What's killing the postal service?

30 09 10 - 15:50

For the comedy-of-modernfail files:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Christmas is not coming early this year for the U.S. Postal Service, after regulators denied a request Thursday that would have raised the price of a first-class stamp by 2 cents, to 46 cents. - People's News Network

The postal service is in trouble? Average America(tm) has no idea, but here's the skinny:

The U.S. Postal Service said it could lose $238 billion over the next decade if the agency doesn't get more flexibility on schedules, prices and labor costs.

The Postal Service experienced a 13 percent decrease in mail volume last fiscal year and lost $3.8 billion, Potter said. Projections anticipate further drops in mail volume and revenue over the next decade. - Herpetic Press International

So mail volume fell off, and the postal service is in deep. But even more, there's inefficiency:

But as the committee noted, the Postal Service reduced costs by $6 billion in 2009 -- a sign that the price cap is forcing the organization to improve efficiency.

The postal service is hampered by the worst of government feel-good legislation and this contributes to their inefficiency.

It's worst in hiring; they assume you cannot both be a member of a protected group, AND lazy, incompetent or outright stupid. Without much further checking of qualifications, they hire every minority, homosexual, Aspie, retard, obesetard, etc. and hope it'll work out for the best. In the meantime, if you walk into many post offices, you see people waddling around doing not much of anything.

But it's just as bad in the different layers of their hierarchy. Ever notice the postal service is trying to be everything to everyone? Overnight mail, bulk mail, expedited mail... the list of services goes on. Decisions are made slowly. The entire bulk of the agency is sluggish to react, as new ideas ripple through layers of bureaucracy caked on like fat.

If you wonder why people are starting to demand that we starve government, this is a good starting point: government is a tumor, and when even its most effective arm -- the postal service -- is in trouble, you know the rest is far, far worse.

What's a society in denial look like?

30 09 10 - 06:24

Here's some morning comedy:

Official: Germans, Brits behind Europe terror plot

ISLAMABAD – Eight Germans and two British brothers are at the heart of an al-Qaida-linked terror plot against European cities, but the plan is still in its early stages, with the suspects calling acquaintances in Europe to plan logistics, a Pakistani intelligence official said Thursday. One of the Britons died in a recent CIA missile strike, he said. - AP

Oh, they're converting Germans and Britons now? Well, we knew the Germans were viciously cold-blooded killers with steely blue eyes.

Oh wait -- for another nine paragraphs:

The official said a Sept. 8 strike killed one of the Britons, whom he identified as Abdul Jabbar, originally from Pakistan's Jhelum district.

And then:

In August, for example, a 25-year-old German citizen identified only as Rami M.


These aren't ethnic Germans and British. They're immigrants to these states, not indigenous. They are people who came to Germany and England seeking refuge, and now they're repaying the favor.

I suppose I'm more on their side. After all, they're not lying about anything. They have stayed true to who they are, physically, and have not let this nation-state "re-labeling" confuse them. If you come from Islamic lands, and Islam calls to you, there's no point pretending you're from Christian-Atheist Britain, no matter how much the well-intentioned (and drunk after 5) liberals tell you you're just like everyone else inside.

And then more, from the delusional USA this time:

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The death of a Rutgers University freshman... jumping off a bridge last week after a recording of him having a sexual encounter with a man was broadcast online.

"Had he been in bed with a woman, this would not have happened," said Lauren Felton, 21, of Warren. "He wouldn't have been outed via an online broadcast and his privacy would have been respected and he might still have his life." - AP

I've been watching Hollywood films my whole life. In a Hollywood film, the villain is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed wonderchild with straight As who happens to be the quarterback on the football team and the most popular kid in school.

How's that stack up to reality?

Clementi's roommate, Dhraun Ravi, and fellow Rutgers freshman Molly Wei, both 18, have been charged with invading Clementi's privacy.

OH WAIT. Reality is not like fantasy here -- these people are our pets, the underprivileged minorities, and yet they're doing something hateful.

Just like a white person!!1!

How could this be?

For starters, again, these people are not the unfaithful ones. They're individuals who did something stupid (and I hope they throw the book at them; while homosexuals as a political contingent are destructive, it seems to me this Clementi fellow would have been a quiet, covert, suburban homosexual). It's we who are projecting false expectations onto them.

The fact is, children (because you think like kindergartners), that we cannot all get along. That's not the way of life. The way of life is that instead of trying to constantly smooth the waters, so that everyone is happy, we strive for the best answer -- so that there is meaning in life.

You can have one or the other. And did I mention that with the happy comes endless neurotic denial, as you pretend it all works, which you can fake outside but not inside?

News of the Durrrrrrrrrr

29 09 10 - 06:55

Let's see: we put the proles in charge, and now through utilitarianism, we pander to what they think they need. Let's see how that's working out...

Nine months after a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, not a cent of the $1.15 billion the U.S. promised to send for rebuilding has arrived. According to The Associated Press, bureaucracy, disorganization and a lack of urgency have tied up the funds. And the authorization bill that would direct how the aid will be delivered has been sidelined by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) because of a $5 million provision he considers wasteful.

In the meantime, deaths in Port-au-Prince are mounting. More a million Haitians still live on the streets between piles of rubble because only 13,000 temporary shelters have been built. And the threat of violence is growing as landowners pressure entire camps of survivors with forced eviction. - I can count to Potato news

What the Crowd sees: a disaster and innocent victims.

What an experienced political worker sees: a third world kleptocracy that through shoddy construction and general disorder, turned a natural disaster into a near-apocalypse, with two caveats:

(a) People who live in squalor find living in rubble not that much of a transition
(b) Any money you send will be stolen by local warlords and used to create further problems.

So yeah... I'm with the people not sending money. Haiti's disaster is 60-40 of its own making. Sending money will help the local warlords make future disasters and will end up furthering organized crime worldwide.

More from the "we have no idea how government works" file:

Anti-austerity protests erupted across Europe on Wednesday — Greek doctors and railway employees walked out, Spanish workers shut down trains and buses, and one man even blocked the Irish parliament with a cement truck to decry the country's enormous bank bailouts.

Strikes or protests were also taking place Wednesday in Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Slovenia and Lithuania, all aimed at the budget-slashing, tax-hiking, pension-cutting austerity plans that European governments have implemented to try to control their debt

"It is a bizarre time for the European Commission to be proposing a regime of punishment," John Monks, general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, told Associated Press Television News.

"It is not right that people on low salaries have to pay to prop up the country. It should be the banks," said Belgian demonstrator Evelain Foncis. - Short Bus News

Yeah, that's right... it's punishment.

You don't get your entitlements because the money is needed elsewhere.

It goes to banks, hospitals, sewage treatment facilities, etc. first because we all depend on these institutions.

In other words, it's not punishment. It's a practical means, like killing murderers so they don't murder again. The banks can't pay you; they're out of money. If they go away, worse things happen. So their health is more important than yours right now.

But the proles will never understand that. It's beyond them -- not only intellectually, but because of their genetic predisposition to callowness of spirit. They don't want to think about anyone else. They want to think about what they want right now, and what they want is more money, and if it goes elsewhere, it's horribly unfair, punishment, discrimination, racism and any other nasty term they can throw at it.

This is why in wiser times you were oppressed, peasants:

Traditional peasant societies believe in only a limited amount of good. The more your neighbor earns, the less someone else gets. Profits are seen as a sort of theft; they must be either hidden or redistributed. Envy, rather than admiration of success, reigns.

In contrast, Western civilization began with a very different, ancient Greek idea of an autonomous citizen, not an indentured serf or subsistence peasant. The small, independent landowner — if he was left to his own talents, and if his success was protected by, and from, government — would create new sources of wealth for everyone. The resulting greater bounty for the poor soon trumped their old jealousy of the better-off. - National Review

The best societies are like nature: winner takes all. Find the most competent, and elevate them.

Peasants hate that because they are -- like all Crowds -- defined by being an aggregate of the unexceptional. So they want to invent reasons why they are owed something, since they didn't earn it. They're the dumb labor that fulfills the vision smarter people have.

Since The Enlightenment, we've been drifting toward the peasant-realm here in the West, but if you read the news with a critical eye, you can see -- just about every day -- how peasant unrealism hamstrings us at every turn.

The public/private split

24 09 10 - 11:32

Remember Plato and his parable of the ring that makes its wearer invisible? A good man will hide his good deeds; a bad man will hide his bad deeds. Thus the bad man will appear good, and for the good man, we'll see only his errors.

This is one of the many ways socialization misleads us. Like dumb monkeys, we look at the surface, and if we see "good," we all assume it's great and send money. That money is then entirely pissed away:

According to the Post, Bono’s anti-poverty ONE foundation received $14,993,873 in donations from philanthropists in 2008, of which just $184,732 was distributed to three charities. (ONE is an “advocacy organisation” whose main purpose is to change policies, not support charities, it says.) So what happened to the rest? More than $8 million was spent on executive and employee salaries.

The Post’s figures are taken directly from the organisation’s 2008 tax return, the latest year for which records are available. This story follows hot on the heels of the revelation that Edun, Bono’s fashion label, has shifted some of its production base from Africa to China. A perfectly acceptable business decision, were it not for the fact that Edun is an “ethical” fashion house that was set up to aleviate poverty in … Africa.

Bono browbeats Western governments for not spending more money on aid – taxpayers’ money – while doing his best to avoid paying tax himself. He chastises the private sector for not investing in African businesses, then moves his own business out of Africa. He persuades kind-hearted souls to donate money to charity, then stands by while his own foundation pays its employes 43 times as much as it gives to good causes. - The Times

Bono isn't the only one. Most governments, charities and non-profits spend a huge amount of money employing people -- who, judging by their numbers and the resulting output, are not very effective at all -- while doing very little to alleviate problems, in part because those problems are self-created. Poverty in Africa? Overbreeding, refusal to develop infrastructure, and constant warfare and corruption are the causes. You can't write a check to end that -- the Africans have to do it for themselves!

When you look at this society of The Crowd, you'll see many people telling you how you're ignorant for not taking them at face value. But think about it: face value is death. Face value is how they deceive you. Of course they want that... they can profit greatly. Don't trust, investigate, and be wary of that next big thing, because as we see with Bono, it takes 20 years for us to have the smoking gun on a true blue shitbag.

As a side note, Bono is flamingly retarded for being unable to hide these expenditures. If he had any brains, the top organization would employ two guys at $50k each, and distribute cash to several understudy organizations, each of which would employ those same dudes. It takes a lot longer to unravel that mess, and you don't have to headquarters those companies in the UK or USA where they must disclose such figures.

You People Are Fucking Retarded, Part #7431042389107.2

23 09 10 - 10:46

The children's show Sesame Street says it won't air a taped segment featuring the "California Gurls" singer and Elmo. The pop star - who is known for her risque outfits - wore a gold bustier top as she sang a version of her hit "Hot N Cold." But some felt it was too revealing for the kid set. - Yaholy shit our stock is now worthless!

What kind of an idiot thought it was appropriate for her to be there in the first place?

Don't introduce the good little future consumers to idiot pop before it's absolutely necessary!

Maybe show them something with musical power first, something better than the goo Katy Perry (who we otherwise like here at ANUS, because she's a champion farter) puts out for the drooling peasants to consume while they harvest turnips and screw bolts onto failing appliances.

Maybe not get them into the cycle of pop/want/desire/need before they have to. Let these kids grow up first!

And not introduce them to the general stupidity that's involved with being a pop star. Where are the fucking feminists? Feminists, why aren't you wailing to have them see a woman scientist or rocket pilot instead?

Yet all the idiots out there -- brains turned into cabbage by compliance with the demands of others -- just push this shit straight out onto the airwaves. Of course it's great. She is a pop star. They will have fun. It's good for ratings. You can hear their little brains clicking away like alarm clocks, which probably have better judgment.

Now that someone noticed, they're all shocked. How could this happen?!? You mean to tell me that having everyone in idiot follow-the-herd's-cash mode means that no one is expected to even consider the consequences of their decisions?

How convenient for the idiots among us.

Sing it with me:

Hurr durr durr durr
Ah durr hurr hurr
Hurr durr hurr hurr
Hurr durr durr durr

That's what their thinking would sound like to a sane, coherent, realistic mind -- the babbling of a retard.

National Anarchism: National Anarchists launch website

19 09 10 - 14:08

Well, this is kind of interesting. The National Anarchist movement has just launched a new national anarchist website:


It's not propaganda if it's fun

09 09 10 - 20:51

We're conditioned to think of propaganda as big, bold posters with patriotic slogans. We're also conditioned to think of advertising as short 30-second bursts of slogan. What if they hid the propaganda and advertising in entertainment? You could add "morals" to stories, and have your kids get preached to by their favorite perfect superheroes. You could have product placement in movies, whether that sexy cigarette or using a Macintosh computer in every other scene. 99% won't recognize it as advertising or propaganda, because it doesn't visually resemble what they've been told to look for.

Controlling useful idiots is far too easy. Tell them what they have to know to be "smart," and they'll bleat it right back at you. Show them what to avoid, and make sure it resembles what your enemies do. Then hide your own version in something fun, empowering, maybe even daring or bold. This only works with decay of civilizations, not construction really, but if you want to stay in power, you don't want to build health -- you want to create need. Neurotic, terrified, angry, desperate, self-deceiving need. Power is an addiction, but the addicts are the people, not the leaders.

Save KTRU (91.7 FM)

04 09 10 - 11:03

Rice University plans to sell its radio station KTRU (91.7 FM). This would remove a rare source of local, independent, non-corporate radio programming. Secret negotiations excluded input from Rice students and alumni. KTRU, which was created independently of the university by students with alumni funding, was never funded by Rice and is only "owned" by the university through a technicality. Help us oppose this sale by following the simple steps on this page:


Why "Until The Light Takes Us" matters

02 09 10 - 19:27

Brett Stevens on Until The Light Takes Us:

I think this movie is solidly excellent.

No single movie is going to be to everyone's tastes, and I'm sure if I knew more about movies I could critique camera angles, pacing, color balancing and all that film school critic stuff.

But I think "Until the Light Takes Us" stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of content, content, content.

Think about this: when "Lords of Chaos" (the book) came out in the middle 1990s, people immediately jumped all over it for focusing too much on the tabloid aspects of black metal, like murders, church burning and Nazism.

Far too many people have come up to me at shows and said, "You know, I don't really like how that book missed the whole point. Black metal isn't about burning churches, although that's part of it, or being a twee Nazi like Varg. It's about the music, and the music's about a feeling."

Well, "Until the Light Takes Us" explores that feeling. This is a movie that ties up emotions with ideas, and shows us how black metal got birthed out of that.

It's not a fanboi movie. If it were a fanboi movie, it would get into all the gory details about how black metal formed, all the crap bands that failed at first, then the few lucky ones who pulled ahead of the bunch. We'd hear a lot about record collecting, spikes, drinking, living on welfare, and Dead blowing his head out.

Or you could go Sam Dunn about it, and interview every insignificant black metal band on the planet, and miss out on the big seven (Darkthrone, Mayhem, Immortal, Emperor, Burzum, Gorgoroth, Enslaved) that really defined black metal as we know it.

But either way, no one except black metal fanatics wants to watch that -- and they already know all that stuff. "Until the Light Takes Us" isn't a movie for record collectors, black metal fanatics, and fans of obscure black metal bands.

It's a movie for anyone interested in what black metal meant as an artistic movement that came out of nowhere, grabbed us by the chest and made us give a damn for a few minutes before we went back to our jobs, and made us think about what black metal meant. Black metal is a feeling. That feeling made the music happen, and it's why today those classic bands still capture our imaginations.

As for the rest, hell, you've got Hot Topic for your black metal/zydeco crossover bands, and you've got "Lords of Chaos" for the gorey details, so who cares? This is the kind of movie you can turn on, sit someone in front of, and say: "This. This is why it matters, and this is what it means to me."

I can't think of anything else like it. - Brett Stevens at MetalSucks.net

If you didn't catch why this movie is so great, pre-order it now to get it on September 28, or get it via Netflix to your home. Or you could read our interview with the filmmakers, or even read our review of it.