Solution to the Copyright Problem?

There is no good reason---although plenty of bad ones---for copyright terms to be longer than those for patents.  In fact, if you go back in US history, those two term lengths started out a lot closer together.  Perhaps nearly everyone has the belief that they MIGHT be able to write, whereas they're under no such delusion as to making a useful invention.  Or more likely there's just more sympathy for authors and artists than for engineers and applied scientists.

But be that as it may, there is pretty strong support in the public for radically reining in copyright laws.  It's just that the support is diffuse mostly.  Diffuse interests nearly always lose in political contests, but they can do very well indeed in pogromical contests.

Here's what I suggest.  An acceptable final outcome would be a 20 year non-renewable copyright regime with very clear rules for fair use that correspond to the actual public mores.  I suspect that such a regime would have a serious supermajority of support in the general public.  But how do you get there?
One way to get there would be to encourage all those who oppose SOPA that it is time for the final solution for those who pushed SOPA.  Basically, until they surrender to reduced copyright terms, I say that in any civil or criminal jury proceeding, they automatically lose.  It doesn't make a damned bit of difference what the case is about.  It could be somebody who slips on a banana at Disneyland.  It could be a copyright infringement lawsuit.  It could be a zoning hearing for a company numbered among the transgressors.  Just commit to hammer them with who...whom every time you're in a jury room or similar instrument of power projection.  Ten to fifteen percent of the population commits to this and you've totally defeated trial by jury.  All you have to do is let go of the notion that the bourgeoisie follow the rules (hint, you're the petit bourgeoisie).  The elite are above them, cue David Gregory and Turbotax Tim, and anarcho-tyranny is the rule for the rest.  Time for you to start who...whom.  There's no prize for being the last group to follow the rules as intended, or even the rules as written.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Acronym Overloading For Fun and Taqiyya

One of the things I noticed when I was back in grad school and playing the political game was just how many organizations shared the same acronyms.  For instance, there's the National Rifle Association and the National Restaurant Association.  Rarely, I suspect, do they lobby on the same issues or in the same direction.  Both are pretty serious heavyweights though, and I suspect pretty strongly that a person looking at a resume or college application that listed an internship with the NRA would assume one or the other based on their priors---what they expected to see.

Now we know Epenshade et al that members and officers of organizations associated with Red State America, like, say the FFA, JROTC, 4H, and the like are discriminated against pretty heavily by elite institutions (read this as institutions that punch tickets for eligibility to become elites).  Similarly, I wager they discriminate very heavily in favor of applicants who have membership and especially officer positions in Cathedral auxiliary groups.

Do you see where I'm going?
Imagine the Southern Pornographer Liquidation Council.  SPLC right?  A reactionary teenager volunteers with this group, gets a fancy title, and he's got awesome taqiyya made to order.

or perhaps the National Association For the Advancement of Carlyean Prose?  How much more a reactionary NAACP do you want?  I suppose you could also just have Caucasian People for the CP.

Both of these organizations are almost always acronymized, never spelled out.  There are lots of other possibilities to exploit the target's priors.  I bet there's something you could come up with that is profoundly reactionary using the initials LGBT too. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

We Don't Serve Your Kind Here, Resistance to the TSA in Seattle

Apparently a cafe in Seattle has decided not to serve any TSA agents.  Note the comments too, most overwhelmingly support the cafe owner's 'discrimination' against the TSA.

My gut is that there is a truly enormous undercurrent of rage against the TSA and its demand for submission rituals to get on a plane.  Perhaps it'll get tapped, although Romney et al were too damned stupid to go there.  The NRA is showing a spine lately also, putting out the first real ads hammering Obama as a person.  Elitist hypocrite indeed, and that's one of his better qualities.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Germany Repatriates Barbarous Relics

No satisfactory explanation has ever been provided by an official source as to why central banks hold gold, despite Ron Paul badgering them.  The most he could squeeze out of helicopter Ben was 'tradition'.

The real answer I suspect is that they recognize a reasonable probability that their house of cards---known as fiat currency---has a short historical shelf life.  Thus they want to make sure they have hedged their bets in a very literal sense.  They know that gold is the most likely Schelling point if their reserve currency game falls apart, so they want to make sure they'll still be on top if that happens.  Remonetized gold would probably be way more than 10k in current dollars per ounce.
There is also, I suspect another aspect to them holding gold.  By owning a large portion of it, especially a large portion of the portion of the total gold that actually circulates somewhat (an awful lot of the world's gold is tied up in jewelry that only liquidates under very extreme circumstances, e.g. that purchased by fathers in developing nations), they have profound ability to manipulate that market.  Since the price of gold is a pretty good proxy for how little the population trusts the banksters and their governmental minions, being able to fox that metric is pretty damned useful.  A very steeply rising price of gold, I'd wager, makes its remonetization (and the corresponding collapse of the old financial order) more likely.  I seem to vaguely recall Greenspan saying something similar to this back in the days before his reign at the Federal Reserve.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Because A Political Party is Still A Party

Free Northerner posits one possible reason why so many conservatives 'go native' in Washington.

Perhaps Reactionaries need to develop a system of parties in such places.  They'd need lots of costume parties, with lots of dancing, generous amounts of alchohol, cigars, et al..  Provide plenty of opportunity for reactionary themes, and plenty of opportunity for wives to play dress up, sometimes as faux royalty, a fantasy near and dear to many (most?) women.  It seems to me that reactionaries could arrange far better parties than mere conservatives, who obviously can have more fun than SWPL sneerfests.
Back when I was in college, one of the fraternities---Kappa Alpha if I recall, had lots of cool formal events where they dressed in what amounted to Confederate Dress Uniforms and were accompanied by sorority girls dressed as Southern Belles.  All parties concerned appeared like they had a damned good time.  Perhaps that's the way to increase the gravity of reaction.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Carbon Offsets Are a Pale Imitation of the Real Thing

Portland's Archbishop explains the theory and practice of Indulgences in the present day.  And yes, S.M. Stirling fans, you CAN get one from a pilgrimage to Mount Angel, but only during this 'Year of Faith' as declared by the Pope.
Here's the super short form

Church law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church define an indulgence in this way: “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”

The basic idea is this. Even though sins are forgiven, justice requires some punishment. It’s a grace when a judge may allow you to keep driving, even though you received a speeding ticket, but you still must pay the fine. Our sins are forgiven through the sacrament of Penance and the prayer of the church but temporal punishment is still due to sin. Permanent punishment is not an issue because the sins have been forgiven. An indulgence helps us rid ourselves of the temporal punishment through the power of the church, which is the body of Christ on earth. For those of us seeking an indulgence there is a requirement of the recitation of certain prayers, visiting specified places of pilgrimage or engaging in specific acts of charity.

If only more moderns had less destructive guilt sinks, like Plenary Indulgences.  The secular analogs they come up with seriously suck, not just for them, but for the rest of us who have to endure their sanctimonious scolding.  But hey, secular SWPL man, convert to Catholicism, this year, and you can get the real thing.  Maybe you could stop hating the 'wrong kind of white people' for being white too, and perhaps expiate that self-loathing undercurrent I feel in your nature.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Since Laws Are Only For The Little People...

I suggest that every member of a jury exercise 'discretion' in deciding who they want to convict.  Discretion of exactly the sort of this prosecutor---who...whom.

Let's face it, the rule of law is dead.  David Gregory simply adds another face to go next to TurboTax Tim Geithner's mug.  Any of us would be crucified for either offense.

Who...Whom, in the jury room.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chinese Doomsday Preppers?

Or perhaps their government vaguely groks civil defense, unlike ours?  Or perhaps it recognizes that war is becoming increasingly likely in the near future and wants to be prepared.  Of course our government is positively mental---advocating prepping through organs like while calling preppers 'potential terrorist threats' through other organs.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Somewhat Depressing Cultural Realization

It turns out that the works of literature and entertainment that are the most useful for understanding what is lurking in your society's collective gut aren't the great works, or even those produced by authors with an excellent ability to write diverse (in the old sense of the word, not the kind that 'is our strength') characters coupled with superb world building.  It's not even the authors who are skilled in using fiction as a way to explore ideas and the consequences of their application.

Rather, it is the mediocre to poor authors who nevertheless sell tons of books that best serve this purpose.  Your shades of grey, or twilights, or malnutrition for fun and profit, or even your tales about zombies are what shed light down into the recesses of the oversized societal gut.  You see, no particular reason is required to explain the success of a work by an author like Stirling.  But when fair to middling stuff rises like a meteor, there's really only one explanation.  It has resonated with something in that collective gut.  Something we know, but feel constrained in the public expression thereof.  Often something damnably simple, like women like dangerous, high-status men who have substantial capability and propensity for violence and who will present a traditional image of masculine power.  Or something like, our system is not long for this world and our elites set us against each other for some of the remaining scraps.  Or perhaps that our system can't be sustained much longer and we are very conflicted about the struggle that must erupt from the thin veneer when EBT stops working.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Rational Economic Spouses Meet the Fiscal Cliff Deal

There's some pretty hardcore desacralization by rational economic man and wife here---essentially a strategic divorce for tax purposes while remaining for all other purposes married.
Message to lawmakers:  You can't count on the sacral nature of something to prevent people, especially very wealthy people, from acting to reduce the impact on themselves of whatever you choose to do.  In fact by making such laws (bracket starting at 400k, 450k if married), with such an aggressive marriage penalty, you are in fact speeding the desacralization of said institution. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gun Control is STILL About Who...Whom

It never has been about crime control, or reducing gun accidents or suicides or the like.  Instead, I'll let Snyder give it to you straight:

Gun control is a moral crusade against a benighted, barbaric citizenry. This is demonstrated not only by the ineffectualness of gun control in preventing crime, and by the fact that it focuses on restricting the behavior of the law-abiding rather than apprehending and punishing the guilty, but also by the execration that gun control proponents heap on gun owners and their evil instrumentality, the NRA. Gun owners are routinely portrayed as uneducated, paranoid rednecks fascinated by and prone to violence, i.e., exactly the type of person who opposes the liberal agenda and whose moral and social "re-education" is the object of liberal social policies. Typical of such bigotry is New York Gov. Mario Cuomo's famous characterization of gun-owners as "hunters who drink beer, don't vote, and lie to their wives about where they were all weekend." Similar vituperation is rained upon the NRA, characterized by Sen. Edward Kennedy as the "pusher's best friend," lampooned in political cartoons as standing for the right of children to carry firearms to school and, in general, portrayed as standing for an individual's God-given right to blow people away at will.

The stereotype is, of course, false. As criminologist and constitutional lawyer Don B. Kates, Jr. and former HCI contributor Dr. Patricia Harris have pointed out, "[s]tudies consistently show that, on the average, gun owners are better educated and have more prestigious jobs than non-owners.... Later studies show that gun owners are less likely than non-owners to approve of police brutality, violence against dissenters, etc."

Conservatives must understand that the antipathy many liberals have for gun owners arises in good measure from their statist utopianism. This habit of mind has nowhere been better explored than in The Republic. There, Plato argues that the perfectly just society is one in which an unarmed people exhibit virtue by minding their own business in the performance of their assigned functions, while the government of philosopher-kings, above the law and protected by armed guardians unquestioning in their loyalty to the state, engineers, implements, and fine-tunes the creation of that society, aided and abetted by myths that both hide and justify their totalitarian manipulation.

Have we seen anything to indicate that this is not an accurate summary of the opposition's motivations?  Hardly.  I recommend relentless hostility towards any who support gun control, with a healthy application of who..whom.  Frankly most issues in our society aren't about what they are nominally purported to be.  They're about what group can turn their opponents into society's niggers.  The whole tempest over teaching evolution, creationism, design, et al is exactly the same---are we really expected to believe that the motive on either side is merely a concern for accuracy in education?  In a system that can't even teach functional literacy a good fraction of the time?  No, the reason, as before is who...whom.  Strip the sanctimonious sophistry swiftly and let's just have a sublime slugfest of self and group interest.