Wednesday, March 27, 2019

NFL Rules

The NFL has now decided that pass interference calls will be reviewable, as will the non-call of pass interference, in the upcoming season.

Terrific. NFL football games will now take an average of 4 hours and 34 minutes to complete, unless there is overtime. A game starting at 5:00pm will not end until the following day.

I would propose that every play be reviewed by officials, using all available camera angles, to assure that no infraction of any rule goes undetected and unpunished. This will result in at least one penalty on every play, rendering player skill irrelevant and making the most frequent scoring play the 2-point safety. Negative bonus points would be applied to the team which commits the most penalties on a single play. Las Vegas could take bets on which team would earn those negative bonus points.

Football games would enter the realm of cricket games, which frequently take two or three days to play.

On a (slightly) more serious note, pass defense used to be defined as attempting to prevent a pass receiver from catching a pass. That's now called "pass interference." Pass defense now consists of letting the receiver catch the pass and hoping you can put him on his ass, gently, before he scores.

Putting the pass receiver on his ass in a less than gentle manner, such as hitting him, is known as "unnecessary roughness" and invokes a 15-yard penalty.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Impeach Him Anyway

When an army gets demolished in battle, it falls back to regroup, rearm, tend the wounded, replace the dead and rebuild morale. Not so Democrats. When they get utterly routed in one attack they simply pretend the attack never happened and move into the next one without even pausing to draw breath.

After almost two years of running premature victory laps about the devastation which would be visited upon Donald Trump by the report from Saint Robert the King Slayer, their reaction to “there is no evidence that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government” is breathtaking in the speed with which it discards that mode of attack and seamlessly moves on to the next.

I would add to that metaphor that they left the ground behind them littered with the dead and dying from the battle lost, except that they don’t accept that any battle was lost or that anyone died or was wounded fighting it. They simply forget that the battle ever took place, and are already engaged in the next one.

“Aha,” they say, “but Saint Robert the King Slayer neither confirms not denies that Trump obstructed justice.” Which to them, of course, is certain evidence the Mueller found that he did and, for some reason, simply doesn’t want to say so. Why he would not want to say so is unclear, given that finding Trump guilty of something was his whole purpose in life for almost two full years.

In any case, considering that the underlying crime did not occur, obstruction of the pursuit of justice for a crime that was not committed seems rather moot, but Democrats are not going to let that stop them. Logic and reason has never been their strong suit.

There are some stalwarts who want to impeach Trump anyway, apparently for something that it has now been proven that he didn’t do, which would certainly be novel. Or they want to impeach him for something the Russians did, which is even more creative, but Saint Robert the King Slayer did, after all, indict a certain number of Russians for something.

The Russian indictment is turning out to be something of an embarrassment, though and the Democrats might not want to embrace it, because Saint Robert the King Slayer never thought the Russians would be stupid enough to show up in an American court to defend themselves.

They did, though, and Saint Robert the King Slayer tried to keep them out by telling the court that he had not been able to serve them with a subpoena. The judge was nonplussed by this and retorted that the subpoena was simply a notice to appear and, “Served or not, they’re here, so what’s your problem?”

The Russians then asked for “discovery,” which requires that the prosecution deliver the evidence against them, and Saint Robert the King Slayer told the judge that he wasn’t ready yet. The judge was nonplussed again and a little pissed off and asked, “If you don’t have your evidence together, why are you here?” The reality is, Saint Robert the King Slayer has no evidence, never dreamed he would need any, and the case is in imminent danger of being thrown out of court.

Which may have something to do with why his report “neither denies nor confirms” any obstruction of justice against Trump. He really wanted to charge it, but if he did and the case came before that same judge, he’d be screwed when Trump’s lawyer asked for discovery and Saint Robert the King Slayer “wasn’t ready.”

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Tiny, Tiny Violin

The violin that I am playing for Will Power is so small that it cannot be seen with the naked eye. He waited until he and one other car were the only ones who had not made their final pit stops and, sure enough, a wreck brought out the yellow flag and put him at the rear of the field.

He subsequently claimed that the rules need to be changed as, “We are the only series that does that.” Boo hoo. He sounds like Danica Patrick, and is absolutely filled with to the same level as she is with donkey crap. All series have the same rules on pitting and caution flags. What would he have them do, require all cars to pit during every caution whether they need to or not? Moron.

It was irrelevant in any case, because caution or not, he was going to have to pit, and he popped his clutch so abruptly when leaving the pit box that he broke his own drive shaft. Double moron.

I can appreciate his frustration, but whining about it like a fifth grader is in poor taste.

Apples and Apples are Different

I’ve been waiting for any reference to Crimea since Trump made his Golan Heights announcement, and have not seen such anywhere in any media.

Israel seized the Golan Heights during the 1967 war and has occupied it continuously since. They actually did to the Golan Heights what we have been accusing Russia of doing to Crimea which, of course, Russia didn’t actually do.

But if our claims of Russian perfidy were true we would have two acts of pretty much identical nature; military invasion, ongoing occupation and annexation. Except that in the Crimean case we are crying foul, and in the Golan Heights case we are applauding.

I finally found someone else who took notice of US duplicity, but it was not media. It was someone commenting in a discussion about the Mueller report. “Golan Heights annexation officialization is suddenly big,” he noted, adding, “(Crimea is ok then?) as Pompeo fantasizes about the Third Temple.”

The media has still, apparently, not noticed the similarity.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Diversionary Tactics

The uproar raised over comments by the Somali lady in Congress is both baffling and completely predictable, and it would be laughable beyond measure if it was not so utterly destructive to our democracy.

She complained, in effect, that Jewish money is buying votes in Congress, and the uproar is about “hate speech” and anti-Semitism. Let me place the emphasis where it belongs in her statement.

She said that Jewish money is buying votes in Congress.

That’s called bribery. She’s calling out elected legislators for taking bribes, and they react by talking about everything except the part where they are taking bribes. The fact that the money goes into their campaign coffers instead of into their personal accounts where they can spend it on themselves doesn’t make it any less a bribe. They are still spending that money for their own personal benefit, namely their own reelection to a position of power that they personally want to retain.

Whether it’s Jewish money or Gentile money is irrelevant. Legislative votes of both political parties are being bought with cash. That’s what she said, and that is what is not being talked about.

We use the euphemism of “money in politics” so that we can avoid admitting that we know that our elected representatives are being bribed, accepting cold hard cash in exchange for passing legislation which is against our best interest.

We know that legislators were paid cash by the health insurance companies to leave the “public option” out of the “Obamacare” health care reform bill. And we reelected 85% of them because we called it “money in politics” instead of openly recognizing it as the bribery that it was.

And that bribery will continue unabated because every time the subject comes up we allow the recipients of those bribes to divert us with talk of, in this case, “hate speech” or some other diversionary topic.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Making It Up

CNBC, in an article about how Elizabeth Warren claims that she is going to break up major corporations if elected president, cites her as saying that,

“Back when the railroads were dominant, and you had to get steel or wheat onto the railroad, there was a period of time when the railroads figured out that they could make money not only by selling tickets on the railroad, but also by buying the steel company and then cutting the price of transporting steel for their own company and raising the price of transporting steel for any competitors. And that’s how the giant grows.”

I would like to see her documentation for that claim because, after more than fifty years of studying American railroad history as a dedicated hobbyist, I cannot find any steel company of significance which was owned by or shared ownership with any railroad in a way which would permit the pricing behavior which she describes in her statement.

There were (and actually still are) many reverse cases, where small Class 2 and Class 3 railroads were owned by steel companies, wherein the railroad served as “bridge carriers” between the steel company and Class 1 railroads. The only steel those railroads ever carried, however, was that produced by their parent company, and so they produced no competitive advantage for their parent steel company. They existed because the amount of traffic they handled was too small to make it economical for the Class 1 railroad to operate the route.

There were also some raw material carriers owned by steel companies, which brought iron ore and coal, for instance, to the mills. Some of them were quite large, the Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Railroad, for instance, was at one time owned by US Steel and in one year transported 49 million tons of iron ore. It served all of the midwest steel mills, however, and charged the same freight rates to all of them.

Actually, the DM&IR carried ore from the Iron and Missabe mountain ranges to ships on Lake Michigan, and the ships, which were mostly not owned by steel companies, carried to ore to Indiana. So the railroad had no way of knowing whose ore it was carrying, since ore is like money, in that it is entirely fungible.

Yes, some massive companies need to be broken up, especially those who sell something for $990 when it only costs them $85 to make it, but you can’t justify it by simply making shit up. You need actual reasons, based on facts.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Doctrine of Rights

I was reading a column by Charles R. Kesler, of Claremont McKenna College. Despite its location just outside of Los Angeles, it’s a somewhat conservative school, so take it for what it’s worth, but I found some good food for thought in it.

"The prevailing liberal doctrine of rights," he says, "traces individual rights to membership in various groups—racial, ethnic, gender, class-based, etc.—which are undergoing a continual process of consciousness-raising and empowerment."

I think the point has validity. Consider California’s new law concerning any corporation doing business within this state, which mandates that the corporation must have a certain number of females on its board of directors. It does not mandate that the board have any male members, only female ones, thereby giving more business rights to females than to males.

It is also an assumption by California that a business can be forced to configure its incorporation to comply with state laws other than the one in which it is incorporated, which is a question of federalism and is an issue of state rights rather than individual rights, but anyway...

When California was run by Republicans the state assumed that all persons had equal business rights and opportunity regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexual preference. Now that liberal doctrine is in charge, we seem to think that companies are better when they are run by women, having learned nothing from watching Carley Fiorina run Hewlett Packard into the ground, causing tens of thousands of people to become unemployed in the process.

Not sure how many of those tens of thousands who became unemployed were women. We weren’t sufficiently “woke” back then to be keeping track of such things.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Robert Reich Is At It Again

Robert Reich is at it again. In case you don’t know him, Bobby is Professor of Public Policy at the U of C in Berkeley, which should tell you a lot right there, was a member of Bill Clinton’s cabinet, and was on the “transition team” for Barack Obama. He may or may not be senile, but he certainly is batshit crazy, which does not keep him from being a darling of the Democratic Party.

Back in 2010, when a BP Oil drilling platform had blown out and was spewing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, he said that, “It’s time for the federal government to put BP under temporary receivership, which gives the government authority to take over BP’s operations in the Gulf of Mexico until the gusher is stopped.”

The logic that he gave for this rather bizarre suggestion was that, “If the government can take over giant global insurer AIG and the auto giant General Motors and replace their CEOs, in order to keep them financially solvent, it should be able to put BP’s north American operations into temporary receivership...”

The government did not “take over” either of those two corporations, of course, it loaned them tens of billions of dollars in exchange for controlling interest in their stock, which could have been done by any financial institution that had that much money. Not to mention that those were American corporations and that any attempt by the American government to place a British corporation “into temporary receivership” would certainly have had a very interesting outcome.

Now he is issuing a dire warning about what will happen in the event of a Democratic victory in the 2020 election, opening with, “The United States is now headed by someone pathologically incapable of admitting defeat.”

Psychologists call that “projection.” Accusing another person of doing what I myself am doing so that I do not have to recognize it in myself and take responsibility for doing it.

How many “reasons” have Hillary Clinton and the Democrats come up with for the loss in 2016? Russian interference, James Comey and “self hating white women,” are just a few of the many that come to mind. When the phrase “pathologically incapable of admitting defeat” is uttered, who comes to mind? Who, on election night, sent her followers home without speaking to them?

Reich engages in a lengthy diatribe about how Trump and his followers believed before the election that it would be rigged against them, but he fails to mention that the Democratic primary election actually was rigged in favor of the establishment candidate, and that the fact of that bias and election rigging is supported by a wealth of direct evidence, and resulted in the forced resignation of the DNC chairperson. Nor does he mention that is Democrats who have actually refused to accept the outcome of the 2016 election and have complained endlessly since the election that they lost only because the other side cheated.

Reich reminds us that, “when an election is over, the peaceful transition of power reminds the public that our allegiance is not toward a particular person but to our system of government.” And yet it is Democrats whose allegiance is to their own candidate and their own partisan power who are preventing that “peaceful transition of power.”

“[W]hat happens,” Reich asks, “if an incumbent president claims our system is no longer trustworthy?” Easily answered. The same thing that is happening today when the losing side, in pursuit of their own political advantage, claims that our system is no longer trustworthy.