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Saturday, April 27, 2013

True Story

Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of watching a cashier self-implode. (OK, not totally "self", I was involved!)

I had bought six 2 liter soft drinks. She was bagging them. She had done the first two - two to a bag, then double bagged it. She complained - "Man I HATE working with these drinks and bags! They don't cooperate at all!".

I said - "Why not just put one to a bag, and not double bag?"
Her answer - "We are required to put two to a bag."
My response (ever trying to be helpful) - "If you put one to a bag, and then DON'T double bag them, it will be the same number of bags; and even the same weight per bag."
Her - ????????????? (I could hear the wheels turning) "...but we have to put two to a bag."
Me - "I guess it is better. Carry on."

Now, what is scary to me about this is twofold -
1) she obviously had no concept of what I was saying
2) it might be policy, which means some "manager/leader" had made the decision and had not thought of what I was getting at either.

In general, I agree with the scientific process of evolution and natural selection. The flaws in it can be evident when faced with examples like this. Why do we still have SOOOOOOO many stupid people?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Information and some reminders

I have written some about this in previous posts, but I think it deserves additional attention.

It is amazing how true the axiom of (paraphrased) "repeat a lie often enough and it becomes an accepted fact". Said with a different slant it applies to names, titles, and labels. For example, it is in my lifetime that swamps disappeared. WHAT? - you might exclaim. I know swamps. There are swamps near me. Au contraire mon frere. A swamp is now a WETLAND. We did not learn about wetlands when I was in school. Preserving the wetlands was not a requirement or even a wish. It was all about draining a swamp. Swamps and wetlands are homes to mosquitoes and other nasty insects. However, no one will donate money to save a swamp. Legislation to save the swamp is not a headline grabber. Therefore they became a wetland. Now we save them. (I understand that there are ecological and biological benefits from "swamps". I also understand that if I have an acre of my property that is almost constantly covered with water, I might want to drain it to make it more usable.)

Need another example - how about jungles? Want to donate to "Save the Jungle"? Want to take a trip through a jungle? (besides the Jungle Cruise by Disney). Evil snakes and other animals live in jungles. We clear jungles to make land more usable. What about a rainforest? Most jungles are now rainforests. Ecologically and environmentally, they always were. Rainforests are a designation of climate. We did not differentiate. We just knew jungles were filled with evil things. Rainforests are going to save the planet with all the biodiversity. BS; but give money to "save the Rainforests", won't you?

See what I mean? It is the same with Global Warming and it's new moniker, Climate Change. As I have posted here many other times, the climate has been warming since the end of the last ice age. We are GLAD it has! Most of the earth was not habitable for humans. At least not as we see it now. An Inuit lifestyle does not appeal to most people. Subsistence farming and hunting is not how most of us desire to live life now. The fact that our "carbon footprint" (another made up eco-phrase) is causing irreparable harm is crap. The fact that "an overwhelming majority of scientists" believe it is BS. But, every day there are more and more references to this pseudo-science and terminology blended into advertisements, news stories, etc.

Immigration reform? Now, we probably do need to reform our immigration laws, requirements, and enforcement. However, to refer to people that came into the country ILLEGALLY as an immigration problem is absurd. If you come home from work and someone has pitched a tent in your backyard, what do you do? Call the authorities? Grant them the right to live there like it was theirs? That is what we are talking about now. One of the few actual responsibilities that the federal government has is to "secure the borders". This is actually spelled out in the Constitution. There is not a mention of hearings to find out if ballplayers use steroids. There is not even a mention of them taking care of providing food stamps. (there was actually a specific ban on income taxes, but that is another post) Secure borders is one thing that IS specified. I have stated before - calling illegal aliens an immigration problem, is like calling bank robbery a withdrawal problem.

Now some other stuff (or as they said on Monty Python - "now for something completely different")

Remember the first, important rule - THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT MONEY. It is especially ironic to mention this on April 15th - tax day. The government at all levels is taking more and more money from those that actually produce in this country.

Rule two - CORPORATIONS DO NOT PAY TAXES - PEOPLE PAY TAXES. All corporations can do is charge more for their products and give that portion to the government. While I am on corporations, here are some more facts - corporations/companies do NOT exist to offer employment to people. They are not there so people can retire with a pension. They do not exist to offer benefits to people. They exist for one reason - to make money for their owners and investors. Now, that usually means employing people. However, pay and benefits should be based on market conditions and what it takes to get the quality of employees needed. In fact, a board of directors can be sued if it is found negligent by overpaying. That is the same for taxes. Boards and management can be sued by investors if they are not taking advantage of all tax breaks that are legally allowed.

Lastly - with the Senate arguing on gun control, another fact. (yes FACT) No gun laws will stop tragedies like the school shootings. No gun laws will keep guns out of the hands of people acting insanely. Yes, we can keep guns out of the hands of those that have been found to be mentally incompetent. However, mental incompetence and psychotic episodes are not static. I can be mentally unstable tomorrow. Almost any of us could be faced with something that causes us to be "temporarily insane". I can buy a gun when perfectly normal (I know, I am never normal) and then have a "break" and start shooting. Now, I know the anti-gun folks say don't sell me the gun in the first place. Besides being a violation of the Second Amendment, it is impractical. With millions and millions of guns out there already, one will always be able to get a gun from someone, somewhere. I have a couple of posts about this already here, so I will stop now.