If All We Want Are Jobs


If all we want are jobs, we can create any number — for example, have people dig holes and then fill them up again, or perform other useless tasks. Work is sometimes its own reward. Mostly, however, it is the price we pay to get the things we want. Our real objective is not just jobs but productive jobs — jobs that will mean more goods and services to consume.

— Milton Friedman

Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect whether he chooses to be so or not. — Nathaniel Hawthorne

Work? Optional



Dirty Laundrie: How NOT to Commit the Perfect Murder

Brian Laundrie

I have long maintained that the best way to kill someone and get away with it is to push them off a cliff.

While hiking, for example. It’s simple, clean, no need to dispose of evidence, and proving beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law that the deceased didn’t just fall off the cliff accidentally is almost assuredly impossible.

Unfortunately, the opportunity to push someone off a cliff is no longer on the table for me, having published in advance my admiration for cliffs as a murder weapon, but I’ve got other ideas as well.

That said, the worst way to murder someone is to take them on a cross-country road trip, document the whole thing on social media, then drive home by yourself and disappear.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I’m not sure that 22-year-old girls need to be taking cross-country road trips with young men who haven’t been more extensively vetted than a Supreme Court nominee, and threatened with certain death if they fail to bring her home safely.

An Open Letter to My Former CEO


Today is my last day with Company X. I’ve really enjoyed working with my colleagues.

That said, the events of two weeks ago really made me ill. To call an all-hands webinar, announce that the company is losing too much money, as a result of which 80 people will have their jobs taken away, then boom, meeting over. Not even the decency to take a comment or question.

I feel like those 80 people probably did not lose the money, probably just did what they were told to do to the best of their ability. The responsibility for losing the money lies with whoever told them what to do, starting with the CEO.

There’s a law of the sea, I think it’s a good law, that the captain goes down with his ship. Not that he grabs hold of 80 people and throws them overboard, then follows up with a completely tone-deaf email to the entire company calling it a “simplification.” I can’t see how you’ve simplified the lives of 80 people who have no job anymore, depending on how you define “simplification.”

I don’t have to go to work today because I have no job. That’s a simplification.

I don’t have to worry about what percentage of my paycheck to put in my 401K because I don’t have a paycheck. That’s a simplification.

You say you look forward to “continuing to lead” the company in these difficult times. Making bad decisions, losing lots of money, letting others take the consequences, insulting them, hiding from questions . . . there may be a word for all that but it’s not “leadership.”

Take a look on LinkedIn at all the Company X employees who now have #OPENTOWORK hashtags on their profile. So nobody can say you accomplished nothing as CEO. Granted, what you accomplished was a catastrophe, but it wasn’t nothing.

A friend of mine — he’s gay so he can do things like this — recently posted on Facebook: “Has anyone ever learned anything at a DEI training?” Of course the answer is no, but just in my short time at Company X, I had the opportunity to attend multiple DEI webinars, Gay Pride events, BIPOC mental health events, a 2-hour webinar on the correct use of pronouns . . .

And that’s a good use of time and money? Fitting employees into ideological straightjackets? It’s a total waste. What difference could it possibly make what pronouns you use to refer to people who aren’t even around anymore? You’re a failure who forced everyone around you to fail as well.

Finally, if you’re a grown man, but not an athlete or a Cuban bandleader, don’t go by the name Ricky. It sounds like you’re running a frat house, not a professional organization.

Thus spoke The Programmer.

London Breed: Next Governor of California?


San Francisco, like a lot of places, including Los Angeles County, where I live, has a mask mandate. You have to wear a mask indoors in public places, vaccinated or not.

The woman in the photo, second from left, is London Breed, who as the mayor of San Francisco, would actually be the person responsible for issuing mask mandates, but she’s sitting in a club with no mask among a bunch of other people with no mask.

I can’t even go into a convenience store and buy a soda unless I’ve got a mask on because someone will throw me out.

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, also a mandate issuer, just this week parlayed his “masks are for serfs” philosophy into a decisive victory in a recall election.

Which may be why Mayor Breed is not only not apologizing (as Newsom did, sort of), but doubling down on “I don’t have to wear a mask if I don’t want to.”



I know people who identify themselves with plural pronouns, e.g., “they/them,” but I’ve never heard any of them refer to themselves with plural pronouns, e.g., “us” or “we.” They always say “I” or “me.”

A couple of possibilities, not mutually exclusive:

  1. They want to call attention to themselves but in a way that they haven’t really thought through.
  2. They realize how ridiculous it sounds to refer to an individual person with a plural pronoun.

I mean, go ahead and call yourself anything you want, but if you’re going to burden others with absurdities, you should have to live with them yourself.

A Review of This Year’s Met Gala!



Excerpts from an essay By Glenn Greenwald:

When it comes to mask mandates, it is now commonplace to see two distinct classes of people: those who remain maskless as they are served, and those they employ as their servants who must have their faces covered at all times. . . .

Last month, a delightful event was hosted by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for wealthy Democratic donors in Napa — the same wine region of choice for Gov. Newsom’s notorious dinner party . . .

Pelosi’s donor gala took place as millions face eviction, ongoing joblessness, and ever-emerging mandates of various types. . . .

Even though many of the wealthy white donors had no food in front of them and were not yet eating, there was not a mask in sight — except on the faces of the overwhelmingly non-white people hired as servants, all of whom had their gratuitous faces covered. Servants, apparently, are much more pleasant when they are dehumanized. There is no need for noses or mouths or other identifiable facial features for those who are converted into servile robots. . . .

An avalanche of similarly repugnant imagery poured forth on Monday night at the most gluttonous and opulent royal court spectacle of them all: the annual Met Gala held by long-time Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. . . . . In 2014, Wintour complained that the event was insufficiently exclusive and raised the ticket prices to $25,000 per person in order to keep out the riff-raff who had been able to get in the prior year for the middling price of $15,000 per ticket. Tickets this year cost as much as $35,000 per person. . . .

While event organizers, in an act of noble self-sacrifice and social duty, sadly cancelled the gala in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wintour was determined this year not to let unpleasant matters like overflowing ICU wards, ongoing school closures, looming mass evictions, and pervasive mask mandates ruin the immense enjoyment bequeathed to the world’s serfs as they watch their beloved bejeweled class pose in designer gowns. . . .

Much of the attention on Monday night was devoted to the appearance on the red carpet by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The usual horde of embittered online nay-sayers and envious party-poopers tried implying that there was something incongruous about a socialist politician gleefully participating in the most vulgar tribute to capitalism and social inequality to emerge since the walled-off galas thrown by the French aristocracy at the Palace of Versailles

Sadly, last year’s gala had to be cancelled due to the COVID pandemic, but this year, unpleasantries like overflowing ICU wards, ongoing school closures, looming mass evictions, and pervasive mask mandates were not allowed to ruin the immense enjoyment of the world’s serfs as they watched their beloved bejeweled class pose in designer gowns.

Much of the attention on Monday night was devoted to the appearance on the red carpet by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The usual horde of embittered online nay-sayers and envious party-poopers tried implying that there was something incongruous about a socialist politician gleefully participating in the most vulgar tribute to capitalism and social inequality to emerge since the walled-off galas thrown by the French aristocracy at the Palace of Versailles. . . .

Far from being what AOC’s dirty and petty critics tried to malign this as being — an attention-seeking, celebrity-building, branding opportunity in which AOC yet again lavished herself in the multi-pronged rewards of the very economic and cultural hierarchies she claims to despise and vows to combat — she was actually engaged in a revolutionary and subversive act, injecting into aristocratic circles a beautifully artistic yet hostile message. . . .

Besides, as AOC herself put it with her trademarked class consciousness, the very fact that she can attend the Met Gala while you cannot is proof of the potency of the left-wing movement she leads.

Bring on the guillotine! Designed by Versace, of course.

If You Only Knew


If you only knew all the problems
That a man like me has to face
If you only knew all the little
Things that keep a man from his place
I wouldn’t want to bring you down
I just don’t want to see you made a clown
Nobody’s little dream come true
If you only knew

— Mose Allison

See You in Hell’s Kitchen


[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE]

Did you know that there’s a neighborhood in Manhattan called Hell’s Kitchen? I drop by randomly to say, “Bonjour douchebag, make me a waffle!”

BTW, what did Buddha say at the pizza parlor? “Make me one with everything.”

That one kills me.

I’m thinking about opening additional locations to temporary boarders as well — maybe Hell’s Basement or Hell’s Toolshed or Hell’s Rumpus Room.

See you in Hell!

On the Infanticide Marie Farrar


Marie Farrar: month of birth, April
Died in the Meissen penitentiary
An unwed mother, judged by the law, she will
Show you how all that lives, lives frailly.
You who bear your sons in laundered linen sheets
And call your pregnancies a ‘blessed’ state
Should never damn the outcast and the weak:
Her sin was heavy, but her suffering great.

Therefore, I beg, make not your anger manifest
For all that lives needs help from all the rest.

— Bertolt Brecht, “On the Infanticide Marie Farrar”

A translation of the entire poem is available here, among other places.

Good Catholics


You cannot be a good Catholic and support expanding a government-approved right to kill innocent human beings.

San Francisco — that’s Nancy Pelosi’s parish! I’m not opposed to abortion myself but I am opposed to politicians like Pelosi and Biden who market themselves as “good Catholics” while maintaining a weird reverence for abortion.

Thomas Jefferson: Without Citing Any Evidence

Thomas Jefferson

My fellow Americans –

I noticed during the Trump presidency that the press developed an affectation where they reported everything he said as “Trump said ‘blah blah blah,’ without citing any evidence.” [Emphasis is my own.]

Why Trump was the only human being held to this standard was never clear to me, but I thought of it again this week and perhaps it’s time for a resurrection of “without citing any evidence.”

For example, President Biden’s announcement of a victorious withdrawal from Afghanistan might have been better presented as “President Biden, without citing any evidence, called the American withdrawal from Afghanistan a success.”

Or when the August jobs report was released, showing that the economy added a disappointing 235,000 jobs vs. an estimate of 720,000, to which the president responded “The Biden plan is working,” more meticulous reportage could have been “‘The Biden plan is working,’ said the president, without citing any evidence.”

Or, for that matter, saying what “the Biden plan” is. Possibly the Biden plan is to hit the brakes on the economy in which case it is working.

Thomas Jefferson

We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories. — Henry David Thoreau

Thomas Jefferson: Afghanistan Withdrawal a “Victory”?

Thomas Jefferson

My fellow Americans –

President Biden has declared our withdrawal from Afghanistan a success. With all due respect, has this man lost his fucking mind? Imagine King George in 1783 declaring the British withdrawal from America a success.

Afghanistan was our longest war — 20 years — but it’s not like we were fighting World War II over there. There had not been a US combat fatality in a year and a half until Biden got 13 soldiers blown up, left at least hundreds of Americans stranded with no way out of the country, created a humanitarian crisis affecting tens of millions of people, has our allies around the world pissing themselves, has turned America into a global laughingstock, and his response is that what happened was inevitable, despite his previous promises that it was not inevitable.

Biden looking at watch

As one president to another, I say to Mr. Biden that when you are receiving fallen soldiers, you do it with dignity and respect. You don’t stand at ease, stuff your hands in your pockets, and look at your watch like there’s someplace else you’d rather be.

Everyone saw this, but the stories being told by the families of the fallen who met with Biden are even more damning. They describe him as snippy and dismissive.

In case you missed the Biden victory speech, I can summarize it for you:

We needed to get out of Afghanistan. How dare Trump make a deal to get out of Afghanistan. Any withdrawal was inevitably going to be messy, which is why it was Trump’s fault. The stranded Americans ignored “multiple warnings and offers to help them leave.” It’s like these idiots didn’t know the government would collapse in a week.

I eagerly await reports of the next Biden “victory.” I just thank god I’m dead and don’t have to try to live through it.

Thomas Jefferson

How to Get Permanently Banned From Twitter


Alex Berenson, conservative commentator, one-time New York Times reporter, and vaccine dissenter has been permanently banned from Twitter for, according to a Twitter spokesperson, “repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules.”

According to Berenson, the tweet that got him banned was this:

It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine. Think of it — at best — as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS. And we want to mandate it? Insanity.

It is hard to sift information from misinformation on COVID and any number of other topics but I do NOT trust the meatheads at Twitter to take on that role in my life.

Looking at the above tweet, what is the misinformation? My understanding is that the vaccine is intended to be effective against hospitalization and death, but not necessarily against infection. It definitely does not prevent transmission. Even the CDC agrees on that point. (See this NPR article for more on vaccine effectiveness, or lack thereof, against infection and transmission.)

We’re already talking about booster shots, which implies “a limited window of efficacy.” “Dosed in advance” is true, right?

The side effect profile I don’t know enough about to characterize, but up until a few days ago when the Pfizer vaccine was approved by the FDA, all of the COVID vaccines were, and the others still are, experimental treatments for emergency use.

I made a decision to get vaccinated myself but if someone were to say “Drug trials normally take years in order to assess the long-term effects, whereas the long-term effects of COVID vaccines are necessarily unknowable at this time,” I couldn’t say they were wrong.

Everybody Knows


Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

— Leonard Cohen

Woke White Boy: Antifa vs. Anti-Vaxxers

Woke White Boy

You can have any kind of left-wing demonstration — women’s marches, Gay Pride parades, Black Lives Matter, pro-choice, political rallies — and you never have violent right-wing nutjobs turn up to disrupt them. I don’t know why.

But when we hear about right-wing demonstrations like the anti-vaccine Freedom Rally in Santa Monica this weekend, that means it’s time to break out the black togs, bats and bike locks to give those fuckers a nice warm Antifa welcome.

[Editor’s note: Isn’t violent suppression of opposing views the actual definition of fascism?]

I don’t fucking know. I just know these fuckers better get vaccinated and maybe a good beating is just the incentive they need.

[Editor’s note: Shouldn’t there be more fellow feeling for a group that doesn’t want the government to tell them what to do?]

No! It’s not the government telling them what to do, it’s Antifa telling them what to do. We told them that we can’t feel safe if they don’t get vaccinated and they won’t do it. I mean, how fucking selfish can you get?


If I could go back to my younger self, especially in the most difficult times, I would just say, don’t worry. Just do what you feel in your heart and everything will be all right. — Emmylou Harris

How Long Does it Take to Get Hired?


From LinkedIn News:

How long does it take to get hired? That depends on the field of work you’re in, according to a new analysis by LinkedIn’s Economic Graph team looking at confirmed hires on the platform from June 2020 to March 2021.

The data shows that technical positions take the longest time to fill (the median turnaround in engineering is 49 days). By contrast, everything moves faster in non-technical fields, such as sales (38 days) and customer service (34 days).

Businessman sleeping on toilet

I’m a software engineer. I did a phone interview with Company A, two managers on the call, we did a tech screen and the gist of it was, “Great job, we’ll set you up for the next interview a week from tomorrow.”

Meanwhile Company B did one Zoom call and was ready to make an offer the next day.

Top candidates are not going to stay on the market for a month and a half while you go through your leisurely, laborious hiring process. Who do you think you’re going to hire with a 2-month waiting period? I can get eight job offers just in the time you’re screwing around between interviews. When I’ve hired people, I can tell within one 30-60 minute conversation whether or not I want to hire them.

  1. Do not make candidates talk to anyone who is not able to make a hiring decision.
  2. Do not make candidates talk to HR people.
  3. Do not make candidates interview with your boss, your boss’s boss, etc. Part of my job as a manager is to be a sheepdog, guarding my flock from predators like my boss and my boss’s boss.

Thus spoke The Programmer.