Tuesday, March 07, 2023

National Divorce is a big joke

 Many people reading this might be repulsed by the idea of secession or national divorce. I’m writing this essay for the secession-curious: no matter where you are on the political spectrum, secession isn’t going to lead to desirable outcomes. Back when I was a Libertarian, I gave it a bit of thought. Secession for Indiana would mean the Hoosier Nation-State would be surrounded on four sides by a foreign country that might not have cause to like us very much. Our only coastline would be Lake Michigan. Any imports we buy would have to pass through the US. I came to the conclusion that the best way to maintain friendly relations with the US was to remain part of the US.

But the idea seems to have more appeal in large states along the coast, depending on who the President is at the time. Here are just a few thoughts that they may not have considered:

1. You lose access to the US Constitution and the US Supreme Court. To be fair, US politicians haven’t always complied with the Bill of Rights, which might be the reason why we’re having this conversation. And many state constitutions have clauses that also enshrine the Bill of Rights. But if your newly independent government locks you up without a trial, you won’t be able to ask the Supreme Court for help. You’re on your own.

You were fighting for more freedom, right? Are you so naïve as to assume that everyone on your side has the same ideals?

2. Your state lines would become an international border. Ever visit Canada with a messy car? The Canadian border guards will search through everything in that car. Any firearms that were perfectly legal back home will get you arrested in Canada, even if you forgot that you had them in the car. You also need a passport to enter and exit Canada. Now imagine that same level of hassle to visit relatives in a different state.

3. Your taxes might actually go up. The newly independent Republic of Florida will not be able to print US dollars like the Federal Reserve does. It won’t have as good of a credit rating as the US government. But it will have to provide a lot of what you expect from the federal government: highway funding, a Coast Guard, Social Security, etc. You are going into uncharted water with secession, so who can say if you can keep your US citizenship if the state you live it breaks off. But you will still have to pay federal taxes if you keep your US citizenship. Your state taxes WILL go up.

4. Things like this never go as well as you think they will Ever break up with someone and think that you’ll still be friends afterwards? How did that turn out for you? Was it a velvet breakup like Czechia and Slovakia? Or are you more like Russia and Ukraine? There will be no trial separation here: once you realize that you made a horrible mistake , it will be too late to f

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Thursday, February 09, 2023

The Franchise That Shall Not Be Named

After I graduated from high school, a series of children's books came out. I had no interest in these books because I was already an adult.

Some folks loudly denounced this series because it conflicted with the narrative in their own favorite series, frequently published as a single volume of 66 books. One would think that it's okay to like more than one thing.  But I strongly suspect that loud disapproval of this series made the books even more popular.

This is the problem with trying to kill an idea, even a bad idea. You can't even do it in your own head. Try to not think of a blue rhinoceros. The more you try to not think about it, the more you end up thinking about it. The more you try to actively discourage other people to not try that entertainment product, the more they will want to try it.

I never, ever read that series. I never intend to. From what I've heard from other people, you weren't suppose to say the villain's name because it gave him power. This is somewhat true in real life: talking about controversial movies, books, games, and public figures only serves to boost their popularity and give them more power.

The best way to reduce interest in something that you dislike is to promote the things that you do like. Feel free to do so in the comments section.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Conservatives shouldn't trust Elon Musk

 I don't mean to tell conservatives how to be conservatives, but conservatism should at least stand for something other than "whatever liberals hate". Is the enemy of your enemy really your friend? Was Stalin a good person just because he fought Hitler at the same time America did?

Elon Musk was a Democrat right up until it was revealed that he was sleeping with his own employees. So he bought up Twitter and lifted the ban on multiple RWNJ's. He spent way more money on the deal than he could possibly make back through ad sales. This appears to make conservatives happy in part because it makes liberals mad.

As if it's an accomplishment to make liberals mad. It's not even hard. Liberals make each other mad all the time. I happen to be a liberal myself and I'm anticipating hatemail from other liberals over what I just typed.

What are Elon Musk's goals? He was already the richest man in the world, and then he lost over 100 billion this year. That doesn't matter to him, he has enough money that his grandkids can retire as soon as they are born. One measure of a man's morality is how he acts when he no longer has to care about his own needs. We don't need to hate him for being rich, but what is he doing with his money? He launched a car into space and bought a website of dubious value. I checked to see if he was funding any medical research. He is paying for brain chip implant research. 

So I'm pro-vaccine, but I guess I'm not sure about brain chip implants. Maybe I might warm up to them if a bunch of other people try them first. If you are anti-vaccine because you don't want stuff injected into your bloodstream, how do you feel about chips inside your skull?

I'm not even telling you to be anti-brain implant. I'm offering you information and letting you draw your own conclusion. Maybe brain implants might be a good thing if they let paralyzed people walk again or blind people see again. But it's also healthy to be skeptical about stuff designed to impact your brain directly. I'm not going to be the first to try this.

My overall impression of Elon Musk was shaped by watching him on Saturday Night Live last year. It seemed like he wanted to present himself as a cool nerd, a smart guy who solves problems. I wish I could believe that was the kind of guy that he is. But prior to the episode, he said he was going to make an important announcement about Dogecoin. Investors got excited and bought more Dogecoin, driving up the price. 

Here was the announcement that he made.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/x5RCfQyTDFI" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

That little skit caused people to lose faith in Dogecoin. So people lost money because of him. If he was holding Dogecoin and sold it prior to the SNL episode, we could say that he was running a scam. But if he didn't have any Dogecoin, then as far as I can tell, he played a prank just to hurt people. Since Musk already has all the money anyone could ever want, I'm leaning towards the hypothesis that he's a sadist rather than a scam artist. You can make your own decisions, of course.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Monday, December 12, 2022

Unsolicited career advice for conservatives

 1. I think you should get vaccinated so as to prevent possible sickness and missed work. But  maybe you either disagree with the science, or you are trying to prove some kind of point. Maybe you actually do have a health issue in which vaccination is contraindicated. Moving on.

2. Try to acquire skills that let you work from home. Learning to code might be a place to start. Other ways to work from home include customer service, tech support, and social media specialist. Avoid any of that multi-level marketing crap.

3. If  you won't get vaccinated and you can't work from home, that means you'll have to work around other people. Maybe you have some sort of assurance that you can keep your current job for as long as you need it. But if that's not the case, then you should expect to be speaking with HR reps within the next couple years. Some employers, such as healthcare providers, will have vaccine requirements posted up front. Other employers might not say up front that they want you to be vaccinated, but they still might review any publicly viewable social media presence that you have. If they see antivax memes on your timeline, they might decide to choose a different candidate over you. Remember that vaccination is a personal choice. You wouldn't tell an HR rep that you like boxers over briefs, or that you had Skittles for breakfast instead of cereal. Yes, pro-vax people like me can be insufferable. We feel that vaccination is a matter of public health, so we made our decision public. You on the other hand, made a personal decision. Keep your personal decisions to yourself.

4. Conventional wisdom holds that if the economy is good during an election year, then the President usually gets re-elected. The pandemic and its unfortunate economic consequences no doubt played a role in Donald Trump's defeat in 2020. It stands to reason that if the economy is good in 2024, then Joe Biden will likely be re-elected. Pretending that somebody else is President might cause an employer to question your sanity. 

Friday, November 18, 2022

My wife made me get another Facebook account.

Some more thoughts about getting banned and getting back on.

I think I tripped an algorithm and got banned. The very last thing I posted with my old account was a poor taste joke about Dale Gribble from King Of The Hill getting shot by the Oregon State Police alongside Lavoy Finicum. Maybe typing "Lavoy Finicum" set up a red flag to the ban bots. Maybe I was targeted by malicious reporters.

Maybe I shouldn't have spend so much time at shitposting pages. I'm not going to pretend that this is entirely not my fault. But sticking to safe topics is boring. If I wanted to do that, I'd just watch network TV.

Of course I had to alert key friends that I was banned from FB. So I tweeted about it. Of course shady people reached out to me offering to restore my account for a fee. I refuse to believe that this would work, and I refuse to pay in any case. Facebook promised that the site would be forever free to users, so I'm holding them to that.