So, here are some examples of how stupidity costs us. I know of one employer that has a facility to employs over 1,000 people, all of whom have the job of dealing with customer stupidity. A rough estimate of the cost of this single facility is $50 million annually. Don't ask who it is.
A road near my home was dug up last year to do some utility work. When the crew ran into some underground utilities that weren't where they were supposed to be, they decided to postpone the work until this year and repaved over the whole thing. This year, the road was dug up again, and it looks like they completed the work, since they have repaved the road again. Painted some nice white lines on it. Looked really good, until they then decided to chip seal it. Maybe that's a new thing, to chip seal new asphalt, but I don't really see the point, and I especially don't see the point of painting lines first, since now, they'll need to repaint the lines.
We've spent billions launching air strikes against ISIS, never doing enough to win, or even to take back meaningful areas of land. Stupid. Either set about winning, or GTFO of that whole mess. My choice is the latter.
Most, if not all, automobile accidents are the result of stupidity. The list goes on. In saying this, I'm not saying that everyone else is stupid and I'm not; I am, after all, human and being stupid is part of that. But, really, a lot of the stupid that goes on in the world is, in fact, avoidable. Unfortunately, most don't want to be bothered with avoiding it, or worse, most think that they are, in fact, not stupid, which, in turn, makes them the stupidest of all.
So, now that I've gotten that off my chest, here's a look at some of the recent news.
Yeah, I don't really care how it got tied up in politics. I don't know what all the hubbub is about. It's a name, a label. People are too hung up on labels these days. To me, there's actually a simple solution to the problem anyway. Name the mountain Denali, but name the national park McKinley. I'm sure someone would be offended by that, but who cares, really. People are spending way too much time looking for things to be offended by. Another example of the cost of stupid.
"[T]he Fed plans to raise its benchmark interest rate one-quarter of one percentage point, a mathematically minor move that has become a very big deal."Um, no. When the rate is changed from 0% to 0.25%, it's actually not a mathematically minor move. It's friggin' huge, mathematically speaking. But, in the real world, it won't change much, so it really is a kind of minor thing. I don't think it's really the rate that's all that important. It's more about the signalling. If the Fed raises rates, it signals that they think the recovery is strong. It also gives them room to lower the rate when we enter the inevitable coming recession. What do I think? I don't think it much matters what the Fed does. The next recession, which isn't far off in the future, is going to be bad whether the Fed has any room to lower rates or not. It's going to kill a lot of people's retirement plans, including mine. To get a little more specific, without going into a lot of detail, I think the next recession is going to be long and marked by high inflation, which shouldn't happen but will in this artificial economy our government has created in order to make it look like they're doing something.
We have drug violence all wrong: Prohibition is the root cause
Yes and no. Legalizing drugs may actually reduce drug violence, but at the same time, I suspect that violence would increase elsewhere. But, I'm all for legalizing drugs. I'm also all for legalizing prostitution. I don't even think driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs should be an actual crime. Drug laws don't stop people from doing drugs. DUI laws don't stop people from driving under the influence, and prostitution laws don't stop people from going to prostitutes. Perhaps in some cases it does deter those things, I don't really know. Really, though, I don't feel like having those laws makes anything safer. And I don't expect to see a big decline in violence if those things are ever legalized. We'll still find reasons to kill or hurt each other, because that's the way we are.
Inside Ben Carson's quiet surge
So, it looks like Ben Carson deserves another look. In an earlier post, I really pretty much dismissed him since I didn't know who the heck he was, actually. But, the more I see, the more I like, mostly anyway.
"He told CNN earlier this year that some people become gay in prison, indicating homosexuality is a choice -- a comment for which he later apologized."I just wish he hadn't apologized there. I don't know if there's a genetic "cause" of homosexuality or not. In the end, though, the behavior is a choice. And I don't think that anyone that has an opinion like that needs to apologize for having that opinion, nor do they need to keep their opinion to themselves. It is, perhaps, the one thing that I actually admire about Donald Trump. I don't think I've ever heard him apologize for his opinion.
Obama to Call for More Icebreakers in Arctic as U.S. Seeks Foothold
I hear a lot of people on the right saying that Obama is executing a plan to destroy the U.S. I don't think Obama is smart enough to have a plan. I think he's doing it, as my kids used to say, "on accident." But, if he does have a plan, this particular part is absolutely brilliant, I must say. Let's just assume for a moment that the human contribution to climate change is real, and substantial. First, Obama throws billions of taxpayer dollars into decreasing carbon emissions, which is already not economically viable hence the need for the government to spend that money. Then we'll spend more making sure oil companies can produce ever increasing amounts of oil, making "clean" alternatives ever less economically viable as the increasing supply of oil pushes the price ever lower. Presumably, the next logical step is to spend even more on reducing carbon emissions, in order to counteract the effect of cheaper oil. At least that way, nobody will really know exactly how much they're spending on energy. We'll all just smile appreciatively at Obama cuz, you know, gas is so, darn cheap, and it's all because of HIM. Kind of like health care, which is now more unaffordable than ever, yet most think it's more affordable than ever.
I have one question though, and I know it's not original, but I still need to ask. How much carbon did Obama release into the atmosphere on his flight to Alaska to "highlight the challenge of climate change and call for a worldwide effort to address its root causes?"
Kentucky Clerk Denies Same-Sex Marriage Licenses, Defying Court
I just have to say one thing to that clerk. If you don't want to do your job, get a different job. That's why they invented those (different jobs, that is).
The Daily 202: Six unclassified nuggets in newly released Hillary e-mails
"IT folks at State did not know about the Clintons’ e-mail setup"Of course they didn't. It was on a need-to-know basis. And how was she supposed to know that someone would have a problem emailing her and ask the IT folks at State? So, from her perspective, they didn't need to know.
"Sidney Blumenthal e-mailed HRC that incoming Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) “is louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle.”"I think Boehner deserves an apology.
“The incompetence is mind numbing.”As it is around the world, Chelsea. Fortunately, your parents fit right in.
"In related news, ICE announced that a four-day sweep led to the arrest of 240 undocumented immigrants with criminal records in Southern California. The feds said most of those 240 had at least one felony conviction on their record. “It was the most successful four-day sweep of its kind in the region,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “But an ICE spokeswoman cautioned against concluding that crime involving immigrants is up.”"Why in the world would I conclude anything other than there were 240 undocumented workers with felony records arrested? I can't stand it when a bureaucrat tells me not to jump to a conclusion that is nonsensical. Does she think I'm stupid? All I can say is good job, now get them out of here. Of course, I also won't be jumping to the conclusion that that will actually happen.
"Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) has called parents to apologize over comments he made to their second- and third-graders during an elementary school visit. “Do you know that there are schools that train children your age to be suicide bombers?” the lawmaker told the children."Well, yeah, cuz we don't want kids to know the truth about the world. Unless it's not true, of course.
There are more gems in that last link, but alas, my time is limited. Unfortunately, I have to think about getting ready to go to my job, which, according to some, I owe to the stupid people of the world that can't follow relatively simple instructions. Without them, I'd be unemployed. At least, that's what people think, although I prefer to think that without them, I'd have a way better job.