Thursday, August 25, 2011

HP Touchpad Review


IT'S AWESOME GO BUY ONE TODAY!!!!











Okay, there is more to the review than that emotionally-charged imperative statement. At $99 for the 16GB version and $149 for the 32GB version, this is a deal that you CANNOT pass up. While it does not support as many apps as Apple's iPad™, it is pretty much the same thing, at a fraction of the cost. I sure hope the WebOS operating system survives either as a licensed OS or under the stewardship of a new owner. Myriads of industry analysts have commented on HP's decision to kill the product line, and I am not going to comment further on their strategic decision to follow IBM's example (6 years later).

In any case, I found out about the fire sale late Friday night, and I was up early the next morning and picked up the last one at Staples.  I am still having a hard time finding accessories (such as the WebOS bluetooth keyboard and the Touchstone docking station), but I think I am going to bite the bullet and order that stuff from Amazon before it sells out. If I wait until accessory prices drop, I may never get a hold of them until they are way overpriced on eBay.

Since owning this awesome piece of technology, I can honestly say that it is completely worth the original price of $500. Too bad it took the termination of the WebOS hardware team to make this the runaway success that it has become over the past 6 days. Hopefully, the WebOS source code will survive under the wing of HTC or Samsung, because it is a truly superior OS to Android.

I love my HTC EVO 4G, and love the number of apps available for it, but Android is Klunky with a kapital K, and I miss WebOS's smooth operation and well-engineered user interface. I fell in love with WebOS after owning a Palm Pre, and I am glad to own a brand new WebOS device.

The advantage of software over hardware, is that hardware is easy to kill. Hardware can break and become outdated. But software is immortal. Software can survive in cyberspace and evolve, and that I hope will be WebOS's saving grace.

I have to say, my Mac is feeling lonely lately, because I've been using the Touchpad almost exclusively for the past week.

In other news, did you hear about the iPhone 5 coming to Sprint in October?

For the time being, iOS and Android will be the dominant players in the mobile OS field, with Windows Phone 7 a distant third. But do not write off WebOS as dead... it will rise from the dead, in one form or another. With Google now owning Motorola Mobility, and rumors of Microsoft acquiring Nokia, it seems as if the future is in vertical integration of software and hardware, so let's see where this leads...

2012-01-04 UPDATE: It was not the iPhone 5, but the iPhone 4S. Also, WebOS is now going to be open-source, and will not be bought by any company.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Adventures of Touché LeDouche

I just made my official debut as a cartoon character, thanks to Ginx, and face off against free speech prize fighter Touché LeDouche. What can I say... I am touched.



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dennis "David Mabus" Markuze behind bars



This is a sad week. Internet troll extraordinaire Dennis Markuze, who has been haunting scientific forums and atheist blogs for nearly 20 years, and who has previously commented on this blog (see links below), has been arrested by the Montreal Police. No more death threats and hate mail directed towards me. I feel so alone now. Somebody hug me.












News stories about the arrest:





Some samples of DM's garbage:




Is HP scared of the Google Acquisition of Motorola Mobility?

Monday: Google announces acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion 

Wednesday: HP Pre 3 Smartphone goes on sale in Europe

Thursday morning: HP announces the new 64GB Touchpad for the EU market

Thursday afternoon: HP announces it is axing its WebOS product line

So what happened? My guess is HP panicked after the Google/Moto deal. Google now controls both the software and the hardware for its Android operating system. HP immediately saw this as a serious threat. What's more, Apple's iPad tablet has been eating into its laptop sales, and HP also announced that they were exiting the PC business.

I love the WebOS operating system, but unfortunately, better technologies do not always come to dominate markets. Android is not as polished, but it does have the advantage of a strong app developer community, which means there is no shortage of useful applications for the platform. Still, WebOS is a very well engineered system and I wonder what will become of it.

The same can be said of good ideas; they are not always widespread. Do not disregard unpopular ideas because they are unpopular. That unpopular idea may sometimes be better.

Do not disregard the fringe candidate because of a poor showing in a poll. That candidate may actually be a better choice.

The moral of the story is you can't be a sheep and buy something or do something or vote for someone just because everybody is doing the same.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ron Paul should dump the GOP and go Independent

The GOP seems to pretend that Ron Paul is the disembodied voice haunting their schizophrenic delusions. What's more, the mass media also seems to ignore that Ron Paul came in SECOND in the Ames Straw Poll.

It is FEAR. They know that Ron Paul can beat all the GOP clowns. He is a serious candidate to consider.

Christians: take note, there ARE gay animals

To those Christians who believe that homosexuality is a 'lifestyle choice', I would recommend that you read  the linked news story below.

As it turns out, homosexuality exists in nature and same-sex pair bonding seems to offer the same survival advantages to individuals as opposite-sex pair bonding.


http://www.newser.com/story/125914/gay-birds-just-as-faithful-as-straight-pairs.html

NO to the 'war tax'

Some people have figured out how to pay for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars: Raise taxes!!

Apparently, they want to add a 10% tax surcharge to pay for it, and bring in an additional $116 billion in revenue, which would cover the wars' projected 2012 cost.

The Gun-Toting Atheist has a much better idea: END THE WARS.

If the rich want war so much, get THEIR sons and daughters fitted with combat boots and ship'em off to Kabul tomorrow, and have THEM pay for it.

No one has ever intelligently demonstrated how these wars benefit average Americans in any way. Or any average person anywhere in the world, for that matter.

Imperialist wars of aggression must stop. The idea of increasing taxes to pay for those useless conflicts is stupid beyond belief.

http://www.newser.com/story/125934/walter-pincus-we-need-a-war-tax.html

Why the gas tax needs to be abolished

No, I am not in love with the oil companies.

But the gasoline tax of 18.4 cents per gallon (~4 liters) is not a progressive tax by nature (it's a flat excise tax), and it hurts cash-strapped consumers who are simply trying to commute to and from work. If you want to pay for roads and bridges, tax the rich.


http://www.newser.com/story/125949/new-york-times-editors-why-the-gas-tax-is-essential.html

Abolish the Penny

In 2010, a penny cost $0.0176 to manufacture, yet, to this day, is worth only $0.01. If you understand math, you understand that is a waste of money for the US Mint to keep manufacturing it.

When was the last time you paid cash for something that cost only one penny?

Merchants can simply round their prices to the nearest nickel. You will never need a penny. Use your debit card more and you'll never have to carry cash at all. Actually, to find ways to use pennies, you have to be very creative.

Creative ways you can use pennies:

-Pay FCC indecency fines
-Pay your young nieces and nephews 1 penny per hour to do gardening work
-Give a bad tip at a bad restaurant
-Make bail
-Stuff them in an old sock to make a blunt instrument
-Recycle them to make bronze armor and weapons

http://www.newser.com/story/125938/amid-debt-mess-renewed-calls-to-kill-the-lowly-penny.html

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Michele Bachmann Demonstrates How Women Can Submit to their Husbands

After claiming that women must submit to their husbands, presidential hopeful* Michele Bachmann demonstrates how to do it at the Iowa State Fair by eating a corn dog. Is this what America needs?


I am sorry for all women who find this offensive. Don't blame me, but make sure not to vote for Bachmann. She wants to keep you at home cooking, submitting to your husbands by making babies and doing laundry.

*Presidential I-hope-not

What was that Johnny Depp movie where he plays a murderous barber?


Friday, August 12, 2011

Are Libertarianism and Progressive tax systems mutually Incompatible?

How can I possibly be a libertarian and support progressive tax rates at the same time?

I suppose that when it comes to personal liberty and the preservation of my rights, I am a libertarian. When it comes to my attitude towards taxation policy, I support progressive income tax rates.

I believe that social order is necessary and that anarchy is an unrealistic utopia that cannot function properly in practice. Therefore I believe that people must come together and establish rules for the benefit of society.

In the absence of rules and authority, the balance of force is destabilized and a power vacuum emerges, sucking in the biggest dog in the pack. Among animal populations, humans included, there are always individuals with a stronger desire for power, and they invariably find their way to the event horizon of power vacuums.

This is exactly what happened during the French Revolution. The old social order was destroyed, and an absolutist monarch beheaded. And everyone wanted a piece of the new Republic. Cue in Robespierre and the Jacobins and their Reign of Terror. It became a bloodbath. Soon, people were clamoring for a new order. People wanted a dictator to come in and restore a semblance of civilization. Who better to answer the call than Napoleon Bonaparte. After a decapitated monarchy and a failed democracy, France was now an Empire ruled by a tyrant. A tyrant so power-hungry, that he remade the European geopolitical landscape, and set the stage for the system of alliances that ultimately led to nationalism and militarism that eventually exploded into the first World War. But of course, the German defeat of 1918 and the extremely punitive war reparations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles only served to destroy the Weimar Republic, which re-emerged as the Third Reich, which prompted the emergence of two superpowers that would wage a cold war for the next four decades.

It is then easy to understand that this endless cycle of wars and violence is nature's way to seek to restore balance.

Is it possible to have balance without the need for all these bloody wars?

I believe so, but it is not easy to achieve in practice.

To secure our rights and our property, we come together as citizens and establish amongst ourselves governments. But as we must divide labor and specialize as cooks, engineers, farmers, teachers, writers etc., so must choose representatives to run the day-to-day affairs of our governments.

The danger here is that since the primary purpose of government is to serve the people and protect their rights, we must take care not to build within government power structures that can be misused against us, and we must be vigilant in making sure that the individuals in government work with our best interest in mind. We do not want a government that will confiscate our guns or enslave us. We do not want a government that will be filled with corrupt bureaucrats. We do not want a judicial branch that has the power to execute people.

I do not believe that a nationalized health care system would be a threat to our liberty. I do not believe that a progressive tax system where the rich pay a higher percentage would be a threat to our liberty. For to prevent the birth of a new monarchy, we must make sure that no one appropriates too much wealth, lest we see the emergence of a ruling elite class.

Yes, people should be able to profit and benefit from the fruit of their labor, but I also realize that to allow government to operate and build schools and bridges and nursing homes, taxation is a necessary evil, as few people will subscribe to a system of voluntary donations. Who can then afford to pay taxes the most? The wealthy of course. It is not to say that no one should be allowed to be rich, of course not. But simply that the tax burden should be born by those who have more to spare.

For example, suppose that the basic necessities of life (food, housing, transportation) in a town cost a thousand dollars per month, and that the town government needs 1100 dollars per month to operate. A 10% flat tax would take 100 dollars from Grandma who only earns 1000 dollars per month, and leave her with insufficient funds to pay for basic necessities. On the other hand, a wealthy individual - named Bob - who earns 10,000 dollars per month, but who lives frugally, paying only for necessities, would pay 1000 dollars in taxes, but still be left with 8,100 dollars when all is said and done. Would that be fair? What if the Grandma, earning only 1000 dollars owed 0%, and Bob, who earns 10,000 dollars owed 11%? Then Grandma would be able to afford basic necessities without suffering, and Bob would still be left with 8000 dollars, after paying 1100 dollars in taxes.

That is why I support a progressive taxation system instead of a flat tax.

Now of course, this scenario only assumes 2 tax payers. Let's complicate it a bit and add a third taxpayer, named Arthur, who earns 5000 dollars per month.

Grandma pays 0% = $0, Arthur pays 5% = $250, Bob pays 8.5% = $850

Why should Arthur pay only 5% while Bob pays 10%? Because if the difference between paying 0% and paying 10% was 1 dollar of income, and the 0% upper limit was 4999$, and Agnes earned 4999$, Agnes would be paying $0 and be left with $4999 after taxes, while Arthur would be paying $250 and be left with $4750 after taxes. So because Arthur would be penalized by $250 for earning just $1 more than Agnes. But if Arthur owed 10%, he would pay $500 and be left with $4500, which would be an even worse penalty. That is why a progressive tax system is comprised of many small incremental jumps in tax rates, to limit the unfairness of falling into a higher tax bracket.

So let's make the brackets narrower, so that no bracket should be more than 1% than the bracket below it to improve this situation.

For example;
$[0 , 1000] : 0%
$[1001, 2000] : 1%
$[2001, 3000] : 2%
$[3001, 4000] : 3%
$[4001, 5000] : 4%
etc.

In this theoretical system, the first $1000 that you earn is tax free. Then the next $1000 is taxed at 1%, the next $1000 at 2%, and so on and so forth.

So if you earned $3000 per month, you would owe $30. If you earned $3500, you would owe $45. If you earned $4000, you would owe $70. And if you earned $4001, you would owe $110. As you can see, there is still a $40 penalty for earning just $1 over the previous tax bracket upper limit, but it is better than the original $250 penalty that Arthur had.

The bottom line: the more brackets the taxation system has, and the smaller they are, the fairer this tax system is for everyone.

Ideally, we would come up with a mathematical curve formula instead of rigid brackets, which would be even better as it would practically eliminate these 'bracket jump' penalties. But in any form, it is still fairer than a flat 10% tax on everyone.

The numbers in these tax brackets are not a formal proposal, they are simply meant as a basic example to illustrate the mechanism and compare its fairness to the 'flat-tax'.

A flat tax is not fair. A truly progressive tax is.

A progressive tax system is compatible with the ideals of a just libertarian society.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Comment Policy

I've decided to open up this blog to anonymous comments. Let the hate mail pour in, for all to see.

Spam will be deleted.

Stupid email chain of the day - Part 3

Well, I just got another stupid one. You know the drill; first the text of the email, then my line-by-line criticism. Here it goes:


DIVORCE AGREEMENT
Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:We have stuck together since the late 1950's for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.
Here is a model separation agreement:--Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.
--We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them.--You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.
--Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military.--We'll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar and bio diesel.
--You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.
--We'll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street.
--You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, home boys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens.--We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks.
--We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood .

--You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us.
--You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.

--We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.
--You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness and Shirley McLane. You can also have the U.N. but we will no longer be paying the bill.

--We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Volt and Leaf you can find.--You can give everyone health care if you can find any practicing doctors.
--We'll continue to believe health care is a luxury and not a right.
--We'll keep "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "The National Anthem."
--I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute "Imagine", "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", "Kum Ba Ya" or "We Are the World".

--We'll practice trickle down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.
--Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.
Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you answer which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

Sincerely,John J. WallLaw Student and an American
P.S. Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Barbara Streisand, & Jane Fonda with you.
P.S.S. And you won't have to press 1 for English when you call our country.
Forward This Every Time You Get It ! Let's Keep This Going, Maybe Some Of It Will Start Sinking In.

Ugh. What a stupid piece of crap. And you wonder why I think conservatives lack a few braincells? This is what the modern conservative movement has come to: Stupid propaganda email chains. This does nothing to promote the cause of conservativism. Instead, it shows the world how narrow-minded and logically flawed that ideology is. By its own merit, this forwarded trash is destroying any credibility the conservative movement might have had. Here's the line-by-line criticism:


DIVORCE AGREEMENT

Boy, I wonder what this is about.

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:

I don't see how Obama is a Marxist. He's in bed with big business, same as you are, dear Republicans. Like you, he is a corporatist.

We have stuck together since the late 1950's for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Okay, I can't disagree here. Let's see where you're going with this.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Yes! Yes! Let's get a divorce!!! I told you marriage was a bad idea in the first place. Single again! Yay!

Here is a model separation agreement:
--Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

Alright, cut to the chase, I don't have all night.

--We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them.

I'm a libertarian, so I hate all taxes so what's your point? Keep all dang taxes for all I care.

--You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.

Ok. The ACLU fights for everyone's civil rights. What is your problem with that? Are you still pissed off over the fact that black people have the right to vote? Are you pissed off that gay people can't get fired from their jobs for being gay? This proves that conservatives are nothing but bigots.

--Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military.

Nah, you keep the cops and the military, but we keep ALL the guns for ourselves. If you don't like it, go make yourself bows and arrows. We will not be disarmed.

--We'll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar and bio diesel.

Okay. Pollute yourselves into extinction. Fine by me.

--You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.

Nah, you can keep all of them.

--We'll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street.

We keep the pharmaceutical companies, because we're the ones with the college degrees in biochemistry. You go do your silly voodoo faith healing when you have a booboo.

--You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, home boys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens.

Nah, why don't you keep them and enslave them in your cotton plantations? Think about it; their cheap labor is going to make your greedy corporations wealthier. Maybe your corporate overlords should enslave you too, while they're at it.

--We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks.

Take them. Take them all please.

--We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood .

Alright. Enjoy reading the same fantasy book over and over again. I know how it ends, because Hollywood made it into a movie already. Spoiler alert: it's pretty boring.

--You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us.

No, you can't invade anyone, because we kept all the guns, remember? Sheesh...

--You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.

Again, you forget that we have all the guns. We have so many guns, it's not even funny. We loooooove guns. We don't need allies, because we have ALL the guns, so we are pretty secure. No one is invading us, not even you.

--We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.

Take Islam too.

--You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness and Shirley McLane. You can also have the U.N. but we will no longer be paying the bill.

We'll take humanism, you can have the rest of that crap. Who the heck is Shirley McLane? Friend of yours?


--We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Volt and Leaf you can find.

Nah, we like SUVs. We can mount gun turrets on top of them. Because we kept all the guns, remember? You are really stupid if you can't remember that.

--You can give everyone health care if you can find any practicing doctors.

Not a problem.

--We'll continue to believe health care is a luxury and not a right.

Good luck with your social darwinism.

--We'll keep "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "The National Anthem."

We'll keep punk rock and speed metal.

--I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute "Imagine", "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", "Kum Ba Ya" or "We Are the World".

Nah, more like "Anarchy in the UK", "Master of Puppets" and "The Power of Thy Steel"

--We'll practice trickle down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.

If you are debating the teachings of the Austrian School vs. Keynesianism, I guess both theories have their virtues and their flaws. Take both, we'll come up with something better, because we have all the brain power and the 'liberal colleges' where real science happens.


--Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.

You don't even understand history. Don't play with stuff you don't understand. We'll take care of preserving history, we don't want you to rewrite it, you greedy corporate bastards.

Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you answer which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

We'll see how it turns out.

Sincerely,
John J. Wall
Law Student and an American

Well, Mr. John J. Wall, if that is your real name, if you are a law student, you are pretty biased ideologically so I don't want you as my attorney.

P.S. Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Barbara Streisand, & Jane Fonda with you.

Why do you want to give us all these people I've never heard of before?

P.S.S. And you won't have to press 1 for English when you call our country.

Boo-hoo! Poor conservatives too scared of learning a foreign language! Cry, cry, cry! "And then, he spoke to me in spanish!!!! Boo-hoo-hoo!!!!" Grow a pair of balls and learn a few languages so you can at least do business with other countries. Stupid xenophobic dumb-ass. As if mexican immigrants would ever be so numerous as to be able to send white trash like you to concentration camps to force them to learn spanish; you are not at risk of getting assimilated, so globalize yourself culturally.

Forward This Every Time You Get It ! Let's Keep This Going, Maybe Some Of It Will Start Sinking In.

What has sunk in, is that this is spam, and spam pisses me off, and if you forward crap like this just because some stupid email tells you to, you are still a spammer, and spamming should be illegal. I don't like conservatives, but I really, really hate spammers. Why don't you take all the spammers to form your own stupid corporatist republic?

This my friends, is the extent of the intellectual capacity of the modern conservative. He is an uneducated bigot who mindlessly supports greedy corporations that care not one bit about his long-term well-being.  He is a slave to his corporate overlords, and is beyond redemption. I hope you will find it in your heart to treat him with the compassion he would not show you.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pun intended

If you intentionally or unintentionally use a pun in spoken or written form, do NOT ever say 'pun not intended' or 'pardon the pun' or any statement of that nature. Just go with it. If someone is too dumb to get the joke, too bad for them, don't waste your time pointing out the pun. And if someone is too stuck up or serious to appreciate a pun, screw them.

So the economy is bad... but do we even need an economy?

No matter how bad the stock market or the economy gets, we will not go back to the middle ages.

Sure, if we look back to the Great Depression, things were bad, but let's compare even that with an even worse period, say, the Dark Ages.

Even at the height of the Great Depression, people were better fed, clothed and housed than during most of human history. It seemed bad only relatively speaking. It is psychologically difficult to adapt to a more precarious financial situation and to a more frugal standard of living. But when one considers the bare essentials of human life, such as oxygen, warmth, water, carbohydrates and protein, a more optimistic outlook emerges.

Try the following experiment. Go to your local outdoor gear store, and have yourself fitted with good boots and hiking gear, pack up some food, and go for a three-day trek through the wilderness.* Turn off your cellphone, hunt/fish your own food, cook it over a camp fire, poop in a hole in the ground and sleep outdoors. You will find that all your needs are met by very simple equipment. As long as you are warm, dry and fed, you can be happy. You don't need a house, or a car, or a cell phone, or a computer. Quite certainly, these things make your life easier and more enjoyable, but by experiencing more primitive living conditions, you will gain a more optimistic perspective over your own life.

Out there, toilet paper is often referred to as 'camp money'. Because money is useless in the wild. A flint, a knife, and a water bottle are much more valuable.

Don't invest in gold. Several financial experts, including Dave Ramsey, will gladly advise you against doing this. The high price of gold is a merely a bubble. Invest in gold at your own risk. Out in the wild, gold is useless. A good steel blade is more valuable. Fresh, clean drinking water even more.

If the economy really tanks and America becomes the new Somalia, you don't want gold. No one is going to take it. You want usable items to trade. Water, food, tools, antibiotics, guns and ammo. Those things will be worth a lot and will make a difference between who is wealthy and who is not.

So take a step back and consider the basics. Hike more, camp more. It will reset your psyche. Your financial situation will seem much more manageable, and give you a more grounded perspective.

Happy trails.

* I know hiking boots are expensive, and are made by large manufacturers with a large distribution infrastructure, but that is not the point I am trying to make. The point is if you go on a three-day hike with bad shoes, you will regret it and your feet will be a mess. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stupid email chain of the day - Part 2 - UPDATED

I received yet another stupid email chain.

Why do people bother forwarding this Grand Old Propaganda?

As I did last time, I will reproduce the whole text of this mental retardation example, then analyze it line by line.

Here it goes:

THE FENCEYou can’t get any more accurate than this!
Which Side of the fence?If You ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!If a Republican doesn't like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a Democrat doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.A Democrat wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Republican doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.Democrats demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it..A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a Republican reads this, he'll forward it to his friends.
A Democrat will delete it because he's "offended".

Well, I forwarded it.


<VOMIT OUT LOUD>

Ok, pardon my bodily function comedy, but this makes me wanna lick a subway car window. It's that mind-numbing. Now my line-by-line criticism of this atrocious piece of Republicrap:


THE FENCE

Considering the source, at first I thought this was some xenophobic rag about building a fence between Texas and Mexico, and I was shocked that it's actually about a stupid imaginary fence. 

You can’t get any more accurate than this!

Hum, yeah, I can. You are a bigot. Do you need me to be more accurate?

Which Side of the fence?
If You ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If this is a test, you failed. You followed the instructions to the letter and you forwarded this to 17 contacts. The test was designed to see who would be sufficiently cognitively challenged to actually forward the email. Grade = F.

If a Republican doesn't like guns, he doesn’t buy one.

And if an anarchist doesn't like guns, he obtains one anyway because he knows it's an essential item to have in a survival kit.

If a Democrat doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

Nowadays, few democrats would risk their political careers over that...

If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.

Come on dude... there is no such thing as a vegetarian republican. They are all cannibals.

If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

I think you are talking about vegans, but not all vegans are democrats, and not all democrats are vegans. But you are retarded, so I'll cut you some slack. Venn diagrams are too complicated for your tiny minuscule cerebral cortex.

If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.

And then he has sex with other men in airport restrooms, and tries to deny it after it goes public.

If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

So not only are you racist, you are also an anti-gay bigot. Textbook definition of a Republican.

If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.

Actually I thought a republican would try to find a way to blame his predicament on blacks and gays. (And mexicans). Oh and blame it on malevolent 'liberals'.

A Democrat wonders who is going to take care of him.

I wonder if you sniffed to much glue as a kid.

If a Republican doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.

Of course, back to Faux News, right?

Democrats demand that those they don't like be shut down.

Ah crap, still claiming that hate speech should be legal, huh?

If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.

Yeah right, a republican non-believer. I'll believe it when I see it.

A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

Religion is poison for the mind. God is dead.

If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it..

Or he buys crappy discount insurance only to find out that it doesn't cover cancer treatment. Oops! At least once he croaks he won't start complaining about how he had a change of heart and he now thinks that the free market should be regulated.

A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his.

No, not the rest of 'us', just greedy rich bastards who don't want to pay their fair share of taxes, but don't mind having the middle class pay to invade Oilinthegroundistan. Why is it that poor republicans insist on protecting rich pigs who really couldn't care less about their well-being?

If a Republican reads this, he'll forward it to his friends.

Translation: if you forward it to 17 friends within 17 minutes of reading this, your three dearest wishes will come true! It's true! Baby Jesus told me!

A Democrat will delete it because he's "offended".

Maybe, but an anarchist might post it on a blog to make fun of every single line of it.

Well, I forwarded it.

Well, f*ck you.


I'm sorry for my harsh language concerning republicans (I shouldn't generalize, many of my close relatives are republicans), but stupid email chains like this one really get my blood boiling. The ignorance and bigotry that permeates this garbage really pisses me off. Do not forward stupid email crap because an email tells you to do so, you stupid computer illiterate son of a b*tch.

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EDIT 2011-AUG-04 : I want to apologize for the condescending tone of this post. The truth is, not all Republicans are bigots, and not all of them are closed-minded partisans. My issue here is that some of my close relatives are exemplary in their embrace of stereotypical Republican rhetoric and propagandist mantras, and we often clash over politics, which has caused some strained family relations. Also, I have myself voted for some Republican electoral candidates before (Ron Paul being one of them) and even contributed money to a local candidate's campaign, so really I shouldn't post angry remarks like the above, but when the same relatives email me this garbage, I can't help but ridicule this partisan baloney.