Friday, August 17, 2007

We respect what you're saying - so shut up!

I've often mocked the so-called religion of peace in here. Too often, these peaceniks want to kill and maim for the grievous sin of not being just like them.

Case in point, a recent attack against Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen. On August 9, 2007, she was attacked during the launch of her latest book. What it amounted to, was a group of Muslim men got together and decided to pelt her with bouquets, flower pots, shoes, chairs and pretty much anything else that wasn't tied down. Luckily for her, she wasn't family to these men, because then they would be 'honor-bound' to have actually killed her.

Of more interest is that three of her attackers where Members of Legislative Assembly of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, which is a Muslim political party over in India. One of these three is quoted as saying, "We are not bothered about our MLA status. We are Muslims first. And its our responsibility to test those who have said anything against Islam in which ever way possible."

Yeah, that's reasonable behavior for you. We don't like what she says, so forget the fact that we're supposed to be leaders in our country, let's go lynch this girl!

Sadly, that alone wouldn't have gotten me ranting. After all, Muslim treatment of women as chattel is well documented. Muslim violence against non-Muslims is well documented. No, what got me ranting this morning, was this statement by Delhi Minorities Commission chairperson Kamal Farooqui:
The government should immediately cancel her visa and make her go out of the country, she should realise that this is not Bangladesh or Pakistan, but India where the sentiments of all communities are respected.
Does Kamal Farooqui even realize the utter stupidity, and non-logic of that statement? In two sentences, he totally contradicts himself. First he says that she needs to get out of India because of what she writes, and in the very next breath he says that the reason for this is because, hey, this is India, we respect the sentiments of all communities here.

Apparently, all communities doesn't include Taslima Nasreen.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Need Help? Ask Big Brother!

Anyone that has talked to me about government welfare programs know my opinion about them. They're evil, and should be banned. Immediately. They have no place in our society, nor should they be allowed under the Constitution of our increasingly socialist country.

Or to put it into internet lingo: welfare = teh 3vil!!1!

Now, that that's firmly out of the way, imagine my surprise when I was coming back from lunch, and heard an advertisement on the radio. It talked about how when you need money, you know what the sound of help is - followed by the sounds of someone swiping a credit card through one of those scanners. They then go on about how welfare now has these handy-dandy debit-cards as opposed to the old fashioned stamps, and that you should call their 1-800 number because, hey, you to might qualify to live off of my taxes.

So, we have this evilness of welfare, and not only are they stealing my tax dollars to give to other people, but they're also using those tax dollars to advertise the program, so that they can justify giving more money away to people who did not earn it.

When did our government become this huge entity that felt it was okay to play Robin Hood? And then to waste money by advertising the programs?

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Friday, August 10, 2007

What's your name? 4Real!

Okay. First off, the article of the day: NZ parents may lose battle to keep baby '4real'

So, the basics are, there's this couple in New Zealand who wants to name their munchkin 4Real when it gets here. Why? Because they had some odd epiphany that they were pregnant, and it was, according to them, some type of "for real" moment.

Stupidity of that statement aside, the problem comes in that the New Zealand has some type of government agency which polices what parents name their children.

Let me start off with saying that I think it's incredibly stupid that someone would want to name their kid 4real. I also wouldn't name my child Apple, Pilot Inspektor or any of the other insane things parents tend to think up these days.

If the kid in question wishes to take an internet handle of 4real when he's older, that's fine. That's the internet. To stick this innocent child with what is effectively an internet handle as his name, for his entire life, well, that's just sick.

Of course, the concept of a government agency telling you what to name your child is even sicker, in my opinion at least.

What right does the government have to tell these parents that they must name their children something specific.

To me, it is just more socialist, big-government evil, which seems to infect the entire world these days. If these parents want to call their children anything, it should be allowed them. They're (supposedly) adults. It's not like they're hurting anyone (future name-calling from the kid's peers aside). Why on earth, would the government have any interest in stepping in and saying something here.

Which is why I love the fact that we have the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to protect us here in the States from such abuses of power in the hands of the Federal government.

That said, Federal Judges, don't necessarily see it that way.

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Monday, August 6, 2007

United Blogger's Union

TechCrunch brought me an interesting article via my RSS Feed entitled Is Blogging Ready For a Unionized Workforce.

I've always lived in a Right To Work state, where unions have to work doubly-hard to get you to join. Additionally, I've never actually worked at a job where a union had a hold of how things were run, at least for the jobs I was part of. I did work at United Artist Theatres my senior year of high school, and the projectionists had a union that he was a part of, but us peons down in concessions and the ushers weren't part of that union.

Also, I have never desired to be a part of a union. When I worked for Wal-Mart, there was a big push by various unions (mostly the grocery workers union) to get Wal-Mart employees organized. I just didn't see the point of the whole thing. I made a great wage when one considers the fact that I was (by this point) merely moving packages across a laser and smiling at customers. I had no complaints about the benefits package (health, dental, eye, 401K, stock options, etc). Basically, for all my whining about Wal-Mart at the time, it really wasn't that bad of a job to have. Maybe it's nostalgia or hindsight coloring my memories, but I don't think so.

Then to top it all off, I've read horror stories where people were forced to put up stickers on company vehicles for candidates that they did not support because the Union supported them (this was back during the '04 election, if memory serves it involved plumbers, Kerry and a plains state).

So, ultimately, I have never liked unions. I understand the historical need for them, but I frown upon giving a portion of my money to a group that do not necessarily believe in the same things that I do (another reason to not like taxes!).

And that is something else to consider. When you're a Union-man, you're kind of expected to do what the union wants you to do.

Then consider that bloggers have often been, well, not that good at doing what they're expected to do.

So, I read that article, and followed the initial link on down to the original Wall Street Journal article, and discovered, well, it wasn't that suprising. Even, reading the headline about organized labor I knew which side of the aisle these people were on, but here's the text:
A loosely formed coalition of left-leaning bloggers are trying to band together to form a labor union they hope will help them receive health insurance, conduct collective bargaining or even set professional standards.
So, surprise! it's the lefties at it again.

So, here they are, trying for health insurance (uhm, wouldn't blogging be considered basically freelance writing? Usually for free? Read that as self-employed contractor), conduct collective bargaining (I can only assume they mean for those blog co-opts, of which I'm not a part, and currently don't see myself joining one) and possibly set professional standards.

This last one kind of annoys me. Part of what I like about blogging is that ANYONE can do so. It's not hard to set up a Blogger site or a LiveJournal. Heck, I use Blogger as the CMS for my three primary blogs (this one, No Krakana and A Programmer's Dream) as well as the CMS for the main page of my family's website and my youngest son's site, and I'm working on converting my eldest boy's site to using it, but I must first convert his site's layout into a Blogger Template.

I'm not overly fond of some third party setting up standards (which can at times read just as easily as restrictions/regulations) about blogging.

I wouldn't even particularly like it if some group set up some arcane standards for my professional job as a Software Engineer that I had to live by in order to get work (we actually do have a set of Professional Ethics & Practices but for the most part they're common sense things, and it's not enforced, unless you join ACM or IEEE or some other computer society that makes you sign off on them).

Ultimately, I'm against this. Unilaterally and without exception. I don't see a need for this, nor the attraction. Additionally, I just view it as an effort for the Left to try and gain more control over Bloggers. Sure, that may mean I'm cynical, but you know, I'm fine with being cynical.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Real Bus Problem: ECAT survival

ECAT, the Escambia County Area Transit system, is the name used for the buses here where I live. The past year or so, there has been a number of articles in the Pensacola News Journal decrying the fact that ECAT is not making enough money to support its activities.

Basically, they're trying to make those of us who work, own cars, and pay taxes feel bad about the dire straights that public transportation is in, so that we won't complain as loudly when the city/county government tries to up our taxes to give them more money.

Today, there's an editorial in the PNJ saying that due to the upcoming homestead exemption increase, local government is going to be looking for programs to cut (hooray!) and that ECAT is an obvious one.

I say, what's the problem.

Consider, when was the last time that ECAT raised its rates? When was the last time someone could get from one point to the other, in less than two hours? There are a number of other things to do with ECAT before we provide tax money to them. Actually, we should never provide them tax money.

Frankly, it's a hassle no matter how you look at it, one which should be solved by market forces. Raise those rates, and pull my tax money away from ECAT. I don't need to subsidize what should be a business.

Of course, local liberals will complain, and say that with the way all costs are raising, that it's not fair to the low-income folks for ECAT to raise its rates as well.

My response there is: heck, you libs are the ones who voted for this cost of living increase, by voting in a higher minimum wage. So, you really have no one to blame but yourselves for that.

One day, I really hope that everyone will wake up and realize that the government should not be supporting them. That it's not the government's responsibility to take care of your family and provide the basic necessities of life for you. Welfare, and the war on poverty, has done nothing but created a generation of imbeciles who believe they are owed something by the government, that they somehow deserve a portion of my hard-earned money. That somehow it is all right for Uncle Sam to steal it from me to give to them.

What rubbish.

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