Excessive Fairness

Aristotle said, “Everything in moderation,” and the bureaucrats at the forthcoming People’s Democratic Republic of Europe know that since a little moderation is good, a great deal of coerced moderation must be better. Hence, they want to moderate every type of Internet site to ensure that both sides of any issue get equal time to express their viewpoints. CNet’s Declan McCullagh has the details.

As I have said before, some think that the linchpin of democracy was the unlegislated mandate called the Fairness Doctrine.

Of course, the same people tend to think that your property, whether it’s your radio station or your Web hosting, does not belong to you, it belongs to the hoi polloi, and they get to administer the application of your limited rights to your own property. You’re not qualified to decide who gets to speak on your time and your dime.

Excessive Fairness

Aristotle said, “Everything in moderation,” and the bureaucrats at the forthcoming People’s Democratic Republic of Europe know that since a little moderation is good, a great deal of coerced moderation must be better. Hence, they want to moderate every type of Internet site to ensure that both sides of any issue get equal time to express their viewpoints. CNet’s Declan McCullagh has the details.

As I have said before, some think that the linchpin of democracy was the unlegislated mandate called the Fairness Doctrine.

Of course, the same people tend to think that your property, whether it’s your radio station or your Web hosting, does not belong to you, it belongs to the hoi polloi, and they get to administer the application of your limited rights to your own property. You’re not qualified to decide who gets to speak on your time and your dime.

Has It Been Seven Years Already?

Wow, it’s been seven years since G.J. Meyer published his book Executive Blues: Down and Out In Corporate America and detailed how much it sucks to be laid off from a six figure salary and how he couldn’t find a job.

Now Fortune is reporting it’s still tough when you’re white-color unemployed. Especially if you’re white-collar and formerly of high title and high salary.

Once, when I was a young man in college, sitting in the lobby of one of the halls that house classes on the campus of Marquette Univeristy, peddling doughnuts to support a fledgling literary magazine, and undoubtedly trying to win the affection of one of the interchangeable English-major blondes, a security guard imitation cop stopped at the imitation doughnut shop and gave me a bit of advice for which my upbringing and general outlook had prepared me: always have more than one potential source of income. Actually, he probably said “Have more than one pot on the fire,” or some other cliche, but as a recovering English major, I hate to repeat it verbatim.

I can, however. summarize the lesson. The gentleman related his life story, or at least his C.V., while eating a doughnut. He hadn’t gone to college, but he’d joined the National Guard. Throughout his tumultous employment career, he’d had the one-weekend-a-month-two-weeks-in-summer pay as well as a variety of part-time positions in addition to whatever full-time job he held at the time. Although his life, to that point, comprised the period from the 1960s to the early 1990s, he’d seen enough ups and downs to know that the world didn’t owe him something since he was present.

Of course, he didn’t have the $40,000 parchment, so one could easily dismiss the ramblings of an overweight rentacop in a grey parka. But when a security guard talks about security, and not just in the physical sense, perhaps one should heed. As both Meyer and the heroes of the Fortune piece could attest, parchments and titles don’t offer true security in a turbulent, evolving world.

Personally, I have held innumerable positions in numerous fields, including printing, shipping/receiving, grocery stores, IT, and magazines. I have a handy mix of blue collar skills and mad money skills. Whatever the job market, I will find something, even if it means something less than what I have now. I have also dodged the bullet of getting an superdooper title. Many cash-strapped companies will give you an esteem-building title instead of giving you a raise. Becoming Vice-Mechanic of Doc-U-Matics would make it much more difficult to simply be a Doc-U-Matic somewhere else, and I have deked when appropriate.

So I doubt I’ll ever have time to write a book or talk to another writer about being out of work and suffering without my ludicrous paychecks coming twice a month. I’ll be too busy working.

(And as my esteemed spouse has indicated, she has some mad 733t skillz at transcription and biscuit making, so no matter how the economy turns, we’ll have a hovel to call home.)

What Does The Singular Iranian Mind Want?

According to the BBC, to whom I was pointed by Instapundit, it wants US intervention in its uprising against the ruling theocracy.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which I get delivered on weekends because, well…. hmm, I’ll get back to you on that, the Iranian people does not want US intervention in its uprising against the ruling theocracy.

Which is it? The answer is Yes.

Because The People of Iran is not an It, they’re a They. Because the individuals within any group of people, especially a group narrowly defined based on ethnicity, location, or nation, hold different and often contradictory positions on any number of issues, you can probably attribute any sentiment to The People and not be wrong.

However, it’s an interesting way of flushing out a “journalist” and his or her own personal biases. Whenever reading one of these pieces, you can determine the point of view closest to the heart of the “journalist” (not counting limited omniscient, which is the Point Of View many journalists think they have). The “journalist” projects this sentiment to the People.

What Does The Singular Iranian Mind Want?

According to the BBC, to whom I was pointed by Instapundit, it wants US intervention in its uprising against the ruling theocracy.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which I get delivered on weekends because, well…. hmm, I’ll get back to you on that, the Iranian people does not want US intervention in its uprising against the ruling theocracy.

Which is it? The answer is Yes.

Because The People of Iran is not an It, they’re a They. Because the individuals within any group of people, especially a group narrowly defined based on ethnicity, location, or nation, hold different and often contradictory positions on any number of issues, you can probably attribute any sentiment to The People and not be wrong.

However, it’s an interesting way of flushing out a “journalist” and his or her own personal biases. Whenever reading one of these pieces, you can determine the point of view closest to the heart of the “journalist” (not counting limited omniscient, which is the Point Of View many journalists think they have). The “journalist” projects this sentiment to the People.

Just Depends On What Your Country Trips On

Michele Alliot-Marie, defense minister of France, shares “Whoa, dude, and like one time when I was dropping acid….” type stories in the Washington Post:

    “The American Defense Secretary (Donald Rumsfeld) believes the United States is the only military, economic and financial power in the world. We do not share this vision,” Alliot-Marie told Le Monde newspaper in the interview published on Saturday.

Of course not. They, and by they I am not sure whether I mean Alliot-Marie and her friends and associates or the whole of France, see different things when they eat the wrong types of mushrooms with their snails, which is most of the time. In these weird moments when the walls breathe and sweat, they oten have visions of a relevant and powerful France, just like in their picturebook history texts. A free, fraternal France, where workers have to punch in at 10:30 in the morning and get to punch out at 10:42 and the economy continues to grow. Hated tourists realize they mess up the beautiful landscape and just mail money directly, without trompling through the vineyards. And then suddenly the grapes grow very large, develop eyes and a nose but no mouth, and talk through their nostrils.

Perhaps that’s the vision they would like to share with us.

Just Depends On What Your County Trips On

Michele Alliot-Marie, defense minister of France, shares “Whoa, dude, and like one time when I was dropping acid….” type stories in the Washington Post:

    “The American Defense Secretary (Donald Rumsfeld) believes the United States is the only military, economic and financial power in the world. We do not share this vision,” Alliot-Marie told Le Monde newspaper in the interview published on Saturday.

Of course not. They, and by they I am not sure whether I mean Alliot-Marie and her friends and associates or the whole of France, see different things when they eat the wrong types of mushrooms with their snails, which is most of the time. In these weird moments when the walls breathe and sweat, they oten have visions of a relevant and powerful France, just like in their picturebook history texts. A free, fraternal France, where workers have to punch in at 10:30 in the morning and get to punch out at 10:42 and the economy continues to grow. Hated tourists realize they mess up the beautiful landscape and just mail money directly, without trompling through the vineyards. And then suddenly the grapes grow very large, develop eyes and a nose but no mouth, and talk through their nostrils.

Perhaps that’s the vision they would like to share with us.

Law Of Averages Leaving Some Students Behind

The pièce de résistance of a piece de commentary in the Sacramento Bee is:

    “I don’t doubt that Jim Sweeney loves children and had dedicated his life’s career to improving education,” she said. “The school district has done some wonderful things … but (on state tests) half the students are still below the 50th percentile. That’s a problem.”

Sacramento City Councilwoman Lauren Hammond apparently wants all students to be above average. And she’s right. For two long, the law of averages has been a TOOL OF OPPRESSION designed to WRECK THE SELF-ESTEEM of otherwise talented adolescents of all ages. To be a truly effective school administrator, you must ensure that all students achieve the same level of suckcess, which probably means lowering the double bars of the equals sign until the only standard applied is “better than nothing.”

(Link seen on Best of the Web Today.)

Law Of Averages Leaving Some Students Behind

The pièce de résistance of a piece de commentary in the Sacramento Bee is:

    “I don’t doubt that Jim Sweeney loves children and had dedicated his life’s career to improving education,” she said. “The school district has done some wonderful things … but (on state tests) half the students are still below the 50th percentile. That’s a problem.”

Sacramento City Councilwoman Lauren Hammond apparently wants all students to be above average. And she’s right. For two long, the law of averages has been a TOOL OF OPPRESSION designed to WRECK THE SELF-ESTEEM of otherwise talented adolescents of all ages. To be a truly effective school administrator, you must ensure that all students achieve the same level of suckcess, which probably means lowering the double bars of the equals sign until the only standard applied is “better than nothing.”

(Link seen on Best of the Web Today.)

And George W. Bush Makes Two

Word. I have a buddy who fell off of Ray Lane’s own Segway once, and Ray Lane said he’d never seen that before.

Well, now my friend has company. Yahoo! has a picture of George W. Bush falling off of one, with greater style and form than he did.

(Link seen on Fark.)

James Lileks on Mortality

James Lileks, known to bloggers for his daily Internet column The Bleat, wrote a long piece in 1996 about his mother’s death from cancer. Go forth and read “October at Home“.

And if you want a shorter take on losing a parent to cancer, read my doggerel “But through fifth floor hospital panes….” in an old PDF edition of Prolog. It’s no One True Thing, but it got published.

New from Ralph Lauren: Evan Essence

Draw the attention of women just like Joe Millionaire with this manly scent.

No, really evanescence means “To dissipate or disappear like vapor.” A cool name for a Christian technoalternapop band, but one wonders how they came up with the name. Did a member of the band hear the word and decide, “That would be a great name for a band,” and learn to play a synthesizer so he or she could found the band? Or did they consult a thesaurus to find a cool, sibilant word that captures individual human existence in the greater fabric of eternity?

Whenever I Feel Like a Paranoid Whack Job

Whenever I am feeling like a paranoid whack job, I can get some perspective by going down to Border’s and picking up the latest copy of Paranoia: The Conspiracy Reader.

One quick read, and I realize I am okay. THEY are not all out to get me.

Some of THEM are out to get others, too.