Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Subron 8: Flaming The Brass

Another in the ongoing "Subron 8 Sea Stories" series.

I’m standing in the lobby of the base exchange at Submarine Base New London with my friend Tom, just hanging out and trying to decide what to do next before heading back to the ship. I’m admiring the new cigarette lighter I just bought, which has the insignia of Subron 8 on it, a pair of dolphins peering out from behind both sides of an eight ball.

An officer, seeing that I’m smoking a cigarette and holding a lighter, walks up to me and asks for a light. The fact that he’s a full commander doesn’t bother me much, I’ve been around for a while, but the fact that I have a brand new lighter which has a lot in common with a napalm-fueled flame thrower does.

So I hold it down at my waist to strike it, intending to let it calm down before I bring it up to light the commander’s smoke. Unfortunately, he’s the impatient type and bends down just as I strike the flint. My lighter does its imitation of the thing that Marines used to use for burning the Japanese out of bunkers, and the commander leaps back, dropping his hat and nearly falling on his ass.

Tom does a good imitation of someone who just happened to be passing by, may not even be in the Navy, and certainly is not acquainted with this dangerous pyromaniac Electrician’s Mate. The commander gets his shit together while I’m trying to decide whether running for my life is a good idea or not. I decide it’s probably not and ask the commander if he’s okay.

He doesn’t actually answer, just gives me a dirty look which momentarily makes me reconsider the running for my life thing, and then says, “You need to trim the wick on that damn thing, sailor,” and walks off. I don’t know if his cigarette is lit or not, but I’m not going to run him down and ask.

Tom decides he does know me after all, but can’t talk to me because he’s laughing too hard to speak. For months afterward he’s asking me about the length of my wick. No, moron, that's my "wick" he's asking about.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Serving With Heroes

I was getting a routine checkup at my neurologist yesterday. He’s been seeing me two or three times a year, sometimes quite a bit more often, for a bit over twenty years, so we usually chat a bit during such visits. He was telling me, apropos of Veterans’ Day, that he had an uncle who had served in the Marines and had participated in the invasion of Saipan and Tinian.

I expressed my admiration of the Marine Corps, and went on to tell him of the Marines coming on board my submarine for training. Of course that led to me describing some of the pranks we pulled on those Marines, which he enjoyed.

That in turn led to me mentioning that some of the men in my crew had served in submarines during World War II, and had experienced depth charging by the Japanese Navy. He was sort of flabbergasted at the thought. I was, of course, a young kid at the time, and we revered these “old salts” greatly.

Thinking back on it, it is quite remarkable. Serving with those men was a great privilege, and is a memory that I treasure immensely.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday AM Football Notes

The Chargers play the Raiders today and are 10-point favorites. Probably should be about 24 points, but I hope they watched the Aztecs last night, who were 27-point favorites playing UNLV, and lost. I think it's called a "trap game."

"Hey, dude, that thing is a football and the goal line is over there. Go."

Alabama's Josh Jacobs, #8, is a beast. When he runs the ball, yardage is not his purpose. He is looking for somebody to hit. He is disappointed when he scores a touchdown, because it means he didn't get to hit anybody. He would have no fun as a linebacker, because at that position you can't hit anyone unless he is carrying the ball. As a running back with the ball, anyone in a jersey of the other color is fair game.

New rule. If you are behind an Alabama player and he dives to the ground falls down without you touching him, you get penalized for an "illegal block in the back." Waving your arms at the ref and claiming that you didn't touch him is useless. Refs never make mistakes. Similarly, if the entire Alabama offense starts moving with the exception of the center, who is holding the ball motionless on the ground, it is not a false start.

I'm looking into how to start a Go Fund Me account to get seeing eye dogs for football referees.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Proactive? Pre-Protest

Sizeable protest in downtown San Diego last night over acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. They were demanding that he "recuse himself" regarding supervision of the investigation into Trump's "collusion with Russia" during the 2016 election, and because they fear he will fire Robert Mueller.

So liberals are now reacting to and protesting not what the administration is doing, but what they are jumping to the conclusion that it might do. I believe they think they are being "proactive," but I believe they are merely being half-cocked. Not to mention half-witted. They are ditching the first two firing line commands of, "ready, aim," and are going directly to "fire."

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

"Scientific" Studies

And we wonder why science is taken unseriously by so many people today, such as climate change deniers. I am not one of those, but I tend to become sympathetic with them when I see “studies” such as the one published yesterday in WebMD saying that, “Energy Drink Might Harm Blood Vessels.”

First of all, if you read the article, the “study” did not suggest that the drink harms blood vessels, it says that they might cause them to become smaller in diameter for an unspecified period of time. The report does not say if they tested to see how long it took for them to return to normal size, but changing diameter is a normal function of blood vessels and under most conditions is in no way harmful. It can, in fact, be life saving.

Further, it says that, “The study included 44 healthy, non-smoking medical students in their 20s.” No, I didn’t leave off any zeros in the number of people involved in the study.

What was the effect of energy drinks on a sedentary male in his 50s? Well, the study did not address that question, the study was only interested in the drink’s effect on 44 college students, out of a population of 320 million people in this nation. Why is that “study” worth publication?

So when a client change denier reads this “scientific study” and then reads another “scientific study” saying that the oceans will rise thirty feet by the year 2040, I’m not sure that I blame him for disbelieving it.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

What's In A Name?

The name of our nation is “The United States of America,” and yet we repeatedly hear federal legislators say that, "My responsibility is to act in the best interest of the people of my state." They are wrong when they say that, and that is a very big part of the problem this nation faces.

Their real responsibility of a federal legislator elected by the people of a state is to represent the principles which are held by a majority of the people of that state in serving the best interest of the nation as a whole.

When legislators focus is on representing only the best interest of the people of the state they serve then we become the "Divided States of America."

We have, in fact become 485 constituencies (435 districts in the House and 50 states), all fighting for the biggest piece of the pie and willing to sabotage not only each of the other 484 constituencies, but willing to sabotage the nation as a whole in order to fatten the purse of one small piece.

The legislators are not supposed to be "bringing home the bacon" to enrich their constituency, they are supposed to be governing the nation by casting votes in the legislature which are in accordance with principles that are held by their constituencies and which best serve the well being of the nation as a whole.

Throw In The Towel

Alabama 29, LSU 0, and the game was not that close. The Tigers offense was in Tide territory only once, and that was due to an Alabama facemask penalty. The announcers kept yammering about "keep the game close until Devin White returns" (at halftime, from prior game targeting suspension), but his name was not mentioned once in the second half.

This was a coaching failure. The offense kept doing what was not working, running up the middle into a solid wall, and attempting deep pass routes which got the quarterback sacked. Orgeron added stupidity of getting his quarterback sacked on his own goal line with 3 minutes remaining in the first half, and of attempting a field goal (which missed) when down 22 points with eight minutes left in the game. Even if successful, that three points would have contributed nothing toward winning the game.

Maybe the brain trust down in Baton Rouge should not have been quite so quick to dump Les Miles.

Friday, November 02, 2018

If You Have To Say It...

Headline today, "Oakland Raider Players Say They Have Not Quit."   Well, having just been beaten 34-3 by a team with a record of 1-7, maybe it would be better if they had quit. What does it say about their skill level if that performance last night was their best effort?

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Impending Doom No Longer Impending

The oceans are warming much faster than we once thought, have now reached very close to the boiling point, so now we must stop emitting greenhouse gasses altogether within a matter of weeks or we will all die next month.

Well, perhaps not, but the hyperbole is pretty close to that. The operative clause in this piece of news, however, is that, "Researchers using a new method to calculate the amount of heat absorbed by the world's oceans..."

New scientific method. If current research is not sufficiently dramatic, change the research method.

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Medical Model of Auto Repair

Your car is running rough so you take it to the repair shop. They won't tell you in advance what it will cost to fix it but you really need the car, so you tell them to go ahead. You come back when it's done and they charge you $11,834.75, which is disconcerting because that's more than you paid for the car.

They look you up on their customer list and tell you that you are a "preferred customer" and are entitled to a discount, and that you only need to pay $632.84, which you fork over happily because it sounds like a bargain even though you see on the receipt that it only took two hours and the parts consisted of two popsicle sticks and a packet of bubble gum.

Then two weeks later you get an additional bill for $385.62 from the "diagnostician" who examined the car to be able to tell the mechanic what needed fixing. Your lawyer friend tells you it is a legitimate bill, so you pay it.

Three weeks after that, you get a bill for "space utilization" from the building in which the repair was done. Turns out the mechanic does not own his own space. Apparently he doesn't pay rent either.

Then you get a bill from the mechanic for $487.54 because the repair was not on the list of "Level 1 Discounts" to "preferred customers." They are sincerely sorry for the misunderstanding.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Modern Monetary Theory Bites Us In The Ass Again

Dean Baker is back, espousing Modern Monetary Theory to claim is his column Wednesday that the current slump in sales of new houses is due to the Trump tax cuts. Yes, those are the same tax cuts that MMT proponents feared would “overheat the economy” but are now, according to Dean Baker, cooling the economy by causing home sales to decline.

MMT, which I call the “Free Lunch Economic Theory,” is the theory which says that “sovereign governments that are the sole supplier of national currency,” meaning that they alone print their nation’s money, therefor “have an unlimited financial ability to pay for the things they wish to purchase and to fulfill promised future payments.” Because, to be perfectly clear, according to the theory they can print as much money as they want to.

Because of that the theory claims that, “it is not possible for a government that issues its own currency to be bankrupt,” and says that collecting taxes is “a policy tool that regulates inflation and unemployment, and is not a means of funding the government's activities.”

Just to be sure you understand all of that; the government collects taxes to prevent consumers from spending too much, which would cause inflation. It does not collect taxes to raise money to operate programs benefiting the poor, for example, because it merely prints money to run those programs. It only collects taxes in order to prevent inflation and “regulate unemployment,” whatever that means.

So how did the “Trump tax cut” cause the decline in new home sales? Well, the tax cut caused runaway inflation, which we didn’t see but Dean Baker and the Federal Reserve did, when it soared to dizzying heights and got all the way up to 1.87% last year.

Never mind that the price of gasoline went up 74%, it’s all in how you measure things. Dean Baker and the Fed only measure the prices of things that people don’t buy. Food, energy and housing are not included, thus 1.87% inflation.

So, since Trump would not raise the taxes back up... (Wait, you get that? Trump didn’t actually cut taxes, and he can’t raise them. Only Congress can do that.)

Anyway, in order to reduce this runaway inflation, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, which it turns out is another way to control inflation. Actually, MMT is not the only economic theory which claims that interest rates can be used to control inflation; pretty much all of them do that. None of them say why it works; at least not in English. (The words are English, or at least most are, but…)

Some people would say that it was the interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve which caused the slump in new home sales, but Dean Baker would rather blame Donald Trump. He would blame Trump for the Russian Soyuz rocket failure if he thought anyone would believe him.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Burden of Proof

Democrats continue to set new lows in standards for burden of proof. The current example is an article in headlined, “The President Is in Violation of His Oath of Office,” by someone named Charles P. Pierce. I can’t find much about him other than that he “has been a working journalist since 1976” and has a background as a sports writer.

The odd thing is not that some sports writer turned blogger would write it, but that so many Democratic enthusiasts would link to and comment with so much enthusiasm in agreement with it. Typically comments are to the effect that this provides grounds for impeachment.

The subhead of the piece reads, “It appears Donald Trump is assisting a foreign government in a conspiracy to obstruct justice in the political murder of a resident of the United States,” but he becomes much more assertive than saying that something “appears” to be so in the article.

First he goes into a somewhat incoherent rant about Mike Pompeo and the Saudi regime, and then provides a completely incoherent ramble about the founding fathers and the “Emoluments Clause of the Constitution,” with a reference to a Twitter thread which is about as comprehensible as Twitter threads usually are. (Namely, not at all.)

Finally he reaches the destination of his torturous journey, and tears into Donald Trump. “There is absolutely no question,” he tells us, ”that the president is acting against the Constitution and in violation of his oath of office in continuing to conduct private business the way he and his family are conducting it.”

The constitution says that the president may not be paid money or given gifts by foreign governments, but it does not say that he cannot “conduct business,” and it certainly does not say that his family cannot do so.

He goes on to rant that that, “there is also absolutely no question that this hedging about the murderous Saudi royalty…” The part about “this hedging” is more than a bit odd, since this if the first mention of any hedging, and there is no description of what it consists of. But all of the previous verbal wandering should have led us not to expect much in the way of clarity from this guy.

He goes on to say that the “private business,” which he doesn’t describe, and the “hedging,” which he also doesn’t explain, are “for reasons that very likely have as much or more to do with his business interests as they do with oil or some vague threat from Iran.” And so we meet the burden of proof to state that “there is absolutely no question” because of actions that are “very likely” to be based on… Only a Democrat.

He then goes full spectrum space cadet and claims that this “private business” and “hedging” are “precisely what the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution was designed to prevent.” Um, sorry. Read that clause. It says nothing about the president doing private business, and it certainly makes no reference to “hedging,” whatever the hell that is.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Titles That Make You Say, "Hmmm"

Today's food section has a recipe for "Turkey and Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna." Not having a pumpkin skillet, I don't think I can make that one.

Actually, regardless of the kind of skillet, Lasagna made with turkey (actually "turkey meatballs, sliced") and canned pumpkin? Really? I don't care if it is October, on what planet is that actually eaten?

Fuzzy Thinking

Hillary Clinton tosses off her husband’s White House sexual peccadillos with, “She was an adult.”   Hmmm, so were almost all of the “#MeToo” accusers. I guess the victim being an adult is a defense only when the accused’s wife is Hillary Clinton. Why, incidentally, is Hillary Clinton still in the news?

The big news, though, is that Elizabeth Warren brought out a DNA result, not from a laboratory, but from a research statistician, which shows a trace of Native American “heritage” anywhere from six to ten generations back.

The test does not differentiate between North American and South American DNA, so Ms. Warren may be 1/256th Columbian. Democrats are ecstatic, clamoring for her to run in 2020 so that we can have a female Native American in the White House.

They seem to be okay that it might be a female Native South American.

Based on this DNA test result, her claim that her father’s parents did not allow her father to marry her mother “because she was a Cherokee” (perhaps actually 1/128th Native South American), and that her parents were therefor forced to elope must be true.

In other news, the “establishment” is outraged that Saudi Arabia has executed a Saudi Arabia citizen who was residing in America. Earlier they didn’t care, and actually applauded, when President Obama executed an American citizen who was residing in the Middle East, and then iced that cake by executing the man’s son shortly afterward.

They also don’t care that Saudi Arabia, using American-supplied weapons and with the assistance of American military intelligence (to employ an oxymoron), is engaged in the wholesale slaughter of the the people of Yemen.

Saudi Arabia must, however, be punished for killing one of its citizens. Sort of odd from a nation which has not outlawed the death penalty despite its constitution forbidding “cruel or unusual punishment.”

One must conclude that the American government, and people, believe that death is neither cruel nor unusual, which sort of diminishes the credibility of any outrage over the death of one person at the hands of Saudi Arabia.

Hypocrisy, thy name is USA.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Fine Lines

My wife came into the room just as I was chuckling over something I had read in my book. She wanted to know what I had enjoyed so much. So I read to her the line I had enjoyed.

"Girl," one character had said to another, "you know better than to eat grits before they've had a chance to cool down."

She failed to see the humor. That's because she doesn't eat grits. Only someone who has had a mouthful of hot grits can truly enjoy that line.

Baker's Partisan Economics

Dean Baker loses his mind again in trying to prove that Democratic economics are better than Republican economics. He writes today that Wisconsin’s economy, led by a Republican governor, is “unimpressive” compared to neighboring Minnesota, which is led by a Democrat. I find the difference between the two states “unimpressive,” but judge for yourself.

He tells us that Wisconsin’s Republican unemployment is 3.0 percent, while Minnesota’s Democratic unemployment is a mere 2.9 percent. I am much less impressed by one tenth of one percent than he is.

He then tells us that Republican Wisconsin’s 5.0 percent wage increase in the past year doesn’t matter because “these numbers are extremely erratic.” He doesn’t tell us what wage increase was experienced in Democratic Minnesota last year because he doesn’t pay attention to erratic numbers.

I would suggest that month-to-month numbers are indeed very erratic. Numbers for an entire year? It may be very convenient to think so.

He does tells us that over the past eight years Wisconsin’s Republican wages rose 24.7 percent, while Minnesota’s Democratic wages rose a stratospheric 24.9 percent. Again, I am much less impressed by, in this case, two tenths of one percent than he is. It amounts to a difference of eight tenths of one percent which, in my book, is nothing more than a rounding error.

All of this, in my view, matching economic performance was accomplished while Democratic Minnesota raised taxes and Republican Wisconsin reduced taxes, which he cheerfully states is a point in Democratic Minnesota’s favor.

Because raising taxes is a good thing, even when the economy performs the same as one which reduced taxes. Let’s hear it for Democratic economics.

And, by the way, it doesn't seem to occur to Mr. Baker to consider the effect on the two tenths of a percent difference of wage increase between the states made by tax increase in one state and tax decrease in the other. Republican Wisconsin wages went up slightly less, but their taxes went down. Democratic Minnesota saw a slightly higher wage increase, but their taxes went up. Who came out ahead?

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Out of the mouths of...

Sometimes I listen to or read the words of today’s liberal mind, and I wonder if that person is capable of even thinking about what he/she is saying. Or of thinking at all for that matter.

Justice Elena Kagan, one of Obama’s liberal appointees to the Supreme Court was speaking at Princeton University the other day (of course, where else would she speak?) regarding the appointment of now Justice Kavanaugh and the loss of a “swing vote” with Justice Anthony Kennedy's departure from the bench.

"In the last, really 30 years,” she said, “starting with Justice O'Connor and continuing with Justice Kennedy, there has been a person who found the center or people couldn't predict in that sort of way.” Notably, she did not include herself as being a Justice who was “of the center” or whose vote was ever non-partisan, so the role playing she did in her nomination process has been dropped altogether.

Nor did she offer herself as a possibility of becoming such a justice, which is ceratinly a telling point. "I am partisan and will remain so."

She went on to say that, “That enabled the court to look as though it was not owned by one side or another and was indeed impartial and neutral and fair." The emphasis was mine, and yes, she actually said that.

She is not concerned that the Supreme Court actually be “impartial and neutral and fair,” which would require all nine justices to be “impartial and neutral and fair,” she is only concerned that it look that way. That goal can be accomplished, in her mind, by having eight of the nine justices be partisan as all hell, four on each side, and one justice be “impartial and neutral and fair.”

It doesn’t occur to her, apparently, that the same thing could be accomplished by having just one justice on the Supreme Court, so long as he/she could be relied upon to be “impartial and neutral and fair.” Obviously, a Supreme Court with a single justice would be a ridiculous concept.

She doesn’t seem to believe that her plan of having four highly partisan liberal justices, four highly partisan conservative justices, and one “swing” justice who is “impartial and neutral and fair” is simply a non transparent form of having a Supreme Court consisting of a single justice.

Of course, she was appointed by a president who repeatedly said that we were in Afghanistan in order to “deny them space in which to plan their attacks.” All of which tends to confirm my growing belief that liberals are feeble minded.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

It's All in the Point of View

Alabama defeated Arkansas 65-31 yesterday, and coach Nick Saban is not a happy man. Winning by 34 points is no big deal to him; it merely what he expects of his team and actually counts as underperformance. Scoring 65 points is nothing more than meeting expectations. He is enormously pissed off that his defense gave up 31 points. Nick Saban football teams do not do that sort of thing.

Meanwhile, LSU lost, but at least it was to Florida, which is ranked 22, or was at the time. Auburn did them one better (worse), losing to Mississippi State, which was an unranked team. Utah, also unranked, handed Stanford its second consecutive loss, which comes close to being incomprehensible. Well, Bryce Love didn't play, but...

Texas defeated Oklahoma, and Northwestern won over Michigan State, two upsets which I had predicted as distinct possibilities, and the Aztecs won on the "smurf turf." All in all, an entertaining college football weekend.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Celebrating Hollow Victories

Democrats are dancing in the street over Bernie Sanders having forced Amazon to raise its minimum wage to $15/hour and, as is their wont, are celebrating without checking to see if their “victory” actually merits celebration. As is often the case, this one most certainly does not.

For one thing, while Amazon raised its minimum wage, it did not raise any other wages so while it used to be that a worker started at $10/hr and worked his way up to $16/hr, today’s workers will start at $15/hr and work their way up to, wait for it, $16/hr. That, folks, is not something that makes me feel like dancing in the street, and it gets worse.

At the same time that they raised the minimum wage, Amazon cancelled their “variable compensation pay” program, an incentive program that added between 8% and 16% to workers monthly pay. They also eliminated a stock contribution program, so the pay of workers making other than minimum wage has been reduced significantly.

Democrats do not care about this, because they are the party of symbolism rather than actual issues. They are once again celebrating a victory that in on the nature of “we had to destroy the village in order to save it.” It matters not that they accomplished something that is actually to the detriment of the workers involved, so long as they can point to an “increase in minimum wages” accomplished by demagoguery.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Only In California

Governor Moonbeam signed into law a bill requiring that corporations must have on their boards of directors at least one female by 2019, and at least two by 2021. This is irrespective of how many total directors are on the board.

Are they required to have any males on their board? Of course not. That would amount to discrimination against women, and we don't allow that in California. Somehow, however, in a manner that can be understood only by the female mind, requiring females is not discrimination against men.

Monday, October 01, 2018

It's All In The Name

Macedonia voted yesterday not to change its mane to “The Republic of North Macedonia,” which means it will not be allowed to join NATO. This is a devastating blow to both Macedonia and NATO.

Okay, I am through making silly statements for today. Well, perhaps not. We shall see. But that will fill my quota for hilariously absurd statements for today.

For those of you who don’t know, Greece is banning Macedonia from NATO because they have a province of the same name, and claim that the nation of Macedonia using the name constitutes a “claim on our territory.” Sort of like us claiming that since we have a state named Georgia, the nation of the same name near Russia should change its name to “The Republic of North Georgia” in order to avoid claims… Well, you get my point.

Actually, people in Columbus GA think that Atlanta is in a different state called “North Georgia,” and regard people who live in that city as quasi-Yankees. Some even further south in the state, say in Albany GA, would regard referring to Atlanta country as “North Georgia” as being overly polite.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand. Greece is unwilling to have a nation as a member of NATO which has the same name as one of their provinces, which is remarkably silly. That would be like us saying that the nation of Georgia cannot join NATO because we have a state named Georgia.

And yet here we are actively trying to get Georgia, the nation near Russia, not the state in the American South, to be allowed to join NATO, risking war with Russia to that end in fact, and we are perfectly willing for it to retain its present name.

This is the first time in more than two centuries than any nation has exceeded the United States in hubris.

We have invaded and militarily occupied other nations too many times to count. We have bombed other nations, subjected other nations to regime change and subverted the elections of other nations. We have sanctioned and blockaded other nations countless times. But we have never demanded that another nation change its name in order to join our club.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Click Bait Award

I don't know who the hell "Sputnik News" is. I seriously doubt they are a Russian news agency as someone undoubtedly wants us to believe. Anyway, they have a headline, which Google News reader has seen fit to pass on, reading "'Death Comet' Capable of Destroying Small State to Come Close To Earth."

The article does admit that no one knows for sure that it is actually a comet, only that its path indicates it may come from the area inhabited by comets, and that "close" means 2.5 million miles, which is not even hand grenade distance. Part of its breathless prose has to do with the amazing fact that this "near pass" will occur at Halloween and the thing is shaped like a skull, which obviously has deep and portentious meaning.

Yes, I clicked on the headline, but not to find out when I am going to die.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

San Diego Football

The new league, the American Alliance of Football begins play next February, right after the NFL SuperBowl, and the local organization just announced the name and colors for the San Diego team. My opinion is that they are off to a pretty good start.

Monday, September 24, 2018

As I Predicted

As I predicted, as soon as it began to appear that the "sexual misconduct" accusation by Ms. Blaysey-Ford would not be sufficient to derail the Kavanaugh nomination there would be additional accusers coming forward.

Well, it is indeed beginning to appear that Ms. Blaysey-Ford is nowhere near the pit bull that the job requires and, even worse, Gloria Allred has not signed on so, sure enough, here comes a woman who claims that he "exposed himself" to her while he was a student at Yale. There were, of course, no witnesses to the event. Additionally, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels claims to have evidence that Kavanaugh was part of a date rape drugging ring on a massive scale while at Yale. We all knew this was coming.

Friday, September 21, 2018

New Rule?

Apparently the NFL has a new rule that allows a team to remove seven points from their opponent's score? Perhaps not. The local sportscaster informed us tonight that the Cleveland Browns were trailing the New York Jets yesterday at halftime 14-0, but that after Baker Mayfield came in they went on to win the game 21-7. Nice trick. Magic?

Actually, they were trailing 14-0, but not at halftime. Mayfield came into the game late in the first half and promptly led them to a field goal, leaving the Browns trailing 14-3 at halftime. And, no, they did not remove seven points from the Jets' score; they went on to win the game by a score of 21-17. Somebody might need some practice reading the teleprompter.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Mouse Killer

My optical mouse rather suddenly lost its vertical scrolling ability. Computer virus? Nope. I plucked enough cat hair out of it to indicate that my damned cat should be bald. Must be a “critical mass” thing, because it worked fine up until it rather suddenly went, “pfffht.”  Enough remained inside the mouse, unfortunately, that vertical scrolling remained erratic and annoying as hell.

Cats apparently grow fur as fast as they shed it, because Molly is far from being bald. A new mouse solved the problem, so she can begin killing this one now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Protecting Chicago In California

Because of "rising gun violence nationwide," the Del Mar Fairgrounds decided to ban all gun shows after the end of this year. They obviously had a mountain of evidence that thugs from Chicago are coming to California to buy weapons and returning home to commit murder with them. Clearly, that is the only reason that anyone would buy a firearm in southern California.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Timing Is Everything

The claim by Serena Williams that tennis is rife with sexism would be a bit more credible if it did not come on the heels of her loss in a major championship match. It would also be more credible if the tiff with the referee somehow caused a man to win the trophy. The tirade which led to her claim being just the most recent in a long series of similar ones might also mitigate against her.

Notice, too, that the original initial claims of "sexual misconduct" against Lester Moonves were not sufficient to drive him out of his job as the head of CBS, especially since he claimed he was not guilty. Now more claims have been leveled, resulting in a headline that, "Les Moonves is out at CBS after harassment allegations."

Allegations. Not even criminal allegations, "harassment allegations." Once again, claims of innocence merely result in piling on and conviction without trial.

Sunday, September 09, 2018


We should have had a lot of really high scoring games because none of the defensive players are able to tackle. We did not because none of the receivers are able to catch the ball and none of the running backs are able to hold on to it. What a farce. Sixty minute contests of ineptitude. And to think, these buffoons are paid up to $150 million per year.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Oh Shit, Oh Dear Me

My Humana drug plan (pharmaceuticals, actually; I don’t do drugs) sends me regular notices on where I am with respect to the “donut hole,” at which point something happens with respect to my payment for medications. Don’t ask me what, because my IQ is obviously too low to comprehend Medicare Part D.

The implication in the media is that while in the “donut hole” one has to pay the entire cost of medication, but that is not so according to Humana. For what follows, be aware that one hits the hole based on the total cost of medications for the year-to-date, not based on what one has paid. That’s why, presumably, Humana keeps me informed of what they paid as well as what I've paid.

So Humana tells me that they have paid $x and I have paid $y, and that those two numbers combined mean that I will hit the donut hole in about a month from now. Then, they tell me, I will have to pay “about 58% of the cost” of medications until I exit the donut hole, which obviously will not happen given that it took me until October to enter the furshluginner hole.

So I do a little basic calculating with $x and $y, and I find that paying 58% of the cost of medications may not be the disaster that one might think, since I have been paying 54% of the total cost all year before I hit the donut hole. I’m not sure what to think about that.

Thursday, September 06, 2018


I need to take up watching soccer. Well, maybe not. Perhaps women's roller derby or professional frisbee golf. The NFL Players Association has destroyed the NFL. No contact in practice sessions, and the first string does not play during preseason, so at game time there are 22 idiots on the field who have no clue what to do or how to do it. Add new rules which require a defensive lineman to tackle a quarterback without landing on top of him. What little scoring occurs does so only because the defense went to sleep. Forty penalties in sixty minutes of play.

I had two players in last night's game on my Fantasy Football team, one from each team, and my projected score went down in the course of the game. LSU or Alabama could have trounced either one of the "professional" teams on Lincoln Financial Field last night.

Monday, September 03, 2018

College Football Weekend

Silly question of the week award goes to Holly Rowe of ESPN at halftime of the Miami/LSU game, asking the Miami coach, "You're 0-6 on third down, coach, what do you want to change about that?" Duh, think about that for a moment, Holly, and then answer it yourself.

Perennial question of the week is why do we have "aerial coverage provided by Goodyear" (blimp) for football games which are held in fully enclosed domed stadiums? (Stadia?)

Performance of the week goes to my Tigers of LSU, who convincingly defeated 8th ranked Miami, controlling every aspect of the game from start to finish. Preseason expectations were minimal for their running game, anticipating it to be "by committee," but a headliner may have emerged in the person of a replacement Cajun for Leonard Fournette, this one named Nick Brosette, with 22 carries for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns. This against a justifiably highly ranked Miami defense.

All 7 teams in the SEC West won this weekend, and 6 of 7 in the SEC East did as well, but only Auburn and LSU played quality opponents, and Auburn won ugly. The rest beat tomato cans, so it's too early to start crowing, but...

San Diego State, my other team, was just embarrassing. As much as I like Rocky Long, this was a massive coaching error. Bryce Love gashed SD State for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns last year, but SD State still won the game. This year Rocky played defense to stop Love, and did so, holding him to 29 yards for the game. In the process, though, he gave up 332 yards and 4 touchdowns to Stanford's passing game and not only lost the game, but did so in a blowout manner. The problem was clearly visible early in the third quarter, and Rocky got bullheaded and stayed with a losing game plan.

Oh, yes, slightly off topic but this weekend. NASCAR continues its "first one out of the pits on the last pit stop wins" performance at Darlington. Kyle Larson led 284 of the 367 laps, but Brad Keselowski beat him out of the pits after the final caution, led the final 24 laps, and won the race. It was the only time he led. Sigh.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

No on Free Speech

The California Democratic Party Chairman called for a boycott of In-n-Out Burger because they donated $25,000 to the Republican Party, which makes it official that the Democratic Party does not believe in free speech, at least not unless you agree with them. "We don't need no steenkin democracy."

Mr. Bauman failed to notice the part of In-n-Out's press release which said that they also donated $50,000 to a Democratic PAC known as "Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy" in 2018, twice the Republican donation, and $30,00 to the same PAC in each of the years 2017 and 2016. So maybe Republicans should be the ones boycotting the chain?