November 29, 2004

AND ANOTHER THING

I really hate it when people say "readjust."

Adjust and adjust again. When I hear "readjust" I think that a person puts something in place then takes it out of that place and puts it back. It's not an adjustment, because it was fine. It's a readjustment.

Bah!

Also, my company sells something called an "inherit" where we take on someone else's code (a horrible adventure) but some people insist on calling it a "reinherit." That irks me, too!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:00 PM | Comments (6)

Some People Watch Too Much TV

Also, my ex implied to me last night that I'm "emotionally unavailable."

I would like it if people wouldn't talk to me like we're on an episode of Sex in the City -- if they intend for me to take them seriously anyway.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:46 PM | Comments (1)

I Have Beal

It's a critical case, too.

I have three weeks left of class and I'm wondering how I will survive.

My house is an absolute disaster area. There's no food in here. I've practiced significant restraint and kept the thermostat on 68, which means it's a meat locker, too.

My flowerbeds are halfway done. My fence is still falling down. I have to grade for a small concrete slab. I need a new kitchen table.

And I need to write a review of The Incredibles, which is INCREDIBLE.

But *yawn* I just don't seem to be moving at the moment.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hot Date

So, I landed a hot date for the office Christmas party. Actually, I was on a waiting list or a lottery-type situation. I totally don't stand a chance, but at least she's willing to say she's there with me.

I'll have to get a picture of us together to seal my bragging rights.

Rrrawwwrrr! Look out!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:32 PM | Comments (0)

November 28, 2004

So Close and No Manslaughter Yet.

I've gotten through my MBA relatively unscathed, but this semester I am involved in yet another team project, but this time my team is full of ignorami and we have to write a business plan.

We have the following problems:


  • Our leader is decision-making impaired.

  • Our person assigned to marketing is trying not to do any work.

  • The person who appointed himself to operations is actually trying to do marketing, strategic analysis, and finance.

  • The three of them have changed the business idea about 47 times since we started it 8 weeks ago and now they're freaking out because so little is done.

To make matters worse, they don't seem to understand how to write a business plan!!!

I made an outline for them and provided notes of what sort of content should go in each sections, but they've submitted a version of the paper that runs counter to that. Further, they're all using different formatting, so it's hard to pull the paper together.

Right now, I'm trying to get my part done and back out of taking on any more responsibility for the project.

I am not a genius and no one would accuse my loping writing style on my blogs as being overly focused, but I don't think it's too much to ask to have people follow a simple outline.

I feel like I'm on the Titanic but everyone is ignoring the iceberg for the sake of a fire in the galley.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:14 PM | Comments (1)

Races High

Trey Givens is talking about race and it reminds me of something that happened at work the other day:

I was talking to some of my employees about my trip to El Salvador in February and one of them asked if they speak Dutch there because I'm learning Dutch. I said, "No, they speak Spanish there, but I was a Spanish minor." So, they were confused because they thought the reason I am learning Dutch is because I'm going somewhere that they speak Dutch.

I'm not. I'm just learning it because I like language.

Well, I also have a new employee who happens to have a slightly darker complexion than me. You might mistake her for Hispanic at a glance, but she's not.

So, I was joking about learning Dutch and I said with a wink, “I’ll bet she knows waar is de kruidenierswinkel.”

She turned to me and said, "I don't speak Spanish."

I said, "That was Dutch."

Then I realized that she thought that I thought she's Hispanic. Other than her skin tone, there is no reason I would think that, though. And even if she were, I have no reason to think she speaks Spanish. She has a very strong Southern drawl.

I'll bet that some people have made that mistake with her before. I'll bet she was seriously confused by my foolishness about her speaking Dutch.

Huh.

This story is going no where right now because I just realized how strange it is to joke to someone about speaking Dutch for no reason at all. (I thought that's why it's funny.)

Interestingly enough, without paying any attention to race, gender or any of that stuff, I have hired the most diverse team in the office. We're a team with two Asians, a Black guy, a Jew, two women and a homo manager. The woman I hired was to replace a Hispanic guy.

HR must be peeing their pants with joy about my maintaining our Affirmative Action / EOE policy. Get over it, HR people! It's not on purpose!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:09 AM | Comments (1)

Crikey!

Trey Givens is back, it seems.

Won't that boy ever make up his mind? Oh and he has some sob story about almost being fired or something.

blah blah blah...

Anyway, I have work to do. I've already planted forsythia, crepe myrtle, a hydrangia, and something my mom calls a tallo tree.

Now, I'm off to finish up some school projects.

Update: I also planted a pyracanthia earlier and I just got in from amending the soil in one of my beds and putting bulbs down.

AND I finished up one of my school projects and finished a draft on the other. It's Productivity Weekend!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)

November 27, 2004

How Much for the Doggie in the Window?

I'm thinking about getting a dog. I want a dog just like this one:

Luna the Dog

She looks about as sweet as sugar cane to me. Her name is Luna. I could eat her up!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:46 PM | Comments (2)

November 26, 2004

One of Those Days

I am such a loser. I need to get married soon, so I have someone to make sure I don't have days like this.

What kind of day is it?

It's the kind of day, well, evening, where you get home at 5:15, eat dinner at 6, fall asleep on the couch at 6:30, wake up at 9:30 and think that it's 4:30, realize that it's not but it's also STILL too early to go to bed, and then wonder what you're going to do until bed time.

Then again, I looked at myself in the mirror right after I woke up and realized that I have a distinctly unsexy look to me right now.

Maybe I just need my mom to move in.

*shudder*

Never mind.

Who wants to get married?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:46 PM | Comments (5)

Running Man

My half-marathon went very well yesterday. I felt strong even to the finish having shaved almost ten minutes off of my last half marathon time.

WOO!

Now, I have to convince Sibby that we really can do a full marathon if we want.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:56 PM | Comments (1)

A Personal Letter of Thanks from Me to You

Dear, ____:

I wanted to personally thank you for your support in my academic adventure also known as the Terry College of Business Evening MBA program.

Sure, you didn't send me any money. You didn't offer to buy me drinks after my finals. Frankly, you didn't offer anything that can be bought or sold.

That is not to say that your contribution is insignificant, although, I think it's fair to say that whatever you did it was immeasurable. Praying, chanting, howling at the moon -- whatever it is that you do -- those things mean nothing to me, but I do hope they were to your own personal edification and enjoyment.

What I want to thank you for, specifically, is for your response to my recent grocery delivery service survey. No, I didn't write the survey. No, I didn't think it was a good survey. Yes, I know that some of the questions were confusing. Yes, I tried to tell my team that letting strangers into your house to put away groceries was really weird. No, they would not listen. So, I guess I can't really call it MY survey, but I do appreciate your responses.

Yours was one of 113 survey responses I collected. Other members of the team doubted my ability to deliver results on this survey. They felt that my 'online channel' was insignificant and I guess it probably is on the scale of all things. But those same team members who ridiculed me collected a total of 4 survey results themselves and I'm not convinced that they weren't surveying each other.

I think it's safe to say "BOOYAH." And you can say it with me because I have you, _____, to thank for this success.

Ultimately, it was with your help that I will be able to hang another diploma on my wall this winter. It is with your help that when people question the wisdom of my decision-making that I will be able to stare back at them solidly in the confidence that I have an MBA and their opinion be damned. It is with your help that I will likely get the crap beat out of me.

That's ok. It would be my pleasure to let you sign my cast.

Thank you, _____. I am indebted to you for... well, the next five seconds. Call it in or lose it forever.

Thanks, yo.
Flibby

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:51 PM | Comments (13)

November 25, 2004

Lend a Helping Hand

Please go immediately and fill out this survey. It is for one of my class projects.

http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB223XYBBK6VC

Thank you!

(I'm leaving this post at the top so you will be reminded to fill it out. Remember: vote early and vote often!)

Update: I see that over twice as many of you are visiting the survey as filling it out. Come on! It's 10 questions. I am not collecting any other information about you other than your responses to the questions. So, hop to! And tell your friends!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:16 PM | Comments (3)

November 24, 2004

Beesy beesy beesy!

I won't be posting much for the next little while for the following reasons:


  • Finals and final projects

  • Thanksgiving and a trip to South Georgia

  • Planning a trip to Costa Rica for January (still a maybe)

  • Work!

  • Chores

  • Beal

Update: It's not Costa Rica anymore. We're going to sunny El Salvador in February. WOO!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2004

Mating Practices of the Leering Male

I was telling Mama Laverne about the staring man at the movies and she told me that it's actually a thing that people do. Well, men-people mostly.

Apparently, this staring method is commonly employed by males who wish to initiate courtship activities. She said that in other situations there is often inappropriate commentary and hooting that accompanies the leering.

I hadn't thought that this was an actual practice because I'm used to people coming on in different or less overt ways. Well, men-people mostly.

Just so everyone knows: those activities are to be avoided. They are generally unwanted by the recipient and you also look like a crazy doing it. Just don't.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:44 PM | Comments (5)

November 21, 2004

To Those Supporting the Ban on Gay Marriage Among Other Things

If you'll permit me a small appeal to authority, I came across the following quotes out on the web this evening:

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are only injurious to others." -- Thomas Jefferson
"We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." -- Thomas Jefferson
"Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law." -- Thomas Jefferson, February 10, 1814
"To unequal privileges among members of the same society the spirit of our nation is, with one accord, adverse." --Thomas Jefferson to Hugh White, 1801. ME 10:258
"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved -- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!" -- John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson
"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." -- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac, 1758
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." -- Treaty of Tripoli, 1796
Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:55 PM | Comments (1)

What if Government Fails?

As my regular readers well know, I support no form of taxation. All government funding and support should come by way of voluntary donation and pay-per-use fees.

Challengers to my position always respond to this suggestion by saying that our government would not survive if we left it to the dilligence of the citizenry. I really think they're being overly-cynical, if for no other reason than such an arrangment would require each person to be actively involved in the defense of the rights of all. But a quick trip to Wal-mart reminds me that many of our fellow citizens are not fit enough to survive urban living. (Clarification: they aren't surviving it. Many, if not most, are quickly dying as a result of excesses made possible by modern conveniences.)

But my question to those challengers is: So what?

If my system were set into motion and then it failed, what difference would it make? The topic of discussion would be the failure of a state that its own citizens REFUSED to support.

I passed a beggar, not a homeless person, but a beggar, on my way to pick up dinner. It is a stretch for me to think of anything I see on a regular basis that compares to the disgrace of begging for money on the street. Here we have people who make their living that way. Others merely supplement their income with the proceeds of their panhandling.

So, consider the person who will not work to support himself. What do you think of them? Do you think they deserve pity? Compassion? Does your heart go out to the person who, for no reason other than true laziness, does not support himself?

I feel disgust and revulsion at those people and that’s the same thing that I feel for those people who would (and do) refuse to take an active role in defending their individual rights.

The same would be my feeling toward the citizens who had a state governed by a system of completely rational political philosophy and let it fail. They would be people who enjoyed perfect freedom and the general welfare that freedom provides, but forsook it for reasons inexplicable.

But the failure of such a state does not defile the virtues or refute the arguments that would have brought it into existence in the first place. No more than the existence of beggars illustrates the futility of those who work for a living.

"The evaluation of an action as 'practical', Dr. Ferris, depends on what it is that one wishes to practice."

Atlas Shrugged

Given that freedom is what I want to practice, I can only conclude that those who say that taxation is the only 'practical' solution to government funding wish to practice slavery. I am sure they hope they're the masters in the arrangement, but which is worse, morally speaking, the parasite or the willing host? The killer or the voluntary victim? The slaver or the slave who demands heavier shackles?

The options open to us aren't between slaver and slave, though. We can all be free. Why try to choose the lesser of evils when you can choose good?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:45 PM | Comments (0)

Open Letter to the Homosexual Man from the Restroom at the Regal 24 in Atlanta

Dear, Homosexual Man from the Restroom at the Regal 24 in Atlanta:

I hope that this letter finds you well. I am doing very well myself. I am writing in regard to our meeting last night at the movie theater.

I remember you because you look like Felix La PuBelle. You’re also about 5’4” tall, while I am 6'2". I can actually see the very top of your head without really trying.

You will recall that you stared at me before we entered the restroom. You stared at me while we stood at the urinal. And you stared at me in the mirror while we washed our hands. I believe that the image of me is etched into your mind now forever. My own mother hasn’t even looked at me that hard -- even after the time I got her car stuck in the mud on the tank trails and "borrowed" someone’s tractor to pull it out.

I don’t consider myself an expert on etiquette by any stretch but I think staring is generally considered impolite. I also believe that staring in the restroom is at least doubly taboo.

I am very glad that you opted against getting up on your tippy-toes to look over the partition because I would not have enjoyed the conversation that followed that sort of incident.

You may have noticed that I am not George Michael and neither were any of the other 10 men in the room with us. Of course, I can’t guarantee that all of them would have been as put off by your ocular fixation problem as I was.

I don’t know if I would call ours a “meeting” since I acknowledged your presence for a total of 1.35 seconds only to emphasize my lack of interest. I did want to write this follow-up, though, to you to let you know that 1) the bathroom is not the place to get dates with me and 2) staring is not the way to let me know you’re interested.

I realize that there are not many times or places that present occasion for you or anyone to strike up a romance with me. I also realize that I am quite stand-offish and even under the appropriate circumstances you would find it difficult to approach me. However, I really think you can do better than staring at folks at the toilet.

Just thought you should know.

Flibby

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

Strange Comment Spam

IP Address: 67.173.130.77
Name: asian girl personals
Email Address: vexiqovizek@hotmail.com
URL:

Comments:

I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education. Wilson Mizner (1876 - 1933)

Notice the empty URL field? Also, there were no links in the body. The comment itself has nothing to do with the post and the name sounds awfully spam-like.

But it doesn't meet all the criteria for spam. How odd!

Maybe they're just casing the joint.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:00 AM | Comments (1)

November 20, 2004

Anna Loves Me but DJJ Loves Me More

I wrote a love note to DJ Get Gorgeous (a moniker I really do love, by the way) but I should have been writing it to DJJ. THAT's who really loves me, you know.

DJJ is right now one of my most loyal readers, actually.

It's true love.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:57 PM | Comments (1)

November 19, 2004

Overheard in the Office

Flibby
Did you know that I am a god?

I just found out myself, so keep it on the low-low until I figure out how to smite people.

http://flibbertigibbet.mu.nu/archives/054966.php

Our Favorite Piano Pedagogue
a god?

Flibby
Yes.

OFPP
lemme check this out.

Flibby
Like holier than all and creation and judgment and all that

smiting and what not.

And all verbs referring to me shall now endeth in 'eth'

So it has been said. Let it be done.

OFPP
I think that other gods might have a problem with this.

Flibby
Let them bringeth it, then.

You thought that other god was a wrathful, jealous god.

Hell hath no fury!

OFPP
like Flibby the god.

Flibby
Flibby: The God of Everything that is Worth Anything At All

And laserbeams.

Especially laserbeams

KABOOM!

OFPP
nothing's happening. Try again.

Flibby
Maybe not where you are...

But somewhere someone just had some serious thunder and lightning.

I need to work on my accuracy, but the power is there.

OFPP
That's amazing.

Flibby
Some say "Miraculous"

If I set my divine powers toward the success of my rap career, I think my fans shall calleth me "Miraculous F!"

OFPP
miracle schmiracle.

Flibby
I'm sorry. Did you just blaspheme?

I like you and all but don't think I won't have you smote to uphold the divine order of the universe I have created.

I know people who can do that you know -- like ME.

KABOOM!

OFPP
Some poor child in Africa just got blown to bits. Don't you think you're overreacting just a bit?

Flibby
It's part of my image I have to maintain.

It comes with the territory.

Since my power does span the known and unknown universe, I'm getting a sense that perfecting my aim is going to be a whole process of continual improvement.

OFPP
Practice makes perfect, but remember the babies.

Flibby
BABIES ARE SINNERS, TOO!

Actually... since I'm the boss, I get to change that rule.

Let it heretofore be known that there is no such thing as "original sin."

I should issue a set of commandments.

Number 1) Stay the hell out of my way.

um. I think that's all.

And it's ok if people put my commandment up in a courtroom, too.

OFPP
[OFPP brings us breakfast at the office every Friday. You can understand why I have her cannonized.]
Everyone's bitching about not having meat for this morning's breakfast. Can you turn them into cows?

Flibby
I think that's some Indian god's job, but I can give it a shot.

There is meat in this morning's breakfast.

I remember distinctly seeing all manner of pork product in there.

Pork is meat.

OFPP
Not enough apparently.

Flibby
Hi. Free breakfast. Shut the f!bomb up.

OFPP
Thank you! Ingrates!

Flibby
INFIDELS!

KABOOM!

OFPP
Ack! That was probably my nephew's dog.

Flibby
I hope not. I like dogs.

You can be a saint if you want.

OFPP
I AM a saint, thank you.

Flibby
See? That's the kind of attitude I like to see in my saints.

I hereby grant you liberty to do some miracles, too.

Not too much, though. I don't want people to forget who's in charge.

Saint of the Holy Order of Piano Pedagogy
Laserbeams, too?

Flibby

Oh yes. Definitely laserbeams.

Everyone gets laserbeams.

Saint HOPP
WHEEeeee!

Flibby
[She lent My Holiness a CD earlier and said that it's one of her favorites.]

This is a very good CD

Saint HOPP
What a relief! With this whole god development, I feared I might get blown to bits once I dismissed you as a friend. [In the event that I didn't like the CD.]

Flibby
Well, you'd just go to hell.

We could still hang out.

Saint HOPP
good to know, good to know.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:49 AM | Comments (3)

November 18, 2004

An Open Letter to DJ Get Gorgeous, AKA Anna

Dear DJ Get Gorgeous, AKA Anna:

I completely understand your love for me. I am smart and pretty and funny and successful. I also humor you during our little spats, which takes no small amount of patience.

But I think all observers of our conversations starting realize what a lovely lady you are yourself. If they do not, I would like to let them know.

What other kind of woman can simultaneously string together expletives like so much gas from jalapeno sausage and still convince the audience that she is self-medicated to a point of functional illiteracy? I’ll tell you what kind: A lady of mystery and intrigue.

You’re like an onion, but in a good way. Onions make people cry as if they are sad, but when your sagacious wit draws tears, they are obviously tears of hysterical laughter. You do bring conversation to a point of absurdity that can but amuse.

Onions also have many layers. The simile is trite, I know, but it is true. I could make another one for you about things that have many layers, like the many segments of a tapeworm or the musty, decomposing layers of a compost pile, but I think ‘onion’ is far more direct and romantic.

So, you are like an onion also in that you have many layers. I have recently peeled back another layer: your remarkable business acumen. Since I am very greedy (another of my finer points) I appreciate this in you.

My readers may not realize it, but you continue to visit my site and leave comments so that everyone else will see you and go to see what that one radio station is all about. You know the radio station to which I refer. This strategy of yours shows that you are very far-sighted.

“Most Likely to Think Ahead” That’s what they will probably say of you when you get to high school.

I almost didn’t see through your strategy myself! I thought, “Surely she realizes that this is only driving up my traffic and giving me more comments and attracting people to see our sexual tension draw tighter and tighter. By now my readers must be in a frenzy to see our relationship consummated!”

I must say, I first blushed when I considered how forward and public you are with your affections. How did you put it once? Something about picking up trash on Thursday nights? Perhaps you were talking about community service – which only highlights your generosity.

When I realized how clever you are to use my site to drive traffic to a radio station, I was in awe. I am sure that my readers have flocked – nay! SWARMED – to the radio by the ones and maybe even twos. They’re going in hopes of hearing you and that one guy whose name escapes me at the moment.

Lover, you are truly a worthy presence on my site. Allow me to shower you now in cyber-smooches. SMOOCH! SMOOCH! SMOOCH!

Please write back soon!

XOXOX
Flibby

PS If you aren't a lady, I guess that's ok, one can't raise the bar too high, I suppose.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:23 PM | Comments (2)

November 17, 2004

I Keep Forgetting that I Live in a Land of Puritanical Hypocrites

I don't have cable television. I only use my TV to watch movies from Netflix these days, so I don't really get to see all the "hot and steamy" things that FCC chair Michael Powell recently referenced as quoted in this CNN.com article:

The opening, which has generated complaints to ABC and the FCC, featured actress Nicollette Sheridan in the locker room, supposedly dressed only in a white towel. She drops the towel and jumps into the arms of Philadelphia Eagles star Terrell Owens. Sheridan was shown only from behind and above the waist after dropping the towel.

Apparently, some people complained about this.

They complained about seeing less creamy, female skin than they've seen on Rose McGowan and even John Kerry's eldest daughter. They complained, because they saw her back.

There are two things that really irritate me about this whole deal: 1) the FCC's charter to regulate broadcasts to ensure that they do not cross the bounds of decency. (Where are those things anyway?) and 2) that ABC apologized.

On the first item, I really shouldn't have to go on at any length at all about how it is not a legitimate function of government to safeguard our decency. The government is not here to make sure we're all 'good' people. The government is here to make sure that you're only bad on me when I give you permission to do so and at no other time.

This quotation from Powell is very telling, however:

"It would seem to me that while we get a lot of broadcasting companies complaining about indecency enforcement, they seem to be continuing to be willing to keep the issue at the forefront, keep it hot and steamy in order to get financial gains and the free advertising it provides," Powell said during an interview on CNBC.

In essence, he is saying, "If you cooperate with us, you will have no reason to complain about us." Isn't that a classic line from the Handbook of Thuggery? It's in the chapter about extortion.

The second item is really what galls me, though.

ABC quickly apologized for the locker room intro. And the NFL called it "inappropriate and unsuitable for our 'Monday Night Football' audience."

There is no reason to apologize for that.

Also, though I am not part of the Monday Night Football audience, I think I speak for a majority of them when I say that it was not inappropriate or unsuitable for them.

Not that it should matter to the government whether or not it was inappropriate or unsuitable for any of them at all.

And though obscenity is not a concern for the government, there is certainly a moral question here: Is it moral or immoral to apologize when one did nothing wrong?

The FCC and the tiny, little tyrants and bullies all over this country rely on apologies like this. As Ayn Rand would put it, they rely on the sanction of their victims and ABC is giving them just what they want.

ABC has something to be sorry for now: that apology.

I am reminded of Hank Rearden's trial in Atlas Shrugged.

One of the judges, acting as prosecutor, had read the charges. "You may now offer whatever plea you wish to make in your own defense," he announced.

Facing the platform, his voice inflectionless and peculiarly clear, Hank Rearden answered:

"I have no defense."

""Do you-" The judge stumbled; he had not expected it to be that easy. "Do you throw yourself upon the mercy of this court?"

"I do not recognize this court's right to try me"."

"What?"

"I do not recognize this court's right to try me."

"But, Mr. Rearden, this is the legally appointed court to try this particular category of crime."

"I do not recognize my action as a crime."

"But you have admitted that you have broken our regulations controlling the sale of your Metal."

"I do not recognize your right to control the sale of my Metal."

"Is it necessary for me to point out that your recognition was not required?"

"No, I am fully aware of it and I am acting accordingly."

He noted the stillness of the room. By the rules of the complicated pretense which all those people played for one another's benefit, they should have considered his stand as incomprehensible folly; there should have been rustles of astonishment and derision; there were none; they sat still; they understood.

Do you mean that you are refusing to obey the law?" asked the judge.

"No. I am complying with the law - to the letter. Your law holds that my life, my work and my property may be disposed of without my consent. Very well, you may now dispose of me without my participation in the matter. I will not play the part of defending myself, where no defense is possible, and I will not simulate the illusion of dealing with a tribunal of justice."

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:31 PM | Comments (3)

Popular Me!

I now have a couple fans of Chris Tucker and a socialist who calls himself 'Mo mo' both trolling around on my site calling me names now!

The fans of Chris Tucker are getting boring though. It's the same string of obscenities that bear the shape, but not the actual structure, of coherent sentences. I won't take the time to describe my lack of surprise about that, though. We're talking about people who are fans of Chris Tucker at WUOG. If you were expecting more, you were just asking for disappointment on that one. It's a college radio station that plays local and not-mainstream noise, some of which passes for music.

This Mo mo person hasn't bored me completely, yet, but he's so off-base that I don't know if I will even bother schooling him. Maybe he'll sit back and learn something on his own.

But, Instapundit, look out! I'm moving up!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:55 AM | Comments (4)

November 15, 2004

That Loathesome Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity was talking again today about an amendment to the United States Constitution to ban gay marriage. Bolstered by 11 states, including my home of Georgia, passing amendments to their own constitutions on November 2, Hannity feels certain that such an amendment will be added to the national constitution.

While we're at it, could be please stop referring to ourselves as "the land of the free?" Maybe we could call ourselves "the land of the most free slaves in the modern world."

The Constitution was written to establish limits on, here comes the shocker, THE GOVERNMENT. The Constitution was written to establish the universal supremacy of the individual and protect his rights from the whims, machinations, and righteous indignation of the mob.

This is not a democracy! This is a constitutional republic and that is way better.

I'm not sure when our representatives felt it their perogative to do less than protect the rights of citizens, but all this talk of amendments makes it very clear that they are shirking their jobs for something more lucrative: robbery and slave trading. (As if the other signs weren't plain as day.)

This amendment question is bigger than just that of who should be allowed to visit whom in the hospital. Mark my words: gay or straight, the very idea of an amendment establishing a definition for the word marriage is a threat to your freedom.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:17 PM | Comments (4)

Flat Tax v. National Sales Tax

Has anyone seen a good side-by-side comparison of Flat Rate Income Tax plans versus National Sales Tax plans?

Naturally, I oppose them both -- I'm nothing if not obstinate about my rights -- but I'm interested in seeing what folks have to say.

Here's a link to a National Sales Tax plan.

And here's a link to a flat tax write-up.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:01 PM | Comments (2)

Also on Property

You know how you can buy little candy bars in a big bag and each candy bar has written on the lable "not for individual sale?"

Um.

How d'y'figure?

I mean, it's mine. If I want to sell it, it's my business.

I am suspecting now that those warnings are a ruse and I just might open up my own little individual candybar sales business.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:55 PM | Comments (1)

"Bend Over, Little Homeowner," Thus Sayeth the County and City

I got my city and county property tax bills recently.

Um. Yeeaaaahh... I need a 'do-over.'

I'm always complaining about property taxes but this is the first time I've actually had to pay it and it's FAR worse than I thought.

Doesn't it strike anyone else as odd that this little element of state-driven slavery effectively eliminates your ability to establish yourself as a self-sustaining entity on your property?

You don't actually OWN your property this way. You're renting it from the state. What happens if you don't pay your property tax? They take your property; you are evicted.

Here I am paying for schools that I do not use. Paying for streets, 99.999% of which I do not use. Sewer systems - I don't use them. Fire departments - I don't use them.

I use exceedingly few government services. Most of the 'services' I use are actually hoops imposed by the state that I jump through for the sake of living an otherwise peaceful life. I jump through them at the moment anyway.

To make matters worse, my escrow account is shy about $1,300. You'd think P. Diddy stayed here with me for all that.

This is utterly ridiculous.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:50 PM | Comments (3)

DJ Chris Tucker Get Gorgeous is in Love with Me

I can't prove it, but I think DJ Chris Tucker Get Gorgeous, AKA the Worst DJ in the World the silliest girl on my website ever also calling herself 'Anna,' is stalking my website to hurl insults at me. Whether it's Chris Tucker or not, I know when my pigtails are being pulled.

Do you like me? Check Yes or YES!

Yes __ YES! __

Update: Well! Now we know! Anna wants smooches from me! Smoochy Smoochy Smoochy, Anna! Smooches for you!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:00 PM | Comments (8)

November 14, 2004

Lucinda Williams: What Do You Think?

Since I know that there are some music afficionados in the audience, can someone give me a review of Lucinda Williams?

I'm thinking about buying one of her CDs, but since there's just one song I know I like and she has several other albums, I need a deeper insight.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:29 PM | Comments (0)

No, I'm Still Not Studying

Instead, I'm trying to puzzle out Th'Inkwell's new header. I think very highly of Mrs. White and so I have assumed that each element of the banner has significance unto itself.

First, her tagline: Veritas : Venustas : Sententia

Veritas = Truth
Venustas = Loveliness, charm (feminine)
Sententia = a way of thinking

That was the easy part.

Then we have the Pre-9/11, Manhattan cityscape.

Now the hard part: What is that Latin text that is skewed across there?

At first, I was thinking that it came from a text by an Italian in the high Renaissance named Girolamo Borro. The title of the text is “De motu gravium et levium” and according to the source I found it was written in 1575. It appears to be a text about buoyancy. “About the motion of weight and lightness” or some-such is what the title means.

Given Mrs. White’s thoughtful nature a text on engineering made perfect sense, but I could not match the fragments in her header to any single reference in the text. The closest I got was on page 8 but that’s not it. The look of it matches but the actual text does not.

Here are the fragments I can make out:

deſcribenda
eſt aurea mala
aureis in ea
-errant ſup.illic
-virgineus

So, then I thought it might have come from a text called “De Astronomia” by someone named Hygini. Again, a dead-end. Obviously our girl isn’t giving up her secrets easily.

And there's one more element that I will just go ahead and concede is outside of what I can do with what I have here: the gold and brown stripes are composed of another image. What that image is, exactly, is what I can't figure. Given the color and texture and the citation of other Latin/Renaissance sources best guess is that it’s an image of a manuscript like the other.

So, I spent a couple of hours Googling and carrying on, but I couldn’t find it. I think the Borro text was my best lead, but, alas, it fell through.

Maybe I’ll work on this some more later or just ask her about it.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

Whatever Lola Wants...

So, did you know that I am a total hottie? I have it on the authority of a cute guy that was totally scoping me out on my run today. Sibby even noticed that he was looking at me and not her. (She gets cars honking at her sometimes.)

I just don't know why he was wearing a pink shirt, though. That was plain weird.

"I'm irresistable, you fool."

Update: The end is here. I know because I just quoted musical theater. Twice. "Run away! Run away!"

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:55 PM | Comments (18)

Open Letter to My Readers

Dear Readers:

I'm sorry. It's also probably worse than you think.

I need to go pick up some drop cloths now.

Later!
Flibby

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:52 PM | Comments (3)

Open Letter to My Website

Dear My Website:

Dirrty.

Be over in five.

Love ya! Mean it!
Your daddy

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:49 PM | Comments (0)

Open Letter to Flibbertigibbet

Dear Flibbertigibbet:

Ai, Papichulo!

Hugz
Your website

PS You know where I stay. Bring some whipped cream. I got the jumper cables cuz I been a naughty girl.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:48 PM | Comments (0)

Open Letter to My Website

Dear My Website:

Who's your daddy? Say it!

XOXOX
Flibby

PS Stop screening your calls!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:46 PM | Comments (0)

Open Letter to Flibbertigibbet

Dear Flibbertigibbet

All your base are belong to us.

Neener Neener Nanoo Nanoo

BFF
Your website

PS Call me!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:39 PM | Comments (0)

Open Letter to my Website

Dear My Website:

STOP IT! I see what you're doing and I don't like it one bit. Stop it right now! I command you!

Smooches
Flibby

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:38 PM | Comments (0)

iPod Hassles

I love my iPod. It's name is Poppet. Poppet, however, has been very naughty lately. For some strange reason it won't mount my computer any more.

I know what you're thinking, "That's just what we need: another mouth to feed," but in this case mounting is totally encouraged.

Until recently Poppet was mounting my computer, Computris, just fine and then suddenly it stopped. Everything I read about it says I have to do a restart and all that but that's aggravating and it never works. The next thing I always have to do is reinstall the operating system on Poppet. That works but it's a hassle, too.

I love Poppet and, if I understand things correctly, it only has about six more months to a full and active life before the rechargeable battery gives out and I have to send Poppet back to Apple to get a new one.

That's fine and I've resigned myself to it, but the whole won't mount to my computer thing is a bore. I expect things to run smoothly until the day Poppet can't hold a charge. I'm tempted to visit the Apple store and let them know what-for because this is so irritating.

We'll see how it plays out.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:35 PM | Comments (2)

One Last Thing

I have been so preoccupied with economics (as you can see) that I have gotten none of my studying done and I have a final on Tuesday.

What a mess!

In the meantimes, I want to direct you over to a post at The Binary Circumstance about how online gambling made the best predictions regarding the presidential election.

(I watched Tradesports.com on November 2 and assured everyone that Bush was going to win.)

I'll write more about EMH, tradesports.com, and the election a little later.

I really do have to run 10 miles today. I'm meeting Sibby in 25 minutes.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

Today's Horoscope

I was born in early September:

Traditional Virgo Traits

Modest and shy
Meticulous and reliable
Practical and diligent
Intelligent and analytical

On the dark side....

Fussy and a worrier
Overcritical and harsh
Perfectionist and conservative

I was also born under the fire sign of the snake in the Chinese horoscope:

Snake people enter a room and there is Music, Music, Joy! Everyone dances! Such high spirit! The Snake is so intense and passionate, just as likely to take out the castanets as to climb mountains of snow. Snake year people are charming and romantic, often planning delightful hideaway surprises. Possessing tremendous wisdom, they are deep, quiet thinkers, calm by nature, but most intense. They often get involved in great causes, bigger than life, and often serve as mentors to the young. To paraphrase Confucius, they have a kind of inner beauty that arises, hovers, then comes to nest. They will have an abundance of good fortune and a long and prosperous life.

Sharkfin Soup and Chinese Cabbage are among keys to good health!!

The Fire Snake is like a meteor in the sky, brilliant and alive. With spellbinding eloquence, the Snake converses with conviction on a broad range of topics, but realizes that good conversation lies as much in the listening as the talking. The Snake does both very well, raising communication to a very high and elegant art. People love to be in the company of this very graceful Fire Snake, who is always pleasant, provocative, humorous, and quick witted. With split second reflexes, they are constantly conceiving new ideas and coming up with new schemes. This entrepreneurial spirit makes headlines and the Fire Snake is much admired. Because of their ambition, perseverance, and infinite patience, and wise financial moves made early in life, their fortunes grow steadily. By the time middle age arrives, financial fortune is truly theirs. Relationships follow the same path, through faithfulness, perseverance, and willingness to make relationships really work, the future is always bright.

Famous Snake People: Mao Tse-tong, Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Ferdinand Marcos, Abraham Lincoln, Lady Pamela Mountbatten, Martin Luther King, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy, Edgar Allen Poe, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bob Dylan

Horoscopes are so stupid. When people read them to be funny; I laugh. But I get really angry when people talk about them like they're real.

For example, let's say that I take the time to describe the mental process of learning something. And then some silly person makes a remark like, "Well, I'm a gemini, so I was born knowing that."

Hi. No you weren't. You may have learned it and you were born between some such days, but the two facts are not related.

My cousin, the one who can gleet, is two days younger than me. We are polar opposites in almost every single way imaginable. We have different personalities, philosophies, and abilities, but we were born under the same exact stars.

They're patently offensive to any person who prides themself on their ability to think. Thinking is an option. You don't have to do it. But horoscopes like to claim that your choice is determined by the stars. Or maybe they're trying to say that your ability to think is determined by the stars? Who knows? Who cares. It's wrong and silly.

My mother's mantra to me while growing up was "You can do anything you put your mind to" and I still take that literally. I will be damned if I'm going to let some silly star tell me otherwise. Horoscopes are total garbage.

Today's horoscope for me says:

Feeling better? Bet you are. Bet you're feeling so darned fine that you'll want to have a bit of a gathering at your place to celebrate. Go ahead. You could certainly stand to blow off some steam, right?

I'm going out to run 10 miles now and I'm not having a party. So, there.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

Failure in Capitalistic Societies

Specific Failure
As heartless and cruel as I am, I really prefer to see people just slip and fall rather than go homeless or die. Slipping and falling is a comedic staple, but the Three Stooges would not have been as successful if it had turned to gore.

But failure is another corollary aspect to the fundamentals of Capitalism.

If I own some particular thing, you cannot own it. You might be able to go get one just like it, but you cannot have mine so long as I will not give up ownership of it. If I own the only one in the whole world, I could have quite a money-maker on my hands so long as others are willing to pay for what I have.

Let’s say I have the only Sparkle-Widget in the whole world and you want it. You can have it, you know, for a gazillion dollars. What’s that? You don’t have a gazillion dollars to spend on my Sparkle-Widget? Well, guess who isn’t getting a Sparkle-Widget, then? If you guessed the city of Losertown, population you, you guessed right!

Now, let’s pretend like I am the owner of the only Sparkle-Widget in the world and no one wants it. Sparkle-Widgets are soooo last season and even then only in Jersey… SOUTH Jersey.

Hi! Anyone want a Sparkle-widget for a gazillion dollars now? I don’t think so.

What if I was a Sparkle-widget factory? I would be unemployed! Poor! Oh no!

Do you suppose that’s unfair?

If you do, then why won’t you buy my Sparkle-Widgets? Why don’t you get your friends to buy them so that I don’t go into the poor house? What else do you want me to do?

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages. Nobody but a beggar chooses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow-citizens. -- Adam Smith

Personally, I do not have the tendency to romanticize the life of a beggar. I tend to advise those in obsolete industries to get jobs elsewhere when this happens and most people listen.

It may surprise you, but LOTS of people do expect just what I described. They do expect people to buy things just to do a solid for those who make them. Doubt me?

Think: Farm Subsidies.

Food is so readily available and inexpensive that there is actually excess production of food here in the United States. Our government buys (Translation: Steals my money to pay for things I am clearly telling them I don’t want.) extra food from farmers so they don’t go to the poorhouse.

Farmers of America: YOU ARE NOT STUPID! YOU ARE NOT INEPT! YOU CAN DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN FARM! STOP FARMING RIGHT NOW!

They won’t listen. They never do.

To make matters worse, the impact of perfectly capable Americans farming all over the place is causing some REALLY poor people in Africa and India and places to be poor. I’m not kidding.

If you think our poor people are poor you have not seen pictures of India or Africa. I refuse to go to India, actually, largely due to all the poor people there. And King Cobras. Mostly because of the poor people, though, because I wouldn’t mind seeing a King Cobra as long as it doesn’t spit in my eyes.

Nevertheless, I would pay an Indian like $6 a day to farm for me. Rather than pay some American farmer like $500 a day to do it. I have no idea what farmers get paid, but I would bet the rent that there are some Indians out there who would pick up a hoe this minute for $6 a day. (Not a street Ho. A hoe hoe. Merry Christmas!)

If America were truly a Capitalist system, many farmers would not be farmers today. Many automaker employees would not be making autos. Many miners would not be mining. Instead, those jobs would go the way of the fire-starters and dinosaur clubbers.

I imagine that the animal fat lantern makers of America were really pissed about electricity. Just like most of the horse-drawn carriage manufacturers were pissed about the automobile.

But these “failures” are necessary for the continued growth and progress of the system and society as a whole.

I’m not denying that it is unfortunate and sad when someone loses their job or cannot make enough money to get Tiny Tim a new wooden leg. I’m saying that if those things happen, it’s probably time to pursue a higher paying job. If you literally cannot get a higher-paying job (and I really believe you haven’t been trying), then you need to cut costs. Teach Tiny Tim to write software or something and bring home some bacon.

General Failure
True, Laissez-faire Capitalism cannot fail. Not really. It’s sort of like a perpetual motion machine.

At the dawn, each member of a society is wholly self-sufficient or at least potentially self-sufficient. One can raise one’s own food and build one’s own shelter. Things are easier, true, when others help out, but it’s at least theoretically possible for each person to be self-sustaining to an extent.

As things progress, however, people get more specialized. Some people are good at raising food. Others make clothes. Some build houses. Gradually the division of labor is very broad and each individual trades with another his services for theirs. Trade starts as barter but then a monetary unit is introduced and things go on swimmingly.

Today, work is highly specialized and most people are not self-sustaining. Sure, I could grow corn, but my flour-making abilities remain untested.

Historically, people like to cite the Great Depression has a failure of Capitalism. The reality is that the Great Depression is one of Capitalism’s successes, but few people are willing to talk about widespread devaluation of financial markets and rampant unemployment as a good thing.

The Great Depression was the effect of a bubble market bursting. Various kinds of work across several sectors were over-valued. Money itself was overvalued in that there was not enough wealth behind the money to support the growth the market experienced. Basically, everyone in the market was kiting checks and the Great Depression started when people started trying to cash in.

We tend to think of economic bubbles in terms of the dot-com bubble or the tulip bubble, but the Great Depression was a bubble in the financial market, the act of overvaluing the potential for wealth-creating capacity throughout the system without regard to the fact that the amount of gold, which

In the late 90’s we saw similar market crashes around the world and the fundamentals of those situations in Mexico, Japan, and the rest were the same and even exacerbated by the lack of the gold standard which leaves the value of money completely fluid and subjective.

But the thing to note is that in all of these cases, there was no such thing as a complete crash. People did not suddenly revert back to agrarian societies and bartering. No, the market simply reverted back to what it was a little before the bubble started and got back on track.

The really, really scary part about all this is that there is not an economy out there today, that I’m aware of, that has a monetary unit based on any objective connection to actual wealth. In essence, we have been living in a bubble since we divorced ourselves from the gold standard and because of that it is entirely possible that markets will collapse all the way down to the point where barter is the only feasible method of trade. Again, I would cite post-WWII Germany.

World leaders today look around keen to catch bubbles before they get too big or before they burst. They’re engaged in a juggling act because they want their cake and eat it, too. They want the boom and apparent wealth of the bubble, but they do not want the crash.

I do not mean to turn this into a diatribe about the fundamental weakness of monetary systems that lack an objective connection to actual capital, but that is core to why Capitalist markets have appeared to go through periodic failures over time.

It’s not that bubble markets are not possible in Capitalist systems. Bubbles are absolutely possible and even so likely as to be considered inevitable in Capitalist systems. But they are not a necessary aspect of Capitalist systems such as specific failures are.

If everyone lived in cages, there would be no risk that anyone would steal another’s property. But who wants to live in a cage? So, we live free and someone just might steal something someday and all we can do is address that when it happens. It does not mean we should live in cages.

The same is true about Capitalist systems. Bubbles might happen and they will burst, but who wants to live in a system where bubbles can’t happen? That would have to be a non-monetary, non-Capitalist system and who wants that?

Bursting bubbles are just the market correcting itself. They are specifically tragic events because people lose so much, but generally a very good and healthy thing for the system to go through.

We should actually be more afraid of the fact that our leaders are doing so much to prevent bubbles from bursting because the longer the market goes without resetting, the bigger the bubble gets and the more tenuous it becomes and the more catastrophic the failure will be when it does.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

Distribution of Wealth in Capitalist Societies

One of the biggest, most pervasive complaints about Capitalism is that it results in an uneven distribution of wealth.

While the claim is certainly borne out by the facts, it is not something worthy of complaint any more than we should complain that the gravitational constant is just so naggingly constant.

Fact of Reality Number 1: Not all men are created equal.
When our good friend Tommy Jefferson said that all men are created equal he didn’t mean it the way that I mean it. He meant it on a very basic, fundamental level and I mean it on a very specific, individual level. He and I are in profound agreement that all men are men and in that way they are equal. I have no doubt that he would agree that not all men are the same.

So, face it: Not everyone is just like everyone else. We’re individuals! And that’s a good thing.

Some people can do some things that other people cannot. Some people are smarter than others. Some people are stronger than others. And even then some people are smarter in some things than some other people and some people are stronger in some way than others.

Fact of Reality Number 2: Context is Ever-Important
Do you know what ‘gleeting’ is? Some people call it ‘snaking.’ It’s when you pool saliva under your tongue and then compress it with your tongue and direct the resulting pressure toward the front of your mouth. The result is a fine spray of saliva.

I have a cousin who was really good at it. He could hit with roughly 75% accuracy targets over 6 feet away. I watched him do this a lot on the bus ride home from school and was even the victim of these attacks on occasion.

Sadly, while I can gleet, I do not possess his skill in this.

Sadly for him, this is not a marketable skill and my cousin, to my knowledge, does not possess many highly-marketable skills.

If you consider my cousin and I without context, you would probably judge him as the superior individual. He is stronger and faster. He is well-muscled and of good humor. I, on the other hand, have a small, wiry frame and am often contentious in conversation.

But we are not without context. I am smarter than he is and though my muscles cannot provide me with direct protection from the elements, liberal application of my mental faculties has benefited me far more greatly than his strong arms have him.

Further, in the context of a market economy, my brain-power is far more profitable than a strong back. The same may not be said in a communist system. (I may have been left in the hills as an infant in ancient Sparta, actually. My mom seriously thought I was retarded, but as it turned out I just refused to touch cold floors with my bare skin.)

Fact of Reality Number 3: The amount of matter and energy in the Universe is limited
This is getting outside of my area of expertise, but the Law of Conservation of Matter and the Law of Conservation of Energy are indirectly important to economics but economists call it ‘scarcity.’

Not everyone can have the same number of BMWs. There just aren’t enough of them. Not everyone can have a money bin to swim around in like Scrooge McDuck because there’s just not that much money, land, or money bins.

Anything you can name, there really isn’t enough of it to go around equally.

If there are more Widgets than Sparkle-widgets then plain Widgets will be cheaper because they’re not so rare and more people can have them. This is the simple premise behind supply-side pricing.

This is how limited resources plays on the economy, too.

There are not unlimited hours in the day to work. Not everyone has the same great ideas or is even capable of coming up with the same great ideas in those limited hours in the day.

Conclusion: (Differences in individuals + Context of existence) * Scarcity = Inequality of Wealth
So, let’s take ten cave men. Each of them have 10 clams and they’re all sitting around trying to come up with ways to get more clams. There are only 100 clams out there and each one thinks that it would be ideal if they had all 100 of them.

Suddenly, Caveman 1 has a brilliant idea and he invents fire by rubbing two sticks together. So, he sets up his business where he will start fires for people for 10 clams. No one in their right mind is going to give up all of their clams for a fire, so he winds up lowering his price to 1 clam and he gets some business from some of the other cavemen. He now has 12 clams and two of them have 9 and the rest of 10. Already inequality is surfacing.

Then, Caveman 2 invents the cigarette lighter. He won’t start the fire for you, but he’ll sell you a cigarette lighter for a clam. Eight of the other cavemen buy one. Now, Caveman 2 has 18 clams, one of them has 12, one of them has 8 and seven only have 9.

Rounds of invention go on and on and on and the distribution winds up looking something like this:

1 caveman has 51 clams
1 caveman has 10 clams
2 cavemen have 7 clams
3 cavemen have 6 clams
2 cavemen have 3 clams
1 caveman has 1 clam

Already you can hear the Marxists howling and we’ve only just become Cro-Magnon. 10% of the population is in possession of 51% of the wealth! 80% of the population is in possession of just 39% of the clams out there! “This is an outrage!” they say.

Now, let’s pretend that one of them finds a way to get more clam shells, namely he digs them out of the sand at the beach.

Suddenly the wealth distribution looks like this:

1 caveman has 51 clams
1 caveman has 10 clams
2 cavemen have 7 clams
3 cavemen have 6 clams
2 cavemen have 3 clams
1 caveman has 901 clam shells

Outrage! Outrage! Outrage!

But rather than call for an uprising of the proletariat just yet, we let our market experiment continue. Overnight, the amount of wealth in the system has increased by ten-fold.

I’m not even going to get into the macroeconomic impact of what would happen if you multiplied the amount of money in the system by 10 in the span of a day, but I think you can observe post-WWI Germany to get an idea. In our example this is not a multiplication of money, but a multiplication of the actual wealth, or capital, in the system.

See, money in itself is worthless, particularly for those of us unfortunate enough to live in a system that has abandoned objective medium of exchange.

Money is just a tool for exchange. A dollar corresponds to a unit of work and it’s not particular about what kind of work, either. It could be that you got a dollar for lifting a heavy rock or for coming up with a great idea for making fire. In our example, we use clam shells.

So, one particular caveman, Og, has 901 clam shells. What will he do with them? He’s not terribly bright, but he did get all these shells and now he can spend them any way that he wants.

He buys a Kristin-Dor (They’ve only invented two vowels and no diphthongs at this point in history.) grass skirt for his honey with 20 of his clams. He pays two other cavemen to make an addition onto his cave for 500 clams. And so things go.

As trading continues, quickly the wealth distribution winds up looking like this:

1 caveman has 490 clams
1 caveman has 120 clams
2 cavemen have 75 clams
2 cavemen have 70 clams
1 caveman has 35 clams
2 cavemen have 25 clams
1 caveman has 15 clam

What’s the problem here? Well, not only is the distribution of wealth pretty much as uneven has it was before, the difference between the wealthiest and the poorest cavemen is even greater! Before the richest caveman only had 50 clams more than the poorest. Now, he has 475 clams more!

When there were only 100 clams to be had, we might have said that anyone with less than 4 clams is poor; 4 clams is the poverty level and at that time, 30% of the population was living under the poverty level.

Now that the number of clam shells has increased we naturally change our standards for poverty because no one has less than 4 clams! It would be ridiculous to measure poverty like that! So, we say that anyone with less than 40 clams is poor. If wealth increased by tenfold, then it makes sense to just multiply the poverty level by ten, right? So, now 40% of the population lives under the poverty level.

Oh my goodness there is so much outrage by the champions of the little guy that I can’t even begin to describe it except by saying outrage more times. Outrage! Outrage! Outrage! Outrage! Outrage! Outrage! OUTRAAAAAAGE!!

This is where people start making the claim that the “rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer.”

That’s patently untrue. The poor actually got richer. The poorest caveman actually got richer by 150%, too. Can you imagine getting a 150% raise over the span of a year? Or four years? Can you imagine getting a 150% raise over the span of even 20 years without having to do any more work at all; just by showing up and meeting the minimum qualifications of your job?

That is unheard of. And yet folks protest it.

Another not-so-widely published fact about this is that I did not say that the caveman with the fewest clams at the beginning was the caveman with the fewest clams at the end. Reality also illustrates that mobility in Capitalist systems is a fast-moving, two-way street.

In our example, the poorest 10% was given a HUGE booster shot of wealth. He was the wealthiest 10% for a time. In reality, the chances are that he didn’t fall all the way back down the ladder either. He certainly could not maintain his growth in wealth because the way he obtained it was not sustainable, but there’s a chance that someone talked to him about sound investing and he was able to hang on to a bit of it and get a return that would keep him out of the lowest 10% bracket.

The reality of Capitalist systems is certainly that wealth gets concentrated in the hands of a relative few in the system, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s neither good nor bad; it’s just a fact of how things work.

History bears out the fundamentals of the example I painted for you, too. What’s more history also shows us that attempts to ‘even the playing field’ and ‘redistribute the wealth’ fail consistently.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)

Capitalism

It's very strange to me that the definition of Capitalism is one of the one of the most contended among political philosophers and economists. It seems to me that there are plenty of words and adjectives to describe most everything we conceive of today and the various systems of economics are no different.

It's a truth that no concept can be properly applied until it is named and it cannot be named until it is defined by what it subsumes and how it is distinct from all others. I think the general hubbub around what Capitalism really IS is a sign of why pure, free-market Capitalism is so rare, why it doesn't exist today on a grand scale, and why it is not part of common political discourse.

The fact is that the concept "Capitalism" has not been well-defined for many even by those who claim to be its proponents.

Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.

The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can violated only by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group many initiate the use of physical force against others. The only function of government, in such a society, is the task of protecting man's rights, i.e., the task of protecting him from physical force; the government acts as the agent of man's right of self-defense, and may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use; thus the government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of force under objective control.

Ayn Rand, "What is Capitalism" Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal, p. 19.

The fundamental right of any free society is actually the right to property. The right to your life, person, and liberty precede it philosophically, but in practice people tend to start by looking after what they call “mine” and from there come to realize that they may not own anything if they do not first own themselves.

Rather than get into the metaphysics of human beings and how we derive the fundamental basis of any successful society, freedom, from that, let’s simply note the only characteristic worthy of note in order to define Capitalism is that all property is privately owned.

That means that there is no such thing as “public property” in a Capitalist system. Any system that contains some notion of public property cannot be rightly named “Capitalist.”

Private ownership of property also means that there is no rightful claim by any other entity against property. Any system, government, society, or economy, which tolerates non-owners to make claims against the property of another, cannot be rightly described as Capitalist. Taxes are such a claim.

There are just two examples, public property and taxes, why America cannot claim to be a purely capitalist state and I think that’s why there is so much contention over the word “Capitalism.” No one of serious intellectual merit doubts that Capitalism is the virtue to any manner of statism’s vice, but few of that same group want to admit that they live in a state that isn’t capitalistic or that they support statist economic systems.

We have come to describe states like America as ‘mixed economies.’ That means that most of the property is privately owned, but there is some that is controlled by the government or ‘publicly owned.’ (I won’t get into why there is no such thing as public ownership here, but suffice it to say that it doesn’t exist.)

To layer befuddlement upon confusion, those who would describe Capitalists like me often say ‘Laissez-faire Capitalist.’ That term was clearly generated by the Department of Redundancy Department.

I have said all of this because a mastery of the concept of Capitalism and its constituent concepts including property, rights, and ownership, are requisite for discussing economics effectively.

One final note before I close: Fredrich Hayek once wrote:

Man has been able to develop that division of labor on which our civilization is based because he happened to stumble upon a method which made it possible. Had he not done so, he might still have developed some other, altogether difference, type of civilization, something like the “state” of the termite ants, or some other altogether unimaginable type.

Those two sentences illustrate perfectly why there is not a single Capitalistic society in existence today and why most of those who claim to support Capitalism will continue to fall short of the goal of instituting a Capitalist society. Capitalism is no mere accident; it is the only system of interactions appropriate for human beings as human beings. There is no other system that is both moral and sustainable. All others, including mixed economies, will eventually suffer from wholesale, catastrophic failures.

Next up: Distribution of Wealth in Capitalist Societies

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

The Commanding Heights

On the recommendation of my favorite Starbuck's Barista, I ordered a series of videos by PBS from Netflix. The series is called Commanding Heights and there are three parts, The Battle for Ideas, New Rules of the Game, and The Agony of Reform.

Each part is two hours long and I've watched the first two.

The Battle for Ideas
This is a pretty good introduction to the history behind Austrian, or free market, economics. It doesn't get into details about what free market economics IS exactly, but it tells you who the major players were. It also pits free-market Capitalism (as if there is another kind) whose major proponent of the time was Frederich Hayek, and planned-market Capitalism as expounded by Maynard Keynes.

The fun part about the movie is that it gives us the historical evidence for the power and prosperity of free market systems.

For all intents and purposes the movie dismisses, rightly so, Communism/Socialism/Fascism as absurd, contradictory economic systems found for failure. Again, it never gets into what these systems really are or why they fail exactly.

Keynesian and Austrian Free-market economics are distinct from one another in that the former is a proponent of planned market economies, while the other advocates a full separation of economy and state. (I have no doubt that apologists and so-called 'centrists' exist in either camp.)

The Depression was a classic market bubble. To try to fix it, FDR stepped in and poured salt on the wound. (Un)fortunately, WWII started up and everyone was distracted for a little bit and the government spending in the economy for the production of weapons (and it's encouragement of inflation) helped everything along.

After the war the economy continued it's upward arc but started its inevitable slow-down which it continued until the "stagflation" of 70's and the economic crisis of the 80's. We thank pretty much every president between FDR and Jimmy Carter for that whole mess. Over in England, they look to the Labour Party for the idiotic economic policies that lead to state-run industries like coal.

I especially like dissing Jimmy Carter because he's an addled, old fool. I also like dissing the Labour Party because, as I understand it, they're socialists.

Anyway, Ronald Regan came along and adopted a more free market stance and the economy boomed. Meanwhile, over in England Margaret Thatcher, whom I think I would like quite a bit, was doing the same and everything was lots of fun. Well, not everything and I'll get to that in a minute.

Then, there was Bush I and Clinton x2 and Bush II. Both discs basically talk about how Clinton was a liar about his position on NAFTA. (Clinton? Lie? NO!) It also talks about how Clinton's first term was all about the budget and his second term was all about trade and starting a recession.

This first disc was a VERY high-level introduction to the history of free-market economics and I would recommend it to those who don't really care to learn much about economics, but want to know what the fuss is about.

It's major weakness is the fact that it does not identify the principles behind each market theory. I know the movie is 2 hours long as it stands, but more detail is needed for those with a true interest in economics.

The New Rules of the Game
The second disc is about globalism -- kind of. This disc focuses very much on recent history, starting with the end of Bush I's term and focuses heavily on the economy under Clinton. There isn't a lot of information on Bush II's United States of 'Merica, probably because it's still so new and steamy.

This second part is both the natural progression of thinking from the first and an apology for any support the series seemed to give for advocating free markets.

I give Part I four stars and Part II two stars and with that I will close. The next post I’ll write is about Capitalism, Failure, and Mixed Economies.

While I would recommend Part I to people with some interest in these issues, I would not recommend the second part to anyone but practiced thinkers in the fields of economics, political philosophy, and history. The second part contains a dangerous mix of contradictory ideas and premises none of which are stated very explicitly.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2004

The Song that Beats Traffic

This morning on my way to work, I sat for 15 minutes at a standstill in traffic in the rain. Did I mind? Nope.

Why?

Because I just got a CD with this song on it. I just turned it way up and got my groove on to the soulful voice of Miss Etta James.

I Just Want to Make Love to You

I don't want you
To be no slave
I don't want you
To work all day
But I want you, to be true
And I just wanna make love to you
Love to you
ooooo ooooo
Love to you

All I want to do is
Wash your clothes
I don't want to keep
you indoors
There is nothing for you to do
But keep me making love to you
Love to you
oooooo ooooo
Love to you

And I can tell by the way you, walk that walk
I can hear by the way you, talk that talk
And I can know by the way you, treat your girl
That I can give you all the lovin' in the whole wide world

ooooo all I wanna do is make your bread
Just to make sure
You're well fed
I dont want you
Sad and blue
And I just wanna make love to you
Love to you
oooooo ooooo
Love to you
ooooo

And I can tell by the way you, walk that walk
And I can hear by the way you, talk that talk
And I can know by the way you, treat your girl
That I can give you all lovin' in whole wide world

ooo all I wanna do, all I wanna do is
cook your bread
Just to make sure
you're well fed
I dont want you
Sad and blue
And I just wanna make, love to you
Love to you
ooooo yeah
Love to you
oooo
Love to you

Go buy that song now.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:01 AM | Comments (1)

November 11, 2004

11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

Hats off to those who've had the courage to voice their self-interest in freedom by action.

Thank you!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:00 AM | Comments (5)

November 10, 2004

Holy Cow!

Chris Davis is back!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:28 PM | Comments (0)

No Surprises at WUOG

It doesn't surprise me in the least that people who like Chris Tucker are even more idiotic than Chris Tucker.

But the real question is how MUCH more idiotic can they be? Let's just watch, shall we?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:30 AM | Comments (1)

November 09, 2004

My Social Stock is Climbing

I got some email this morning from the "Affair Community" inviting me to join the "Safe Sexual Affair Club." As you can imagine, it's very exclusive.

I will try not to forget who my friends were on my way up the ladder, but I'll see y'all when you get to the east side to claim your bigger piece of the pie.

*ahem*

Pie.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:15 AM | Comments (4)

November 08, 2004

CEO Available

So, I would like to take the job of CEO for a tiny, distressed, little company and fix it.

I almost have an MBA and I require relatively little money for the task. (Other terms and conditions apply.)

Let me know.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:35 PM | Comments (3)

Buy Stuff NOW.

I made a new Cafe Press Banner for myself:

Buy Stuff From Me!

So, buy stuff already.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)

Republicans Make Me Sick

Yes, I voted for George Bush, but Republicans really make me sick lots of the time.

Case in point: I just heard Georgia's soon-to-be, new, Republican Speaker of the House, Glenn Richardson, obviously emboldened by the 78% popular endorsement of Georgia's state constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage, say that "marriage by any name is between a man and a woman" and that civil unions are "out of the question."

Who the f!bomb are these people to say what I will and will not do with my stuff?

Straight folks! Wake up! This applies to you, too!

The government is not concerned with your romantic affiliations.
The government is not concerned about whether or not you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior.
The government is not concerned with who yanks your crank.

What the government IS concerned with is your property and who is allowed to do what with it.

Marriage, from the government's perspective, is NOTHING more than short-hand for a very complex contractual relationship between you and someone else and its impact on your respective property.

That's right! As unromantic and callous as it sounds, marriage is just a contract. Gay men can marry gay women at any moment and the government of the state of Georgia will honor and defend your respective rights in that contractual relationship. But if parties of that agreement are of the same sex, the state will not.

How is that fair to ANYONE?

Try this one on for size, my hetero-readers: As a gay man, I might marry a lesbian. Together, the state will afford us benefits and all kinds of niceties. My lesbian wife can then have an affair with ladies and I can go romp with the men-folk.

Under ordinary circumstances infidelity is grounds for divorce. Given that we are both professed homosexuals, however, does it not stand to reason that infidelity is even expected given that we are not inclined to consummate our marriage physically and that is well known by all upon formation of the union?

Does that or does it not fundamentally alter the 'institution' of marriage?

Only if you think it's more than a contractual relationship about property.

But Republicans prefer to delude themselves into thinking that marriage is "a fundamental building block of our society" and that gay marriage will "undermine the very foundation of western civilization."

Pardon me, ladies and gentlemen, but that is complete bullsh!t. Marriage is not a fundamental biulding block of our society. Gay marriage will not invalidate heterosexual marriage nor will it desanctify those so-called holy unions.

There is no rational argument against allowing gay people to enter into the same sorts of contractual arrangements as heterosexual people.

The only argument that could be made in opposition to state-recognized gay marriage is that the state should not recognize marriage as a contract different from any other regardless of what kinds or amounts of people form those contracts. I even think that there are terms of the marriage contract, particularly those regarding mutual ownership of property, that are not rationally defensible.

But so long as the state is in the business of recognizing marriages, there is no reason gays should not be allowed to join the fun.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:34 PM | Comments (2)

Running... Running... Running...

I am a little bit of a runner. I've never done a marathon before, but I have run three half-marathons and I'm about to run my fourth.

My running buddy, Sibby, talked me into doing the Atlanta Half-marathon on Thanksgiving. The problem is that we haven't been training for it. We've been running about 20 miles A MONTH for the past 6 months and now we're doing a half.

So, of course, we're going to kill ourselves by cramming in as many miles as we can by then. Here's our schedule:

Oct 31 - 6 miles - 1:01:--
November 2 - 3 miles - Check!
November 3 - 6 miles - Check! - 1:02:--
November 7 - 8 miles - Check! - 1:20:06
November 8 - 3 miles - Check! - 26:06
November 9 - 3 miles - Too cold!
November 10 - 6 miles - Check! - 59:07
November 14 - 10 miles
November 16 - 3 miles
November 17 - 6 miles
November 18 - 3 miles
November 21 - 8 miles
November 23 - 3 miles
November 25 - 13.2 miles.

She's willing to put us through this, but I still haven't talked Sibby into running ONE full marathon. Can you believe it?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:55 PM | Comments (1)

More on Suicide

The news is full of suicide today:

CNN: 'Suicide' theory over train crash

LONDON, England -- Police investigating a train crash in southern England in which seven people died are focusing on a theory that a driver parked a car on the rails in an attempt to commit suicide.

I think it needs to be said: Suicide is not a good answer for pretty much anything that you might encounter in your life.

Is it worthwhile to blow yourself up to kill a few Jews? No.
Is it worthwhile to shoot yourself to protest the presidential election? No.
Is it worthwhile to drink poison because this ice-cream is so good that you can't live when life is never going to be this good again? Unlikely.

The problem with this scene is that the man parked his car on the train tracks to commit suicide. It would have been easier, less costly, and other people probably would not have died, if he had just gotten out of the car. He still would have died but it would have been less of a disaster for the rest of us.

He ruined a train. He ruined several other people. He ruined the car. He ruined himself.

There are better ways to commit suicide, people! What happened to the days when folks would just stick their heads in the oven or leave their car running in the garage?

Nooo... people have to get all dramatic about it.

Mark my words: This is the influence of cable television.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:34 AM | Comments (0)

How Suicide is Not Effective Protest

CNN: Suicide suspected at WTC site

NEW YORK (AP) -- A 25-year-old from Georgia who was distraught over President Bush's re-election apparently killed himself at ground zero.

Andrew Veal's body was found Saturday morning inside the off-limits area of the former World Trade Center site, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

A shotgun was found nearby, but no suicide note was found, Coleman said.

So, this guy hates George W. Bush so much that he drove some 14 hours or so to the site of America's most devastating terrorist attack and killed himself in an effort to say to the world, "I hate George Bush so much right now!!"

First of all, driving to New York to protest? I don't think so. If I'm going to protest something I really don't think I'm going to leave my yard, let alone the state. Maybe that's just me, a blogger with an armchair.

Second of all, how is the World Trade Center a good place to protest Dubby? I mean, isn't that more like a statement of sorrow over our loss after the terrorist attack? Like he can't bear to live after such a loss for which justice has yet to be completely served?

Third, and maybe most importantly, suicide? You don't kill yourself to protest something, yo. You kill OTHER people to protest what they're doing. The whole point of protest is to stop or slow people from doing what you don't like. If you kill yourself, you're really just getting out of the way. Not effective protest.

So, to the world: If you are upset about Dubby being president again, don't kill yourself in protest. You can kill yourself if you want, I don't care, but just know that it is not an effective protest because when it's all over, Dubby will still be president and you will be dead. There is no way that adds up to something good for you.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2004

Overheard in Chat

Buddy: Oh, did you hear about the english play that was playing in Athens this weekend? Shopping and Fucking?

Flibby: No.

Flibby: Because I'm not like that.

Buddy: It's about drugs and gay sex and dysfunctional relationships in London.

Flibby: They have lots of all those things in London, though.

Flibby: They're very close to Amsterdam.

Buddy: It features actual naked "simulations" of gay sex on stage.

Buddy: The performances this weekend were sold out.

Flibby: a "simulation" of gay sex?

Buddy: Like, they stopped short of penetration, since that would be illegal on stage.

Buddy: But they made it look like there was penetration.

Flibby: That's gay sex as far as I'm concerned.

Flibby: Why is that illegal on stage?

Buddy: I'm not sure why, but that's what somebody said.

Flibby: Hi, you bought tickets to a play called Shopping and Fucking.

Flibby: Also, rumor has it that it's about gay sex.

Flibby: I think they should be obliged to have real gay sex because of that.

Flibby: It's false advertising if they don't.

Buddy: hahaha

Buddy: And they should shop too.

Flibby: Yes. I need to see money changing hands in return for goods and/or services.

Buddy: I heard that they wanted to be a little modest, so they kept their shirts on while they simulated the intercourse.

Flibby: That's annoying to me.

Flibby: Like people who want to keep on their socks.

Flibby: I see no room for modesty in gay sex.

Buddy: If I were the director, I think I would have objected.

Flibby: Just scream, "GAAAAYYYY SSSEEEEEXXXXX!!!!"

Flibby: "Get to work!"

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:07 PM | Comments (1)

Let's Talk About: Boundaries

Here is an example of acceptable work conversation:

Flibby: Hello, coworker! How was your weekend?

Coworker: Dude! It was awesome! I watched the football game and we won! Yay!

Flibby: Yay!

Coworker: Yay!

See? Acceptable. Here is a sampling of the sort of conversations I have had with a certain coworker of mine.

Coworker: Hi, Flibby. *sigh*

Flibby: Hi, Coworker! How was your weekend?

Coworker: Well, I got a perforated bowel.

Flibby: Um.

Coworker: Yeah. I've been having trouble in the bathroom. You know, lots of gas and dia --

I'll stop there because I think you can see where that conversation ran afoul of convention. Here's another:

Coworker: Hi, Flibby. *sigh*

Flibby: Hi, Coworker! How was your weekend?

Coworker: Well, I got ready for my colonoscopy.

Imagine my horror.

And we talked about the colonoscopy and the bathroom problems several times. I have a rule that I do not talk about what happens to my butthole at work. Call me puritanical. I don't care. It's a rule.

There's a good chance that all kinds of horrid things will happen to my butthole in the context of receiving medical care, but I vow that my coworkers will not be privy to them.

YOU ALL, readers of my blog, may hear about them, but that's just what you get for coming here. My coworkers, though, are safe... unless they read my blog.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:49 PM | Comments (0)

And Now for Some Sad News

CNN: Wisconsin district to teach more than evolution

GRANTSBURG, Wisconsin (AP) -- School officials have revised the science curriculum to allow the teaching of creationism, prompting an outcry from more than 300 educators who urged that the decision be reversed.

Members of Grantsburg's school board believed that a state law governing the teaching of evolution was too restrictive. The science curriculum "should not be totally inclusive of just one scientific theory," said Joni Burgin, superintendent of the district of 1,000 students in northwest Wisconsin.

[...]

There have been scattered efforts around the nation for other school boards to adopt similar measures. Last month the Dover Area School Board in Pennsylvania voted to require the teaching of alternative theories to evolution, including "intelligent design" -- the idea that life is too complex to have developed without a creator.

First of all, let me comment on the phrase "totally inclusive of just one scientific theory." So, are they saying that the curriculum should contain only parts of any given theory?

I doubt that teachers are teaching just one scientific theory in their classes. What about relativity? What about electormagnetism? In my highschool, we even discussed a little bit of quantum theory.

The real key to this is the word "scientific." Religion is not scientific. Faith is not scientific. Creationism is not scientific.

There should be no objection to teachers teaching all manner of scientific material to students, but that does not subsume ideas derived from mythology, emotion, or conjecture.

Science is rigorous in its standards and clearly defines what may and may not be called a theory. Creationism is not a theory; it's a fairy tale.

It is incredible to me that we are still having this debate here in the year 2004 and to the extent that we are seriously debating this matter is the extent to which our children will be ill-equipped to confront the facts of reality as they grow up believing the wanting is sufficient foundation for truth and is even stronger than the facts themselves for providing insight into life in reality.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:34 PM | Comments (3)

One Down!

I just found out that Sam Slowchild-Atplay is leaving next month. It doesn't sound like he was fired as I had hoped, but as long as he's not here, I'm fine with that.

WOOHOO!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

Mission Six-Pack Called Off Due to Inclement Weather

Or maybe just my total slackassitude about it. Let's not quibble over semantics, ok?

Anyway, the six-pack mission is an utter failure. I will let you know if it starts up again --

I should I shouldn't say "again" since I never actually did any crunches. Well, I did do crunches on day 1, but I didn't make it to day 2, so I think day one can be safely considered forgettable.

So, as soon as I have a six-pack THEN we'll talk about Mission Six-Pack. Ok?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Get Flibby-ware!

I set up a Cafe Press Store for Flibbertigibbet Branded products!

Support This Site

Buy today!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:44 AM | Comments (3)

November 06, 2004

Fiddle, Fiddle, Fiddle

Updated my stylesheets tonight and added a few graphics.

Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see the new Flibbertigibbet logo!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:52 PM | Comments (1)

November 05, 2004

Overheard in Chat

Flibby: Why do plans to de-homosexualize folks start with gathering up a bunch of homosexuals and putting them all together? Don't they know that's exactly how plans for big, gay orgies start? Or maybe that's how they trick them into showing up... hm....

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:16 PM | Comments (0)

This is the Look of Revulsion

I just watched a movie called Audition because it contains number 11 on Bravo's top 100 scariest movie moments.

I have a fairly strong stomach. I can look at blood and guts. I could even handle blood in guts. But do you know what makes me cringe?

Someone eating vomit.

I really can't stomach watching someone eating vomit, even when it's pretend vomit. Then, I watched the special features and learned that the scene to which I refer was shot with real vomit.

Don't worry. That guy isn't eating his OWN vomit. Mm hm!

P.S. The guy eating vomit has no feet or tongue, he's missing three fingers and he lives in a bag.

Then, there is an extended torture scene involving acupuncture needles and a little bit of amputation.

So, ponder these things before watching this film because it's not so much scary as it is horrifying and revolting.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:49 PM | Comments (1)

November 04, 2004

Late Halloween Post

Here are some pictures forwarded to me by Precious. I'm just now getting around to posting them for you. Here you go!


Elvis and Cameltoe out on the town.


How can they be so chilly when I'm so hot and bothered? RAWR! SEXY!


Don't be dumb; get you some.


Blueberry Poptart.


Something about this photo says "child molester" to me.


Tami here is a ball of pure sexual energy.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:26 PM | Comments (1)

November 03, 2004

Divisive? Good.

Yesterday, the radio guy was interviewing some foreigners to get their thoughts on the election. An Austrian lady said that she would vote for Kerry so that we would have a president who has not polarized the world so clearly into Pro-Americans and Anti-Americans.

Have you ever noticed how the really good and really bad things in life polarize folks? Lost in Translation is a good example. Lots of people hate it. Lots of people love it. Clearly, it's either really good or really bad. Given that it sucked, we should all agree that it was really bad.

America is that way. America is really, really good. It's not George Bush people hate, they just hate how he has brought up the fact that America is so good. Before, the Anti-Americans were content to grumble about it and work on their subversive plots to bring it down. But Dubby put the spotlight on them and now they're upset.

People around the world were already Pro- or Anti-American, they just weren't saying so.

I think it's good that this has come up and people are so divided. Now if only we could get all the Anti-Americans to move to North Korea so we can bomb them all at once.

I'm actually kind of pissed that people aren't MORE divided on this matter. I think George Bush is slacking a bit and the lack of polarity is telling on the matter.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:32 PM | Comments (0)

'Hate' is Such a Strong Word

I was talking to a Liberal friend of mine tonight and he asked me what I made of the election results. I told him that though I am no fan of George Bush, I was not displeased that Kerry lost.

I have to put things that way lest someone mistake me for a supporter of the Republican Party and all that it has in store for the American people. It is sufficient at the moment to say that I do not.

My friend pointed out that George Bush hates me. In his words, our president hates me because I am the member of a minority, that sinful lower 10% (ish) of the population that is homosexual. It cannot be denied.

Another friend of mine said that she does not think Bush hates me as a homosexual. I smiled grimly to that and said, "I have no doubt that he is one of those hypocritical Christians without the strength of his convictions; his claim is that he hates the sin not the sinner." I make no such distinction as the sin does not exist without the sinner. George Bush does hate me because I'm gay whether he admits it or not.

But my being gay is not something George Bush or any soft-headed, right-wing mystic can take from me. If Bush were a white supremacist, he could not take the color from racial minorities. If he were someone who hates fat people, wheel chairs, or ben gay, he could not make people thin, walk, or young again.

Something that can be taken from me is my money, my property, my freedom to move and speak my mind.

In the end, George Bush will likely take some of each of those things from me, indeed he already has with things like medicare legislation, campaign finance reform, and even the Patriot Act.

I did not vote for John Kerry though. When it comes to hating me, John Kerry hates me and many others for another reason. In the most essential ways, John Kerry hates me for the same reason George Bush hates me, but on the surface there is some nuance to grasp. John Kerry hates me for my success.

When my friend told me that George Bush hates me as a minority, I told him that John Kerry hates a minority, too. He hates the rich. He hates the independent. He hates me, too.

I am a person not destined for success. I am a person who has chosen success. I am a person who has chosen happiness. I am a person who has chosen freedom. And John Kerry explicitly hates me for that.

How do I know this? Because John Kerry is a Liberal, whether he will admit it or not. But he has stated explicitly how much he thinks the "rich" should be punished for being rich and how they owe something to those who can't or won't do for themselves. Kerry has stated that he doesn't think that the defense of our freedom is worthwhile unless other countries agree to it.

John Kerry is of the political breed that venerates minorities for the fact that they are so woefully downtrodden. I'm gay, so John Kerry wants to love me because I have to put up with people yelling silly things from their cars when they see me holding hands with a date. John Kerry thinks it's an outrageous thing that three of every four of my fellow Georgians think I am unworthy of a union recognized by the state. (Sometimes Kerry agrees, but let's not digress.)

But John Kerry hates me because for reasons that are unclear to him and those who support him; I am successful. "The man" can't hold me down.

There are others like me. Some of them are some kind of minority or another. The kind that are most loathed by Kerry are the rich. In that we are all singular individuals we are each our own minority.

Nevermind that without the "rich" there is no poor. Nevermind that apart from people who get paid by the government for failure, laziness, and general worthlessness, we all have to earn what we own. Nevermind the fact that what we earn is ours and not, as Liberals often believe, everyone else's.

To add insult to injury, I'm not the sort of person who can be anything else but successful. My accomplishments are as certain to me as Newton's apple falling to the ground because they come from my mind and my hands as a result of who I am. My very identity as an individual and the success it brings is, for my intents and purposes, axiomatic.

John Kerry hates me for what I am and if we look back, George Bush is the same. There is so little difference between the two that it is hardly worth the effort to make a distinction. Unfortunately, a distinction is to be made and I voted for George Bush.

Just don't tell me George Bush hates me. I know all about it.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:17 PM | Comments (2)

Raise the Roof at Thomas Jefferson's Party

So, ol' Dubby won a popular and electoral majority. Great.

One of the questions put before the nation now is what is to become of the Democratic party? After such a resounding defeat, what can the party learn in order to become a dominant force in American politics again.

I have a few ideas.

Abandon Communism
It's been done. We all know it doesn't work even in small measures. The Republican Party beats Democrats here because of the lip service they pay to Capitalism.

Don't let's be fooled by the Republicans. Let's actually have some real Capitalists in politics! If the Democrats made that move, many of the off-chart voters such as myself would have been hard-pressed to find a reason to vote for Dubby.

Do Not Question the Virtue of America, the Land of the Free
Democrats know all about some social freedoms. The Democratic party is full of pot-heads, orgy-goers, abortionists, and devil-wirshippers. We all know it. Now, how can you make that a virtue in the eyes of the far right? Well, you can't. But what about the near right? Get loud about it.

It is as much my RIGHT to engage in "wang tag" as it is to ride the baloney pony to tuna town. And if you don't back up out of my business I'm about to get real up in your grill.

That's the attitude the Democratic party needs. Do not apologize for being right. Do not apologize for being the best. AND DO NOT APOLOGIZE FOR LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!!

But it doesn't stop there; it's not just other Americans trying to tame the natural heathenry of Americans.

Terrorists hate our freaky ways and for that they should be bombed.

The Democratic party has a terrible mix of ideas right now. That's why they lose. They need to pick the things they have that are better than the Republicans and throw away the rest.

In practice, this will result in a major schism in the Republican party between the near and far right. The "near right" is more predisposed to the classical liberal ideas of individual freedom minus the religious moralizing of the far right, but it comes at a price -- an understanding of basic microeconomics.

Surely the Democrats can afford to take a lesson from Adam Smith, von Mises, and Hayek. Maybe Madam T.H. Kerry can foot the bill.

Basically, the oldest party in the nation needs to get back to its roots and join the rest of us here in the real world.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:59 PM | Comments (0)

Behold! Nature's Glory!


http://www.planetdan.net/pics/misc/apes.jpg

Now you know what I say just before getting a hummer from one of my fellow orangutans.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:41 PM | Comments (0)

Two Steps Sideways, One Step Back

WSB 750: Georgia Backs Bush, Isakson, Gay Marriage Ban

ATLANTA (AP) Flooding the polls in what looked to be record numbers, Georgia voters picked President Bush, sent Republican Johnny Isakson to the Senate to replace maverick Democrat Zell Miller, and endorsed a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Now, the exact wording of the amendment I voted against read, "Shall the Constitution be amended so as to provide that this state shall recognize as marriage only the union of man and woman?"

I would swear to you that when I voted it actually said, "one man and one woman" but my protestation is the same on behalf of gays and polygamists alike.

When I express my disappointment over the state's approval of Amendment 1, at least one has remarked, "You can't lose what you never had."

Point of fact, however, it wasn't banned before. Polygamy and gay marriage were both things that were not expressly forbidden by and constitutionally defensible law. Technically, speaking they were permitted.

Now, however, our state constitution will forbid gay marriage.

WSAV.com: Putting "Amendment 1" to the Truth Test

Here what your ballot says: Shall the Constitution be amended so as to provide that this state shall recognize as marriage only the union of man and woman?

But that is just Section (a) of the amendment. What you don’t see is Section (b), which does a lot more than just define marriage.

Section (b) No union between persons of the same sex shall be recognized by this state as entitled to the benefits of marriage. This state shall not give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other state or jurisdiction respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other state or jurisdiction. The courts of this state shall have no jurisdiction to grant a divorce or separate maintenance with respect to any such relationship or otherwise to consider or rule on any of the parties´ respective rights arising as a result of or in connection with such relationship.

Basically Section (b) says any same sex unions created in other states and the rights that come with them will not be recognized in Georgia. It goes further to restrict Georgia courts from considering or ruling on disputes that come up in those same sex relationships.

It is very sad to me that Americans seem to have forgotten that freedom is the default here. It is the fundamental principle that our government was set forth to protect and ensure for ourselves as citizens. Nevertheless, here we go, voting ourselves into slavery; ELECTING to thwart freedom.

Gays getting married has nothing to do with heterosexuals. Nothing at all.

The word "marriage" does not include a description of what two entities are united. Animal husbandry is an appropriate term because it means what it says. In terms of government, marriage is an agreement, a contract, between individuals regarding their property.

But there are Americans who seem to think that it is important that some people are not allowed to mix their property in this way. Wise or no, what business is it of theirs if they have no intention of exercising that freedom?

November 2, 2004 is a grim day in history. What with Ohio outstanding, I can only hope it doesn't get worse, but with people voting the way they do, I can't say America deserves any better.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2004

Overheard on Instant Message

Friend: I am at work, and my eyeballs are about to fall out of my head.

Flibby: Do you have the appropriate first aid equipment there to deal with that?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:38 PM | Comments (1)

Countdown!

Just 42 days left until my last MBA class.

That's about 9 more class sessions.

5 lectures. 2 tests. 2 presentations.

So close.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:05 PM | Comments (1)