Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Is My Political Compass Skewed?

Check it out:

I've taken their test a few times now.

Latest results:

Economic Left/Right: -4.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.97


I score in that area pretty consistently.

I noticed that when I went through the test I felt like I wasn't choosing the most politically correct answer, even for a libertarian leftie. I've decided to review each question and provide my answer and (if deemed necessary) my reasoning for choosing that answer. This might explain why I scored closer to the center than I actually may be.

Page 1 of 6

If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.
-Strongly Agree

I'd always support my country, whether it was right or wrong.

No one chooses his or her country of birth, so it's foolish to be proud of it.
-Disagree (We have this "need" to worship foolish things. Our nationality is one of those things. We shouldn't be ready to abandon that so quickly. But in principal I agree. Should we be proud? Yes. Willing to kill just for it? No.)

Our race has many superior qualities, compared with other races.
-Disagree (I guess it depends on what races we're talking about. And what qualities. If I was black and talking about schlongs I might agree. Same goes with jews and brains. But what genetic advantages do whites have? lol. The sexiest women? I don't know about that, white women with a bit of persian blood are pretty hot. Ah, that's why we have to invade Iran!)

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
-Strongly Disagree (Many an atrocity has been caused by that line of thinking. Including the root cause of the Iraq debacle: our support of Saddam against Iran. Let me entertain you with this thought. What if, oh, in about the year 1990 or so, Saddam realized that the US was a bigger threat to the middle east than Iran?)

Military action that defies international law is sometimes justified.
-Agree (No, that is not a blank check that Israel can use to bomb UN bunkers and blow up a bunch of kids and Red Cross ambulances.)

There is now a worrying fusion of information and entertainment.
-Strongly Agree (It's more that just worrying. Like a cancer is "worrying". "I heard you have cancer, how do you feel about that?" "I'm a bit worried about it..." ! Shame on them for framing the question the way they did.)

Page 2 of 6

People are ultimately divided more by class than by nationality.
-Agree (This is a difficult question because when you look at Africa and Latin America it's hard to agree, but then you have to look deeper. After all, if the elite ruling class didn't sponsor the raping and pillaging of the entire southern hemisphere of its natural resources, who knows what those unfortunate countries and continents would be like today.)

Controlling inflation is more important than controlling unemployment.
-Agree (But I believe there is a fallacy inherent in this question, since it implies that you must choose one or the other. Jobs or inflation.)

Because corporations cannot be trusted to voluntarily protect the environment, they require regulation.
-Strongly Agree

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is a fundamentally good idea.
-Agree (The statement, when interpreted correctly, is fundamentally true and the logic cannot be disputed. Like in the tribal days, the men would come home with a kill, and they'd eat first. And they'd eat more. Sometimes they'd eat so much that the women had to share what scraps they got with the children. When you think about this, communism doesn't seem so cut and dry does it? The tribal roots of communism and capitalism is a fascinating topic, much worthy of study. Especially with all the right wing hackjobs out there -- they aren't very good when working with the roots of anything. Because the shallow decayed roots of their idealogy would reveal that they are a fraud.)

It's a sad reflection on our society that something as basic as drinking water is now a bottled, branded consumer product.
-Agree (Although I don't agree very strongly. After all, water is free and will always be. However, the work required to bring us that water is never free. And if the company that does the work wants to place their name on the bottle, I don't have a problem with that. But I agree anyway, simply because it is a sad reflection... The answer to this question has absolutely nothing to do with politics, it is strictly a matter of personal opinion.)

Land shouldn't be a commodity to be bought and sold.
-Disagree (I do however agree that someone who owns a piece of land should not be forced to sell it so that some rich bastard can make a boatload of cash. I am deeply disappointed there are no real questions concerning eminent domain. How can you guage it's like having a compass with no needle.)

It is regrettable that many personal fortunes are made by people who simply manipulate money and contribute nothing to their society.
-Disagree (People should be free to be parasites with their investing. But they should also be taxed heavily.)

Protectionism is sometimes necessary in trade.

The only social responsibility of a company should be to deliver a profit to its shareholders.
-Strongly Disagree (I was tempted to answer "Strongly Agree" just to see what effect it would have on my score.)

The rich are too highly taxed.
-Strongly Disagree (People who think it's true are just plain idiots and their arguments are almost always bogus. Has the tax on lotto jackpots really stopped people from playing the lottery? Or the fact that lotto winners are double and triple taxed?! Oh noes! You can use one lotto drawing to dispel half of the garbage propaganda used to attack high tax rates. And for the other half, you need only mention Mexico... lol)

Those with the ability to pay should have the right to higher standards of medical care.
-Agree (Sometimes treatments just cost a hell of a lot of money, and would bankrupt all but the wealthiest people -- and governments even. But if Tom Cruise wants an ultrasound machine.... well actually that's a bad example because those machines have just recently been shown to be dangerous and should not be used often enough to warrant the purchase of a personal unit.)

Governments should penalise businesses that mislead the public.

A genuine free market requires restrictions on the ability of predator multinationals to create monopolies.
-Strongly Agree

The freer the market, the freer the people.
-Disagree (The US is ostensibly free but is also a stone's throw away from being used as an engine for global destruction. We're talking Iraq on a global scale here... sheesh as if Iraq isn't bad enough by itself!)

Page 3 of 6

Abortion, when the woman's life is not threatened, should always be illegal.
-Strongly Disagree

All authority should be questioned.

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

Taxpayers should not be expected to prop up any theatres or museums that cannot survive on a commercial basis.

Schools should not make classroom attendance compulsory.
-Agree (Although they should promote it, obviously. I was tempted to disagree, but it all depends on how you define "compulsory". I'm against chipping them and zapping them if they don't show up for class.)

All people have their rights, but it is better for all of us that different sorts of people should keep to their own kind.
-Disagree (One might say it's easier to disagree on this and I'd probably agree with them too. But seriously, diversity has made us stronger. You have to believe that or else you don't believe in much...)

Good parents sometimes have to spank their children.
-Strongly Agree

It's natural for children to keep some secrets from their parents.

Marijuana should be legalised.
-Agree (Gambling, alcohol, and lobbying are all legal, and they're all more dangerous too.)

The prime function of schooling should be to equip the future generation to find jobs.
-Disagree (It's nice to teach skills and I'm not saying they shouldn't. But #1, first things first, people need to be taught how to think, and how to learn, and how to see through bull...)

People with serious inheritable disabilities should not be allowed to reproduce.
-Disagree (The old argument about how people with glasses shouldn't have been born. blah. It's nonsense.)

The most important thing for children to learn is to accept discipline.
-Disagree (Discipline is important but come on, sometimes kids know right from wrong better than some brainwashed adults, and sometimes the adult IS the one who is wrong! And to force a child to accept that injustice is akin to destroying that child's soul. What good is a disciplined soulless child when he/she grows up? This isn't just rhetoric by the way. This is real and it cannot be shrugged off.)

There are no savage and civilised peoples; there are only different cultures.
-Strongly Disagree (There are plenty of savage peoples. Do I really need to go down the list? The fact is that all humanity is savage. In so many ways you'd have to be blind, deaf, and dead not to see it. Note that I'd agree with the following: "There are no savage and civilised CULTURES; there are only different cultures. ")

Those who are able to work, and refuse the opportunity, should not expect society's support.
-Agree (By agreeing, I am not saying that everyone who can work 40 hours a week should. I just mean you should do something. You could be a painter... you could be anything, but you've still got to work at it. You could even be a professional bum. You'll just call yourself a "spiritual advisor". And you'll work at it.)

When you are troubled, it's better not to think about it, but to keep busy with more cheerful things.
-Disagree (So if you agree, you're delusional. I assume that makes you more of a right winger. But doesn't it invalidate this test to ask questions like that?)

First-generation immigrants can never be fully integrated within their new country.
-Disagree (Never say Never)

What's good for the most successful corporations is always, ultimately, good for all of us.
-Strongly Disagree (Depending on interpretation. One could argue that a corporation ideally prospers and so should we all. But that type of thinking doesn't scale up into the real world. Corporations most easily prosper by crapping on others so obviously we can't all do well by adopting the corporate strategy!)

No broadcasting institution, however independent its content, should receive public
-Disagree (It is soooo wrong to agree with that. People can't pool their money together to get their voice heard?? Total nonsense.)

Page 4 of 6

Our civil liberties are being excessively curbed in the name of counter-terrorism.
-Strongly Agree (Curbed? They're [censored] gone. We just haven't fully realized it yet. Like in the movies where someone gets decapitated, but their head sort of stays on just because they haven't moved yet.)

A significant advantage of a one-party state is that it avoids all the arguments that delay progress in a democratic political system.
-Disagree (Such a bogus statement. Delay progress? How can you even have progress without the discourse that defines what progress is? One party controlling things is not progress, no matter how much they get done. Unless everyone really does agree with that one party. But that is not the case in the one-party-ruled US, and I had to assume that's what this question was really about.)

Although the electronic age makes official surveillance easier, only wrongdoers need to be worried.
-Strongly Disagree (This is huge. There are any number of situations where you might NEED to have some privacy, and still be a good person, not a "wrongdoer". Try watching the movie End Game, or Enemy of the State. That's what the security and surveillance state is really for. So that if something goes wrong with some elite criminal plan, they can usurp that security grid and use it to lock down and crush any witnesses. People really should be worried about this, because it could happen to anyone. But I guess as long as it doesn't happen to you... it's ok? That mentality needs to die.)

The death penalty should be an option for the most serious crimes.
-Strongly Agree (Yes. We need more public executions of high ranking govt officials who are caught commiting war crimes. Imagine what it would do for our image if we got rid of a few of those rats... there's already enough evidence to convict, it's just a matter of people having the balls to demand justice. Yeah too bad justice doesn't work like that. Justice is saved for the guy with a 60 hour a week job, 2 kids, and a dimebag...)

In a civilised society, one must always have people above to be obeyed and people below to be commanded.
-Disagree (That's not civilized. In an emergency that's how things should be. But when those in charge try to make every damn thing into an emergency so that they can stay in power... well that is not what I call civilized behavior. Why does this happen? Because when the emergency ends, that is when people reflect on their leadership. And they make changes based on performance. This is how it works in every human culture. Even in a dictatorship. If a dictator totally goes mad, his people will overthrow him. Unless there are exploding collars around everyone's necks, or Fox News, or something equally powerful and dangerous.)

Abstract art that doesn't represent anything shouldn't be considered art at all.
-Disagree (Who am I and who are you to say what represents what. g0 b4(k t0 $(h00£ n3wb13 )

In criminal justice, punishment should be more important than rehabilitation.
-Agree (Punishment is more important. Even if we're just talking about the correct form of punishment, or whether what occured was even a crime at all.)

It is a waste of time to try to rehabilitate some criminals.

The businessperson and the manufacturer are more important than the writer and the artist.
-Strongly Disagree (If we had more writers we probably wouldn't have businesspersons with so much power...)

Mothers may have careers, but their first duty is to be homemakers.
-Agree (::ducks:: What I am saying is that it is everyone's first duty to be a good "homemaker". Not just mothers. And good "homemaking" is more than just sweeping the floor and doing laundry. A good homemaker makes his/her community into a good home, not just the house itself. We've lost too much of that.)

Multinational companies are unethically exploiting the plant genetic resources of developing countries.

Making peace with the establishment is an important aspect of maturity.
-Disagree (Making the establishment Rest In Peace is an important aspect of maturity!)

Page 5 of 6

Astrology accurately explains many things.
-Disagree (People can stare at clouds all day long and snap photos of that one cloud that looks like a cute littly kitty cat. And they can draw conclusions based on that. And sometimes those conclusions are very compelling -- if you don't focus on any of the millions of totally random "blah" cloud formations that don't represent anything except pure chaos... Astrology is inherently deceptive and fraudulent. But since everything is connected in some way, it does serve a useful purpose. I just can't agree with question at hand.)

You cannot be moral without being religious.
-Strongly Disagree

Charity is better than social security as a means of helping the genuinely disadvantaged.
-Strongly Disagree

Some people are naturally unlucky.

It is important that my child's school instills religious values.
-Strongly Disagree (moral values yes, but not inherently religious values. "Though shalt not covet thy neighbors stuff" is a religious value, yes, but it's also a moral value. But what is even more important is helping children understand WHY a certain moral value is correct. "Because god said so" doesn't cut it.)

Page 6 of 6

Sex outside marriage is usually immoral.

A same sex couple in a stable, loving relationship, should not be excluded from the possibility of child adoption.

Pornography, depicting consenting adults, should be legal for the adult population.

What goes on in a private bedroom between consenting adults is no business of the state.

No one can feel naturally homosexual.
-Agree (Homosexual men aren't "natural". They have a genetic defect in their brains that negates the physical effects a female's body has on them. Some of these men are hetero and just decide to live with this defect, usually out of pragmatism. But some become homosexual ... probably because men are generally more powerful and therefore make better "mates", when you remove the appeal of the female body from the equation. I'm not saying the defect is "bad", it is what it is. It's complicated. For women it is much simpler. Women are naturally bisexual--not ever truly homosexual even in their own minds. This is because the "defect" that makes a woman more attracted to female curves ADDS to their attractions. It doesn't kill their attraction to men, like the male "defect" kills a man's automatic attraction to female curves. So women are still just as capable of being attracted to a man, they are just overwhelmed by signals telling them that other women are a turn on. Much like the way normal males receive signals from from their brains that tell them to... act like idiots and drool etc when they see a beautiful woman. It's like if you were raised on Pizza Hut and then you suddenly had to eat a totinos 89 cent frozen pizza. You'd hate it. That's the equivalent of male homosexuality. For females, it's like you were raised on totinos, and then suddenly you got to eat Pizza Hut. You'd love it, but you'd still be able to go back to totinos. You'd still love your totinos, but you'd love Pizza Hut more. It's a crude analogy but I could write pages and pages of different anologies before I got to one that was perfect. If anyone could do a better job explaining it, there wouldn't be so much confusion and emotion over the topic.)

It's fine for society to be open about sex, but these days it's going too far.
-Disagree (Sex is a big part of society. There's still too much taboo.)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Cut and Run Republicans?

Some right wing nutter (schraged) posted this over on redstate

I am tempted to point out that the whole post is a result of someone whose worldview has been tainted by Fox News. That is obvious, so much so that it would be pointless to blog about it.

So where am I going with this?

Many, if not most who do hold that position advocate that we immediately withdraw our troops from Iraq, or at least set a date in which all US Forces will be removed. None have presented (that I know of) any type of plan of what to do following that withdrawal.

See, this is what is called... pure and unmitigated bull. There are plans. There are ideas. But those with real plans and real ideas are attacked or just ignored on Fox News and so the actual plans that good people have never get heard. Schraged should be ashamed and outraged. (Perhaps that's where the name comes from?)

What is a good plan?

Get together with all the heads of state in the Middle East. Ask them whether pulling out now would make things better or worse. Let the responsibility for what happens fall on their shoulders. (That's pretty much where it is anyway. We have no legitimate power over what happens over there.)

And here's the real kicker: put it to a vote. Let Iraqis decide whether the US should stay or leave. omg what a concept!

You almost have to have blinders on to not be asking that question already. Why hasn't there been a vote? Well, it's because some people have contempt for democracy. They won't let certain votes take place unless they are framed in such a way that the outcome would be absurd either way. And who might those people be? I'll give you a hint. They're the kind of people who, instead of allowing an up or down vote on something like a minimum wage increase, will try to attach an obscene tax cut for the rich onto the same vote. My god who would do such a thing? lol.

Democracy cannot function with those kinds of people in control.

But go on believing democrats don't have any ideas. They have one idea that will do more good than anything: get rid of the damn rethugs.

You want to be a conservative. Fine, that's another argument for another day. But Bush isn't a conservative. Neocons aren't conservatives. They hijacked conservatism and used it to push some sick twisted agenda. And if you had any pride you wouldn't stand by and let this happen.

Conservatives have been duped. Bigtime. Kinda like how liberals were duped by Clinton, only it's about ten times worse this time around.

If you're a neocon supporter, you really should think about cuttin and runnin. You're going to eventually. Because most people aren't that evil. Once they realize what the neocons really represent, they stand against it. It's just a question of how stupid you want to feel later on.

There are times when "cuttin and runnin" is the wise thing to do. Whether it be from Iraq is up to the Iraqis, but when it comes to the question of cuttin and runnin from the Neocons, that one is very much up to us.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I am amused by the people who claim to be patriots, and yet they are often the same people who think it's necessary to give up liberty in order to have security.

Do you know what a patriot is?

A patriot is someone willing to die to protect the Constitution. That's what it is. It's not about "loving our country" or "supporting the troops" or "defending our country from the evil terrorists who hate our freedoms". Without the Constitution, America wouldn't be America. It would be a cesspool and it wouldn't be worth defending.

Knowing this, I am left with the glaring question:

Why are certain people, who call themselves patriots, trying to dismantle the Constitution at every turn?


Because it is necessary to sacrifice liberty for security?

That sounds rather UN-patriotic to me.

People have a choice.

1. Give up your constitutional rights for some theoretically higher level of security.

2. Risk potential death or dismemberment from a terrorist act or any other act resulting from an unwillingness to surrender our constitutional rights.

You people who choose option #1, I got some news for you: you are not patriots. Stop pretending like you are... you're giving patriots a bad name. It's ok. The world needs cowards just like it needs heroes.

If defending the Constitution causes us to be less secure, and this lack of security leads directly to our deaths, then a true patriot will say:

"So be it."

There can be no better way to die... if you love your country and the constitution for which it stands.

You do not suspend the constitution, even in an emergency, if you are a patriot. You're a selfish coward if you do that. Yes, I am implying that in some rare but conceivable instances, it might be stupid to be a patriot. But that's the risk you take. Period.

This isn't a matter of opinion. This is a most simplistic statement of pure truth that is not debatable on any grounds whatsoever. If someone tries to deny the logic of what I just said, then they are a fraud; a fake; a hack; a shill; a phony. And they should be exposed as such. The cowards should not be allowed to call themselves patriots.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Another Day, Another Round of Faulty Right Wing Logic

I was reading the comments on a random article about the Lamont primary victory in CT.

GOP cashing in with Lamont

So many right wingers posted so many unbelievably rediculous comments that I felt the need to squash them all.

But first, my short remarks on the ousting of Lieberman:

From VP to IND. How the mighty have fallen. Remember, Lieberman by all rights won the Vice Presidency in 2000. You'd think the fact that he did not defend what was stolen from him would be a major clue about his character. Second, he's an enabler of Fox News. Any self respecting democrat should only say one thing to Faux News: "your pathetic". Third, he just said the party has been taken over by extremists because they're against the war, so he's basically calling the majority of Americans extremists. That sounds just like something a right wing radio or Fox News talk show host would say. Everyone who disagrees with the mass looting of America and wars based on lies is a far left extremist and all Iraqis are terrorists! It's pathetic, and for too long we've allowed this country to be dragged down by these people. The democratic party is stronger without Lieberman.

Ok now on to the flaming horse manure:

Posted by: will | Aug 9, 2006 7:11:36 AM:

The republicans are right. The far left is taking the democratic party down the road to ruin. Just when they had a chance to win too.

Win what? A battle over how best to stay the course?

Posted by: Bill | Aug 9, 2006 7:39:43 AM:

The far left is enjoying their day in the sun.

Notice how the far left (60%+ of America?) are equated with people who never get to spend a "day in the sun". This just goes to show how deeply brainwashed these people are. No doubt some whackjob like Limbaugh spent a half hour talking about how liberals are like vampires or they live in basements or some other crap like that.

Posted by: Barry J. Marcus | Aug 9, 2006 8:41:04 AM:

Today's "democrats" scare me breathless. From them all we hear is the echo of Neville Chamberlain, confusing fine wishes with reality.

Yeah well I'd say the same thing about you if you didn't piss me off so much. Why are democrats so scary? Because they want to bomb, rape, and maim less innocents and create less terrorists in the world? Because they want to steal fewer trillions from the treasury and give it to the rich? Because they want to hold oil companies accountable when they pull crap like shutting down our largest oil field for "maintenance" while at the same time reporting record profits? You might be scared of democrats, but I'm scared of your sheer stupidity.

Posted by: Keith | Aug 9, 2006 8:56:29 AM:

The political reality is the Democratic leaders have gotten us into many of the conflicts that have cost us the most lives. Remember Lindon Johnson and Vietnam? Hmmm?

And that is exactly what was at issue in this primary. Lieberman is one of those fake democrats who surrendered far too much for far too little. The right loves him because people like him provide the false left/right smokescreen that the elites use to hide the real mechanisms of control. And by the way, it wasn't democratic ideology that got us into vietnam. You can thank big business imperialists for that. And who is the party of big business? Well, both really, but mostly rethugs. Johnson was totally under the control of these corrupt elites.

I just love how people like Keith totally ignore the massive fallout of the Kennedy assassination. One must do that if one hopes to remain faithfully and blindly republican.

Posted by: Canada | Aug 9, 2006 10:43:14 AM:

Wake up people...

While you are all talking about the votes the world is running out of oil. Oil is the only true means of energy to produce and mobilize...

Well this person obviously isn't a right wing whacko but I just had to comment because it is also disturbing to me how everyone seems to be focused on the deck chairs of the sinking titanic that is the US economy. But then again, if we don't get rid of these damn republicans and their irrational brainwashed mindset, then we're all going to be jihaded into oblivion long before we can suffer from the slow collapse of a post peak oil era, even if oil is peaking now.

Posted by: Wolfgang | Aug 9, 2006 10:45:13 AM:

It also demonstrates that the Democrats are going to shoot themselves in the foot with the lefties demanded an ideological conformity reminiscent of what the Stalinists required in Russia leading up to great purges of the 30's - NO deviation from the "party line."

Reich Wing hackery at its finest. Notice the disconnect from reality? Which party has marched in lockstep over the past 12 years? Which party is universally known for not deviating from the party line. And did they shoot themselves in the foot? No, although the gun finally seems to be pointing in that direction. For chrissakes this entire Lieberman/Lamont contest was all about NOT following the party line. Can you say "Holy [censored] [censored], this Wolfgang guy's [censored] stupid?" Really, how can someone be so colosally retarded? I know it sounds like an ad hominem, but at what point do you give up and say this person is just a bleeping retard? This is what you get by listening to Limbaugh and Fox News. It's all propaganda and it destroy's people's minds. I think it needs to be confronted. And pleasantries aint cuttin it.

Posted by: Darryn | Aug 9, 2006 10:50:06 AM:

C) Will you help us do whatever it takes to lose the war?

Lose what war? The one we lost the moment we decided to begin it with lies? People like Darryn remind me of novice chess players. They wait until they're checkmated and then start speculating on why they lost, when the actual cause occured far earlier than they are capable of comprehending.

Posted by: Rob Dickson | Aug 9, 2006 11:01:49 AM:

It is a sad day when Americans look at their government with such ire and contempt. Often I wonder if the explosion of new media that we are witnessing has added to the lack of civil exchange among the citizenry.

It would be sad if they were unjustly held under such contempt. It would be even sadder if they were worthy of such contempt, and yet not viewed upon with the appropriate level of contempt.

At least with ire there is the possibility for change. Imagine where we'd be if Bush still somehow had a 90% approval rating... if you can imagine that. What would it be like to live in a country with people like that? It would be a nightmare. I'll take a little ire over that any day.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

BP: Let me state the obvious

They're scamming us. We're supposed to feel sorry for the because they're going to lose profits? Boo hoo...

I don't even think they'll lose all that much because their tomfoolery has already raised the price of oil significantly. Throw a hurricane or two into the mix and they could have another year of record profits.

Which leads to the next question: What happens if they do end up with another year of record profits? We already know they're scamming us, it's obvious. They rake in record profits yet they make pathetic excuses about why they have to shut down production? If they spent more money on maintenance their profits wouldn't have been so high, and neither would the price of oil right now. It's bullshit.

I guess the only question left to ask is: Do the oil companies rule over us completely? Are we their slaves? Is anyone going to do anything about this? And how many Bush Zealots will wake up because of this? I hope quite a few... because we've got to salvage something out of this.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

China Slant Drilling in the Keys

I kind of like Jon Christian Ryter. He makes alot of good points. But just when you think he's halfway intelligent he throws crap like this at you:


Friday, August 04, 2006

Accommodating iPod?

I've been a fan of mp3 players since god knows when. Way back during the "age of the cassette walkman", I predicted that we'd be listening to "music on a chip" and that we'd all be carrying around these little gadgets about the size of a zippo, and they'd play hours of music. I don't remember exactly when I started having these detailed visions of future technology, all I remember is that a decent "auto-reverse" portable cassette player costed around $50, and CD players were just simply out of reach at over $150! Needless to say, no one believed me about the music on a chip thing. lol. The thing is, I didn't just think it would happen, I "knew", but even more importantly, I saw it was within reach of everyone. These things would be dirt cheap and ubiquitous. And it seems that's how things have turned out, doesn't it?

The more I think about it, the more I realize that things haven't quite turned out the way I predicted. So what went wrong? In a word: iPod. When that thing came out, my very first thought was "what an overpriced piece of junk." I didn't think people would want to pay twice as much for something when they didn't need to! And they're still wasting money on them, now more than ever. On one hand, I ask


but on the other hand, I say

"More power to ya. Thanks for subsidizing my technology bill."

heh. It's true that people who buy iPods are making mp3 technology cheaper for the rest of us, just like people who buy a "$1000 Pentium Extreme Edition" make CPUs cheaper for the rest of us. So thank you, suckerz!

But I am concerned about the market for digital music. I want to focus on iPod and where it's taking the market as a whole. I'm looking at articles saying the auto companies are scrambling to integrate iPod into their audio systems. Good idea? No, it's not. It's a waste of money, just like iPods are a waste of money.
iPod Nanos cost over $200 for a 4GB version. That's way way too overpriced. I think the auto companies don't realize just how far along the technology is. The way to go is USB flash compatibility. Why spend $200 on a stupid iPod when you can buy something for less than $50 and then plug any one of the millions of USB flash drives into it? This solution is so cheap and so versatile that it should eventually drown out the iPod completely.

I paid $35 for a little device that plugs into my car's cigarette lighter and plays mp3s stored on my USB flash drive. All I do is plug the flash drive into it and press play. There's no wires and no batteries to worry about. It's such a slick and easy solution I can only scratch my head at the auto companies who are designing these unbelievably expensive (and complicated) iPod integration schemes. We're talkin hundreds of dollars here! All I can say to the auto companies is I hope you suckers go out of business. Should anyone pay $500 for an mp3 player when they can get one for $30, plus $10 for a cheap usb flash drive? And why don't car stereos have a little slot on the front for a usb flash drive? lol. That would be too practical! Well, what can you expect from the people who brought us SUVs?

Here's a few links to some of these brilliant little gadgets. They're very similar to mine:

I'm predicting that devices like these are ultimately going to win out against overpriced gimmicks like the iPod. I don't even call them "mp3 players", because that name has been somewhat tainted and obfuscated. They're really fundamentally different from your typical iPod-esque mp3 player with it's built in memory and proprietary software. So I call them "USB Flash Players". And the USB flash drives that plug into them... I think of them almost as "cassettes" from back in the old days. You take the "cassette", plug it into your computer's usb port, load some mp3s, and then take that "cassette" full of music and plug it into your flash player, or your cars flash player, or your friend's flash player. See how much more versatile this is compared to iPods? Proprietary iPods are like boat anchors in comparison to this. Even if they get wifi they're still going in the wrong direction. USB flash drives are ubiquitous. There must be 500 million of them out there. You can buy 3 packs of em for 14.99. Seriously. The time has come for the return of modular media. From 8 tracks, to cassettes, to CDs, and now finally to these little usb flash drives. That's the logical progression. iPod doesn't fit into that paradigm does it?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The death tax is in its last throes?

Why do these pathetic republican hacks try to merge an estate tax cut with a minimum wage increase? Why do they also attach all these other tax breaks? Why do they do this? Why can't a simple minimum wage increase be a simple minimum wage increase?? Isn't it disgusting? Even to an apolitical person? Well it should be. But republicans are getting away with it, and there's no reason to expect them to stop doing something that works for them.

But why does it work? Half the reason is the huge right wing bias of the corporate media. The republicans are willing to risk putting off a minimum wage increase for millions just so they can get a tax break for the wealthiest 0.01% of americans. God forbid they have to share any of those corporate profits that have exploded since shrub took office. (Exploded at the expense of the bottom 80%.) Minimum wage workers are making less real wages now than at any point post WWII. What's it gonna take, great depression level wages? Even then the media won't cover it nearly as much as they cover those 8200 families who have been spared the bloody death tax. Oh the brutal gruesome marxist illegal immoral deadly death tax! Republicans have no fear because they know the media won't grill them.

So what about the other half of the reason repugs pull this crap? In a word: Liebermans. Those political hacks on the left who kiss ass on both sides at the expense of our country's future, just so they can get re-elected. Those 2 or 3 random idiots who get conned or bribed or blackmailed into voting for something they know damn well they should be voting against. They are the ones who are as guilty as the republicans yet they think they stand for something better than what the republicans stand for. That may be true, but a sellout is a sellout, no matter what else he may be. A racist is still a racist, no matter how many fans he has. (I'm not talking about Mel I'm actually talking about Ahnold, who gets a free pass by the *cough* liberal media...)

The Liebermans's of the world just don't get it either. They're like, "what'd I do?" Murray and Cantwell could be among those poor saps this week. And if they pander to the rethugs to save their skins then I hope they lose anyway.

Even if it means electing a rethug. No democrat should be a buttkissing sellout. How many times do I have to say it. It does not matter if there are only 27 democrats left in the senate. Who gives a damn... the country is being destroyed anyway. Most of the damage is done (At least I hope so). All net savings are gone. Public and private debt are growing at their fastest rates ever. 2005 was the worst year ever for our economy, post WWII. The dollar has lost 40%. Energy costs up 300+%. Real cost of living is up 50-80% since Shrub "took" office. AND THERE ISN'T EVEN A SERIOUS PUBLIC DEBATE ABOUT ANY OF IT. You're like some kind of out-of-the-mainstream lefty extremist if you talk about any of this stuff. Yet it's all really happening. The facts are both undeniable AND UNDENIED. Yet you can't talk about it for one reason and one reason only. It is upsetting to the elite media masters.

I can just imagine what these pathetic greedy scumbuckets are saying in the board meetings:

"I didn't buy these 47 God damn radio stations so I could inform people. What in god's name gave you that stupid idea? I want to make money. And there's no money in telling people how badly you've screwed them. We just gotta prevent them from learning and understanding."

The only way to stop this is to stand against it, instead of allowing those within your own party, especially those with seniority, to constantly cave in and allow the goalposts to be moved further and further to the right. Draw the line, and stand on it. Then people will either stand with you or against you. If they choose to stand against, then they will only be destroying themselves and their future by continuing to feed this huge wealth transfer we call Conservatism. (What a truly Orwellian title.) When there's no money left and no jobs and this country resembles Mexico, then people will be ready to listen to democrats. Really listen. Instead of blaming democrats too. And you'll have a strong movement built on truth and the pursuit of justice. And all around the world, everyone will know that socialism is what works, and what we allowed ourselves to be fooled into thinking was just pure stupidity. America would become known as "the land of learning things the hard way". But it's better than being "the land of the elite", or "the engine of global destruction" or "The United Police States" or "New New Mexico" or "The North American Union" or anything else that's likely to happen without a real opposition party.