About philmon

Part mountain junkie, part decent amateur photographer, part survivalist, part not-so-decent amateur musician, part sysadmin. Husband, step-dad, grandpa, and music freak who digs mechanical clocks, barometers, and Gil Elvgren pinups. Studied Meteorolgy & Computer Science. And the U.S. Constitution.

Asking For It

Our friend Robert posted this on HKB (facebook) … I had a comment on it that I wanted to save in case I or others wanted to refer to it in the future.  Incidentally, I once found this very fabric.  I thought about buying some and having someone make me a shirt out of it just because….

consentYou know, when people point out that when you dress a certain way you might expect certain unwanted attention (you certainly want the attention, or you wouldn’t dress that way) and sometimes that brings along assholes that go beyond just looking … we’re not saying it’s OK for the asshole to touch you. We’re just telling you you are increasing your chances due to the nature of assholes.

If I’m backpacking in the Rockies, I wouldn’t take a pound of bacon with me and lay it all over my clothes and backpack, because I know the nature of bears. It’s a danger to me whether it should be or not.

And no, I’m not comparing all men to bears, I’m comparing assholes to bears, because both will engage in behavior I wish to avoid, and I have some control over how much and what kind of notice they take of me.

“Home Grown” Rotten Fruit

So I’m reading this article … and it suddenly becomes crystal clear what I’m being sold and how it’s being sold:

Allowing a terrorist disguised as a refugee is a possibility, Sandweg said. But he added, “talk to any professional and they will probably say what keeps them up at night is the homegrown terrorist.”

In Paris, where 129 were killed in a combination of shootouts and bombings, some of those responsible were radicalized French or Belgian citizens.

“There is a notion that refugees are the source of the problem.  Recent events show the opposite.  Individuals get radicalized at home and it’s not the wolf slipping in in sheep’s clothing.”

Let’s take a look at the wording up there.

“Homegrown terrorist.”

And “homegrown” terrorists are grown from what sort of seed, in general?

Next sentence “some of those responsible were radicalized French or Belgian citizens”.

Some of them.  They didn’t even say “most” of them.  And you know darned well that if they could say “most” of them, they would.

Second, if we look at the “radicalized” citizens, what was their path to said citizenship?  I’ll bet francs to beignets they weren’t multi-generational French people named “Pierre” or “Francois”.  Immigrants become citizens unless they’re there illegally.  Refugees who have children have children who are citizens at the very least.

Now back to my first question … who is it being radicalized?

By saying “homegrown” and “citizens”, they are intentionally disguising the problem, and that is the problem of setting up a culture clash in your own country.  It might not happen often in the first generation … but that’s not what’s been going on in Europe, is it?

This is exactly what one would expect when you import people from radically different cultures and bend over backward to allow them not to assimilate.  This leaves, after a generation or two, a large population of unassimilated people who have thus not been able to successfully integrate into society, most of whom probably therefore have crappy jobs and don’t mix with their new “home” countrymen.  And they understandably feel “separate” and “other”.  And it just so happens that their religious cohorts in their families’ original home countries and around the world are all to willing to provide the spark needed for radicalization, even self-radicalization.

But it all happened here at home, so don’t worry about bringing more in.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.

 

Reconstructing a Deconstruction

There’s this fairly common joke construct. Goes like this. “I thought ___A__ was OK, until I found out ___B___.”

In the formula, “A” is something people pretty much universally agree is horrible, and “B” is something that is relatively trivial. The bigger the disparity, the greater the irony, the funnier the joke.

The point is never to trivialize the evil of A, it is always to trivialize “B” as an offense.

Might go something like this….

“I thought Hiltler was OK until I found out he was a vegetarian.”

The irony being, of course, who really gives a damn if someone is a vegetarian? (Unless they’re constantly in your face about it, at which point they’re Vegetarian Nazis  😉 )

“B” doesn’t even have to be true for the joke to work, but “A” must be universally perceived to be *very* bad, or the joke won’t work.

“I thought Mother Theresa was OK until I found out she treated people for leprosy.”

Doesn’t work for 2 reasons. Most people admire Mother Theresa, and pretty much nobody thinks treating people for leprosy is bad on any level.

But this one might work …

“I thought Charles Manson was OK until I found out he liked the Teletubbies.”

A lot of people think the Teletubbies are weird and don’t like them. But it’s certainly not anywhere near the evil that Manson wrought. You could replace “Teletubbies” with “Jersey Shore”, or any other TV show many people don’t like.

And so another one might go like this…

“I thought the KKK was OK until I found out they smoked pot.”

Which a joke Jeff Sessions told 30 years ago that seemed to be the crux of the case *against* him.

One of the most insidious things about the NewSpeak nature of Political Correctness is that it that it doesn’t just make words mean things they don’t mean, but that it can actually go so far as to make words mean the exact opposite of what they mean if it suits the person engaging in Political Correctness.

A Brief Jaunt Through Recent History, Part II

(sequel to A Brief Jaunt Through Recent History, Part I)

Actions have consequences.  Often unintended.  And most of the time those unintended consequences aren’t good ones.

In the early 20th century, the world started dabbling in what its proponents called “progressive” ideology.  Social safety nets, short work weeks, national health care, central planning, population control, eugenic, all within the state nothing outside the state …. that sort of thing.

A few of which are great things to have to the extent you can afford them.  Europe, especially ran with it, and for a while it was easy what with them having outsourced their defense to the United States during the Cold War.

But these kinds of things ultimately turned out to be pyramid schemes which depended on the next generation always being larger than the previous so you had more paying into the system than you were paying out to.  And at first, the ratio was great.  But as people voted themselves more and more benefits and had fewer and fewer children … supporting the growing aging population with more costly programs and fewer and fewer people in each succeeding generation paying into it started to destabilize things.  So the Europeans did the only sensible thing.

They outsourced procreation.  They started bringing in immigrants who would take the lower wages they themselves wouldn’t take and of course no longer had to because of the social safety nets.  It made them feel good about themselves. Oh, and it would be so oppressive to expect them to assimilate, we’re all so “multicultural”.  We’re above that. We’re worldly.  Accepting of other cultures.  And we’re giving them a lift out of poverty. Why we practically have one foot in heaven already!

Just not in their back yards.

Which left large swaths of these populations especially in France and now increasingly in Germany and Sweden living quite separately from the societies that imported them, in francecheap, crowded, maybe government housing.

That didn’t turn out so well.

We’ve done the same kind of thing here as well.  The main difference is we import our cheap labor from  mainly Mexico and Central America, and Europe has imported its cheap labor mainly from the Muslim world.

We haven’t had the problems they are having … yet.  And that’s mainly because the cultural differences between us and our cheap labor sources aren’t that great.   There’s no jihadi component in Central America.

But you can’t say that for Europe and its labor sources.

We can, however, learn from what has happened in Europe. and think twice about who we bring into this country and on what conditions.

If you want to come here and be an American, come on in, fulfill the requirements, pass the test, take the pledge, and assimilate as best you can.  You wanted to be one of us, be one of us.

If you want to come here just to work, that’s cool.  We can make that clear in the arrangement and if you ever find it’s not working out for you you can always go back.  And if you decide “hey this American thing is cool, I want to be a citizen”, well you can apply just like everyone else who immigrates has to.  Like they have to in every other country.

We do have an interest in accepting compatible people and rejecting incompatible people. This has nothing to do with race or origin.  It has to do with culture and attitude.

So now there’s a power vacuum in Syria, and various factions are duking it out, including ISIS.  Which was created in the vacuum we left when we “ended” the war in Iraq.  The Russians like their man Assad and are bombing on his behalf.   We’ve been bombing against ISIS and other Islamist factions in Syria.  It’s a soup of factions of people who aren’t big fans of America, and our bombing probably isn’t helping that image with most of them.

So it’s REALLY unclear who the refugees actually are, how do you sift through them, and where do you put them?

Do you put them in cities all across western countries?

Ask France.  Ask Germany.  Ask Sweeden.  They tried it and it got ugly fast. It’s also true some of the problems that crop up often take a generation or two to develop, and when they do, you get … civil war here.

The answers are not as simple as many would like you to believe.

A Brief Jaunt Through Recent History, Part I

It’s pretty apparent my millennial friends have had their history badly filtered, giving them an extremely skewed worldview, which is detrimental to them and their children.  Now I don’t claim this to be a complete history by any means, but I wish to fill in some blanks I suspect they’re not familiar with.

I’m going to start with this photo from Tehran University, teheranTehran, Iran, during the 1970’s.

But something changed in 1979, before most of you were born.

That something was not the invasion of the West, or of the U.S., but rather what is known today as Radical Islam.  The change was the expulsion of all western influence.  Admittedly, this was a reaction to western meddling over the previous century.  But the forced expulsion of all things western was not a step forward.

A similar change occurred in Afghanistan, fueled by reaction to the invasion of the Soviets.  The US helped the opposition (mujaheddin) in Afghanistan fight the Soviets, mainly with training and weapons support.  The mujaheddin wore the Soviets down over the next 10 years, and when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, leaving a weak state run by whoever took over your town this week.  This power vacuum led to the rise of the Taliban, which many Afghans welcomed at first — they stopped the rampant crime. But the Taliban imposed Sharia Law in its place.  I’m sorry someone raped your daughter, we’ll have to stone her to death.

Keep in mind women in Afghanistan were going to college and dressing as they pleased before all of this came about, and this has everything to do with having been Western colonies controlled by western countries. But we need to move this along.

In late 1990, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein declared that Kuwait was a part of Iraq and invaded and took it over by military means.  The United Nations, which was created to stop such things, condemned the action.  But in reality, the United States is the enforcement wing for the United Nations. It just is.  We do the heavy lifting and then take the flack for it.

Saudi Arabia, fearing Iraq would set it sights on her next, agreed to let the UN (read mainly, the US) station troops in Saudi Arabia to help protect her in Operation Desert Shield.  In the mean time, the UN had demanded Iraq leave Kuwait.

President George HW Bush set about building a coalition of countries to support verbally and/or lend some military aid, and Operation Desert Storm – the expulsion from Kuwait, began.

Well we kicked Iraq out of Kuwait.  But we had promised the Arab states in the coalition that we would stop there.  It was hoped that the Iraqi people might seize the opportunity and topple Saddam themselves.  Many believed we would even help.  But we didn’t, at the behest of the other Arab states. And Saddam slaughtered millions of his own countrymen.

This, of course, was an outrage, and the world demanded action.  So we set up “No Fly Zones” in Iraq to try to keep Saddam from mass-murdering more of his own people.

Our planes and troops for this were still based in Saudi Arabia.

This did not sit well with radical Islamists throughout the middle east, as it meant infidels living on holy soil.  It was also a bit humiliating them to have infidels protecting the holy land.   It especially did not sit well with one particular Saudi, Osama bin Laden.

His organization tried to collapse the World Trade Center in 1993 with a bomb in the parking garage underneath it.  It killed 6 people and injured over 1,000, but the attempt failed to topple the tower.

The US did not treat this as an act of war, though.  It treated it as a law enforcement issue, and convicted 4 men in the bombing, and President Clinton fired a cruise missile at a milk factory to distract people from his having perjured himself.  Bin Laden vowed that he would destroy the buildings one day.  But it took him a while longer to get the next plan worked out and rolling.

About 8 years longer.

During this time Bin Laden had been able to set up shop in Taliban controlled Afghanistan, which again rose in the power vacuum left after the Soviets pulled out.

This time, the plan worked.  He convinced 15 men to hijack airplanes and crash them into not only the World Trade Center, but into the Pentagon and the White House as well.  Only the one headed for the White House failed, thanks to the stones of some great Americans on Flight 93.

The attack was roundly condemned, and the U.S. went into Afghanistan looking for Bin Laden and his Taliban protectors.

In a nutshell, Bin Laden got pissed about Americans in Saudi Arabia who were there for 10 years at the U.N.’s behest mainly to keep Saddam Hussein from killing more of his own people. He was so pissed he tried twice to destroy the World Trade Center and succeed spectacularly the second time.

What are your options as President at this point?

Apologize to Bin Laden and pull out of Saudi Arabia, rewarding terrorist behavior?  And what happens to Iraqis Saddam doesn’t like after we leave?

Bush decided the best option was to finish the job started in 1990 which was cut short and set up this chain of events in the first place.

Now as part of the 1991 cease fire Iraq was supposed to get rid of all of it’s chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, referred to as “WMD”.  Now every Democrat and his brother over the previous decade had asserted that Hussein had them, Hussein had asserted that he had them, and he was supposed to destroy them and prove that he’d destroyed them by letting the U.N. inspect various sites.  Which he basically refused to do.  He also routinely shot at U.S. planes enforcing the no-fly zone that was there to keep him from slaughtering more Iraqis.  In fact, Hussein was in violation of 17 U.N. resolutions and all the U.N. would do about it was write sternly worded letters.  Meantime, US troops still on sacred soil.  To protect Iraqis.  Note that just about everybody we’re protecting at this time are Muslims.  Protecting Muslims from dictators, and Muslims from radical Muslims.

For all of these reasons (no, it wasn’t JUST about the WMD everyone said was there) Congress votes President GW Bush the authority to launch a war in Iraq.  But almost immediately, the Democrats paint GW as a “war monger” helping his “oil buddies”, and VP Cheney as a dark war profiteer for a company that he … uh … used to work for.   This was ALL politics.  John Kerry famously said, in a strange attempt to garner favor from hawks when he decided to run against Bush “I was FOR the war before I was against it.”

You can’t have it both ways.

The media immediately started painting the war in the worst possible light (which is easy to do because war isn’t pretty, which is why you fight them as swiftly as possible, and fight them to win), assigning the worst possible motives to everyone involved (except for Saddam.  See Michael Moore’s stupid movie with the unicorns and flowers in Iraq when we just started dropping bombs because we hate brown people).  It was chaos.  It was a quagmire.  There was no chance of winning.  A surge would fail.  (Only a surge didn’t fail.)  But all of this was to help soften the ground for their presidential run in 2008.  Bush is Hitler.  Cheney is Darth Vader.  They just hate brown people.  All of that rot.

Obama ran on “ending” the war.  So he “ended” it.  Funny thing about wars, though.  The party that decides when a war is over is the party that loses the war.  No matter how you slice it, it’s the side that cries “Uncle”.  So he “ended” the war by losing what was gained, pulled out and left a ….

Power vacuum.

Power vacuums in the middle east don’t turn out well.  They are quickly filled by ruthless scum who murder anyone who isn’t with them.  So they murder Muslims who aren’t “Muslim” enough, Christians, Hindus, atheists, Jews … whoever they like.

And in the middle east, Radical Islamists export this brutality.

Because they want to bring about the 12th Imam and his Caliphate.  Seriously it’s part of the religion (no, look it up yourself).  They need to establish chaos to bring it about, and to spread Islam by the sword or by cultural jihad (yes, this is an actual thing) everywhere they can.

Stay tuned for Part II

But SPILLZZZZ!!!!

I have a very dear friend who has some native ancestry and Indian Nation issues are very important to her.

Thus I’m in an awkward, bad position between her friendship and the DAPL hysteria.

I’m not upset with her.  I’m upset with the people who have fed the hysteria for their own political and economic purposes.  There are those who don’t want us to use oil, period, because Man Bear Pig (who ironically are now posting about how low gas prices are because Obama … who wanted them to go up… I’m so confused)  — and those with economic interests in the status quo … transporting more oil over their railways or in trucks over our highways (burning fossil fuels whose exhaust feeds Man Bear Pig — again, these people don’t appear to have a need to be consistent.)

I ran across a post this morning where she asked

“So where were your safety measures for THIS pipeline spill?” linking an article about a spill in Montana in the Yellowstone River a few years ago by an Exxon pipeline.

Naturally curious me, I go read about it.  And this is what I found.

That pipeline (Silvertip) was placed 70 years ago and runs 5-12 feet deep under the river (incidentally, *now* it runs 40 feet beneath the river). 5-12 feet of sediment can easily be scoured out by erosion especially during floods. What they think happened in Montana was boulders moving along the bottom during recent flooding ripped an exposed section of the pipeline open, right there at the river bottom during flooding. No pipeline should be that close to the surface under a waterway — especially a river.

Pipelines in the past have been  cavalierly placed much too close to the surface. The proposed DAPL pipeline run would pass 95 to 115 feet deep under the lake.  So the answer is, safety measures weren’t in place for that pipeline. They didn’t exist when the pipeline was built. In the case of the one that recently ruptured, “under” was closer to “running right along the bottom of”. This was bad, and there are probably a lot more of these that need to be addressed with modern equipment and higher standards for how deep they go when they pass underneath waterways. Along with thicker metal and perhaps double-walls.

I would be more concerned with having companies like Exxon replace old sections of the hundreds of pipelines that currently run under bodies of water all over the country with the same kind of design developed for DAPL. I’m far more worried about contamination from those than I am about this DAPL run.

I do consider myself an environmentalist.  Not one of these hyper, every bug must be protected at all costs environmentalists.  But I, like most people, want clean air and water and unspoiled places to go to get away from life in the city and experience the wild country.  I’m kind of big on that, really.

So I’m serious about that addressing old pipelines bit.  Not only do we not want to waste crude oil, but no, I really don’t want it in the water and contaminating the rivers’ edges.

Alternative Facts

I gotta admit, that one did bug me.  What the hell do you mean, “Alternative Facts”???

I thought a clarification was in order, especially since it was jumped on so quickly.  And hey, you know our side would have jumped on it, too.  It was just too juicy.  She set Chuck Todd up for a spike.  Oh, and he friggin’ buried that ball.

If they really were going that route, yeah, it sounded a bit Orwellian.  But I think I’ve got it sorted out now.

And in their defense, no clarification would ever have been acceptable anyway.  Stop digging, right?

But now that I’ve gone and tracked down what was said and in what contexts regarding crowd size, audience size, and the use of the term “Alternative Facts” … this is what it looks like to me.
 
1) At first, Trump claimed there were 1.5 million people. Somebody in his camp probably told him this. This was a faulty estimate based on how many people different sections of the mall holds.  From the angle most people on stage see it from, it would have appeared that the mall was full. They didn’t have the advantage of the higher angle from the cameras on the more famous photos that were produced later.
 
2) The photo at 12:01pm clearly shows that the mall was not, in fact, full, that there was quite a bit of sparsely populated, even almost empty space.
 
3) Spicer revised the assertion (without retracting the claim about attenedees) to “I have a right to say if you add up the network streaming numbers, Facebook, YouTube, all of the various live streaming that we have information on so far, I don’t think there’s any question it was the largest watched inauguration, ever” — which while it isn’t indisputable, even liberal outlets admit that this may very well be true.
 
4) Kellyanne Conway, when talking about the situation used a term which she will never live down in her awkwardly worded response. “What — You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.”
 
It’s clear, after going over what was said and when it was said that by “alternative facts” she meant “alternate facts”. An “alternate fact” would be another fact that they choose to focus on instead of that one. One that, if you substitute it for the first, r1935belated fact, might underscore the idea they were trying to get across. The fact that it was Da Biggesssst™.   …. audience …. um … around the world, physical and electronic. She may have been ineloquent but she isn’t stupid. It wasn’t some Orwellian attempt to say that the crowd on the mall wasn’t smaller because they had an “alternative fact” that it was actually larger because they said so. Though there’s no doubt they were trying to gloss over the fact that the physical attendance was smaller (and this is important, why?). They were glossing over it by painting with a broader brush, a different fact which still had to do with audience, just not physical audience present at the event. A related fact, a fact in the same family that didn’t negate the fact that there were fewer people present, but deflected it by talking about a bigger picture.
 
So it’s much ado about nothing in the end. But it was yet another foot-in-mouth moment for the Trump camp which has never been known for its eloquence.

I Made Jim Give at the Office

So this meme post comes across my timeline when a friend commented on it.

I’ve seen it before.  But man.  It is so demonstrably untrue, this time I had to say something.

As with a lot of these things, there’s a lot missing. Of course conservatives care. They just don’t think they should be able to use the force of government to force anyone else to act like they care, and in what ways they must act like they care. Conservatives don’t typically have a need to be seen caring. They just do it.

To which one woman replied:

“Sorry. Cutting aid to starving children doesn’t seem like caring about anything but your own pocketbook.”

So I went on:

You talk as if aid is this thing that is just there in nature – like air, that everyone has a right to, and someone is taking it away.

It’s a matter of perspective. Aid should be given freely, not taken. When government is in charge of it, the only “taking” is done from the people who had it to begin with.

As if it is only aid if it came from the government. Well nothing comes from the government. Everything it has came from someone else (or will come from someone else, since it borrows heavily from our childrens’ and grandchildrens’ futures to pay for this aid in this generation).

And it is demonstrably untrue that conservatives don’t care and don’t give to charity. Conservatives give more to charity than liberals … here, a link from the definitively NOT conservative NYT on a study that surprised even the researcher. (note this is on TOP of what they are required to “give” through the government).

Political liberals are all about telling people how much of other people’s money people should get, but it apparently stops with supporting the mandates, not giving freely themselves.

“I’ll pass, I made Jim give at the office.”

Get this … here’s a real response I got.

Why are all of these trolls suddenly showing up on a Liberal FB page?? All of you need to leave us alone.

So you can be free to echo the hate you have based on demonstrably false premises without being challenged?  And we’re responsible for the divisiveness?

Time Doesn’t Exist – and other Sophist nonsense

So I sawtime this on Facebook.

It’s very deep, of course.

The argument goes like this:  Time doesn’t exist because the units we use to measure it can’t be found in nature. (They can, actually, we may get to that later).

But of course, this is absurd.  The same logic could be used to argue that distance doesn’t exist because centimeters are a social construct, or that mass doesn’t exist because grams are a social construct.

The fact that 3:02 PM on a Tuesday is just a social construct doesn’t mean that time doesn’t exist.  This is an important distinction.  Failing to make the distinction leads to all sorts of logical folly.

In a conversation with Severian a while back, we noted that sophists started this whole deal (or more accurately, perhaps, popularized and formalized it) where we confuse the words we use for things for the things themselves.

I commented on the photo, basically saying what I just wrote above, adding “trust me, time exists.”

To which my friend replied, “we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.”

Now I know he’s intelligent enough to understand what I’m saying and just wasn’t following at the time and was not interested in trying, so I just dropped it.  But it was clear he was stuck on the language of the photo posted and saw what the truth in it is — and went with the conclusion.  I wasn’t arguing the facts stated in the post.  I was arguing with the two conclusions, that 1) Time doesn’t exist, and 2) that time as a social construct makes us slaves to it.  Time, that is.  The thing that doesn’t exist.

My immediate thought was “we’ll have to agree to disagree”.  By “we’ll” I assume he means “we will”, which means starting at some point in time and going forward.  In time.  Which doesn’t exist.

If time doesn’t exist, then not only is there no future, there is no now.  And if there is no “now”, there is no “is”.  So I, who apparently do not exist in the first place, just “proved” that nothing exists.  Which is a tall order if you parse that sentence at all.

I recall a story from Zen Buddhism that basically went like so:

The master asks the student some koan (I forget what it was), and days later the student comes back and proudly answers that nothing exists.  The master then slaps him across the face and asks, “then what was that?”

Confusing language for reality gets us in a lot of trouble, quickly, especially when we start substituting reality for language — which is the direct opposite of what language does.  Reality is reality, language is the abstract.  It doesn’t mean reality is abstract.

It gets us into lots of trouble in all sorts of subject areas.  And politicians, the main consumers of sophistry, use this to great advantage, every day.

As far as the “slave” thing goes … the social construct of 3:02 PM on a Tuesday was created so we, who are by nature social beasts, can better cooperate with each other. If anything, we are slaves to our nature.  But that should come as no surprise.  Everything is.

More specifically, we are really slaves to agreements – but agreements are necessary for social behavior whether it’s “you must do this by such and such time or I will have you flogged” or “if you do this by such and such time I will pay you … something.”  The nature of the first “agreement”, of course, is coercive and immoral.

But if time doesn’t exist, then morality certainly doesn’t exist.  We can find no physical evidence of it in nature, right?  So who cares?  I digress.

The same thing is being done with gender right now.  In nature, humans are male or female (there are a few biological aberrations, but everyone by and large is one or the other).  Now, there are certain personality traits we associate more with one gender or another, and we have taken to some standardized ways of expressing ourselves accordingly.

But what have our modern sophists done?  They have taken these expressions, this “language”, and substituted them back into the reality of gender, claiming that gender is just a social construct.  But no, it is the expressions that are social constructs.  Gender remains what it always has been.  But the sophists insist that it is not.

What this boils down to is a war on society.  The assumption is that social constructs are arbitrary and therefore worthless.

But “worth” is also a social construct.

So I guess I can officially opt out of this conversation.

*note: 3:02 PM on a Tuesday does, in fact, exist.  It just had no name.  The name is an abstract.  The point in time is a reality.

The AC/DC Act

Morgan brought up, on the Hello Kitty of bloggin’, the fact that dry-cleaning costs have gone up faster than shirt costs, he suspects because of some ranting by New Feminists that women were being charged more for dry cleaning than men were, so they raised the prices for men (which did nothing to help women, except for make it so that more of them had to iron their husbands’ shirts due to new budgetary constraints).

This has led to an undesirable increase in the cleaning cost to shirt cost ratio, which he suspects has gone from about 0.1 to 0.4.

History would make me guess this must have been called the “Dry Cleaning Equality Act”, since that’s the kind of name they come up with to sell these things.  I imagine the Association of American Dry Cleaners helped draft the law and lobbied heavily for it.

As usual, the only way to solve problems created by the government is to have the government try to solve it with more government.  The problem is this ratio increase, called the “Dini Index”.  So clearly the solution must drive this ratio back down.

The obvious way to do this would be to mandate that people buy more expensive shirts.  Of course this means that less expensive shirts should be outlawed (who should be forced to wear sub-par shirts, after all?). We will therefore call this the Affordable Clothing Dry Cleaning Act, or the ACDC Act (Dirty Duds and They’re Done Dirt Cheap!)

By increasing the cost of each shirt, the Dry Cleaning Cost to Shirt Cost ratio goes back down – dry cleaning is therefore more affordable because Science™.

Naturally, since we can’t expect the less fortunate among us to be able to afford the more expensive shirts, we will also be expected to shoulder our Fair Share™ of the cost to society and subsidize expensive shirts for the poor.

I won’t go into the details of the act itself. You’ll just have to pass the act to find out what’s in it.  I’ll merely assure you that it’ll make dry cleaning more affordable and that if you like your current shirt vendor, you can keep him*.    If you’re not for it, you clearly hate poor people and are on the Highway to Hell.
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(*) as long as he offers only the shirts we allow and remains in business.  We take no responsibility for driving him out … ahem … his decision to leave the market.