SimpleDisorder.com
Daily Pics, My Comic, and The Times
the Daily
the Comic
the Blog
Haunted?
Ever notice how a 4-year-old's voice is louder than
200 adult voices?

Several years ago, I returned home from a trip
just as a storm struck with non-stop lightning and
crashing thunder. As I entered my bedroom at about
2 a.m., I found my two children in bed with my wife,
apparently scared by the loud storm. I resigned
myself to sleep in the guest bedroom that night. The
next day, I talked to the children, and explained that
it was O.K. to sleep with Mom when the storm was bad,
but when I was expected home, please don't sleep with
Mom that night.
They said OK.

After my next trip several weeks later, my wife and the
children picked me up in the terminal at the appointed
time. The plane was late, and there were hundreds of
other folks waiting for their arriving passengers, also.
As I entered the waiting area, my son saw me, and came
running, shouting, "Hi, Dad! I've got some good news!"

As I waved back, I said loudly, "What's the good news?"

"Nobody slept with Mommy while you were away this
time!" Alex shouted.

The airport became very quiet, as everyone in the waiting
area looked at Alex, then turned to me, and then searched
the rest of the area to see if they could figure out exactly
who his Mom was.

*.*

The Old Man's Job Application
This is an actual job application that a 75-year-old senior citizen submitted to Wal-Mart in Arkansas.

NAME: George Martin

DESIRED POSITION: Company President or Vice President. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.

DESIRED SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.

EDUCATION: Yes.

LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility.

PREVIOUS SALARY: A lot less than I'm worth.

MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes.

REASON FOR LEAVING: It sucked.

HOURS AVAILABLE TO WORK: Any.

PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.

MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?

DO YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICAL CONDITIONS THAT WOULD PROHIBIT YOU FROM
LIFTING UP TO 50 lbs.?: Of what?

DO YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"

HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?: I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, so they tell me.

DO YOU SMOKE?: On the job - no, on my breaks - yes.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy dumb, sexy, blonde, supermodel who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now.

DO YOU CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE IS TRUE AND COMPLETE TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE?: Oh yes, absolutely.

SIGN HERE: Sagittarius

Wal-Mart ended up hiring the old man because he was so funny.

*.*

Can anyone tell me why…??

If all the nations in the world are in debt, where did all the money go?

Who copyrighted the copyright symbol?

Why are the numbers on a calculator and a phone reversed?

If a person suffered from amnesia and then was cured would they remember that they forgot?

If a person owns a piece of land do they own it all the way down to the core of the earth?

*.*

LIFE IN THE 1500'S

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500's:

Most people got married in June, because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children! Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.
It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway.
Hence the saying a "thresh hold."

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "upper crust."

*.*

Oneliners:

My brain will fixate on people I hate while allowing me to forget to drink enough water.

I read that a cat will start eating your dead body if left alone for a day or two, but a dog will usually defend the body for a week or more, and then only eat you out of starvation. I think this illustrates what has been on the cat's mind all along.

The fact that we have McDonald's in Wal-Mart and Starbucks in Target says a a lot about the demographics.

We should have a steroid Olympics to see the absolute potential of the human body.

We are all colorblind relative to a mantis shrimp.

Before photography, no one had ever seen themselves blink.

It's called firmware because firm is between hard and soft

Jurassic world has all the technology to create a dinosaur from scratch, but nobody thought to make a custom mobile app to track the dinosaurs they create?

Trying to fall asleep is just faking it until you make it.

Hurricanes are becoming so powerful and violent that they should be named after fictitious monsters and villains to encourage evacuation. Hurricane Patricia doesn't sound scary, but Hurricane Sauron does.

Batman sure is lucky he never got an identifiable scar on his lower face

If I ever see an amputee getting hanged, I'd probably just start calling out letters.

Issue of the Times;
We're Still Haunted by the Labor Theory of Value by Steven Horwitz

Why are so many students convinced that they should receive better grades for the papers they’ve spent so much time writing?

It’s not a belief about the quality of those papers; it’s a belief about the hours and hours spent working on them.
This fundamental misunderstanding about the value of labor is at the center of the Marxist critique of capitalism.

The Center of Everything

For thousands of years, humans were sure that the earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolved around it. With the advent of systematic inquiry, scientists had to develop more and more complex explanations for why their observations of the universe did not fit with that hypothesis. When Copernicus and others offered an alternative explanation that was able to explain the observed facts, and did so more clearly and concisely, the heliocentric model triumphed. The Copernican revolution changed science forever.

There is a similar story in economics. For hundreds of years, many economists believed that the value of a good depended on the cost of producing it. In particular, many subscribed to the labor theory of value, which argued that a good’s value derived from the amount of work that went into making it.

Much like the geocentric view of the universe, the labor theory of value had some superficial plausibility, as it does often seem that goods that involve more labor have more value. However, much like the story in astronomy, the theory got increasingly complicated as it tried to explain away some obvious objections. Starting in the 1870s, economics had its own version of the Copernican revolution as the subjective theory of value became the preferred explanation for the value of goods and services. Today, the labor theory of value has only a minuscule number of adherents among professional economists, but it remains all too common in other academic disciplines when they discuss economic issues, as well as among the general public. (The labor theory of grades is, as I noted above, particularly popular among college students.)

The Specter of Karl Marx (and Adam Smith)

One reason the theory is still the implicit explanation of value in many other disciplines is because they rely on the theory’s most famous adherent for their understanding of economics: Karl Marx. Marx was hardly the only economist to hold this view, nor is the labor theory of value unique to socialists. Adam Smith believed in a somewhat weaker version of the theory as well.

For Marx, the theory was at the center of his view of the problems of capitalism. The argument that capitalism exploited workers depended crucially on the view that labor was the source of all value and that the profits of capitalists were therefore “taken” from workers who deserved it. Marx’s concept of alienation focused on the centrality of labor to making us human and the ways in which capitalism destroyed our ability to take joy in our work and control the conditions under which we created value. Without the labor theory of value, it is not clear how much of Marx’s critique of capitalism remains valid. Part of the problem for Marx and others who accepted the theory was that there were so many seemingly obvious objections that they had to construct complex explanations to account for them. What about the value of land or other natural resources? What about great works of art that were produced with a small amount of labor but fetched extremely high prices? What about differences in individuals’ skill levels, which meant that there would be different amounts of time required to produce the same good?

The classical economists, including Marx, offered explanations for all of these apparent exceptions, but, like the increasingly complex explanations of the geocentricists, they began to feel ad hoc and left people searching for a better answer.

The Austrian Revolution

In economics, that answer came when, much like Copernicus, several economists realized that the old explanation was precisely backward. This point was clearest in the work of Carl Menger, whose Principles of Economics not only offered a new explanation for the nature of economic value but also founded the Austrian school of economics in the process.

What Menger and others argued was that value is subjective. That is, the value of a good is not determined by the physical inputs, including labor, that helped to create it. Instead, the value of a good emerges from human perceptions of its usefulness for the particular ends that people had at a particular point in time. Value is not something objective and transcendent. It is a function of the role that an object plays as a means toward the ends that are part of human purposes and
plans.

Thus, according to the subjectivists, land had value not because of the labor that went into tilling it, but because people believed that it could contribute to the satisfaction of some direct want of their own (such as growing crops to eat) or that it would contribute indirectly to other ends by being used to grow crops to sell at the market. Works of art had value because many people found them to be beautiful no matter how much or how little labor went into producing them. With value being determined by human judgments of usefulness, the variations in the quality of labor posed no trouble for explaining value. Indeed, economic value was a completely separate category from other forms of value, such as scientific value. That’s why people pay money to have someone give them a complete horoscope reading even though astrology has no scientific value whatsoever. What matters for understanding economic value is the perception of usefulness in pursuit of human purposes and plans, not some “objective” value of the good or service.

Turning Marx Upside Down

But the real Copernican revolution in economics was how the subjective theory of value related to the value of labor. Rather than seeing the value of outputs being determined by the value of the inputs like labor, the subjective theory of value showed that it’s the other way around: the value of inputs like labor were determined by the value of the outputs they helped to produce.

The high market value of well-prepared food is not the result of the value of the chef’s labor. Rather, the chef’s labor is valuable precisely because he is able to produce food that the public finds especially tasty, beautiful, or healthy. On this view, labor gets rewarded according to its ability to produce things that others value. When you then consider the ways in which labor combining with capital enables that labor to produce goods that humans value even more, which in turn increases labor’s remuneration, Marx’s whole worldview is suddenly turned on its head. Capital does not exploit labor. Instead, it enhances labor’s value by giving labor the tools it needs to make even more of the things that humans value.

Understood correctly through the subjective theory of value, capitalism is fundamentally a communication process through which humans try to sort out how best to make use of our limited resources to satisfy our most urgent wants. Exchange and market prices are how we make our subjective perceptions of value accessible to others so they can figure out how best to provide us with the things we value most.

We Have More Work to Do

For economists, the labor theory of value holds roughly the same validity as the geocentric view of the universe. For that reason, Marx’s whole theoretical apparatus, and therefore his criticisms of capitalism, are equally questionable.

Unfortunately, many people, academics outside economics and the public alike, are simply unaware of the Copernican revolution in economics. Knocking down the labor theory of value remains a labor-intensive and valuable task.

Quote of the Times;
“On the mountain of truth, you never climb in vain. You either reach a higher step today or you exercise your strength in order to climb higher tomorrow.” - Nietzsche.

Link of the Times;
http://www.returnofkings.com/73627/why-is-ronda-rousey-allowed-to-get-away-with-beating-her-boyfriend
Glass?
UNSCIENTIFIC URBAN LEGENDS

Cabbage patch kids are nuclear mutants
Myth: The toys were orders by the US government to prepare us for life post-nuclear holocaust.
Truth: If they were to prepare us for anything, it's the modern obesity epidemic.

Smile to save energy
Myth: It takes 43 muscles to frown but only 17 to smile. Smiling saves energy.
Truth: It depends on the type of frown, the sincerity of smile and the pedantry of the researcher.

KFC's mutant meat
Myth: Kentucky Fried Chicken changed to KFC because their chickens were mutants.
Truth: Mutant chickens? Really? Oh come off it, only MacDonalds use those.

Blondes face extinction
Myth: Blondes are slowly going extinct and the last one will die out in Finland in 200 years.
Truth: You're telling me there isn't a preference for blondes. Get back to your lab, freak boy.

No swimming after dinner
Myth: If you go swimming after lunch, that's it, you're dead. This must be true, Mum said so.
Truth: There has never been a reported death linked directly to a post dinner dip.

Lemming suicides
Myth: Lemmings leap to their deaths from cliffs in mass fits of suicidal fervor.
Truth: It was Disney. They made them jump. They pushed them off a cliff on camera. Bastards.

Wasted brains
Myth: 90% of our brains go unused, sitting dormant until we get consciousness expansion.
Truth: If you only use 10% of your brain then you're an idiot. In more ways than one.

*.*

The success of the "Wonder Bra" for under-endowed women, has encouraged
the designers to come out with a bra for over-endowed women.

It's called the "Sheep Dog Bra."

It rounds them up and points them in the right direction.

*.*

10 Symbols Whose Origins Have Been Forgotten

Red Herring

Lovers of mysteries know that a “red herring” is a false clue given to divert attention from the track of the real criminal. This one, however, began with an actual fish. Bloodhounds, the sharpest trackers in the world, are difficult to lose when on a scent. But a red herring, especially if it is a day or two out of the water, can produce a scent strong enough to confuse any hound if the fish is drug on the ground behind the escaping criminal.


Shaking Hands

Shaking hands in greeting or to seal a contract has been done since at least the second century BC. The gesture demonstrates that the hand holds no weapon, and is a symbol of good sportsmanship, equality, and trust. Shaking the right hands sealed a bargain, but it was important not to use the left hand, as the left hand handshake dissolved a bargain.

For many years, American president Theodore Roosevelt held the world record for handshakes. On January 1, 1907, President Roosevelt shook 8, 513 hands at a White House reception. The record was broken in July, 19 77 by a New Jersey mayor, Joseph Lazaron, who shook 11,000 hands in a single day.


Two Finger Salute

The two-finger V sign has had prominent displays. Many people remember American president Richard Nixon flashing a V, and Winston Churchill, who used it to stand for victory. Churchill turned the V around with the palm facing outward to avoid the obscene connotation the symbol has acquired in Great Britain if performed with the palm facing inward.

In the 1960s, the V became a symbol for peace. Today it is commonly used as a peace sign. The V sign was first used, as far as we know, by British bowmen after winning the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The French bowmen had threatened to cut off the first two fingers – those that hold the arrow in place – of the British bowmen. After the battle, the British archers flashed their first two fingers to show that they were still intact.


Bless You!

The custom of blessing a person who sneezes has various origins. It was once thought that sneezing might release one’s soul, which was then prey to lurking evil spirits, so a person needed to be blessed. It was therefore considered bad luck to open the mouth again to thank the person for the blessing, as the evil spirits would have another chance to enter.

Another theory is that sneezing was an indication of robust good health, and that blessing the person sneezing was a form of congratulation. Most responses to sneezes, such as the German “Geshundheit!” wish the sneezer good health and/or a long life.


Thumbs Up

The thumbs up sign is most commonly (but wrongly) thought to descend from gladiatorial contests in which the audience determined whether the combatant was eligible to live or die by a thumbs up / thumbs down vote. But there are other theories. There is an old English saying ‘Here’s my thumb on it!’ which was used to seal a bargain. The two people involved each wetted a thumb and then extended it, held upwards, until the two raised thumbs came into contact with one another. It is easy to see how this custom could lead to, or support the idea of holding out a raised thumb as a sign of friendly agreement or approval. The signal has also been used by some ape species, who may just be celebrating the fact that they, like we, have opposable thumbs in the first place.


Salute

The military salute is traditionally performed by touching the eyebrow with four fingers together. Roman soldiers are thought to have initiated the procedure as a sign of shielding their eyes from the great light of their superior officers. Knights may have used it to raise their helmets as an indication that they did not intend to fight. This theory is supported by the fact that the helmet on a suit of armor is called a “sallet,” very close to the word “salute.”

The so-called Roman salute, used in the 20th century as a symbol of Fascism, has no Roman record in discourse or art. In Germany, that salute is now prohibited, punishable by up to three years in prison.


Fingers Crossed

Crossing your fingers to hope for good luck used to require two people – the forefinger of one to make the wish, and of the other to support it. The cross formed was a symbol of unity and strength, and was used to ward off witches. Crossing your fingers, of course, can also be used to nullify a promise. In that case, the middle finger crossing over the index finger leaves a loophole the false promiser plans to exploit.


Rock, Paper, Scissors

Rochambeau, or rock, paper, scissors, is played all over the world as a means of resolving difficult disagreements. In one unusual case, a Florida judge tired of endless debating over the appropriate venue for depositions to be taken and ordered the participants to settle the case by an RPS game.

In Indonesia, it is earwig, human, and elephant. The earwig drives the elephant insane. The human crushes the earwig, and the elephant crushes the human. One amazingly complex version has 101 different gestures and 5050 possible non-tied results. If you’re ready to take it to another level, consult the World RPS Society. If you find out why it is called Rochambeau, please let them know. It’s still a mystery.


Okay

The source of the ubiquitous “OK” or “Okay” is lost to history, but there are many theories. One is that in the 1830s there was a rash of comic misspellings and shortened communications. NG was commonly read to mean, “No go.” SP meant small potatoes, and OK stood for “Oll Korrect.”

Another theory is that the symbol represented American president Martin Van Buren, often referred to as “Old Kinderhook.” Others say that French soldiers during the American revolution would invite girls to meet them “aux cayes,” down at the docks.

Still another possibility is that bad handwriting caused the OK to flourish. It should have been OR – standing for “order received.” Others think that Obadiah Kelley, an early railroad agent, certified bills with his initials. It is often said that American president Andrew Jackson learned a similar word from Choctaw Native Americans and popularized it. What do you think?


XMas

Most historians agree that Christ was most likely born in the spring, when Mary and Joseph went to pay their taxes. If that is the case, why do we celebrate Christmas in the wintertime? Pope Gregory can be thanked. He ordered the absorption of other religious festivals into Christianity. Pagan celebrations lightened the burden of cold, dark winters, and evergreen trees were a symbol of hope, that spring and new life would return. It was a natural fit with Christ’s promise of resurrection.

Christmas trees as we know them probably began in the 16th century. It is said that Martin Luther, walking home at night, saw stars through the branches of evergreens and found it a beautiful sight. When he duplicated the effect by putting candles on an evergreen, the modern Christmas tree was born.

Early Christians in the English-speaking world avoided Christmas trees, seeing them as a pagan custom. They became popular in America in the 1820s among Pennsylvania Germans, and the idea spread from there.

St. Nikolaas himself actually lived in Turkey in the 4th century. Known for his kindness and generosity, he was a delegate to Constantine’s Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. His name was eventually shortened from St. Nikolaas to Sinterklaas, and to Santa Claus.

Candy canes? Formed into shepherds’ staffs in the 1700s to transform a simple candy into a Christian symbol. Holly? Christ’s crown of thorns. Gift-giving? What the Wise Men started. Carols? What the angels sang. A star atop the tree? The new star said to have been first seen on the night of Christ’s birth.

Many well-meaning Christians are upset by Xmas, rather than Christmas, on Christmas cards and greetings. They see the X as a way to “take Christ out of Christmas.” Actually, the opposite is true. X is the Greek letter Chi, the first letter of the word Christ. It was used originally to prevent the disrespectful overuse of the Savior’s title in greetings and correspondence.

*.*

An expectant mother was being rushed to the hospital, but didn't quite make it.

She gave birth to her baby on the hospital lawn. Later, the father received a bill, listing "Delivery Room Fee: $500."

He wrote the hospital and reminded them the baby was born on the front lawn. A week passed, and a corrected bill arrived:

"Greens Fee: $200."

*.*

Nation's Slicked-Back-Hair Men Rally Against Negative Hollywood Portrayal

LOS ANGELES—Thousands of members of the slicked-back-hair community gathered in Hollywood Monday to protest the film industry's longtime trend of depicting men with slicked-back hair as untrustworthy, unlikeable antagonists.

"There have been 4,192 films in the past 10 years in which male characters with sleek or slicked-back hairstyles have been portrayed in a negative light," said Ray Swartz, chairman of the National Organization of Men with Slicked-Back Hair. "Even though men with this hairstyle comprise just 3 percent of the U.S. populace, they make up nearly 80 percent of all film and TV villains, bad guys, and just plain assholes. As a result, thousands of men who enjoy wetting their hair and then combing it straight back face a silent but pervasive form of discrimination every single day."

"I'm just a man with slicked-back hair," Swartz added. "Does that make me a sleazeball?"

According to statistics released by the organization, five out of every six characters with slicked-back hair are cast as the primary antagonist. Of this group, 29 percent are depicted as greedy and manipulative Wall Street sharks, 22 percent as cold, emotionless murderers, 19 percent as evil coaches or mentors, 12 percent as corrupt mafiosi, 8 percent as undead creatures who feast on human blood, and the remaining 10 percent fall into the general category of jerks/pricks/John Travolta.

More alarming, Swartz said, is that certain subsets of slicked-back-hair Americans endure even worse prejudices. He cited men with slicked-back hair who also talk with cigarettes dangling out of their mouths, wear blue button-down shirts with white collars, or place toothpicks behind their right ears as the most victimized.

"Just because I have heavily gelled, jet-black, slicked-back hair does not mean I can't lead a normal, productive life," Kettering, OH native Martin Sutulovich said. "I'm not consumed by an insatiable thirst for power, I know nothing about the high-pressure world of real-estate speculation, and I have a wife and kids whom I love very much. The last thing I want to do is murder them, cut them up into tiny pieces, bag them up, and put them out with the trash, but when strangers look at me, that's all they think."

A recent study conducted by Swartz's group indicates that Americans who slick back their hair usually experience typical development, have life spans equal to those without slicked-back hair, and are no more likely to stoically torture people with medical instruments than the average dry-haired citizen.

"You always see crooked lawyers and politicians with slicked-back hair in the movies, but when was the last time you saw a computer programmer with slicked-back hair, a farmer who built a magical baseball field in a cornfield with slicked-back hair, or a man who defused a bomb at the last possible second to save thousands of innocent lives with slicked-back hair?"
Swartz said. "Never."

"The closest thing we've ever gotten to a hero is Steven Seagal or that Spanish neighbor guy on Sanford And Son," he added. "And Seagal's hair is pulled back into a ponytail, so he doesn't even really count."

Swartz also pointed out that even females who appear in films with slicked-back hair often end up transforming into aliens who have sex with people and then kill them.

"I have naturally oily hair. If I leave it dry, it ends up messy by the end of the day, so I slick it back," Doug Roessner of Brockton, MA said. "I sell insurance for a living, so how am I supposed to get my clients to trust me when they all think I'm some money-hungry scumbag? And every time I tell my bosses that I'll 'take care of' a problem, they immediately assume I mean murdering someone. It's pathetic."

"My son hasn't been the same around me since he watched D2: The Mighty Ducks last month," said slicked-back-hair man Mick Romanini, referencing the film in which coach Gordon Bombay slicks back his hair when consumed by fame, then wears it dry again upon realizing the error of his ways. "Is this what we want to teach our children about slicked-back hair?"

Added Romanini, "He should be able to do whatever he wants with his hair when he gets older and not worry that people are going to assume he's the kind of guy who would plot his best friend's death and then seduce the widow to get his hands on the insurance money."

In interviews, studio executives have countered the protests by citing a number of realistic and sympathetic characters with slicked-back hair, including James Bond, Superman, and Data from Star Trek.

But Swartz rejects such claims. After closer examination, he said, Bond's hair is slicked "more to the side than back," Data is not a human being, and Superman has a distinct curl of hair that falls on his forehead, which his group considers a different hairstyle altogether.

Hollywood is facing similar protests from groups such as the National Association of Maniacal Laughers, the American Mustache-Twirlers Coalition, and the Alliance of Gentlemen with Scars and Eye Patches.

Issue of the Times;
Smashing Through the Glass Coffin by Jim Goad

When it comes to sexual equity in the workplace, the biggest “gender gap” of all is the fact that men suffer around 92% of all job-related fatalities.

According to Bureau of Labor statistics from 1992-2014, women laborers accounted for 43% of total hours worked, yet they suffered a scant 8% of workplace fatalities. In what world could this possibly be considered respectful of women’s endless quest for equality?

We still hear about the “wage gap” almost daily, and even though it’s a myth, we should still marshal our resources to rectify this imaginary injustice. Yet no one is willing to stand tall and address the fact that selfish men are robbing female workers of the right to die on the job at a ridiculously unfair rate of almost thirteen to one.

This disgracefully unjust pattern persists all over the world—in Australia, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and even Canada, a nation so uniquely fixated on social justice at all costs, it’ll eventually bankrupt them.

“Women workers of the world, unite—you have nothing to lose but your lives!”

The sad, inequitable truth is that when it comes to jobs that actually kill you—noble working-class professions such as logging, fishing, roofing, mining, truck driving, and toiling away on electrical power lines—men unfairly comprise more than 90% of the workers in each profession. Conversely, women dominate some of the safest jobs—things such as administrative support, education, and library work—by a factor of around three to one.

It is shameful and horrifying and totally problematic and completely unacceptable that gender activists have failed to address this gaping inequality. It’s almost as if the patriarchy intentionally denies women the natural privilege of dying while working.

Women have been making strides toward equality in every aspect of the American workplace except for the jobs that actually kill you. The ladies simply aren’t dying on the job nearly as frequently as men do, and this savage inequity needs to be addressed. It behooves us as radical egalitarians to remove all the barriers that prevent women from performing deadly work.

This savage imbalance is, of course, based on patriarchal tropes such as the idea that women don’t have enough “upper body strength” to lift logs and shovel coal. We’ve been led to believe destructive and damaging myths about women being “fragile” and “emotional” and “living longer” and “having the law on their side” and “enjoying the legal and societal presumption of innocence in any dispute involving a male.” We even hear the easily debunked and totally discredited idea that “there are some jobs women just won’t do.” We must explode these harmful myths as we push ourselves blindly and self-righteously off a cliff toward equality.

The “glass coffin” is a term coined by graphic designer Kevin Slaughter to describe the fact that women haven’t quite “broken through” toward equality when it comes to working jobs that can kill you. Sure, we often hear about the impermeable “glass ceiling” that prevents women from becoming CEOs and billionaires and Supreme Court justices and running for president, but our male-dominated society turns a deaf ear to women’s righteous quest for equality when it comes to sharing the right to suffocate under a ten-ton tsunami of human waste while working in a sewer because that’s supposedly a “man’s” job.

We live in a sexist society that patronizes women and sends hurtful messages that they aren’t “tough” enough to lose their lives on the job. Equality is for everyone, and that includes the right to get squashed like a bug by heavy machinery. Why aren’t women afforded the right to be struck dead by falling objects? Didn’t Susan B. Anthony struggle nobly to make it possible for the sisterhood to drown overboard on Alaskan crabbing expeditions? Women have the same right that men do to be crushed to death in a coal-mining explosion. They deserve the freedom and dignity to be pulverized into tomato paste when their semi truck jackknifes around a mountain curve.

Enough posturing. Now is the time for action. Now is the time for women to face all the real-life danger that true equality brings. They’ve shrieked for two generations about how they aren’t the “weaker sex.” Now it is time for them to prove it. It is time for women to put their noses to the grindstone, even if that means getting their hair caught in the grindstone and being strangled to death by it.

As a forward-thinking nation of workers who have more genders than Baskin-Robbins has ice-cream flavors, we must rectify systematic inequities that permit women to suffer lower unemployment rates than men. We must no longer permit a sexist climate that forces women all across the globe to suffer life’s miseries longer than men do.

In order to reach the equality they understandably seek, it is obvious that women must start dying equally. Silence equals death—for dudes, at least. Death equality NOW!!! Close the Death Gap NOW!!! Let us raise our hammers and sickles—ladies, if they’re too heavy to lift, that’s OK, because we’ll help—and SMASH the Glass Coffin! It’s time to shout loudly for Gender Death Equality in the workplace. Women workers of the world, unite—you have nothing to lose but your lives!

Quote of the Times;
“What are people for?” – Vonnegut

Link of the Times;
http://markmanson.net/passion
Pig?
I guess if I had to eat a person I would want them to be a vegetarian. I like irony and prefer grass fed beef.

*.*

A Psychic Buying Clothes

Employee: How about this one?

Psychic: That shirt is too small.

Employee: You didn't even try it on.

Psychic: I'm a medium.

*.*

New ‘Gender Neutral’ Latrines Will Require Troops To Sit While They Pee

WASHINGTON — In an effort to pave the way for gender integration in infantry combat roles, Pentagon officials announced the acquisition of new gender neutral porta-potties specifically designed to only be used while in a seated position.

With deadlines looming, the military’s top brass have struggled to eliminate gender restrictions ever since former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s stunning decision to change the longstanding rule excluding women from serving in combat roles.

Gender equity has also been the signature issue of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who has long insisted that neutral policies across the board are necessary to truly integrate women in the armed forces.

“We are ending the way we segregate urination,” Mabus said. “Rather than highlighting differences in our ranks or ‘equipment,’ we will incorporate our troops in a safe, non-binary method of relieving themselves, which will not highlight or give an advantage to any specific gender.”

Military engineers began by shortening the standard 88-inch height of porta-potties to 55 inches, requiring the occupant to sit in order use the restroom. The new design also includes decorative finger tip towels and fancy soap.

“In the Navy and Marine Corps, we are moving towards sanitary conditions that don’t divide us as male or female,” said Mabus. “This will unite us as sailors and Marines whose crap pretty much stinks the same.”

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Miley insists the new porta-potties will not lower standards. “We still expect soldiers to get their piss in the pot and not all over the floor,” said Miley. “Besides, this makes it a lot easier to text when I take a leak.”

The Air Force had no comment on the proposed change, according to a spokesman, who told reporters everyone in the service “already squats to pee.”

Reaction from the ranks has not been as positive as from the top leadership.

“What do mean I’m not supposed to use the decorative soap?” said Marine Gunnery Sgt. Bob Reynolds. “Screw this, I’m just going to piss in the tree line.”

*.*

During one of my recent magic shows, a woman asks me, "Sir how do you do that trick?"

I responded, "If I told you I would have to kill you"

She said, "OK then...tell my husband!"

*.*

Interesting Facts About English Language

1. Understanding English actually hurts professional players of English scrabble. Some of the world’s best Scrabble players are Thai and can’t speak English.

2. The English words moose, opossum, pecan, raccoon, skunk, and squash all originated from the now-extinct language of the Algonquian people, the native tribe inhabiting the site of the earliest English colony in what is now the US at Roanoke Island.

3. In English, multiple adjectives are supposed to be listed in the following order: Quantity, Opinion, Size, Age, Shape, Color, Origin, Material and Purpose.

4. Many English words used to be spelled phonetically (e.g. debt was ‘det’) until some scholars purposely added silent letters to make them look more like Greek or Latin words, sometimes erroneously.

5. The word “electrocute” is a combination of the words electro and execute, meaning killed by electricity. So if you don’t die, you were not electrocuted, you were shocked.

6. Before the English speaking world was exposed to the fruit, the color orange was referred to as “geoluhread” which is Old English for red-yellow.

7. In addition to the word “lord” evolving from a word literally meaning “keeper of bread”, “lady” evolved from a word literally meaning “kneader of bread.”

8. If you write any number in words (English), count the number of letters, write this new number in words and so on, you’ll always end with number 4.

9. English words for livestock (cow, sheep, chicken) are Germanic-based and the words for meats (beef, mutton, poultry) are French-based. This is because the people who raised the animals were Anglo-Saxon peasants and the people who ate them were Norman aristocrats.

10. The word “set” has 464 definitions, making it the word with the most variety.

11. The word “dude” was first used in the late 1800s as an insult towards young men who were overly concerned with keeping up with the latest fashions.

12. There is a word that is the opposite of sparkle and it is “darkle.”

13. The word “minute” comes from “the first MINUTE (small) division of an hour.” The word “Second” comes from “the SECOND minute division of an hour.”

14. The word “legend” originally meant “things to be read.” In the pre-Medieval period, reading and writing were very rare, and so anything worthy of being written down was something very noteworthy, and thus “legendary”; worthy of being written down and read.

15. The word “camel” in “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” may be an incorrect translation of the word for rope.

16. The English word ‘infant’ comes from the Latin word ‘infans’, meaning “unable to speak” or “speechless.”

17. “Bookkeeper” is the only word in English language with three consecutive Double letters.

18. The word “retarded” came into popular use during the 1960’s because it was considered far less offensive and more politically correct than labeling someone a moron, idiot or imbecile.

19. The word cereal comes from the Roman goddess Ceres, and her association with edible grains.

20. The word “barbecue” has been around since 1650, and it has meant “outdoor meal of roasted meat or fish as a social entertainment” since 1733.

21. The Mayan god of wind and storms was called Jun Raqan, pronounced “Huracan”, hence the English word “Hurricane.”

22. The word “Aibohphobia” meaning “fear of palindromes”, is a joke word deliberately constructed to be one.

23. The word “liberal” in liberal arts means worthy of a free person (as opposed to a slave), and such an education isn’t meant to get you a job but rather to make you useful in a free society.

24. Acronyms are said like words, while initialisms are individual letters. For example, NATO is an acronym and FBI is an initialism.

25. Old English used the word ‘dore’ for male bees. Dumbledore means bumblebee.

Issue of the Times;
Muslim Demographics

The Trojan Pig of Islam:

The fascist ideology of Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is a beard for all of the other components.

Islamization begins when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their religious privileges. When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components tend to creep in as well.

The following analysis of Islamic influence and Muslim demographics around the world is adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book, “Slavery, Terrorism & Islam: Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat”.

Here’s how it works:

Muslim Immigration And The Prolonged Effect On The Political And Social Net Of Society

Islam’s Effect On Society At 0%-2%

United States — Muslim 0.6%
Australia — Muslim 1.5%
Canada — Muslim 1.9%
China — Muslim 1.8%
Denmark — Muslim 2%
Italy — Muslim 1.5%
Ireland — Muslim 2%
Norway — Muslim 1.8%

1.8% Muslim population in Norway: In 2011 Norwegian authorities reported that 100% of all rapes in the entire capital Oslo, were committed by immigrants of which roughly 90% were committed by Muslim immigrants.

Islam’s Effect On Society At 2%-5%

At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. This is happening in:
.
Germany — Muslim 3.7% (now 5.4% since this report was made)
United Kingdom — Muslim 2.7% (now 3.3% since this report was made)
Spain — Muslim 4%
Thailand — Muslim 4.6%

Islam’s Effect On Society At 5%-9%

From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves — along with threats for failure to comply. This is occurring in:

France — Muslim 8%
Philippines — Muslim 5%
Sweden — Muslim 5%
Australia — Muslim 6%
Belgium — Muslim 6%
Switzerland — Muslim 4.3%
The Netherlands — Muslim 5.5%
Trinidad & Tobago — Muslim 5.8%

At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world.

Muslim population 5%: In Sweden nearly all of 77.6% of total rapes in the country, are committed by Muslim migrants. In 2012 the capital experienced a 69% surge in the Muslim rape wave of its women. What will be the violence and assault report when the Muslim population doubles, and triples, and quadruples?

Islam’s Effect On Society At 10%-19%

When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris, we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam, with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam. Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Muslim sections, in:

Guyana — Muslim 10%
Bulgaria — Muslim 10%
Central Africa — Muslim 15%
India — Muslim 14.6%
Israel — Muslim 16%
Kenya — Muslim 10%
Russia — Muslim 15%

Islam’s Effect On Society At 20%-39%

After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, such as in:

Ethiopia — Muslim 32.8%
Suriname — Muslim 19.6%
Thailand — Muslim 35%
Togo — Muslim 20%

Islam’s Effect On Society At 40%-60%

At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare, non-stop church destruction, Boko Haram, etc., such as in:

Albania — Muslim 38.8%-85%
Bosnia — Muslim 40%
Chad — Muslim 53.1%
Guinea Bissau — Muslim 50%
Ivory Coast — Muslim 40%
Lebanon — Muslim 59.7%
Nigeria – Muslim 50%

Islam’s Effect On Society At 60%-80%

From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels, such as in:

Albania — Muslim 70%
Kazakhstan — 65%
Malaysia — Muslim 60.4%
Qatar — Muslim 77.5%
Sudan — Muslim 70%

Note: Slavery was reintroduced into Sudan under increased Muslim political rule and establishment of Sharia law. In 1995, Human Rights Watch first reported on slavery in Sudan in the context of the Second Sudanese Civil War. In 1996, two more reports emerged, one by a United Nations representative and another by reporters from the Baltimore Sun.

Islam’s Effect On Society At 80%-99%

After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced and in some ways is on-going in:

Bangladesh — Muslim 83%
Egypt — Muslim 90%
Indonesia — Muslim 86.1%
Iran — Muslim 98%
Iraq — Muslim 97%
Jordan — Muslim 92%
Pakistan — Muslim 97%
Palestine — Muslim 99%
Syria — Muslim 90%
Turkey — Muslim 99.8%
United Arab Emirates — Muslim 96%

Islam’s Effect On Society

100% will usher in the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ — the Islamic House of Peace. Here there’s supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrasses are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word, such as in:

Afghanistan — Muslim 100%
Saudi Arabia — Muslim 100%
Somalia — Muslim 100%
Yemen — Muslim 100%

Unfortunately, peace is never achieved, as in these 100% states the most radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust by killing less radical Muslims, for a variety of reasons.

“Before I was nine I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; the tribe against the world, and all of us against the infidel.” — Leon Uris, “The Haj”.

Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.

Conclusion and Footnote

It is important to understand that in some countries, with well under 100% Muslim populations, such as France, the minority Muslim populations live in ghettos, within which they are 100% Muslim, and within which they live by Sharia Law. The national police do not even enter these ghettos. There are no national courts nor schools nor non-Muslim religious facilities. In such situations, Muslims do not integrate into the community at large. The children attend madrasses. They learn only the Koran. To even associate with an infidel is a crime punishable with death. Therefore, in some areas of certain nations, Muslim Imams and extremists exercise more power than the national average would indicate.

Quote of the Times;
Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.

Link of the Times;
http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_Mass_Murder
Why?
Oneliners:

Old music sounds better than today's music because nobody remembers the shitty ones.

Birthday sex is celebrating exiting a vagina by entering one.

"Pay to win" gaming isn't new. In the 80s it was called "Insert coin(s) to continue"

We bake cookies and cook bacon.

In professional poker, is Botox considered a performance enhancing drug?

If I were a cop, I'd drive an unmarked car with a "honk if you're drunk" bumper sticker.

I'm sure my phone vibrates every now and then with no notification just to make me think I'm going crazy

Computers should allow an alternative password that unlocks your computer but also closes all open windows.

Artists parodied by Weird Al should make a tribute album consisting of their covers of his songs

*.*

When Mahatma Gandhi was studying law at the University College of London, a professor by the name of Peters disliked him intensely and always displayed animosity towards him. And because Gandhi never lowered his head when addressing him, as he expected, there were always "arguments" and confrontations.

One day Mr Peters was having lunch at the University dining room when Gandhi came along with his tray and sat next to him. The professor said,"Mr Gandhi, you do not understand. A pig and a bird do not sit together to eat. "Gandhi looked at him as a parent would a rude child and calmly replied, "You do not worry, professor. I'll fly away," and he went and sat at another table.

Peters, red with rage, decided to take revenge on the next test paper, but Gandhi responded brilliantly to all questions. Unhappy and frustrated, Mr Peters asked him the following question: "Mr Gandhi, if you were walking down the street and found a package, and within was a bag of wisdom and another bag with a lot of money, which one would you take?"
Without hesitating, Gandhi responded, "The one with the money, of course." Mr Peters, smiling sarcastically, said, "I, in your place, would have taken the wisdom." Gandhi shrugged indifferently and responded, "Each one takes what he doesn't have."

Mr Peters, by this time, was fit to be tied. So great was his anger that he wrote on Gandhi's exam sheet the word "idiot" and handed it back to him. Gandhi took the exam sheet and sat down at his desk, trying hard to remain calm while he contemplated his next move. A few minutes later, Gandhi got up, went to the professor and said to him in a dignified but sarcastically polite tone, "Mr Peters, you autographed the sheet, but you did not give me the grade."

*.*

One day at a trial, an eminent psychologist was called to testify. A severe no nonsense professional, she sat down in the witness chair unaware that it's rear legs were set precariously on the back of the raised platform.

"Will you state your name?" asked the district attorney.

Tilting back in her chair she opened her mouth to answer, but instead catapulted head-over-heels backward and landed in a stack of exhibits and recording equipment.

Everyone watched in stunned silence as she extricated herself, rearranged her dishevelled dress and hair and was reseated on the witness stand. The glare she directed at onlookers dared anyone to so much as smirk.

"Well, doctor," continued the district attorney without changing expression, "we could start with an easier question."

*.*

Paddy and mick are passengers on a plane

Mick turns to paddy and says, "if this plane turns upside down will we fall out?"

Paddy turns and says, "No, of course not. We'll stay the best of friends!"

*.*

Jake was on his deathbed. His wife, Susan, was maintaining a vigil by his side. As she held his fragile hand, tears ran down her face. Her praying roused him from his slumber. He looked up and his pale lips began to move slightly.

"My darling Susan," he whispered. "Hush, my love," she said.

"Rest. Shhh. Don't talk." He was insistent.

"Susan," he said in his tired voice. "I have something I must confess to you."

"There's nothing to confess," replied the weeping Susan. "Everything's all right, go to sleep."

"No, no. I must die in peace, Susan. I slept with your sister, your best friend, and your mother."

"I know," she replied. "That's why I poisoned you."

Issue of the Times;
Why They Hate Us by Fred Reed

A frequent theme nowadays is “Why do they hate us?” meaning why does so much of the world detest the United States. The reasons given are usually absurd: They hate our freedom or democracy. They hate us for our cultural superiority. They hate us because we are wonderful.

No. Actually the reason is simple if unpalatable. They hate us because we meddle, and have meddled. They hate us because we are the most murderous nation on the planet. They hate our insufferable smugness.

People remember slights. They may not remember them as they actually happened, but they remember them. The Civil War ended in 1865, the Federal occupation in 1877. Yet today many Southerners are still bitter, to the point that their emotional loyalty is to the South, not to Washington.

Silly? Yes, if you are from the North. Grievances matter more to those aggrieved than to the aggrievers.

In Guadalajara, near my home in Mexico, a towering monument in a traffic circle honors Los Niños Héroes, the Heroic Children. These are the little boys who, when the invading American armies attacked Chapultepec in 1847, went out to fight for their country. Avenues are named Niños Héroes all over Mexico. Few Americans even know that there was a war.

Wounds to national pride gall people, and endure. Exactly why, I don’t know, but it happens. Consider China. How many have heard of the Opium Wars of 1839 and 1856? Or understand that the United States and the European powers simply occupied such parts of China as they chose, forced opium sales on China, imposed extraterritoriality, and bloodily suppressed the Boxers? How many people have even heard of the Boxers?

Over a billion Chinese.

My point is not that China is morally superior to the United States. It isn’t. However, if you want to understand why so many countries loathe us, you have to understand how they see us. Whether you agree is irrelevant. Nor does it matter whether their grievances are factual. For example, many South Americans believe their countries to be poor because of exploitation by America. This isn’t true, which doesn’t matter at all.

A few years back I was in Laos and chatted with a young Lao woman. She mentioned in passing the death of her father. What happened to him, I asked? Oh, she said, he died fighting the Americans. A war that many Americans saw as a meritorious crusade against communism was, to the countries involved, an inexplicable attack that killed their fathers and brothers and children. They didn’t see why the internal affairs of their country were America’s business.

Agree with them or don’t, but that’s why they hate us.

Countries usually see their own virtues and the warts of others. Americans, perhaps because they do not much travel, carry this to an extreme and regard their country as superior to all others. The attitude is highly annoying. Consider the US from the point of view of others:

America is both a rogue state and a bully, constantly attacking countries hopelessly inferior in military strength — Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Panama, Cuba, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, etc. Civil rights? The US has more people in prison than any other country. Many of our cities are festering slums. The world saw the victims of Katrina. Morality? The country is rife with drugs, crime, sex. Culture? In education, American students are annually shown to be inferior to those of Thailand, Hungary, Singapore, and so on. America is tasteless and sordid. Look at the movies….

Yes, yes, some of that isn’t fair, and an American might ask, for example, how an Arab country, practicing female circumcision and not allowing girls to study, can lecture anyone on morality. I agree. But how they see things determines their attitudes.

In Google Images, search on “Abu Ghraib.” You will see American Army women grinning as they torture and humiliate Arab men. They are having a wonderful time, and the whole world can see those pictures. This was American policy — low-ranking girl soldiers do not undertake this kind of thing without approval from command. The general in charge was a woman. Torture is still American policy.

Stalin did this sort of thing. So did Adolf. So did Pol Pot. And so does the United States. Other countries know it. (Google recently pulled its ads from Antiwar.com because the site posted an Abu Ghraib photo. Does Google support torture, or did the Feds threaten….? Nah. Impossible. Not our government.) When I think how other countries react, I cringe.

Below the Rio Bravo? The first rule of American hemispheric diplomacy south of Texas should be “Don’t get into Latin faces unless you have to.” The US has a long history, of which most Americans aren’t aware, of meddling to the south. At least three invasions of Mexico depending on whether Veracruz counts as an invasion or just a bombardment), at least one of Panama, the installation of Pinochet in Chile and of support for various Central American dictators, United Fruit, the Canal Zone, the Bay of Pigs, on and on and on. These things are remembered.

A couple of examples of abjectly stupid, obnoxious meddling: First, many decades back, Mexico had a comic-book character called Memin Pinguin, a caricature black kid with exaggerated lips and so on who had adventures with white friends. In 2005, Mexico issued postage stamps with Memin’s picture, as we might of Elvis. To Mexicans it was innocent nostalgia. Yet in America outrage erupted. Jesse Jackson attacked the Mexican government and George Bush denounced the stamps as racism. People here were furious: Mexico couldn’t even issue postage stamps without approval from Washington.

Second: In 2006 , some Cuban businessmen took a room in the Sheraton in Mexico City. Washington got wind of it and forced Sheraton, an American company, to eject them. Childish, pointless, it enraged Mexicans who see Cuba as yet another small country being bullied by the US, and regarded the ejection as meddling with national sovereignty. The effect of course was to fan sympathy for Cuba.

Further, we tend to see things through lenses of moralistic abstractions: Democracy is good, and freedom is good, and therefore if we bomb Iraq and kill many thousands of soldiers who are someone’s husbands, brothers, children, and fathers, the survivors will throw flowers and turn into Fifth Century Athens. It’s all right to destroy cities because we say we have good intentions.

People detest condescension. Yet we lecture Russia and China condescendingly on human rights, and speak openly of committing “regime change” in various countries as if we had a divine right to determine their form of government. It smells of armed mommyism, which no one can stand.

It is even worth reflecting that our “democracy” and “freedom” do not look as resplendent as we might think to the people of a more collective-minded and well-run country. Try Singapore. Neither democratic nor free in our sense, it is prosperous, free of crime, without a drug problem (a country that executes drug dealers has few of them), enjoys schools far better than ours; lacks graffiti, vandalism, and trash in the streets, and has a high degree of technological advancement. Its people quietly regard themselves as civilizationally superior to a degraded America in decline. (Humility is not a besetting sin of the Chinese.)

Why do we not behave more sensibly? Americans obviously are not stupid people. Dummies don’t build Mars rovers. Yet we seem to have a wanton, almost genetic non-grasp of how others think — which means that we can’t predict what they will do. Often Americans just don’t care what others think. This of course plays into the hands of Hugo Chavez and bin Laden.

That’s why they hate us. We meddle.

Quote of the Times;
To refrain from imitation is the best revenge. – Aurelius

Link of the Times;
http://ninite.com/
Socialism?
Smith goes to see his supervisor in the front office. "Boss," he says, "we're doing some heavy house-cleaning at home tomorrow, and my wife needs me to help with the attic and the garage, moving and hauling stuff."

"We're short-handed, Smith," the boss replies. "I can't give you the day off."

"Thanks, boss," says Smith, "I knew I could count on you!"

*.*

Kristen gave Sally 3 flowers and 2 stuffed animals. Todd gave Sally 5 flowers and 3 stuffed animals. What does Sally have?

Cancer.

*.*

True story.

MAY 25 - A woman wearing a “Stop Domestic Violence” t-shirt was arrested on domestic violence charges after firing a gun during an argument with her husband inside the couple’s Maine home, police report.

Emily Wilson, 38, was collared last week following a confrontation with her spouse Kyle over whether he was having an affair. During the argument, investigators allege, Wilson waved a handgun and fired a shot into the couple’s bed.

Wilson, a high school teacher, was subsequently arrested when police responded to a 911 call placed by her husband.

*.*

FORT EUSTIS, Va. — The Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) announced today plans to offer a two-mile Walmart scooter ride as an alternate event for the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).

“We’ve been seeking to make the APFT more closely approximate the physical demands required of soldiers in today’s combat environment,” said TRADOC Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport. “The Walmart scooter ride puts to the test one’s ability to walk minimal distances, transition to and from a seated position, and exercise a modicum of fine motor control, which is all that is required of a majority of soldiers nowadays.”

The event will entail parking in a handicap parking space at a local Walmart, walking approximately thirty yards to the entrance, boarding a mobility scooter, navigating a two mile course that winds up and down the aisles, then returning to the parking space.

TRADOC has not yet decided which APFT component the scooter ride will replace, though Davenport speculated that the 800-yard swim was the most likely candidate.

“I consider the swim to be an inadequate test of preparedness for the modern combat zone, as I can’t remember the last time we deployed to a country that wasn’t parched desert,” said Davenport.

*.*

At the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778 the weather was hot, over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometime during the battle, William Hays collapsed. As her husband was carried off the battlefield, Mary Hays took his place at the cannon. For the rest of the day, in the heat of battle, Mary continued to "swab and load" the cannon using her husband's ramrod. At one point, a British musket ball or cannonball flew between her legs and tore off the bottom of her skirt. Mary said something to the effect of, "Well, that could have been worse," and went back to loading the cannon.

Issue of the Times;
Why Socialism Failed by Mark J. Perry

Collectivism Is Based on Faulty Principles

Socialism is the Big Lie of the twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.

In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.

A pyramid scheme is ultimately unsustainable because it is based on faulty principles. Likewise, collectivism is unsustainable in the long run because it is a flawed theory. Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.

In a capitalist economy, incentives are of the utmost importance. Market prices, the profit-and-loss system of accounting, and private property rights provide an efficient, interrelated system of incentives to guide and direct economic behavior. Capitalism is based on the theory that incentives matter!

Under socialism, incentives either play a minimal role or are ignored totally. A centrally planned economy without market prices or profits, where property is owned by the state, is a system without an effective incentive mechanism to direct economic activity. By failing to emphasize incentives, socialism is a theory inconsistent with human nature and is therefore doomed to fail. Socialism is based on the theory that incentives don’t matter!

In a radio debate several months ago with a Marxist professor from the University of Minnesota, I pointed out the obvious failures of socialism around the world in Cuba, Eastern Europe, and China. At the time of our debate, Haitian refugees were risking their lives trying to get to Florida in homemade boats. Why was it, I asked him, that people were fleeing Haiti and traveling almost 500 miles by ocean to get to the “evil capitalist empire” when they were only 50 miles from the “workers’ paradise” of Cuba?

The Marxist admitted that many “socialist” countries around the world were failing. However, according to him, the reason for failure is not that socialism is deficient, but that the socialist economies are not practicing “pure” socialism. The perfect version of socialism would work; it is just the imperfect socialism that doesn’t work. Marxists like to compare a theoretically perfect version of socialism with practical, imperfect capitalism which allows them to claim that socialism is superior to capitalism.

If perfection really were an available option, the choice of economic and political systems would be irrelevant. In a world with perfect beings and infinite abundance, any economic or political system–socialism, capitalism, fascism, or communism–would work perfectly.

However, the choice of economic and political institutions is crucial in an imperfect universe with imperfect beings and limited resources. In a world of scarcity it is essential for an economic system to be based on a clear incentive structure to promote economic efficiency. The real choice we face is between imperfect capitalism and imperfect socialism. Given that choice, the evidence of history overwhelmingly favors capitalism as the greatest wealth-producing economic system available.

The strength of capitalism can be attributed to an incentive structure based upon the three Ps: (1) prices determined by market forces, (2) a profit-and-loss system of accounting and (3) private property rights. The failure of socialism can be traced to its neglect of these three incentive-enhancing components.

Prices

The price system in a market economy guides economic activity so flawlessly that most people don’t appreciate its importance. Market prices transmit information about relative scarcity and then efficiently coordinate economic activity. The economic content of prices provides incentives that promote economic efficiency.

For example, when the OPEC cartel restricted the supply of oil in the 1970s, oil prices rose dramatically. The higher prices for oil and gasoline transmitted valuable information to both buyers and sellers. Consumers received a strong, clear message about the scarcity of oil by the higher prices at the pump and were forced to change their behavior dramatically. People reacted to the scarcity by driving less, carpooling more, taking public transportation, and buying smaller cars. Producers reacted to the higher price by increasing their efforts at exploration for more oil. In addition, higher oil prices gave producers an incentive to explore and develop alternative fuel and energy sources.

The information transmitted by higher oil prices provided the appropriate incentive structure to both buyers and sellers. Buyers increased their effort to conserve a now more precious resource and sellers increased their effort to find more of this now scarcer resource.

The only alternative to a market price is a controlled or fixed price which always transmits misleading information about relative scarcity. Inappropriate behavior results from a controlled price because false information has been transmitted by an artificial, non-market price.

Look at what happened during the 1970s when U.S. gas prices were controlled. Long lines developed at service stations all over the country because the price for gasoline was kept artificially low by government fiat. The full impact of scarcity was not accurately conveyed. As Milton Friedman pointed out at the time, we could have eliminated the lines at the pump in one day by allowing the price to rise to clear the market.

From our experience with price controls on gasoline and the long lines at the pump and general inconvenience, we get an insight into what happens under socialism where every price in the economy is controlled. The collapse of socialism is due in part to the chaos and inefficiency that result from artificial prices. The information content of a controlled price is always distorted. This in turn distorts the incentives mechanism of prices under socialism. Administered prices are always either too high or too low, which then creates constant shortages and surpluses. Market prices are the only way to transmit information that will create the incentives to ensure economic efficiency.

Profits and Losses

Socialism also collapsed because of its failure to operate under a competitive, profit-and-loss system of accounting. A profit system is an effective monitoring mechanism which continually evaluates the economic performance of every business enterprise. The firms that are the most efficient and most successful at serving the public interest are rewarded with profits. Firms that operate inefficiently and fail to serve the public interest are penalized with losses.

By rewarding success and penalizing failure, the profit system provides a strong disciplinary mechanism which continually redirects resources away from weak, failing, and inefficient firms toward those firms which are the most efficient and successful at serving the public. A competitive profit system ensures a constant reoptimization of resources and moves the economy toward greater levels of efficiency. Unsuccessful firms cannot escape the strong discipline of the marketplace under a profit/loss system. Competition forces companies to serve the public interest or suffer the consequences.

Under central planning, there is no profit-and-loss system of accounting to accurately measure the success or failure of various programs. Without profits, there is no way to discipline firms that fail to serve the public interest and no way to reward firms that do. There is no efficient way to determine which programs should be expanded and which ones should be contracted or terminated.

Without competition, centrally planned economies do not have an effective incentive structure to coordinate economic activity. Without incentives the results are a spiraling cycle of poverty and misery. Instead of continually reallocating resources towards greater efficiency, socialism falls into a vortex of inefficiency and failure.

Private Property Rights

A third fatal defect of socialism is its blatant disregard for the role of private property rights in creating incentives that foster economic growth and development. The failure of socialism around the world is a “tragedy of commons” on a global scale.

The “tragedy of the commons” refers to the British experience of the sixteenth century when certain grazing lands were communally owned by villages and were made available for public use. The land was quickly overgrazed and eventually became worthless as villagers exploited the communally owned resource.

When assets are publicly owned, there are no incentives in place to encourage wise stewardship. While private property creates incentives for conservation and the responsible use of property, public property encourages irresponsibility and waste. If everyone owns an asset, people act as if no one owns it. And when no one owns it, no one really takes care of it. Public ownership encourages neglect and mismanagement.

Since socialism, by definition, is a system marked by the “common ownership of the means of production,” the failure of socialism is a “tragedy of the commons” on a national scale. Much of the economic stagnation of socialism can be traced to the failure to establish and promote private property rights.

As Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto remarked, you can travel in rural communities around the world and you will hear dogs barking, because even dogs understand property rights. It is only statist governments that have failed to understand property rights. Socialist countries are just now starting to recognize the importance of private property as they privatize assets and property in Eastern Europe.

Incentives Matter

Without the incentives of market prices, profit-and-loss accounting, and well-defined property rights, socialist economies stagnate and wither. The economic atrophy that occurs under socialism is a direct consequence of its neglect of economic incentives.

No bounty of natural resources can ever compensate a country for its lack of an efficient system of incentives. Russia, for example, is one of the world’s wealthiest countries in terms of natural resources; it has some of the world’s largest reserves of oil, natural gas, diamonds, and gold. Its valuable farm land, lakes, rivers, and streams stretch across a land area that encompasses 11 time zones. Yet Russia remains poor. Natural resources are helpful, but the ultimate resources of any country are the unlimited resources of its people–human resources.

By their failure to foster, promote, and nurture the potential of their people through incentive-enhancing institutions, centrally planned economies deprive the human spirit of full development. Socialism fails because it kills and destroys the human spirit–just ask the people leaving Cuba in homemade rafts and boats.

As the former centrally planned economies move toward free markets, capitalism, and democracy, they look to the United States for guidance and support during the transition. With an unparalleled 250-year tradition of open markets and limited government, the United States is uniquely qualified to be the guiding light in the worldwide transition to freedom and liberty.

We have an obligation to continue to provide a framework of free markets and democracy for the global transition to freedom. Our responsibility to the rest of the world is to continue to fight the seductiveness of statism around the world and here at home. The seductive nature of statism continues to tempt and lure us into the Barmecidal illusion that the government can create wealth.

The temptress of socialism is constantly luring us with the offer: “give up a little of your freedom and I will give you a little more security.” As the experience of this century has demonstrated, the bargain is tempting but never pays off. We end up losing both our freedom and our security.

Programs like socialized medicine, welfare, Social Security, and minimum wage laws will continue to entice us because on the surface they appear to be expedient and beneficial. Those programs, like all socialist programs, will fail in the long run regardless of initial appearances. These programs are part of the Big Lie of socialism because they ignore the important role of incentives.

Socialism will remain a constant temptation. We must be vigilant in our fight against socialism not only around the globe but also here in the United States.

The failure of socialism inspired a worldwide renaissance of freedom and liberty. For the first time in the history of the world, the day is coming very soon when a majority of the people in the world will live in free societies or societies rapidly moving toward freedom.

Capitalism will play a major role in the global revival of liberty and prosperity because it nurtures the human spirit, inspires human creativity, and promotes the spirit of enterprise. By providing a powerful system of incentives that promote thrift, hard work, and efficiency, capitalism creates wealth.

The main difference between capitalism and socialism is this: Capitalism works.

Mark J. Perry is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus.

Quote of the Times;
Wow, USA Today did todays cover story on my record in lawsuits. Verdict: 450 wins, 38 losses. Isn’t that what you want for your president? – Trump

Link of the Times;
http://www.simpledisorder.com/the-comic/the-archive
Newer
Several animals were savagely beaten in the making of this page, including but not limited to; kittens, rabbits, zebu, skunks, puppies, and platypus. Also several monkeys where force fed crack to improve their typing skills.

And someone shot a duck.

An Images & Ideas, Inc. Service.

No Vegans were harmed in the making of this site. We're looking for a new provider.