Month: July 2009

OK, There is Someone Stupider than Amity Shlaes

Hard to believe, but true.

It turns out that Gregory Levey is stupider than conservative affirmative action baby Amity Shlaes, the woman who was fired by that Communist rag the Financial Times for extolling Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina in her reporting on the storm and its aftermath, because Mr. Levey is suggesting that Barack Obama should appoint George W. Bush as his Middle East envoy to aid in his diplomatic efforts in the region.

In related news, he suggested that Hannibal Lecter as chairman of the special White House committee on nutrition, Mary “Typhoid Mary” Mallon as head of food safety at the FCC, Timothy Leary as Drug Czar, and South Carolina Governor Rick “Hiking the Appalachian Trail” Sanford as head of the special working committee for ethics in government.

Great googly moogly.

There Can Only Be One

It appears that someone idiot at AT&T’s ISP division decided to block the anarcho-absurdist site 4chan from their customers.

Within hours a fictitious report of the death of AT&T’s CEO from a cocaine overdose following a gay prostitution binge (it implies that he was a “bottom”) appeared on CNN’s “citizen journalism” site iReport.

Seriously, while the folks at 4chan are nice people, much like Bruce Banner, you really don’t want to make them angry, because if they put their minds to it, it can get ugly.

Postscript: ATT has apparently removed the block.

Disclaimer: I have only visited 4chan briefly, and my experience was that everyone there was swell, totally righteous, and that under no circumstances should anyone, ever, frack with them.

Furthermore, nothing in this post should be construed as a criticism of 4chan. I am criticizing AT&T, and the “stupid” and “wanker” tags are directed at the telecommunications company.

Alan “Bubbles” Greenspan’s Capitalist Paradise

In this Friday’s editorial, the New York Times notes that the increase in the minimum wage is not sufficient, and that jobs of tomorrow will not support a middle class lifestyle:

The minimum wage also sets a floor by which other wages are set. Keeping it low keeps wages lower than they would be otherwise, especially for jobs that are just above the minimum-wage level. That’s a big problem for American workers because low-wage fields are the ones that are adding the most jobs.

According to the Labor Department, 5 of the 10 occupations expected to add the most jobs through 2016 are “very low paying,” up to a maximum of about $22,000 a year. They include retail sales jobs and home health aides. Another 3 of the 10 are “low paying,” from roughly $22,000 to $31,000, including customer-service representatives, general office clerks and nurses’ aides.

(emphasis mine)

We have created Alan Greenspan’s Randroid paradise here, where a living wage is only for the capitalists who make their money off of other people’s money.

For the other 80% of the population, we have a life of debt servitude and peonage.

H/T uggabugga.

Gee, No Racist Cops in Cambridge

Gawker has some pics of a Cambridge police officer’s vanity license plate, WHY-TEE, as in “Whitie,” get it?

Nope, nothing racist there.

Also note that he is parking illegally, and that I think that I have had a sub at this shop.

Even if this particular police officer does not have a single bigoted bone in his body (Yeah, right), this is clearly inappropriate, and the fact that no one has taken him aside to have a word with him on this is telling.

How About Just Dropping the Maximum Payroll Tax Limit

You know, when the Wall Street Journal is discussing how the the increasingly excessive pay for executives is endangering Social Security, it’s time to do something.

We are not talking about the Workers’ Daily World here, or even the New York Times. We are talking about the daily voice of “rich pig capitalism”, and they are talking about how much this is damaging to society:

Executives and other highly compensated employees now receive more than one-third of all pay in the U.S., according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Social Security Administration data — without counting billions of dollars more in pay that remains off federal radar screens that measure wages and salaries.

The growing portion of pay that exceeds the maximum amount subject to payroll taxes has contributed to the weakening of the Social Security trust fund. In May, the government said the Social Security fund would be exhausted in 2037, four years earlier than was predicted in 2008.

(emphasis mine)

Here’s a solution, have the employers portion of social security apply to all forms of remuneration that could be construed as wages, with out a top end to be taxed, and have the employee portion kick in above $1 million a year.

You could call it the They Who Must Not Be Named, Terell Owens, or Bernie Madoff tax.

Seriously, wages in this case are zero sum. When these guys get more, the rest of us get less.

Seriously, Cancel the JASSM

Seriously, this thing has always underperformed tests, and now the lot 6 acceptance tests for the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) have been deferred. (paid subscription required)

This thing has never performed as reliably as the specs require, and cancellation for cause would be a good way to kick a defense contractor in the teeth for delivering crap, and then expecting the taxpayer to fund the fixes.

Sometimes, you have to do stuff like this prevent this sort of behavior from becoming endemic in the defense procurement process.

Woah…This Has Failure Written All Over It

The Indian Defense (or is Defence) Ministry has initiated a project to create a “digital soldier”, called Futuristic Infantry Soldier-As-A-System (F-INSAS), and it seems to be analogous to the Pentagon’s recently canceled suspended “Land Warrior” system.

Of course, this ambitious system in juxtaposed with the Indian Defense R&D programs, which have taken more than 30 years to take a tank and an aircraft from concept to operational deployment, and 22 years to develop an anti-tank missile, so I see this as very likely being another complete cluster f$#@.

I’m not sure why Indian defense R&D is so completely fracked, but they have our own Pentagon beat on this, which must be scary for the Indian soldier and taxpayer.