Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Angelina Jolie

Bosnian rape victims call her ignorant

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is no longer a disorder.

I'm not expert, but there seem to be more than enough disoders, we could use some contraction.

Here a link to the site. If I had nothing else to do, I'd read it.

Somebody at the CIA ought to do an analysis what data they collect and whether it is more useful and accurate than what I can find over the internet any hour of the day.

Monday, November 29, 2010


On the two distinct literary cultures in the US.

Beware - it's a mega article - but very interesting. Has some parallels to the film school. A scathing point:

MFA programs themselves are so lax and laissez-faire as to have a shockingly small impact on students' work—especially shocking if you're the student and paying $80,000 for the privilege. Staffed by writer-professors preoccupied with their own work or their failure to produce any; freed from pedagogical urgency by the tenuousness of the link between fiction writing and employment; and populated by ever younger, often immediately postcollegiate students, MFA programs today serve less as hotbeds of fierce stylistic inculcation, or finishing schools for almost-ready writers (in the way of, say, Iowa in the '70s), and more as an ingenious partial solution to an eminent American problem: how to extend our already protracted adolescence past 22 and toward 30, in order to cope with an oversupplied labor market.

Not much of the article addresses it - but is the dirty little secret of the Western world with America at the center - that technology has gotten to the point where our human labor simply isn't needed? Sad fact: we don't have shit to do? Can our society run on basically only 10-20% of the top people performing functions and the rest just being consumers? Oh boy.
Pay Freeze For Federal Employees

Ouch. We must be really hurting.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

30 Rock

Still brings it. The show makes me laugh out loud (LOL) three or four times per episode. Can't even think of a recent movie that does the same.
Is Nothing A Bad Policy?

According to the White House, anything people are upset about (ie TSA, healthcare) is the result of bad press.

Couldn't have anything to do with the policy.
Coming Around on Wikipedia

At one time I was skeptical of the information on Wikipedia. The very concept of anyone being able to edit entries and the bogus information I used to find on it would annoy me. But now, I find it pretty useful for finding casual information. For instance:

What some portray as authentic black culture is actually a carryover from a highly dysfunctional white southern redneck culture.
Main article: Black Rednecks and White Liberals

According to Sowell, in his 2005 Black Rednecks and White Liberals, what many see as pathologies of contemporary black culture actually derive from a dysfunctional historical white-southern “cracker” culture.

What the [white] rednecks or crackers brought with them across the ocean was a whole constellation of attitudes, values, and behavior patterns that might have made sense in the world in which they had lived for centuries, but which would prove to be counterproductive in the world to which they were going — and counterproductive to the blacks who would live in their midst for centuries before emerging into freedom and migrating to the great urban centers of the United States, taking with them similar values.

The cultural values and social patterns prevalent among Southern whites included an aversion to work, proneness to violence, neglect of education, sexual promiscuity, improvidence, drunkenness, lack of entrepreneurship, reckless searches for excitement, a lively music and dance, and a style of religious oratory marked by strident rhetoric, unbridled emotions, and flamboyant imagery. This oratorical style carried over into the political oratory of the region in both the Jim Crow era and the civil rights era, and has continued on into our own times among black politicians, preachers, and activists. Touchy pride, vanity, and boastful self-dramatization were also part of this redneck culture among people from regions of Britain where the civilization was the least developed.[25]

Several scholars support Sowell’s observations. Grady McWhiney’s Cracker Culture (1988) is a thorough historical study of the values and behavioral patterns of white Southerners, and is backed by many other scholarly studies which have turned up very similar patterns even when they differed in some ways as to the causes. Scholar Hackett Fischer’s Albions Seed,(1989) for example, eschews the Celtic theory advanced by McWhiney, but shows many of the same cultural patterns for the whites, both in Britain and the American South.[26]

What is different about the current era, Sowell claims, is that better educated, more productive whites are no longer as willing to challenge or condemn the counterproductive behaviors deriving from the holdovers of white cracker culture among blacks. This stands in sharp contrast to the white northern educators that went to educate ex-slaves in the post-Civil War South, who insisted on strong discipline and work, and helped lay the foundations for black education.[27] Instead, Sowell contends, today’s white liberals too often justify, glorify, and subsidize these negatives as the “authentic expression” and behavior of the black masses. Sowell holds that the backward behavior pattern of southern whites has carried over to a generation of negative “blacknecks” who are in no way representative of the authenticity of the black community over its long, difficult climb from slavery and discrimination to freedom and equality in the United States.[28]

A Worthy Goal

How The American was a cool movie.

Cool is a committed style. Cool is a discipline. Cool embraces both content and all the elements of execution. In a cool movie, everything other than cool is truly secondary, and ideally non-existent. Cool movies thrive on an existential protagonist. Cool is about the sustain and not the flash.

I didn't like The American, but yes, it was going for cool. Cool is tough. Incredibly easy to fuck it up. But without a doubt, a worthy goal. I always thought a study of cool would make a good basis of a college senior thesis. Also, a senior thesis on nicknames.

North Korea fires artillery at South Korea.
A Cruel Joke

The "high level" talks with the Taliban turn out to be fake. Super fake. The Taliban representative turns out to be an imposter.

Can I get a refund on this war?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Less is More

Incredibly smart analysis of the economy and Obama. Watching this and catching Fareed Zakaria on tv this Sunday AM - lest we forget - we have really, really smart, capable people amongst us. America is a strange place in that it seems like we are incredibly wasteful and not operating at full capacity simultaneously. On the one hand, we over compensate in ridiculous ways by spending ungodly amounts of money on military and intelligence spending for what? To commit to a draw with a half baked force like the Taliban? On TSA security procedures? To pay billions in shit like unemployment and mortgage interest tax deductions and other totally unproductive programs?

On the flip side, I think we have incredible assets who are ought there thinking and understanding the world we live in and speaking plainly about it - and if we'd just listen - we'd probably get right back on track in no time. Instead, we're seduced by a bunch of know-nothing ideologues on both sides and get suckered into supporting the least worst solutions instead of something that could actually work.

His analysis of Obama is striking - he remembers him from UChicago and basically calls him out as being intellectually vague and protectionist. Unwilling to get into the trenches and test his ideas against other rigorous competing ideas - he stands aloof and apart and plays a game of "intellectual poker." This is a good lesson for anyone in any field - you got to get into the game and mix it up and challenge yourself. Otherwise, you get all weird are resort to narcissism and ego to uphold faulty ideas. We have a glamorous President, but he mistakenly thinks because he's smart, he must be right. A dangerous mistake.
Don't Touch My Junk

Why is the TSA now upping the security procedures? I very much doubt it has to do with terrorism (has the TSA intercepted one single terrorist?), but rather, an introduction of a new technology someone spent a lot of money developing.
The End of "Diversity"

When I've bothered to analyze the concept of "diversity," I honestly end up scratching my head.

everyone knows that the entire apparatus of the security line is a national homage to political correctness. Nowhere do more people meekly acquiesce to more useless inconvenience and needless indignity for less purpose. Wizened seniors strain to untie their shoes; beltless salesmen struggle comically to hold up their pants; three-year-olds scream while being searched insanely for explosives, when everyone -- everyone -- knows that none of these people is a threat.

We pass all passengers through the same, cumbersome screening because we want to pretend that all Americans are equally likely to be security threats. In short, we do it to avoid profiling. The effort does credit to the tolerance of American soceity. On the other hand, tolerance is not the only good. There are limits.


Friday, November 19, 2010


I bitch about politics. I question the motives of most professional politicians. But the truth is, the alternative for deciding who wields power is warlordism and gansterism, so I suppose narcissistic self serving careerists are preferable to the Tony Sopranos and Saddam Husseins of the world.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

You Hath No Enemies, The Boast Is Poor

Why Bin Laden is focusing on France.

If the French Special Forces kill Bin Laden, I'd be impressed.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Because Dogs Have Personality

And personality goes a long way

In case people forgot, QT ended the debate on why we eat pigs and not dogs.

Reading this piece, I now realize I have eaten dog before. I attended a Korean soccer tournament right after college up in Seattle (when the opposing team saw I could play, they banned me from the 2nd game because of my half Asian and not even Korean half Asianess) during which we were served a stew -- a stew with very similar properties to the stew described in the linked article. My friend's father told us it was dog stew. It was delicious and we figured he was just messing with us. Part of us didn't want to think it was possible to be eating dog in the United States - but let me add this - if anyone was eating dog in the entire US on that day - it was this Korean community gathering for a soccer tournament in butt fuck Seattle.

In any case, I ate dog and it was good.
Facebook Email

For the record, anyone who adopts a facebook email will not be receiving email from me at that address.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Victory "Unnecessary"

A British general says a victory over Al Queda is unnecessary. We just need to contain them.

I'm listening.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Most Radical Idea of All - Do Nothing

I'm still thinking about the TARP bailout. All the rational folks seem to agree it was a good idea. And for some reason, I'm still skeptical, and I'll tell you why: the explanations don't make sense to me. I can almost understand it intellectually, but on a very gut level, I can't see how it would have totally shut down the American economy. I get that if a series of big banks failed all at once, corporations couldn't get their short term loans to make payroll and pay their creditors. But would this have happened? And then, so what if it did? Wouldn't the less exposed banks simply buy up the more exposed banks before total meltdown occurred? Or couldn't some non-banker with huge reserves of cash come in and purchase a bank? Couldn't the bank be owned by creditors? I guess what I don't understand is what the big banks provide that is so special? They just borrow money at rate X and loan money at rate X+ some percent and make money. That's all it is or should be on a fundamental level. It's a good business.

But say the total meltdown occurred. A lot of people would have lost jobs and been out of work. The banks would have failed. Maybe America even loses it's position in the world economy. So what? Is it the government's job to ensure people have work? Is it the government's job to preserve American economic power? Or is it the government's job to protect property rights and individual rights and provide public goods?

If the TARP bailout didn't occur, I imagine there would have been a massive redistribution of wealth from those who were leveraged to those who weren't leveraged. It would have been radical. It would have hurt a lot of people. But so what? As it stands, the government opted to preserve the wealth of a class of people who were connected at the expense of future taxpayers. I can't see why that is a preferable solution.

Look...I can say this...I don't have a family that would have starved if I lost my job and I don't know the in's and out's of the banking mess. But my gut instinct is that we were blackmailed. And you don't cave to blackmail because it encourages more of the same behavior. We shouldn't be living so close to the edge. People should have reserve money where they can survive if they lose a job. Banks should have reserve currency to back up defaulting borrowers. We don't have these things and so when the shit hits the fan, you pay and you learn.

What ever happened to failure? People who play close to the edge should fail. That's the only way we learn. Now...the system we have puts an incredibly high percentage of this country - both rich and poor - in hoc to future generations and Chinese communists. We have entire classes of people subsisting on future taxes and on the backs of the deflated cost of Chinese labor.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Quantitative Easing

Just the term makes my head spin a little bit. It isn't exactly news the Fed is pouring $600 Bil into the economy to guess what? Lower interest rates. I didn't know there was a number lower than 0. At some point maybe they'll start charging people to save money.

My suspicion is the more complex we make this thing, the less likely we get out of it. No one understands what is going on - not Obama, not Palin. If I were boss, I'd propose radical simplification of everything - the tax code, healthcare, etc. I suspect we'd find a lot of savings initially and it would ultimately lead to to productivity.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Car Maintenance Costs

Why car maintenance costs so much.

Easily my two biggest random expenses are car maintenance and health care. Discover a car problem or injure myself and I know I'm looking at a minimum bill of $1000 these days. As a non-rich adult, these costs can sting, especially because I'm hit with them multiple times per year. Or at least have been the last two years.

The popular mechanics article makes clear the increased car costs are basically all related to emission standards. Which makes sense because I just paid $1300 for a new carburetor. So for all this talk of carbon taxes and other forms of environmental taxes, the fact is, we're already paying for it.

It is pretty obvious to me, as a working single dude, that an ideology that demands healthcare for everyone and the most strict of environmental standards is not affordable. If, for instance, they wanted to maximize healthcare availability and maximize emissions standards, they would need to charge people like me more for healthcare (to pay for others) AND increase the cost of driving either via fuel or car complexity.

These, in turn, would diminish my saving and if taken far enough, bankrupt me. And I'm a person with low expenses. When this happens, I'd end up a dependent in one way or another of a wealthier relative or government subsidies and therefore would be taking money out of the pocket of someone else. How many deep pockets do we have?
30 Years

Dave Meggett was once a badass third down back and kick returner. And now he is headed to jail for 30 years.
Spike Lee and Absolut Vodka

Well, selling Vodka is easier than making movies, I imagine.

Lee likes to portray himself as an enemy of gentrification and a defender of the traditional, Brooklyn vernacular. Instead, he's become a tool in the borough's commodification and the worst enemy of everything he once stood for.

Ouch. A little rough, if you ask me.

Alcohol is worse than heroin?

Who wants to grab a needle tonight?

For speaking ill of their supervisor on Facebook.

Less than 1/2 of American Muslims don't support the Ground Zero Mosque.

“This tells us two things. Opposition to the project isn’t based on mere bigotry. And American Muslims are not a monolith.”


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Growing Old

One sign I know I'm growing old: I visibly cringe every time I read something about 20-somethings because it invariably deals with some bullshit about not really knowing what they want to do with their lives. Guess what? I could give a shit. Live a little. Make a choice. Live with the consequences. Quit whining. Quit thinking your angst is important or worth writing about.

I'm not looking back fondly on the 20s right now. As for ages go, it really is an obnoxious time. Social Network is evidence of it.
Why Would That Be A Bad Thing?

If the government was out of the mortgage business, housing prices would be less.

The whole argument for government being involved with housing is that it is good for society for people to own their own homes. I'm pretty sure In and Out Burger is good for society, but it doesn't mean the government needs to subsidize it. What they really mean is government involvement with the mortgage business helps prop up existing home prices so landowners can be more secure in their investment. And the negative externality are the speculators (both banks and individuals) who profit from the propped up prices.

From instapundit:

If — as I think we should — we return to a situation where 20% down is the norm, it’ll be less, too. though not as much less. But the value of a house in a funny-money economy isn’t sustainable, which means that it’ll be less, too, eventually. Reality bites.

Makes sense to me.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Peak Oil/Peak Debt

Years ago it became fashionable to worry about Peak Oil Theory amongst uber-liberals. They don't seem to be too concerned with Peak Debt, ie massive government spending plus the looming Medicare and Social Security disasters.

My question: why not? It is much closer and much more obvious.
The Food Police Are Here

For anyone who thought government take-over of health care wouldn't lead to more government control over our personal lives, may I introduce you to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors:

Last week, the San Francisco board of supervisors voted to hose the Happy Meal. No longer would McDonald's (or any other restaurant) be allowed to provide a free toy with a meal that exceeds specified amounts of fat, sugar, and calories. If the folks at the Golden Arches want to offer a Batman action figure, it will have to be flanked by fruits and vegetables...

...San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar speaks in more grandiose terms. He said the Happy Meal ordinance addresses "a survival issue," and proclaimed, "We're part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice." Food justice?

Now, there are many places where the government ought to be: between a citizen and a mugger, between the polluter and the sky, between us all and al-Qaida. But the space between a diner's hand and a diner's mouth is not one of them.

What's next? Forced exercise?

Friday, November 05, 2010

Recession Not Over

When you examine the real numbers.

Here's a little nugget in the article I didn't know:

Government checks of one form or another are about 20% of total personal income in the U.S. Will the lame-duck Congress extend those benefits? Will they extend the Bush tax cuts? I recently spoke to with Suze Orman. She said she thinks they should raise the limit to $500,000 or $1 million. That higher number would be a reasonable compromise, in my humble opinion. Will the Republican Congress agree when they come back?

Yikes. It does not strike me as either fair or sustainable if 20% of income in the US is supplied by the Government. Or does this include government employees? I suppose that makes more sense.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Welcome, Stagflation

Commodities are spiking in price - sugar, corn, cotton. So basically everything is going to start costing more: all food, all clothes, all corn based alcohol.

So, it'll by like the 70s all over again, stagflation...no growth in the economy, no jobs, and inflation will be going up. On the upside, the movies might get better.
Ground Zero Mosque

A Saudi Prince weighs in.

"I am against putting the mosque in that particular place. And I'll tell you why. For two reasons: first of all, those people behind the mosque have to respect, have to appreciate and have to defer to the people of New York, and not try to agitate the wound by saying 'we need to put the mosque next to the 9/11 site'"

Not that I give a flying shit what any Saudi Prince thinks, but when you're right, you're right.

Social Security Scam Robs Elderly By Convincing Them They Are Dead

A reader urges people to live a little.

I agree. Enjoy a McRib. One point with which I disagree - watching Seinfeld re-runs doesn't sound like a waste of life to me.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Do The Tea Parties Deserve Props?

Interesting opinion piece.

Allegedly, the Tea Party movement has been violent, angry, intent to incite fear and hate among the populace. These narratives weren’t true — tonight’s vote has proven them caricatures laid out by journalists with short wordcounts and shorter attention spans.

Violent movements do not do these things. They don’t show up at the polls and overwhelm the establishment in favor of a minority candidate, as in the case of Sen.-elect Marco Rubio, R-Fla. They also don’t lose so badly, as in the case of Christine O’Donnell. They don’t take on, and nearly defeat, the leader of the majority party in the Senate, at the same time as he colludes with casinos in a potentially illegal scheme to get out the vote in his favor. They don’t settle for a more liberal candidate in Illinois just because he’s the most electable.

True enough. How much can you really bash the tea partiers - they disagreed with what the government was doing and they organized to vote them out. Democracy in action. No one's found a better system.
The Dark Side of Female Friendships

I'm glad I'm not a girl.
Prop 19 Fails

Apparently it is difficult to motivate potheads to go to the polls. Who wouldda thought?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

By The Way...

Criticism will be good for Obama. The guy clearly suffers from an excess of praise. It would hard not to be, with the heaps of it piled on him. The guy got a g-d Nobel prize for just showing up to work. Many geniuses work in obscurity for years and and don't get notice for most of their lifetimes and then, if they are lucky, their work gets noticed before they die and they win the prize. Obama jumps into a campaign to get his name on the national ballot and takes off like Pinkberry and suddenly a year later is winning the Nobel Peace Prize for taking an utterly uncontroversial position as an Iraq war opponent from a liberal State Senate seat. The PC gods really smiled upon him.

I hope he doesn't take the Brett Favre route. Farve basically started believing in his own hype as a gunslinger hero and since 1998 has a 4-7 playoff record and is putting himself into the position of having a Joe Dimaggio like untouchable record of interceptions thrown. He also might be the first man to commit hari-kari on the football field by taking off his football helmet while three linebackers are about to crush him to prove his toughness. This is rather than...you know...just tossing a swing pass to Adrian Peterson and let him run.

Anyhow, enough of that little rant, it'll just be nice to see how Obama handles this beat-down. Whether he dusts himself off and figures out how to fix things. Or whether he gets and loony and like Randy Moss stops talking to the media or like LeBron makes weirdo, defensive Nike Ads.
What Will Obama Do?

Watching some CNN, it looks like the Republicans are taking the House and the Democrats are holding the Senate because Barbara Boxer eeked out a victory in Norcal. Interesting. Boxer is not well liked amongst the people I know who know her (she hails from Marin). But she clearly has a loyal base and is always able to raise big Hollywood and Marin money. She is a crafty politician and a bit of a moonbat liberal. In any case, she beat Fiorina who seemed like a pretty weak candidate. Can't the Republicans find anyone better than Fiorina or Whitman in all of California? I mean, do they honestly think California is going to vote for someone who is anti-abortion? Stupid. Especially because Boxer was vulnerable. Her support amongst tacit Democrats was clearly weak. A better candidate than Fiorina would have won, methinks. They ought to have found some moderate Latino or other minority on the younger side - like a Bobby Jindal - they might have won. But this hypothetical person probably doesn't exit.

It looks like Brown crushed Whitman. Maybe not all the votes were in - I thought it was supposed to be a closer race. I think people looked and listened to Whitman and they reminded her of all the shitty bosses they ever had and preferred Jerry Brown who reminded them of their crazy drunk uncles at Fourth of July BBQs and decided they'd rather listen to the drunk uncle for the next four years than hear about TPS reports and staff meetings. Chalk this up to the evidence in Freakonomics that money DOES NOT win elections - but rather - money flows to viable candidates. Whitman spent $140 million. The folks on CNN were making fun of her. Eliot Spitzer had the best line, he said "I could have lost that election for $80 million."

So how will Obama take it? Will he pull a Bill Clinton and reevaluate his policies and triangulate? Will he run against Congress? It will be interesting to see politically, but almost more interesting policy-wise. Obama has been sticking to his premise that the reason there is backlash against the Democrats (and him) is because he isn't explaining his policies correctly and how the Republicans are bad-mouthing whatever he tries to do. He's wrong, of course. He hasn't done enough about jobs. It really is that simple. However one views the stimulus - because there are arguments both ways - the fact is - it hasn't led to more jobs. Perhaps it stopped a total drop off. It doesn't matter. People are hurting. And promises for healthcare in a couple years for folks who are hurting...doesn't exactly inspire confidence. And by the way, it doesn't inspire confidence in those WHO ARE working either - because they have no idea how much healthcare is going to cost. If they are a small business or thinking about starting a small business - they have no idea what the new health care proposal will cost. If they are a taxpayer, they too, don't know how much their taxes will increase. So there is this weird uncertainty all around. And the only ones who seem to subscribe to Obama's plan are liberal elites who remain economically immune to the problems of middle and lower middle class folks, but who believe generally in his ideological mission. Or perhaps the person who currently has a shitty job with shitty healthcare who looks down the line a couple years and doesn't seem him or herself in a better place...maybe that person figures Obama's healthcare proposal will help their existence. But to me and to most Americans, I think that type of life sounds pretty damn lousy anyway.

So what will he do? I guess that's the thing about Obama - we don't really know. I still believe the guy has a head on his shoulders and has the aptitude to learn on the job. It is basically why I voted for him. Although I didn't like all his positions on things, he seemed to reason through positions and come to independent conclusions. And I suppose his general outlook reflected my own moreso than McCain. I've been disappointed so far - but don't think it is impossible to turn things around. I think he got dealt a shitty hand, but guess what: that's what being President is all about. Bush was dealt a shitty hand too. He handled some things well and others not so well.

If Obama is clever, he'll co-opt Republican ideas about tax cuts as another attempt to kick-start the economy. Then they won't have a way around him and who knows, maybe it'll work. I don't know if he can pull off another stimulus, but if he does, for godsake, make it visible and make it loud. Build a goddamn Golden Gate Bridge. Think big. Don't invest in ideological fluff. Don't toss good money after bad to crappy companies. That's my advise.

And don't let Iran get the bomb. That's basically it.
In The Land of Santa Monica

During the Obama election, I had to wait in a long line to vote. Today...I walked right up. There was no one voting. The idea is that Republicans really motivated their base to get out and vote and the Democrats were unable to. Evidence: Santa Monica. The Blue-ist of Blue cities and no one was voting. At least at my polling place compared to the 2008 election.

No Obama poon tang this year.

I hope the Yankees re-sign Jeter. It'll make them less competitive. The guy has been overrated for years.

When asked how they beat the Yankees, one of the Rangers coaches quipped "they're old and slow." True 'dat.

LeBron is apparently miffed at this video. Oh...LeBron...you must admit the video is pretty damn funny. And Anthony Tolliver - I would have never known who you were. Who knew the NBA had such comedic talent?

Monday, November 01, 2010


It is probably the most important race in the country tomorrow. A typically blue state running a moderate Republican against a career politician with an independent streak in an election where Republicans are going to take a lot of House Seats back from the Democrats because of frustration with Obama's inability to fix the economy.

Tough call. I watched a debate on Youtube tonight. On the one hand, I think California needs to get out of the morass of public employee unions and state bureaucrats and intuitively, it would seem like an outsider like Whitman would have the better chance a fixing things. You look at Brown and think - jeez - when this guy got into politics - California was the model state - and now it barely functions. You could place the blame for the state of our state on him and other career politicians like him.

But Meg Whitman sounds like a fucking robot. And the woman didn't even vote. I mean, I almost can't take her seriously. What reason do we have to believe she is running for Governor other than vanity? Is she competent? I honestly don't know. I suppose you need to be competent to make 100 Billion dollars or whatever she has. Or did she just get into Silicon Valley at the right time? It's not like she's a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or someone who invented some product. She was a business lady who got put in charge of Ebay. I don't even use Ebay.

Plus, wasn't voting in Arnold Schwarzenegger supposed to be the "outsider" who could fix this state? Obviously, that hasn't worked out as planned. And he is entirely more charismatic than Whitman.

It is a very tough call. Brown is a likable guy, I have to admit. He is laugh out loud funny and unlike McCain, seems pretty damn vigorous and healthy for his age. I think Whitman is right - he is beholden to the Unions and I don't like his "green job" ideas for stimulating the economy. But then again, maybe the way to negotiate with the Unions to get someone friendly with them to get them to give up concessions...I mean, they can't keep going at this pace, it'll bankrupt he state.

But let's face it, Republicans are all talk. They yammer on about tax breaks and what not and yet, the tax code is endlessly complicated. When they get into office, they run up against interests and everything else and rarely reform anything. At least Brown seems to have his head on his shoulders and understands how the system works. And he loves California. Whitman is phony. I can read that in 5 minutes. The only question is whether she can be an effective phony. Maybe or maybe not -- but I'd bet on a person instead.
Why The SF Giants Are Inspiring

The Giants are one of the first Cinderella teams to win the World Series in a very long time. It is difficult for me to remember another. Beyond being a Cinderella, there was a character to this Giant's team -- very few stars, tough pitching, grind out close victories, old fashioned National League baseball that was a pleasure to watch. And I'm not even a National League fan. I like the American League. I like the DH. But I can appreciate good National League baseball when I see it. And the Giant's played it during this postseason. They were the perfect antidote to the steroid era.

The steroid era leaves an ugly taste. It reflected America at the time - everyone cheating - everyone know it and looking the other way - overpaying stars - just an overbloated, dishonest, make you feel embarrassed to be a part of it time. The most expensive player on this Giant's team - Barry Zito - didn't even make the post-season roster. They have good young pitching, got clutch hitting from savvy veterans, and a tough, consistent bullpen. Kudos to them.

Maybe they'll provide an inspirational model for Americans - how we just need to get back to the basics - hard work, discipline, being a good teammate, family member, community member - all that trite nonsense. Maybe it is that simple. Maybe we made it all too complicated and tried to out hustle and over manufacture "success."
Mom Kills Baby

While playing Facebook.

One more reason not to join Facebook. Or have babies, I suppose.

She really nails the Left to the wall:

Leftist leaders attract and control their constituencies with two fundamental ideas, both of which have their foundation in hopelessness and passivity, attitudes that have the bonus powers of making it easy to control anyone who buys into them. The first fundamental idea of Leftism is that particular identity/grievance groups are members of a permanent underclass, which entitles them to pity and unearned privileges and money. This idea has been particularly attractive to black Americans and led to the Great Society welfare state, the destruction of marriage and the black family, the rise of race hucksterism and racial protection rackets and a holocaust of ambition, talent and genius in the black community because welfare rules punish these traits ruthlessly.

The second fundamental idea of Leftism is that there is a privileged overclass who owe their pity and earned privileges and money to an ever-expanding list of identity/grievance groups in the permanent underclass.

Good For Ron Howard

I'm not a huge fan of his work, but gay groups are pressuring him to remove a gay joke form his newest film:

"I defend the right for some people to express offense at a joke as strongly as I do the right for that joke to be in a film," Howard said. "But if storytellers, comedians, actors and artists are strong-armed into making creative changes, it will endanger comedy as both entertainment and a provoker of thought."

Make no mistake, these types of demands from politically correct groups are the enemies of art and free expression. If the joke doesn't play, it doesn't play. That is the test. Removing all jokes that may offend a minority or persecuted group is the path to creative disaster.

Should college be the best four years of your life?