Thursday, November 16, 2017

Al Franken and Sly Stallone

This is sexual hysteria. For all those excited about this 5th wave feminism, and point to the truthiness of the allegations, remember that Joe McCarthy was in some sense RIGHT about Communists having infiltrated the government and Hollywood, but it didn't make the witchhunt less awful.

Plus, this isn't about justice. It's about exposure and toppling people, which is easy. Recall the old Soviet police chief who said, "Show me the man, I'll show you the crime."

We are not going to like the world we are making.
True

America moves from frenzy to frenzy.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thought Experiment

For all the NFL fans who think Kaepernick "should" be a on team, the very framing of the question is wrong. A fan ought to take the position: I think my team should sign Kaepernick. Otherwise, all the rest is bullshit. Either you believe your time should sign him, or you should shut up. It's like saying - someone else should invest in Tesla.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Apple Cart

It's fun to topple the apple cart, but as the saying goes, then where do you go to get the apples?

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Logging

Musical: Hamilton

Overrated as a hip hop musical, but underrated as a pop representation of the Revolutionary period and Hamilton in general. What better way to get folks interested in the politics and dynamics of the founders? And what a terrific reminder of American exceptionalism. I thought the show captured the characters of the time period quite well and I imagine inspires many people to refresh their knowledge of the Federalist papers, dynamics of Jefferson vs. Hamilton, Washington, and perhaps a few more lesser known characters of the period: Schuyler sisters, Lafayette, etc.

I enjoyed the non-hip hop numbers (which there were many) to the hip hop, which reminded me of listening to Arrested Development in the early 1990s.

Film: Blade Runner 2049

Terrific ideas, but the pacing was too slow. Villeneuve makes too many movies if you ask me. I'd like to see a higher batting average from such a talent -- more like a Tarantino or Michael Mann career. Skip The Arrival and just do Blade Runner. For whatever my opinion is worth.

TV:

The Duece - The most Wire-esque of David Simon's post-Wire career. I enjoyed the show a lot, was taken aback by the finale, which I didn't even realize was a finale until he used the same musical montage ending that he did with each Wire seasons.

American Vandal - mock documentary. Is anything more in deserving of ridicule than Making a Murderer and those type of shows? Deals with the case of a high school idiot expelled for spray painting dicks on a bunch of cars. Rather enjoyable.

Mindhunter - my favorite Fincher work in a long while. Started terrific, got progressively less. Main character serviceable, but perhaps the least interesting in the show. More serial killer interviews -- they were the best part.

Books (reading):

World at Night - let's try again with this one. Starts off well. I'm searching for spy novels to enjoy beyond LeCarre. Alan Furst comes recommended.

The Last Kind Words Saloon - Larry McMurtry is the best. Even - maybe especially - his smaller works.

The Second World Wars - Military history is starting to fascinate me. Still cannot wrap my head around the scale of WW2.

The Complacent Class - impressive indictment of Americans today. We're way too complacent and fearful of risk. I think he's right, but it's an incredibly difficult cycle to break. Or maybe not so. We just do it.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Liberalism is Exhausted

Great article.
White guilt is not angst over injustices suffered by others; it is the terror of being stigmatized with America’s old bigotries—racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. To be stigmatized as a fellow traveler with any of these bigotries is to be utterly stripped of moral authority and made into a pariah. The terror of this, of having “no name in the street” as the Bible puts it, pressures whites to act guiltily even when they feel no actual guilt.  
White guilt is a mock guilt, a pretense of real guilt, a shallow etiquette of empathy, pity and regret. It is also the heart and soul of contemporary liberalism. This liberalism is the politics given to us by white guilt, and it shares white guilt’s central corruption. It is not real liberalism, in the classic sense. It is a mock liberalism. Freedom is not its raison d’ĂȘtre; moral authority is.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Yep

Democrats are failing the resistance. Sullivan does them no favors, however, by characterizing it as a resistance. By defining oneself in opposition to Trump, one is giving him all the power.

Democrats need ideas and principles. Here are a few:

1) Cut out this politically correct nonsense from the knees. Call out BLM as an organization fueling lies about policing. Table anything to do with the transgender agenda. Forget Colin Kaepernick and by all means, stop being mealy mouthed about the campus protests against Free Speech.

2) Restore Patriotism as a core idea to the party. Do not let the Republicans outmaneuver the Dems on this issue. Drape yourselves in the flag.

3) Come up with tangible policies designed for economic growth and jobs in the least well off areas of the country. Examples: payroll tax cuts for all lower wage jobs. Raising the minimum wage is a STUPID idea. It simply encourages automation and fewer jobs. We want people are the lower end of the income scale WORKING. Even if it's not enough initially to make a good living, get them working and learning skills and they can improve. Encourage dynamism, not stagnation. Minimum wage increases are stagnation - imagining people who work minimum wage jobs are going to be there forever. They are not.

4) Do SOMETHING about college tuition cost. One idea: schools are partially on the hook for unpaid loans. Another idea: scale back all Federal Student loans. Another idea: make them dischargeable in bankruptcy.

5) In areas with housing shortages, encourage more local housing development.

6) Make infrastructure investments: build more roads.

7) Simplify the tax code.

8) Criminal justice reform. As an olive branch to BLM, etc, focus an agenda on get non-violent black men less into the criminal justice system and more into the workforce. I don't have precise ideas here, but this could become a priority and would actually really help communities of color. It'd also be the right thing to do.

9) Return to a pragmatic foreign policy more focused on American interests and empowering allies than democracy promotion. It's not working.
Good Luck With All That

Left wing fantatics protest viewing a 39 year old SNL video in class.

They are throwing away any chance of being able to function in the world, along with trashing what was once a great American institution: college. They should be fought every step of the way.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Torn ACL

DeShaun Watson tore his ACL and is done for the season. Too bad, his story was an exciting one. Although, in the one game I watched him, all the fantasy stats were accumulated during garbage time and I wasn't terribly impressed. Still...he's just a rookie. But in this story, Dabo Sweeney says Watson played with an ACL tear in Clemson.

That's insane. I've torn an ACL and you have no lateral movement. To play any sports which requires balance, to my mind, is insane. To play football? The most violent of all contact sports. I don't have words to describe...

...I love sports, I love football, I hope it doesn't go anywhere, and I like toughness, but this culture of putting oneself in danger is senseless.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

I Wish For Kap on the Pats

I would really enjoy watching sit on the bench and when Brady goes down, seeing him throw interceptions.

I'd pay money to see Kap vs. Alex Smith in the AFC Championship game. Holy crap, that'd be incredible.

Monday, October 30, 2017

I Relate

Wait a sec...these national anthem protests really are pissing people off!

A lot of these NFL players want the country to listen to them. Maybe they ought to spend a little time listening to the country...
CONFESS!

Hollywood is being taken over by the Faith Militant and everyone is ratting each other out for crimes committed decades ago. Enter Kevin Spacey. 

Everyone in Hwood knew all this about Spacey and I suspect some of the bitterness has to do with it no longer being fun, private info to show off being "in the know."

Plus, does anyone really want to a have a real discussion about this? How many gay men's first sexual experiences are with significantly older men? A hell of a lot, I imagine. Make this into a witchhunt and I guarantee people are not going to like the end result.

Sex is messy, sex is confusing, sex is dangerous. This is why the Victorians and Puritans were so interested in trying to control it. This new generation of SJW have no clue about the path they're going down and where it will lead.

PS: Just to be clear, I'm not condoning pedophilia. But I believe the way to handle crime is through the justice system, not twitter.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Not With A Bang, But A Whimper...

Reading, thinking, and talking about the NFL has become so tedious and boring, it the league shuttered tomorrow, I think it would be met with a collective sigh of relief. Maybe Americans would start going to the movies again.
"Inmates"

Everyone is freaking out about Texans owner saying we can't have inmates running the prison, thus referring to NFL players as inmates. Of course, this "offense" is completely disingenuous and he should not apologize. "Inmates running the prison" is a common figure of speech. Can some man just stand up and say, "gimme a fucking break, we're men, not babies. We all know what he meant." But no, the inmates do in fact want to run the asylum. Good luck with it.
On Safari in Trump's America

The Left's been shitting on America, and particularly middle America, for 40 plus years and they act dumbfounded when people resent them for it. Granted, they don't do it publicly, but anyone who's been to college knows what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

And Let the Witchhunts Begin...

Random actress accuses 93 year old wheelchair bound GWH Bush of sexual harassment. 

All this anonymous public shaming, if not curtailed, will become worse than the supposed crimes being committed.

If people want to live in a world where stuff like this is litigated over the internet and by the mob, we're all in for a very rude awakening with lots of suffering. It's why we have a legal system.
Kap Is Running Out of Moves

Now he's shopping a book deal. Yikes.

Not ending well for him (as I predicted).

UPDATE: A Canadian football team reached out to him, but his agent hasn't responded. For a guy who says he wants to play football, Canada and the Arena League seem like viable options. It worked for Kurt Warner. But Kap cares most for the attention and football only as a means.

All this, if you ask me, is bad and only going to get worse for him over time. He's allowed himself to get hijacked by weirdos like Shaun King who will toss him aside when he's not longer the victim of the moment.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Immigration

Could be the issue that loses 2020 for the Democrats. 

It was the issue that cost them 2016 and they haven't changed their tune a bit.
The most powerful thing Trump said in the campaign, I’d argue, was: “If you don’t have borders, you don’t have a country.” And the Democrats had no answer, something that millions of Americans immediately saw. They still formally favor enforcement of immigration laws, but rhetorically, they keep signaling the opposite. Here is Dylan Matthews, also in Vox, expressing the emerging liberal consensus: “Personally, I think any center-left party worth its salt has to be deeply committed to egalitarianism, not just for people born in the U.S. but for everyone … It means treating people born outside the U.S. as equals … And it means a strong presumption in favor of open immigration.” Here’s Zack Beauchamp, a liberal friend of mine: “What if I told you that immigration restrictionism is and always has been racist?” Borders themselves are racist? Seriously?
Drawing borders, or boundaries is what healthy, normal people want and need to function in life.

Friday, October 13, 2017

We Can Go Too Far

Amazing how all these brave voices are coming out of the woodwork to pile on their Harvey Weinstein horror stories.

Obviously, I'm no advocate for sexual harassment and rape, but we can go too far if we begin to imagine the purpose of Hollywood is eliminate sexism and uncomfortable sexual advances versus, selling movie and tv products. Just saying.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

NFL Players Are Confused

Yes, they have a right to kneel for the national anthem, but they do not have a right to play in the NFL. A workplace is allowed to have rules. In and Out burger flippers, I'm sure, are not allowed "freedom of expression" to convey all their political opinions to every passing by customer. The players are alienating fans and the league with a dumb, unthinking political message. Good management and ownership would nip it in the bud. The reason this has been going on so long is bad, unclear leadership. The NBA isn't having the same issue.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Sound of Silence

Would this Harvey Weinstein story be a Republican, would Hillary be this quiet?

This story is the nail in the coffin for the Clinton machine. The Democratic Party in shambles. The only question is whether Bill Clinton can somehow play defense for long enough before his own scandal breaks. I wouldn't bet on it with the way the world is going these days.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Weinstein

The story isn't about sexual harassment, it's about the media covering for an important Democrat.

It's not the lie, it's the cover up.
Jemele Hill

I don't know Hill, watch her show, but it strikes me that she epitomizes a strategy used by the SJW set -- attach oneself to a powerful institution, use careerist tactics to rise in the ranks, and try to use the platform/institution to get one's political point across.

Brie Larson

Tweets about getting hit on by a TSA Agent and it causes a right wing uproar for her disdain of a normal guy. Now usually I'm on the guy's side in these cases -- guys have a right to make a move on a woman. I felt Clarence Thomas and Herm Cain both were fully within their rights to assume female attention suggested the possibility of sexual interest and therefore not in violation of any social norms (or especially, laws) by taking it one step further.

BUT...we're talking about Brie Larsen, who I like. And TSA Agents, who I don't like. First of all, Brie Larsen didn't request to be in a TSA line. She didn't rub elbows every day and develop a friendly, casual banter with the TSA guy. She was trapped there, like all of us, who must travel on planes. It's a miserable, unsexual situation. They search our stuff. Force us to remove our belts and shoes. They look through our wallets. And as far as I know, they have never caught a single terrorist. Now maybe this is just the world we live in now. And I understand maybe it works as a deterrent, but we've all been in those lines. The people working them are not the sharpest tools in the shed. They are slow, often inconsiderate, and generally unpleasant to be around. I would not want to be hit on by one of them. And Brie Larsen expressing disgust about it on twitter. THAT'S WHAT TWITTER IS FOR!

The Right wing populist weirdos are adopting the norms of the oversensitive left by whining about every last thing. I support Brie Larsen's right to be disgusted by TSA Agents. I often am.
The Anthem Protests...

...Continue to get even more incoherent. Jerry Jones says his players cannot disrespect the flag. Some of his players raise a fist during the anthem. He does nothing. Is that disrespecting the flag? I don't know. He doesn't know. They don't know. Nobody knows. The Miami Dolphin coach says no more kneeling, you can stay in the tunnel, but you can't kneel. Okay. So can we expect 32 teams doing 32 different things? An article says Kaepernick will stand for the anthem, but his girlfriend goes to twitter to rebutt. His girlfriend!!! It turns out the reporter was using months old info he released through his agent because Kaepernick planned to stand during the anthem. But that was before Trump got involved.

Trump is the genius in all this. He's giving rope to the Left to hang itself.

What started as an incoherent way to protest racism has now become an incoherent way to protest...nobody really knows. Honestly, does anyone know what is being protested? What does kneeling during the anthem even mean? That the United States flag symbolizes racism? That there is systematic racism in the US that needs to stop? That the ideals of the country are racist? That Donald Trump is President? That police need to stop using excessive force? That NFL fans are racist? That Republicans are bad? That players should have free speech? That players have a right to protest? That patriotism is problematic? The point is - nobody knows - and my biggest guess is that the players protesting least of all. Because if they knew what they were talking about, it would be significantly more clear.

In any case, I like watching football this year. I don't like listening to people talk about the protests because it makes us all dumber.
Sunday Night

Football: Smith was incredible and continues an MVP year. Chiefs lost two important offensive players to injuries, though. They are getting near a breaking point, which would be terrible since they're playing so well. I think when Mike Nolan drafted Smith, this is the type of offense he imagined. Smith has never had the weapons. Never had a true #1 receiver who gets guys on their heels. Now he has one: Hill. With a great TE and and awesome new RB, and confidence, he's showing why he was a #1 pick over Rodgers in the first place.

Too bad for the Texans, losing Watt and Marcellus (sp). Because they have an exciting new team. But before everyone starts heaping on too much about Watson -- those 2-3 touchdowns toward the end of the game were a) garbage time and b) lucky. I mean, there were just a couple of hail mary type throws that the Chiefs were giving about 75% since the game was out of reach. I'd be a bit wary on anointing Watson just yet. He looked a bit Russell Wilson-y to me. Which is a complement, but I also think Wilson is a tad overrated.

The Deuce: Easily my favorite show on TV. I love it.

Curb: I laugh a few times, but it's a bit geriatric. Also, I've seen a lot of the jokes before. Love JB Smoothe, though.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Random Things

Listening to Colin Cowherd the last couple days and his co-host Kristine Leahy cannot stop rambling on about Cam Newton. I hope Cowherd can hear the sounds of dials being switched from his show. The last thing the sports radio audience wants to listen to is a shrill lecture about how it must feel to be a female reporter, blah, blah, blah. I get it. It's personal to her. She gets to bring it up once and out of courtesy, the audience can listen. But bringing up the same self pitying lecture out on every single guest and every time the topic's been said. Enough already. We get it - Cam was a jerk in a press conference. Move on. If men want to hear about how difficult it is being a women, they could watch The View, or simply ask their wives or co-workers about it. Believe me, the last thing any guy wants to hear on sports radio is a lecture about being a woman in the workplace. That's where they go to stop hearing about this stuff.

In related news, this is an interesting story about how Leftist political ideology ruined a once great school district in Minnesota. The obsession with race and identity (on either the left or right) by a group, community, or business is a canary in the coal mine - a sign of nothing good to come.


Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Catalan

This article has me thinking differently about the issue. I'm generally not excited about countries breaking up.
Ratings Plunge

MNF took another double digit plunge last night, despite being an awesome game. I cord cut and don't have ESPN and went to a bar to watch the 4th quarter. Just classic, well played, tense football. By all accounts, the entire game was this way.

The NFL has a problem, but it can go away if the quality of play increases and the league figures out to handle the stupid kneeling situation.

They've mishandled it so far and so now whatever they do will be clumsy and dissatisfying. Bad leadership.

Monday, October 02, 2017

NFL

I'm not saying Alex Smith is the best QB in the NFL, but...how many guys are straight up better right now no questions asked?

I can think of one: Rodgers. Who else?

Brees and Brady obviously have the resumes, but are on the tail end of their careers. Also, neither has the mobility of Smith.

Matty Ice? Maybe. Wilson? I wouldn't swap Smith for Wilson right now. Luck? With his injuries? Cam? Maybe. Carr? With the injuries? Rivers? Big Ben?

I don't know, the list is pretty short...

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Equifax

To weigh in a bit late - the Equifax data breach. Jesus. And the elites wonder why no one trusts them and why we have Trump. There are many terrible things about it, the two most egregious being, they knew about the breach for months and didn't tell anyone and major executives sold stock in advance of the public knowing. We're locking up young drug dealers instead of people like this in America and that's a travesty.

But the problem runs deeper. To buy a home, rent an apartment, get a car loan, etc...in other words, to live and function in America today, one is REQUIRED to deal with credit agencies. Let's be clear: in any practical sense, the American consumer/citizen had no choice in the matter. And all that data is stolen. Personally, we are all a tad responsible for collectively going along with the digitalization of all the world's information. I can remember a time when people were afraid to provide their information online (which turned out to be a correct instinct), nevertheless our tech overlords developed systems to give the illusion of security and coerced the joe average consumer to go along. And I say coerced because if you've ever tried to deal with customer service of nearly any company, you will notice it very difficult to find a phone number or navigate a phone system to get help. This is on purpose. They want us online to reduce labor costs and reduce rental/property costs of supplying retail consumer goods. But I digress. The larger point is that no one seems to be manning the ship in American today and so why are people surprised the public reacted with a big fuck you with the election of Trump?

You want people to respect norms, the leadership in the country needs to do the same. But if you look around everywhere, it feels like respectable leadership has gone by the wayside. I say don't piss on the people's shoes and tell them it's raining.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Good Reading of Trump

By David Brooks.
Donald Trump came into a segmenting culture and he is further tearing apart every fissure. He has a nose for every wound in the body politic and day after day he sticks a red-hot poker in one wound or another and rips it open.
Maybe I should have a stronger opinion one way or the other, but I'm not terribly sure the meritocratic culture is worth preserving. I guess it all depends on what replaces it.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Why They Knelt

Article makes a good case for the NFL players kneeling.
In the space of less than 24 hours this weekend, the president of the United States did more to politicize sports than ESPN has done in a decade of biased, progressive programming. He singled out free speech he didn’t like, demanded that dissenters be fired, and then — when it became clear that private American citizens weren’t going to do what he demanded — he urged the economic boycott of their entire industry.
Let me be clear: I don't like what Trump did because it undermines the culture of free speech. But...

a) Trump stands to benefit from taking the position he has. Kaepernick, by his stupidity to begin kneeling, started a vague protest that allows a doofus like Trump to be the one to defend American symbols.

b) Trump stole his play/demand from the Liberals playbook to go after people's jobs when they do something they disagree with. I hate it when both sides do it, and I find it quite hypocritical for Liberals to claim "free speech" with respect to kneeling for the anthem when they are willing to censor free speech whenever it suits them.

I hope this all goes away soon, although I doubt it will. I should stop writing about it because this is a race to the bottom and a waste of time.
Chiefs-Chargers Game / Anthem Protests, Etc.

I went at the Stubhub center yesterday. Great stadium to watch a game. Tiny - roughly 25K people. All seats are great seats. I hadn't been to an NFL game in ages. Atmosphere different from other sports - much more drinking, partying, more middle class, diverse crowd. My friend commented there was a much larger range of "looks" than at other LA sporting events. By that he meant, there were a lot of ugly people and a lot of hot people.

Too much sun at the game - a bit too hot. But other than that, a quite cool experience. All the fans were saying the same. Shorter lines to get food and beer. People were really liking it.

As for protests, etc. Here's what I noticed being on the ground. The Chiefs ran out of the tunnel. About 10 or so players went to the end zone and kneeled toward the flag in advance of the national anthem and then everyone stood during the anthem itself. One SD charger knelt during the anthem. It was a funny thing to see in person - a stadium of 25K people standing. 100+ people on both sides of the field standing, and this one guy kneeling. It put things in perspective. Let the guy kneel if he wants. Who cares, right? It really felt that way - small. I think it's the TV cameras pointed on the guy and the echo chamber than expands the discussion way out of proportion.

That said, there was an annoying fan behind me yelling "Stand Up!" "Stand Up!" It was unpleasant, but again, one guy. Apparently at other stadiums there was more kneeling and more booing, and no one totally seems to understand why some are kneeling and why people are booing.

Here's a thought I have for both sides that I recognize will be unwelcome by each.

For the Protesters:

A lot of pro-protesters are saying: don't you understand, this isn't about protesting America, the flag, or the national anthem: it is about protesting police brutality. If so, maybe you are picking the wrong way to express yourself, because this is not what the audience is hearing. Also, I think you ought to talk amongst yourselves because I actually think a good number of you are protesting the USA. A good number of you are taking the Ta nehisi Coates position, which is that the country is fundamentally flawed and doomed and must be resisted. It's nihilism repackaged with a racial element. This is an incredibly unpopular and wrongheaded position and will lead to much misery on all sides.

Oh, and also, you are getting trolled by a grandmaster and falling into his traps. The best way to deal with trolls is to ignore them.

For the Anthem-Insisters:

I would suggest relaxing. If a few folks want to kneel, let them. This is not a big deal. Do not insist someone must stand - you are becoming an authoritarian and a thug if you do. Try and enjoy football and not make the choice to kneel more than it is. As for the NFL, I would try to come up with a clear rule about what is expected, run it by the players, teams, etc., and great broad sign off. This way, people know whether they are breaking the rule or not and what to expect. A lot of this stems from lack of clarity and leadership from the NFL.

Trump jumping into the fray is entirely un-Presidential, but is very Trumpian. This guy is a trolling grandmaster. I mean, he's got his opponents protesting the Nation Anthem.



Trump Has Already Won This Round

He's put himself into the position where his opponents are against the National Anthem and he gets to defend it.

I'm sure Sun Tze says something about how the battle is won or lost in the planning stage. I don't see what constitutes victory for those protesting the anthem. The Left, as David Frum has pointed out, should be draping themselves in the flag and not allowing their opponents to take the so called "patriotic" position. This is marching to Moscow in the winter.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Prediction

The NFL will be over before Kaepernick and his fellow protestors will get whatever they are asking for.

Or maybe that's the point?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hypocrisy

Matt Damon advocates for public school, but sends his to private school.

Rich liberals are quick to criticize a variety of policies that don't affect them because they are insulated by wealth. Here are three:

1) gentrification
2) aggressive policing
3) immigration

Rich liberals live in places that were gentrified in the distant past. They live in places that via gentrification, design, and security measures are safe enough to not presently need aggressive policing. They live in places that new immigrants cannot afford, so it puts them in no competition for resources like jobs, schools, hospitals, etc. In fact, they probably enjoy the benefits of cheaper construction, gardening, and daycare wages driven down by competition.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Alex Smith

All the talk is how good he's playing and how he added the deep ball to his repertoire. He is playing well. Question: is he playing better than he has in the past? Rich Gannon thinks not. Tony Gonzales thinks so.

I've observed this guy since day 1. I wanted the Niners to move on from him at times. I've written him off as a bust. But he won me back over playing for Harbaugh and in the playoff game against the Saints.

Here is the difference between Smith this year and before: weapons. He has Hunt, Kelce, and Hill. Who is the best receiver Smith's played with in the past? Michael Crabtree (a good #2, but not a deep threat), Anquan Boldin (a possession receiver), Jeremy Maclin (a solid #2, possession guy), Dwyane Bowe (should be a #2). The real difference is Hill - a guy that puts the defense on their heels. A true threat. Smith has NEVER had a receiver of that caliber before. Let's see what he does with it.

As for Smith's so called poor play in the playoffs. His record is 2-4, but his QB rating is higher than Tom Brady and top 10 all time.

Game 1 - Win. Niners-Saints. Smith led a receiver less Niners team to two major scores in a shootout against the Saints. One of my favorite victories of the Harbaugh era.

Game 2 - Loss. Niners-Giants in the NFC Championship. This was a rough game in OT against the eventual Super Bowl champions where the punt returner botched the kick. Smith did have multiple opportunities to drive the team down to victory and failed, but we literally had no receivers against a very strong Giants defense. If Williams doesn't botch the punt, maybe the Niners win the Super Bowl that year.

Game 3 - Loss. Kansas City-Colts. 45-44. Smith played out of his mind this game. He looked exactly the same as he did in the New England game. It was the Kansas City defense that collapsed against Andrew Luck. I mean, look at the score. He lead the offense to 44 points and don't forget: they lost Jamal Charles in this game, their best offensive player at the time. Watch the tape. Arguably the best Smith has ever played.

Game 4 - Win. Kansas City-Houston. The score was 30-0. He didn't need to do anything.

Game 5 - Loss. Kansas City - New England. Smith-Reid gets out dueled by Brady and Belichick and lose by a touchdown. It's happened to everyone.

Game 6 - Loss. Kansas City - Pittsburgh. First possession, KC looked great and then their game plan seemed to disappear the rest of the game. Still, Smith lead the team down to a game tying TD / 2 pt conversion which got negated by a penalty. I think the game plan was bad in this one, but Smith played respectable, but not great.

I see his playoff record as playing two great games, one serviceable victory, and three so-so games that he kept his team in there against good teams, but lost. Hardly an embarrassing resume.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I Expect We'll Be Seeing More of This

"I moved from a blue state to a red state and it changed my life."

It's basic math. Lower cost of living, better, more livable communities. Not a single person in California thinks the place works despite having the best natural resources on the planet and profitable industries.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Universal Health Care A Myth

Here's why: people with good insurance don't want to give it up. And why should they?
Democrats Need Ideas, Not Colors

Yes.

It's actually a rather primitive and arguably racist way of viewing people to suggest all POC will see the world and vote the same way. Huckers in these communities try to force this upon people to their own political gain and shame POC who deviate from the tribal norms. But this is a shell game and individuals will rebel from it when better offers are on the table.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Alex Smith

Expects to be on a new team next year.

Would it surprise you if that team gets between 10-12 wins and into the playoffs? Me, either.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Give Them What They Ask For

Kaepernick can't get out of the news because the culture won't let him. I'm tired of hearing about the injustice. But since it's only football, I have a suggestion: give them what they want. I'd LOVE-LOVE-LOVE at this point to see Kap get signed on a team. Let it become the media circus it's destined to be. Let him get back on the field and start misreading defenses and throwing INTs and leading whatever team picks him up to a lousy, pathetic record. I'm hoping it'd shut people up in a relatively low stakes situation. I just wouldn't wish it on a team I personally cared about.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Chiefs

Looked like Super Bowl contenders last night, except arguably their best player Eric Berry is now lost for the season. Will be incredibly difficult to recover from that. The guy shut down Gronk last night.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Everything That's Wrong With Identity Politics

This article nails it.
It privileges culture, instead of politics. My first point is that when you fight for identity, you’re giving up politics in favor of culture. And that’s exactly where neoliberalism wants you, fighting for your culture (or what you imagine is your culture), rather than the arena of policies, where the real consequences occur. You may gain some recognition of your identity, but you may also have to pay the price of losing everything else that makes life worth living. 
In many American cities, as in mine, the fight is on for transgender bathrooms, even as local government leaders, who often fit the bill where identity politics is concerned, have worked closely with supercapitalists to gentrify the urban centers, leading to the mass eviction of working people who created the interesting cultural realities in the first place. You can have your bathrooms, but gay people can’t live where they want to. During the Obama years, a crisis of affordable housing arose all over the country, which has gotten little attention because that is a policy discussion not suited to identity politics.
Which is exactly what my last post was about.

And then there was this nice little local piece in the LA Times this weekend: Bye-bye Silver Lake, hello Pacoima: How one couple tackled L.A.'s sky-high real estate prices.

So, if you're a politically minded millennial interested in owning a home one day - be aware the choice to throw your energies into Pussy Hats and Transgender bathrooms will result in living in Pacoima (or similar type of area) unless you stand to inherit a lot of money.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Biggest Scandal in America and No One Is Talking About It

Home prices are being rigged by the government to benefit existing homeowners at the expense of buyers. We're just seeing the results: first time home ownership down by 40% since 2004.

This is an enormous scandal. And it impacts nearly everybody. It of course impacts poorer people the most, and especially poorer young people.

The government is doing this because existing homeowners enjoy policies that ensure their homes raise in value. Of course they do! Everyone will take free money if offered. But the truth is - no money is free - it comes with a cost. And the cost is that younger people are going to be less financially secure.

Here is how the scam works: limit housing demand via local zoning laws and make money to buy houses cheap to borrow via the mortgage interest deduction and low interest rates. Thus, prices go up.

This is government working for the old and wealthy at the expense of the poor and young. If you are not a home owner, it is making your life worse and more expensive every day and denying you the ability to grow wealth by capturing any gains in the real estate market. And yet, all the young people seem to be more passionate about fighting for imaginary causes, like neo-nazis and Trump. But they would be smarter and happier to instead concern themselves with the hustle on home prices that is taking their hard earned money out from their pockets every day. Everyone needs shelter and the monied are using the government to make shelter more expensive than it needs to be to benefit those already sheltered. Basic rent seeking.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

Why The Neo Nazi / Fascist Witchhunt?

I hope students are still required to read The Crucible in school. In it, they may recognize an echo from the present: the search for neo nazis and fascists. The Onion, of course, captures it best of all: Antifa Organizers Announce Plans To Disrupt Neo-Nazi Rally Or Whatever Else Going On That Day:
“We will stop at nothing to prevent these vile fucking neo-Nazi hatemongers from gathering, or, if not them, someone else,” said Sarah Jackson, 26, adding that the only way to end the spread of fascism is to physically confront Nazis, peaceful right-wing protesters, or just random people going about their daily lives. “We need to tell these Hitler-loving fucks or whoever else is standing there, ‘Get out of our city!’ Remember, we’re talking about white supremacist terrorists, people running errands on their lunch breaks, or a group of tourists, so if we have to throw a punch or two, then so fucking be it.”
The WSJ also tackles the issue. Hat tip, Viner.
Soon liberalism had become a cultural identity that offered Americans a way to think of themselves as decent people. To be liberal was to be good.
It's nice to be liberal. You get to parade yourself around as a good person without actually having to be good. It's what religion used to be, but cheaper and requiring less work. The drawback to thinking people, however, is needing to toe the party line when in the company of others.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

An Adult in The Room

12 Browns kneel for the national anthem. Jim Brown addresses the team and tells them not to disrespect their country. Next game, they all stand.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Trump Was Right

When he condemned taking down Confed statues by saying "Who's next, George Washington?" he was criticized by being insensitive. But was he wrong?

Theater cancels Gone with the Wind screening.

I wish there was someone else to stand up to this PC-tide, but there isn't. So we have Trump.
The Left Has Become A Cult

And is fueled by the internet.

In Boston, 30,000 Americans rallied against Free Speech. Americans in Boston! This is an outrage beyond imaginable. Andrew Sullivan writes about it better than I can:
As Boston, an allegedly liberal city, undoubtedly did. It seems to me that the acid test of whether a “free speech” rally is just a cover for white supremacists is whether it truly upholds free speech (which means inviting a spectrum of opinion, including the far right and the far left), whether it invites people of many races, whether it denounces violence, and whether it invites dialogue and engagement. This one did all of the above — and the organizers were deemed Nazis for it.
In California transactivists have targeted early childhood education as a battleground for transrights. Read this story and prepare to be disgusted.

It seems to me highly plausible transgender people are suffering from a body dysmorphia illness similar to anorexia. I hope we are willing to continue to study this phenomenon to gain a deeper understanding, but until we find some clear consensus, pushing trans-identities on children seems to me borderline child abuse. Children can't possibly grabble with the complexity of the issue. We don't let kindergardeners cross the street on their own, or watch whatever tv show they want, much less wrestle with super complicated notions of sex and gender that most American adults don't know how to distinguish. (and which transactivists purposely conflate).

Furthermore, there are health and monetary consequences to transgrooming. Taking hormones and puberty suppression drugs are dangerous. This is the stuff prison punks are forced to take. And people are giving this stuff to their children. This strikes me as insane. Not even to mention the surgeries later in life. It would not surprise me to discover some transactivism is majorly funded by some groups in the pharmaceutical industry looking for a steady stream of customers (you will take hormones for life as every gene in the human body will be fighting a sex change).

Transactivists, like Islamic Terrorists, are exploiting intellectual fissures in Western thought. Transactivists have successfully framed their argument as an extension of the gay rights movement, when in fact is should be thought as a body dysmorphic disorder. Just like Islamic Terrorists have successfully framed themselves a religious movement, when in fact they are a fascist political movement.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Irving - Isiah

This is what a trade should be. My impression from this static moment: a great move by both sides.

The Celtics get a blue chip in Irving and sell high on Isiah and avoid dealing with the max contract issue next summer for a 29 year old 5 foot 9 point guard who can't play D.

The Cavs get out from under a toxic situation with Irving-LeBron, bring back an All Star to replace at least 80-90 percent of Kyrie, get some wing defensive help in Jae Crowder, and a pick to leverage depending on how the Lebron situation shakes out. Either they keep the pick for the future when Lebron leaves, or swap the pick for something they need later in the season to improve for the now. LeBron leaves and they can build around Isiah, Kevin Love, Crowder, and Tristin T. That's not a terrible team.

If I were Cleveland, I would've wanted to run in back with Kyrie and Lebron, but those two players basically made it impossible to do it. A real smart team would've figured a way to squash the issue with foresight, but I don't think Cleveland is a real smart team.
The Truth Is Out There...

Shady McCoy on Kaepernick: 
McCoy was asked how Kaepernick's situation compares to that of former NFL quarterback Michael Vick, who became a Philadelphia Eagles teammate of McCoy in 2009 after spending time in prison on federal dogfighting charges.  
"He's 10 times better than Kaepernick," McCoy said of Vick. "You'll deal with that situation, that attention, that media aspect of it. The good, the bad attention you'll get. Compared to Kaepernick, it's like, he's not really that good [enough] of a player to deal with.
...And those who want to find grievance choose to ignore it.
Can They Take A Nobel Prize Away?

Joseph Stiglitz from 2007 praises Venezuela's economic policies.

Boy, you couldn't make a worse call as an economist in contemporary times if you ask me. He should be in economist jail.
GRRM

Is the big winner of the disappointing GoT season.

To not have previously recognized GRRM was the genius behind the major plot moves is pretty absurd - and this is what I was worried about when the show moved beyond the books. But my angle is a bit different - GRRM has taken a ton of shit for not being able to finish Winds of Winter. But I think the disappointing nature of the show this season validates his decision to take his time and work to get it right. Even if he never finishes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

It's Not About the Statues

Robert Lee, Asian American ESPN broadcaster, taken off the air for a UVA college football game.

For some, including ESPN, it's about virtue signaling. For others, it's about tearing institutions down and taking as many scalps as possible. It's not about Confed statues, or Colin Kaepernick's job, or whatever. You know how I know?

a) There were actual Americans who actually fought the Confederacy and the evils of slavery and actual Americans who actually fought the Nazis. And yet, the protesters don't talk about these people, don't idolize these people, they don't celebrate these people. They don't propose taking down Confederate monuments and replacing them with monuments of Sherman or Grant. They just want to tear things down and celebrate and move onto the next thing.

b) There are actual Americans and many others (kurds, iraqis, free syrians) who are on the front lines right now fighting ISIS who are actual fascists and actually take slaves (yazidi's), and nary a peep from the Left about this issue. Instead, they are fighting against blocks of granite and Trump.

They aren't serious and shouldn't be taken seriously. And indulging them only makes it worse -- and absurd. See above link.

Kaepernick

One interpretation: he protests, therefore he loses his job in the NFL. My interpretation: he's losing his job in the NFL, therefore he protests.

Two years ago, when the Niners went 8-8 under Harbaugh there were numerous reports Kaepernick was isolated in the locker room. Michael Crabtree hated him. He was having serious issues with teammates. This is a guy who was obsessed with his body, working out, instagram, etc. Which was fine -- it was why he was popular initially under the millennial types. The next year, he turns into Martin Luther cornrow, becomes a vegan, loses weight, loses a step, loses muscle, and loses his starting position. And then starts protesting injustice. Others follow suit. You know the rest of the story. He gets a starting gig back, plays with training wheels, pads his stats in games when the Niners are down and goes like 0-7, or 1-6 as a starter. The Niners don't want him back because the gimmick of Kaepernick got figured out 3 years ago by defensive coordinators. No other NFL team wants him either. The SJW types start using him as a symbol of injustice because that is what they do. He, instead, changes agents, and tells teams he won't be protesting any longer because he realizes getting paid millions is better than working a regular 9-5. But NFL teams can't use him because he doesn't fit into NFL schemes. If you roll with Kap, you need to build around his skillset, which is diminished and I'd argue, always a gimmick. So instead of him trying to improve as a QB, he chose to allow himself to get hijacked as a symbol. It's actually a sad story. He's not a bad guy, just shallow, and obviously dealing with identity issues. But this is about him - not about injustice. He could easily go to the Arena League and play if he wanted to play football. It worked for Kurt Warner.

For those who argue it's about the protests - they having nothing to stand on. There are numerous other NFL players who are still protesting. Kaepernick has given up his protests. This is about projecting grievance - nothing more.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Neo Nazis are the New Witches

Been thinking about neo-nazis because I can't help NOT thinking about them as they are the topic de jour. But shamefully, perhaps, I just can't seem to muster the fear of all my brethren. I know, I know, this must mean I'm secretly racist, or almost just as bad, privileged. But that's not really an argument, that's a demand to shut the fuck up. Which I won't abide.

Here is my reasoning:

1. As far as I know, no neo nazi holds any political position in the entire United States.

2. I cannot name a single business run by neo nazis or supported publicly by neo nazis

3. I have never met a neo nazi. Nor have I ever met anyone who has a neo nazi acquaintance. And I've been to 38 or so states and lived in the USA for quite a long time and come across thousands of people in my travels.

For the folks who believe it is 1933 Germany here in the USA, I suggest reading In the Garden Of Beasts, a book by Erik Larson about what was actually happening in Germany when the Nazis you know - actually took over. Living in America today presents exactly ZERO similarities, unless you gather all your knowledge from the internet.

One can point to internet videos/movies/segments and websites. I know. But let me remind you, there are a lot of weird people out there, including: juggalos, people who get dressed up like clowns and follow insane clown posse; Grinders, people who bio hack their own bodies to turn into robots, and others who follow the Official Church of Satan.

My point is, this neo nazi stuff is hysteria and worse, the people spreading it know it and are using it to rouse up political support for their own Leftist political causes.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Confederate Statues

If I thought it was simply about Confederate statues, I see the case for bringing them down one-by-one. I think these are local decisions that should be made in an orderly way. I personally have little sympathy for the Confederacy. It was about preserving the evil of slavery and not about "states rights." In addition - and like most evils - it was also incredibly stupid. The South couldn't win the war and they knew it. Yet, they still decided to fight it, costing over 600,000 lives.

But I am skeptical that for the progressive left that this is primarily about Confederate statues, nor will it stop at the statues. As we have already seen: tech companies are blocking alt-right websites, tiles in the NY subway that look like the Confederate flag are being taken down, and an Abe Lincoln statue was set ablaze, among other stupidities. How do I know this? Because it was already happening before the Confederate statues: see Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the American Flag, see the Portland school board changing the name of Lynch Elementary School, attempts to get Princeton to rename the Woodrow Wilson school,  and the movement to rename the Washington Redskins, among numerous other tedious and cheap displays of virtue signaling.

I also think it's indicative of the times and the dead end philosophy of the progressive Left that their best ideas are about bringing something down than actually building anything up.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bannon is Smart

I honestly haven't read much about Bannon - surprising given how much he's in the news. But this makes me think he's really, really smart.
He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: “Ethno-nationalism—it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.” 
“These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added. 
From his lips to Trump’s ear. 
“The Democrats,” he said, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”
I think he just articulated something in one brief paragraph that I've been trying to express for years, except I've been coming at it from liberal perspective. And that is: race and identity politics is a dead end political issue for liberals. I've focused on trying to articulate why identity politics is poison, stupid, etc, but that's wrong. The relevant point is that it's bad politics. It's a losing strategy. It is why Democrats outnumber Republicans and yet, the Republicans control the House, Senate, and White House.

Here's why - even if you take the premise that affirmative action type of programs are needed and possible to execute well, and you take the premise we need to stop micro-aggressing and man/white splaining in every avenue of life, and take the premise women get paid 70% of men for doing the same work, and every major industry and job needs more diversity in race and gender, and there are all sorts of systemic injustices that need to be corrected - even if you accept all these premises (which I don't necessarily, btw). But even if you did, I still think it's a dead end political idea. Because most Americans do not see themselves of being guilty of these crimes. A vast majority of Americans - on the left and right both - basically believe in equality opportunity. They don't practice systemic racism, or try their very best not to. You may disagree. But the relevant point is that most Americans don't view themselves that way. And if, you're on the Left and you try to insist to the majority of Americans that - No - you actually are racist and sexist and horrible - guess what? They're going to stop listening. You've lost. And you get Trump. Period. End of story.
Investing at Market Peaks

All solid ideas. Also, feels like they all complement each other.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

PayPal Changes Terms of Service

To no longer allow hate groups to raise money.

In a vacuum, this policy makes sense. Unfortunately, we don't live in a vacuum and I personally fear businesses and individuals all turning into idea-police considerably more than I worry about neo nazis.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Charlottesville: The Future

It does not take much bravery or wisdom to condemn neo-nazis and white nationalists as all our national politicians and media outlets are doing. And notice one can seize the moral high ground by coming out harder and quicker against these fearsome boogymen. Now social media sleuths are going after the livelihoods of protestors and succeeding. This is exactly what I'd do if I wanted more Charlottesvilles. And is why I think we are headed towards more Charlottesvilles: because identity politics is too engrained into our culture to eradicate and adults are no longer tending the store.

Here is a good article about it.

As most liberal college students, I got to flirt with identity politics while in college. Luckily, I was too busy with other things to pay it much mind and being a natural contrarian, quickly found its appeals lacking. But it's come back with a force and nowadays in polite conversation, I often find myself the only one criticizing identity politics from the left and getting dismissed in all the conversations as a closeted conservative. But that is precisely the problem with identity politics: the complete and utter myopia and ignorance of those who subscribe and practice it. It's worse than a dead-end philosophy. It's nihilistic and murderous. All one needs to do is look at recent history in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, or Lebanon, to see where it leads. There is no good outcome. All the the twittering and social ostracism by the sanctimonious left is radicalizing those on the alt-right. This is clear. And the vice-versa.

Let me be clear: both sides are very, very wrong. And very stupid. Both morally and tactically. This is a lose-lose game everyone is playing.

UPDATE: I'll link to a preemptive response regarding identity politics:
White supremacy is not a response to identity politics; identity politics are a response to white supremacy. They’re a response to life in a country that built itself on the theory that “all men are created equal” but a reality where the opposite was true. And they’re a response not just to the outright racism that survives on websites such as Stormfront and at Confederate flag rallies but also to the stubborn structural barriers that still hold back people with darker skin.
Maybe. I still think it's the wrong response.


Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Trademarking Offensive Words

In an attempt to censor them.

These people worry me significantly more than Donald Trump precisely because they are everywhere now. 15 years ago ideas about policing language that would be openly mocked are regularly brought up within polite company.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

How Not To Be A Gentrifier

Ridiculous. As with all far-left positions, the underlying message is: cease to exist. Don't have babies because of the environment, don't get ahead because it's at the expense of others, don't buy a home because it means someone else doesn't have a home. Don't talk because you're committing a micro-aggression or white/man/splaining. Basically, don't exist. Nice folks, these people. Really nice folks.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Reason

McCain's finest hour.

Congress was designed to be the most powerful branch of government. I don't understand why we've allowed the President to become such an all powerful position. Someone ought to explain why we've been in all these wars over the past 60 years without Congress declaring once.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Bump

Is anyone one else wondering how the Iron Islands have the time and resources to build these massive armadas that are now crucial to the war of the seven kingdoms? Aren't these the same guys who couldn't hold Winterfell or Moat Cailin?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Logging

Film: Casino

The movie has great scenes...but for my taste overuses voice over to tell the story.

After having just watched this and Seven Samurai, it occurred to me it might be a fun thing to only watch 3 plus hour movies for a like a month and see what that yields.
Car Leasing

LA Times article about how more people are leasing than buying because of new tech. Right. People are leasing for the same reason they've always leased: they want a nicer car than they can afford. Notice this line, buried in the article:

"Those rates put Lexus among Infiniti, BMW and Audi as automakers with the highest leasing rates."

Notice it isn't the cheaper cars being leased.
Indeed

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Logging

Film: Seven Samurai

I can't believe I'd never seen it before. And I now understand why it is on so many top ten lists. Best Kurosawa film I've seen. Hard not to watch this and Days of Heaven (which I caught a bit of the other night) and not miss film and feel a deep loss for it going away. (Even though I readily admit not being able to tell much difference from contemporary digital vs film) Is there an aspect of not being able to tell the difference btwn film and digital, though the lack of ambitious filmmakers who strive to use the medium in a unique way?

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Logging

TV: Glow Ep. 1-3

Is it good or trendy? I'm not sure yet. I would argue the show has a few great moments, but strains to get to them. I'll confess to being a tad resistant to the show because the whole project feels like hipster catnip with their "strong" female characters and the ironically fetishizing of a sport the creators don't much seem to care for. Also, it feels like they ought to get points against  them for the familiarity of the characters: the out-of-work actress, the irascible, but maybe brilliant director, etc. But on the whole, it's pretty digestible and reminds me most of Entourage.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Hope Comes In Many Forms

The Worm is the only person in the world who can call Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump a friend.

I'd say stranger things have happened, but if Rodman somehow brought about peace in a Asia, well, maybe stranger things haven't happened.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Campus Inquisitions

The New York Times is finally noticing the problem.

There's a real simple solution: you intimidate professors or other students like a thug, you get tossed from school. That'd end this stuff real quick.

I also think Professors could band together and cease teaching classes until their students are brought to heel. But these are actual solutions and I have little confidence Progressives want solutions, they want to maximize misery.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Racist Graffiti at LeBron's LA Home

I wish I could put money on this being a fake "hate crime."

Just knowing LA...and knowing where LeBron's home probably is...(I'm guess Brentwood, but I don't know)...the racists in the 10 million and up zip codes don't tend to be the graffiting types.

My bet is on fake hate crime first and dumb teenager second.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Not News To Anyone Paying Attention

Fareed Zakaria on how liberals aren't that tolerant. 

Not than anyone asks me, but I consider myself a classical liberal in the John Stuart Mill sense. This puts me at odds with progressives and Democrats who for the most part misinterpret my positions to be conservative. This is because they haven't read political theory and equate Progressive with Democrat and Democrat with liberal, and mistake what are essentially modified Marxist and post-structural critiques of capitalism for "liberal" positions.

American progressives no longer believe in free speech and to my mind that makes them a greater threat to the nation than Donald Trump. I recognize I might be wrong.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Logging

Film: Prime Cut

Lee Marvin crime thriller with Gene Hackman. Say no more. I'm all in.

TV: Master of None

Aziz Ansari aping Woody Allen. Not as good. Aziz is a bad actor! Check out his Michael Clayton long taxi cab shot in one of the episodes...what's with all the affectation? Needed direction. Should've started off bummed, and then started thinking about his shopping list for the next day.
There Is Nothing I Support More Than This

Mark Hamill acting live a diva.

Scathing Critique of Yale

I agree with 100% of what was said here.

The correct response to bullying a professor by students is suspension or expulsion. But the academy is proving itself to no longer be an educational institution, but rather a resort. Students are customers and faculty employees. This might've become the #1 biggest problem in America today - the ruination of higher education. Because if education goes down, so will other great institutions.
Cultural Appropriation

Is just Marxism with a much narrower and vague target. Plus, the arguments and writing are incredibly tedious. All culture is cultural appropriation. Their argument/tactic is to focus on uneven power dynamics, but guess what: power exists. Someone is going to exercise it. Therefore in whatever context, there will cultural appropriation by their definition. The real problem is they just want power for the progressive clique and we can all see where that would go if they ever achieve their aims - some mix of Soviet Russia, Venezuela today, and campus grievance committee meetings.
The Greatest Reality Show Ever Created

Trump is the water cooler talk in my office. From the 30K foot view, his election is the greatest reality show ever produced.

It's also possible to interpret the Trump election as a great moment for Democracy - people are talking again about politics. Politics went from the realm of boredom and ennui to great, meaningful drama. Our country is more engaged with political questions today than I can remember in recent memory. Maybe it is in a super-negative and pessimistic manner, but I don't remember anyone saying democracy was as perfect system - just the least worst of alternatives.
The Story

"A reporter don't control the story, the story controls the reporter."

I have a nagging suspicion all the Russia inquiries are going to amount to a whole lot of nothing and we're going to see Trump win again in 2020 because the Dems will waste four years focusing on criminalizing Trump as opposed to honing their message, appealing to voters, and putting systems in place to find/recruit/elect good political candidates.

And the good thing is - my thesis will be tested by time.

UPDATE: All the Trump pessimists ought to be selling stocks, getting into gold, or volatility indexes. If not, they don't believe what they say or are financial illiterates. Or both.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Lot

Will be said re: Manchester. I still think the best way to stop these things was to win the Iraq War, but I guess that proved to be impossible (or undesirable) so...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Hmmmm

Maxine Waters sums up well the Democratic position.

She would've supported firing Comey if Hillary had done it, but doesn't support Trump doing it.

And they wonder why they don't control any branch of government, most state houses, despite being on the "right side of history."
Logging

Film: Cold in July

Uneven tone. Strange storytelling in that the lead character was not carrying much of the movie. But I quite enjoyed it overall.

Film: The Yakuza

Don't see how I hadn't seen this before. Rather excellent.

Film: Miller's Crossing

Arguably the greatest Coen Brothers movie and that's saying something. Planned just to watch a few minutes and stayed up late watching the entire thing.

TV: Crashing

Not great, but the one stiff fiance character totally cracks me up.

Podcast: S-Town

I fell asleep listening at least 4 times. Took me a lot of attempts to muscle through. Nevertheless, glad I did. My favorite part was the character Olin who loved Brokeback Mountain. What a touching sequence. Didn't grab me like Serial. Didn't anger/annoy me in the same way, either.
Unhealthy

Professor faces disciplinary action for calling diversity training a waste of time.

Which only confirms what he says is true for otherwise it could tolerate dissent.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

This Is Just Weird

Obama considered gayness?

I suppose I'm supposed to be open minded about this sort of thing...and say, it's pretty normal to be confused sexually when young, etc, etc, but it should say something about progressive culture that is more acceptable to "consider" gayness than to "consider" registering as a Republican.

It fits with the narrative that Obama is glamor spell.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ann Coulter Not Allowed

A liberal mob now determines what can be heard at UC Berkeley.

Everyone who refuses to stand up to these folks are cowards.
Insanity

A Portland parade canceled because of protester threats to - get this - Republicans.

This is what happens when you capitulate to fools.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Most Influential

Kaepernick voted top 100 most influential people. Hmmm. Maybe top 100 of the most influential unemployed people.

When I type Kaepernick in google, I come up with all these stories about his donations to charity. Please be aware, people, these stories are planted by his publicists.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Toss 'Em

I'm no fan of CMC, my alma mater's arch rival, but at least the college prez will punish those who would stop free speech.

It'd be great to take a strong stance on these things.
License to Offend

He suggests moral philosophers and comedians deserve one. I'd say all Americans do.
Imagine writing with the worry in the back of your mind, “If I get this wrong, my colleagues will say I’m evil, ostracize me, and try to get an Internet mob to come after me.” I don’t see much progress being made in an atmosphere like that, and, incidentally, it sure doesn’t seem to me like the departments where people are quick to take offense are the places publishing ground-breaking work.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Becoming Antifragile

Taleb. Great stuff.

IMO, several antifragile moves an individual can make:

Financial -

1) Hold WAY more cash than you think you need. Should the market crash, or some type of financial opportunity arises, it's good to be able to take advantage of it.

2) Diversify your assets. This doesn't just mean diversity in stocks. I mean, own a variety of things that maintain or go up in value - stocks, bonds, jewelry, home, cash, tools. I'm open to other ideas. Remember, this is not to maximize return or wealth, but to become antifragile.

3) Keep stock assets in a variety of tax positioned accounts, ie post-tax, roth ira, pre-tax. Situations may arise where you can take advantage. For example, you might need to buy a new car or decide to buy a new roof. Better to take that money from post-tax rather than deal with messing with an IRA.

3) Eliminate all debt.

4) Keep your monthly nut as low as possible, but feel free to indulge in one-off purchases because they can be eliminated. This means aim low on rent and not having car payments, basically.

5) Get insurance to avoid catastrophe, but don't overbuy. (ancedote: I drive an old car and was re-upping my car insurance and realized, I really just need the basic collision because if I get into an accident, the car won't be worth repairing. So...rather than overbuy insurance, just hold cash for the eventual purchase of a new car)

Social Life

1) Keep a variety of friends in different regions of the country / globe. Never know when you'll need to move or would like to visit.

2) Keep different circles of friends. Should one circle disappoint or break up, you will have others to fall back upon.

3) Have a mix of close friends, sort of close friends, and acquaintances. Should you find yourself lacking close friends, try and turn some sort of close friends into close friends. Should you find yourself lacking sort of close friends, try turning some acquaintances into sort of close friends. It sounds mercenary, but this is actually a good idea.

4) Develop and cultivate a variety of activities one enjoys, ie garden, play soccer, hiking, playing cards/games, weigh lifting, wood working, etc.

5) Always be putting yourself in position to meet new people.

Career

1) Get two or three jobs instead of one. (if you lose one job, or it doesn't pay enough, you can concentrate on the others)

2) Develop multiple employable skills. (if one falls out of fashion or becomes obsolete, you are not stuck)

3) Produce property or goods that you own and can be sold. Try and develop ways to earn money that don't require additional labor per unit. (your wages aren't exclusively tied to your labor, but you can make passive income)

4) Get married to someone else with all the above mentioned qualities.

Family

1) Have more children as opposed to fewer children.

2) Stay in good touch with extended family and participate in their lives.

Creative Projects

1) Work on a number of projects at one time. But a huge caveat, I'd add to this from my own experience: Always keep one in first position and focus on completing that to full task. Be outlining, or planning numerous others in different stages. You can run into the problem of trying to do too much at one time just as easily as you can put all your eggs in one basket.

2) Work in different forms.

3) Always be paying attention to others working and try to improve on it.

4) Work within a tradition.

Yikes. He nails the sanctimonious liberals for critiquing Trump's refugee policy. "All due respect, we don't want to be refugees, we want our country. Where were your protests when Assad was killing thousands in 2013 (paraphrase)."
Logging

Book: Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite

TV: Big Little Lies

Companion pieces about the American upper/upper middle classes headed toward widespread sociopathology. The interesting point about both is not simply the problem with education, but how the problems with our education system are impacting our society and souls.
Syria Missiles

Unfortunately, I've seen this movie before. And I see why our establishment does it. It's the safe thing to do. Ironically. No American lives at risk. No costly involvement. Get to look morally tough. Something everyone can get behind. A classic Bill Clinton-esque move. And to my mind, the most disappointing thing Trump has done thus far. He's supposed to be this maverick free-thinker. I thought we had no vital national security in Syria or the Middle East. We've done this world policeman act before. That said, I hope it works, although I don't exactly know what working looks like in Syria.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

I Wonder Why

Enrollment at Mizzou shrinks, closing dorms.

This is what happens when you start letting the lunatics run the asylum.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

He Put Himself In A Position to be Blackballed

Chris Carters speaks some truth.
Genius Pepsi Ad

Pepsi is pulling their video ad from the airwaves because it of course offended people by trivializing protest.

Of course, only because of the outrage, did I (or most anyone else) look at the ad.

I'd call that brilliant.


Racism

No whites allowed at BLM.

Groups like these never seem to grasp irony.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Facebook diversity demands for their outside law firms that Facebook does not meet.

This is rather common pathology for limousine liberal political agendas. They want others to pay more taxes, others to pay for more healthcare, others to absorb illegal immigrants. I often hear liberals talk about a moral duty to take in Syrian refugees, for example. But I never hear the same people offer these Syrian refugees a job, places to live, or invite their children to attend the same schools as their children. But someone else definitely should.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Why Kap Doesn't Have A Job

Instead of waxing all the political bs, why doesn't someone ask Michael Crabtree?

And as for the argument that the Niners are a dysfunctional organization and Kap would do better elsewhere -- only partially true. One the reasons they're dysfunctional is Kaepernick and his uneven, unpredictable play that will only work with a top defense and top offensive line.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Scary Must Read

Re: education.
Rights

Students have a right to argue against Charles Murray. They have a right to ignore Charles Murray. But they don't have a right to silence him or suppress his speech. Who is teaching these people civics? Did they misread the First Amendment? Shit, if Adolph Hitler rose from the dead and wanted to come talk at American Universities, we would let him.
More Important Than Ever

We need Chappelle more than he needs us.
If anything, Chappelle’s personal mission in comedy is to seek the truth, even if it hurts. He refuses to be constrained by political correctness and hurt feelings. Rather, he wants his audience to think, consider, debate, discuss, argue, and react to the world we live in. There are many sides to a particular story, and each one needs to be investigated intelligently, forcefully — and above all, humorously.

That’s something many conservatives support, and should always support in a liberal democratic society — even if it took a liberal comedian to remind us of this fact.
Feminism

Radical vs. Universal vs. Intersectional

The problem with feminism is similar to the problem with Islam. All the passion and energy of the movements are with the radical and fanatical. The main ideological battle is won. The majority of people in Western societies believe in gender equality. Perhaps there are still some marginal areas of improvement and dust up elements, but the lunatics are exploiting this trivial stuff to hijack the cause and are steering the agenda. And a good 25% of "feminists" refuse to acknowledge and speak out against this issue in some dusty old show of solidarity. Similarly, a good 25% of Muslims, while not fanatical or radical themselves, believe in solidarity with the radical elements and lean more towards them in their hearts than they do with liberal values. This, to me, is the battle of hearts and minds that need to be won. I don't consider losing an option here.
NBA

The debate: is the NBA awesome or weak sauce today? The biggest proponent of the weakness argument is probably Charles Barkley, but I hear it all the time. Imagine what the Bad Boy Pistons would do to Curry? Today's NBA is weak because of the hand check rules. Now, normally, I'm sympathetic to the idea that the past is underrated and the present overrated, but on this one, I'm in the camp of the NBA is much better today than in the past. For one principal reason: the shooting. The shooting is SO much better today. The primary goal of basketball is to get the ball in the hoop. Yes, defensive is important. And in the old days, I thought rebounds were the most important technical aspect of the game. I just don't think that is true any longer. You ask what Curry would do to the Bad Boy Pistons? I say shoot over them.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"Trump Is The Worst"

Does the media and the people going around shouting at the top of their lungs that Trump is the worst President ever realize that no one is listening to them except the folks who already believe the same?
Chappelle = Back

Not his peak, but his Netflix show is quite good.

The funniest bit, is unsurprisingly, sparking internet outrage. Fuck those people. He imitates in classic Chappelle fashion what it would be like if you're buddy pitched to you going transgender. Ah. Genius.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Internet Outrage

I don't mind the photo at all.
Unimpressive

The Republicans have 7 years of fantasizing about dismantling Obamacare and during that time, couldn't come up with a workable plan? Jesus, what a clusterfuck this insurance thing is.

Is anyone considering basically just scratching the entire system for a two tiered idea-

1) Barebones universal coverage for everyone with an enormous out of pocket max funded by taxes to prevent medical bankruptcy and super awful long term health problems, plus --

2) Private insurance supplements to be bought on the private market and get the employers out of the system altogether. They can add an insurance "benefit" to wages or simply pay people more.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

On Myths

A good section from this article:
I fear that libertarians have their own version of the Progressive myth. Progressives often believe that ever-growing tolerance and health insurance coverage are the future, if only bad Republicans could be defeated in political battle. It turns out that the “default settings” on complex societies are much tougher to manage than that, and now around the world left-wing and progressive political forces are in retreat, perhaps permanently so. Libertarians, in turn, toyed with the idea that competition from trade and globalization would make liberty-based gains increasingly hard to reverse. A libertarian society might not be guaranteed, but we could push and claw in that direction, knowing that a certain base standard of liberty was pretty sure to command public loyalty and institutional support. That framework also has been looking worse since about 2000; the year here can be debated, but today’s political problems are obvious.
Libertarian thinking relies too heavily, IMO, on the power economic incentives. Of my many misunderstandings re: human nature, the assumption of rational behavior of individuals is one of the things I was most wrong about. I think humans tend to behave instinctually, which is quite a different thing than rationally.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

NBA Rest

The true issue is NBA tickets are too expensive and too "special." All these professional sports sold out the ordinary fans for corporate money (all of which is tax deducted, ridiculously). The tix cost too much and thus the fans expect too much. Of course the NBA players and teams should have the right to rest their players. It's an 82 game season plus a long stretch of playoffs. Stupid discussion. If Adam Silver is concerned with the fans, he should figure out a way to take some of the TV money and put it towards making tix prices reasonable.
Strange Article

In the LA Times today about a waiter asking a woman for "proof of residency."

It's basically a grievance piece about racism and the absolute terror someone of Mexican heritage must go through on a daily basis. The story - a waiter asked for their documentation - doesn't, to my mind, hold up to any scrutiny or common sense. Has a waiter ever asked anyone from documentation? Furthermore, should a waiter ask me for something ridiculous, my response would be, "Go get me a fucking glass a water." A waiter is not in any type of position of power. What is the problem here? Say this story were true (which I doubt) - does it basically amount to - "there was a waiter who was an idiot?" Is this news?

And lastly - just a thought - for those concerned with an abundance of racism against Mexican-Americans - wouldn't an orderly immigration HELP this issue? Wouldn't an improved immigration system that seemed to work, help alleviate the citizens concerns of living amongst illegal immigrants? Just a thought.
Pretty Much Right

The US political system will crumble or at least suffer when the middle class disappears.

We need to feel apart of the same country to succeed as a country. And all the fractured groups are lining up in the type of factions the founding fathers warned us against.
Not A Bad Idea

I don't see this as a bad idea for healthcare: universal coverage for catastrophe.

What would the limit be? 20K? 50K? How much would insurance cost to hit that 50K number? It's at least a simple, interesting idea.
Logging

Film: Hacksaw Ridge

A bit old fashioned, but I liked it for that reason. How long before no one remembers or cares about the sacrifices made by American men in WW2? Feels like our society is headed in that direction and I don't have a tremendous amount of confidence if we were to face such an enemy today that we'd be able to emerge victorious. I guess that makes is good we have nukes? I don't know.