I Don’t Feel Like Writing

But these people do.  So go read their posts.

LissaKay on how socialism works.  Notice the guy at the top pays the same amount either way.

BillyMac has fun playing with John McCain’s tongue.  Strange fetish.

Why Libertarians and true conservatives don’t win elections.  Duh.

Seth Godin writes a post about me–too small to fail.  If I had a nickel…

Jen has some thoughts on Warren Buffet’s recent op-ed piece.  My big problem with it is that Warren Buffet has a huge financial interest in bailouts and market recoveries.  Do it because you think you should, not because he thinks you should.

An Anonymous Idiot is begging for more chicks with tattoos.

Just Sayin’ has some ideas on Money and Power.

Stolen bases= free tacos.  Bet on it!  Why can’t someone do this with sub-prime mortages?  What a great way to give everyone home ownership!

If you’re going to be a criminal anyway, don’t pay for the privelage.

We Interrupt This Race For Some Negativity

There’s no way I’d ever run for public office.  Ok, maybe I would just out of spite, but I’d never do it with any illusions about my electibility.  I seems political success is somehow tied to likability, which disqualifies me.  But just in case I do run, here’s a little head start for my opponents in case the campaign goes negative.

And if I get my way, it will go negative.  

I’ve taken a page out of Stephen Littau’s book and written a negative campaign against myself based on past blog posts.

Sadcox…he seems like a nice enough guy, but have you looked at where he stands on the issues?

Sadcox has as considered raising his own children based on recommendations of an aged and addled Rock Star.  Sadcox is in favor of deregulation of PIMPS and has counseled and encouraged unwed single mothers to break up marriages.  His gambling problem runs so deep that he’s wagered furniture on the results of a basketball game.

And what about education?  Sadcox has called some school administrators “turds”, and has referred to children who participate in fund raisers as “beggars”.  He’s in favor of eliminating all federal funding for education, and has the audacity to mention Shakespeare and Tupac Shakur together.

Not only that…(dramatic pause)

Sadcox calls Social Security a ponzi scheme.

In these uncertain times, can you really afford a leader who is willing to trust you with your own money?  Do you feel comfortable risking your safety by voting for someone who has enough beezwax of his own to worry about yours?

Vote for someone who is willing to take responsibilty so that you don’t have to.  Vote for the other guy.

This was a very theraputic experience, and I recommend all of you give it a shot as well.

Community Standards

First of all, a few housekeeping items…

Thanks to all of the new readers I’ve picked up in the past couple of days for subscribing. Nothing like a naked chick in a public park to boost readership, huh? And thanks to all of my readers who were with me long before this latest bit of urgent news hit Tennessee. Sorry if you guys were locked out yesterday–we had a little bandwidth issue while people were flooding the gate.

Something that came up in the discussion about the naked woman on the playground in Barlett was whether or not this woman had actually done anything wrong. Lots of folks were throwing up the fact that there are nude beaches in city A or this had been challenged in city B and that the Baptist minister should get a life. Others were saying that she’s unequivocally wrong and damn her to hell. So who’s right? I think it really comes down to community standards.

Yeah, this is the United States where we take everything to the Supreme Court that may involve free speech, but let’s just step back for a minute and look at this calmly. What’s wrong with a community setting its own standards of decency, and what’s wrong with respecting that standard? It’s not as if the fine folks in Bartlett want to outlaw bumper stickers or women showing their wrists. They just don’t want hot naked chicks playing in their parks.

I know you may be thinking, “why would you want to limit the presence of hot naked chicks anywhere?” Well, if you’ve ever been to a topless beach, you are well aware that for every hot topless French chick there are about 15 disgusting old German women who are topless as well. All of your hopes and dreams about a topless beach are quickly vanquished. All of a sudden, you are perfectly ok with everyone just putting their top back on. That becomes the standard you wish that community would set. But you don’t get to change the standard. You just have to stare directly at the sun until you have not only burned your eyeballs out, but hopefully the image of that herd of beasts you just saw thundering down the beach collecting shells as well.

Here’s another example–If you’re like me, there are certain words that you use around your friends that you don’t use around your parents. Actually, if you’re like me, there are lots of these words. I call it “parent vocabulary”. You may have a “kids are around” vocabulary that is similar. Do I think it’s a little silly that these words offend them? Sure. But it’s not big deal for me to refrain from using those words around them, even when we are on my turf…nothing lost.

In fact, that’s why I rarely curse when writing on this site. It’s not because cursing offends me at all. It’s because I’d rather set a standard here of saying what you want to say without cursing. There are times when that’s really the only way to get your point across, and in these times the use of naughty words makes the post more effective, at least in my opinion. I don’t have to explicitly state that–it’s implied, and most people with half a brain pick up on it.

And by the way, I really appreciate the fact that most of the people who comment here are respectful of that standard, even if the standards on their own sites are different.

I’m not personally offended by, well, anything. However, there was some stuff posted yesterday that I had to chop out of the comments. For my community standards, language isn’t the ultimate determining factor, it’s whether or not anything is being added to to the discussion. So yesterday I ended up deleting comments that were nothing more than links to the girl’s site and a couple that were just curse word laden without saying anything. Those would probably have been deleted even without the cursing. No one will miss them anyway.

But I’m perfectly ok letting a comment like, “all these prudes wouldn’t be here with out perverted thought from their horny dads muttered to their whore moms” from a commenter named “dickinyourdaughterdown” stand. Why? Because it is funny. My community standard (at least for that post) is that if I was amused, it’s a good comment. In this case, the post wouldn’t have been nearly as good if he hadn’t used the phrases “horny dads” and “whore moms”.

So summing all this up (I’m sure you couldn’t wait for that), I’d bet most people in sleepy ol’ Bartlett probably wouldn’t have cared if she’d shot this video in her house, or her backyard, or behind a WalMart at 3:30 am. Their problem with it was the fact that it was on a kids’ playground in broad daylight. A little prudish? Maybe by your standards, but you aren’t being loaded onto a truck and forced to live there either.

What would I think if this happened in the park where we take our kid? I doubt I’d think much of it if my kid wasn’t there to see it–no harm, no foul. And if we were there? I’ll give these folks the benefit of the doubt and say that they probably wouldn’t have shot the video in that situation anyway. Besides, I have enough to keep me occupied to bother getting upset over something that hasn’t even happened.

Man Up Nine-Year-Olds!

My buddy Greg sent me this article at ESPN about a 9-year-old boy in Connecticut who has been told his 40 mph fast ball makes him “too good” to pitch in his baseball league.  Teams have refused to play when he pitches, and his team is being disbanded at players redistributed to other teams.

But Vidro says he didn’t quit and the team refuses to disband. Players and parents held a protest at the league’s field on Saturday urging the league to let Jericho pitch.

It sounds like there are some political shenanigans going on beneath the surface because the kid isn’t playing for the team league officials wanted him to play for.  My initial reaction was, “This is an outrage!  He’s pitching amongst his peers.  They should adjust to his speed and become better batters.”

Yeah, but…

He’s not pitching against his peers.  The age groups in little league are set up as a guideline for skill level.  His skill level is greater than most people his age, at least in this particular league.  Why don’t his parents let him play in either a tougher league or with older kids?  Those are his peers.  Are they afraid for him to have to compete too?

I don’t see either party as being in the right on this one.  The league is in the wrong to punish a kid and his teammates for being good at the game, but if the kid and his parents truly believe he’s on his way to becoming the next Randy Johnson, maybe they should consider having him play with kids who can challenge him.  If they don’t, everyone’s may catch up to him in a few years, and he’ll be left reliving the glory days of striking out second graders.

I Would LOVE to RTFM

So I’m working on a project for my job job (I’m not quite able to support a family on blogging–yet), and have been wrestling with a biggish enterprise software package.  As you’d expect, there’s quite a bit of convolution to it–things like hundreds of database tables with nondescript names like T001, T0043, H3222, etc.  (Was this thing designed to run on AS400?)  It’s actually not that big of a deal.  A part of me secretly enjoys stuff like that.  It’s like a giant sudoku, except instead of 1-9 the numbers go 1-100.  And no matter how much of the puzzle you solve, there’s still more to work on.  That means no boredom, provided you like puzzles.

Most packages of this size were designed and coded up long long ago in a galaxy far far away.  Any growth, expansion, or enhancements they’ve undergone were probably done piecemeal with who knows who taking over and steering the thing onto the latest technology at each fork in the road.  That’s bound to happen to any project this size I guess.  It’s sort of like what you’d expect to happen to a person who was reasonably good looking in their youth and, as they aged, had countless plastic surgeries performed by different doctors of varying abilities.  The individual pieces may be really nice, but put them together and you have an odd colored face mess.

Usually these type products involve a lot of RTFM.

Don’t get me wrong…I like to RTFM.  My willingness to RTFM means I’ll probably never be out of a job for long unless I want to be.  You could say I make a living Ring-TFM.  But please, large software corporations who charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for your products, make the manuals readily available.

One of the manuals I was reading this morning referred to another manual–the “Installation and Tuning Guide”.  Like any good manual reader working for a company that’s shelled out some bucks for this pricey behemoth, I used the login for our company (they don’t give the info to just any old body), and searched for this manual on their site.  No dice.  So I searched the support base to see if anyone else had trouble finding it.  That didn’t work either.  I did find two other manuals–one which whose title led me to believe it was relevant but wasn’t, and the other to the last version of the same product.

So I asked my boss if they’d provided a DVD, pack of CDs, or even physical books when we bought the product.  Nope.  But he was able to find the manual I needed nonetheless.  Guess where…

Google.

Freaking Google found it, even though their own search engine on their own site that is available only to customers who paid for support couldn’t.  Now, not only am I irritated that it couldn’t be found on their site, I also feel like an idiot for not trying Google FIRST.

Thinking Games Useful For Corporations

Most video games hold my attention for about 3 hours. That’s not 3 hours at a time, that’s 3 hours total. The one exception is strategy games, which I can play into the wee hours of the night. Civilization is my all-time favorite, mostly because it absolutely destroys me, but there are several other “thinking” games out there, and now they are being used to do good instead of evil–unless of course you find corporations evil, in which case they continue to do evil.  Then again, that probably makes you a communist, so evil in your eyes is probably good in mine.

Now video games are making their way into corporations. These “serious games”—the term that’s been kicking around the last few years to describe games that are learning tools—use the same technology as the latest PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 titles, but they’re not targeted at Doritos-munching 14-year-olds

The Rise of Corporate Games.

Oh yeah…Rock Band 2 Comes out in September.

WNBA=We’re Not Bad Asses

Bench clearing brawl? Uber-athletic cat fight? Meh.   The video doesn’t quite live up to they hype from this article in the News Sentinel. The only thing worthwhile in the video is the audio of the guy filming it making cat sounds.

Parker was one of three players ejected along with Detroit assistant coach Rick Mahorn after an ugly scuffle with 4.6 seconds left in Los Angeles’ 84-81 victory on Tuesday night.

I was hoping this would give me a reason to watch the WNBA. Nope.

Is is just me, or is everyone else over fighting in sports in general? With the abundance of MMA on TV now, I can watch guys who can actually fight go at it anytime I want. I’ve got 2 or 3 shows of real fights loaded up on the TIVO right now that I don’t even have time to watch.

I was at an international rugby match between Argentina and Ireland a few weeks ago and a fight broke out–BORING! To quote my friend BGE: “There are so many legal ways to do violence on somebody during a rugby game–why would you ever punch them?”

Note to professional athletes–I pay (or sneak in) to see you do what you do well, not something that you aren’t any better at than I am. If I want to watch someone ineffectively flail their arms in the general directions of someone else I can just set up the Flip Video and lace up some boxing gloves with my buddies.

Is There Any Choice Other Than The Free Market?

I’ll take any motherfucker’s money if they’re giving it away.”
–Clay Davis

One of the biggest arguments I read against allowing the market to solve problems like health care and fuel costs is that the market simply can’t do it. Why not?

The argument goes that these businesses, along with the pharmaceutical companies, are basically government supported monopolies. They’ve been allowed to run roughshod over the consumer, charging outrageous prices and raking in cash left and right while the average person suffers from their oppression. How did this happen?

Reelect Clay DavisThe argument goes that politicians are bought and paid for by these companies. They have highly paid lobbyists who influence legislation that allows their industries to thrive, and they have friends in high places that are former board members and/or holders of large portions of their stocks.

According to the argument, the government, politicians, regulatory commissions, and entire bureaucracies are basically extensions of these powerful corporations and are nothing more than puppets held by Wall Street strings. It’s actually a pretty convincing argument, and from what I’ve seen recently seems pretty reasonable.

Now let me get this straight–the solutions to these problems lie in government? According to the argument, isn’t that the cause of the problem to begin with?

What Are Rights?

I’m talking about the broader sense of “rights”, not rights that are specifically listed by some document written by a bunch of 18th century lawyers.  I’m talking about the concept of rights.  How do you define that concept?

Do rights encompass all of the things you’d simply like to have?  Are they the things that are necessary to sustain life?  Are they the things necessary to live comfortably?  Maybe everyone has a different answer.  For me, the easiest way to answer the question is to consider the things to which I’m entitled.  And for me, the things I have a right to end where the rights of others begin.  I’m able to determine which rights I have by defining the rights, or entitlements, I don’t have.

I’m not entitled to anything that requires a sacrifice on the part of anyone else.

I may covet these things.  I may try to trade for these things.  I may wait for others to decide to give me these things.  I may even try to convince someone to give me these things now.  But I can’t take these things, at least not morally.  Sounds reasonable enough, right?  We can agree is true?  If so, then we must also (by logic) agree that the contra positive is true.  More specifically, I am entitled to anything that does not require a sacrifice on the part of someone else.

If that made sense, keep reading.  If your brain is already scrambled by the terms “entitled”, “contra positive”, and “logic”, that’s cool.  Just come back in a few hours…I’ll be posting another edition of “The Roost” later tonight.  I pride myself on providing a little something for everybody.

Continue reading “What Are Rights?”