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The beginnings of a manifesto.

Posted 09-08-2015 at 07:47 PM by Len Myers
Updated 10-14-2015 at 11:41 PM by Len Myers

Right now, these are isolated thoughts, of varying quality, and some certainly poor.

Perhaps it will be feasible -- or even desirable -- to bind them coherently, but perhaps not. Time will tell.

Some of them will certainly have to be refined or even discarded. The question is: which?!

Welcome, readers. I'm not putting these posts into my sob story because they don't advance that narrative. You wanna read this crap, go ahead. You don't wanna read it? You can still enjoy my harrowing misadventures and mistreatment at the hands of an indifferent bureaucracy and its servant-for-$$$, The Abattoir.
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  1. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    Someone commented that actuaries "having won the genetic lottery... " missing the whole point.

    It's easy to piss away one's advantages, or even one's life. It's equally easy for a society to do the same. So let's start at the beginning.

    At the societal levels, there aren't any rules, not really. If your society dissolves because of dumb mistakes, it's your society's fault. If, for instance, your society was enslaved, don't come crying to me for "reparations." Did evil people come and enslave you? yes. Did they do reprehensible things? Of course! But your ancestors didn't do their duty to avoid being enslaved.

    At the personal level, the same applies. If you raise your children in a ghetto environment and they get killed, you have not done your duty! If they don't get adequate schooling, the same applies.

    If you're down on the genetic / societal totem pole the odds are against you, and that's tough beans. Your job is to do everything you can to get off the bottom, so that you and your kids can prosper. No excuses. Yes, this applies to me as well.

    It's true that a society built on cruelty is a perversion, and it won't get a lot of support from those at the bottom, but, sad to say, this is natural, and such a society is likely to last far, far longer than one would like.

    A society based on fair play is an ideal, likely a worthy ideal, but it takes work to spring into being, and more work to keep from losing its way. Some people benefit from special privileges, and they aren't going to willingly surrender those.

    Nevertheless, you gotta fight to get to, or at least, near the top. No alternative.
    Posted 10-07-2015 at 07:52 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
    Updated 10-09-2015 at 02:30 PM by Len Myers
  2. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    I've read (on The Consumerist) that the US congress is about to grill the new(?) head of VW. My take is that it would be a nice thing if VW emissions were at all times nice and clean, but if VW followed the rules as written, it's government's fault.

    There's no such thing as "unintended consequences" when it comes to regulation, as far as I'm concerned.
    Posted 10-07-2015 at 07:59 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    Symptoms of sick governance:
    • Things can't be done in a timely manner:
      • Trials.
      • Buildings.
      • At the national US level: elections and removing losers from office.
      • Permits in general (not everywhere).
      • Government bugets.
      • From Mikel Kelly: What I’d like to know is why does it take eight, 10 or 12 hours to reopen a freeway after there’s been a fatal accident?
      • and again: And then the TV folks said (and this is the part that had me spewing bits of my dinner all over the place) that we could expect the results of that investigation in about six months.

        That’s right, six months.
      • Firing bad / evil / corrupt teachers, or any other kind of civil servants, including police and inspectors.
      • "Civil Forfeiture" in the absence of a criminal act.
      • medical patents -- not that I want the process to let through unsafe drugs, but efficacy is a marketplace issue.
      • Bans on what a doctor can tell you (yes, this applies to abortion counseling and to drugs which haven't quite been approved for one's condition.

    And there simply must be more.
    Posted 10-09-2015 at 03:06 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
    Updated 10-11-2015 at 12:09 AM by Len Myers
  4. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    School Principals, Superintendents, and leeching bureaucrats.

    **** 'em.
    Posted 10-09-2015 at 06:11 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    A government that will lie to us about something as laughably inconsequential as "recycling" will lie to us about anything. And a government that lies to us isn't worth keeping around.
    Posted 10-09-2015 at 09:57 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    Speaking of lying, basically every quoted price in America is a lie. From automobiles to hotel rooms to houses to groceries -- in most states -- to your cell phone plan.

    The easy list of things that are priced honestly:
    • vended items;
    • gasoline -- in most states;
    • stamps;
    • Services, again in most states.
    • tournaments;
    • bets;
    • bonds; and
    • stocks.
    In the case of bets, which are priced honestly, the payouts aren't. Generally. That $100,000,000 that you won in the lotto? You'll either wait for upwards of a decade for most of it, and it'll still be taxed away, or you can get about $50,000,000 now -- before tax.

    That dollar or two that you bet? you paid that immediately., with no deduction for tax. Probably.
    Posted 10-09-2015 at 10:10 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    I've noticed that one thing the opposition leftists have worked out is to casually refer to people like me as "Bigots", worthy of insta-dismissal. They regard this as effective, and "bigot" is a nice, two-syllable word. Bigots need not be considered. They can be ignored, they're not part of polite society, they can be fined, falsely-charged, and/or imprisoned.

    Well done, perverts!
    Posted 10-10-2015 at 01:42 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    Reagan famously observed that "you are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts", or something like that.

    They seem to disagree. A 2011 op-ed in the Times allowed Abbas to claim things counter to fact, and the Times editors asserted that historical fact was simply a matter of opinion. In this case, opinion which fit the Palestinian / Muslim narrative.

    This mechanism is, fairly, a step above the feminist narrative that facts are rape.
    Posted 10-10-2015 at 01:59 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    One of the lesser-known perversions of US Governance is NSA patents. In apparent violation of law¹, they don't expire; neither are they revealed until someone else tries to file one that seems to conflict. If, that is -- and someone else suggested this -- that the NSA actually creates the patents ahead of time, rather than filching the idea of another patent and preparing hoax documentation after the fact.

    I really don't see that the US Government has any business creating patents at all, and this ties in with an earlier statement of software patents. There's no valid point in it.

    There are other issues with US patents that permit math to be patented if and only if it's embedded in a machine. Not cool.

    ¹On further review, there's a specialized act that permits this
    Posted 10-12-2015 at 01:01 AM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  10. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    One long-standing idea for government reform is to make the government renew laws at periodic intervals, or the laws expire. In the case of the 1951 secrecy act alluded to above, there is an annual renewal provision. And congress seems to renew that bit every year. It doesn't take much for the government to renew laws to avoid sunset. We'll have to make the government discard outdated laws, rather than renew them. Later, I'll suggest a method for accomplishing this.
    Posted 10-12-2015 at 01:06 AM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    Another government perversion: Civil Commitment!

    Hint: if the Government is involved or if the result is that you can be locked up, or both, it ain't civil.

    Quote:

    Then something unexpected happened: A few months before she was supposed to be released, Artis was told by a prison counselor that she was a candidate for something called civil commitment. A doctor would be coming to the prison to evaluate her, the counselor said, to determine whether she was at risk for committing another sex crime. If the doctor decided she was, that testimony would be presented to a judge, and Artis would likely be sent to a facility to receive treatment. She would be held indefinitely at that facility until the state decided it was safe to let her out.

    Artis could not believe it. She had never heard of civil commitment, and she didn’t understand how it could be possible that after serving her prison sentence without incident, she would not be allowed to go home. After a judge heard the case—and reviewed the results of a risk assessment questionnaire Artis had taken at the behest of the doctor who visited her in prison—that was exactly what happened. On Jan. 13, 2013, after 27 years of being locked up in one institution, Artis found herself locked up in another one.

    The Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation is not, strictly speaking, a prison: The more than 300 people who are housed there do not live in locked cells, and they are able to use the phone to communicate with the outside world. But they are not allowed to leave.
    If you aren't allowed to leave, it's a prison, and based on the description, it's a for-profit prison, another perversion.

    I have no idea whether this person (and I think he is still pre-operational, and therefore have no qualms about using the h-word. More strangely, he knew he was gay, and now identifies as female, getting into serious WTF-land.) will ever commit a sex-crime again. And sex crimes against true children, as with forcible rape, are abominable, worse than murder, in my opinion. But the point of a justice system is to get the sentence right up front, rather than after-the-fact tacking on an additional, indeterminate, sentence.
    Posted 10-12-2015 at 01:15 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
    Updated 10-12-2015 at 01:19 PM by Len Myers
  12. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    Iran has convicted a Washington Post editor of espionage. Uh, huh. The only thing Iran does that's worthy of espionage is plotting murder, ideally of Jews. I guess they don't like it when their targets know what they're about.
    Posted 10-12-2015 at 06:41 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  13. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    Sick Governance strikes again. There was an app that allowed people to dispute parking tickets. Evidently it was effective. That couldn't be allowed to stand in the way of revenue. LA and SF ratcheted up the blocking process until the app was no longer economic.

    Evidently the point wasn't justice, but revenue. Yeah, that's At least they don't, as with Massachusetts, nonrefundably charge you to contest a violation.
    Posted 10-13-2015 at 05:27 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  14. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    This comment will probably have to be fleshed-out or modified.

    I just had a... showerthought. There are people who act as inappropriately as possible at all times, and there's everyone else. Clean and elegant. But it's not true.

    When it comes to people, there are two general conditions: binary and spectra. The prime example of a binary... almost... is sex. You can be impregnated at some point during your life, means you're a woman. You can impregnate, again sometime during your life, means you're a man. There are a few unfortunates around, most notably Down's sufferers, but this is immutable, at least until technology is developed to allow people to adjust themselves at the chromosome level.

    Gender, in this day, is not only on a spectrum, it's an n-dimensional spectrum, and a single person can vary across it from day to day, or even minute by minute, if prudent. At least Gender is only a social construct and has nothing to do with anything that actually counts.

    Back to the original thought, if you can call it that. There are people who will endeavor to do whatever they can, whenever they can. We'll call this category Type V people.

    Some might have carve-outs, but still be basically in this category. "He was kind to children and animals" comes to mind. This is type IV.

    Others, are basically nice, except in areas they don't understand, or don't care. Me, I have a blind spot when it comes to visiting. I never bring a bottle of wine & etc. So, I'm type III.

    The next group of people are nice. all the time. Too, nice, perhaps. There's nothing wrong with them, except they get slimed by the type IV and V guys.

    The best people, in my opinion are nice almost all the time, and not nice when required, and to the extent appropriate.

    A desirable society will be made up of type Is, with or without type IIs.
    Posted 10-14-2015 at 11:40 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  15. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Feif, in part View Post
    The Israeli government has to look out for its citizens, and put their safety first.
    There aren't a lot of governments with this attitude any more, if there ever were. Which is the problem.
    Posted 10-15-2015 at 08:35 AM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  16. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    Who could forget the US "Half-English" rules. I did.

    The "English Rule" is that the loser in a court case pays for the counter-party's expenses, particularly the legal ones. I think this is reasonable, at least up to a point. If, for instance, you're trying to surrender, that should stop the cost build-up. But in general, the winning side of a court case shouldn't be out money.

    The Half English rule, on the other hand, is a perversion. If you sue someone else under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), and you win, the losing party pays your costs. But if you lose, all parties pay their own costs.

    All pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others.
    Posted 10-17-2015 at 01:18 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  17. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    I think we've found a theme -- perhaps it's my imagination running wild -- the more money the government needs, the more willing it is to do perverted things to raise more money.
    Posted 10-17-2015 at 01:19 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  18. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    If a candidate for political office -- Republican, Democratic, or Libertarian -- wants to get lots of votes, just come out for school lunches that children will actually eat.

    This bit warmed my black heart.
    Quote:
    But meanwhile, the GAO found that many students are simply bypassing the new dictums by sneaking salt and pepper shakers onto campus, even creating a clandestine market for potato chips. Technology has added pizzazz to the age-old lunch line complaints. Some students are Tweeting sad-looking lunch trays with the hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama.

    “There’s a black market," says Julie Gunlock, who directs the Culture of Alarmism Project at the Independent Women’s Forum in Washington, joking about "kids with trench coats lined with potato chips and other things they can’t get at school.”

    “God bless innovation and entrepreneurialism, but that’s not the goal of reforming the school lunch program," says Ms. Gunlock. "It was intended to get kids to eat their veggies because they like them, but instead it’s created a culture where kids are disgusted by the food because they’re not allowed to flavor it. So, it’s had an opposite effect, and created a much bigger problem.”
    Posted 10-17-2015 at 05:22 PM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  19. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    I've been railing against certain practices of the US, but India takes the cake in this comment. They asserted that one Indian citizen died, and it took him 19 years to get the government to agree that he was not dead. Evidently there is, or was, a lot of that going around at the time.
    Posted 10-18-2015 at 12:26 AM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
  20. Old Comment
    Len Myers's Avatar
    It's astounding that the government, and at the least, some banking functions, aren't on email yet. Or maybe it's not. Feel free to check out one disabled vet's laments. For reasons of economy he lives outside the US. His grievances?
    • The embassy (in Bogota) screws up, and charges him $135 to fix their own mistake;
    • The DEA issues more and more regulations, hampering vets in their quest for pain medications;
    • Unwillingness to employ direct deposit where mail is nonsecure, and, of course, distinct mail for checks, so the thieves know which mail to pilfer;
    • Email is not an option for correspondence;
    • Unconscionable delays for basic medical equipment replacement; and
    • Unwillingness to to deal with vets until military records are found -- and inability to find those very same records.

    It's almost as if we need two government organizations, one solely for the purpose of ensuring that the other has competition.
    Posted 10-19-2015 at 08:16 AM by Len Myers Len Myers is offline
 

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