Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dumbass Idea of the Week: Fake Cancer Fraud Edition

What do you do when you come to the realization that you need a shit load of money to fund your dream wedding and a honeymoon to the Caribbean?  You fake cancer of course!

Jessica Vega, 25, of New York lied about having cancer and used the money donated to her cause to pay for her wedding and a fairly baller honeymoon.  Somehow she was caught, and she was ordered to pay back all the money she scammed from people, roughly $13,000.

The funny part is that she's now divorced.  I can just see the conversation "so, hunny, where'd you get all the cash?"

"Oh, I told a bunch of people that I have cancer, and I conned them into giving me money."

I can imagine that her husband at the time was likely very much alerted to the prospect that he could not trust his darling wife.  Go figure.

Oh well I guess.  Anything for the perfect story-book wedding, right?


Friday, May 25, 2012

Guest Post: Here's the Deal

This is not making fun of him.  We both love this character.
This was submitted by my close personal IRL friend, the anonymous who refers to me as "Jackie."  Enjoy!

------------------------

We are at a critical crossroads both in this country and as a species. The choices we make for this world in the next 30 years is going to set the stage for either our survival or our demise. Within 30 years, we have to find a viable alternative to fossil fuels, find a real solution to overpopulation, figure out a way to limit the drain humans are on the resources of Earth, and lay the groundwork for real deal space exploration. We either do these things, or humanity suffers immensely.

Unfortunately, we are being blinded by petty things to see the truth. Money, greed, power, control, war, famine, etc are purely human constructs. Real sobering thoughts I have on a daily basis include such things as how did the first modern machines and the first modern tools come into existence? They were built by hand, and then those crude machines built better machines, and those machines built better machines.

Do some research on the Ford River Rouge plant and you will get a snippet of what I am talking about. Raw iron pellets came in the loading dock, and with the exception of the tires, somehow they built a car out of the raw components. Every screw, fastener, knob, axle, wheel, body panel, suspension and drive train component was created on site. That is an absolutely staggering amount of engineering and display of human ingenuity.

I used to laugh when guys like Jimmy Kimmel would feature a little survey from "people on the street" wherein they would ask a random person a ridiculously easy question such as "Who is the vice president?" or where they wanted to end the "sufferage of women" and only one person knew what it meant. I find this is more and more becoming our reality... people just not paying attention to anything. People are being distracted by all the meaningless things.

What good is it for us to participate at our fullest capacity as individuals in a society where people have no clue why Neil Armstrong is famous... but in the same breath can name every winner of American Idol and Survivor. What is really scary is that same stupid son of a bitch who doesn't know who Neil Armstrong is has the same absolute power as I do over our laws and elected officials.

At the end of the day, we are all just stuck on this floating little orb. We our losing our ability to think for ourselves and are becoming closer and closer to just being cogs in those crude machines I think about. The most important skill in a human's arsenal is the ability to learn, and we as a people are losing our grip on that.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

In Re Silverfiddle: No Age Limits in Idiocy

These are our current leaders.  Can you guess the time
period in which this photo was taken?  Hint: before I
was born.
I like Western Hero.  Silverfiddle writes some very provocative pieces, and he has incited inspiration in me on more than one occasion.  In his article from yesterday, "Young People Don't Know Anything" Silver made some good points, but I found myself indignantly disagreeing moreso than being in accord with his positions.

First of all, I take a serious issue with the accusation that much of today's youth graduate from college with "worthless degrees."  Now, I know what he has in mind: he's probably thinking of people that get degrees in communications, or women's studies (sorry ladies).  But I would be willing to bet anything that 95% of college students who obtain bachelors degrees take a traditional course of study.

Silver, I've got a lot of friends that have gone and are currently going to college, and none of them majored in anything ridiculous.  One of my friends is a philosophy major, which is useless in terms of job marketability, but if financial gain is what you're using to determine the worth of a college degree then you've been hornswaggled by your generation.  Your generation keeps telling my generation that a degree is worthless unless it nabs you a big salary.

Now, one thing I will definitely agree with is that there is a heavy sense of entitlement generally with kids under the age of 20.  People around my age (28) don't seem to be shit heads so much, but I've not met everyone my age, so I can't be certain.

I do find some flaws in your logic, though.  For the sake of argument, lets say you represent your generation, and I represent my generation.  You say that it's your job to teach me because I don't know anything about anything.  I'm young, I'm passionate, and I want to change the world.

Why do I want to change the world?  Because the world is completely fucked up.  You know this.  I know this.  What's funny about that is that it's your generation that fucked everything up.  It wasn't young people that crashed the market.  It wasn't my generation that made everyone believe that living beyond our means was a good thing.  So I was a bit confused when you accused "young people" of being the ones who blew up the economy.

How old were the douchebags at AIG who used tax-payer money to give themselves bonuses?  My age?  I think not.  So tell me Silver, why should my generation pay any attention to the people who have fucked everything up?

Now I realize that there are "old" ideas that are universal and timeless, but don't assume that just because you've been around the block means that I've got to buy every idea that comes out of your mouth.

Here's the thing people: idiocy does not discriminate against age.  There are no limits.  The problem is that both groups--the young and the old--are filled with morons.  The young people think that all the old ideas are retarded and useless, and the old people think all the new, young ideas are retarded and useless.  Both groups believe that they have nothing to learn from each other.

The hard truth is that my generation has to accept that not all old ideas are bad.  There are truths that have stood the test of time, and innovation is not always a good thing.  My parents' and grandparents' generations need to accept that not all old ideas are good.  Humans are a progressive (lower-case p) species by nature.  We are always evolving.  To think that the "Greatest Generation" and the Baby Boomers are somehow the pinnacle of human evolution is pretty silly in my opinion.

So don't be afraid of new ideas.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dumbass Idea of the Week: Or is it?

A Texas man supposedly died in a strip club after getting several lap dances.  Robert White was 67, and after getting some booty dances he just croaked, apparently.

Well, he's a dumbass for putting his heart under such stress (if heart failure was indeed the cause of death).  But for some reason, I just can't help but think that this guy bit it pretty good considering the last thing he saw was  a pair of tits.

And the kicker?  He died before had to pay.  What a way to go.

So congratulations Robert, wherever you are.  You're the dumbass of the week . . .

. . . or is he???

Sunday, May 13, 2012

There Will be a Reckoning

"I am Gotham's reckoning."
(Line from The Dark Knight Rises final trailer)
What a pleasant title for a Sunday, right?  I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine a few days ago, and we revisited the subject of the concept of a Type 1 civilization, something that I wrote about in an article titled "Has Civilization Peaked."

We came to the conclusion that we're already starting to see the signs of humanity moving towards a type 1 civilization, those signs chiefly manifesting in the form of globalization.  Both he and I agreed that the only way we'll survive as a species is to become a type 1 civilization.  But what does that take?

For starters, it means that all of you actually have to be tolerant.  Yes, that means that you actually have to practice what you preach.  For a lot of you, freedom means that you're free to be a heterosexual Christian conservative who believes that we all must cede our reproductive rights to the government.  After all, the government knows what's best in terms of what to do with the babies growing in women's bellies, right?

Some of you think that tolerance means a huge crock of horseshit like affirmative action, or calling every white guy ever a racist.  It also means that it's totally acceptable to call theists morons, and we must all view Conservatives as the great enemy to human progress.  Also, tolerance apparently means that we're supposed to suspend reality just so other people can be happy.  Let's allow boys to be in the girl scouts, just because they have a serious psychological condition that causes gender confusion.

And these same people think that the debt system is still a good thing.  Apparently it's asinine to be fiscally responsible in your own home let alone imposing that standard on the government.  Sure, we should all live beyond our means.  Credit fixes the wage probelm. 

Despite the fact that government spending and debt in Europe has been astronomical for years, the solution to their problems, and ours, is clearly to continue on with the same practices that created the problem!  Yes!  Thank Christ we've got all of these super-enlightened liberals who clearly see the path to prosperity!

Well you're all wrong, and there will be a reckoning.  Your generation (my parents' generation) and the generation before you (my grandparents' generation) royally fucked up this country, let alone the planet.  America has become a festering shit hole that bears remarkable resemblance to ancient Rome at the height of its decadence.

"Jack, now you're sounding like an anti-American liberal!"  Well, sometimes the truth hurts, doesn't it?  Consider this: we live in a country where people can eat themselves to death.  Not only can they eat themselves to death, but there are people who capitalize on their gluttony.  There are people who weigh upwards and over 500 pounds.  They'll eat four pizzas in one sitting, meanwhile poor children in Africa are starving to death.

That fat piece of shit couldn't be bothered to spare one bite for those suffering children.  And it's not just the gluttony that's killing us, it's the overwhelming greed and lust for power that's bringing us down.  "Greed is good," Gordon Gecko said in Wallstreet, and although people watched and said to themselves "what a horrible imaginary place that must be," they didn't realize that it wasn't imaginary.

If God hates America, this would be near the top of the list
of reasons why.
There are no disinterested politicians.  They've made careers off of being reelected, and they've all got you snowed.  They've got you believing that they actually give a shit about hope and change, about making America great again.  Well, newsflash: they don't care.  They profit off of everything being broken.

So when will this reckoning come?  It will happen when my generation has its turn to take power.  Someday, men and women from my generation will start getting elected to Congress.  Someday, someone from my generation will be elected president.  Sure, there is no shortage of morons in my generation, but there's enough smart people around to fix everything you have fucked up.

We will right your wrongs.  We will fix the things that you fucked up.  We will change the world.  And many of you will sit in your chairs lamenting the "good old days," before your sons and daughters "let the world go to hell."  And you know what we'll do?  We'll laugh, because we know that you all were too blinded by your hatreds, prejudices, intolerance, and retarded ideas to realize that the world doesn't have to remain in this stinking pool of degredation that you've imposed upon it.

Your time is nearing its end, and when it's over, there will be a reckoning.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

History 101: The 1950's Misconception

Hopefully I can get you all on the road to rational, informed
discussion.
For our first History 101 topic, we're going to discuss the 1950's economic boom, and why I think it's silly that Democrats like to use it as proof that government spending works.  Let me preface this whole discussion by disclosing the fact that I hate economics, and I try to stay away from the subject as much as possible.

Anyway, whenever the subject of taxes comes up in discussion and debate, particularly increasing the marginal income tax rate on the "rich," I've noticed that the Democrats often bring up the marginal tax rates during the 1950's.  The richest Americans in the top bracket were taxed at or above 90% for the whole decade.  To be in the top bracket during the 50's meant that your annual income had to be $400,000 or greater.

The logical conclusion, as they see it, is that when the government taxes the rich heavily and spends that money, the economy benefits immensely.  Afterall, the 1950's is considered a boom period (for the most part), and the government did spend a lot of money.  There are two factors, however, that are overlooked.

Thing one is that what the money was spent on is not mentioned often (although to his credit, Jersey did mention this the other day).  The money was spent on projects that improved America's infrastructure: highway construction, grants for airports and the like.  So yeah, that was money well spent.  There is no argument against the notion that an improved infrastructure can spur economic growth.

But what is the government spending most of its money on these days?  Over 50% of the budget goes to entitlements.  Social welfare programs don't really spur growth, and they're not designed to spur growth.  They're designed to keep people afloat.  Sorry, but doling out a clothing stipend to some idiot who blows it all on a new pair of Jordans (yes, that does happen) is not the same as dropping money on building a sorely needed highway.

"But Jack, that's not all the money was spent on!  Eisenhower was committed to the continuation of a lot of the New Deal social welfare programs!"  Fortunately, that little factoid leads me to thing two.  Why were the marginal tax rates so high in the 50's?  Because Eisenhower believed in a balanced budget.  Taxes were so high because he believed that the government should actually be able to pay for what it's buying.

As Joe mentioned, we had budget deficits during World War II.  While true, those deficits did not necessarily lead to the prosperity of the 50's.  When the war ended, a lot of people who found work during WWII found themselves out of work again.  So it's not as if the WWII spending was the panacea to the depression.  In fact, the Federal Government was deeply concerned about inflation, so they adopted the seemingly crazy notion of keeping a balanced budget.

An excerpt from this article sums up quite succinctly the reason for our success during the 50's:
A commitment to classical budget principles was adopted by the Federal government in an attempt to reduce the size of the Federal budget, improve operating efficiency of departments, and to reduce waste. A reliance was put on private investment in the belief that economic growth would therefore take care of itself.
Lo and behold, that's what they did.  In 1958:
In fiscal year 1958, Eisenhower's budget of $73.3 billion sparked debate because it marked an increase of $2.8 billion over the previous fiscal year, despite analysts' predictions of a slight surplus. A Battle of the Budget ensued over the highest expenditure proposal in peacetime, with fears of an upcoming depression if spending continued at current levels.
That year, they had run a $12 billion deficit, and unemployment rose to 7.5%.   The budget had grown to the largest Federal Government expenditure during peacetime ever, ever.  And as the budget grew, growth slowed.  Why?

I don't know, to be honest.  But government spending does not automatically produce huge economic growth and/or prosperity.  Running deficits certainly has not helped us.  We've been running budget deficits ever since GWB took office, and what do we have to show for it?

"But Jack, that's because the money was spent on war!  It was spent on things that don't spur growth!"  Hmm, that argument seems familiar . . .

So there you have it.  It doesn't seem so cut and dry to me.  Perhaps I'm leaving something out?  All I know is that the logic doesn't seem to hold up.  If you read the article, the fear over budget deficits is not a new thing.  Eisenhower was just as concerned about inflation as many people are now, and many people feared that huge deficits would lead to a depression. 

Given that we've had high deficits for the last 12 years and have yet to see meaningful improvement, perhaps it's safe to say that they were on to something in the 1950's?

*Taken from data provided by the National Taxpayer's Union

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Coming Soon: History 101

Either tomorrow or Friday, depending on how lazy I am, I will start a new series on Christian Fearing God-Man entitled "History 101."

Drawing conclusions from history, comparing and contrasting the past and present, is a good thing.  As with anything, there's a downside to it.  People like to cherry pick which historical facts and truths they use in their arguments.

The basis for this is the whole budget thing.  Every Democrat seems to point to the 1950's as a time where Keynesian economics brought about an economic boom.  They use that particular era as some sort of proof that government spending equates to economic prosperity.

After doing some reading about the 1950's economic climate, I've come to the conclusion that many people are cherry picking, and that the 1950's is nearly incomparable to what we've got going on right now economically.

So this new series will be purposed to shed some light on historical references that people make.  It's not just for your benefit, but for mine as well.  I'm no Historian Saint, as I'm aware that I've cherry-picked, too.  So lets just take this as a way to keep me and my readers honest.

Tomorrow's article will be about the 1950's economy and why it doesn't relate to what's going on now.  So tomorrow, look for "History 101: The 1950's Misconception."

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dumbass Idea of the Week: Socialism when in Debt?

In a stroke of genius, the French people elected a socialist as their president.  Of course, I'm being sarcastic about the genius part.

The reason why I think it's stupid is because France is suffering massive debt, much along the lines of the whole Greek debt crisis.  So they think the best way to solve the debt problem is to elect a guy that is going to incur even more debt.

It's the law of nature isn't it?  It's just like how the best way to neutralize acid is to add more acid: incurring more debt is the best way to get out of debt!  It's amazing how wizardry and gorilla dust can solve all of our problems!!!