Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Future of Money

If it makes transactions cheaper, I'm down. If it just transfers money to Apple from the Credit Card companies, I'm ambivalent.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


A twitter feed has got to be one of the least aesthetically pleasing things to look at. Even when it belongs to Minka Kelly.
Good...I Think

Egyptians are protesting against the corruption of their government - following the model of Tunisia.

The Egyptian government is corrupt and stupid and autocratic. The problem, however, is the Egpytian people, if given more voice and more power, might prove to be even more dogmatic and ultra religious and thuggish.
In Defense of Jay Cutler

The hysteria of twitter and espn ganging up on Cutler reminds me why I hate the masses. The seething anger of the pitchfork wielding "crowd" is one of the uglier aspects of the human species. Burning jerseys of a sportsman, berating his "courage" (as if anyone berating him has demonstrated any real act of courage in their lives). It is sickening. In this article, Dick Butkis, supposedly the toughest Bear ever, defends Cutler.

From the article:

Doesn't the NFL demand that? Isn't that why we tune in Sundays?

Terry Bradshaw threw a winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl X to Lynn Swann just as Dallas defensive tackle Larry Cole bore down to deliver a hit that would knock the Pittsburgh quarterback unconscious.

Washington's Joe Theismann spit out three front teeth after being hit in a 1982 game against the New York Giants and stayed in the game.


"I understand the vitriolic acid being spilled because this is a gladiator sport," said Schlereth, who underwent 20 knee surgeries as a Denver Broncos offensive lineman. "Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre finish that game. That's what bothers guys about (Cutler). It looked bad. ... He looked disinterested from the word go. ..."

Now ask: how many of these warriors can now walk?

And speaking of Joe Theismann...I'd take being called a pussy any day over this:

Saturday, January 22, 2011


The sheer idiocy is remarkable.

In September 2010 Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was scheduled to speak at Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City.

At some point, wearing black clothes and a bullet-proof vest, 22 year-old Casey Brezik bolted out of a classroom, knife in hand, and slashed the throat of a dean. As he would later admit, he confused the dean with Nixon.

The story never left Kansas City. It is not hard to understand why. Knives lack the political sex appeal of guns, and even Keith Olbermann would have had a hard time turning Brezik into a Tea Partier.

Indeed, Brezik seems to have inhaled just about every noxious vapor in the left-wing miasma: environmental extremism, radical Islam, anti-capitalism, anti-Zionism and Christophobia, among others.

In a funny misreading, I first though the idiot thought he was attacking Richard Nixon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Scam That Is Facebook

I knew it - Facebook's third largest advertiser is basically a spam service.

What a freaking joke.

Theories on why liberal women hate Palin.

Look, I have no clue why liberal women hate Palin, but I know for sure that they do.
Jesus F---king Christ

All this frigging time I thought I was a Gemini and now it turns out I'm a fucking Taurus! What a bunch of bullshit. Had I known this, I would've made a lot of different moves. A lot of different moves.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rules For Writing

Rather provocative.

This guy is like the Werner Herzog of criticism.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

But of Course It Does

Facebook wants your phone number and address.

We're not stalking you, we swear.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Manning vs. Brady

I used to think Brady was better. And this season would certainly support the Brady Theory. Three Superbowl's to Mannings one. Could be four to one after this season. Much better playoff winning percentage. Doesn't have the tendency to choke or pull what Bill Simmons calls "The Manning Face." But I can't help but think about last year and seeing what I saw in Manning. I saw Manning defeat Belichick and Brady from the sidelines. Belichick went for a crazy fourth and 3 just to avoid giving the ball back to Manning. And guess what? It was the smart thing to do in the situation. The only other time I've seen such awe/reverence/fear from an opponent is when Buck Showalter walked Barry Bonds with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th inning down by 2. Can you imagine? Walking a guy with the bases loaded. I think it's the only time that occurred in baseball post WW2.

My current theory: Manning was going to make any team he played for very good. Brady happened into a circumstance with Belichick where their skills perfectly complemented one another. Who is better? Hard to say. But if I were a team with a number one pick and a 22 year old Brady and a 22 year old Manning were available, I think the choice is a no-brainer. If I'm the Pats right now and I want to win the Super Bowl, I also think the choice is a no brainer.
Recession and Traffic

Wednesday and Thursday of this week were easily the worst traffic in my recent memory. I think more people are back to work. I think the recession is lifting and making traffic bad. That is my theory. And it makes me miss the recession.

In other news, gas prices are also creeping rather high. Can we blame the War in Iraq for this? Is this Bush's fault? I just remember high gas prices being Bush's fault while he was in office, so it isn't clear to me whose fault they are now.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Running the Risk Of Being Arrested

Jersey Shore for all ages.

Hat tip, Phil.
Oh, LA

A reminder of where we live...

Every mode of living is appropriate for L.A. You can do what you want.

And I don't just mean that Los Angeles is some friendly bastion of cultural diversity and so we should celebrate it on that level and be done with it; I mean that Los Angeles is the confrontation with the void. It is the void. It's the confrontation with astronomy through near-constant sunlight and the inhuman radiative cancers that result. It's the confrontation with geology through plate tectonics and buried oil, methane, gravel, tar, and whatever other weird deposits of unknown ancient remains are sitting around down there in the dry and fractured subsurface. It's a confrontation with the oceanic; with anonymity; with desert time; with endless parking lots.

And it doesn't need humanizing. Who cares if you can't identify with Los Angeles? It doesn't need to be made human. It's better than that.

Something close to spiritual isn't it?
What To Do About the N-Word

Interesting article on how Michael Chabon deals with Huckleberry Finn when reading to his children.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why Chinese Mothers Are Better

This is pretty interesting.

In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that "stressing academic success is not good for children" or that "parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun." By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way. Instead, the vast majority of the Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be "the best" students, that "academic achievement reflects successful parenting," and that if children did not excel at school then there was "a problem" and parents "were not doing their job." Other studies indicate that compared to Western parents, Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams.

What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up. But if done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle. Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America. Once a child starts to excel at something—whether it's math, piano, pitching or ballet—he or she gets praise, admiration and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more.

Well, we'll find out which strategy is better in this 21st Century, I imagine.

Study shows woman prefer a man who makes more money than them.

At risk of stating the obvious: wouldn't most men prefer - all other things being equal - a woman who makes more than them as well? Or let's put it another way - who wouldn't prefer a spouse who makes good dough? Jesus, that we need a study to ask such obvious questions is a testament to the stupidity of our times.
Weirdo Church

The weirdo Kansas church that is protesting a 9 year old's funeral doesn't deserve the press they are getting. And yes, I realize the irony in talking about it on my blog.

As tempting as it is to take baseball bats out to freaks like this, actually ignoring them is the best way to handle. They get off on attention, which is what we're giving them...
Good Message

I didn't know this, but John Boehner flies commercial.

I guess not all our politicians are completely tone-deaf.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


I've run into three people today who are immediately jumping to the Sarah Palin/Tea Party culpability discussion with respect to the nutjob shooting in Arizona. No doubt this was inspired by the Paul Krugman comments about Palin creating a "climate of hate," which is on every good liberal's Sunday morning reading list.

His classmates and teachers thought the guy was a nutjob and had the potential to bring guns to school.

We can't draw any political conclusions from nutjobs and crazy people. I remember taking offense when Conservatives made a point of blaming Marin Counties mushly America-hating liberal politics for John Walker Lindh fighting with the Taliban. Being a Marinite, I knew such attitudes were totally delusional and worse, dishonest. We shouldn't make the same mistake here.

But being in LA, I'll have to listen to this horrific tragedy being spun into a right-wing blame-fest. I'll try my best to not talk about it anymore, especially in these political/cultural terms because it feels like real dirty pool. Utilizing real life tragedy to score rhetorical points. Makes me thankful for not being part of the media, whose job it is do such things.

Friday, January 07, 2011

I think they're right.

This is damn good.

I'm still depressed over the 49ers season, so maybe I'm not as excited as I should be about Harbaugh signing on a coach.

I could see stench of Singletary remaining on this team the same way Saddam still casts a shadow over Iraq.

Yeah, I just made that analogy.
Higher Education Bubble?

Good point here:

I think that knowledge for its own sake is great. I just don’t think it should be purchased with massive quantities of borrowed money. And I’m betting that Socrates would have agreed.

The cost does seem rather high.
Why One Ought to Study Political Philosophy

While it would be nice if everyone had health insurance, do we really believe everyone has a right to health insurance?

Now a right to health care differs from other rights, such as the right to free speech or freedom of worship. Those rights demand nothing of others but noninterference. By contrast, medical care is an economic good, requiring resources. It must be provided by someone. If Joe needs medical care and cannot pay for it, then to say he has a right to medical care is to say someone else must give it to him, or buy it for him. It means he has a claim on someone else's resources that cannot be denied.

The healthcare debate is pretty lame because the liberal argument boils down to - we're a rich country, we ought to be able to afford healthcare for everyone.

Would a rich country have this much debt?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Not Just the Military

Worrisome trend - “Increasingly, the military is creating a command structure that rewards conformism and ignores merit. As a result, it’s losing its vaunted ability to cultivate entrepreneurs in uniform.”

Same applies to all industry, not just the military.
Best Actor

It would surprise me if Christian Bale doesn't win best actor for THE FIGHTER. Let us not forget his finest hour, however, in the remix above.
Big Surprise

One finding in a sex survey:

About 85% of men report that their partner had an orgasm at the most recent sexual event; this compares to the 64% of women who report having had an orgasm at their most recent sexual event. (A difference that is too large to be accounted for by some of the men having had male partners at their most recent event.)

Shocking. Truly shocking.
GM Bailout

A deeper look at the GM bailout.

Is it so much to ask the press to actually report on these things as opposed to taking administration talking points and putting them to print? A couple months ago everyone was celebrating that the bail out "worked" since GM turned a profit. You wonder why the pajama clad bloggers are so powerful and thriving? It ain't because of their skills, it's because the press sucks ass.
The Gauntlet

VDH throws down the gauntlet on the new Sophists:

America is huge and diverse, but the world of our credentialed experts is quite small, warped and monotonous -- circumscribed largely by the prestigious university and an office in the incestuous Washington-New York corridor. There are plenty of prizes, honors and degrees among our policy setters and experts, but very little experience in running a business in Oklahoma, raising a large family in Kansas, or working on an assembly line in Michigan, a military base in Texas, a boat in Alaska or a ranch in Idaho.

In classical sophistic fashion, rhetoric is never far from personal profit. Multimillionaire Al Gore convinced the governments of the Western world that they were facing a global-warming Armageddon, then hired out his services to address the hysteria that he helped create.


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Did Bush Lie?

Wikileaks documents shine light on the search for WMDs in Iraq.

I never knew these two facts:

In July 2003, former U.S. career diplomat Ambassador Joe Wilson, in a New York Times op-ed, claimed he had been sent to Africa by the Bush Administration in 2002 — and had debunked the yellowcake claim. While Wilson reported he had met with a former Niger prime minister, who said he knew of no such sales, that prime minister also recalled a 1999 visit by the Iraqis seeking to buy yellowcake. Despite Wilson's claim, a 2004 bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report found his visit actually supported evidence Saddam was undertaking a WMD effort, based on the 1999 incident.


In July 2008, in an operation kept secret at the time, 37 military air cargo flights shipped more than 500 metric tons of yellowcake — found in Iraq — out of the country for further transport and remediation to Canada.

The only story we all knew from the intense media coverage was the Joe Wilson story that he debunked the yellowcake claim and was subsequently punished by Bush goons by outing his wife Valerie Plame. Thank goodness for wikileaks for clearing the air!

But seriously, there is an issue here: Did Bush purposefully lie about WMDs in order to create a pretext to invade Iraq? It is pretty clear he did not. I'm pretty sure reasonable liberals understand this to be true. Yet...they never say it. They never stand up to the crazies who say things like "Bush lied and people died." Which unmasks them as partisans and devalues their own values and point of view. It cheapens the real arguments and I find it continually disappointing.
And They Control the Oil

Saudi Arabia detains an eagle for spying for Israel. And they are accusing Israel for the shark attacks off their coast. And yes, for your information, they control the price of oil.

Why didn't GW Bush just say - we need to invade Iraq and make a normal government over there because we can rely on these nutjob Saudis? Would Americans have supported it? Would the world? Isn't it closer to the truth?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Live By the Media, Die By the Media

Oh, Brett Farve. Even I, the greatest Farve hater of them all, feel a bit bad for the man. On top of being summarily dismissed by the Vikings new head coach who stated today he sees no role for Farve on the Vikings next year - and in addition to the revelations of his penis picture texts to the hot Jets employee - in addition to being spoofed on SNL - in addition to getting thrown to the turf by a Buffalo Bills defender and injuring himself - in addition to missing the playoffs in the last year of his career - in addition to being begged by the news media parasites to not come out of retirement (again!) - it also now comes out that he is being sued by the Jets massage therapists for sexual harassment.

When it rains, it pours.

The irony, of course, is that Farve - especially in the 2nd half of his career - is mostly a media creation. In the past twelve years the man has a terrible playoff winning percentage, I imagine Eli Manning is better. He has thrown the most interceptions in NFL history and ended at least 3-4 seasons on mind boggling stupid interceptions. And yet, the media praised his "gunslinging" style and generally upheld the myth of Farve. And now, the media beast has turned on him and we all cringe at the headlines generated by Farve. Sexual harassment of massage therapists? Penis photos? Injuries. Poor bastard. But let's be clear: it's his own damn fault.

What is a more important issue: global warming or national debt? What is a more urgent issue?

The terms with which conservatives argue for debt being a crucial and dangerous issue facing the nation echo very much the way liberals talk about global warming. Both tend to take an apocalyptic tone.
Indecency Fine Tossed Out

Eight years later, a fine on ABC for NYPD Blue showing the male ass was tossed out. Good. Govt ought to pay ABC interest payments.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Professional Interviewer

I wonder if there will one day be a job as a professional interview subject? There are several artists (for lack of a better word) whose interviews I find more interesting than their work. One of them is Michel Houellebecq, the French writer. See this.

So what made you write your first novel, Whatever, about a computer
programmer and his sexually frustrated friend?


I hadn’t seen any novel make the statement that entering the workforce was like entering the grave. That from then on, nothing happens and you have to pretend to be interested in your work. And, furthermore, that some people have a sex life and others don’t just because some are more attractive than others. I wanted to acknowledge that if people don’t have a sex life, it’s not for some moral reason, it’s just because they’re ugly. Once you’ve said it, it sounds obvious, but I wanted to say it.

The interview is full of more gems. I read his big book, The Elementary Particles, at one time and it didn't stick with me too much. There are other artists like this...I'm thinking of Werner some ways, he is more interesting than his work. And when I say, he, I mean the character he has crafted of himself. I love some of his stuff, so it isn't quite fair, but there are a lot of Herzog movies that are just plain nonsense and would be relegated to the trash bin if they weren't stamped with his name.

I'll leave you with another:

I think that there is a sharp contrast for most people between life at university, where they meet lots of people, and the moment when they enter the workforce, when they basically no longer meet anyone. Life becomes dull. So as a result people get married to have a personal life. I could elaborate but I think everyone understands.

and one more:

The biggest consequence of The Elementary Particles, apart from the money and not having to work, is that I have become known internationally. I’ve stopped being a tourist, for example, because my book tours have satisfied any desire I might have to travel. And as a result there are countries I have visited that you wouldn’t ordinarily go to, like Germany.

Just read the whole thing.
Don't Listen to Rick Reilly

Amongst the stupidest things ever written on

You want to win re-election, Mr. President? You could do worse than backing something that's already favored by 63 percent of Americans, and will now be favored by nearly every Texan, not to mention Utahan (Utah undefeated in 2004 and '08, but left out of the mix for a BCS title shot), Alabaman (Auburn undefeated in '04 but left out) and Idahoan (Boise State undefeated in '06 and '09 and left out).

Obama must have the Justice Department sue the BCS for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. The BCS is run by a cartel of the 11 BCS conference presidents, Notre Dame and the five big bowl games who are restraining trade and colluding to hoard the gold. They are not exempt from antitrust rules. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) and Texas Rep. Joe Barton (R) have already looked into this. It would work. How many millions of dollars did TCU just lose by not being allowed to play for the title, not just in bowl TV dollars but in alumni donations and national prestige?

Is he serious? Does he really think the job of the President of the United States is to weigh in on the BCS Championship? Jesus Christ, this strikes me as one of the dumbest, most unnecessary, and over-reaching ideas in recent history. It would make Obama look not just stupid, but small.
Business Morons

I love this business analysis of why the Box Office was actually down this year (despite 3D movies and increased ticket prices).

It is a pretty common refrain heard by anyone who pays attention to movies that this was a bad year for movies. Casual movie watchers struggle to remember their favorites of the year and only reluctantly talk about The Social Network, Inception, The Black Swan, The Kings Speech, The Fighter, and True Grit as potential best movie candidates. All decent movies, none seem to garner the excitement of a No Country or a Sideways or even Zodiac. So it seems obvious to me why movie attendance is down: poorer quality. It has nothing to do with 3D. Nothing to do with competition. It has everything to do with creativity and imagination and the lack of it this year. Business analysis tries to downplay these factors because they can't measure it in excel. But it is beyond obvious to any movie watcher out there. We are in a strange business. You can't measure a story well told. You can't measure freshness. You can't measure originality. And yet, these are the reasons people go to movies. Yes, they may actually go because of word of mouth or good reviews or good previews, but all these exist on a prior level, at an earlier level, at the level of seeing a good story, well told.

Better start exercising...gas may hit $5 a gallon in 2013.

Or buy oil stock.

I'm still an advocate for gas taxes to curb consumption with the added benefit of being able to reduce those taxes if necessary, in case of price shocks.

Per this article, is worth $50 billion. What value does Goldman Sachs see in Facebook? It can only be the user data. That's what they're selling...

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Let's Hope So

2011 the year of online backlash.

Facebook is all the rage. Collectively, it all gets in your face. The noise is so constant it has created five-second attention spans. If you don't get them in five seconds, they're gone.