Relative Stupidity

Dale Franks does a nice (and suitably humorous) job with this David Gelernter piece in the LA Times. But at a point, I have to ask: don’t the democrat politicians have a point? I mean, they’re the ones proclaiming over and over again that democrats, their voters, their very base of support are just too stupid when it comes to politics and many aspects of self-responsibility in living. You know what? I believe them. Of course, I know lots of democrats who are perfectly able to conduct their lives in a self-responsible, self-sufficient, upstanding manner. But whenever I engage such people in discussions over politics or basic logic, I nearly always experience breathtaking ignoranc–at so many levels. It’s mostly manifest in an astonishing degree of ignorance about history, civilization, enlightenment, industry, capitalism, and so on. In other words, these are people who act as though they were just dropped off on Theme-Park Earth, but have no idea in the Universe how any of this came to be, or how any of it works. And if that isn’t enough, then how about the fact that you don’t see any rank-&-file democrats objecting to the way they are being portrayed and characterized…

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Paleolibertarianism

Word is, a bunch of us are now referred to as “paleolibertarians.” See here for background. Well, whatever. There is one of two possibilities for the Neo-Libertarians: Utter and complete failure. Success, but with no discernible essential difference from the status quo. The current political system cannot be reformed. It never has been and it never will be. Political systems collapse (of their own weight or revolution) and are replaced with completely different ones. They don’t grow to become more honest. They don’t evolve into beacons of fiscal responsibility. They don’t progress towards a higher quality and plane of liberty and justice for all. They never tend to engage less and less coercion over time. Practical politics is The Beast with an ability to feed and gorge itself, and that’s what it does. The Beast is more than happy to engage the world of would-be political reformers. Such naive sycophants are lured into believing they can weaken The Beast, but in reality, their zealotry in compromise only energizes The Beast and is turned against them. It will turn them into agents of The Beat too, just like it does to everyone who gets too close. If the Neo-Libertarians want to…

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Housekeeping

Well, I finally got off my ass and set up a custom domain. This blog can now be reached via: www.uncsense.com In another day, I should have simply working as well. Been a while since I messed with DNS, and what I thought would do the trick…didn’t. The old URL (uncommonsense.typepad.com) still works as well, so all linkage to posts here will continue to function just fine.

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Much Ado About Nothing

I’d say that’s pretty much the take of Ed Rasimus concerning The Pledge of Allegiance. Ed’s a former Air Force fighter pilot during Vietnam and author of When Thunder Rolled, a combat memoir. I digress, but I’m gonna have to get hold of that book: Riveting stories of aerial combat over Vietnam and candid commentary on the doomed Rolling Thunder campaign Ed Rasimus straps the reader into the cockpit of an F-105 Thunderchief fighter-bomber, hurtling through the MiG-filled skies over North Vietnam, and then fast and low into the teeth of the enemy’s ferocious air defenses—with less than a 50-50 chance of surviving. The most engaging writing ever published about the Rolling Thunder campaign and the war in the North, When Thunder Rolled balances fist-gnawing action with the horror and sorrow of modern aerial combat. More than 300 F-105s were lost in the campaign because the Air Force brought the wrong strategy, disastrous tactics, and an ill-suited aircraft. A Cold War nuke sled, the Thunderchief was as much the pilots’ enemy as the North Vietnamese and LBJ’s war planners. Rasimus spares none of the outrage he experienced 35 years ago in this astute, surgical strike on Washington’s deadly arrogance and…

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They Don’t Call it FREE Flight for Nuthin’

We often refer to hang gliding as “free flight” because of the fact that we can fly for hours and go for many miles without any power source other than the heating provided by the sun beating against the ground and the gravity that creates our glide. But lots of us like the term for other reasons. Hang gliding–unlike just about every other facet of everyone’s life–is unregulated by government. That’s right. The FAA does not get involved in our pilot certification (which is quite rigorous, nonetheless). The FAA does not get involved in the certification of gliders and other equipment (rigorous, and expensive, for manufacturers–and there aren’t even any “uncertified” gliders for sale (see HGMA)). The FAA does not get involved in the locations we fly. Our association, the United States Hang-Gliding Association (USHGA) coordinates with landowners to provide insurance for our flying activities. In short, you, dear citizen, don’t pay a single penny for our activities. I wouldn’t trade such rational and natural anarchy for anything, and most of those I know in the sport wouldn’t either. Proof? Well, it pains me to prove it in such a heartbreaking way, but here it is. There was a tragic…

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Rest Easy…

…I know I will, now that they’re locking up an 18-year old cocksucker for the next 17 years. I keep waiting to read of a judge who takes a moral stand and steps down from the bench rather than handing down such a sentence. (link: Balko) Update: For those who don’t “get it” (which is understandable), my use of the term “cocksucker” to describe the victim, here, is a mere expression of anger over the injustice. Nothing more.

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More Idiocy, Indeed

Martin McPhillips, whom I often cite here, is a great and intelligent new (I can say that: I’ve been at it more than a year) blogger. He’s an awesome writer–far, far better than I. But man: Schiavo, combined with Easter Sunday, combined with the Pope, and I just can’t take this religious integration anymore without comment. So here he takes on evolution vs. intelligent design. Wow. Can he really believe this? If you care to, take a moment to delve into those citations. I have. Without exception, every single one precedes from a single premise: God created the world. You see, to these “scientists,” which is a contradiction in terms if you know anything about science, evolution can never be anything more than the bastard stepchild of their convolutions. And don’t talk to me about “evolution is just a theory.” Say that, and you’re just exposing your scientific ignorance. Relativity, which has been verified time and again, is “just a theory.” Evolution is not an hypothesis. Neither is relativity. Let me illustrate the absurdity, from just one of his citings: But the “scientific outlook” they have in mind is one which, by definition, excludes God from any role in the…

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Consistency: It’s Too Much To Ask

I don’t believe I’ve ever posted to this blog on the subject of immigration. “Illegal” is just a sneer with no basis in reality, which should give you some clue as to my position on the issue. In short, the goodness of the individual is all that matters, and really, that’s assuming I give any credence to borders, which I generally don’t. If you want to abstract out the essentials of that which is in essence America, it’s most certainly not the landmass. It’s an idea–more precisely, an ideal–and it includes anyone–individuals anywhere–of the American mind. That’s why this is just pure crap (read my comments). Those conservatives or libertarians who get it right on the gun control issue (morally, practically, or both) ought to take one second to consider the consistency of the underlying principles of their arguments when they spew forth about “illegal” immigration. There’s not an ounce of difference in the argument on any level. And don’t talk to me about scale. A small group of guys who choose to do evil with guns in a public place can do one hell of a lot of damage in a hurry. And that’s not to mention extending the…

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Knock It Off

I was enjoying Radley’s fine article in Forbes, when towards the end, I come across this: Nanny statists are probably well intentioned, yet they’re obsessed with the number of lives this bill or that regulation might save. But a shorter life well lived is far preferable to a long, bland life lived solely to keep from dying. Of course, that’s just this writer’s opinion. Now, I’ve been accused of being a softy with regard to some of my disagreements and such charges are deserved. But my conciliatory demeanor is reserved for those I deem to be individualists, at least to an acceptable level. There is not a single person in elected office anywhere in the world that meets the minimum standard of the essential defining attributes of individualism, much less my standards (which are substantially higher). There’s no such thing as a “well-intentioned” statist, nanny or otherwise. Good intentions, first and foremost, are premised on the good; and the ends don’t justify the means. When evil is advanced to obtain “good” results, it’s evil. Period. End of story. There are no “good intentions” anywhere around. So let’s just lay off the conciliatory posture with regard to the state and its…

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Carnival of Useful Idiots

If you’re a regular reader, you no doubt already know that people like Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore are morons of breathtaking proportions. But if you didn’t know that, or, wish to laugh (or cry) by means of a refresher, then read this account of Diaz’s MTV series Trippin. Yea, nothing like the “profound enlightened insight” gained from crapping in the woods, living in huts made of cow shit, and living amongst people whose newborns die like flies–unless, that is, they are lucky enough to live to the ripe ol’ age of 50. (link: Balko)

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Let’s Not Get Silly, Now

Yea, with regard to this silly thing. What hilarity, huh? How ri-di-cu-lous. Those people are kooks of the first order. Don’t they know that the way to redemption is through trusting that a dead guy who lived 2,000 years ago, was killed, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and built a mansion for each and every one of you (while currently seeing to its upkeep) will personally see to your arrival in heaven, where, naturally–to go along with your mansion–you’ll be walking on streets of gold?

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Google Desktop and Desktop Extreme

You’re an idiot if you don’t put both on your computer immediately. Can’t believe I waited so long. Amazing. Turned my user profile, which I began on a Win2000 beta machine back in 1999 and have taken with me to every new machine since, into an easily accessed archive of gigantic proportions, even to include all emails. Every damn email and file, and everything in them is indexed, and every search I’ve tried is virtually instantaneous. Jesus, it even indexes everything you browse on the Internet, so when you search for something, you get results from your browser history. Don’t be an idiot. Update: And with this, not only can you search all of your machines (I have 3: office, home, notebook) in one search, but you can search them all from any web browser on the net, from anywhere, and retrieve the results.

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The Root of the Root

All values come from business. Heresy, right? Think again. It’s true. It’s Uncommon Sense. Are you taken aback? Understandable. Do you understand what values are? To an extent, I’ll grant you. You probably do–to an extent. Do you understand what business is? No, probably not, at least not in the widest, metaphysical sense of the concept. Languish about. One in 10,000 might get it. …And that’s good enough for me–for now.

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Rollin’

…illuminates what happens when manifest cannibals gather around the “community” soup-kettle. […] He stands on his enemies’ premise, complaining that he’s got enemies. […] It was a society before lumpen-Eloi had been taught that everything was theirs because nothing was anybody’s. […] Anyone who is surprised or mystified at this is a goddamned moron. Here’s the whole thing.

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Flytec Championship

…going on in Florida, right now. Vince Endter, a fellow San Jose resident, does well on this 65.9 mile out-and-return task. Update: Davis Straub also makes goal and has a good writeup about it.

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“Divine Performer”

So yesterday afternoon I’m sitting down to watch a little TV…and I pop up Tivo’s play list and notice about 3 or 4 episodes of Oprah that my wife believes need to be saved. So I start piling on shit about her filling up “my” hard drive with “Doprah” crap. Then she says that I “need” to watch a segment of one episode. Turns out it’s Simon Cowell of American Idol fame; so I say: “fine.” Yea, I like Simon. Tells it straight up, and as such, he’s the one benefiting those contestants and wannabes on American Idol more than anyone. That means: he’s actually the most benevolent of the three. That, of course, is Uncommon Sense; but I digress. So Simon does his interview thing, but then announces that he’s put together a new group that have an album coming out and they’re going to perform right there on the Oprah show for the first time in the U.S. Here’s what the arrogant Simon said: Il Divo have taught me more than I have taught them. I am actually intimidated and slightly in awe of their talent! I am more proud of this album than anything else I’ve ever…

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Along for the Ride

Regular readers who also delve into the comments will have noticed that one of this blog’s most valuable contributors is Kyle Bennett. I wasn’t aware, but Kyle also has a blog. Though it looks like he hasn’t done a lot with it lately, his latest entry reveals that he may have found just the inspiration he’s been looking for. It’s an important post that merits your attention. Of note: …politics, libertarian or otherwise, is most definitely not the future. Politics is a system that has utterly failed to solve any real problems. […] The scattered and chaotic state of the libertarian movement makes more sense to me now. It is a result of the idea, implicit in everything it does, that the main purpose of the libertarian movement is to advance the libertarian movement. Do you see how Kyle’s first identification is a direct result of the second, applied to the whole scope of politics? I was talking about this subject a bit, here. The simple fact is that politics, in the widest philosophical sense, is nothing more than the application of ethics to social interaction. If you can get your mind around that, then it should not be difficult…

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My Absence

Regular readers (thank you so much) of this blog have noticed a drop in prolificacy. I’m sorry. I’m up to my ass in alligators, at the moment. For one, I’ve scorched to earth and rebuilt my sales department twice in the past year (well, I didn’t get it right the first time). Six months ago, I hired the best employee I’ve ever hired, and frankly, I should give him my job (he’s that good). He fired a 9-man team a few months ago, replaced them with a 3-man team, and exceeded the performance of the predecessors. Yea, really. But we lost the star of that 3-man team yesterday to family problems and a need to relocate. Shit. Shit! For two, I get blindsided by the bank, yesterday. You see, to grow a business of any import, you eventually have to use other people’s money. The analogy is that you can save a down payment (start a business and get it rolling) on your own, but if you want to buy a house (grow the business), it’s going to involve using other people’s money. So, we have access to significant cash, but it’s secured by our accounts receivable, which typically hovers…

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Because We Can

I read with rather intense interest this City Journal piece by Theodore Dalrymple, The Frivolity of Evil. Also very interesting was Wretchard’s thorough take on it, as well as Billy Beck’s. I think that a lot of what I’d have to say about it would overlap what’s already been written. On the other hand… Among other things, Beck says: …it makes no sense to pose good and evil as mutually exclusive in human nature without knowing human nature to include the element of free will. “The barriers to evil” are erected and mounted one mind at a time, willfully realizing itself in the purpose of choosing life over death. It just seems noteworthy to me that after millennia of religion-induced guilt, followed by centuries of modern state-induced guilt, that it has come to this. And yet, in spite of all the evil, there’s no greater evidence of the heights of goodness and accomplishment to which men can ascend than in things we can see being done by great individuals today. History, apparently, has never been short of either great men or evil men–or the deeds of both. On balance, it’s fair to observe that the good has outstripped the evil…

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Losing is Losing

You want to hear a real horror? I started a company in 1993 that has served thousands of clients, now employs 30 people, and is largely unregulated. There are no federal or state laws that specifically contemplate my business model, which seeks to provide a creative, sensible, win-win alternative to bankruptcy*. Isn’t that awful? We are actually pretentious enough that we would dare to operate and build businesses without the prior stamp of approval from the Emperor. Oh, there are bad actors, of course–just like in any industry or profession. Two that I know of were outright frauds, and I didn’t shed a tear when they were shut down. Of course, they were shut down under the authority of a simple principle that’s been around for 10,000 years, at least, and was even encoded into law about 3,000 years ago: Thou shalt not steal. But because the industry has grown and has all sorts of variations and off-shots, it has been determined by the “authorities” that “regulation” is “required”. And, so, I’ve been making trips to Chicago over the last few months to sit around the table with other industry leaders and state commissioners charged with drafting a Uniform State…

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