31 March 2011

Buursma article

Ray Buursma says that Americans got what they deserved:

[Excerpt] Remember the Reagan standard? Are you better off today than you were a decade ago? Two decades? Three? Unless you make more than $380,000 a year, the answer is no. In fact, your standard of living over the last quarter century has actually decreased while millionaires have added 30 percent to their net wealth. Why? Two reasons. First, hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs went overseas while the politicians you elected did nothing to stop them. Yet you continue to elect leaders who offer nothing but tax cuts, as if that would stem the flow of disappearing jobs. Did you demand your leaders address America’s trade imbalance or continuous outsourcing of jobs? Did you demand your leaders require foreign countries to buy a dollar’s worth of American goods for every dollar of goods they sell here? No and no. You didn’t bother. You simply crossed your fingers and prayed, “I hope my job’s not next.” You made concessions to your employer and hoped that would stem the exodus of jobs, or at least yours. How’d that work for you? Second, you bought into the myth that unions are the cause of America’s demise. You didn’t bother to learn America became a world power when union membership was at its peak. You didn’t bother to learn America became the envy of the world while 1 of every 3 Americans was a union member. So, how are things going for you? How do your benefits compare to a quarter century ago? Are you paying a higher or lower percentage of your income for health insurance? Does your company offer a pension plan, or do you now fund your own 401(k)? Maybe you’re thinking, “I’m not a union worker, so this doesn’t affect me.” Stop being stupid. Union benefits provide a standard other companies have to match, or at least come close to. When those benefits are cut, yours are, too. Or do you think you operate in your own little employment vacuum? To make matters worse, you’re again being played for a chump. The same puppets who did nothing while your standard of living decreased are now using the oldest gimmick in the book — jealousy — to continue their assault on American workers. Rather than protect Americans’ jobs, they deflect your attention through jealousy. “Cut the pay of government workers,” they cry. “Increase their health premiums. Decrease their pensions. Break their unions. After all, you’ve suffered so they should suffer too.” And in your misery, you buy their argument while more jobs head oversees. Pretty stupid, eh? If their antics weren’t so pathetic, if the consequences weren’t so dire, if they didn’t prey on your stupidity, and if you didn’t buy into their convoluted reasoning, this whole situation would be laughable. But of course it’s not. I warned you I’d likely offend you, and I suspect I did. But once you overcome your anger, consider my analysis. Then, either wise up and do something about it, or resign yourself to a lower standard of living for the next decade.

Kobon

What a language! Kobon has a little over 100 verbs that combine with nouns and phrases to describe all the specific happenings discussed in other languages. So instead of "see," "hear," or "understand," the verb just has one verb for perception. There is, however, a particular verb for calling a pig and another verb for butchering a cassowary (I, below, picture DO).

28 March 2011

Recent flix

For what it's worth, my take on recent movies:
Barney's Version: A sappy crass comedy that may be worth watching eventually on Netflix if you're a bit lit up and there's really nothing more to watch. On the bright side, this time the Canadians are responsible for churning out this formulaic crapulum.
Limitless: Just as everyone says, this is a lot of fun. Not a great philosophical treatise, but continuous fun nevertheless. Cooper is very well-cast here and De Niro (who doesn't really appear that often) is great as well.
The Adjustment Bureau: For the romantics who can wrap their heads around Christian cosmology, this is watchable. Personally, angels and shallow debates about free-will don't do much for me, but I'm willing to admit this is a personal bias. It's hard to make a completely unwatchable film with Matt Damon.