John Holton (john_holton) wrote,
John Holton

Took off today after sitting through a meeting with the client. I have no idea why I was there, other than to see what one of their project documents looks like. Unlike other companies for which I've worked, everything about the project is in one document, under one cover. I like that. Given that I once went through a half-hour ass-chewing by my old boss for mixing information that should have gone (in his humble opinion) in separate documents, I can say that the approach of having everything in one place certainly makes things much easier. Frankly, the whole ass-chewing thing was kind of like someone getting upset because his peas got into his mashed potatoes. It might have had something to do with the fact that he designed the system and wasn't particularly forthcoming about how the paperwork was done, mind you, but you know, I think I spend too much time bitching about a situation that is No Longer My Problem, and that I should just write it off to experience.

Speaking of writeoffs, I need to get my tax information to my accountant. Which reminds me of a few sayings that are germane at this time of the year--anahata56, please take note:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage. -- Alexander Tyler, who was writing about the fall of Athens.

The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can't get and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods. -- H. L. Mencken

Social Security is a government program with a constituency made up of the old, the near-old and those who hope or fear to grow old. After 215 years of trying, we have finally discovered a special interest that includes 100 percent of the population. Now we can vote ourselves rich. -- P. J. O'Rourke, from Parliament of Whores. Note the quote from Alexander Tyler, above.

The whole idea of our government is this: If enough people get together and act in concert, they can take something and not pay for it...Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history mankind has been bullied by scum. Those who lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction and would boss the grass in the meadow about which way to bend in the wind are the most depraved kind of prostitutes. They will submit to any indgnity, perform any vile act, do anything to achieve power. The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the ingredients of sovereignty. Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us. -- P. J. O'Rourke, ibid., harkening back to H. L. Mencken. Not surprisingly, PJ is one of the Mencken scholars at the Cato Institute, as is Penn Jillette.

I could go on, but F. A. Hayek has already written about it, in The Road To Serfdom...

Took Mary to one of her yarn places that was having a sale, then we went for an early dinner and coffee. Took a notebook, but didn't do much writing. I've still got to write an outline for my sample episode of my new TV series for my class, and I've been trying to write something with someone else for Ghostletters that's been like pulling teeth. I write a page and a half, she adds a line and sends it back. I write another page and a half, she adds another line. I'm starting to think that maybe I should just write the goddamned thing myself and send it to her, tell her to add whatever she wants to it, and then post it so we can get it out of the way. There, I feel better.

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