Saturday, January 14, 2017

Fundamental Error

I can’t get upset about the Chargers leaving San Diego because I have not really been a fan for quite a few years. It’s not that they have been losing games, I can live with that, it’s that they have been playing crappy football.

Football is about precision, execution and imposing your will on your opponent, and the Chargers have not played that type of game since the Bobby Ross era, when they had the likes of Stan Humphries, Natrone Means, Lorenzo Neal and Ladanian Tomlinson. In those days they lined up and did what they wanted to do.

Under Turner and McCoy the Chargers do whatever the opponent allows them to do, and I just have never been able to get excited about that kind of football. Actually, I don’t even consider it to be football at all. I wanted to throw up every time the head coach was asked why the team lost a game and he started talking about what the other team did. Championship football teams do not let the opponent dictate the game.

“They didn’t do what we expected them to do,” he says, which boils down to, “They didn’t let us do what we wanted to do.” Of course they didn’t let you do what you wanted to do, you idiot. If they are going to let you do what you want to do, why are they even on the field at all? Their whole purpose in being on the field is to prevent you from doing what you want to do. Sheesh.

Given that they have ownership that has permitted that kind of field leadership for more than a decade, I do not expect it to change any time soon, so I am shedding no tears for the loss of the Chargers.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Day of Infamy

I’m discussing with my wife that perhaps we should consider moving from San Diego, given that this city is fated to become a failing empty shell, a mere shadow of what it once was. Bridges will likely start collapsing, tall buildings falling down, and the economy deteriorating to the level of a Tiajuana suburb.

Well, that’s the projections of San Diego sports writers, who may be a bit overwrought by the announcement that the Chargers are moving to LA.

A group of fans gathered at the Chargers complex (the national media mistakenly identified it as the stadium) to discard and burn their Chargers gear and hurl insults at the owner, Dean Spanos.

In a nice little bit of irony, one such fan was breaking and tearing up several pieces of gear, cursing mightily and wearing… Wait for it… He was wearing a $250 leather jacket with a huge Chargers lightening bolt logo on the back.

Another guy was shirtless, having burned his Chargers jersey, and was screaming that Dean Spanos should perform an act physiologically impossible for human beings, but was still wearing his Chargers hat.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Pyrrhic Victory

Democrats should, of course, actually be celebrating because the worst thing that can happen to a political party is to win an election. It puts them into a position in which they will demonstrate to voters and to the world that they are woefully incapable of governing.

We have been through this many times. Democrats win control and accomplish essentially nothing that they promised to do. Having no accomplishments on which to campaign, they use the "we're feckless but the other party is evil" approach to stay in power, only to have the voters say that Republicans weren't all that evil last time and getting something done is better than getting nothing done and throw them out.

Republicans get control and get things done, but they get all the wrong things done. They try to convince voters that those things are actually good ideas, but voters decide that maybe doing nothing is better than doing stupid things and put the Democrats back in office. Wait five minutes, rinse and repeat.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wilder Fantasy

According to the New York Times, Obama, Congress, and Trump himself knew last fall that Russia had dirt on Trump which could be used to derail his election and/or used to blackmail him after he became president.

It’s not petty stuff. It includes, according to the Times, “sex videos involving prostitutes with Mr. Trump in a 2013 visit to a Moscow hotel,” and memos quoting “an unidentified Russian source” to the effect that “the hacking and leaking of Democratic emails was carried out with the full knowledge and support of TRUMP and senior members of his campaign team.”

“One of the memos claims,” the Times tells us, “that Mr. Cohen (a Trump adviser) went to Prague in August or September to meet with Kremlin representatives and to talk about Russian hacking of Democrats,” which is interesting. You may recall that intelligence officials invented a Prague meeting between a 9/11 planner and an Iraq official during the Iraq war buildup. It was later proven to be fiction, and Mr. Cohen has provided his passport which shows that he has never been to Prague in his life.

“If some of the unproven claims in the memos are merely titillating,” we are advised by the Times, “others would amount to extremely serious, potentially treasonous acts.” If, that is, “unproven claims” could ever possibly be considered as treason.

A Russian spokesman said that the whole kerfuffle, “isn’t consistent with reality and is nothing but an absolute fantasy,” which I’d say is a reasonable assessment of the situation.

The FBI had this material as early as June and released none of it because none of it could be verified. (Which should surprise no one.) None of it can be verified now either, which begs the question that, if nothing could be released due to lack of verification earlier, why is this being released now?

No one is answering that question, for the simple reason that no one is asking it.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Offering Peace

There was an episode of Chicago Med the other day in which two professional cage fighters were brought in who had beaten each other into bloody pulps. They and their managers were shouting threats and insults and there was risk of mayhem – it was all very dramatic. When all was said and done, one of the fighters was patched up and discharged and the other had sustained a brain hemorrhage and was laying on life support and being declared beyond recovery.

The Muslim family, parents and brother, of the fallen fighter were with him, praying together, when the other fighter returned. It turned out he wanted to know if the guy was okay and was devastated to find out he was not. He was breaking down and in tears, saying that he was sorry and saying tearfully “I don’t know what to do.”

The brother was angry and making threats and the father came out of the room and gently told him to stop. He held out his hand to the fighter and said, “Come, will you pray with us?” The two of them walked slowly back into the room and were standing side by side at the bedside, looking together down at the man on life support.

It was fiction, yes, but very powerful. I am always profoundly moved when one person reaches out to another with an offer of forgiveness and reconciliation; an act which brings peace to mind and spirit. Life offers no finer moment.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Who Do You Believe?

A couple of Facebook polls which should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt, but which are food for thought nonetheless. I know where my vote would have been. It has been many years since it became my policy to believe precisely nothing which my government or the domestic media tells me.

John Harwood: Who do you believe America?
84,115 votes
83% Wikileaks
17% US Intel officials

Lou Dobbs: Who do you believe regarding Russian hacking?
17,899 votes
6% President Obama
94% Julian Assange

Did Russia hack the election? Sure, and Jessica Lynch was rescued in the midst of a raging gun battle after she herself had been gravely injured and at the point of death, bravely fighting off with her trusty M-14 the ravening hordes of Iraqis who were attacking her. And we have been fighting in Afghanistan for fifteen years to “deny them space in which to plan their attacks.” And, as the King of Siam says, “Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.”

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Nice Comeback

I don't much like either Penn State or USC, two elitist schools with snobbish student bodies, but I like good football so I watched the Rose Bowl last night, including the second half. Glad I did.

In case you missed it, USC was up six at the half, but Penn State scored three touchdowns in the first four minutes of the second half. Actually, they did it in three plays from scrimmage; a 79-yard run, a 72-yard pass, and a 3-yard run following an interception. USC tied the score with one minute remaining in the game, and then intercepted the ball and ran it back to within field goal range; kicking the winning field goal as time expired.

Interestingly, USC dropped an interception on the preceding play, and Penn State threw the exact same pass, to the same receiver, running the same route, immediately after. The defender jumped the route again and did not drop the interception a second time. That was weird. Who called that play?

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Hysteria Accelerates

The New York Times had an article, behind a pay wall, which headlined that the government had now “revealed the details” of the Russian hacking which caused Hillary Clinton to lose the election, but the details it revealed were all qualified with phrases such as “believed to be” and “likely connected to.”

Based on that we expelled 35 Russian diplomats and their families and expected that Russia would do likewise. Several papers actually reported that Russia had done likewise, in fact, before Russia revealed that it is governed by adults.

Then we get much hyperventilating about the Russians hacking a Vermont power company, along with a great deal of “I told you so” rhetoric about the vulnerability of our power systems to Russian cyberwarfare. Because Vermont is such a critical state to our economy. Why bother disabling New York, when you can do so much more economic damage to the nation by damaging Vermont?

Except that the “hacking” consisted of one piece of malware in a laptop which was not connected to the power company’s network, and was not used and had never been used to control the company’s power distribution system. It was, to boot, an obsolete version of a commercially available hacker’s program which could be bought by anyone pretty much anywhere, and thus was in no way attributable to the Russians.

It’s embarrassing. Why does anyone pay attention to anything American any more? We have become buffoons.

Update: Oh yes, and we put Ohio State in the FBS playoffs.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Let me finish that for you...

You say, "Let me say it right here, if you voted for Trump-I do think you are a racist, homophobic misogynist." Left unsaid is that the reason you say that is that you believe in democracy, but only when your side wins, because you are intolerant of any beliefs other than your own. Come to think of it, that means you don't believe in democracy at all.

See, I can be nasty, too. I can't hold a candle to you in the nasty department, but I do my best. I am not, after all, a registered Democrat.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

And Now We Know

We have now received an answer to the ineffable question, "Can the Chargers lose to an 0-14 team?"

Well, I guess it's no longer an ineffable question, since I just effed it, so to speak, which makes it an effable question, but in any case the answer is, "Yes indeed, they most certainly can." Sigh.

They found a new way to accomplish that feat, at least. After losing games due to the offense falling in its face, and due to the defense doing a pratfall, and due to the special teams not catching and/or fumbling the ball, this game they lost by missing field goals and/or having them blocked.

Browns 20, Chargers 17. They are not boring, they are merely pitiful.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

More Economic Idiocy

Dean Baker illustrates today why economists should be put into a pickle barrel and stored in a deep basement. He has long argued against the adage that the problem with Obamacare is that, “Not enough young healthy people are signing up for health insurance,” by insisting that older people are healthy too, and that the real problem is that not enough older healthy people are signing up for health insurance.

In today’s piece he claims that, “the age distribution of enrollees has little impact on the cost of the program," notwithstanding his statement in the same piece that, “on average the older enrollees are a net drain on the system.” What?

Not satisfied with making such contradictory statements, he then disproves the first and and proves the second by saying that “people in the oldest age bracket pay premiums that are three times as large as people in the youngest age bracket,” and that, “older enrollees will cost the system about 3.5 times as much as young enrollees.”

Dean Baker does not seem to understand the meaning of the word “average.” Immediately after saying that, “On average, the older enrolllees will cost the system about 3.5 times as much as young enrollees,” he proceeds too insist that, “a large number of people in the older age band are every bit as healthy as people in the youngest age band.”

The latter statement is undoubtedly true, but working against his so-called “logic” is that on average they are not, and averages are what insurance is all about. If you continue to sign up large numbers of older people you will sign up far more unhealthy people than healthy ones.

If, on the other hand, you sign up large numbers of young people you will sign up far more healthy people than unhealthy ones, and that is the point that is being made when people say that, “Not enough young healthy people are signing up for health insurance.”

It would probably make the point more clearly to say that, “Not enough young people, who are predominantly healthy, are signing up for health insurance,” but only someone intent on proving the idiocy inherent in being an economist, like Dean Baker, would argue the point being made by the statement as issued.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Going Down Fighting

For decades, the United States has enjoyed by far the world’s highest standard of living, and have happily lived in the illusion that that could last forever. Reality is being forced upon us now in the form of what “globalization” really means, and we don’t like it. We are living in denial with promises to “bring those jobs back,” but reality is going to win. It always does.

It has always been assumed that when world’s standard of living equalized that it would be because the rest of the world brought their circumstances up to match ours, but since we have been 5% of the world’s population consuming 25% of the world’s resources, that was never possible. Doomsayers who pointed out that that any such equalization would require that our standard of living must decline were reviled and/or ignored.

And so one party promises to “bring those jobs back,” which it cannot do, and the other raises the minimum wage because it has nothing to offer other than an economy based on minimum wage jobs, many of which require a college degree with concomitant educational-incurred debt.

“Going down fighting” is not always an admirable trait. We could make this transition gracefully, but we won’t, because we will never admit that it needs to be made.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Banner Year

After winning the Mountain West Championship for the second consecutive year, the Aztecs went to Las Vegas yesterday as three point underdogs and won by a score of 34-10.

During the game Donnel Pumphrey ran for 115 yards, bringing his career total to 6,405 yards, the most career yards by any running back in the history of college football. Rashaad Penny ran for only 10 yards, but it gave him 1000 yards for the season, and the Aztecs two 1000 runners in one year.

On defense, the Aztecs had four interceptions in the game, giving them 26 for the year. That is the most in college football this year, 5 ahead of Wisconsin, which has 21.

Congratulations to Rocky Long (aka "Captain Sunshine") and all the players of the San Diego State University Aztecs.

Friday, December 16, 2016

WMDs Redux

I watched CNN for a little while today, and a little bit of MSNBC, and the hysteria over purported Russian interference with the election is reaching really quite amazing levels, stoked by both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Both are claiming that Putin was personally directing said interference, and Clinton asserts that it is because he has a personal grudge against Hillary Clinton. Those are her words, “…because he has a personal grudge against me.”

We have seen this before. Precisely this same level of hysteria and same type of political messaging, when the intelligence agencies were entirely in agreement that Iraq had WMDs, the same "we are on the same page" that is being presented today. I am watching right now the same tenor and manner of rhetoric, the same declarations of “threat to our democracy,” that I watched in the run up to the Iraq war.

This is leading up to something, and it is getting ugly. Not sure what I think is afoot, but I am beginning to suspect that there might be a serious plan to attempt to prevent Donald Trump from taking office. The anti-Russia rhetoric is getting out of control and I fear that it may instead lead to open hostility, even war, with Russia.

We need some grownups to tone this down, but there are no grownups.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Losing Badly

I thought Republicans, and conservatives generally, behaved quite badly when they lost the election to Obama; promptly vowing not to allow him to implement his agenda as president.

Their response was childlike innocence compared to that of Democrats, and liberals generally, upon losing the election to Trump; in that they are trying to deny him not only his agenda, but the office itself.

I don't recall any Republicans/conservatives saying of Obama after he was elected that, "We're not going to let him be president."

Witness efforts to corrupt the Electoral College by persuading members to violate their duty to vote as voters have directed them to do. Clearly they believe in democracy only when their side wins.

Then there are claims that the FBI corrupted the election by saying that the Democratic nominee was not guilty of any indictable offenses; a rather odd charge and hard to connect with discrediting a candidate. “Not guilty” is bad?

Then there was the recount fiasco. I say fiasco because it never gained any traction, was halted in two states by federal judges, and in the one state where it was completed the Republican gained 137 votes.

Weirdest of all, though is the charge that Russia interfered with the election; a charge that is backed only by unsubstantiated charges from unnamed “intelligence officials.” There is no proof offered because there is none to be had, but Obama is going to the length of vowing action against Russia for doing god knows what based on evidence that no one can produce.

Notice that not one single Democratic spokesman has denied the truthfulness of allegations made in the “hacked” (actually “leaked”) material, so they are not claiming that Russia interfered in our election by spreading lies, but rather that Russia interfered in our election by spreading the truth; truth that the Democrats did want to be known by the public.

Russia has not yet said how they feel about the United States punishing them for telling the truth about our politicians, an act which must be especially galling since there is no evidence offered that they actually did it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Media Continues to Fail

CBS Evening News runs daily segments on the horrors of Aleppo, where the “Russian-backed” Syrian regime (or Syrian dictatorship) is slaughtering civilians in the process of liberating that city from US-backed rebels.

Sorry, I misspoke. They don’t say “US-backed rebels,” in fact they don’t say “rebels” at all. They say, “after five years of bloody civil war.”

They don’t offer any proof, of course, because there isn’t any. They show civilians calmly walking out of Aleppo, although many are understandably weeping as they exit a war zone, and tell us that these are the few civilians that didn’t get slaughtered by the Syrian Army.

They do not provide any reports of the ongoing devastation in Yemen, where the attacking forces are Saudi and are backed by the United States, nor do they report from Mosul, a city being liberated from ISIS by Iraqi forces also backed by the United States.

Presumably no such reporting is required because no civilians are being killed in these major assaults, notwithstanding that the Saudis are bombing cities in Yemen, and Mosul is a Sunni city being liberated by a Shiite army. Nothing to see here, move along.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Trouble

There was a thing on Facebook where a father really needed to chastise his kids for getting into the paint cans and making a mess of themselves, but could not stop laughing long enough to do so. Took me back to my teenage years when I did that to my father more than once.

I developed a fascination with making depth charges. This consisted of a classic pipe bomb using homemade black powder, a large paint can mostly filled with sand, and some dynamite fuse which burns even when there is no air. Put the pipe bomb in the paint can, fill it with sand, light the fuse, hammer the lid on and drop it into some deep water. The results are awesome, but don’t try this at home. It’s illegal today, and probably was then.

My first test was in a new garbage can my father had just bought, filled with water. Not, it turns out, one of my better plans because I had no innocent way to explain the thirty-gallon colander that was lying in the alley when the local cop showed up. He didn’t do anything Well he did the worst thing possible. He said he would come back after my Dad got home. Shit.

The cop showed up and related his story, and I related about how I had seen this movie with the Navy dropping depth charges and wanted to replicate the effect, and Dad started getting all outraged and parental, but then he started laughing. Then the cop started laughing. They finally gave up any attempt at keeping a straight face; the cop left, Dad sent me to my room and told me the next day that I had to buy him a new garbage can.

He forgot to tell me not to build any more depth charges. Or maybe he told me and I forgot. It was a long time ago, and I may have had a habit of not always doing what I was told.

I built four depth charges, big ones, and took them down to the river. Standing in the middle of the bridge, I lit them one by one and dropped them in the river, then waited for the explosions. The first one went off just as the local cop, same cop, was driving over the bridge, and the geyser of water was a good ten feet higher than the bridge railing.

Thinking fast, I ran to the cop, freaking out and screaming that there had been an explosion and pointing at where the water had shot up and saying that he should do something because, “Oh my God.” He did not believe one single word; got out of his car, leaned his butt against the fender, folded his arms and gave me the stink eye.

I continued my Sergeant Shultz protest of “I know nothing” and kept insisting that he investigate until the second depth charge went off. I then did a little dance about, “Oh my God there’s another one. Do something, do something,” which he still wasn’t buying. He knew me too well; but still, I had been standing right beside him when it went off.

We walked to the bridge railing and were looking down at the water when the third one went off. It was quite spectacular, and we had to step back to keep from getting wet. By now he is actually beginning to believe me until he says something about that being all of them and without thinking I said, “No, there’s one more.” Shit.

The sumbitch actually hand cuffed me. He later admitted that he only did it because he was so pissed off at me for making him believe my “innocent” act, like he was the only one who ever fell for it. Everybody fell for it.

He didn’t take me to jail, though, he took me home where Mother sent me to my room and told me to stay there until my father got home. That was routine enough, but when Dad got home he didn’t come to my room or call me to the living room. Hmmm. Then the cop showed up, and after a few minutes he and Dad went out and sat in the cop’s car for quite a while. That was making me nervous.

Finally the cop left and Dad came back in and, after another considerable delay, called me in and announced my punishment. I don’t recall what it was, but it wasn’t anything very severe, and I found out much later that the delay had been to allow the laughter to subside. That did, however, bring an end to the depth bombing adventure.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Sort of Wierd

I've been keeping photos which I display on the blog on the server which hosted my website. So I decide to establish a "Google Photo" account for that purpose, and explore how to put pictures on the blog from that account. It turns out I have to select pictures not "From Google Album Archive," as one might expect, but "From your phone." My phone is about the only electronic thing I have that is not connected to Google. Odd.

I know I can simply upload from my computer to the blog, but then they are stored in some arcane place in hyperspace and I can't do anything else with them. It's beginning to look like the same applies to Google Photos, though, so I'm not sure where to go from here.

Friday, December 09, 2016

"It's a Scam!"

The left is finding out, to its dismay, that presidential politics is a scam. Naomi Prins writes yesterday at Tom Dispatch that, “Only a month has passed since November 8th, but it’s already clear (not that it wasn’t before) that Trump’s anti-establishment campaign rhetoric was the biggest scam of his career,” because he is naming members of the wealthy elite “to various key posts in his future administration.”

Why she is shocked about this escapes me, but members of the left are delicate flowers who are easily shocked when they want to be, and who can remain oblivious to identical earthquakes which happen on their own territory. Ms. Prins seemed unfazed when Barack Obama campaigned for tens of months on the fundamental theme of “changing Washington,” and then chose virtually all of Bill Clinton’s administration to serve as his own, including a Wall Street billionaire for Treasury.

I will give Ms. Prins credit for not claiming that Donald Trump’s anti-establishment scam was the “biggest of all time,” in that she had the good sense not to compare this scam to anyone else’s anti-establishment scam.

Sort of like Casablanca. "I am shocked to find that gambling is going on."

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Baker on Productivity

Dean Baker authored a piece Monday which centered around the economist’s perception of the effect of productivity on the standard of living which is enjoyed by the working class, namely that increased productivity leads to “improvements in living standards and more leisure.”

One needs to understand that increased productivity means that more work is achieved by fewer hours of labor, meaning less employment, so I can understand the “more leisure” part, but I don’t quite understand how they think that’s a good thing.

I also don't understand how they think it leads to a higher standard of living for the working class, given that it means fewer working hours and less pay. It does, of course, lead to better living standards for business owners, since more work performed for less wages paid means higher profits.

The claim is often made that “increased productivity leads to higher wages,” but the claim is nonsensical. An employer makes an investment in automation so that he can employ fewer workers to produce the same amount, and then he diminishes the effect of that investment by raising the wages of the remaining employees? I don’t think so, unless he is provided with an incentive to do so.

Organized labor provides such an incentive, requiring the employer to raise wages as a trade off for employees accepting the introduction of the automation. It should be noted, though, that is not increased productivity which led to the increase in wages, it is collective bargaining by organized labor which did so. In the absence of organization on the part of workers, increased productivity is a negative for the work force.

Baker concludes his piece by saying that “if Lee is right and higher wages are leading to more rapid productivity growth, this is great news.” Great news for macroeconomic figures, perhaps but, since the productivity increase is caused by fewer jobs, certainly not great news for working men and women.

Baker countered my comment along the above lines by saying that, “we had very rapid automation in the quarter century from 1947 to 1973. It was associated with low unemployment and rapid wage growth.” When I pointed out, “we were rebuilding a world shattered by war and we had no competition,” his response was that, “having richer more productive economies as customers and sources of goods should make us richer.”

Sigh. “Richer more productive economies” are not customers, they are competitors. We do not sell to them, we buy from them, which impoverishes us, and they sell to what used to be our customers. That's why we no longer have “low unemployment and rapid wage growth” as we did in Baker’s favorite quarter century.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Let's Change The Rules

So, okay, we played a football game Sunday. The other team kicked three field goals and my team lost by four points. So I say, "Wait a minute. If field goals only counted for one point, then my opponent would have scored six fewer points and my team would have won. It isn't fair. We should change the rules so that field goals only count one point."

We cannot, however, leave aside that if field goals only counted one point my opponent would not have kicked field goals, but would have gone for it on fourth down, made it two out of three times and scored two touchdowns, winning the game anyway.

You play the game under the rules that are in place, and the rules that were in place for this election were the electoral college. The candidates campaigned based on those rules and voters voted based on those rules. The popular vote cannot be considered dispositive when neither candidate campaigned in California, for instance, because the state was assured for the Democratic candidate, and when countless California Republicans did not bother to vote because they knew that their vote was utterly meaningless due to the electoral college process.

In an election that would be determined by the popular vote, both candidates would have campaigned in California, and far more California Republicans would have voted, and that's just one state. The Democrats need to accept their loss and move on.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Paul Krugman is Bitter

I said some time ago that Democrats are remarkably poor losers, and in his blog post Tuesday Paul Krugman provides a sterling example of my point.

He talking about the Carrier jobs that Trump prevented from being moved to Canada, and starts out by saying 75,000 workers lose their jobs every day and Trump only saved 800 jobs so we should not bother reporting on saving them because it's trivial, nothing more than a "rounding error" on the national jobs picture. I doubt those 800 people and their families feel the same way. Anyway, he then reveals that he's saying that the media should not report on saving those 800 jobs because it was Donald Trump that did it, not Hillary Clinton.

He goes on to say that not only was it trivial, it actually was not a good thing. It was really something called "crony capitalism," which is a bad thing. Well, it's a bad thing when a Republican does it. Receiving $250,000 for a ten-minute speech is also crony capitalism, but it's okay when a Democrat does it.

He is filled with dread that we are going to be having to read news stories about Donald Trump for the next four years because of "a descent into banana republic governance." Or maybe for the same reason that we read Barack Obama stories for eight years.

It's a really nasty piece, and richly illustrates precisely what's wrong with the Democratic Party.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

That Didn't Take Long

The Democrats just reelected Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader, proving after less than one month that they learned nothing whatever from an election in which they lost the White House and both houses of Congress. Stupidity and arrogance reign supreme.

Dilettantes

In the show Madam Secretary the other night a father is speaking with his son about the son’s political position. He asks about the outcomes and implications, questions for which the kid has no answers and then tells his son that, “Your political knowledge is a mile wide and in inch deep, and that makes you a dilettante. Until you study enough to know what you are talking about you need to keep silent.”

I thought of that phrase when watching on the news of the “march of a $15 minimum wage” last night. A bunch of dilettantes, blocking traffic for one midweek evening. Where is any real commitment?

If you don’t want to work for $9 per hour then don’t work for $9 per hour. Walk off of the job and stay off until they offer a better wage. Do you think they are impressed or intimidated by you blocking traffic on Tuesday evening and then on Wednesday you are right back there still working for $9 per hour? They’re not. While you were out there on the street freezing your ass off, they were at home ignoring you.

Oh, I get it, you weren’t targeting employers, you were targeting politicians because you want them to pass a law. You don’t want to exercise your own power and take care of yourself, you want someone else to do it for you while you take no risks and endure no hardship.

Well, as a former union member I’m certainly not impressed by that. I froze my ass off on a picket line for weeks at a time. I stood up to law officers with guns and riot clubs. I did not ask for someone else to do it for me, my brothers and I exercised our own power, and we earned what we got.

We were grownups. We knew that once we left the shelter of Mommy’s apron there was going to be no one there to keep us from falling down and skinning our knees. We knew that people were going to talk to us in ways that we didn’t like; that Mommy was the last “safe space” that we would ever know and that she wasn’t hovering over us any more.

We knew that if we wanted anything better than what we had, that we had to earn it with hard work, retries after disappointment, sweat, tears and sometimes blood, and we did what needed to be done. We didn’t go block traffic on one midweek evening and demand that someone else pass a law giving it to us.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Phootball Phun

Some fun football this weekend. Local sports writers are swooning over the "renewed playoff chances" of the Chargers, now at 5-6. With Tampa Bay, Oakland, Carolina and Kansas City yet to play a 10-6 record seems unlikely in the extreme, but hope springs eternal in the hearts of fools. Even a predicting a wild card spot is pretty silly, given that Denver is currently at 6-3 and unlikely to secure a wild card.

The Chargers won Sunday in no small part because Houston was so incredibly stupid as to pay $72 million for a quarterback who could not hit a bull in the ass with a bass fiddle. Osweiler playing for Houston is more evidence of John Elway's brilliance.

The Raiders are incredibly fun to watch. I'm not sure they are quite as good as their 9-2 record, but they are more fun than anyone. They have a lot of energy and a great deal of talent. Opponents are doubling up on Amari Cooper, which is letting Michael Crabtree have a lot of fun. They get Richardson tuned up running the ball, and... How do you solve that? I think they are the real deal.

The Chiefs/Broncos game was a lot of fun even though Al Michaels was replaced by Mike Tirico, who is an idiot. He used to be one of the babblers on ESPN, so what can you expect? Everyone who works for that abysmal network either is desperate to work somewhere else or is brain dead. Tirico is apparently both of the above, since he is now with NBC. He kept referring to this game as a "classic defensive struggle," even after 54 points had been scored.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cognitive Dissonance

Donald Trump was harshly castigated for suggesting that he might not accept the result of the election. Now it is Clinton supporters, and Clinton herself, who are demanding recounts and investigations into Russian tampering, and trying to persuade the electoral collegiate to vote contrary to its mandate.

Same old, same old; it's okay when I do it, but not okay when you do it.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Wishes

New thing to be thankful for this year, we have discovered putting eggnog in our morning coffee. Well, blush, I did and the wife signed on. I normally drink my coffee black, but this is a nice change of pace.

Wishing a peaceful holiday. Hope all are in good health and thriving.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

And The Losers Cry "Foul"

The losing side wants to spoil the party,
“No one goes. No athletes. No championship teams. No performers. No musicians. No celebrities. ALL invitations are rejected. No White House Correspondents Dinners. No Inauguration Balls. No State dinners. No singing Christmas carols with the Trump kids. Nothing. Full boycott. No exceptions. Donald Trump does not get to enjoy the perks of this job. Period."

Five-year-olds stamping their feet and declaiming, “If you won’t play my way I’m going to pick up my toys and go home.”

“For the rest of us: we don’t support anyone or any company that enabled Trump. Like those NBA teams, we boycott all Trump businesses. We turn off CNN. We don’t buy Ivanka’s bracelets.”

The NBA teams in question were boycotting apartheid. Liberals denounced the idea that all Muslims are bad because a few Muslims did bad things, but they embrace the idea that supporters of Trump are a monolithic block, all of whom supported him for his misogyny and because he wants to deport Muslims.

They do not accept that anyone might support him in spite of those rather than because of them, just as they supported Clinton despite her Wall Street speeches and her evasions of the email server issue. For the record, I supported neither candidate; for policy reasons, not because of the childish ad hominem attacks each was throwing at the other.

And, as losers tend to do, Liberals are crying “foul,”
“In a democratic government, all votes should be equal, thus the first step towards making an undemocratic government is to divide the people, so that the vast majority of them do not really have an effective vote. The majority of people in the United States are like this – so much so, that it is part of the primer on presidential elections.”

(Etcetera, most of it gibberish.) The losing side always claims the election was fraudulent and/or that the system doesn’t work. The Republicans made such claims in 2008 and 2012, and Democrats are making it now as they did in 2000. The loser walks away from the poker table accusing the winner of cheating. It was always thus.

Liberals, actually, are not tolerant of ideas that differ from their own, and we are learning this year that they are extraordinarily ungracious losers.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Small Things

Yesterday I was channel surfing and happened across the end of a high school girls volleyball game. The screen said “Championship point,” so I paused to see what would happen. It went back to a tie, went back and forth several times, and finally there was a winning team.

The winning team was all excited, of course; jumped into a pile and then hugged each other and high-fived. The camera moved to the losing team. Surprise. No tears, they were all smiling and congratulating each other on a game well played. They may not have won the championship, but they looked like winners to me.

Little thing. Means nothing, really. But things like that make me feel good.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Phantasy Phootball

I am now better than the Chargers! I realize that's a low bar, but I'll take what I can get. After a three game winning streak, I'm back to .500 and am in a four-way tie for seventh place in a twelve-team league.

It doesn't take much to excite me these days.

Monday, November 14, 2016

They're Called Elections

As these protests continue, as calls are made for the electoral college to refuse their mandate and elect Clinton, I just don’t get it. These people are not claiming that the election was fraudulent. They are not claiming any kind of 2000 deal, where the court prevented votes from being counted. They simply want the election overturned because they lost. What do they think an election is?

Sure, they didn’t want Trump to win. Neither did I, and I didn’t vote for him. A lot of these protestors, apparently, were sitting in their “safe spaces,” reading the polls and planning the coronation, but this was an election, not a coronation.

Maybe, instead of simply calling their opponents “stupid, evil” and “ignorant,” they should have emerged from their little “safe spaces” and tried to use reason to bring their opponents over to their point of view. How many people will you persuade to vote with you by calling them “deplorable?” Calling names feels good, but it doesn’t grow your ranks.

No one ever told me why I should vote for Hillary Clinton, other than that she was less evil than Trump, or that I would make history by “breaking the glass ceiling.” Mostly I was simply called vile names for saying that I did not intend to do so.

They brought this on themselves by their insularity, and their unwillingness to engage in meaningful discussion, and now they are just flailing to avoid blaming themselves for it.