Thursday, April 26, 2018

An Article

Well, really some thoughts. There isn't enough substantive news right now to really dig into anything. But there is a lot to talk about!

● So the Democrats failed to take the seat in Arizona. I'm not sure it suggests anything except that the Democrats are not riding a wave at this point. In fact, I think we're looking at a very inconclusive election coming up. Both sides have done things to hurt themselves and I don't think there is an real momentum either way.

● "Commentator X makes a bold prediction about the NFL draft!" No he didn't. First of all, his prediction has been conventional wisdom for weeks. Everyone else is saying it too. That's the opposite of bold. Secondly, there's no such thing as a bold prediction because there's no harm to getting it wrong. Commentator X won't lose his job. No mob is going to burn down his house. The government won't kill him. There is nothing bold about spouting an opinion that has no consequence to getting it wrong.

● Still not sure how they can violate the attorney-client privilege with Trump's lawyer. The claim seems to be that he paid Stormy Daniel's demand. The problem is, that's not illegal. Nor am I sure how this involved Sean Hannity. The whole thing reeks to me. As of right now, this reeks of abuse.

● This is an amazing time to be alive if you're into seeing the incredible sights this planet has to offer and if you're interested in scientific discoveries. Almost every day they are discovering something new, from the importance of gut bacteria for regulating every aspect of us (apparently including mental health) to how quasars allow galaxies to form. Yet, here are some things that seem kind of basic which we don't know: how the moon was formed, where oil comes from, and how all this water came to Earth. I also saw that Darwin is the guy who decided we all came from Africa. That still makes no sense to me. I'm pretty sure it's India. And interestingly, they've begun to find bones that have dramatically changed the Africa story, because these bones aren't supposed to exist under the Africa story. Unfortunately, I'm seeing confirmation bias in the analysis of this however, as every new discovery has these scientists saying "Well, that just moves back the date we left Africa" rather than asking, "is the story perhaps wrong." I think in a hundred years, we will discover that life began in Southeast Asia... probably in a Thailand whorehouse.

● Bill Cosby has been convicted. You know, this is the first time I truly feel betrayed by a celebrity. He always struck me as a decent human being. I don't get it.

● So Will and Kate haven't named their child yet, which I find bizarre. Anyways, I have some suggestions: Lord Bubbles... JaRon... Frodo... Knifey... #royalfamily... or Dwayne The Peasant Killer. This is harder than it looks. Suggestions?
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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Open Thread Day!!!

I will be on a secret mission for....well, I can't say for whom or to where, but let's just say "high tea", "scones", and "Scotch" may be involved.

Anyway, in lieu of a real post of significance and gravity (don't laugh!), let's have an open thread and I will try to join in between, well, I can't say. I will give you all a full report when I return.
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Monday, April 23, 2018

Folks, I Got Nothing

We've hit a low point in politics again... nothing worth discussing is happening. Sure, the Trump wars continue, but I don't care about that. It's too early to discuss the election with any confidence. I guess its time to wing it!

(1) Bush Sr. is in the White House. I don't like Bush much. This was a man who betrayed the Reagan revolution in the name of elitism and I will never forgive that. Still, I wish him well. He seems like a decent person, something I can't say about the majority of Presidents since him.

(2) Don't worry about the rest of the world. After weeks of telling us how the new Russian battle tank would wipe the floor with the American tank, the "experts" are now describing the Russian tank as flawed and inferior. Yeah, no crap. The Russian air force is a generation behind. Their navy is a joke. Their troops are demoralized and misled. Russia is only a threat because it has nuclear weapons. China is the same. Their new stealth fighter lacks all the support needed to make those valuable. Their navy just bought an aircraft carrier which the Chinese are decades away from operating efficiently. They're no threat either. Their economy is no threat either. It's stalling out at 75% of the American economy and will start to sink soon due to wage inflation and demographic problems. North Korea? North Korea is like a retarded kid threatening a passing school bus with his fist. And even if they weren't, North Korea seems to have caved in to Trump.

(3) The NBA playoffs have been fun.

(4) The NHL playoffs have been funner. Hockey is so vibrant, so exciting. I'm really enjoying it.

(5) The NFL draft is Thursday night. The draft is a fascinating spectacle. In it, you get to see these young men achieve their lifelong dreams right in front of the whole world. I love the proud parents. Even more interestingly though, the NFL has managed to sell the idea that these young men will singlehandedly change the fortunes of every franchise. Every draft pick is a hit. Each one is a savior. Each one is that final pick. The statistics tell a very different story, but it's fun to believe for that one night. I'm dying to see who Denver takes. :)

(6) 1800 Tequila uses the slogan: "Keep refining." So the booze isn't finished?

(7) More killings in the news. Some dipsh*t with a gun at a Waffle House and some dipsh*t with a white van in Toronto. Sad world.

(8) I haven't followed the Trump lawyer thing, but it's not making much sense to me. You can only violate the attorney-client privilege if you have proof that the lawyer is engaged in the crime with the client or is giving advice on how to pull off the crime. What could Trump's lawyer possibly have done which would justify breaking the attorney-client privilege for Trump AND for Sean Hannity? There's something very wrong here.

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Blogger 1, Death 0

I'm still alive! And I'm going to refine my point about over-the-top praise. When people hand out unearned praise because their little minds don't let them understand appropriate praise, praise becomes meaningless. As we so often do, let me use the NFL to illustrate:

This is how NFL praise has evolved over the decades.

The smell of clean: Ammonia
Best music: Freedom Rock, man
Best Film: The Great Escape

Praise levels from NFL announcers

One of the best... means... one of the best
Great... means... really good
Solid... means... adequate
No adjective... means... sucks

The smell of clean: Pine
Best music: Progressive Rock
Best Film: Star Wars

Praise levels from NFL announcers

All Star/All Pro... means... one of the best
One of the best... means... really good
Talented... means... adequate
No adjective... means... sucks

The smell of clean: Lemon
Best music: New Wave/Heavy Metal
Best Film: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Praise levels from NFL announcers

All Time Great... means... one of the best
All Pro... means... really good
Underrated... means... adequate
Has potential... means... sucks

The smell of clean: Orange
Best music: Grunge/Pop
Best Film: The Usual Suspects

Praise levels from NFL announcers

Future Hall of Famer... means... one of the best
Potential Hall of Famer... means... really good
Seriously Underrated... means... adequate
Underrated... means... sucks

The smell of clean: Cotton/"Fresh"
Best music: N/A
Best Film: N/A

Praise levels from NFL announcers

Hall of Famer... means... one of the best
Future Hall of Famer... means... really good
One of the Best... means... adequate
Seriously Underrated... means... sucks

The smell of clean: Death By Bleach
Best music: N/A
Best Film: N/A

Praise levels from NFL announcers

First Ballot Hall of Famer... means... one of the best
Hall of Famer... means... really good
Potential Hall of Famer... means... adequate
One of the best... means... sucks

This is what our society does. Some dumb monkey comes along and tries to pull a stronger adjective out of his butt than the last monkey. When he succeeds, the next monkey needs to come up with something to top the prior monkey. In this process, these idiots keep upping the baseline until it becomes impossible to offer a genuine assessment. Economists call this a race to the bottom when you're talking about vice, but here it's a race to hyperbole... a race to idiocy. It's grade inflation of the worst kind. Ever wonder why every fool who leaves Harvard has a 3.98 GPA? why every person who was ever inconvenienced was heroic? why so many people have become narcissist? This is why. It won't stop either.

The smell of clean: Solar Fire
Best music: Lithuanian Rap
Best Film: Tootsie VII

Praise levels from NFL announcers

God of God's God... means... one of the best
God of Gods... means... really good
First Ballot Football God... means... adequate
Football God... means... sucks

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Death Comes For the Blogger

Hi everyone. Sorry I haven't written much since I've been back, but my kids caught a cold. Then their evil little bodies weaponized it... and I got blasted. I am finally on the backside of this foul pestilence, but it's been a bad week. Anyways, let me leave you with a couple thoughts.

(1) There is this ad for Southern New Hampshire University's online degree program. In it, a man who appears to be a muckety muck says, "In this world, talent is distributed equally, but opportunity isn't." Every time I hear this, I think "what a load!" and I ask if this idiot really believes that.

Seriously, does anyone truly believe that I could be LeBron James if only I had had the right opportunities? Hardly. My body simply isn't made the way his is and no amount of training will let me handle a basketball the same way. At the same time, does anyone think that James could paint a Picasso or write like Shakespeare? I don't doubt that there are basic skills that can be taught to (almost) anyone but once you get to creativity, physical prowess, or things that require sheer mental processing power, talent rules and only a tiny minority have those talents. Even people with tremendous varied potential will find that they have greater potential in certain fields. Thus, to assert that everyone has the same amount of talent but for opportunity is delusional.

(2) I am shaking my head at the reaction to this Southwest pilot. By way of background, one of the plane's engines exploded and sent shrapnel through the plane's skin. This killed a woman who was partially sucked out a burst window. The pilot, a former navy pilot and a female (ignore that for a moment), brought the plane down safely. Many people are now acting like she committed a miracle. Here's the thing. She did her job. She did it very well and should be commended, but she did what was expected of a competent pilot. She didn't face un-survivable circumstances or something so unlikely that pilots aren't trained for it. To the contrary, pilots train specifically for this. So trying to turn this into an act of heroism fundamentally cheapens the idea of heroism, as seems to be the modern trend where everything from doing your job to just not killing yourself when you're sick gets wrongly labelled "heroic" by the pathetic among us. I am reminded of The Incredibles: "When everyone is special, no one is special."

What bothers me even more is the assumption of many Facebook feminists that this was something special because she's a woman. The thing is, either she's a pilot or she isn't. Either the act is heroic for a pilot or it isn't. Calling it heroic with the suggestion that it is heroic in part because she is a woman tells me that feminists hold women cheap and don't believe they are competent to be compared to men. Seriously girls, if you want society to respect women, you need to stop acting like it's a miracle when women do the things they should be capable of doing.

(3) Over my vacation, I finished reading "The Hunt for Red October." Excellent movie... kind of poor book. The book lacked much of the drama of the film and was nowhere near as tightly written as the film. What bothered me most though was the character of Ryan. In the film, he's likable and helps move the plot forward time and again by solving various crises. In the book, he's rather arrogant and just waits around for others to solve the plot. Even worse, every time he opens his mouth, he's trying to be "fair" about whatever he represents (the CIA, the US, etc.) and he comes across as just a jerk. Indeed, most of his exchanges go like this:
Ramius: We are looking forward to freedoms in America.
Ryan: Well, golly, we sure do make a lot of mistakes when it comes to freedom. I don't think anyone would say we're even close to free, but f*ck if we don't like to think we are!

Ramius: I see. Maybe we'll just have some American coffee.
Ryan: Well, gosh, we sure don't know nothin' 'bout makin coffee. I'll bet it tastes more like crap than anywhere in the world, but f*ck if we won't brew some for you!
Over and over and over again. Denigrating your own side is not evidence of fairness.

(4) Finally, there is this bumpersticker I saw the other day:
Jesus is coming! Look busy!
LOL! Funny! :)
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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

First Lady Barbara Pierce Bush 1925 - 2018

It has just been reported that former First Lady of the United States Barbara Pierce Bush has passed away. Only a few days, it was reported that she was in poor health and had decided to decline any further treatment. I will miss her.

I have to say, of all of the First Ladies in my lifetime, I particularly liked Barbara Bush. She had such dignity yet she had such strength. She was tough, but always a lady (as my mother would say). My favorite memory was watching a video of a Q&A at one of the tony Northeastern women's Ivy League colleges. I think it was Smith College, her alma mater though she dropped out to marry a future President, but it could have been Wellesley.

Well, after taking a few innocuous questions, a young cheeky student with a tone only a young, inexperienced feminist could muster, asked Mrs. Bush if she ever regretted sacrificing her own career for the sake of her husband's. The look on Mrs. Bush's face was priceless. With a hint of annoyance and a slight roll of the eyes, she answered "Why do you think I gave up anything? Dear, how do you think my husband got to be President of United States?" It was the perfect response and all with a grandmotherly smile. [I am paraphrasing, but that is what I remember].

Rest in Peace, dear lady.
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Monday, April 16, 2018

I'm Back And Scratching My Head

I'm back folks and let me tell you, it was haaaaaaard getting on that plane. We went to the Sandals (Grand) resort in St. Lucia. It was fantastic. My room had a swim out pool... where I spent all my time. The whole place had an amazing couples vibe, which put everyone in a great mood and made it easy to talk to anyone. The place was beautiful. The people were amazing. The island was gorgeous. I loved it. Very hard to come back -- especially with everyone at our house having the plague when we came back. Oh well.

Anyhoo, here are some thoughts on this crazy world.

● A prominent lawyer has sent himself on fire to protest fossil fuels. Hmm. I'm open to burning lawyers for fuel.

● Art Bell is dead. I guess THEY finally got him. But was it the CIA, NSA, KGB, or ancient astronauts?

● I see the Florida shooting exploiters have vanished from the news. The Pussy Hat March Movement is being accused of transphobia, antisemitism, racism (being for white women only) and now being pro-/anti-hooker. Bad girls. Starbuck's leftist CEO has wet his panties because some low-level employee at one Starbucks called the cops on two black guys for loitering, which of course means the entire chain is racist. I love how the left eats their own.

● Trump blah blah blah wah wah blah wah!!!

● It was so good to be away from our politics. There is quite the circus trying to destroy Trump right now. You have a porn star who accuses him of not a crime. You have a fired FBI director who thinks writing a tell-all book is a good idea and who has admitted that he tried to hurt Hillary to help her. His "shocking" allegation is that the President asked him to disprove a slander being promoted against him. You have a special counsel who seems to be trying to arrest every one of Trump's friends in the desperate hope of proving that Trump may have spoken to a Russian before the elections. Both of the last two relied on FBI employees who set out to destroy Trump and their evidence is mainly from a propaganda folder that is both obviously false and has nothing to do with the fake investigations they are running. In the literary world, this novel gets rejected for being flat out stupid. But this is what our political class has become... whack-jobs.
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Monday, April 9, 2018

First They Came For Our Guns & Then Our Scissors.

No doubt you have all heard that London has surpassed NYC in murders in the last few weeks. Interestingly, these were not gun deaths since private gun ownership has been outlawed in the UK for almost 20 years. No, London has surpassed NYC in murders wtih a dramatic increase in fatal stabbings. As a NYC dweller, I am thrilled that London has surpassed us, but... there's always a "but".

In response to the spate of knife murders, the current Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, decided to make this statement:
"No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law."
Now, as someone who has been to a prestigious cooking school, I can think of about 25-35 reasons that I have in several drawers in my kitchen to carry a knife or two from place to place.

As if not being allowed to carry a knife from place to place is stupid enough, then this happened today. The Metropolitan Police in London started doing sweeps of random people in parks (what we in NYC would call "stop & frisk") and this is what they found and seized. Oh, just must see for yourself...

Oh, no!!! No knives, but they seized a flat head screw driver, a Phillips screwdriver, wire cutters, a file, and, the horrors, a pair of scissors!!! Apparently there have been networks of tailors and electricians roaming the mean streets of London just waiting to...fix stuff! Jeez, this photo covers about every tool that I have ever carried on my person in the course of my various and sundry careers! I have been walking the streets for years with these dangerous objects just sittign there in my tool bags waiting to commit crimes!

Let the Brits be a cautionary tale for what happens when we allow our rights to be chipped away. Once we give up even a little of our 2nd Amendment rights, eventually, we will lose our right to carry scissors and screwdrivers and paring knives.

I am sure you have lots to say, so say it already!
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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

How Revlevant Are Things?

Sometimes we think that politics dominates everything. It's important to keep in mind that this is simply not true. It's in the political class's interests to make you think this is true, but it really isn't. Only a tiny fraction of America cares about politics. Here is some proof

Think everyone watches the news? Check out these viewer numbers:
8.8 million ABC World News Tonight
7.9 million NBC Nightly News
6.7 million CBS Evening News
3.42 million MSNBC
2.6 million Fox
1.11 million CNN
1.1 million Telemundo

Total: 31.63 million
That works out to only 9.8% of the public... less than 1 in 10. By comparison, 44 million people watched each NFL conference championship game. That's 27% of the public. Even weekly games averaged 25 million per game. The re-launch of Rosanne brought in 18 million people. Politics just isn't that important to most people.

The left claims Obama sold 4.6 million copies of his two books (2.3 million each). They claim Hillary sold 1.5 million. The same source credits Palin with 1.45 million. I doubt these numbers as Obama's best sales week (the first) was only 185,000. But either way, let's take that as true. That's huge right? Actually, it means that 1.4% of the pubic bought one of Obama's books. 98% did not!

Also, by comparison, Harry Potter sold 160 million in the United States -- 35 times Obama's sales. Stephen King has sold 350 million books, or nearly 70 times what Obama sold.

This guy =>
... is more famous than all but a handful of politicians. What does that tell you about the influence of politics on the public? Don't judge America by our political class!
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Roseanne Redo Surprise

Since tonight is the second episode of the redo of "Roseanne", let's have a chat about it. Did anyone see the opening episode last week? I just happened to be flipping through the channels just when it was starting and...well, I thought it was great! It was fair and honest with a lot of heart but most of all not mean-spirited. Here's some of the the first half of the show.

Right off the bat, it is revealed that Roseanne and Jackie (her sister) had a falling out since the election and aren't speaking to each other. Roseanne's daughter Darlene, just recently moved back in with her children (one whom is a "gender-fluid grade-schooler"), asked Jackie to come over...heart-felt moment ensues - Roseane upset as Darlene explained that Jackie was her beloved aunt and a big part of her life. Just then, Jackie shows up at the screen door wearing her knitted pink pussy hat and "Nasty Woman" t-shirt exclaiming "How are all you deplorables doing?" (or something like that). Honestly it was funny. They acted like a family who with prodding and a sense of humor "agrees to disagree" and air their flaws just like...SHOCKING...we all have.

If you listen to the twittering on social media, you'd think that Roseanne Barr had forced the cast to murder small animals during every scene. "How DARE she "normalize" Trump-supporters! They're deplorable and stuff!". "We all know that Trump supporters are irredeemable racists, homophobic, transphobic, misogynists!", or my personal favorite was some "journalist" expressing his dismay at the "monetizing" of Trumpism. Uh, exactly what does he think television shows are for if not to make money for the producers and advertisers?

By the way, according to The Hollywood Reporter when all of the numbers came in,, the show was "the highest-rated regularly-scheduled scripted show of the last few seasons, as well as the highest-rated sitcom in recent memory,” This shouldn't be surprising. Norman Lear made his reputation and vast fortune producing similar "blue-collar" shows like "All In The Family", "Sanford & Sons", "The Jeffersons", and "Good Times" among many others. Frankly shows that could not be produced today because of our "political correct" culture that clutches their pearls at every turn. But I am not sure why all of the brainiacs, super-smart liberal pundits, and media producers are really this dense. This is a great show because it is about regular folks struggling with everyday stuff and being really funny...and it's NOT MEAN!
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Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Obamacare Numbers Dance

Here's a little leftist timeline for you on Obamacare:
When first created, the CBO estimated that 16.5 million would sign up for Obamacare in 2014. This would rise to 21 million by 2015, they said.

Then they lowered this to 12 million in 2014 and 13 million in 2015 and 20 million in 2016.

Then they lowered it to 9 million in 2014.

Now we skip forward to 2017:
Pre-enrollment: Trump is trying to kill Obamacare. No one will sign up!

First two weeks of Enrollment Begins: Despite Trump's attempt to kill Obamacare, enrollment is at a massive pace. It is much higher than last year!

Obamacare Signup Period Ends: Ha ha! Way more people signed up for Obamacare despite Trump... but he still sabotaged it and killed it. But in the end, Trump couldn't stop us!

Close of Enrollment: "Almost 9 million people" (8.8 million) signed up for Obamacare in 2017, which is down from the 9.2 million who signed up in Obama's last year (2016), which is down from the 9.6 million who signed up the year before that (2015) -- when we were declaring this the greatest success ever.
So Obamacare isn't even at the reduced estimates for 2014, yet the left declares a great victory. And then Trump killed it but didn't kill it and it had its greatest enrollment ever despite being less than half the original estimate.

Moreover, 81% of the Obamacare "growth" that liberals talk about has been Medicare, not Obamacare.
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