Enlightened ramblings of a minarchist libertarian with Objectivist tendencies

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Ooohhh....I Got a Hit

I decided to check my spam dump today. Low and behold what did I find, not one, but two replies to this email.

This first one came on the same day as I sent mine off:


Dear John Public,

I receive your mail thank you for your respond. All you need to do is for
you to follow my Instructions so that you can be able to clear this money
from the security company office successfully with out any problem. First
I need you to be honest and truthful to make this transaction to be
successfully.
I want you to send to me your full name, your full address, your direct
phone and fax number; once I receive this information from you I will call
you immediately to explain to you how you are going to receive this money
from the security company .

Waiting for and urgent responds from you.

Fred Kings.


And the second one yesterday:


Dear John,
How are you today? I hope all is well with you and your family. I sent you
and email but know responds please try and get back to me immediately you
receive this mail because time is not our friend pleases.
Waiting to hear from you.
Fred Kings.


I really can't believe that he bit, but not wanting to disappoint him here was my reply.


Dear Mr. Kings,

My sincerest apologies for the delay in my response. My Great Dane, Scooby, was hit while chasing a car and most of my day was spent at the veterinarian's office tending to him. Thank you for the query as other than that, my family is well.

I am sure that you are correct in stating that time is not our friend. I heard from my friend in the State Department (the one I said would be willing to help us) that Bush has a secret task force that is actively hunting down and seizing all assets belonging to former members of the Taylor regime. However, I am some what reticent to provide you with the information you requested.

I am sure that you are who you say you are, but in times such as these a person can never be too careful. Perhaps if there is a way for you to verify your identity? Can you tell me exactly what your capacity was in Mr. Taylor's regime so that I might research it. I promise to do this as expediently as possible. It doesn't have to be much, just your title and the city you worked in.

Thank you for understanding my concerns and hopefully we can get things underway as soon as possible in order to help restore your funds to you before the taskforce gets hold of them.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Quincy Public


Surely, there will be no reply to this.

Get Off Your Ass and Go Play

In a move contrary to its best interests, cable TV giant Nickelodean is telling kids go out and play.

Of course, parents should have been telling their kids this all along. Unfortunately, especially in the Summer, many parents are just too damn lazy themselves. When I was a kid, the last thing I wanted to do in the summer was sit in the house and watch TV.

From the time I woke up, until I had to be home, I was out riding my bike, swimming, playing football, anything but sitting in the house. It certainly helped that I was being shown the door by my parents.

Granted, parents today may not feel as safe just sending their kids out the door these days, but that does not mean that they have to keep their kids stuck in front of a TV all day. Parents should take the time to get to know the parents of their kids friends so that they are comfortable sending them there to play.

There is always some kid in the group that has the great yard with pool or basketball court or whatever and a parent that is more than willing to let their house/yard become the hangout for the summer. Get to know them so you will feel safe letting you kid play there.

Take at least an hour a day to spend time with your kids. So you miss that rerun of Law and Order, so what. You probably need the exercise as much as your kids. Take a walk, go for a bike ride, visit the park and feed the ducks. It really doesn't matter, just get out of the house and do something. Work this into your schedule as a daily event.

I know that every night as soon as the sun sets, my daughter will be looking for me. Unless it is raining, we do not miss our nightly walk. My fat ass needs the exercise and I know that every day, no matter how busy either of us is (granted, she is only 4 and never too busy), we get this chance to walk and talk.

Bravo to Nick, now the parents need to follow suit.

1 Down, 999999999999999999999999999 to Go

Well how appropriate that I mark my 1 month mark with my 100th post. It was a fun month with discussion of such diverse topics as Toilet Snorkels, Jackasses, Rational Self Interest, and Really Hot Chicks.

I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. I've had 1350+ visitors for the month and averaged 71 visitors a day this last week. Not bad for a new blog. I continue to get the name of Fuki Blog out there and all my whoring is paying off. I am now a Large Mammal in the TTLB Ecosystem with 122 unique inbound links.

I have also done well in my Technorati Profile, increasing to 85 links from 63 sources. Most of this linkage is due to joining The Alliance and Blogcritics. Thanks to both of them. Thank you also, to all of you that have come across Fuki Blog and placed it in your blogroll and made it a regular read.

So thanks to everyone for checking me out and here is a Bonus Girl to keep you coming back for more:

Friday, July 23, 2004

Qu'ils mangent de la brioche

In a classic display of freedom of speech, a Boston pizza shop owner decided he was fed up with the Dems. He put up this sign:



Look for copycats in New York.

(via Pardon My English)

EU vs US

I have discussed the many differences between the EU and US in several different forums (both American and European) and thought I would talk a little bit about it here.

Here is a very interesting study by a couple of Swedish economists comparing the EU and the US in terms of economic prosperity. It is 49 pages, but a very interesting read and written for the most part in easy to understand lay terms for those of you without much knowledge of economics.

Many of you will probably find that you are familiar with portions of the study as it briefly made the news several months ago. It is not all encompassing, but a good starting point on understanding how our divergent views affect our quality of life.

I was previously aware of the disparity between the US and Europe having traveled extensively in Europe, but I don't think many in Europe understand it or the reasons behind it. If they did, they would understand the real way to help people is to bring everyone to a higher level, even if it means continued economic disparity, rather than "equalizing" everyone at a lower level.

I think it will also important that the study was conducted by Swedes rather than Americans. Of course, it probably received even less press in Europe than it did here.

And the Winner Is...

Me.

I have graciously been awarded the Ayn Rand Award for Overall Blog Quality by The Truth About York.

I humbly accept this award and highly recommend that you stop by TTAY to see how the battle against Canadian Campus Nonsense is progressing.

In honor of this, I have created myself this button:

Four for the Price of One

You lucky bastards! I decided to give you guys a four-for-one special this week. I guess I am just in a good mood because tomorrow Fuki Blog turns one month old.



Ladies, ladies, ladies...don't miss your chance to have your photos posted here.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

The Politics of Outies and Innies

OK...I was going to write a long diatribe about the some of the reasons for differences in pay between men and women. However, upon completion, I realized that it sucked and I didn't want to subject you to it.

I will, therefore direct you to this article by Thomas Sowell. He is considerably more clear on this issue than I would have been.

To Beg or Not to Beg, That is the Question

I have been very pleased with the steady progress I have made in my average weekly traffic. I am really enjoying blogging and hope you are enjoying my work. I have been considering moving to a paid host in order to spare you guys the banners and pop-ups. However, I haven't decided if I like you enough to pay for it all by myself.

Therefore, I have placed a new poll over on the left hand side (the old one had been pretty much decided, Bush was starting to pull away in a landslide). It poses the question of whether or not I should put a PayPal "Donate" button on my site to help defer the costs.

I also was considering a professional redesign by Sekimori. They do great work and have designed a lot of the big boys sites. I don't know how many talented designers visit my site, but perhaps this could be handled via a contest instead.

So, let me know what you think.

FCC -- Time to Go

I mentioned in this earlier post that the FCC has latitude in the extent to which it can censor free speech. What I didn't address in that post is why it has that power, how much power it has, or whether it should have that power at all.

Like so many other agencies, the FCC was born during the Socialist heydays of the mid-Thirties. The Communications Act of 1934 established the FCC to replace the Federal Radio Commission. It was originally intended to regulate telephone and radio, but like all government agencies are apt to do, it soon expanded its reach to telegraph and television as well. Indeed, they are very proud of their far reaching grasp. A grasp that is probably more intrusive than any other government agency, including the IRS. From their website:


What people may not recognize is the extent to which every area of their life is intertwined with the communications technologies the FCC has responsibility to regulate. For example, because almost all electrical and electronic equipment emits radio frequencies, FCC equipment authorization rules protect you when:

    Your child plays with a radio-controlled airplane,

    Your teenager upstairs sends their homework assignment to the printer downstairs via your new wireless home network,

    Your toll fee is automatically deducted from the little plastic box attached to your windshield without having to stop at the booth,

    You swipe your credit card at the gasoline pump,

    You push the button on your garage door opener,

    You heat your breakfast waffle in the microwave,

    The cashier at the coffee shop rings up your favorite morning drink using an electronic cash register and inventory control system,

    The local video store contacts its remote, central computer network to find out if you have enough bonus points to qualify for a free rental,

    You lock your car with your remote entry system,

    You activate your home alarm system before going to bed.

And, these are just a few of the thousands of ways in which the vital work of the FCC helps facilitate both personal freedom and the public good.


After the incidents at the superbowl, and with a few shock jocks, they are looking to extend that reach even farther, all in the name of the "public good."

The entire purpose of this agency is an affront to the 1st Amendment. It serves no purpose other than to limit the way in which people may communicate. As Robert Garmong points out other forms of media are not subject to such draconian regulation by the government.

We are at a very dangerous time in our history, when both liberal and conservative politicians are looking to use the FCC to punish broadcasters that don't share their views of the world. Like so many other government programs, it is time for the FCC to shut its doors forever. Write your representatives in DC and let them know you want this agency gone.


Update: Here is a fun little ditty brought to my attention by Z over at Zudfunk. However, my GOP friends and readers may find it a tad bit offensive. A little digging on my part also turned up this one.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

One Big Happy Family

So it's not just their policies that are related:

Kissing Cousins

(via Quotes, Thoughts, and other Ramblings)

I Predict That You Are Full of Crap

I work out of my house and have a habit of leaving the TV on in the living room (the dog likes to watch) as I work in my office. Today, as I strolled through on my way to the kitchen, I noticed Sylvia Browne was on Montel Williams.

Since I actually value my time I didn't watch what she had to say, but know from earlier experience that she is generally full of crap. It got me to thinking how easily she cons people with the same old ploys being used by "psychics" for ages.

People like her and John Edward prey off the vulnerability/gullibility of people. I wondered how people like that sleep at night, but then figured if most politicians (who amazingly enough use similar techniques to con people) can sleep, then so can they.

Update: Those who give this women money probably deserve to be punished for their utter stupidity.

I've been ZuDfuncked

For those of you who don't know, ZuDfunck is a really cool blog that showcases blogs by using graphics pulled from their sites.

He has featured me tonight with a really sweet collage of images he created from the link in this post.

Be sure to go check him out.

UN-believable

Staying true to their long and storied history of being completely useless, the UN looks set to do nothing in Sudan.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Wednesday Sudan had made little progress in curbing bloodthirsty militias in the Darfur region but diplomats said sanctions against Khartoum were unlikely.


Exactly how many people need to die for the UN to take action? There are already an estimated 30,000 dead and another 2 million starving. This is the agency leftists think we should look to for guidance on International issues.

Enough is enough, write your Senators and Congressman and tell them we want the hell out of this debating society.

Fun With Spam or How to Make Millions in Minutes

As you know, I recently received this email. I did not reply. Then the other day, Rockynoggin at Cornpone wrote this.

As luck would have it, I received another chance to follow Rocky's cue and have a little fun. In fact, it was so much fun that I am calling on all members of the Blogosphere (authors and readers alike) to join in the fun.

The next time you receive one of these scam letters, write up a reply and send it off (preferably from a separate account that you use as a Spam dump). Send me a copy of the original letter and your reply to it and I will post it here.

Here is the one I received today:

ATTN:Sir/Madam
I know you would be surprised to receive this mail, but I would start by introducing my self I am MR FRED KINGS.A member of Charles Taylor Government, the ousted President of Liberia, my purpose of writing you this mail is to seek your assistance
in retrieving my funds which I lodge in the security company in my country Liberia before the war started the security company move every belongies in there position to there head office in Europe for safety because of the war. I managed to escape out of Liberia to African were I am now for asylum including my President and some others members of our Government and l cannot retrieve it myself because of my Status Right Now. Well I need your assistance to clear this funds, if you are willing to assist me kindly notify me via this email address and I Will instruct you on the procedure that will enable us retrieve the Funds and we will also discuss your benefit for your assistance my Friend know that this assistance did not have
any risk involved I have every prove and every documentation that Back the funds up.
Waiting to hear from you.
Best Regards.
MR FRED KINGS,


And here is my reply:


Dear Mr. Kings,

I hope this reply finds you in good health and high spirits. I would be delighted to help you with this worthwhile cause.

I have long been a supporter of Mr. Taylor. It made me ill, almost to the point of regurgitation, the way the US Government railroaded him with false accusations of embezzlement and actually had the poor man kidnapped. Those actions were certainly beyond the pale.

I commend you on your own escape from Liberia. Though I am not exactly sure how I can aid you in retrieving what is rightfully yours, I am sure that you have a well planned paradigm of how to accomplish just that. Perhaps a couple of my friends over at the State Department could be of some assistance in this matter. They owe me a favor, and are certain to be sympathetic to your cause. They were just as appalled at the actions of that bastard Bush as I was.

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible. I am sure that we can get this matter resolved in a timely manner.

Sincerely,

John Q Public

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Herding Cats

Undoubtedly, most you who are politically savvy have heard this expression as relates to libertarians. I don't personally care for it, but as of yet have been unable to coin a suitable replacement. The reason I mention this is because I was recently directed to this article by Michael Gersh of Zero Base Thinking.

It is an extremely long article and probably only of interest to those who consider themselves to be libertarians of one sort or another, but it is well worth the time.

The closing paragraph sums up the article fairly well:

It is sometimes said that contemporary conservatism is an uneasy alliance between libertarians and traditionalists, and that this alliance is destined eventually to collapse due to the inherent conflict between the two philosophies. But it can with equal or even greater plausibility be argued that it is in fact contemporary libertarianism which comprises an uneasy alliance, an association between incompatible factions committed to very different conceptions of freedom. The trouble with libertarianism is that many of its adherents have for too long labored under the illusion that things are otherwise, that their creed is a single unified political philosophy that does not, and need not, take a stand on the most contentious moral issues dividing contemporary society. This has led to confusion both at the level of theory and at the level of policy. Libertarians need to get clear about exactly what they believe and why. And when they do, they might find that their particular version of libertarianism commits them - or ought to commit them - to regard as rivals those they might once have considered allies.


This strikes me because I have often noted the same thing in the 3 or 4 years that I have actively considered myself to be a libertarian. I have come across many that I would consider to be leftist nutjobs that call themselves libertarian. Of course, on more than one occasion I have been referred to as a "market fundamentalist." There is no question that I would be what is considered a Right-Libertarian.

Anyone viewing Sandor's Blogosphere Political Compass Project can see that I am as close or closer than anyone else listed to the lower right corner, representing both economic and social freedom. Honestly, I have a hard time seeing how those over on the negative side of the economic side could possibly consider themselves libertarian. Increased government regulation of the economy does not equate to freedom.

In addition, those on the positive side of the social freedom scale often call themselves libertarians (or some times Patriots) as well. Again, increased government meddling in our personal lives does not equate to freedom.

So perhaps since we are all just a bunch of cats trying to avoid the herd, we will remain forever secondary players to the likes of Conservatives and Liberals, but I would rather argue over the semantics of freedom than completely forsake these ideals.

Unexpected Meeting

OK...I had an unexpected business meeting today. It took up the majority of my day, but I am back and ready to rant about something. I just don't know what yet. I haven't even had a chance to read the paper or watch any news.

Hopefully I can find something in my daily visit to the Blogosphere.

Useful Tool

As some of you may have noticed, all of the links in my rightside column are now in alphabetical order, even my lengthy 200 member Alliance blogroll. Since it was going to be a huge task to try to alphabetize these all by hand, I decided to go looking for a tool to help me with the job.

Here is what I found: URL Alphabetizer

It is no longer in development and it does have at least one flaw that I found. It does not work on links that use the "title" attribute, though it has no problem with the "target" attribute.

All in all it is a handy little tool and saved my lazy ass a bunch of work.

Monday, July 19, 2004

All Roads Lead to Fuki Blog

I was wondering when I would finally get some of the search engine traffic looking for info on that no talent assclown Michael Moore. It finally happened today. I got a visitor who used this search in Yahoo!:

"michael moore" is an ass merchandise


Sharing part of my name with that chode is finally paying off. Keep it coming!

Return of the Skyscraper

Time Magazine is reporting the return of the skyscraper.

I for one am glad to see this. For one, skylines of US cities were frankly becoming rather boring in comparison to those of Asia and to a lesser extent, Europe. I look forward to the time when America's cities are again shining examples of both engineering and creativity.

In addition, this shows that we, as a country, have only been strengthened by events such as 9/11 and we will not live our lives as the terrorists choose, but rather as we ourselves choose.

One of my favorites is this Manhattan condo by Spanish architect Santiago Calatreva.

80 South Street Tower

You can find more info on this project here.

Another Anti-Capitalist Chimes In, Another Anti-Capitalist Gets Smacked Down

In his recent book, The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead, David Callahan joins a long list of idiots that try to blame all the worlds problems on Capitalism.

Fortunately, Julian Sanchez of Reason was there to smack him down.

Amazing what you can learn when you apply a little common sense and reason to any unfounded argument.

Economic Freedom of the World

Cato Institute has just released (in conjunction with the Fraser Institute and more than 50 think tanks around the world) Economic Freedom of the World: 2004 Annual Report. The report is a measure of economic freedoms enjoyed within the world's countries. Here is the top 10 list and scores (out of 10):


    Hong Kong (8.7)
    Singapore (8.6)
    New Zealand (8.2)
    Switzerland (8.2)
    United Kingdom (8.2)
    United States (8.2)
    Australia (7.9)
    Canada (7.9)
    Ireland (7.8)
    Luxembourg (7.8)


Earlier in the year Heritage Foundation released its 2004 Index of Economic Freedom. Here are the top 10 countries and scores (lower is better):


    Hong Kong (1.34)
    Singapore (1.61)
    New Zealand (1.70)
    Luxembourg (1.71)
    Ireland (1.74)
    Estonia (1.76)
    United Kingdom (1.79)
    Denmark (1.80)
    Switzerland (1.84)
    United States (1.85)


Obviously, they use slightly different criteria/methodology for coming to their respective lists, but the top 3 countries are the same in both.

The problem I have is that the United States, the "Land of the Free," is not at the top of either list. Years of socialist encroachment on our economy has reduced us to a lower amount of economic freedom than is acceptable in my view. We are on a dangerous course and if current trends continue, within the next few years we may very well slip from the top ten.

As economic freedom goes, so goes freedom and prosperity in general. It is time to remove all economic leftists from positions of power within our government before we find ourselves next to countries like Swaziland and Georgia.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Of Cats and Blogs

In my extensive travels of the Blogosphere over the last month, I have discovered something. Chicks who blog are generally no different than chicks who don't blog.

What leads me to this conclusion? Cats.

Out in the world of flesh and bone, women think that for some reason we are interested in their cats. Of course we are not, at least not the one she has named BoBo or Cuddles and has 98 pictures of readily available to show you how cute and adorable it is. Awww look...Pinky is laying on the couch arm! How sweet...Mr. Fluffybottom is watching TV. We really don't care.

Generally, we feign entertainment in order to play with her other cat. However, this seems to have had some unintended side effects. Apparently, we have been too convincing. Women don't realize that there are only a couple of things in the entire world that we are interested in less than their little walking vomit machines.

Because of this, an inordinate amount of women bloggers seem to think it would be a great post to put up pictures of their cats. These may be otherwise outstanding blogs, some of them perhaps as good or better than my own, but that are made less tenable by stories and pictures about cats.

At least in the real world, pretending to like her cat can possibly lead to a little fun. Here in the Blogosphere, all it gets you is a chance at a link.
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