Sunday, January 30

Boy for sale. Boy for sale.

This aught to be illegal. The NCAA likes to pretend that it's all about academics, and student athletes. If it was really about students, then this kind of behavior would be never be sanctioned. Obama likes to talk about protecting the little guy, most of those seniors that he's so worried about are flush with money, meanwhile these kids are being used basically as slaves. Not only are they not allowed to take money from the university, or university boosters, they can't accept money from anyone. If i as a sports agent think this kid has a future, i'll bet on him by paying him 10,000 bucks and then if he's drafted i'll get 5% of his million dollar signing bonus who does that hurt? Nobody. It's not taking university money from other students, it's not even contorting the what schools athletes go to because the process could take place at any school. The only person who is risking anything is the agent, who will not get his money back if the player get's hurt, or doesn't live up to expectations. Meanwhile college coaches are making 5 million dollars a year. It's not about money, it's about student athletes, but coaches make more than any other college employee. And then the coaches, who are under pressure to win because it brings in more money, promise scholarships to kids and then can't deliver. Schools should liable for this, with a pay out of 100,000 to each kid they mistreat. Hell even if they did have to pay each kid 100,000 it probably wouldn't mean anything to them, big time football programs bring in 10s of millions of dollars a year, they can afford to make good on their promises. Of course even worse than kids who were promised a scholarship and then didn't get one are kids who had one and then lost it because a hot new recruit came up and the coach doesn't want the old player anymore. 25 players per year, but only 85 total. with a redshirt 25 per year means 125 players could be on a team at a time. Now many players don't redshirt, and some leave early, but even so these colleges are going to end up cutting kids off the team, which means taking away their scholarships, just so the coach can go recruit some other player. If a kid flunks out of school, or stops coming to practices, that's one thing. But a coach shouldn't have the ability to discontinue a kids scholarship because he didn't turn out to be as good as you thought he would be. If a kid has performed academically and continues to participate in practice, his scholarship should be guaranteed. If the coach wants to cut him from the team that would be okay, as long as the university honors his scholarship. But not only would a university not honor it, it's not clear to me that a university isn't explicitly prohibited from honoring it by the NCAA. The NCAA which claims to be looking out for students welfare, but is really only trying to make money of the backs of athletes while treating them like slaves.

Tuesday, January 25

I'm, not drunk, my ankles are just too weak to support my weight.

Scotch in a can? Classy. It's fine with me. The main problems are one, who will the can affect the taste. I guess people have to try it for themselves. And two a can can't be closed once opened, which means that now you have to drink the whole thing. Which may be okay if you are really sharing it among several people, but how often is that really going to happen. Ultimately it's worth trying out and being creative with alcohol maybe people will like it, and good for them if they do.

Monday, January 24

Of course, this is just a television poll which is not legally binding. Unless proposition 304 passes, and we all pray it will.

Some interesting thoughts about the different moralities behind conservatism/liberalism vs libertarianism. I don't think their analysis of libertarians is spot on for me, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Sunday, January 23

Oh, pardon me Santos, if that is your real name, Bart Simpson, but your phoney credit card is no good here.

This is of course the classic problem with government regulations. It isn't that they aren't well meaning. (That may be a problem, but it is a problem that could be overcome.) The problem is that the regulations rarely have the effect that politicians plan on. I know let's get more money from the rich by taxing yachts. Result kill the yacht industry in the US get less tax revenue, and have fewer jobs. Mission accomplished. Besides the fact that the government should have no business telling people who they can and can't lend money to (if consenting adults agree to lend/borrow money from each other, it is no business of the governments on what terms they do it) the problem as pointed out in the article is that it is in fact very very difficult to legislate what you want to happen in real life. Hence it is best to simply leave it up to parents to teach their kids not to be idiots, and stop trying to regulate people's entire lives.

Saturday, January 22

They let me sign checks with a stamp, Marge. A stamp!

This article pretty much speaks for itself. I was going to make some snide sarcastic comment, but at this point it's hardly necassary. These people in government couldn't possibly be more clownish if they tried. The rule of government is that they will always spend as much money as you let them, plus 10% more. The problem is nobody actually wants to stop spending, as mentioned in my previous posts. Everyone agrees that we are spending too much, and something really should be done about that, as long as it doesn't include cutting any spending.

Friday, January 21

Oh, your dad used to be smart as a monkey! But then his mind started getting lazy and now he's dumb as a chimp.

How do you know you're in the wrong? When even the new york times thinks you have too much government regulation, and are being too paternalistic. This is really the worst thing that the government can to do to people. Deny them information because they can't handle it. I'm not saying the government needs to give out information about nuclear bombs, or military secrets. But banning people from having their genes tested? Really? Who thinks the government should have that power? Next government regulators will tell doctors they can't tell patients if they cancer because we don't know if the patients can handle that information. And the argument that it's snake oil, and not really accurate? Really? So i can't get my genetic code tested because it may not be 100% accurate, but i can go spend my money on psychics, that would be legal. The real problem obviously isn't that the genetic tests aren't accurate, nobody would care if they weren't accurate, the problem is that they are. We are approaching ever closer to gattaca, which may seem depressing to some people, but there is no turning back the clock.

Tuesday, January 18

How is education supposed to make me feel smarter?

Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home wine making course, and I forgot how to drive?”

Well this is certainly good news. They country is full of people so ignorant that only 50% of us can correctly identify the 3 branches of government on a multiple choice test. (the article wasn't actually clear if the the exam was multiple choice or not. It is implied but never specified. The numbers are just so mind numbingly bad it would be nicer if it wasn't.) But that's not even the best news. The best news is that in a country full of people lacking even a 5th grade understanding of the way government works, we manage to select from among everyone in the country people who on average know even less to govern us. Now that is really heartwarming. No discrimination against stupidity in out public officials. In fact we prefer it. Of course this isn't really shocking news. Many people have suspected it for years, but now it's been scientifically demonstrated (albeit with a small sample size) that those elected officials who like to pretend they are o so smart, and o so important, are in fact dumber than paint. It not really surprising that the US is in decline with numbers like this, if anything it shocking we lasted as long as we did. I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that if you gave an exam like this to chinese students, or south korean students, that they will know more about our country/history/geography/government than our own students.

Well of course, everything looks bad if you remember it.

Nice reminder of the proper civil way to discuss our problems that the left embraces. So unlike the violent rhetoric embraced by the unhinged right.

Saturday, January 15

Title below (it was too long.)

4 pounds of grease that comes to 63 cents.
Dad all that bacon cost $27.
Yeah, but your mom paid for that.
But doesn't she get her money from you?
And i get my money from grease. What's the problem?

Well this is certainly encouraging news. We live in a country of Homer simpsons. No wonder that show is so popular. So 77% of people want only to cut taxes to reduce the deficit, but only 38% could name a single program with cutting. Nobody seems to realize how bad this deficit is. When given options for spending only 4 options win a majority. You could cut all those options, including military spending, to 0 and there will still be a deficit. The only possible way to avoid federal government bankruptcy is to cut social security, and/or medicare. Everyone who knows anything about the federal budget knows that you have to cut social security, and/or medicare, but nobody is willing to do it. 41% think the government can be cut without affecting them. Really? The only way the government cut be could without affecting you is if you plan on dying before the age of 65 and never collecting a social security check or medicare payment. Last year the government collect 2.1 trillions dollars and spent 3.5 trillion. That means that in order to be in line government spending needs to be cut by 40%. In fact social security, medicare/medicaid, and military costs were just over 2.1 trillion. So if we were willing to completely eliminate all government functions other than those three we could keep going. Otherwise it's time to be serious about cutting. The best thing to do would be an across the board cut, no questions asked. That way nobody could weasel their way out of it. 10% of all spending cut. That means social security checks, government employee salaries, everything. Then cut the federal workforce by 10%. And finally make unions of federal employees illegal/end pensions for government employees. From now on the 401K plans just like everybody else. That wouldn't eliminate the deficit immediately, but it would put the government on far more stable footing, and we would start moving towards smaller deficits instead of larger.

Instead there will be no cuts except for minor symbolic cuts like congressmen spending 35 million less on their own offices. That sounds nice in press releases, congressmen spending less on themselves, but it is .0025 of 1% of the deficit. It would be like if i made a salary of 80,000 but was spending 120,000 a year. I thought i need to cut back. So i'll spend $1 less a year on candy. That's what their cut comes out to. Yeah maybe it helps to cut that $1 but when you are 40,000 in the hole nobody is going to take you seriously as trying to cut your spending when you're talking about 1 dollar.

Friday, January 14

Are you mad, woman? You never know when an old calendar might come in handy. Sure, it's not 1985 now, but who knows what tomorrow will bring.

So that's why astrology has been off all these years. Well that's a relief. We can finally get that back on track.

Thursday, January 13

How can I prove to you we're live? Penis!

This will probably be a long rambling post just because there is so much ground to cover, so be forewarned. The topic? The reactions to the shooting in arizona. In case international people are unaware, a congresswoman in arizona was shot a few days ago so naturally the media's first response was to express their condolences and regret for this tragic shooting, which encompassed not just the congresswoman, but many nearby bystanders including a 9 year old girl (born on 9/11) who was killed. Oh no wait. I forgot, we live in 21st america so the media's first priority was to blame the tea party and sarah palin specifically. Obviously it was her rhetoric that drove this man to murder. I mean what other possible reason could someone have to kill a person other than sarah palin. She is the person who most often produces murderous thoughts in liberal's minds, so to them it's only natural that she would cause conservatives to murder in her name as well.

This rush to judgement would be to some extent understandable, after all in the 24 hour news cycle you need to fill the air with all kinds of news and speculation all the time right? Except only if it reflects negatively on conservatives. When somebody tried to blow up a bomb in times square what was the reaction. Well first it was suggested that it was probably somebody upset about health care, or some other anti government thing. After all we all know how crazy and violent those right wingers are. And when it turned out it was a muslim who did it, immediately the NYTimes and CNN urged everyone to be cautious about leaping to conclusions. We don't know why a muslim would try to set off a bomb in time square. Someone actually said we may never know why he tried to set off the bomb. Translation? It wasn't islam's fault, it was societal issues that are far too complicated to ever understand. This wasn't an islamic terrorist, and nobody should jump to that conclusion just because he was islamic and a terrorist. Here's a write up about how CNN reacted after the fort hood shooting (hint they urged not jumping to conclusions.)

So the same news organizations that urge caution about jumping to conclusions days after attacks by muslims, within mere hours can decide that the arizona attack was because of the angry rhetoric of Palin and tea partiers. No caution necessary there. Not a single fact necessary. The media already knows that tea partiers are violent racists so obviously if a democratic congresswoman is shot at, they are the culprits. My favorite line, written within hours by Krugman was "We don't have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was." Despite winning a nobel prize, this shows a total disregard for what odds are (almost certainly willful, not accidental.) Odds are based on facts. Like if i'm on vegas and i bet on black at the roulette table, there are certain odds that the ball will land on black. Those odds are certain. Other odds can be less certain, like the Patriots will probably beat the Jets this weekend. There's no way to measure that likely hood, and some may even debate it, but there are still facts, like the patriots win the vast majority of their home games, they have won more games than the jets this year, they have scored A points this year and the Jets have scored B. Facts. There is no way to determine a clear cut answer, but there is a history to go off. Given that there have been exactly 0 documented murders committed because of Sarah Palin's the odds that a new murder was caused by her can only be either 0, or question mark/not enough information. It's like if there was a football team made up of aliens. If someone asked me who will win a game between the patriots and the aliens, i would say I don't have any idea. I don't know anything about the aliens. There's no way to determine any kinds of odds for such a game. But Krugman would say, we don't have proof yet that aliens are great football players, but odds are that they are. Krugman doesn't need outside information because he is so supremely intelligent that any thought that comes to his head must automatically be correct.

Here is a couple of write ups of how off base krugman is.

So moving forward. We find out that the guy who committed this act was a crazy person. Literally. To blame his actions on political speech of any kind would be no different than to blame democrats for the attempted assasination of Reagan, or blame john lennon's death on the rolling stones. Not only incorrect, but really completely ludicrous, and something no person could take seriously. So naturally those who jumped to conclusion in the media apologize for their haste in judgement, and admit that this was the act of a crazy person and that politics was not involved in anyway. Oh wait, there, i forgot again where i was. Most refused to admit they were wrong. Regardless of facts to the contrary they insist that this crime is still the fault of Palin and the right wing. Some are willing to admit maybe the original crime wasn't palin's fault, but her response in defending herself was uncalled for and reprehensible. I wish i was joking, but you just can't make this stuff up.

Here's a bit from MSNBC

They are willing to admit that yes factually Palin and conservatives in general were wrongly accused of causing a murder, but that's no longer relevant. What's relevant is that rather than accepting blame for murders which they were in no way a part of, conservatives got upset about the accusations and started to defend themselves. Once again, you just can't make this stuff up. They literally blame conservatives for not turning the other cheek. Ostensibly if republicans would just accept responsibility, it would unite the country (in condemning conservatism), but by trying to defend themselves against scurrilous attacks, they are tearing the country apart. It's not clear to me how a person's brain can even come up with such a bizarre notion, but rest assured it is possible.

Here's an actual member of congress saying it doesn't matter what the facts of this specific case are because He has already decided that conservative speech can only lead to one conclusion, murder. If this attack wasn't caused by political speech, than the next one will be.

And today all three major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) came out with articles criticizing sarah palin for her response to the media criticism.

ABC said "Sarah Palin, once again, has found a way to become part of the story" As if it was her own idea to blame her for the attacks. This was some secret conspiracy to get her in the news. If the krugman's of the world had just waited 2 days to point the finger everyone would have realized she had nothing to do with it, and she never would have been a part of the story. First the media makes her the center of the story, then blames her for being at the center of the story.

CBS blames her for suggesting she was a victim of false attacks, when the real victims were those people who were hurt in the attack. Really? So if someone comes out publicly and calls you a murderer, you aren't allowed to say no i'm not these are false accusations. Cause then you are playing the victim card, when you aren't the real victim at all. (and of course those people who wrongly accused you in the press should never be held to account for their actions, because they were well meaning liberals. The fact that they completely without merit accused someone of murder is not relevant.)

Finally NBC suggested she was ignorant if not racist for using the term blood libel. Along with other networks, and critics they have suggested than only a racist, or an idiot would use that term. I was unfamiliar with the term myself, but it originally referred to christians suggesting that jews stole/murdered their children in order to use the children's blood in their rituals. This was obviously a false accusation of murder, thus the parallel with palin. Those quick to find offense and wrongdoing from palin were quickly offended, shocking, i know. However, liberal Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz of all people has come to her rescue to educate the intellectual media to the fact that despite it's original meaning the term blood libel has come to take a more general meaning in modern times and is, at least in his opinion, in no way racist or improper for palin to use.

So in conclusion the verdict from the mainstream media: Sarah Palin and tea partiers are evil and caused this terrible tragedy because of their hatred and vitriol. And even if they didn't they are still evil because rather than agreeing with us they are tearing the country apart by not agreeing with us. And anything Sarah Palin does is wrong and bad. And even if it turns out it's not wrong and bad, we'll find another reason that does make it wrong and bad. I have tended to give the mainstream media the benefit of the doubt that they are not really intentionally liberal, but that it just naturally seeps in. Most journalists are liberal, even when trying to be impartial some of it seep in, and the fact that everyone around you is also liberal means nobody ever gets called out on it. But the media's response to this event is so one-sided and bizarre, that it is impossible for me to come to any conclusion other than a deliberate and willful attempt to condemn conservatives by any means possible in order to sway public opinion against the tea party and conservatives ahead of the next election. To some extent this could be blamed on a few rotten apples like krugman, but if that were really true than we would see repercussions for those who so obscenely used their media power to smear conservatives. It could still happen, but i would be very surprised.

So finally. What have our dear members of congress been up to in the past week. (other than the guy who insisted that it's irrelevant whether or not conservatives caused this attack, because his psychic power has allowed him to see into the future when there are all kinds of attacks by conservatives.) The republicans have declared a moratorium on all bills to be passed. They did not want to have any partisan bickering starting up in the aftermath of this attack. The democrats meanwhile have used this event to try to further their political ends. Bernie sanders who was elected in vermont send out a fundraising letter. Somehow this attack means that he needs more money to get re-elected. Clyburn wants to reinstall the fairness doctrine. Because this attack by a lunatic who was in no way motivated by politics has definitively proven once and for all that we can't have conservatives going on radio and spouting their conservatism. Robert Brady wants to make it a crime to use language or symbols that could be perceives as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of congress. Presumably first on his list is putting Obama in jail for calling republicans his enemies, for discussing having hand to hand combat with them, or bringing a gun to a knife fight. Second would be Krugman who encouraged people to hang joe lieberman in effigy. O no wait. He doesn't mean for Obama/krugman or other liberals. Cause we all know they are non violent. He just means for conservatives who are naturally violent. Peter King suggests making it illegal to bring a gun within 1000 feet of a congressman or other important federal official. That makes sense. So from now all gun owners will be required to know where all federal officials are at all times, and never come with 1,000 feet of them. I'm sure with a law like that this guy never would have shot the congresswoman. He would have realized, oh no wait, it's illegal for me to carry this gun within 1,000 feet of her, i guess i'll just stay home and watch cartoons instead. Well done.

If you haven't read them, and are interested i also recommend the following from glenn reynolds

George will

Charles Krauthammer

John Gordon

And Roger Simon

Who points out the despite all the moaning about the violence of todays society, the 60s were far more violent than today with honest to goodness political assignations, and that back then violent protests by the anti government/anti war left were actually celebrated.

My final thought is that the media reaction to this event was so incomprehensibly bad, that i can only hope it was intentional. That they would act as crazy as possible, so that the conservatives would be forced to defend themselves and while the 2 sides were fighting it out Obama could come in as the magnanimous uniter. Who insists neither side should be yelling at the other at time like this. Thus throwing themselves under the bus in order to give Obama a small boost. I don't actually believe that anyone in the media is either that clever, or that willing to destroy their own credibility, but it would make for a more interesting story. Plus if you are going to destroy your credibility anyway, might as well have a reason for it.

Wednesday, January 5

Not "Huck Finn!" I spent hours crossing out the sass-back!

If only that was a simpsons joke, but unfortunately it is completely true.

I don't understand the mindset that goes into making a decision like this. It seems that the theory would have to be that having the word kids read the word nigger in a book would be racist, so for proper political correctness we must remove it. But that strikes me as being incredibly more racist, do pretend the word doesn't/didn't exist. They are trying to fix history by pretending it didn't happen, that's the kind of thing that belongs in a communist country, or maybe a theological dictatorship, not in a supposedly free country. If you think students aren't mature enough to read the books and understand the context, then don't give it to them to read. Wait until high school. If a 16 year old reads it and reacts in a racist way, then he would have been a racist regardless, and is already familiar with the word nigger. Mark twain is widely considered the greatest american writer of all time, and Huck Finn his masterpiece, and arguably the greatest piece of american literature, but because it uses words we no longer consider polite it can't be taught in school? Only in america where people have so much excess time and money would people worry so much and get so upset about children the greatest work in our nations history. (I personally prefer writers like asimov/heinlein, i don't discredit them or their literary achievements simply because they wrote science fiction.)

Monday, January 3

It's funny. Their clothes are different from my clothes.

funniest thing i've read in a long time. I laughed out loud at least 10 times reading this.

You just licked off the part that forbids cruel and unusual punishment.

So the constitution says this

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

And officials in florida interpret that to mean that this should be legal?

How is setting up a check point and requiring every single person to drive through a reasonable search? I would like to know what percentage of the population considers that reasonable? Upon what probably cause could a judge write a warrant requiring blood from someone simply because they don't want to take a breathalyzer test (especially if as the defense attorneys imply the breathelyzers are not perfectly accurate.) If someone was pulled over for driving erratically/and or failed a roadside sobriety test, that's one thing, but the cops don't have the time or man power to conduct sobriety tests on every driver so they want to just breathalyze everyone and punish those who refuse by taking their blood.

The best was when the anti drunk driving lady says the last thing she wants to dois violate people's civil rights, but they're there to save lives. Which is a casual admission that yes we are violating people's civil rights, but we're doing it for a good reason so that's okay. that's kind of whole point of civil rights, they aren't supposed to be violated for any reason. Otherwise a government can always come up with a "good reason" to violate someones rights. Also as a nice bonus, if it wasn't really bad enough that one state has decided to allow this unconstitutional action we have the federal tr4ansportation secretary urging more states to do it.

Beyond the illegality of this whole opperation, the other question is what is the point. Is it actually even effective at reducing drunk driving? According to reason, the answer is no. The ammount of man power required would be better off spread out looking for erratic driving than concentrated in a single area. And they claim that if you look at the reports afterwards you find very few people written up for drunk driving, but a whole host of people written up for other things like lapsed registration/not wearing a seatbelt/etc. So it turns out that the real point once again is to collect money from people. Budgets are being strained everywhere, politicians don't like new taxes, but we need new money. This way they can collect more money from people, while claiming they were trying to save lives. Anyone was really interested in preventing drunk driving they should just requiring breathalyzers in cars. That technology already exists. Someone has to blow into the tube and prove they are not drunk before they can drive. A lot of people are against that because it requires non drunk drivers to pay for having a breathalyzer in their car, but that is certainly no more a violation of their rights than taking their blood.