Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One in Four

Lapdancers have a college degree.

I'm not sure what that says - either lap dancers are surprisingly well educated or a college degree isn't worth as much as one would think.
The Most Interesting Man in the World

It is the best ad campaign since the Budweiser "Wassssappppp." A list of the many quotes. My personal favorites:

“He is the life of parties he has never attended”

"If he were to mail a letter without postage, it would still get there."

"Alien abductors have asked him, to probe them."

And perhaps the most succinct summation of the worldly POV:

"He lives vicariously through himself."

He is the anti-metrosexual, the anti-facebooking, internet dating, whiny entitled pussy inside every contemporary American male. Yes, he is reactionary, absurd, and a fantastical male fantasy. Nevertheless very funny and preferable to the alternative:

The Return of Hayek

On the battlefield of economists.

(He) has tirelessly reminded me that ideas, not politics, are what matter and what I should focus on. Ideas are what we are fighting for, no matter what’s happening in Washington, no matter what the America people think at any given moment.

I find this oddly reassuring.
It's All Relative

On the financial clueless-ness of 20 somethings.
Not Really An Argument

On how the contemporary left has come to hold most Americans in contempt and how ideology - as opposed to argument - dominates their thinking.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Clueless was 15 years ago. Is it just me or has Paul Rudd simply not aged in 15 years. He looks the same at 41 than he did at 26.
Wish I Was There

Martin Scorsese attends imovie workshop at Apple Store.

"I haven't been this enamored of a title screen since my mother took me to see Duel In The Sun when I was 6," said Scorsese, standing up to address the iMovie demonstrator and the audience. "So just to clarify, all I have to do is go to the title menu, type a word, and that will be superimposed over the screen? That's just an extraordinary feature. Look at that, you can make words scroll like credits at the end of a movie. Wait until I tell Brian De Palma about this."

What would I do without the Onion. Feel sad, that's what.
Could Prove To Be Interesting

ACLU is bringing a case to court about the US Government's ability to kill terrorists anywhere we want.

Much more so than the torture issue, this gets at a core question of American political philosophy. How comfortable are we - as a country - giving our military or spy services the power to clandestinely kill people anywhere and everywhere? Obviously, in this age of terrorism, where Al Queda openly makes the entire world a battleground, there are reasons for allowing such a law. But if anything ought to give you the heebie-jeebies, it is state-sanctioned murder without trial or burden of proof or any boundaries or checks and balances.

One needn't be soft on terror or a stupid moon-bat liberal to be concerned with this much unchecked government power.
The Sign of Decline

Interns paying thousands to work for free.
White Self Pity

Hitchens criticizes the Glenn Beck rally of being about white self pity and the fear of whites becoming the minority in America.

I don't worry too much about this issue, although I suppose it may be murky waters ahead if our ruling class continues act like spoiled teenagers.

The Washington Post quoted Linda Adams, a Beck supporter from Colorado, who said, "We want our country to get back to its original roots," adding that "her ancestors were on the Mayflower and fought in the American Revolution."

Yeah, mine too. The others were illegal immigrants. Ironic, I suppose.
Another Good VDH Column

On what is behind the mosque.

How the left sees it: 1) Rauf is a sincere ecumenicalist, who simply wants to turn the “tragedy” of 9/11 into a teachable moment of interfaith bridge-building: the mosque, in other words, will be a beacon of America’s tolerance;

How most of America sees it: 4) Rauf is a wily, cynical divisive figure who knows darn well that, on his Islamic flank, radical Islamists will use his mosque for triumphalist propaganda value, while, on his liberal flank, the clueless multicultural left will see it as a way of contextualizing America’s role in the world — as all the while he emphasizes a supposed litany of America’s overseas transgressions; if the mosque is built, it surely by intent will be a much discussed, perennially controversial center aimed at offering context to often polarizing Islamic ideas about everything from Iran, Hamas, and bin Laden, to Sharia and the role of religion and state — a project as praised by the left in the U.S. as it is employed as a banner logo on radical Islamist Internet sites in the Middle East.

What a lot of this boils down to - many on the left seem to think America needs to grapple and be "taught" about racism, islamophobia, etc. You see the same attitude in the immigration debate. I disagree. I don't think America has a fundamental problem with race or xenophobia anymore. I simply don't see it. For the left, this is the issue that can never be resolved - no amount of affirmative action, no amount of free borders, no amount of mosques built on ground zero, no amount of anything that can be expressed as "tolerance" will ever be enough or ever be asked to be measure up against other values. Take illegal immigration, for example. The left basically takes the position that an act that is by-definition ILLEGAL is preferable to enforcement that may-be-construed as somehow racial.
But That Makes Way Too Much Sense

There is a simple solution to the housing crisis: lower prices.

Congress is currently discussing creative new ways to prop up this market. It should be plain as day at this juncture that the government cannot fix the housing market with their incessant fidgeting. The market needs to correct further before reaching a sustainable bottom. Lower prices will act as an automatic stabilizer by generating significant demand. At this point, more government intervention merely kicks the can down the road by pulling demand from the future. We can continue to deny the simple economics at work here, but at some point the market will prevail and prices will settle at a level that the market can absorb. In my opinion, the sooner this happens the sooner we can get on with the recovery process. Unfortunately, politicians have elections to win so they will continue to use their law degrees to attempt to change the laws of economics. It won’t work.

The debate over whether to prop up the housing market through banks or through keeping homeowners in their homes is ridiculous. Why do "homeowners" or "mortgage holders" get to carry any special privilege than other debtors? It makes zero sense. This romantic notion of the American dream and home ownership has been manipulated into a suckers game where greedy lenders, dishonest brokers, and foolish consumers collude to push up the prices on homes and leave normal people overpaying and then on the hook for bail outs. I just hope the market corrects in the next 5-7 years, right when I'm getting ready to buy.
No Shit

Do ya really need a survey to to prove Facebook feeds narcissism?

Narcissism is defined in the survey, by a researcher at York University in Toronto, Canada, as "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and an exaggerated sense of self-importance."

For the average narcissist, Facebook "offers a gateway for hundreds of shallow relationships and emotionally detached communication."

Ahhh...the new millenium.

Lawyer suspended for billing more than 24 hours a day.

One of the greatest pleasures of NOT being a lawyer is not tracking how much time I spend on each task during the day. What a bore.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Mullen: Debt is top national security threat.

There's basically no good way to spin the debt crisis.
I Think That's Right

"Violent crime should be treated more harshly, everything else less so."
The German Model

A good David Brooks piece on how Germany and America reacted to the economic crisis differently.

In the short run, it looks like the German's got it more right. Then again, I'm dealing with a German production company right now on an option payment and it's the most tedious and stupid set of procedures I've ever encountered. If I was an author, I wouldn't sell my IP rights to a German film company.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Mark Steryn breaks it down.

On the other hand, "Islamophobia" is not phony or even psychological but very literal - if you're a Dutch member of parliament or British novelist or Danish cartoonist in hiding under threat of death or a French schoolgirl in certain suburbs getting jeered at as an infidel whore, your Islamophobia is highly justified. But Islam's appropriation of the gay lobby's framing of the debate is very artful. It's the most explicit example of how Islam uses politically correct self-indulgent victimology as a cover. You'll recall that most Western media outlets declined to publish those Danish cartoons showing the Prophet Mohammed. Thus, even as they were piously warning of a rise in bogus "Islamophobia" - i.e., entirely justified concerns over Islamic terrorism and related issues - they were themselves suffering from genuine Islamophobia - i.e., a very real fear that, if they published those cartoons, an angry mob would storm their offices. It was a fine example of how the progressive mind's invented psychoses leave it without any words to describe real dangers.

There's definitely a creepy relationship between the mindset of so called "progressives" and "Islamicists." These two ought to be mortal enemies, yet rarely do they stand in one another's way and oftentimes seem to have a sort of dysfunction respect for one another. Just a case of the weaklings finding strength from one another - a bit like Kenny Powers and Stevie's relationship.
Ken Mehlman Is Gay

Ann Althouse says: I thought everyone knew he was gay.

I say: who is Ken Mehlman?
A Strange Feeling I Just Had

For some reason, I just felt a small longing for hanging out in San Francisco. This is rare -- much as I love SF -- I don't often long to be there. But just now, I had a small moment, wishing I had plans in the city tonight.

Since the economic crisis, consumers have pulled more than $33 billion out of the stock market.

Obviously, losing all that dough has scared many folks straight. Plus, the demographic issue of lots of baby boomers nearing retirement would have a natural compounding effect on saving cash vs. equity.

There are some folks who still think a double dip recession is coming and the dow could fall to 5000 (including Mark Cuban who thinks stocks are for suckers). Maybe. But then again, maybe not.

I'm still a fan of stocks. I like companies that I understand what they make and sell and especially if I use their product. I like companies that pay a dividend. I like watching companies and when I see what I think is a good buying opportunity, go for it. And then plan on holding onto the stock for 20 years. So for instance, I see Bank of American trading at 12-13 right now. And I know it is a shitty time for banks, but let's get real, there's always going to be a need for the basic bank business. And BofA is now one of the biggest banks in the country. Unless I think it's going belly up, eventually it's going to recover. I figure. In the moment, it isn't much money up front and I figure it is a good bet to grow in the next 10-20 years.

All these people leaving market, to my mind, makes it a good time to buy.
Let's Be Real

No one is looking forward to playing the Niners this year. They are going to bring some pain to their opponents.
What Did Obama Do Wrong?

A fair minded defense of Obama's economic policies. The basic argument was that his hands were tied and the policies we have were in some ways inevitable. His only fault may have been creating too high expectations - but then again - he would not have gotten elected without those expectations. All very ironic indeed.

The odd thing - I suspect all this may be true - our government is hamstrung by institutions and voter will and all sorts of forces beyond even their control. Makes you wonder if any of it matters.
This Is Right

On the impulse of a liberal v. conservative

To me, the liberal impulse is basically: We Can Do Better. And the conservative impulse? Don't Make It Worse. ...Liberals appreciate the promise of the future; conservatives appreciate how rickety the accomplishments of the present are, and how easily what we think is safe can be destroyed.

Yes. Which makes the Iraq project ironic because it was a liberal impulse to invade and fix. I always called it a liberal war.
Homeless Libertarians

On some level, I've always been a libertarian, although never always articulate about it. In the liberal enclaves where I reside, libertarian's don't get taken too seriously - they are generally dismissed as Ayn Randian selfish assholes.

I rather like this idea of libertarians, though:

"Libertarian methods are often the best way to achieve righteous progressive goals" -- a position I agree with, but which has little or no chance of finding support among today's progressives.

I firmly believe this. But I also believe if push came to shove and it became a choice between liberty and equality, I'd choose liberty...which differentiates me from most Democrats and Liberals. It is rare, however, that this would ever come up.
Equality Now!

Protesters demand more equal rights for topless beach goers.

Now that is cause I can get behind.
Economic Stimulus

Ugh. The more I read about the stimulus, the more annoyed I get. Regardless of whether it was a good idea, the execution was horrific.

"Look at the stimulus and the number of jobs we've actually created, and it comes out to a couple million bucks per job created," Hassett told me.

"My idea is simpler. Find the unemployed and hire them."

If the government had spent the stimulus hiring people directly, we could have supported 23 million jobs, Hassett claimed. Hiring millions of unemployed workers directly into government organizations that already exist -- such as the military and the Army Corps of Engineers -- would be a much more efficient use of government funds.

Dude...the government could give me 10 million bucks to make a movie and I'd put to work unemployed actors and production people and I bet the movie would make frigging money.

I'm serious...is this the worst idea in the world? I know they wouldn't give ME the money, but they could directly finance a movie just like they do in Europe and get people working in a viable industry. That plan is way too simple and makes way too much sense.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Why is Hollywood uber liberal - especially economically? Here is one theory.

Hollywood stars hence feel that there is something arbitrary about their success — that their personal merit does not warrant their revered status. While they may be pleased at this outcome, they can’t help but feel that the system is unjust because their status is undeserved. They watch people in the lower rungs of society struggle and become overcome by a deep sense of guilt for holding the winning ticket in the lottery of life. They distrust capitalism for the seemingly unfair inequality it produces and thus favor redistribution.

However, what Hollywood fails to realize is that markets allocate rewards not based on individual merit but on the value individuals produce for others. As Nozick said, “a capitalist society rewards people only insofar as they serve the market-expressed desires of others; it rewards in accordance with economic contribution, not in accordance with personal value.” This might seem counter-intuitive but, if you think about it, a system that rewards individuals for improving the lot of others is far fairer than one that rewards them for some arbitrary intrinsic quality.


There's nothing wrong with glamour, per se, but to think it will provide us answers or meaning fundamentally misses the point. On politcal glamour and Obama:

In an era of tell-all memoirs, ubiquitous paparazzi, and reality-show exhibitionism, glamour may seem absent from Hollywood. But Obama demonstrates that its magic still exists. What a glamorous candidate he was—less a person than a persona, an idealized, self-contained figure onto whom audiences projected their own dreams, a Garbo-like “impassive receptacle of passionate hopes and impossible expectations,” in the words of Time’s Joe Klein. The campaign’s iconography employed classically glamorous themes, with its stylized portraits of the candidate gazing into the distance and its logo of a road stretching toward the horizon. Now, of course, Obama is experiencing glamour’s downside: the disillusionment that sets in when imagination meets reality. Hence James Lileks’s recent quip about another contemporary object of glamour, “The Apple tablet is the Barack Obama of technology. It’s whatever you want it to be, until you actually get it.”

Ah yes, that nasty thing know as reality.
Beyond Complex

As if Afghanistan wasn't complicated enough in and of itself, the new Dexter Filkins article shows how it has become a proxy battleground for the India-Pakistan rivalry.
Unintended Consequences

Used car prices up 30%
. Thanks, Cash for Clunkers...

So we have a government program whose stated aim was to shore up huge, failed corporations by giving public money to mostly upper-income people that in the end will penalize low and middle-income people.

What a joke.

Home prices may drop 25%

I hope home prices do drop so I can buy one someday. I could give a shit if people overpaid for their houses, it's not my job to make them whole. I overspent at the bar last weekend, I don't see any homeowners offering to pick up my tab.

This is why I'm not a teacher.

But we could use more like him.
Hope and Change

How the regulatory environment is making it more difficult for businesses to hire.

The problem today is that the economy is not being left alone. Instead, it is haunted by uncertainty on a hundred fronts. When rules are unintelligible and unpredictable, when new workers are potential threats because of Labor Department regulations, businesses have little confidence to hire. President Obama's vaunted legislative record not only left entrepreneurs with the burden of bigger government, it also makes it impossible for them to accurately estimate the new burden.

In at least three big areas -- health insurance, financial regulation and taxes -- no one can know what will happen.

New intrusive rules for health insurance are yet to be written, and those rules will affect hiring, since most health insurance is provided by employers.

Thanks to the new 2,300 page Dodd-Frank finance regulatory act, The Wall Street Journal reports, there will be "no fewer than 243 new formal rule-makings by 11 different federal agencies." These as-yet unknown rules will govern lending to business and other key financial activity.

The George W. Bush tax cuts might be allowed to expire. But maybe not. Social Security and Medicare are dangerously shaky. Will Congress raise the payroll tax? A "distinguished" deficit commission is meeting. What will it do? Recommend a value-added tax?

It's pretty clear whatever is being done to fix the economy isn't working. Then again, I think it's a good time to buy stocks and they are going into the shitter.
Why Don't We Just Community Organize?

Intel chief on why the next great technology is going to be invented elsewhere.

The U.S. legal environment has become so hostile to business, Otellini said, that there is likely to be "an inevitable erosion and shift of wealth, much like we're seeing today in Europe--this is the bitter truth."

Maybe we can sell community organizing to other countries.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Disagreeing with Hitchens

Hitchens talks about how "not to resist intolerance."

Huh? Really?

Why is it a test of tolerance to support the building of the mosque on Ground Zero? That's like asking me to enjoy "The Kids Are All Right" because it has gay characters. Of course anyone has the right to make a crappy movie or put up a mosque on their private property. But that doesn't mean one needs to support it. Nor does it prove "tolerance."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tedious NY Times Article About 20-somethings

I doubt anyone will finish this article.

The subject is interesting - to me - this idea of taking a lot longer to grow up today. I feel like the tip of the spear - working in entertainment, doing grad school into my late 20s. Still single. Pursuing dreams. All that bullshit.

But jesus - this article is long winded and says nothing. Too much time on their hands, the audience. Maybe that is part of the problem.
More on the Mosque

Howard Dean doesn't think 65% of Americans are bigots for opposing building a mosque on the 9/11 site. Duh.

The plan is deliberately provocative. Now, I don't have a problem with being provocative, in general, it just depends on the subject. I don't think 9/11 is a subject worth being provocative about. I mean...it was mass murder. Do we provoke victims of serial killers? Of rape? What is the point of such provocation?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Never Been A Fan

On the fading appeal of hipster-nerdom and Scott Pilgrim the flop.

I was never a fan of the hipster scene, but for the longest while didn't have the language to articulate why or how exactly. Now there is enough hipster work to reveal the inner-douceyness and annoying posturing of the "scene."

Not sure I agree with the idea that Obama isn't very smart.

But she is certainly right about the perils of excessive praise.

WEEKLY JOBLESS CLAIMS HIT 500,000: New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to a nine-month high last week, yet another setback to the frail economic recovery. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 500,000 in the week ended August 14, the highest since mid-November, the Labor Department said on Thursday.


Facebook (and places)

How Facebook Places works.

On privacy:

• The default setting for Facebook Places only sends location alerts to your Facebook friends. There are ways to change that (we'll talk about changing your settings later) to tell more, or fewer, people. But as is, no one you haven't approved as a friend can see what you post.

Ugh. Can you think of anything more annoying - trying to figure out the settings of who to let know where you are and when? Just another ridiculous waste of time. It's not enough just to live your life anymore, we need to publicize our lives as well? Soon, we'll just get rid of the "running into so-and-so" phenomenon and everyone will be stalking one another on Facebook. This is a future I want no part of. A future designed by nerds to stalk cooler people. Lame.
On Cougars

Lots of buzz and articles on the blogosphere about cougar-dom and all these middle aged woman acting like college girls, ditching their yuppie lives and looking for romance, etc, etc.

My take on all of this: whatever. Everyone wants romance and crazy hook ups and all that stuff. Guys, girls, whoever. Smarter people realize the downside of the lifestyle - no rides to the airport, eating alone a lot, no one to watch Seinfeld re-runs with. I'm no marriage expert, but it strikes me if you make the right choice in who to marry and just stick to the vows that there will come a moment when you're both old and gray and the kids are all grown up and the world has changed from the way you remember it...that the both of you will look back and be and proud of what you built together. Proud that you made it through the suck and didn't succumb to all the nonsense of the weaker and more fickle of your peers. People who are lucky enough to find this, I imagine, die in peace without much regret.

But what the fuck do I know.

On the failure of Keynes.

I have an alternative explanation: Credit froze because all over the country defaults on mortgages, car loans, student loans and credit cards were reaching historical highs. Letting Lehman die was Henry Paulson’s single act of courage, and he followed it up by doing what he does best: soiling his Depends and scaring the children with wild tales about the bank failures, derivative defaults and lover’s lane murderers that would be unleashed if the taxpayers didn’t give a trillion dollars to the largest banks on the planet. The entire ethical structure of the free market was destroyed so that Sheila Bair could be spared the inconvenience of euthanizing crippled, syphilitic ghouls like Citigroup and Bank of America.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Facebook now has a feature to let your "friends" know exactly where you are at all times.

There is another term for this - a leash.
Upper Class in America

Interesting question: what constitutes being upper class in America.

I certainly am not.
Quarter Life Crisis

Mine lead me to film school. HUGE mistake. I'm kidding. But I rather like this little quarterlife crisis letter and response.

I'm not there anymore, but I can remember the time.
Big Surprise

Brett Favre un-retires for the fifth straight year.

My dream job would be outside linebacker or blitzing safety just so I could have a few cracks at hitting the living shit out of Farve on the football field. Does he not realize the Saints laid out the perfect game-plan for beating the Viking? Keep hitting Farve until he ruins his own team by tossing an important interception. I mean, this is just too obvious.
Stupid, Funny Moment Perfect For A Blog Entry

Yesterday I was at the gym. I hate the gym. I go almost every day for rehab on my ACL surgery. I never speak to anyone at the gym. I hate most of the people at the gym with their stupid obsession with improving their bodies at the expense of doing something interesting. It is true that repetitive boring exercises improve your heath and body and sports performance. I wish I had the discipline, maybe I would have been a better soccer player or baseball player or whatever. But I just hate it so much. I'd so much rather be doing 50000000 different things. Like playing. Or reading. Or taking a poop.

Yesterday, I'm stretching before my jogging exercises. I'm always looking around at the people at the gym. It's really the only thing to do. A body catches my eye. She is ridiculous. Boobs so unnaturally enormous and perky...the only odder thing was her incredibly skinny frame. She was older. I didn't have control over my eyes. I mean, this person mutated themselves to tap into evolutionary instincts that are far above and beyond my control. But I'm not a disgusting douche or at least try not to be. So I'm not trying to stare. But my eyes get caught on her for a minute as she slowly exits frame. And somehow, from right behind her, is another girl - just a regular normal looking girl and our eyes somehow perfectly lock. She caught me looking. Or maybe I caught her looking. A slight smile creeps across her face. For some unknown reason I shake my head gently - an acknowledgment of both seeing something ridiculous and getting caught staring at it. She starts laughing her ass off and then I can't help but laugh also.

And that's it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

LA Full of Racists

Tons of people pissed about yesterday's Presidential traffic jam.

I didn't get caught up in it.

UPDATE: I take it all back. Traffic into work today was a total nightmare. There is a metaphor for our times in this little episode: Obama comes to town for $34,000 a plate dinner with the uber Hollywood elite to raise money and ends up causing nasty traffic during rush hour for all the hardworking peons. Unintentional, of course, yet still kind of reflects the way the country is today. People are working their asses off because they fear for their jobs and companies are asking more of their employees because money is tight. You work your ass off and just want to go home at night and get caught in double or triple time traffic so Obama can dine with the Hollywood elite and raise ungodly amounts of money. For what? To get reelected? To what end? To supposedly help all those schmucks in traffic. One gets the feeling they all might be better off if just left alone...

Monday, August 16, 2010

40 hours Week

I'd be the first to advocate working fewer hours because excessive hours at the office leads to sloppiness and mistakes. But 40? It would depend on the rate productivity diminishes.

More reasons for stopping Iran from getting the bomb.

Number 1 matters. A lot.

1) International law and the stewardship of the United Nations will have been irretrievably ruined. The mullahs will have broken every solemn undertaking that they ever gave: to the International Atomic Energy Agency; to the European Union, which has been their main negotiating interlocutor up until now; and to the United Nations. (Tehran specifically rejects the right of the U.N. Security Council to have any say in this question.) Those who usually fetishize the role of the United Nations and of the international nuclear inspectors have a special responsibility to notice this appalling outcome.

If the UN can't stop Iran from getting the bomb, is there any point to its existence?
Ground Zero Mosque

Good point.

A self-professed ecumenical Islamic organization picks a spot next to the site of the mass murder of 2,700 New Yorkers by radical Islamic terrorists — a deliberately provocative act designed to, at best, bother millions and, at worst, provide the sorts of visuals and optics that will shortly appear in DVDs and on the internet throughout radical Islamic enclaves in the Middle East, as a mosque is juxtaposed to the memorial shell of the World Trade Center. (We know what’s next: “O blessed Holy Warrior Atta, you took down the looming tower of the infidels and raised a mosque in its place!”)

The president weighs in on a local issue (cf. the Professor Gates/Officer Crowley mess), deliberately misrepresenting it and inflaming passions quite gratuitously by suggesting critics wanted to ban by law the mosque rather than pressure the organizers to reconsider. Surely Barack Obama knew the issue was one of decorum and taste and reverence, and surely Barack Obama tried to obfuscate all that by demonizing opponents as awful sorts of un-Americans without tolerance of religious diversity (revisit the clingers riff of 2008).

It's pretty ridiculous for those who "support" building a mosque at Ground Zero to accuse those who find it in bad taste of being "intolerant." Of course, they legally CAN build a mosque on Ground Zero. But as Chris Rock says, "Just because you can drive a car with your feet, doesn't make it a good idea."

A mosque at Ground Zero is not a good idea.
Taliban Stone Man and Women To Death

I suppose that's one way to frown upon infidelity.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Death and Taxes

On the costs of an employee.

Now that money is tight, breaking all this down make you wonder where it all goes...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nice Move

Bush greets some troops coming home in Dallas.

"President Bush often says that he doesn't miss much about being the President, but he does miss being the Commander in Chief of an incredible group of men and women", he said.

Kind of an interesting contrast to Clinton, who clearly loved the "work" of being a President.
Glenn Beck In Favor of Gay-Homo Marriage


BECK: I believe — I believe what Thomas Jefferson said. If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, what difference is it to me?

A broken clocks is still right twice a day.
What Is Wrong With Me

I'm watching and enjoying Entourage this year, despite the total ridiculousness. Turtle with that girl? Are you kidding me?

I like Ari being put under pressure by younger entertainment people. I like Drama. Vince starting to act a little crazy again is good. But man, what are they doing to themselves where Turtle is banging a hotter girl than Vince. Something is wrong. Nevertheless, I could watch Drama being depressed for an entire episode.

TV and Crime

An East Baltimore citizen suggests a freaky explanation for recent violence in the city: “Check the date they cut off free cable, and watch the next day the murder rates go crazy. The moment they stopped it the kids were on the street 3 or 4 a.m. in the morning. No stories, no cartoon network, nothing to do. That’s the real problem,” says Eric Brockton, the founder of a group called No More Guns.

Interesting theory.
Not A Huge Surprise

WaPo editorial: Obamanomics have failed.

I guess it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that economics isn't the strong suit of Obama presidency. This is what you get when you vote for a guy who has never run a business and for some reason is proud of being a community organizer (still unclear what that is and am fairly certain it didn't make anyone any money...it strikes me as just a form of charity, trying to guilt people into giving over money...correct me if I'm wrong).

Still, I thought he was a smart enough guy to know what he didn't know and entrust the economy people who know what they are doing. You might argue no one knows what they are doing in a global economy this complex. Perhaps. But leadership is a tricky thing and one sets a tone about what is acceptable and what is not and the people follow suit. Now it seems - for whatever reason - Obama's economic team has created a strange mish-mash of practical choices and ideological choices - ie limited stimulus, going after universal healthcare that seems to stem from Obama's POV of the world. It isn't working in the same way Iraq wasn't working. You could say - well, the Obama economic plan will work EVENTUALLY in the same way you could say Iraq will EVENTUALLY be a functioning state...
What To Do With Your Money, Then?

If the stock market is no longer a safe bet, what the hell is one to do with their money? Real Estate? Ahhh...

It seems like the only real safe bet is to invest in yourself, ie try to pick up skills that others think are valuable and translate it into a high paying job. And still, a 2% rate of return in the stock market is better than sticking your dough in the bank and watch it inflate away.
Really Bad Sign

World wide youth unemployment reaches record highs.

When you first start working, you suck at your job. You are terrible and worthless. But people like you. So they teach you the easy stuff and eventually you become valuable. And if you are good, you teach yourself how to become more valuable. Then you make money.

For people who aren't given the opportunity to suck when they're young, I don't see how they'll ever become valuable. And make money. This is a very big problem. This is how America falls from grace.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Be A Good Dad

Because your daughters will find a way to get back at you if you aren't. Report: Laurence Fishborne devastated his daughter is starting a career in porn.

One of the many reasons I'm not in a huge hurry to start a family.

NOTE: Obviously I do not know Morpheus' fathering skills, maybe he was the best dad ever and she still goes off and does porn (doubtful, but possible). Nevertheless, my point here is to criticize Morpheus, but rather point out that daughters possess the ultimate payback weapon to bad dads - become a porn actress.
Iran and The Bomb

A lengthy and scary article about how Israel will bomb Iran in the next 12 months if nothing is done to prove their nuclear innocence.

A different question, of interest to me - what would happen if Iran got the bomb?

It is clear they would not, the day after going nuclear, simply bomb Tel Aviv and thus guarantee their own destruction by Israel's reprisal. What they would do is pretty clear: saber rattle and give a nuclear umbrella to their proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas to up attacks against Israel. They would embolden Islamic Fundamentalists everywhere to step up provocations. It would force smaller Arab countries to make alliances with Iran. It would be like a crazy neighbor in your apartment carrying around a loaded machine gun. You would be 90% sure he wasn't going to use it, but probably, to be on the safe side, move out when you got a chance.

Can we afford this scenario? To cede this area to the crazies? I wish we could.
Denny's Selling Heart Attacks

A fried cheese sandwich.

To be clear: Your breaded fried cheese will now be smothered in more bread and more cheese, and fried again. Concentric nesting dolls of deep fried cheese! It's a thing of wonder, really.

The Obsolescence Of Barack Obama

I can take the point that the country (myself included) fell for the "promise of an untested redeemer."

And by that logic, Sarah Palin should remain a tv personality.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mind Reading

New tools for mind reading.

Although I suppose in theory you could utilize this technology to makes lots of money and bang lots of chicks, it might take the fun out of it.
Colonizing Space

Stephen Hawking thinks we need to do it for survival.
I Heart Tina Fey

I would have thought my Tina Fey crush would have ended by now.

It hasn't.
Now That Is My Type of Progressivism

Putting a gay bar right next to the Mosque at Ground Zero.

I'd drink there.

UPDATE: Ugh. Just found out they won't serve alcohol because it's geared towards Islamic gay dudes. Nevermind, I won't go there, now. If they'd serve booze, I'd go.
Falling Down

BEST JOB WALK-OFF EVER?: A JetBlue flight attendant fed up with a rude passenger took to the airplane's PA system to cuss out the man, then grabbed two beers, activated, and slid down the emergency inflatable slide, and went home Monday. As the plane was landing, the passenger sprung up to get his baggage from the overhead bin; flight attendant Steven Slater told him to sit down, and the man refused. The baggage fell on Slater's head, but instead of apologizing, the passenger cussed at him. So Slater grabbed the microphone and said, "To the passenger who called me a motherfucker, fuck you I've been in the business 28 years. I've had it. That's it." Slater slid away and drove home, where he was arrested on charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing. Several Facebook pages have popped up supporting Slater and his I-can't-take-it-anymore act, the kind most Americans have only dreamed of.

I'm not such a huge fan of the male-blow up fantasy. To me, it always felt like the gesture of an impotent. Not fundamentally dissimilar from the terrorist impluse. Nevertheless, I never knew there was a law against criminal mischief. If I'm ever to be charged with a crime - that's the one I want to be charged with.

The answers to most things are stunningly simple, yet yield complex results. Rarely does more complexity lead to good results. Example - how to fix the economy.

The top priority is to understand that we’re in this mess because collectively we’re misinformed. The wrong amount of money’s being created, spent, and it’s being spent on the wrong things. The next big priority to realize is that nobody knows the answers and that nobody, individually, will ever know the answers. We have a great system for relatively efficiently getting the answers. They emerge from the interplay of the free market. This system is currently working sub-par because we’ve used the law in complex ways that nobody understands to “tweak” things and the system’s gotten away from anybody’s control.

The people of the USA need to (yes, starting with me) take inventory of all the institutions that they’re supposed to be overseeing and start taking the job seriously.
1. Undo the tweaks (and yes, this one line could be expanded out to book length)
2. Create a fair deal for everybody instead of special deals for the politically connected
3. Promote entrepreneurship by getting out of the way
4. Pursue public sector productivity. It will never match private sector productivity but we certainly can do better.

Monday, August 09, 2010

This Strangely Makes Sense to Me

Lady Gaga says, "I have this weird thing that if I sleep with someone they are going to take my creativity through my vagina."

Not that I'm creative or have a vagina, but...I don't know...it makes a hell of a lot more sense than Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore's relationship in The Kids Are All Right.
The Kids Are All Right, aka Lesbians Are Also Hopelessly Neurotic and Self Hating Just Like Other Limousine Liberals

This film was good for what it is. But I don't like what it is. The scene that really did it in was Annette Bening flipping out in the restaurant. The exchange in the bar -

"You helped me set up the business so you could feel good about yourself."

"No, I helped you set up the business so you could feel good about yourself."

Ugh. I don't think there is a more perfect way to summarize the hopeless neuroticism of coastal dwelling uber-liberals and their needlessly anxious, xanax popping, pinot noir sipping, truffle oil flavoring, wheat grass drinking yuppie lifestyles.

Good God, how wrong they have it. You help the people you love because you believe in them and/or you believe in the concept. Why would anyone want help setting up business to "feel good." What fuck kind of soft-ass people have we become?

And let me say a couple things about the sexuality of this film, since it puts it all up there front and center:

1. I didn't buy for a second Mark Ruffalo fell for Julianne Moore. Let me explain something about the male species - we don't eschew super hot and super cool young chicks who want to bone our brains out in favor of pasty old lesbians with severe confidence issues. Just as a general rule. I suppose I could buy it if I believed they were soul mates or they had "that thing," or chemistry or whatever you want to call it. They didn't. Bad directing. Bad acting.

2. Lovey-dovey-ness. If Annette Bening and Julianne More were a straight couple, their lovey-dovey-ness at the beginning of the film would be deemed disgusting. It was totally indulgent and meek and unrealistic. But because they were lesbians, I am forced to ask myself - am I homophobic? What is wrong with me? Then I realized, I have no problem with lesbians. I'm much more dude-homophobic in that I would much prefer to watch lesbian porn than dude gay porn. Nevertheless, I think Brokeback is an awesome movie and the relationship believable and no way did my weiner move during the gay butt sex scenes. Point is, regardless of whether I am homophobic, this freaking movie hides behind Loving Lesbians to make saccharine, unsexual, and boring "love" scenes between two characters. It hides behind political correctness and forgets we're watching a movie and where the f is the tension in seeing snuggles and kisses?

My last point - don't give characters speeches at the end of movies. Unless you got Al Pacino. And I'm not positive Al can even do it anymore. My body gave out an uncontrolable groan when Julianne Moore stood up and gave her family a speech about marriage. You gotta be kidding me.
So Goes the Nation

The old saying is that as California goes, so goes the nation.

The above linked article is a rough look at what "progressive" policies have wrought for the middle class of the state.

The new progressives were as unenthusiastic about welcoming business as about building infrastructure. Fundamentally indifferent or even hostile to the existing private sector, they embraced two peculiar notions about what could sustain California’s economy in its place. The first of these was California’s inherent creativity—a delusion held not only by liberal Democrats. David Crane, Governor Schwarzenegger’s top economic advisor, once told me that California could easily afford to give up blue-collar jobs in warehousing, manufacturing, or even business services because the state’s vaunted “creative economy” would find ways to replace the lost employment and income. California would always come out ahead, he said, because it represented “ground zero for creative destruction.”
Graph by Alberto Mena.

The second engine that could supposedly keep California humming was the so-called green economy. Michael Grunwald recently wrote in Time, for example, that venture capital, high tech, and, above all, “green” technology were already laying the foundation of a miraculous economic turnaround in California. Though there are certainly opportunities in new energy-saving technologies, this is an enthusiasm that requires some serious curbing. One recent study hailing the new industry found that California was creating some 10,000 green jobs annually before the recession. But that won’t heal a state that has lost 700,000 jobs since then.

If you are at all interested in California and why our state is currently ungovernable, this is a must read. It is tragic, really. California is blessed with incredible natural resources, natural beauty, and at one time, had a great infrastructure - schools, roads, power grid, etc. Now - over the course of a generation, we have ceded power to public employee unions who are bankrupting the state and moonbat green-environmentalists. The result - decay. And a dying middle class.

Also, can some politician be brave enough to stand up and say that this whole notion of a green economy is freaking bullshit nonsense? I mean, honestly, people just throw this term around as if there is no cost and only benefit. What the f--- is a green job - can someone explain that to me? Just give me one example of a green job or a green product? Recycled paper? I've been recycling since I was born - what the hell is new about that? There is a cost to listening to bullshit like this - we invest our hard earned treasure into flakey nonsensical businesses - and then wonder where it all goes. If the stupid fucking hippies really believe in the "green" economy and solar powered cars, they can invest their own money into building one, but not my tax dollars. Why does it have to be tax dollars? Can someone explain that as well?
We Are Who We Are

Interesting study on childhood personality traits remain in adults 40 years later.

For whatever reason, I find this strangely reassuring.

Saturday, August 07, 2010


One worrisome trend in American culture is our fear of losing. You see this fear embedded in decision-making all across the spectrum from public to private. The biggest two examples are the federal bail out of the banks and the war in Afghanistan. The bail out of the banks was a way to avoid the consequences of risk-taking. People took risky loans, bankers took risks on shady borrowers, other bankers bought this risky debt and so on. And they were all wrong. But rather than ask people to live with the consequences of their bad choices, the federal government decided to bail the banks out. Many on left were incensed because they thought the government should have bailed out the homeowners as opposed to the banks. But this is just an argument over who gets to be bailed out by their bad choices - not whether we ought to be bailed out. Not surprisingly, it is those better connected. They all bet on a bad hand at poker and then want their money back after losing.

And now we look at the issue of Afghanistan. We are so terrified of "losing" the war, we're sending more and more troops over to this wasteland of a country with less than 1000 Al Queders for what? It makes no sense anymore. What are we trying to "win" over there? We thought we might be able to transform Afghanistan into a liberal democracy and at the very least, make it inhospitable to Al Queda. We reached the lowest of our goals in Afghanistan. So let's pack up and save our energies for another cause. Because we can't be foolish enough to believe Afghanistan will become South Korea anytime soon with any number of troops we leave there.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Hezbollah Using Facebook

To gain cyber info against Israelis by using a fake hot Israeli chick profile.

Are we seriously supposed to regard this as clever? I mean, this strikes me as beyond obvious.

And, in case you were wondering....that's why I'm not on facebook.
Paddling Kids

I didn't know they still did this.

Would never have gotten away with this in Marin County, where I grew up. But I honestly don't see the huge problem with it, so long as the beating is done responsibly.
Prop 8

The best argument for overturning Prop 8 is what I can the "who gives a shit" argument. Gay marriage matters to what? 2% of the population? How can that reasonably be said to mess with the institution of marriage?

That's the winning argument - not this issue of rights, blah, blah, blah and trying to masquerade under the banner of a new Civil Rights struggle that ever self-hating liberal wishes they were apart of (in theory).

Good point here.

When polled, young adults are invariably heavily in favor, guaranteeing that the legal posture on this issue will shift further over the next decade. The real effect of this decision, assuming it’s upheld on appeal, will be to let gay-marriage opponents claim that they were cheated in a debate that they were losing and bound to lose anyway.
Rock, Paper, Scissors

As a youngster, we always called this game Ro-Sham-Bo. Here is a key to winning.

I challenge any Public Musings to Roshambo. I will be victorious.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do

It is a little disappointing to find a proponent of more government spending and more taxes - avoiding taxes - again. I suppose it isn't surprising, but it sort of makes Kerry difficult to take seriously.

Don't think the issue of personal behavior isn't lost on people. Again, Al Gore's rants about global warming - whether they are true or not - get lost on me when he flies on private jets and causes a much larger carbon footprint than me and my whole family put together. The issue on global warming isn't so much whether it is happening or not, but whether there is anything we can do about it. Especially given the sacrifices the biggest global warming activists aren't willing to make.

And regarding taxes, there's this:

Note how all this wealth was made: John Edwards made it summarizing personal-injury cases against doctors; Al Gore by hyping a global-warming Armageddon and then offering psychological and concrete ameliorations for it; John Kerry by marrying someone who had married someone who had inherited it. This suggests that some of the most influential of the rich Democratic elite don’t have much experience with the role of low taxes or less regulation in fostering profitable, capital-creating enterprises.

Like I said, do as I say, not as I do.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Books to Movies

Dennis Lehane sums up author disappointment well.

Ending up with a movie that bears no resemblance to the book is often a writer's worst nightmare, though author Dennis Lehane, whose "Mystic River," "Gone Baby Gone" and "Shutter Island" have all made it to the big screen, scoffs at the notion.

"It's like the guy who comes out of the whorehouse complaining that he didn't feel loved," Lehane told DigitalJournal.com in May.

"We're not babes in the woods. We know the process. We take the money, they invest in an interpretation of our work, and we just shut up."

That's why I'm not on Facebook.
'Z Logic

I generally remain quiet on the Arizona immigration issue, because, well, I don't live in Arizona and so don't have a huge opinion on the matter. How would I feel if the Federal Government neglected the border and thousands of illegal immigrants were pouring over every day? How would I feel if I were local law enforcement and tasked with dealing with the problem? How would I feel if I tried to fix the problem and then got sued by the Federal Government, criticized by Washington, and lampooned in the NY Times. I suppose I'd feel bad. Or like this guy.

Then again, I don't think of myself as a racist. Which, if I support Arizona's law, I would be. Obviously.

Fact is - I just don't know. I guess the question really comes down to - how big of a problem is illegal immigration? To listen to Democrats, it really isn't a problem at all. To listen to Republicans, the life of the Republic is on the line. I don't know the answer.
The Old Get Older

Celtics sign Shaq. Jesus, what's next, bring back Bird?
Top 100 Thrillers List

It seems like they just pick books that already are movies.
Gays Can Be Unhappily Married, Too

A federal judge Wednesday struck down a California ban on same-sex marriages as unconstitutional, according to reports.

The ruling by Judge Vaughn R. Walker of Federal District Court in San Francisco represents an important victory for gay rights advocates in a case that many believe may end up eventually going to the United States Supreme Court.

Now gays have the same rights as straights to make each other miserable. But seriously, how can this not be interpreted as egregious judicial activism? Regardless of how you feel on the matter, surely you can't say the Founding Fathers intended gay marriage in the Constitution or even in the spirit of the Constitution. Also, if you believe in Propositions (which I don't), the public will in California pretty clearly voted no for gay marriage. So is this really the best way to effect social change? Let judges decide for all of us? I'm not sure it is.

Obama's envoy to OIC is upset by anti-US tirade.

When are we going to learn that it isn't about us, it's about them. Seriously, our need to be loved by everyone is sickening. When did this country suddenly decide we ought to be Molly Ringworld in the Breakfast Club?

The day we were most popular was 9/12/01. To be "loved" in this world of jackals is to be the victim. I prefer to be hated.
Farve The Idiot

A great article by the author of Friday Night Lights on the delusions of Brett Favre.

Brett Favre wasn’t heroic. He was a hubristic fool. He wasn’t a warrior. He was an arrogant braggart who, whatever the homespun hokum of his Mississippi roots, perversely reveled in his pain to the point where his agent publicly disseminated pictures of his injuries like cheesecake photos--a deep-purple ankle lumpish and swollen, an equally deep-purple hamstring. The pictures did what Favre hoped they would: further reinforce his image as The Gladiator, The Samurai, The White Knight for whom guts in football, however stupid and wanton, is what counts.

Couldn't have said it better myself. Hat tip, Andy.
Scared of the 49ers

The Cardinals have a brawl at pre-season practice.

Excellent. Ever better - their justification afterward:

"We got to treat them (teammates) like they're the 49ers. They have to treat us like we're the 49ers ... that is the only way we are going to be able to back up all the great work and try to win our third [division] title."

The Niners putting fear into someone? A good sign...
Higher Education Bubble

I'm personally glad my formal education is over - for both getting on with life and financial reasons.

Point: "In other words, our colleges are being really built on the indebtedness that young people, starting at the age of 18, are signing papers that they are going to live with until they’re 38. We regard this as totally immoral.”
On Israel

A great interview on Israel.

Interesting point:

Most Israelis are here because they fled from Muslim and European countries. They don’t feel that either of those blocs have the right to lecture them about anything. Why should a country where your parents were expelled or killed have the right to tell you how to conduct yourself in a war against people who are trying to kill you today? This is something hardly any non-Israelis understand. They don’t understand how galling we find this.

Israelis are often accused of being arrogant, but they find it extremely arrogant for Europeans and Arabs to lecture them about morals, especially during a war. What has Israel ever done that is as brutal as what Europe did to the Jews, or what Arabs routinely do to even each other during armed conflicts?

I suspect, though, that a lot of the rhetoric is just that. It’s just rhetoric. If you look at what Europe actually does, in a lot of cases it’s better than what the rhetoric would suggest.

I do think Europe retains an insufficiently pessimistic attitude about the Palestinian national movement, which is perhaps out of desperation. They have to go with either Fatah or Hamas. There is no other option. Most politicians, however ideological they may sound, are basically pragmatists. They think that if Hamas has to be out of the picture, they’re going to have to rehabilitate Fatah. Otherwise, there won’t be anybody to talk to. They might be right about that, but I think they are overly optimistic about Fatah signing an agreement.

I think the smart leaders in Europe are trying to lessen the tension here now, and I think they’re doing a much better job than America is. Barack Obama actually seems to believe that he can end the conflict. He doesn’t seem to be trying to lessen the tension. He seem to be willing to exacerbate tensions if he thinks it might bring results.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Monday, August 02, 2010

Colts Philosophy

The Colts owner reiterates he will re-sign Peyton Manning no matter what the cost.

This is an interesting contrast with the New England Patriots who are trying to get Tom Brady to take a pay cut.

Both teams have successful models of how to keep winning football teams in the post-salary cap era. The Patriots refuse to overpay for guys and find replacements year in and year out. The Colts build up a team and then pay whatever it takes to keep the core together.

It goes back to an old question that I still don't really know the answer to - is it the quarterback or the system? Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick think it is the system. It is why Matt Cassell and Steve Young went from solid back ups to strong NFL starters. But I don't really know. You get the idea watching Peyton Manning - he possesses something beyond the system...

I am perplexed by this as well.

Every time I read how the United States is cruel, without compassion, and destroying the poor, I wonder if the aggrieved DC-NY blogger or columnist has ever left his cocoon. Poor? It is now a relative term that means no Yellowstone or Yosemite or Disneyland with the family, no office at home, no big-screen TV in two rooms, no camp for the kids, and no new car every 4-5 years. No cultural opportunities or much travel. No daily Starbucks hit. But as far as clothing, housing, basic transportation, and appurtenances go, our poor are the 1960s rich. For about $2,000 one can buy new clothes at Wal-Mart, get into a Selma subsidized apartment, and buy enough food and furniture to experience what the once wealthy thought was their own monopoly.

To suggest all this is seen as either lunatic or reactionary, but it is true.

We have Dickensian statistics, but we are not London of the 1850s — or even Fresno of 1965.

I definitely can't tell at times whether we are rich or poor. How does a "rich" country have so much debt? At the same time, the poor here eat steaks, own cell phones, cars, and dvd players. It is all confusing, frankly.