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The caustic opinions of a politically incorrect fat cranky jackass.
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Oct. 3rd, 2015 @ 03:20 am The Origins of the American Public Education System: Horace Mann & the P...
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Sep. 13th, 2015 @ 08:19 pm Will you SHUT UP about the poor people?
You people, I'm a stone-hearted conservative and you're even honking ME off!

1. Admit it: minimum wage workers ARE being screwed. Taxes are eating them alive. Unseen taxes--- like fiat-currency inflation, social security, etc--- are making it worse. And their hours are being cut, too.

2. These people fix your food, clean your VILE FILTH up after you, and put up with your spoiled Western bullcrap every day. They do work that, by DEFINITION, you wouldn't do yourself. So shut up about how "lazy" they are.

3. Shut up about how it's their fault for not "bettering" themselves. When you're up to your ass in alligators it's a little tough to drain the swamp. Most of them are down at the bottom of a muddy pit, scrambling to try and climb out. Most of them won't make it.

4. The fact that there are people with doctorates waiting tables shows just how much your traditional "self betterment" works in the job market today, too.

5. Yes, they're ignorant of basic economics if they think raising the minimum wage will help. By the way, thanks for that sub-standard government education you gave them.

6. Yeah, they're going on strike. Just like your generation, your father's generation, and your grandfather's generation taught them to.

7. Either you can talk about how working an entry level job isn't meant to be lived on, or you can talk about how in your day you went to college and paid for it with your part time jobs. Pick one so we can decide which end you're blowing the gas from.

8. When TWO part time jobs aren't enough for ONE person to live on, yes, the situation is SCREWED, and it's not the part time worker's fault.

9.Laugh up your sleeve all you want about those automated burger kiosks.... you're going to need TWICE as many workers just to maintenance, repair, clean and babysit them. Boy you sure showed us.

10. The fact that your soldiers, Firemen and EMTs work for less an hour than the minimum wage workers want doesn't prove how greedy the burger flippers are, it proves what a stingy, selfish and ungrateful bastard YOU are!
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Aug. 8th, 2015 @ 04:41 pm Short-run Kickstarter--- less than 30 days left!

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Jul. 24th, 2015 @ 07:27 pm NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH ZAZZLE
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Jul. 20th, 2015 @ 01:29 pm Let's improve the Mobile Home.
How I would design mobile homes...
No wood, and no plywood or fiberboard--- Start with a steel shipping container. Same size as a mobile home, WAY stronger. Generally about $2,000-$3,000. so it wouldn't raise the price too much.

Mount it on wheels, but add drop-down lockable steel legs, like a trailer on a 16 wheeler has. None of this stacking up loose cinder blocks. Make it so the wheels can stay on, too.

Pex lines for the water. run them INSIDE the trailer, along the baseboard where you can get at it easily. Not everyone can crawl under a house to fix a leak, and frozen pipes are a nightmare, especially for someone poor enough to be living in a trailer.

Run the electrical wiring along the edge of the ceiling. Again, you shouldn't have to rip out your walls just to fix or update your wiring, or your plumbing.
Keep that stuff EASILY accessible-- hide it behind a cover if you're fussy, but really...

Forget skirting, the skirting they make is flimsy crap that tears right off in a high wind. It should be a crime to sell that stuff. A trailer should have built-in drop-down panels all the way around.

The worst part of trailers is they are so horrible for climate control--- an icebox in the winter, a solar powered roasting oven in the summer. You spend a fortune on power not merely to be comfortable but to even be able to LIVE in your home. As in, it could literally be FATAL to try and live in a trailer without an AC. Let's FIX that.

There should be a second roof or awning, just a foot or so above the actual roof... a sort of mini-attic space. Makes room for insulation, plus that gap means you don't have the sun beating straight down on a black shingle roof in the summer. put a fan at either end of that gap and it becomes a breezeway, keeps the house even cooler. Put a second set of fans UNDER the trailer, for double the cooling.

it should include a solar preheater for the water. Just some looped copper tube painted black in a sealed flat box, with a glass pane for a lid. Feed the water line in one end, attach the water heater to the other, and put the panel on the roof. The sun will heat the water before it enters the water heater, saving hundreds of dollars in electric or gas even in winter, for maybe 100 or so bucks in plywood, glass, copper water line and paint. It could even be adjusted to help heat the house in winter, with a few dozen more feet of line running to a copper pipe radiator inside.

Electricity stopped being a "luxury" ages ago.If you run gas lines, the trailer should include an emergency electric generator that can run directly off that line, or off a propane tank. That way if the lines go down, you still have power in your house.

Windows should be double paned and of a manageable size. Huge picture windows on a trailer don't help; they let in light but they also let heat IN during summer and OUT during winter.

For better lighting, there should be shuttered skylights in every room, or even just one running the full length of the trailer. There are ones that are two frosted half-globes connected by a flexible tube of reflective foil, so you could put one on the outside roof and connect it to the globe on the inside. Either way, again an electricity-saving measure. They do this in 3rd world countries with soda bottles filled with water stuck through the ceiling. A trailer should at least aspire to something that works that well.

No fake wooden paneling. It's ugly, you can't do anything with it, and it's DARK which means it makes it harder to light your home. Let it die in the 70s where it belonged. The interior should be in light colors, and paintable surfaces.

Put the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry fixtures as close together as possible, all at one end of the trailer. shorter water lines equals fewer problems.

A small woodburning heater should be included as well. More options in an emergency is better all around.

Both front and back doors should be double wide. People gotta get furniture into and out of these things, after all. Since we're starting with a shipping container, keep those big double doors at the end. Simple stairs or accessibility ramps should be a must as well-- they don't need to be fancy, just STURDY. Build them out of the stuff they use for fire escapes.

Bathtubs are notorious water wasters, and they're ruinously difficult for the elderly to climb into and out of-- a major mobile-home-owning demographic. A walk-in shower with a sit-down bench or stool should be standard. In fact, waterproof the whole bathroom and put a drain in the floor, Japanese style. Put a reversible ventilation fan in, to speed drying. Put a ventilation fan in the laundry room too. Recycle heat from the dryer to help warm the house in the winter. Heck, floor drain, ventilation fan and waterproof floor in the kitchen too.

Fire, smoke and CO2 alarms, and a sprinkler system should be built right in. We put them in warehouses, they can't be too expensive. Gas leak detectors would be smart, if they make such a thing-- Why aren't these things a part of housing construction automatically anyway?

Burglar alarms. BURGLAR ALARMS please. Even if nothing more than a panic button attached to a klaxon. Nothing needs be expensive at all-- just a contact switch on the doors and windows attached to a bell. No house should be an easy mark.

Wall-to-wall carpeting... should be left out. Let's be real, people; the stuff is the worst fad of the 20th century. It's dirty, it's nasty, it gets stained and vile it harbors dirt and lice and mold and fleas and it stays filthy FOREVER because it's officially impossible to properly clean because you can't pick it up. Yes it feels nice on your bare tootsies, that's a stupid reason to cover every floor with a filth farm. The only reason it's in mobile homes is to cover the cheap junk they use for flooring. There's wood paneling, there's tile, there's vinyl, there's plenty of inexpensive options and they'll save you costs to your wallet and your health in the long run, and throw rugs look MUCH nicer and are far more stylish.

Glow in the dark light switches. likewise glow spots on doorknobs, drawer handles, spigots, hallway corners, etc. Trivial and silly sounding-- till the lights go out in the dead of night and you gotta pee.

Come to think if it, a glow in the dark toilet seat....

A 50 gallon steel drum for a built-in back up water cistern. Easy to use shutoff valves-- not spigots, knife switch style--- at several points in the house. Likewise for the electric system.

Note: Nearly all of the above changes are low-tech, many are things that amount to minor changes in layout and materials choices, several are long-term money SAVERS and all of them improve the safety, comfort and durability of the typical mobile home. And seeing as you pay almost as much for a new mobile home as you would for a "proper" house these days, the costs of changes are negligible. Handyman types feel free to run the numbers and tell me different, but when people everywhere are building microhomes for less than the cost of a used car, I suspect I'm more than right.
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Jul. 4th, 2015 @ 04:11 pm Nip and Tuck
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Jun. 18th, 2015 @ 05:07 pm Eaten safe food off a clean plate today? Thank a "burger flipper."
Subject: FW: Hamburgers and Minimum Wage

> Hamburgers and Minimum Wage
> Low military pay was not mentioned in the State Of The Union speech. However, increasing the minimum wage, for those fast food employees striking for $15 an hour, was.
> Let's do some math:
> At $15 an hour Johnny Fry-Boy would make $31,200 annually.
> An E1 (Private) in the military makes $18,378.
> An E5 (Sergeant) with 8 years of service only makes $35,067 annually.
> So you're telling me, LaTisha McBurgerflipper, that you deserve as much as those kids getting shot at, deploying for months in hostile environments, and putting their collective asses on the line every day protecting your unskilled butt!?
> Here's the deal, Baconator, you are working in a job designed for a kid in high school who is learning how to work and earning enough for gas, and hanging out with their equally goofy high school pals.
> If you have chosen this as your life long profession, you have failed. If you don't want minimum wage, don't have minimum skills.
> If you can read this, thank a teacher.
> If it's in English, thank a Veteran.

I'm tired of these emails. Because they're CRAP.

Let's take it from the top. The problem with that argument is first, that it's unfair and involves deliberately NOT saying everything. It's an appeal to empty yippee-ki-yay patriotism and sentimentality, it's a ridiculous apples-and-oranges comparison, and it is FUNDAMENTALLY DISHONEST.

Not to be a pedant, but allow me to point out that our soldiers do get free healthcare, housing, education, the GI bill, and dozens of other (rightful) benefits not listed in their salary. Military service comes with quite a number of bennies. It was the armed forces' recruitment slogan since I was a boy, for crying out loud. "Free money for college! Get an education! Be all that you can be! Get training in the Army!")

True, it's still not comparable to the fact they get SHOT at (again, a modifier: some of them. Most are in logistics or bureaucratic positions their entire careers after boot camp and many never see a gun fired in anger...) But let's lay all the cards on the table if we want an honest assessment.

Plus, isn't it interesting how everyone makes this apples-and-oranges comparison, yet nobody is ever really serious about raising the pay of the soldier? They just want to justify keeping the pay of the menial worker low. The same comparisons are made by leftists between public school teachers and trash collectors.... ignoring that if school teachers stopped working, parents would teach their own kids, but if trashmen stopped working, entire cities would choke on their own filth. Poetics aside, preventing that takes a slight economic precedence over government schooling.

Or perhaps the author of this would like to do a similar comparison between the average hard-working restaurant worker who makes minimum wage while scrubbing, cooking and cleaning, and the average pro sports player, who even at the lowest tier makes hundreds of thousands of dollars to play with a ball? Or compare a coal miner to a painter? A retail cashier vs. a waiter? A farmer vs a greengrocer? A mailman vs. a pizza boy? Did you know that hot dog vendors in NYC can easily break a quarter million a year? HOT DOG vendors! (They have to-- their license costs $200,000 just to operate in Central Park.)

Pointless apples vs. oranges comparisons are easy to summon up. That's why it's not rightfully up to us, but the free market, to decide what someone should make. It's not our judgment call whether someone else's salary is "fair" or not unless they actually work for us. Maybe we shouldn't be imitating leftist rhetoric just because we're in a snit about "greedy lazy burger flippers" the way they get in a snit about "greedy useless CEOs" or "underpaid teachers."

(Considering the number of burger flippers we're turning out, perhaps the teachers are a bit OVERpaid.)

Also, it ignores that the person who wrote this is insulting people for having low-skill jobs--- jobs that they expect to be done tut suite! when they go into a burger barn. These are the sort of people who throw a fit at the cashier if someone forgot the pickle on their burger... when they're being rational... and who leave behind a filthy reeking mess for the workers to clean up.

Yet they themselves wouldn't take jobs like this on a bet and most of them would fold under like wet toast after a month of dealing with the work, the filth, and the customers. Minimum wage workers may not get shot at but they DO have to go into the store bathroom to clean up after the local junkie has puked, peed, and crapped on the floor in there, or some soccer mom has flushed a used diaper down the toilet and flooded the john.

As to that, ask a pizza boy whether his life is worth $7.50 an hour delivering your double-sausage into Murder Street USA. The pizza place thinks so. Every day we read of another pizza boy getting mugged or shot.... I have a close friend who worked in a pizza shop, and nearly died when a crazed gunman came in and tried to rob them. He WAS going to murder them, too. My friend saved his own life and the life of a coworker by bringing the pizza spatula down on the guy's wrist-- and severing the guy's hand (not intentionally, but he's a strong dude and those spatula things are big, heavy, and fairly sharp.) Pizza Slut thanked him for saving everyone's lives... by firing him. Hey, company policy. Besides if he'd gotten murdered there's always another worthless, lazy, undeserving minimum wage unskilled worker to take his place at the pizza oven, right?

Working in retail may not require a fancy college degree, but it is anything but easy, simple, or safe.

And here's the biggie. Thanks to our government's fiscal and monetary policy causing accelerating inflation, the minimum wage worker is making LESS AN HOUR EVERY YEAR. Today, he makes $7.50 an hour. In 1969, minimum wage was, adjusting for inflation, the equivalent of $10 an hour today. That's not even taking into account federal, state and local taxes. Tell me, how would you react if you saw your paycheck DROP TWENTY FIVE PERCENT? Or you worked in McD's, climbed up the ladder to shift manager, assistant manager, manager... only to see your hourly pay, in real terms, stay effectively the same?

And let's address the strikers. Who taught them that the solution was to go on strike and demand higher wages? Yes, that would be their parents and grandparents.

And who taught them that minimum wage was a golden virtue, and that raising it was the work of angels? Our schools, our government, and yes, yet again their parents and grandparents.

And who taught them REAL economics, taught them the real reason their dollars were shrinking and their taxes were rising? That would be.... Nobody.

We can hardly expect them to do anything BUT take the only course of action-- striking for a higher minimum wage-- that they were ever taught. It's sad and futile and it's rooted in economic miseducation, but that's not their fault and it doesn't make them lazy, stupid or undeserving of better.

These people are suckers for demanding a minimum wage hike to fix the problem-- minimum wage hikes only make the problem worse. But that doesn't change the fact there IS A LEGITIMATE PROBLEM.

And this sort of thing is the furthest possible from any sort of help. It plays right into the hands of those who are causing all our misery--- rather than directing our ire at the people in the government and the federal reserve who have set about not only raising but greasing the bottom rung, we pass around emails and facebook posts sneering at the people who wash our clothes, fix our food, scrub our toilets and pick up our trash as "lazy, stupid and greedy..."

And then we wonder why the Occupy Wall Street movement has no trouble getting tens of thousands of young people backing them up, instead of voting Republican like we think they should.
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Jan. 10th, 2015 @ 07:01 am Ben Shapiro: The Myth of the Tiny Radical Muslim Minority
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Dec. 28th, 2014 @ 04:08 pm An Open Letter to Harry Potter Fanfic Writers
So you've decided to rewrite Ron Weasley as a villain. Or at least as big a prat as Draco Malfoy.

Yes, yes, let the anti-Ron butthurt swell within you... /sarcasm

Really, little children, you must learn to grow out of it.

(and in the books he wasn't NEARLY as much a hopeless dunce. They dumbed him down just so they could give Hermione more grrl-power time! Try to think of the books rather than the movies from time to time.)

If you want a prat, try HARRY POTTER in the Order of the Phoenix. Good Lord Almighty, he spent an entire chapter just being jealous and resentful of RON, because Ron got a Prefect badge and he didn't! Jealous- of Ron- because of the one and only time Ron actually outdid him at something.

You know why you hate Ron. You are mad at him for sinking your "perfect"- and perfectly terrible- Fan Ship. What do you mean Harry and Hermione don't get together? Where'd that Ginny Weasley bimbo get in? Waaaaaah.

Well get over it. That's how schoolyard crushes work out sometimes; they don't.

Frankly the author was telegraphing this all the way through. Ginny was crushing on Harry from book Two, plus he SAVED HER LIFE. And even HARRY knew what was up with Ron and Hermione; he even jabbed that they were quarreling like an old married couple.

You hate Ron because he's just like you would have been in the same situation. Ron was clumsy and fearful and awkward and often jealous of his famous, richer, more popular jock-athlete best friend. Just like you would have been. But he was also loyal and honorable and stuck by by his best friend even in the face of near certain death.

No, I take that back. He's better than you would have been. I mean trolls? Giant spiders the size of cars? Death Eaters? Dungeon death traps? Ron faced down horrors that would have sent the likes of the rest of us running screaming, and his only reward was to stand in his best friend's shadow the entire time.... but he kept right on doing it, even when Harry turned into a self-absorbed git.

I could say almost the exact same thing to all of you: you've chosen to write a fanfic. The story concept is good, but the Ronbashing almost immediately sinks it. Author, there are enough villains to choose from already; quit picking on the luckless-but-loyal friend.

a Reader
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Dec. 16th, 2014 @ 08:22 pm Kill the Authority Figure
I have issues.

The whole "Drill Sergeant Nasty" and "training from hell" trope.... You know the one, where the unsympathetic immature lout protagonist is turned over to an organization of screaming psychotics and subjected to violent abuse in order to beat him into shape-- generally while someone sings "I'll make a man out of you" in the background.... It produces a disturbing visceral response in me.

I know I'm supposed to applaud how the protagonist gets virtue and nobility violently beaten into him by his superiors; what I end up doing is fantasizing about the protagonist sneaking into his authority figure's room at night and driving ice picks into his eyes.

I'm a little frightened and maybe ashamed of what this might say about me psychologically. But the my reaction against it, visceral or emotional or mental, won't go away.

Every fiber in me screams out that this is not right, this is not helping and improving someone, this is a brutal tragedy--no matter how allegedly necessary it is. Yes, they come out the other side stronger: but so, arguably, do holocaust survivors. And the fallacy that this makes a "better man" out of anyone is demonstrated by the fact that the Nazi SS went through boot camp too. It doesn't make better people, it makes SOLDIERS. Tools for the State to use, trained to execute orders, to kill people and to break things. The only manhood that comes out the other end is what he had going in, and any soldier is only as virtuous as the last set of orders he carried out.

Maybe I am just an immature man-child with poisonous authority figure issues. Maybe I just am horrified by people who treat military and-or prison style brutishness as a way to "fix" children that disappoint them. (side note: those "reform camps" are generally unmonitored, unregulated, run by people with no actual training in dealing with problem kids, and have psychologically broken, maimed and KILLED kids in their care.) Maybe I'm just horrified at the notion of going through such myself, and have a strong suspicion I'd go out like that fat guy on "Platoon"-- psychotically broken and eating a bullet after blowing my drill sergeant's fricking brains out. (Note for fans: In that movie R. Lee Ermy is supposed to be a condemnation of what's WRONG with military training methods, not an ideal.) Maybe being a victim of bullying as a kid has bent me so that I can only see an abuser in these characters rather than a leader and trainer of men. Maybe I'm horrified by some of the DISTURBING psychological quirks I've noted in more than one military man, past and present. Maybe a little of all of the above.

Either way I'm still disappointed when, at the end of those "training montages," the drill sergeant in question doesn't have so much crap kicked out of him his corpse is transparent.
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