April 3rd, 2012


The Lie of Male/Female Pay Disparity

So I saw another study lamenting the disparity in pay between men and women. This one tells us that "Corporations Pay Women CFOs 16 Percent Less Than Men". My answer is so what? Is that supposed to be some sort of injustice? Let's apply some logic:

If women really do the same quality and quantity of work as men, if they bring the same shareholder value to the corporation as men, if they are not costlier to hire than men, but you can pay the 16% (or as much as 25% in some studies) less than you pay men...

Why the hell would anyone hire a man if there were a woman available to do the job? You're getting the same benefits but saving 16%-25% on your labor costs! You'll put your idiotic misogynist competition out of business because they're stupid enough to hire men when women are available.

The fact that not only is this not the case, but the government actually has to pass laws to ensure women get hired at all by businesses tells you that there's more to this story. One (or more) of the above premises is/are false. Period. That's how the real world works. Especially in the modern global age where everyone wants to outsource to get the cheapest labor possible.

Or are we saying that corporate boards and their shareholders hate women so much that they want to overpay for labor by such a tremendous amount?
Godzilla, default

The great question;

In more modern times, we are accustomed to thinking of the wholesale collapse of civilization as a kind of process that produces Mad Max-style apocalyptic worlds of hardened scavengers preying on the weak. Yet our own "Modern Civilization" was itself built on the ashes of deliberately engineered collapses of various types of civilizations.

Collapse )

To me the most salient aspect of all this is that whenever people wind up proposing some concept of the radical change, to leap from Sunday to Tuesday in three minutes, this cannot actually happen. Even when we tend to view things as producing actual, positive, meaningful change in practice for the people who experienced that the result was nightmarish chaos that only later saw some kind of "purpose/order" put on it to explain things. Too, while old, established orders often have real, deep, meaningful flaws humans again and again have proven that it can be astonishingly easy to shatter hoary old institutions, but damn near impossible to create new ones, to be a positive, animating force instead of a destructive, negative one.


Human Degradation: The Essence of Fundamentalism‏

If we define fundamentalism as the self-labelled reaction to liberal religion, we will fall into the trap of false perception. What we need is a deeper look at that movement to identify the essential element that causes liberal religion to stop its own forward movement. That is, liberal religion has yet to shed some of the remnants of retrogression that it shares with fundamentalism. Once it breaks these fetters, it can evolve to the next level of cultural development.

The Catholic Church has a long history of including both liberal and fundamentalist tendencies. The Trinity was crafted in such a way that fundamentalist forces could use it to subjugate the populace while monks could continue to live in relative intellectual freedom. I recently encountered an aspect of this while discussing religious icons with a Catholic monk. She was free to recognize spiritual leaders who acted outside the control of Rome. She was also free to share her thoughts with students of a Catholic high school.

On the fundamentalist side of the Church, we can see an institutional bias against free will. Rome has a fundamentalist prejudice against birth control devices. Unlike the fundamentalism of Intelligent Design, this prejudice has no foundation in strict biblical misinterpretation. It is based on the naked aggression of central secular authority against the rights of people within its economic grasp. It reflects the basic essence of fundamentalism: treating people like beasts of burden.

A member of another liberal tradition asserted that the story of Adam and Eve is more primitive than the story that precedes it in Genesis. The metaphorical nature of the story makes it seem less "scientific" than the other story. This also reflects a fundamentalist concept of science. The science of the pre-Christian world used metaphor as a security precaution against despotic rule. The story of Adam and Eve contains a message of hope for humanity in the sense that it gives us clues to the secret of transcendence. Its metaphorical content is more scientific than a liberal theologian can perceive.

Fundamentalist theology may recognize the power of metaphor, but it would never allow its subordinates to get anywhere near that power. Anyone who comes close must be branded as a heretic and isolated from the flock. A fundamentalist child is permitted to learn about metaphor in a secular context, but must also learn to not apply such a "profane" technique to sacred literature. That way, she will retain the nature of a beast of burden.

In a recent federal court decision, Catholic Bishops were denied extralegal power. It is good to see that the long arm of Rome is having some difficulty reaching into the American political system. What do you do in your life to transcend the naked aggression of Rome?
  • paft

The Affordable Healthcare Act and What's at Stake

Recently, at a dinner gathering, I took part in a discussion about the healthcare issue. One of the participants was shaking his head in bemusement over the ACA, and all that nonsense about healthcare being a right. Sure, he said, there was a healthcare crisis, but ACA was not the way to deal with it.

Naturally we asked for his solution, and he began talking about tax credits and percentages and refunds, plunging into a level of number intensive wonkery calculated to suck every bit of air out of the conservation.

“Wait a minute,” Someone asked, after almost a minute of this. “Just tell us how this would be applied. Let’s say I’m really, really sick with a debilitating illness. I don’t have insurance, can’t work, and can’t afford to pay for my badly needed medication and treatment out of pocket. How would your system help me?”

The other guy explained that what would happen, see, was that after the sick person had paid for his or her medical care, they could get a refund for the amount…

“So, in fact, a sick person would still have to somehow manage to raise the money to pay for the care first?” someone asked.

“Yeah, but they’d get it all back…”

Right. That’s the big issue in American Medical care. “I paid over million dollars for my hospital care, brain surgery and rehab and didn’t get any of that money back.”

This little incident serves as an object lesson in cutting through the crap. The minute someone opposedto healthcare reform descends into long, zestful disquisitions on tax credits etc., your bullsh*t meter should go off. They know that actually describing the effects of their policies on human beings would shoot their own arguments down, so they strive to make the discussion as abstract as humanly possible.

Here’s a good, NONabstract argument from Salon for the merits of the ACA or (as it’s increasingly being called ) Obamacare.

During our first three weeks of hospitalization Mason racked up $1.1 million in medical bills. I worried about butting up against the $5 million lifetime limit on Mason’s health insurance policy. We had a good policy with a good company. We always paid our premiums on time and in full. But Mason wasn’t getting out of the hospital at any time soon, and there were months of rehab ahead. My then 13-year-old son would have reached his lifetime limit of health insurance had such limits not been eliminated by Obamacare on April 1, 2011. That date felt like a birthday or anniversary, something to be celebrated, when it finally arrived and we weren’t yet dropped by our health insurance company.

These accounts resonate, not just because they are harrowing in their illustration of what’s at stake, but because they ring true. Many, many Americans who don’t qualify for Medicaid or Medicare and who’ve had to grapple with a serious illness or injury can tell similar stories.

Who cares?

Main point here: http://www.onlinecriminaljusticedegree.com/tsa-waste/
But I can't understand how it is possible to defend government regulations after reading and understanding something like this.

TSA is only example of such government stupidity, we are paying for.

You can imagine states physically destroying the pavement on the roads. Can you imagine that?

Or, f.e. extending road with additional lines AND reducing speed limit from 45 to 35 MPH same time?
Can you imagine FIVE live people doing X-ing regulation, while one is doing actual job??

Or making claims about "market failure", after housing bubble (at least 50% of which is responsibility of GSE's (Government Sponsored Enterprises) taking into account GSE's bankruptcy and inability to pay it's bill??

How somebody can argue FOR Obamacare, understand same time that all previous government social experiments already in big trouble right now???

Can you imagine, all long-term USA government UNFUNDED LIABILITY is about $111 Trillions.
Not Billions, Trillions?
That mean even if America will keep it's economy growth, it won't be able to fund Medicare/Pensions as promised, even with raising taxes, even with borrowing.
I can't imagine any reasonable man in such situation, saying let's borrow more, let's spend more, let's give more unfunded promises!!!

Can you imagine whole bunch of TV shows, talking about reducing budget deficit by 1/10th of what is necessary and whole bunch of people staying against it?

Are we all just children?

So there seems to be a growing number of people that believe that the government is obligated to provide for us from the day we're born to the day we die. It must also insulate us from the consequences of or descisions because as experts the world over agree, the general population is too stupid to take care of themselves (After all if an Ivy League professor says it, it must be true).

So here's question, if we do succesfully create a society wherein nobody wants for anything and the hardest choice you'll ever be allowed to make is which pre-approved organically nutritious selection from the tax-payer funded cafe to have for breakfast, do we have a utopia or a distopia?

Me? I moved out of my parent's house for a reason.

I like being able to make my own choices and live my own life (even I fuck it up) and I have no real interest in outsourcing my decision making process (or my fuck ups) to someone else.

In my mind being able to handle life/responsibility is what separates a child from an adult.

So if you by chance are one of those who've professed the opinions in the opening paragraph, is there anything that you consider to be "off limits"? (even in the name of protecting people?) Do you draw a line? If so, where? Is it hard and fast, or kinda squishy?

I'm legitimately curious.