Thursday, October 17, 2019

What Kind of Star?

In reporting her endorsement of Bernie Sanders, NBC News anchor Lester Holt referred to Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez as a "Democratic rising star." Abandon hope all ye who are members of the Democratic Party.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Voodoo Economics Again

Dean Baker is back at it again with his insane theories about the reason and need for taxes. He tells us again yesterday that, “the federal government doesn’t need revenue to spend, it prints money.”

You don’t need income when you can print money. The deficit and federal debt are meaningless, which would lead a person with an IQ higher than room temperature to wonder why we keep track of that debt, and why Congress imposes spending limits.

Adding to the spending limit mystery, of course, is that every time we reach that limit Congress raises it, which would lead a thinking person to wonder why it exists. Not to worry, though, as there aren’t any thinking persons in this nation.

So why do we have taxes? We have them, according to Dean Baker, “to reduce consumption, so as to create the economic space for spending.”

Okay, think about that for a moment. No one does, because thinking is extinct in this nation. Taxes exist purely to prevent you from spending your own money on what you want to buy, which is what “consumption” is, so as to “create economic space for spending.”

Spending by whom? They are taking money from us to prevent us from spending it in order to “create space for spending.” How is that anything more than mere gibberish?

And, if Baker’s argument is valid, why are all of the Democratic candidates talking about the new forms of taxes they are going to create, given that today’s problem is an inability to keep inflation up to the target of 2% as desired by the Federal Reserve, and that the purpose of taxes is to hold down inflation?

Monday, September 30, 2019

Hyperbole Returns to San Diego

The San Diego Union Tribune sports writers are so ecstatic over the Chargers (who, it should be pointed out, are no longer even a San Diego team) winning a football game Sunday, that one of them writes that quarterback Philip Rivers, "has a decent shot of reaching the Super Bowl tournament."

First let's be clear that the Super Bowl is a football game, not a tournament.

Next, let's come back down to Earth and point out that the Chargers have played only four games of a sixteen game season and have won only two of those games while the Chiefs have won all four of the games they have played, making the Chargers tied for second in their division. Not to mention that they have yet to play the Chiefs and the Raiders each twice, leaving the playoffs rather much questionable.

Not to mention that the game they just won, and which made the local sports writers so ecstatic, was against Miami, which now has a record of 0-4 and cannot really be called a bad football team because it is pretty much not really a football team at all.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Endlessly Feckless

The party that brought us Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy has deteriorated to a band of harpies and dodderers whose sole motivation is the acquisition and preservation of power, and whose methods consist of a frantic contest to see who can offer the most lavish free lunch using other people’s, and mostly fictional, money.

Their current Plan A has been “RussiaGate,” a ship which they continued to steer long after it ran aground on the rocks of reality, fecklessly cranking on the helm and wondering why it was going in the wrong direction without realizing that it was hard aground and going nowhere.

They then moved to Plan B, which was called “Project 1619,” and was a plan that revised history to show that this nation was not founded in 1776 based on the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence, but was founded when the first shipload of African slaves landed on this continent in 1619, and that the new nation was intended as a market for African slaves. The purpose of Project 1619 was to demonstrate that the current president is a racist, but no logical explanation of how it does that has ever been offered.

The plan never ran aground for the simple reason that it never really left port. The public realized that, while this tomfoolery was great for destroying the “Make America Great” campaign, they didn’t really want a “Make America Awful” campaign to replace it, and even Democrats figured out that they weren’t going to be able to impeach a sitting president for aiding and abetting slavery in the 21st century.

So some Democrats noticed Joe Biden boasting about using $1 billion of US foreign aid money to extort Ukraine to fire their General Prosecutor and came up with Plan C, which boils down to, “Let’s impeach the current president for doing what Joe Biden did,” which actually has several flaws.

Flaw number one is, of course, that it shoots down in flames the leading Democratic presidential candidate, but that’s okay because he was the wrong gender anyway. Whoever the next president is, it must be a female. Sorry, Bernie, you’re next, but you should be used to it by now.

The second flaw is, of course, that the sitting president did not do what they claim he did, but that’s only a drawback if you’re not a Democrat. Liberals never let facts stand in the way of a good narrative, even though it was a Republican who famously claimed that, “we create our own reality, which you are at liberty to admire.”  Democrats do not really expect that their creation of reality, in which this nation's founding principle was the enslavement of African people, will be admired by anyone.

In order to enhance the culpability of the sitting presidency of doing what Joe Biden did, Democrats cook up various fictions to maintain that Joe Biden didn’t do it, as if his innocence somehow proves the sitting president’s guilt. The logic involved in that argument is somewhat less than impeccable, but…

One might think that lurking in the back of the Democratic mind is Plan D, which might involve an outline of constructive action, but it is becoming increasingly likely that such is not the case. ("Free lunch" cannot really be considered constructive.) They had nothing in 2016 other than preaching the evils of their opponents, and so far this cycle they seem to have nothing other than, “shampoo, rinse, repeat.”

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Whitewash

NBC News ran a segment last night which included an "exclusive interview" with the Ukrainian prosecutor who was fired at Joe Biden's behest. The interviewer went to great length to get the prosecutor to say that he had not seen any evidence that either Biden, father or son, had violated any Ukrainian law. Apparently extortion is legal in Ukraine.

It matters not. NBC's effort to keep Joe Biden out of this story is bullshit. Any prosecutor will tell you that motive is not an element of the crime.

Joe Biden is convicted of extortion out of his own mouth. "If the prosecutor's not fired you don't get the money." It doesn't matter why he did it. If you rob a bank and give the money to charity, you are still guilty of bank robbery, and you will serve the same jail sentence as if you had used the money to buy diamonds for your wife or a Rolex for yourself.

"If the prosecutor's not fired you don't get the money." Guilty, case closed.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Willful Blindness

Democrats are outraged that Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, but the sad fact is that there is no need to investigate him. Joe Biden has convicted himself out of his own mouth, repeatedly.

He tells us, “They’re walking out of the press conference and I said, ‘Nah, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars.’” The Ukrainian officials challenged him, reminding him that the president had authorized the money, and he says that he replied to them, “Call him. I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars.” He tells them that he’s leaving in six hours and, “If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money.”  He then finishes the story by saying, gleefully, “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired.”

You do not need to know anything about the Ukrainian prosecutor or what he was investigating. You do not need to know anything about Joe Biden’s son, the son’s business dealings, or Joe Biden’s knowledge of the son’s business.

The facts needed to convict Joe Biden of a felony are contained in the words that come out of his own mouth. Joe Biden, acting in his official capacity as Vice President of the United States, interfered in the internal governance of Ukraine, using $1 billion of US foreign aid money as an instrument of extortion to do so.

Democrats are saying the Trump “pressured Zelensky by implication” because the actual threat of not delivering $350 million in aid was not made verbally in the conversation. Perhaps. Some would say the so-called threat was not made at all. Joe Biden’s threat was not implied. “If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money.”

What Trump did say in the telephone conversation was that, “What Joe Biden did was really shameful,” a statement with which I find it hard to disagree.

The media’s response to that, in their commentary following Trump’s news conference was, stunningly, unbelievably, “There’s no evidence that Joe Biden did anything wrong.”

The media is accusing Trump, on evidence that at best is thinner than a single strand of a spider’s web and in actuality is entirely fictional, of holding foreign aid money as a quid pro quo for favors from a foreign leader, but in the face of Joe Biden actually boasting of doing precisely that they say that, “There’s no evidence that Joe Biden did anything wrong.”

There can be no stronger evidence that the media has become an instrument of political manipulation and propaganda, and that it is is devoted to deposing an elected president by any means.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Redoubling on Double Standard

Hillary Clinton pays an ex-Russian agent to get dirt on her political rival while corrupting the Democratic Primary election, and when news of all that comes out the Democrats create “Russiagate” to brand Trump as a Russian agent.

After two full years of hysteria, that whole thing lies on the floor like a dead walrus while Democrats idly flog and poke the carcass hoping for signs of life.

Then Joe Biden brags about using $1 billion in US foreign aid to blackmail Ukraine into firing the prosecutor who is investigating the Ukrainian company that is enriching his son Hunter, and the Democrats create “Ukrainegate” before they even know what the telephone conversation in question actually contained, accusing Trump of maybe (there's no evidence) doing what they know for sure that Biden actually did do.

They really think this one is going to work, even though Hillary’s crimes were not identical to those attributed to Trump and that she did not admit them, while Biden’s crime is identical to that attributed to Trump, and not only has he admitted it, he actually brags about it repeatedly.

And, as an interesting little sidelight, they condemn Trump for not delivering the whistleblower to them, notwithstanding that no president in history and been as viciously prosecutorial of whistleblowers as Barack Obama, a policy of which Democrats were fully supportive.

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Antonio Brown Saga

New England fans were ecstatic. Bill Belichick is the one man in the NFL that will be able to control Tonio. This will make the Patriots 16-0 this season and turn the Super Bowl into a cakewalk. Oh, hahahaha. Not so much.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Hysteria Nation

Perhaps California could come up with this, but the following is from the today's issue of the Seattle Times.

"Two young people who used vaping products have been diagnosed with severe pulmonary lung diseases, bringing the total number of Washington state cases to three in what health officials say is a statewide outbreak of severe illnesses."

Three cases. 3. The number one larger than two. A "statewide outbreak."

Vaping has been around for several decades and has been practiced by millions of people. No problems have been reported until this month. Now we have 380 people sick and 6 people dead in a nation of 320 million people. Six people. Not six million, six thousand, or even six hundred. Six.

These people vaped, so it's time to panic. It's time to screech about the "vaping epidemic" (six dead, for God's sake), and ban vaping. "They were vaping and now they're dead."

We don't know what else they were doing. They may have been huffing paint. They may have been smoking magic mushrooms. But we have a fucking "vaping epidemic." God help us all.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

They Are Who We Thought They Were

And who they have been for several years. Favored by 7.5 points, the Chargers were tied with the Colts at the end of regulation, after the Colts had missed two short field goals and an extra point kick. The Chargers did manage to win in overtime, but... They had a team total of 166 yards rushing without Melvin Gordon, which makes his $13 million demand look sillier by the week.

The Kansas City Chiefs won 40-26, so they met expectations. Eli Manning went down in flames 35-17, so he lives up to his recent reputation. The Patriots massacred the Steelers 33-3 as Big Ben continues on his sad road to ignominy.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Thursday Night Football

Today's headline read, "Defenses Put Offenses To Sleep."

How about "Offenses Put Viewers To Sleep." That may have been the most over-hyped, worst football game I have ever watched. 100 years have brought us to this? A game in which the coaches do not know how to call plays; calling for a pass to be thrown behind the line of scrimmage when trailing by seven points, with three minutes left in the game, and 70 yards away from scoring?

As bad as the play calling was, offensive player execution was even worse. Dropped passes were matched by receivers running the wrong routes, quarterbacks missing open receivers, throwing passes that took the receivers out of bounds, and offensive linemen that were not even looking at the players they were supposed to block.

Fortunately, there will be some games Saturday being played by colleges, which have players and coaches who actually know what they're doing.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

CA legalizes discrimination

SB 826, passed last year, added a section to the California Corporations Code to mandate that all corporations must include at least one female on their boards of directors. Larger corporations must include more than one. The benefit to corporations is unclear. The benefit to the state of California is even less clear.

Note that they do not need to include any males. A board of directors which is 100% female would be perfectly okay with the California Legislature, just not one which is 100% male. This is, somehow, not discriminatory.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Low Expectations

Much excitement is being made about Auburn's freshman quarterback and his "awesome" performance against Oregon last night. I'm like, "What?"

The guy completed 13 passes out of 31 attempts, for 42%, which might be okay in Pop Warner leagues but stinks in the NCAA and utterly reeks in the SEC. It goes downhill from there. He threw two touchdowns and two interceptions, and the winning touchdown with nine seconds left in the game was badly underthrown. It was a completion only because the Oregon defender badly botched the defense.

For the entire game the announcers were raving about the wonderfulness of Gus Malzahn's play calling, and I was wondering what planet they were on. He continually ran straight into the teeth of Oregon's strength, leading to Auburn generating a total of 206 yards rushing, which normally would be a decent halftime figure for an Auburn team. Overall, he made Oregon look better than it actually is.

Auburn has LSU, Georgia and Alabama on their schedule, and if they don't get their shit all in one sock those three games are not going to be the only ones that embarrass the hell out of them.

Friday, August 30, 2019

My Father Was Wrong

The headlines read, "Consumers Power US Economy" and "Consumer Spending Props Up GDP." So it turns out that my father did not get it right when he commented many years age that, "Hell, we can't all make a living selling each other hamburgers."

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Logic Does Not Prevail

The name of the show is "America's Got Talent," but it has contestants from South Africa, Germany, Austria... Apparently America does not have enough talent to sustain a talent show.

My wife harasses me about my expectations that people will behave logically. "Dear," she says, patiently, "that person has no idea why they changed lanes, and I won't guarantee you that they even know that they did change lanes."

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Reality-based Reporting

Which statement more accurately reflects reality? "The Dow plunged more than 600 points," or "The Dow dropped 2.3% yesterday." Just asking.

The term "scientist" seems to have lost all meaning. A news item today reports that "scientists" have calculated that if "information" is sent into a black hole which is connected to another black hole in a different universe by a wormhole, then very little of that "information" would make it through to that other universe because most of it would be destroyed by the two black holes.

I am not making this shit up. The "scientists" used "computer models" to make this profound determination.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

What Purpose Tariffs?

If the United States makes blivets, and some other nation makes blivets and is shipping them to this country at a price lower then the ones we make here, then import tariffs on blivets make very good sense. They protect the American makers of blivets by making foreign blivets less competitive with our own and discouraging the foreign country from exporting them to this country.

But when no one in America makes widgets, putting import tariffs on widgets merely results in the American consumer paying a higher price for widgets. The country making the widgets and shipping them to this country could not care less. In this instance, tariffs do not “punish the exporting country.”

Apparently, someone in the White House does not understand that simple principle, because, while some of the things he is putting tariffs on are produced in this country, he is also slapping tariffs on things that we do not produce in this country. In many cases we could produce them, and in some cases we used to produce them, but presently we don’t produce them.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Reality Asserts Itself

When I was a kid, I was growing up in a nation which touted itself as having the highest standard of living in the world. We bragged about having 5% of the world’s population and using 25% of the world’s resources. And we didn’t just state it as an abstract fact, we bragged about it as if it was some sort of accomplishment.

I forget the precise numbers, but I do recall thinking at the time that maybe we shouldn’t take such pride in them. My parents were certainly not anything approaching socialist in their thinking, but they did teach me a basic sense of fairness. More important, they along with our education system taught me to stay in contact with reality.

We assuaged whatever little shred of conscience we had by assuming that the rest of the world would someday pull themselves up to the same standard of living that we enjoyed. I viewed that assumption with a somewhat jaundiced eye, since the numbers seemed to me to indicate that there weren’t enough resources for that to happen, and that if the world’s standard of living were to equalize then ours would have to drop a bit.

Logic kind of bites idealists in the ass when they touch base with reality. In the real world, when the standard of living is the same everywhere, then 5% of the world’s population can no longer consume more than approximately 5% of the world’s resources. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

And that process is happening now. The standard of living all over the world is rising, and it’s rising pretty fast. We are trying to maintain “economic growth” and it’s not happening, and we are pointing fingers everywhere. All the finger pointing is useless. It’s an effort to avoid maintaining contact with reality.

The world’s standard of living is equalizing, and for it to do so our standard of living has to decline a bit. I don’t know why we’re complaining; we did it to ourselves when we shipped all those manufacturing jobs overseas.

It had to happen. If it wasn’t that it would have been something else. The world wasn’t going to sit back and let us hog all the good times forever. Eventually, reality asserts itself.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Perhaps "Politically Correct," But...

The British Army is doing away with such gender specific titles as "rifleman" and "infantryman," because they are no longer sufficiently intelligent to understand the term "man" simply as "a member of the human race, gender unknown," as it has been used since the English language evolved. Apparently the concept that a word can have more than one meaning is too complex for today's "politically correct" mind. Anyway, they are now going to more neutral titles such as "infantry soldier" and "infanteer."

Really. "Infanteer?" They're too infantile to see the irony in that title? Oh Lordy.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Fearmongering Prevails

The headline, featured on Google News, reads, "NASA Detects Planet-Killer Asteroid That Might Hit Earth Next Year." On reading the article, in International Business Times, we find the the orbit of this "planet killer asteroid" is presently calculated to miss the Earth by 3.9 million miles, but the article goes on to say that the orbit could be altered by, "heat from internal or external sources such as the Sun," or by "a gravitation keyhole," which turns out to be "a certain area in space that’s affected by the gravitational pull of a nearby planet."

I'm not sure how it thinks the Sun's heat is going to alter the asteroid's orbit before it reaches Earth's neighborhood, but why let trivial details interfere with a good scare narrative.

The whole article is gibberish, actually, and it makes no attempt to explain why these orbit altering influences would change the asteroid's orbit toward Earth but not away from it.

So the asteroid presently appears likely to miss by 3.9 million miles, but may be altered to hit the Earth, or could be altered to miss us by 7.8 million miles.

I read this nonsensical bullshit so that you don't have to.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Medical "Studies"

The “medical study” with respect to caffeine use and migraines that was on the news a few days ago is a perfect example of why I pay no attention to “medical studies” in the news today.

The stated conclusion was that three cups of coffee per day (or less) would not trigger migraines, while four or more cups of coffee could. That conclusion was obviously bogus. Any neurologist who knows anything about migraines can tell you that caffeine is known to resolve migraine, and that the mechanism by which it does so is well documented. (It constricts blood vessels.)

That neurologist will also tell you that caffeine’s role in triggering migraines is not well known at all. There is anecdotal evidence that it might, as well as that more than a hundred other factors might, but there is no documentation of the mechanism whereby any of them, including caffeine, might do so.

Finally, that neurologist will tell you that in many patients with frequent and severe migraines, a majority actually, caffeine appears to play no role whatever in triggering migraines. I happen to be one of those patients.

Having read a conclusion which was at such obvious odds with medical reality, I went searching to see who performed the study and how they performed it. The result did not really surprise me. The description of the study began, “They asked patients who frequently experienced migraines to keep a diary for six weeks,” and went on to say that, “In all, 98 patients completed these diaries.”

This is the state of medical science in the US today. A “medical study” now consists of fewer than 100 untrained persons keeping notes for six weeks.

The number of ways in which this study are invalid are so numerous that it’s hard to know where to start. 1) The number of participants, 98, is several orders of magnitude too small to provide anything like meaningful results. 2) Lay persons notoriously keep highly inaccurate “diaries,” and relying upon them to determine meaningful medical conclusions is malpractice. 3) Six weeks is too short a period of time, again by several orders of magnitude, for any conclusion to be even remotely valid. 4) The juxtaposition of the so-called “trigger” and the onset of the migraine is highly variable, and yet no one questions the cause/effect relationship.

In other words, “I drank four cups of coffee in the morning, and late that afternoon I had a migraine.” If someone claimed that a truck hitting him in the morning was the cause of him falling down in the afternoon, his claim of cause and effect might be questioned.

Making the “study” even more nonsensical is that these diaries did not report the types of “caffeinated drinks” consumed, not differentiating between a 24oz Red Bull energy drink and a 6oz cup of green tea, so the “researchers” did not have the slightest idea of the amount of caffeine that was under consideration.

The great “health care debate” being held by the Democratic Party might be entirely moot, if this is the quality of the medical profession that is going to be providing the health care about which we are arguing.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Wierd

San Diego has a severe shortage of rental properties, and is considering passing a law to impose rent control. So, let's see. If I'm a builder and can build a building which will rent apartments, but will not be able to rent those apartments for enough money to make a profit, am I going to... Never mind.

Turnaround

Two years ago the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, was the best thing passed by Congress since the Social Security Act championed by FDR. It was the best thing to happen to Americans since the Civil Rights Act. It was living proof that Barack Obama could walk on water.

On Wednesday, nine Democrats on a stage ganged up on and viciously berated Joe Biden for defending Obamacare, demonizing him for wanting to keep it in place.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Relativity Bites

Where does the cart go, relative to the horse? Democrats seem to be having a hard time figuring that out.

They have decided that it is essential to impeach Donald Trump, but they are having trouble coming up with a specific crime upon which to base the impeachment. They keep throwing shit against the wall, and all of it just slides down and lands on the floor. Except that which they throw in the fan. We all know where that ends up.

They also pursue racial equality by claiming that white people are evil. Somehow, they cannot see how that misses the boat.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Due Process

I made the mistake of watching the Mueller testimony on NBC this morning, and so was forced to hear Jake Tapper yammering about the “vast right wing propaganda machine” afterward. Fortunately, I had already finished my coffee by the time he came up with that one. I also got to hear about the Democrats on the panel, “failing to counter falsehoods from the Republicans” on the panel.

Here are some of the “falsehoods” that the Democrats “failed to counter.” I would actually have enjoyed seeing them try.

One Republican questioned why Mueller had gone to such a major effort to say that the investigation was unable to prove beyond doubt that Trump was innocent of obstruction of justice. Given that our system of justice requires a prosecutor to investigate and prove guilt, not innocence, because the latter is presumed, it was strange for the report to declare that, “If we had found enough evidence to declare him innocent, we would have said so.” In fact, no such evidence is actually needed.

He went on to refute Mueller’s claim that the investigation could not make a determination of guilt or innocence because of an OLC policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted, given that Mueller had made a determination on the issue of complicity with Russian meddling in the election. Claiming that the OLC memo permitted Mueller to make a decision one issue but prohibited him from doing so on another issue is indefensible.

Another Republican made the point that even if Trump did interfere with Mueller, he was not obstructing justice since what Mueller was doing was not justice. Given that Trump knew that he had not been complicit with the Russians, he was actually trying to prevent Mueller from perpetrating an injustice. I’m not sure there’s a valid legal point here, but for someone who thinks of justice in terms of right versus wrong… I’d say the Democrats were wise not to argue this point.

Yet another Republican pointed out that Mueller’s report acknowledged that Joseph Mifsud lied to the investigation not once, but at least three times, but that he was never charged with lying to investigators. Most of the people who were indicted were indicted for lying, but Mifsud, who started the whole “collusion” mess, was never charged for lying. This questioner wanted to know why, which Mueller refused to say, and suggested that it was because Mifsud was actually a founder of the conspiracy to begin with.

Democrats beat the drum endlessly about Trump’s efforts to fire Mueller, or have him removed, but even Mueller admitted that firing the head of the investigation would not have stopped the investigation. He admitted that he himself interviewed “very few” of the witnesses, so it’s pretty hard to say that firing him would even have hindered the investigation. It’s pretty hard to claim Trump's animus for Mueller as “obstruction,” then, and no one even claims that Trump tried to disband the investigation itself.

Democrats were the ones more prone to introducing falsehoods, with several of them charging Trump with witness tampering based on phrases including things that “could support an inference” of some evil intent or another. Let me repeat that concept upon which they want to convict President Trump, namely that something could support an inference that…”

We don’t need no steenkin’ “due process.”

Mueller was all over the place with his inability to charge Trump with obstruction of justice. First he said that it was due to an OLC memo that a sitting president cannot be indicted. The implication of that seemed to be that if he was not president he would have been indicted, which caused him to get that “deer in the headlights" look and stammer out a different answer.

The second answer was that due to that memo he could not even evaluate the evidence as to whether or not it constituted a crime. If he concluded that it did, said so, and did not indict, it would be unfair because in effect the president would be charged but would not be able to defend himself in court.

(That sort of conflicts with the fact that he did evaluate the evidence on “collusion” and say there wasn’t enough to indict. It also begs the question of why, if you cannot even evaluate the evidence, are you spending two years and tens of millions of dollars collecting it?)

Anyway, his thing about self defense sounds very noble, but he seems perfectly okay with accumulating as much garbage as he can and dumping it out for public consumption and then pulling a Pontius Pilate by washing his hands and saying, “Here it is, and I’m not going to comment on whether he’s a crook or not. Hint, hint hint, wink wink.”

Which sounds impartial, but actually makes him an asshole.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

A Couple of Thoughts

An article today says "brain waste is cleared most effectively when sleeping on one's side," so people who sleep that way have less trash in their brain and are less prone to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other brain diseases. I'm not so sure about that. I sleep on my side, but I have Parkinson's and, according to my wife, my brain is full of all sorts of trash.

On a related note, my since she retired my wife is on a house organizing spree. She's doing a very nice job, and I'm loving the results, until she told me that she is "throwing out everything that's old and worn out." I found that statement rather alarming until she assured me that no, that did not include me.

Interestingly, she did not claim that I am not old and worn out, merely that she is not throwing me out.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Pushing Their Agenda

The “big one” occurred at Daytona today when Clint Bowyer attempted to pass Austin Dillon for the lead and Dillon attempted to cut him off to prevent the pass, a move known as “blocking,” causing a wreck which destroyed some twenty race cars. Blocking is against the rules in most forms of auto racing, but not in NASCAR, where it is very common.

And very destructive, as today’s wreck illustrates, which is why most forms of auto racing have rules prohibiting it. I’ve never quite figured out why NASCAR refuses to prohibit it, and they’ve never offered an explanation.

When the wreck occurred the announcing staff went to great length to offer reason why they thought Dillon was not blocking. The reasons included that when Bowyer crossed Dillon’s rear from right to left it somehow caused Dillon’s car to turn left, but only after Bowyer then pulled up alongside him. They also said that Dillon did not go left on purpose, but that Bowyer’s car being nearby had caused Dillon’s car to go out of control and Dillon was just, “saving the car.” A third explanation was that being passed caused a loss of control which caused Dillon to become, “just a passenger.”

When somebody gives you no fewer than three reasons for something, you can be pretty sure than none of them are true. When you are telling the truth, you only have one story – you don’t need three.

Sure enough, the drivers involved sort of destroyed the announcers’ fantasy when interviewed while the carnage was being cleaned up. Bowyer said that Dillon was not only blocking, but that he did so twice. Dillon himself admitted that he was blocking and that yes, it was pretty stupid. The announcers were sort of nonplussed by that.

The announcers had been prating all day that blocking was a feature of racing at Daytona; that it was exciting, necessary, and in fact entirely desirable. They were even severely critical of one driver for not blocking when another driver attempted to pass him for the lead, and succeeded.

So when Dillon blocking Bowyer caused a massive wreck, if the announcers had been willing to admit that he was blocking it would have destroyed their little fantasy about how wonderful a feature blocking is at Daytona. They would have been pointing out that it had just caused a massive wreck.

This all proves that the announcing crew for NBC is no better than the one at Fox. They are more concerned with pushing their agenda than they are with informing the viewer as to what is happening.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Making Points Backwards

My blogging diminished for a while because there seemed little that was really worth talking about, but the Democratic primary election process starting up has produced an embarrassment of riches. This thing is a real clown parade.

Today’s thought is Kamela Harris and her thoughts on what she should do as president to “protect and defend the constitution” of the nation. Pertinent to the point I plan to make is that the constitution specifically says that all powers not specifically designated to the federal government are reserved to the states.

Harris stated this past week that she believed that yes, the federal government should return to imposing federally mandated school busing. She didn’t say so specifically, but one would assume that she wants that done by the Department of Education, since she used the phrase “return to” and it was the DoE which did it in the past. Her reason for the need for it was that, “is that if the states won’t do it then the federal government needs to step up.”

This is not an argument about what is right or wrong about school busing, it is about the federal government and its power over the states. Harris’ position would seem to indicate that she sees states as nothing more that geographical divisions of the nation, and does not acknowledge the right of states to exist as political entities, acting in accordance with the principles and beliefs of the people of each state.

This is the same person however who, as Attorney General of California, informed the law enforcement community of that state, all law enforcement agencies, that they were not required to comply with federal laws or assist federal officers in dealing with issues related to persons in this nation without permission. She went even further and said that not only were they not required to do so, but they were specifically forbidden to do so and, since hers is a “sanctuary state,” they were permitted to hinder the efforts of federal officers in their efforts to enforce federal laws.

Again, this is not an argument about what is wrong or right at the border, but is about the balance of power between federal and states. This action makes it very clear that Harris believes states have the right not only to act politically in accordance with their own principles and beliefs, but to do so in direct opposition to federal laws.

She is inconsistent. Not only does she say on one issue that states are sovereign, while saying on another issue the federal government is, but she is inconsistent in a manner precisely backwards from where she would be if she were reading the constitution.

The issue of immigration control and naturalization is specifically designated to the federal government by the constitution, and yet Kamela Harris claims that her state can ignore the government’s laws on that issue and follow its own policies instead.

The constitution is silent on the issue of education, leaving that as an issue to be controlled by states, and yet Harris is adamant that states do not have the right to implement their own policies in the conduct of that process.

I think we all know what the real problem is here. The real problem is that she is not thinking about these issues at all, but is simply using them as “stalking horses” in a manner that will pander to constituencies and secure votes for her path to the presidency. They are merely talking points to be used as steps toward the power of the White House.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Maybe the Rules Are Wrong.

I swear, Formula 1 deliberately looks for ways to screw up their product. They finally had an exciting race today. Close racing pretty much start to finish, with a pass for the lead on lap 89 of 91. Then the officials announced that there may have been a rule infraction on the winning pass. When the television station had to leave the air, 45 minutes after the end of the race, officials had not yet announced a decision as to the possible infraction, so we did not know who actually won the race.

How are the race drivers supposed to comply with the rules when the officials do not know how to enforce them? It takes as much as an hour to decide whether or not a driver's action was in accordance with a rule, so how is a driver supposed to make that decision when he is piloting a car at speeds in excess of 200 mph?

NASCAR has a similar problem. The cars go through a "technical inspection" before each race, which they often fail as many as three times. A three time failure draws severe penalties, even though a failure may be by as little as .001" from the standard. Perhaps the problem is not the teams and their mechanics. Perhaps the problem is the ridiculous expectations set by the rules.

Update, 12:20pm: Formula 1 finally announced no penalty for the pass, and Max Verstappen was allowed to keep his well earned win.

Unlike the race in Canada where the win was taken from him because the stewards deemed that he had made an "unsafe return to the track." It took them more than 20 minutes to arrive at that conclusion, but somehow Max was supposed to arrive at the same conclusion in a fraction of a second while driving a car at over 100 mph in the grass with treadless tires. Sort of like driving on black ice and hitting your brakes. It would have been a disasterous move on his part, would have wrecked both him and the car trying to pass him, and yet after 20 minutes of deliberation that was the decision the stewards concluded he should have made.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

How Does That Help?

Kamela Harris raised her hand when asked, "How many of you have a health care plan which would abolish private insurance?" Turns out, of course, to be the wrong position because millions of people want to keep their present private insurance plan. She changed her position, saying that she "didn't understand the question."

So she gets that people won't vote for someone who wants to abolish private insurance, apparently, but why does she think that people will vote for a person who cannot understand a simple question like the one that was asked? It wasn't a trick question, and it wasn't one of Todd's lengthy inane lecture type questions. It was stated precisely as above.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Only in California

It's not just what California does; sometimes it's the way they do it, or the reasons that are given for doing it.

This state recently allowed those in the country illegally to obtain drivers licenses. I have no real problem with that; other states have done the same. My problem was the reason given by then Governor Moonbeam. "We want them to be safe as they drive to and from work." First, how does having a drivers license make them safe while they are driving? Second, people in this country illegally are not allowed to work.

Now California has passed a law restoring the tax penalty for failing to obtain health insurance. I have no real problem with that either, although I think doing it on a state basis to replace a federal issue is a bit stupid. It does not, however, apply to those who are in the country illegally. They do still qualify for the subsidy if they do choose to obtain health insurance, though, through the "Covered California" health insurance program.

Short form, no penalty if you don't, but cash assistance if you do. But only for illegals. Those who are here legally pay a penalty if they don't. In California, you are treated better by the state if you are illegal.

The program, "Covered California," is a real doozy, too. The ins and outs are complex, but along with the new penalty law the state winds up taking money from people who make between $30,000 and $50,000 and gives it to people making as much as $150,000.