There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. – Ayn Rand
Whenever something gets to be seen as a “problem”, you hear clamors for prohibition. People drink themselves to death, we need alcohol prohibition. People ruin their lives with drugs, we need drug prohibition. People spout hate speech, we need censorship. People shoot each other, we need gun prohibition, or at least gun control.
That’s because prohibition always works, you know, like government always works! See for yourself:
In 1919, the U.S. government decided that alcoholism was such a grave problem that they passed – not just a law but a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit the production, transportation, importation, sale and not least consumption of alcohol in the United States. This prohibition became such an enormous success that you couldn’t find alcoholic beverages anywhere within the U.S. of A. Ask any citizen, for example in Chicago, and they’d tell you there was nowhere to find so much as a can of beer.
Evidently, government control of alcohol was a giant success but for some reason the same government decided to abolish the prohibition in 1933. This so annoyed a large number of organized criminals that they went out of business, contributing to the unemployment problems of the 1930s and putting a serious dent in the violent crime statistics.
During the 1960s, habitual use of mind-altering drugs became fashionable among hippies and quickly spread to other groups. Such drugs had been illegal for some time but the prohibition had not been enforced. The governments of the world quickly realized that life without an enforced prohibition was life not worth living, and besides we couldn’t just let them damn hippies smoke pot, now could we? This was the start of the highly successful “War on Drugs” that revitalized the Organized Crime trade and made it impossible to obtain any kind of narcotics, anywhere in any country that took care to enforce the prohibition. I mean, just ask any teenager today if they know where to buy marijuana, hashish, cocaine, heroin, LSD, or anything else illegal! They will probably look at you cross-eyed! This of course to signify that they don’t know, that stuff is ILLEGAL dude!
To take another example, up until the late 1960s, pornography was illegal in Denmark. Rest assured that, as a result, such filth didn’t exist in Denmark. At all. Just like people in those countries where pornography is still prohibited would never dream of surfing X-rated websites. Yup!
Another problem plaguing the world today is that of racism, bigotry, and intolerance. This, of course, is caused by hate speech. If people would stop saying ugly things about each other, they will also stop thinking those things. Political Correctness would have ended all kinds of hate speech decades ago if it were only enforced by governments, but sadly it isn’t. It would be just as great a success as the War on Pornography was or is. Or the War on Drugs. (Just ask anywhere in Europe where to find a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf! You won’t find a single copy, anywhere! Especially not in those countries where it is prohibited by law.)
The really great thing about censorship is that the government gets to decide what you can and cannot say, ensuring that the decision will be wise, unbiased, and will not be designed to protect those currently in power from criticism.
Guns. They kill people. People don’t kill people, only guns do. That is why we have strict gun control laws in Europe, so criminals don’t get their hands on dangerous firearms. It is such a great success that you never hear reports of armed criminals over here. Make guns illegal, and they vanish into thin air. Betcha! (I can prove this! I can point to no more than ten or twenty shooting episodes between rivaling gangs in the Greater Copenhagen area this year, and we’re nearly in April!)
In Mexico, I am sad to say, gun control is only a partial success. Citizens don’t have guns. Police officers have small sidearms. Army soldiers have rifles. Drug gangs (which don’t smuggle drugs, because drugs are illegal and therefore don’t exist) have pistols, rifles, shotguns, assault weapons, machine guns, mortars, flamethrowers, rocket launchers, and whatever else they can lay their hands on. That is why I called it a partial success, because the honest part of Mexico’s population has no guns. Only the criminals do.
Yep, if anything offends you, the easiest solution is to get government to prohibit it. That will make it go away, immediately, and it will never offend your eyes again.
And if you believe this, I have a bridge for sale. Real cheap!
So I have been told repeatedly by someone who believes that competition is destructive and should be prohibited by law. Competition makes businesses fight one another for clients, forcing the less able out of business and causing stress to businesses and their employees alike.
And I have to agree! Competition can be a real pain in the ass! Take automobiles, for example:
If it hadn’t been for his destructive competitors, Henry Ford Sr. wouldn’t have had to rebuild his assembly line (in fact he wouldn’t have needed to build the assembly line that allowed him to rationalize and pay his workers better than any other industrialist of his time). He, and his successors, could have continued building Ford Ts until this day. They wouldn’t have had to worry about research and development, if nobody had tried to drive them out of business by giving the public better cars. We would all have been driving Ford Ts, and liking it! (If we could afford them!) OK, they weren’t as fast, or as economical, as modern cars, and they were also somewhat less comfortable and less safe. But at least the workers at the Ford factories wouldn’t have had to worry about Chrysler coming up with a new, smart model and forcing Ford to “restructure” and lay off workers.
(Of course Chrysler wouldn’t be hiring workers either…)
The Soviets understood this and granted a state monopoly to the Lada factories, ensuring that everybody in the USSR could have a Lada, if they had the patience to wait their turn for 10 or 12 years. Or had friends in the Party. And the Lada was a great car, really. Especially if the only alternatives – the competition – were East German Wartburgs or Yugoslavian Yugos.
Best of all, with the state owning the monopoly they also proved that, without the state nobody would own cars at all!
Destructive competition like this permeates everything. For example computers. In 1985, Intel Corporation produced the first 80386 processors, enabling the creation of Personal Computers that were more powerful than IBM’s middleware computers, the so-called minicomputers. IBM Corporation wisely decided not to produce PCs with the i386 processor, staying with the old and trustworthy i286 to protect their lucrative minicomputer market. Which would have worked like a charm if an upstart company called Compaq hadn’t taken the opportunity to get the jump on “Big Blue” by being the first to produce the new and powerful 386 PCs. IBM, who had until then been the undisputed leader on the computer market, suffered a devastating blow to their prestige.
Without Compaq’s destructive behavior, IBM wouldn’t have had to lay off hundreds of thousands of employees over the next ten years, forcing those employees to look for jobs with more forward-looking companies.
(Of course they wouldn’t have had to compete on giving the consumers newer and better computers, either. But the i286 was a fine processor, really. Who needs megabytes or even gigabytes of memory, terabytes of disk space, internet connections, graphical operating systems, and all that stuff anyway?)
On the software side, two young upstarts named Bill Gates and Paul Allen introduced a graphical operating system called Windows, which quickly drove most of the text-based user interfaces out of the market – forcing PC owners to learn to use the new graphical user interfaces.
Telephones are another example of the evils of competition:
Up until the 1990s, the telephone companies in Denmark held a state-guaranteed monopoly on telecommunication services, with a number of regional companies being granted a monopoly in their separate regions. Then the European Union stepped in and ruined everything by liberalizing the market. Which of course was a disaster for the existing companies.
It had happened regularly that phone customers in Denmark received huge bills for making calls to expensive phone numbers, for example phone sex lines. If the clients denied having made such calls, they were nonetheless forced to pay their bills, or their phone lines would be closed. Courts routinely ruled in favor of the telephone companies, since they could prove that the calls had been made on the lines, while the clients couldn’t prove that the calls hadn’t been made from the phones in their home, but rather from switch-boxes in the street.
With competition, the phone companies could no longer blackmail their clients and set their own prices for their “services”. They even had to offer push-button telephones some 20 or 30 years after these had been invented. (What’s wrong with dials? Just askin’!) And only a few years later came the cellular revolution, enabling clients to bring their phones everywhere.
It’s all competition’s fault! Without it, we wouldn’t constantly have to adapt to new technologies. Businesses could continue to produce the same old stuff year after year after year. Society would be at a safe, comfortable, stable standstill.
But of course, the most stable of all conditions is “death”! Which is what awaits a society without competition.
The news service at the Danish TV station TV2 has gotten themselves into the news in a rather spectacular fashion twice over the last few days.
First it was a news report about Syria’s cultural treasures. To illustrate the story, they had a background picture of what should have been the Syrian capital of Damascus.
Except that it was a screenshot from the computer game Assassins’ Creed!
Next they brought a newsfeed about the election of a new chairman for the Greenland home rule. Illustrated with the flag of Greenland.
Actually, the flag in the lower right is not the flag of Greenland, but that of Japan. A different country, very far from Greenland.
As the head of the TV station’s news channel, Mikkel Hertz, correctly said after this fiasco, it takes about 15 seconds to Google “Greenland Flag” and come up with the correct flag, and it’s not like they hadn’t known for a long time that there would be an election in Greenland. So this is just not good enough!
Congratulations to TV2 on achieving a level of journalistic “accuracy” rarely seen outside of the so-called colored press!
OK, it’s a slow day at the office, and at WordPress. I was watching the day’s statistics so far (sure hope they shape up) and cleaning some dirt out of the spam filter (someone was impressed with my writing skills, in a “Mostly Wordless Wednesday” post…), when the statistics caught my eye.
What caught my eye was not the fact that I have had four views today, but that they came from two different visitors. Two visits from the United States, one from Canada, and one from India.
And here is my problem: The number of views add up. But if I have two different visitors, both of whom are from the United States of America, which one of them is from Canada, and which is from India?
I mean, I have had two visitors from three different countries!? Does that mean at least one of them is a sczitz… sci.. (one moment please while I check my dictionary…) a schizophrenic?
Kind of a silly question, I know. I told you it was a slow day!
Can somebody please help me? Somebody calling themselves “Lola” added this comment to my entry Almost Wordless Wednesday from December 19, which seems to have become a magnet for comment spammers:
provided the items aren’t utilized you will move it lower back in order to when every 2 or 3 months, but always do it frequently sufficient which the measure establish isn’t so far visable after you clean
the item. all these coffee makers, though the company are less familiar, supply one thing separate for coffee lovers,
whether or not through the sheer wide variety of
coffee designs and also flavors available for pod gadgets, and/or Older community taste developed.
I’m sorry but I don’t speak or understand Gibberish, Volapuk, or Martian, or any of the other otherworldly languages that this might be.
Can anyone tell me what in blazes the spammer is talking about?
(To Lola: Sorry, but I took the liberty of deleting the web address you used as “account name”. This is a blog, not an advertising site.)
The comment spammers have been quite active lately. Only today, I have had to reject 10 or 15 generic comments like this one from “Sophie”:
Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you
an email. I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.
If you wish to contact me, you can comment on any post you like. However, I prefer that your comment somehow relates to the topic at hand, and that it isn’t totally transparent that the commenter’s “name” is the address of a website that can’t be bothered to, like, you know … PAY for advertising space. Or would like to use my blog to promote itself to search engines. In that case, the likelihood is approximately 100% that I will reject your comment without further ado.
As for your creative ideas for my blog, please feel free to share them in the comment field. I suggest that you open a WordPress account, start your own legitimate blog, and use that account for commenting on other users’ blogs. Preferably without references to commercial websites, except where such references are relevant to the subject. As for my email address, I’m sorry to say I can’t share it with you. You see, I use it for serious purposes and would prefer not to share it with spammers.
Today, George Harrison of the Beatles would have been 70.
Harrison was the youngest member of the Fab Four and was known as the “Quiet Beatle”, being rather shy. He admired John Lennon and Paul McCartney and wanted to write music like them.
For the first few years, his compositions were summarily rejected and Harrison had to contend himself with playing guitar and singing lead vocal on a few Lennon/McCartney compositions. but from the album Help he would usually have two or three of his own songs on each Beatles album. Over time, his music would often be heavily influenced by traditional Indian music and Harrison became a skilled sitar player.
In my opinion, by the time the Beatles split up, Harrison’s songs were at least as good as those of Lennon and McCartney. Frank Sinatra called his “Something” (written for his first wife Patty) the best love song in the last half century. Ironically, George and Patty separated in 1974.
In 1988, Harrison got together with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne and together they formed the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys. Handle with Care from the band’s first album features Harrison on lead vocal and guitar.
George Harrison died of cancer in November 2001. He is survived by his second wife Olivia and their son Dhani.
I nicked this from the net. Author unknown. It is just too good to not pass on.
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn’t always fair, and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned, but overbearing, regulations were set in place.
Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teenagers suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they had themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer paracetamol, sun lotion or plaster to a pupil, but could not inform the parents when a pupil became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home, but the burglar could sue you for assault because you protected yourself and your own.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion, his daughter, Responsibility and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I’m A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized that he was gone.
If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.