The Prophet Orwell

Too many people in DC apparently think 1984 was an instruction manual. Steny Hoyer (D-underhead) comes to mind as he is currently working on our very own homegrown version of Newspeak. I’ll let you read his flatulent pertrouserations and decide for yourself.
By the way, let me make it clear: I don’t refer to nor do I believe that these are penalties. What we are saying is everybody will contribute, whether you are a business, [or] an individual, contribute to making sure that health care options are available to all of our citizens.
So, when the government forces you to pay for something you neither want nor need, that’s a contribution.

Nancy Pelosi (D-unce) has jumped on the bandwagon as well.
“It’s not really a public option,” she said. “It’s a consumer option.”
Got that? The government version of health care is a “consumer option”. Who exactly is the consumer and who is the consumed I leave up to your imagination.

Finally, the President is reportedly going to sign into law, if he hasn’t already, the odious Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. We’ve got the Orwellian trifecta today. Two Newspeaks and a thought crime bill!

Orwell thought he was writing fiction. More and more it seems he was writing a prophecy.

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On "Awareness"

Apparently October has been "breast cancer awareness month"...I'm aware. Who the hell isn't at this point? If you haven't seen the insipid pink ribbon graphics all over half the products at the grocery store, then I guess you don't eat. Hell, there is very little you can't buy right now in pink to "promote breast cancer awareness".

This may be a little controversial; however, I find the concept of "awareness" to be particularly distasteful, terribly retarded, and basically pretty worthless.

I get a few e-mails a year from friends asking for donations for a fun run, bike ride, or whatever else because they're "promoting awareness" of some advocacy group, whether it be the NCS, NDA, or whatever. Basically, I just ignore these pleas. Frankly, if you look carefully at the financials of most of these advocacy organizations, not one of them has any interest whatsoever in eliminating whatever disease it is for which they're "promoting awareness".

Actually, it is typically just the opposite; how in the hell are the heads of these groups going to keep their half-million to million dollar a year jobs if we don't continue to have rampant cancer or diabetes or whatever? What will these charity welfare types do to earn a real living? These organizations thrive because these diseases exist. They do what they must to appear to legitimately help and keep your money coming in, but not enough to actually do any real good. Don't believe me? Visit Charity Navigator.

Personally, I just wish people would keep the whole mess away from me. I think Christian Lander put it at least more diplomatically than I ever could. Note, he's writing satire about urbanite & wannabe white liberals, but I think it applies to anyone who thinks the concept of "awareness" is actually meaningful.

An interesting fact about white people is that they firmly believe that all of the world’s problems can be solved through “awareness.” Meaning the process of making other people aware of problems, and then magically someone else like the government will fix it.

This belief allows them to feel that sweet self-satisfaction without actually having to solve anything or face any difficult challenges. Because, the only challenge of raising awareness is people not being aware. In a worst case scenario, if you fail someone doesn’t know about the problem. End of story.

What makes this even more appealing for white people is that you can raise “awareness” through expensive dinners, parties, marathons, selling t-shirts, fashion shows, concerts, eating at restaurants and bracelets. In other words, white people just have to keep doing stuff they like, EXCEPT now they can feel better about making a difference.

Raising awareness is also awesome because once you raise awareness to an acceptable, aribtrary level, you can just back off and say “Bam! did my part. Now it’s your turn. Fix it.”

So to summarize – you get all the benefits of helping (self satisfaction, telling other people) but no need for difficult decisions or the ensuing criticism (how do you criticize awareness?). Once again, white people find a way to score that sweet double victory.

How about this: if you want to really do something meaningful to help fight breast cancer, send a check to a cancer research hospital, like UT MD Anderson Cancer Center with an innovative experimental treatment. If you don't have the money, but do have enough time to train for and take a bike ride or a 15K walk or whatever, why not think about splitting your time between getting some exercise and maybe going over to a hospital and volunteering to work with and help the sick people for whom you're supposedly "promoting awareness"? Volunteer to help people in need or without hope for a cure for their disease find active clinical trials programs. Maybe help someone who wouldn't otherwise be able to get to a trial by providing transport. You might actually do something productive with your time, other than bug the hell out of everybody else about nothing. And, you might actually make a difference, help someone, and have something REAL to feel good about.


Nuke Geneva

It's the only way to be sure we stop them in their tracks.

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I Have None

I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but Regretsy is my new favorite website.

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How Many?

So, being a bit amiss in keeping up with my book series, I note the new Robert Jordan & posthumous collaborator book will be out soon. I also note instead of a final volume, we will get a final 3 volumes, bringing the grand total up to 15 volumes if you count the prequel.

15 volumes, each the size of The Lord of The Rings. Seriously, was all the verbiage necessary? Surely some editing could have trimmed it all down to a more manageable number. Deleting the endlessly repeated bromides on women vs. men would have been a great start.

Anyhow, 4 also answers the titular question in regards to dogs. We will have 4 puppies if all goes well.

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Ettiquette Question

So, being somewhat lacking in the manners and graces of polite company, I have a question.

Is it considered rude to burn crop circles in someone's lawn without asking first? Because it seems like an ideal way to make a point.



Intentions Are Key

So, the n00b won the Nobel Peace Prize for... for... wait, what the fuck? According to the Swedes, it's
for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples
Seriously? Are you people on crack? He hasn't accomplished a bloody thing. Oh, wait, he didn't have to according to the committee. He got a Nobel for effort. When I was but a lower-case t, the prize for effort meant you were completely useless, but tried real hard. Are they going to apply this standard to the other prizes? Because, really, won't that make the prize way more inclusive? Maybe Pons and Fleischmann can get a Physics prize now, since they tried really, really hard to make cold fusion work. And they tried even harder to make people think they had. Surely that level of effort deserves some kind of reward.

For most of us, 1994 marks the nadir of the Nobel Peace Prize. When you hand out a prize for peace to a guy simply because he agrees, in theory but not in practice, to stop slaughtering people to achieve his goals, you've pretty much rendered it meaningless. I could also point out 1981 as a fail point, when they handed it to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. One could make the argument the completely ineffectual work the UNHCR has done with regards to the Palestinians has done more to prolong conflict in the Middle East than any other single organization.

Seriously, aside from the fact they give out big cash, why does anyone care about this award anymore? It's a sick joke.

UPDATE: I am allied with the GOP and terrorists! Or so says the head donk:
"The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists - the Taliban and Hamas this morning - in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize,"
The jokes write themselves. Or run political parties. Whichever.

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Photographic Proof

Some time back, I posted on the strange career arc and transformation of Ice Cube. Somebody has done a lovely photo comparison about it. Looking gangsta there, Ice.

H/t to Radley Balko via his Twitter feed.

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Traffic Light Solution

So, as I mentioned last week, the county will at some point be putting up a stop light at the intersection of Rayford and Legends Ranch. People have been complaining for some time about the apparent lack of progress. I think I may have a solution.

Monday morning, shortly before 7:15 AM, someone t-boned a school bus at the intersection of Birnham Woods and Riley Fuzzel. By 6 PM Tuesday night, the county had put stop signs up at the intersection. I was quite surprised, since normally it takes a bit more time to get MoCo to do anything.

So, if you really want the county to act on the traffic light, run into a school bus there. It seems to get them moving quickly.

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Sticker Dissonance

Driving in to work this morning, I saw a car with two bumper stickers that don't quite match up. One was an Obama-Biden campaign sticker. The other said "I'm A Constitution Voter".

Umm. Yeah.

Unless those stickers were applied by two different people, the level of cognitive dissonance required to hold both of those thoughts at the same time verges perilously close to madness.

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New Indeterminate Residents

Well, in and amongst all the fuss and furor, I have neglected to mention the latest residents of YPS Manor. After UH beat Tech last Saturday, we got up early in the morning and drove to Carrollton to do some dog rescue for the local breed club. J and I had been discussing getting another dog for some time, and we decided to keep one of the 6 rescue dogs we picked up. So we now have Dog V2.0 and Dog V2.5. The newest dog doesn't get a full rev level, since she's only half the size of V2.

Then the vet called. Dog V2.5 is pregnant with an indeterminate number of offspring. So we are expecting Schrodinger's puppies in roughly another 2 weeks. Once we collapse the waveform and figure out just how many puppies we have, we'll figure out what to do with them.


Court Pwned

Well, Amazon made a mind-blowingly stupid decision some months ago. Aside from the immediate fallout, the courts have now piled on. Amazon is paying $150,000 to some kid who got his homework ganked along with his copy of 1984. As part of the settlement, Amazon agreed they won't take your books back except in some very limited conditions. This goes some way towards making me think kinder thoughts about the Kindle, but not far enough to make me buy one. Given the initial blunder, this is probably the best recovery Amazon can make. Of course, now that Amazon has entered into an agreement with the court as to the terms of the deletion policy, things will go much worse for them if it happens again.

As an aside, I can't think of any homework assignment I've done in my life that was worth $150,000 dollars. Hell, my entire college education (both degrees) didn't cost that much.

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