Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Are you oppressed?

In America today, you have many different groups that will get worked up over any perceived slight and proclaim how they are being oppressed by (take your pick) the government, organizations, clubs, etc. A great deal of angst and gnashing of teeth will ensue with the aggrieved party proclaiming their "right" to do whatever it was they were doing and were told no. As has been discussed in the past, most people in America have it SO good, they don't know what to do with themselves. This coupled with the need to "make a difference" results in grandiose overstatements of problems that "must be solved". As Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit is fond of saying "I will believe it is a problem when the people that say it is a problem, act like it is a problem."

This, now this is a problem. 6 Iranians filmed a little video of them dancing and joking around to Pharrell Williams' song "Happy". You can watch the entire video and see that they are just having some fun. Nothing obscene or lewd takes place. See for yourself...

The group were arrested in May 2014, a month after their video— part of a global campaign launched by pop star Pharrell Williams — was viewed by more than 100,000 people on YouTube. During their incarceration, they were humiliated and forced to confess on national television. They apologized for making the video, and said they had been tricked into doing it. After the confession they were released on bail.

For this act of whimsy, the 6 involved were incarcerated until they confessed, then sentenced to six months in prison and to receiving 91 lashes. Another individual involved was sentenced to 1 year in prison and to receive 91 lashes. All of the sentences were suspended and the 7 put on 3 years probation. If they transgress for any reason within the three year period, they are subject not only to the punishment for the new crime but the punishment of the suspended sentence as well.

That is what oppression looks like. Convicted of having fun without a trial, held until they confessed, and open to jail time and a beating.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Current Higher Ed "War on Women" or "How to protect your daughters"

If you follow the news at all lately, you must have heard about the epidemic of "campus sexual assaults" and that various groups [to include the White House] have been throwing around the figure / phrase that "one in 5 women will be sexually assaulted while in collage".

This number is based on some very shoddy statistical analysis of some very shoddy polling data that includes questions like "have you ever had a physical encounter that you later regretted". Answering yes to that question counts as a "sexual assault".

No one actually believes this figure because if people did believe it, it would be a crime to send your daughter to collage. If it became known that sending your daughter to dance class meant that over a 4 year period, she had a 20% change of being sexually assaulted, Does anyone doubt that DCF would be at the door of every parent that sent their daughter to dance class investigating them for neglect and for placing a child in a dangerous situation? No but that does not happen when you send your child to collage because NO ONE takes this figure seriously but it is a great talking point for ideological reasons.

This nonsense is wrong for at least three reasons.

First when you redefine something to be so broad that nearly anything qualifies, you have cheapened it for when it really matters. If anything is sexual assault and you have to take every incident seriously, many victims of actual sexual assault (i.e. rape) do not get the attention they deserve because you can't devote as much attention to each case. They get lost in the deluge.

The second major issue is that it allows groups to enact ever more ridiculous and restricting rules so that they can say that they take the problem seriously and "are doing something". For the most part, the rules don't actually address the core problem but since you have expanded the definition to include many more trivial incidents, you get to make your rules to address those, which is far easier.

Thirdly, when you do fail to solve the underlying problem and prevent sexual assaults, you get to claim that the problem is just too big to solve. You get "How can we be expected to solve a problem that affects 1 in 5? We reduced it by 15%! It is a start but we can and will need to do more!" Which will result in ever more ridiculous rules that will actually solve nothing.

I think that the way to put a stop to this nonsense is to go "full Alinsky" on collages and make them act like this problem is as prevalent and they claim.

I propose that the following actions be taken:
  • If you enrolled your daughter in collage and you were not informed that she has a 1 in 5 chance of being sexually assaulted, sue them for failure to disclose a dangerous situation before accepting your money.
  • If you have been sexually assaulted (male or female), sue them for failure to protect you from a dangerous situation that they were aware of.
  • If you have been sexually assaulted, are of age and you have a CCW (concealed carry), and are not permitted to carry on campus, sue them for failure to protect you from a dangerous situation that they were aware of AND denying you the right to protect yourself.
  • If you have not been sexually assaulted (male or female), sue them for emotional distress due to the fear you feel whenever you are on campus.
  • Sue them to force them to create:
    • Women only dorms (not floors but entire dorms) that forbid men entry.
    • Men only dorms (not floors but entire dorms) that forbid female entry.
    • Lesbian only dorms (not floors but entire dorms) that forbid non-lesbians entry.
    • Homosexual only dorms (not floors but entire dorms) that forbid non-homosexual entry.
    • Transgender only dorms (not floors but entire dorms) that forbid entry to non-transgenders.
This is because everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in their quarters and this would be the only way to ensure that.
  • Require that all faculty and staff are barred from having any non-professional contact with students. Inappropriate contact (non-professional) is grounds for immediate dismissal. Same burden of proof as that used in student to student abdication.
  • Require the installation and monitoring of all common areas by 24 / 7 surveillance cameras, campus wide with a 4 year retention policy.
  • Require a level of security staffing commensurate with the problem. A 4 to 5 times increase in security staffing should do for a start.
  • Require that any and all underage drinking result in immediate expulsion for all parties involved (as alcohol is a major contributing factor to sexual assault on campus). If they don't have these rules in place and/or don't uniformly apply them, sue them.
  • Why not also sue to require all faculty and staff be required to wear body cameras whenever they are on campus?
  • Sue them, sue them and finally, sue them. Hit them in the endowment. Imagine the impact on the economy if a large number of collage age women were to come into a few million each. That would be a stimulus!
It appears that something like this, to actually hit them hard in the wallet (hard enough to make them squeal) is the only way to stop this insanity. If this is done to a few of the larger collages (with their big, sweet endowments) others will take notice. Others will start to denounce those figures and their silly kangaroo courts and ridiculous rules OR they will go out of business.

This "joke" ad is actually more on target then they think. If I were an online collage, I would seriously think about making a serious and more subtle version of this ad.

There have to be a few lawyers out there that can see what a solid business opportunity this is! Collages, by their own admission, see a problem, have not informed their clients of this problem, have failed to take reasonable and appropriate measures to address this problem AND have boat loads of cash!

Go get them!

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Melissa, 31, was only in New York for one day to oversee her software firm’s merger.

She made a tearful call home to husband Sean Hughes in San Francisco – but missed him as he was still in bed.

The message she left said: “I just wanted to let you know I love you and I’m stuck in this building in New York.

Always remember, never forget...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fast Food Workers Plan Thursday Strike, Really?

At a convention that was held outside Chicago in July, 1,300 fast-food workers unanimously approved a resolution calling for civil disobedience as a way to step up pressure on the fast-food chains.

“They’re going to use nonviolent civil disobedience as a way to call attention to what they’re facing,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, which has spent millions of dollars helping to underwrite the campaign. “They’re invoking civil rights history to make the case that these jobs ought to be paid $15 and the companies ought to recognize a union.”

“They’re going to use nonviolent civil disobedience as a way to call attention to what they’re facing,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, which has spent millions of dollars helping to underwrite the campaign.

Nonviolent "civil disobedience", sure... When unions are involved that is really a euphemism for "breaking stuff" and preventing customers from being serviced.

The unions are all in favor of these kinds of actions as they want to drive up minimum wage as many union contracts tie member pay to the minimum wage. Getting it raised is a back door way to get many union members raises without having to directly negotiate for one. If they can get some of these fast food chains unionized, that would be even better as it gets them a huge pool of new members to offset union losses elsewhere.

Mr. Obama added that if he had a service-sector job, and “wanted an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, I’d join a union.”

The one thing they [unions and apparently the President] don't care about is the actual workers they are instigating. These jobs pay what they are worth and in this economy these folks should be more grateful that they even can get work. If you want a better job, get it / earn it. Forcing a business to pay more than a job is worth causes some combination of the following two actions a) raising prices to offset increased costs - putting the product out of reach of some customers and b) causing the affected businesses to reassess employee requirements and typically reducing staff / hours to compensate for the increased employee expenses. Are the unions going to back fill these people's paychecks if their plan succeeds? Not hardly. More likely this expected and foreseeable result of this plan would only end up with greater calls for unionization, further raising costs and costing jobs and suppressing businesses. When the foreseeable happens, it will be called "bad luck".

“They want to join,” Ms. Henry said. “They think their jobs should be valued at $15.”

Heck, who doesn't think their job should be valued higher than it is? If it actually was though, you would be getting it. What most people forget is "it is NOT your job", it is the business' job and they have chosen you to fill it, for now. It is worth what it is worth. If you get too expensive because you have outgrown the responsibilities of that job or are not productive enough that the business is not getting good value, they find someone else to fill it. If you have been doing a good job, you might get promoted to a better job but even that one (if that happens) is NOT yours! If I owned one of these franchises and some of my employees walked out when they had already agreed to work, I would be replacing them with others that valued the opportunity and the paycheck.

If you feel the need to blame someone, how about blaming the Government that has done everything in it power (and something not in its power) over the last 6 years to raise the costs of running a business. Between the EPA, the NLRB, Obamacare, the IRS and the other government agencies, this administration has declared war on business and then when they get the expected results point the finger at "greedy businesses" instead of at the mirror.

I may just have to get lunch at McDs tomorrow...