Friday, October 31

I just voted myself world's best dancer.

So the new york city council has decided that they should not be limited to their term limits and have passed a law extending them. They managed to get this law through because popular governor Bloomberg is about to run out of time, so they extended his term limits as well as their own at the same time. Who thinks this is legitimate. For the legislature to grant themselves longer term limits (3 instead of 2) I am okay with the legislature granting the executive longer terms limits if they so choose, but for them to grant themselves more years in office is simply silly. Any such law by and standards of society ought to be passed by a disinterest section of the population, specifically the voters. What if bush just granted himself extra terms. It's just silly. The legislature knew that if they left it up to the public that the law would never be passed. I can only hope that every who voted for this law gets voted out of office as his comeuppance.

No books for you!!!

So Australia is now planning on joining China by having a national internet filter. That sounds like a good group to join. Hey you know what our country needs? to be more like china. Another outrageous stab for power by the government. When you give the federal government power over knowledge and information, you give them power over everything. According to this article, originally the point of the filter was just to block child pornography. Okay, i'm willing to accept that. I'm not sure that i agree it should exist, but i'm willing to accept it. But then the article goes on to say it could be extended to block sites about euthanasia and anorexia, and that there will be no way to opt out of this filter, the entire nation will be blocked out. Why right does the federal government have to silence debate about euthanasia. I don't know what the laws around euthansia are in Australia, but whatever the current laws are, i would think it would be a legitimate topic of conversation. And as far as i'm aware, anorexia is not illegal. I have always been against excesively thin women, mostly because i think they are ugly. Also i'm afraid of breaking them. But i don't think anorexia is any worse either morally or healthwise than extreme obesity. What right does the federal government have to block discussion of a subject that is not even a legal matter, but a health matter. And the biggest concern, this is just the start, where will it continue. Even if someone enjoys blocking these sites, what sites are next. This won't be the end, governments never just stop expanding their power.

When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives-Heinlein,21985,24568137-2862,00.html

P.S. for Rachel, the one australian reader that i know about, if sometime you can't access this blog, your government has blocked it out. I do discuss euthanasia occasionally, anorexia not so much.

Thursday, October 30

Smoke em while you can.

This is another outrage. No surprise it is coming from MA. They want to ban cigar bars/selling cigarretes at drug stores, and selling them on college campuses. What possible right do they have to prevent people from legally purchasing a product. They want to keep cigarettes out of drug stores because they think it's wrong for a product that is unhealthy to be sold at a store that promotes good health. Really? So i'm going to assume they are also banning candy, and chips, and other unhealthy foods from these drug stores right? They want to ban hookah bars because they attract people who are old enough to smoke, but not old enough to go to alcohol bars. Really? That's shocking!!! So what you are saying, is you are concerned about the legal use of tobacco by people who are 18-21. If you don't want people who are 18-21 to smoke then make it illegal. Don't say it's legal, but we will take every step possible to prevent you from obtaining it. What kind of a system is this. Who's in charge of this operation. This is an outrage. Hey you want to keep 18-21 year olds out of hookah bars? make it legal for them to drink. That will get them to go to those real bars. It has been widely reported that poor people tend to eat unhealthy food, are you going to ban all fatty/unhealthy foods from poor neighborhoods. Prevent the fast food companies from targeting poor people. Anyone who hasn't seen thank you for smoking ought to do so. This is just one more outrageous example of the democrats trying to take people's rights away. And i'm quite sure my distate of smoking equals anyone's. I don't like it when people smoke, i don't like the smell, and i don't like what they are doing to themselves, but it's their choice. Where are people who claim to be pro choice. Once again they are not pro choice, but rather pro what they think is moral choice, and anti what they consider to be an immoral choice.

The number 1 killer in America is cholesterol, and here comes Senator Finisterre who's clogging the nation's arteries with Vermont cheddar cheese.

Let's support every side. That's the way to be popular.

I don't see how democrats can do this with a straight face. This is an article about the fact that the democratic party has been going out and recruiting people to run as anti abortion in districts that they could never win as the pro abortion party. I'm not saying party members all need to have the same stands about everything, (although they did kick lieberman out of the party solely because of his disagreement about the war in iraq/afganistan) but to go out and recruit people who are opposed to one of your basic principals. Nor can i understand anyone who would vote for an anti abortion democrat, but not for a pro abortion democrat. An anti abortion democrat is by definition a pro abortion democrat because he will strengthen the democratic party, and help them pass pro abortion legislation, and or send pro abortion judges to the federal judiciary. I am ambivalent towards abortion, my main concern is why the father has no rights whatsoever. Under the current system the woman has all the choice, the father is required to support a child he would rather have aborted, and has no recourse if he wants to keep the child and the mother doesn't. Why is that a fair system. It seems at the least if we agree that abortion is legal, if the father doesn't want the child and the mother does, than the mother has the choice to keep the child, but cannot demand that the father also be responcible for it. at that point it is her responsibility. We have agreed it's not a person, and we have the right to destroy, if the mother decides not to, then she is solely responcible for the creation of a person. anyway, that's a different subject, this article is about the democrats recruiting anti abortion people to run.

Thursday, October 23

I'm going to punch you in the face for that.

why is everyone so angry (especially liberals.) Now i will admit that i am conservative and so to some extent i may read more about liberal crimes than conservative ones, but i don't think it is disputable that liberals have been far more violent in attacking conservatives both verbally and physically this election season. We just today had a case where a robber after learning his victim was a McCain supporter cut a B into her face (presumably for Barack) a conservative who had his house shot up, the case of the woman holding a McCain sign when a guy came up took it broke it and then proceeded to beat her on the head with it, etc. This is all just anecdotal of course, but the police are already trying to beef up their numbers for the election, in case Obama loses. That is simply a fact. There is no such concern if McCain loses. There is wide spread concern that if Obama loses there violence throughout the streets. people need to get a grip on themselves. I guess it's good for people to care about an election, but you don't need to be violent about it. Obama isn't really the savior of man kind, and McCain isn't really the devil (or viceversa) and humanity won't land into a pit of despair with one, and heaven on earth with the other, so get a grip. I am at most a mild McCain supporter, because of my distaste for both candidates, but i am now very strongly rooting for McCain just because of how funny it will be if all the people who have already assumed Obama has won are going to be disappointed. That would make me laugh.

Could we please get rid of murtha

a new poll out of murtha's district show him just barely ahead of a republican he was supposed to beat easily (he won by 20 points in 2006.) Thank god because i could not be more tired of this doofus. A couple years ago he went on tv and talked about how the marines at haditha (i think) had committed cold blooded murder. After the death of a marine they had gone out and basically executed iraqi civilians. He made this statements while the investigation was still going on, and now 6 of the 7 marines charged have either been acquitted, or else had the charges dropped (the last case is still pending.) So it turns out he was wrong, at least according to the legal system these marines had not done anything wrong. You would think he would apologize for those statements, but not only does he not apologize, he applauds himself. he claims that his statements helped bring about change in iraq, ignoring the fact that accused these men of being murders on national television when they are is fact innocent. One of those men is now suing him for slander, and i can only hope he wins. Then last week he went of tv and said obama would suffer in his district because it was racist. He immediately backtracked because he realized he was offending his district. He said he didn't mean to say his district was racist, just that some of the people in the district were racist. Then a couple days later he said let's face it up to 5-10 years ago most of my district was a bunch of rednecks. Now i'm paraphrasing his statements, i don't remember exactly what they were, but how you could re-elect someone with so much open contempt for you district is beyond me. I certainly hope he get's his comeuppance.

Finally san fransisco might do something right.

San fransico may decriminalize prostitution over the objects of most city officials. The measure is on the ballot. The main complain seems to be that 1. it would give pimps too much power, or 2 it would prevent investigation into sex slavery. As to the first, all you need to do is make pimping illegal. Prostitution can be legal without pimps. as to the second, i don't really know what the solution is. The ultimate solution would be legalize and regulate prostitution decreasing the motive for men to visit illegal prostitution rings. However prostitution will still be illegal in california, so they can't legalize it/regulate it all they can do is stop arresting people for it. Plus of course state police can still arrest people for it, so i don't know how much, if any impact this will have. An interesting side note, according to the article prostitution is not illegal in rhode island. that is to say that street walking, and brothels are illegal, but the sale of sexual services between consenting adults behind closed doors is not. I'm not sure what constitutes a brothel, would roommates who both sell sex be considered as operating a brothel? In any case, i would be interested in knowing the different statistics on prostitution between rhode island, and other states. (although once again rhode island is not regulated in anyway, which i would think would be very helpful in preventing sexual slavery, but possibly not necessary if there are plenty of consenting women.)

Our team needs a shortstop real bad

As some of you (aras) might be aware, Orson Scott Card is a science fiction writer. His most well known book (i believe) is ender's game, which is an interesting book, and series, which i recommend to people out in blog land. He is also a life long democrat recenently turned republican, and a part time columnist i believe. This is a column that i suggest for reading. it doesn't really have anything new in it for people who have been paying attention, mostly it blasts the media for it's liberal bias, and failure to make these issues more widely known/appreciated. The article is interesting on it's own, but doubly interesting because it was written by card.

Tuesday, October 21

You can come up with statistics to prove anything. 40% of all people know that.

The problem with global warming is that it is taken by too many people as fact, and beyond skeptism. Global warming activist literally put those who are skeptical on the same level with holocaust deniers. If it comes out that somebody put pressure on an organization to be less dire with their predictions it's an enormous scandal, but at the same time when a governors science minister (i don't remember the actual title, i think it was in washington, or oregon) says he is skeptical he can be fired without any protestations. I'm talking about an actual scientist fired by the governor because his scientific view point didn't match the prevailing political winds. In what kind of society is that acceptable? So there was a recent study conducted in Britain to demonstrate that using reusable diapers is better for the environment than using diapers you just through away. There's only one problem, the conclusion of the study was that reusable diapers have a significantly higher carbon footprint than thrown away diapers. You might think that this would get a lot of attention, but you would be wrong. Instead the study was "hushed up", and future research into the subject was canceled. So because they didn't like the results of their research they intend to pretend the research doen't exist.

This reminds me of a very classic example of a doctor mathmetician. This was a couple hundred years ago i guess, i don't remember the details, but this guy was a mathmetician as well as a doctor, so he thought he would do a statistical study how much leaching helped his patients. Now everyone already knew that leaching was good for the patients, the only question was how good, so he did some sort of systematic research measuring how well patients got when they were leached vs. not leached and after a while he came to an unexpected discovery, it turned out the patients he was leaching were not doing any better than those he wasn't leaching. This of course left only 1 logical conclusion, he decided he hadn't been leaching his patients enough. I don't have a problem with global warming research, i don't even have a problem with people who want to start using more nuclear/wind/solar power in place of oil/coal, but to squelch discussion/research as global warming activists have done is terrible, especially because they have government support in their efforts.

I have written in the sites of both the study on diapers, and that of another author who talks about the fact that temperatures now are in fact exactly what they were in the early 80s, after a decline in recent years, as well as the fact that temperatures now are not as warm as they were in the middle ages when we had a "global warming"

unfairness of fairness

There has been some recent discussion that if the dems take over congress and the presidency they will re-impose the fairness doctrine. This doctrine is by definition unfair. The idea is that the government will impose restrictions on television and radio to say that they have to give equal time to both conservative and liberal points of view. Even if someone were to believe in theory this was a good idea (it isn't) in practice it is entirely unstable. This means essentially that the government has the right to tell the media what they can and cannot say. The government decides what is conservative and what is liberal. I read recently that jokes about the candidates on late night shows are skewing 7-1 against McCain and Palin. No shock there for anyone who watches those shows, although the complete extent is a little shocking. Some try to justify it by saying that biden and obama are boring, that's just silly. Biden is such a maze of ridiculous statements that it boggles the mind, it's a media that thinks it isn't funny to make fun of the democrats, they are too dignified. I wonder if the fairness doctrine is installed, will they be required to make equal jokes about both political parties. There was also an article about the bullying of conservatives in Hollywood. Frasier crane (i don't remember the actors name) says he was forced to give 10,000 to a democratic campaign early in his career to avoid losing his job. 86% of donations from hollywood are to democrats (i don't know if that's donation amounts, or donation numbers.) Once again not shocking when you consider the number of pro liberal movies that have come out recently. I wonder if the fairness doctrine is re-installed will studios be required to make an equal number of pro and con movies about each issue. It would be funny if micheal moore was required to make a movie espousing conservative principles for everyone he made about liberal principles, but that wouldn't happen, nor should it happen. It is not the government's place in any free society to legislate about what and for how long media members can talk, especially in the arena of politics. People talk all the time now about freedom of speech, i can say whatever i want it's a free country. That's not the point of freedom of speech, the point is the freedom to dissent politically, not to walk into a library screaming obscenities. And yet it is freedom of political speech that is most often under attack, and the people most often want to take away. If anyone is actually interested in the fairness doctrine, i'm sure there are many much better articles than this, but this is one you can read.

Saturday, October 18

I thought plumbers were named mario and luigi

This obsession with Joe the plumber has really gotten old, especially coming from the left, but just in general. This is some guy who asked Obama a question while Obama was campaigning in his neighborhood. The right all finally woke up, shit themselves, and realized why didn't we ever do that. So they started promoting the hell out of the incident. Meanwhile the left (as well as major newspapers) have been trying to attack the guys credibility. It was reported for example that he doesn't have a plumbers license (which he doesn't need because he works for a company that has a license) and debate as to whether or not his taxes would really be higher under Obama's plan. He everybody, joe the plumber is just some guy, who asked a question. It doesn't matter who joe the plumber is, it doesn't matter if he owes back taxes (it turns out he does) that doesn't make his question any more or less relevant. It's the question that is important. The question is about taxes on small businesses. Whether joe's business in particular will really face higher taxes is now the most important question facing america. Hey He's just one guy, there are millions of us out here. The question is not about this one guy, it's about all the business that will face higher taxes, it's about whether or not jobs will be lost because of higher taxes, it's about whether Obama imposing that exact same measures as hoobert hoover will have a beneficial effect on our economy, why the hell are we debating the personal life of Joe the plumber?

i can't believe a convicted felon would would get so many votes and another convicted felon would get so few

So now there's a story out about how an obama supporter took a mentally retarded person to the polling station and when the guy said he wanted to vote for McCain, the supporter still wrote in Obama. This retarded person as it turns out has been going to the voting booth with his family and voting himself for years until someone commandeered him and stole his vote. Now there are a lot of things that come to mind when you hear this story, but the first, at least with me is why are retarded people allowed to vote? Now if you are not 17 years old yet you aren't allowed to vote because you aren't mature enough, but a retarded person who by definition has the mental capacity of a child is allowed to vote because they are more than 18 years old. There is another story about an obama supporter who went to nursing homes to collect votes and likewise wrote in Obama even when the elderly person said he wanted to vote for McCain. Once again, the voter fraud here is troubling, but more troublesome is why demented people who are taken to nursing homes because they no longer know what decade they are in, are nonetheless allowed to vote. There have also been reports of the dead voting in primaries this year. There can be no accident or misunderstanding involved in that. Once the dead are voting, someone is trying to fix the election no ifs ands or butts. (i'm sure someone will get a kick out of pointing out that demented nursing home patients and retarded people are voting republican, but this voter fraud is actually a serious crime, especially if multiplied many times by many individuals in many states.

While on the subject of voter fraud, ACORN is in hot water for falsely registering hundreds of thousands of people across the country, but frankly it's not ACORN's fault, it's the government's fault. The government makes it way too easy for people to vote illegally, practically encouraging. There are countless accounts coming out now about convicted felons who cannot legally vote, but have been voting for decades, not even aware that they aren't supposed to be voting. States barely even pretend to try to prevent illegal voting. They claim that would rather err on the caution of not disenfranchising voters, meaning they would rather have many people vote illegally, than a single person be denied a vote which he should have had. This is completely faulty thinking. The only way a person is disenfranchised is if the person he supported doesn't win because of a voting snafu. What is more likely for the average voter, that the person he supports doesn't win because a handful of people were accidentally denied the vote, or 1,000s or more people voted illegally. There are estimates that in the 10,000s of people have been voting illegally in florida. In a state the decided an election by less than 1,000 votes, even if there was no intentional fraud 10,000-30,000 people intentionally voting could easily change an election. As my father pointed out, why is it that the vast majority of adults in the US have ATM cards, and can go to an atm, and go through a transaction without any concern of fraud, but we can't have any standards for voting. The answer is of course that banks customers will leave them if they aren't provided proper service, but we have no such choice with the government. They have never provided competent service, and there's nothing we can do about it. I guess we could vote in an ultra liberal government in order to vastly increase the size of the government, and the hopes that an even bigger government, and larger sprawling bureaucracy will finally give us the change we want.

Friday, October 17

i don't have the energy to keep writing

So Pennsylvania has just passed a law requiring energy companies to sell less energy. If that sounds retarded to you, don't worry, you are not alone. It is clearly retarded. They have decided that they want to use less energy, the solution? outlaw energy. As i understand the way this is supposed to work is that the energy companies are required to convince people to buy less energy through promotional ads, suggesting more use of those low energy light bulbs, suggesting people use less air conditioning, etc. So now energy companies are required to go out and spend money to convince people to use less of their product. I can't think of a single other industry ever required to do this. Cigarette companies and alcohol companies are required to spend money for public announcements about responsible use, but they aren't required to sell less of their product. It is simply bogusity are it's most ridiculous. Of course the easiest thing to do is just to increase the cost of energy dramatically. A small increase doesn't do much, but as we've seen with the price of gas, a large increase will do a lot. I don't believe the state will companies do that. People would of course become upset if they realize that the state was mandating an increase in their energy costs, for no reason. this way, the cost are much more secret. The costs for the company goes up, which means the cost of energy goes up, but not nearly enough to make the cutbacks required. So now everybody's energy bills go up without them having to realize why. It is attacks against energy companies like this that led to california energy crises. Instead of attacking energy people ought to be fostering it. If you want to foster clean coal/nuclear energy instead of coal that's fine, i don't care. If it wasn't for the environmentalists who decried nuclear energy for the past 30 years only to start demanding it now, we could have most of the country running on nuclear energy like france does or LT (unless they shut down there plant, i can never remember what the status of that is.) I will attach the link so people can make up their own minds about this initiative, but i don't see how any rational person could support it.

What came first. the chicken or the prostitute.

I recently saw a history channel special about prostitution. I guess it wasn't so much a special as a regular episode. In any case there were multiple interesting things, but i'll keep to just 2 points. First in 1888 prostitution in new york brought in 3 times as much as the ship building and brewing industries combined. Secondly because our morally outraged government was so sure that there couldn't be so many women willingly becoming prostitutes they started a big scare about white slavery. Specifically that these women were all white slaves and that we had to stop it. Despite a series of interviews which showed that only 5 prostitutes out of 1000 claimed they were slaves in anyway, the Mann act was passed in the early 20th century making it illegal to transport women across state lines to participate in (immoral acts.) They could just make slavery illegal, because it already was, and none of these women were slaves anyway. The legitimacy of the government determining what it is that makes an act immoral, more interesting to me is the effect of illegalizing prostitution. Today there really are female slaves, both white and of any other race who are forced into prostitution, in the US, Europe, and around the world. They are forced into prostitution because the illegal nature of it means a it is more expensive, making it worth the risk of kidnapping and woman and keeping her against her will. If prostitution was legal, and licensed by the state, like say alcohol and cigarettes, then it would essentially kill the profit margins of people using slaves, and drive them out of business. I've never understood arguments against legalizing prostitution. It is certainly not bad for the prostitute, who can now ply her trade in the open without fear from police or abusive johns, and it is certainly not bad for the john who can also make sure he knows what he's getting and not worry about being arrested. The only people it is worse for is the pimps, and slavers. Why we would uphold laws protecting their interests is truly beyond my ken. Prostitution has existed in all society in human history, trying to ban it has never worked, and never will work. I say live and let live. I don't believe any activity between consenting adults ought to be illegal.

P.S. i couldn't help putting in a couple interesting factoids. Whore in it's original use means any women who has sex with some number of men. The number could be debated, but whether or not money was exchanged was irrelavent.
Hooker comes from the fact that hooker street was a well known haven of prostitutes.
In ancient greece prostitutes used to carve a message into the soles of their shoes about where to find a good time, so people could literally just follow their footprints.

Thursday, October 16

a semi-deep thought

Do you ever look up at the big dipper and think, what if the big dipper were a real dipper, and instead of being filled with nothing, it were filled with beer, and then it poured that beer down on me, and i drowned because millions of gallons of beer were pouring down on me from the sky? That's my impression of jack handey. It wasn't really meant to be an impression, just something i was thinking of, and decided to share with my audience of one because i thought it was funny. Plus i always thought deep thoughts was funny, and it does actually remind me of deep thoughts

Wednesday, October 15

God i wish the libertarians could win an election

So the tampa bay rays players have all cut their hair in mohawks to celebrate getting into the playoffs, and/or to show solidarity heading into the playoffs. As is only natural one of their young fans followed suit. the 12 year old who cut his hair in what is being called a "rayhawk" showed up to school ready to show off his pride in the local sports team only to be told that his hair cut was inappropriate and he was suspended. The school maintained the suspension would be indefinite until the child cut off the rest of his hair, which he refused to do. I think everyone already knows who i'm siding with in this situation. What in the name of jebus gives this school system the right to determine what hair cut is, and isn't appropriate for school. In any case without giving myself a stroke, while i choke on my outrage, the story ends up well. The kid was already planning on transferring to a different school. Once his situation became news the new school contacted him to let him know that they had no problem with his haircut, so he just transferred early. Plus as a nice added bonus before one of the games against the redsox, one the rays players invited the kid and his parents to the stadium early to hang out say hi to some of the players, etc. So i guess all's well that ends well.

I don't have a problem with uniforms/dress codes automatically. if a private school wants to impose such restrictions, that's their business. But it is literally illegal for a child to not to go school, and his parents can be arrested and put in prison for not attending school. So now the system wants to say the kid can't have this hair cut? Now they are essentially saying this hair cut is illegal. You cannot have this hair cut and live in the united states, or at least that school district. Who could possibly think that is a good idea. I would like to see by a show of hands how many people in the united states actually think it is a good idea to make mohawks against the law. I'm going to assume the answer is practically nobody, and yet this was allowed to happen, and i'm sure the principle or superintendent or board of education will never be taken to task for their outrageous behavior.

I like it white, thick, and creamy

So i was at the store today, and at the checkout line i noticed that near all the candy/gum/magazines/other impulse items at the checkout they had a new item i had never noticed before. now my understanding is that these are supposed to be items that people don't really need, they don't go to the store looking for these items, but seeing them on the way out, can be convinced basically, what the hell, i'll grab that candy bar and eat it in the car. So today i noticed a very large part of the checkout area was dedicated to Mayonnaise. Now as most people reading this blog are aware, I believe Helman's Real Mayonnaise (which this was) is the best condiment in existence. Not everyone subscribes to that theory yet, but they will someday. In any case even i thought this was weird. Someone is leaving the store after getting everything he needs, and walks by and says "hell i'll get a jar of mayo to eat in the car on the way home." It was clear that there were jars missing so someone was grabbing them. I guess i congratulate the world on becoming more Mayonnaise friendly.

Tuesday, October 14

Hold it, Hold it, what is this? are you trying to trick me? Where's the sports? Is this a kissing book?

I was watching the princess bride tonight, and i realized there was something about it that didn't make any sense. How could it have not made more money. It just doesn't make any sense, it's got everything: fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles. It's also got catchphrases that are very memorable. Inconceivable and my name is inigo montoya are too easy ones. The complaint from the makers is that the studio didn't market it properly, but how could people at the studio not have realized what a could movie it was. I mean how many people screen a movie, it's got to be more than 1 or 2. How could you have more than 1 or 2 people watch it and not realize between them what a great movie it is. As i told you, it would be absolutely, totally, and in all other ways inconceivable.

It also reminded me of a funny story from neringa. Someone bet me a case of beer that the most famous of the classic blunders was not to get involved in a land war in russia while i said it was asia. Needless to say i won the bet. But prior to verification (i generally have the princess bride with me) he was so convinced he was right, he actually started celebrating. Immediately. He started giving people high fives because he was so happy he had won a case of beer. So he looked quite silly when we checked the tape, or in this case the dvd. There are a great deal of things i don't know, and even about the subjects i am fairly familiar with there is a great deal i don't know or could easily misremember, but a general word of advice would be to never bet against me about something involving the princess bride, or the simpsons. It's just silly. Could i get a quote from the simpsons wrong, yes, easily, i have many times. Are there people out there in the world who know way more about the simpsons or the princess bride, again yes of course. BUt there aren't many of them, and on those subjects i am much more likely to be right than wrong, so even if you are very sure, as this fellow was, i would have to advice against betting against me. Unless of course you enjoy donating a case of beer.

I was told there would be no math

Among most of my recent blogpost, there is a large concentration that has to do with politics. This is not because i think they are more interesting or important than other forms of foolishness, It just means there are a higher concentration of them in the news right now, and i come across them very often. And i could essentially write about them indefinitely, but instead today i will address the simple lack of math in today's society/football in particular. Why do we live in a society where it is normal/acceptable to deride math as unnecessary and stupid. This is i believe one of the greatest evils in our educational system. It is a well known complaint/joke about math about how that calculus really came in handy the last time i was in the grocery store. Really? you don't use that much calculus in your day to day life? as opposed to what? the chemistry you use? the English literature? the art? The history? Yeah i was trying to buy the peach at the grocery store, but the clerk refused to sell it to me until i could answer him a question of but ancient greece. Thank god i took those classes in high school. I admittedly have always liked math, but i think many people dislike math because they think it is supposed to be hard, and as a result never really try, and/or out think themselves by convincing themselves that the problems are hard and complicated when in reality they are simple and easy.

This complaint has come up most recently because of stupid football announcers. The first incident came up a month or more ago, i don't remember exactly, but something along the lines of the score was 3-10 and the losing team had the chance to go for it at the goal line, or just kick the field goal for 3 points, and the announcer insisted the team had to kcik the fieldgoal because then they would be just a field goal away from taking the lead. because in his mind 3 plus 3 plus 3 is more than 10. The person announcing the game with him, clearly picked up on the error, but refused to say anything, probably embarrassed by the extreme ignorance displayed by his fellow announcer. I think in a case like this we all need to be embarrassed for america. I could be wrong, but i don't think this kind of disdain for math is tolerated around the world, in particular in asian countries, and it's no surprise their students are easily out beating out our students in mathematical endeavors.

The second incident occurred today, and is less an error of arithmetic and more an error in strategy. After a touchdown you can kick the extra point, or go for 2 points. First it is important to know that statistically you should always go for 2 because it succeeds more than 50% of the time. But i can understand why teams wouldn't do that. In this instance the team was up by 19 with like 7 minutes left in the game. So they can kick for 1 to go up by 20, or go for 2 to go up by 21. The announcer insists they should go for 1 because there's too much time left in the game. The only reason you would go for 1 is if you think the other team will score 20 points or 19. If they score less than 19 it doesn't matter, if they score 21 you should go for 2, if they score more than 21 then once again it depends on if you score again. Now they can either score 21 with 3 touchdowns, or 20 with 2 touchdowns and 2 fieldgoals. With 7 minutes left in the game, there is very little chance the other team will have the ball 3 more times to be able to score those three touchdowns, but there is virtually no chance they will have the ball 4 times and score 2 touchdowns and 2 field goals. Clearly the best play is to go for 2 to try to go up by 21 for a tie in case something terrible happens and the other team scores 3 times. And yet the announcer without ever bothering to think about the math involved says you need to go for 1 because there's so much time left in the game. (Side note, very few if any headcoaches actually bother to think about the math involved either, they have some sort of chart to tell them when to go for 2 and when to go for 1.)

Maybe this just pushed one of my buttons and i went off a little. I don't really agree with the lazarus long quote that "anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe and not make messes in the house." But couldn't we have a little more respect for Mathematics.

Wednesday, October 8

Tales from the idiot brigade

To be honest, most of my posts could probably qualify as tales from the idiot brigade, but this was so stupid that i just came up with that title. Senator Harry reid came out a week or so ago and talked about how necessary this bail out bill was. How he had just gotten out of a congressional meeting where they were talking about one of the big insurance companies, one of the companies we all know about, was about to go bankrupt. He said that publicly. Now would do suppose the result of saying that publicly would be? It would be exactly what any adult would predict, the next day the stocks of all insurance companies went plummeting, losing upwards of 20%. Then Harry Reid's staff came out and said their was no specific company, he was just talking generally, translation: he made it up. So he makes up this line, pulling it out of his ass trying to sell the american public about the need for this bail out, and in doing so greatly weakend the insurance company. Saying something like that becomes a self-fullfilling prophesy. people will stop doing business with insurance companies, they won't be able to get money, and then they will go bankrupt. Well that didn't happen, but the drop in stock value cost stock holders billions of dollars. Who is going to be responsible for those billions of dollars. Nobody of course. The government will condemn the companies, and the executives who drove those companies into the ground.

Appearing in broad daylight with police everywhere, ladies and gentlemen, there's only 1 word for that: idiocy.

Thursday, October 2

I don't want to grow up, i want to be a toys R us kid

A 30 year old man posed as a 12 year old boy in order to enroll in school. Why would he do that? Possibly the fact that he was a sex offender will tip you off. He managed to convince teachers and students that he was in fact a 12 year old, until someone became suspicious about his paper work. Really? his paperwork? That's what's suspicious? Not the fact that he's 30 years old? I guess he probably would have fooled also, you probably don't look that close, but it's hard to imagine a 30 year old passing for 12. I'm sure i could never pass for 12. Anyway, He has been sentenced to 70 years in prison with no chance of early release.

Not to beat a dead horse, but this once again raises the question in my mind why should he be kept alive for the next 70 years? He was already arrested and imprisoned once, so i can see why they don't want to let him out again. But as i wrote earlier, if we agree that he should never be allowed to re-enter human society, i don't see the point of keeping him alive.

After years of disappointment with get-rich-quick schemes, I KNOW I'm gonna get Rich with this scheme...and quick!

So Evanston (the city that northwestern resides in) was having some financial troubles last year. So they came up with a brilliant plan. Let people retire early. Now when you first hear that it sounds stupid, but let me explain. They decided that they would let anyone who was over the age of 50, and worked for the city for 20 or more years retire with full benefits (i'm not positive which city workers this encompasses, i'm sure it doesn't for example include cops or teachers so i'm thinking only people in the government.) How will paying people full benefits save money you ask? Well the theory is that they retire and you can hire someone much younger at a much smaller salary, and thus save money. They theorized that a handful of the 100 or so people eligible would try to take advantage of this opportunity. Instead of that handful 60 of them took the deal, including 8 of 9 department heads and the city chief executive. So this brilliant plan left the government essentially leaderless, and meanwhile, so many people retired and they are going to have to pay so many retirement benefits while promoting people to new leadership positions and paying them more that in fact it's going to end up costing the city even more. Well executed. On the bright side all the city workers who voted for and implemented this plan are now retired and living on full retirement plans.

On the bright note, the city is now facing a 140 million dollar deficit on the fireman and policeman pension fund, and they have no way to pay it. There solution? demand money from northwestern. Northwestern doesn't have to pay any property taxes, a fact that the city has resent for a generation. Even though northwestern was there first, and evanston wouldn't exist without northwestern. Any way, they are going to either try to force northwestern to pay property taxes (which they probably can't do) or else beg northwestern to give them money voluntarily. Which is what they are doing. Northwestern pays millions of dollars in other taxes as it is, on top of all the dollars that are pumped into the city by northwestern students. Meanwhile the city has been spending money it didn't have, promising pension funds it couldn't fulfill, and coming up with hair brained schemes that would be more at home in a simpsons episode than a city government, and their solution is Northwestern has lots of money, lets get some from them.

p.s. besides the problems of evanston, i'm pretty sure that soon the entire united states will be bankrupt from giving money to old people. As will all of europe. The amount of money promised to government employees in the form of pensions, is completely unsustainable. These are also contracts that i don't believe can be broken. You can't just say sorry, we don't have as much money as we thought we did. Oh well. They will raise taxes to generate more revenue, this will kill business, reducing revenue, so they will raise taxes more. They will almost certainly also have to borrow money, probably from old people because they will be the ones with all the money. Social security and pensions are going to be a far bigger problem, and far bigger crises than this current financial crises, but nobody wants to talk about it because old people all vote.

Wednesday, October 1

i like meat.

On another food related topic. Actually a previous food related topic because this will be up on top of my previous post and therefore almost certainly read first, a recent global warming study has said people will have to limit themselves to 4 small servings a week of meat, and 1 liter of milk. My understanding is that the food industry creates more "greenhouse gases" than all the transportation in the world combined. So while cars are getting all the blame, meat is doing most of the damage. But if anybody actually thinks that industrialized nations are going to cut down their meat eating to those levels they are sorely mistaken. I might possibly be able to cut my meat content to 4 small servings a day, and my milk intake to a liter every 2 days. But that's the best i could do for you.

slash i think i read a while back about how walking to work you actually burn more calories and then end up eating more which creates more green house gases than if you had just driven to work. I guess it also depends on what you eat, but just something to think about.

That's a spicy meat a ball!!!

A man recently died from eating super spicy food. My understanding is that he had a bet with his brother (or somebody) about who could make the spiciest chili. It wasn't clear if he died after tasting his own, or the other persons, but the result of tasting the super spicy chili was death. So if there is anyone out there reading my blog who likes really spicy food. Be forewarned. He was in his early 30s and died of heart failure. I think they are still looking into what exactly led to the heart failure, could it be a food allergy or something i don't know.