December 28, 2009

Power of an Employer

Buona sera. I was able to catch some of the usual Christmas movies that I like to watch every year. Now, wait a minute! I am not going to be going on about Christmas, exactly, and then I'll drop it. I'm as glad the season is winding down as much as almost everyone else. So anyway. Hard-hearted and heavy-handed employers make labor burdensome. Labor, by its nature, is seldom a joy. But treating your employees poorly, or even neglecting opportunities to bring them a little joy, is a good part of what causes labor to be a burden.

In National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Mr. Shirley suspended the Christmas bonuses. He was becoming a miser and was more interested in saving a few dollars than in the best interests of his employees. In this case, the Christmas bonus was expected every year, and they counted on it as part of their salaries. When he had to look at the Griswold family, he said, "Look, uh, sometimes things look good on paper, but lose their luster when you see how it affects real folks. I guess a healthy bottom line doesn't mean much, if to get it you have to hurt the ones you depend on. It's people that make the difference, little people like you." I want that emblazoned on a sign over every employer's personal office door!

Now, let's go back to an older movie, Scrooge. (By the way, after hearing the audio book of the original story, I am thoroughly impressed with this version, as it actually improved on the work of Charles Dickens.) The Ghost of Christmas Past took Scrooge back to his younger days, where he was a happy apprentice. Mr. Fezziwig threw a shindig that brought him the praise of his employees.

The Ghost said, "He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money: three or four perhaps. Is th
at so much that he deserves this praise?" Right. He spend some money to make people happy. Is that really such a difficulty? People complain about the modern economy, but they should realize the economy of people like Fezziwig in Victorian England!

Scrooge said to the Ghost, "He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count ’em up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune." Yes! A thousand times, yes! Learn this, employers!

I think I read that Lee Iacocca said, "Give your employees your best, and they'll give you their best". Is this so difficult? Things may look good on paper, but treating people properly and actually treating them like people has its own intangible dividends, capice?

December 23, 2009

Cowboy as a Pejorative

Buon giorno, Pardners!

Do you ever have that experience where something occurs to you and you ponder it for a while, then it finds its way to the back of your mind and camps out for a while, then it comes back so you can consider it again? It happens to me occasionally. Sometimes, the cycle repeats itself several times. Well, one of those thoughts seems to have come to fruition.

Tommy the Knocker and Nicky hate it when I talk that way ("comes to fruition"), and they don't like my title. Too bad.

There are people that put "The State" above all else. Your liberties do not matter to these Statists. All that matters is government control, making you bow to the state. According to Mark Levin, Statists are not necessarily liberals. I see it that liberals are more likely to be Statists (so I have a slight disagreement with the great one), and in America the extreme leftist liberals do not believe in the rights of the individual. All that matters are their own political power, and also increasing control of the state over our lives.

I was remeCalling someone a "cowboy" is sometimes intended as an insult and a pejorative. Digging deeper, we see that such a handle is a complement.mbering how enemies of George W. Bush referred to him as a "cowboy". Also, Ronald Reagan was called a "cowboy". These were not complements. Rather, they were used in a pejorative sense. That is, they were not only making "cowboy" a dirty word, they were also applying it to each president. It would convey a meaning of stupidity and recklessness. (Yes, cowboys could be stupid and reckless, but that was usually saved up for riding into town at the end of a successful cattle drive or something. The rest of the time, cowboys were and are hard working people.)

But I realized something else: These people hate individualism. Cowboys can be very individualistic. While loyal to the employer and working as a team ("ride for the brand"), they had their own temperaments. They also had values and a code of ethics (although not actually written down on a wallet card).

"Is there are point to this stuff, Cowboy Bob?"

Yup. Statists and leftists hate individuals because they stand in the way of the leftist insistence on state control. And cowboys are strong individualists. To me, it stands to reason that calling Reagan and Bush "cowboys" indicates that they dislike real cowboys, past and present. And they hated those presidents who were individuals, and respected the rights of individuals. Capice? You may want to consider that perhaps cowboys, by their individualistic nature, represent Conservative values!

Calling Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush "cowboys" is, to me, a high complement.

December 21, 2009

Projection of Arrogance

Buon giorno. While doing some follow-up research on my "Arrogant Atheist" series, I came across some interesting bits of projection (where you do something, deny doing it, and then say that someone else is doing it). Also, I find some interesting rationalizations for arrogance.

While skimming an atheist group, I saw some comments by someone that is a "Christian" (I put the term in quotes because this person is so liberal in theology, it's pretty much "anything goes") tells the atheists, "You're so much nicer than the so-called 'Christians' that I run across", and how Christians shame themselves, etc. Meanwhile, the sneering and condescending approaches of the atheists is excused. Why? Because the ultra-liberal "Christian" had more in common with the atheists than with people that believe the Bible to be true. Of course there was agreement! Also, use of deliberately antagonistic expressions such as "xians" is ignored.

I have said that I do not care what someone believes. That is their right. I do care when your unbelief is thrown in my face, and you attempt to make yourself look clever.

I will remind you that I have a problem with the atheists playing intellectual games. They want God to play by their rules (and boy, do they get upset when I point out that the creator of the universe does not have to do that). Further, they play mind games: "Give me evidence for...", and when you offer something for them to think about, it is not admissible because their "rules" are so rigid and narrow, nobody can come up with something worthwhile. Many know enough theology and history to be annoying, and they throw that material at you to make you squirm (because it is a distraction). Then, they analyze you with feigned innocence: "What? Why are you offended? Why are you saying these things? It must be because..." I can spot manipulation from a long ways away, I have an understanding of psychology, and I've studied theology for years. (Ironic, isn't it, that Christians are held to a higher standard to follow what arrogant atheists think it means, but they have no higher standard to follow themselves.) So, that manipulation crap won't work on me, Bubbles. Frankly, I have met very, very few atheists who are intellectually honest.

Another problem that I have with them is that these "intellectual" atheists hold "believers" to a higher standard. That is, they want us to have the character of Jesus himself, and exhibit the intellect of, say Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking. They conveniently forget that believers are people, too, and have the same problems that beset the rest of humanity. So, if you show any kind of flaw, your arguments are invalid, and you are invalid.

Then, we have the atheists that cry about how Christians are arrogant. "You shove your religion down my throat!" Yeah, sure. Frankly, there are not very many Christians that share their faith. In the earliest days, the Apostles went door-to-door. If actual Christians do that today, people think that they are with a cult! At any rate, sure, there are rambunctious Christians that have no tact and do not know when to shut up, but they are in the minority. Other Christians share their faith in a kind and loving spirit, but overly-sensitive people will take every utterance as "forcing it on me"; they are projecting their own arrogance on believers. Keep crying, Skippy. Here's a tissue.

Although it is rare, it is possible to have a rational discussion with an atheist, because not all of them are arrogant, wanting to destroy the faith of believers. But one thing I learned long ago, when someone is showing considerable resistance and hostility, just drop it. The conversation is a waste of your time. If they want to talk again later and do not have the attitude or play mental gymnastic games with you, perhaps you will want to try again.

Listen up, Joe Atheist. I keep saying that I do not care what you believe, and I stand by that because where I live (in America), we have that right. Did you notice that it is actually easy to claim to be an atheist? The rest of us have to endure attacks from people like you. Do us all a couple of favors, OK? First, don't come around crying because someone didn't fall for your manipulation and psychological projection tricks. Second, don't try to humiliate those of us who have the courage to believe in God; people like me will make you cry. If you cooperate and get civil, we can get along better.

December 11, 2009

Intellectualism and Reality

Buoa sera. Not too long ago, I was involved in a discussion in an online forum regarding things that we find irritating. One fellow is upset about anti-intellectualism, and wondered why it exists in the first place.

I felt that I was bright enough to attempt to offer a bit of an answer (it was a public forum, after all). After I gave that answer, I kept thinking about the subject and have more ideas to offer. Why are people anti-intellectual (or dislike those who call themselves intellectuals)?

  • Smug. The "intellectual class" is so much more clever than those of us who actually have to work for a living, and they let us mere mortals know it. Here is a smug, arrogant article that is just reeking of attitude and helps prove my point.
  • Impractical. They gather together to discuss "ideas" and "knowledge", but appear to be unable to take care of even their own needs. Hey, Mr. Brain! Can you change a tire, or only discuss the physics involved? Torque this, Pal!
  • Disassociated. Intellectuals are usually supportive of leftist causes, including socialism and communism (for instance, see William Ayers, terrorist and professor). Ironically, when The Revolution comes, academics and intellectuals are among the first to be executed. Hell's bells, Lenin believed that the "working classes" were unable to understand socialism!
  • Religious. Love of thought, learning and intellectual process become a religion in and of themselves. Further, there is some kind of an unwritten law that intellectuals are atheists. Of course, that is nonsense. Some of the most intelligent people, past and present, in all walks of life, are "believers". Because God doesn't respond to your criteria, he doesn't exist? I reject you, because you cannot understand that God, by his very nature, is not understandable by your proud clique.
  • Persecution. Yes, they feel sorry for themselves. Not only do they misunderstand (I suspect it is deliberately) regular people, but they have such a high value on themselves that they are offended when we do not bow down and worship their wisdom. After all, we're clinging to our errors, and they want to save us from ourselves. Arrogant cazzos.
  • Loftiness. The affectation of an impractical vocabulary insulates intellectual types from regular people; "Let me show you how bright I am by using big words". I prefer they cowboy approach: "You don't need decorated words to make your meanin' clear. Say it plain and save some breath for breathin'." Me, I'd rather be understood by as many people as possible rather than impress a few.
Folks in the "intellectual class", in the traditional sense, seem to talk about things that the rest of us supposedly cannot understand, and congratulate themselves on being so frightfully clever. Frankly, most of us have no interest in debating the merits of the great philosophers, or "pure" mathematics. We have work to do. But I'll wager that if we were exposed to such discussions and concepts in the first place, and wished to expend our intellectual energies and time on them, we could understand those things. We choose not to, and leave those concepts to those who hold us in contempt.

The truth is, they just don't "get it". People have their beliefs, many of them logical and useful. We don't need to have self-congratulating brain worshipers swoop down and save us from ourselves because we're not thinking their way. Sorry, Mr. Brain, I don't have to think your way, or have you tell me what thoughts I can think, or what beliefs that I can have.

To add more fuel to the "attitude" fire, they believe that they are to be the conscience of the age, and to speak out. That sets them up into a godlike role, because they are oh so right, they are clever, they must be obeyed.

Please pay attention Mr. Brain, this is important. And it is also painfully obvious.

In my travels and adventures, I have helped people with their computers. Several make me their "go-to" guy. They say, "Gosh, Cowboy Bob, you're so clever. How do you know all this stuff?" Well, I'm not being clever! I happen to know something that they do not know. Big freakin' deal. Yeah, I'm so clever with computers, but my associate Hal the Hacker makes me look like a trained monkey on computer stuff.

Knowledge is relative. Still with me, Cyril Cerebellum? I know stuff that I don't dare tell you, things that you'll never know. Fact of life. And I know a dame that works with the mentally retarded (or, to use modern, politically correct lingo, "developmentally disabled") people. I'd be standing there looking just as retarded as her clients while she does her job. And a babe I knew that owned horses...fuggedaboudit, I'm a cowboy at heart, not with my hands. She said I was a smart guy, but I'm as smart as a box of rocks when it comes to what she has to do with her horses. For that matter, I know some auto mechanics that I would put their brain power against yours. No, they don't know "that stuff" you know about. But boy, can they diagnose and fix a problem in my car!

Let me tell you something, Mikey Mind. I am not anti-intellectual. I am anti-attitude. People are not asking to be "dumb", or to be stupid. They just don't think like you, and don't want you interfering by shoving your intellectual "religion" down their throats. Just because they don't know things that you have decided are important, and meet the intelligentsia criteria, does not mean they — or I — do not measure up in the brightness department. Capice?

November 23, 2009

Being a Rocket Surgeon

Edited content for clarity on Tuesday, November 24, 2009.

Buon giorno.
Yes, I think my title is funny. This past weekend was an emotional, mental and physical roller coaster.

It was time to reformat my hard drive. Dump the scraps of leftover software and things I really do not need, reload it with stuff that I know is better and go at it with my increased knowledge.

Reformatting has been a source of bad news for me for a long time, mainly from trying to get the computer to resemble what I had before. I have no problem helping someone else with it, but for me, I get anxiety attacks based on experiences with my first Windows computer (HP does this to people). It happened again.

First, I could not get anything to show up on my monitor. After checking some things on Nicky's computer, I decided to reformat it again. Still nothing, just a flashing cursor in the upper left corner. I looked up some more "solutions" online and tried them. No dice. I connected with a Hewlett Packard online tech representative. Oh, boy, this one was a real genius! He? She? asked me questions I had just answered, told me to read things off a screen that I had told him? her? twice before. Then this "technician" told me to take it back to the store. Huh?

However, there was one thing that this alleged technician asked me that caused me to think of my own solution: Was there anything added to the computer? Yes, yes there was. One of the modifications was a new video card. It eventually came back to me that I had this problem when I first installed that card. I had to go back into the computer and change some settings so that the new card would work. To get back to work on the computer, I had to unplug the monitor from the card and replug it into the original equipment. That was my "Duh!" moment; I lost at two or three hours in fighting that machine. If I had not been all agitated about it, I may have remembered and saved myself a great deal of time and anger (good thing nobody was around to learn the new words I would have taught them).

After reinstalling software, including new stuff that is superior to what I had before (extensively using Revo Uninstaller to really rip out the sucktacular crapware that HP bundled with the machine), I decided to make some changes. I used to like Windows Live Mail, it handled IMAP better than Mozilla's Thunderbird (ironic, because I am a big proponent of Mozilla's Firefox), plus WLM had some other features that I preferred. Then they changed it. I decided to try Thunderbird.

It turns out that Mozilla's Thunderbird had been upgraded since I used it last, but I was reluctant to use it now because I was still angry over a previous version causing me to lose a chunk of important mail. But I was in a position (and the right temperament) to try again. So, I installed Thunderbird, and I am thrilled with it! Not only was I able to set it up to use different e-mail accounts and outgoing (SMTP) servers, I had a bonus: Lightning. Stormbringer likes lightning, but in this case, it's an extension of Thunderbird. (Isn't that cool, Thunderbird and Lightning? Ha!)

Wait, it gets better. (Lightning has a big brother named Sunbird. That is the desktop calendar that stands alone.) In Thunderbird, click on the switch for the Lightning extension and you'd think that you were running Sunbird itself. In fact, think of this: Calendar, "tasks" list, e-mail — kind of reminds you of a free version of Outlook, doesn't it? Regular readers know that I am a proponent on using calendars for organization and to get things done.

Brief tangent now. There are bunches of online calendar applications for you to organize your life. Yahoo was one of the early ones. Google has a good calendar going, too. You can subscribe to other calendars, including those of friends, friendly enemies and colleagues. Since my Palm Tungsten E is old and may fail, I started using this one as Plan B. It's available wherever there is an Internet connection.

OK, back from the tangent. Or am I? If you install Lightning and/or Sunbird, you can install the Provider add-on. This will synchronize Lighting and/or Sunbird with Google Calendar. In my case, my home computer has Thunderbird and Lightning. My main office computer has Sunbird Google has its own cranking away, and all three synchronize together. That means you can have this mind-blowing electronical group thing happening.

This is really fun if you want to know about the next level: Thunderbird Portable with the Lightning extension. Be careful, because hooking up portable Thunderbird on a flash drive can cause you some confusion if you do not configure it right, because you can lose track of your mail. (Hint: When you set up the portable version of T-bird, tell it "no" to connect each account at start-up, and "no" for getting mail every few minutes. Once you're sure you can keep track of things, feel free.) This is great to have if you need to send something from a remote location and do not have Web mail (heh, like that's going to happen). If you're inclined and adventurous, you can take a look at Thunderbird Portable plus the Lightning extension. Yes, it works. I have it on a flash drive.

Fortunately, Firefox, Thunderbird and other things can be backed up with a tool called MozBackup. This little dandy saved me a tremendous amount of work in putting my version of Firefox, with all of its customizations and add-ons, back together again. Now Firefox, Thunderbird and company are backed up in case of the next computer disaster.

Addendum 11-25-2009: I just learned that there is a "release candidate", a preview, of the newest version of Thunderbird available. Soon, the new version will be ready for general release and I will have work to do. It sounds good, and will probably be worth it.

Addendum 1-28-2009: Thunderbird 3 is now installed, and we are getting along rather well.

What if it all crashes? My computer is showing signs of death, and I'm hoping to coax a little more time out of it before I have to buy a new one. All that time and effort will be lost. Actually, I have to cling to one positive thing, and that is my learning experiences. After all, nothing lasts forever.

October 28, 2009

No Life to Give

This post is long overdue. I am going to go on record and say flat out that I am against abortion. If you have the courage, hear me out. Warning: This discussion is going to be very direct and some people may find it offensive. "Offended" in this case is wimp talk for "I can't handle the truth".

My facts are confined to the United States. The principles still apply wherever you are, though.

But first, I have to tell you that I am not so extreme that I say "no" to all abortions at all times. The exceptions that I accept are when the life of the mother is in actual danger (none of this philosophical nonsense, I want facts), rape or incest (only one percent of abortions occur because of these factors).

Ninety three percent of abortions are for social convenience. Millions of abortions are performed, and most of those are because women can't keep their legs together. Sure, it's OK in their lust-crazed minds to do the bang tango, unprotected, with a man that they do not want to actually have children with. Then they have the child exterminated.

I can hear it already: "A woman has a right to choose. Men have no right to legislate our bodies." In this discussion, men are told to clam up, that they have no rights and no say at all in this matter.

Are you sitting down, Bubbles? No, don't lay down, you've done that enough already. The fact is, abortion is murder. No, not my opinion. Medical fact. But since feminazis make so much noise and influence legislation, this murder is legal. At nine weeks of age, the fetus can respond to being lightly touched. Fingerprints, those life-long identifying marks, begin at ten weeks. Brainwave activity begins very early. The heart begins beating, also very early — and the unborn child may have a different blood type than the mother that is carrying it. And what if you are carrying a female child? Who speaks for her? What about her rights? Of course, the guy you did the wild thing with does not have any rights or say in the matter except to pay child support — but what do you care?

Women who have abortions have other problems, including depression, thoughts of suicide and medical complications. Suppose you have that abortion because it is "inconvenient" or will be "too upsetting" for you to continue. There is a chance that you may not be able to conceive again. It may be legal, but it's not always safe. And that "back alley abortion" myth, where so many women died? That's another lie, big time.

Looks like you have some counseling to get. The first step is to get right with God.

The biggest abortion mill is Planned Parenthood. In 2008, they performed over 315,000 abortions (with a dismal five thousand adoption referrals). Their profits in 2008 were (insert Doctor Evil voice here) one billion dollars. They pretend that they're doing a public service, but instead, they are simply a money-making business.

Ever notice that most Planned Parenthood centers are in predominantly black neighborhoods? Their founder was Margaret Sanger, a proponent of eugenics. Eugenics is a process to weed out the unfit in the population. Hitler loved it; eugenics is a way to speed up human evolution. Obviously, they consider blacks to be unfit. Maggie said, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population".

Someone made an agonizingly stupid remark to me: "So what? That was years ago, it's different now." Sort of like saying, "Stalin was a bit radical, but we can continue his work." How convenient! The past does not matter, the motives behind the founding of the organization do not matter either. How ludicrous! And have they forgotten their brutal origins, really? Nope. They still give out their Margaret Sanger award. It went to Hillary Clinton in 2009.

If you want some fast facts about abortion in America (and some numbers for the rest of the world), click here. There's a pamphlet by Planned Parenthood from 1952 that says "abortion kills the life of a baby". For a glimpse of that, click here.

Now I'm officially on the record as being Pro Life. Click here for additional information by my friend Gypsy.

September 26, 2009

Mexico Complaining About Mexicans

This came from my patriotic ex-marine buddy. (Hey, Don! I'm using your material again!) I am very selective on the scores of e-mails that I receive. Many are inaccurate or out of date. I checked this one and read a good portion of the text that is below is reproduced here.

The shoe is on the other foot and the Mexicans from Sonora don't like it. Can you believe the nerve of these people? It's almost funny.

State of Sonora (Mexico) is angry at the influx of Mexicans into Mexico.

Nine state legislators from the Mexican state of Sonora traveled to Tucson in 2008 to complain about Arizona 's new employer crack down on illegals from Mexico.

It seems that many Mexican illegals are now returning to their hometowns and the officials in the Sonora state government are ticked off about it.

The delegation from Sonora said that Arizona's new employer sanctions law will have a devastating effect on the Mexican state.

At a news conference, the legislators said Sonora (Arizona 's southern neighbor) made up of mostly small towns cannot handle the demand for housing, jobs and schools it will face as illegal Mexican workers here return to their hometowns without jobs or money.

The law punishes employers who knowingly hire individuals who don't have valid legal documents to work in the United States . Penalties include suspension of, or loss of, their business license.

The Mexican legislators are angry because their own citizens are returning to their hometowns, placing a burden on their state government.

'How can they pass a law like this?' asked Mexican Rep. Leticia Amparano-Gamez, who represents Nogales.

'There is not one person living in Sonora who does not have a friend or relative working in Arizona ,' she said, speaking only in Spanish.

'Mexico is not prepared for this--for the tremendous problems it will face as more and more Mexicans working in Arizona and sending money to their families return to hometowns in Sonora without jobs,' she said.

'We are one family, socially and economically,' she said of the people of Sonora and Arizona.


The United States is a sovereign nation, Cupcake, not a subsidiary of Mexico, and its taxpayers are not responsible for the welfare of Mexico 's citizens.

It's time for the Mexican government and its citizens to stop parasitically feeding off of the United States and to start taking care of its own needs.

Too bad all the US states don't pass a laws just like Sonora (see below). Maybe that's the answer, since our own Congress will not do anything:

New Immigration Laws: Read to the bottom or you will miss the message..

1. There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools.
* * * * * * * *
2. All ballots will be in this nation's language.
* * * * * * * *
3. All government business will be conducted in our language.
* * * * * * * *
4. Non-residents will NOT have the right to vote no matter how long they are here.
* * * * * * * *
5.. Non-citizens will NEVER be able to hold political office.
* * * * * * * *
6. Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no health care or other government assistance pro grams. Any burden will be deported.
* * * * * * * *
7. Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount at least equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.
* * * * * * * *
8. If foreigners come here and buy land.... options will be restricted. Certain parcels including waterfront property are reserved for citizens naturally born into this country.
* * * * * * * *
9. Foreigners may have no protests; no demonstrations, no waving of a foreign flag, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies. These will lead to deportation.
* * * * * * * *
10. If you do come to this country illegally, you will be actively hunted and, when caught, sent to jail until your deportation can be arranged. All assets will be taken from you.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Too strict ???

The above laws are current immigration laws of MEXICO!

These sound fine to me. NOW, how can we get these laws to be America's immigration laws?

If we don't wake up, we'll lose our country!

More about this kind of topic can be found here.

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