Quotations are selected from this pool (and other quotation pools) in a pseudorandom way every hour and inserted at the top and bottom of some of the major pages on this website. Feel free to copy any of these quotes and paste them for whatever purpose you please, including on your own website, blog, social media page or forum debate posts.
It used to be you had to be a king or a dictator to have a family of 100 children. Now all you need in the ego of one to donate your eggs or sperm. I find it revolting some grossly obese housewife in Arizona is paid to spread her eggs over the planet like some bloated cockroach. There is no shortage of babies and kids who need homes. We should not dream of creating new lives at $200,000 each until all those kids have loving homes. The vanity and selfishness is disgusting.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
100% White Owned
Oddly, we applaud a 100% black-owned business or a 100% native American owned-business, but would be horrified at a business bragging it was 100% white-owned.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
2001-09-11 Conspiracy Theorists
I have frequently seen remarks from people decrying the mental imbalance of anyone who rejects George Bush’s account of what happened on 2001-09-11. These people often have a strong science background.
The way I see it, those who accept the story are gullible twits. They are believing a story just because it has been told over and over by documented pathological liars. Bush never presented any evidence for his story and never bothered to refute any of the objections with it that were brought up. In fact, he refused to let the public examine hard evidence e.g. the photos of whatever hitting the Pentagon.
By analogy, atheists who reject Christianity are like 2001-09-11 skeptics like myself. Christianity has all the hallmarks of a lie, with no evidence to back it up. Hindus who reject Christianity are like 2001-09-11 conspiracy theorists who made up their own story instead and insist it is true without evidence.
Bush sold his lie by selling the idea that anyone who questioned him was in league with terrorists or had a mental deficiency. I find it so odd he was able to pull this off. However, so fearful are people of such stigma, they pretend to believe when they too harbour major doubts.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
According to the Nova documentary The Spy Factory the 20,000 people working at the NSA (National Security Agency) headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland were asked to stay home on 2001-09-11 to avoid a possible attack. However, the NSA did not pass this warning on to anyone else, including the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). I speculate leaks from this group would explain why so many people avoided the Pentagon and the World Trade centre on 2001-09-11. It seems incredible that the NSA would take a threat so seriously that it sent its people home, where it simultaneously took it so lightly it did not pass the warning on to anyone else. It is as though the NSA did not want to interfere with the attack or frighten it off with too much publicity.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
2001-09-11 As A Whodunnit
If the events of 2001-09-11 had been presented as a whodunnit in 2000, viewers would have complained. There was 100 times too much evidence to know the president was complicit.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
People who believe Bush’s version of 2001-09-11 did not reach that conclusion by studying the evidence. They simply refuse to believe any president could commit such a dastardly crime.
Abandon Your Humanity
Humans and chimpanzees are genetically similar. The main reason humans dominate earth is because we learned to co-operate with and care for each other where chimps did not. Scientists speculate this occurred over the millennia as humans shared a fire, waiting for food to cook. Modern day Republicans would have us abandon that core of what makes us human and return to the raw selfishness and competitiveness of the other hominids.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Abandoning Care Of the Young
In the animal kingdom, you never see birds suddenly abandoning care of the young. Yet in humans, Republicans urge an insane selfishness, where the current generation seeks to maximally exploit the environment and leave the next generation nothing put a poisoned desert and the air a suffocating blanket of greenhouse gases. Republicans not only abandon the young, they abandon the elderly, attempting to cheat them out of the money they contributed for medical care in their old age to give to the uber wealthy. It is greed gone utterly mad.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Abandoning Obama to the Wolves
Americans should be ashamed of themselves. They abandoned Obama, leaving him single handedly to face a giant pack of wolves, the Republicans — people with no sense of decency or fair play. Americans take no responsibility for what those bastards have done to the country. Lazy Americans try to blame Obama, when he is the only one who did do his damnedest. The average American did bugger all to help put the crooked, thieving, lying Republicans in their place. What traitorous citizenry. They let the Republicans rip their country apart in their mad grab to destroy Obama.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Abolish the Monarchy
I think it is time to end the British monarchy for many reasons including:
- It is anti-democratic. It is based on bloodlines, wealth and privilege.
- It in unfair to those born into to the job. They are condemned to a life in the fish bowl whether they want it or not.
- It is unfair to demand that royals avoid expressing political opinions.
- You can get people in the job (as part of the extended royal family, not just the monarch) totally unsuited to it with no way to replace them.
- A rogue member of the royal family can bring dishonour to the whole country.
Selecting a head of state should be handled as in Canada. It is a temporary job. The person selected has already proven himself/herself suitable. The person selected has agreed to take on the job. The president of the country should not be burdened with the dual ceremonial job of head of state. He/she is way too busy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In Canada, there are a grossly disproportionate number of aboriginal people in prisons. The Supreme Court reacted by ordering judges to avoid sentencing aboriginals to prison. They made the presumption that racial prejudice was the problem. However, if aboriginals truly are committing a grossly disproportionate number of violent crimes, that is not an appropriate response. I suspect the root problem is alcoholism to which the native population have not yet evolved any resistance. Alcoholism is exacerbated by poverty and a lack of engaging activities in small communities. Fixing that is best way to reduce the violence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Abortion Cuts Crime
When crime started to drop in the 1990s, everyone puzzled why until statistician Steven Levitt showed that half the cause was relaxed abortion law. With fewer unwanted kids born, with fewer kids born into poverty, there were, 20 years later, fewer young criminals, but just as many older ones. Every child deserves a home that can support it and where it is wanted.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69) Freakonomics
Absurd Extensions of Free Speech
The John Roberts Supreme court on Citizens United extended the notion of freedom of speech to include anonymous corporations and individuals, making libelous comments and spending tens of millions of dollars to spread the lies as a favour to some candidate they wish to buy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Absurdly Partisan Humans
One of the most revolting things about humans is the way they will completely excuse or deny outrageously bad behaviour on the part of their side and trumpet the misdemeanors of their opponents as unspeakable evil. An example would be Americans excusing the use of torture, banned weapons, first strike invasions, plundering, but subjecting a 15 year old child soldier, Omar Khadr, to 10 years of torture plus 8 years of imprisonment for shooting an illegally invading American soldier in self-defence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Humans evolved in a chronic state of want. There was never enough food or warmth or shelter. Things started improving drastically about 2000 years ago, but we humans still act is if we have to scrape to survive. We literally try to kill the homeless by locking them outside in the dead of winter, even though there is plenty for them to be warm, fed and housed without anyone else having to go without.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Abuse of Authority
There are professional bullies who shout, beat up and threaten young offenders and inmates. This is done supposedly for the benefit of those it is directed at. People learn by example. The other big message the offenders learn is authority is out of control, bullying, sadistic and definitely not to be trusted.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Abuse of Copyright
Corporations have found yet another way to abuse copyright law. When somebody criticises them and in the process quotes corporate documents or manuals, even ones freely available, the corporation can censor the critic by charging him with copyright infringement.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Abusing Freedom Of Speech
The Tea Party abuse their freedom of speech by repeatedly bringing up complete nonsense for debate and for claiming their opponents will do some terrible thing for which they have absolutely no evidence. They are mean spirited. They attack minorities such as Muslims, gays and Hispanics to feed off the hatred in the bigoted hearts of their supporters.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Radio often interviews ESL (English as a Second Language) people. They have no trouble understanding the interviewer. They have large vocabularies, but they are often almost incomprehensible because their accents are so off the wall. I wish people who taught ESL would put ten times as much effort into pronunciation. Vocabulary will look after itself.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
According to the National Geographic
According to the National Geographic channel, all those who work on megaprojects are mythic heroes; the Christian God is actively involved in human affairs; God gave the Jews a divine eviction notice to serve on the Palestinians and any Palestinians who refused to leave quietly are terrorists; Bush did a bang up job managing Katrina; American soldiers fight for holy purpose; the ideal dog lies quietly without moving or expressing its opinions… I think it should be renamed the RF (Republican Fantasy) channel.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Acquiescing to Gibberish
Hypnotists, advertisers, politicians and clergy use a strange technique. They spout gibberish at their audiences. This has the effect of putting the audience into a light trance where they are suggestible. Read Milton Erickson for details. I have pondered why this works. I have seen a herd of moose defer to the matriarch. She decides where the herd will go and what they will do. Humans are partly herd animals too. They defer to strong personalities. Ideally, the strong personalities are the most intelligent individuals. I think what happens with humans is when someone hears something they don’t understand, they presume the speaker must be more intelligent than they are and they tend to acquiesce to them. Hypnotists, advertisers, politicians and clergy have hijacked this technique. The use gibberish instead of wisdom to make themselves sound intelligent and hence trigger submission. The Republican platform has no rational appeal to anyone but a billionaire. The only way to sell it is with hypnotic techniques like this that bypass the rational mind.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you see a man with undue power over another, the chances are he got it through deception and lying.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Acquisitions and Mergers Should Be Illegal
When a large corporation buys a newspaper or TV network, the paper stops telling the news and becomes a propaganda organ for the owner. We should make such acquisitions illegal and require divestment of existing newspaper takeovers. We should also block monopoly ownership of media.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Liars and actors need the same skill set. No wonder Republicans enlisted Ben Stein, Sonny Bono, Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood and Fred Thompson to represent them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Addicted to Oil
Addicts are moral degenerates who will steal and sometimes kill to satisfy their habit. Americans make up 5% of the world’s population but use 25% of the world’s oil supply. Americans are addicted to oil.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Addicted To Oil
To get more oil, Americans will happily destroy their national parks, foul their beaches, go to war, bankrupt themselves, kill and torture children… Oddly, they flatly refuse to use less oil, use it more efficiently or use alternative fuels because they are as addicted to oil as any junkie is to methamphetamines. They have this weird idea you have to burn oil to prove your masculinity.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Noam Chomksy started out as a computer scientist and evolved into a political commentator. Richard Dawkins started out as a geneticist and evolved into a critic of religion. In both cases the men honed their minds in a rigid discipline, then applied them to a topic heretofore lacking in rigour.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Addressing the Issue
All you have to do to address an issue is to mention it in public.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I doubt it is a coincidence that the list of personality traits of psychopaths also describes a successful politician or CEO (Chief Executive Officer).~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If your party is ahead, you should lock in the vote by encouraging people to use the advance polls.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Advances in Forensics
I find it deeply satisfying that advances in forensic DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) have allowed law enforcement to revisit cold cases and nail smug criminals who figured they had committed the perfect crime. I hope future advances in forensic science will put even master criminals like Bush and Cheney behind bars.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Advantage of being Crazy
The Tea Party appear much more powerful than they really are because they are crazy. The media love crazy people.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When a burglar encounters a home owner, he a number of advantages:
- He is awake. He homeowner is probably asleep or groggy.
- He has planned for the event, perhaps dressing in a kevlar vest. The homeowner is taken by surprise.
- He is a professional, who may have rehearsed the crime hundreds of times.
- The homeowner does not know for sure if the noises he hears are a burglar. They may be a pet or family member. He has to use much more restraint.
It works out best for everyone if no one is armed. When the homeowners are not armed, the burglars don’t need to be either.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Advantages of Repealing Prohibition
After alcohol prohibition ended, alcohol was accurately labelled with the precise potency. Poisonous adulterants such as wood alcohol no longer were common ingredients. The government collected tax on it. The Mafia got out of the rum-running business. Bars lost their licences if they served underage patrons. I would expect something similar to happen if prohibition on marijuana ended.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Advertisers, such as Amex pound gibberish into the heads of the people, e.g. that they should use an Amex credit card because it gives them social currency. It gives access to currency and you exchange it with other people, so that is social, but any credit card does that! Endless pounding with this sort of nonsense turns people’s brains to mush. It then leaves them even more vulnerable to nonsense thrown at them by politicians.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Advice to Criminals
If a sadistic pedophilic priest came to you and whined, Everyone is so unreasonable. Everyone hates me. They are trying to kill me and even my acquaintances. What can I do? You might answer For a start, you are going to have to stop raping, torturing and killing kids. People won’t immediately forgive you, but at least the fury won’t escalate even further. You must make amends and go through a process similar to the 12 step process alcoholics do to cease destructive behaviours. I give the same advice to America.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Advice to Hillary
Hillary must be careful not to convert the Democratic party into a women’s club, or males will get the idea there is something wrong with the masculinity of her male supporters. In countries where women are elected routinely, it is not a big deal. It is merely that the best candidate happened to be female, not some inmate female superiority. Don’t try to make Democrats get behind the idea of female superiority.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The British tend to affect accents of the wealthier and better educated classes. In America, even the super rich and powerful affect the accents of the least educated.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Politicians are concerned about the aging of the population. Who will pay for the care of the elderly? Most politicians promote a Ponzi scheme to encourage population growth of the young through increased birth rate or immigration. This is not a sustainable solution because when that generation ages you have an even bigger problem.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It is good to see the USA using its military to help Japan in the aftermath of the massive earthquake/tsunami. That will build alliances that will be far more useful to security than blowing up a houseful of Afghan peasants ever would.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Aiding the Whackos
Nixon ensured his election by aiding the candidacy of George McGovern, a candidate too far left for America. The Democrats could use a similar strategy by aiding the Tea Party candidates, even if just by giving them undeserved attention.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Aiming for Third World Status
What’s with these Republicans pushing the country so desperately back to the social conditions of the 19th century. Have they not read Dickens? Have they not visited a third world country?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Aiming To Match Columbia
Heaven for Republicans would be a country with no regulation of corporations, cheap labour, suppressed unions, a wide wealth gap, low taxes. Can you think of a closer match than Columbia? Perhaps Republicans should be required to live there for a few months before they convert the USA to emulate Columbia.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Popular wisdom has it that it is a Good Thing™ when air travel gets cheaper, the planes get bigger and the schedules more frequent. However, that is not necessarily so. More air travel means:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- more greenhouse gas emissions.
- diseases and epidemics more rapidly spread over the planet.
- faster spread of invasive species.
How is it possible environmental cretins like Sarah Palin and Ted Stevens could have grown up in Alaska?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Alcohol and Marijuana Allergies
Some people absolutely must avoid marijuana or alcohol. We should do genetic testing at birth and teach these people to avoid these drugs, just as we watch out for peanut allergies.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
What if all cars had technology that flatly refused to let drunks drive?
What if alcohol had an additive that suppressed violence, perhaps even put people to sleep when they had too much.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Sales tax on alcohol should be increased to the point it fully carries its social cost in terms of drunk driving deaths, abandoned families and alcohol-fueled crime.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
All Politicians Lie, Except Bush?
Americans believe that a politician lies whenever his lips move, however, for the politician of all politicians, the one who won the brass ring of the presidency, they hold a completely different belief. They believe his word should be taken on unquestioning faith, even on important matters like 9/11 and war and even when he has a history of lying.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Allowing For Improved Forensics
When DNA testing was invented, suddenly hundreds of people on death row were cleared. We discovered the techniques we used for convicting were not nearly as certain as we had presumed. Presumably, in the coming decades there will be other revolutionary forensic techniques. If we have used the death penalty, there will be no possibility of righting wrongful convictions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Allure of the Vigilante
Americans are prefer vigilante justice. They like the speed and deeply satisfying revenge of a lynching. This is a legacy of their romanticised wild west. They despise and fear the United Nations. But the USA cannot and should not take on the job of enforcing international law for the entire planet all on its own. For law to work, enforcement has to be a group effort. Otherwise, you have what amounts to a self-serving war lord.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Alternatives to Murder
If you come home and find your lover in bed with someone else and this has never happened to you before, what are you going to do? One possibility, is what you have seen everyone else do in this situation, in the movies — kill them both. I think we need to model some alternative responses in film.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Philip Morris, a major tobacco manufacturer bought out Kraft and General Foods, then renamed themselves Altria. Then they set the salt, sugar and fat level of every product to optimise profit. Even products like spaghetti sauce and bread got the salt/sugar/fat addition. As a side effect, they triggered epidemics of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. They salted foods seven times what people salted from the shaker. They behaved just as you would expect a tobacco company to behave. All that matters is short term profit, even if it kills off customers. It is absurd to expect a corporation to do anything other than maximise profit. If you want it to do anything else you must legislate its behaviour or boycott it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Kurzweil is already flogging a robot called Amelia that supposedly does most desk jobs more accurately and tirelessly than a human, in 20 languages. Even if this is just hype, such inventions are coming. Think of the effect on the employment rate. If we don’t change our value system, we will starve to death because these robots drown us in abundance. The notion that you must labour at something unpleasant to have a right to sustenance will have to go. It will have to be replaced by the notion of a guaranteed livable income.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It is almost impossible to amend the constitution. It requires super majorities in the house and senate and unanimous consent of the states. So when Republicans tell the voters they plan to push through far-right constitutional amendments, they are blowing smoke. Only a relatively uncontroversial amendment has any chance.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
America And the Divine Right Of Kings
The USA claims it wants to spread democracy in the world, yet it props up the royal family of Saudi Arabia, holdouts of the divine right of kings popular in the 18th century.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When I was a kid, I was fascinated by all the different regional American accents. My mother would exhibit alarm when I went on a binge imitating one. But now, I find, one by one I have come to find them ugly, as I associate each accent with right wing bigotry.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
American Anger At Peace
What’s with these Americans who threaten to beat me up or kill me? My message is hardly controversial, Don’t kill people who did you no harm. Doing so is wicked. It is even in the bible. I guess I am just triggering their guilt about killing innocent people and they imagine that killing me will stop that voice in their heads bawling them out.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The USA claims it is fervently opposed to apartheid, yet it funds Israel’s classic apartheid system to suppress its Palestinian citizens to the tune of $4 billion a year.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans openly admit they feel justified in interfering in the internal affairs of other nations if it is in the best interest of America. The rest of the world consider Americans meddling busybodies.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans are in extreme denial about their two wars. If you post anything on an American blog pointing out any of the following facts, it will be pulled:
- America attacked Afghanistan and Iraq unprovoked.
- The two aggressive (first strike) wars are illegal both by the Nuremberg Principles and by UN (United Nations) treaty. Aiding and abetting such a war is a capital war crime. Two secretaries general of the UN and a Nuremberg chief prosecutor have said this.
- American soldiers are not defending the USA or their freedoms. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq has any means to attack. America attacked them, not the reverse.
- The motive for both wars is control of resources, lithium (used in high performance batteries) in Afghanistan and oil in Iraq.
- Since soldiers are not fighting to defend the USA, they must be fighting because they enjoy fighting, killing bullying or torture. This is not a motive worthy of respect.
- Americans cheat in war, even against a relatively unarmed foe, ignoring the Geneva Conventions and employing routine torture and banned weapons including DU (Depleted Uranium), cluster bombs, white phosphorus, napalm and land mines.
- America’s military technology makes it easy to wage war from a safe distance. The side effect is roughly half the victims are children.
The irony is Americans love to pretend their occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq are to protect traditional American freedoms, such as freedom of speech, which they themselves trample.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Over the previous centuries, European powers competed for colonies. Then they gradually gave them up and the USA took them all, not as explicit colonies, but indirectly via the IMF (International Monetary Fund). All those former colonies have fallen ever deeper in debt to the IMF, which is controlled primarily by the USA. The IMF forces them to adopt policies favourable to American corporations.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
American are so conceited they believe they should be paid 1000 times more than others and that others should be grateful for the pittance they get for working 16 hour days to produce goods for America. Americans produce nothing yet imagine they should be privileged to eat so much of the world’s food that they make themselves sick and become grossly obese. They imagine this position of privilege is something inherent in the structure of the universe and the inherent superiority of Americans. That is nonsense. The reason they get away with such idle luxury is they spend more on the military than all other countries combined and they use it to extract whatever they want from others. They are global parasites.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Right wing Americans become quite threatening when I point out the illegal and reprehensible behaviour of the American government, especially the military. They don’t dispute the behaviour. They simply think it disprespectful of me to point it out because I am a lesser being, a Canadian. They see Americans as God’s chosen people, a sort of international nobility. The rest of us owe them deference simply for being American. They also believe, being American gives them special dispensation to lie, renege, steal, torture and murder without it being considered wrong the way it is when others such as Hitler did the same things. It is funny seeing Gomer Pyles putting on airs.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
American Contempt For The French
I have never understood the way Americans are so contemptuous of the French. They are the new blacks. Americans would not have stood a chance rebelling from Britain had the French not helped.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
America is almost as decadent as ancient Rome:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Watch reality TV. You will see the average American is about 31¾ kg (70 lbs) overweight.
- Americans have eating contests where they throw up.
- Even with all they have, Americans still use their military to plunder other countries for natural resources.
- America creates the crassest TV shows like Kenny vs Spenny, Pure Pwnage, Downfall, Billy the Exterminator, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Trailer Park Boys, Jerry Springer, Ernest Angley, Californication Andrew Zimmer stuffs his face on Bizarre Foods…
- America is the least generous developed country on a per capita basis, even though it is the richest.
- Americans boast in a most unseemly way that they are the #1 country on earth, #1 only in pollution, militarism, nuclear weapons, obesity, stinginess and greed.
American Democracy = Islamic Theocracy
When Americans call for democracy in the middle east, I don’t think they realise that would look like Islamic theocracies.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
American Gone Astray
The top three happiest countries in the world are Denmark, Sweden and Canada. The USA is number 12. Obviously America’s wealth and military might don’t translate into happiness, yet these arrogant Americans foolishly berate everyone else for not being like them. Their problem is, they have gone astray and abandoned their pioneer ethic of neigbourliness for a single minded chase after the dollar.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The USA claims it opposes nuclear proliferation, yet it still builds ever more nuclear weapons.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans will defend to the death their constitutional right to own assault weapons, even though no such right is mentioned in the constitution. But they will let slide America’s treaty obligations, which trump the constitution, namely the software lumber agreement with Canada, the Geneva conventions (banning torture, cruel weapons and targeting civilians) the UN Charter which forbids aggressive war — precisely what the USA did in Afghanistan and Iraq, attack first unprovoked — the only war crime charge used to hang all the Nazis at the end of WWII (World War II).~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Almost every American is a bald faced liar. Like Nazis excusing themselves for invading Poland, they pretend their illegal, unprovoked attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq were done in self-defence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The habit Americans have for compulsive lying is most unattractive. Two of their most egregious and universal lies are:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- That the Afghan war intends to protect the freedoms of Americans. America attacked Afghanistan, not the reverse. There never was any threat to American freedoms, just to Afghan freedom to select the government of their choice.
- That the Afghans the Americans killing are insurgents. Insurgents are people who rebel against the established government. The Resistance in contrast are people who resist a provisional government imposed by an invader, such as in France during WWII or Afghanistan during the current invasion.
I am a Canadian. It seems logical that the government of Egypt should have absolutely no jurisdiction over me unless I visit Egypt. Americans have a completely different point of view. They believe they have the right to imprison anyone they please without charge or trial even if they never visit the USA. The USA illegally invades their home countries and captures or kills them. That is what Guantánamo is for. The arrogance of Americans is beyond revolting.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
American Medical Care
One of the strangest things in the universe is the richest country on earth has the worst medical care in the developed world. The reason appears to be that Americans are far more interested in preventing others from having access to medical care than they are in ensuring they do.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans are extremely proud of their family values:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- They never attack anyone unprovoked, unless they have oil and a nasty dictator.
- They never torture or used banned weapons except in an emergency such as the enemy might not like us for attacking them and stealing their oil and might fight back effectively some day.
- They endorse harassing and persecuting gays as the national sport because bull baiting is cruel.
- They encourage the spread of Christianity, (whose primary values are child molesting and gay persecution) by making listening to its promotional material mandatory and by suppressing any science which contradicts it.
- They celebrate overconsumption of goods, services and food to punish the lazy poor of the world further with deprivation.
- Oil is the root of all evil, so they work feverishly to convert the remaining supplies into CO₂ greenhouse gas.
- Americans consider posterity a pack of deadbeats wanting a handout from the current generation who own everything. So they punish them with massive public debt and leave them with a hopelessly polluted world with no easy energy sources left.
American children learn in school that President Lincoln wanted to free the slaves in the south. The south did not want to let their slaves go, so they seceded. Then the North and South had a war to decide if slaves should be free. The truth is more puzzling. Lincoln was in favour of slavery in the South. However, he opposed it in the North and West. When Lincoln was elected, the southern states seceded, angry that slavery was being blocked from expanding into the west. It was an emotional reaction, indignant at being told what to do by Yankees rather than a decision motivated by economics. In modern times, if a group want to leave a union, we let them. Back then, Lincoln felt obligated to wage war to preserve the union.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republicans tell us that those who tortured or ordered torture should not be prosecuted because they sincerely believed what they did was legal, even laudatory. Where have I heard this before? Was it ignorance of the law is no excuse? No that’s not it. Ah yes, I remember — the insanity defence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans are so naïve they refuse to believe Karl Rove and the Republicans will attempt to steal yet another election by hacking the voting machines that were designed by Diebold (a company whose owners are Christian Reconstructionists openly dedicated to replacing the US democracy with a theocracy) for facile cracking by hackers.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
American Politics in a Nutshell
American politics are simple. Corporations and rich individuals give money to politicians to pass laws that help them become still richer at the expense of the middle class. Politicians need the money to pay for ads to trick the middle class into voting for them, despite their anti-middle class policies. The way out is for middle class people to explain to the politicians, that no matter how many ads they see, they will no longer vote for politicians with anti-middle class policies.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
American Poor Vote For the Party of the Rich
Surely it is obvious to anyone with an IQ (Intelligence Quotient) over 12 that the Republicans represent the interests of the wealthiest 2%. Yet people who don’t have two sticks to rub together still vote Republican. It makes absolutely no sense. It is type of economic and environmental suicide.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
American Refusal To Believe They Violate International Law
Americans flatly reject it as a lie when I explain to them their country, their politicians and their soldiers are brazenly violating international law. They just know it must be untrue without doing any research of any kind. In their view, Americans are always right, by definition. They are largely Christian and have been trained since birth in the skill of ignoring evidence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
America is all about sacrifice. Those who have almost nothing sacrifice so that others may have too much.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The USA claims it opposes torture, yet it maintains rendition torture dungeons throughout the world (which it considers exempt from law) and routinely tortures all detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans have swallowed the right wing agenda. Even the leftest Democrat would be considered far right in any other country.
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- What corporations want is the ultimate good.
- There is no need to care for the environment. Jesus is going to burn it all soon anyway.
- Americans are better than anyone else so it is ok to make others work for pennies and hand over their resources.
- White people deserve to lord it over everyone else
- It is good to deny others sustenance and medical care.
- The highest good is conspicuous consumption.
Americans are Not #1
Americans remind be of loyal, drunken hockey fans shouting We’re number one when they are actually the last team in the league. Americans pay more than twice as much for their medical care as anyone else. So I guess that makes them the world’s #1 patsies. They are #42, tied with Cuba, in medical care outcomes. They spend more on the military than all other countries combined, so I guess that makes them #1 in paranoia. They are #9 in per capita wealth. They are #13 in livability. In theory their constitution guarantees all sorts of freedoms, but Americans have frittered nearly all of them away out of an exaggerated fear of terrorists.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans Are Not Christian
Though Americans claim to be the most Christian country, they collectively spit on the notion of your brother’s keeper. They believe people should be condemned to death if they are not rich enough to pay for medical procedures that would save their lives. They balk at condemning child murderers to death, but they are quite happy to condemn to death middle class American who have committed no crime other than having less than $100,000 in savings.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans have become Communist
When I was a child, Americans told me Communists were evil because the government spied on its citizen, made them show papers and arrested people in the middle of the night and kept them without trial. When I was an adult, Americans told me Americans were admirable because they were willing to pay the price of freedom and do these exact same things.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans as the Master Race
Americans are only 4% of the world’s population, but their chauvinism convinces them they are the planetary ruling class, much as Nazis believed Germans were the master race, deserving of special privilege solely by right of birth.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans as Mellow Nazis
America behaves as if it owned the entire world and believes the purpose of all non-Americans is to serve Rome, er, America. Another way of looking at it is America behaves much the way you would have expected Nazi Germany to mellow had they won WWII.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans Trust Guts More than Experience
Americans claim they need capital punishment to deter homicide. However, in every other country when capital punishment was abolished, the homicide rate dropped. Americans prefer to trust their guts than experience. They have a national pride that convinces them that experience anywhere else in the world could not possibly apply to the USA.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
An Uncruel Unusual Punishment
According to Darwin, the prime directive is to reproduce. You would think blocking reproduction would be the ultimate punishment, offering even more deterrence than death. If all men and women who were convicted of a violent crime causing bodily harm were given a non-reversible vasectomy/tubal ligation, it would simultaneously remove their genes from the pool and act as a Darwinian deterrent. Yet it is not particularly cruel or costly or time-consuming or psychologically damaging compared with prison sentences. It would only work on first offenders.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Ancient Election Fear
In our history, it was important to put your weight behind the faction that was going to win. If you failed to pick the winner, you could end up dead. Today, political parties pretend they will come out on top, even when they have not a ghost of a chance. They rarely talk about what they will do when elected, just that their poll numbers are surging. They are tapping into this ancient fear.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I don’t know if Anders Breivik [the Norwegian shooter] is criminally insane, but he is stupid. Why?
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- For most people, multiculturalism is not something that stirs strong emotion. Killing people over it just makes those who have strong views against it look idiotic.
- By killing children who had absolutely nothing to do with multiculturalism policy, he make all opposers of multiculturalism look addled and cruel.
- His goal is to convince people that native Norwegians are superior to immigrants. He is obviously a defective exception.
- His stunt had the exact opposite of what he intended. Norwegians will for a generation reject any voice trying to suppress multiculturalism. It is strange how this good will flow from such an intensely evil act.
Anti-Middle Class Agenda
I am astounded that people in the middle and lower class sometimes vote Republican. The Republicans have made no bones about their agenda:
- More and longer wars.
- The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
- Continued tax loopholes, subsidies and tax cuts for the rich only.
- Persecution of homosexuals.
- Forcing evangelical Christianity on everyone.
- Globalisation and outsourcing jobs overseas.
- No action on global warming.
- No action on protecting the environment.
- Dismantling the social safety net.
- Dismantling the public school system.
- Crushing the unions.
- Inefficient light bulbs.
- No consumer protection. Corporations can do to their customers whatever they please.
- Supporting apartheid in Israel.
The only way someone would vote Republican is if they did not understand what they were voting for.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Anyone Can Legally Have a Child
It is legal for almost anyone to have a child: an alcoholic, a homeless person, a drug addict, a felon, a child, a mentally ill person, a single person without support, someone with a serious genetic disease, a paraplegic… Yet to adopt a child, the parents have to be close to perfect. It does not make sense to have such different criteria.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I have opposed apartheid in all its forms:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- ghettoisation of Jews in Nazi Europe.
- segregation in the USA.
- apartheid in South Africa.
- ghettoisation of gays.
- apartheid in Israel of Palestinians.
Appeal of Bimbos
I puzzle why anyone would pay any attention to air heads like Sarah Palin and Carrie Prejean. My best guess is they appeal to bimbos who idolise them because they are fellow bimbos who are taken seriously. A strange bit of circular reasoning.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Appeal of the Presidency
I can perhaps understand why someone would want to be president, but why would they want to be re-elected after discovering what a thankless, powerless job it is, where people ridicule you, lie about you and criticise you mercilessly no matter what you do. Then perhaps the power to torture and kill anyone you please might prove irresistible to some.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Appeal of the Tea Party
I cannot believe that so many Americans are stupid enough to be taken in by Tea Party slogans, bigotry and craziness. I take comfort that those same Americans will be punished most severely by those very Tea Party candidates they elect. Remember where the Tea Party got nearly all its money — from anonymous large corporations and anonymous hostile foreign countries. Those are the interests they will serve, not the interests of those who voted for them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Appeal To Your Opponent’s Values
An argument appealing to your opponent’s values in more likely to succeed than one that appeals to your own.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I don’t like the idea that the wealthy can have many appeals of their convictions. They are like a do-over for a failed defence. At each higher level, the defendant faces a more sympathetic judge because the higher level judges are richer, more politically connected and privileged. The net result is wealthy people just pay a fine — the cost of appealing sufficiently high. Appeals should be permitted only where there was some serious flaw in the original trial or some ambiguous point of law that needs to be hammered out. In contrast, the poor don’t even get one trial. They are brow-beaten into pleading guilty with plea-bargain threats.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you are a rich person, and you lose a court case criminal or civil, you just appeal, and appeal until either you win, the other side runs out of money to fight you, or a judge says you have had enough appeals. This gives the wealthy an unfair advantage. I think we should drastically cut down on appeals. They should only be used where there was some serious error in a case, not just a niggle that might have affected the outcome.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
You frequently read about some individual or environmental group suing a corporation and winning. The instant the verdict is declared, the corporation announces an appeal. They will keep appealing until by the luck of the draw they win or they exhaust the finances of the party suing them. Similarly you read about some wealthy preposterously crooked politician, who keeps appealing and appealing until his sentence is reduced to one day in jail or he is acquitted. Somewhere along the appeal chain he will run into a crony or someone who can be influenced by his political friends. We taxpayers fund this endless appeals dance of the piggies.
This is unjust. The wealthy have a huge advantage over everyone else. Appeals should routinely be denied, and only permitted in cases of obvious miscarriage of justice.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Appeasing the USA
Americans normally don’t notice how they have the world over a barrel. Their military is almost as big as ever other country put together. They have military bases all over the globe. They consume the lion’s share of the earth’s resources. The CIA deposes any regime insufficiently friendly to US corporations. The rest of the world has not much choice to respond other than appeasement.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Applying for Job as President
Consider how different applying for the job of president is from applying for any other job.
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- You don’t present a resume.
- You don’t have to divulge your job history.
- You don’t have to submit to a hostile interview.
- You don’t have to present references.
- You don’t have to present your educational qualifications.
- The people who decide whether you get the job know almost nothing about you or the job.
- What mainly decides whether you get the job is your budget for TV advertising.
Every American DVD (Digital Video Disc) starts by threatening to put you in jail for up to 5 years if you make a copy, even a backup in case the first is damage. The average times served for rape is 5.4 years.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Arab Spring is a silly name for the Arab revolts given than there is no spring season ever in the middle east. Arab Rain might be more appropriate.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans have their football. The Spanish have their bull fights. The Canadians have their hockey. Players are frequently disabled for life or even killed, however, fans want nothing done about it. The the game would not be as exciting without the suffering and blood. They claim to treat the star players like gods, but demand to sacrifice these gods for their own Roman arena-style lust. I wonder how the Romans ever gave up gladiatorial games.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Are Elephants Big?
When I was in grade 5, the teacher, Miss Chapman, asked me Are elephants big? I answered something like this: I can’t answer that without knowing what you want me to compare them with. Elephants are big compared with other land mammals, but are small compared with the whales or mountains. I could tell you if a particular elephant was big compared with its fellows. The question in meaningless without some implied group to compare against. The class hooted in derision, Everyone knows elephants are big you idiot! Just answer the question! insisted Miss Chapman looking annoyed. I have answered. I responded, flustered that nobody could understand what I had said and I sat down. Everyone just glared at me. I feel this way pretty well any time I have a conversation in my adult life about politics, money or war.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Argue Emotion, Never Statistics
The stupidity of Americans is beyond belief. Every time they debate whether it is a good idea to give assault rifles to every child at birth, you hear a string of mindless slogans composed by the NRA (National Rifle Association) explaining why arming toddlers makes everyone safer. What they absolutely refuse to consider are the statistics for deaths in jurisdictions that arm toddlers and those that do not. Further, they absolutely refuse to consider that an assault rifle has no function other than mass murder.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Arguing with Republicans
Arguing with someone who shares none of your values is a nauseating experience. You must think purely rationally to come up with arguments that might be persuasive, while every fibre of your being is screaming Exterminate this monster before it multiplies!.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Argument For Legal Marijuana
On 2015-03-23 in Nanaimo, BC, Canada a medical marijuana manufacturer recalled three products because of bacterial contamination. What illegal drug dealer would be so concerned with his clients he would test his product much less recall it?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Arizona, Sweet Land of Bigotry
I find Arizona’s attitude toward illegal immigration appalling for several reasons:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- They show contempt for the constitution by flagrantly overstepping their constitutional authority. Immigration is a federal matter.
- They are happy to exploit illegal immigrants for cheap labour or sex slave prostitutes. They have no compassion for the immigrants.
- They are dishonest about their racism with their show ze papers legislation. They are almost as interested in hassling legitimate Hispanic citizens as illegal immigrants.
- Instead of going after crime, they are only interested in going after Hispanic crime. They refuse to acknowledge their racism.
Arming the Terrorists
Americans are terrified of terrorists, yet they insist terrorists (and everyone else) be permitted to buy any weapons they please, anywhere in the USA they please, no questions asked.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Arms = Muskets
When the Americans framed their constitution, arms meant muskets. If the Americans interpreted their constitution literally it would mean people who enlist in state militias have the right to muskets. Adam Lanza would have killed at most one kid had he been limited to a muzzle loader.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Every day the weapons nations use against each other become more lethal and more cruel. There is no process limiting or reversing this evolution. In other words, the horror grows without bounds and will necessarily eventually eliminate us all. Everyone knows this, but nobody has the balls to do anything about it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Every day, mankind further perfects its weapons of war, making them ever more lethal and ever more capable of launching hair-trigger attack on their own. The human species has unconsciously decided to go extinct, certainly within a century.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It unwise to get sucked into an arms race. They almost always end badly with serious damage to both parties or bankruptcy of one or both parties. The parties usually don’t come to their senses and recognise the unfavourable cost/benefit ratio until the cost has exceeded the benefits of the conflict by orders of magnitude.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Arrest Options in the USA
If the police shoot you whether you co-operate with an arrest or not, your best bet is to run. Even that is not a good option. Police will shoot you in the back and claim self-defence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It is amazing how many Americans who don’t feel competent to calculate their own income taxes or balance the books of a home business imagine they know better than anyone how to handle the finances of the entire country.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
On 2010-11-02 the Republicans won a majority in the House of Representatives. The Democrats won a majority in the Senate and the Presidency remained with Democratic President Obama. Then the Republicans started strutting about like bar room brawlers braying our way or the highway as if they had just won all three contests when they had only won one and the least prestigious one at that.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Art of Persuasion
I suspect the art of public persuasion is the art of concocting metaphors that suggest your views are not controversial.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Aspiring To Be A Politician
It would be an understatement to say that politicians don’t enjoy the best of reputations. Yet every school child is encouraged to win a ruthless American-idol-like contest to find the consummate politician, the president of the United States.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I sometimes think it would be a good thing if some obnoxious politician were assassinated, but on reflection, it would be better if they were simply thrown out of office in disgrace.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Prostitutes have been calling for making the female rôle in prostitution legal, but prosecuting the male customers. This would be analogous to legalising marijuana dealing but making marijuana buying illegal.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
At His Word
Michelle Bachmann concedes the birther issue when she said she takes the president at his word that he is a American citizen. His word has nothing to do with it. He had nothing to do with his birth certificate. He was a newborn at the time it was issued. Bachmann has seen the certified birth certificate with her own two eyes. It is certified valid for all legal purposes. She has heard the state of Hawaii attest it is genuine. If she were honest, she would concede that is what she has faith in. Further, even Donald Trump concedes his mother was American. That is sufficient to make him an American citizen.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Republicans have said they plan to shut down all government spending, even military. They claim to be in the middle of two defensive wars, but it is clear they believe the country is in utterly no danger.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I was beaten up every day from grade 2 to grade 8. Why was I singled out? Because I had an unusual name and because my mom insisted I dress in a blazer and shorts like a British school boy. Sikhs are killed because they have beards and turbans. Gays are killed because they prefer different sexual plumbing. Bullies look for anything that makes people stick out to select their victims. Any excuse will do.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Attitudes To Child Killers
Anders Breivik is the trial of the century. He admits to killing 77 people, mostly children. Normally only soldiers kill that many children, but they are treated as heroes.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
A new buzzword, authentic, has captured the minds of the media. When they say a candidate is inauthentic they mean he contradicts himself daily and he lies through his teeth.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Parents of autistic children are outraged when teachers expel their unruly children from class. They have no concern for the education of the other students.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Avoiding the Culprit
If a lunatic were killing people and torturing children, we would not hesitate to send in a swat team, or whatever hardware it took to take him out. Yet when this lunatic is the leader of Syria, we are happy to kill everyone in the country but him.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Avoiding Fights To The Death
In animals, territorial disputes end once it has been determined which animal is stronger. In humans, they don’t end until the weaker side has been largely killed off.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Avoiding the Issues
Notice what topics Romney and Obama carefully avoided in their three debates:
- climate change
- Europe and its financial crisis
- the Mexican drug wars
What did they think was much more important? — unconditionally supporting an apartheid regime controlled by 4 million Jews in Israel.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Axis of Evil
In his 2002-01-29 SOTU (State Of The Union) speech transcript, Bush-43 pledged to annihilate the axis of evil — Iraq, Iran and North Korea. President Obama did not rescind the threat. In 2003 America invaded Iraq and in 2010 auctioned off all its oil resources to American and European oil companies. Iraq did not have any nukes to deter the invasion. The USA backed off invading North Korea because North Korea threatened a token nuclear retaliation. It is thus no surprise that Iran sought nukes too for deterring invasion. This proliferation is regrettable, but rational. Bush-43 still has not taken responsibility for his part in creating this unfortunate situation.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Michele Bachmann is the Tea Party candidate for president of the USA. She wants the government to persecute gays. She wants to take money from the poor and sick to give to billionaires and corporations. She wants to breach separation of church and state and have her brand of Christian creationism taught as legitimate science in public schools. She said that president Obama was absolutely anti-American and that he hated his country. When pressed for what she meant by that and what evidence she had to back up that slur, she said He does not understand the economy Huh? What’s alleged incompetence in economics got to do with treason? She is a delusional, malicious, unprincipled liar. She is so sloppy that she bragged that she exudes the spirit of John Wayne who was born in her home town of Waterloo, Iowa. The only John Wayne who was born there was John Wayne Gacy, the infamous serial killer. She claims that all the world’s climate scientists have formed a giant conspiracy to trick everyone into needlessly reducing greenhouse gases. Ironically it will be best for the country if she becomes the Republican candidate. She will self destruct during the campaign with her compulsive lying.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Back to Misery
During the dark ages, people felt under the sway of all manner of bizarre myths. The modern day creationists and tea partiers want to take us back to those days. If they would only but study how miserable life was back then, they might have second thoughts.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Backers of Evil
Most days I feel extremely ill. I fill my days none the less attempting to neutralise the effects of villains like Stephen Harper, John Baird, George. W. Bush, the NRA, AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), Pope Ratzinger, Christy Clark… However, it is obvious there are millions of people supporting and promoting these folk. Why? Are they just stupid? Do they expect some gain? Do they get a rebellious kick out of committing evil like skinhead vandals? Do they have a death wish? Are they so addled and cowed by Christian conditioning they do whatever the church tells them to? Are they members of some Christian end-times death cult?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In the United States, the background check to work at McDonalds is much stricter than the one for running as the Republican presidential candidate.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Some bacteria have a sort of democracy. They vote by releasing chemicals, then act in concert based on the outcome of the vote.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69) The Evolution of Communication
Bad Behaviour in WWII
When people oppose war, they usually exclude WWII, since it was a defensive war. However, our fighters were morally degenerate shitheads too. They deliberately killed civilians by the millions, purely out of mindless hate and racism. That was just a waste of resources when it came neutralising the enemy’s ability to fight.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Bad Dogs, Bag People
When a dog goes bad, most people will tell you it is because the owner mistreated it or incompetently raised it, or it suffered some trauma. When a person goes bad, nearly everyone puts 100% of the blame/responsibility on the offender. They expect bad people to reform themselves. They would never be so naïveas to expect a dog to correct its own behaviour. They would never recommend even more brutality as the cure to rehabilitating a dog, but that is the only measure they consider to use in reforming a fellow human.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Balanced Approach To Conspiracy
There are two sorts of error people make when considering a conspiracy theory:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Blind credulity of all evidence supporting the theory without checking up to see if it is indeed true. Automatically interpreting all arguments to dismiss the conspiracy theory as further evidence of coverup.
- Refusing to even consider the possibility a conspiracy theory could be true — dismissing it purely because it is a conspiracy theory, ignoring the fact that all major crimes by necessity have to be conspiracies. Blind acceptance of whatever an official source says, even when it is obviously untrue or inconsistent.
Balancing Police Power
If the police have too much power, relative to those they interact with, they will bully. If the police have too little power, the criminals can walk all over them. One size does not fit all. Police need more power to deal with the wealthy criminals and less to deal with the poor ones.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
We have reached consensus that ordinary citizens should not be permitted to own nukes, poison gas, biological weapons and bombs. We agree these devices have no legitimate use, so it is folly to give people freedom to commit mayhem with them. I think many firearms should fall into the same category. Weapons for shooting rabbits and for target practice are quite different from ones designed for ambushing police officers.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Banning the Internet
The courts sometimes ban a convict from accessing the Internet as a condition of probation. I don’t think these elderly judges realise just how onerous that is:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- It effectively banning newspapers.
- It effectively bans people from reading their mail.
- It effectively stops people from borrowing books from the library.
- It effectively stops people from going to movies.
- It effectively stops people from writing to the editor.
- It effectively stops people from looking things up in the encyclopedia.
- It effectively stops people from keeping up with family news.
In 2014-09, the British decided to ban quite a large number of sexual acts in pornographic films including: female ejaculation, spanking and face sitting. No justification explaining the need for the measures is available. Presumably, there is some prude in power who finds these particular acts disgusting, who imagines he is the honourary mother of all Britons and who thinks his god put him in charge of British pornography.
I can’t think of any argument for banning harmless acts. Of course, you could at least make a case for banning harmful ones, e.g. bareback sex, needle sharing, extreme stretching leading to an emergency room visit afterwards, rape, use of firearms, simulated snuff, overeating or smoking on the grounds emulating the actors would harm someone.
Even when there is a clear harm from viewing something, you have to think twice about banning it. With fantasy life blocked, the porn aficionado with a smoking fetish, for example, will turn to real life or black market porn sources. As Napoléon observed One should never forbid what one lacks the power to prevent.
Further, you have to build a case for banning some activity in porn films, such as simulated snuff, but not in family-rated films.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Syrian President Bashar Assad is such a good liar, that I paused and wondered if all the mayhem attributed to his forces was indeed actually committed by rebels. Good liars treat lying as a valuable skill that needs to be perfected through constant practice. Evolutionists tell us that lying is a marker of intelligence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Bechtel as Bond Villain
In the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace, the villain was modeled after the Bechtel Corporation. Both cornered the market on water in Bolivia and drove the prices through the roof killing off those who could not afford it. Bechtel arranged that it was even illegal to collect your own rainwater.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Becoming My Enemies
I had a lot of trouble with bullies as a child. I would have happily burned them all alive. It makes me sick when my team, Canada plus the USA, behave like bullies on the international stage.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Noam Chomsky’s Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy is the most eye-opening book I ever read. Our countries Canada, the USA and Britain are behaving every bit as badly as the worst in history.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Being Ahead of My Time
When I started my gay lib project back in 1969, I had never met anyone who agreed with me, not even gay people. When I opposed the Afghan and Iraq wars back before they started, most Americans considered me the equivalent of a terrorist. Now, the majority agree with me. I have had similar experiences with my ideas about computers. New ideas are what guide the direction of majority thinking. The majority instinctively resist new ideas, even when they are their own. If you want to have any effect on the future, you have to be able to take derision from your mindless fellows. You must have no fear of being a minority of one. Nothing stifles innovation more effectively that fear of being different.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Being a Palestinian
Imagine if you lived in a country that had been occupied by the Chinese, the Nazis or the Russians since the end of WWII. Imagine the occupiers had set up an apartheid system, confiscated your lands, confined you to your home in lockdown one day in three, denied you work, water and food. Their avowed goal was the genocide of your people. How would you feel? What sort of violence would you consider justified? Now you know what it is like to be a Palestinian.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Better Dead Than Red
Better dead than red. 85% of American males agree as do 75% of American females. This is insane. They would prefer death, a sort of abject, permanent surrender to temporarily paying for medical care with taxes and being denied the right to start a business — something almost none of them ever attempted even when they were free to do so. They ignore the possibly of changing the communist society they did not like or their children having a chance of doing so.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Better Drug Policy
It is not necessary for a replacement drug policy to be perfect, just better than what we have now. Of course any proposal would have its drawbacks. The question is are the drawbacks worse than what we have now.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Better Never Born
There are a few people so powerful and evil, that the earth would be measurably better had they never been born: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, the Koch brothers, Roger Ailes, Adolf Hitler, Stephen Harper…~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The were couple of biddies on the CBC Cross Country Checkup phone-in show. One caller wanted marijuana made illegal because she suspected there was a grow-op in the neighbourhood. They did not paint their house, which was hurting her substantial property values and she was afraid they were plotting to kill her. There are lots of things that people choose to do that I think are stupid, e.g.
- getting a tattoo
- eye makeup
- smoking cigarettes
- getting plastered on alcohol
- platform shoes
- taking meth
- eating a diet designed to cause diabetes and heart attack
- playing video games for days on end
- caps with the brim in every orientation except the one that keeps the sun out of one’s eyes.
I have no right to play mother. Just because I have no attraction to these activities, gives me no right to make such decisions for others. How could anyone be so conceited they felt they had the right to trump other people’s life decisions. Our two biddies do. That is typical Harper supporter thinking. It is similar to racism.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Big Fish Prosecutions
Nearly every soldier who went to Afghanistan or Iraq is guilty of a capital war crime, namely aiding and abetting an aggressive (first strike war). However, usually only the big fish are prosecuted. The Code Pink people have composed a set of 52 playing cards featuring the major war criminals.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Big Picture
Looking at the big picture of history you can see it as a tug-o-war between different groups:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- rich vs not-so-rich
- pro-peace vs pro-war
- religious vs secular
- those who want to exploit the environment vs those who want to preserve it
Biggest Oil Consumer
The US military is the biggest consumer of oil on the planet. Other than using it to power its vehicles, ships and weapons, it is used to manufacture explosives. We have already used up half the planet’s oil supply and we are using it ever faster day by day as the world industrialises. The supply is fixed. This means inevitably oil supplies will not be able to keep up with demand. This means higher and higher prices. The nuclear deterrent will still work, but the conventional forces will be largely in mothballs, far too expensive to deploy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Right wing bigots who complain about people from the third world trying to get into America never stop to think. Why are these people trying to get to the USA? Because they are paid pennies a day back home. Why is that? Because American companies do everything they can to keep wages low there so they can fill Walmarts with cheap goods for our right wing bigot to buy. The bigots refuse to acknowledge they are the root cause of the problem.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Criminals subscribe to a primitive us-vs-them tribal notion of morality. So they naturally tend to agglutinate in gangs based on national origin. The bigot then uses this observation to prove to himself the problem lies with some particular country of origin, where in actuality that nationality is incidental to which gang predominates in any given region. Bigots are fools because they mistake the cause of their misery. Their problem is criminal gangs not people of some particular national origin.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Donald Trump says the Obamas or the grandparents were too poor to have placed birth announcements in two newspapers. That is irrelevant. The State of Hawaii at the time placed announcements for all births.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The birther business is completely bogus for two reasons:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- There is no evidence whatsoever that Obama was born anywhere other than Hawaii.
- No matter where Obama was born, since his mother was American, he is also American.
A Bit Thick
It is a bit thick when rich people do everything in their power to make sure the homeless have no clothing, shelter, grooming or food to berate them for looking grubby.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
A Black Day
If the Tea Party succeed in forcing fundamentalist Christianity (including 4000 year old creationist science) on the USA succeeds it will be as black a day for civilisation as Julius Caesar burning down the library at Alexandria.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Black Lives Matter
I certainly support the goal of Black Lives Matter to stop the police shootings of black citizens, however, the organisation has behaved abominably. I think it should be sued out of existence. It hijacked the gay pride parade and would not let it continue until the gay pride people promised not to allow police to participate in the parade. Their complaint with the police has nothing to do with gay pride. It is pure extortion. They pulled a similar stunt on the Caribbean parade.
By analogy, they would be invited to Thanksgiving Dinner, then demand that some of the guests leave. They are guests. They have no right to determine who is welcome and who is not. If they don’t like the other guests, they should leave and host their own dinner.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Blacks on Board
On 2012-05-19 the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement Of Colored People) came out officially in favour of marriage equality for gay people. This as good sign. The black churches were shaming all black people by coming out in favour of bigotry, — freedom for blacks but not for other minorities.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Blagojevich Defence
Rod Blagojevich is using a desperate defence, claiming everything he said in taped phone calls and meetings was just idle fantasising, not plans for any actual activity. If he manages to pull off this defence, suspected terrorists should be able to get away with it too.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Blame the Christians
Americans are having a terrible time with their economy. The problem is, oddly, Christianity. Christians are hopelessly optimistic, gullible people who will believe what any charlatan tells them so long as it sounds pleasant. They have almost no interest in whether it is actually true. They have been trained in this sheep-like submission to crooks since birth. So they are vulnerable to politicians who lie to them that they can have their cake and eat it too — massive tax cuts, especially to the billionaires, no cuts in spending and pay down the debt. Honest politicians tell them they must pay higher taxes and accept across the board spending cuts to avoid the public debt dragging the whole country into bankruptcy. Christians turf these depressing but honest politicians out office. They prefer fairy tales.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Republicans are a one-trick pony. They do something to slow the economy, then blame Obama. Most people outgrow childish tricks like that by age 8.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Blame Your Neighbours
We all have a tendency to blame the politicians for the idiotic things governments do, but the problem is really the voters. The Nazi party does not cause us any trouble mainly because nobody votes for them. The Conservative party in Canada can work their evil only because a plurality of voters give them the nod to govern. It was like a punch in the stomach when I realised what selfish, bigoted bastards most of our fellow voters are. Consider:
- The majority of voters support the Afghan war. The Conservative party drags it on because the war industry bribes them, but the voters support it and the use of banned techniques of war contrary to the Geneva conventions, including torture, for quite different reasons: religious bigotry, hatred of Muslims, hope for cheaper oil and lithium batteries. They feel no guilt about ripping off a third world country’s only resources. They are sadistic, sick puppies, just as repulsive as the citizens of Nazi Germany who cheered on a similar illegal war.
- The majority of voters wish the homeless would simply die of exposure. The government gives them what they want. They even confiscate, aka steal, the meagre possessions of the homeless.
- The majority of voters are homophobic. The government keeps uppity gays, who demand equality, in their place and looks the other way when citizens entertain themselves by beating up gays.
- The majority of voters are bullies who like intimidating others with firearms, and fantasise about killing and getting away with it. The Conservatives pander to them by making it easier to bully and kill and not get caught.
- The majority of voters are racial bigots. They hate anyone with a different skin colour. The Conservative government works as their proxy to harass immigrants, glossing it over to make it all look legal and proper.
- The majority of voters have no love or concern for their kids or their grandkids. They are utterly selfish. The want the environment trashed to give them cheap dirty energy even if it means leaving their offspring and all future generations an unlivable planet burning up from greenhouse gas emissions. The Conservatives are more than happy to do this, with the added incentive, of course, of kick-backs from the energy corporations.
Most of the Canadian voters don’t deserve to live in Canada. They are too selfish and depraved. May they be struck by lightning.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Republican strategy for winning the White House in 2012 is quite simple. Block all of Obama’s measures to create jobs or stimulate the economy, then blame him for the outcome. The odd thing is Americans don’t seem to notice the Republicans are doing everything in their power to kill jobs and delay recovery.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Blaming the Quarterback
Democrats are like football players who blame the quarterback for losing the game when they put in only a pathetic effort themselves.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Blaming the Weather
When the police blame an accident on the weather, what they really mean is nincompoops drove in weather they could not handle, or they drove too quickly. I remember driving one evening in the fog. All you could see was the tail lights of the car ahead. Nearly everyone drove as if there was no fog. Inevitably a car had to slam on the brakes, causing a great chain of collisions, stopping with me because I had the sense to leave as much distance as possible ahead to prepare for this eventuality.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Blind to Slavery
It is no surprise that a nation founded on slavery, that could see nothing wrong with it for almost a century today is blind to the fact that nation oppresses and exploits other nations.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Bloated Military Spending
The map below shows military spending in 2002. The fatter a country is shown relative to its actual size, the more it spends. The USA is #1 with 9 times that of #2, Japan. Just who is the USA so afraid of?
© Copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan)~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I have watched the Republicans in the USA do all they could to block economic recovery. I thought this a bizarre thing to do. Surely their constituency of billionaires and businesses also want recovery. Then it dawned on me, if the recovery can be postponed until after the November elections, the Democrats can be defeated and by taking over the senate, the Republicans can then hamstring Obama and defeat him in 2012.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
One problem with the blogosphere, is it is not always immediately obvious who is mentally ill.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I have often compared hockey and The Calgary Stampede with the ancient Roman gladiatorial games. Hockey cards now come splattered with fake blood. It took the Romans a few centuries to inch their way into decadence too.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Roman gladiatorial circus corrupted an entire society. It grew ever bloodier, cruel and more extreme to excite the jaded crowds. We have this same spectacle escalation with monster truck jams, boxing matches, wrestling, cage fighting, hockey fights, dog fights, bull fights, cock fights etc. These entertainments bring out the worst in people. I would like it if all of these entertainments fell out of favour, though I admit it is not likely to happen. If there are no checks on them, they will gradually grow in violence without limit.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
What’s with this bobbing thing that right wingers like George W. Bush, Rick Perry and Rush Limbaugh do? They elongate their neck, then pull their head down between their shoulders like a turtle, alternately several times a second. Is this how they signal laughter to a distant audience?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Bogus Energy Policies
In the Bush years, the president could spin he was fighting for energy self-sufficiency. Instead of using America’s reserves, he took oil from other countries by force or intimidation. In the Obama years, the president could spin he was fighting for energy self-sufficiency by rapidly burning up America’s reserves. Neither president did anything to create long term, sustainable, clean energy sources.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Polled Americans estimate that their government spends 15% of its budget on foreign aid. It actually spends less than 1%, the lowest of any industrial country and most of that is military, not economic aid. If every American gave up even one soft drink a month, that saving would be sufficient to double the aid to Saharan Africa. Yet Americans love to congratulate themselves on their astounding generosity.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Boom and Bust
In the 1800s, the economies of all countries were plagued by extreme periodic boom and bust. Economists like John Maynard Keynes and John Kenneth Galbraith discovered that governments should do the exact opposite of what governments had been doing based on intuition, namely pull in their spending horns in tough times, and spend lavishly in good times. The Great Depression of the 1930s was a big of test of these new theories. The Great Recession proved beyond a doubt that austerity made a recession worse and that stimulus job-creating spending pulls a country out of a recession. Today’s Tea Party have ignored history and scoffed at economists. They want to run their country by unscientific, old-fashioned, intuitive gut feeling of the 1800s rather than modern proven economic principles.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Along the Mexican border with the USA, children play. Border guards are permitted by US law to shoot them dead, as if they were taking potshots at squirrels, even though the children are in Mexico and present no danger to the guards. The thinking is, that since the children are not on US soil, they have no constitutional protection. As such they have no right to life. This is something I would have expected from the East German border guards or Nazis. I think any guard who entertains himself with this loophole deserves death by vigilante torture.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Borrowing from Romneycare
I can see why Republicans would be so annoyed with Obama taking bow after bow for Obamacare when he borrowed most of the ideas from Romneycare.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Bought Man: Scott Walker
Scott Walker is a right wing Wisconsin politician who accepted over $30 million (a record) from out-of-state billionaires including the Kochs and the Waltons (Walmart). The odd thing is, there are still voters who naïvely imagine he will do what they want him to do if they re-elect him, rather than what these billionaires want him to do. He outspent the opposition 7 to 1 and he won, confirming that the candidate with the most money nearly always wins. He is 7 times more beholden to the billionaires who gave him the money. He is 7 time more likely to do exactly what they tell him to. For all practical purposes he accepted a gigantic bribe, even though the Roberts Supreme Court ruled that this particular form of bribe is legal.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Republicans are doing the bidding of a group of rich people who have bought them. The Republicans have no policy interest but making those folks more money. They are necessarily opposed to fairness. They are not politicians. They are professional criminals. They are in it purely for the money. They don’t give a hoot what happens to the country.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
As a protest against American war crimes, I refuse to purchase American produce. This often means going without fresh fruits and vegetables.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Boycotting an Election
Boycotting an election is madness. Rivals work very hard to get their opponent’s supporters to stay home.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The British citizens who voted for Brexit were stupid, selfish and racist. They fully deserve the consequences of their doltishness.
Brits jumped into Brexit without first calculating the costs. They are losing trade with Europe. They are losing all the trade deals negotiated through Europe. Since they are much smaller than Europe, any new trade deals they will not have the power to negotiate good deals. Further these deals can take decades to negotiate. What is Britain supposed to do in the meantime? If I were a European I would be quite angry with Britain’s Europe bashing. There is no way I would want Britain to have all the privileges it had as an EU member. I would like to cut them off completely.
Pulling out of Europe is like a divorce. It hurts both parties. Britain gave no thought at all to the effect of Brexit on Europeans.
The whole thing was fuelled by a mindless hatred of anyone a little bit different. It had nothing to do with any actual harm from immigrants. Brexit racist thuggery is the same mindset that sends gangs out to kill gays.
Brits made their decision in wave of racism, emotion and drunken face-painting. They will pay dearly for their stupidity and self-indulgence. To discourage further defections, the EU has to make brexit as painful as possible.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
British prosperity has been declining. Stupid Brits reflexively blamed it on the EU, even though EU trade is their main source of prosperity. So they voted for Brexit. The main reason for their lack of prosperity is they blew so much money on the military for wars nothing whatsoever to do with defending Britain, namely Afghanistan and Iraq.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I suspect the British, when they voted for Brexit, did not consider all those Europeans living and working in Britain and all those Britons living and working in Europe.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In the USA, you cannot change the constitution with a simple majority vote. You need a much stronger majority. The idea is you want to make sure there will continue to be majority support for the change for some time to come. I think Brexit and the separation of Scotland should be similarly treated as a constitutional change.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
We put people in jail if they bribe the police who enforce the laws or the judges who interpret the laws but we do absolutely nothing if they bribe the politicians who write the laws.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Bribery By Outsiders
In the USA, corporate donations from outside a state dwarfs the political contributions from inside the state. The whole point of a district is that the congressman is supposed to look out for the interests of that district, but with the Roberts Court Citizen’s United decision, the candidates are being bought by outside corporations.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Since it is illegal to give someone a consideration to influence their testimony in court, the law should equally apply to the government. The government too should not be permitted to offer immunity or money in return for testimony. At the very least, the jury should be made completely aware of any deals made with criminals for their testimony.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Bringing Down Gas Prices
CNN (Cable News Network)’s Dana Bash says there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to bring gas prices down. I am sure Exxon-Mobil wants you to think this and they paid Ms. Bash to expound this view. Here are some things that could be done:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- The oil companies are obscenely profitable because they eliminated competition through mergers and acquisitions. They need to be split up so there is true competition. A century ago Standard Oil was split up in an anti-trust measure. Now the oil companies have undone that work and then some.
- Canada successfully tackled the problem by creating a small oil company, Petrocan, whose sole job was to compete and keep the other companies honest. The oil lobby eventually bribed Brian Mulroney to kill it.
- Conservation will effectively expand the fuel supply. We need to get rid of gas guzzlers.
- Alternative fuels expand the fuel supply. Oil is getting rarer and rarer. In the long run we have to give it up altogether. Let’s get on with replacing it.
It is hard to imagine the gentle British committing war crimes in Afghanistan. Recall though their history of tying Indian mutineers across cannons and blowing them in two.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Do you have a responsibility to look after people who fall on hard times? If you present this question to Americans in the context of socialism, they will say no. If you ask in the context of Christianity, they will say yes. But in either case they won’t actually do anything.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Bully or Bullied
In elementary school, were you a bully or were you bullied? The answer likely predicts your attitude toward America’s illegal invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Bullying Into Murder
The fastest way I know of to make a man delusional is to bully him into killing someone.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Burned Out Compassion
The big puzzle of the Oklahoma bombing is why did McVeigh blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building when it was full of people, including dozens of young children, he had no grudge against? He could have blown it up when it was unoccupied. I suppose he learned in Desert Storm not to care about individuals, just the mission.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Burying the Truth
The forces of evil have discovered there is no need to suppress the truth. It is much easier to bury it in lies and multiple variations on the truth so that the people have no idea what to believe. Of course, they still have to come up with some ostensible nefarious motivation for those who tell the truth.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Bush Is a Sadist
When Bush declared the Geneva conventions quaint and started routinely torturing every detainee, started renditioning prisoners for torture in foreign dungeons and released photos of how he tortured prisoners at Guantánamo, he upped the ante of how cruelly war was to be conducted. He is the one who effectively ordered that Americans captured also be tortured. Why would he do such a stupid thing? He is a sexual sadist. He gets off on suffering, anyone’s suffering including other species.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Mendocino County in California had set up a regulated and inspected scheme for growing and distributing medical marijuana. Everyone was happy with it, the police, the cancer patients, the doctors and the growers. Then somebody in the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) decided to raid and arrest everyone. That was the end of it. The cancer patients had to go back to buying adulterated marijuana on the black market. I call this Christian thinking. Christians imagine they know better than everyone else what is right and that they have a divine mandate to interfere in anyone else’s business. For example, they also think they have a right to interfere what goes on in the nation’s bedrooms. They they think they have a right to impose their ancient religious superstitions about marriage on people they will never even meet, telling them whom they may marry. Can you imagine what would happen if these crazies got it into their heads that any form of pain medication was an attempt to thwart their god’s will?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Because of the Citizen’s United, John Roberts, supreme court decisions, foreign countries can now buy Republican politicians by stealthily and legally donating unlimited amounts of money to them. Ditto foreign corporations. This is not just a theoretical concern. The Republicans are awash in cash from hidden sources.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Buying Politicians in North America
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Buying Politicians in North America Buying Politicians in North America USA Canada Corporations can legally donate unlimited amounts to bribe politicians if they donate via PACs (Political Action Committees). This is a relatively new rule. Corporations are using it to rapidly consolidate control of sufficient politicians to get any bill they want passed. Only individuals are allowed to make political donations. It is illegal for corporations to donate to politicians. You can buy an individual congressman or senator’s vote. That is no guarantee that will be sufficient to get a bill passed. Buying individual votes is practical only when the vote is close and you only have to buy a handful of politicians to tip the balance. However, some lobbies are so well funded they can afford to buy almost an entire party. Eddie Murphy spoofed the process in his brilliant movie The Distinguished Gentleman. You can’t buy an individual member of parliament’s vote because their vote is constrained by party discipline. If you managed to buy the president of the USA, all you would have bought is the veto (yes or no). Legislation must be introduced and passed by the House of Representatives and Senate. However, if you are an arms dealer, military contractor or the like, you could buy the extension to a war or starting a new one and perhaps even some emergency no bid contracts. If you managed to buy the Prime Minister of Canada, you would have control of the country, if he had a majority. You can write the legislation by proxy. He has the power to constrain all the votes of his party. This is apparently how big oil managed to take over the Canadian government.
Buying vs Viewing Porn
The law should make a distinction between people who buy kiddie porn and those who view it. The first effectively hire people to abuse children. The second do not. Those who view it presumably are not doing it, which is how we want them to behave.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Caliph of the Muslim World
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared himself caliph of the entire Muslim world when ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) declared a new state carved from Syria and Iraq. If I were Muslim, I would want that arrogant twit beheaded. How dare he make such a claim without the consent of the world’s Muslims or even any trace of a hereditary claim.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Formerly, the testimony of one police officer trumped three white civilians or any number of non-white civilians. The cameraphone has changed all that. Now an authenticated video trumps the testimony of any number of police officers or civilian witnesses.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Democrats trash their Tea Party opponents by running film clips of the Tea Party candidates saying silly, outrageous or insane things. Tea Party candidates trash their Democratic opponents by making up outrageous lies and repeating them ad nauseam, never bothering even to fabricate evidence to support them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Canada set up an apartheid system with reserves and residential schools for indigenous peoples. Indigenous people would then not be able to influence the beliefs, religion and language of their children. Racists from South Africa came to Canada and studied the system. They modeled it for use in South Africa’s apartheid. I suspect in turn the Israelis studied the South Africans and possibly the East Germans, for ideas for their apartheid scheme to segregate the Palestinians.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Canadians Don’t Get A Vote
Being a Canadian is like living in Washington DC. The US federal government controls your destiny, but you don’t get to vote.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Because the irresistible appeal of gossip, political campaigns so easily get side-tracked into discussion of who truly loves Jesus, whom the candidate has sex with and who smoked pot in college. This is all irrelevant. What counts is how he/she will vote.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Usually only poor blacks are ever convicted of capital crimes. The most serious capital crimes are never prosecuted, even with life imprisonment. These I include:
- Those who aid and abet an aggressive (first strike) war. By international law, anyone who aids or abets such a war is guilty of a capital crime. All the Nazis hanged at the end of WWII, were convicted on only this charge. The USA is treaty bound to prosecute all such criminals, including foreigners and its own citizens. It never does.
- Faulty product coverups. Car manufactures routinely cover up flaws in their designs that result in the deaths of thousands of people.
- Poisoning. Corporations knowingly dose people with noxious chemicals resulting in thousands of deaths, usually from cancer.
- Spreading disinformation. Corporations have spread disinformation about climate change which will lead to millions of deaths.
Just because a person works for a corporation and commits a crime for the benefit of that corporation should not absolve him from personal legal responsibility.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There is a certain kind of right wing loon who thinks the solution to people doing things he does not like it so make them illegal. Have a think about what happens when you make the following illegal.
- Drinking alcohol.
- Catching HIV (Human Immuno-deficiency Virus).
- Being gay (as opposed to having gay sex).
- Using birth control.
- Having car accidents.
- Not having sufficient money for food and lodging.
- Not having a job.
- Not being respectful of Christianity.
- Being a Muslim.
- Smoking tobacco.
Long ago Napoléon warning against enacting laws you could not enforce.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Case to Abolish The Electoral College
If you live in California (a blue state) or Utah (a red state) your vote has no effect on the outcome of the election. You can vote either way. It won’t make any difference. In contrast, if you live in a swing/battleground state, such as Florida, your vote can, in theory, flip the entire election. Everybody’s vote should count equally, no matter where they live. There should be no especially electorally privileged Americans.
In 2000 and again in 2016 the electoral college vote (the official vote) anointed one candidate, where the popular vote selected another, creating huge resentments. The president should be the one wanted by the most Americans, the popular vote.
Why is there an electoral college? Three reasons:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- In former times, people tended to vote for favourite sons. The electoral college was intended to stop the largest state from always picking the president.
- The founding fathers were not nearly as enthusiastic about democracy as we are now. They felt a layer of indirection with the electoral college could block wrong-headed popular enthusiasms. The electoral college members are not required by law to elect the presidential candidate the people voted him to represent.
- By the number of electoral votes assigned to a state, it gives more or less weight than the state would get naturally by population. The was a non-obvious political tool to rig the elections.
What has cut the balls off the current generation of young people? Why do they sheep-like put up with unjust wars, torture and curtailments to fundamental freedoms? Why don’t they rail against the system the way they did in the Viet Nam era?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
On 2011-06-30 on the Washington State evening news was an 83 year old man, who emphatically and repeatedly said, If I ever see anyone in my house I’ll kill ’em. I was in Korea. I am not afraid to kill a man. I’ll shoot him. Nobody in the studio thought that it was in the least odd to threaten to shoot the gas man or a neighbour warning of fire. A firearm does an irreversible and catastrophic thing. It requires years of training to control emotions and make decisions to fire using standard procedure and reason, not emotion. Yet Americans send children, drunks, gang members, KKK (Klu Klux Klan) members, anti-abortionists, Christian gay bashers, skinheads, NRA members (three carloads of drunk NRA conventioneers shot at me from passing cars in Portland Oregon.), drug addicts and 83 year old men out into the world, armed, dangerous and untrained. I don’t think Americans fully understand the dampening effect this custom has on international tourism.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Sometimes undercover police help plan and fund terrorist acts. In one embarrassing case, the attack on the Twin Towers prior to 9/11, the cops planned to replace the explosives with dummies, but failed. Undercover interaction can make the crimes worse than they would otherwise have been. It would be best if cops just spied on terrorists and did not egg them on. This is particularly true when the suspects have never committed any crime before. Further, this egging can be used a part of the terrorists’ defence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Instead of referring to politicians as left or right-wing, it might be more instructive to categorise them as looking after the interests of the haves or have nots.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Cause of Skin Colour
Why are some people almost pure white and others almost pure black? It is an evolutionary adaptation to the strength of sunlight. Melanin in the skin makes it darker and also acts like a natural sunblock. If you get too much sun, you burn and get cancer. If you get too little sun, you sicken from lack of vitamin D. Evolution has seen to it that every population has the optimum amount of the melanin sunblock. Evolution is not quick enough to keep up with all the mass migrations of high latitude people to the tropics and vice versa. So when bigots try to tell you that all black people are evil, the notion they are trying to sell is that wickedness is caused by having a chain of ancestors who lived closer to the equator than they did. What as silly, arbitrary basis for persecution!~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In our cave days, we selected the biggest meanest guy in our tribe as leader. Even today a majority of people elect such leaders, they look for strong leaders, i.e. egotists, criminals, bullies, bigots and the highly opinionated who reject all compromise and negotiation.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Here four things the CD industry could do to rescue itself:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- make money off concerts instead.
- Invent a player like an all electronic DVD player than can play downloads only on that player. (It would look like a USB (Universal Serial Bus) fob). The DVD player has something like a serial number called a digital certificate. It has high res 7+1 stereo. When you download music it gets modified to work only on your player before it is sent. This would be much harder to crack than various digital rights schemes proposed. You can also download music that will play only N times. If N is one, you get a free high res sample). The biggest complication would be letting you play on your stereo, computer, iPhone, iPad without having to buy separate downloads.
- embed a website in each download where there is a plea from the author to help finance more music.
- Sell music like Muzak or as access to an infinite online juke box for $10 a month.
Cease and Desist
It should be possible to get a restraining order against the Catholic church to stop it from trying to impose its religious superstitions on all non-Catholics. It might contain provisions like this:
- Cease and desist all meddling in end-of-life decisions of non-Catholics.
- Cease and desist interfering with birth control of all non-Catholics. This is tantamount to forcing on non-believers the unsubstantiated Catholic doctrine of the existence of disembodied consciousnesses called souls.
- Cease and desist interfering with abortion in the first trimester of all non-Catholics. This too is tantamount to imposing on non-believers the unsubstantiated Catholic doctrine that souls are like little demons who possess single cells. Stop erroneously and maliciously referring to people in involved abortions as baby killers. The term baby refers to a free-standing infant. Fertilised eggs are no more babies that blood cells are. They have no nervous systems, brains, hearts or anything that would distinguish them from future jellyfish.
- Cease and desist all persecution of homosexuals, including telephoned death threats, evictions, firings, calumnies, beatings and bullying of children whom Catholics suspect might grow up to be gay. Stop preaching that it is morally desirable to murder gay people. Doing so will be charged as abetting murder.
- Cease and desist all interference with marriages of all non-Catholics, which includes same sex couples.
- Stop censoring the books, movies and other entertainments enjoyed by non-Catholics. They equally capable as you of determining what is in good taste.
- Keep your priests at least 100 metres (109.36 yards) away from any non-Catholic child.
- In general, curb your urge to meddle and micro-control the lives of non-Catholics. They too are adults fully capable of making their own decisions. They enjoy freedom of religion and that includes freedom from having your religious superstitions imposed on them.
P.S. You damn hypocrites! You condone the slaughter of tens of thousands of fertilised eggs in the process of in-vitro fertilisation. So obviously you don’t really consider individual cells sacred. The only thing is sacred to you is outbreeding the other sects.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Cell-Phone while Driving
If you use a cell-phone while driving, you quadruple your odds of an accident. Even if you use a handsfree phone, you still quadruple your odds. However, if you converse with someone in the car, there is no extra danger.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In the 1600s, the church killed anyone who translated the bible so that the laity could have access to it. They burned people at the stake who had variant religious ideas, calling them heretics. Since religion is all made up anyway, there is not much to recommend one lie over another. Censorship is pretty much the only way to stop the spread of other people’s religious ideas.
Today censorship is more subtle. Most of the time you don’t even know it is there. For example, circa 1976, I tried to buy radio and TV time to promote the idea that reducing nuclear stockpiles would reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war. Every station refused stating that it would disturb their viewers.
They are many ideas that rarely appear on the mainstream blogs such as: the state of Israel has behaved badly, the US government has withheld information on 2001-09-11, today’s soldiers are motivated by sadism, not patriotism, or the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are illegal. If somebody posts them, they are just quietly removed. Unless you actually make such a post, you would never know such censorship was going on. It is hard to see what is not there. I wonder how aware the Chinese are of their government’s censorship.
If you run a controversial website such as mine, you have to put up with death threats (mostly from Americans) demanding you remove material they don’t agree with.
Most websites have a moderator whose job it is to keep out the spam, irrelevancy, obscenity and outright crazies. But they can’t help also unconsciously censoring out ideas they don’t agree with. Again, unless you post something that crosses swords with the moderator, you would never notice the censorship. RichardDawkins.net is unusual in that it also pre-moderates even what thread topics are permitted. In these days, your best defence is to interact with multiple sources.
There is yet another form of censorship. Circa 1971 I lead a gay lib group. Two of the members were Trotskyites (a flavour of Communist). Our group was solely concerned with gay lib. It has no opinions on economics. Yet our radical ideas on gay equality were constantly discounted because some of them came from Trotskyite mouths. Americans often discount any idea that came from outside the USA. It is though Americans imagine European ideas have cooties. It is the ad hominem fallacy writ large.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In general, I oppose censorship. In particular, I think people should always be free to say that the law should be changed no matter how heinous the crimes involved. Further, I think you should be completely free to speculate on the motives and actions of anyone accused of a crime, so long as you make it clear you are just speculating. I can think of two cases where I think censorship is justified:
- I once posted an anti-war essay in the form of a letter to the ghost of a dead Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan, berating him for a pointless and foolish life. Talk show host Lowell Green took exception and broadcast my name, phone number and home address and instructed his audience to take vigilante vengeance. I don’t think calling for vigilante action should be tolerated.
- Radio evangelists often tell their listeners that God commands them to kill gay people, Jews or some other minority. It is illegal to kill people, so surely it should be illegal to command others to kill. I don’t think the mass media should be permitted to command violence, rape or even bullying. Religion is no excuse.
However, I think there should be an exception to this general rule. If two states are at war, one side has occupied the other, a state has set up an apartheid system, or there is a civil war, everyone should be free to argue the case for either side, including calling for retaliatory violence. They should not, however, be permitted to advocate violence against citizens of either country traveling outside their home countries and traveling outside the theatre of war. As it is, arguing the case for the other side is often considered treason, even when it helps quell unreasonable passions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
CEOs (Chief Executive Officers) Kill Jobs
CEOsearn their bonuses by laying people off and replacing them with computers or outsourced labour. It makes no sense for a political candidate to claim CEO experience is what is called for to create jobs.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Certainty is Inversely Proportional to Knowledge
The fewer details people know about a given court case, the surer they are about what penalty should be imposed. When they know absolutely nothing, that is when they are surest, e.g. when they impose blanket minimum sentencing rules or stand your ground laws to exculpate unconditionally.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Chamber of Commerce
The Citizens United Supreme Court decision has allowed the American Chamber of Commerce to take on a whole new rôle, laundering money from corporations and hostile foreign countries to anonymously advertise Republican and Tea Party candidates and to arrange the quid pro quo deals with the candidates. In a phrase, the mission of the Chamber of Commerce is selling of American politicians.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
change.org is a free website where you can launch a petition. The problem with is people mindlessly sign the petition without thinking through the case for signing and not signing. I think you should be able to vote either for or against the petition. Further you should be able to comment on why you should or should not sign the petition, with ordering of the comments controlled by voter likes.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I take a dim view of chanting in demonstrations. Why?
- It is an implied threat. Do what we ask or we will hurt you.
- It is a power backed demand. Give us what we want for no reason other that we asked for it.
Instead I suggest singing a song that details the case for the demands.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Charlatans prey on the desperately ill by making extravagant promises and extracting large fees for treatments that have no effect. This harms the patient in two ways:
- It impoverishes them.
- It stops them from pursuing effective treatments.
We tolerate these blood suckers, especially if they wrap themselves in some religious cloak. They should be charged with attempted murder.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Folk on CBC radio keep chastising media for not reprinting Charlie Hebdo cartoons. They should google Charlie Hedbo images. You will be shocked. Such images would never appear in mainstream media in Canada. They depict nudity, anal sex, sex toys, anilingus and anything else that would shock or gross out. I had quite a bit of trouble finding one tame enough to use on my own website and even it had Jesus and Hitler.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you look at the newsreels of Nazi Germany, you are reminded that crowds enthusiastically cheering for the government is no guarantee the government is not composed of tyrants and thugs up to no good.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Chief Justice John Roberts
Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court of the USA is intellectually dishonest. He claims there is no risk of corruption unless a bribe is given directly to a candidate in cash to spend as the politician sees fit. He believes spending unlimited amounts of money even hundreds of millions on behalf of the candidate to get him elected is protected as freedom of speech and would not possibly unduly influence the politician to vote as the benefactor would wish. Cough! It is just thinly-disguised vote buying. Freedom of speech, my ass. Campaign limits don’t stop anyone from saying whatever they please. It is just that very large contributions, direct or indirect, cannot help but act as bribes, whether they were intended that way or not.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Prior to civilisation, it would be very difficult for a crank child-raising practice to spread. Only the tested and true would slowly spread. But with civilisation, any crank can pose as an expert and pontificate some completely untested theory and have it almost universally adopted just by writing a book, giving lectures or posting it on the web. Humans are extremely vulnerable to anyone who poses as an expert.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Childish Name Calling
John Boehner always refers to the Democratic Party as the Democrat Party This is a remarkably childish thing to do. I could hardly imagine Harry Reid referring to the Republican Party as the Republicunt Party.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Children Bully Parents
Perhaps the thing that bothers me most about marijuana prohibition is that snotty nosed brats who were in kindergarten when I was in university, imagine they are my mother telling me what I can and cannot smoke.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Some of the goals I would hope for children’s television would include teaching:
- Basic language skills. Vocabulary, how to pronounce words properly, proper grammar.
- Elements of ethical behaviour and empathy.
- Modelling appropriate behaviour for both children and adults.
- Music appreciation, exposing children to a variety of musical genres.
- Encouragement in creative play, such as dance, singing, painting, crafts, drama, outdoor games.
- Avoiding dangerous situations.
- Basic life skills such as how to send a letter, how to buy something, how to save, selecting a sensible diet, how to summon help in an emergency.
- Fostering curiosity about science, biology, other languages, life in other countries, history, government etc.
But what do we get? Puppets and adults in animal costumes behaving like drooling idiots, using atrocious grammar and pronunciation, singing mindless songs composed by a cat. This applies even to the best shows like Sesame Street. One of the few exceptions is the Backyardigans which is careful about pronunciation, grammar and ethics. It exposes children to many musical styles in a simplified form, but one that does not insult their intelligence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
China Outstripping the USA
China doubles its output of wind power every year. They surpassed the USA long ago. The USA’s democracy has been hijacked by the oil industry who have done all they could to block alternative energy. The key problem is the Citizens United Roberts supreme court decision to allow corporations to buy politicians with unlimited secret funds.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
China Sins USA Sins China locks prisoners up without charge or trial. The USA locks prisoners up without charge or trial. It tortures the prisoners. It does not do this to all prisoners just ones it considers terrorists. Anyone can be designated a terrorist without evidence. China censors the press and jails those who criticise the government. The press in the USA is self-censoring, based on what the advertisers want. China is guilty territorial expansion, e.g. Tibet, Taiwan, the South China Sea. The USA has military bases all over the earth to ensure countries everywhere do what US corporations would have them do. China’s economy is growing rapidly. This means an alarming increase in greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, most of the green energy research and implementation goes on in China. Donald Clump claims climate change is as hoax perpetuated by China that all scientists in the world bought into. He wants to explode greenhouse gas emissions without limit and cancel all work on clean energy. He is completely in the pocket of the sunset fossil fuel industry.
I wish I could kick China in the behind. It invaded Tibet, then had the chutzpah to proclaim the Dalai Lama was a dangerous separatist~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Chip on Shoulder
If a cartoonist were to depict the new World Trade Center building, the tallest in the western hemisphere, he would draw it with a giant chip on its shoulder. Its arrogance and excess is begging to be taken down.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Choosing a Candidate
If you are a Christian, you have every right to choose a candidate based on your perception of their faith, however, you have no right to choose candidates who will ignore the constitution and force Christianity down everyone’s throats.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Choosing Strategies Emotionally
Let us say that party A and party B each have a plan to get the country out of debt. It not just a matter of opinion which plan is better. One actually is better. Scientists, mathematicians and economists could figure out which truly is better. You could do experiments. You could study history. You could study other countries. But nobody cares! All they care about is that their plan is instituted. And they are willing to go to great lengths to ensure their plan (even if it is a terrible plan) is implemented e.g. dredge up embarrassing incidents from the college years of supporters of the other plan, or send private eyes out to discover infidelities or homosexual encounters. None of this has anything to do with which plan is better. They don’t care! What matters to the parties is winning the contest, to hell with the country, to hell with getting the country out of debt.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
What gets into people that they think they can make up religious-based rules that drastically intrude on everyone’s lives that trump their individual knowledge of the circumstances? That they can make better decisions? (most commonly surrounding beginning and ending of life). Why do Republicans babble on and on about insults to their freedom and then turn around and grant a woman less control over her body that a prisoner enjoys? They meddle even with contraception and medical procedures. They are insane control freaks.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Washington state was scheduled to begin granting same-sex marriages on 2012-06-07, but Christian bigots forced this to a 2012-11 voter referendum. Christians expressed their bigotry in previous centuries by forcing people to accept Christianity (and their particular sect) at pain of being burned alive. Christians again are trying to force their religious superstitions on others, spitting on the constitution and its guarantee of freedom of religion (including freedom from Christianity). Civil rights are supposed to be absolute and inalienable. They should not be decided with a popularity contest poll. Forcing religious superstitions down an unwilling throat should never be legal, no matter how many bigots approve of their own crimes. Unfortunately, Christian bigots have gained control of the supreme court and have been dismantling the guarantees of equal rights in the constitution.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The problem with letting Christians write law, particularly law involving sex or pornography, is that they don’t feel constrained to have it make sense.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I can’t think of anyone who ever ran for office more aggressively ignorant than Christine O’Donnell, the Tea Party Candidate for senate in Delaware.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Do you find the mass panic over the Christmas bomber somewhat disingenuous? It was clearly not a serious attempt to take down a plane. It could, however, have been a bit of theatre to justify invading Yemen. Oddly, most news reports fail to mention that the boy’s father who warned the Americans, was head of Nigeria’s biggest bank. You’d think the American Homeland Security people would heed a warning from so highly placed a man.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Citizen of Planet Earth
I am a citizen of planet Earth first, Canada second.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, on 2009-01-21, in the Citizens United case, ruled that corporations may bribe politicians all they please without any restriction, oddly in the name of free speech. He shocked his fellow justices by ruling on a matter that was not even before the court. This the most evil thing a Supreme Count justice has ever done. It means the end of democracy, not only in the USA, but in the world. Mussolini defined Fascism as merger of State and Corporate power. What Roberts has done goes beyond converting the USA from democracy to fascism. He had made all power but corporate greed irrelevant. I am so glad I lived the bulk of my life before Death of Democracy day.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Citizens United and the Koch Brothers
With the Citizens United Supreme court decision, a handful of Koch-like golems can keep the Republican party alive indefinitely as their front.
Technology can create the illusion that everyone is a Republican. Herd instinct does the rest. The most powerful predictor of opinion is what people think their fellows think.
Our best hope is a peasants’ revolt against robocalls and TV ads. Read up on mathematical Catastrophe Theory and the Butterfly Surface. The public could suddenly turn on their tormentors if pushed further.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Civic Campaign Literature
I normally vote in all elections, but I did not vote in the 2014-11-15 Victoria civic election because the candidates offered me nothing but bullshit in the campaign literature.
When I vote in a civic election, there are a great many candidates I am not familiar with. The main thing I want to know about them is will they vote the way I would in council? However, in their campaign literature, they rarely give me any clues on how they will vote. They tell me unhelpful vague BS like:
- passion for serving people
- focus on the future
- dependable leadership
- working hard today for a better tomorrow
- A large picture of a relative’s wedding showing her extended family
- truly committed to our community
- vibrant Victoria
- School trustees have a $200 million budget.
About the only brochure that told me anything about the candidate’s platform said:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- expanding parks, trails and greenways for walking and cycling
- advocating for affordable housing
The most unfair laws are called civil forfeiture. The police can confiscate your property (home, business, boat) without convicting you of any crime, without charging you with any crime and without even arresting you. Americans have these laws as do eight Canadian provinces. The police routinely abuse these laws by scanning the Internet for high equity properties vaguely associated with some crime, e.g. a motel where one of the guests was arrested for a crime and confiscating the entire property to fund the police budget.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Climate Change Ostriches
Neither Romney nor Obama even once made passing reference in any of the three debates to bar far the biggest threat to the USA, namely climate change. What hope has the country got when both candidates are dedicated ostriches?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Clinging to Ideology
Imagine you were Eric Holder, Attorney General of the USA. The president told you to reduce crime and simultaneously reduce costs. What would you do? You might have a look at what other countries were doing, searching for proven workable ideas. However, Holder is conservative, so that approach is unthinkable. The only solution he will consider is more of the same conservative ideology, damn whether it works, or even makes things worse. Partly he has a serious case of NIH (Not Invented Here) imagining USA is a special case and that experiences anywhere else are necessarily irrelevant because Americans are superior to those other people. However, Holder is not quite as irrational as he first sounds. Both the Democratic and Republican parties are massively funded by the prison industry, who in turn demand contracts to build new prisons and new laws to populate those prisons.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Clinging to Privilege
Christian try to take away the civil rights of gays. Men suppress women. Republicans suppress unions. Christians kill off Muslims, whites torment blacks. What motivates this behaviour? People cling tenaciously to unearned privilege. If gays have equal rights, then Christians can no longer claim they are superior to everyone else, just for being Christian.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The law has evolved to give a huge edge to those with expensive lawyers (e.g. O.J.) and to run roughshod over those without them. Efforts to get tough on crime should be focusing on closing loopholes for the rich. Instead they have focused on socking it to the poor.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Cluster Bomb Users
60% of the world’s countries have banned cluster bombs. Holdouts include China, Russia, Israel and the USA.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Coddling the Rich
Why do politicians coddle the top 1% in wealth? Surely they are doing fine and can take care of themselves and could easily share a much heavier burden without breathing hard. They are self-motivating; they don’t need carrots and sticks to persuade them to make money. The reason is simple He who pays the piper calls the tune. Most of the money the politicians take in as contributions and bribes come from the super rich. The Roberts supreme court decision takes the limit off the ability of corporations and the rich to bribe the politicians. We will see the result of that is the 2010-11 mid terms. To correct this, you need limits on the size of contributions, stings and prosecution of bribes and ways of encouraging the middle class to donate to politicians, even if done by ticking off a box on their income tax form to direct a small amount of public money.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I have yet to meet a Christian or Muslim who did not think I was obligated to follow the rules of his religion, even though I am an atheist. They don’t see their rules as something Christians made up for Christians or Muslims for Muslims. They see their rules as something they have a divine right to impose on others whether they like it or not, the constitution be damned. This is what makes religious people so insufferable. It also leads to war because every religious group wants to impose its divine rules on everyone.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Though nearly every scientist is aware that every year, science collectively discovers dozens of new mechanisms for man to ever more certainly render himself extinct, almost none refrain from helping the process.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Though nearly every businessman is aware of the damage large corporations are doing e.g. crushing competition through mergers and acquisitions, corrupting democracy buy buying politicians, crushing civil rights, lying to the public, polluting, encouraging war… almost never does a businessman decide to refrain from helping the process along.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
We despise the Chinese collaborationist government of the Japanese occupation. We hold Vichy collaborationist government of the Nazi occupation of France in contempt. Why then does the Hamid Karzai provisional government during the American occupation of Afghanistan have any credibility, especially when Karzai and friends are unusually corrupt heroin drug and war lords? The Iraqi collaborationist government is little better. They are all traitors to their own countries.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Collapse of America
Lincoln warned America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Just how will this internal collapse come about? The perpetrators will be those who have no loyalty to the country as a whole. They will have a selfish agenda that they will try to impose on everyone else. They will be willing to bring down the whole country to do it. There are two groups of likely culprits:
- The fundamentalist Christians. They want to destroy science because it debunks their religion. Without science, you can’t have industry.
- The Republicans who want to split the population like a third world country with a fabulously rich powerful elite and a poverty class with nothing in the middle.
The Republicans and fundamentalists have joined forced and merged goals. The Christians are successfully gradually displacing science and history with superstition in the schools. The result is graduates who are useless for most jobs. The only job they will be suited for is cannon fodder. America will lose its ability to compete internationally. The world will celebrate the collapse of its self-appointed policeman/dictator.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How many Canadians were killed by terrorists? How many by drunk drivers? How many by getting lost in winter? How many by swimming in dangerous places? The budget for dealing with problems, and the sacrifices we are willing to make on freedom, should be commensurate with danger.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In Canada, commercials are limited in volume. In the USA, there is no limit on how ear-splitting they can be.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Comparing to Hitler
It is not considered politically correct to compare anyone to Hitler or the Nazis. This makes no sense. We should call a warning when we see the same danger signs. There was nothing unique about Hitler. We have seen plenty of men since equally evil and crazy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It makes no sense to compensate people for wrongs done to their great grandfathers. It makes even less sense for taxpayers to have to cough up the compensation when they had utterly no part in the wrongdoing.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Complaining About Lowest Tax in 50 Years
Just how ignorant, selfish and silly are the American Tea Partiers? They complain their about unbearable tax burden when in actuality it is lower than it has been in the last 50 years and lower than other developed countries. They complain that their taxes are too high, but everyone else’s are not high enough. They wring their hands about the national debt, but refuse to either increase taxes to pay it off or reduce expensive programs such as optional wars or social security, as if there were some other way to reduce it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Complaining About Their Own Actions
The Tea Party chastising Obama for a failed jobs policy have some cheek. They blocked every measure he tried to take. The policies that are in effect that are failing are the Tea Party’s own policies.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Complicit In A Lie
If a reporter permits a lie to pass without so much as an eyebrow twitch, he is complicit in that lie and should be held responsible for lying too.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Complicit in Spreading Lies
When in interviewer lets a lie go unchallenged, he becomes complicit in spreading that lie.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Intelligent criminals prefer to con their victims rather than bludgeon them. The church uses cons to extract money, to persuade people to hand over their power and to cover up sex crimes against children.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Concealed Weapons in Colorado
Courts ruled that Colorado Universities must allow students to carry concealed weapons. I would refuse to teach under the threat that any student who got too heated in debate could pop me or a fellow student. There is no conceivable valid use for such a weapon. They should be banned for the same reason they are banned from aircraft.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Conceit Of Rick Perry
Rick Perry compared himself to Galileo Galilei, challenging the church orthodoxy. But Perry is not a scientist. He has less understanding of science that a second grader. He admits he has no evidence at all for his claims that global warming is a hoax, just a gut feeling. If you don’t have evidence, it is not science; it is bullshit.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Rich Republicans want the rest of us to acknowledge that because of their inherent wonderfulness, they deserve a slice of the pie at least 20 times larger than anyone else’s. Not only do they want us to leave the laws in place that give them an unfair advantage, they expect us to vote in politicians who will tips the scales even further in their favour. Because of the power of hypnotic repetition, they are finding lots of takers who happily vote against their own interests.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Conceited Index
Let’s say you could come up with an index 0 to 100 of just how good a country was. It would get points for helping other countries, creating peace, protecting the environment, looking after its citizens, doing research, protecting citizens from crime, creating beautiful livable cities, longevity… And let’s say you asked a multi-country panel of judges to objectively measure the index for each country giving number x. Then you asked people in the country to rate their own country giving number y. Then you created the conceited index, y/x. Guess which country would have the highest conceited index?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When you have highly concentrated wealth, as we do now and as we did back in 1929, you necessarily have highly concentrated power. Concentrated wealth means you have only a relatively small number of people making all the financial decisions for a country. The wisdom of crowds gives better results. To bring a larger number of decision makers to the table, you must distribute the wealth more evenly.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Whether a politician outright lies or merely dissembles, the intent is the same — to deceive the public. The result is the same — the public is deceived. We should condemn both practices equally.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Confederate Flag
During the civil war, the south had three different flags, none of which were what we fly today as the confederate flag. The modern flag was used starting in the 1940s as a symbol of pro-segregation and pro-lynching. It is this dishonest to fly this racist flag and pretend it has something to do with bravery of confederate soldiers.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
People who fly the confederate flag are saying I am proud my ancestors kept slaves. This is as baffling as flying a flag that said I am proud my ancestors were child rapists (most slave owners were).~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Science has discovered that humans will happily believe lies and rumours, even thoroughly debunked ones, if they confirm what they already believe. This mechanism works well to filter out misinformation, but not disinformation.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
One of the most distressing features of humans is they don’t seek truth, they seek confirmation for what they already believe. Further, they will attempt to censor anything that counters that belief.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In any conflict both sides imagine they are 100% correct. Any account that gives only one side’s view is incomplete.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Confusing Proposition Wordings
On 2012-11-06, Americans voted on various propositions. To approve gay marriage voters had to mark yes in most states but in at least one, they had to vote no. That was a deliberate attempt to befuddle the voter. A proposition should be clearly worded so the voter always marks yes to approve the proposed change and no to leave things the way they are.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Congo Resource War
While the world has been fixated on 2001-09-11, Iraq and Afghanistan, 5 million people were killed in another resource war in the Congo over mineral called colloquially coltan. It is an ore from which the rare metals niobium and tantalum are extracted. These metals are used to make cellphones.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Consequences of Hush Up
If the Bush Administration had been forthcoming about 2001-09-11 there would not have nearly as much conjecture.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
An ox wearing blinders is the image that comes to mind when I think of an American conservative. Because they are so stolid, they want to simplify the world so that only one principle applies to any given situation. For example, they think that Punish people who do things I don’t like is all you need to know about drug addiction and law enforcement. To them, whether the addict recovers, whether the addicts commits more or fewer crimes to support his habit, what causes people to take drugs in the first place, whether you drive the addict to suicide or how many people fall into the addictive life style, is all completely immaterial. All that matters is making him suffer even more than he is now.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Conservatives claim they honour the constitution above all else, yet their favourite president is Ronald Reagan, who more than any other president flagrantly ignored and violated the constitution and they routinely try to force Christianity on others, contrary to the constitution.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Consider Pros and Cons
Whenever there is a big decision to make, you need both people who will argue the reasons for doing the thing and people who will argue the reasons for not doing it. Both are valuable. The problem comes when people decide, usually based on self interest, what the final outcome should be, then lie about the pros and cons. This is why I hate Republicans.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you behead a child by dropping a bomb on them, I don’t see how that is any more morally justifiable than beheading an adult with a knife. Both are horrible. It is makes no sense to ignore one and freak out over the other.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Consolidating schools is a monumentally stupid idea. Why?
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- It costs the parents far more to transport the kids than the school district saves.
- The long commute is tiring, boring and sometimes dangerous.
- It wastes parents’ time delivering and picking up kids.
- Kids prefer a smaller school where everyone knows everyone, rather than a giant impersonal school that feels like a prison.
- All that extra traffic creates needless greenhouse gases.
- As the oil runs out and energy prices rise, all the schools will have to be decentralised again to be within walking or cycling distance.
I have noticed that there are a number of scientific articles dismissing anyone who does not swallow what politicians say without question as a conspiracy theorist, as if they must be paranoid, believe complex plots they created out of whole cloth and wear tin foil hats.
If you catch a politician lying to you over and over, it is rational to be suspicious of what they tell you, particularly if there are inconsistencies in their statements. Unquestioningly believing everything is just as faulty a form of cognition as concocting conspiracy theories simply because they might conceivably be true.
Also remember that every major crime was committed by more than one person, namely that it was a conspiracy. Any speculation about how that crime was committed is a conspiracy theory. So, part of the official job of the police is to create conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories don’t deserve the insane reputation they have acquired.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Of course, 2001-09-11 was a conspiracy! It would have been completely impossible for a single person to pull it off. The big question is, just who was in on it? Present your evidence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Republicans tried to sell the idea that every bill should be explicitly permitted by the constitution. Normally a bill is considered constitutional unless it contradicts the constitution. By Republican thinking, there could be no bills about cars, trains, airplanes, electricity, highways, telephones, computers, credit cards, ATM (Automated Teller Machine) s, the Internet… since none of those things even existed at the time of the constitution, much less explicitly mentioned in it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The first amendment to the constitution defines a truce. Before the constitution people of different religions or factions used to kill each other. Today, Christians are so keen on using the government to impose their religion on others, they forget how separation of church and state besides rudely blocking them from bullying others also protects them from others imposing their religions on them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Constraining Future Citizens
When a group want to enforce some change as a constitutional amendment, they want to impose their thinking on future generations whom they believe will not agree with them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
No rain would ever fall if raindrops paused to contemplate their insignificance.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Contempt For Law
Ever since the civil war, Americans have had a contempt for the rule of law. It goes back even further than that in many cases. They shoot one another for amusement. They invade other countries simply because that country has something they covet. It will be such a relief when they finally lose their superpower status.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There are people who like to control others. If they would not like to do something, e.g. use medical marijuana, then they want to use the full force of the law to stop others from doing so. There is no practical reason for the opposition, just a desire to make others conform to their tastes. These people are simple bullies and should be told where to get off.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The DEA argue for harsh marijuana enforcement because marijuana grown by criminals contains illegal pesticides and the growers leave litter in the national parks when they grow marijuana hidden in the forests. It does not seem to dawn on the DEA that tobacco does not have either of these problems because it is grown legally. Further, it does not dawn on them tobacco use is decreasing, where use of other drugs is increasing. When a drug is legal, it can be better controlled.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Copy Success of Tobacco
Despite draconian efforts, drug addiction is on the rise, except for tobacco. Perhaps we should try our successful approach for reducing tobacco use to other addictive drugs.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The appropriate punishment for posting copyrighted material is optionally being forced to remove it and paying a royalty for the time it was posted, not shutting down the entire website, especially since there is usually no way to tell if any given image or document is copyrighted.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
A cat brings you a dead rat, pleased with itself it has provided you with something delicious to eat. Corporations similarly hand over tainted cheap and abundant goods produced by child and slave labour and massive pollution.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I find it odd there are so many people who claim they believe that if the private sector ran things we would be ever so much better off than if the government did. They call for deregulation and transfer of power from government to corporations. I find this view baffling (except from the elites who own the corporations).
Corporations are run as dictatorships by CEOs, without moral principles, without global responsibility, without concern for the future, without responsibility to the community, with the sole goal of maximising the next quarter profit. The only time a corporation refrains from pollution is when it is profitable to do so or a government forces them to. A democratic government, despite its flaws (mainly taking bribes from corporations and billionaires) must face the electorate periodically. If they have not done well for the people as a whole, or at least cannot persuade the public they did better than anyone else would have, they are fired en masse.
I can, however, appreciate the argument for moving things from government to individual, local group, small business or local government control because these groups are more responsible to the community at large.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If a politician does something for a company when the majority wish they did not, the most likely explanation is a bribe.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The public is gradually catching on the corporations have been cruelly exploiting people in the third world, cheating people at home, buying the politicians not to interfere and lying in commercials about what they have been up to.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Corporate Power Over Elections
The John Roberts Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United have given the power to single corporation to win an election. All they have to do is anonymously blitz a TV attack ad campaign at the last minute when the leading candidate has spend his budget. He can’t defend himself.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Corporations Are Free Of Moral Concerns
Republicans assert businesses are exempt from moral considerations. Republicans tell us that corporations single mindedly pursue profit without regard to the public good or public harm. They don’t seem to understand the difference between describing how thing are and how they should be.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Corporations Are Not Human
The United States treats corporations legally as if they were human. That is not quite correct. Corporations have the personalities of Ferengi.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Corporations Are Not People
The notion that corporations are people is downright silly. They have almost nothing in common. Even the notion of giving corporations some of the rights of people is also silly. Corporations should have the exact same rights as the group of people that compose them. Simply calling themselves a corporation should not acquire more privilege. There is no logic to it. It is just an arrogant power grab, similar to the absurd notions of superior privilege put forth by the French nobility.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Correcting Genetic Defects
Let us say that a man and woman marry who both have had a hare lip corrected early in life by surgery, or a serious heart defect surgically corrected at birth. They decide to have a child, knowing full well the child will probably also suffer that same defect. Who should be responsible for paying for that child’s surgery?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Corrupt Supreme Court
What do you call a Supreme Court that ruled that bribing politicians with unlimited amounts of money is perfectly legal? I think corrupt is an accurate word.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Corrupting An Election
There are various ways to corrupt an election. The most common are at the top.
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Buying the election through unlimited contributions(legal)/bribes(illegal).
- Hacking the electronic voting machines. This is far more common than believed and unbelievably easy to do. A squeaker result is evidence of this sort of tampering.
- Robocalls to confuse the voters, e.g. sending them to false polling places, telling them they can vote by phone, fake messages from a rival candidate.
- Absentee ballot fraud.
- Voter id, someone voting pretending to be someone else. This is relatively rare. By insisting on two pieces of picture ID, thousands of black voters are excluded. The result is far more legitimate voters are excluded than are saved in illegitimate voters. Republicans use strict voter id requirements to exclude black voters who tend to vote Democratic.
Corrupting the Courts, Legally
In the USA, state supreme court justices can be bought for very small amounts of money since the elections are fought with small budgets. Karl Rove engineered getting shill supreme court judges in many states, most notably Texas who agreed to decide cases in favour of business in return.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Corruption of Politicians
The insurmountable problem with being a politician, is you have to support whatever your supporters cherish, even when they are flat out wrong, such as racism, persecuting gays, tormenting the homeless, invading other countries to steal their oil, forcing religious beliefs on others or the invasion and occupation of Palestine. If you don’t, you are out of a job.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Cost of Execution
Death penalties are more costly to the state that life imprisonment because of the cost of the legal proceedings. You don’t save much in food and lodging, since even people who are executed usually live at state expense for 20 years first.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Cost of Legal Marijuana
US Attorney Jenny Durkan of the Federal Department Of Justice argued that if marijuana were legalised, the illegal trade would continue unabated because legal marijuana would be no cheaper because of taxes and minimum wages in the cost of legal marijuana. Here are four counter arguments:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Marijuana is as easy to grow as lettuce. It does not require fancy hydroponics. Indoor cultivation under lights is done mainly to conceal it. Growing it legally in a field would be much cheaper than growing it illegally in stealth.
- When prohibition of alcohol was repealed, the bootlegging trade collapsed.
- You can buy illegal cigarettes now, but people don’t because they don’t want to take a chance on quality, don’t want to risk getting ripped off and prefer to get their cigarettes legally.
- Governments are fully aware of how to cap taxes on alcohol and cigarettes so that they do not stimulate the bootleg trade.
Cost of Marijuana
Marijuana is as easy to grow as lettuce. Prohibition lets it be sold for the price of truffles. Harper wants to turn it into a government monopoly where it sells for the price of copper.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Cost Of War
Before we can have world peace, we have to destabilise the dictatorships and convert them to democracies. When a dictator declares war, he sacrifices nothing. He still lives in luxury. When the citizens of a democracy wage war, they lose their sons. They have to pay for the war out of their own pockets. Granted, those in the military industrial complex are expert in bamboozling the democratic public into wars and military spending that offers little benefit. It seems then odd the USA would go to such lengths just to install a new dictator, Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Costing Medical Care
I would think most seniors look at the cost of medical care this way. How much do I spend each month? If I get really sick, will I have to suddenly pay a lot more, or will my costs stay the same? You want monthly payments as low as possible with so surprises. It does not really matter who you write the check to: the government, your doctor, an insurance company. What counts is the total amount. The Republicans claim they are going to make things better for seniors by slightly lowering taxes and greatly increasing the amounts seniors pay to insurance companies. Further, Republicans are greatly increasing the uncertainty since insurance companies routinely drop coverage for people with serious illnesses. The Ryan plan does not save seniors any money, it just redirects it to the Republican sponsors and to the super wealthy who are the beneficiaries of the tax cuts this plan funds. Canadians and every other developed country pay less than half what Americans do and get much better care! If you really want to save money and help seniors, adopt the Canadian, British, French, German etc. plan that has been proven both to provide superior medical care and to cost much less.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Costs of a New Law
Control freaks imagine a new law will fix any problem. They forget that this means extra taxes for enforcement and police and courts distracted from other work. The refuse to even acknowledge the costs of the new law. They want to stop people from doing things that they disapprove of for religious reasons that may have no effect on anyone but the perpetrator.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Costs of Torture
People who defend torture conjure up TV-drama type scenarios that don’t occur in reality where the detainee has the means to stop an atomic blast if only key information can be tortured from him within 10 minutes. They ignore the costs of torture.
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- You torturing, is the #1 recruitment tool for your adversary. You prove you are an evil bastard who must be defeated at all cost.
- Civilians will not talk to you. You lose most of your intelligence.
- A person under torture will tell you whatever he thinks you want to hear. Most of the time this something will not be true. Acting on that information most of the time will just send you on a goose chase.
- Your corrode your soul. You risk mental damage.
- You risk trial for international war crimes and incarceration for the remainder of your life.
Could Not Have Been Nukes
There are still people, such as Ambassador Joe Wilson, who have the gall to claim the USA invaded Iraq because of the possibility they might have nukes. If that were true, the USA would have withdrawn once it discovered the error. They are still occupying Iraq. The war can’t possibly be about WMDs (Weapon of Mass Destructions). It was always about oil, just as the Iraqis claim.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Given that addicts take drugs to self-medicate extreme psychological pain, such as the trauma of childhood sexual abuse, to me, it seems counter productive to increase the load of psychological pain with deprivation, punishment and incarceration.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Countries without Government? Try Somalia
The Tea Party, as a matter of religious faith, imagines society will run itself (or the corporations will run it) if you shrink government down so it handles nothing but defence. But where is the evidence for this?
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- What recession was softened other than by government?
- Who but government has ever intervened during massive unemployment?
- Who but government has held out a hand (not just a token hand for the cameras) to the poor, disabled or ill to ensure they had a place to live?
- When did business ever regulate itself to ensure product safety or concern for the environment?
- When did anybody other than government build a road you could drive on without paying tolls?
- What percentage of the people went to school back in the days when they were handled by private enterprise?
Country of Origin Labeling
Globalists lobby successfully to have country of origin labelling removed or even made illegal. They do this so that they can fob of inferior quality goods at premium prices. I want the labeling mandatory so I can:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Avoid foods that come from countries with lax pesticide handling.
- Avoid improperly tested GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods.
- Avoid foods that a long trip for freshness to deteriorate to get here.
- Avoid foods further than 1½ megameters (932.06 miles) to reduce the carbon footprint of transport.
- Avoid foods produced with slave labour.
- Avoid buying goods from countries with a reputation of producing shoddy goods.
- Know I am getting the best French wines, Dutch and Italian cheeses.
- Support my own country by buying locally.
In the 1980s, war was so unpopular that Ronald Reagan had to attack South America covertly and illegally. Recall the Iran Contra hearings. Reagan used the money from secret illegal arms sales to Iran to fund the secret war against Nicaragua. You might say all those anti-war protests were for naught. Reagan went ahead and had his wars anyway. But the fact he had to keep them secret and could not openly fund them really slowed him down.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I can think of no greater shame than knowing a truth, but being too cowardly to say it aloud because no one else had already done so, or was too afraid to, or that louts would jeer at me for saying it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The cowardice of bullies needs to be emphasised. In my experience they were always two years older than me and usually attacked in groups of four to six. They reminded me of the ways wolves attack from all directions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Crazy as Arizona
Arizona’s attempt to usurp federal jurisdiction of immigration is preposterous. Should they be allowed to set up portals on the border to let in any white rich right-winger? If they thought Obama was not handling the economy well enough, should Arizona be allowed to print currency? If they thought Obama was too much of a wimp, should Arizona be allowed to mount an invasion of Pakistan?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The fact that the USA considered Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann as their president signals the country was contemplating suicide. It would be like nominating Robert E. Lee for president in the time of Lincoln.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Imagine that middle eastern cults started setting up temples in your neighbourhood. Their holy books called for them to kidnap the children of non-believers and cut their hearts out. You started getting about three death threats a day from these people warning you that they were about to carry through. The police told you they would do nothing until they actually cut your son’s heart out. They explained that mere threats were constitutionally protected by the freedom of religion clause — sticks and stones…
This is roughly the position I am in as a gay person. The cults in question are the Christians who are, unfortunately for me, a majority and in control of both the police and government. They believe their god Jehovah has commanded them to kill gay people. Most Christians don’t take things that far. They merely have fun bullying and making their lives of gays as miserable as possible, e.g. beating them up a little, defacing their homes, getting them fired, spreading malicious rumours about them and, of course, lobbying to make them non-persons in the eyes of the law when it comes to permanent relationships, aka opposing marriage equality.
The amusing thing is Christians are puzzled to learn I don’t like them. They see my revulsion as completely unjustified. The Nazis may be pretty horrible people, but unlike Christians, they have never personally threatened to kill me or pounded on the walls of my house or beaten up my boyfriend.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Crazy To Trust Big Oil
The big lesson of the BP oil gusher and the Texas City explosion is that the oil companies have absolutely no concern for public safety or the environment. It follows then they are happy to destroy the earth with global warming so long as they make this quarter’s profit targets. The public has been naïvely relying on them as experts.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Republicans claim the way to create more jobs it is to take money from the poor and give it to the rich and the corporations. This is an outright lie and they know it. The wealth gap has never been higher. The rich have been pampered as never before for the last decade. The net result is a net job loss as the corporations outsource jobs. The rich and the corporations have plenty of money. They just don’t want to invest it in America. Giving them still more money will just send even more American money overseas. This is like a billionaire upping his son’s allowance from $1000 a week to $2000 a week and hoping he will feel guilty and cut the lawn. Don’t give the rich any more money until they create jobs.
A reader writing under the pseudonym diddly, claimed that no Republican every said any such thing. Granted, not literally. They disguised it slightly. What Mitch McConnell called for was extending tax cuts for the wealthy. Remember the debt ceiling standoff? On 2011-09-03 Sarah Palin called for abolishing all income taxes on corporations and promised this would create an avalanche of jobs. John Boehner was willing to torpedo the country to avoid closing any tax loopholes for the wealthy. Eric Cantor called for a higher payroll tax on the middle class, a tax that does not affect the wealthy because of its cap. Ex-Democrat, Rick Perry, called for abolishing medical care and social security, effectively taking money away from poor Americans. When Eric Cantor was challenged for not proposing any job bills he countered, What you do mean? what about our spending cuts and tax cuts (for the rich) bills? Michele Bachmann, ok, she’s too batty to count as speaking for the party. All these measure obviously take money out of the pockets of the poor and middle class and put it in the pockets of the rich and corporations. There in no evidence any of this wealth transfer would create jobs. Republicans have given it a good try many times. It just never worked.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Why is the Republican-dominated congress so unwilling to push the rich to create jobs? Why is their top priority coddling the rich and winning special privileges and tax breaks for elites that nobody else gets? About 1% of the population are millionaires. However, over half of congressmen are millionaires, (and that does not even count their homes and other property holdings). The congressmen are thus fighting for their own personal gain at the expense of the country they swore to serve. Further, winning a senate seat costs about $10,000,000. Most of this money comes from a handful of billionaires for whom this is pocket change. So both senators and congressmen are complete toadies when it comes to satisfying the whims of their rich angels.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If there were a databank of everyone’s fingerprints and DNA, crimes could be solved much more efficiently. Knowing that would deter criminals.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Crimes of Hugo Chavez
Republicans like to compare Chavez to Hitler. Just what are his crimes? Like Hitler, he provided cheap housing and gasoline to his people, but this is not why we despise Hitler. He ridiculed Bush, but many Americans of every political stripe were even harsher. His big crime was providing cheap fuel oil to the people of New York preventing the oil companies from gouging and freezing people to death. Interfering with greed and exploitation is what Republicans find so unforgivable.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The popular wisdom is the USA has the highest percentage of people in jail because it has the highest percentage of criminals. Should’t someone check that it is not the reverse?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Criminalising Ice Cream
It is easier to make a case for criminalising ice cream and peanut butter than for criminalising marijuana.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife have accepted money from many quarters. They declared only some of it. But Thomas never once recused himself when donor cases came before him. Thomas claims the money had no influence on his decisions even when they favoured the donors and were at odds with the ruling of other justices. At the supreme court level, it is not sufficient to be honest and impartial; one must appear to be honest and impartial. Thomas has behaved so badly, only resignation would be sufficient to restore the integrity of the court.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Crooked John Roberts
George W. Bush appointed Chief Justice John Roberts to head the Supreme Court. Roberts (not to be confused with John Roberts the newscaster) is responsible for the crookedest decision the court has ever made. It has effectively turned the USA from a democracy into a plutocracy. In the Citizens United case, he ruled that corporations may now anonymously contribute as much money as they please to buy off elections. They may advertise and slander candidates anonymously as much as they please. In practice this also allows hostile foreign nations to buy elections as well. In the 2010 midterm elections, such anonymous campaigning now swamps the traditional tracked donations to the political parties.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Crossing the Floor
When politicians are voted in, they personally were not voted in, the promises of what they said they would do are voted in. If they want to drastically change their policies (especially party change), they should face a by-election first.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Crowds As Drugs
Imagine there was a drug that caused tens of thousands to go berserk. Some might have sex in the streets in front of everyone. They rampaged, screamed, set fire to cars and buildings, looted and attacked police. The damage might amount to over $1,000,000 a night in a city. You might imagine the people would demand the authorities do something to suppress it. Yet there is something that causes the same results and the authorities actively encourage its use. What is it? Attendance at critical hockey, football and soccer matches.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Iraqis refer to the invading Americans as The Crusaders. Muslims will never forget the completely unjustified genocide of the Crusaders in the middle ages. Christians still tend to treat the Crusaders as heroes, even though they behaved worse than Nazis.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Even though I have no children of my own, one of my recurring nightmares is what it would be like to put so much effort into raising your kids then have them destroyed by drugs. The very curiosity that made them such promising kids would be the thing that did them in.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Curiosity About Terrorists
I have noticed that Americans have an absolute lack of curiosity about what motivates a terrorist to a mindless suicide attack to kill Americans, any Americans, even children (not just any of the planet’s 5.9 billion infidels). If they did, they would have to confront the murderous and treacherous behaviour of the USA all over the planet over the last century.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Cutting of Hands
Let’s assume the Americans decided to hack the hand off anyone who committed a crime that merited 3+ months incarceration. At first the horror would cause a noticeable dip in crime. But after a while, with people inured by the hand-hacking TV channel, it would become commonplace, the way hanging was in the 1600s in England where it was treated as jolly good entertainment. You would find gangs hacking off the hands of old ladies for amusement. The more violence there is, the more violently people behave. People copy what they see. It does not matter if the violence comes from the government or from individuals. This partly explains why murder rates drop when a government stops executing people or killing them in wars.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Republican party makes an absurd claim. If the federal government shrinks, cutting spending and firing employees, it will create jobs. There are reasons to cut spending, but creating jobs is obviously not one of them. By definition, every time the government fires someone and does not replace them, there is one less job. Where do the Republican get the chutzpah to try to bamboozle the people into thinking the opposite is true? How dumb can people get that they ever believe these shysters?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Danger of Fracking
Just how big a threat is fracking to the water supply? The question has an objective answer, but you will never discover it just by polling people for their ideology-based opinions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Danger of Global Warming
Just how big a threat is global warming? The question has an objective answer, but you will never discover it just by polling people for their ideology-based opinions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Dangerous Flip Flops
It is getting pretty well impossible for a politician to flip flop on an issue. His opponents have video of him holding forth on all the variants and will choose to show the one least politically advantageous. A politician needs to think carefully before taking a stand.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
One night I was riding my bike late at night past a house that was on fire. I pounded on the door to awaken the inhabitants. There was no response. The door was unlocked. I rushed inside and roused the inhabitants. Had they been Americans, they would have shot me dead.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Dealing With Repeat Offenders
Repeat offenders are a pain. They clog the courts. They take up police time. They are released knowing perfectly well they will soon reoffend. Here is a way to handle them. On a second offence, the time for a crime is multiplied by 1.25, on the third offence by 1.25 * 1.25 = 1.5625 etc. It is not as Draconian as three strikes and you are out, but treats repeat offenders progressively more harshly.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Death By Hypothermia
Americans are willing to spend millions of dollars and decades of legal safeguards before giving a murderer a lethal injection. Oddly they are also willing to sentence an old women to death by hypothermia by cutting off her electricity without even a hearing.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The death penalty is not particularly cruel or painful compared with the crime of rape or murder. My objection is based on the continual evolution of forensic science. Over time, we can get more and more accurate verdicts. Most famously, DNA evidence has acquitted convicts long after the trial. If you have a death penalty, there is no way to make corrections.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I am opposed to the death penalty for a number of reasons:
- It does not work to deter murder. Countries without a death penalty all have substantially lower murder rates.
- It morally corrupts the society that uses it. Utah is using firing squads to titillate the citizenry. That is heading off is the direction of increasing decadence that Rome took.
- Every day thousands of horses, dogs, cats and people are euthanised without a hitch. However, it is very common for prisoner executions to fail, with the death dragging on for hours. Why the difference? Vets who euthanise animals are trying to alleviate suffering. Vets like the animals. Executioners hate the prisoners. They want to punish them, make them suffer maximally beyond what that law specifies. They get a sexual pleasure from the executions and the prisoner suffering.
- The executing a prisoner wastes millions of dollars of high priced lawyer time.
- Every time we invent new forensic technology and use it to look at old cases, we discover all kinds of people we were absolutely sure were guilty were not.
- The whole US legal system is biased against black people. They are more likely to be prosecuted, more likely to be convicted, more likely to get long sentences, more likely to get life sentences and more likely to be executed. This is a modern day extension of the old Jim Crow system. Until that bias is removed, it is wrong to execute anyone. The Republican goal is to eliminate black voters by jailing them or disenfranchising them.
- Poor blacks are especially vulnerable to being bullied by police to take plea bargains and confess to crimes they did not commit.
- Poor blacks are more likely to be convicted by paid or plea-bargained testimony. The amount of the bribes typically can be quite small. Often the real culprit testifies against an innocent man.
- For those who are guilty, a life sentence is a stronger punishment than execution. With execution, it is over in minutes.
The death penalty is a sanitised version of lynching. It does not belong in a modern country.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I oppose the death penalty for the following reasons:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- The death penalty is a deterrent, but not a punishment. One tiny pin prick and its over.
- If new technology exonerates, there is no way to apologise if you have already killed him. We are discovering that plea bargainers rarely actually committed the crime.
- The legal costs to kill someone are exorbitant. Serial murders don’t deserve than sort of expense.
If somebody killed my kid, I would not want them to get off easily with an injection, no more painful than the preparation for a dental filling. I would want them to have to think about what they did and eventually learn to feel remorse for decades.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Death Penalty Drawback
One problem with the death penalty is if some new technology exonerates the convict, it is too late to make any sort of correction.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Death Penalty For Poverty
Anyone who denies universal medical care is in favour of the death penalty for the crime of not having sufficient savings for critical medical care.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Debt To The French
The Americans owe the French a huge apology. Without French help, the Americans could well have lost the war of independence. The French gave the Americans their most important icon, the statue of Liberty. The French warned them of the folly of the Iraq war and the bogosity of the supposed WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction) evidence. The French in no way harmed the Americans, yet Americans reviled them and spat on them again and again. If Bush has listened to the French, thousands of young Americans would still be alive.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Businesses, especially makers of medicines, vitamins and foods have no shame about filling the package less than half full, so long as they put the weight in small print hidden somewhere on the outside. The size of the package is an implicit statement of the quantity of goods offered. It should be illegal to package deceptively, just as it is to post an exaggerated weight.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Deciding Truth by Addition
Whenever anyone criticises Noam Chomksy, they never point out where he is wrong; they simply say the many people whom he criticises don’t agree with him. He must be wrong because the bastards outnumber him.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I notice Republicans often make glaring scientific errors. I also see them making political decisions based on religious superstition and bigotry completely ignoring the constitution. They also make decisions about things I do not understand. Since their reasoning ability is so flawed, I assume they don’t know what they are doing on any topic.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Even though the USA officially ended segregation back in the 1960s, segregation lives on because whites don’t like living near blacks. This dislike forms white and black neighourhoods. They are not held in place by law, but by mutual repulsion. This leads to de facto segregated schools. Further, some high schools in Mississippi still have separate proms for white and black students. The most backward of all are the churches, still 93% segregated.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In Star Trek, the doctor has the power to remove the captain from office if the captain is mentally compromised. The doctor does not replace the captain. Trump is bonkers. He is itching to set off some nukes. He needs the same treatment. We will be so annoyed with ourselves if we let him, like Max Frisch’s Firebugs, get away with it without resistance.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Defending Aggressive War
In jurisprudence, self-defence is rarely used as justification for theft or a mugging. But it is the defence Americans first attempt when defending the illegal aggressive (first strike) wars their country gets into to steal other country’s resources.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Defending and Attacking Differences
It is reasonable for the president to have emergency power to defend against an attack, but not to launch an aggressive (first strike) war without consent of the House and Senate.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Defending OJ (Orenthal James Simpson)
People often chastise lawyers for defending people the public strongly believe to be guilty. Rarely are such people acquitted. But it is important to discover if the wrong man has been accused in the excitement of how horrible the crime is. That could not happen without somebody making the case for the accused. For example, I have no problem with lawyers defending O.J., just their unscrupulous tactics smearing others and misleading the jury to get him off.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Defending With Lies
I find Republicans appalling, not because they hold odious beliefs, but because they defend them only with lies.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Deference to Criminals
I find it a bit thick when a someone chastises me for being rude to a politician who I have criticised when that politician has openly committed capital crimes. Surely these critics would not require me to be deferential to someone on death row or to a foreign leader who has committed similar crimes.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The word freedom is slippery. Americans claim the right to invade any country they please unprovoked on the grounds the citizens of that country threaten their freedoms. They refuse to specify just which freedom is in jeopardy or by which means it is being attacked.
Freedom is also used to mean doing what you damn well please without concern for anyone else such as:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Riding an extremely loud motorcycle through suburbs at 3 AM.
- Not hooking your cabin up to the sewer.
- Smoking large cigars in public spaces.
- Disconnecting your catalytic converter and muffler from your car.
- Using highly toxic pesticides on your lawn and garden and killing off the local bees and poisoning the local honey.
- Making no attempt at all to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, or even worse, deliberately increasing them.
- Beating up gay people (as your fictitious god commanded).
Define Reasonable Doubt
The whole point of trials is to make sure you are locking up the right people. When a government locks people up indefinitely without trial, they are saying, We know we are locking up people we have no right to lock up, but we don’t care. We are locking them up for reasons we are unwilling to divulge, most likely reasons that would be politically embarrassing to us. The government might say they can’t take any risk acquitting guilty people. Let them instruct the jury to that danger into account when deciding on what reasonable doubt means in this case.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
By refusing to carefully define terrorism in law as killing civilians with the intent of changing their political affiliation the definition becomes too mushy. We end up arresting people merely for cheering for the wrong side in some conflict on the other side of the planet that in no way concerns us.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Activist Judge
An activist judge is one who overturns legislation passed by congress. You can have left-wing activist judges, e.g. overturning abortion law or laws discriminating against blacks or gays. You can also have right-wing activist judges, e.g. Citizens-United that overturned all laws limiting campaign contributions. An activist judge may or may not read the constitution literally. The public often misuse the term to mean a judge who does not interpret the constitution literally, e.g. the very broad interpretation of the second amendment to permit concealed weapons in bars, or sometimes simply to mean the judge ruled differently than they would have wished.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of an American
Definition of an American: someone who believes:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Jehovah the god causes hurricanes.
- Conspiracies are impossible.
- Helicopters are never painted black.
Definition of Conspiracy
A conspiracy is simply a crime committed by more than one person. Most important crimes are conspiracies. A conspiracy theory is a hypothesis about how and why an important crime was committed. To help cover their crimes, criminals usually successfully dismiss anyone who suggests a conspiracy theory as a crackpot. Famous sleuths Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple and Tom Barnaby are all professional conspiracy theorists. There is no paranoia necessarily involved.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Democracy
Democracy means the people get to choose which government they want. It does not mean they necessarily like that government. It does not necessarily mean that Americans have to like that government. It does not mean that government has to be friendly to the USA making trade deals to hand over its resources on plate. It does not mean a government selected by the government of the USA such as the provisional governments in Afghanistan and Iraq.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Democracy
When I say I believe in democracy, it is quite a deep commitment. It means than I believe bigots, hawks, global warming deniers, homophobes, SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) owners, stock brokers, people I detest… should have exactly the same political influence via the vote that I do.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Deregulation
Deregulation is just another word for lawlessness.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Fairness
Fairness does not require you to pretend that both sides in a dispute have behaved equally badly.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Feminism
The Oxford dictionary defines feminism as advocacy of women’s rights or the grounds of sexual equality. You have a choice: you can be a bigot, a feminist or a silent feminist.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Freedom of Speech
It is amazing how many dingbats, e.g. Sarah Palin think the first amendment gives them the right to say whatever they want without anyone disagreeing with them or complaining about them. All it does is block the government from censoring them. It does not stop their employers from censoring or firing them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Genocide
Politically correct people especially indigenous people have been trying to extend the meaning of genocide to include measures to modify a culture e.g.
- Persuade people to stop using one language and start using another.
- Persuade people to stop practicing one religion and start another.
- Persuade people to stop using traditional dwellings and use modern ones.
- Persuade people to stop killing wild animals, particularly with cruel means.
It is absurd to equate these legal actions with aggravated murder. It dilutes the meaning of genocide. Even using threats to these ends is nowhere near as serious as murder let alone genocide.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Holocaust
The Concise Oxford English Dictionary Luxury Edition defines holocaust as destruction or slaughter on a mass scale. Yet if anyone uses the term in this sense, a horde of harpies swoop down on him shrieking holocaust denier!. The holocaust has become a sort of sacred cow.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Liberty
Liberty: noun, in America it means the right to get drunk, play loud music at all hours, rile the neighbours, litter your front yard with derelict cars and beer bottles, throw trash out the car window, shoot any critters anywhere/anytime, catch as many fish as you like by any means including dynamite and poison, run down wildlife in snowmobiles, beat up fags, avoid paying your fair share of taxes and intimidate anyone you damn well please with any weapons you damn well choose all without any govamint interference.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Racism
Racism is the conceit that another racial group in the same circumstances would have behaved significantly differently.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Reform
The word reform, especially when used by right wingers, means a change that you would probably not approve of. For example, the backers of the charter cities in Honduras had the shill Mr. Romer, an economist with the Stern School of Business at New York University, use the word to refer to setting up special democracy-free zones run totally by corporations where corporations make up and enforce the laws.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Rights
Rights are about treating unpopular minorities fairly. They only come into play when the majority are convinced in their guts they have a right to punish some minority. They are a commitment to use principle over emotion.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Small Business
The Republicans like to claim they are the champions of small business. However, they use an odd definition of small business that primarily means large corporations that use tax dodges intended for small business, such as Bechtel, the largest engineering firm on the planet and the zillion companies the billionaire Koch brothers own.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Stealth
The word stealth comes from the verb to steal. It was an uncharacteristic stroke of honesty when the Americans named the stealth bomber.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Terrorist
According to historians, terrorists are people who use violence to try to change the political opinion of civilians. Americans ignore that definition because it categorises them as the world’s biggest terrorists. Instead they use a different definition. If you lose a fight (even one not involving civilians) you are a terrorist. If you win, you are a heroic defender of democracy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Trickle down
The trickle down theory of economics is a con. It has been repeatedly proven not to work, but that does not stop Republicans from flogging it again and again. By the same logic, you could just as easily have a trickle up theory where you give all the money to the poor. Don’t be ridiculous! If you take money away from A and give it to B, A will always be poorer and B will always be richer. Any school child could see through a con where one kid tries to talk the others into giving him most of their money for nothing in return.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There are two ways to protect yourself from attack:
- Defend yourself against likely avenues of attack
- Convincing your enemy they have no reason to attack and have nothing to gain from attacking you.
Stealing your enemy’s oil or minerals, raping their children, torturing them or burning them alive are poor methods of convincing them they have nothing to gain from attacking you.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Police in Victoria, BC Canada are prosecuting Harry Charles Sadd for alleged sexual assault on a young male almost 50 years ago. Having a trial that many years after the events is absurd. Neither accuser nor the accused can clearly remember what happened. They probably will not even be able to recognise each other.
We need to encourage children to report such events right away, or at least once they become teens and need no longer fear the perpetrator. Waiting 50 years gives the perpetrator five decades to find even more victims.
Having no statute of limitation encourages victims to procrastinate indefinitely. Prosecuting an impotent, senile old man is closing the barn door long after the horse has fled.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There are a number of fishy things about the assassination of John Kennedy. Here were are 53 years, 5 months and 6 days later and we are still discussing it. Eventually, we should have a more accurate story. However, 2001-09-11 was only 15 years, 7 months and 17 days ago and almost nobody discusses it anymore, even though there were hundreds of inconsistencies in Bush’s account. Bush’s people have successfully sold the notion that anyone who questions his story must be insane. Americans strongly so strongly want to trust Bush, that they treat cross-examining his story being as wicked as remarking on inconsistencies in the bible. Where the story apparently leads is just too terrifying to contemplate. We may need the distance of history to have the courage to explore.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
An unscrupulous politician or Glenn Beck clone is deliberately vague. He wants you to rage and to channel your rage to support him. If he is too clear just on what the problems are, who the villains are or precisely what they did, he will lose supporters who disagree. Similarly, he avoids presenting solutions because too many supporters would disagree and desert him. The Tea Party could be renamed the Rage party since incoherent rage is the unifying force of the party.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When we discover a politician harbours delusions, believes things that are patently untrue, we want to get rid of him. Yet many people prefer to vote for persons of faith, who openly admit to this flaw.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Do you want a Mormon in the White House? I would say definitively not. I don’t want someone who harbours and nurses delusions. For the same reason I don’t want a Jew or a Christian either. It is too important a position to entrust to anyone who indulges in wishful thinking.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When a man becomes delusional and starts claiming God is commanding him to do various bizarre things, his family usually intervene and pack him off to a psychiatrist where he is treated with lithium or other drugs to reel him back in. However, when a man is a politician, or a TV personality, he can successfully resist. This is what happened to Glenn Beck.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Delusions of Virtue
Humans go to absurd lengths of self-deception to see themselves as virtuous. When criminals intimidate the population into non-co-operation with the police, their victims convince themselves this is a virtue — a code of silence. When American soldiers illegally attack other countries unprovoked and torture their inhabitants in a multitude of fiendish ways, they convince themselves they are defending freedom.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Democracy is Fragile
Democracy is fragile. It depends on the representatives accepting the rules of procedure. They must debate in an orderly way, then vote and agree to go along with the will of the majority. A small disruptive group like the Tea Party can hold things up with a filibuster. It can refuse to pass absolutely necessary legislation, unless it gets its way. They act like a teenage boy who grabs the wheel of the family car and threatens to drive over a cliff unless father agrees to buy him drugs. The other fragility is the cost of running for office. It permits wealthy individuals and corporations to buy sufficient politicians to pass laws favouring their special interests against the public good. If you want the politicians to be responsible to the general public good, they must get their money from the general public, not special interests.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Democracy, Iraq Style
What would you think of an election where the candidates from one entire side of the political spectrum were automatically disqualified, where all candidates had to be approved by a foreign occupying nation who used torture routinely, where the ballots were sequentially numbered so votes could be tracked back to identify the voter, where voting boxes were made of clear plastic so anyone could see how you voted, where ballots were printed on translucent paper, so even folding your vote could not hide your choice, where the ballot box was guarded by armed soldiers working for an invading country? That’s what America offered to Iraq as a democratic election. That’s crooked even by Chicago standards.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The United States is undergoing a democratic meltdown. Part of the problem is the explosive growth in negative attack ads, which dissemble or, even more often, outright lie. Chief Justice Roberts with the Citizens United decision opened the floodgates to unlimited spending on such ads. They can be financed anonymously and thus fairly easily by enemy countries with an interest in subverting the USA. The normal rules of libel do not seem to apply. Any candidate without billionaire backers has no chance. His opponent will drown him in lies. The end result is every successful politician has been bought by one or more billionaires or corporations. That is not a democracy. That is a plutocracy or corporatocracy. On seeing the effects of this decision, Justice Roberts had a chance to reverse his decision, but he decided to continue this subversion of democracy. It favours the Republicans who got him the job. I consider that treason. He is aiding the enemies of the USA to takeover the USA.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Democrats vs Republicans
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Issue Democrats Republicans tax loopholes for the rich tax loopholes for corporations massive military spending protect the environment resist climate change fund scientific research public health care public schools separation of church and state women’s equality theocracy allow the poor to die white supremacy homophobia
If you have ever participated in a demonstration, some friend probably belittled you saying You will never change the mind of Wall Street/The Church/The Government… What you are doing is a complete waste of time.
But that is not what you are doing. What your are doing includes:
- Showing others who think like you, that they are not alone. That empowers them.
- Making people who have never thought about the issue notice that they are with you.
- Stigmatising your opponents so that bright talented people will refuse to work for them.
- Gradually inserting ideas into the general public discussion that eventually will transform the majority and leave your opponents in a minority.
If demonstrations did not work, then why is it that progress in black rights and gay rights only came about once there were public demonstrations? Why did a hawk like Nixon wind down the Viet Nam War until the massive demonstrations?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The nice thing about democracy is when the people vote for liars, crooks, bigots or environmental vandals, you can console yourself that democracies punish those voters by giving them the politicians they deserve.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
One the nice things about a democracy is the people get the government they deserve.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If they are greedy, they will elect politicians who will promise abundance, then rob them blind.
If they are bigots, they will elect politicians who care only for themselves, not even for the bigots who elected them.
If they are hateful, they will elect politicians who promise war, then find themselves stuck with bills and invalid sons.
If they are bullies, they will elect politicians who meddle in their religious and sexual lives.
If they are compassionate, they will elect politicians to see they too are cared for in hard times.
If they are forward looking, they will elect politicians who protect the environment for generations to come.
If they are skeptical, they will elect politicians brave enough to tell the truth.
It is so cosmically just.
A country that refuses to protest the illegal and unjust Afghanistan and Iraq wars deserves to ruled by corrupt Republican politicians usurping power with every dirty trick in the book and then some. The American people looked the other way by thinking about all the sweet Iraqi oil that would flow to their gas pumps and all the precious Afghan lithium that would power their laptops and new cars. It is poetic justice. The greed of the American people is rewarded with victimhood at the hands of the Masters of Greed.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Why most American deserve to spend eternity in hell:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Americans created the global warming problem for the planet, but insist others make the sacrifices to clean up.
- Americans invade other countries, unprovoked, which is illegal.
- Americans kill millions of civilians in their invasions.
- Americans are even less compliant of the Geneva conventions than the Nazis.
- Americans are in total denial of their war crimes. They worship the military just like Nazi Germany.
- Americans thumb their noses at conservation. They worship greed, waste and conspicuous consumption.
Almost every day there in a news item that shows Americans as racist, greedy, homophobic, deluded by whacko religions, cruel, war-loving, anti-environment, weirdly addicted to firearms, enslaved to corporations… They did not deserve Obama. They deserved a proper crook, liar and hypocrite like Romney.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Desire to Punish
Nothing excites the Republican desire to punish more strongly than marijuana — a drug that causes people to laugh uncontrollably.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Destroy Drug Bust Take
Would it not make more sense to destroy drugs collected at a crime scene as soon as possible, other than a gram for use in court tests, rather than leaving them around indefinitely, tempting thieves?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Destroyers of All Life
The villains who are working tirelessly to destroy all life on earth are for the most part unrecognised because they do it as a side effect of making money. They have negative effects millions of times more severe than even the most vicious child rapists, torturers and terrorists. They include: lobbyists who work to derail efforts to stop global warming, combustion engine manufacturers, the coal, gas and oil lobbyists, employees of Monsanto, nuclear weapons technicians, people who work in the defence industry and politicians on the take from these lobbyists.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Destroying the USA
If the Muslim world wanted to destroy the USA, the easiest way would be to use the Citizens United supreme court decision to buy the congressional, senate and presidential elections and install mentally defective and crackpot leaders who would bring the government to a standstill with in-fighting. (Hmm. Maybe they have already.)~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Destroying the USA
The Tea Party and bin Laden have the same goal — the destruction of the USA.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Deterioration of American Politics
It is a bit like watching a famous man slowly fall to pieces from Alzheimers. I refer to the growing insanity of the American political process. Such things as:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- The Tea party and its no-nothing, crackpot candidates.
- Jim deMint announcing he is using an obscure senatorial rule to hold up all senate business that has not been submitted to his office for his pre-approval.
- Abuse of filibuster.
- Politicians speaking against bills they originally sponsored.
- FOX News and Glenn Beck just making up completely crazy lies every day.
- Sharron Angle calling for the assassination of her political rival Harry Reid if he defeats her.
- Tea party candidates denying their public statements, even when the statements are on video.
If someone has been so badly brain damaged, that they roughly have the mental capacity of a dog, I think we should spend on their care roughly what we would spend on a dog. Pouring vast resources will have no result. It will just get everyone’s hopes up. There is point in research, however.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Cognitive therapists like to point out how a common error in thinking causes all manner of trouble in their patients’ lives. Dichotomous thinking is imagining there are only two possible options, two extreme possible solutions to a given problem. Such patients see the world in black and white. They ignore all shades of grey. So, for example, an American dichotomous thinker imagines the only alternative to more military spending is disbanding the military and allowing other countries to invade unopposed. A Republican dichotomous thinker imagines the only alternative to giving corporations completely free reign is to nationalise them all and set up a Communist dictatorship. They are wilfully blind to the thousands of intermediate positions, e.g. for military spending, cancel obsolete weapons systems, avoid attacking other nations unprovoked, insist on bids for contracts, cut spending across the board by 10%… For the corporations, you could have truth in advertising laws, truth in labelling laws, make banks compute interest a standard way so consumers can compare deals, you could insist that corporation clean up their own environmental damage, you could give corporations tax incentives to create jobs and to avoid layoffs…~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Dickens Theme Park
We need a theme park when you get to live for a week as realistically as possible they way people lived in Dickens time. It had no social safety net and no regulation of any kind on business. Even firemen were privatised. There was no inspection of water, meat or food. Seven years hard labour was the penalty for petty theft. We could give Republicans free tickets so they could experience their wet dream for what they want the USA to become.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In Dickens’ England:
- There were no income taxes.
- There were no unions.
- There were no laws to protect employees.
- There were no environmental protection laws.
- There was no meat or food inspection. It was perfectly ok to adulterate food and beer.
- Children worked in mines.
- There was no social safety net.
- There was no public sanitation.
- There were no product safety laws.
- The drinking water was contaminated.
- Only children of the wealthy went to school.
- Religious fanatics forced their views on others.
- If you wanted police protection or someone to put out a fire, you had to hire them privately.
That was Republican heaven. That is where the Republicans are trying to take the USA.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I laugh at people who want to ban the hijab. What’s next? banning wearing white after labour day? The law has no business dictating fashion.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
American media always referred to Hugo Chávez as a dictator. Yet he came to power and stayed in power with elections that he won with overwhelming majorities. It is a bald faced lie, part of America’ effort to steal Venezuela’s oil.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Dictator of the World
If I were the dictator of the world and became corrupt and imposed my taste on the world the following kinds of music would be banned:
- Christmas music, except classical instrumental
- church music
- county music
- rap music
- Frank Sinatra and similar
Your pornography would be limited:
- No fat women
- No high heels
- No lipstick or heavy make-up
- No large or droopy breasts
- Unlimited gay pornography
- Unlimited pornography created purely from the imagination without living models, e.g. comic book parodies.
Your reading material would be limited:
- Severe restriction on fiction. Only if it can be shown to be educational.
- No Christian literature.
I hope you felt a rise of anger, even though this was just a thought experiment. I hope you thought to yourself That arrogant bastard! How dare he presume he knows better than I do what is in good taste. Who appointed him god? Banning Frank Sinatra! Why? for heaven sake? That idiot!
Then I ask you, when you do the same thing to others, telling them what music, entertainments, or books they should be permitted to expose themselves to, what arrogant lie do you tell yourself to justify lording over others this way? You both claim to know better and to have the right impose your judgement on fellow adults. If you are permitted to impose restrictions on them, then surely they have the right to impose them on you.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
IDs made of paper and plastic are becoming easier and easier to counterfeit. A proper ID needs the following features:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- A digital signatures to ensure the claimed issuing agency actually did issue this card.
- A private digital key that is not recorded anywhere outside the card. The card is designed never to reveal the key. This ensures you cannot clone/duplicate the card.
- The card needs to be tied to a particular person. Perhaps a DNA screen might eventually be practical. For now, a photo, height, iris scan, finger prints digitally embedded. The card itself would just have name and photo.
- It should be backed by online databases, so that IDs can be revoked, or police can be notified if a suspect uses the card.
- A single card should handle multiple ID functions, e.g. drivers licence, voting card, passport, Social Security, unemployment insurance, banking, credit cards so you don’t need a wallet full of cards.
- Most of the data would be stored in databases, not in the card itself, e.g. emergency medical data, your address, phone. That way you can update it without needing to issue a new card, or even re-write the card.
- If criminals put false card readers in retail outlets, I would hope the card would have same way of detecting them, perhaps by keeping track of past institutions it has dealt with and warning on encountering a new one.
Directing Organ Donations
Imagine the horror of someone on their deathbed who has arranged to have their organs harvested for transplant, discovering that Dick Cheney was the most likely candidate for receiving their heart. I think donors should have some say in where their organs go. I would not want mine going to war criminals, old geezers who would not get much use of it, Republicans or Christians.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republicans are disagreeable not because they disagree, but because they lack integrity. As I would have said when I was ten, they are dirty fighters.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hurricane Sandy created 40,000 new homeless people in New York City. Governments cannot very well ignore them the way they ignore long term homeless people. It would be amusing if the governments accidentally helped some long term homeless as part of emergency relief. After a taste of homelessness, at least those voters may be more sympathetic to the long-term homeless, who may well have helped them survive.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Disaster Tour of a Hospital
A disaster tourist from Celulon, a planet 200 light years away, teleported to earth and wanted to go on a tour of the horror called a hospital that he had heard dark rumours about. He paid an orderly to take him on an exhaustive tour.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
He asked his guide, I notice about half the people here don’t even go near the patients. They just shuffle sheets of tree cellulose. What is their function?
His guide replied, It’s called paper. Their purpose is to block people from getting medical care. Medical resources are extremely limited and must be rationed out to only the most deserving, i.e. wealthy, people.
The tourist then asked Why don’t you fire all these paper pushers and use the money to hire more people who actually heal patients? I would have thought the intent of a hospital was to heal people, not stop them from getting healed.
His guide was dumbfounded, You some kind of commie?
Discouraging Unfair Advantage
You can count on when any political group gets power, it will change the rules so that it has an unfair advantage to help it stay in power. It is up to the people to embarrass the party in power so badly when they pull this stunt that they lose more support than they gain.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Discrediting Your Opponent
The second best way to discredit your opponent is to quote their own words. The best way is to show them lying, or saying untrue cruel or bigoted things on video.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Discrepancy Between Natural and Adoptive Parents
We keep increasing the checks on adoptive and foster parents to protect children. Yet oddly we do no checks at all on natural parents. We make no checks they have a suitable environment for the child, sufficient financial resources, knowledge of child rearing or record of even temper.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
People feel no guilt at discussing insanities and delusions held by politicians, e.g. that there is a giant conspiracy of all the world’s scientists and the governments of all non-American countries to trick Americans into reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a delusion held without any evidence whatsoever. However, they consider religiously-inspired delusions off-limits, e.g. a rejection of biology and geology on the matter of how the earth and its lifeforms came to be, or a belief in the infallibility of commands given by disembodied voices that claim to be Jesus or a god.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Everything the Republicans do is dishonest. Consider the prescription drug plan. It should have saved the people money by doing contract bid bulk buys of prescriptions. But it does the exact opposite. It is a way of ripping the people off and giving the extra money to the drug companies.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Dismantling the Public Schools
Republicans want to dismantle the public school system for two reasons:
- The Republicans represent the interests of the wealthiest 2% of the population. Their children go to private school. They resent tax dollars going to educate others.
- They want children indoctrinated with religious twaddle such as creationism.
The rich are ignoring their own self interest. Their wealth comes from the labours of well educated employees, people who understand science, not the biblical understanding of science of four thousand years ago. The Republicans years for the extreme wealth gaps you find in South American dictatorships.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Everyone knows that a major earthquake on the west coast would do thousands of times more damage than 2001-09-11, but politicians give it no funding. It is so much more exciting to fight a human foe that a mindless force of nature. Besides the contractors who would do the upgrading are not a powerful arms lobby like Halliburton, Xe(Blackwater) and GE.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The earthquake in Haiti killed 33 times as many people as were killed on 2001-09-11. We know that several North American cities are just as vulnerable as Haiti, yet we refuse to spend even a tiny fraction of the Homeland security budget to upgrade buildings and prepare for our big one.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Earthquakes have killed 75 million people. 2001-09-11 killed 3500 people. The caldera supervolcano at Yellowstone, when it blows will wipe out the USA. Guess which threat get orders of magnitude more funding.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Dissecting a Bigot
A bigot is someone who:
- Overestimates the accuracy of his intuition.
- Makes snap generalisations.
A bigot will reason that Muslims/gays/blacks/Mexicans/women/… must be evil, and need to be eliminated, because:
- I don’t like them.
- Somebody told me about one of them doing a terrible thing.
These defects in logical reasoning mean you don’t find many bigoted mathematicians, logicians or computer programmers.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) announced that aboriginal women were most often killed by aboriginal men they knew. However, this is true for everyone. Aboriginal women are more often killed by strangers than other women are. So by telling the literal truth the RCMP gave the exact opposite impression from the truth.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Do Felons Need Weapons?
What possible good can come from letting a felon own a weapons cache?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Do the Mentally Ill Need Weapons Caches
What possible good can come from letting someone who is brain-damaged own a weapons cache?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Mind you, the very desire to own a weapons cache indicates someone might not be quite right in the head. What can you do with one but commit mass murder?
Do Nothing To Create Jobs is Not Useful
Republican ads call for the government to get out of the way and let jobs be created. This policy of the government doing nothing was thoroughly tested by George W. Bush. It is what created the unemployment mess in the first place.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Doing What You Are Told
People who always do what they are told never accomplish anything.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Donald J. Trump
Donald Trump is behaving like someone in the manic phase of a bipolar disorder. He lets himself get carried away with the excitement of addressing a mob and trying to incite a riot. He drifts into child-like language and obscenity. If he cannot control himself and even a roomful of followers, how does he expect to run a country and deal with ISIS and Putin?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Donald J. Trump
Trump is behaving like someone in the manic phase of a bipolar disorder. He imitates the style of a pro-wrestler. He is a boor, someone you would be too ashamed to bring home, definitely not presidential. He contradicts himself daily. He is a compulsive liar, an order of magnitude more so than your average politician. He appeals to bigotry and thuggery. He posits ridiculously simple solutions to complex problems — e.g. renegotiate all trade deals, as if you could get a better deal the second time, as if you could break all existing contracts. He thinks he can run the country like one of his companies screaming at people and firing them. You can’t do that to congress, the senate and the supreme court. He is narcissistic, bombastic, a bluffer and a braggart. He would be an utter embarrassment on the international stage.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Donald Trump and Hitler
In 2015-11 Donald Trump called for all Muslims to wear an id badge in public. I don’t see how that is any different from Mr. Adolf Hitler forcing gays wear a pink triangle and Jews to wear a yellow star of David. It would have exactly the same purpose, directing hate and violence toward Muslims.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I find it massively hypocritical that Americans refuse to forgive a young Leni Riefenstahl for making a propaganda movie at Hitler’s command, but forgive themselves for volunteering to torture, mutilate and murder Iraqi children with every illegal weapon known to man for no plausible excuse other than stealing oil.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Downs Syndrome Schooling
If Downs syndrome kids feel bad in their special schools, think how they feel in public schools where other kids torment them for being different, the curriculum is incomprehensible and the teacher has no time for them. This is political correctness overshadowing practicality. You can expose children to diversity without throwing the Downs kids to the wolves.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Downside of Democracy
If you are dedicated to democracy, then you are dedicated to stupid, evil people’s vote counting just as much as yours.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Downside of Marijuana Laws
Extreme enforcement of anti-marijuana laws has two undesirable effects:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- It increases the price of pot, which attracts more criminals into the business.
- It eliminates the amateur growers and leaves the field to hardened, remorseless, criminal gangs.
One day, Dr. Z. A. Melzak, my discrete mathematics prof, laughed at us students racing for a piece of paper every time he gave us a problem. He rolled up his sleeve and showed us his number tattoo from a Nazi concentration camp. He told us, as a boy, how he managed to stay alive by entertaining the Nazi guards with feats of mental arithmetic. I know the holocaust was real because I trust Dr. Melzak not to lie to me. He never minced words.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Drawback of Fines
A fine of $500 could represent a month’s income or a few minutes income. Using fines to enforce law severely punishes the poor and gives the rich a get out of jail free card.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Drug Bust Bragging
When police officers brag about their drug busts by computing the value of the bust as the aggregate price if all the drugs were sold as single doses direct to the customer, they are making drugs look more profitable than they actually are and as a result are encouraging people to enter the business.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The war on drugs is running into the same problems that the prohibition of alcohol had. Drug cartels have become the effective government in Latin America just as organised crime took over during prohibition. The USA and Canada are unwilling to consider any approach other than the war on drugs. The reasons are ideological and financial. They have too much invested in the war on drugs and prisons to consider any other approach. Even though Canada and the USA do the bulk of the drug consuming, the bulk of the pain goes to the drug producing countries in Latin America. Latin America is hurting so much they are now willing to try other approaches. The USA and Canada refuse to listen. Why is everyone being so stubborn when there are countries who are having relatively little trouble with drugs. Let us do what they are doing.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Drug Dealers Lobby For Prohibition
Who has the money and the motivation to lobby for continuing a drug war that has been proven not to work? Drug dealers!~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Drug Problem
What should we do about the drug addiction problem? My solution is simple. Find out what works and do it. Find out what does not work and stop doing it. Instead, we do whatever creates the most profit for the politicians’ buddies who own the prisons. We do whatever some religion or social theory thinks should work. We do what some police chief or politician’s gut tell him should work. We do whatever policy would be easy to sell to the electorate in soundbites, anything but what we know actually works.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When it comes to prescription drugs, we have a policy of the drug is guilty until proven innocent. This is a conservatively safe policy especially when you consider:
- A given drug is used by only a small segment of the population.
- Usually a patient only takes a drug for a short period of time.
- The drug may be used even if it has side effects since the patient may desperately need it.
- The patient and doctor are keenly aware of the drug and are on the lookout for untoward effects.
- The drugs are exhaustively tested for safety.
However, when it comes to industrial chemicals we have a cavalier policy of innocent until proven guilty. This is a dangerous policy especially when you consider:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- There are over 100,000 industrial chemical introduced into the environment which get into food.
- There is no testing done except to estimate gross toxicity.
- Since many chemicals mimic hormones, they can have untoward effects in minute doses.
- All plants, all animals and all people are exposed, over and over their entire lives, womb to tomb. If they are allergic, tough!
- Some chemicals accumulate in the environment or in the body.
- Some chemicals cause obesity, diabetes or cancer. They are not immediately obviously toxic.
I dislike drumming in public demonstrations. The style normally used is a monotonous racket. Its purpose is like a giant fart to take over a public space by making it unpleasant to others.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Because drunk driving is such a common crime, it is treated much less seriously than it really is. At the least, the vehicle should be confiscated and the person prohibited from driving for 5 years. Those that drive while under suspension, drunk or sober, get a 5-year sentence. Those under suspension are not even permitted to own a car. Again a 5-year sentence. It could be known as the 555 crackdown.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Drunk driving and killing others by drunk driving should have the same penalty. Oddly, the law considers drunk driving much less serious, as if the driver had extra intention to kill beyond driving drunk.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I think drunk driving and killing a person while driving impaired should be treated as exactly the same crime, namely attempted murder. The intent is identical. The decisions are identical. I think all cars should be fitted with devices to detect erratic driving, then shut down and call the police. I think the first offence for impaired driving should be losing your car for life and losing your drivers’ licence for life. We should stop pretending that attempted murder is a minor crime. The impairment level should be lowered to 0.01. The problem is, any impairment at all interferes with the ability to make rational decisions about the ability to drive.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Someone chooses whether to drive drunk. However, if they kill someone in a car accident while driving drunk, that was not intentional. So the penalty for driving drunk should be the same whether anyone is killed. When they choose to drive drunk, they are choosing increased probability of killing someone. The same applies to people who speed or drive in a way unsuitable for weather conditions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Drunk Driving Penalties
It seems to me the following three crimes deserve the same penalty:
- Driving drunk.
- Having an accident while driving drunk.
- Killing someone in an accident while driving drunk.
In each case, the drive committed the same crime — deciding to drive while drunk. The rest is just random circumstance flowing from that decision.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
What sort of vandal puts allergy-irritating synthetic perfume in a public dryer?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Duty To Avoid Breeding
If someone has a serious genetic defect and we as a society rescue them with extreme costly medical procedures, that person owes it to society not to pass the gene on. The condition of being treated should be sterilisation, ideally with a method that could be reversed if ever there is discovered a way to avoid passing on the defective gene. It is morally wrong to knowingly saddle a child with a such a handicap. It is morally wrong to saddle society with a huge bill to rescue that child. It is tantamount to deliberately burning the child over most of his or her body or deliberately infecting him or her with AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Dying to Play
Professional football players live an average of 20 years less than their fellows. The fans don’t care. They want to see bodies crushed. How are they different from ancient Roman spectators demanding gladiators kill each other for their amusement? Similarly, hockey players lose their teeth and suffer brain damage to titillate the fans.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Dying With the Consequences
Society faces the big problems: global warming, nuclear war, environmental collapse, overpopulation, bigotry… with suicidal passivity. This must be doubly discouraging for the young who have to live (or die) with the consequences.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Early Biological Warfare
I learned at an anthropology lecture that in the 1860s here in BC Canada, the British distributed blankets infected with slabs of skin stripped from natives who had just recently died of small pox to every native in the province. Men were assigned to make sure every single native touched what looked like a snakeskin. Within 10 days, 98% of the population were dead. The British who had used these primitive but effective biological weapons went to claim the lands of the people they had killed even before they were dead.
Many people dismiss as totally out of hand that anyone would deliberately spread HIV in Africa, as I accuse Ronald Reagan. They forget there is plenty of precedent.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It is odd how people talk about billionaires earning their money. They could stay in bed all day and watch TV and still receive millions in interest and the fruits of the labours of their employees would still flow to them. They don’t work that much harder than anyone else but they receive thousands of times as much per hour. They are sponging off society to a degree that dwarfs anyone on welfare.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Earthquake vs Terrorism Damage
When you see how much damage an earthquake did in Japan, does make sense to spend almost nothing on earthquake preparedness and break the bank on terrorism and fighting resource wars? Consider that the biggest act of terrorism so far knocked out only two buildings.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Easier than Lettuce
Marijuana is easier to grow than lettuce. Stephen Harper’s policy is to raise the price of medical marijuana even higher than that sold by organised crime. That is his way of discontinuing medical marijuana without quite the same political fallout. It is also a way of directing the exorbitant profits to his backers.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Easier than Lettuce
Since marijuana is easier to grow than lettuce, illegal growers will always be able undercut government suppliers.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Eating Your Cake
I have little patience for Americans who complain about Mexican day labourers. Like spoiled children, Americans demand to have their cake and eat it too.
If you want (1), (2) necessarily comes with it.
- Abundant under-the-table labour willing to work well below minimum wage for both corporations and individuals.
- Poor people living in squalor in your communities who are willing to put up with subsistence wages, thus driving down wages and taking jobs.
You have to either give up cheap labour, or live with the squalor. Stop blaming the day labourers for your indecision!~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Economics of Slavery
The main reason slavery is not more prevalent in that it is cheaper to hire seasonal migrants.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Education to Submit
The purpose of a North American education is to train students to reflexively submit to any authority figure.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Effect of Armed Police
Police in Britain are unarmed. The people trust them and feel no fear approaching them. They co-operate with them. In countries where the police are armed, people are uncomfortable around police and tend to avoid talking with them. It can even escalate to fear and hate.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Effect of Automation
Automation and computers increase productivity. You’d think that would mean everyone could work fewer hours a week and everyone would be more prosperous. What has happened instead is the elite have garnered all the benefits and fired people no longer needed. This creates massive unemployment and depressed wages. Ironically, some people have to work three times as many hours as before just to provide the necessities. This causes even more wealth to flow from the former middle class to the elites. To add insult to injury, the elites have bribed politicians to give them massive tax breaks, tax loopholes and even tax subsidies. The politicians then started withdrawing services from the middle class to further make the rich richer and the poor poorer. People fail to see the unemployment problem as a wealth inequality problem.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Effect of Being Timid
If you are timid or tentative, the dogs around you will assume leadership. It is the same with people.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Effect of Repetition
The planes hitting the World Trade Towers were shown so many times on TV, that unconsciously people reacted as if entire cities had been leveled rather than just three buildings.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Egos Create the Olympics
There would be no Olympics were it not for the monumental egos of politicians putting their countries and cities into debt so they could be in the limelight.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Before the election what counts is who should win. After the election what counts is who did win.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Elites Hate the Environment
Rich people hate the idea of spending money in any way to protect the environment, slow global warming etc. It’s their money, godammit and damned if any one else is going to benefit from the money they worked their fingers to the bone for. Sharing and looking out for one another is not high on their list of values. The anti-environment parties also tend to have economic policies that favour the rich at the expense of the middle class. Why then do they gain any traction at all with the middle class? Because party affiliation is a badge of which economic class you belong to. Voters aspire to belong to the upper class. They fantasise that real soon now their ship will come in. In their own minds they are royalty, temporarily indisposed. In an earlier time, we would have said they were putting on airs. Scientists have found that babies would rather their fellows get less than everyone, including themselves, get more. Conservative voters have not outgrown this infantile and irrational value system. They hold the same world view of a pelican chick where the goal of life is to kill off your competing nestmates. The rich tend to hold these views because ruthless greed is as excellent strategy for becoming rich. It is not that being rich makes people greedy, but that being greedy makes people rich.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Never click a link in an email, e.g. one asking you to change your passwords. Use your browser to go to the site to change your passwords. Likely it will take you to a fake site that will ask for your old password.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Look at the ample bellies and cigar supplies of dictators running countries under embargo. Look at the piles of bodies of starved children. The embargo is a foolish tactic that hurts the wrong people.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When a politician works up a CO₂ emissions target, he picks one that he can sell politically. He picks one that will have no measurable effect on the economy. He picks one that no major corporation will strenuously object to. He picks one that will be almost painless. Even the carbon taxes are refunded to many users. He picks one that will have almost no detectable effect on CO₂ levels.
When a scientist works up a CO₂ emissions target, he picks one that will barely save the planet from becoming uninhabitable. He knows even that will be much too constrictive for politicians to consider, so he can forget about a safety factor. All he can hope for is politicians might be more flexible once the politician’s fruit trees wither.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you think there is no need for laws to protect employees from their employers, read some books written over a hundred years ago about conditions when there were so such laws.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Emulating the Winners
Every year, the Economist, a right wing, pro-business British magazine ranks the countries of the world for how democratic they are. Last year, they ranked the USA #17. The top four were Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. What do those countries do right? Like the USA in former times, they subsidise the press. In the United States, newspapers and news media are folding, leaving the stage to a handful for rather corrupt, dishonest players like FOX who treat the news as entertainment and right wing fantasy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Our society is highly intolerant of delusion. We institutionalise schizophrenics and force medication on them. We lock up people who take hallucinogens. However, oddly, we give income tax deductions to people to encourage them to indulge in religious delusion.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I can see why you don’t want prohibition in gambling. I can see why you might want to discourage gambling, but encouraging gambling with 24/7 advertising makes no sense. No ethical or psychological system recommends more gambling. It is a tax on the poor, the absurdly optimistic and the stupid. Even more it is tax on their spouses and children. It the most unfair of taxes. The ads give the impression winning is all but inevitable. This is a monstrous lie.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The End of Alcohol Prohibition
When prohibition of alcohol ended, there were good and bad repercussions. The laws around alcohol use continue to be tweaked to this day. I expect the end of marijuana prohibition would proceed the same way.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
English Only Bigotry
Most Americans have the attitude that any immigrants should speak English at all times in public, abandon their native customs and follow any informal rules set down by American whites. Immigrants are second class citizens even after they have citizenship. They are permitted in, only at the pleasure of whites and only if the immigrants are sufficiently deferential to their betters. Immigrants are household menials and should stay in their place. It reminds me much of the attitude of earlier generations of Americans to their slaves and black servants. I would hope future generations of Americans will be as embarrassed about this bigotry and racism as they are about the slave and segregation days.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans talk of pre and post 2001-09-11 the way the rest of the world talks of BC and AD. On 9/11, terrorists destroyed two buildings and three airplanes. Almost every other nation but Canada has sustained hundreds of times that much damage in conflicts. 2001-09-11 could have been America’s awakening to just how much misery they create when they attack other countries, but it appears to have had no such effect.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republicans pronounce the word entitlement with a sneer that suggests it is undeserved. When people have paid toward unemployment insurance or pensions with a lifetime of payroll deductions, they have just as much right to them as billionaires have to redeem their stocks.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Entitled to Benefits
Right wingers refer disdainfully to entitlements where others call them the social safety net. If I have made payments for something for 50 years, I damn well am entitled to get it. It not as if I were some noble entitled to fruits without work as Republicans like to imply. They are the ones arguing that the wealthy should not have to pay their share of taxes. Now that’s entitlement.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans have a sense of entitlement that rivals the French aristocrats in the time of Louis XVI. They claim they are #1 — God’s most beloved country. They ridicule and belittle every other country as inferior, even France, a country to which the owe an eternal debt for its help in gaining their independence. They think it is OK to invade any country they please, unprovoked and occupy indefinitely, a sucking like a spider on that country’s natural resources. However, if any other country or group attacks the USA, they believe it grounds for massive reprisal including destroying the entire earth in a nuclear conflagration. Americans think it is OK to incarcerate any foreigners they please, even children, indefinitely, without trial and to torture them. However, it is completely unacceptable for anyone else to reciprocate. They see no problem with the USA, with a relatively small fraction of the earth’s population, consuming deliberately, conspicuously and wastefully the lion’s share of its resources. They tell us that when they massively release greenhouse gases, it is perfectly safe, yet when other countries follow suite, it is reprehensible. If I were an American, I would be ashamed to admit it and would find some way to renounce my citizenship.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Entrusting Infants to Black Nannies
One of the ironies of segregation is the bigots both hate the black people and entrust their infants to their care.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans are becoming disillusioned with both the Democrats and Republicans. They are beginning to notice both parties get most of their bribes (aka campaign contributions) from corporations and hence pass peculiar laws to favour corporations, such as giving banks a massive bailout that they passed on as multi-million dollar bonuses or limiting the liability of oil companies to $75 million when they spill oil, sticking billions of the tab to the taxpayers, or loopholes that allow the rich to avoid taxes altogether.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Erasure of Evil
Happily, after about four generations, the effects of massive persecution to a people are erased, unless they work hard to preserve a sense of victimhood.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you were a slave in the USA, on your first offence running away, you would have two toes amputated. On the second, both your ears would be amputated. On the third, you would be castrated. Christianity cheered this brutality along.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69) source: The African Americans
When I listen to people who have learned English as a second language, the problem is rarely vocabulary. They can speak even faster than I do, but they are often incomprehensible. The problem is pronunciation. I think there should be a big shift in teaching from vocabulary to pronunciation.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
We have a problem, for non-smokers, eSmoke is the gateway drug to smoking. For smokers, eSmoke is the way out of smoking.
So whether you ban eSmoke or allow it, you create harm.
It would be pretty silly if eSmoke were banned but smoking were not when it was clear eSmoke is less harmful.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Essential Corporate Feature
The people who work at Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers are facing criminal charges for hacking telephone calls, medical records and financial records of thousands of people. The corporations did this because it felt committing crimes would increase profit. The employees went along with the crimes because the alternative was dismissal. These people working on their own likely would not have committed such crimes. Corporations grind down the morality of their employees. It is one of the essential features of the corporation.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Ethiopian FamineIn 1985 there was a major famine in Ethiopia, like the one today in East Africa. I was viewing a documentary about it and I had peculiar experience — as if my mind had become linked with an old woman in the film. I felt her pain, determination and anger. I sold everything that I owned including my fully-paid-for 4-bedroom house to help the victims of the famine. This lead to a spot emceeing the mayor’s telethon which raised $2 million. I hoped my actions would shame others into being more generous than they would be otherwise. To my surprise, most reactions were hostile. Tears are Not Enough and We Are the World were released with a cast of everyone who was anyone in entertainment. I figured we had hunger on the run. But I later discovered there are powerful, greedy, racist, unscrupulous people, e.g. the Republican elite, who want hunger kept in place. That minority thwarts the efforts of the majority.
The Crab Thrower
The waves washed crabs up onto the beach where they perished in the hot sun. A black boy ran along the beach picking up the crabs, tossing them back into the water. A man said, Why do you bother? There are millions of crabs. You can barely make a dint. The boy replied It matters to this crab! as he tossed yet another.
Many people refuse to donate anything using the excuse that there are crooked government officials who will take a cut. I have two answers to that.
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Donate through the most experienced agencies such as Oxfam who know the ropes of getting around these pirates.
- If it were your child starving and you were asking your friends for help, would your friends refuse on the grounds of leakage? Leakage is just an unfortunate part of the cost of saving a life, like any of the other hundreds of obstacles.
Americans are big on euphemisms. Social conservative actually means, anti-gay bigot, racial bigot and Christian triumphalist (The government should help shove Christianity down the throats of non-Christians.)~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans are big on euphemisms. survivalist actually means people who accumulate arms caches and plot to kill their neighbours and government workers.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Here is my current list of the 10 most evil Americans:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Dick Cheney
- Hugh Grant, CEO Monsanto
- John Roberts, Supreme Court Justice
- David Leskar, CEO Halliburton
- Erik Prince of Xe (née Blackwater) (Blackwater is the technical term for sewage.)
- Michael E. Szymanczyk, CEO Altria/Kraft
- Rush Limbaugh
- Pat Robertson
- George W. Bush
- Glenn Beck
- Benny Hinn
- Peter Popoff
- Ernest Angley
- Robert Mugabe (honourary American)
- Ted Haggard
- Eric Cantor
Evil Country: Evil Leader
In 2000 Americans had a clear choice between good and evil. They could have picked Al Gore and gone with a clean environment and clean energy but they picked a miserable sadistic bully who took his whole nation to war twice to get his rocks off. What is even more shameful is the way Americans have jeered at Gore ever since, perhaps trying to cover up their regret at their suicidal choice. Whatever destruction befalls America now is fully deserved. They chose the man who resonated in their hearts.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about politics is evil bastards like the Koch brothers have millions of times more influence than I do.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republicans are not just greedy, but evil. They hate conservation, wildlife, energy efficiency, clean water and pure air. It is not just because they think they can make more money by despoiling these things, they actively despise them. They are anti-life like the orcs in the Tolkien novels. They claim they want to shoot endangered spotted owls just for the hell of it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Evolution of Acceptance for Canadian Medical Care
When Premier Tommy Douglas enacted Canada’s first public medical care system on 1961-10-13, there was massive opposition. People openly threatened to assassinate the premier. The doctors went on strike. People claimed the world had ended and we were now worse off than if Russia had conquered. However, today, the public medical care plan, now Canada-wide, is by far the most popular government program (which does not stop people from demanding the government keep their grubby hands off it) and Tommy Douglas is considered by far the greatest Canadian. Americans should take heart. Ignorant opposition is normal.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69) source
Evolution of War
During mating season, sea elephants fight causing collateral damage of the females and pups. Ancient humans had a similar problem and devised various games, such as lacrosse, jousting and war to avoid the side carnage. The young men would go out to a field to fight. Young ladies, if they wanted, could watch from a safe distance to see which males were most fit and brave. However, males gradually lost sight of the point of the games and escalated the lethality with ever more advanced and horrible weapons. The aim became to exterminate the opposition without incurring any personal danger. War became increasingly fought by remote control primarily against weak unarmed opponents including their women and children. War became a game for the sadistic and cowardly.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Bullies are cowards. They attack in gangs. They only attack those much weaker than they are. They steal from those they attack. They attack first and unprovoked and then make up excuses for it. They jeer mercilessly at those they harm. There is only one way to stop a bully. Hit back hard by surprise. Once they learn there are consequences, they back off. The USA is a bully for the way it attacked Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. Britain and Canada are its henchmen. They are bullies too. Citizens of these countries refuse to acknowledge this as bad behaviour, just as the citizens of Nazi Germany refused to acknowledge their bad behaviour. Nevertheless, attacking other countries unprovoked is both illegal and immoral.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Example Next Door
With Washington state right next door, it will be increasingly difficult for those debating marijuana legalisation in B.C. to ignore the actual, rather than imagined, pros and cons, the way they have studiously ignored the Netherlands experience.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Exception to Freedom of Speech
In most western countries, you can say anything you like, even if it is blatantly untrue. Other than libel, there is one exception: climate change which threatens the entire planet? Nope. It is the holocaust in WWII.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
American exceptionalism used to be called jingoism. It is a monstrous conceit that America is superior to everyone else and hence need not comply with international law and has a right to take whatever it pleases from other countries. It is just an excuse for bad behaviour. It is Nazi master-race-light. It the neo-white man’s burden attitude that allows American to invade other countries and wonder why they are not grateful.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Exceptions to Right To Bear Arms
Surely right wingers will not defend the right of people like Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook child butcher, to own automatic weapons. When the constitution was framed, arms meant muskets. It would have been impossible to commit such an atrocity with muskets.
I was sickened by Christian parents minimising the tragedy by claiming all that had happened was the children received an early ticket to paradise and they would be reunited soon.
The killing of so many children reminds us that American and Canadian soldiers committed even worse atrocities routinely in Afghanistan and Iraq. For some reason they did not count even though Afghanistan and Iraq were not the slightest threat to us.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Police should only have to Mirandise suspects once every 5 years. It is ridiculous career criminals getting off because of some minor flaw in a familiar ritual.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Excessive Concern For the Dead
Because of Christian religious superstitions, American citizens are far more distressed about their soldiers cutting off souvenir body parts from corpses of their victims than they are about those same soldiers torturing, raping, killing and dousing in white phosphorous and napalm.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If your religion teaches you that your religion is an exclusive club, and there is something wrong with anyone outside the club, then you have hooked up with a toxic religion that is leading you astray.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Excuses for Persecution
Nazis used fear of epidemics as an excuse for rounding up Jews. Modern day Americans used the same excuse for persecuting gay people.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Excuses for Privilege
The elites offer all manner of excuses why they should get special privilege. Encouraged by the success of their con job, sold mainly through repeated assertion, they take a bigger and bigger share of the pie. They can’t help themselves from figuratively rubbing the noses of the peons in dog excrement. Eventually, they go too far, like the French aristocrats on 1789-07-14, Bastille Day, when the people revolted and guillotined the elites. The American elites and the Republicans who represent them would be wise to read the history of what happened to Louis XVI of France. Catastrophe theory mathematicians have studied such events and model them with two-valued butterfly curves. There’s a tipping point, which is also a point of almost no return. The tipping point comes on suddenly without much warning. Elites who presume they can escalate their privilege indefinitely are in for a big surprise.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The penalty for burglary is a jail term, never execution. Yet Americans feel perfectly justified killing suspected burglars without a trial.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
David Bahati is a member of the Ugandan parliament. He collaborated with the American C-street conservative lobby to draft a bill for Uganda that calls for the execution of all gay people, along the lines of what Hitler attempted with Jews, gays and gypsies. Even knowing a gay person will be punishable with three years in prison. Bahati explains than his God’s law is that the wages of sin are death and thus execution for sin is a beautiful and loving punishment. He claims he does not hate gays, he just wants to kill them to protect children. He believes all gays are child molesters. (The opposite is true. Homosexuals are less likely the heterosexuals to be child molesters.) He also believes that gays reproduce by corrupting children. If he could block them from doing that, there would be no more gay people. He is quite surprised that there are people who consider him crazy or cruel. He sees himself as God-fearing and highly virtuous. He explains that he had no thoughts about homosexuality until the C-street folk opened his eyes. He is the epitome of the nightmarish Christian idiot. The C-street people have committed a megacrime, mass attempted murder. They should all be executed themselves.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Almost all TV, radio, print and Internet news is produced by corporations. It would be naïve to expect them to avoid pro-corporate bias.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Expectations of Our Leaders
We expect far too much from our leaders and far too little from our citizens.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Explaining the Holocaust
For a new theory to replace an existing one, it must explain the facts better than the existing one. Those who deny the holocaust have the embarrassing problem of having no explanation for what happened to millions of missing people. They also have to explain why tens of thousands of people tell stories of being in the camps. The mainstream historians who accept the holocaust have an explanation.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
What’s with Obama? Is he a simple con man who pretended to be what the people wanted during the election only to do the opposite once he was elected? Is he and his family being threatened by the military, industry or some other powerful group to feed their financial interests? Is/was he being bribed to betray his stated principles? Or is it simply that people projected onto Obama what they wanted. He never was anything but a George W. Bush with better oratorical skills.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Extended Best Before
Most food now has best-before date stickers. Consumers tend to treat this as expire-by dates and dispose of perfectly good food. The food manufacturers are happy with this state of affairs since more food is wasted and more food is bought. What we need instead are indicator tabs that measure the bacteria in food and change colour when the food becomes unsafe. This would catch milk that had been improperly stored, for example, even if its expiry date had not expired.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Extent of Domestic Spying
According to NOVA, the NSA, by tapping all phone calls and all emails, collect the equivalent of 12 filing cabinets of information on every American citizen every year.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In Laos, humans have so encroached an elephant lands, it looks as though elephants will be extinct there within 30 years. Humans shoot and electrocute elephants to keep them off their land. The peasants hate the elephants for stealing their crops. They don’t recognize that they themselves are squatters on elephant land. This reminds me of the ways Jews treat Palestinians. The Jews encroached on Palestinian land and gradually pushed the Palestinians into smaller and smaller and less fertile territories. They shot them. They bulldozed them to death. They fenced them in. They burned their crops. The difference is, the extinction of Palestinians is considered a desirable end.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The rules of the game have changed. Because of the power of repeated assertion with advertising, the Republicans and the religious right can completely fabricate their facts. They have no loyalty to truth, just to ideology and self interest.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Both Britain and America set out to create an empire, based not on military conquest and plunder, but on spreading freedom and enlightenment. Both failed for the same reason — when humans have absolute power over others, they always abuse that power.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How many failing states do you need before global civilisation as a whole collapses? Global warming and dwindling oil resources have reduced food supplies and more than tripled food prices in much of the world. This has lead to riots and political unrest. The anger is not so much about freedom as bread.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Failing to Derail a War
My roommate pointed out that Phil Ochs and I have a common world view. We both take it personally when yet another war starts up. We see it as Damn! I failed to derail that war..~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Failure of Prohibition
Prohibition was a humbling experience for the WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union). They imagined if they could just get alcohol made illegal, everyone would stop drinking. They eventually had to admit that prohibition was making matters much worse. The choice was not between alcohol and abstinence as they imagined, but between legal controlled alcohol and illegal uncontrolled alcohol. Those that favour prohibition of alcohol or abortion make the same error. Their arrogance, stupidity and religious fervour makes them blind to the fact they too only have a choice between legal controlled marijuana/abortion and illegal uncontrolled marijuana/abortion. Mass abstinence is not on the map. Prohibition only works when nearly everyone agrees to abide by the restriction.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Fair and Balanced
FOX’s idea of fair and balanced is to give equal time to some loon who asserts the moon is made of green cheese to make sure the astrophysicist guest is put in his place.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If police are going to fine cyclists $100 for riding on the sidewalk, they really should also go after motorists who run them off the road. Cities need to either provide bike lanes, or lanes wide enough for a bike and vehicles. Motorists absolutely refuse to let cyclists slow them down.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If there are five drag racers and one kills a pedestrian, only that one is charged with homicide. Yet all did the same thing. What are you trying to punish? slow reflexes, or taking reckless risks with other people’s lives?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Fake news now overwhelms real news on the Internet. It is designed to be intriguing and to reinforce pre-existing nutty beliefs. There are at least five types:
Religious/SupernaturalNoah’s ark found guarded by four fire-breathing dragons.
Commercial ScamsNew miracle diet lose up to 22.68 kg (50 lbs) in a week. Eat all you want.
Political TrashingHillary caught selling arms to ISIS.This includes things politicians said, accurately reported, but which are patently untrue.
SatireFor example, the Onion or SNL (Saturday Night Live) skits poking fun at politicians. They use obvious humour and exaggeration to point to non-obvious truths about politicians. The humour is so broad, nobody would mistake it for a serious news story.
Botsthat simulate stupid people who post slogans and crude debates to comment forums, to create the illusion of consensus for right wing policies.
Because of the overwhelming tide of lies, these stories come to seem normal. Americans believe this stuff simply because they would like it to be true, not because they have any reason to think it is. They are predisposed to do this by religious training. That is why fake news has hit the USA so much harder than other more skeptical countries.
I suggest that browsers label websites distributing news as either authentic, fake news or authenticity unrated. They would avoid blacklisting satire. They would have to avoid blacklisting sites that quote fake news just to debunk it.
Facebook would have to be labeled as fake news. This is just a label, not a site block. Firefox, Chrome and IOBit already monitor sites for distributing malware and block them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The American public yearn for a president, an accomplished liar and actor, who will reassure them that all will be well if they do exactly what they have always been doing.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Isn’t it odd that groups with the word family in their names are dedicated to stopping other people from forming families.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Slave owners used to break up slave families for their own convenience. We react in horror that anyone could be so callous. But, even today, the Canadian Immigration service does the same thing, offering jobs to foreign workers, but only if they abandon their families.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Fanning the Fires of Rape
Ironically, a society that tries to pretend rape does not exist encourages it. If a rapist discovers there are no consequences, he becomes a serial rapist.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
FBI - CIA Clash
Only the FBI has the authority to block people from entering the USA, but the CIA refused to notify the FBI about Al Qaeda 2001-09-11 terrorists with valid visas about to enter the USA. CIA workers complained that had they done so, they would have been instantly fired. Who is the CIA protecting, bin Laden and his fellow conspirators inside and outside the USA or the USA?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Fear of the Unknown
In the 60s, the majority Americans had convinced themselves it would be better to blow up the whole earth in a nuclear conflagration than use a different economic system which they knew nothing about. It was much like people utterly convinced that switching religions would be worse that death, when they had carefully avoided learning anything about any other religion. This ignorance fanned their fear.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you say something controversial, you know perfectly well there exist people who disagree. If everyone agreed with you, there would be no point in you making a public pronouncement. So of course people who are poor debaters, will attack you personally, rather than try to debunk your ideas. This is normal and to be expected. You don’t have to react in any way. They may threaten to beat you up or kill you. They never carry through. If they seriously planned to, they are hardly going to give you a heads up. Further they are not going to leave any clue the police could track back to them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Feeble Atheist Power
Even though non-believers outnumber blacks and outnumber Latinos, they have almost no political power. The reason is non-believers are nearly all in the closet. They do not identify as a minority. They hide because Christians treat them so badly. This situation is analogous to that of gay people in 1970. The solution is the same, coming out publicly. The problem is it is even easier and thus more tempting for an atheist to hide in the closet than it is for a gay person. It takes a few brave folk to start the wave.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Feeble Excuse for Crime
The USA admitted it conducted experiments on 2,082 Guatemalans infecting them with syphilis, gonorrhea or chancroid. The USA refused to pay compensation on the grounds they committed the crime off US soil. What sort of excuse is that? When an individual commits a crime like that it does not matter where they do it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69) source
Identifying as a Republican is a bit like dressing up a civil war general and riding about on horseback waving a sword, feeling terribly heroic.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Feeling Superior Without Effort
Denying gay people the right to marry follows in the same vein as assigning subjugate status to Chinese immigrants, blacks and women. It is motivated by a desire to feel superior without effort.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In the USA, felons are not permitted to vote ever again. There is a danger in this policy. Law makers, judges and police officers may unconsciously go harder on people they disagree with politically. I suspect the disproportionate penalties for marijuana use are motivated largely by a desire to reduce the power of the black vote.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In Canada, repeated supreme court ruling have ensured nearly everyone can vote. In the USA, prisoners and former prisoners may not vote. In USA you must pre-register. If you try to register on election day, chances are your ID will be declared invalid, especially if you do not have a long term address. This had lead to laws and selective enforcement to neutralise pools of voters such as blacks and pro-marijuana lobbyists.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Female Political Sabotage
Women will not be taken seriously in politics until they stop using the vocal affectations of teenage girls.
- Valley girl accent.
- Frying, lowering the voice making it raspy like a dying cancer patient.
- Randomly accenting and elongating syllables.
- Uptalk, turning every sentence into a question with a rising tone.
The most popular female accent is quite similar to the drag queen accent that Scott Thompson uses. These affectations started in teens and gradually became popular in ever older age groups. I suspect the original purpose of these affectations was to discourage attention from older men.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The fentanyl crisis will eventually burn itself out? Why?
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- People foolhardy enough to take drugs from questionable sources, possibly contaminated with fentanyl, will eventually die out.
- It wills dawn on dealers that their sales drop when they kill off their customer. They will stop lacing marijuana, cocaine methamphetamine etc. with fentanyl. They will sell fentanyl in carefully measured doses.
- Potential customers will have friends killed by fentanyl. They will not be as motivated to buy fentanyl.
Imagine that thousands of people converged on the Golden Gate bridge, and jumped off. A team of rescuers using hang gliders, attempted to catch them and break their fall. As soon as they were rescued, they climbed up and jumped off again. This was not an ordinary suicide. They were jumping for the extreme thrill and danger, knowing fully well it was only a matter of days until they died.
This is roughly what is happening with the fentanyl epidemic. Addicts are overdosing on purpose because of the extreme thrill. They know it what they are doing will inevitably kill them.
The problem is the government and the rescue teams are labouring under the delusion that these overdoses are accidental.
If people are this eager to kill themselves, I don’t think anything we do is going to deter them. All we can do is teach people to avoid trying fentanyl in the first place.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Once somebody has become addicted to fentanyl, they are all but lost causes. Taking fentanyl is like playing Russian roulette or attempting suicide. I think we should just give up on these people. They care nothing for themselves. If an ambulance team saves a user with an injection of naloxone, they have not saved their life. They will be taking a fentanyl overdose again the very next day. Let us put that money and effort into teaching little kids how crazy taking it for the first time is.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Fentanyl Problem
Why is fentanyl so much bigger a problem than other illegal drugs?
- Fentanyl (and the 100 times stronger variant Carfentanil) are so pleasurable, addicts deliberately overdose. Some addicts have been known to overdose 5 times in one emergency services shift. The addicts are like thrill seekers who jump off skyscrapers and trust fireman to catch them, and jump again as soon as they are rescued. It is a type of suicide as compulsive as lemming migrations in Disney’s White Wilderness.
- There were 13 overdose deaths in BC in one night and many times that many overdose rescues.
- Emergency services are overwhelmed dealing with overdoses. It is burning them out. They cannot also handle the usual workload of non-drug rescues.
- Babies are born addicted to fentanyl.
- Drug dealers are contaminating all their products with fentanyl to make them more addictive.
- Rehab is extremely expensive and it rarely works.
I have heard people demanding the government throw money at the problem using a variety of methods:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- More rehab centers. The drug is so addictive, almost no addicts want treatment. For those few that do, rehab almost never works. This is thus only a very partial solution.
- Safe injection sites. Addicts are taking dirty, contaminated street drugs with the hope of a rescue injection of naloxone if they overdose. This is like playing Russian roulette. It only a matter of time until they overdose and no one notices. These sites help create new fentanyl addicts from the use of fentanyl-contaminated drugs. The addicts are encouraged to overdose, since staff promise to rescue them. From the addict’s point of view, overdosing is like bungy jumping.
- Legal fentanyl. Addicts would be given fentanyl patches of pharmaceutical grade, under supervision. Addicts would not be permitted to overdose. But since addicts deliberately overdose for the thrill, they would probably find this option too tepid.
- Do nothing. Addicts are trying to kill themselves. Let them. When the addict population dies off, there will be no market for the dealers.
- Give up on the current addicts and focus on education of children and teens to shock them into a lifelong avoidance of fentanyl or anything that might contain it.
Consider triage, used in medical emergencies when you have limited resources. You divide your patients into three categories:
- people who will likely die anyway no matter what you do, or people who require such extensive treatment several other patients will die from lack of attention.
- people you can treat and who will likely recover.
- people who will get better on their own.
You put all your efforts into category 2.
Anyone addicted to fentanyl is in category (1). They are over dosing multiple times a day, effectively deliberately suiciding for the thrill. Even if they could be persuaded to try expensive rehab, their odds of recovery are almost nil. Any resources spent here will rarely produce results (save lives). Though it is painful to give up on people, you have to be practical and spend your dollars where they will work, not where they will merely satisfy emotions and a desire for a quick fix. Putting all your efforts on category(1) people is foolish.
My guess is the most effective measures are to scare kids silly about fentanyl, even though we won’t see immediate results.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Imagine Hitler had conquered France then armed the French Army and commanded it to invade England. Can you imagine just as touch of reluctance? The USA demolished Iraq, then idiotically expected it to fight a war for it against ISIS.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Fighting Less Destructively
Life fights. Even corals fight to the death. There is no hope of convincing humanity to give up killing each other. The best we can hope for it persuading them to give up weapons of mass destruction and giving up destroying the environment in their fights.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Who does he think he is fooling? Dino Rossi (Republican candidate for the Washington State senate) claimed his opponent Patty Murray’s ads have been called false. Which ads? What did the ad say? Who said they were false? Dino Rossi! This is a meaningless ad, designed to trick the unwary into believing all Murray’s ads had actually been debunked. I spit on these slimy tactics and Mr. Rossi.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When Los Angeles Sparks co-owner Kathy Goodman said we’re going to kill them at Staples Center on Sunday night!, she was not confessing to murder. Similarly, when an Iranian says Death to Americans it means roughly damned Americans An Iranian might say Death to the plumbing to complain about the rattling pipes. Nikita Khrushchev said we will bury you panicking Americans who though he planned to literally bury them in radioactive rubble. A more accurate translation of the Russian idiom might have been we will certainly prevail. Translators deliberately made Nasser look ridiculous by literally translating his flowery Arabic idioms into English. To Arabic ears, such everyday idioms don’t sound flowery. Imagine how odd air your dirty laundry in public might sound translated into Persian, where people always dry their clean laundry in public. Translators dissemble and create mischief when they translate literally.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans are crazy. The Tea Party and the Republicans use all manner of filthy tricks to bring down the US economy and block everything Obama tries to fix the economy and yet they hold Obama almost equally responsible for it failing to recover. That is like holding the firemen equally responsible to the arsonist for fire damage.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Finding the Truth
Psychologists have discovered that people rarely use logic or evidence to make decisions. They make them by adopting the mores of the tribe they belong to. So in other words, most of the time, most of the people are wrong. We have a rule of thumb that says the truth lies in the middle between two extreme positions. If everyone is irrational, you can’t even count on that being true.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
We lump all chemicals and plants that can be abused under a single overarching term drugs. These chemicals and plants can have a huge variety of effects. I think, if we paid more attention to just what affect a given person were addicted to, we might be much more effective in weaning addicts off them, or discouraging people from getting addicted in the first place.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Fining a corporation is pointless. It can’t feel pain. It just passes the cost onto the customers. Instead, you must freeze executive salaries and fine the executives directly or put them in jail. They are the criminals.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
First Past The Post
First-past-the-post voting has three problems:
- The outcome depends on whether the left or the right that is splintered into separate parties. It should depend on the electorate.
- It requires strategic voting for candidates you don’t like to avoid an even worse one being elected. To do that successfully you have to predict the degree of support for each candidate. You should not have to calculate, just specify your preferences.
- It is an all or nothing scheme that gives the winning party more power than their actual support would warrant.
Other schemes have their problems too, so we need a public debate.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Fixing the Economy
Americans say the #1 issue is the economy. They have two choices in the 2012 election:
- Obama is painfully slowly pulling the economy round even though the rest of the world is poised for a second recession. The Republicans have been doing everything they could to create gridlock to keep the recession going as long as possible solely to make Obama look bad. They don’t care about the people who are being badly hurt as a consequence.
- Romney has announced he wants to bring the economy around using the same strategies George W. Bush used to create the recession in the first place, namely tax cuts for the rich and increased military spending.
Granted everyone is frustrated with the economic doldrums and wants a another better option, but any six year old could tell which strategy is likely to give slow improvement and which will plunge it off a cliff.
In all of world history, who first comes to mind as the expert of how to end a depression? Who finally pulled the USA out of the dirty thirties? It was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat and his New Deal elected after Herbert Hoover, a Republican had made things worse.
America’s toying with the possibility of Romney as president because he sounded more upbeat than a carnival barker in the debate reminds me of a couple who hired a contractor, to renovate their bathroom. He was utterly incompetent and totally wrecked it. They hired a new guy, who slowly repaired the damage, while the first plumber kept sabotaging him. The clueless wife, frustrated by the lack of progress, tried to talk her husband into rehiring the original plumber because he promised her anything she wanted to hear, even though she knew never kept his promises and his story changed by the hour.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Fixing Homelessness Should be Easy
In theory, homelessness should be a trivially easy social ill to correct since eliminating it has negative dollar cost — you save millions by correcting it in any given city each year, however, in practice, solving it is intractable. Why? The homeless are the politically correct scapegoats. People have no interest in why people became homeless; they despise them and wish them ill.
It may be that:
- They are drug addicts or alcoholics.
- They lost their job and could not get another.
- They have a mental problem and cannot possibly traverse the maze of paperwork to apply for government assistance.
- Their parents threw them out onto the street because of a religious conflict.
- Their parents shunned them because they were gay.
- They are ugly.
- They have low intelligence.
- For some reason they have rejected ordinary society.
- They have embraced poverty for religious or philosophical reasons.
People will put considerable effort into persecuting the homeless and stopping them from acquiring housing.
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Tax payers are more that willing to pay twice as much to maintain the status quo than to house the homeless. BC Politicians now freely admit this is the number one motive for their inaction on the problem of homelessness.
- Citizens will turn out with metaphoric pitchforks to block the creation of low cost housing.
- In Victoria, BC, Canada, where I live, police take great glee in confiscating and smashing the meagre possessions of the homeless, including tents, carts, sleeping bags, back packs, clothes… That is a malicious, deliberate effort to keep them homeless.
- Some people entertain themselves by chastising the homeless for their idle, idyllic life, even when they know nothing about their victim’s circumstances. They are garden-variety bullies who kid themselves they are pursuing virtue.
Flavours of Bully
School yard bullies, gang leaders and presidents differ only in the size of their gangs and the cost of their weapons.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Flip flopping is when a candidate changes his mind repeatedly on an issue so that nobody knows where he really stands. When a candidate simply changes his mind, that is not flip flopping, though unscrupulous rivals may accuse him of that (as Christy Clark did to Adrian Dix in the 2013-05-14 BC election). The real crime is to campaign with one position, then switch to the opposite after election, such as the BC Liberals did with their promise not to institute the HST (Harmonised Sales Tax).~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It is beyond absurd for the US, Canada and Britain to expect the Afghans to co-operate in nation building. Who co-operates with someone who just invaded, tortured, plundered, raped, burned alive, imposed the crookedest politician in the world as leader, spat on their religion and turned their country into a narco-state (Hillary Clinton’s term)?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Foolish Line Ups
The traditional police line up should be declared unconstitutional. All it does is prove the suspect belongs in the 20% of the population than looks most like the perpetrator. It is erroneously claimed to ID the perpetrator. Further, dishonest police can manipulate the lineup include people who look nothing at all like the perpetrator. Perhaps something could be done by creating a lineup including hundreds of photoshopped variants of both the perpetrator and the suspect. Then a match would mean something.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Fools Rush In
The drafters of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) admitted they had no knowledge of computers or the Internet. They were single-mindedly focusing on putting an end to piracy of music. They inadvertently drafted laws that were impossible to comply with and that have consequences hundreds of times worse than the problem they were intended to solve. The problem is incompetence and arrogance of the law makers. They should have consulted Internet experts to devise a workable law. Nobody is arguing for the pirates, just for laws that do not harm innocent people and that are possible to comply with.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Football as Warfare
Though American football is a highly orderly and slow-paced sport, it generates emotions closest to those generated by warfare.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Forced Contraception for Drug Addicts
A child born to a mother addicted to heroin, cocaine, alcohol or methamphetamines is condemned to a hellish existence. Prenatal exposure to drugs and postnatal neglect cause brain damage. I think we should consider implanting a contraceptive in women drug addicts. It would be removed only after a year of clean living.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There are all kinds of laws that demand you show respect and deference for political and religious leaders, even if they are mass murderers, child molesters, criminals or lunatics. You are required to show respect for other people’s nutty religious superstitions. In other words, you are required to lie and show respect you do not feel. This cheapens the meaning of respect. Surely it also violates the notion of freedom of speech.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Forcing Belief in Souls on Others
When bigots deny the terminally ill the right to die, what they are actually doing is trying to force their religious superstitions about souls on others. They do not respect the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Forcing Christian Pleasures on Others
Think about the person, thing or activity that turns you on most. Christians and straight people are such clods. Almost invariably they to deny everyone but themselves that #1 pleasure. They want others to do what turns them on. I can’t conceive or anything more boring and futile than praying, or disgusting than having sex with women or sick as killing animals. They don’t care. They can’t get it through their thick heads that not everyone is like them. They want to force their pleasures on others who have no interest in them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Ron Paul is the only Republican presidential candidate who has not publicly vowed to violate his oath of office and the constitution by using the federal government to force Christianity on the entire population. He want to leave that up to the states.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Forcing Christianity On Others
When bigots deny gay people equal civil rights what they are actually doing is trying to force their religion on others. They do not respect the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Forgetting the Past
To the Italians, the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD is completely real. But to North Americans, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis even 300 years ago didn’t happen. There is a deliberate racist ignorance of anything that happened prior to the invasion of the Europeans.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Forgetting the Threat to Iran
The leaders of America are such children. They forget that Bush promised to obliterate Iran off the map in his axis of evil speech. Obama has not rescinded that threat. Then Obama and Hillary wonder aloud why Iran does not want to co-operate with them. It is as they were saying Ah, W. was just funnin’. We won’t really nuke ya. Or maybe we will! ha! ha! ha!~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Fort Hood ShootingsThe media have ignored the most obvious explanation for the Fort Hood shootings. As a psychiatrist, Dr. Nidal Malik Hasan would have heard horrific confessions of brutality, sexual violence and torture. Day after day of this, having to pretend to like these men and keep their secrets might convince him that his psychotic patients should be exterminated. Few psychiatrists have serial killers exclusively as patients.
In one news report, Hasan said he believed that killing these soldiers would save the lives of many children. No matter how strenuously you deplore his murders, you can’t deny his logic. Motivated by racism, patriotism and religious bigotry, most Americans put no value of the lives of Afghan and Iraqi children, but some people, including Dr. Hasan do.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
FOX is effectively a PAC (Political Action Committee) to raise money for the far right (biggest corporate donor). It produces infomercials for them disguised as news programs. It throws in some pure entertainment to pull in viewers. It an utter joke when they claim to be a fair and balanced news organisation. The sued in the supreme court for the right to make up the news and that is exactly what they do.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
FOX Rejected For Lying
It’s official. FOX News lies. The CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission) (Canadian equivalent of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) ), on 2011-03-02 turned now FOX’s licence application citing a Canadian law that requires news organisations tell the truth.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There is a defect in the X chromosome called Fragile X, that causes a chemical needed for brain development to be missing. The result is autism and retardation, especially in boys. Parents who know full well they carry the defective gene, often keep having more autistic children even after the first autistic child. Even the child is not autistic, it will carry the defective gene to raise havoc in the next generation. To me, this is a crime worse than murder. Yet there is no law against it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Fraser Institute
The Fraser institute is a right-wing think tank. Their evaluations are based on the point of view of the wealthy. They often appear on the radio billed as neutral general purpose experts. In reality they are right-wing propagandists.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Fred Phelps was a weird old coot who called for murdering all homosexuals. He also liked to crash funerals, even those of straight people, to protest the USA tolerating gays. Most people treated what he was doing as eccentric and harmless, even amusing. Other religious bigots beat and kill homosexuals daily. What is odd, is if Fred were calling for the murder of all Jews, or even denying that Hitler killed 6 million Jews, he would find himself in hot water. For some reason it is still much more acceptable to persecute gays that Jews.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Free Birth Control
People prefer to stay in their homeland, surrounded by friends and family. They usually do not leave unless there is no economic opportunity or if their home country is badly overpopulated. So if you don’t want waves of illegal immigrants, the most effective thing you can do is provide the source countries with access to free birth control.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Casinos give away basic alcoholic drinks, not out of the goodness of their hearts, but so the patrons will be addled and make more stupid gambling mistakes.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Free speech allows you to:
- criticise any person, corporation, government or religion.
- publish a book on any topic.
- say what you please on your own website.
Free speech does not license you to:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- tell lies.
- threaten anyone with rape, murder or bodily harm.
- does not guarantee anyone will listen to you.
- does not guarantee any newspaper, magazine or electronic equivalent will publish you.
- if your posts contain profanity, chaotic grammar, atrocious spelling or general incoherency, don’t be surprise if your posts are automatically discarded.
So-called free speech advocates harass others with a torrent of death and rape threats. This sometimes drives their victims off the Internet, which is a way of interfering with their free speech. That demonstrates the hypocrisy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Free Speech or Hate Speech
What should be the difference between free speech and hate speech? What if I detailed exactly how some priest had sexually tortured and murdered a two year old? A crowd dragged him from his church and tore him to pieces. So long as everything I said was true, I think I should have the right to say it. If I had encouraged people to bypass the trial and tear him to pieces, surely I would have committed a crime. Would this be a hate crime against Christians? If I did not allege this was common practice of Christians, surely not. If I pointed how the Christian church had failed to stop this crime when they had plenty of warning, was that a hate crime? It seems to me, it depends totally on the truth of my assertions. If I made defamatory stuff up, it is hate, but if it is true, it is not. Many people seem to think hate crime law should prevent you from saying anything unkind about another or detailing their wicked behaviour. That sounds like a law made up by a scoundrel to cover up his crimes. The big problem is not hate, but the spreading of lies until they become so ubiquitous people stop even questioning whether they are lies.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Freedom to Annoy
US courts have ruled gated communities must permit Jehovah’s Witnesses in to knock on doors. This is outrageous. The constitution guarantees the freedom to practice one’s nutty religion not the freedom to force one’s nutty religion on others.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Freedom To Harm
We are such a freedom loving people, we foolishly let others get away with behaviours that are incredibly harmful to everyone. I include polluting, emitting greenhouse gases, knowingly having children with high risk for serious disability (e.g. Down’s syndrome, Huntingtons), having more than two children, conspicuous consumption, resource wars…~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Freedom To Request Changes
I think it should always be legal to request that the laws be changed. There are too many exceptions, e.g. pedophiles, pot smokers, protestors at a G8 summit…~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of speech should include the right to criticise or promote any religion or political ideology, but should not protect the right to lie.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
On 1985-07-10 the French were so offended by and afraid of a rag tag band of Canadians protesting the French open air nuclear tests at Moruroa that they sank The Rainbow Warrior, the Greenpeace flagship, killing their photographer, Fernando Pereira. The New Zealand government convicted two French assassins of manslaughter and sentenced them to 10 years in prison.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Generals refer to the locale of war as a theatre. This betrays the fact the treat war as an enjoyable game.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Republicans called for ending frivolous lawsuits. Their remedy was to put caps on all lawsuits, frivolous and substantial. Now, no matter how many billions of dollars of damage a corporation does, no matter how much malpractice, no matter how much malice, in states with caps, they have to pay at most about a million dollars. This does not leave sufficient money to pay the lawyer, even if the plaintiff wins. This is actually unconstitutional since juries are charged with the task of determining the facts, including the damage, in a civil lawsuit. Karl Rove managed to pack state supreme courts with corrupt judges to rule caps were constitutional.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69) Hot Coffee
From the Mouths of Scoundrels
The most eloquent quotations fall from the mouths of politicians, generals, preachers and other scoundrels. Perhaps this is because they are so keenly aware of the difference of how they are compared with how they would like to be remembered by history.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you believe in full equality, then everyone should get an equal start in life. For example:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- There should be no nobility. Nobody should get respect simply by an accident of birth.
- The wealthy should not be able to bestow extreme wealth on their children.
- There should be no hereditary classes with special privilege, such as status and non-status Indians.
- Every child should get access to adequate food, housing, medical care and education.
I don’t think the taxpayer should be funding rescues for people who do crazy stunts like attempting to row across the Atlantic.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Currently Europe gets 20% of its oil from Iran. The sanctions against Iran are a bit of a joke. Why? Iran will have no trouble selling its oil to Russia and China. This means Russia and China will buy less oil than they would normally on the world market. This will free up oil for Europe to buy. We are right back where we started, with the only people getting rich being the speculators and middlemen.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Future Forensics and 9/11
The invention of DNA identification allowed forensics experts to go back and solve cold cases. I hope that over the next century some advances in forensics will let us go back and find out definitively who were the culprits and the ass-coverers on 2001-09-11. It seems highly likely we could settle the issue of why each of the three towers fell through nano-modelling.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
One of the cheeriest thoughts is that within a decade or two, bacteria will convert George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to the sort of slime that grows under refrigerators. Insects and worms will wriggle through their putrid flesh. Never again will they ever be able to hurt anyone.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Future of Political Ads
I suspect that political TV ads will not only have diminishing returns, but more ads will mean fewer votes. Why? There are so many ads people get to hate them passionately. The ads are so negative they make the advertiser sound like a bitter person.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Just as people today are deeply ashamed that their ancestors were slave owners, or supported apartheid, tomorrow’s people will be revolted that their ancestors were such superstitious bigots that they denied gay people the same civil rights as everyone else.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The point of the statute of limitations is to prevent someone from being convicted by fuzzy memories. It should not apply when all the evidence is physical, such as DNA.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In 1985 in India through a series of co-incidences, I got to spend at afternoon alone in a private Gandhi museum. Mostly what was there were letters, hundreds of them, hand written, in a variety of languages. Even Gandhi had to accomplish what he did with trivial steps. He did not even have a word processor.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Had Gandhi used his non-violent resistance tactics against Hitler, Hitler would have simply eliminated him. It only worked because the British in India has some ethics and because they cared how the world viewed them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
What punishment would you think would be appropriate for young man who joined a men’s club and as part of the initiation agreed to kill or torture anyone he was ordered to, even children? What would motivate him to join this club? How do your answers change if I tell you the name of this club is the Bloods gang of Los Angeles or the US military?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Gangs of Bullies
From ages 6 to 14 the #1 political issue for me was bullying. I was beat up by gangs of bullies every school day during that period, but, of course, I had no vote. I was called names, beaten, had my clothes torn, set on fire, had my school books destroyed, spat on, money stolen… The attack that angered me most was on a pet turtle I was carrying home from a pet store. When I complained to the school, I was told the bullies came from homes where the parents had divorced. I should be patient with them. In one case a teacher, Mr. Armour, was one of the bullies. He lifted me by my necktie into the air. Adults would never put up with this sort of abuse. Why do we expect children to?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Gates vs Koch
Bill Gates I understand. He made his billions with dishonest business tactics and selling shoddy goods. It must have occurred to him history would remember him as a Philistine and, even living, he had very little respect despite his money. He then set about using his billions to do good works. Most billionaires are quite different. The Koch brothers, for example, have single mindedly worked to destroy the planet. It is as though they aspired to be the biggest ecological vandals of all time. They further seek to dismantle democracy. What a bizarre life goal!~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Gay Bait Republicans
What really ticks me off about the Republicans is that they put all those anti-gay measures on the ballots just to draw their bigoted base to the polls to vote for the Republican candidates. It was not even honest hatred of gays. They threw gays under the bus just to get a few votes. Doing that stimulated gay bashings, perhaps a murder or two. The Republicans, especially Ken Mehlman, take no responsibility for the consequences of selling hate.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Gays and Women in the Military
It is odd that there was less resistance toward women in the military than letting gays in. Women are physically smaller; gays are the same size as heterosexual men. Women are generally more sexually tempting and thus distracting than gays are. It almost sounds as if the walruses who opposed gays were worried they too might jump in the pool naked with the gays because they were too appealing.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Gays Are the New Blacks
Back in the 1950s, the majority of Americans voted against equal rights for blacks. They voted for segregation. They smugly discriminated against blacks quoting the bible for justification. Today, most of those people are embarrassed about what they did. In this decade, the majority of Americans are doing the exact same thing, equally smugly, to gays.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When it comes to foreign aid generosity, which industrialised country do you think is the most generous and which the stingiest? The USA is the stingiest and Saudi Arabia is the most generous. T~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Genesis of Mass Movements
The people who start mass movements must do so when it appears there is absolutely no chance of success.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If people have children, even after doctors warn the parents there is strong chance the child will be disabled, those people should not get as much government help as people who had disabled children unexpectedly.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
General Custer was a genocidal killer. He attacked the Sioux and got exactly what he deserved. Yet Americans to this day treat Sitting Bull, his victim, as the monster.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The George Bailey Effect
It is easy to despair about how the world is despite your best efforts. However, you never get to find out how the world would have been without your efforts. Even treading water is exhausting.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
American governors have the power to legally Gerrymander electoral boundaries. This is so effective, that the next election is nearly always won by the party of the governor. This is corrupt. What is needed is a computer program to draw the boundaries that uses party-neutral rules.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
On 2012-08-29 at the Republican national convention, Paul Ryan criticised Barack Obama for failing to get more legislation passed. What he did not mention was that the Republican party stonewalled every single piece of legislation, even when they previously supported it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Getting Away With It
Nowadays, you can only get away with a crime for a few decades. Sooner or later, forensics technology will advance and catch up with you. You have no idea what measures you have to take now to avoid its future net.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Getting Out The Vote
If you push people to vote who have no understanding of the issues, they just dilute the vote of people who think carefully. They are easily manipulated. You don’t want to encourage people to vote if all they do is:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Vote based on how many ads they heard.
- Vote on who has the nicest hair and smile.
- Vote for whom makes the grandest claims about how good it is going to be. You want people who have checked on the record of promise keeping.
- Voting for Dad’s party without any understanding of its platform.
- Vote based on age, trusting that young candidates will be liberal and old ones conservative.
Getting Out The Vote
Simply getting out the vote is not necessarily a good thing. If people vote based on who has the nicest hair, or who had the most lawn signs, or the most attack ads, or whom papa always voted for, it would be better if they did not vote and dilute the votes of people who were more thoughtful.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Giving Up Your Religious Freedom
Your religious freedom ends the instant you start imposing your religious beliefs on others.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In a documentary, I saw someone squeeze a cane toad. White slimy stuff oozed from each of its pores. This made me think of Glenn Beck.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The USA appointed itself global policeman. The world needs a global policeman, but not a self-appointed one. It needs one with a global mandate, one with teeth and one that enforces international law, not the self interest of just one country.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If God wanted to punish Americans, in his harsh style, for what they did to the children of Afghanistan and Iraq, all he need do is rig the voting machines in favour of, ex-Democrat, Rick Perry.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
What is happening when a whole country goes insolvent? It is easier to understand if you temporarily ignore the money. The people of Greece for example, lived high on the hog. Their neighbours did them favours, sending them goods and providing services. However, the Greeks did not reciprocate to the same degree. Eventually, their neighbours got tired of this imbalance and cut the Greeks off. It is also possible Greece’s neighbours did not value what Greece did provide, e.g. olive oil. The United States aimed for the same fate as Greece when it exported all its manufacturing overseas. It largely stopped providing goods and services to its neighbours. Because it is such a big country, it can get away with being a deadbeat for much longer than a small country like Greece before the shit hits the fan. Why is USA doing such a suicidal thing? In the United States corporations have extreme political power. They are global organisations. They have no particular loyalty to the USA, so they are quite happy to seriously harm the USA in the pursuit of profit.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Gold Fence
This is my iconic image of the USA. In 1985, late a night I walked past city hall in San Francisco. Packed all around it were homeless people sleeping on the pavement. The air was filled with tubercular coughs. There was a fence around city hall. The broad pillars of the fence were literally plated in gold.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Golden Bull
American Christians no longer worship the golden calf; they worship the golden bull.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Gong Show Contestants
The cast of Republican candidates circa 2011-06-02 strike me as a bunch of gong show contestants who want more than anything to be on TV.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Good News
80 years from now, all the bastards running the world will be dead.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In 1990 50% of the world’s population were literate. By 2016 86% were literate. Texting and searching on cellphones provided the motivation to learn.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
One of the big under-reported good news stories is three great streams of world wide political action are synchronising, coalescing, co-operating and resonating aided by the Internet, namely:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- environmental protection
- social justice
- resistance to globalisation
Government Disaster Relief
Republicans strenuously oppose the federal government involvement in disaster relief — unless, of course, an earthquake, flood, wildfire or hurricane hits their neighbourhood.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Government For the Moneyed Classes
In most democracies, the government is run for the benefit of those who give the politicians money, e.g. the corporations, the multi-billionaires or the religious right. Imagine what a government would be like that was run for the benefit of everyone, that was run to ensure a sustainable environment, or that was run the for the benefit of all life forms.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How can a Republican seeing the devastation and despair after a natural disaster in the third world claim the government should get out of the business of responding to natural disasters? Someone sitting on their roof can’t do anything to rescue themselves.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The big problem with government secrets is their primary use is covering up immoral and illegal activity.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Government Spending on the Homeless
If the skeleton of a homeless man is found, the government will spent tens of thousands of dollars determining the precise cause of death. However, while he was alive, they would not spend a dime on him.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Government You Deserve
In the USA, it is possible for a candidate to get elected who cannot even balance their own chequebook, who then goes on to presume to dictate how the finances of the entire country should be managed. You have people getting elected who are subnormal IQ, are delusional and whose only skill is a pretty face and the ability to read convincingly from a teleprompter. Democracy gives you not the government you need but the one you deserve.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Government You Deserve
A people get the government they deserve. If a people are gullible, stupid, greedy, filled with wishful thinking, they will attract the politicians to tell them the lies they want to hear.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Government You Deserve
People who vote get the government they deserve. People who don’t vote get the government they don’t want.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
As documents are declassified it turns out the government has always lied to people in the past. It seem then naïve to trust them without evidence on today’s issues such as 2001-09-11, the Afghan war, the Iraq war and torture.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I disagree with the BC provincial government buying Grace Island (a tiny island near Ganges on Saltspring in BC Canada) to settle a dispute between the millionaire homeowner and natives who wanted it preserved as a grave site. I think the natives should have crowd sourced and bought it themselves. Why?
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- The government and the natives will now forever be wrangling over the use of the island. Now it is public property, the public will want unrestricted access. I can hardly see the natives agreeing.
- Natives have been living here in BC since before the last ice age. By now, there must be tens of thousands of grave sites. We can’t very well treat them all like Grace Island. There needs to be a way to prioritise them.
- There is a limited budget. Protecting graves has no practical value, especially when so many native children are going without clean water, heat and food.
There is something sick about the way the most egotistical, extravagant, bellicose, violent leaders who cared not a whit for the well being of their subjects are the ones honoured as great~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Greatest Betrayal
What Supreme Court John Roberts was really doing when he ruled that corporations could donate unlimited amounts to political campaigns, dwarfing individual donations, was ensure that all future elections would be won by candidates that promoted the corporate agenda. They argue that is traditional, right and fair that the rich should have a disproportionately loud voice. They have just amplified its relative volume to become overwhelming.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There are certain creatures that gross people out, e.g. slugs, rats, snakes, spiders, cockroaches, earwigs… I have that same feeling of revulsion every time Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity or John Boehner come on the screen.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Its like Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day, except it is Remembrance/Veterans Day. The TV channels are choked with pro WWII nostalgia propaganda, intended to sell the illegal and endless Afghan and Iraq wars.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In Canada, belonging to a group is not illegal, no matter what crimes the group commits and no matter if the member is aware of the crimes. This ruling protects both Hell’s Angels and Christians.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans are big on group punishment. If a black man kills a policeman, they want a black man executed. It is largely irrelevant if the black man chosen for the execution actually did the deed. If someone protests the execution, Americans go on an on about how terrible it is to kill a policeman. They never argue for why that particular black man must have done it. This question is, should someone pay with their life, not who. Similarly Americans want to kill about 3000 Muslims for every 2001-09-11 victim. It does not matter if the scapegoats chosen for evisceration had anything to do with 2001-09-11.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If people grovel before you, it is likely you feel contempt for them, but then, ask yourself, what did you do that gave them the idea this cheap stunt was what you craved before you would grant them a simple favour?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Grover Norquist fancies himself as the conscience of the Republican party, but he is actually a shill for the super rich. He has a grudge against the universe based on the trauma caused when his mother named him Grover. He sells the idea that it is right and proper that the tax system should favour the rich and the rich should have to pay no more tax than they feel like. As it is, the official federal income tax rate in the USA is 35% for people who earn more than $374,000. Because of all the loopholes, with a good accountant, the rich need pay no tax at all. Nobody pays the full 35%. With an especially good accountant the rich can get money back, a sort of negative income tax or a subsidy to reward them for existing. Corporations have similar loopholes. Fabulously profitable oil companies all get billions from the government every tax time. The rich and the corporations bribed/contributed to the right people to insert the necessary loopholes into law. The bottom line is the rich don’t pay their fair share of the tax pie. They are sponges — parasites. What really burns me up is when these deadbeats look down on working people. They are the leeches. And they use Grover Norquist to sell the idea that these loopholes should never be closed. Only the way Grover puts it is no new taxes. Since the deadbeat rich pay more tax when loopholes are closed, Grover figures he can pass that off as a new tax which nobody likes. He wants to fool the people into thinking he is trying to protect them from new taxes, yet he works to effectively raise them by advocating reducing benefits to the middle class. His prime directive is to ensure the rich can continue to sponge off everyone else. This is the same goal that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner exhibited in the debt ceiling extortion. Norquist is a professional liar. He deserves none of the respect he is given.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Growth of Science
The map below shows science growth 1990 to 2000. The fatter a country is shown relative to its actual size, the more the growth in scientific research. Notice how the USA is not doing particularly well. Europe, China and Japan have surged ahead of it. The USA has been resting on its laurels.
© Copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan)~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I find it disturbing that American Christians find equally abhorrent a man who likes to watch women slather themselves in guacamole and one who forces women to do it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Halal and Kosher
Halal food is specially blessed by a Muslim imam for a fee. Kosher food is specially blessed by a Jewish rabbi for a fee. The government should not be providing Halal or Kosher food in relief. That is equivalent to subsidising the Muslim and Jewish religions, a violation of church and state.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hamstringing the Government
Republicans assure us if you get government out the way private enterprise will do a much better job. Well, they managed to hamstring the government for two years now and business has done almost nothing to help the recession. Investors have been sitting on their money waiting for more prosperous times or sending it overseas.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Handling a Pandemic
Republicans see government as evil. Do they seriously want there to be no government to deal with a pandemic?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Happy Decline of the USA
One of the few cheerful bits of news about the future of earth is that the USA is making itself more and more irrelevant. It is abandoning technological innovation to other countries. It is rapidly going bankrupt, so its influence as a world power is waning. It currently gets a free ride from all other countries because they all use the US dollar as the petrodollar (to buy and sell oil and oil futures). That won’t last much longer.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Harbouring a Terrorist
Luis Pasado Carrilles is an admitted terrorist and escaped felon wanted for blowing up an airliner in 1976 killing 53 people. The USA is harbouring this fugitive. George Bush justified invading Afghanistan with the words If you harbour terrorists, you are a terrorist. Bush is either the world’s greatest hypocrite, or he publicly admitted he leads a nation of terrorists. Why is the USA harbouring a terrorist? Because Luis Pasado Carrilles blew up a Cuban civilian airliner. To American eyes, this does not count as terrorism. What the USA is doing is just as reprehensible as what Libya did to harbour the Lockerbie terrorists.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hard Done By Americans
Even though Americans pay some of the lowest taxes in the world, (rich people often pay none), they feel hard done by. They believe, ideally, there should be no taxes, except to pay for the military. Of course, that means you have to send your kids to private schools and pay the $1000+ a month fees. You have to hire your own security guards since there would be no police. You would have to arrange with the neighbours on what you would do if there was a fire. Nobody would clean or maintain the roads. Nobody would remove the snow from sidewalks or roads. People would just leave cars on the road totalled in accidents. You would have to hire someone to haul away your garbage. Your butcher could fudge the scales and sell rotten beef or pad the hamburger with sawdust. It would be up to you to convince him to play fair. Your sewer would back up without anyone to maintain it. It could be pretty costly, lawless and filthy much like living in medieval times.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Harm to Others
I think we focus too much on protecting people from harming themselves with alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and drugs. What is more important is how much harm and irritation they cause to others. For example:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- second hand smoke from cigarettes and cigars
- drunk driving
- domestic violence
- fetal alcohol syndrome
- effects on fetuses
- failure to care for children
- increased burden on the medical system
- increased risk of fires
- rowdy behaviour
I asked myself, what idea has hurt the planet more than any other? Here are some of the ideas I came up with:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Christianity: among other things, it leads to the notion you don’t have to take care of the earth because Jesus the cosmic cleaning lady will clean up after you.
- interest: the rich get richer just for being rich.
- burning oil as a fuel: lead to global warming.
- presuming people are here to serve corporations rather than the other way around. This was my pick as the absolute worst. It leads to pollution, destruction of the environment, mass burning of fossil fuels and horrible conditions for workers.
It is illegal in Canada to say something that would create hate for an identifiable group. That goes way too far. It would even protect the Nazis from criticism. The Christian church, the Muslims, The Republican party… all do utterly deplorable things. The government should not be shielding them from criticism. The problem is not legitimate criticism, but outrageous lies accusing the group of preposterous crimes. The truth should always be safe from hate speech designation.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hating Income Tax
Why do right wingers dislike income tax so much more than other forms of tax? It is not because it is a hassle to compute, but because it is progressive. In theory, it attempts to put more of a burden on those more able to bear it. Right wingers are shills for the rich. They argue the rich should not have to pay any tax at all.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hats Off To Afghanistan
I have to admire the Afghans and Iraqis. They have hung on for 15 years and 6 months against a gang of bully countries (including the USA, Canada and Britain) more than 13 times larger, forcing a stalemate. They did it with almost no budget when the invaders spent trillions. They did it with only the most primitive weapons — kitchen made IED (Improvised Explosive Device) s; and rifles. Unlike us, they did not target women and children. Unlike us, they did not use banned weapons such as cluster bombs, DU, napalm and white phosphorus. They did not invade anyone else’s country unprovoked, like we did. The very fact we are withdrawing is proof we were never in any danger at all from Afghanistan or Iraq. We could never have walked away from fighting true threats like Germany or Japan. It is distressing rooting against the home team, but I have to because we are behaving like European colonial powers and often worse than Nazis and certainly much worse than our alleged enemies.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Having Crazy Opponents
After a certain point, it works to your advantage if your political opponents are crazy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you have ever watched movies from the 1934 to 1968, you might wonder why married couples always have single beds and wear pajamas. This prudery came from Will H. Hays, Republican Party chair and Christian prude who believed he knew better than other adults what they should be permitted to see in the movies. He composed the Hayes code of censorship imposed on movies.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Alberta, Canada bears witness to a custom practised by native people of the North American plains for nearly 6000 years.
Native Americans would panic buffalo herds into throwing themselves off a cliff. The hunters would then gorge themselves sick.
Modern Americans are just as naïve as buffalo, allowing the insurance companies to panic them into paying twice what people in any other developed country does for the worst care in the developed world — on par with Cuba in outcomes. Check the IMR (Infant Mortality Rate) stats on the CIA website for yourself.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hedging Corporate Bets
They government publishes big donor lists every once of legal donations. I was quite surprised to discover most big donors gave to both parties, though not necessarily equally. If you are a defence contractor you want pull with whomever wins. You don’t care that much who wins. A vendor who gives to both parties is still considered to have given a bigger bribe than one who gave none. Their donations are purely intended as bribes, not pushing an ideology. They give more based on whom they think will win than whom they want to win.
The Koch brothers are an exception. They are not just about making money. They have delusions of grandeur. They wants to be god using their money tentacles like tree roots to infiltrate everything and corrupt it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Height of the Bar
It makes no sense to me that the bar for natural parents should be so much lower than the bar for adoptive parents. Anyone can have a baby. They don’t need a licence. They don’t need a course. They don’t need the financial means. They can have a criminal record, even be a sexual predator. They can be a drug addict. They can be mentally ill. They can be an alcoholic. They can be carriers of serious genetic diseases. They can have HIV. They don't need a partner.
Why, in contrast, do adoptive parents have to be so perfect?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
You may have noticed how quotations pop up at random all over my website, aimed at exposing evil foreign policy. You are welcome to use any or all of the quotations in my quotation collection in a similar way on your own website. To get your point across these days, you have to shrink it to a sound bite.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
High Moral Ground
After the way Christians have treated gays, it is wonder that gangs of gays don’t go beating up priests and nuns and torching churches with the congregations still inside. It is clear who actually stands on the moral high ground.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
High Moral Ground
After the way Christians have treated people who believe in freedom of choice in reproduction, it is a wonder than women don’t drag Christians from their homes and burn them alive, especially those who fund and promote the assassination of doctors. It is clear who actually stands on the moral high ground.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
High Res Surveillance
What is the point of surveillance video if it is not high enough resolution to identify the culprits?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The highway system is subsidised about $3 a gallon from general revenue. The Europeans don’t do that. That is why they gas is so much more expensive. Is it right that people who can’t afford a car subsidise those that can? Should we be subsidising people to make long commutes? Has nobody heard of global warming? Has nobody heard of peak oil? The trucking industry is effectively being subsidised over other more efficient forms of shipping such as rail and barge. I thought American were fundamentally opposed to meddling with the market, especially when it encourages behaviour that is less efficient and more polluting.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If worst thing Hillary has done is use the wrong email server, she must be a saint.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hillary the Feminist
I think hammering on the fact Hillary is a feminist will backfire. Men will see the Democratic party as a women’s club where men are subservient and barely tolerated. It would be wise to clamp down on any speaker extolling the superiority of females.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hillary the Liar
Donald Trump characterises Hillary Clinton as the greatest liar in history. Oddly he never says what she lied about. It is not a lie if:
- it is true.
- she never said it.
Trump, the used car salesman, is one to talk. He says one thing in the morning for the record, then something completely different in the afternoon, again for the record.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hillary’s Email Scandal
I would hazard a guess that only 1% of executives even know what an email server is. They have IT (Information Technology) techs set up their email servers and clients for them. Hillary is a busy executive. I strongly doubt, prior to the scandal, that she too knew what an email server was. She would have asked her IT guy to set up the email in such a way to make it more difficult for other people in the government to snoop on her emails. He would have done that by setting up a private server. It might not have dawned on him that for classified materials, you need to harden your server.
This worked great as far as Hillary was concerned. There were fewer leaks. All went fine until someone pointed out that classified email should go through a hardened server, not a civilian private server. Hillary’s political enemies got wind of this and made it sound as if she had been selling state secrets to the Russians.
It was not even her who made the mistake. It was her IT guy. It was an honest mistake not a crime. Hillary’s political enemies have taken advantage of the fact the almost no one in the public knows what an email server is either, to paint her error as the biggest treason since Benedict Arnold. It is a tempest in a teapot.
Further, Hillary deleted emails she had dealt with or would never get around to. I do the same. Probably, you do too. In a government system, the server maintains and backs up a permanent log of all emails, deleted or not. I gather in Hillary’s case, the IT guy did not set up the log and backup properly. That is not Hillary’s fault. Her political enemies are trying to depict her deleting emails as something sinister. Her enemies don’t care about the truth. They just want something that confuses the public that they can use to paint Hillary as a criminal.
As for deleting emails, it is normal procedure to clear the decks. Almost everyone who uses email makes frequent use of the delete button. There is not time to read everything. The server is supposed to maintain a backup log. If it does not, that is the IT guy’s fault.
If this truly is the worst dirt on Hillary, she is a flipping saint.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hillary Clinton was once on the board of Wal-Mart.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If a godfather hires a hitman to commit a murder, we still charge the godfather with murder. If you are American, through paying your taxes, you have effectively hired soldiers to torture and kill children in Afghanistan and Iraq. By that same godfather reasoning, you too are a serial murderer. On judgement day, you might argue that you did everything you could to stop the slaughter of innocents, but you didn’t do even that, did you?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Tea Party try to recreate the historical romance of the Boston Tea party by dangling tea bags from their hats. There were no tea bags back then, and I suspect had the original Boston crew seen anyone with dangling bags on their hats they would have assumed they were lunatics.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
A History of Humans
Imagine a history of humanity, written from the point of view of cattle.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hit and Run
Hit and run could disappear as a crime with a minor technological fix. When new cars are made, the computerised paint system should modify the paint formulation slightly, perhaps by adding some mildly radioactive markers to make the paint unique to that vehicle, effectively an encryption of its serial number. When a hit and run victim is found, there would likely be a tiny fleck of paint on them. By chemical or radioactive analysis of the marker chemicals, it would point to a particular vehicle serial number. In most cases that would finger the culprit.
There would come to be no motive for hit and run, so long as the penalty for hit and run were substantially higher than for drunk driving. Today, hit and run is primarily motivated by a desire to escape drunk driving charges.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hitler the Vegetarian
Tell people that Hitler was a vegetarian and some will hear a comment on the quirkiness of human nature able to hold conflicting beliefs simultaneously. Others will hear it as condemning vegetarians as anti-Semitic.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hitler’s Electoral Tactics
Before Hitler rose to power, his party advocated intimidating candidates of other parties and using violence against them. Remind you of anyone?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hitler’s Inching to Power
The Germans elected Hitler and bit by bit allowed him to dismantle their democracy and install himself as dictator. He then lead Germany to make war on the world.
The Italians elected Mussolini and bit by bit allowed him to dismantle their democracy and install himself as dictator. He then lead Italy to make war on the world.
The Americans elected George W. Bush, who abrogated their constitutional freedoms with the Patriot Act and directed the civilian economy to make war on Afghanistan and Iraq. Through his supreme court appointments he handed power to the corporations. His Republican party smashed the unions and lowered wages.
The Canadians elected Stephen Harper who concentrated all power in the PM office, canceled environmental protection, handed government over to big oil, made it easier for corporations to expropriate First Nations land and drastically increased military spending.
People are too impatient with democracy. They never learn just how bad the long term consequences of abandoning it are.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The American democratic political system gives the people a choice, crazies who want to destroy the planet with pollution, environmental collapse and global warming or a supposedly populist president who sells the country out to Wall Street.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Holding Talk Show Hosts Accountable
When a politician or talk show host calls for the public to commit illegal acts such as bombing abortion clinics, killing gays, or harassing Muslims, they should be held legally accountable for any such crimes committed as a result. Using the power of mass media is similar to paying others to commit crimes.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hollywood’s Contempt for Civil Liberties
Did you ever notice that in TV crime dramas, anyone who asserts their constitutional rights is always a mob boss or terrorist. Did you ever notice how the heroes of these dramas so frequently break the law to chase criminals? Hollywood is conspiring to create fascist contempt for the constitution and the rule of law.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The holocaust has become too much of a sacred cow. Surely the claims of the deniers are more plausible than the Christian claims of a talking snake, a 40-day flood covering Mount Everest and a wooden boat containing tens of millions of animals which we discuss openly. It permissible to debate any other incident in history but the holocaust. Censorship just gives the whackos credence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Holocaust deniers are odd ducks. They are terribly pleased the holocaust happened, but pretend it didn’t.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Home Grown Terrorists
The Ku Klux Klan is a home grown terrorist organisation. It has never been treated that way because it has so many sympathisers in high places.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- The parents act as tutors rather than teachers so can go at the pace of the student.
- The parents can adjust the curriculum to match the current interest.
- The kids are articulate.
- The kids are comfortable around adults.
- You can do it when travelling or when living in isolated places.
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- The kids are coddled, like hot house plants. They have been isolated from other children and cannot handle criticism or the rough and tumble of human interaction. They are somewhat clueless about boundaries. They don’t understand promises. For home schooling to work, kids have to have a normal social life too, however, they rarely do.
- Teaching is a huge time burden on the parents. Parents and students spend only a small fraction of time on study that public school kids do.
- In the USA, home schooling is primarily so parents can inculcate religious fundamentalist beliefs without having them questioned. These kids are crippled for life with notions of homophobia, flat earth and Jesus coming to kill everyone in a few days etc.
- Kids learn nothing about teamwork.
- There is no athletic program.
Home schooling had two purposes:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- bypass integration
- indoctrinate children with an anti-science, Christian-hate, creationist curriculum.
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Home schooling is using unpaid, completely untrained teachers.
- Home schooling is teaching without any oversight.
- Home schooling is indoctrinating with the beliefs of one person, not with what is generally acknowledged to be true.
- Home schooling is reducing school hours to a few hours a day.
- Home schooling isolates children from their peers.
- Except where remoteness demands it, it is a dumb idea.
Homeless In India
When I went to India, there were more homeless people than in the USA. However, they were not dejected as in the USA. They were busily occupied. The big difference is in India, being homeless is not shameful. Nights on the streets reminded me of summer camping back home in Canada.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The politicians where I live attempt to deal with the problem of homelessness by effectively making it illegal. They make it illegal to sleep, urinate or defecate outdoors. Washrooms in the city are for customers only. Police confiscate the tents and sleeping bags of the homeless. The government refuses assistance for housing unless the recipient already has housing. Politicians will admit they do this not out of economy, but because they and their constituents, want to punish the homeless on ideological principles. The Supreme Court should step in here. Surely there should be a general principle that it must be possible for someone to comply with the law before someone can be convicted of breaking it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Homeopathy is equivalent to doing nothing. so of course it works because the human body usually repairs itself. It is just a placebo. But this is not the same as showing the homeopathic remedy had anything to do with the healing. These crooks do everything to avoid doing proper scientific tests, and refuse to acknowledge the overwhelming number of studies that show homeopathy is bogus. But logically, the remedies have to be bogus. They are no different from tap water. Tap water too has homeopathic concentrations of every conceivable homeopathic remedy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Honouring the Constitution
I am appalled at how many politicians call for measures that are clearly unconstitutional. I think every candidate for office should have to pass a written test on knowledge of the constitution, then publicly swear allegiance to it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hormones in the Food
Imagine that someone figured out a way to introduce female sex hormones and chemicals into everyone’s diet that caused obesity and passivity. Then they convinced the populace that doing otherwise would be an unwarranted interference with the free market. You don’t have to imagine. It has already happened — bovine growth hormones in the USA.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
We are never hornier than during the years 13 to 15, yet the law maintains the fiction that if anyone in that age range has sex, they must have been seduced, tricked, bribed or forced into it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Horse Race
The American media treat the US election as an entertaining horse race. They have no interest whatsoever in how qualified each candidate is. They give all the attention to the incompetent clowns who behave like attention-craving 4 year olds.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
On 2012-09-22 my Aunt Anne died. She broke her hip went to hospital, then immediately contracted two opportunistic infections including pneumonia and died. I later discovered this happens fairly often. Why?
- Bacteria and viruses are getting more resistant to the chemical, disinfectants and drugs we use to combat them.
- Ostensibly for cost saving, the BC Liberal government outsourced most of the hospital cleaning and sterilising. These people are not trained and are much less thorough than before. For example, the curtains between beds used to be thoroughly cleaned regularly. Now they are not cleaned at all. I suspect the outsourcing was really about weakening standards, weakening unions and funnelling money to Liberal contributors who took on the contracts.
We need experts in sterilisation to tell us how we can get these infections under control for reasonable cost. The computer industry has clean-room technology that might be appropriate for the most at-risk patients.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Housing The Homeless Saves Money
It would save taxpayers’ money to house the homeless. Homelessness persists because the general public look on it as a punishment for indolence and they enjoy exacting that punishment. It makes them feel smugly virtuous.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I think the top priority of any government housing policy should be see that everyone has some place to live. Conservatives look at it differently. Their goal is to enhance the grandeur of the mansions and expropriate the lands of the other people, for ever grander mansions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How Banks Defend Themselves
Banks are like hallucinogenic plants that exude chemicals to defend themselves. Banks exude money which pacifies and befuddles those who would attack them for illegal activity.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How Crazy Are They?
Americans are so dedicated to vigilante justice, they even teach children how to use lethal firearms.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How To Create A New Hitler
If you want another Hitler, all you have to do is close your eyes, trust and do nothing.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How Does Cocaine Sell?
I’ve never heard anybody say Boy am I happy I starting using cocaine/crystal meth How could a product with no endorsement and so many ruined customers sell?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How to Eliminate The Republicans
Imagine if President Obama delivered a safety address to the nation where he suggested:
- Replacing frayed electrical cords.
- Getting vaccinated.
- Buckling up.
- Wearing visible clothing at night.
- Checking your smoke alarm batteries.
- Unplugging toasters before poking forks into them.
- Using your barbecues and hibachis only out-of-doors.
The Republicans, out of knee-jerk reaction, would do the opposite. This would be a Good Thing™~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How Facebook Facilitates Lying
Facebook is undermining democracy. A politician can target ads to specific groups of people, telling each one a different story, or focusing on a different concern. The ads are not aired publicly and there is no record of them. The opposition politician has no idea what the ads say, or say about him about him. No one can call the politician for telling totally different things to different groups or for telling outright lies.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How Frequent are Spills?
How often can we expect a major oil spill like Exxon Valdez or Deepwater Horizon? The question has an objective answer, but you will never discover it just by polling people for their ideology-based opinions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How New Mexico Shot Its Foot
The state of New Mexico enacted racist and in my opinion unconstitutional, laws designed to drive out Latinos and Latino immigrants, legal and illegal. They succeeded brilliantly. Immigration dropped to zero. Then they noticed that tourism had collapsed and the economy was tanking. They also noticed that the agricultural sector could not find labour. They decided to rescind some of the more Draconian measures. The Mexicans did not come back. New Mexico had created a durable image of itself as a hostile place for Mexicans. I love it when bastards screw themselves.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How Not To Create Jobs
If you want to create jobs, spend money directly to create jobs or spend money to reward those who create jobs. It is insane to give trillions, with no strings, attached to uber-rich people and naïvely hope they will create jobs with the money rather than snort up their noses.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How Rich Are They?
Republicans are working tirelessly to make sure all the loopholes, subsidies and tax cuts for the superrich as left as is. These people are rich enough that if they saw a compilation porn video with a cast of 50, they could easily afford to have all 50 actors flown in a for marathon orgy. The uber-rich are not in desperate need of even more pampering.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How Stupid Are They?
Granted, there are countries whose citizens are stupider than Americans, but they don’t nominate themselves to rule the world.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How The US Democracy Failed
The two main dangers a democracy faces is a military coup or and covert corporate takeover with corporations controlling politicians with bribes (sometimes called contributions, donations or lobbying perks). The American democracy was lost by the latter, via the route of installing a pre-bought chief justice.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How to Vote
Knowing which party to vote for in the USA is simple. You don’t even need to study their party platforms and voting records in detail. There are only two serious parties. If you are a rich white guy, vote Republican. The Republican party will bend over backwards to increase your relative privilege. If you are anyone else, vote Democrat.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How We Will Disgust Future Citizens
Just as we look back on the middle ages with horror, future generations, if there are such, will look back on us with extreme disgust at our habits such as feed lots, torture, weapons targeted at children, weapons designed to cause maximal pain, whale sacrifice, rampant religious superstition, allowing others to starve to death while we were obese…~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How Witch Hunters Select a Victim
You have to wonder why, when campaign finance fraud is almost never prosecuted, why they went after John Edwards, when even his alleged crime itself was a grey area in criminality and why there were so many other crimes orders of magnitude more egregious outstanding. The Republican Christians went after him for two reasons:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Edwards was once a Democratic VP (Vice President) candidate. They wanted to bag a big elephant.
- There was adultery involved. Christians go all tingly like medieval witch inquisitors when they get to publicly humiliate, demand salacious details and act high and mighty. Playing Savonarola feels almost as good as masturbation, but without the sin. Recall the fortune they spent publicly pillorying Clinton.
Hubris to think Afghanistan Will Surrender
Americans knew that Russians failed to conquer Afghanistan after a decade of effort. They knew how brutal the Russians had been, rounding people up then squashing them with tanks, using tiny mines shaped like toys targeting children. The Americans believed if they were to succeed, they would have to be an order of magnitude more brutal with napalm, white phosphorus, DU and other banned weapons to kill people with the most pain possible. The decided to routinely torture off all detainees. They decided to kill mostly children. They underestimated the resolve of the Afghans to resist such brutality. It is only a matter of time until the Americans similarly give up trying to break the spirit of the Afghans.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans liked to tar the late Hugo Chavez of Venezuela as a dictator. I find this absurd for the following reasons:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Venezuela has regular elections.
- Chavez enjoyed popularity ratings American politicians would kill for.
- He spent Venezuela’s oil wealth on the poor and middle class.
Though the Mayans were most famous for human sacrifice, the Americans practised it on an even wider scale. They spent billions of dollars every month on human sacrifice, using techniques such as torture and white phosphorus to prolong and intensify suffering. Oddly, unlike the Mayans, they conducted most of these ceremonies in secret. They even sacrificed entire ecosystems in worship of Moloch, the oil god.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Humanitarian Reasons, Yeah Right
You can’t help but be skeptical when the USA ponies up $3 trillion ($3,000,000,000,000.00 dollars) for the Iraq war which it claims it is fighting for humanitarian reasons, when it only manages to come up with a few million bucks to help with a major tsunami or earthquake and reneged on its $9 billion pledge to help with AIDS in Africa.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Humans Do Change
If it is impossible to change human nature as so many people claim, how did it come to be that humans have a wide variety of customs over space and time?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It is humiliating to be defeated in debate but utterly infuriating to be defeated by a woman whose only skill is making up lies and nonsense to appeal to an ignorant audience.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There is no point in a hunger strike unless you have extremely good publicity.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The hunt connects us spiritually with the sacred land. Bullshit. It connects us with the part of us that likes killing and making creatures suffer.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There are two kinds of safari camps you can go on in the third world to hunt children (or adults if that is your pleasure). You can bag your prey completely unarmed. You can shoot from a distance or bound and gagged. You can use a variety of other weapons including a wide selection of banned ones. You can even rape and torture or other amusements requiring non-consenting prey. The food and lodgings are slightly better than you would expect in the third world. There are two basic types of plan: self-directed and those with assistance for the squeamish or those with vestigial scruples. Dominatrixes and large male authority figures bully, abuse and order and force the clients to commit the atrocities, thus symbolically taking on the guilt. You would think you could not possibly afford such luxury safari camps, but these camps are not expensive. Self-directed camps pay you obscene amounts of money and assisted camps pay you a nominal fee, enough to cover travel and living expenses. If this sounds like you, apply to Xe Services (née Blackwater) for self-directed camps or your nearest US military recruiter for assisted ones.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hurry Up and Do Nothing
After the Sandy Hook Elementary School killing of 26 children, the people of Newtown Connecticut decided to do nothing to prevent future shootings and further they decided to block and intimidate anyone who tried to. Evolution works whether you believe it or not. It is working inexorably to take the people of Newtown out of the gene pool. That is their choice. Good riddance to idiots.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hurting the Homeless
In BC, only people who already have homes can receive welfare for rent. If a homeless person attempts to raise the necessary two months rent to acquire a home, he must forgo all assistance, since any income is 100% deducted from the dole. People on assistance are not permitted to have savings. Why are we deliberately making it so difficult for homeless people to get out of the homelessness trap?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Hurting Your Own Cause
The criticism that cuts deepest is the one that points out how a man is hurting his own cause.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I Am Humbled
When someone receives extravagant public praise and says I am humbled what kind of BS is that? What he means is I am having trouble not getting a swelled head You are humbled when an authority publicly chastises you and proves everything you said in the last six months is wrong.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
What does it mean when someone says I apologise?
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- The politician means, I wish I didn’t get caught. I will be more careful next time.
- The child means, I submit to your power to coerce me.
- Officially it means, I wish I had not done that.
I Threaten Self Image
When soldiers make death threats against me, what am I doing that threatens them so much? I threaten their self image. They want to see themselves as heroic. They want others to see them as heroic. I expose them as sadistic thugs. The truth really hurts. The only way they can deal with it is to try to frighten me into silence. Had I accused them of something that was not true, e.g. cannibalism, it would not matter all that much.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I Want Change!
I want change sounds like a baby demanding fresh diapers. I am suspicious of any protest group that tries to create consensus by being so deliberately vague as to claim their only demand is change, without ever specifying just what that change is. Disparate groups join in, imagining everyone in the group supports their sub cause. For example, naïve gay lib people will later learn the group as a whole has no commitment to same sex unions. Change could just as well mean higher taxes, more wars, more pollution, less corporate regulation and more detention without trial.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
A tendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, etc., to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics. The forming of political tribes based on religion, race etc., much smaller than political parties.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I am so frustrated with members of the Conservative Party when they rally against the legalisation of marijuana. They have utterly no interest in the real life experience of other jurisdictions that have already done it. They argue based purely on ideology and fevered imagination.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Idiotic Fiscal Policy
Ever since Reagan, Republicans have been extravagant spendthrifts, ignoring the economists by foolishly spending even when times were flush. Oddly, now a recession has America in its grip, Republicans suddenly became interested in reducing the debt, even though economists say belt-tightening in a recession just makes the recession worse. Republicans claim they want to create jobs, but clearly that is nonsense because if the government pulls in its horns, fires people and cancels contracts, there will obviously be fewer jobs. So what really motivates Republicans is a desire to prolong the recession until 2012, then blame Obama for it and take power.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If Hitler Lied Like FOX
If Hitler had prevailed, I doubt his regime could have done a better job than FOX at convincing the populace the wars of empire are purely self-defence, even when the enemy is 1/10 the size and the USA attacked first, unprovoked.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If the Tea Party Ran Insurance
What would you think of an insurance company that got itself in financial hot water? It refused to increase premiums. If refuse to pay its executives less. It refused to cut the fat in its business expenses and executive perks. It refused to end its policy of giving rich customers free insurance. Instead it decided to renege on its policies. It would pay out only 75% of what it had contracted to. That is how the Tea Party wants to run the US government.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If You Do Nothing You Are Guaranteed to Fail
When I was in my early twenties, I launched three gay lib projects. I figured I had less than one in a million chance they would make any noticeable difference. After all, when I started, everyone, even my family, my friends and the gay people were opposed to me. I did them just because it felt better to put up some resistance than give up. They succeeded far beyond my wildest dreams. I thought, ending hunger, world nuclear disarmament, stopping resource wars, saving the environment etc. should be a piece of cake in comparison. This turned out not to be so. I have found it difficult managing the frustration, anger and despair. I need to recreate my original detachment to results to be effective. Gandhi put it this way: It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Ignorance of the Law
Ignorantia juris non excusat. Latin for the legal principal ignorance of the law is no excuse. Thousands of American soldiers falsely imagine they have committed no crime by aiding and abetting either of two illegal aggressive wars because no one in the military formally explained the facts of life to them. Others imagine because the USA is the dominant world power and no one dare, for now, prosecute their war crimes, that American soldiers are hence innocent of capital war crimes.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Ignorant Devils On the Panel
There is something deeply unfair and absurd about a society that insists that every discussion about civil rights, (e.g. euthanasia, gay marriage …) has to have religious fundamentalist bigot on the panel for balance, even when that bigot cannot muster even a single fact to support his view. Yet evangelists may make the most hateful, absurd, fallacious and fraudulent claims from the pulpit without anyone invited or permitted to dispute them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Ignoring the Facts
I have no problem with people who study the facts and come to a different conclusion from me, but I have infinite contempt for people who refuse to even look at the facts, then angrily tell me that I am utterly wrong, based on nothing more than what they feel in their guts, namely what they wish were true.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Ignoring Important Common Threats
By definition, if something is in the news, it something that does not occur every day. Reading the new or watching news on TV causes us to worry about things that hardly every happen and completely ignore the common threats that pose a far bigger danger.
- Heart disease
- Chronic respiratory diseases
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Influenza and Pneumonia
Note that being killed by criminals or terrorists is not even on the list. A donut is far more deadly. Then there are the matters like global warming, water pollution and soil erosion that harm all species, not just individual humans.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Ignoring the Lessons of History
Economists have hundreds of years of data on which economic policies produce which results. They know that austerity is a good way to extend a recession and increase unemployment. Its benefits can only be born in times of prosperity. So why are the Republicans pushing austerity at state and federal level now, in the middle of a recession? Apparently the want to extend the recession and increase unemployment. They believe Obama will blamed for the results of their policy and they can take the White House, allow the recession to end and take the credit, thus allowing them to control the White House for a generation. They are willing to sacrifice the country for over a year for their selfish reasons. Surely that willingness to sacrifice the country should disqualify them from leadership.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Ignoring Objective Answers
Would ending marijuana prohibition increase or decrease society’s problems from drug abuse? The question has an objective answer, but you will never discover it just by polling people for their ideology-based opinions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Ignoring Objective Answers
Would recognising same sex marriage increase or decrease respect for family values? The question has an objective answer, but you will never discover it just by polling people for their ideology-based opinions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Ironically, most Republicans are not in agreement with the major Republican party platform planks. Like Christine Todd Whitman, rank and file Republicans don’t really want to overturn Rove v. Wade. They want the right to decide for themselves if their daughter should bear a child of rape or foolish infatuation. Like Jon Huntsman, they want pollution reduced. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger, they want something done about greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Like Ron Paul, they want to bring their sons and daughters home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The appeal of the Republican party is the flag-glam and the standing tough, standing tall and pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. They are seduced by the John Wayne myth. Republican strategists hijacked the intense emotions of national patriotism and redirected them to the Republican party using classic Pavlovian conditioning.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Even though we humans are well aware of the risks of flood, tornado, hurricane, tsunami, earthquake or volcano at any given location, we rarely allow that to influence where or how we build.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Illegal to Be HIV+
What would you say to a group of Christian Republicans who got the idea of making being HIV + illegal. They were convinced this would improve the situation by discouraging people from getting HIV. Of course, it would just make matters worse by making people hide rather than getting treatment that made them largely non-contagious. You could say roughly the same thing you would say to them about their failed war on drugs.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
You could look on the European invasion of the Americas as an overwhelming wave of illegal immigrants.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The illegal American occupation of Afghanistan has been going on for 15 years, 6 months and 21 days, since 2001-10-07. America signed a treaty agreeing not to attack other nations unless attacked first. Not even Bush claims Afghanistan was involved in 2001-09-11.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There is no legitimate purpose for a member of the public to take a firearm into a school, a campus, a football game, a political rally, a courtroom, a bank, a bar, a liquor store, a jewelry store, a convenience store, a gas station, a cheque caching store, a playground, a public swimming pool, a daycare facility, a gay pride parade, a church, a medical clinic, a hospital, movie theatre, convention center, train station, bus, airport… Americans pretend they don’t understand that.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The law considers it a less serious crime to steal 5¢ than to steal $1,000,000, but it considers stealing 5 minutes of someone’s lifespan just before natural death equivalent to stealing 80 years by murdering them at the start of life. Further, the law makes no distinction whether the person murdered begs to die to escape pain or if they beg to live.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Imbalance Implies Abuse
Wherever there is imbalance of power, there is abuse of power.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When people come to the USA or Canada to live, I think it is fair to lay down the law, and explain to them behaviour that is not tolerated, and to get them to sign off on it.
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- People may insult your religion. You may not do them violence.
- You may not do violence to gays.
- You may not do violence to apostates.
- You may not beat your wife or kids.
Resentment against immigrants has been growing. We have Donald Trump, an American Presidential candidate brazenly accusing all Mexicans of being rapists. We have right wing anti-immigrant political parties is England and France. Even in peaceful Norway we have mass murderer Anders Breivik.
This usual way to deal with this is to wring your hands and scold the right wing bigots. This does not work. Part of the problem is fear of strangers is hard-wired into our genes. Immigrants trigger this fear, especially when they:
- Wear unusual clothes, especially ones completely unsuited for the climate.
- Speak a foreign language amongst themselves.
- Refuse to learn the native language so you cannot communicate with them.
- Eat foods with unusual smells.
The net effect is the immigrant seems to be saying I am not one of you. I don’t want to communicate with you. I belong to a superior community. You are unclean. Go away. That may not be what the immigrant is trying to say, but that is how he being perceived. People looking at him think to themselves Why did we invite you in if you refuse to participate in the life of our country?.
Our traditional policy has been to give immigrants total freedom to do as they please. That is a great ideal, but it is not working. Tensions are rising. Violence is breaking out. I suggest that as a condition of immigration, the immigrant must agree to wear clothing to fit in. They can wear ethnic clothing at home, in religious and cultural ceremonies. They should also learn the native language. I think it reasonable that immigrants should participate in the life of their new country, and I think that those two restrictions would encourage them to do so. I am not sure this is a best approach, but we have to do something to get immigrants and native sons interacting.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The USA, Britain and France all seem to be embarking on anti-immigrant policies. The smartest scientists in the world are knocking on their doors to work at their educational and think tank institutions. Those countries are effectively turning away Einstein because his tan was too deep.
These countries have an aging population. There are not enough younger workers to keep the retirement benefit funds topped up. There are also not enough health care workers to look after the elderly. The only way to get workers is by welcoming young immigrants.
The USA, Britain and France are hurting themselves. They are deliberately taking on a second rate rôle in the world.
Where will these immigrants go? To Canada and Germany.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Think how much harm impaired (drunk, sleepy, drugged) drivers do. They kill innocent people. They hideously disable them. They cause far more grief than serial killers, but we don’t put up much resistance.
Technology, if pushed a little, could come up with a way to block impaired people from driving. To avoid inconveniencing unimpaired drivers, the technology may not make its final decision on whether a driver is impaired until after he has driven a block. As a last ditch way to stop the driver, the technology could summon police aid and give them the GPS (Global Positioning System) position of the car and its description.
The people who fight measures to block drunk drivers are wealthy people who believe they are entitled to drive drunk. We should not surrender to their selfishness.
Happily, the problem will take care of itself, whether we take action now or not, when driverless cars take over.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Women are not as strong as men but just as bright. Men have gotten away with using their implied violence to dominate women. The domination is even hard wired into religions. This may sound a bit crazy, but not too long from now, homes will have intelligent robots. One of the things they will do is prevent domestic violence and hence the fear of domestic violence. This should end domination. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait that long.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Importance of Salesmanship
There are a few important things you can do totally on your own, but most important projects require the co-operation of large numbers of people. This means the most important life skill is one usually looked down on — persuasion, sometimes called salesmanship.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Imposing Personal Religious Beliefs on Others
American politicians freely admit to deciding their votes based on personal religious dogma. In other words they have no shame about imposing their personal religious beliefs on all their constituents, even when they acknowledge that choice is not in the best interest of the public. They even excuse themselves of racism and bigotry on religious grounds. They get away with this evil because Americans think of religion, any religion, no matter how irrationals or cruel, as a virtue.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Imposing Religious Beliefs on the Moribund
Just because someone is near death gives you no extra right to impose your religious superstitions on them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you are a witness in a court trial, you have to swear to tell the whole truth, yet judges constantly badger witnesses when they give qualifying information. Judges command witnesses just to answer the question without elaboration. Just what would you do if you were a witness?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Improper Plea Bargain
If there are two suspects (A) and (B) for a serious crime and the prosecutors don’t know which one is the culprit, they will offer a deal to (A), freedom from prosecution, so long as (A) agrees to testify against (B). If (A) is the actual culprit, this testimony is worthless. (A) has pressing motive to lie.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In god we trust
In god we trust is the motto of the USA. It means there exists a supernatural being who tweaks the universe to our benefit, so we don’t have to be prudent. This is a nutty religious belief, even if it is not a specifically Christian one. It was adopted as the motto of the USA in 1956 replacing E pluribus unum out of many, one. I think they should put it back.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I don’t trust democracy for determining truth. It works well enough for trivia about movie stars, sports, cars… but it is useless when it comes to science, religion and economics.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Using technology, we humans have managed to create massive problems that we are not capable of solving. It is as hopeless as expecting a pack of dogs to solve the problem of soil erosion. Humans are not up to the task:
- They don’t care about the big picture.
- Their prime focus is on competing with, defeating and hurting enemies.
- They are driven primarily by emotion.
- They tenaciously hold onto beliefs that have been proven wrong.
- They prefer I win-you lose solutions to win-win. This creates political logjams.
I can see three possible solutions:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- The development of artificial intelligence that simple overwhelm humans and tricks them into doing the right thing.
- Some sort of technology to amplify intelligence, the ability to concentrate or the ability to look at problems from a planetary perspective. A think of these people might be able to overwhelm ordinary humans.
- A think tank of the brightest people funded by billionaires who see our planet is in peril. People are selected for their intelligence and global perspective. It is one thing to create a solution, but quite another to get idiotic FOX viewers to accept it.
Governments incarcerate people for five basic reasons:
- To seek revenge, to punish people for their bad behaviour.
- To modify their mental programming so that they will not commit more crimes.
- To keep them away from potential victims.
- To make money building and running prisons.
- To stop people from voting for a candidate you do not support.
Sam Harris argues that reason (1) may well not make sense. Even if this reason is discredited, there are still four other reasons to incarcerate.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I find it odd that Americans are happy to spend millions of dollars investigating the homicide of anyone, no matter how low their status, but they are unwilling to spend even a dime to prevent that person’s death by disease, starvation, exposure or drug addiction.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Inconsistent Invasion Policy
What would you think if America invaded Mexico because a suspected drug gang hung out there? What if it overturned the government and installed the world’s biggest drug lord as leader? What if it occupied Mexico for 15 years ? What if it routinely tortured Mexican citizens. What if it killed over a million Mexican civilians, mostly children? That’s what America did to Afghanistan. If the treatment of Afghanistan appears acceptable to you, it is because you are more of a bigot about people from Afghanistan than Mexico.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Inconsistent Treatment of Blacks, Jews and Gays
If TV station announced that a black politicians should be lynched, or that a mob should burn down the house of a Jewish one they would probably find themselves in deep hot water, but is perfectly OK for a preacher to preach that a gay person deserves violence, murder and general persecution just for being gay. The USA has yet to grow out of this childish homophobic phase.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Inconsistent Trust of Politicians
Nearly everybody claims they take everything a politician says with a large grain of salt. Yet they also claim anyone who fails to believe, without question, every word of Bush’s reconstruction of what happened on 9/11, must wear a tin foil hat.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Incredibly Stupid Americans
One of the most depressing things I ever heard was a series of radio interviews with voters from the southern USA. The only facts relevant to the election were: Mitt Romney is not a Christian, Obama is a Christian, but he is black — a nation too stupid to live.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Indigenous people usually demand the right to hunt, without restriction, since they did 300 years ago. They claim an innate intuitive wisdom of conservation, vastly superior to that of wildlife scientists.
I say no. Why?
- Populations are much higher today. Wildlife cannot sustain pressure from so many people.
- Weapons and fishing gear are much more efficient today. Wildlife cannot sustain the pressure from such advanced hunting.
- We are all equal. Indigenous people do not deserve special privilege based on the behaviour of our distant ancestors.
- We did not know 300 years ago that whales had brains many times the size of ours, and that they have complex social lives. We should no longer be killing them at all.
- The standards for acceptable animal cruelty have changed drastically over the last three centuries. King Louis XIV used to burn bags full of cats for his sadistic amusement. It is absurd to try to revert to ancient standards. When we do, we become an international pariah.
- Indigenous people are almost as susceptible to the same foibles as anyone else, including greed, wishful thinking and short-sightedness. They are human too. There is no evidence for their claimed ecological perfection.
- Indigenous people argue that they are poor and could not survive without the meat. This is short-term thinking. Driving species extinct means no meat at all in future.
So I say that indigenous people should hunt, humanely, like anyone else, with scientifically determined quotas, like anyone else.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The problem with fines is they have no deterrent effect on the wealthy and are overly onerous on the poor. Fines should be adjusted to account for the net worth of the offender.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Some wealthy people park wherever they want. The fine is no deterrent, since it is just chump change. Some corporations just pollute and pay the fines. They are so wealthy, the fines are no deterrent. Fines need to be adjusted a percentage of the wealth of the wrongdoer to make sure they inflict the same amount of pain.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Unless fines are massive, they have no effect on corporations. It is the people working at the corporation who make the decisions, yet no person feels the pain of paying the fines. Fines are just passed on to customers as a cost of doing business.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Inexperienced Presidential Candidates
One of the strangest things about American politics is that the people consider candidates for president so inexperienced, they would not dream of putting them in charge of even a 3-outlet fried chicken chain.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Bees would be paralysed if they ever stopped to ponder how insignificant their individual contribution.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
As an adult, a saw two Clayton Moore Lone Ranger episodes that I had seen as a child. In both, racist cowboys hassled Tonto then later received their just deserts. I wonder if my own strong anti-racist attitudes were instilled by this simple melodrama.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When a society hosts taboos so intense that merely being accused of breaking them destroys a life, then blackmail will flourish.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Intent to Disable
If someone shoots in self-defence, they should intend to disable not kill. If they deliberately use more than necessary force, I don’t think the self-defence excuse should apply.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Intent of the Law
It is amazing how lawyers and judges find ways to circumvent the intent of the law. For example, police can’t demand a DNA sample from someone without a warrant, but they can trick a person into providing one. Police cannot search a home without a warrant, but they can search the garbage from that home.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Interfering with Christian Marriage
What if the shoe were on the other foot and gays starting interfering with straight people getting married, or adopting children? What if they started disrupting funerals and weddings of straight people? Straight people would not stand for it. They would correctly point out that straight marriages are none of the gays’ goddamn business. They would be outraged if there were ballot initiatives blocking straights from marrying, adopting or having children. They would be so incensed by the arrogance of those damn #@!s. Well, now you can perhaps understand the frustration we gays have with the heterosexual Christian bigots who want to micromanage our lives and keep us in a one down position.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
International Age of Consent
Given how many introductions are made on the Internet, especially where the two parties live in different states or even countries, you need a uniform country-wide set of laws to cover age of consent and related issues such as apparent age, age on offered ID, puberty reached, age difference, involvement of drugs or payment and just how close to the legal-illegal boundary an incident occurred. The constitution might block the federal government from introducing a uniform legal code, but that would not stop states from gradually harmonising their age of consent laws (much as Canadian provinces are harmonising their sales tax law.) The current laws are simplistic. They harshly punish the relatively innocent and slap the wrists of the fiendish. The advantage to prudes of harmonisation, is that a uniform code will have more authority. As it is, the inconsistency with the laws of nearby states shout Your laws are wrong. Ignore them. They are not real laws.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Every leader acts for the interest of his country or his own personal interest. Leaders resort to spying, assassination, sabotage, threats, propping up dictators, wars… Personal morality has very little influence on behaviour of entire countries. In some countries, leaders put up a massive pretence of national altruism, which is used mainly to suck citizens into enlisting for resource wars. The catch is modern technology has made the game so hardball and so global it is laying waste the planet in the process. We will destroy ourselves if we do not get serious about enforcing international and environmental law in an impartial way. What we have now is like the Wild West when rival outlaw gangs ran Dodge City. Americans imagine they like things this way because they are the richest, best-armed nation. What happens when China or India or even the EU eclipses them? It won’t be nearly as pleasant then.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Interrupting Your Enemy
Napoleon advised against interrupting your enemy when he is making a mistake, but the Republican have already caused untold damage by nominating a village idiot to the presidency. Now are determined to do it again with an airhead even dumber than Bush, Sarah Palin. Who will they nominate as her running mate? Carrie Prejean?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republicans in the USA or Conservatives in Canada favour increased spending on the military and prisons and reduced spending on the elderly, the poor and the disabled. They share an inverted morality system that considers hurting/punishing good and helping bad.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Investing in Education
Countries doing well today are the ones who invested heavily in education, e.g. Germany, the Netherlands and Finland. The USA is heading downhill because it decided to scrimp on education, particularly higher education. The penalty for doing so does not show up until decades later. The USA as a nation is focused on the profitability of the next quarter. That is why they are so vulnerable to this error. Further, the USA let their education systems be hijacked by religious extremists, trapped in the science of 4000 years ago. This equivalent to letting fruitcakes who believe 2 + 2 = 5 teach the arithmetic classes.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
States should not be permitted to vote away rights. Civil rights are not rewards for popularity. Every citizen deserves them from the constitution by default. The only exception should be for criminals. The whole reason there are rights is to protect unpopular groups.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Inviting Child Rape
Time and time again throughout history we see the same pattern. When the restraints of civil law are removed, young men indulge in rape and child rape, especially during war or during invasion of the lands of a different racial group.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Iraq Invasion Was Not About Saddam
To the Iraqis and everyone else but the Americans, it is obvious the American invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with Saddam. How do they know?
- Bush rejected Saddam’s offer to surrender. Bush insisted on invading.
- The invasion did not stop after the Iraqi army was defeated.
- The occupation did not stop after Saddam was captured.
- Obama announced the winding down of the war on the same day all of Iraq’s oil assets were auctioned off to American and European oil companies.
America is addicted to oil and believes that gives it the right to take oil from others by force. Americans surely know this, but like Nazis pretend not to notice because it causes such intense shame.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Pakistanis praising their army for its revenge spiral with the Taliban, now escalated to killing off hundreds of children at a pop, were shouting slogans, presumably in some Pakistani language. However, to my ears, it sounded like Fuck Army.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It is foolish to decide your vote based on race because you are would be basing your decision on the amount of built-in sunscreen, clearly irrelevant. However, deciding based on religion in much more germane. It encapsulates unrevealed values and warns you of likely delusions if they take the faith seriously. For example, it would be suicidal to vote for an end-times candidate for president of the USA.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
ISIS or ISIL (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) ?
ISIS is a group of Islamic terrorists trying to carve a new Islamic theocracy out of parts of Iraq and Syria. President Obama decided he did not like the name, so he renamed them ISIL. This makes not much sense. Levant is an archaic term for a vast area. Why would he want to effectively cede that large territory to them? The actual name is in Arabic, so we don’t know how it really should be translated. Hawks tend to use ISIL and non-hawks ISIS.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
ISIS vs the USA
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
ISIS vs the USA Item ISIS USA child soldiers? in combat just indoctrination beheadings? captives with swords primarily children with high altitude bombs first strike attacks? female sex slaves? child sex slaves? banned weapons? target civilians? torture POWs (Prisoner Of Wars)? justifying religion? Islam Christianity
It Could Not Happen Here
I watch the Viennese put on an elegant concert. It is hard to believe just generation ago these people welcomed Hitler. It is not that the Viennese are particularly susceptible to fascism, all of humanity is. That is why we must never imagine it can’t happen here. Just as we wish someone has stomped out Hitler’s movement before it gained power we should stop out the Tea Party and other bigoted political movements before they wreck havoc he way Hitler did.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It Drives Us Crazy
In a pretechnological world, we only heard about the terrible things happening in our village. Today, we are daily bombarded with the quirkiest terrible things that happened anywhere on the planet. We react as if all this happened locally and it drives us paranoid.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It Is OK To Punish Traitors
Had an American citizen been helping the German secret service to assassinate people in the USA without the permission or knowledge of the US government, do you think Hillary Clinton would have defended him as having done nothing wrong? Of course, not. So she should stop interfering when Pakistan punishes Shakil Afridi for that same act of treason.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Italians handed refugees over to Gadafi, fully knowing they would be raped, tortured and killed. Why did they do it? The refugees had the wrong skin colour to be worth saving. That callous racism will be a stain on Italy forever~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It’s About Oil
If you have any doubt the reason for the Iraq war was to control sources of oil, consider that Obama declared the war over on the very day he auctioned off Iraq’s oil resources to European and American oil companies and further, Obama reopened the war when forces hostile to the USA took over an oil field.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
American right wingers write, jeering Nothing you do is going to slow down the US military doing whatever it damn well pleases. Similarly, nothing you do will have any effect on global warming. Give up you pompous idiot! I have six responses:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- You for one must think I have some power in the world, or you would not have taken the effort to write me to discourage me from taking action.
- What I do might not have significant effect, but what you want me to do will most certainly have zero effect (or even negative effect by discouraging others).
- Humans are herd animals. They tend to do whatever their peers are doing. If I take action, it encourages others to do so as well in a chain reaction. If I do nothing, it encourages others to similarly despair.
- It simply feels better to take what action I can.
- Back in 1969 I started a gay lib project that I figured had a 1 in a billion chance of accomplishing anything. Within four years we had the first gay rights legislation. Nobody was more surprised than me.
- Gandhi, the world’s foremost expert on social change, said Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
Thomas Jefferson owned five copies of a book by Lucretius, the Roman atheist Epicurian. That is evidence he considered it more important than the bible which he sliced up to remove the offending passages.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69) The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
In the second debate, on 2012-10-16, Romney claimed that the government cannot create jobs. In other words, he is saying if he were president there is not a thing he could do. He would just sit on his thumbs and wait for business to start hiring on their own. That the government cannot create jobs is an idiotic claim.
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- The government hires people directly.
- The government buys goods and services created by businesses who have to hire people.
- The government can arrange taxes and laws to encourage businesses to hire and avoid outsourcing.
A number of his former students accused wealthy, prominent Canadian, John Furlong of sexually molesting them three decades ago. One by one, his lawyers browbeat the complainants into dropping the charges. One complainant was dismissed because she got the month wrong. He had an alibi for that month. I can only pin most events of my early adult life down to the decade, not a precise date. I don’t think that error should be enough to dismiss the charge. Multiple independent charges for the same crime should not be dismissed that easily.
Instituting a statue of limitations might lead to fairer trials. They would discourage plaintiffs from procrastinating. They would ensure evidence and memories were fresher.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
John Roberts Supreme Court Decision
The John Roberts supreme court decision equated the right to buy politicians with free speech. That is daft, or even more likely, corrupt.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Jon Stewart’s Cool Aid Recipe
Even people as left wing as Jon Stewart buy some of Bush’s nuttier ideas that he proposed to defend his illegal invasion of Iraq, such as:
- It is self-defence to kill someone you think they might own a weapon, even if they don’t use it against you or point it at you and you have never seen it.
- It is self-defence to kill someone if you think they might be considering buying a weapon.
What could persuade a normally sane person like Jon Stewart to fall for such crazy talk? Patriotism! Jon Stewart, like most other Americans, can’t stand the idea of his country behaving badly, so he joins in Bush’s delusions that allow him to deny the evil.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Joseph P. Kennedy III
Joseph P. Kennedy III (born:1980-10-04 age:36) is the grandson of the martyred Robert F. Kennedy. He is handsome, intelligent, energetic and a good public speaker. In another decade, he might be the Democratic nominee for president.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Judging a President
It makes no sense to judge a president based on how well the economy did. What you want to judge is how well his country did relative to other countries in the same global economic climate.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Judging a President
To judge a president, you need to compare his achievements compared with what was possible given the strength of the opposition.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Judging a Weapon
If the negative consequences of using a weapon are greater than any conceivable benefit of using the weapon, then you should not develop the weapon because, sooner or later, somebody will use it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Just How Stingy?
North Americans are stingy. How stingy are they? The would sooner see a kid go blind that spring $0.04 for a vitamin A capsule.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Just How Stingy?
North Americans are stingy. How stingy are they? The would sooner see a teen hack to death with tuberculosis than spring $20 for a medication to cure her.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Justification for Endless War
Retribution for the casualties in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in themselves have become sufficient emotional justification to continue the wars, which, of course, just creates still more casualties in a vicious circle. People forget there never was a legitimate reason to invade either country in the first place. Pride, not unlike that for a sports team, is now the primary motive for the slaughter of other people’s sons.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Our ancestors used torture in cases of suspected disloyalty to the crown and religious heresy. They believed the crime was so serious it justified punishment before conviction and tortured confessions to obtain convictions. Better that 100 innocents perish than one guilty man or woman go free. That same attitude lives today in America with their horror of crimes allegedly committed by hairy Muslims, including defending their own country from an illegal American invasion.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Sarah Palin is a featherweight, but she is successfully convincing Americans that trials are superfluous. Whether she admits it or not, she wants kangaroo trials to lynch suspected terrorists without soberly deliberating on whether they have the right man or determining precisely what they did. She wants only the appearance of justice.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Karl Rove Dilemma
What a dilemma to have an unscrupulous, crooked, dirty tricks political opponent like Karl Rove. If you don’t stoop to his level, he will beat you; if you do, you become him.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Keeping a Delusion Alive
Over ¾ of North Carolina Republicans believe President Obama is not a citizen of the USA. Granted 8% of them don’t know that Hawaii is part of the USA. There is no evidence of any kind to support this view. There is plenty to disprove it. The delusion survives solely because racists tell it to each other. Average and below average intelligence humans tend to believe what they believe their fellows believe. It has nothing at all to do with evidence. It works much the way dogs in a pack don’t think for themselves. They defer to the alpha leader.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Kettles and Pots
The USA has decided to stop tormenting Cuba, however, they are chastising them on the issue of human rights. Cuba is a dictatorship and certainly needs to improve its human rights, but the USA is hardly the one to guide them. Consider:
- President Obama claims the right to have anyone in the world, including US citizens, executed without trial, without disclosure, without warrant. He has effectively revived the divine right of kings.
- The USA tortures prisoners.
- The USA holds prisoners indefinitely without trial and without charge, held incommunicado.
- The USA snoops on all telephone and electronic communications of its citizens.
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- The USA snoops on all telephone and electronic communications of its citizens.
The Kids Running Things
The way I see it, the world is run by people who were in the second grade at the same time I was, or who had not yet even entered school. There is no need for me to feel any great awe at their opinions or authority. It is just us kids running things now.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Kill a Yankee — Donate to the NRA
Al Qaeda could be ever so much more effective if they shut down and gave all their income to the NRA which is successfully convincing Americans it is patriotic to shoot each other in the face.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Killing As Entertainment
We North Americans treat killing as casually as the Romans because it has become a form of entertainment. We are willing for the most trivial of reasons to kill, especially people in other parts of the world. But killing someone is a monumental crime. Not only do you deprive them of absolutely everything, you create a life-long aching hole in the lives of those that knew them or depended on them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Killing the Innocent
Why must people, when they are angry as hell and can’t take it any more, shoot innocent people? What happened to taking off your clothes and running down the street screaming?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In America, the most serious of all crimes is trespassing. You as a homeowner are expected to arm yourself and kill, on the spot, anyone who sets a toe onto your properly. Paper boys and meter readers You’d think; would need considerable extra danger pay. What other animal is as territorial as an American? Not even lions and wasps kill intruders; they just drive them off.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Koch and his Law
If billionaire Mr. Charles Koch were blocked by law from giving a politician $30 million, presumably Mr. Koch would be disconsolate. Why?
- Because his freedom of speech felt muzzled? He needed a $30 million megaphone to adequately trumpet his affection for the politician.
- He would have to resort to an illegal, much more dangerous under-the-table way to deliver the $30 million bribe to the politician?
If you think (1) then you agree with John Roberts, chief justice of the supreme court, the architect of the Citizens United decision that says money is free speech and thus billionaires may contribute as much as they please to political campaigns.
If you think (2) then you agree with me, that a $30 million contribution is obviously a bribe and it logically must come with strings attached even if the strings are just an implied There will be no more contributions like this if you don’t play ball and do what you perfectly well know I want you to do.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Lack Of Concern About BP Spill
The BP oil spill will have many times the economic impact on the USA than 2001-09-11. However, you won’t find congress willing to spend even a penny to prevent a recurrence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Only a few cranks would claim we would all be better off if there were no laws and people were allowed to rape, murder, steal etc. as they pleased. Yet oddly, nominally sane people often advocate that corporations should be totally unregulated. Corporations are made of people. People and corporations will not behave unless coerced.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Republican mantra is business, if left alone, would run things much better than governments do now. I think this highly unlikely. With government, the people running things are largely crooked, out for personal gain, but they are constrained by the fact they have to behave sufficiently well to get reelected. A businessman makes no bones that he has no other goal but extracting money from others by hook or by crook. He is trained in business school that ethics are for sissies. He is like a politician who is not running for reelection, who need not make even a pretence of doing the right thing.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Land claims are a political land mine. Consider:
- During the 1800s the British in Canada made treaties with the indigenous people, then unilaterally abrogated them, confiscating 90% or more of the land back. They deliberately infected the entire indigenous population with small pox to kill off 90% of BC’s indigenous population, then confiscated their land. Today the indigenous people want all their land back and compensation for the ill treatment in residential schools.
- Jews in 1948 claimed most of the middle east based on the fact that Jews inhabited some of the area 2000 years ago and their religious text gave them title to it. Over 20 groups have occupied it since then. The Ashkenazi Jews making the claim had no genetic relation to the Semitic Jews who originally lived there. They invaded and killed, ousted or enslaved the Palestinian Arabs living there. The Jews claim that territory as irrevocably theirs because they won the 1948 war and the later 1967 war when they expanded their territory.
- The Palestinians claim territory taken from them by Jews in 1948. At the time the world powers had signed a treaty banning such land grabs, but they did not enforce it against the invading Jews. Their claim is based on the fact they occupied the area for at least 300 years prior to 1948. The Palestinian situation is similar to the land disputes in Canada. The difference is the theft of land took place a century further into the past in Canada. The South Africans visited Canada to study their apartheid system with indigenous people. They copied it for South Africa. The apartheid system in Israel is similar to both Canada’s and South Africa’s.
- During WWII, the Canadian government forced Japanese Canadians to abandon their homes and property (mostly fishing boats) and live in internment camps. Children of those affected demand compensation.
One thing that makes land claims most intractable is the demand for indirect compensation. People litigate not about what happened to them, but what happened to an ancestor. The more generations pass, the bigger the pool of descendants who can claim injury.
The other thing that makes land claims intractable is war. The Israelis feel the territories they took in war rightfully belong to them. The Palestinians believe the lands still rightfully belong to them. You have two farmers each believing they have title to the same plot of land. Each has a legal document to prove it.
Here is a small idea that might help settle such disputes. We decide that you cannot sue for torts done to an ancestor, only for wrongs to yourself. If you personally did not feel the pain, you have no right to compensation. However, if, for example, somebody bombed your father’s home and you were scheduled to inherit it, you could sue. That would be the general principle in settling land claims. Hopefully, this principle would stop land claims disputes for going on for centuries. If you could get people to agree to that logic, it could take a lot of emotional wind out of the disputes.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Laugh Test
Hitler spent $270 billion attempting to conquer the world. The USA spend $741 billion trying to subdue Iraq. Yet Americans persist in claiming they harmed no civilians.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I would like it if there were a cyclical 30-year ongoing review of the entire base of law. Laws that were obsolete, illogical, inconsistent, religious taboos, unconstitutional… would be pruned and simplified.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
For the last 500 years or so, leaders have refrained from assassinating each other. However, recently, the USA has taken to assassinating leaders, at quite a clip, using remote-control Predator drones. It is only a matter of time until American leaders are assassinated at the same rate in reprisal.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you want to know my faults, don’t ask me; ask those who have to deal with me. In a similar way, if you want to get the dirt on your own country, don’t ask your leaders; don’t ask fellow citizens. Ask people in other countries. Getting all your information from fellow citizens is like a mutual bathwater-drinking orgy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Learning Has To Be Fun
I’ve taught kids. I have had ten year olds beg me to teach them trigonometry. I see my job as making learning fun for the kids. Most teaching is about turning kids off learning, especially in the sense of experimentation. Instead it is about regimentation, convenience for the teachers and administration. No wonder more and more kids are simply refusing to learn.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Leave Democracies Alone!
Democracy means letting a people choose their own leaders and form of government. You don’t interfere, even if you don’t like their choices. Americans use quite a different definition. Democracy means deposing a government not sufficiently friendly to American interests and replacing it with a puppet dictator who is. The dictator may even be the most corrupt politician on the planet, like Karzai. The appointed leaders normally hold American interests higher than their own country, like the leaders of Iraq.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In advanced mathematical probability theory you learn about a branch of mathematics called Lebesgue measure theory. It is a beautiful metaphor. Lebesgue discovered that when you add up even infinitely small things, sometimes the total is significant. This reminds people that even though politically most of us are for all practical purposes powerless, when we all do our insignificant acts, together they become a powerful force. More poetically, every blade of grass is needed to create a lawn.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
An American senator won his seat with but a single massive donation from a single corporation. Not surprisingly he dedicated his term to the interests of that corporation. That used to be a serious crime — undermining democracy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
American politics is so crooked it permits Republicans to place TV ads during Democratic primaries, while posing as Democrats, to attempt to get a weak candidate nominated. It is not just theoretical. Republicans did just that in the Arkansas 2010 senate primaries.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
With the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the USA made an unprecedented leap into unbridled corruption by making it legal for anyone, even foreign countries, even drug cartels, even terrorists, even gangsters, even OPEC (the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries), even enemy nations, even David and Charles Koch, even a Canadian like me, to anonymously donate unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns to both control the outcome and buy the politicians.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
During prohibition, bootleggers contaminated their brews with toxic substances in an attempt to make cheaper booze. We have the same problem today with street drugs such as ecstasy. The result is the same, teens die. The solution is the same, regulated, legal, production with standard purity and dosage and public education on the dangers.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When the prosecution bribes/threatens a witness with immunity/extra jail time to testify against someone, how is that any more just than a gangster bribing/threatening a witness to testify for someone?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Legal vs Illegal Marijuana
The difference between legal marijuana as sold in the Netherlands and illegal marijuana is the difference between Bombay Sapphire gin and prohibition era bathtub gin.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The most important result of the Supreme Court Citizens United decision was to legalise bribing politicians.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If alcohol or tobacco were invented today, they would stand no chance of legalisation.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Legally Anonymous Crooks
The crooked John Roberts Supreme court offered corporations and the wealthy the right to give unlimited funds to politicians on the grounds money was a form of free speech that constitutionally could not be limited. Then they gave them the right to anonymity. Free speech is the right to speak out publicly, not to scribble anonymously on construction fences. This is beyond crooked. This Silverado crooked.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If governments make a habit of legislating the end of labour disputes, the party whom the government favours will just drag its feet during negotiations waiting for the forced settlement in its favour. The net effect is encouraging all disputes to drag out endlessly.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Legitimate Uses of Assault Rifles
The purpose of an assault rifle is to kill a large number of people in a short time. It thus has no legitimate use.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Given that pharmaceutical companies routinely attempt to release ineffective or harmful drugs then face the lawsuits because this is the more profitable tactic, it is naïve to expect these companies to behave themselves with even less regulation than they have now.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Lesson Of Capitalism
You know your daughter has absorbed the prime lesson of capitalism — make the most money for the least effort, without concern for whom you hurt in the process, when she tells you she has become a prostitute.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Lesson Of Capitalism
You know your son has absorbed the prime lesson of capitalism — make the most money for the least effort, without concern for whom you hurt in the process, when he tells you he has become a drug dealer.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Let People Be
My basic rule is, you should let people do what they want, so long as they are not hurting others. That means you should let people have whatever kind of sex they want, you should let them smoke medical marijuana, you should let them use birth control, you should let them worship whatever gods they want, you should let them get assistance in dying when they are terminally ill… Just because something is yucky to you does not mean you should be able to block others from doing it who don’t find it yucky. On the other paw, There are many things we foolishly permit that are highly harmful to others, that I think we should block, such as dropping bombs on people, second hand tobacco smoke, releasing greenhouse gases, overfishing, conspicuous consumption of water and oil…~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Letting Corporations Pollute
Republicans have, with a straight face, suggested the best way to increase employment is to ignore the economists and allow corporations a free reign to pollute, cheat, adulterate, mislabel, contaminate and in every imaginable way harm the population in ways they believe might increase profit, and, of course, leave the costs of cleanup to the public. My company used to hire people all the time. I can’t think of a single time when hiring was motivated by a desire to destroy the planet or harm our customers.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Letting Lies Slide
If you let the press/media get away with lies, censorship or fawning shilling for corporate sponsors, you letting them nibble away at your democratic rights. You can’t have democracy without a vigorous and honest press.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Let’s kill all the lawyers
Most of the congressmen and senators in the US government are lawyers. Layers are trained to skilfully argue the case for their client, even when the client is wrong. This is not the skill you need for good government. You need a respect for truth.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
A Level Playing Field Is Unfair To the Rich
Republicans believe that a level playing field is unfair to the rich.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Liars Cannot Be Trusted
Any candidate willing to lie and compromise his integrity sufficiently to win the presidency can’t be trusted with the office.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Isn’t it odd that groups with the word liberty in their names are dedicated to blocking the human rights of others.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Libya vs Iraq
Compare Libya and Iraq:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
compare Libya and Iraq Libya Iraq Libya has oil. Iraq has more oil than anyone including, according to the latest estimates, Saudi Arabia. Gadafi threatened to accept gold and Euros for oil not just US dollars. Saddam threatened to accept Euros for oil not just US dollars. American primarily bombed Gadafi’s forces. American attacked the entire country. Even on the first day they bombed the residential neighbourhoods of Baghdad, live on CNN. Gadafi was killed without trial. Saddam was killed after a trial. Libya’s oil has not yet been sold off to European and American oil companies. Iraq’s oil has been sold off to European and American oil companies. American fought by air and drone without ground troops. Americans fought a ground war using torture and banned weapons. The war went on for 7 months and 25 days. The war has dragged on for 14 years, 1 month and 8 days.
The US Supreme court ruled politicians may tell all the lies they please in political ads. Why does anyone pay them the least attention?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Lies Bigots Tell
The right wingers in Arizona promoting laws to suppress Hispanics and immigrants claim they have not a racist bone in their bodies. Why then to they lie about crime statistics trying to make it sound as if immigrants are highly likely to behead you if not worse? This is the exact same thing the KKK did to blacks trying to stir up hate.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Lies that Kill
If Mr. A lied that Mr. B had just raped and murdered your child and you in a rage beheaded Mr. B, who is at fault? You, Mr. A or Mr. B? Similarly when FOX news tells lies about various politicians that so enrage the voters that some of them threaten to kill or attempt to assassinate those politicians, who is at fault, FOX news or the enraged voters?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Life Options of the Sadistic Pedophile
A sadistic pedophile has four basic options:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- White knuckle his urges. Content himself with pornography.
- Attack children in his home town and have a police team track him down and jail him where he will be tortured and killed.
- Join the priesthood and trust the hierarchy to cover for him.
- Join the army and head off to combat where he becomes a god with power of life and death over his victims and their families. He can rape, torture and murder to his heart’s content. If he is lucky, the president will give him a distinguished service medal. There is almost no chance he will face consequences for his crimes.
Life Without Building Codes
Tea Party members resent civic governments imposing building codes. They should at least visit Katmandu, a city without such regulation, to see what life is like without such interference, especially just after an earthquake.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Life Without Government
If you buy the Republican line that we would all be better off if the government stopped regulating corporations, try visiting countries in Asia where governments do just that or a failed state like Somalia. The pollution is choking. The safety conditions appalling. The wages, below subsistence. The environment, utterly despoiled.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Life Without Public Schools
Tea Party members resent paying taxes for public schools. Perhaps they should visit a third world country without public schools to check if that is really what they want.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Life Without Traffic Regulations
If you truly think all laws and regulations are an imposition on your freedom, visit India. They apparently don’t have and traffic regulations. It is utter chaos. The most afraid I have ever been in a car was in taxi in Mumbai.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Like a Spiteful Wife
Teabaggers taking over the Republican party remind me of a spiteful wife in a divorce dispute who got the house only to burn it down.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Limbaugh Smears the Dead
Rush Limbaugh is best known for telling lies about living people. Now he has taken on the late great economist John Maynard Keynes misrepresenting him completely. That is really underhanded since Keynes cannot defend himself.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Limit To Growth
The planet should only have to bear as many new humans as it can support.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The lineup is fundamentally flawed. The witness will pick the person in the lineup who looks most like the culprit. This will nearly always be the suspect, innocent or guilty, simply because any suspect would have been eliminated if he did not look very much like the description of the culprit. To play fair, you need a lineup of people who look similar to the suspect, in other words, all the people in the lineup should match the description of the culprit.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I heard a politician stumping for a proposition ostensibly to more strictly control sale of liquor to minors, but what he was actually stumping for was closing government liquor stores and having liquor sold in gas stations and corner grocery stores. One study discovered minors could successfully buy liquor from gas stations four out of five times. Some people have no shame. There is no mechanism for the public to stop this deception.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Listening to ISIS
Freedom of speech and freedom from censorship includes the right to listen to voices of the official enemies of the state such as ISIS. Censoring them just gives them validity and power.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
As I approach the last phase of my life, it could be depressing to reflect on how little progress I have made on my life goals:
- equality for gay people. (This one actually went much better than I expected.)
- preserving the environment.
- ending war, economic exploitation and political bullying.
- ridding the planet of religious superstition.
- ending hunger.
- reducing the population to a sustainable level by non-violent means.
- hastening the evolution of computer languages.
At best, I might have completed 1/1,000,000 of the necessary work to make a deep dent in these problems. However, that means if even 1 in 7,000 people worked as hard as I did and the rest of humanity sat on their butts and did absolutely nothing, the job would be complete by now. The catch is, of course, that the rest were not content to sit on the sidelines. They strived to make the problems worse, usually as a side effect of personal greed or vanity. I discovered, for example, there are more powerful people in favour of world hunger than there are in favour of harassing homosexuals.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Living Next To The USA
The most depressing thing about my life is living next door to an extremely wealthy country that attacks other nations unprovoked, steals their resources, revels in the suffering of their own citizens and exalts excess, greed and environmental destruction, all the while feeling profoundly and smugly virtuous about their behaviour.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Living To The Right Of the Truth
In most countries, the truth lies some where in the middle of all the opinions of all the people. In America, nearly all the people hold opinions far to the right of the truth. This is a side effect of living in a plutocracy/corporatocracy where the corporations professionally manipulate public opinion.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Lobby the Corporations
Given that corporations own the politicians, would it not make more sense to pressure the corporations than lobby the politicians?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Local vs Foreign Demonstrators
Did you ever notice that the media portray anti-government demonstrators as heroic, but when the demonstrations are here in North American, they become hooligans.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Economists have an odd view of what is desirable. To them, the purpose of life is to increase economic activity, any activity, even including things like more vandalism repairs, more funerals, more pollution, more soil erosion, more deforestation, conspicuous consumption, more hospital care, inefficiency, waste… I call this locust mentality. Economists refuse to notice how their frantic efforts to stimulate short-term economic activity destroy the very substrate the enables sustained economic activity. They refuse to look even a decade into the future about how their actions harm economic activity, much less the environment or human welfare.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Longer Tours Mean More Atrocities
The attraction of the military is it let’s the recruit lord it over others, bully them, torture them, rape them, extort them, even kill them with little chance of repercussion. For military to work, you need extremely strong discipline to counter these tendencies. With familiarity, discipline tends to break down. That is why the longer the tour of duty the more the atrocities.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Look at Others
Debaters love to speculate on what would happen if BC legalised marijuana. There is no need. We are not the first jurisdiction to contemplate such a change. Go to the Netherlands to see how their system works. It is so much better than what we are doing. I did not see addicts or homeless people there, the way I do in Victoria. Their system keeps kids away from the dangerous drug-dealers. Ours throws them into their arms.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Look on the Bright Side
The American public rewarded the Republican party for its irresponsible behaviour shutting down the government by giving them control of both the house and senate. Look at the bright side:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- The Republicans may get a dose of their own filibuster medicine.
- The American public may blame any worsening conditions caused by the Republicans on the Republicans.
- The threat of Republicans repealing medical care will start people appreciating what a good thing it is.
- With the Roberts supreme court decision, no politician who refuses to auction his votes off to large corporations can get elected. It really does not matter which party wins, the same corporations are in control.
Looking Out For Each Other
In a frontier society, you help your neighbours when they get in trouble and in turn they help you when you get in trouble. A taxpayer supports the government through thick and thin. It seems only fair the government should help out the taxpayer when he has trouble rather than deriding him as a deadbeat. The number one reason why humans have prevailed is that we look out for each other. Chimps are almost identical to us, but they can’t do that one thing.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Conservatives notice that punishment helps deter anti-social behaviour, so they reason harsh punishment should work even better. They know this in their guts. They ignore any scientific evidence to the contrary. They like punishing people on any pretence, especially blacks, gays and Hispanics. Why doesn’t it work? Consider the Afghan war. Americans and Canadians tortured, used banned horror weapons such as radioactivity, white phosphorus and napalm. They removed limbs, raped and killed the wives and children. Yet the Afghans fought back all the harder. Why? They perceive the Americans and Canadians as devils — minions of Satan. They feel morally obligated to oppose them. The same thing happens when the legal system is too heavy-handed and perceived as unfair. There are many more efficient ways to discourage anti-social behaviour than brutal incarceration. Conservatives are not interested. They like it when people behave in anti-social ways because it gives them an excuse to exercise their sadistic impulses.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Lowering The Bar
After the escapades of the Bushes Jr. and Sr. all a president has to do now on a foreign visit is avoid getting drunk, throwing up on his hosts and starting a war then the public think he has just walked on water.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Lowering The Bar
The Tea Party has lowered the bar in election advertising. The name of the game for them is to make up plausible lies about their opponents and repeat them endlessly, no matter how many times they are debunked. With sufficient money for ads from anonymous corporations and hostile foreign countries, they can easily overwhelm the truth.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Nothing corrupts morality faster than team loyalty.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Lust to Fight
We humans have a fundamental problem. We love fighting and violence too much. We do it as instinctively as penguins pecking at another penguin that comes too close to the nest. Whenever a human gains absolute power, he immediately uses it for sadistic purposes. Whenever a politician gains enough power, he starts a war. The TV channels are mostly about killing and imaginative mayhem, simulated as realistically as possible. Even ostensibly non-violent sports are souped up with brawls. With violence-magnifying technology, this lust to fight inevitably will bring about our extinction.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When I was a teenager I was shocked that American racial bigots would be so brazen about spewing their ignorant poison and hate. They had no shame. Today, I feel nauseous watching pious American Christians repeating complete fabrications and wild rumours to justify persecuting Muslims. They even have the nerve to pass this paranoid crap off as evidence in a formal lawsuit to block a mosque.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Machiavelli is credited with setting down the rules of hard ball politics. It might be more accurate to say he described the behaviour of the crime families of his day.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Madness of Crowds
Imagine living in pre-war Germany watching the rise of Hitler. It was obvious this guy was going to be very bad news, yet everyone was swept up in the emotion of flags, nationalism and bigotry. No matter what arguments you had that Hitler was a psychopath, people did not care. The excitement of crowds had already decided it for them. We have a similar situation today about Trump, who has flaws even Hitler did not. Trump is ignorant, inconsistent and unwilling to even consider the downsides of some plan he comes up with. He is totally self absorbed.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Majority Bigots Spitting on the Constitution
What do you do when the majority are religious bigots who scoff at the First Amendment and improperly use the law to enforce their superstitions on others?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If politicians blindly did what the majority asked them to, even monumentally stupid things, it should not take all that long for the majority to start demanding sensible policies.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Make It Clear To Immigrants
When immigrants come to Canada, we should carefully explain to them that Canada is much stricter about discrimination. You may not discriminate based on language, religion, sexual preference (i.e. whether they are gay) and caste. If they do so, they could be in trouble with the law. If they persist, they could be deported.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Male animals tend to be territorial, especially male humans. It is not only my house, my car, but my country, my political party, my church, my favourite movies, my skin colour, my sports team… If you have anything less than extravagant praise for these extensions of himself, he feels personally attacked.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
We consider betraying one’s country a serious offence. However, there are times when we consider it mandatory. For example, we expected the citizens of Nazi Germany to betray the Reich. To avoid betraying all of humanity or your planet sometimes you must betray, or at least oppose, your country.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Mandatory Safety Net
A social safety net is not a luxury. It is an absolute necessity for survival of our civilisation. Without it, you create fatal pressure for a population explosion. People plan for their old age by having at least half a dozen offspring to support them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If somebody said they wanted to drive on the left hand side of the road for religious reasons, or because they once read somewhere on the Internet it was safer, we would lock them up if they persisted. Refusing to get vaccinated can be considered attempted murder of your fellow citizens. We should tell people who refuse the jab for invalid reasons to smarten up or face jail time. Underneath is it probably just a fear of needles.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Nobody likes paying income tax, but we all pay them for the benefit of all. Ditto for vaccines. If you don’t get them, you can literally kill your neighbours, especially measles where on average each infected person infects 18 others.
So I suggest mandatory vaccines. You can get a doctor’s exemption, where he gives a reason on the certificate. I heard they cause autism from some anonymous bozo on the net is not a valid excuse. Neither is I don’t believe in them or they are against my religion — that last one is a lie since religions were founded prior to the invention of vaccines.
Status would be checked on entry to a school, a hospital and perhaps other places where there are large numbers of people. It would also be checked by your pharmacist against the Pharmacare database. You would not be able to get more prescriptions without getting your shots.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
As Nelson Mandela is beatified, we forget that the USA’s Reagan, Britain’s Thatcher and Germany’ Kohl all supported the white apartheid regime. Only Canada’s Mulroney (now discredited by scandal) supported Mandela.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
To the eternal shame of the Christian white folk in Alabama, they filled the swimming pools with cement rather than allow back people to swim there too.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Manipulating Through Lies
The primary technique of manipulation is telling lies. The manipulator promises that doing as he asks will lead to satisfying some strong basic drive or avoiding something feared. The satirical movie Idiotocracy lays the mechanism bare in its crudest form. The art reaches its peak in religious evangelism.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republicans have learned a filthy trick to control people from the Christians — make them feel guilty about perfectly normal sexual desire.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
During the Manson murders, one ordered another to kill. She did. There was no mercy, and no remorse. When I heard this I thought, That pretty much describes a garden variety kill by NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) forces in Afghanistan.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Who but Americans would simultaneously bomb Pakistan and send aid to help with the flooding?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Anti-marijuana debaters are usually confused. They usually debate Should you smoke marijuana? not Would we be better off if marijuana were legal or illegal? If we were contemplating making tobacco illegal, surely they would understand the difference between Should you smoke tobacco? and Would we be better off if tobacco were legal or illegal?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In the USA, marijuana is schedule 1, the most dangerous category, even though it is recognised as non-toxic and 36% less addictive than alcohol. However, concentrated THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the most important component of marijuana, Marinol, is schedule 2. Why? The drug companies call the shots. They want to sell Marinol. They can’t do that if people can buy a superior product for controlling nausea, marijuana, direct from the growers.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Marijuana Laws are Jim Crow Laws
Blacks and Hispanics are arrested 9 to 1 over whites even though marijuana use in by whites is higher (they are more prosperous) and whites are more numerous. It is a Jim Crow law used to bully blacks and Hispanics for reasons completely unrelated to marijuana use.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Marijuana Legalisation is Known Territory
Those who oppose the legalisation of marijuana lie that there be dragons, as if no country had ever before legalised marijuana. We know perfectly well what happens. We also know what happened in Canada and the USA before it was criminalised. Corporations, with vested interests, make bogus arguments heedless of the public good.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In 18 BC, the Roman Emperor Germanicus made it illegal to make your own wine in the provinces. He did this so that Italian wine merchants could sell wine at exorbitant prices. Those who make growing your own marijuana illegal have the same motive, but they rarely admit it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Marijuana Prohibition Is a Religious Belief
When bigots deny the people the right to smoke marijuana, what they are actually doing is trying to force their Puritanical religious beliefs on others. They do not respect the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream speech was not speech. It was a sermon, aimed at the largely black Christian audience. He delivered it in the stylised way of the southern preacher. He larded it with Christian references. He made people feel they were part of a struggle for freedom the equal of Moses leading his people away from Pharaoh (which did not actually happen).~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Tea Party claims that the US Federal Government has concentration camps they plan to use to kill over 90% of the population. They are partly right. The Federal Government are indeed planning on killing over 90% of the population, but they are going to effect the executions by doing nothing about global warming.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In my fourth and fifth years at the University of BC I studied a branch of mathematics called Measure Theory which could be described as the science of how infinitely tiny things can add up to something truly substantial. Gandhi described the principle in non-mathematical terms like this: Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.I applied the philosophy to gay liberation back in the 1970s with spectacular results. I try to instill it generally.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Meddling in Medicine
Red states in the USA are fond of meddling in medicine, mandating procedures and mandating what doctors should tell their patients even when that makes no sense to medicine or science. The legislators are trying to impose Christian superstition. Surely these actions are unconstitutional. However, no individual doctor can afford a constitutional challenge or risk challenging the state.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Meddling With The Pleasure Of Others
There are a number of services some people desperately want:
- lap dances
- massage with a happy ending
- surrogate mothers
- rôle playing sexual fantasies
- to smoke a marijuana joint
- to enjoy sex with someone of the same gender
- to marry someone of the same gender
- to be delivered from unbearable suffering of the final phases of a terminal illness.
- to use artificial hormones to let them plan when and if they want children.
There are people who are happy to comply. On the other hand, there are religious fanatics like Stephen Harper who imagine they should be intimately involved in every interpersonal transaction, so that they exercise their god-given veto power to enforce their personal taste and morality on others, even if they never meet either party. I consider this a mental illness. Harper and friends should not meddle in that which does not in the least concern them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Media Effect on Politics
In the interest of dramatic intensity, crime dramas have created ever more terrifying and cruel villains. There is a political side effect. When the man on the street is asked Should we have a zero tolerance death penalty for all drug dealers? what pops to mind? — a welfare mom selling marijuana on the side to people suffering from nausea in her apartment building or a child-raping, puppy-torturing, grandma-eating ghoul from the mind of Jerry Bruckheimer?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I have to hand it to the first nations people. They understand for a successful protest they have to prepare a feast for the media: colourful costumes, music, big crowd, people of all ages, poetry, ceremony, canoes…~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Media Portrayal of Activists
Screenwriters and actors don’t understand activists. The only way they can interpret them is as criminals.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Medical Marijuana Issue
The issue with medical marijuana is not safety. It has been tested for thousands of years. The issue is does it actually improve various diseases or does it just make the misery of disease easier to tolerate? It either case, it still has value.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Men Are No Longer Created Equal
Abraham Lincoln claimed that all men were created equal. Modern Americans no longer believe him. To them, non-Americans don’t count. When reporting the casualties of American-caused wars, American media report only American casualties. Afghan, Iraqi and Pakistani children, women, grandparents, teens do not count for anything. This is yet another example of the extreme conceit of Americans. They even have a word for it exceptionalism. It is the American version of the Nazi master race.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
From 1940 to 1960 the best selling prescription antidepressant was methamphetamine, yes crystal meth. This suggests much of the problem we have with meth is the side effects of its illegality and improper manufacture.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I don’t enjoy movie fiction about the military. The plots are mindlessly simplistic. The characters all despicable. There is no suspense since I do not care if the protagonists gets their heads blown off or not.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Look at the pie chart on the right showing military spending by various countries in 2010. Why on earth is the US spending almost as much as everyone else put together? Why is it spending six times more than its nearest rival? Americans seem to think even this level of expenditure is not enough? Why are they so paranoid? Do they imagine the entire world is going to gang up on them at once? Surely not. The UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan would surely come to its aid bringing their militaries to bear forming an overwhelming force. The explanation is a dirty secret. This military is not for the defence of the USA. It for maintaining a globe-spanning economic empire. The USA is like a modern day Rome, controlling the entire known world and extracting tribute in the form of cheap manufactured goods and cheap raw materials. How else do you explain that the lion’s share of the earth’s goods flow to the USA to be consumed? That military ensures nobody gets too uppity and interrupts the flow. The dictators most likely to be assassinated or deposed are those who put the interests of their people over those of the USA and American corporations. The CIA goes after people like Castro, Noriega, Chavez, Allende, Mosaddegh, Ibarra and installs compliant bastard dictators like the shah of Iran, Suharto, Augusto Pinochet, Anantosio Somoza, Anwar Sadat, Jonas Savimb, Mobutu Sese Seko and the House of Saud of Saudi Arabia. Americans are devising satellites and drones that can, at the press of a button, wipe out any source of resistance anywhere on earth. Americans want absolute power to hold the rest of the world under their thumbs. Personally I think it would be best if they were taken down a few pegs to stop them from achieving that.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The odd thing about militiamen is they are willing to kill fellow Americans over their differences in political opinion, but are often unwilling campaign or even to vote to throw out the politicians they disagree with.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In an earlier time politicians capitalised on hatred of Jews and blacks. Today, they use gays and Latinos. They are the same unscrupulous bigots.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Only millionaires can afford to run for the house or senate in the USA. Who else can afford to take months off work and pay for all the attack ads? No wonder the first order of business for them is tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires even if it puts the country dangerously deeper in debt.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It has got so bad, I can’t off the top of my head think of a time in the last five years when a Republican told the truth about anything. They rely completely on repeated assertion to grind lies into the public consciousness.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Minority Group Names
Groups keep renaming themselves. Bigots use the old short name. Supporters use the new long, abstract, hard-to-understand-what-it-means names. Gay people are the exception. They have abandoned homo and fag to the bigots, but reclaimed gay and queer for themselves.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans are only 4% of the world’s population, but they believe they have the right to unilaterally make all the major decisions for the planet.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Rich elites can’t help themselves from squeezing the public for a larger and larger share of the wealth pie. They also like to restrict the freedoms of the public, and make their lives miserable motivated by a general spite fueled by the elite belief in their own inmate superiority. Eventually life for the general public gets so unpleasant, that they rebel and kill their masters. The French revolution was the classic example. Mathematicians now have equations called catastrophe theory to help explain how this happens. Right now, this process is running away in the USA with the wealth gap opening up like a giant chasm.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There are two kinds of people who create misery on a grand scale:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Sadistic mass murderers like Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
- People whose breeding leaves behind more than a replacement number of children.
To work, a democracy needs an informed electorate, or at least with enough informed voters to sway elections. Totally ignorant voters do little damage. They vote all over the map and cancel each other out or vote as informed voters ask them to. However, today, corporations like FOX News create large numbers of deliberately misinformed voters, who then vote for policies that hurt the country for the benefit of narrow interests.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Politicians are wildly applauded for wild promises about what they will do. They are rarely applauded for what they have accomplished. This suggests the public have naïve notions of what is possible.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
American Muslims are the #11 terrorism threat to the USA. But bigotry makes Americans focus all their attention on them, ignoring the ten more dangerous groups.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans spend $2 billion a week on the Afghan war. As of 2011-06-23 1600 of their soldiers have been killed. Americans accidentally killed well over a million of Afghan civilians. Yet nobody can give a coherent reason why all this bloodshed is worth the cost. The US military claims there are at most a couple of dozen Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Seals have already assassinated bin Laden in Pakistan. It is bizarre that Americans are closing schools, firehalls and police stations, tossing the unemployed onto the street, kicking ill people out of hospitals etc. to fund this firehose of money whose only beneficiaries are criminal corporations like Xe (Blackwater/Monsanto) and Halliburton.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Because of the Christian influence, most Americans would far sooner punish secular pedophiles who had never actually touched a child (but looked at pornographic pictures) than protect children from being raped by priests.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Misplaced Trust In The Military
People trust the military even more than politicians, even though they know perfectly well, every time democracy is overthrown, it is the result of the military abusing its power.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Mistakes Were Made
Mistakes were made is a red flag that some politician is trying to slither out of taking responsibility for some wrongdoing.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republicans are the ultimate perverts. Their brain wiring is scrambled so that they think anything that feels good is evil: sex, caring, fresh air, exercise, a joint…~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Mitch McConnell, Republican minority leader in the senate, pretending he wants to save medicare would be more believable if:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Many Republicans had not publicly stated they wanted to eliminate medicare altogether.
- He did not want to use all the savings from drastic cutbacks in services to give to billionaires rather than putting it in the medicare lockbox.
- He had some interest in reducing costs. Republicans voted to prevent the government from doing bulk purchases or negotiating discounts on medical supplies.
- He were willing to share the pain of increased costs equally. He wants to dump 100% of the increased costs on seniors who are least able to absorb them.
Mitt Romney’s Tailor
A commentator on the second Republican debate announced that Mitt Romney looked presidential. He intended this as high praise. To me, he is complimenting Romney’s tailor, not Romney. How he was dressed is just about the least important feature of his performance. That could easily be fixed if it were deficient.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Mixed Race vs Same Sex Marriage
It was not that long ago when meddling, busy-body bullies wanted to block the marriages of mixed race black and white couples. They demanded we all bow down to their false bigoted god and give them the right to interfere simply because we had mindlessly done so in past. We now know them for what they were, ignorant, bullying, meddling, spiteful, petty, cruel, stupid and arrogant. We no long cave in to those bigots. But then why are the electorate knuckling yet again to these meddlers with their latest demands to interfere with other people’s marriages that do not concern them in the least — namely ones between same sex couples?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you ever watch mobs, it becomes blindingly obvious how much human behaviour is influenced by what people see everyone else doing. I would expect the same effect from watching other humans on TV. Have you ever wondered why the behaviour of the average American has so markedly dumbed down and why the ethic of helping your neighbour has all but disappeared?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
One of the most ghastly facts of life is that ordinary people, when part of a mob, lose all compassion and will happily tear babies apart and rape children. Nearly everyone is in denial that this also applies to soldiers.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Dictators and emperors do not have the check of a body of peers. They tend to behave erratically. When polytheisms degenerate into monotheisms, you have the same problem with the emperor-god.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Granted, Castro is a dictator, but as dictators go, he is reasonably benign and popular with his people. Yet Americans have focused almost all their assassination efforts to kill him. Further, they have, for decades, been doing all they could to make the Cuban people miserable, too. How come must nastier dictators such as Robert Mugabe and the Sudanese generals don’t rate this treatment? Similarly, Americans oddly hate and fear Hugo Chavez, who enjoys higher popularity ratings than Obama in his own country. He sold cheap heating oil to freezing New Yorkers. What a monster!~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
A monument is the most wasteful thing you can do with public property. You can’t use the land for anything, The land is tied up forever. After a few decades, the people who find it meaningful die or lose interest.
Any monument from the 1960s is a stylistic embarrassment. That is the fate of all monuments.
Go look at Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC Canada. It is littered with monuments that are meaningless to any living person. I suspect any other large city park would be the same way.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I was surprised at my horror at the Americans allowing the body of Gadafi to decompose. Logically it was just a piece of meat. Yet I know how superstitious Americans are about corpses and how they normally treat them with exaggerated respect. By letting Gadafi’s corpse rot, they were signalling their willingness to violate their own strongest taboos to express their contempt. They were also willing to spit on Muslim taboos as well which require burial within one day of death. It was as if they had broken the taboo against cannibalism. It is a sign of moral breakdown.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
More Prisons Mean More Crime
Attempting to combat violent crime with prisons is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline. Why? Prisons teach non-violent criminals to become violent since violence is the only way to survive in a prison. In prison, there are plenty of hardened criminals to teach violence to the younger generation. For a start, we should segregate violent and non-violent prisoners.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
More of the Same Poison
Republicans seem to think the entire populace is brain damaged. When they had power under Bush they gave massive tax cuts to the wealthy and deregulated corporations. The result was massive unemployment. Now they have the cheek to recommend more of the same to cure the unemployment problem. That is like prescribing cyanide to cure a case of cyanide poisoning.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Most Common Immorality
The most common immorality is to judge your own country through rose-coloured lenses and every other country without them. The most common type of rose-coloured lens filter out all wrongdoing and everything less than perfect.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Most Expensive Experiment
The most expensive scientific experiment of all time, the hadron collider in Geneva Switzerland cost $10 billion less than 1% of the cost of the Iraq war.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Motivation for Climate Denial
Right wing Americans deny that their CO₂ emissions are causing climate change, not because they have studied the science, but because denying climate change is a criterion for belonging to the Tea Party. They don’t realise that the reason their party promotes this strange belief (which is contrary to mainstream science discovered by the great Swedish chemist and Nobel prize winner, Svante (ions) Arrhenius back in the 1800s) is because big oil funds their party. Big oil wants to delay the switch to clean energy as long as possible.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Motive For Assassination
When a political figure is assassinated, it is not necessarily because anyone wants to punish him. It is because an individual or group want to stop him from doing more of the same.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Motive for Emancipation
The South’s agricultural economy required mind-numbing repetitive physical labour. The North’s economy did not. Lincoln decided to free the slaves a tactic of war. Emancipation was not the original purpose for the war. The North cannot thus claim any great moral superiority.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Motive For Flogging
A group a Canadians is trying to bring back flogging because it is beneficial for the prisoners We know perfectly well flogging did not deter crime when it was standard. These advocates are dishonest. They want flogging because thinking about flogging gives them stiffies. They don’t give a hoot about the prisoners or deterring crime.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Motives To Snoop
The government snoops on the Internet porn viewing habits of its citizens for the same reasons the pervert FBI director J. Edgar Hoover spied on Martin Luther King’s sex life. The two motives are:
- prurient interest.
- wanting to intimidate citizens for political control.
If they were truly interested in the welfare of the porn models, they would go after the porn sites, not the people who harmlessly view the freebie ads.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Mourning For Democracy
What if the Harperites in Canada were able to, thin slice by thin slice, erode democracy so that very gradually, complete legally, it became unrecognisable from what we used to call democracy in 1970 would we say that the great Canadian democracy experiment was a worthless failure? The people in 1970 enjoyed it no less than had it lasted 1000 years. To them it was a success. The failed democracy in ancient Greece lasted over 300 years. For many people it too was a success.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I have seen movies about life going back thousands of years of most parts of the world except where I live, Victoria, BC Canada. For some reason people who make movies think nothing of interest could ever have happened here in BC before the coming of the white man.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Politicians claim to be time lords. They claim we must vote for them to move forward into the future. I thought that would happen anyway. They remind me of Aztec priests who convinced the populace their ceremonies were necessary to make the sun rise each day.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If someone is murdered, there nothing that is going to salve the pain. People may imagine finding the body or convicting the killer will work, but it will not. We must put more effort into preventing murders rather than relying on punishing the culprit.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Murder is Arrogant
It is such an arrogant thing to take another’s life. All we get at best is 80 years, which sounds like a long time, but the time between 20 and 80 seems like just a few months. When you kill somebody you are taking absolutely everything. Stealing time by murder when there is so little is like stealing pennies from the cup of a homeless person. It is inexcusable.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Murder as Entertainment
Have you noticed that nearly all TV dramas are about grisly murders usually with a side of torture? How Roman!~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Murder Mysteries Deceive
In TV crime shows, the culprit almost always confesses, or is caught red handed. In real life, the proof is never that clean. Unfortunately, juries expect every loose end to be tied up. The jury seems to think it has to understand and prove every step of the murder, Perry Mason or Hercule Poirot style. All they have to do is determine that no reasonable person could doubt guilt, i.e. that there is no other reasonable explanation for the body of facts.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Murder Outside the USA is OK
On 2011-03-11, a US soldier in Afghanistan murdered 9 children and 7 adult civilians. His punishment will probably be just a reprimand or a few months in jail. He won’t be sentenced to life in prison as he would had he committed the crime back in the USA, or the beheading required by Afghan law. Why? Christopher Hedges interviewed hundreds of soldiers returning from the middle east. He wrote up what they had to say in Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians. You can also get it as an audio book from your local library. It turns out US soldiers murdering civilians, children and pets for entertainment is commonplace. The other reason, which Mr. Hedges also documents, is American racist/religious hatred for Muslims.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Muslim vs Christian Violence
Not once have Muslims ever attacked me. I have travelled in Muslim countries. There are a large number of Muslims living in my apartment block. Christians, however, have threatened to kill me thousands of times, simply because I am gay.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Is it the government’s job to protect the people from corporations or corporations from people? They act as if were only the latter. This is because politicians do what those who give them the most money ask of them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
My Personal Bullies
As an adult, doing gay lib, I received about 400,000 abusive calls and 3,200 death threats. Because I wrote an anti-war essay in the form of a letter to the ghost of a Canadian soldier, Ottawa talk show host Lowell Green put out a fatwa on me and broadcast my home address and phone number.
This was popcorn compared to what I put up with as a kid starting in 1955, being beat black and blue every day from grade 2 through grade 8, sometimes set on fire, being spat on, having my belongings destroyed, by gangs of 4 to 6 boys two years older than me. On one occasion, they attacked my newly purchased pet turtle at the Park Royal shopping center.
Adults refused to help. The principal chastised me for my lack of compassion for the two ring leaders who had the misfortune to have divorced parents.
I tried all the advice I was given. Nothing worked. Eventually I resorted to treachery and tricked one bully into blinding himself with lime and another into getting close enough to a cliff for me smack him over the edge. That permanently got those two off my back (they recovered), but there were still at least ten more.
I hear well-meaning people on the radio and on the Internet wanting to do something about bullies. However, they see bullies as they look, misguided, adorable little angels. But they are cruel, malicious and unscrupulous as any serial killer villain on the TV show Criminal Minds. You are not going to get anywhere with heart-shaped balloons and pink teddy bears or help lines for victims to commiserate. Look how insanely violent I had to be to deter them!
We need four things:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Teaching children they have a strong moral obligation to do whatever they can to intervene in bullying: filming, reporting, witnessing in court, condemning, threatening, even ganging up and beating the pulp out of the bullies…
- In law, treat bullies as if there were adults doing the same thing to little old ladies. If little old ladies should not have to put up with being beaten up, neither should kids.
- Allow children (possibly later as adults) to sue their bullies or their parents, just as they can sue their sexual abusers.
- For cyberbullying, teach children how to block/hide message from bullies, use spam/blacklist filters on email, to resist the temptation to use Google to go searching the web for insults and how to report abuse to get bullies barred.
Here are some hints for people coining the names of new political groups:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Check if the acronym has other meanings, e.g. CRAP (Canadian Reform Alliance Party), a real life blunder by what are now known as Harper’s Henchmen.
- Look up each individual word to see if it has other meanings or other connotations. For example Front and Syndicate are unfortunate choices.
- Look up everything in other languages. Avoid the Swedish word for enema, another real world blunder.
- Check what comes up when you put the proposed acronym into Google. Ideally nothing.
- Check the proposed name and acronym with a variety of people to see what associations it has.
Republicans love to whine about the nanny state however, ironically they came up with a law to make it illegal for welfare recipients to use food stamps to purchase seafood, steaks, cookies, candy or energy drinks.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) on a Budget
Because of the recession, Romney wants to make major cuts, not just in government, but even in sports such as NASCAR. The low-cost replacement will use coloured lasers to project 3D images of cars with corporate logos, running round the track. Misters of burning oil will provide the authentic NASCAR scent. A THX sound system will provide authentic NASCAR sounds. It can accurately simulate the position of dozens of moving sound sources. The drivers will be confined to a booth above the crowd where they will use sophisticated computer-controlled driving simulators, similar to those used to train new drivers. At random intervals of approximately 30 days, a computer will select a lucky driver. He is sprayed in gasoline, set alight and has to run a gauntlet of interesting challenges in the middle of the track. He has a roughly 10% chance of getting through the gauntlet and having his flames extinguished. By sending $2 cellphone text messages, the crowd can influence the difficulty of the gauntlet to make it more or less difficult.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Nation of Chumps
When American corporations trick their customers into signing clauses giving up their right to sue and to submit to binding arbitration by a arbitrator selected and paid for by the company who 90% of the time rules for the company, you have to say, what a nation of chumps.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It was a revelation when I saw my lover’s eyes tear up on hearing the Philippine national anthem. It had not properly sunk in that other people love their countries just as much as I love mine, even when that country is wracked with poverty. Conversely, when others hear patriotic songs about America, they may sound like Deutschland Über Alles.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The National Disgrace Candidate
Sarah Palin in her history lesson on Paul Revere sounds as if she were drunk or overdosed on Rohypnol. She could not run a grocery store, much less a country. The very fact such a twit is even considered a candidate makes a mockery of democracy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
People have a natural tendency toward selfishness. In most countries, the national philosophy attempts to counteract this by extolling acts of co-operation and selflessness. However, in the USA, corporations have hijacked the national philosophy and replaced it with one encourages selfishness as the prime virtue. This leads to each segment of the population working to screw all the others. The national philosophy has morphed yet again from selfishness to malice. This collapse of values is at the core of all the American national problems.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In the 1930s the Nazis were a fringe party. They obstructed and disrupted government meetings to ensure nothing could get done. Remind you of anyone?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Democrats are eternally naïve when running against Republicans. They refuse to accept that Republicans will use any form of cheating imaginable, including murder. They will even cheat knowing a certain percentage of the time they will get caught. The Democrats are like Charlie Brown trusting Lucy van Pelt not to snatch away the football this time. In Canada, we have Republicans-lite, called Conservatives who are similarly without scruples.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
F.B. Eye is a charming little American political propaganda drama on TV. I had to laugh when in one episode the North Koreans were attempting to buy fissionable materials. One F.B.I. agent speculated they needed it to build a bomb for a first strike on the USA. Huh? If they did that, the USA would retaliate leaving North Korea a sea of glass. The agent conveniently forgot Bush’s promise to annihilate North Korea in his axis of evil speech. They need a nuke or two to deter the USA. It is working. The USA conquered and plundered Iraq. It had no nukes. North Korea has fended off invasion, with only the feeblest nuclear deterrent.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In negotiations, if each party values his opponents concessions as gains and his own as losses, each is bound to perceive his sacrifice as greater.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
A Neighbour’s House fire
I don’t think Americans yet understand that if their neighbour’s house is on fire, it is to their advantage to see it is put out quickly, lest it spread to their home and that if a neighbour is being robbed, that it to their advantage that the robber is quickly apprehended and that if their neighbour has tuberculosis, it is to their advantage that he gets immediate treatment, even if he is an illegal immigrant.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Never Calling on BS
The American notion of fair and accurate reporting is to allow lunatics from both the left and right to rant without calling them on their BS.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Never Vote For A Christian
If I had a choice, I would never vote for a Christian. Such a person is too stupid and too gullible to lead. They believe any nonsense they are told. They don’t make decisions based on evidence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
New Laws Don’t Necessarily Reduce Crime
Creating new laws does not necessarily reduce crime.
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Unless the budget for enforcement is increased, the new laws take away resources from enforcement of existing laws. If you raise the age of consent to 21, you take away resources from prosecuting cases where the child was 12, resulting in an increase in the more serious crime.
- Making marijuana illegal has the effect acclimatising smokers to transactions with drug dealers, who then attempt to sell them more dangerous drugs, ironically resulting in an increase in more serious crime.
If you ever read what you supposedly said quoted verbatim in a newspaper, ever after, you will take anything you read there with a large grain of salt.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The founding fathers argued over the cost of mailing newspapers. One extreme argued they should be subsidised, so that a newspaper was 1/24 the cost of a letter. The other extreme including George Washington and Madison argued they should be free. They wanted to ensure even the most extreme views were represented.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Nigger Go Home
In the civil rights days, whites held up posters saying Nigger Go Home. This was so ignorant. Most of the blacks had deeper roots in America than those waving the posters.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Nixon Flipped the Republicans
How did it happen that the Republican party of Lincoln that freed the slaves became the party of bigotry and segregation hated by blacks? It was Richard Nixon’s doing. He formed an alliance with segregationists such as Strom Thurmond. Democrats like Kennedy and Johnson were so solidly pro-civil rights, that Nixon felt his only chance was to champion the opposition.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Nixon trounced McGovern. He did it by, at the very last minute, promising to end the Viet Nam war, thus stealing McGovern’s main issue. The Americans preferred the blatant insincerity of Nixon. This bodes well for Mitt Romney, the ultimate flip-flopper, espouser of whatever is expedient here and now.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Think about the last time you had an argument with someone. You had no trouble at all coming up with a ton of arguments to support your stance, right? But watch Republican politicians debate. They simply lie and make stuff up. Don’t they have any arguments to support their position? This behaviour implies they don’t even believe their own blather. It implies they are espousing their position because someone bribed them to.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
No Case For Prohibition
Until science shows that marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol and tobacco, the government has no case for prohibition.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
No Comments. No Questions
Right wing news outlets like NewsMax don’t provide their readers any way to comment on the stories. They don’t want anyone questioning their lies or their spin. They don’t even want anyone thinking or discussing the issues they bring up from a right wing perspective. They think of their readers as milk bottles to be filled with sour milk.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The phrase no doubt is favoured by con men who want to persuade you without evidence because they don’t have any. Watch for it in the mouth of your local politician or preacher. Similarly watch for the word clearly.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Given the skullduggery that Karl Rove and the Republicans have stooped to in dirty campaign tactics I am surprised they have not yet been caught spiking the food and drink of Democratic campaign workers with food poisoning bacteria to put them out of action.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans are often frustrated by the three levels of government bureaucracy. They imagine they would be better off without any government at all. However, a short visit to Somalia which has tried that experiment, would instantly convince them otherwise.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
No Legacy Art or Architecture
With our age’s obsession with doing things as quickly and cheaply as possible, will it leave any legacy of significant architecture or art to future centuries?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In primitive times a group would discuss the course of action and come to a consensus on what was best for the group. If someone refused to go along, they could be ostracised. Today, we watch small political groups within the USA threatening to destroy the financial stability of the whole country if they don’t get their way. In climate change, countries refuse to do what is necessary to save the planet, citing short term economic excuses. The problem is, we no longer have a mechanism to exile those who can’t set selfish short-term interest aside.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, points out the cruelest thing you can do to an abused or crippled dog is to offer pity. The same is true of people. The holocaust is long over. It is time to move on. We should not encourage those indirectly harmed by it to wallow in self-pity, ditto 2001-09-11.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
No Privilege For the Rich
If you go to a town meeting, people line up at the microphones to speak or ask questions. Each person gets one crack at the microphone. Nobody questions this. Rich people don’t get 50 or 5000 cracks as they do when it comes to promoting their point of view via ads.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
No Purchase Order
If you sent an envelope containing nothing but a fat cheque, no purchase order, to a dozen different businesses, then sat back and waited for them to deliver the goods you wanted, most people would consider you stark raving bonkers. Yet this is exactly what Republicans propose doing — giving enormous cheques to billionaires and just hoping they will use the money to create jobs. Instead, the billionaires buy foreign luxuries, invest in the Chinese stock market, outsource existing jobs to India — all manner of things. Why would they feel obligated to create jobs unless it was an agreed part of the deal?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
No Taxes For The Rich
Greece and Spain let their rich citizens get away without paying taxes. Look where it got them. Romney wants to take the USA down the same path by taking more and more of the tax burden off the super rich.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Most animals have short non-lethal fights all the time. We humans consider such fighting in bad taste. Instead, we glorify lethal fighting on a massive scale that kills bystanders by the millions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Not All Votes are Equal
The principle that all men are equal means that all votes are equal too, but in the USA they are not.
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Citizens of Washington DC pay taxes but have no votes for senator or representative.
- Citizens of Puerto Rico pay taxes but have can vote only for a representative who is not allowed to vote in congress.
- Citizens of tiny states still get two senators, the same as giant states. This means the votes of people living in large states are watered down.
- The boundaries of congressional districts are drawn in bizarre ways to negate the effect of votes for the opposition party.
Not Died Yet
People who advocate nuclear overkill claim that since we have not all been killed yet, it must be a wise strategy. That is like some ditzy queen having unprotected sex claiming it must be safe since he hasn’t caught HIV yet.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Not Quoting Romney
You would think every newspaper and blogger commenting on Romney committing harakiri in public with his elitist comments about 47% of Americans being deadbeats would at least quote him. But they don’t. They are too eager to leap off into commentary.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Not So Free Presses
There is not much point in having a free press if all the presses are owned by a handful of wealthy like-thinking men who direct their employees to tell all the same lies.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Not So Intractable
Those who think the problems of the third world are intractable forget that in 1860, London streets were 1 metre (3.28 ft) deep in feces and the public water supply was contaminated with cholera. London got itself out of this mess without the benefit of computers, cellphones or modern medicine, tools available today to help the third world.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Not So Magic Birth
Though obviously it is a supremely magical moment for the parents when a child is born, we have discovered it as not quite as pivotal a point in development as we first thought. We can now nurture infants born vaginally or by C-section up to 16 weeks early when they weigh only 226.80 grams (8 oz). There is little difference between an infant raised inside or outside the womb at the same age from conception.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Not Support Vs Make Illegal
There are many things I wish people would not do such as teach Christianity to children, play hockey, box or fight in cages, but I would not support making them illegal. I suspect most conservatives make no such distinctions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Notwithstanding Clause
Canada has the Charter of Rights and freedoms that spell out the rights of citizens, much like the US constitution. However, it has a fatal flaw. The federal or a provincial government may enact a law that violates the charter. All they need do is invoke the notwithstanding clause and renew the law every five years. In theory, they could do any bigoted thing they pleased: put a tax the French language, ban Muslims from employment, put gays in concentration camps… To fight the bigots who devised this loophole, we should gradually phase it out by requiring a super majority of 60% then 80% then consensus then discarding it altogether. To violate the charter would require changing the charter.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
NRA Value Profit over Life
The NRA are such pigs they insist their right to profit from sales of weapons of mass destruction trumps the right of children to grow up.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Normally, in a democracy, the party with the most votes gets to run things for a while. If they are incompetent, the people turf them out at the next election and let someone else have a try. The Republicans have found a way to cheat. They use nuclear tactics to force the majority Democrats to enact Republican policies instead of their own. When the policies fail, the Republicans then blame the Democratic policies which were never tried or their own which they relabel as Democratic policies. After proving to themselves Republican policies don’t work, what will they try if they get into power?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
People wonder why on earth Iran might seek nuclear weapons. They forget President George W. Bush’s axis of evil 2002-01-19 SOTU speech transcript In it, he promised to annihilate Iraq, Iran and North Korea. North Korea rapidly developed nukes and Bush left them alone. Iraq did not and Bush invaded, occupied and plundered them. Acquiring nukes is rational. How else could Iran stave off attack? President Obama has never rescinded the annihilation promise.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Every once in a while I read in the news that some long-standing nude beach is being shut down. This is improper. The people at a nude beach have already voted with their attire what sort of clothing they want for their beach. The people who are complaining don’t even attend it. They are prudes who like controlling others and who enjoy depriving others. Why should these non-attendees have any say at all in whether clothes are optional?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Nukes Designed To Kill You
The map below shows nuclear weapons in 2002. The fatter a country is shown relative to its actual size, the more nukes it has. The USA is #1 with 240 times that of Pakistan. It is hypocritical of the USA to try to block other nations from acquiring nukes when it has so many itself.
© Copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan)~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The poor Republicans could find nothing to tar Obama, so they had to resort to making up stuff like the birther conspiracy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Obama Campaign Strategy
I think all Obama has to do to defeat any Republican rival is to keep pointing out he/she belongs to the same Republican party that abused congress to block recovery.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Obama Inflaming the Middle East
Obama gave bunker buster bombs to Israel, thus increasing the danger of the middle east bursting into nuclear war. Had Bush done that, people would have been screaming at his irresponsibility. But because Obama projects fatherly responsibility, he gets away with it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Obama Not So Pro Gay
Obama won the gay vote by promising to deliver gay civil rights. Then he stalled and stalled. Eventually the courts acted on don’t ask don’t tell and Obama appealed to keep DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) in place. He is against equal rights for gays. He out and out lied. He is a Christian. What did you expect?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Obama the Rabbit
Obama won the presidency by promising change, including a fair shake for the middle class and an end to wars. Then he acted like a rabbit, doing whatever Wall Street, the Republicans, the defence contractors… told him to. The alternatives are even worse, but that will not motivate those who put him in power to keep him there. Lyndon Johnson had to resort to blackmail to get legislation passed. That is a lesser crime than doing whatever the crooks ask you to.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Nearly all western countries have public health care that works many times better than the USA in terms of outcomes. (The USA is on par with Cuba). Others cost only ⅓ to ½ as much. Why don’t Americans use a single payer system like everyone else? Obama tried to give it to them, but the Republicans watered it down to something very expensive with terrible outcomes. Why did they do that? Because the medical lobby gave them large amounts of money to derail public health care. Why did the lobbyists do that? To make more money! The irony is the Republicans blame Obama for the high Obamacare costs when they are the ones who insisted on it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If Barack Obama grew up in Indonesia, then Hawaii, then went to Harvard, how did he end up with a Texas accent?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There are more whistle-blowers in prison under Obama that under any other president in history. You have to watch what a president does, not just what he says.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Obama’s Double Standard
Let me get this straight. According to Obama is perfectly OK for him to secretly and electronically spy on any American citizen and any foreigner, even when the materials spied on have nothing to do with the USA, but it is inconceivably wicked for China to do the same thing. Thinking you are a special case immune to the normal rules of society is sign of mental illness.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Obama is doing all he can to derail pipelines for Canada’s bitumen into the USA. Why? It keeps a number of constituents happy:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- America firsters. They don’t like seeing Canada getting all that American money.
- military. They don’t like being dependent on foreign sources of energy, even foreigners under America’s thumb like Canada.
- The fracking lobby. They don’t like the competition.
Republican racists try to disparage Barack Obama by making it sound as if he were spawned from some Kenyan witch doctor who died in some disgraceful way. His father won a full scholarship to Harvard. He became a Kenyan senior governmental economist. He was killed in an auto accident.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Obama’s current unpopularity is based on the fact he has not succeeded in kicking Republican butt. The people are even angrier with the Republican congress.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When Johnson announced he would not run again and when Nixon announced his resignation it came as a surprise. Both had seemed so utterly obdurate and so insensitive to pressure. Keep that in mind when trying to remove any other bastard from office.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When a politician in a $1000 suit, 45.36 kg (100 lbs) overweight, tells me that his policies are designed to help the poor by defunding programs for the poor to enrich the wealthy, he lacks credibility.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The western world, particularly the USA, is in the throws of an obesity epidemic. If you watch TV, you will see even actors and the people who make commercials are now commonly grossly overweight too. It is common to see people continuously guzzling litre-sized sugar drinks. Food, like drugs, becomes less satisfying the more ingested, which encourages still more consumption. A campaign to encourage people to cut back on food because it makes food taste better might have some success.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Does the death penalty decrease or increase violent crime? The question has an objective answer, but you will never discover it just by polling people for their ideology-based opinions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Does increased spending on nuclear weapons make you safer or put you more at risk? The question has an objective answer, but you will never discover it just by polling people for their ideology-based opinions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Obsolete Diplomatic Pouch
The diplomatic pouch is no longer needed. Any information can be sent securely electronically with one time pads, or on DVDs (Digital Video Discs). The diplomats should have the right to keep the contents of DVD s private. However, any paper, drugs, currency, explosives etc. should be fair game for inspection.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Obsolete Electoral College
Before computers, the complex electoral college system helped simplify counting the votes for president. It also discouraged the favourite son of the largest state from always winning the presidency. Today, its sole function is to improperly give votes in some states more weight than in others. In addition, the way it works now, Democratic votes in red states and Republican votes in blue states cannot, even in theory, have an effect on the outcome. It is time to switch to one man/woman one vote, regardless of where you live.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Occupy Movement Easily Distracted
How easily the occupy movement was distracted from demanding economic inequality to the right to camp out.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Officially a Plutocracy
On 2014-04-02 the US Supreme Court ruled that limits to campaign spending are unconstitutional. Limiting them would be like limiting the right to speak. The USA is now officially a plutocracy. Political power is now, officially, proportional to wealth.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69) source
Have you ever noticed that American presidents have no compassion at all for people living under dictatorships, except for dictatorships with oil?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Have you noticed the odd coincidence that the leaders of Canada and the USA are only interested in the civil rights of citizens who live in countries that have abundant oil.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Oil Motive Again
Why did the Americans offer significant aid to help topple Gadafi in Libya but offered no assistance to Syria? Libya has 47 billion barrels of oil and Syria has only 2.5.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Even with the recent temporary drop, Americans are up in arms at high oil prices and the way America is hostage to foreign oil. The biggest single buyer of oil on the planet is the US military. They have bid the prices up with their wasteful consumption of oil. An aircraft carrier gets about 58,804 l/100km (0.004 mpg). Using fuel efficiently and protecting the environment are simply not on the military’s radar.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
OK To Lie In The USA
In Canada, it is illegal to lie on broadcast news. In the USA, the supreme court of Florida ruled it is ok, since it is just entertainment. There are no FOX TV stations in Canada, though FOX channels are available on cable.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Old Age Support
There is no guarantee the government will provide you enough to stay alive when you get old, sick or disabled. Whatever support there is comes from people who flatly refuse to vote for politicians who don’t don’t care if you starve to death.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I would like to see the Olympics wound down somewhat. Why?
- It tricks host nations into bankruptcy, merely to show off. Nations like Brazil cannot afford this.
- Thousands of athletes drive themselves with superhuman effort to a task which ultimately does not matter at all. Imagine what could happen if that dedication were directed to something practical.
- Nearly always, the poor are driven from their homes to make way for the Olympic venues.
- A huge amount of construction and real estate is consumed for buildings used for only a few days. This is ecological waste.
- It is a magnet for terrorism.
One way to cut costs would be to host in multiple cities at once, using permanent venues.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
On Being Offended
There is a repeating pattern. Some group, Christian, first nations, gays, blacks… complain than some other group is doing something they claim degrades them. Then some high school bimbo will be interviewed on the radio who claims, our logo/song/… does not offend them. How would she know better than the people who complained? She is being ridiculous. She could claim:
- This should not offend them; they are being overly sensitive.
- We had no intention of offending anyone.
- Yes, it offends them, but that’s their problem. There is no law that says nobody can offend anyone else. They fully deserve the criticism.
There are politically correct people who make a living from being offended. They go out of their way to twist other people’s words and actions so they can interpret them as offensive.
There are people who fully deserve to be offended, like creationists, who spread lies about science, gays and global warming and who make wild claims about knowing what happens after death when they just made it all up.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Compare messages you and your friends send to the radio stations with the ones read on the air. The ones read on the air are nearly always vacuous, airhead, misinformed and vague. Apparently the station does not want anyone making points.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
One Man, One Vote
Australian Aboriginals were not permitted to vote until 1968.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
One Person One Vote
I would think one person one vote should be how the president is determined in the USA. Your vote should not depend on where you live. Anything else is a scheme designed to make the votes of some people count more than others.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
A one-party democracy is similar to a partyless democracy. Politicians in both compete primarily as individuals, rather than as parties.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Winning equal rights is not something you do once and for all. It is more like a perpetual relay race between those who believe in equality and the bigots who believe in special privilege for some group. Each generation runs the race the best it can then passes the baton onto the next generation.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When someone goes out of their way to insult you online, what are they hoping to achieve? It could just be to cause you the mental pain of rejection. You can deny them this by completely ignoring the post. They don’t even know for sure you read it. If you respond in a defensive or angry way, they get their emotional payoff. They may be trying to reduce you in the eyes of others. In that case you might treat them literally and point by point calmly demolish their putdowns. If all is well, they come off as silly, rash and shrill. However, if you succeed, they will be furious at the humiliation and will quite possibly dedicate their lives to trashing you. It is tempting to smash an irritating fly, but rarely the optimal strategy. The best strategy is praise for desirable posts. That seems to diffuse animosity.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Only Opinion Virgins Need Apply
With the Internet, it is difficult to be a political candidate. Anything silly or embarrassing you did on video in the last 20+ years can be dredged up out of context. Any opinion you voiced that was not 100% in accord with the current party platform can be used to prove you are a flip flopper. Any unpopular opinion you ever held on any topic can be used to prove you are a rabid extremist. You private life is an open book for prudes to disapprove of. The only people who can safely run for office are shrinking violets who have never publicly espoused an opinion on anything.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Only Power Crazed Seek Office
When you see the biographies of famous politicians, you learn these people are absurdly driven to seek power for its own sake. Of necessity, only the most disturbed people will ever achieve the highest offices.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Open Voter Fraud
Voter fraud in the USA is not done by voter impersonation or double voting, but by hassling poor or black voters so they give up and do not vote. It is also done by tweaking the voting machines using the back doors provided by the Christian Reconstructionists at Diebold.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Just because there are substantial numbers of people who believe blithering nonsense such as:
- Vaccines will kill you.
- There is an invisible man in the sky spying on you.
- There is nothing we need to do about climate change.
- There is enough fossil fuels to last forever.
- Praying is the best way to make things happen.
- Unlimited economic growth is both desirable and possible.
you don’t have to pretend to take their positions seriously or to give them equal weight in determining public policy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Opposing Fair Trials
Sarah Palin and friends are extremely keen that the sort of people accused of terrorism not be given fair trials? Why? The most obvious reason is so that sometimes innocent people will be executed, tortured or jailed for life. What would she want that? She is a bigoted Christian who hates all Muslims. She wants them punished purely for their religious beliefs. Her cries for what amounts to the lynching of anyone accused of terrorism is an echo of the bigotry of her ancestors who stated openly The only good injun is a dead injun. Without the rule of law, you have barbarism. Palin is a barbarian.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It is safer today to oppose war. Men who opposed the entry of the United States into WWI (World War I) were charged with sedition. It was considered the equivalent of fomenting armed rebellion.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Optimists are more likely to get in fights and start wars than pessimists because they overestimate the odds of prevailing. Unfortunately, democracies tend to elect leaders who are over optimistic and over confident.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Optional Security Checks
What are Americans thinking when they say that airport security checks should be optional? If they were, what self-respecting terrorist would submit to one? What are they thinking when they insist children and grandmothers should be exempt from security checks? Terrorists would just use children and grandmothers as their explosive mules, perhaps unawares. A terrorist could quite easily sacrifice his own child or grandmother. Americans have killed millions of Muslims. They are hoping to stop the slaughter or seek revenge. What are a few more deaths? Further, terrorists could set off explosions in checked baggage, either with a timer or an electronic signal, bypassing the body scans and pat-downs. They need not even board, just place the bombs in cargo.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Afghan and Iraq wars are both optional. Neither country attacked the USA or present any security threat. Thus the expenditures of the wars are also optional. Giving up the massive war expenditures would hurt no one but Cheney and his ilk selling war materials and mercenaries at inflated prices.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Orders of Criminal
A greedy scoundrel like Bernie Madoff can financially ruin thousands of people, but it takes someone unusually vain who loves power purely for the sake of power like George F. Will, Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh to take down an entire planet by spreading crank theories about the planet’s life support systems.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There are various ways you could handle organ donation:
- BC style. You must fill out complicated forms designed by Christians to discourage you from donating your organs. Any family member can override your wishes and force wasting your organs.
- Driver’s licence opt in. When you get a driver’s licence or ID card, you tick off a box saying your want to donate your organs.
- Spanish opt-out style. When you get a driver’s licence, you tick off a box saying you want your organs wasted.
- You may opt out, but you are charged posthumously with attempted murder and your property is confiscated. Your name is put in the paper as a criminal and your entire family is shamed.
- When you are born, they take a DNA sample. So when you die unexpectedly they know immediately who they should give your organs to. Organs last only a few hours. This saves precious time. You don’t have a choice in the matter. Religious superstition is not sufficient grounds to kill somebody.
I spit on laws that enforce medieval religious superstitions, especially ones that result in the deaths of innocent babies. I am all for mandatory organ donation and DNA sampling at birth.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Orrin Hatch is such a scumbag that he twisted the testimony of Valery Plame 180° in his official report about how Karl Rove outed her as a CIA agent. Other Republicans censored her husband Joe Wilson by telling universities that they would lose funding if they allowed Wilson to talk about how Bush suppressed his findings that Saddam had not bought and could not have bought yellowcake uranium in Niger.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The ancient Greeks had a custom similar to voting off the island. They would write the name of someone on a shard of pottery called an ostrakon. Whomever received the most votes was banished. If we revived the custom, here is my list of people to first vote off the planet:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Karl Rove, dirty tricks technician
- Stephen Harper, antienvironmentalist
- John Roberts, Supreme Court Justice, architect of Citizen’s United
- David and Charles Koch, funders of right wing skullduggery
- Roger Ailes, head of FOX News
- Hugh Grant, CEO Monsanto
- Erik Prince, mercenary, head of Academi, née Xe, née Blackwater
Over-reliance on the President
Americans have a naïve view of their president as a cross between an emperor, Superman and father figure. They imagine he alone can solve the country’s ills and it is up to him to do the entire job single handedly. They give all the credit for anything good and all the blame for anything bad to the president, even for things he had nothing whatsoever to do with.
If citizens would read their constitution, they would discover the president is tied in knots with checks and balances designed to make to make sure he cannot accomplish anything, especially take the country to war, without first convincing the majority of the politicians to go along with him. No president can do anything on his own about the economy. He needs the co-operation of the Congress, Senate and Supreme Court.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It is hard to believe that people who are not living in institutions for the criminally insane implemented the overkill — the ability to kill everyone on earth many times over. This obviously has the big disadvantage of much more danger from accidental use of some of the arsenal and no advantage whatsoever, other than biggest penis/missile bragging rights.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Barack Obama got in trouble by promising sweeping changes that would shift the balance of power from the corporations to individual. Perhaps because he was inexperienced, he vastly overestimated his ability to do this and vastly underestimated the corruption of the Republican and Democratic parties gorging at the corporate trough. Now he has everyone mad at him, his supporters for promising so much and accomplishing so little and his detractors for even attempting token swipes at corporate power. But if you look back, he has been on the Wall Street gravy train since day One. Those insanely expensive wall street bailouts with multi-million dollar bonuses were payback for campaign contributions. He is just better at faking sincerity than the average politician.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Overreacting to Failed Eggs
60-80% of fertilized eggs fail to implant and then another 15-20% of the fertilized eggs that do implant spontaneously abort. That gives us a 16-34% survival rate for fertilized eggs. A religiously minded person might say God condemns 66-84% of all babies to death in the time between conception and the start of pregnancy. Give his happens more often than not, calling for the public hanging of doctors who encourage this process, seems a bit overblown.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When Ronald Reagan announced he was going to restore democracy in Nicaragua with an armed overthrow of a democratically elected government, almost every American pretended he was making sense.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
You’d think someone taking twice the prescribed dose of oxycontin would complain to the doctor the drug had ceased working rather than downing 100 times the prescribed dose.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When a politician pads his sentences with fluff like move forward or at the end of the day he is trying to avoid committing himself to anything of substance while creating the illusion he has answered the question.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I don’t see much difference between the state offering immunity in return for testimony it wants and a criminal offering money in return for testimony he wants. He who pays the piper calls the tune. At the very least, the jury should be fully aware of what incentives were given for any testimony and the witness’s past history of accepting such incentives.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Pain of Murder
I remember back in 1975 my lover dumped me suddenly. I had never felt such intense pain. I could not believe what I was experiencing was real. Imagine instead, that he had been killed. Imagine how I would have felt then. It would be even worse for your child being killed. We have absolutely no right to go killing people’s loved ones. There needs some sort of virtual reality to make these bastard soldiers and generals experience personally what they are imposing on others for the most trivial of reasons, for most soldiers, just to break the boredom.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The birth of a democracy is painful, like all births.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Pakistan is my least favourite country. Why?
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- The minds of Pakistanis are irredeemably rotted with Islamic superstition. The whole country is bat-shit crazy and rejects science.
- Pakistan is a patriarchal hell. Men who murder their daughters are considered heroes. In Pakistani culture, men are supposed to be utterly ruthless in bullying their wives and daughters.
- Pakistanis rape for entertainment.
- Pakistanis are insanely homophobic.
- Pakistanis refuse to curb their population growth.
- Pakistanis have nukes. They are far too crazy to trust with them.
- The rich live in fabulous extravagance. The poor live in unimaginable squalor.
Show me your papers is an Arizona law that lets police demand identification papers on the grounds of suspicion of being an illegal immigrant. The law, of course, will be used exclusively to harass Latinos. The law is similar to South Africa’s apartheid era law requiring blacks to carry papers. Bigoted white people did not protest the legislation because they believed it would never be used against them, only the hated Latinos. I think it would be only fair if police were be suspended if they were caught racially profiling. I think once white folk too were subjected to the indignity, they would demand it be stopped.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Parable of the Golden Fish
There was once a subsistence farmer who was at his wit’s end. His cow had died and his crops had failed. He decided to go fishing. He caught a golden fish. The fish cried out If you spare me, I will grant you a wish, anything you want. The farmer thought and thought and finally said, Make my neighbour’s cow die.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans have more trouble than any other country with mass shootings and drive by shootings, yet oddly they are dead set on doing anything that would make these crimes more difficult to commit.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In the USA, an outgoing president pardons all those who committed crimes on his behalf, or who gave him large contributions. He does not have to justify his actions. He can pardon anyone for any crime he pleases. This is insanely corrupt. It turns off criminal penalties when the beneficiary is the president. Imagine what would happen if everyone had that power to pardon.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I would hope as Obama leaves office he pardons its national heroes:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Julian Assange
- Chelsea Manning
- Edward Snowden
One of the strangest things about human psychology is that in any war both sides consider themselves perfectly blameless and the other side wickedness incarnate. It does not matter how badly they behave. Consider the Nazis feeling so smug when they were exterminating Jews. Consider the Americans so smug when they were routinely torturing detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq, laughing at the Geneva conventions, using banned weapons such as land mines, cluster bombs, napalm, DU, white phosphorus and illegally attacking without provocation.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans are so contentious, that if a giant asteroid were headed for Kansas, they would turn it into a partisan issue and do nothing.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When Obama wanted to bomb Syria for using poison gas, 22% of Republicans polled said yes, he should be allowed to do it.
When Trump wanted to bomb Syria for using poison gas, 86% of Republicans polled said yes.
For Democrats, the numbers were 38% and 37%.
The conclusion is Republicans are mindlessly partisan. Their politics are determined purely by tribe loyalty. Whereas democrats decide based on the issues.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
People don’t want unbiased media reporting any more than they want unbiased sports reporting. They want to hear news that reinforces their team loyalty. This puts economic pressure on news outlets to pick a political party to plug.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
A party is responsible for the promises and platforms espoused by all its candidates. It must either:
- formally repudiate comments the party does not support.
- control the candidates to stick to the party platform.
The Republicans refuse to do this, so that nobody knows where they stand. They want to appear as Tea Party extreme right wing to some and centrist to others. It is just one more way they are dishonest.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When the Americans wrote their constitution they made provision for patents. Patents had two purposes:
- To encourage people to invent by giving them a short monopoly.
- To encourage inventors to fully disclose how their new technology worked so it could stimulate others.
The idea was to allow patents on novel and significant innovation. However, in modern times patents have been severely abused.
- Monsanto has been permitted to patent plants, which they simply took from third world farmers without doing any development on them.
- Most of the human genome has been patented. Most of these companies did not even do the work of sequencing. They just made a land claim on a random chunk of our common DNA.
- Apple managed to patent rounded cellphones.
- There are hundreds of computer patents for techniques that are completely obvious and part of the standard repertoire of programmer techniques. Some corporate lawyer managed to trick the patent office not to notice they were prior art.
- Large corporations cross licence their portfolios of patents. This is how the create a monopoly to squeeze out the smaller players.
I had a talk with a clerk in the Swiss patent office (no it wasn’t Einstein). He said he had four days to decide if a patent should be granted. A typical patent application is 5 cm (1.97 in) thick. It takes a day just to skim it. It is written in opaque language to make the invention sound much more important than it really is. It also attempts to disguise the prior art. The clerk is not necessarily an expert in the field.
I call for the following reforms:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Pending final approval, a patent application should be posted on the Internet. The public and competitors then get to comment on why the patent should or should not be granted. The clerk would then review those comments before making his final decision.
- There are so many patents, it is a minefield for developers to avoid accidentally using one by coming up independently with an existing patented invention.
- Computer patents should be shortened from 17 years to 6 years. Everything changes so quickly in computers that a single bogus patent can wreck havoc for what is a like a century. The length of the patent should depend on how long a product takes to bring to market and how costly it is to bring to market. Drugs need a long patent time. Computer software needs perhaps only 4 years.
- The patent application needs to prove it differs significantly from existing technology.
- Part of the patent approval process would be to hand the problem the patent claims to solve to a team of experts in the field and see if they come up with the same solution in under 3 hours. If they do, the patent is rejected as insufficiently novel.
- You should not be able to patent something that essentially just one of a number of obvious choices e.g. colour, shape, e.g. red keyboards, a particular shade of red shoe sole, oval lamp bases, Apple’s phones with round corners. There is no innovation here. Possibly trademark or copyright law might apply, but not patents.
- There needs to be an AI (Artificial Intelligence) system to check which existing patents a proposed project might violate.
- The cost of a patent application should be variable, and sufficient to do a thorough investigation, including consulting experts.
Patriot Act Provisions
The patriot act gives the president or his agents the power to arrest anyone they please without charge and hold them incommunicado indefinitely. These include suspected terrorists and the president’s political enemies. I see the Patriot act as unnecessary and tyrannical, especially the habit of disappearing people without letting anyone know what happened to them. I see no danger whatsoever in letting their families know they are in special detention, especially if the location is kept secret.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you are blind to your country’s faults, you can’t be any use in fixing them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Pay Your Weight
People who smoke, who are sedentary, or who are grossly obese should pay extra each month for medical insurance fees to help offset the increased cost of care.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Paying For Public Suicides
People who would not dream of counseling someone to commit suicide, no matter how ill or in pain they were, will happily buy tickets to sports such as NASCAR where young men commit suicide in spectacular accidents. They are not only counseling fit young men to kill themselves, they are paying them big bucks to do it in public.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Paying For Testimony
The legal system has a giant hole — legally paying for testimony. Rich defendants can pay off expert witnesses to say whatever they want them to say. Prosecutors pay criminals to testify or offer reduced sentences to testify against others. This testimony is not proper. At the very least, jurors should know about any payments or inducements for testimony. A similar hole is plea bargaining where the prosecution can browbeat people into confessing to crimes they did not commit to avoid threatened massive prison sentences.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Paying For Undone Work
The big lie the Republicans repeat over and over is that if you give the richest people a tax holiday they will create jobs. Bush tried that and it did not work. The rich used the money for other more lucrative purposes. If you want the rich to create jobs, you should give them money only if they actually create jobs. Republicans imagine the public are as gullible as a father who pays his son $1000 a week to cut the lawn, whether or not he actually cuts it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Payment for a Murder
Drug addicts will kill a stranger for $350. Some people will kill a relative for a $10,000 inheritance. Imagine what a military officer would do for share of the unaudited $1 trillion ($1,000,000,000,000) military budget or a cut of the $1 trillion a year heroin trade under his control. This is a temptation so huge most of us can’t even begin to imagine it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Peace Is Possible
Caral is the oldest city in Americas, built in 2627 BC. It enjoyed 1000 years of peace. If these early Peruvians could accomplish that, so can we. Warfare is not an inevitable part of the human experience.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I was trapped out in the big Victoria storm of 2014-10 on my bike. I was astounded how so many pedestrians dressed head to toe in black. In the blinding headlights, pelting rain and dark they were all but invisible to bikes and cars. One young cyclist who swerved in front of me was similarly all in black with no lights or reflectors.
We need to start pressing night pedestrians and cyclists to:
- dress in contrasting colours.
Wear a reflective vest over your coat. You can get them at stores such as Mark’s Work Wearhouse that sell clothing for construction workers. Good ones breathe, are water proof, strong, flexible and use super-reflective 3M Scotchlite. Cheap ones are made of vinyl, tear easily and accumulate sweat. The standard pattern of two vertical stripes on the front and an X on the back let drivers know if you can see them.
A reflective vest is not that onerous or expensive. Mine was on sale and cost about $65. It is completely satisfactory.
To my astonishment, a handsome young man told me the vest turned him on. I think he meant he supported the idea of bicycle safety, not literally that he was a vest fetishist.
- Persuade pedestrians, especially children and pets to wear flashing lights. They will find them cool, not geeky.
- Persuade cyclists to sport flashing lights and reflectors visible from front, side and back.
If you won’t wear reflective gear for yourself, do it for the poor driver who hits you or barely misses you and just about has a heart attack.
Gift of Survival
Why not give reflective gear as gifts to your pedestrian and cyclist friends to let them know you want them to stay alive? The elderly need the most prodding. A gift is emotional blackmail on them to use it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Peers Determine Views
People acquire their political and religious opinions from the people they grow up with. There is not much likelihood they will change just by hearing someone else’s opinions. They might however, change by exposure to new facts.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
We have a civic duty to skewer politicians and leaders who are corrupt, or who pander whose policies unfairly favour narrow special interests. If they are hypocritical, stupid, vain or incompetent, they deserve a shower of virtual vegetables. However, we have no right to belittle ordinary people just because they are ugly, stupid or incompetent.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Penalising the Poor
I have seen various Republican pundits villainising the poor and demanding they pay a greater share of the tax burden. These pampered fat cats don’t seem to understand the poor work longer hours and work far harder than they do. The difference is they are paid a lot less. That is not something they chose and not something need to be further penalised for.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Penalty For Drunk Driving
I think the punishment for drunk driving should be the same as for driving drunk and killing a child. Why? The bad decision was to drive drunk, not to kill a child. Whether a child was killed was just the luck of the draw. Similarly, I think the penalty for forcing someone to play Russian Roulette should be the same as for forcing them to play and they kill themselves.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Penalty For Drunk Driving
If someone drives drunk an kills someone and someone else drives drunk and does not kill someone, they both did the exact same thing wrong. The first also had an accident. There was no criminal intent to that. Therefore the criminal penalty for driving drunk should be the same as for driving drunk and killing someone.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Penalty for Running A Red Light
The penalty for running a red light should be the same as running a red light and killing someone.
The penalty for drunk driving should be the same as driving drunk and killing someone.
The penalty for speeding should be the same as speeding and killing someone.
Why? You decided to run a light, drive drunk or speed. You did not decide or intend to kill anyone. The crime is the traffic violation, risking other people’s lives, not the accident which is just a fluke not that much to do with you. Why do politicians insist on punishing the accident more seriously than the intention to risk?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Perhaps because money and lawsuits are involved and money is more important than saving lives.
Perhaps because they believe only the most reckless drivers have accidents.
Perhaps because they too run lights, drive drunk and speed, but have not killed anyone yet, so they see this behaviour as harmless.
Perception of Violence
Media Violence vs Actual Violence Media vs Actual Violence 1972 Surgeon General’s report cites links between screen violence and aggressive behaviour. 1976 AMA (American Medical Association) calls TV violence an environmental hazard. 1982 IMH (Institute of Mental Health)says there is a clear link between TV violence and aggression. 1985 APA (American Psychological Association)shows link between TV violence and real violence. 1992 APA calls for federal policy to protect society when research on violence is ignored. 2004 CDC (Centers for Disease Control) finds that media violence enhances violent behaviour. 2007 FCC unanimously recommends that congress regulate TV violence. 2007 FCC Congress holds special hearing on prevalence of women’s sexualisation in music videos. 2009 Studies prove exposure to sexually explicit video games and music videos is a link to men’s acceptance of rape myths and sexual harassment.
Despite all this there have been no policy chances. Media like violence because it sells. They have power over the politicians both on left and right both because the media contribute to politicians, the politicians must buy ad time and the media can decide to favour or ruin any politician through their many news shows.
There should have been no need for studies. Anyone who has watched young children has seen how they copy every minute detail of the way the adults and TV characters behave. That is mostly how humans learn and pick up their values, by copying from others.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69) Miss Representation
The Perfect Crime
It is much more difficult to commit the perfect crime today than it once was. Not only do you have to foil all known sleuthing techniques and technologies, you have to foil all those that will be invented prior to your death.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Perils of Equality
There is something wrong when a woman convinced without evidence that her plaster walls are sending dangerous radiation into her brain gets equal air time on the matter with a Nobel laureate in physics. Ditto killer electric consumption smart meters.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Perks For Babies
Given that earth is 7 times too overpopulated, it is irrational to offer perks to people to encourage them to have babies, e.g. paid paternity and maternity leave. Nobody should be having new babies until the ones waiting for adoption or being abused in foster homes find homes.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When someone tells me what they believe, they are implying, You should also believe this, just because I do. When someone tells me why they believe as they do, they are respecting me to make up my own mind.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Oddly, when people are shown the scientific evidence that vaccines do not cause autism and that the doctor who started the rumour, lost his licence, they are even less likely to vaccinate. A similar thing happens when presenting the overwhelming evidence that climate change is a serious problem. We are such a stupid species we deserve extinction.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There is an epidemic of slandering public figures by putting false quotations in their mouths. Even supreme court judges are targets. I think a public figure is fair game for ridicule and heavy judgement, but not this. Doing that should be a criminal offense, not just grounds for an expensive lawsuit. The cost of prosecuting should be born by the state and should not require proving damages.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Pick Pockets on the Titanic
Americans have a choice. They can make the necessary sacrifices to save themselves from global warming or they can listen to the lies of the Republican oil company shills assuring them there is nothing to worry about and die. Republicans are as irresponsible as those claiming there is no fire in a crowded theatre that is indeed on fire. The oil companies are as short-sighted as pick pockets on the Titanic.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The only solution politicians can conceive to prevent online piracy is to put people in jail, shut down websites and conscript the public to help with law enforcement. These are brute force techniques that cause more problems than they solve. I suspect corporations like Google could come up with technical solutions that ensured artists were fairly compensated and made sure nobody was forced to go to absurd lengths to be in compliance with anti-piracy laws. To start, we need a simple way to know which images, documents and music are copyrighted and which are not. Next we need a simple way to know which copyrighted images, documents and music posted on a website have the permission of the copyright holder.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Pity Melania Trump
I know Melania Trump set out to land a rich husband, but I doubt, in her wildest dreams she expected him to script her every public utterance and to parade her about like his prize cow.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Pizza Vegetable
Americans are so out of touch with reality, they passed a law in 2011 declaring pizza is a vegetable.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Placating the Republicans
People find Obama puzzling because he seems far more interested in placating the minority Republicans than instituting the policies favoured by the majority who elected him. The answer lies in the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that made it legal for corporations to give unlimited amounts of money to promote candidates. Obama is placating the corporations. That decision of the Roberts court marks the end of the USA as a democracy and the official start as a corporatocracy. Bush nominating Robert to the supreme court as his proxy-without-conscience is the evil that will live longest after him.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I think it would be a Good Thing™ had Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Michele Bachmann… had never been born. All of them, even if they don’t realise it, are dedicated to the destruction of earth through global warming, pollution, refusal to prepare for the end of oil and creating international hatred for the USA through bullying other nations. At first look, it would seem necessary to assassinate these people to save the planet. But that would not work. What happens when someone is assassinated? They become a saint, and everything they ever said becomes unquestioned holy writ. Instead these villains need to be exposed, shamed and discredited, not killed. If all goes well their lesser crimes can be exposed, prosecuted and punished so they can no longer create global mischief.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It is a boy thing to take lethal risks. The problem is technology now lets these twits take lethal risks with the entire planet — a seductive thrill.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Play Fair With Iran
The west has not played fairly with Iran. In the 1950s, the USA toppled their democratic government and installed a vicious dictator, the Shah. It sold poison gas to Saddam to attack Iran. It forced them to buy nuclear electric power generation equipment, then told them they had no right to refine the uranium to run it. Iran allowed inspectors. It did not build nukes. Bush announced they were part of the axis of evil and that the USA was going to eliminate them. The United States looked the other way when Israel built nukes and refused inspectors and threatened to nuke Iran. The west then imposed crippling sanctions on Iran. Iran agreed to stop purifying uranium and everything else the USA asked for. The west reduced the sanctions only a tad. Why is the west treating Iran so poorly? Because it has uranium and oil which the west covets and because, like a Mafia chief they are making an example to keep other countries in line.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
38% of convicts in the USA later exonerated had pleaded guilty. Why?
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- They were bullied into it by the police.
- They were given a plea-bargain they could not refuse.
Plea bargaining means that a guilty plea is no longer the same as a confession. It is effectively a confession extracted with duress. The inducement to plead guilty should not have greater value than saving the administrative costs of a trial. For example, Omar Khadr was threatened with certain full life imprisonment if he did not plead guilty. That was an offer he could not refuse.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
A plea bargain offer must not be so tempting that most innocent people would take it. For example, Omar Khadr was offered a choice of confessing or spending an extra 11 years in jail. That is equivalent to a confession under torture where refusing to confess results in 11 years in a notorious torture dungeon. The confession is meaningless. Sane people would confess to anything to avoid such maltreatment.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The candidate with the most ads nearly always wins. We have effectively a plutocracy. It is made even worse by corruption — people and corporations donating to the likely winner (even if they don’t like them) in order to later curry favour for contracts. Further, since ads can contain outrageous lies about an opponent, the opponent is swamped just trying to defend himself. If ads had to be truthful the current plutocratic system would be more fair.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Are you a democrat or a plutocrat? Do you believe that the view held by the greatest number should prevail, or the view supported by the wealthiest? Do you believe in democracies or autocracies? Corporations are autocratic run much like medieval monarchies. You have no say in how they behave; they exist for only one purpose, profit. Yet they have so enchanted Americans, that the majority of Americans trust corporations to look after their interests better than elected governments, even after corporations like Philip Morris/Altria/Kraft conspired to kill their customers in pursuit of profit. The way it works now, corporations run the government through their wealth for influencing, threatening and bribery. The resulting unresponsiveness of government to the public’s needs won’t be fixed by less government and more corporate power. That’s is the problem! The flow of corporate money to corrupt officials and representatives must be stopped if government is to serve the people instead of the corporations.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I am enjoying the cosmic justice of the Republican-packed Supreme Court making legal all manner of crooked campaign financing. Republicans presidential candidates are using the new freedom to destroy each other. Whoever survives this will be so battered that Obama will be able to push him over with a feather.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Point Of View
As you get older, the increasing evil of the planet vis a vis warfare and environmental destruction becomes ever more unbearable. It is a good thing we grow old and die, and are replaced by new people who are born into the mess, seeing it not as intolerable, but as the norm to be improved.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Point of a Weapons Cache
What possible good can come from letting a teenager own a weapons cache?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There is a product sold on the Internet as a cure all called Miracle Mineral Solution used as an enema for adults and children. Parents give it to their autistic children. It is poisonous. That’s because it’s a solution of 28 percent sodium chlorite which, when mixed with citric acid as instructed, forms chlorine dioxide ClO₂, a potent form of bleach used in industrial pulp and textile bleaching. For some reason authorities either cannot or will not stop them. If someone poisoned people by putting bleach in their coffee or enemas, they would be charged with attempted murder. Yet somehow corporations doing the same thing are immune from prosecution.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69) source
If Americans elect Republicans to fix the economy for them, it would like hiring the woman who deliberately poisoned you as your doctor.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
We hire the police to protect us from criminals. Yet most people are more afraid of being killed by the police than by criminals. What is wrong with this picture?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The attraction of police work is that it let’s the officer lords it over others, bully them and even beat them with little chance of repercussion. For policing to work, you need a strong infrastructure to counter this tendency.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Police procedures have a wide safety margin to avoid doing permanent damage to suspects. When police kill suspects, they thus must have intended to kill. Yet the law invariably exonerates them, even when there is no issue of self-defence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In Canada, police have been killing civilians at an alarming rate. The usual scenario is the public report someone behaving strangely. A couple of dozen cops will show up. The suspect may have a knife or some lesser weapon. The police command him to throw the weapon on the ground. He does not comply. Then they kill him. I don’t think police should be authorised to use lethal force in those circumstances. The suspect might not speak English. The suspect might be retarded or in a psychotic state. The suspect might be deaf. The police are taking lethal revenge on the suspect for a petty perceived lack of deference, not to protect themselves. The police should call in a trained negotiator with backing SWAT team who makes the call if lethal force is necessary. If you have each of two dozen cops deciding individually, the suspect has no chance for a rational decision.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Shooting someone was perhaps the preferred way to disable them in 1840. Choking them to death might have been the method of choice in 1 AD. Surely technology has offered us better options. After all, we can disable tigers and elephants without injury to them or us. We are stuck in a tradition trap. Perhaps if police carried sabres, they would treat them like the barbaric anachronisms they are.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The political fashion is to apologise for wrongs committed by people long dead against others also long dead. It makes no sense to confess to a crime you did not commit, or apologize for a wrong you did not do. Politicians try to curry favour with minorities by making empty apologies. On the other hand, I have to laugh at anyone who demands an apology for something that did not happen to them. They are just looking for excuses to feel offended, to feel sorry for themselves.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There are a number of wrongs a politician can commit:
- Steal some money.
- Take a bribe.
- Institute an economic policy that slows the economy to a crawl.
- Institute a grossly unfair economy policy.
- Dismantle the machinery of democracy
- Do something that would harm the environment that would make a very difficult for future generations to survive.
- Do something that would start a global nuclear war.
For the more serious crimes, you need to take immediate action. Waiting for the next election will be too late to correct the problem.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If a presidential candidate has delusional beliefs, they need to be exposed, whether they be sourced in religious dogma, propaganda from big oil, a lack of education, wilful ignorance or lying.
It does not matter why a presidential candidate believes nutty things. Blind trust in allegedly infallible disembodied voices is just as dangerous if they come from schizophrenia or evangelical euphoria.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Political Lying is Perfectly Legal
American politics is so dishonest that Democratic presidential candidate Dukakis was kicked out of the running when Republicans blamed Dukakis for letting rapist Willy Horton out on parole as required by a law enacted by the previous Republican governor and repealed by Dukakis.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Political Parties Lie
The problem with political parties is they are constrained to lie. If they tell the public truthful bad news, they will lose the next election. This keeps the population living on deadly childish delusions about peak oil, global warming, the dangers of nuclear weapons, soil erosion, overpopulation, pollution…~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
A scientist would never dream of announcing the consequences of some course of action without researching and/or experimenting first. In contrast, a politician would never dream of doing any research. He always shoots from the hip announcing his intuition as gospel truth (and truth no more reliable than the science in the bible). We tolerate deliberate gross incompetence in our politicians.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Take political promises with a large grain of salt. Look how few of them are ever delivered. Instead look who pays the bills for a candidate. The only thing you can be sure of is that if he is elected, he will first and foremost look after the interests of those contributors. If you do not belong to his contributing constituency, he will most probably ignore or even sacrifice your interests. The most important thing to know about a candidate is whom he is taking money from, including the PAC advertising. As Mark Twain observed We have the best government that money can buy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
From the point of view of a Republican, smoking pot is extremely wicked because most pot smokers are not Republicans. Denying medical marijuana is a way of punishing their voting patterns.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Politicians like to characterise those who heckle or interrupt them as rude. It never seems to occur to the politicians that talking at people without ever giving them a chance to respond is even ruder since it demands 100% of the other’s time not just a few seconds.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Politically Dense Americans
If 26% of Americans are unaware that the USA won independence from Britain, perhaps it is expecting a bit much of them to remember that the USA attacked both Afghanistan and Iraq unprovoked, especially when politicians of every stripe intone that every dead soldier gave his life to protect American freedoms.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Politician Job Interview
If you go to a political meeting, don’t let them cow you. The candidates, even the ones in the expensive suits, are looking for a job. You and the other voters are the boss. You get to decide who gets get the job.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Politicians are congenitally incapable of delivering complex issues. The best they can do is lie in soundbites.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Politics of Budget Cuts
When you look at who has given the most money to members of the panel of 12 charged with working out a compromise set of budget cuts, it is not to hard to predict what will happen. Large corporations want reduced income tax and loopholes for the rich left in place. Wall street wants unregulated ability to rip people off without any consumer protection. The one piece of bright news is the defence industry is not heavily represented. The grotesque fat dripping from the Pentagon might finally be pruned a little.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Pollsters have some problems that are getting worse over time:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Making sure they include all segments of voters. Originally, all you had to do was phone land lines at random. Now people are rarely home or own only cellphones or VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phones.
- Avoid including people who will not actually vote. Fewer and fewer people do.
- Avoid including people who will be honestly or dishonestly excluded on voting day.
- People not telling the truth about whom they will vote for. This is particularly true of immigrants afraid of the consequences of appearing not to support the government.
- Persuading people to talk to you. Most people hang up at the first whiff of a telemarketer.
Polling the Ignorant
In a democracy, we decide what to do by polling uninformed people for their opinion, for example on whether the death penalty discourages or encourages violent crime, whether longer prison terms reduces or increases drug addiction, whether permitting gay marriage strengthens or weakens families. This reliance upon uninformed opinion instead of facts leads democracies to make foolish decisions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Poopy Enema Music
Octogenarian Alan Simpson is upset that the young listen to poopy enema music that he does not like, wear their caps backwards and sling their pants much lower than he would. He fails to understand that badges of youth necessarily have to be things adults will not adopt. In his day, adults scowled at boogie.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Poor Fund The Olympics
Britain spent $15+ billion for the Olympic party. It had to be more expensive than all previous Olympics to satisfy the egos of the politicians. But who really paid for it? — the poor. All programs for them were slashed to pay for it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Posterity Check
There is one wonderful check on Supreme Court justices. Every one of their words will be read over and over and debated. If their reasoning were faulty, if they let themselves be swayed by personal gain or political ideology, they will be found out and despised for all posterity.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Posterity Forgives Atrocity
Posterity is forgiving. For example, we look on crazed tyrant Henry XVIII as charmingly eccentric for having six wives and executing two of them. We look on Harry Truman as cute little terrier when he nuked two entire cities.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
We surrender to wealth so that the rich and powerful get to do what they want to the rest of us. In theory, law should temper this, but in practice it usually helps the rich and powerful to squelch everyone else.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Both Obama and Romney know there is very little they can do to revive the economy. It is tanked because of high energy prices. Energy prices are high because most of the cheap easy-to-extract oil has already been burned. The oil remaining is expensive to extract both in terms of energy and money lying deep under the ocean or tar sands. Live rivalling shamans Obama and Romney pretend their voodoo will move the economy gods. We need cheap alternative energy. Both Obama and Romney are cowed by big oil. Big oil likes high oil prices and doesn’t want any clean energy competition. But the economy can’t restart without a new source of cheap energy. With this deadlock, it will be a fair while before the economic outlook brightens.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
You hold prisoners of war who fight against you when you invade their country, not because they are terrorists or criminals, but to stop them from continuing to shoot at you. To their own people, they are patriots and heroes. They have broken no law. It is perfectly legal, nay a patriotic duty, to shoot at invaders.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Our whole legal system is based on the notion of doing what we did before, no matter how irrational it is. For example, the laws about automobiles started out as the same as laws for horse-drawn carriages. This is like driving by looking in the rear view mirror. It makes the fallacious assumption that people who lived 200 years ago knew more about situations today that we do. It has caused us to make some very stupid decisions, like allowing foreign corporations to flood elections with anonymously funded ads, or allowing children to amass arsenals of automatic weapons. On the other hand, it has probably saved us from some folly by sticking to the tried and true. Everyone once in a while, you need to have a look at the law and see where it is not working, or is hopelessly out of date, and rebuild it. We can keep the general principles of fairness from the past, but reinterpret them in terms of modern situations. We should not let lawyerly reading of the old laws constrain us.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The law in Canada and the USA is based on precedent. We decide what to do today based something similar we did before. We ignore common sense. The problem with this is:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- The world now changes rapidly. Analogies with the past don’t hold. For example, the Internet is quite different from a telephone.
- Knowledge is growing extremely quickly. The thinking of mere decades ago is relatively cretinous.
- It makes the law reactionary.
Preferences for Irrational Reasons
If someone refuses military service, all they need is the excuse It’s against my religion. What they mean is That’s the tradition in my religious club. There is no need to justify the stance. In contrast, someone who has thought this through and can give ten good reasons for refusing service is sent off anyway. In the USA, an irrational excuse is thus strongly preferred to a rational one.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Prematurely Aged Hawks
Why do hawks so often look as they are undergoing chemotherapy? Are the overcompensating for personal frailty? Does all that paranoia prematurely age them?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I suppose, technically, it is legal for politicians vote to do nothing about global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. After all, suicide is legal. But this is tantamount to premeditated genocide.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Preserving Dying Languages
People, especially indigenous people put a huge amount of effort into preserving languages that are almost dead, or in reviving dead languages. I think this is ill-advised. (I don’t mean languages like Latin where we have huge amounts of our history recorded in them.) Why do I think this is a waste of time?
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- A language has value only if people who wish to communicate both know it.
- Niche languages exclude non-speakers. They form a smug in-group of speakers who tend to isolate themselves from the general community.
- Learning a language is a major time investment. That time should be invested in something more useful.
- Languages divide people and create the illusion of superiority.
Presidential Debate As Boxing Match
Because nearly every American long ago decided which candidate they want to win based mostly on tribal loyalty, they approach a presidential debate like a boxing match or a hockey game. The media co-operates by reporting mainly knock-out blows and errors.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
What kind of job experience could possibly prepare you to be the president or Prime Minister of a country? Experience as a CEO would prepare you to be a dictator, but not the leader of a democratic country. A CEO ’s single-minded goal is to fire as many people as possible in order to maximise profit. A president has to balance the diverse interests and needs, not just financial, of all the citizens. A president can’t just order things be done. He can’t just fire the opposition politicians blocking him. He has to deal, persuade, bribe, threaten, sell, spin, blackmail, use the bully pulpit and/or wear down to create the rough consensus needed to get anything done. It is a bit like being a CEO without the power to fire anyone who does not get onboard. The best experience would thus be mayor of a large city or governor/Premier of a state or province or perhaps a salesman of high end products.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The presidential pardon is a hold out from the divine right of kings, the age of tyrants. It sounds benign, but is a an instrument of corruption. It is constitutionally protected even though it is nearly always abused in practice, a get-out-of-jail-free card to the president’s accomplices in crime or benefactors. It effectively cancels the criminal record too. Nixon pardoned 204 criminals. Ford pardoned Nixon. Clinton pardoned 120 criminals on one day. George Bush pardoned 75 criminals including thieves, embezzlers, drug dealers, illegal gamblers Iran contract criminals and income tax cheats including Scooter Libby.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The American system of politics presumes a presidential candidate will take vast sums of money from special interests then betray them all and work for the general benefit once elected.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
One of the most irritating things about Americans is the way they just presume they are a special case and superior to everyone else. For example, an American will roundly condemn Saddam Hussein for torturing people, but then excuse his own country for torturing those same people, in those same dungeons, with the same instruments, as part of a much broader use of routine torture on all detainees. Somehow, when Americans commit the exact same atrocities as Saddam or Hitler, it does not count, because they are American and Americans are by definition the best people. Nazis had that same smug superiority too. It can’t understand either of them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Presuming a Mandate
The fastest route to oblivion for a political party is to enact controversial legislation it did not mention in the previous election. The electorate punishes the arrogance of presuming a mandate the party does not have.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Pretending Equally Bad
Pretending that both sides in a dispute have behaved equally badly is not fair and balanced.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Pretending to Fight Crime
To confront a problem where the law is not being enforced (usually because the public is massively ignoring the law), the first solution that comes to the mind of a typical politician is to enact an even more draconian and zero-tolerance law without any funding to enforce it. It makes him look tough without actually changing anything. The last thing he wants is his issue to disappear.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Pretending to Help
Think how many ways people have of pretending to help without doing anything useful. You’d think people would say Get Stuffed! when others blow them off. e.g. I’ll pray for you., I’ll wear a coloured ribbon in solidarity. or I’ll wear blue and yellow clothes and run in circles until I am exhausted..~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Pretending Not To Notice
Political correctness interferes with honesty. Consider for example how it makes people pretend not to notice:
- How Israel has an apartheid system.
- How the Catholic Church operates the world’s largest pedophile ring.
- What anti-gay bigots the evangelist churches are.
- What outlaws the anti-abortion churches are.
- That the wars of aggression the USA stated, Viet Nam, Afghanistan and Iraq are all illegal and those participating are guilty of a capital crime.
If we had this excessive correctness 77 years ago we would have been afraid to condemn the actions of the Nazis.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Pretending to Reduce the Debt
It is amusing watching politicians claiming they are trying to reduce the national debt. They will pick on some microscopic expenditure like sex education and claim they are trying to save money, when cost saving has absolutely nothing to do with it. They have unacknowledged religious objections. On the other hand, all parties ignore the overwhelming expenses of the Afghan and Iraq wars and maintaining on offensive military. If they streamlined the military with the sole purpose of protecting the USA, they would have the debt solved with money left over. Politicians the wail about the expense of self-financing programs like old age security pensions and medical insurance as if the money spent were even theirs to redirect. Politicians refuse to close loopholes that allow big defence contractors like GE to pay no tax at all. That is a massive amount of money being deliberately bled away with no corresponding benefit.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Prevent More Trauma
When a child is sexually abused, the top priority should be preventing more trauma. I have been to so many workshops where people dealt with childhood sexual abuse where it was clear most of the damage was done after the event, sometimes long after the event, by untrained hysterical or overly religious people. About the worst thing someone can do is tell the child they are permanently scarred or unclean and their life is ruined.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Prevention vs Revenge
Catching a murderer does the victim no good and provides the family only a little satisfaction. Yet societies are willing to spend millions of dollars solving a murder but almost nothing to prevent one.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Price of Pot
Stephen Harper wants to charge for medical marijuana. It is easier to grow than lettuce. Marijuana is a weed. Lettuce goes for a gram. Harper is like the guy in the gang rape who holds the girl down while his friends take turns.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If we are still here a century from now, I think we will look back with horror on how we treated criminals. When we come to understand why criminals do what they do, our treatments will seem as primitive as witch burning.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republican presidential hopeful Thaddeus McCotter said that Washington needs more principled Republicans. I agree. The problem is, I can’t think of a single principled Republican. All have accepted money to ensure the loopholes for the rich to avoid taxes stay in place. All were willing to hold the country hostage during the debt ceiling debate. All have taken money to ensure the USA shovels out money to military contractors in no-bid contracts at inflated prices.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The USA has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of its prisoners. Proportionately, it has more people in jail than any other country, even Rwanda, even China. One of the reasons for this is people are jailed because they likely voted Democratic. Once jailed, they can never again vote. One of the reasons for this is the prison industry bribes the politicians to keep building ever more prisons that then have to be filled. One of the reasons is Americans punish marijuana use more severely than rape and target black people disproportionately for marijuana crimes, thus removing them from the voting roles.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
How should a judge decide on the length of a prison term? The first criteria certainly should be keeping the criminal locked away so that they cannot hurt others. The next criteria is deterring others from committing the same crime. However, victims seem to think the main criterion is how sad they are at losing a loved one. This justifies the death penalty in their view. They foolishly imagine that killing the criminal will ease their pain.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Privacy and Power
Privacy is power. The more privacy you have, the more power. The more privacy you can strip your opponents of, the more your power you have. The state enhances its power over the individual by keeping most of what it does secret and by stripping bare any privacy that individuals have. Constitutional guarantees of government transparency and citizen privacy are routinely ignored in the USA. The Patriot Act strips every last constitutional protection. Serious privacy protection requires advanced technology. In Syria, so long as live feeds ran, the government refrained from mowing down protestors. To keep live feeds running, they had to be encrypted and scattered so the government could not find and shut down the feeds. They also needed torrents of other decoy encrypted traffic so that important encrypted traffic would not stand out. If you know how, consider creating easy-to-use software to support live feeds that the government cannot shut down. Consider how to write software for WikiLeaks so that leaked information does not require a central website (or budget) to distribute (e.g. like BitTorrent) and quickly becomes so pervasive that no government can withdraw it or find out who has a copy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Privateer vs Pirate
Privatising war to companies like Blackwater/Xe/Monsanto is not new. In the 1600s, Britain used to licence private individuals to attack merchant ships of specified rival countries. These privateers could keep most of the booty. Pirates on the other hand were freelancers who kept all the booty and attacked the ships of all nations.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Privatising Liquor Outlets
Some people think it would be a good think to privatise the government liquor stores. What would a corporation do as soon as it took over? It would raise profits by cutting costs and raising prices. How would they cut costs?
- Lay staff off.
- Replace experienced staff with inexperienced staff, with the ability to speak English optional.
- Stop stocking all but the most popular brands.
- Institute intrusive anti-shoplifting policies.
- Don’t bother to check ID.
- Sell to drunks.
Before you vote, visit jurisdictions with both private and government liquor stores to see what you will get.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Privilege of Incorporation
A corporation is just a group of people who co-operate to fund some commercial enterprise. The way I see it, those people should have no more and no fewer privileges as a result of doing so. They get quite a few:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- The corporation itself gets the rights of an actual person.
- The investors and employees are free from prosecution for crimes they commit on behalf of the corporation or that the corporation commits.
- If the corporation goes bankrupt, the investors are not liable in any way.
- No matter how badly the corporation behaves, it can never be sentenced to death.
The American president has two jobs; one of them is ceremonial head of state — king for a quadrennium. Americans too have a privileged nobility; it is just more fluid.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Prize Fights To Determine World Leaders
The media have conned Americans into thinking the presidential election is a like a prize fight. The candidate who lands the most one liners (composed by writers ahead of time) or sounds most confident gets to be president. That’s irrelevant. That’s not what presidents do once elected. What counts is the policies the president promotes and whose interests he champions. A candidate always promotes the interests of those who gave him money. The most important thing you need to know is who gives him his money.
Further, a president has to be diplomatic enough and in strong enough control of his emotions, to keep the country out of unnecessary wars, especially nuclear ones. You need someone calm, cool, collected and trustworthy, someone when he speaks or threatens, is believed. The president is the voice of America. If the world does not take him seriously, they will not take America seriously. He can’t be a typical politician. He has to be a man of his word.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Problem With Morons
Americans have always had a distrust of intelligent people, fearing being swindled. For this reason, Sarah Palin has great appeal, since everyone figures they are more intelligent than she is. The problem with electing a mental defective to the presidency is other countries’ leaders can skin them alive and they fall prey to advisors who are not under public scrutiny.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Problems with Democracy
The essential problem with representative democracy is only one man need be corrupted to control a whole district. The essential problem with direct democracy is that few of the voters understand the detail of the issues at hand.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Listen to people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly… They have a sort of tongue is cheek tone, as if they were telling a joke. I interpret this as they don’t really believe what they are saying. They are highly paid entertainers who say whatever nonsense their fans want to hear.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Politicians are professional liars. That is why actors make such good politicians. You must close your eyes and ignore what they say and watch instead how they vote.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Eventually even the Temperance Union folk came to the conclusion that prohibition was not working. It created more problems than it solved. The exact same argument apply to marijuana. The difference is Mexican criminal gangs can now legally bribe American politicians as can the prison-building industry.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Prohibition Benefits Criminals
Who benefits most by marijuana prohibition? the same people who benefited most from alcohol prohibition — organised crime. Prohibition eliminates the competition from small time growers and keeps the prices high.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Prohibition Fosters Organised Crime
When the USA instituted prohibition, organised crime evolved to serve the market. The same thing has happened with marijuana prohibition. The difference is the Americans back then saw organised crime as a result of prohibition and decided prohibition was not working where today they see it as the reason for continued prohibition.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Prolonging the Recession
Republicans have made it abundantly clear they are working hard to prolong the recession. Prior to that they were unable to stop it with their tactics that are proven not to work. Why would any sane person vote Republican whether Obama succeeds or not? At least he is trying to stop the recession. The solution is to get rid of the Republicans who are blocking Obama from doing his job. This is so blindingly obvious, it is astounding even a single American is too stupid to see it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Promoting Genetic Defects
If one or both parties are infertile, sometimes they can use technology such as donated eggs, donated sperm, in-vitro fertilisation or surrogate mothers. The catch is, the child will likely inherit the same defects in the reproductive system and will require similar technology to reproduce. I don’t think it morally justifiable to impose serious reproductive defects on the child and I don’t think the taxpayer should fund such morally questionable procedures. Eventually, we may solve this by genetic manipulation to ensure the child has no such defects. For now, there is an excess of children without loving parents. Until they all find homes, we should consider such procedures vain and selfish, not to mention cruel.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republicanism is a political party whose primary purpose is to promote selfishness.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If we are to have prostitution, it should be done in a way that does not annoy the neighbours. Bawdy houses should be co-ops run by the girls who work there. They should be permitted to hire bouncers, a piano player and a bartender. Nearly all the problems with prostitution come from having girls picking up johns on the street.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Protect the Kids
We know that nearly all drug addicts, rapists and murderers were severely abused as children. If we really want to put a dent into these crimes, doesn’t it make more sense to concentrate on protecting children than even stronger punishments for the abused adults?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Protected Mental Illness
There are a number of protected mental illnesses. They are not acknowledged, diagnosed on treated. Consider:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Delusional religious fundamentalists who hold tenaciously to false beliefs and superstitions. They try to force them on others. In particular homophobes are permitted to harass and persecute homosexuals.
- Sexual sadists who are soldiers or high level politicians are allowed to rape, plunder and murder without restriction. They are even awarded medals for this behaviour and honoured with elaborate ceremonies when their victims manage to dispatch them.
- Compulsive money addicts can destroy the environment, make life miserable for entire cities, wipe out entire species, pollute etc. However, as long as they make large amounts of money in the process they are honoured citizens.
Caller after caller to the CBC Remembrance Day radio show justified, nay glorified, Canada and the USA invading other countries, illegally and unprovoked, then stealing their oil. Each caller asserted that our noble motive for doing this was protecting our freedoms. Just what threatened freedoms are they talking about? Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq has ever attacked Canada or the USA in the entire history of the human race. Further, they do not have the means to do so. They don’t even have the means to get to Canada. So the callers can’t be worried about literal invasion in retaliation for invading and occupying them. Maybe they mean the freedom to bomb around aimlessly in an SUV powered by cheap gas? Maybe they are just as full of shit as Nazis with their crazy excuses for mayhem. What about the right of Afghans and Iraqis to have two legs, to be free from torture, to husband their own natural resources, to run their own countries without interference from an infinitely conceited, patronising occupying power?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Protesting a Bad Law
It is not a valid defence when you are caught breaking a law that you think the law should be changed. The time to change the law is before you have broken it. If you believe that extraordinary circumstances require you to break a law, you must be willing to prove your sincerity by accepting the penalty, as Gandhi and the civil rights marchers did. This applies even to Dick Cheney breaking the anti-torture laws.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I was standing at a bus stop when a first nations mother of a toddler in a stroller started screaming at an elderly woman. The mother was upset because the elderly woman had looked at the baby. I said, Don’t be so silly. Everyone looks at babies. She obviously meant no harm to your child. She then started punching me and accusing me of racism. Had I hit her back, she would had her black eye photographed and I would become the villain. It is not really fair to convict someone of violence without seeing the provocation. For police, surely technology exists to film everything.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The difference between Rachel Maddow on the left and Rush Limbaugh on the right is Rachel just rolls tape of her whacko Republican opponents hanging themselves. Rush on the other hand never does this. Neither does he quote. He tells his listeners instead what his opponents are thinking and what evil things they intend to do. He has convinced his listeners he powers of a psychic.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Psychic Step To Politics
I would have expected more politicians to have started out as psychics where they would have perfected the art of sounding profound while committing to nothing.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Public Politician Auction
In the US elections, I see the overwhelming power of anonymous political donations to trick people into voting against their own interests. I suggest Americans give up the sham of being a democracy. Instead, they should hold a public auction where various cartels can buy politicians. The money from the slave auction would go to general revenue to reduce everyone’s taxes. There could also be a sort of stock market for daily buying and selling of politicians’ individual votes. The big advantage is who bought whom would at least be known, unlike now. It would also allow citizens’ groups and environmental groups to legally buy politicians too. At least the public then would know which corporations were funding the most evil and boycott them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
PUHCA (Public Utilities Holding Companies Act)
In 2005 George W. Bush repealed the PUHCA. This gave electric utilities the right to deny service to customers they made little profit on. Where are these customers supposed to get power when the utility has a monopoly? It also dropped the requirement that utilities plan for bad weather. It is more profitable to have massive, long-lasting blackouts during bad weather than build to withstand the conditions.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In 2005-08, George W. Bush repealed the PUHCA. Now electric companies no longer have to build to deal with bad weather. They can just let the lines fall and lie there until they get around to repairing them, which is the more profitable strategy. Utilities are now permitted to deny any customer power. They are under no obligation to provide power to anyone. They will only continue to provide power only where it remains sufficiently profitable.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
In our eagerness to punish criminals, we punish their spouses and children as well.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Punishing Climate Change FUDsters
Those who work to derail efforts to curtail climate change are guilty of a crime with far more dire consequences than raping or killing a child, yet the law offers no plea similar to self-defence to those who use extreme measures to stop them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Punishing Foolish Voters
One advantage of the US political system is it punishes the voters when they choose unwisely. For some reason, they never learn. Over and over they elect the crooked, the greedy and the cruel.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Punishment For Murder
If you want to punish someone for murder you could:
- Convict them to life imprisonment. They suffer perhaps 70 years.
- Convict them to lethal injection. They suffer perhaps 10 years
- Kill them with vigilance justice, a shooting or hanging. They suffer perhaps 5 minutes.
Oddly, Americans prefer the least suffering.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Punishment for Torture
Perhaps torturers should be give the option of a month of whatever torture they inflicted on others, in place of the usual punishment.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Punishment vs Deterrence
Americans are much more interested in punishing criminals than in deterring crime. Their notion of fighting crime is to select a few random individuals (usually poor and black) and make an example of them with harsh punishments all out of proportion to the crime. Humans, including criminals, are prone to wishful thinking. If there is any chance of not getting caught, they will presume luck will favour them. For deterrence, punishment must be swift and certain. Harshness just creates a sense of injustice, unfairness, resentment and justification for crime — not deterrence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you are debating someone and they dismiss all your evidence by calling you insane and laughing at you, but offer no counter evidence or counter reasoning, you get suspicious that they have no evidence to support their position. That is what is what defenders of the Bush version of what happened on 2001-09-11 do.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Purpose of Government
In theory, the have-nots use the government and the law to protect themselves from the excessive power of the haves. In practice, the haves use these same institutions to control the have-nots.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Purpose of Money
Money is for getting people to do things they would not otherwise do, an inducement, a bribe. The supreme court in its Citizens United decision ruled that corporate bribery of politicians with unlimited funds was legal. They claimed any limit on the amount was an infringement of free speech, a form of censorship. Freedom of speech guarantees you the right to speak your mind, not to an infinitely large megaphone that drowns out everyone else. An arbitrarily loud voice unfairly impinges on the right of others to free speech. They did not consider that. They conveniently refused to consider that the money was also a bribe. But, of course, they are as corrupt as George W. Bush who appointed John Roberts, the lead justice.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Purpose of TV
It tells us quite a bit about human psychology that TV quickly evolved primarily for portraying serial murders and the video game evolved for realistically simulating committing serial murders.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
According to Garry Kasparov, Putin attacked Syria to flood Europe with refugees. He also said Marine Le Pen, the head of the FN (French bigot party), bragged Putin gave her $10 million. He has been giving generously to other right wing bigot parties in Europe. They all openly support him.
It makes no sense to allow foreigners to buy your elections. The USA does it too.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When a cat, dog or horse gets too old or sick, we compassionately put them down to put them out of their suffering. Yet we refuse to do the same for humans, even when they are in much worse shape, even when they beg for deliverance. I think this is sadistic. The cruelty is motivated by fear of religious superstition. The law has no business interfering in end-of-life decisions by imposing Christian superstitions on everyone.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Quality Of Graduates
When you compare the quality of students graduating from a school or university, what you are mostly doing is comparing the stringency of the entrance requirements.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
A couple of hundred years ago, people did not linger. If they became sickly, an infection would kill them in a few days. Today, we use expensive technology to keep people barely alive for years, often against their will. It is a macabre thing to do to the elderly. It is most certainly not for their benefit, but for their children who can’t let go of their parents and for elderly silly Christians who have been traumatised with hell-fire and are afraid to die.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Imagine two seven year old piano students. One goes to one of the best piano teachers in the country until he is 16 years old. The other goes to one of the worst. They both show great promise. They both get accepted to the Juliard school of music and second student pulls far out ahead of the first. What if there had only been one slot at the Juliard? Which student should have got it?
- The first because he was the better player.
- The second because he had the rawer deal so far.
- The first or second because an expert looked at both students and predicted the second would end up the better student, taking into account how much native talent he had, what he had done with what he had been given, how hard-working he was…
The same logic should apply to racial quotas in giving black students consideration for the poor education they have been given so far.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans may be puzzled at the Afghans making such a production about American soldiers burning some Qur’an s. The equivalent would be foreigners claiming they accidentally burned some American flags. It is just not credible, especially when the American soldiers have done it so many times before, have desecrated mosques with graffiti and bombed them from the air.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you use racial profiling in policing, guaranteed you will find more poor black than rich white criminals even if whites were bigger scofflaws.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Racism in 1950
When you despair about bigotry and civil rights, rent a western from the 1950s. We have come quite a long way. It is quite a hoot to see blue-eyed Caucasians, in Liz Taylor eye makeup, portraying native Americans as the villains for defending their land from invasion.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Silly political correctness seems to think that a if a book or movie has a character with a regional accent, that is racist. Everyone has an accent, though yours is obvious only to people other than you. The only truly racist thing you can do is sweep some accents under the rug, trying to pretend they don’t have a right to exist or there is something shameful about them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Homophobia and racism run so deep in some people that they enjoy the suffering of children who have lost their parents to AIDS.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans who favour the papers-please Arizona law, realise there is no way other than race to select people for harassment. What they really want is both the hated illegal aliens and also the local Hispanics, (especially those daring to speak Spanish in public) harassed out of their neighbourhoods. Before long they will demand that blacks be hassled too — anyone but whites.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Racist Marijuana Laws
Even though blacks and white use marijuana roughly equally, in the USA, blacks are arrested four times as often. The marijuana laws are being used in a racist way to harass black people. The laws should be repealed on those grounds alone.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- In the USA, blacks who kill whites are 16 times as likely to be executed as whites who kill blacks.
- Black unemployment is 17%; white unemployment is 8%.
- Them median income of white households is 20 times that of black households.
- 29% of black children live in poverty.
Racists have shown that our ancestors, for all humans, came from Africa. What does that mean about racists?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It would be interesting if Steven Spielberg created an entertainment form that let you literally feel the pain and the terror of the actors in a scene. He would release a five-hour long epic Rape Child about being raped then forced by cackling Republicans to bear his baby. No one would be permitted to leave the theatre after the warning sampler.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Rape law should prevent women from forcing themselves on males without consent using the exact same law males are prevented from forcing themselves on women without consent.
- Rape trials should examine the motives each party has for lying. For example:
- Hope of extortion.
- Buyers’ remorse. A party feels ashamed of having given consent, not pretends they did not to increase social standing.
- Hope of publicity.
- A constructed memory.
- There should be a statute of limitations to trigger prosecution before memories have faded and witnesses disappeared. You also want to ensure the trial occurs in an era of prudishness/licentiousness that matches that of the era when the alleged crime occurred.
If you have trouble with rats, you can deal with the problem with ever nastier poisons that cause ever more protracted deaths, or you can look at what you are doing to attract rats and stop doing it. The same is true of terrorists.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Rationalising the Law
You’d think part of the Supreme Court’s job would be to keep the law consistent and rational. It would prevent nutty arbitrary laws, e.g. you may not keep orange cats as pets. It would prevent religious superstitions from being enshrined in law. But it doesn’t. For example, it permits the law to treat marijuana as a far more serious threat than methamphetamine, cocaine, alcohol and tobacco contrary to the scientific evidence.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Reacting to Deaths
You might feel angry when 100 innocent people are butchered, but not sad. For that, you grieve one particular person whose image you can see clearly in your mind, or grieve the deaths of people who look similar to the one you hold dear.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Reactions to Frustration
People buy expensive video game hardware whose purpose is to frustrate them. They will plug away fruitlessly trying win for months at a time and consider this recreation. Yet they will try one political intervention and give up because it was not instantly successful. Something does not add up.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Read Him His Rights
It is foolish not to read a suspected terrorist his Miranda rights, the same as you would for any other suspect. That could be the technicality that eventually gets him off.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Real Cause of Homelessness
Most people imagine the force holding homelessness and poverty in place is the reluctance of the rich to part with the money to solve the problems. Not so. Legislators are well aware of study after study explaining why it would cost roughly half as much to end these problems as to carry on doing what we are doing now. The wealthy want to punish the poor and homeless whom they see as wicked and lazy. They are willing to spend considerable amounts of extra money to satisfy their spite.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Reasons for Special Privilege
Humans are never more inventive that when coming up with rationalisations why they should receive special privilege.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Reasons to Legalise Marijuana
I live in Victoria, BC Canada. Recent polls show 70% of the province favour legalising marijuana. This has little to do with wishing to smoke marijuana without risk of jail. The reasons include:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- Eliminating the high cost of marijuana law enforcement that has almost no effect on consumption.
- Desire to deflect the profits from criminals to the government, with possible tax relief or debt reduction.
- Concern for the safely of young people using marijuana. Parents don’t want criminals lacing it with addictive drugs, dangerous fillers, or selling wildly varying dosages.
Reasons to Stop a War
Americans are much like Romans. They don’t need a reason to start a war or to continue one. War is the normal state of affairs. They require reasons to stop wars. Economic and moral arguments do not count. Only arguments based on self-interest are considered relevant.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Recalling Details Of My Birth
Donald Trump claims it is suspicious that Obama does not know the name of the doctor that delivered him and that no doctor has come forth to say he delivered Obama. I have no idea who delivered me and there is no reason he would remember me. Other than weighing 4.54 kg (10 lbs) there was nothing unusual about the delivery. There was nothing about me to indicate why I might become memorable as an adult. The same is true of Trump and Obama.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Governments know who owns each car and the current address of each driver. When a car manufacturer needs to do a recall, they should be able to call on the government to deliver the recall notices.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The period after the civil war is one of the most shameful in American history. The government handed out 40 acres and a mule to each black family. Then, after the land was productive again, they welshed on the deal and snatched the land back. They passed a civil rights act, then the supreme court declared it unconstitutional. Blacks, by law were only permitted to work picking cotton as field hands. They were required to sign contracts to bond them to plantation owners. They could not leave. They were whipped as is the old days. It was barely any different from slavery. If they were unemployed, they were sold into slavery. The Ku Klux Klan was allowed to murder blacks at will without interference. By 1900 all the gains in civil rights had been taken away.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When the value of a building drops below its insured value, it becomes a temptation to arson. To counter, fire insurance should pay no more than the market value, plus a refund for the premiums paid on the excess above market value.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When Republicans talk about reducing entitlements they mean cheating the poor out of pensions and unemployment insurance they already paid for and increasing the perks for corporations, billionaires and millionaires they did not pay for.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
When Republicans talk about reducing taxes they mean raising taxes on the poor and reducing them on corporations, billionaires and millionaires.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I feel contempt for right wingers who preach about the terrible things that will happen if marijuana is legalised. They let their imaginations run riot. There is no need to speculate. BC is not the first jurisdiction to contemplate such a change. We should look at what happened in other jurisdictions that made the change, in particular the Netherlands. I visited the Netherlands in 2002. I went into a coffee shop and ordered a coffee. The waitress explained they had no coffee. I was astounded. She explained they usually did serve coffee, but just now they were out. The main thing they sold was marijuana. The various types of marijuana were displayed in glass cases, with neatly lettered cards explaining each variety’s properties. The normal approach is for a couple to buy one joint and smoke it in the café. I discovered the Dutch have had the following successes:
- The system keeps marijuana out of the hands of children.
- It avoids contamination of the marijuana with addictive drugs, pesticides or other chemicals.
- The buyer knows the precise potency and weight of his purchase.
- The production and retail is all above board. The criminals are doing something else.
- The government raises money with taxes.
- The joints come as elegant paper cones, somewhat more sanitary than home-rolled.
- Marijuana buyers have no contact with the dealers of illegal addictive drugs, so it no longer acts as a gateway drug allowing dealers to sell them something addictive.
- I saw no sign of needle-drug usage so obvious in Canadian cities.
- I saw no sign of homeless people wandering about as you see in Canadian cities.
Don’t take my word for it; ask the scientists who have studied in detail what happened.
The downside is tourists from all over Europe pour into the Netherlands each weekend to buy the high-quality marijuana, then take it home where it is illegal. Sometimes the traffic congestion is so bad, the locals can’t go about their usual business. To deal with this, the government had to take measures to discourage marijuana tourists.
The change does not have to be perfect as the right wingers demand, just better than what we are putting up with now. I expected lower alcohol consumption, but I did not see that. It is unrealistic, for example to expect legalisation to cut marijuana consumption in half. And we would have to expect a bump in consumption, similar the bump in alcohol consumption at the end of prohibition.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
There was a time when Vikings from Norway pillaged the lands of my ancestors. Today they lead the world in ethical behaviour, forswearing cruelty to children, gays, women and the poor. They are one the most serious countries about creating new technology to curb greenhouse gas emissions, demonstrating on the bottom line their concern for the whole planet.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
We treat refugees is a very peculiar way. At first we haze them. We force them to sleep outside, travel in dangerously small boats. We make them stay in a series of tent camps. If they survive this, and if they pass our desirability tests, then we treat them like royalty. We provide them with homes, food, furniture, jobs, language lessons. Let’s skip the hazing and fly the ones we want direct from their homeland.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Refusal to Recycle
It is nuts that, like a dog in a manger, so many people burn, destroy or bury their organs just to keep other people from using them. They are like people who put cigarette butts in discarded drinks so homeless people cannot use them.
The default should be your organs are re-used. We should put as many roadblocks as possible in the way of people refuse including charging them criminally with refusing to provide aid to someone in distress and publicly shaming them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Refusal To Use a Working Drug Policy
There is only one drug whose use is dropping — tobacco. Religion teaches politicians to enjoy punishing others. Therefore they refuse to use these effective techniques on other drugs.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Regulating That Which Does Not Matter
I have often puzzled that humans feel most self-righteous when regulating the behaviour of others that has zero effect on them, e.g. sex, gay marriage, marijuana use, oral sex, contraception, pornography, the adultery of strangers, religious ceremonies…
This is so weird, when you consider people do so many things that do adversely affect each other.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
If you do nothing to rehabilitate prisoners, they are going to pose even greater hazards to society when you release them. Since part of the reason to put people in jail is to protect society, it really makes no sense to release them if they have a high chance of reoffending.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Reigning In Capitalism
Capitalism is relentlessly destroying the earth and enslaving the planet’s populations. We need to do a number of things to reign them in:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- No corporate campaign contributions.
- No mergers permitted. Large businesses should be broken up to encourage competition.
- Jail terms and fines for employees who commit crimes in the name of the corporation.
- Fines for firing/laying people off.
Rejecting the Ballot Box
If a group resort to intimidation or violence when they fail (perhaps only temporarily) at the ballot box, they are at heart Nazis. They don’t believe in majority rule. They do believe in might makes right. We should either incarcerate these people or ask them to leave the country. The worst offenders are those who claim to have an exclusive handle on the deity’s wishes.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Rejecting Majority Rule
When they lose at the ballot, some people resort to violence and intimidation. They reject majority rule. They are effectively Nazis who believe in might makes right. We in democratic countries should either incarcerate those people or ask them to leave.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Let’s say you go to a restaurant and they serve you a crab. It smells a bit off. How do you handle the problem:
- Eat it anyway. After all there is no absolute proof it is harmful.
- Send it back.
Oddly, strategy (1) is your only choice when it comes to questionable chemicals, artificial sex and growth hormones and pesticides in your food. The government’s policy is to presume something harmless until proven beyond any doubt that it is seriously harmful.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Why are Americans eager to spend $1 trillion a year to deal with terrorists who at best might blow up a few buildings but are unwilling to spend even a dime to deal with earthquakes that destroy entire cities?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Lincoln was a third party candidate who ran for the new Republican Party. He argued against slavery and also that blacks were inherently inferior. It is not fair to compare a historical figure against today’s standards. You have to measure how his views differed from his contemporaries.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Religion = Tradition
Religion is just another name for tradition, an ingrained habit. It is used to excuse all manner of wrongful behaviour including animal cruelty, beating up children, treating women as inferiors, persecuting gays and members of other religions, stealing land… Freedom of religion should protect you when you want to perform ceremonies, sing traditional songs, dress in traditional clothing etc. It should not give you special licence to make others miserable or to impose your religion on others.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Religious Criteria For Office
The American news media is of the opinion it is wicked to take a candidate’s religious beliefs into consideration. I strongly disagree. I think you should avoid leaders who are suffering under delusions such as:
- Praying will fix serious problems. There is no need to actually do anything.
- God won’t let anything terrible like nuclear war, global warming or mass extinction happen. There is nothing to do and nothing to worry about.
- It is my job to bring biblical prophesy to fruition by encouraging bloodshed in Israel.
- There is no need to preserve the forests since God is going to destroy them all soon anyway as part of his end of the world scenario.
- There is no chance a war we start will backfire on us, since God likes us best.
People that naïve can’t possibly deal with foxes like Putin and Gadafi.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Religious Right to Bully
Vic Toews, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety has come out opposing anti-bullying legislation, claiming it violates the Charter Rights of religious people to bully gay people. In his view, religious rights are violated if even students create clubs to curb bullying. In his view, Christian students must not even in the gentlest way have their right and duty to beat up gays challenged. It is not as though religious bigots are being forced to join such clubs. There is no religious or constitutional right to beat up gays, any more than there is a religious right to beat up Jews, First Nations people or Francophones. Toews is more than derelict in his duty to ensure the public safety of all Canadians; he is deliberately fostering illegal violence. He must resign.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69) source
Reluctance to Surrender
Because the USA has sunk so many dollars and so many lives into the Afghan and Iraq wars, they are having trouble ending the occupation. They feel an overwhelming need to save face. They keep throwing bodies on the fire simply to postpone the wound to the pride when they eventually withdraw. But consider the Afghans and Iraqis who have hundreds of times as many casualties, mostly children. Surrendering to the infidels who did this would be impossible.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Americans are worse than bullies. Not only does pride drive them to defeat their victims (accomplished long ago in the first days of each war), they torture them and they demand abject surrender. They even drive them to abandon their religious beliefs.
Remind You of Anyone
Republicans are pro-corporation, anti-labour, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-black, anti-Hispanic and covertly white supremacist. Does this remind you of anyone? As George Santayana (born:1863-12-16 died:1952-09-26 at age:88) observed, Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
During the American Civil War, General Sherman promised slaves who would escape and fight for the North, 40 acres and a mule when the war was over. The administration kept its word, except people received temporary leases which would eventually turn into ownership. Then Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, Andrew Jackson became president. He took back the lands and gave the to former slaveowners. The descendants of those slaves should be able to sue for at least the present day value of that land. Americans forget that the North was losing until the escaped slaves came to fight for the north.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Representative democracy is supposed to work like this: Various parties explain their policies. The people decide which policies they like. They vote for those politicians. The majority view prevails and those politicians implement their policies. The Republicans in the USA have discovered a way to subvert this process. Before the election, they lie about their policies. Then when they win, they implement totally different and highly unpopular policies. They claim a mandate to do anything they please because the won the most seats. In the next election, you’d think the people would turf them out. But they solicit funds from special interests, then prepare ads lying not only about their supposed future policies, but what happened in the past. Oddly, people begin to doubt their memory of what actually happened.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republican Big Spenders
Republicans talk endlessly about reducing the debt and reigning in government spending, but when you look at the numbers, they are the big spenders, especially on pointless wars and a gold-plated military.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Republicans have got themselves into a no-win situation. By inviting the rabid evangelicals and right wing crazies (the Tea Party) to revive then take over the party, now only candidates considerably to the right of Republican icons (like Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower) can win a primary. But the only candidates who can win the general election are ones that straddle the middle. Only a contortionist, hypocrite, flip flopper and accomplished liar need apply.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republicans are relying more and more on a particular dirty trick, e.g. refusing to extend the jurisdiction of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) or extend the debt limit unless the Democrats cave to unpopular extreme demands, like gutting social security or banning unions. Republicans are like a crazed teenager who grabs the wheel and threatens to drive to the car over a cliff if you don’t buy him some drugs.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Canadian children, in high school, learn two things about elections:
- To win an election, in a two party system, the winning party must gain 51%+ of the vote. Their policies must straddle the middle.
- If there are two parties with similar platforms, they will split the vote, and neither will win.
Republicans act as if they did not understand these things. They imagine if they lose, they must become even more extreme and field candidates who like to howl at the moon. It is quite possible they do understand, but they are such selfish attention cravers, they pretend not to understand.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
I can’t believe the gall of Republican billionaires who claim the top priority should be dismantling the social safety net for the benefit of those disenfranchised, namely those who will die without medical coverage, those with disabilities that mean they cannot survive without care those who will wander the snowy streets without shelter. The uber-rich already have 90% of the wealth, far more than they could ever spend, yet they cannot rest until they have ever last penny of the planet’s wealth and everyone else are beggars. It is an insane game with real victims. My contempt for these loons is unbounded.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republican Budget Theory
If the Republican party ran your household budget:
~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
- They would tell your kids to drop out of school to save money.
- They would procrastinate fixing the leak in the roof to save money.
- They would tithe 25% of your income to the Koch brothers and the Walton (Walmart) family.
- They would rip out your solar panels and install an oil furnace.
- They would save money by leaving the old batteries in the smoke alarms.
- They would sell your hybrid and buy a Hummer.
- They would put your groceries on your MasterCard and pay only the minimum amount each month.
- They would stock your root cellar with automatic weapons for use in killing gays, immigrants, blacks, Koreans and other undesirables as soon as it becomes legal.
- They would put your life savings in McDonnell Douglas stock.
Republican Champions of Blacks
Lincoln, a Republican president, issued the emancipation proclamation. Lincoln was assassinated because he called for giving the vote the black people. During reconstruction, the Democratic party ran the most racist presidential campaign in American history. They allied with the Ku Klux Klan in a reign of terror over blacks. What a huge blunder when the Republican party lost that advantage and drove away the black vote.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republicans represent the short term interests of the wealthiest 2% of the population and they are willing to tell any lie to distract the populace from noticing that fact.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republican Dinosaur Thinking
The more I study life in previous centuries, the more I discover Republican/Conservative values are just an extension of elitist and anti-environmental attitudes of 200+ years ago. London refused to consider a sewer until its streets were three feet deep in feces. Politicians argued against universal education on the grounds the poor deserved their poverty and education might help them out of it~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69) At Home: A Short History of Private Life
Republican Government Intervention
Republicans believe in letting the market make all decisions and keeping the government from interfering with private citizens — with two exceptions — pornography and marijuana.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Republicans are such hypocrites for dumping on the successful GM (Genetically Modified) bailout that saved the entire auto industry. Even rival Ford acknowledges this. Had the Republicans been in power, they would have offered an even more generous bailout with even fewer conditions. How do you know? That’s what they did for the wall street banks. Republicans do whatever the plutocrats and large corporations ask them to.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Back in the 1980s, Republicans cheered when impoverished East Germans risked their lives and broke through the Berlin Wall to economic opportunity. Today, they patrol the border and shoot at Mexican families doing the same thing.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
During the debt ceiling crisis, the Republican party proved itself willing to throw the USA into economic collapse in order to protect the special privilege of the super wealthy. After that, it baffles me if any Republican is ever elected again.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
It is hard to make any sense of the Republicans until you accept that they are willing to do anything to defeat Obama, even bankrupt the country, even risk having it nuked, even throw Republican homeowners out onto the streets to eat from dumpsters… They will do anything to prolong the recession at least until the presidential election in 2012 just to make Obama look bad. They are obsessed to the point of mental illness.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Americans are going to have an extremely difficult time digging out of their recession with the rich people, the Tea Party and the Republicans working 24/7 to make matters worse in an attempt to blame the mess on Obama. The first matter of business has to be making them cut that out.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
This fad of civility in the US legislatures lets Republicans hide the fact they have prostituted themselves to business and billionaires.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
We refer to Republicans as right wingers or conservatives, but this is inaccurate. It suggests they want to conserve traditional values. In actuality they are extreme radicals. They want to put the interests of corporations above all else, destroying the environment and ruining lives as a side effect. They are anti-environmentalists and anti-humanists. That is what we should call them.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Goldwater Republican think tank say that if an employer pays his employees less, and keeps the money for himself, the tax system should reward him for being a good steward of his invested money. I think he should pay more because he has broader shoulders, he is using more government services and because he is screwing his employees. He is a bastard who has discovered how to exploit others by legally abusing the caption system. You don’t want to reward that sort of behaviour.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Many times in past, Democrats and Republicans have united to do the simple, obvious things to create jobs and help pull their country out of a recession. What is different this time is the Republicans and the Tea Party have made their #1 priority seeing President Obama fail. Their tactic is to deliberately drive the economy into the ditch. Jeb Bush explained the plan in his 1995 essay in Imprimis Magazine Imprimis Magazine. Two things will happen as a result:
- Obama will be blamed for the failed economy and lose his bid for re-election.
- Government will be bankrupted and corporations will take over most of its functions.
Their goal is the end of democracy, replacing it with a plutocracy/corporatocracy/theocracy.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republicans are the most amazing salesmen. Almost every one of their votes comes by persuading someone to vote against his self interest and for the interest of someone considerably better off.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Republicans claim they want government to be as small as possible, handling only the dire necessities, however they make two exceptions: socialised football and socialised baseball. They build football and baseball stadiums at public expense for the exclusive use of wealthy team owners, wealthy players and wealthy season ticket holders. Why should the poor subsidise entertainment for the rich?~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
Metaphorically, the Republican strategy is to send out gangs to shoot up neighbourhoods then campaign on reducing crime.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Republican party is like some bimbo in a sci if movie whose brain gets taken over by group after group of aliens. Originally it was old money, then corporate America (mostly defence and energy), then evangelistic Christians, then corporate America again (mostly insurance and big pharma), then teabaggers… It has no moral compass, so it cannot resist takeover.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)
The Republicans are behaving like terrorists. They are a small group who demand they get their way or they will economically blow up the entire country.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:69)