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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sandra Fluke: a victim of solvent abuse?

Today, Sandra Fluke feebly groped to understand the pay gap:

"In the fight for something as important as pay equity, it's critical that our government leads by example. As a State Senator, I will call for an audit of California State employees to study how much women and men in comparable positions are paid and to analyze if women are reaching the upper echelons of State jobs, and if not, why not."

No need for a new study. Thomas Sowell explained this about 30 years ago:

Then he explained it again 6 years ago:

Thursday, April 3, 2014


"Ineptocracy: A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

First Draft of the Bill of Rights

Click here.

The right to keep and bear arms comes first in this version. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Epic Beard Time

The Only Intelligent Idea in Christianity

Christians believe that people and the world are imperfect by nature. A lucky side effect of this is that Christians do not see any point in trying to make heaven on earth.

In contrast, utopians of all kinds want to do exactly that. The result has always been a mountain of corpses.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My lonely battle against Corporatese

I take pride in writing well. Good writing is short and clear. Any idiot can just throw words together. It takes skill to craft a good sentence. Sadly, there are many bad writers. It is often my painful duty to decipher their gibberish.

The worst writing of all is what I call Corporatese. I suppose its users think they sound smarter by using it. They don't, because Corporatese breaks every rule of good writing:

1. Few words are better than many words.
2. Short words are better than long words.
3. Plain English is better than jargon.
4. Active voice is better than passive.
5. Literal is better than figurative.

The key to writing Corporatese is to do the exact opposite of these rules. Here are a few examples of how to turn plain English into Corporatese:

Plain English: We need the Vice President to sign our budget.

Corporatese: We put together a strawman to get the VP to sign off on our budget. Then, we'll determine how much time we need.

The plain English version  gives all the important information in just 9 words:

1) There's a budget
2) It needs to be signed by the VP
3) It hasn't been signed yet.

I could have saved even more space by using VP instead.

The Corporatese version uses almost 3 times as many words spread out over 2 sentences. Strangely, the author (I am sure this was written and not spoken)  decided that Vice President was too long. 2 prepositions are tacked on to the verb "sign" for no reason. I've heard often that time is money. If that's the case, why waste time with useless words?

I know I'm not crazy. Corporatese is the butt countless jokes. If you heard a person talk like that, you would struggle not to laugh. I know I do.

Bullshit thrives if good people do nothing. I've had enough.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Is the Secret Service worthless?

The Secret Service has been officially in charge of protecting the president since 1902. How well they've done that job boils down to 2 questions:

1) How well have they defended attacks?

2) How well have they predicted and prevented attacks?

Since 1902, there has been only 1 assassination (JFK) and 1 wounding (Reagan). There were 2 near misses on Ford, 1 on FDR, and 1 on Truman. That makes 6 total.

There were other attempts, but I'm only counting the ones where someone with a gun was within shooting distance of the president and tried to shoot. I'm not counting Teddy Roosevelt because he was an ex-president when he was shot and ex-presidents were not given protection until later.

So, let's take each of those 6 cases and see how well the Secret Service did.

The Secret Service really screwed up for JFK. They were hungover from partying the night before. Preventing a sniper attack is tricky, but preventing such things is their job. I give them 0 out of 5.

As for Reagan, they failed to prevent him and 3 others from getting shot, although they did succeed in disarming the assassin. One even acted as a human shield. I give them 2 out of 5.

For Ford, they stopped one attempt before a shot could be fired. However, since the assassin failed to chamber her pistol properly, she would have most likely failed anyway. The other one fired and was stopped by a bystander. I give them 1 out of 10 stars total.

For FDR, it was a bystander that saved the day. 0 out of 5.

For Truman, one Secret Service guy shot and disabled an attacker. The other was killed by a policeman. I give them 3 out of 5.

So, the total score is 6 out of 30. In school, that means F, or "crocodile" if you are in California.

What about predicting attacks?

The Secret Service interviewed one of Ford's assailants and judged her to be no threat.


I don't know how many people they interview each year, but given the volume of threats, it's probably in the dozens if not hundreds.

The more important question is, of the people mentioned who actually tried to kill a president, how many were interviewed?

Just 1.

So why do they bother with interviews? I suspect it's the usual sham work that is the norm in government. I also would not be surprised if the least intelligent Secret Service agents are the ones assigned to do interviews.

Here's idea. Let's stop pretending these guys are James Bond clones and adopt better technology, like the Popemobile.