I have an intense dislike for any government that feels it has to keep tabs on all its citizens, all the time.
* * *
This sort of concept frequently turns up in my own science fiction precisely because I was able to see--as early as 1981--the benefits of analog computing. So one alien race in my primary SF universe uses computers which have both digital and analog layers: they're a bitch to program but man are they fast.
Okay? I had this approximate idea in 1981 but no freakin' clue how to implement it. I'm glad someone else who did had a similar idea.
* * *
The mainstream media and the beltway insiders are the only ones who didn't expect unemployment to go up. They are the only ones because they think John Maynard Keynes was a genius who was never wrong.
"U.S. employers appear to be laying off workers again as the economic recovery weakens." Sing along, folks! THERE IS NO ECONOMIC RECOVERY. THERE NEVER WAS. IT WAS ALL SMOKE AND MIRRORS. The Obama administration took steps to artificially inflate GDP so they could say there was an economic recovery (steps like "Cash for Clunkers") but GDP is an indicator and the map is never the territory.
Let me say it again: The recovery is not "faltering". THERE IS NO ECONOMIC RECOVERY TAKING PLACE.
* * *
The UAW leadership is a crapload of communist shitheads.
I like this comment:
Unions are increasingly irrelevant, in my view.There are some jobs for which we still can't use robots. For anything involving judgement, you're better off with a human; but just putting one part onto another and tightening fasteners, that job a robot can do faster and more efficiently than a person. The robot doesn't require lunch, rest, or 15-minute coffee breaks, either.
Someone tell The Man Who Would Be Bob King that the UAW should find ways to make more money for the company, so they can afford to stay in business, so their employees can continue to keep their jobs, instead of how to pry more money, better retirement packages and more insurance from the company.
You can be replaced by a robot. Robots just do what you tell them to do. Remember that, Bob.
The best part of this: Bob King says that Toyota is preventing its workers from organizing, and nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, every time the UAW has tried to unionize the various "transplants", they have been voted down. The workers in those plants don't want the UAW there.
What Bob King objects to is that he can't get his grubby tentacles into those plants. That makes him insane: those guys are building cars and we're not getting union dues from them!
It's typical liberal-tyrant hogwash: "those people are against the First Amendment because they won't let us have control over their contracts with their employer!"
* * *
Keith Olbermann proves he can't comprehend history. This Missorah.com piece is a follow-up to the one I linked to yesterday, and it's hilarious.
* * *
WTF, I thought if you cooked the eggs you wouldn't get salmonella from them. I thought that was the whole reason places like IHOP have that warning printed in the menu about eggs that are not fully cooked.
"Patty Lovera, assistant director of the national consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch, said the outbreak was predictable."
...okay, any time you see the phrase "consumer advocacy group", bear in mind, that translates to LIBERAL TOTALITARIAN FRONT. "Consumer advocacy groups" are always trying to increase government regulation of everything. Ban this, ban that, ban the other thing.
Shit. I heard yet another scaremongering story about Bisphenol A tonight on the news, trying to scare people over harm to their children caused by traces of BPA in cash register receipts.
Come on. Are you fucking serious? How much BPA can you possibly absorb from a slip of paper? Maybe if you roll yourself up in the stuff and get it soaking wet and lie in it all night every night for ten years, maybe your body will absorb enough BPA for it to be measurable. MAYBE. And the report admitted they had no idea how much BPA is actually transmitted that way; only that it could be.
Meanwhile, we're talking about a compound which has been tested to an extreme, and has been found to be safe to store food with, even in constant contact, for months.
There's no evidence which suggests that BPA interferes with the human endocrine system, at least not in the concentrations found in typical contact with it.
It's outrageous and stupid, and it's junk science to boot.
* * *
As they age and retire, Baby Boomers are likely to spend less. The single largest demographic in history is going to stop spending as much as it has, right when the economy is in the greatest recession since the 1930s.
* * *
Greece's austerity measures are not working. Just take a look at the lede:
The austerity measures that were supposed to fix Greece's problems are dragging down the country's economy. Stores are closing, tax revenues are falling and unemployment has hit an unbelievable 70 percent in some places. Frustrated workers are threatening to strike back.No, that doesn't look good.
Socialism always fails, sooner or later. What you're seeing in Greece is the precursor to a massive failure of European socialism. It's going to spread, even to France and Germany and the UK, because socialism is always unsustainable over the long run and some of these countries have been at it longer than the Soviet Union existed.
Greece raised taxes even while it cut spending; and as a socialist country Greece was probably already on the right side of the Laffer curve as it was, before the tax increases.
Sorry, Bush (41). I know you called it "voodoo economics" but that voodoo works every time it's tried.
The entire country is in the grip of a depression. Everything seems to be going downhill. The spiral is continuing unabated, and there is no clear way out. The worse part, however, is the fact that hardly anyone still hopes that things will improve one day.See that? The "official" statistic for unemployment in Greece, last year, was 9.5%. Equivalent to what? U3 or U6? I wonder; I bet the GSEE's figure of 20% is Greece's U6.
The country's unemployment rate makes this trend particularly clear. In 2009, it was 9.5 percent. This year it may rise to 12.1 percent and economists expect it to reach 14.3 percent in 2011. Those, though, are only the official numbers, which were provided by Angel Gurría, secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Greek trade union association GSEE considers those numbers far too optimistic. It considers 20 percent to be a more likely figure for 2011.
Ours is around 17%.
...you see what I mean about civil unrest here in the US? You think it can't happen here?
* * *
Ray Bradbury mused that it may be time for another revolution, and the SF community arose and called him a crazy old man.
See, this is one reason my own work languishes: I know how left-wing the SF community is. Shit. Go to a freakin' con for three days and then tell me those people would enjoy reading something I wrote. You, O faithful Reader of the Fungus, have to know it ain't so.
How many Hugos has Jerry Pournelle won? Compare that to Joe Haldeman's record.
* * *
Steven linked an article in a humorous fashion: "Dear NASA: Please find a way to violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics."
The article: "Star Wars fans ask NASA to build a hyperdrive".
Okay, look: when you're asking someone to build a hyperdrive who calls ion propulsion an "exotic propulsion system", you're a damn long way from even approaching the speed of light, much less surpassing it.
Gark Kurtz, who produced the first two SW movies, said, "The moon landings, of course, were very important, but I think more recently the Hubble Space Telescope and the space station have been very good keys for people that this work is very important."
...okay, HST is an unmanned satellite, and the only "traveling" it does is orbiting the Earth. Similarly, ISS just orbits the planet. Neither of them go anywhere. ISS is a boondoggle; it's an excuse to have the space shuttle. "We need a shuttle to build a space station! We need a space station to have a destination for the shuttle!" Circular logic: a perfect metaphor for NASA's goals over the past 40 years.
The moon landings were a thousand times more important than anything NASA has done since then. I'm not arguing the value of the unmanned program; it's been an incredible boon for science. But our manned program is where all the real progress came from, and since the ending of Apollo it's been nothing but a circle jerk. (Heh. Orbit--circle jerk. Heh.)
* * *
Vox Day links to one of John Scalzi's guest bloggers, and adds, "This is a fine example of why guest bloggers are usually a bad idea."
And this piece is great. It's about that new therapy for unborn children...let's see... "A hormonal treatment to prevent ambiguous genitalia." Yeah. See, it might prevent the child from being a homosexual, and (predictably) the homosexual community is upset about that.
"There's really no rational reason for this to become a political issue anyhow, not in a country where unborn children can be murdered at will by their mothers. It would be impossible to convincingly argue that a parent has the legal right to kill a child but not therapeutically de-homo one."
No, not "impossible". Remember: "the law is an ass." The government could make the hormone therapy illegal while keeping abortion legal; they could argue that the latter is for the health of the mother and that the former was not necessary for the health of the child. (Or, they could get some "consumer advocate groups" to come up with fake science demonstrating that the treatment caused cancer or something.)
* * *
"We need the lesson to be [My God What Have We Done.]"
Please go vote in November. Vote hard right. CRUSH THE DEMOCRAT PARTY.
"...Bicycle Repairman, ready to smash the Communists, wipe them out, and grind them into the dust. ... MASH THE DIRTY RED SCUM! KICK THEM IN THE TEETH WHERE IT HURTS! KILL! KILL! FILTHY, BASTARD COMMIES! I HATE 'EM! I HATE 'EM I HATE 'EM! ARRGH! ARRRRRRGH!" (John Cleese, Monty Python's Flying Circus, "Bicycle Repairman". Cleese was kidding. I am not.)
* * *
Also at Ace, this is great.
Blame Bush for this-- the guy was unpopular when he left, but apparently not unpopular enough for Democrats to keep buttering their bread with him.Gyaa ha ha ha ha.A prominent Democratic pollster is circulating a survey that shows George W. Bush is 6 points more popular than President Obama in “Frontline” districts — seats held by Democrats that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sees as most vulnerable to Republican takeover. That Bush is more popular than Obama in Democratic-held seats is cause for outright fear....
This Hotline piece is mostly a lot of obvious stuff-- use Obama for discreet (no cameras!) fundraising, make each election individual and personal, etc. -- but damn, there is this quote:"He is a walking radioactive disaster," one senior Democratic operative said of the president.
There's another one: "the walking, talking, radioactive disaster-in-chief".
* * *
And this one echoes my own sentiments on Obama's religion.
* * *
...damn it, Ace of Spades HQ is full of good stuff all the damn time. You all read it already, don't you? Why didn't anyone tell me?
* * *
This fatuous moron is probably a Democrat voter.
* * *
Meanwhile, Obama takes yet another vacation. The vacationer-in-chief sure is racking up the downtime, isn't he? Old Boss Tweek really does have a problem with stress management.
Well, come on: it's been a whole month since his last one.
...this is his ninth vacation since January 20, 2009, and he's taken a total of 48 vacation days so far. That's an average of a bit more than three vacation days per month every month since he took office, over and above whatever downtime he's taken for golfing. This one will make it 58 days.
Nine vacations averaging not quite a week each.
You know, most people--when they've only been in a job for a year and a half--get maybe two weeks. (If they're lucky.) At the executive level it's usually more, but I suspect that any corporation's board of directors would look askance at any CEO who took nine weeks of vacation in his first eighteen months on the job. Particularly when it was his first executive position, EVER.
* * *
Mom had a PET scan today, and got the appointment time wrong. We were there an hour early. We left the house around 3-ish and didn't get home until after 7. Argh etc.