atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#3037: Damn it to--

I just had to throw out two servings of apple crisp because I forgot that apple crisp is not apple pie.

Apple pie doesn't go bad very quickly. You can leave an apple pie sitting at room temperature for quite a while before it turns inedible; generally you don't have to worry, though, because it gets eaten fast.

Not so with apple crisp. It's just apples under a layer of sweetened oatmeal, and there isn't enough sugar present to preserve the fruit.

Moral: either refrigerate it--WTF, I'm going to heat it in the microwave anyway so that the ice cream melts correctly!--or eat it faster. *sigh*

* * *

Ann Coulter reminds us that Democrats feel perfectly justified in saying racist things about black Republicans.

* * *

The Occupati are not exactly nice people. Perhaps when Karl Denninger was visiting with the Occupati in his neck of the woods they were on their best behavior; but I've seen many, many more images like the ones at that link (Michelle Malkin) than of the type Denninger has posted.

Occupati don't like subsidizing freeloaders.

Whatever your opinion of the protests, you can't justify full-blown riots.

...I don't see anything on Denninger's page about the riots in Oakland last night. There's another defense of the protest as not being primarily communist/socialist; he fisks a piece by Thomas Sowell but--again--doesn't mention the riots last night.

Do the Occupati have the right to peacefully assemble and protest? Hell yeah! This is America.

Do the Occupati have the right to riot and vandalize things? Hell no!

Do the grievances enumerated by the Occupati rise to the level of requiring armed revolt to address? No. In any case, a street riot will do nothing, particularly when the rioters flee from cops the instant they show up.

Problem is, riots are inevitable.

I've already said it once; let me clarify it. I think the Occupati are correct in their identification of the problem; they are incorrect in their proposed solutions.

On the one hand they correctly identify the Wall Street/Washington axis as the source of the problems--non-enforcement of laws, disregard for the Constitution and founding principles of the US, and so on--and then on the other hand they say that the solution to all the problems is more government. More spending on the environment, free education, free health care, free-free-free all of which has to be paid for somehow, and the inevitable result is a titanic federal government.

The easiest solution to all of this doesn't require a new Constitution or even any new laws. All it requires is that the laws already on the books be enforced for everyone, equally.

If I go to jail for fraudulently taking $10,000 from my employer, then Jon Corzine goes to jail for taking $100,000,000 from his employers. Jon Corzine doesn't get a break because he knows the right people and votes the right way, any more than I get a break for "only" taking ten grand. Fraud is fraud and theft is theft regardless of who is doing it, how mucn they take, or which way they vote.

This is all we need.

Revolutionary concept, isn't it? Our self-styled betters recoil in horror at the thought that they might be held to the same standards we are, but it's how things have to be. It's why the founding principle of the United States is no one is above the law. No one, nohow.

Just enforce the law equally and a lot of these problems go away.

...of course, then the economy tanks because we've got about twenty years of pure fraud to account for, and many big bankers go to jail with their cronies in government; and lots of soi disant "honest" politicians also end up losing their cushy seats because people are mad at how shitty everything has become. But believe me, this situation is vastly preferable to the alternative, which is a full-blown hot revolution with guns and bombs and all the other things that revolutions bring.

The way things are right now, though, it almost looks as if the "right way" is impossible. The Washington/Wall Street axis is not going to voluntarily give up its cushy lifestyle, and none of them care what we think about how they do things. "They're just hicks in flyover country. What do they know?"

For one thing, we know that we outnumber you guys.

* * *

The self-styled elites know this. That's why they want gun control so fervently; it's why they want to register firearms and limit sales and do everything in their power to keep us from owning guns that can be used for self-defense. In the absolute worst-case scenario, the founding documents of this country agree that citizens can tear the whole thing down if it's absolutely necessary and start over.

* * *

DOOM!

Mark Steyn lays out what the budget fiasco last summer actually amounted to.

*

Illinois is in the shitter. The Peoples' Demokratik Republik of Illinoistan is broke--flat-busted broke--and the Democrat-ruled state has continued to do all the stupid things that led it here in the first place.

Isn't it wonderful?

* * *

$23 for a one-way bus ticket to Chicago from Iowa City. Shit. That's cheap and it sounds like a nice ride. Probably takes longer than driving yourself, but $23 won't even pay for the gasoline required for that trip. Man.

Oh, wait: "the one-way trip takes less than four hours". Never mind that "longer" bit above.

And look, if you will, at the reason all this is mentioned:
The federal government is again offering money it does not have to entice a state (Iowa) to spend money that it does not have on something it does not need. The state of Iowa is being asked to provide funds to match federal funding for a so-called "high speed rail" line from Chicago to Iowa City. The new rail line would simply duplicate service that is already available. [The aforementioned bus service.]
Other problems include the fact that the travel time on this "high speed rail" line would mean an average speed of 45 MPH. Whoa!! We're gonna have our own Shinkansen here in the midwest, and--uh? You say the Shinkansen goes some four times faster than that? Oh. Yeah. The speed limit on I-80 is 65, isn't it? I forgot that. 65 is faster than 45, isn't it?

Seems like the simple inequality 65>45 is lost on our "betters" in the federal government.

Please note that the company mentioned, Megabus, is a private corporation. It receives no government money. It uses existing infrastructure. For what the feds want to spend on a totally unnecessary high speed rail line, we could have a hundred buses going from Iowa City to Chicago per day.

"But that's not necessary!" Then why is high speed rail necessary? Look: if we needed it, if it was economically necessary to have high-speed passenger trains, they would already exist and no government initiative would be required. If it were economically necessary someone would be able to make a profit on it, and there would be people lining up to get permits to build high speed rail lines all over the damn place.

If we needed high speed rail Amtrack would not be necessary. Amtrack has never turned a profit, not once in any of the three decades it's been in existence. Why? Because intercity passenger rail traffic is a money-losing proposition.

* * *

Vox Day thinks the EU is not long for this world. Greece is going to blow up, one way or another; that's inevitable and it has been since they first started talking "austerity" to fix their debt problem. Right now we're at the point where they can still rearrange the deck chairs; but the ship is sinking fast and sooner or later it's going to mean some big, big problems.

"The problem with socialism is that, sooner or later, you run out of other peoples' money." Margaret Thatcher FTW.

* * *

When Fred Reed talks about life in Mexico it's almost always a worthwhile read.

The "war on drugs" has been bungled, horribly, and all it has done is given the government an excuse to make inroads against the Fourth Amendment. It has not seriously limited the drug trade within the United States.

Being, as I am, a pragmatist, I have to concede that the effort has failed. We've been trying to prohibit the use of illicit pharmaceuticals for over forty years, and all we've done is make the bad guys warier and more devious. We have not really curbed drug use, that's for certain.

Since the effort has failed, I conclude that we should end the present efforts and try to figure out another way to approach the problem.

There is, simply put, too much money to be made in selling drugs to Americans. Fred gets it right when he says, "Washington does not want Americans to have vast amounts of drugs. Neither did it want to lose votes by imprisoning white users of drugs, such as college students, high-school students, professors, Congressmen, lawyers, and blue-collar guys driving bulldozers."

Also cops, judges, teachers, bankers....

I'm going to say it again: intoxicant use is stupid. It's a waste of money, and frequently it's a waste of a lot of money. A friend of mine once told me he spent over a hundred dollars on a night out drinking--and I wanted to ask, "Is that supposed to be cool? 'Cause I don't see it."

Working all week so you can afford to spend your weekend shitfaced--that's just stupid.

...but there is not--can be no--law against being stupid. If they outlawed stupidity everyone would be in jail. (Self included.) Which means that, regardless, stupid people are going to go get the drugs and abuse them, and some people will OD and others will do other stupid things. You can't avoid it; and simply making the drugs illegal has obviously done nothing to curtail the stupidity of the sort of people who can only concentrate on "getting high".

If we were to stop pretending that we could protect stupid people from themselves--because we can't--we might actually be able to do something constructive about the problem.

Look, if you want to eliminate the criminal element, getting rid of their biggest cash cow would be an excellent way to start. The drug trade flourishes not because these people are shrewd businessmen but because their product is illegal and they therefore can set whatever price they like. Competition rarely occurs and when it does, it's settled with violence rather than at the marketplace.

A real business, one with a boardroom and stockholders, would run those shitheads out of business faster than you could smoke their product. If it were legal, big business would move in and put all the thugs right out of business; the thugs would be unable to compete because they're not capable of running an honest business where you're not allowed to "rub out" your competitors and a drive-by shooting is not an acceptable form of market competition.

Re-legalized drugs would force gangs to either adapt or die: go legitimate, or find yourself facing diminishing profits and failing business. Your customers would expect your product to be as safe and pure as the stuff they buy at the drug store (with the USFDA label on it and the government tax stamps) and if it wasn't, you wouldn't be able to sell it except at a steep discount.

Meanwhile the big companies would beat you on volume. You could probably buy a generic version from them and make some money selling it, but it'd be piecemeal and you wouldn't be driving around in a Hummer H2 with 24" rims--you couldn't afford the gas for it.

I'm not "okay" with legalizing drugs, but if we want to get rid of drug crime we need to cut off the money, and drugs are where the gangs make their money. Make it a legal product and the gangs end up withering on the vine; they'll eat each other in pretty short order and what will be left will be manageable.

Yes, a lot of people will die. Yes, addicts will suffer terribly. The only difference between this scenario and the present day is who and where, not what and how. I am all for having the people who are responsible for all this shit be the ones who suffer, and that means the addicts and their suppliers.

* * *

Damn it, I'm in a pretty draconian mood. Do you see what happens when I don't get my apple crisp??
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