Monthly Archives: February 2014

Nearing The Event Horizon

Population keeps on breeding
Nation bleeding, still more feeding economy

-Ten Years After – “I’d Love To Change The World”

This Daily Caller piece calls for “de-growth” –

Environmentalists are pushing a new way to deal with global warming and overpopulation: the U.S. needs to “de-grow” its economy.

What is “de-growth”? It means forcing people to work less to make them more equal, consume fewer goods and use less electricity. Think of it like camping, but for the rest of your life.

…“There’s no such thing as sustainable growth, not in a country like the U.S.,” Worldwatch senior fellow Erik Assadourian told Sierra Magazine.

…De-growing the economy means working less and consuming fewer goods and electricity… “If we had a livable wage and could each work a 20-hour week,” Assadourian said, “we’d have time to choose more sustainable options that are also better for ourselves.”

…About a month ago, former Vice President Al Gore suggested that “fertility management” was crucial to fighting global warming and promoting development in poor countries.

The article covers quite a few pages from the Progressive textbook … shrinking the economy, reducing population, forced equality, mandated wages coupled with higher taxes, increased leisure time, and a simultaneous worship and fear of science. But all these are driven by one concern – a belief that everything is zero-sum consumption.

There’s no allowance for replenishment of goods and resources, or that more people might result in more production. Nothing that resembles, you know, work. It’s pure consumption. And they want to reduce the competition.

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Binging Bad

This does not describe Allamagoosa or myself at all.

You know you do this. And often

You know you do this. And often

Nope, not even the least little bit.

Red Days And Green Flowers

Uptown
It’s murder
Out in the street

So I’m talking to Allamagoosa while Pandora Radio is playing and this song comes on. “Oh, there’s a cheerful Valentine’s Day song… especially if you consider the massacre.”

Since she’s a fan of anime and many things Japanese, does that make her my Mandarin Plum?

 

Drink A Cheap@$$ 40 And Let The Hamster Wheel Spin

Kids Prefer Cheese (do hamsters like cheese?) finds a directing sign off the straight and narrow highway –

Does Early Sexual Experience Affect Later Drinking Behavior? In Hamsters.

Um,wait…in hamsters?  Seriously. In hamsters. 

Perhaps that can be the new tag line for scientists.  You know how you are supposed to add “in bed” after a fortune cookie?  So, your fortune cookie says  “You will soon come into a lot of money” and you add, “in bed!”  Hilarity.From now on, medical studies have to end with “in hamsters” to make sure we all understand just how tenuous the conclusions are.

There’s a metaphor in there somewhere but I’ll let someone else make it.

…in hamsters.  How do they hold those red Solo cups in their little paws?

Social Fairness

Brent Parrish on The Inequality of Equality, and questioning the concept of “social justice.” It’s not too long, check it out.

Where most Social Justice types get hung up is confusing fairness for justice. What’s fair is not always necessarily just.

The hot trend among social justice crusaders nowadays is “income inequality.” This parallels another problem, which I believe is just as serious – Traffic Inequality. It’s not fair that Sunshine Mary and Donal Graeme, among others,¹ get more readers than I do.

Clearly, the answer is to redistribute readers. Enacting a Minimum Traffic law would transfer excess readers from high-traffic sites to writers like myself who fall under the Readership Poverty Line. Seriously, does Mary really need all of her (as of this writing) 1,378,008 hits, compared to my 9,923? That’s over one million more hits, and she only started writing about 3 weeks before I did (and if we consider that those numbers only track her current site, I’m actually about 8 months ahead). If she cared, she would distribute some of those hits to the rest of us.

Under the labor theory of value which many SJ crusaders seem to subscribe to, I should get the same amount of traffic as SSM, and more than Donal. So why should they get more traffic?

Readers – like most incomes – aren’t distributed, they are earned. Value isn’t determined by labor, but by the benefit one gains from the product. Other writers post material that readers place a higher value on, and so those readers are more likely to return.  More people want to read about traditional sex roles or the definition of Game than about 3D printing firearms or Batman vs. Donkey Kong. One might even argue that they are better writers than I am.²

Those others also post on a more consistent schedule than I do, which attracts and keeps readers. They also promote their work more than I do. They’re the 8 PM show five nights a week and get paid accordingly, whereas I show up Saturday night and hang around the parking lot after hours entertaining a few friends and passersby with off-the-wall stories for tips and free sodas.

No one held a gun to anyone’s head and forced them to read SSM or Donal or whoever over me.³ Unfair as it might be, it’s not unjust. Trying to get readers from them by any means other than writing to suit the existing market – or finding a new one – would be coercion, which is both unfair and unjust.

¹ Waaayyy too many others. A pimp can’t catch a break these days.

² Stop smoking crack. Your mom would be so ashamed.

³ Okay, Donal might have. He’s tricky like that.

The Art Of Capitalism

Jesse Myerson posts at Salon Why You’re Wrong About Communism: 7 Huge Misconceptions About It (And Capitalism).

My favorite part is when he ends the piece with this claim –

…most of the greatest art under capitalism has always come from people who are oppressed and alienated (see: the blues, jazz, rock & roll, and hip-hop). Then, thanks to capitalism, it is homogenized, marketed, and milked for all its value by the “entrepreneurs” sitting at the top of the heap, stroking their satiated flanks in admiration of themselves for getting everyone beneath them to believe that we are free.

Cafe Hayek (where I found out about this) quickly and efficiently dismantles this claim –

Overlook the questionable claim that most great artists under capitalism were oppressed and alienated.  (Were Lennon and McCartney, Berry Gordy, Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein, and Andy Warhol truly “oppressed and alienated”?  How about Jackson Pollock?  Thomas Hardy?  Ernest Hemingway?  Lawrence Olivier?  Raymond Loewy?)  Focus instead on the critical reality that, in fact, there are countless great artists, and Niagaras of profound art, produced under capitalism.  The same cannot be said for communism.

The reason is simple.  Capitalism supplies artists not only with abundant materials and media for producing and sharing their works, but also with the freedom and personal space for them to create.  In stark contrast, communism necessarily prohibits would-be artists from pursuing their muses.  All means of production under communism are owned by the state, and, hence, remain off-limits to artists whose individual plans do not mesh with the central plan.

I hadn’t seen Myerson’s piece when I did this post of my own earlier, but mine suggests a basic flaw in his claim – would a communist society permit a publishing house to print sympathetic stories about a character who fought for the enemy side in the biggest war it had ever seen?

He’s half right about great artists often being alienated and oppressed. But this isn’t political, it’s social alienation… sometimes actively rejected by peers, other times because of their own issues which have nothing to do with anyone else’s reaction to them. Artists are usually different from most people. If anything, capitalism helps them reach out and speak to other rare people like them.

There’s another way that capitalism has helped artists. In the 1950s, profits from their high-selling horror magazines allowed E.C. Comics  to subsidize the science fiction books they wanted to do. Until Congress threatened to censor them, that is (shades of communism).

Aces High

The World War I Flying Ace vs. his greatest nemesis…. Enemy Ace???

The Ultimate Dogfight

The Ultimate Dogfight

Mashup image from here, this is the original cover (click to enlarge) –

Star-Spangled War Stories #139, July 1968

Star-Spangled War Stories #139, July 1968

Enemy Ace was German World War I fighter pilot Rittmeister Hans Von Hammer, created by writer Robert Kanigher and legendary artist Joe Kubert.   Known as “The Hammer Of Hell,” Enemy Ace appeared flying his signature Fokker Dr.I triplane in various DC Comics,  primarily Star-Spangled War StoriesFlying the Killer Skies

Flying the Killer Skies

Enemy Ace was largely based on Manfred von Richthofen, better known as…. the Red Baron.

Credited with 80 kills, Richthofen was respected even by his enemies and given a full military funeral by the personnel of No. 3 Squadron Australian Flying Corps

Credited with 80 kills, Richthofen was respected even by his enemies and given a full military funeral by the personnel of No. 3 Squadron Australian Flying Corps

The legend of the Red Baron was carried on by cartoonist Charles Schulz in his strip Peanuts, where Snoopy frequently hunted his opponent, and popularized to a level that if you’ve never seen Snoopy in a dogfight, you’ve been under a rock for decades.

I have to wonder if this was a left-handed shout out to Snoopy…

Sadness is losing a warm puppy

Sadness is losing a warm puppy

The Baron is still well known and loved today –

I live on this stuff

I live on this stuff

MegaExtremeUltimate Table Tennis

Long shots, injury, and (literally) demolishing the boundaries of table tennis.