Halffull.org

The Leader Guy

by hulk

You’ve probably heard about the rampant inflation in Zimbabwe. Inflation is at some ridiculously percentage. Let’s say it’s 2,000%. Does it really matter if this figure is accurate? Anyway, there is about $250k being spent on President Mugabe’s 84th birthday party.

1. Ridiculous inflation
2. President has giant birthday party

You probably see what’s wrong with this picture. People are struggling, really struggling, to buy simple food staples in that country. Hell if it happened here, there would be investigations. On that note, something is finally happening on executive compensation, a few CEO’s and compensation committee heads from some bank companies are being called to testify before congress. Maybe it’ll be like the Clemens hearings, and we’ll have it turn into a partisan issue.

Whee!

Why do humans continually tolerate this type of behavior? Why do we form groups in which the leader is granted perks above the rest of the group? Why is it that these perks are often disproportionately extravagant compared to the perks the rest of the group enjoys? A few examples:

Our President can fuck up royally, making poor decisions. The only consequence is losing the re-election. In the second term, there are no consequences. While some presidents have received intense scrutiny for more personal activities (Watergate, Lewinsky, Andrew Johnson for being southern) no president has been subject to oversight or post-presidential criminal charges. Of course this brings up the separate issue of: What are the penalties for a poor decision made in good faith? Further, is it even possible for a leader to continually make good decisions? Is it possible that you could take a monkey, lay the reasonable options on a table, and have the monkey pick one, and you either do or do not get quick FEMA aid to New Orleans?

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My God is better than your God, Or: Oh yeah? Well Buddha has laser beams for eyes, so there!

by hulk

Note: This rant is incomplete and full of generalizations.  You could spend the whole time reading this screaming internally about how I got your religion wrong.  Is that really useful?  I’ll make it easy for you: I admit up front that there are lots of good things I’m missing about all religious mentioned below.  Except Hinduism, b/c you’re gods have way too many arms and I’m not backing down on that.  I will NOT agree with you that every other religion is wrong and yours is the right one.
Scott Adams had a very clever point about reducing the conflict between Christians, Muslims and Jews.  Let’s take it in a different direction:  What’s similar?  Where can we all find common ground?

1.  Hindu’s, Buddhists, Wiccans, and Atheists are all going to Hell.  We can all agree on this one, let’s move on.  ( Oh, and if you’re an atheist, stop smiling right now.  You do worship a God, his name is Science, and you believe in just as many lies as those who worship God, or a “god”.  You believe that one ape got wings, used them to fly to get more bananas, fed the bananas to girl apes, and thus bing!  Flying monkeys.  You ignorant liberal redneck.)

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Cell Phones are Evil, or: I don’t like my digital leash

by hulk

I wanted to write this about other people and how they use their cellphones. How it’s evil, and wrong, to have instant communication at our fingertips. We don’t need instant communication, etc. I wanted to rant and rave about those I’ve seen and friends of mine who use their cellphones and… then I remembered walking into a room the other day to return a loaner laptop, and I call someone on my cellphone – right before walking into the room. I ask the person on the phone to hold on, transact my business of returning the laptop and signing, and start my conversation with the person on the phone.

Why did I do this? Why didn’t either party stop me and say “You’re being rude”? Why is it that when a cellphone rings and I’m out somewhere with someone, I pick it up and say, “I’m at the mall with so and so. Lemme call you back later?”. Why do I have this ringing buzzing constant-communication device which causes me to be rude to others, to sit in a car ignoring a passenger while carrying on a conversation on a cell phone? To make it more perplexing, I would argue that a cellphone is more likely to be answered than a home phone. If you’re entertaining a guest, wouldn’t you just let the machine get it? Yet a cellphone has voicemail and we answer it anyway. Hi, I can’t talk right now, I’ll call you back. Or, oh hey, yeah I’ve got just a minute (minute being defined as however long we feel comfortable ignoring the other person).

What is it that we so urgently discuss on cellphones?

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The world is going to Hell, or: Intellectual Dishonesty

by hulk

Through me pass into the Painful City,

Through me pass into Eternal Grief,

Through me pass along the Lost People.

-Commedia, Inferno, Canto III

I’ve probably lost some of you. Translation:

Tonight! At 11! Could YOU be the victim of a Terrorist attack! Also, is air travel safe enough for you and your family? Stay tuned!

The abundance of news has brought a terrible ill unto the world: Information. It’s entirely possible that ignorance is not only bliss, it is wise. I think of the interview Barbara Walters did with the Dalai Llama and asked him how in the world he can be happy with “all that’s going on”. I could say that we exist in a state of information paralysis, but that would be forcing a metaphor. I think more accurately I take umbrage at the intellectual dishonesty that is making an analysis of complex issues. You take umbrage at me using the word umbrage, I’m sure because I’m using it incorrectly.

I’m sure you’ve heard “The world is going to Hell” or one of its cousins, such as “I don’t know what the world is coming to” or, “Things are getting worse”. You may have heard these words coming out of your own mouth. I happen to believe that you’re right, its just your reasoning thats wrong.

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Whiny Canuckistanis, or: You only know that because someone told you

by hulk

Let me start by clearing the air. I reject the following things as false:

1. Canada is its own country

2. Canadians deserve to eat big hamburgers like us Americans

3. Those drawings of embryos we saw in biology class were true and proof of evolution

4. That scientists were able to recreate early earth conditions in a laboratory and create precursors to life

5. That the fossil record supports evolution

6. Punctuated equilibrium, or: Circular logic (Since the fossil record doesn’t show intermediaries, they must appear quickly and then disappear. That proves evolution. Therefore these intermediaries show up quickly and then disappear and that’s why they’re not in the fossil record)

7. Survivial of the fittest (The eugenists had it right-if you eliminate the inferior genes from the human population, you will create a genetically superior race. A theory finding new support today as people tie abortion + early detection of genetic abnormalities in the womb. The status quo is that uneducated people reproduce more. I can’t wait for the flames.)

8. If you don’t support evolution you must believe in God, and that makes you a weirdo.

All of these things are false. How do I know? I was told. By Ann Coulter. BTW Ann, my offer’s still open. I will brush your cat any day.

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Control Sucks, Or: Hey! FBI! Investigate me!

by hulk

So I read that in Texas they’ve got a program where undercover officers hang around bars and arrest drunk people. The justification is that they might get into a car. One legislator said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that someone might not be driving at the moment but that could change and we need to prevent that. *Huh?*

Oh, it gets better. Oregon is the first state that I know of to announce that it’s investigating a program to put black boxes in everyone’s car. They’ll track your mileage and tax you for what you drove in Oregon so that they don’t have to raise the gas tax. Again, *huh?* Wouldn’t raising the gas tax be so much simpler?

I realize I’m simplifying things but I feel like the underlying theme is control. I won’t say that I’m worried about where this control is going because I know slippery slope arguments are crap and that no trend continues indefinitely. I’m just pissed off, is all. The justice department is giving itself a lot of power in the name of hunting down terrorists, the government is looking at putting black boxes in your cars to track you (it’s not just Oregon looking at this), I’ve heard the term “fat tax” too many times in the past year as a way to reduce health care costs… and I know most of you are with me on this. The government should be losing control over our lives, not gaining it.

So who’s supporting them, who’s doing all this? Well, most of us. We can all look in the mirror. A pregnant woman dies when a drunk driver hits her, so we demand our legislators protect pregnant women with a law that makes it illegal to harm a fetus. Which, by the way, is such a complete joke, because I’d like you to find me the drunk driver that thinks of the laws he’s going to be violating when he gets behind the wheel. We get our planes hijacked by terrorists, so we demand security that ends up with us all walking around shoeless in the airport and has children getting put on no-fly lists. We ask for more protection for the environment and the Army corps of engineers is unable to pursue a project to reinforce New Orlean’s levees.

We stress so damn much about our schools that we push for increased programming and watching and monitoring and security and then we wonder why our damn property tax bill is so high and why an 8 year-old gets sent home for sexual harassment. Or we whine about a double standard when a man rapes one of his students but a female teacher gets off light – let’s quit being PC and just be honest. The woman should get a lighter sentence than the guy. It has to do with the dynamics of sex. I’m sure Debra LaFavre seduced or manipulated the kid, but it just isn’t the same as an older man seducing a girl. Or worse, using physical threats and intimidation. Women are pretty incapable of rape, despite what PC-mania might have us believe.

It has to do with taking things too far. It has to do with applying rules blindly, all in the name of doing what kinda-sorta sounds right – or at least won’t get us sued. So government agencies, schoolboards, and the like blindly follow rules and laws when they can because they believe it’s the safest path. It’s not the right path, it’s the safest.

So come on, everyone! When you wake up tomorrow and you read the newspaper and you’re shocked that shit happened to someone somewhere, write to your legislators! Demand more laws, more oversight, more regulation! Give up your freedoms! Control the fat, the lazy, the misguided children, control the poor, control the middle class, control our cars, control our speeds, control our habits, control our sex, control the violence with more laughable hate crime laws – we’ll all be really, really safe.

I’m just pissed off.

Affirmative Action: For White Men?

by hulk

So I read that some colleges are alarmed that the supposedly growing gender disparity between men and women is growing at colleges – in favor of women. The response? We need to recruit more men!

Huh? How does that work again? Well if you’re talking in terms of percentages, that means denying admission to qualified women in favor of men. This is pure genius. Let’s face facts: women are more likely to apply themselves and get their shit together and do their homework. It comes down to that. We men have beer, porn, sports, video games, beer, porn… all distracting us. Women, on average, are better at avoiding distraction. I think it has something to do with their periods.

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Scientific Inaccuracy, Or: This is not another anti-global warming rant.

by hulk

I swear. I’ll shut up about global warming. That rant has been made, more than once by me if memory serves, you can find the rant and comment there. Here’s what’s pissing me off today: the phrase “long overdue”. Can you use a colon and then quote something? Is that appropriate from a literary perspective? Can I deviate from the topic like this? I need an independent editor, not like redshift who feels the need to make up rules about parantheses. I honestly think he’s just lying. Why can’t (I) d(o) this()()((((()((()(()()))())()()))))?()

Anyway. The phrase “long overdue”. Here’s my problem. While radiological dating is pretty reliable, it’s not exceedingly accurate. I also believe, and please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, that the error increases as you go out. Such that the predictions that something happened 400,000,000,000 years ago, and the prediction that something happened 30,000 years ago, do not have the same error. I’m guessing that 400 googly years ago number has a error of oh, say, 30 brews of coffee (a widely accepted unit of time), whereas the 30,000 year number has an error of maybe 0.5 batches of chocolate chip cookies. I’m sorry, I’m using two different units, and you canadian readers (assuming I didn’t piss all of you off with my asian rant) are confused what with your metric thing. 0.5 batches of chocolate chip cookies = 3 brews of coffee = 8 minutes. That should clear things up.

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You are what the media says you are, Or: An interesting psychology experiment

by hulk

Who else has been waiting for the day? It’s finally here, my friends. Congressman Nick Ranhall, Senator Jay Rockefeller, and West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin are all calling for greater mine safety. Holy crap! Mines are dangerous! Everyone! I promise that as your elected leader I will make mines safer!

Sigh. I typed into google “ranking of dangerous occupations” and came across an article that listed mining as the fifth most dangerous occupation in the US. First is logging, second is fishermen, third is airline pilots, and fourth is structural metal workers. I’m assuming the whole thing is based on number of deaths per person in that occupation. Not even cops and firemen made the top five… and cops and firemen are heroes… who wants to place bets that miners will be labeled heroes by at least one TV commentator or politician in the upcoming elections this year? Maybe someone can say something fun like, “if we don’t take care of our brave miners, the terrorists win.”

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Why are Asians attractive? Or: My most racist rant ever.

by hulk

Most of what I say that’s offensive is for shock value. Well… most of the stuff that’s just offensive for offensiveness’s sake. I stand by my rant “The Victim Game.” But the stuff about ethnicities and um… hell, let’s just say I enjoy shock humor and leave it at that. I make generalities about groups that aren’t mine and then disparage those groups based on those generalities. I don’t honestly have anything against them. Lying is fun! Ok, I try not to have anything against them. I do not explicitly judge people based on their ethnicity. That being said, I am nowhere near naive enough to walk down Main Street at 1 AM.

I have this racial intolerance, though, that I can’t even begin to understand. I notice it when I’m out in public. My blood pressure rises whenever I see a certain type of couple. I mean, I understand some racial/ethnic intolerances. By “understand”, I mean I understand why it happens, not that I condone it or agree with its basis. I understand why rednecks think the Jews are behind everything. Or why the Muslims think the Jews are behind everything. Or why the Europeans… damn. Does anyone like the Jews? I mean, come on people, don’t we have respect for a group of people who can hold their own, politically and militarily, against a world that absolutely hates them? Maybe the Canuckistanis (Canadians) like the Jews. I can only hope, ’cause I kinda feel bad for them. They’re so cute, with their big noses, and piles of mon… ahem. Seriously, I have enormous respect for Israel and the fact that it can kick some serious dictatorial ass and still have the guts to say, hey, maybe the Palestinians can have some land too. It takes strength to cede land to a group that bombs your buses and wants every last one of you dead.

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