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Friday, May 30, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The 7 Derpy Sins of Team Blue

1. The minimum wage helps workers & the economy.

No, it makes labor more expensive and discourages hiring.

2. There are only so many pieces of the pie. If the rich get richer, the poor must get poorer.

Wealth is not a zero-sum game. When people trade freely, both sides get something they want more.

3. Money is wealth.

Money has no intrinsic value. You can't eat it, live in it, or wear it. It's only use is to trade. Wealth has many forms, including goods, services, and knowledge.

4. Government spending stimulates the economy.

 No, it redirects scarce resources to less efficient activities. If those activities were truly wise, people would freely invest in them. If the only way to fund something is with money taken by force (taxes), then it probably isn't a good idea.

5. We are the government.

No, society is not government. Government is a relatively small part of society. Those who form it have their own goals and wants which often conflict with others outside government.

6. A low tax policy means trickle-down economics.

Money trickles up and down. People who want high taxes want the the trickling to be to and from the government.

7. High tax rates are good for the economy.

No, they discourage production, saving, and investment.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Derponomicon: Part 27

Well, here it is. The last response. His topic was the following quote from Augustine of Hippo:

Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, “What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.”

As far at the Augustine of Hippo quote, it is most certainly in reference to a mideval kingdom system of government. Equating a mideval kingdoms system of government to the modern day US government is once again, like comparing apples and hippos. In modern day US, tax dollars pay for roads, bridges, air traffic safety, clean air, clean water, inspected food, the military, satellites, the infrastructure of plumbing/electric/utilities/etc. we all enjoy, and about a zillion other things. In a kingdom, the people were lucky to get a water source. You literally cannot exist in modern society without taking advantage of what society (I.e. The government) provides. When you step on a sidewalk, or use electricity, or drive on a street in a car that isn't exploding, etc. You are taking advantage of what the government provided to you.

Ignorance of history, conflation of society with govt, and an argument from ignorance.

Thank goodness that's the last of it. 

The Derponomicon: Part 26

A response to my favorite Sowell quote:

"The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics."

-Thomas Sowell

On the Thomas Sowell quote, As I have mentioned before, he is a favorite of the white supremacist crowd, which really says a lot about who he speaks to. Of course the lesson of economics is a finite amount of everything, otherwise no one would need to buy it. But that general statement isn't new casserole true. The first lesson of economics is laziness. People will pay for anything that requires the least amount of work. When people are given the choice between growing their own food for free in their backyard, or buying food at a restaurant or a prepared meal, what will most people choose? When given the choice between paying for produce and meat and making food yourself, and ordering a pizza, what will most people choose? MOST aspects of our economy are built on taking advantage of people's laziness. People are willing to pay for any product or service that will make their life easier. So generally speaking there is pretty much an unlimited amount of goods and services that Americans are willing to buy if they can afford it, from a service that cleans up dog shit in your yard, to custom hats for your baby. So in America that rule doesn't really apply. What does however have a finite amount to go around is wealth, and the more wealth we hand up to the top percentages, who know how to manipulate and hide it, in the most literal way takes from everyone else. There are only so many slices of the pie to go around, and when the richest people get the most pieces of pie, that leaves nothing but a slice and some crumbs for everyone else to fight over.

More baseless smears, more deflection, more yammering that the economy is a zero-sum game. The denial of scarcity is the cherry on top. 

The Derponomicon: Part 25

A response to a Milton Friedman video:

On the Social Security myth Freidman video.
Once again, this is another gripe I hear from conservatives over and over again, that social security is going broke, that it's a wasteful program, that it is paying out more than it is taking in, etc. Etc. Etc. You know what I NEVER hear though? Is of a conservative that refuses to accept or cash their social security checks when they arrive, even if they know full well they never paid as much in as they are getting back. In fact Republicans have been trying to cut and/or privatize social security for decades, which if Bush had succeeded in doing, the program would have been raped, pillaged, and left broke with the financial collapse. At the same time they are somehow able to convince their elderly voters that it's Democrats that are trying to destroy social security when they have only tried to defend and expand it. Fact of the matter is, you will find absolutely ZERO social security age voters that want to abolish social security or even reform it. Just like the ACA, Social Security was lambasted by opponents as one of the worst things ever, but now everyone seems to appreciate not having to house, feed, clothe and care for their elderly relatives. The only reason social security funds have had any issues is because previous administration's borrowed money for other things without ever replacing it. Lifting the $110,000 cap would make social security solvent for 75+ years. I believe everyone appreciates the fact that we don't have elderly people dying in the street or bring forced to live in our homes and eat cat food. I never understood why Republicans crusade against a program that literally everyone wants, and no one would ever give up

No attempt to address the claims made. When I told him the govt cannot possibly get enough taxes to pay the promised benefits, he said:

Except of course the government never runs out of money.

This was by far the dumbest thing he said, which is impressive considering the other things he said. 

The Derponomicon: Part 24

A response to this Thomas Sowell video:

As I have pointed out many times before, Thomas Sowell is the go to "black friend" of racists everywhere. They love to repeat the disparaging things he says about black people and proclaim "A black guy said it, so it must be true!" Which would kind of be like me saying "Hitler had a point, Jews are terrible!" And the same people repeating that and proclaiming it's okay because a Jewish guy said it. That being said, he is an apologist for unregulated, out of control, oligarchic capitalism. Here he talks about how statistics are somehow skewed on the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer because of capital gains and investments being counted improperly. He states "If you invest $10,000 in .....".....stop right there Thomas, if you can casually invest $10,000 in anything, gain or lose you are well ahead of the family of 4 that LIVES on $10,000 a year. Then he goes on to say that if inflation goes up and you do make money on your investment it somehow doesn't count because the purchasing power of the money you made is the same as what you invested. Yet the poor have been living on minimum wage scraps that have failed to keep up with inflation at all. Conservatives live to point out that 47% of people are "takers" on some kind of government assistance, more than ever under Obama....However corporations and the very rich are making windfall profits more than ever at the same time. THAT is the very literal definition of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Any statistics you manipulate or try to explain away doesn't change those very clear facts. He also said there are more people in the top 20% than the bottom 20%. Which is akin to saying a pound of lead weighs more than a pound of feathers.

Poisoning the well, deflection, and a several straw men. How typical. 

The Derponomicon: Part 23

A response to this video on food irradiation:

On food irradiation....Like everything else conservatives support the misinformation is coming directly from lobbyists and the corporations that seek to profit off of the ignorance of the public. Just like climate change denial, the ONLY studies that are saying food irradiation is safe is the lobbyists and companies paying for the studies in their favor in the first place. You would be hard pressed to find any legitimate scientist or biologist that would advise eating food that has been exposed to radiation. The real problem of course, is the corporate factory farms and fast food restaurants using substandard practices and cleaning procedures to process their food. Almost all the major food poisoning outbreaks of the last few years have come from these large scale agri-businesses and fast food restaurants improperly handling the product or knowingly using tainted water or meat. Much like the recent cancerous cows recall. You know which farms very rarely if ever cause any of these kinds of problems? Small family owned farms, that have caring people and proper oversight running them. Irradiating all of the food to stop food poisoning is trading in one problem for another. Small levels of radiation in some carrots or a hamburger probably aren't a big deal, but if EVERYTHING you ate was exposed to radiation eventually it would have very adverse and widespread effects. And that's not even up for debate.

Hmm... some No True Scotsmen and question-begging. And of course, deflection. This guy cannot string 2 words together without making a fallacy. Note also that he has not the faintest idea of how food irradiation works. But that doesn't stop him from having an opinion on it. 

The Derponomicon: Part 22

A response to this video on public sector unions:

On public sector unions.....Is it not ironic that the very people that demonize and whip up anger about public sector unions are public sector government workers that worked to be elected to office, so they could have insane salaries that they could raise on their own anytime, lifetime benefits, and a pension....All at the expense of THE TAXPAYERS. The very same people in fact who will happily pass billions on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations, extend insane subsidies and benefits to billion dollar industries, vote for decades long irresponsible trillion dollar wars in league with war profiteers, and throw billions of dollars to the banks and Wall Street gamblers that collapsed our economy? And after all of those TRILLIONS of dollars pissed away they have the nerve to turn the attention on teachers and poor people as the problem? If you took away all the food stamps and teachers salaries and pensions entirely, the entire amount would be a fraction of the above mentioned insane government spending entirely authorized and executed by these teacher/poor person budget hawks. Like always, they give trillions and trillions of taxpayer dollars away to the very rich and then attempt to balance the shortfall on the backs of everyone else. It's almost as if the corporate elites that were making windfall profits off of taxpayer dollars were orchestrating these very calculated and divisive schemes to turn the middle class against one another so they don't notice who is actually fucking them. The sad thing is, that half of the people actually BUY it and actually blame teachers and poor people for the financial havoc the corporate elite have wrought. It's almost as if half of the people are in a cult, completely unable to see the strings attached to them and the puppeteers making them dance.

Amazing! Even more deflection and Tu Quoqe. 

The Derponomicon: Part 21

A response to this video on the broken window fallacy:

Once again, the broken window fallacy is, well, a fallacy. Another false comparison, unless of course you are speaking specifically of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, which netted BILLIONS in taxpayer dollars for defense contractors that were providing the weaponry to blow up schools and bridges, and the contractors to repair those roads and bridges, and the private security forces to protect them at 5 times the rate of the US Military. All of which, of course was completely orchestrated and designed by said corporations, that are foreign multi-nationals, that were mapping out plans for war from day one of the Bush presidency and arguably had a hand in allowing 9/11 to happen unobstructed. Cheney's company alone has made 50 billion+ to date and he inevitably profited handsomely from it. That is where the broken window fallacy makes sense. When it comes to roads and bridges and crumbling infrastructure or the post office or other necessary and needed services the comparison doesn't really apply, because those things actually have to be maintained and fixed. Not to say there isn't a lot of superfluous and unnecessary spending going on in government, but about 90% of that is on non essential military spending. Keeping troops stationed in hundreds of bases around the world and spending billions on planes and weaponry that are never going to be used and we're never needed in the first place as well as spending billions if not trillions rebuilding countries we destroyed in the first place unnecessarily is the TRUE broken window fallacy in US government.

Wow! More deflection. Who could have seen that coming? 

The Derponomicon: Part 20

A response to this video about David Horowitz & an MSA student:

First of all, I am pretty sure the woman asking the question is a plant, probably the speaker payed to be there to sensationalize his issues with Muslims. It's highly doubtful anyone would be that open about their anti-semitism, particularly on a college campus. The assertion here is that this somehow represents the sentiments of all American Muslims or Muslims in general. You know, kind of like anti-semites insist all Jews own the banks and are money grubbing shiesters that need to be stopped. Or how the Westboro Baptists are glad soldiers die because God hates fags. Holding up extremists of any type as representative of an entire group worthy of condemnation, is no different that what the extremists are doing in the first place. In essence, extremists use an extreme minority within a group, to justify condemnation of that entire group. Someone using this video to justify their disdain and distrust of Muslims, is literally no different than posting an article about a black murderer or rapist and using it as an example to justify your hatred of black people. It is the same as equating the Westboro Baptists or Pat Robertson to ALL Christians. It's like equating Anders Breivik and Wade Michael Page to ALL conservatives. By pointing out extreme examples as justification for bigotry, you are in essence fitting the definition of an extremist. And I am sure you will say I do that all the time....but my intent is exactly that, to show conservatives what it's like to be lumped in and judged by your craziest extremists. And very rarely do I ever hear a conservative denounce these extremists amongst them, only deflect, defend, deny. Never do I hear "That guy is an as shoe and doesn't represent my views." It's always "But Al Sharptown said this.....or Reverend Wright said that...." As a born Jew, living in am orthodox Jewish neighborhood, I can admit that just about 99% of the Jewish faith is based on their persecution. Literally nearly every holiday and every story in the Old Testament is about the Jews overcoming someone trying to exterminate them. So I wouldn't doubt for a second, that this guy would have a plant say these things at his lecture to further his agenda.

A baseless accusation of dishonesty. At least this is a different excuse. More deflection and Tu Quoqe. 

The Derponomicon: Part 19

A response to the parable of the pool: 

On the pool analogy. Once again, a completely false and misleading comparison. Our economy is far from a pool that we are all in together. There are TRILLIONS taken out of our economy by the very wealthy and corporations every year and put in offshore investments and bank accounts. A true analogy would be that the people in the deep end are taking thousands of buckets of water a day and pouring them into a series of tanker trucks that drive away with it, whereas everyone else is slowly pouring thimbles full of water into the shallow end. Once again this "redistribution of wealth" conservatives are always screaming about isn't about taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor, it's about leveling the playing field that the rich constructed in their favor over the last 3 decades where all the wealth gets redistributed to THEM. This isn't rocket science. 97% of all economic growth has gone to the top 1%, when the top half of the 99% are the ones putting in all the hard work and effort. If you can't understand that taking more and more FROM the economy and giving less and less back to the economy causes and enormous rift, no amount of poorly constructed half baked videos are going to help you understand. Just like anything else that is alive and grows, if it is not managed properly, it dies. If you cut down all the trees in the forest, without planting new ones, guess what? The forest dies. If you keep extracting more from.the economy than you give back to it, guess what? It dies. The economy should be treated like a business of any kind, or a well.managed forest, you give back to it as you take from it to help it grow and thrive. Too many people at the top are treating it more like a strip mine, and we all know what that has done for West Virginia.

The economy as a zero-sum game-YET AGAIN! 

The Derponomicon: Part 18

A response to this wonderful video:

As far as the British alien video.....I don't even know where to begin on this one. It doesn't really seem to be making a case for anything other than some of the laws we have are silly or superfluous. But I don't think anyone would disagree that speeding laws, or traffic laws, or environmental laws, or drug laws, or gun laws, or many of the other laws we have are unnecessary. I find the ultimate irony is that many anti-government types take all their laws, like the one that tells them at all costs they must hate the gays, for instance, from a thousands of years old book of archaic and ridiculous laws written by men that thought the earth was flat. Truth of the matter is, if you want to live in a civilized society, there will be laws, and a system of government in place. It can't just be the wild west all time. Look at these war torn lawless societies in Africa, even with all the rapes, child soldiers, and limb's really hard to find anyone with any sort of quality of life. It's easy to bitch about Mom and Dad when they are the only thing keeping warm and dry and fed. I find that anti-government sentiment is tantamount to a petulant 16 year old bitching about how much their parents suck, but without them, they'd be homeless, starving, sex slaves.

More deflection. Are you noticing a pattern yet? And apparently atrocities in Africa are the result of too little govt. What an imbecile. 

The Derponomicon: Part 17

A response to this quote from Tacitus: "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."

"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws." -Tacitus As discussed briefly yesterday, the SMALLER the government the more easily corruptable it becomes for a lot less money. It seems nearly every medium sized city and even small towns have some level of corruption. Some mayor's son/brother/nephew/cousin getting some sweet deal contract, a judge pulling strings for a family friend, cops taking $1000 bribes to leave the local brothel/meth lab alone. Absolute power corrupts absolutely as they say. Of course we see this in every level of government, but it really isn't until you get up to the top levels of government where we see the correlation of laws and corruption. More often than not those laws are crafted and bought by mega corporations that are exempt from said laws in an attempt to create an absolute monopoly. Big agra/pharma/oil/wall street/etc. Buying legislators and passing legislation to rub out their competition and overburden them with regulations that the themselves are exempt from. The answer in all of this of course, is getting money out of politics, and stop equating money to speech.

More unawareness of regulatory capture & ignorance of the saying "power and money always find each other." And more misunderstanding of Citizens United thrown in for good measure. It's derptacular. 

The Derponomicon: Part 16

A response to this quote from Keynes:

"If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez faire to dig the notes up again . . . there need be no more unemployment. . . . It would indeed be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing."

John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory, p. 129.

So I am supposed to discuss the idea of burying bottles of money under garbage and putting people to work digging them up? Was this a serious idea, or just intentional hyberbole. The idea that the unemployment problem can be solved simply by employing people to do whatever menial busy work and whatever wage is kind of silly. It's not just that people need jobs, people need good paying jobs that will actually allow them to be independent and be able to eat, pay bills, and rent. Simply removing the minimum wage, or manufacturing low level jobs for people to work isn't solving the problem. Unemployment could be at zero, and it wouldn't make a luck of difference is the same amount of people still qualified for food stamps and welfare. Removing food stamps and welfare, would just mean that people starve, or turn to crime and violence to provide for their families. The problem today is that no one is invested in America anymore. During WW2 it was a prosperous time, because everyone worked for the war effort (arguably the last legitimate war the US was ever in) building things, recycling scrap, buying war bonds, whatever it took. Every one was invested, everyone took part, everyone reaped the rewards. Nowadays all of that stuff is outsourced to no bid politically connected multi-national corporations that could give two shits about America, or Americans. Of the trillions pissed away on Afghanistan and Iraq, barely any of that money is ever coming back to the US. The US used to be a community, where everyone tried to help each other prosper...until Reagan changed all that. Now it's every man for himself, fuck the greater good, and make as much profit as possible at whoever's expense.

Note the lack of awareness for the rationing of most goods during WW2. And again we see the lie that people would turn to crime if not for food stamps and welfare. Finally, we have an obligatory shout-out to the great Satan Ronald Reagan. 

The Derponomicon: Part 15

A response to this video on GPA redistribution:

Once again, the video you posted is a false comparison. NO ONE is advocating the "redistribution" of wealth, they are asking for a FAIR system where the people that are at the very top, get all the perks a day breaks that everyone in the middle and bottom have to pitch in for. The only way this comparison would even be close to accurate is if the students getting perfect GPAs had all the students with lower GPAs doing all the work for them and the students with the best GPAs were getting extra credit just by virtue of the position they are in. You see our system has become a caste system, wealth is rewarded with LESS responsibility to society. There is no reason why a person that makes $60,000 for a family of three should have to pay more of their income that a guy who makes $12,000,000 a year for basically shuffling papers around behind a desk, or worse yet, living off of their inheritance. When the handful at the very top, who own 70% of the wealth, are contributing well LESS than 70% back into the system that allowed them to get to where they are in the first place, there is a problem. There is no reason why the poor, the sick, the elderly, veterans, the middle class, etc. Should have to have cuts to vital services so a banker can spend $500,000 on a new Lamborghini. It's not poor people and single mothers and suburban families that destroyed the economy, it was irresponsible greedy bankers and investors taking advantage of a system they created in their favor. The most prosperous times in this nations history,top earners paid over 70% income taxes. You know what happens when the super rich have to pay that much in taxes? They spend as much as the can on hiring and expanding their companies for the write offs, instead of say, shipping jobs overseas and hiding their money in offshore banks.

Equivocation, goal-post moving, & deflection. Yawn. 

The Derponomicon: Part 14

A response to this video by Peter Schiff:

I don't know why you insist on sending me links to the most insane people you can find on the Internet, but here we go; NO ONE has ever advocated banning profits. When people talk about income inequality they are talking about the mere fact that since Reagan, the average CEOs pay has increased a hundred fold or more. There are only so many pieces of the pie to go around, and it seems as the wealthy skim more and more and more off the top, I.e. get richer and richer and richer, there is less to go around and everyone else gets poorer and poorer and poorer. This isn't rocket science. Corporate profits are at an all time high, wages have not kept up with inflation and have remained stagnant. The ONLY people who are making any upward mobility whatsoever are the fat cats at the very top. If you have 10 people at a pizza party, and five pizzas arrive to feed everyone, and the enormous obese guy takes four pizzas for himself, the other 9 people are barely going to get a slice each. The guy that shows up late is only going to have the crumbs in the box. The problem is not that corporations make a profit, the problem is that they don't share the profits with the people at the bottom that make them possible.

Once again, we see he thinks the economy is a zero-sum game. This belief is the foundation of all prog stupidity. 

The Derponomicon: Part 13

A response to this article on failed Earth Day predictions:

The problem with your "ridiculous predictions" article, is that most of them AREN'T ridiculous, and actually have more than a grain of truth in them. For instance there IS a worldwide hunger and famine epidemic all across Africa and Asia, much of which is caused by extreme droughts and desertification caused by climate change. Thousands of people die every day from starvation and famine on this planet. That's not even debatable. Many of these are just general number 3 saying we need toconserve our resources or face possible extinction. That's a factual, true, logical statement. There is no arguing that using all our resources would lead to extinction. For instance if we had no fresh water, or couldn't grow crops...we would die. This is not ridiculous or untrue. People DO die from air pollution, all the time, cancer rates have been increasing for decades due to increased exposure, asthma is at an all time high. These are all problems caused by the environment in which we live. Most of the rest of these are just unsubstantiated claims made in no official scientific capacity or have no specific time frame attached to them. So quite frankly, I call bullshit on ALL of those. None of them are ridiculous and most of them are mere logical statements of fact.

No attempt made to rebut any of the claims, just lots of hand-waving. 

The Derponomicon: Part 12

A response to this article on Detroit:

I am not really well versed enough in the policies or politics of Detroit or much of upper Michigan for that matter. Conservatives like to claim that Detroit is a failure of liberal policies because of the rampant crime and poverty prevalent there. But a lot of Detroit's problems are rooted in the fact that it was built around the auto industry, and the auto industry took a big hit with the advent of the foreign car boom in the early 70s. In fact, if you look at the popularity of foreign cars and their rise, you can see a correlating decline of the US auto industry, and with it, Detroit. Detroit also used to have a booming music industry. The issue is, in most of these major cities that are crumbling, is the industries that were once holding them up, abandoned them. And for every example of "liberal failures" that conservatives love to harp on so much, look to all the southern red states. Your home state of West Virginia for instance, has the worst education and poverty in the country yet the coal industry is thriving there. Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, etc. Are all failures as well. In fact there are more rural whites in red states on welfare and food stamps than any other group. For every Detroit, there is an entire red state that is failing due to the polar opposite policies of suppressing workers rights, civil rights, education, minimum wage, etc. Perhaps the answer is in a healthy balance.

He sort of punted on this one, but at least he hinted that Team Blue may not have all the answers. 

The Derponomicon: Part 11

A response to my favorite Bastiat quote:

“If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?”

― Frédéric BastiatThe Law

I was having that very discussion with my right leaning friend/employee the other day. Yes, humans tend to be selfish dicks that only look out for themselves. When it comes to groups of people, corporations, seeking only to maximize profits, that aspect of humanity is often exacerbated by the facelessness of a big corporation where the people in charge are insulated from the consequences of their decisions, whether it's laying off 200 people the week before Christmas, or intentionally releasing a product that they KNOW will kill people but they calculate the profits outweighing the settlements and do it anyway. These are facts of life, and large groups of people acting as corporations are willing to take risks like that because they can always pass the blame off on some patsy and get away with their golden parachutes Scott free. So yes, these things need to be regulated, and unfortunately the regulators are also human, and therefor susceptible to the same corruption which is inevitable. Perhaps there needs to be an even higher regulatory power that keeps the regulators in check, like internal affairs in a police department. Or perhaps regulators need to be vetted and tested just like FBI agents and Secret Service hires are. Perhaps these regulatory agencies need to be held to a higher standard and simply hire only those who can be vetted and have a low risk of corruptability. One thing is for sure though, NO oversight or regulation whatsoever never reduced incidents and problems. Even a shifty substitute teacher is better than leaving a roomful of children to their own devices.

So the solution to corrupt govt, is to have an even more powerful organization oversee it, because what could go wrong then? And adults are like disobedient children who need the supervision of the govt in orfer to behave. What a disgusting boot-licker this fool is!

The Derponomicon: Part 10

A response to this video:

The problem with capitalism, has never been with the concept of capitalism. It is UNREGULATED capitalism that has always been the issue. In this country the intermingling of government and corporations, has turned our "free trade" capitalism into an oligarchy controlled by a handful of banks, energy companies, and corporations that have literally bought our democracy out from under us. Libertarians and Republicans both have fought hard to ensure that these companies have complete control over the free market and price fix everything from fuel and energy costs, to interest rates, to just about every other necessity we have in our society. They stifle progress and competition by ensuring the government works so let for them. It's easy to say gas and oil is cheap and efficient when the taxpayers are taking the brunt of the costs and the corporations are left only with profit. Decisions supported by the right like Citizens United literally allow our government to be sold off to the highest bidder, and now the laws and regulations meant to protect us, are being used against us to maximize corporate profits over all else. For some reason people have been convinced that somehow paying to use literally everything from roads, to water, to electricity, to sidewalks, to schools, prisons, etc. If this society was as privatized as the right wing wants it to be, no one but the wealthiest people would be able to even leave their houses. The only solution is to reign in the oligarchy and put the power back into the hands of the people, not the highest bidder.

Later, I will attempt to explain regulatory capture to him. 

The Derponomicon: Part 9

A response to this video:

Where do you find these future mall shooters videos exactly? .....Yes Islam seemingly has more extremists than most religions, particularly in other countries where fundamentalist religious zealots control the laws and government, exactly how the religious zealots in THIS country would like to. The problem of course, is that in THIS country, Islamic fundamentalists are not a major issue. You are about ten times more likely to be murdered by a cop, than a Muslim terrorist. The rights obsession with Islam and creeping Sharia law makes about as much sense as equating all Christians to the Westboro Baptists. ALL religions and ALL groups have their extremist crazies, and at the top of the list of threats to national security and terrorist plots, white supremacist Christian militia groups outnumber Islamic fundamentalist t going threats nearly 10 to 1. I am more terrified of a truck full of bearded rednecks on some country back road than I am of a brown guy on a plane. In fact Muslims are much more likely to be attacked or murdered by Christian supremacists in this country than the other way around. Anders Breivik and Wade Michael Page are perfect examples of what all the recent anti-Islam rhetoric produces and it is Muslims, not Christians that are now in the line of fire. White Christian supremacists have infiltrated nearly every level of our government and are as we speak introducing, writing, and passing legislation that has a real effect on the public, a power that Muslims of any stature will NEVER have in this country. Meanwhile we have Christians homophobic, racist, sexist, religiously intolerant zealots in positions of power decrying Islam for being homophobic, sexist, racist, and religiously intolerant. The truth of the matter is no matter what the religion, religious extremists are dangerous to everyone, but in this country the most effective a day dangerous ones are most certainly NOT of the brown persuasion.

Deflection, Tu Quoqe, and then the race card. It's a regular derp sundae. 

The Derponomicon: Part 8

I asked him whether taxes were voluntary. He said:

Not obeying a law is a choice and therfore voluntary. might get away with it, you might have to suffer the consequences. Pretty simple logic.

When I asked him whether a mugging is voluntary, he said:

You could also turn and run. Any choice we make is voluntary.

It's one thing to deny coercion, but this guy acts like it doesn't even exist. 

The Derponomicon: Part 7

A response to an infamous Nixon comment:

I am not sure how I am supposed to respond to one out of context quote from Richard Nixon, but if the implication is that Obama has done something illegal, it's simply not true. You have all these people.screaming for his impeachment, but cannot even elaborate impeachable offense they believe he has committed. On taxation being voluntary, yes, it is voluntary, just like registering your car, or driving the speed limit, or following any other requirement of the law is voluntary. Of course there are consequences if you refuse to pay your rent. Which is essentially what taxes are. We pay taxes to keep civilization up and running....roads, schools, police, fire, clean water, clean air, protection from foreign invaders, and even keeping the less fortunate from starving to death in the streets or pushing our elderly out on ice flows, etc. It's like paying rent to live in a decent, civilized society. I always hear conservatives screaming about how this is the greatest country in the world, while they are also screaming that the don't want to pay their fair share to live in it. The REAL freeloaders are the people like Cliven Bundy and Tea Party types who want everything that our society has to give, but don't want to contribute. They want to have all the modern conveniences of living in a first world nation, but share none of the associated cost. They are like the asshole out to dinner with 15 friends who puts in less than they owe and no tip, leaving everyone else to cover their shortfall.

Once again, he deflects. He speaks of context, but I defy anyone to think of a reasonable context for what Nixon said. The context was the Nixon felt justified in doing anything to stop his enemies, whom he believed were a threat to the country. 

The Derponomicon: Part 6

Here is his response to wikipedia's article on perverse incentives:

On perverse incentive.... While many laws, regulations, government programs, etc. have "Monkey's Paw"-like negative consequences like the examples given in the Wikipedia examples, the slightest bit of forethought or amendment would solve most of these issues. And while I am sure you meant to look at this from the perspective of government regulation and programs, there are probably plenty of examples of these sorts of things happening in the private sector and across the board. To give a few examples of how these "life hacks" to these rules and regulations can be amended or changed to close the loopholes here are the following; For the rat bounty....simply add a clause that says any farmed rats discovered would require the bounty hunter to pay double the bounty back for fraud. Granted it might be hard for them to be discovered, but the fear of getting caught would probably discourage the practice. On fire departments, pay the incentives to whoever has the LEAST amount of fires in their district. For the dinosaur bones, pay by the pound instead of the fragment. On Medical reimbursements, that ship has pretty much already sailed. We have a for profit health care system, which both parties fought to keep. The only thing that could rectify it is single payer health care like every other civilized nation on earth has. On the Bangkok armbands, they seem to have already rectified the problem. On endangered species, offer a reward to landowners who report endangered species on their land and offer them a fair, or over market value of their land for preservation. There are plenty of private and non profit organizations that would even back the program like the Nature Conservancy to offset any associated costs to taxpayers. This may create an incentive for landowners to try and introduce endangered species to their land, but the risks would be high and investigating biologists would easily be able to tell if it was just a handful of examples or a viable population. Earning bonuses for CEOs should all be paid in company stocks that they have to keep for 5 or 10 years before cashing them in. This would prevent them from artificially inflating or manipulating earnings since their financially invested in the company, and would suffer tremendous losses if the company goes bankrupt or crashes. The 5-10 year rule would give them a long term investment incentive as well. Most of these things are an easy fix, some would be very difficult, but to semi quote Dr. Ian Malcolm "Humans will always find a way."

And of course, the solution to laws with unintended consequences is just to make more laws. Because there couldn't possibly be unintended consequences with those laws, right? 

The Derponomicon: Part 5

The response to Pelosi's waffling on the minimum wage:

On Pelosi....I really only had to watch 12 seconds of this video to formulate a response. When Pelosi talks about raising the minimum wage, she is referring to jobs that people get to earn a living, pay rent, feed their families, etc. Which in turn means all of that money is spent immediately within the economy. Raising the minimum wage means more money in people's hands to spend on necessary goods and services...All of which goes right back into the local economy, not offshore bank accounts or investments, every penny goes directly to bills, food, clothes, medicine, etc. Raising the minimum wage also means LESS people qualify for food stamps and welfare, as it is now, someone who has no job and is on welfare and food stamps, would make almost the same exact amount of money working a typical minimum wage job. If conservatives really hate freeloaders and welfare that much they would want people to get paid enough to NOT qualify for welfare. Comparing Pelosi's interns, or ANY interns to any kind of worker is a huge stretch because it is widely accepted that interns are rarely ever paid, are NOT employees, and are working for experience and college credit. There literally is no comparison. Once again, like comparing apples and hippos.

So apparently, interns do not work and artificially raising labor costs will usher in prosperity, somehow.
Also, investments and bank accounts are bad. When I replied that investments allow for capital improvements, which in turn lead to no products and services, he said:

Paying your workers more IS making capital improvments. If your employees are happy they are more motivated and productive. Interns are not workers, they are there for experience and class credit. If they weren't there, nothing would change. They are given busy work for the experience, not out of need. What good is a $2 an hour job if the person doing that job still cannot afford the eat or support themselves. The purpose of a job is to give people money to live and eat, not just give them something to do and keep busy.

The Derponomicon: Part 4

The response to Molyneux's climate change video:

On the climate change thing; The common misconception among deniers is that climate change science is coming from the government, which is just about as accurate as saying vaccination science is coming from the government, or evolutionary science is coming from the government. Just because the government accepts the widely researched scientific concensus on a subject and adopts policy to reflect that, does not at all mean that information is coming from "the government". Climate change has been widely researched since the 1970s, and ALL of the effects that were widely discussed then ARE happening now. We are seeing climate change happening, as predicted decades ago. The official position of EVERY government in the entire world has accepted the fact that not only is climate change real, but is being greatly exacerbated by human activity. The ironic thing is that everyone that claims that this is all an agenda of the government's of all the world's nations is somehow rooted in some evil grab for power, when in fact the only entity fighting against the science is the most powerful corporations in human history. In fact literally every single source that refutes climate science can be traced back to the most wealthy and monied and nefarious interests in known history, big oil and coal. Literally every single source, there is not one credible source that refutes AGW that is not linked to the most monied interests of all. The very small amount of credible peer review scientists that actually do deny AGW, don't even deny It at all, they simply speculate that it may not be as bad as it has been thought to be, or that the amount of it being influenced by man is up for debate. But there is literally not one single credible scientific source in the entire world that flat out denies AGW. It IS happening, we see it in the strange weather extremes, the shifting on animal migratory patterns, breeding habits, growth patterns of fungi and plants. These are not things that have an agenda. Because I am out in nature all the time and speak with a multitude of biologists and nature hobbyists of all kinds and EVERY single one of them agrees that these changes are happening exactly as predicted, I have no reason whatsoever to even for a moment consider that oil lobbyists are right.

Note how he fails to address any of the claims made in the video. 

The Derponomicon: Part 3

The response to:

So here is my response to the Stossel piece: While it is true there are likely dozens and dozens of superfluous and burdensome laws on the books, they are almost never acted upon by law enforcement. Very rarely if ever will police officers waste their time enforcing lemonade stand or girl scout cookie sales kids soliciting laws unless there is a complaint, or several complaints from other citizens. Just like police would never on their own accord enforce a noise ordinance unless there was a complaint. So it is not superfluous and burdensome laws that are to blame in these situations, but asshole citizens who want to ruin everyone else's fun and just need to complain about something. Every neighborhood has that one nosy, crochety, old asshole that has nothing to do all day but call the police on skateboarders and teens talking to loudly as they walk through the neighborhood. You, I, and everyone that was ever a child has fell victim to these types of people, who basically annoy the police into enforcing dumb laws that exist that they would rather not enforce. And in general soliciting laws, and I am sure lobster container laws, exist for a purpose....

For instance, to keep every street corner from having guys selling everything from knockoff bags and jewelry to stereos and socks put of their vans on every street corner. Here in Chicago you have probably seen the many street carts of fried foods, ice cream, and pickup trucks selling fruit on the side of North Avenue. Almost none of those people have licenses to sell that stuff, or have passed proper health inspections, but even in a revenue hungry city like Chicago, the police drive right past them and don't bother wasting their time, unless of course, some old bored asshole calls to complain.

I must say I was stunned that he would even attempt to justify the govt's actions shown in the video. When I pressed him if he really thought a man should go to jail over lobster boxes, he said this:

Sure it is, but like I said, things like that don't happen without reason usually. Perhaps the guy was warned or fined time and time again and continued to skirt the law. In some cities you can be arrested for not mowing your lawn if you continue to ignore the ordinance and refuse to pay associated fines. Do I think that's dumb? Yes. Sure. But these types of examples are extreme and rare. I mean I wouldn't say I was a victim of the system, but I certainly believe their should be a distinction between grabbing girls asses, and child rape. Or that a 19 year old dating a 17 year old should be charged with statutory rape. More often than not, when these things happen, it's because the person on the receiving end pissed off the wrong person. In my case for instance, one of my victims, was the court stenographers daughter, and the prosecutor was a rape victim. So they really wanted to throw the boom at me and pretty much saddled me with as much as the could for misdemeanors. But that doesn't mean I believe there shouldn't be sex offender registration or laws for these kinds of things. In most cases, the system just needs to be revised and amended, not torn down. If your boat is leaking, you try to patch the leak, not sink the whole damn thing.

I forgot to mention this guy is convicted violent sex offender. He spent the ages from 17 to 20 grabbing the asses of random women. 

The Derponomicon: Part 2

And now a response to:

Ok, here it is; The problem (one of many) with Larkins argument is he is not an elected official in any position of leadership or authority. So his example is basically simplified nonsense. If he said he was going to come into your house and rob you, but then in return maintain your house, mow your lawn, fix the stairs and sidewalk and landscaping around your house, protect your house from foreign invaders and fire, and ensure that you receive electricity, food, and water through infrastructure that allows it's easy transfer, he might have a point. You see for the taxes we pay aren't just going to a bunch of "lazy freeloaders" who do nothing. A fraction. Of a percentage of our federal taxes go to the poor. A much larger percentage of our federal taxes goes to subsidize the very privatized industries that bring us things like food, fuel, electricity, and water...but we still have to PAY THEM out of our own pockets for the services they provide. Giving needy, desperate, destitute, and even lazy people that don't want to work, the means to survive is essentially society's payment to them to keep them from having to resort to crime and violence to feed their families. I am not sure who said it, but there is a quote out there that says "Taxes are the price we pay for civilization." Every single day, no matter who you are, are benefitting from.the collective taxation of US citizens. Whether you walk on a sidewalk, turn on a light, use the internet, eat a candy bar, drive in a car, use a computer, use indoor plumbing, etc. All of these things have been facilitated by the government and would not exist in their current for if not for the organization and incentives the government provides. Perhaps instead of worrying about the crumbs the poor are tossed like so many pigeons behind a bakery dumpster, perhaps we should worry about the guys in business suits repossesing everything in the bakery and foreclosing on the property.

He believes that elections magically make it OK for some people to steal. He also believes that only a fraction of taxes go to social programs and that such payments are a payment to prevent them from stealing. Does he bother to consider crime rates before all these welfare programs existed? No, for that would require thought. Also he believes there would be no cars, candy bars, or indoor plumbing without the federal govt collecting taxes.

The Derponomicon: Part 1

The title is an homage to Lovecraft's Necronomicon, a sanity-shattering spell book whose name loosely translates to "an image of the laws of the dead". Thus, the Derponomicon is an image of the laws of the dumb.

What follows is collection of responses from the dumbest person I have ever known. Not only is he the dumbest person I have ever met, he may be the dumbest person ever. He could even be the dumbest person theoretically possible. To preserve the remaining dignity of this poor creature, he will be known simply as D.
Each response will be based on a short video or quote I sent him to challenge his thinking. Be warned- his views on these matters are exceptionally idiotic. My comments will be in white type; his will be in red.

Let us begin....

Here is the first video I sent him:

And here is his response:

So I am watching this particular video, so here is my response/assessment. It is a well know and irrefutable fact that corruption in government comes solely from special interests lobbying and outright bribing politicians to do their bidding. Now this also applies to humanitarian groups, unions, gay rights groups, environmental groups, wildlife groups, etc. that generally speaking have good intentions in their mission statements to in general help or represent the working man, the environment, our air, food, water, equal rights and other such clear, defined, and focused motives that generally benefit the greater good. And although may be preachy, or too crunchy, or new agey, or "liberal" are generally things that are not nefarious to the general population. Sure a private landowner or citizen may get caught up in the shuffle, but in general, these causes to not negatively effect a majority of the public. Outside of unions, most of these groups are not profit motivated, in fact, most are not for profit and due to that fact, they have much less money to spend on political ads and campaign contributions and therefore have a much quieter voice, than say a Monsanto or BP. On the flip side, we all know that politicians work for the banks, the oil industry, the military industrial complex, big Pharma, big Agra, the insurance industry, Wall Street, etc.....everyone knows this, this is pretty irrefutable. These giant mega corporations, that are some of the most profitable in all of human history, have more money to spend on lobbying and political influence than a thousand Human Rights Campaigns and Sierra Clubs will ever have in their entire history. To equate the two is like comparing apples and hippos. Unions, it can be argued have a fair chunk of wealth to throw at political campaigns and advertising, but still their budget is dwarfed by these above mentioned industries, so their donations and ads have to be much more streamlined and focused and once again, in general represent the rights of the working class. When a church or a single big Agra company can run political ads to convince an entire state to vote against the rights of a minority (something that should NEVER be a ballot measure) or against proper labeling of the food that they eat, or regulation of the amount or arsenic and mercury that can be dumped into their water supply, there is something supremely wrong with the system. Citizens United is exactly what is wrong with the system, it basically gives carte blanche to anyone with money to say and do whatever they want, it's legal bribery, and corporate money and influence needs to be ended, not exacerbated. The only thing that will ever fix the problem and get corruption out of government is ending lobbying in it's current state, and campaign finance reform. Allow lobbyists and special interest groups to present their arguments to a Congressional panel, without the influence of money and campaign contributions. Have them present their arguments in an official forum like a courtroom and a jury, and give a voice to opposition and have a panel of citizens decide the verdict. If Trans Canada wants to build a pipeline through US 8 states, have citizen representatives from each of those states hear arguments from both sides and make an informed decision based on facts, not misleading or false ads and smear tactics.
He appears to be unaware that unions are by far the biggest political contributors. But that gets hand-waved away because unions represent "the working class". And apparently corporations should not be allowed to try to change public opinion on laws, but it's perfectly fine for the Sierra Club to do the same thing.

Is your head spinning yet? It's about to get a lot worse. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014