Monday, December 28, 2015

Parsing and Overcomplicating

A few articles are hinting that Payton Manning "did not really deny" using HGH in his statements, hinting that he sort of talked around the issue and refused to talk about what prescriptions his wife may or may not have been using. What does he need to say beyond, "I did not ever use HGH or any other banned substance," which is what he said?

The discussion of why the Patriots elected to kick off at the beginning of overtime is including that one of the options is to "defer." Defer to what? One overtime period completes the game. At the beginning of the game a team can defer its choice to the second half; a choice which I think is idiotic. Why give your opponent the opportunity to score first? In a championship game, with multiple overtimes possible, a team can defer until the third overtime, but that would be even more stupid than deferring at the beginning of the game; a second half is assured, while a third overtime is not only not assured, it is highly unlikely.

Some also say that the Patriots meant to make a choice as to which end to defend, but let's not be obtuse here. The other team would then choose to receive, so that would be tantamount to electing to kick off. In any case, there was no wind so choosing an end zone was irrelevant. Belichek decided to kick the ball, and only understanding how his mind works will make it possible to know why he did that, which means it will remain forever unknowable.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Brass Balls

Scripps Hospital has recently billed me some $72,000 for a ten-day stay in their hospital, which was paid in its entirety by insurance, but still... (Reaching the "maximum out-of-pocket"  limit is a mixed blessing.) Now they send me a solicitation, referencing the wonderfulness of my care at the hospital, and asking for a charitable donation. Um, I think not.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Interesting Game

They call it the "Holy War,"  Utah vs. BYU, and Utah won it by a score of 35 to 28. Drilling down into the details, however paints a somewhat bizarre picture.

Utah scored all of its 35 points in the first 9:39 of the game, racking up 65 yards of offense to BYU's 39 yards, largely due to no fewer than five turnovers committed by BYU. If you notice that five turnovers at seven points each might produce a score of 35-0, you are very perceptive.

In the final 50:21 of the game Utah racked up 39 yards of total offense and scored zero points, while BYU accumulated 347 yards of offense and scored 28 points.

All in all, it was perhaps the silliest exhibition by two teams that I have ever seen on a football field. Scoring 35 points with 65 yards of offense is nonsensical, as is racking up 39 yards in more than 50 minutes.

Who was this young man?

When the gunfire began Thursday night Zaevion Dobson stepped in front of three girls, instinct apparently guiding him to protect them with his own life. There is something very powerful about that story; something that has caused it to stick pleasantly in my mind.

Whenever we have one of these mass shootings the media goes nuts to “personify” the shooter. His picture, his name, and minute details about his background are in the news for days as the media tries to explain what led him to do it.

On the third day after his death we know almost nothing about Zaevion Dobson, and today’s media does not mention him. We know that he was a football player and one person says he was “a mentor to his peers,”  but that is about all. We know nothing about his family or spiritual environment.

Something rather powerful fostered such a sense of selflessness and good in this outstanding young man, and I would like to hear about what it may have been. Why do we dwell so much on evil and are so quick to move past goodness?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Interesting Conversation

There is a YouTube video of Bernie Sanders in conversation with a black guy called Killer Mike in an Atlanta barber shop, which I watched over the past couple of days. I very much enjoyed the conversation, and several things struck me as interesting, beyond the points which both men were trying to make.

The first was that when Killer Mike was speaking Sanders was not merely waiting impatiently for him to finish, but was actively listening to him with eye contact and with gestures of agreement as Mike made specific points. What politician does that? Well, Sanders says he’s not a politician, and maybe he’s not. That would be a good thing.

Another was that during the entire lengthy conversation, not one time did Sanders divert his response to a topic other than the point which Mike had raised. Again, politicians have policies which are points of vulnerability and which they prefer to avoid, either because their solution is unpopular or because they have no solution to offer, and so when those issues arise they segue their answers off to another topic. Sanders stayed with the issue until his interlocutor was ready to move on. He gave the appearance of a man who is very comfortable with his positions.

About one minute into Part 2, Sanders talks about the course of his political career, saying that unlike most career politicians, “I didn’t get into politics to figure out how I could become President or a Senator.”  I think there is truth in that. He comes across as a man of very little personal ambition; more concerned with what he can do than who or what he can be.

I actually think Obama started out as such a person but was seduced by the power of the office. In hindsight, it seems to me the seduction began well before he ran for president. Anyway

Sanders is, perhaps, a little bit of a wishful thinker. At one point Mike is talking about seeing a current mindset of selfishness and greed in the nation’s culture; of today’s voter basing decisions on what they want personally rather than what is in the nation’s best interest. Sanders replies that he sees that in the wealthy and financial sectors, but that he does not believe that it extends to the working middle class Americans. One has, I think, only to look at who the voters are electing and reelecting to see the flaw in Sanders’ thinking.

I have problems with some of Sanders’ foreign policies, but I am beginning to like him more and more on the domestic front and as a leader. And, aside from the insight into Sanders, I liked Killer Mike quite a lot.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Historic Agreement

I have joined a weight loss club. There are one hundred of us in the club, and we are going to lose a total of 2500 pounds by some indefinite date in the future. We are not committing to how much weight any individual is going to lose, but obviously not any single one of us can lose the total, so even the less obese are going to have to pitch in and lose a pound or two.

We are not committing to any specific actions that we will undertake towards losing that weight, such as eating less food, removing donuts from our diets or engaging in some form of exercise. That would be hard, and we don’t do hard things. We are convinced that we can lose all of that weight by the sheer force of our good intentions.

To show how serious we are about this, we are announcing the intention to create a $100,000 fund to pay the health care costs of our members who suffer from the the ill effects of being overweight. We are not actually creating the fund, that would mean parting with real money which is also hard, we are merely announcing that we have good intentions to do so.

I can’t wait to see how this turns out. Pun intended.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Well, That Was Rude

The Denver Broncos came to San Diego and basically played football for one offensive series. They took the opening kickoff, effortlessly drove the length of the field for a touchdown, and then effectively hung up their cleats and dallied with us for the rest of the game. They decided that San Diego could not score more than three points and that that one touchdown was all they needed for a win. They were right.

They did accept a gift in the form of an interception from Philip Rivers, which their defense ran back for another touchdown, but that was not necessary to their winning effort. Philip Rivers completed 51% of his passes and wound up with a quarterback rating of 57.1 for the day.

The Chargers offense, at this point, has not scored a touchdown in more than 2½ games.

How To Make My Day

I was reading an article about fast food work that reminded me of a lunch stop I made a couple months ago. It was a Carl's Junior, which I seldom go to, so I am unfamiliar with the menu. A young African-American person, about eighteen, greeted me when I approached the counter and I asked her what was good for a light lunch. She met my eyes and smiled as she made a suggestion, and again as she gave me a numbered card, thanked me pleasantly for my order, and told me my food would be brought to my table.

It was the same person who brought out my order and, again, there was a meeting of the eyes and a smile as she told me to enjoy my lunch. I told her that she could make a good career in customer service because she is very good at it, and thanked her for the good service. Got a really big smile in return.

The burger wasn't all that good, but it was a nice lunch.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Social Justice in the Military

So, all of the armed forces have been ordered to open all roles without exception, including all combat roles, to women. No mention was made of submarines, which are currently only open to female officers. Putting women in the crews of submarines, if this is included in the order, will be a very interesting exercise indeed.

I have been supportive of the process of more fully integrating women into the full mission of the armed forces to the greatest possible degree, and have been critical of the Neanderthals in the military who have resisted it. I have seen no credible arguments, for instance, why a woman cannot perform on a completely equal footing with a man as the pilot of a jet fighter in combat, and therefor no reason why women should be denied that role.

That process, however, needs to be guided by the best interests of the service and not be dictated by some misguided crusade for social justice. The military’s mission is to maintain the most effective fighting force possible in defense of the United States. Period. Anything which weakens that mission is, to quote the fear mongers in Washington, “a threat to national security.”

The Pentagon asked the military to study the effectiveness of combat units which included women, and so the Marine Corps ran a study lasting more than a year in which it compared the performance of units consisting of men and women (mixed units) and ones comprised of all men. The mixed units did not perform at the same level as the male units by any measure. They were slower on long marches, accuracy with all types of firearms in simulated combat was lower, injury rate was higher

The pentagon criticized the study and rejected the conclusions because they were “based on collective performance instead of assessments of each individual.”  The illogic in that statement rather staggers the imagination, and reveals why this nation and its armed forces are weakened by having a Secretary of Defense who has never served in the military. He thinks the military is about individual achievement and social justice. There is no grasp of the basic concept that the success of the mission is fundamentally dependent the "collective performance" of the force.

Yes, occasionally a hero charges a machine gun and is awarded a medal, but if he never reached the battlefield because his unit was too slow on the road march it would never have occurred, and so the individual achievement is entirely subordinate to the collective performance.

What the civilian in the Secretary’s position doesn’t get is that if, by making sure that “women will now be able to contribute to our mission,”  the collective performance is weakened, then the contribution of those women is negative, regardless of what they do individually. By serving the interests of women, he has gone against the best interest of the armed forces he leads.

This is part one of three, so stay tuned.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Seriously Fubar

There is something seriously wrong about the fact that Hillary Clinton is an overwhelming, even prohibitive, favorite in the Democratic primary, and yet in polls for the general election she trails by significant margins to every single one of the moronic Republican candidates. Do the Democrats seriously want to lose the White House?

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

And So It Begins

There are no words to express, at least in polite company, my feelings about sending troops into a combat role in Syria/Iraq. Especially after promising the public and the military specifically for more than a year that he would not do so.

So it’s only 200 men? Yes, and that is the precise number of Green Berets who were first sent into a combat role in Vietnam. That’s how it begins.

It seems obvious to me that every Islamic group in the area will make it their first priority to assure that one of those raids walks into an ambush and, no matter how good they are, there is no way that will not eventually happen. When it does

Not to mention that we are back to "kicking in doors in the middle of the night." Needless to say, they will not always be the right doors, and we will make even more enemies in the process. Have we forgotten how much hatred we created doing that in Iraq & Afghanistan? Or do we just not care?

All because the posturing narcissistic jackass in the White House cannot stand to be upstaged by Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Head Scratcher

We watched a recorded episode of "The Good Wife" last night, with a plot regarding Diane Lockhart's passionate, and somewhat over-the-top, defense of a right wing group's to publish secret recordings they had made in a Planned Parenthood clinic. Actually it was recorded in a donut shop and they didn't use the name, but let's not be coy, here.

I have a little trouble seeing how publishing a recording not of one's own words, but of someone else's words, recorded without their permission, recorded illegally, and which they do not want published, constitutes "free speech."

Saturday, November 28, 2015


The headline reads, "Mass Shooting at Planned Parenthood." Three people were killed. Not to diminish the tragedy of those lives and the loss to their families, but is three people a "mass shooting" now?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Reasonable Positions

The following is from a discussion between the French and Russion presidents regarding the future of Syria.

Mr Hollande reiterated his position that Mr Assad “cannot play a role in the future of this country” but Mr Putin rebuffed him, repeating his standard phrase that only the Syrian people could determine the future of their country.

Imagine. The collossal effontery of that man Putin to suggest that the people of a nation should determine the future of their own country. Maybe even elect their own leader.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Silly Question Gets Silly Answer

I sometimes wonder is Dear Abbey isn’t a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic when it comes to choosing the letters she decides to publish. For instance the person who says that gun control isn’t going to stop mass shootings because she has been fighting depression for twenty years and has never felt like shooting anyone. She claims that everyone says the shooter “was depressed” and that what is needed to stop the shootings is better mental health treatment.

Abbey does mention that is it severe psychosis that leads to these shootings, not depression, and mentions that the families of the shooters have found it impossible to get the persons in question into treatment. What she fails to point out that the failure is, more often that not, refusal of treatment by the person who is ill and not actually a social failure at all; that treatment was abatable but refused. In some cases the person was in treatment but it wasn't helping.

She also fails to point out that when someone goes all batshit crazy and decides to shoot up a school or theater, he is going to have a really hard time doing it if he is unable to get his hands on a firearm. Not advocating firearms control, you understand, just applying a little logic.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Ugly, Ugly, Ugly

The LSU Tigers not only lost their third game in a row, they got humiliated for the third week in a row. In all three games they scored fewer than 20 points and in all three games their defense surrendered 30 or more points.

Rumors are that Les Miles is toast, and that he may pop up nicely browned and buttered even before the end of the season.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Racing is a Contact Sport

We now have clarification from no lesser person than Brian France who, as bizarre as it may seem, actually owns the sport of stock car racing. Imagine one person owning football; no, not the NFL, football. All local race tracks must be licensed by NASCAR, which Brian France owns. Imagine, again, that high schools and colleges could not play football unless they were licensed by the NFL. Anyway...

It is permissible to wreck another car in order to gain a spot toward winning the race. It is even encouraged because, according to Mr. France, racing fans love it. It is not permissible to wreck a competitor because he has wrecked you in the past and you are pissed off at him.
So now we know.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Krugman Again

I can’t stand to read Paul Krugman every day, especially when I’m still recovering from pneumonia, so while he wrote a post entitled “Terrorists and Aliens” on Tuesday,
I didn’t catch it until today. Fortunately I wasn’t drinking coffee, or I would have had to buy a new keyboard.

First he says that Keynesian economics doesn’t work. After decades of claiming that government deficit spending will pull a depressed economy out of recession, a foundation of Keynesian thinking, he says that, “The Great Depression wasn’t ended by the intellectual victory of Keynesian economics…”  He goes on to refer to a worsening in the Great Depression in 1937, “when FDR tried to balance the budget too soon and send the U.S. economy into a severe recession.”

In other words, all of that spending is great as long as you keep doing it, but as soon as you stop spending you are right back where you started.

Now that is, perhaps, arguable because his position is that the New Deal would have worked if FDR had continued it longer. He claims that he has mathematical formulas which prove that to be a fact, and I claim that what he has are tea leaves and that it is pure speculation.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the New Deal and I think we should do it again. It would be far better than just pretending that unemployed people don’t exist by changing the definition of unemployed. I just don’t think it would actually change the economy.

Then he says that what ended the Depression was World War Two, “which led to deficit spending on a scale that was politically impossible before.”

He has made that statement before, and it always makes me want to travel to Princeton and hit this idiot between the eyes with a two by four. This moron has his head buried so far up his ivory tower that he doesn’t even know what an economy is.

Every dollar of that deficit spending, and a large portion of the non-deficit spending, was on instruments of death and destruction; tanks, bombers, warships, bombs, artillery, small arms… In the real economy, the one where people live, you could not buy a car of any description. That didn’t matter, because if you had a car you couldn’t buy gasoline or tires for it. You couldn’t buy sugar, meat, chocolate, or cigarettes without a ration coupon. You could not buy luxury goods of any description.

Sure, unemployment was essentially nonexistent because ten million men overseas in harm’s way were fully employed, and a man buried in a muddy field in France or some Pacific island was not counted as unemployed, he was counted as dead.

It was not the war that led to this nation’s prosperity, it was the postwar years, when America became the world’s largest producer and exporter of everything, including oil. We had no competition, because we had bombed and shelled the entire rest of the industrialized world into rubble, barely leaving one stone on top of another. We supplied the world’s need for goods of virtually every type for several decades and became enormously prosperous in the process. And we had essentially no deficit spending in those decades.

Krugman proceeds, in his little babbling brook of nonsense, to speculate whether or not the terrorist attack in France will cause the French government to spend enough money to help the economy. He compounds his idiocy. Spending on war did nothing for our economy in WW2, and it will not help France now. Spending for militarism is like beating your head against a brick wall. It’s only helpful when you stop.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Pots and Kettles

President Obama, in excoriating Republicans over wanting to refuse admittance to Syrian refugees, accused them of being "afraid of some widows and children," which, although not exactly a knee slapper, I thought was pretty good. I was impressed he was able to deliver the line with a perfectly straight face.

Actually, I think they would be afraid of my cat, who is so fierce that the vetinary technicians laugh when she hisses at them. Anyway...

Republicans were of, course, outraged, saying that it was terrible for him to be making "that kind of personal attack on his opponents." Of course it is. That's far worse than accusing them of being Muslims.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I thought this nations's immigration position was broken about as badly as it was possible to break anything. But to deny entrance to Syrians based on the attack by ISIS (which is not really specific to Syria) on Paris, is miles beyond more stupid than anything I ever thought that anyone could ever come up with. There apparently is some cosmic vacuum cleaner sucking the brains out of the people of this nation. We will soon all be in diapers.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

It's About Hypocrisy

About Sunday’s post; to say the Ghadaffi was a monster misses my point entirely. That post was about hypocrisy.

A people willing to kill innocent people in foreign lands, for any reason whatever, should not be surprised or feel victimized when survivors of those killings come back and kill them in turn. "I'm willing to kill you and your family, but don't you dare turn your gun on me."  That is unjust and unjustifiable thinking. You are starting a war, thinking that you can somehow remain uninvolved.

War may be justified. I’m not going to get into that. But to think that you can start, or enter, a war and that somehow only the other side will suffer casualties while you remain uninjured is insane or incredibly hubristic. In either case sympathy for casualties suffered in a war thought to be safe because it is fought far from home is not in my wheelhouse.

Russia lost 224 of its people when an Islamic bomb brought down one of its airliners. Where were the statements of “We’re all Russians now” after that happened? How many buildings were lit up red, white and blue? How many “thoughts and prayers” were issued for the families and friends of the victims?

Why is it that 129 French victims of Islamic terrorism are so much more valuable and more tragic than 224 Russian victims of Islamic terrorism? My sympathy for the French is hardly enhanced by them being part of the world’s nonresponse to the Russian loss.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

In France

I will probably be excoriated for this, but I have a question. How many innocents did the French kill in their leadership role of bombing Libya to get rid of Ghadaffi? I don’t know, but it was certainly a great many more that the 129 dead in Paris. How many innocents have died in Libya as a result of it having become a failed state due to France’s intervention? Again, probably a number 100 times greater than the number of French dead.

Do not sow that which you are unwilling to reap.

Yet Another Assassination

In a CNN article headlined “U.S. airstrike in Libya kills ISIS leader” today we are told that, “The U.S. military on Friday killed the senior ISIS leader in Libya” in an airstrike. The article does not admit that no one has seen a body, and provides a lot of wishful thinking and pure fantasy about how "Nabil's death will degrade ISIS's ability to recruit new members in Libya, establish bases in the country, and plan external attacks on the US."

We're back to the war in Afghanistan being about "denying them space in which to plan their attacks;" logic which, of course, would actually involve bombimg Hamburg in Germany where 9/11 was actually planned.

By my count we have now killed 347% of the terrorist leadership, which accounts for the absence of any recent terrorist activity. Oh, wait. And it was in Libya, so add another Muslim country in which we are bombing not just with drones but with manned aircraft.

For those of you who study history, the last war we won was World War Two. We accomplished this feat by ignoring the ground troops and focusing on killing the generals behind the lines and by tracking down Hitler and assassinating him. Actually, I believe I may have that wrong. Hitler killed himself, and almost all of the generals were alive at the end of the last war from which we emerged with victory.

For some reason, Americans take great comfort in the announcements of these assassinations, notwithstanding that the government is simultaneously prating about the dangers of terrorism and the need to be afraid of it. I suggest that it’s odd, because either the assassination program is working and reducing the threat, or the threat is increasing and our spreading of death and destruction around the world is actually counterproductive.

We cannot blame Obama for the “global war on terror,” but it is absolutely he who, using his own perception of “executive authority,” turned this nation into the most horrific assassin in history.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Oh Really?

I'm not even going to tell you what this article is about.
Go look at it for yourself. I actually read only the headline, but would say it is unsurprising to the point of stating the obvious. Janet Novak is in New York.

The Sky Is Falling

Janet Novak, of Forbes, tells us today that Social Security is not only failing but is also probably a fraud. Her ire and anxiety is fueled by Congress cutting off a rather bizarre loophole which she says, "could cost some baby boomer couples tens of thousands of dollars."

The headline: "After Budget Deal's Surprise Cuts, Can Boomers Really Count On Social Security?" Please.

At issue is a loophole whereby one spouse can file for retirement benefits, immediately suspend those benefits and allow them grow until they maximize while they draw spousal benefits instead. It is a rather bizarre loophole and, notwithstanding that my wife is making use of it, I have always regarded it as absurd and have never figured out why it was there in the first place. Ms. Novak says that it will "cost tens of thousands of dollare," but I would say that it prevents people from committing a form of legalized fraud.

Ms. Novak also thoroughly discredits herself by saying that the Social Trust Fund is "arguably an accounting fiction."  Where do supposedly intelligent people keep coming up with the idiotic notion that, since the Social Security Administration has invested trust fund money government bonds that the "government has spent the money and it no longer exists?"  She also says that the trust fund, "will give the Social Security Administration legal authority to pay full benefits until then, even if they’re not covered by current taxes."  Well, yes, that is precisely what a trust fund is designed to do; it is the entire purpose of a trust fund.

The purpose of the article, clearly, is not to inform; it is to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I'm Back

Blogging went from slow to a dead stop due to a trip to the hospital for my third bout of pnuemonia in just slightly over two years. It was 18 months between the first and second bouts, and I managed only ten months before this one. Each one has been worse than the one before and this one has been, and still is, brutal. I am home now, but will be on antibiotics for at least two months and am having to use supplemental oxygen to keep my oxygen level up to 92%. It drops to 80% without oxygen, and sometimes lower.

I have a machine in the living room which rumbles, gurgles, thumps and bumps, and a hose which is long enough to reach pretty much the whole house. The cat doesn't like it very much, my wife likes it less, and I like it least of all, but...

I have not missed any of the San Diego Chargers games, but sort of wish I had. 2-7 is not an attractive record, and it doesn't help when the team and coaches say nothing more than, "We just have to stop making mistakes."
I think, actually, that you need to play better football in every aspect of the game. When you do that, a few mistakes don't matter.

I have been keeping a list of ideas on which to write and will post them as my stamina permits. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Irrational Discourse

Blogging has been slow, but not because I’m tired or losing interest. I am, of course, entirely uninterested in the election process at this stage of the game because it consists of nothing but posturing, game playing and media silliness. I will pay more attention when the stakes become higher as voting nears.

The problem is that I will not write about something unless I am able to research it sufficiently to know what I am talking about, and current issues other than the election are just too long on hype and too short on fact.

It appears to me that Russia is the only rational actor in the Middle East and that we are by far and away the least rational, but the government and media is pumping out so much propaganda on the issue that it’s hard to tell.

Everyone seems to recognize that invading Iraq and taking out the strongman that controlled the Iraqi government led to chaos and the creation of ISIS, but somehow our government thinks that taking out the government of Syria will not have anything like a similar outcome. Why would we think that?

We constantly admit that Syria is involved in a civil war, but when the Syrian Army bombs rebel positions we accusingly claim that “Assad is bombing his own people.”  What were we doing during our own civil war when we subjected Vicksburg to an intense continuous artillery bombardment for three weeks, and when we burned Atlanta to the ground?

Somehow, Bush is a monster for creating chaos in Iraq, but Obama will be a hero for creating chaos in Libya and, if he succeeds in his efforts to do so, in Syria.

We take NATO, an entirely military alliance, right up to the border of Russia, and somehow it is Russia who is the aggressor that is trying to spread its ideology and recreate an empire.

We are critical of Russia for involving themselves in the Syrian civil war, and warn them that they will “become engaged in a quagmire” for doing so, despite the fact that we have been actively engaged in that civil war ourselves for several years.

We are freaked out that China is building military bases outside its national borders, claiming that they threaten international goodwill and peace by doing so, notwithstanding that we have more than 700 military bases spread all over the globe.

So, how does one engage in rational discourse on any of this? Every time I pick a subject and sit down to write about it, I just sort of lose the bubble and give it up.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Masterpiece of Delusion

In a masterly exhibition of delusional thinking, the San Diego Union Tribune has two articles on the front page today, placed one immediately above the other such that one cannot avoid seeing both headlines simultaneously. One headline reads, "'Pathetic' performance might be rock bottom for 2-5 Bolts." The other reads, "Voters could revive downtown Chargers stadium plan."

And there may be a popular write-in campaign to return Bob Filner as Mayor, too, but since he was impeached I'd consider it unlikely.

Well, That Was Ugly

The final score (37-29) was meaningless. After three quarters it was 37-6. The Chargers had managed a paltry two field goals and the Raiders were in a festive mood. "What the hell," they decided, "they have to score five times to even tie the game, so let's let Philip Rivers have some fun." Actually, with the two-point conversion the Chargers only needed to score four times, but it didn't matter, since they only scored three.

Philip threw for 38 completions and 327 yards, but 25 of those and 237 yards were in "garbage time," so in the first three quarters, when the Raiders cared, he completed 15 passes for 90 yards. The Raiders, meanwhile, scored each of the first seven times they had the ball, not punting until near the end of the third quarter.

McCoy said after the game that, "that was not us."  I'm sure he would like to think that, but it sure looked like "us" in the spiffy powder blue uniforms, and the players were standing on the sideline that "us" stands on during the game. Sorry, McCoy, it was "us."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Oh, Please

CBS Evening News did an emotional piece on a supposed heroin addict this evening who claims she overdosed four times in the month preceding the film she made of herself on the day she “hit bottom,” after which she self-detoxed and has been clean for sixty days.

Oh, please. The young woman in that video hasn't overdosed in her life, let alone four times in the month preceding the video. Long term junkies do not look anything like that. And sixty days of self-created sobriety is about six years short of any reasonable definition of success.

Either a CBS reporter has been conned in a major way, or they are playing the American public for suckers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Confession of Hyperbole

The headline reads, "El Nino on the way." The second paragraph of this AP story about a northern Arizona rainstorm refers to the storm as the "latest in a series of October storms that could provide a preview of what's in store in the coming months as an El Nino system moves in." The pictures were of a woman being rescued from her car in a flooded wash, an event which happens regularly during the Monsoon Season in Arizona.

The article then goes on at great length about the effects of El Nino on California and the Southwest and, near the end, quotes the National Weather Service in Phoenix that, the "storms that struck Arizona were not El Nino-related."

College Football

I was thinking that the LSU Tiger pass defense really sucked, and then I realized that they were playing against a team which, while ranked #8 overall, ranks 103rd in rushing. That must mean they pass pretty good, so maybe I need to cut Les Miles' boys some slack.

Meanwhile, the announcers are talking about how Florida is successfully stopping #7, and I'm just smiling. Everybody thinks they have a handle on that guy, until they find out they don't. He would have a lot of trophies, except he never keeps one. I wonder who he will give the Heisman to.

Alabama was actually somewhat less impressive than they looked. Without the four picks they would have been in trouble. Nick Saban needs a quarterback.

And what can you say about Michigan? Probably not much, but I would like to have been a fly on the wall at Brady Hoke's house.

My sister is probably a bit giddy, what with being a Utah alum. Their record is not a fluke, though. The win over Arizona State was impressive, and they didn't seem to mind the downpour in the least.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Extreme Pragmatism

In the NASCAR race today Joey Logano was running second to Matt Kenseth and becoming frustrated by his inability to pass him for the lead. He solved the problem by hitting the leader's back bumper, causing Kenseth's car to spin out and wreck and putting Logano into first place. The announcers unanimously agreed that Logano was merely "doing what he needed to do to win the race," which he eventually did.

By that standard I guess Chargers' coach Mike McCoy should have brought a M1911A1 .45 caliber pistol with him to Lambeau Field and simply shot Aaron Rodgers dead. He would simply have been "doing what he needed to do" to win today's game.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Hyperbole Comes Naturally

Just to prove their purpose to be entertainment reather than information, the The Market Business reports on astronomy, describing a new and unusual star found recently by scientists. The possibilities for the oddity of said star offered by astronomers include "instrument defects, shrapnel from an asteroid belt pileup, and an impact of planetary scale, like the process that created the moon," which doesn't keep the "news media" from a headline that the "‘BIZARRE’ LIGHT PATTERN" is "DUE TO POSSIBLE ‘EXTRATERRESTRIAL CIVILISATION’." In all caps, no less.

Friday, October 16, 2015

You know it's humid...

...when the low at night is 71 and the daytime high is 79. We're not used to that kind of nonsense here. Yecch.

Begging the Question

When Hillary Clinton was asked about her contradictory positions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, she said, "I did say, when I was secretary of state, three years ago, that I hoped it would be the gold standard. It was just finally negotiated last week, and in looking at it, it didn't meet my standards. My standards for more new, good jobs for Americans, for raising wages for Americans.”

She didn’t, of course, say that she hoped it would be the gold standard,” she said that it “sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field,” which sort of evokes a paraphrase of an old saying, “hope in one hand and lie in the other and see which one fills up first.”  The original saying does not use dishonesty as an alternative to hoping, it uses the product of the south end of a northbound dog, but

Be that as it may, people do change their mind, as Clinton has admitted she has done on other issues, but she has never said why she has done so. I have no problem with a change of mind, provided that the person offers an explanation of why the change occurred.

If something changed in the content of the TPP or if Mrs. Clinton learned something about it which she did not previously know, then it is perfectly reasonable for her to oppose it now while having previously supported it, but to remain credible she needs to provide us with an explanation of what changed in the treaty or what she learned that she did not previously know.

She has not even claimed that the content of the TPP has changed since she was supporting it as Secretary of State. She has said that “with what I have learned about it I am not in favor of it,” but she has not explained what it is that she has learned, and has offered no explanation why she will not tell us specifically what she has learned.

In the absence of any other explanation for her change of position, why should we not assume that she has merely shifted with the political breeze, saying whatever she thinks will prevail in terms of primary election votes?

“With what I have learned” is simply nowhere close to a sufficient explanation. Mrs. Clinton is remiss in expecting us to accept that insufficient answer; the media is grossly remiss in not demanding a more forthcoming response from her; and voters are remiss in continuing to support her campaign without a better explanation.

But this is the nature of our political discourse today; empty soundbites devoid of actual meaning or content, which the media and public accept as sufficient.

Monday, October 12, 2015

1 Equals 2

A man with one eye is not half blind.

His peripheral vision on one side is diminished, and he lacks binocular vision, but other than that he sees as well as any two-eyed person. The former is solved by turning his head, and the latter is overrated because it’s useless beyond about fifty feet, so I have my doubts about the supposition as to why we have two eyes. I suspect it’s not about judging distance, it’s for the same reason that submarines have two air compressors (and we have two kidneys, come to think of it); it’s in case one of them fails.

Vision does not happen in the eyes, it happens in the brain. Eyes merely provide signals to the brain and the brain builds a picture based on the data available to it. It does not care whether the data came from one eye or from two. When it comes from two eyes the brain feels no compulsion to average the input from both eyes, it discriminates in order to build the best picture. If one eye is providing bad data, the brain has no compunction whatever in discarding that data.

This profound insight occurs to me because right now one of my eyes is providing good data and one is providing bad data, but my vision is astonishingly clear and sharp. You may be wondering how that came to be, but even if you are not I’m going to tell you.

Over the years my eyes have been developing cataracts. Nothing unusual about that, but mine had become really bad, and my vision was terrible. I knew I could not drive a car at night, but in truth I probably should not have been driving at all. (Sorry.) When watching a football game, I inferred by the actions of the players where the football was, because I never actually saw the ball.

Then I had the cataract removed from one eye. It healed immediately, as they are wont to do, and my vision did not improve halfway, it was cured. (I’m having the other eye done this week nonetheless.) I’m watching the LSU/SC game and, “Oh look, there’s the football, right there on the ground.”

So having my vision restored is awesome, of course, and was why I had the procedure, but there was a nice little lagniappe of getting a real life lesson in how the brain works. And it proves, notwithstanding my wife's assertion to the contrary, that I have a brain.

Update, Wed 5:30pm: In all fairness to my wife, she has never actually asserted that I have no brain. She has merely suggested that my actions at times might indicate that said organ was underdeveloped or possibly altogether missing.

Friday, October 09, 2015

What a Farce

Now this, from the New York Times, is a farce.
farcial headline
We have never been training these "moderate rebels" to fight the Islamic State, we have been training them to fight the Syrian government forces, which we refer to as the "Assad regime."  We have been training them in pursuit of "regime change" pure and simple. The pretense that we have been training them for any other purpose is nonsensical.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Sometimes YouTube Doesn't Work

Who said, “TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field.”

And who said this week, on the same subject, “as of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it.”

Yes, both statements were made by Hillary Clinton, and if nothing else has convinced you that our political system is utterly corrupt and totally divorced from the democratic process, this should do so. She should not for one minute believe that she can survive such blatant hypocrisy, and yet she not only believes it, she believes that it will advance her cause and, with the assistance of the media, it probably will.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Um, Isn't That Obvious?

The University Herald advises us in a headline reading, "Sex dramatically increases fertility," amplified by a subhead to the effect that "A new report shows that sexually active women have a much better chance of getting pregnant than those who remain abstinent."

Let's see. To the best of my recollection only one sexually abstinent woman ever became pregnant, a little over 2000 years ago, and even that event is a little short on physical proof, so the conclusion reached by that study would seem to be pretty obvious.

Actually, the gist of the article seems to be that frequent acts of sexual intercourse increases the potential for some future act of sexual intercourse to result in pregnancy, which is not as obvious as it might seem at first blush, so the study makes a lot more sense than the headline and subheadline suggest it does.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Close Margins

I am doing better in my football league than the Chargers are doing in theirs; I am 4-0. The past couple of weeks have been squeakers, though. This week I won by nine tenths of a point, 112.9-112 decided by a Monday night extra point kick. That was a runaway, however, compared to last week when I won by a score of 109.5-109.3 also, oddly, decided by a Monday night extra point kick.

Kind of disheartening for my fantasy opponents, but...

If you're not familiar with fantasy football, the touchdowns involved were irrelevant because they were scored by players who are not on my fantasy team. Only the kickers are on my team, so I am credited only with the points scored by those kickers.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Stupidity Increases

Now this kind of thing is getting really stupid. First CBS News is prating about Russia and the US being "on opposite sides," and now NATO is issuing warnings to Russia about overflight of Turkey when all involved are fighting the same fundamentalist enemy.

Except that we claim Russia is fighting the wrong fundamentalist enemy, because it is fighting the one to which we are supplying arms, which we are supporting and, which it should be pointed out, was formerly led by Osama bin Laden until we assassinated the bastard.

Now we are threatening to shoot down Russian airplanes because they are overflying the territory of Turkey, which itself is bombing the Kurds who are the only effective ground force in the fight against the Islamic State, which we claim is the only enemy in the area.

Al Queda, which took down our World Trade Center and killed thousands in this country, is a dangerous enemy in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, but in Syria they are now "moderate rebels" who should be allowed to control Syria, notwithstanding that they would massacre the large Syrian Christian community if they did.

Hillary Clinton has joined the Republicans in saying that we should declare and maintain a "no fly zone" in Syria even though that would mean shooting down Russian airplanes and bombing Russian anti-aircraft installations, because that worked out so well in Libya. Okay, she didn't say the part about Libya.

The longer we engage in Syria the stupider we become. It seems that if we keep this up long enough Syria will be the least of our problems because we will be at war with Russia, and they have nuclear-armed ICBMs. Do the amateurs in Washington actually realize that?

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Roseburg Must Be a Nice Town

They don't want to know anything about the shooter. They want, in effect, to put him on the slag heap of forgotten history. "Don't say his name,"  they tell the media. Good advice; I hope the media will listen.

I have long contended that the media storm is at least part of what these poor sick bastards seek, part of why they do it, and this one confirms that in his own writing. "It seems,"  he said on his blog, "that the more people you kill the more you are in the limelight."  Do we need anything more to make the media stop with the endless euglogies?

Friday, October 02, 2015

Name No Names

The sheriff in Oregon who is in charge of the investigation of the shooting says he will not dignify the shooter by using his name. Good for him. I wish the media would do the same. I have no doubt whatever that the massive attention devoted to these sick bastards encourages others to emulate them.

It's wierd. The media will not name a person who runs onto the baseball field and disrupts a game, fearing that to do so might encourage others to behave similarly, but they give massive attention to multiple murderers.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Thursday Night Football

Watching a football game on the HD television which we have had for some years, 48 hours after the cataract was removed from one eye. Whole new experience. I can, for one thing, read the score without getting out of my chair and moving eight feet closer to the set. Awesome.

Nonetheless, no matter how much improved one's vision is, Phil Simms is still tremendously annoying. Almost as annoying as having to apply eye drops 83 times per day.

All The News Not Fit To Print

CBS Evening News intoned dramatically on Tuesday evening that “the stakes shot up”  in the Middle East as “Russia joined the fighting in Syria.”  Pelley went on to say that for the first time, this scenario placed “Russian and American planes are on opposite sides.”

His explanation for why the planes are on opposite sides is that “The US is bombing ISIS,”  and he calls upon David Martin to “tell us who Russia is fighting for.”  Martin sort of beats around the bush as to where and whom Russia is bombing and that says that Russia “is not joining the US in the fight against ISIS, but is intervening in the fight against Assad, the brutal dictator whom Obama has repeatedly said must go.”

One has to distort reality rather badly to conclude that any of that puts Russian and American warplanes “on opposite sides.”  The US is providing arms and training to some, but not all, of the rebels who are fighting against Assad, but we are not in any way engaged militarily against Assad. For Russia to be engaged in support of Assad does not, therefor, make them militarily “on the opposite side”  from us.

David Martin tries to imply that Russia is bombing the “moderate rebels”  who we have supplied with weapons and trained in the fight against Assad, but that is not likely because all of those “moderate rebels”  turned out not to be moderate at all and promptly surrendered to ISIS and handed over the weapons we had given to them.

The only warplanes in the area are Syrian, Russian, American and NATO, none of which have any reason to be shooting at each other. Syrians are not going to be shooting at any of them, because all of them are in support of Syria, and ISIS is going to be shooting at all of them. It’s not complicated.

Turkey complicates the picture a bit, but they are busy bombing Kurds, who are our allies against ISIS, and are in northern Iraq, not Syria. CBS News is trying to pretend that Turkey doesn’t exist because they are our ally, we are flying out of their bases, and they are bombing our friends rather than our enemies.

If all of that leads you to believe that US policy in Syria and Iraq is not very rational, you should be congratulated on the clarity of your thinking. If it leads you to believe that CBS Evening News is run by idiots, another star for clear thinking.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

National Coffee Day

Yesterday was National Free Coffee Day and so, of course, I was scheduled to have cataract surgery and told I could have nothing to eat or drink after midnight, including my morning coffee. These people are sadists.

They tell you your vision will get better, but... Yikes. And there's still one more eye to go.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as Obama’s stimulus bill, required the adoption of electronic medical records and provided $30 billion in funding pursuant to that purpose. Sounded like a good idea at the time to some people. Didn’t sound like it had anything to do with economic stimulus to me. Like much of the so-called stimulus bill, it sounded like pork.

At any rate my cardiologist moved to a new medical practice recently, and I saw him yesterday. He was using two computers as he spoke to me. A laptop to access records which are in his new practice, and his tablet computer to access those from when he was seeing me in his former practice.

The two medical groups in question are located in the same building and admit patients to the same hospital, and yet the two electronic records systems do not speak to each other, and there is no provision for transferring data from one to the other.

I have no idea how this relates to the Obama stimulus program, but

Monday, September 28, 2015

Beyond Hyperbole

According to ESPN, Aaron Rogers does not walk on water, and the claim that he does do so is a false canard and an insult. Aaron Rogers walks slightly above the surface of the water, thereby assuring that his royal feet are unsullied by the unholiness of earthly material. "To say that he is the best player in the NFL,"  they tell us,
"is an insult to his greatness."

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Growing Power

Josh Earnest, Press Secretary speaking for President Obama, said yesterday that Russia is a "regional power with an economy slightly larger than that of Spain." That is an improvement over Obama's last reference to Russia in which he said it was "a regional power that doesn't make amything."

Somebody needs to tell the amateur in the White House that Russia has a hell of a lot more nuclear weapons mounted in ICBMs than does Spain which, regardless of the size of its economy, makes it a lot more than a "regionsl power."

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Things That Make You Smile

I would not walk across the street to see the Pope, but the people who are travelling, sometimes across the country, to see the Pope are certainly happy about it. I do enjoy that kind of happy crowds.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Things That Make You Laugh

For instance, a USA Today headline, "Danica Patrick focused on consistency, not wins during the Chase."

They could not even punctuate the damned thing correctly, but they did get the consistency part correct; she finished 26th in her first Chase race, which is about where she has been finishing most of the year. She did finish 9th at Bristol; a feat she accomplished by running 19th and having ten cars in front of her crash in one massive wreck with ten laps remaining in the race. She missed the wreck because she was so far behind that she had no difficulty stopping before she got into it.

Focusing on wins would be pretty frustrating, since in five years of racing them she has never even come close to winning a stock car race.

Who's the Rube?

Democrats are ranting about the ignorance of Republican candidates with regard to foreign policy, but Hillary Clinton is still demanding that we send troops to aid in the defeat of the Assad and Syrian Arab Army, regards Russia as our greatest enemy and maintains that we would have to engage Iran militarily if it ever came into possession of a single nuclear weapon.

CBS Evening News is sounding alarms about Russian movement of direct military aid into Syria, tanks, fighter planes and troops, taking the tone that this is a criminal act of some sort and that it presents a grave and serious danger to American security and to stability in the Middle East. It “raises the prospect,” they claim “of US and Russian warplanes in the same skies, fighting on opposite sides,” which is about as ignorant on foreign policy as anyone could possibly be.

Republican ignorance forsooth.

Puts me in mind of Michael Douglas as “An American President.” He says of his slimy opponent that, “He’s not interested in solving problems, he only cares about telling you what to be afraid of and who to blame for it.” Twenty years ago our political process was already turning into what it is today.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Carson and the Constitution

Presidential candidate Ben Carson is being attacked for not knowing the constitution because he said that he didn't believe a Muslim should be president. Actually, he did not say that he believed a Muslim was prohibited by law from being president, he merely implied that he would not vote for one. I personally think that such a stance is utterly idiotic, but it is perfectly legal and is in no way contrary to the constitution.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Shit !

I take it back about Kansas City winning the division. They may, instead, set the league record for turnovers.

In case you missed it, after being tied at 17-17 for much of the second half, the Chiefs scored the go-ahead touchdown with 2:27 left in the game. Denver went 80 yards in less than two minutes and re-tied the game. Kansas City is running the ball at their own 20 after the kickoff, obviously intending to kill the clock and go to overtime, fumbles the ball for their fifth turnover of the game. Denver scoops up the loose ball and takes it into the end zone. Game over.

Alex Smith is returning to form; was 16 of 25, with two interceptions, no touchdowns and a quarterback rating
of  53.9 for the night.

The new Denver coach is an idiot. Imposing "his game" on a quarterback who has been wildly successful in a totally different style of offense is ridiculous, and the difference was blindingly obvious when Kubiak got out of the way late in the game and allowed Manning to do what he does best.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Just a Couple of Thoughts

Given our proclivity for lobbing Hellfire missiles into wedding parties in Afghanistan, I don't think we should be stomping around like some outraged lion, howling in indignation about Egypt going Rambo on a bunch of Mexican tourists. I think we should be lying in the weeds like an elderly housecat, hoping that no one notices us and starts making a bunch of comparisons.

I was watching a movie last night in which Ronald Reagan was being outraged about "out of comtrol" government spending and a federal deficit of $30 billion. Today we are thrilled, thrilled I tell you, that the current deficit is at the astonishing low mark of $469 billion.

No, folks, that's not the debt; it's the deficit.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Logic Is Not His Strength

The grass eater from Baton Rouge was interviewed after the game and said that he was not bothered by the Mississippi State quarterback completing six out of six passes on a fourth quarter scoring drive that potentially would tie the game because only one of those pass completions went for a touchdown.

We do have to remember that the man is a foorball coach, not a professor of logic.

Gus Malzahn, who at least has better culinary judgememt, admits that Auburn "has some work to do," but says that, "the bottom line is that we are two and oh." The bottom line is that your team stinks & has has been lucky twice.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Biden On Running

Joe Biden had this to say in an interview with Steven Colbert, on the verge of tears,

"I don't think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president; and two, they can look at folks out there and say, 'I promise you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy and my passion,'"  he told comedian Stephen Colbert in an interview on CBS' "The Late Show."

"I'd be lying if I said that I knew I was there. I'm being completely honest,”  Biden continued. "Nobody has a right in my view to seek that office unless they are willing to give it 110 percent of who they are."

I like Mr. Biden, quite a lot actually, but I think he is engaging in hyperbolic emotional bullshit. Go or get off of the pot, Joe.

That Was Just Sad

The Steelers were at one time a football team. I don't know what they are now. Their defense lined up with no one on the left side of the field, and when Gronkowski caught the pass they finally woke up and sent someone after him who made as badly a missed tackle as I have seen at any level of the game. It was real Pop Warner stuff. Their idea of pass defense appears to be shouting insults at the receiver as he runs past them.

On offense they went down the field to the Patriot 26 and 28 yard lines where they missed two field goals. They went to the Patriot 14 yard line, were backed up by penalties and punted from the 34 yard line. In the second half they had first and goal, failed on third down but got a penalty giving them a second first and goal, and still had to settle for a field goal. In the first three quarters they had gained 380 yards on offense and had scored three times for a total of 14 points. Pathetic.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Um, Think People

The Chargers first game of the season is Sunday, and it is a home game. They plan to wear their all-white uniforms, which makes sense given that the temperature is forecast to be in the nineties Sunday, and are urging fans to wear white to the stadiunm as well. They are marketing this under the slogan "Unite in White."

Given the media attention to "Black Lives Matter," I think they could have picked a better theme, or at least a better slogan. But what the hell. Go Chargers.

I'm not actually a fan of the all white uniforms. I think they look a little... What's the word I want? Perhaps, "dainty."

Update, 9:20am: I thought of a better word: "prissy."

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Um, It's Not A "Message"

There was a letter to the editor today from a visitor to our city, who was here from Arizona. He received a $52.50 ticket for exceeding the two-hour limit on street parking and, while admitting that it was his fault and that he deserved the ticket, he wanted to know, "Is this the message you want to send to your visitirs?"

In a word, "No." It wasn't a message, it was a ticket for improper behavior. The two-hour limit is so that everyone can share street parking, and it is why you were able to find a parking space, dimwit. The message we want to send is that you are welcome to come visit us, but we expect you to behave decently while you are here. To what part of that do you object?

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Sports Notes

Local sports writer Kevin Acee notes that the average age in the Chargers locker room has decreased from 27.4 years to 26.3 years. He seems to think that fact is somehow significant.

Danica Patrick, who one writer said six weeks ago was "on the verge of making the Chase" because she was in 19th place, finished 42nd on Sunday, dropping her from 21st in the standings to 23rd. One needs to be in 16th or better to make the Chase. Her best finish is 9th. She crashed because her car "suddenly got loose."  I don't think so. These cars do not have minds of their own. They respond to driver inputs.

Carl Edwards did his usual back flip from the driver's window after winning the Southern 500. He did it on the start'finish line of the speedway, defying his car owner, who prefers that he park the car in the grass for that performance. Carl has never missed on his back flip, but Joe Gibbs is the nervous type.

Auburn is famous for its defense, but the Tigers have some work to do. Louisville had four possessions in the second half and scored on oll four of them. Gus Malzahn was not pleased. Neither was I, but I don't count.

Stanford went for the easy opener, not actually a tomato can but not much better, and it backfired. They lost to unranked Northwestern 16-6. One has to chuckle a little bit. LSU was opening against an actual tomato can and the game was rained out; well, lighteninged out. I think I'm grateful for that.

Nick Canepa, who I think is actually a mental patient posing as a sports writer, is picking the Chargers to win their division. More reasonable minds are picking Denver, but I think Kansas City will win it. I believe they are a highly underrated team. Alex Smith and Andy Reid are a good combination, there are some very good receivers, Jamaal Charles is in good health, and I am convinced that they have polished their defense to a high gloss.

Saturday, September 05, 2015


Imagine a nation governed the way that the Kentucky clerk would have it governed; a nation with laws determined by her religious principles. Not by your religious principles, or anyone else’s; by hers.

The Pilgrims, who settled this nation initially, could recognize such a nation. They fled from such a nation to come here. They came in order to practice their faith, because they could not do so in their former home.

The refugees who are arriving in Europe could recognize such a nation. They are fleeing from a more violent version of it in Syria and Iraq.

People all over the world are fleeing from nations of the sort that Kim Davis and religious zealots like her are trying to create. Kim Davis is neither a martyr or a hero; she is a sad, sick minded person.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Hypocrisy Abounds

Regarding this clerk in Kentucky who is refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples; I suspect she is glad that the clerk who issued the documents for her three divorces was not a Catholic who did not believe in divorce. Idiot.

Update, Friday 7:00am: Yes, I should have said that stupidity abounds. As Bruce points out, this hardly rises to the level of hypocrisy. She's now in jail but, no, we are not imprisoning people for stupidity. She is in prison for refusing to "Render unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser's" as the Bible, to which she claims slavish loyalty, instructs her to do.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Oh Goody

The Wall Street Journal blares at us in a headline that “U.S. Productivity Increased at Fastest Pace Since 2013.” They say that like it was a good thing. Well, consider the source; they think it is a good thing.

2013 was barely more than a year and a half ago, so the hyperbole is a little bit misplaced. “Biggest whatever since 1905” might be pretty exciting, but the biggest gain in nineteen months is hardly earth shattering when the economy is staggering out of a recession.

It means that fewer worker hours are required to do a fixed amount of work, so payroll is reduced and that is good for employers and bad for the working class. The WSJ, of course, does not care what is best for the working class, it gets all excited about what is good for the business class. The stock market goes into a nose dive whenever the news is even slightly favorable for the working class.

This country is so fucked up.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The Last Ship

The latest episode features a scene where the ship and a submarine are both at "all stop,"  both being silent and each waiting for the other to make the first move. The Captain is sitting in his chair on the bridge staring off into space, and when someone starts to speak he holds up one hand and says to no one, "Wait."  The submarine skipper is doing much the same. It was extremely well done; enough to take me back more than half a century to when I was part of that game.

It's not actually clear who makes the first move, and when it comes it turns out that neither can shoot because the ship is directly on top of the submarine, so both of them are running like hell, each trying to achive a firing position on the other. Only very slightly less well done than the waiting game, it was awesome.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Food Blogging

The "Good-for-you" in the name of this recipe comes from the original that I found in a magazine. It was not Mexican, had cloves in it, and was advertised as healthy because it specified salt-free canned tomatoes. It also specified brown sugar, so I'm not sure of the validity of the claim, but anyway. I modified it beyond recognation and called it "Bill's Good-for-you Spicy Chicken." Further modification has resulted in this offering.

Ortega offers diced green chiles, but I never use them. I get the whole ones and dice them myself because I have found that their diced offering is usually nothing more than a mushy mess.

Bill’s “Good-for-you” Mexican Chicken

1# skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 lg onion (for about 1 cup chopped)
1 lg Bell pepper (red or green), cut to 1” chunks
1 can Ortega green chile, diced small
½ tsp ground cumin
½-3/4 tsp chile powder
1 tsp garlic, crushed or minced fine
1 can diced tomatoes (15.5oz )
1 can tomato sauce ( 8 oz )

Cut the the chicken into bite-sized pieces and saute it with the onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until the opion is just transparent and the chicken is no longer pink. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken all the way through at this point; we’re going to simmer it in liquid for a bit.

Add the bell pepper and continue cooking a few minuter on medium high, just enough to soften the peppers a little.

Add the tomatoes with all the juice, tomato sauce, cumin, green chiles and chile powder. Stir well, leaving heat up until it is bubbling then turn heat down to a low simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Serve over rice.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

No Shit?

Hillary Clinton now tells us that, "Using a private server was obviously not the best choice." That's what we need in a president, someone who has fully mastered the fine art of stating the obvious. Especially one who can do so after vigorously trying to avoid it for six months.

She then bravely says that, "I take full responsibility for that decision." What does that even mean? It certainly doesn not mean that she expects or is willing to be penalized for it. Gack.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Last Ship

There are things that I enjoy about this series, but as a former sailor there are issues with it which rather have me grinding my teeth. The big flaw is, of course, the Captain of the ship repeatedly leaving the ship to participate in hazardous excursions ashore. No Navy Captain would ever leave his command leaderless like that even once, much less do it on such a routine basis.

A smaller issue is the officer who keeps telling the Captain that she has assigned “the snipes” to perform various tasks. That’s sort of bizarre. The term “snipes” is a term the Navy uses to apply to all specialties which are “below deck” rates, essentially those which relate to engineering. Other ratings are referred to as “deck rates,” even when their work has nothing specifically to do with the deck, such as Yeomen.

So when the officer says that she has assigned “the snipes” to do something, she is being really nonspecific, and no naval officer would use the term in that manner, which could be inclusive of, for instance, assigning Enginemen to fix an electrical problem.

What clouds the issue even further is that sometimes she is talking about a mechanical problem, which would be a snipe responsibility, and other times she says she assigned the snipes to deal with a communication problem, which would be the responsibility of Electronics Technicians, who are not snipes but are deck rates.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I Wasn't Speeding

Police Officer: Good morning ma’am. Do you know why I stopped you?
Hillary Clinton: No I don’t officer.
PO: You were going 55mph in a 40mph zone. License, registration and proof of insurance, please.
HC: hands them over.
PO: Ma’am, both this registration and insurance expired six months ago.
HC: Officer, I was only going 37.4 miles per hour.
PO: Well, you can tell that to the judge. Do you have a current registration and evidence of current insurance?
HC: Well, can you prove that I was going faster than 37.4 miles per hour?
PO: I’ll prove that to a judge, ma’am. Unless you can furnish a current registration and insurance card I’m going to have to impound your car.
HC: You can’t impound my car! I was only going 37.4 miles per hour.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Yes, Content Matters

Okay, Bruce, back to my driving analogy. I was not suggesting that for the driver to be exceeding the speed limit was insignificant. Of course there should be a penalty for speeding. I was saying that the speeding issue was not relevant to the car being impounded. It was not impounded because the driver was speeding, so arguments about how fast she was driving are irrelevant to the impoundment issue. It was impounded necause the car was not registered and was not insured.

The fundamental issue is that Clinton used a private server, taking her officvial communication out of the official record and subjecting it to being tampered with. Whether or not that commmunication was classified is irrelevant to that issue.

It's Not About The Content

This Hillary email thing drives me nuts. Let’s say someone is driving without a license, in an unregistered car, and is stopped for speeding. The car is impounded. Are we going to contest that impound by arguing about how fast the guy was driving, with some insisting that he was not actually exceeding the speed limit? Are we going to utterly ignore that the car was not registered?

Now, in pointing out that Caroline Kennedy also used a private server, we are saying that if some other dude drove an unregistered car then this unregistered car should not be impounded. That is the same hilarious argument that was used by Obama defenders for many of his shenanigans; “Bush did it too,” utterly abandoning logic by ignoring the premise that Obama was supposed to be different.

Whether or not there were any classified documents on the server is pretty much irrelevant, the problem is the private server itself, and no one denies that she was using a private server exclusively, Hillary included.

The requirement for using a government server is to provide an official record of government communication and to assure that no one can tamper with that record. Hillary cheerfully admits that she bypassed that recordkeeping and that she tampered on a massive basis with the records that she kept on her private server.

Classified materiel be damned, how can we pretend that what she did in, to repeat, bypassing official records requirements and massively tampering with the records she kept privately is not a huge problem?

If not a legal problem, it is a massive problem with respect to transparency and trust.

Hillary threw up this smokescreen about classified material herself and quite deliberately by, when challenged about using a private server, dodging the actual question and saying that the server contained no classified material, creating a conversation and a controversy that would be at best difficult and possibly impossible to prove. This is her style. This is what she does.

And it worked because no one is talking about the private server itself. We are all arguing about how fast she was driving whether or not there was classified material on the server, which is utterly beside the point and is precisely what Hillary wanted us to do. It’s not working as well as she thought it would, but it’s working, because it hasn’t buried her yet. If we had stayed on topic it would have buried her in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dim Bulb

I use an electric toothbrush, Oral-B, the disposable battery operated kind. You do not realize the degree to which the bristles and battery have deterioriated until you buy a new one. Well, maybe you do; I didn't.

Simarly, the light bulb over my range burned out. While changing it I realized that maybe I needed to clean the accumulated grease from the translucent cover over the light. Well, nominally translucent anyway. We are not going to talk about the condition of the light bulb itself. Yikes. It's amazing how bright a 60 watt light bulb is.

You may interpret the title any way you want to.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Paul Krugman Is An Idiot #7,941b

In his op-ed yesterday, Paul Krugman goes on to tell us that today’s low interest rates “are telling us something about what markets want.” I would suggest that government is supposed to serve the public rather than markets, and that “what markets want” is not necessarily good for the public, but Krugman is probably incapable of discerning the difference.

He then tells us that “having at least some government debt outstanding helps the economy function better” because, he says, “the debt of stable, reliable governments provides ‘safe assets’ that help investors manage risks, make transactions easier and avoid a destructive scramble for cash.”

The last two reasons are just laughable. What, precisely, is a “destructive scramble for cash,” and how does government debt prevent it? And the provision of “safe assets” is not as logical as it would seem, which Paul Krugman promptly proceeds to explain, neatly destroying his own argument in the process.

In the very next paragraph he tells us that “the private sector can also create safe assets, such as deposits in banks that are universally perceived as sound.” In fact, banks did that for many decades, a point which Mr. Krugman does not dwell on much, actually glosses over pretty much entirely by skipping to “the years before 2008” which, you may recall, were the years leading up to a major financial crash.

He describes the private sector’s claim “to have invented whole new classes of safe assets by slicing and dicing cash flows from subprime mortgages and other sources” which turned out not to be safe at all and that as a result “investors scurried back into the haven provided by the debt of the United States” as a result of which “they drove interest rates on that debt way down.”

So much for his economic theory that the Fed is in control of interest rates, lowering them when times are bad and raising them when times are good. There is much talk about fear that the Fed is going to raise interest rates soon, but if investors drove the rates down, how is the Fed going to arbitrarily raise them? Paul Krugman, like most economists, has this problem: he cites the Fed as being in control when that suits his present argument, and then turns around and cites the market as the controlling factor when that suits a different point which he is trying to make.

Anyway, to the current point, a more reasonable action by government would have been to force the private sector to stop the “creative financial instrument” process, which is fraud by another name, and return to their proper function of providing safe assets, rather than allowing private sector fraud to continue and going into greater debt to provide the “safe assets” that the private sector was no longer providing.

He then goes even further down the rabbit hole. Having praised government debt at low interest as a “safe asset” and a bargain for the taxpayer he says that “low returns on safe assets may push investors into too much risk-taking — or for that matter encourage another round of destructive Wall Street hocus-pocus,” all of which is, of course, bad.

So what can be done about the low rates which, apparently, are good for government and the taxpayer but bad for investors and the economy? First we have to answer the question of how they can be good for taxpayers and bad for the economy, which is a question that has no viable answer. You notice that he has utterly abandoned the concept of building infrastructure, roads and bridges and such things, and is now talking entirely about investors buying government bonds.

Raising interest rates, he says, “would undermine our still-fragile recovery,” so we can’t do that. He wants to see us have “policies that would permit higher rates in good times without causing a slump,” which means he wants the economy to recover before we raise interest rates and is a non-answer. Sort of, “don’t do anything to solve the problem until after the problem is solved.” But, he suggests, a policy which would do that “would be targeting a higher level of debt.” And he went the place he always goes.

So Krugman starts by telling us that today’s low interest rates are a good thing, then he tells us that they are a bad thing, then he tells us that we should be “Targeting a higher level of debt” as “a policy which would allow higher interest rates,” meaning that we would be borrowing more money so that we could raise the cost of borrowing.

And they accused Reagan of Voodoo Economics.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Paul Krugman Is An Idiot #7,941a

Sometimes I just want to tear my hair out. The guru of “liberal economic thought” goes from nonsense to insanity. Paul Krugman now says in today’s op-ed that the problem causing our current economic doldrums is insufficient government debt, and that the solution is to engage in even greater government deficit spending.

He starts by saying that “issuing debt is a way to pay for useful things” without, of course, saying that one can also pay cash for useful things or that debt is also a way to pay for utterly useless things like wars of choice and graft.

He then describes how at this point “the federal government can borrow at historically low interest rates” and goes on with one of his favorite songs with lyrics about how “this is a very good time to be borrowing” and a tune that sounds to me like fingernails on a blackboard. Low interest rates is an utterly stupid reason to be borrowing money. It may make sense in terms of timing, but to advance it as a reason for the act of borrowing is beyond ridiculous.

Reminds me of the television commercial which tells me that “You can save $1000 by buying a new car this month,” to which I reply by saying, “No, I can save $30,000 by not buying a new car at all.”

Krugman’s argument about the “good time to borrow” is made more absurd by the fact that government does not incur debt at a fixed rate. It sells bonds which are redeemed after a period of time, at most thirty years, many of them shorter than that, at which time the government either has to pay down the debt by redeeming the bonds, or “roll over” the debt by selling new bonds at whatever interest rate is prevailing at the time. So what happens if the interest rate, as it inevitably will, goes up?

The current national debt is $18.1 trillion, on which we paid $430 billion in interest last year, an average rate of 2.5%. About twenty years ago the prevailing rate was around 10% so assume we increase the national debt to $25 trillion, which Krugman would certainly applaud, and are paying 10% interest; that means interest payments of $2.4 trillion per year. Our current total spending is $3.3 trillion, so does that still sound cheap, Paul?

He then goes into some even more nonsensical babble about “what markets want” which I will discuss in a post tomorrow. At the moment it is time to go see if the lady on Alvarado Canyon Road can stick me with all the rest of the dead bodies that I know she has hidden in that gym.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Danica Patrick has scheduled a news conference for tomorrow at 11:am EDT. (She finished 25th yesterday, two laps down.) I am breathless with excitement. I cannot imagine they would make such a big deal over something so mundane as a contract extension. Well, with Danica, we can't rule that out.

I think she's going to announce a sex change. "Women do not do well in NASACAR," she will say, "So I'm going to become a man."

The other possibility is that she's retiring because she's pregnant. Oh God, I am such a sexist pig.

Update, Wednesday 8:00am: Well, that was boring. She has a new sponsor. A bakery, no less, and no, I am not going to start babbling about buns.

Update, Thursday 8:30am: One sportswriter said that the bakery and Danica were "a perfect fit,"  which did certainly tempt me to indulge in some bun commentary. The fit, however was something about how the bakery requires machinery to bake its buns (no, no, no, don't go there) and Danica requires machinery to, um, win races.
I do hope the barkery has a better success record at baking buns than Danica does at winning races.

Fear of the Police

Many years ago, the Cold War was still hot actually, I was at a party of some sort and met a young man who was newly in this country from Poland, which was still behind the Iron Curtain at the time. I asked him what most impressed him about this country, and he didn’t even have to stop and think before he answered, “You don’t have to be afraid of the police.”

As I have watched the news lately, of events in Ferguson MO, and the protests of Black Lives Matter, that event has popped into my mind. If your skin is not the right color in this country, you do have to be afraid of the police.

What must it be like to live in a nation which talks about itself the way this nation does, using words like “freedom” and “opportunity,”  when you live as people did in Poland under the bootheel of the Soviet Union, afraid of police?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Dean Baker is an Idiot

Paul Krugman is not the only idiot in the field of economics, Dean Baker, who writes for the Center for Economic and Police Research, comes out with some statements which can make one wonder if the field is populated entirely by idiots.

On Friday he wrote a piece refuting Steve Rattner, who was deriding Donald Trump’s economic statements. He agreed that Donald Trump is an idiot, but said that so is Steve Rattner in his derision of Trump. As illustration to make his point, he made a couple of statements that lead me to believe he has been spending too much time with Paul Krugman.

First he tells us that, “productivity in manufacturing is not new, but the large-scale loss of manufacturing jobs is.” He does not mean productivity itself, of course, but rather increases in productivity, but that is a form of shorthand used by many businessmen and economists, so I’ll let that go. If by “new”  he means thirty years ago, then I have no real bone to pick with him so far.

He goes on to say that, “in 1971 we had 17,200,000 jobs in manufacturing. In 1997, we 17,400,000 jobs. This is in spite of the fact that there was enormous productivity growth in manufacturing over this quarter century.”

He’s trying to make a point here and not making it very clearly, if at all, because he thinks he is refuting Rattner’s claim that increases in productivity caused the export of jobs. He is, actually, refuting a claim that Rattner didn’t make, because what Rattner said was that efficiency improvements overseas attracted the exported jobs, and Baker is talking about efficiency gains at home.

Baker also omits to mention that the economy and the scale of manufacturing increased dramatically in those years, while the number of jobs increased by barely more than 10%, suggesting that increases in productivity actually does reduce jobs and making a point which is not particularly pertinent to the discussion and which I seriously doubt he wanted to make.

I have written many times that improved productivity is not a friend of the labor force because by definition it means more output from less labor and therefor fewer jobs, and while I agree with Dean Baker that productivity had nothing to do with the export of manufacturing jobs overseas, this is not the way to make the point.

He then delivers the wisdom that, “The big difference between this decade and the prior twenty-six years was the explosion of the trade deficit as jobs were lost to China and other developing countries.”  Just to be sure that he is not making some irrelevant statement which is merely correlation and does not involve causation, he follows up with, “The fact that we would have more manufacturing jobs without the trade deficit is almost definitional.”

Actually, he has it backward, of course; his statements posit the trade deficit as the cause of jobs exports, while reality is exactly the opposite that. The export of manufacturing jobs caused us to import manufactured goods, and it is those imports which result in the trade deficit. His statement should be reversed, “We would not have the trade deficit if we had more manufacturing jobs,”  because the trade deficit is the result of the export of manufacturing jobs, not the cause of it.

Dean Baker is one of the very few economists who talks about the detrimental effects of the trade deficit on our economy, and I have applauded him for that, but then he comes out with a nonsensical statement to the effect that it caused the export of jobs to overseas. Even when economists have a valid point to make, it seems they are utterly incapable of making it in anything approaching a sane manner.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Modern Law

A year ago Tony Stewart was racing open wheeled cars on a local dirt track with a bunch of amateur race drivers. There was a minor kerfuffle between Tony’s car and one of the locals and the local guy’s car spun out and hit the wall. It doesn’t matter who was at fault in that part of the incident, because no real harm was done.

The local guy unstrapped and got out of his race car, and then ran down to the part of the track where the cars were continuing to circle under caution, lined up closely one behind another at about 50 mph. He darted close to Tony’s car to gesture and express his displeasure and was run over by Tony’s rear tire and killed.

Authorities investigated and found that the local guy had been smoking marijuana in quantity such that his judgement was likely to be impaired at the time of the incident and that the guy had left the safety of being strapped into his car and advanced into the close proximity of open wheeled cars traveling at 50 mph. They therefore concluded that Tony Stewart was not at fault in the local guy’s death.

The local guy’s parents have now filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Tony Stewart, seeking unspecified damages. Lawyers are talking about “future earnings their son would have provided them,”  and “pain and suffering their son experienced during the time he saw Stewart's car coming toward him.”

I’m not sure on what planet there is a reasonable expectation that a child would be providing his earnings to his parents, even assuming that the kid would turn out to be a successful race car driver; something that is actually very unlikely. Nor is there any part of this space-time continuum in which one person is reasonably compensated for another person’s pain and suffering.

Sort of like a guy killing his parents and then throwing himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan. In today’s legal system that would fly.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Yet More "Cooking Magic"

It was originally titled "You're Cutting Your Steak Wromg,"  but after thousands of comments saying "No I'm not, I've been slicing my flank steak that way for fifty years,"  they changed it to "The Trick To Making Flank Steak As Tender As New York Strip,"  which is only slightly closer to being accurate.

The "trick" is to simply slice the flank steak across the grain after cooking it, which has been known by everyone who has ever been within fifty yards of a kitchen. It does not makes it as tender as a New York, by the way, even their little demo admits that it remains 16% tougher. One wonders, though, why after all of those comments they didn't just decide that everyone already knows to do this and simply ditch the article.

They sort of imply that flank is a substandard steak, served by people who can't afford the better cuts, but it has a very nice flavor all its own. Top restaurants serve it, calling it "London Broil,"  and I have been known to grill
it even when I could have afforded a nice T-bone.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Clinton Emails

This subject is being handled like the patter of an auctioneer; designed to whip the audience into a frenzy and obscure what is actually going on.

Did Clinton’s email server contain any material which was classified? Not in the form of an outgoing email, since she alone generated those, she alone had access to the server, and nothing is classified until someone classifies it. Obviously she did not access her own server and mark anything classified.

Emails which she received would, by the same criteria, not be classified since they were new material at the time they were sent.

There is a possibility that there might be classified material in the form of an attachment to an email, so the question is not exactly stupid, but it invites obfuscation.

Did Clinton’s personal server, however, contain material that should have been classified? Well, let’s consider this. That system was her only means of email communication, and if she was not sending and receiving sensitive information via email as Secretary of State, then what the hell was she doing to earn her salary?

A Secretary of State whose email was entirely suitable for public release would without question be the most worthless cabinet member in the history of the United States, so why are we even having this discussion?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tuesday Potpourri

Megyn Kelly strikes back at the attack from Donald Trump by saying that, “I will not apologize for doing good journalism.”  The point is moot, I think, since she didn’t do any journalism at all, good or otherwise, but then she also owes no apology to a New York buffoon in any case.

Big news from NASA that the “universe is slowly dying,” with galaxies becoming more dim, etc. I’m not sure why this is startling anyone, since I learned the basic law of entropy sixty years ago that “all systems tend toward equilibrium.”  So the universe is tending toward a state where all energy is equally distributed. I could have predicted that in my high school physics class.

We lost two good ones Sunday, two men who had much in common. Both excelled at the sport in which they engaged, and both had the exceedingly rare ability to become superb media representatives for their sport after retirement.

Frank Gifford was a halfback and a wide receiver. He played his entire career with the New York Giants and was second only to James Taylor on that team’s list of all time greats. He was exciting to watch on the football field, and delightful to listen to in the announcer’s booth. He will be missed.

Buddy Baker was a race car driver, specializing in stock cars. He won a lot of races and was one of the funniest men in NASCAR, once commenting on another driver’s crash by saying that, “he ran out of talent halfway through turn two.”  He was a southern gentleman in the finest sense of the word, which included an ineffable courtesy to women. When he retired and took up the microphone he was a joy to listen to. He died Sunday after a short battle with lung cancer.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer of San Diego revealed the latest plan for funding a new stadium for the Chargers, necessary because the last plan floated like a lead colander. This one, he promises, means “no new taxes” because the public funding is in the form of $350 million in bonds. Bonds which, apparently, are unique in that they do not have to be repaid to the investors who buy them. Or perhaps they will be paid by unicorns emerging from those rainbows which Mr. Faulconer sees hovering over the Pacific Ocean.

It also included a 6,000-page environmental impact report that was prepared in less than two months. That’s pretty awesome. Forget the research; how many people did it take just to type 6,000 pages in two months?

I think they should pay for a new stadium with the $1 billion worth of cocaine that the Coast Guard just brought in to San Diego.

Speaking of football, which I have to admit does have me a bit excited, I keep thinking that I’m going to watch preseason games, and then I remember why I don’t watch them when they turn the game into mere background for their irrelevant interviews and discussion group blather.

Another cooking article that presumes to teach me how to cut a cantaloupe in half without having it roll out from under my knife. Seriously. I’m waiting for the one that teaches my grandmother how to suck eggs. This one shows, at the end, cutting the flesh of the melon from the rind by using the knife in the right hand to cut towards the left hand which is holding the partial melon. Yikes. Did his mother teach this author nothing?

Hillary Clinton has a plan to have government spend $350 billion to send people to college without them having to go into debt. Um, might it be a better idea to legislate to force universities to charge less money?

Of course that’s consistent with “health care reform” where, rather than driving down the cost of health care, we provide government money to allow more people to pay the existing cost. In both cases it is Democrats who would rather spend taxpayer’s money than drive down corporate political donor profits.

Republicans, of course, claim otherwise but government spending increases on their watch as fast as it does under Democratic control.