Archive for March, 2006

What Are We Missing?

Some say that U.S. businesses and U.S. consumers want low cost illegal alien labor.  But I reflect on the Industrial Revolution, it began in England, and flourished in the U.S.  Why?  Because England had no shortage of labor, and the labor guilds fought mechanization tooth and nail based on the idea that it would drive them out of their jobs (which it would, while simultaneously creating more jobs).  But in the labor starved U.S. the idea took off.   Having a machine that would do the work of ten laborers was a bargain if you did not have ten laborers to start.

Illegal aliens provide cheap labor.  But what invention are we not getting because of the mistaken idea that illegal alien labor is saving us money?  A machine that costs $1.00 per labor hour saves more money than an illegal alien at $3 per labor hour.  Plus the machine never goes to the hospital without paying passing the burden on to others, never collects welfare, never commits any crime, and never demands that it be given rights to which it is not entitled.

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Mean Ol’ Mister Gravity

To paraphrase Jim Varney as Ernest P. Worrell in an ice cream commercial where Vern’s ice cream has dropped to the ground, “Vern! Look what mean ol’ Mister Gravity did!”

Jay Tea has similar issues with gravity:

The hair hadn’t fallen out. It had fallen victim to gravity, and had ceased growing up and out. Instead, it was growing inward and down, and was now emerging from my nose and ears.

Gravity, you may be the weakest of the four fundamental forces, but you are certainly the cruelest.

Well, ionizing radiation is often no picnic either….

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Why Thomas Sowell is a Gorram Genius

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Scientists

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Appropriate Callsign

CLONE RED is at Aviation Challenge this week.  He just called (first day) and said he has his new callsign, HAPPY REAPER.  If you know CLONE RED you know how appropriate that is.  Reminded me of the callsign I earned from my SGI Dogfight days years ago, RIGHT HAND OF DARWIN.  A little long, but hey….

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Death in the Garage Next Door

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Charity Not Constitutional

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You Really Want Evolution?

JAYNE was relating a conversation he had with another engineer discussing some improvements to be made on a project.  This is incomplete and paraphrased:

OTHER: So we want to improve this through an evolutionary process.

JAYNE:  You want to make lots of small random changes until one of the changes makes it better?

It reminds me of Inigo Montoya’s line, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

For improving things evolution certainly is not all it is cracked up to be.

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A Two-fer

Couple the governor of Montana’s plan to put in a coal gasification plant to make diesel with the Fischer-Tropsch method, and the algae that eats NO2 and CO2, then you have a real energy solution.  The Fischer-Tropsch methods produces a lot of CO2 compared to burning coal, but the resultant diesel is much lower in CO2 emmissions.  Science lets us have our cake and eat it too!

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But He’s A Good Boy!

From the link: Genarlow Wilson, 17 at the time, and others video taped themselves at a drunken party in a Days Inn motel room engaged in multiple sex acts with a 17 and a 15 year old girl. Though the 17 year old girl was drunk, Wilson was not found guilty of rape.  But since the age of consent  in Georgia is 16, his oral sex with  the 15 year old landed him a minimum 10 year sentence for aggrevated child molestation.

His lawyer stated, “Nobody could believe that this is the law.”

The jury foreman (who was a woman) said, “A bad law, absolutely.”

Yes, bad law!  How dare we try to legislate kids from doing stupid stuff!  Screw the if-it-saves-just-one-child-it’s-worth-it crowd! I always heard 15 will get you 20, so this creep got off light.!

Wilson is supposed to be a popular honor student and athelete.  It appears that this time the jock is not getting a pass. The article has the air that somehow this kid should be above the law, it’s only sex, right?  Who could get hurt?  Stupid ass kids, they screw around and get burned then complain.  Welcome to life, asshat!

And before anybody gets any ideas, if CLONE RED acts this way when he is 17, I hope I have the guts and the mind set to throw the switch on him myself.  I am raising him better than that.  Grow up, get a college degree, get married, then have sex.  It will save you a lot of headaches down the road. This incident is a stupid, easily avoided problem.  I could care less that a bunch of freaks are loosing their minds over this.  They always do.  They need to remember their Barretta, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

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Dialogue

THE KAT has had The Philadelphia Story on Turner Classic Movies as background this evening. This features George Cukor at the helm of some of the best dialogue ever put to the screen. I still laugh out loud at so much of this, particularly Jimmy Stewart‘s line, “C. K. Dexter Haven, you have unsuspected depth!”

Not too many movies with dialogue like this anymore. But then perhaps there never were too many movies with dialogue like this.

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Someone to Read

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Reflection on the Hollywood Mentality

Or lack thereof….

With all the flap and flop of the Academy Awards recently, for some reason in the bathroom I started thinking about the seemingly (to be generous) irrational behavior of the Hollywood crowd (in general, and remember: “All generalizations are wrong.”).  But given the career path of the average actor or actress, which is a long hard, heartbreaking struggle to never get anywhere, it is no wonder that the few that make it have to be of a mentality that says in spite of all evidence to the contrary I am going to make it in this business.  At seeing that the selection process of those that make it versus those that do not, you would have to be almost completely irrational to hang on long enough to make it.  That means that those that make it to stardom may be the most irrational of all.

Contrast this with a rational person making a career choice that says, “Hmmm, I could take a shot at Hollywood, but since the odds are so long on making it there I will choose a path of education and work that gives me income now and for the foreseeable future.”

There is something admirable in the “win at all costs in spite of the odds” mentality that would seem to dominate the acting world.  But having that kind of mania is a far cry from also possessing the mental capacity for rational thought.  So it is small wonder that most of the Hollywood crowd is a bunch of screw-ups or wackos (again, generalizing).

But then what do I know?  I am only a physicist with a job…

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Givin’ It Up

MARINE ROCKET has a great post on personal responsibility and how we empower others to rule us.  I have a big problem with big government, as Gerald Ford said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”  We need to make our own decisions, and more than just a decision to let someone else decide.

The choice that we have to make or break is the one we are best equiped to make.  There are very few people in this world altruistic enough and omniscient enough to make a decision for you that is in your best interests solely untainted by their own biases.  John Stossel‘s article Competition Works points out that we do make these sort of decisions all the time without needing anyone’s help.  You know when restaurant food or service is lousy, or when you get a bad haircut, and you do not patronize those establishments again.

There are very few fatal decisions that you will actually make in life.  So do not be afraid to make a choice, fail, and learn something.  As Billy Joel said, “You’re not the only one who’s made mistakes, but they’re the only things that you can truly call your own.”

My big government boss, CHARLEMAGNUM, calls it “Livin’s the dream.”

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