rantings of a random scrub...
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. --H.L. Mencken
Monday, August 30, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Heh. Japan discovers that many of its supposed centenarians have disappeared or been dead for years (while their kids keep collecting their pensions):
[P]olice found the body of a man thought to be one of Japan’s oldest, at 111 years, mummified in his bed, dead for more than three decades. His daughter, now 81, hid his death to continue collecting his monthly pension payments, the police said.
In a more typical case that took place just blocks from the Mr. Kato’s house, relatives of a man listed as 103 years old said he had left home 38 years ago and never returned. The man’s son, now 73, told officials that he continued to collect his father’s pension “in case he returned one day.”
Monday, August 16, 2010
Three Music Jokes in Video Form
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Link Roundup for 8/11/2010
A list of interesting things that I need to clear out of my browser tabs:
1) Woman with whiteboard quits job in hilarious fashion.
2) Ridiculous, funny, and surprisingly apt: an analysis of US party politics through Starcraft.
3) I don't know if this describes American culture, but it certainly describes me.
4) Bad pun, but so funny.
5) Further proof that governments are filled with compulsive liars.
6) Add this to my list of reasons to never get an iPhone. Creepy!
7) I can't really figure out why this wasn't a more common reaction to the health inspectors shutting down a 7 year old's lemonade stand:
Are you gratified by the apology? Or are you wondering why, if it’s clearly bullshit to shake down a 7-year-old girl for $120, it’s somehow acceptable to shake down “a grown up selling burritos out of a cart” for $120?8) This makes me very happy. I may not approve of the lifestyle, but awkward neighbors is part of the cost of living in an open society. Also, this is a great way to put that "building bridges" and "cultural understanding" into practice.
9) Further evidence that Congress is filled with idiots:
It appears that our friendly Senators were in such a rush to get this bill through that they forgot to name it. Jim Harper noticed this when the bill showed up as the oddly named The XXXXXXAct ofXXXX on his always excellent WashingtonWatch site. Apparently, the Library of Congress' Thomas reporting system converted the underscores into X's. And, yes, even The Congressional Record (pdf) notes that "This Act may be cited as the "_______Act of______".In the words of Instapundit, "Forget reading the bills, now they're not even naming them.
10) Insight into why businesses aren't hiring - fears of increasing liabilities to the government's capricious taxation power play a large role:
A life in business is filled with uncertainties, but I can be quite sure that every time I hire someone my obligations to the government go up. From where I sit, the government's message is unmistakable: Creating a new job carries a punishing price.11) Finally, flash opera in Philly:
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
File this under "Why I don't think the ADA is all it's cracked up to be."
Exhibit A: "The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that customers in wheelchairs are being denied the full "Chipotle experience" of watching their food being prepared because Chipotle's 45-inch counters are too high."
Exhibit B: "Did you know the Justice Department threatened several universities with legal action because they took part in an experimental program to allow students to use the Amazon Kindle for textbooks?"
No, I don't hate disabled people. Please don't go there. I just think that these things aren't proper fodder for the legal process. Public shaming and boycotting of companies is in my opinion a far better solution than lawsuits, and subject to far less abuse.
Link Roundup for 8/4/2010
Clearing many random browser tabs for your enjoyment:
1) Ouch... How not to use a table saw: a tale told through a series of stock photos...
2) Tickling my Roman history itch, archaeologists appear to have discovered the biggest canal ever built by Rome (which appears to make their massive grain imports make a lot more logistic sense).
3) Cool/creepy photocomposites of sites with their WWII selves. It's an odd juxtaposition of modern civilian and older military that's a bit shocking for someone my age, who has never known that kind of all-encompassing war.
4) An amusing article on the phenomenon of Euro-style board games in the Financial Times (it's a couple weeks old, so sue me). I was amused to note I own all three of the pictured games, until I realized that they're the three most popular Eurogames of the last 15 years.
5) Amusing. Adorable. Clearly the product of a mother with too much time on her hands.
6) Add this to my list of reasons even constitutional monarchy is (or can be) a really stupid system.
Monday, August 02, 2010
Why I Don't Particularly Trust Police
Because some are assholes willing to pull crap like this. Seriously - watch the video.
I fear that some police officers (much like most politicians) are attracted to the job because of the power it gives them over others. The responsibility for making sure they can't successfully abuse that power lies on their supervisors, the courts, and ultimately, the citizenry. All three seem to have been asleep at the wheel for a while now...