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.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Aye, Aye, Aye

Who is the Ringer hiring as writers? This is totally ridiculous.
The phrase “ideological diversity” is a Trojan horse designed to help bring disparaged thought onto campuses, to the media, and into vogue. It is code for granting fringe right-wing thought more credence in communities that typically reject it, and nothing more.
Thus denying anyone can disagree reasonably on ideological grounds. Notice the reductio-ad-absurdum she uses in the article:
History is littered with horrible ideas that aren’t worth poking holes into during a question-and-answer session. “The earth is flat,” for instance. “Castrating homosexuals is an acceptable punishment for homosexuality.” “Slavery is good.” “Women’s suffrage is incompatible with democracy.”
Notice that exactly NONE of these ideas are the ones being pushed by speakers on campus, or the President, or really, anyone other than Kyrie Irving.
George Washington

It was only a matter of time before they go after him.

Jesus, the balls on these people.

UPDATE: This is who they're fucking with.
Thank The Lord

For this woman.
It is an absolute outrage how so many pampered, affluent, upper-middle-class professional women chronically spout snide anti-male feminist rhetoric, while they remain completely blind to the constant labor and sacrifices going on all around them as working-class men create and maintain the fabulous infrastructure that makes modern life possible in the Western world. Only a tiny number of women want to enter the trades where most of the nitty-gritty physical work is actually going on—plumbing, electricity, construction. Women have played virtually no role in the erection of those magnificent towers in every major city in the world. It's men who operate the cranes or set the foundations or wash windows on the 85th floor. It's men who troop out at 2:00 AM during an ice storm to restore power to neighborhoods where falling trees have brought down live wires. It's men who mix the stinking, toxic cauldrons to spread steaming hot tar on city roofs. Last year in a nearby town, I drove by a huge, chaotic scene where emergency workers in hazmat suits were struggling with a giant pipe break, as raw sewage was pouring into the street. Of course all those workers up to their knees in a torrent of thick brown water were men! I've seen figures indicating that 92 per cent of people killed on the job are men—and it's precisely because men are heroically doing most of the dangerous jobs in modern society. The bourgeois blindness of feminist leaders to low-status working-class labor by men is morally corrupt! Gay men, on the other hand, have always shown their awed admiration of working-class masculinity and fortitude. It's no coincidence that a buff construction worker in a hard hat was one of the iconic personae of the gay disco group, the Village People, during the Studio 54 era!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Logging

Film: Logan

One of the better superhero films. Essentially, a superhero Western. First half is near great. 2nd half less so. Loses a bit of propulsion and I didn't go for the entire finale all that much. Audience seemed to love the final moment. I thought it was okay. Mangold is a funny filmmaker. Near great quite a few times. Definitely one of the more solid studio filmmakers working today.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Yes

VDH diagnoses the problem with contemporary politicians.
The Bloomberg syndrome is a characteristic of contemporary government officials. When they are unwilling or unable to address pre-modern problems in their jurisdictions — crime, crumbling infrastructure, inadequate transportation — they compensate by posing as philosopher kings who cheaply lecture on existential challenges over which they have no control.
As I was thinking earlier today, for all the Americans who think the United States is the problem in the world, then you probably do not have very big problems.
More Stories of Liberal Hostility on Campus

At St. Olaf and Pitzer.

Students need to start standing up to the other students immediately if they are classic liberals or simply believe in the 1st Amendment. These campuses feel like they're turing into a Margaret Atwood novel.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

The IYI Crowd

Egg freezing for millenials.
Lisa Besserman, a 32-year-old tech startup founder who is considering freezing her eggs to focus on her career, says the idea of a millennial-focused “boutique” is more appealing than a clinic. She’s “on the fence” about whether she wants to be a mom, but knows for sure that she wants to preserve her options. “I would feel very bad to be in the same room as a woman trying desperately to get pregnant,” says Besserman, who splits her time between Buenos Aires and New York. “In a sense I would feel selfish to say, ‘I have the ability [to have kids], but I’m putting that on hold’ … that would really take a toll on me psychologically.” Right now, the only thing that distinguishes Besserman from the women she doesn’t want to upset is time. If and when she wants to use her eggs, she will have to undergo the same often nerve-racking experience many women struggling with infertility turn to: in vitro fertilization. But clinics like Extend allow their clients to temporarily suspend that reality.
A sign of being an IYI (intellectual, yet idiot) is to opt for the risky, expensive, and more complicated choice over the simple, time-tested one. In this case, that would be to make a decision like an adult (whether you want a family) and if so, find a good guy and settle down.

But hey, freedom...

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Amazing

Gender reversal teaches uncomfortable lesson.
The professors began the project assuming that the gender inversion would confirm what they’d each suspected watching the real-life debates: that Trump’s aggression—his tendency to interrupt and attack—would never be tolerated in a woman, and that Clinton’s competence and preparedness would seem even more convincing coming from a man.  
What happened, however, was quite different. Audiences in two sold out performances were shocked. They liked Brenda King and distrusted Jonathan Gordon!
Woops. This reminds me of the story of how the game Monopoly was created. The woman who made the game thought it would make people realize the evils of capitalism, but instead, it became the most popular board game ever and a celebration of capitalism.

The uncomfortable lessons in this are many - 1) Clinton benefited from being a woman (she would not have otherwise been a candidate) and 2) Trump is a much more skilled politician and speaker than coastal elites would like to acknowledge

There are more, but I'll stop with those.
A Shout Out

I give a shout out to all the women who decided not to get wrapped up in ridiculous virtue signaling today and instead did what everyone else does: went to work. This includes the people at my son's daycare who work, so that my wife and I can get our work done.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

That Was Quick

ESPN is going down in flames.

I remember not long ago, it was the greatest success story in media. I no longer subscribe.
Feels Like I'm Watching a Dystopian Novel

A video of the events at Middlebury college. Notice what happens when Murray comes to speak.

Bear in mind what is happening here: Murray was INVITED to speak on campus. Student protesters showed up and silenced him by not allowing him to speak and be heard by other students and faculty. There is no wiggle room here - this is an assault against the First Amendment, perhaps the most sacrosanct of all American political ideals. The students could all be sieg-heiling and I'd be equally worried.

If I were affiliated with Middlebury college, I would strongly consider resigning in protest, transferring schools, and never giving them a cent again. This, to my mind, is awful beyond words.
I Agree With This

"But an alternative perspective, bracing at times, is to simply to compare positions in absolute terms, and that makes a lot of Trump’s views resolutely ordinary in the broader sweep of American history."

Perhaps it is the current borderless culture that is radical and not Donald Trump. Just a thought.
A Day Without Women

I've been tangentially hearing about this...and I can't say that I know what it is exactly. But am I wrong, but isn't a day without women in the workplace essentially a return to American norms before the 1940s-50s?

I read about a school that will be shutting down for this day because the women teachers won't be working. I wonder how the moms of the students will feel.

Also - as a general rule - for any of those considering sitting out a day of work (for whatever reason), I encourage you to wikipedia Wally Pipp.
Protesting

The Middlebury professor who was assaulted details the events on Facebook.

It's of note the people leading these protests refuse to read Murray. I suspect there is a subconscious aspect to all this political protesting - a dislike of reading and doing homework - but wanting what are the traditional "results" of doing the work - the intellectual validation of being "smart." There's a reason this all happens at colleges in an "intellectual" environment. And this trend - of not doing HW/reading - but also wanting the validation - was something going on back when I was in college. There was a certain type of student who was proud to write essays professors would give high marks to without having done the reading (or only skimmed it). I feel like not wanting to do work goes back to the beginning of time, but at least in the past, those who didn't do work took their gentleman "C's" and didn't complain about it. Nowadays, kids want to not do the work, but also get A's. That's the problem.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Thoughtcrime

In Middlebury.

They always cite outside agitators, but if that were the case, why aren't the students protesting the agitators? Or doing something to stop them?
Open Borders

For anyone who believes in open borders, I suggest, as an experiment throwing a party where EVERYONE is invited and see how it goes.

One of my old ideas is that in college everyone ought to be required to throw a party to learn how to be a host, be generous, and learn how not to get your shit stolen.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Andrew Sullivan

Is a depressive, scattered, and whiny. And also occasionally, the best writer out there.

His latest column begins with what has come to typify him - an overreaction to Trump - and then ends with a succinct, beautiful section about what ails Western culture.
And more and more, I suspect, the shifting winds of this merciless global economy and the impact of mass migration are bringing about similar changes all over the West. This beautiful but deeply sad story about how a provincial town in France has slowly died — as its young people flocked to cities, as its shops were supplanted by a supermarket, says a lot about the moment we are in: “Down another street is the last toy store, now closed, and around a corner is the last independent grocery store, also shuttered. Walk down the empty, narrow streets on some nights and the silence is so complete that you can hear your footsteps on the stones.” The town, Albi, is not alone.  
In America, as Charles Murray has shown in his extraordinary book, Coming Apart, the young and the smart and the talented — the people who would once have formed the core of these small towns — have long since fled to distant colleges and cities. They don’t come back. They would once have been the police chief or the town librarian or the school principal. They once helped make the town a well-run place with a clear identity, where the same families and networks lived together, died together, belonged together. These connections have attenuated … as economics supplants culture, as efficiency erases the individuality of inefficient places, as Amazon rips the heart out of shopping districts, as the smartphone removes us from physical space, and as many more immigrants and their culture alter the feel of a place in ways that disorient those with memories and loyalties.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Memo To World

Kaepernick will stand for the national anthem. I guess racism is over now.

Or, is Kap trying to get a job as he was just released by the Niners and signed with new agents.

Remember folks: this was always about him and never about an issue.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Stephen A Smith

I don't know what's going on, but Stephen A Smith is growing on me.

I used to find him and Skip Bayless almost unwatchable in their absurdity, but I think with Max Kellerman, I like him a whole lot more. Max is more the straight man and allows Stephen to do his ranting. But something about their new show has made me realize Stephen A's content is good quality - he's got good sources, good information, and good sporting analysis.

Anyhow, love this bit linked to above about Adrian Peterson being a souped up Frank Gore. Max's reactions are hilarious. Love Stephen A and his ridiculous passion.
Now They're Protesting Charles Murray

At Middlebury College.

This happens when kids stop reading books in favor of social media.

And who's next to be silenced, you ask? The answer is everyone.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Trump Speech To Congress

Trump has a higher ceiling for being President than Hillary, Obama, or Bush.

He also has a lower floor.

How much do you like risk?

I like what he said today. How's he gonna pay for it?
Take Risks

A review of Tyler Cowen's new book: The Complacent Class.

As the old skiing saying goes, "if you aren't falling, then you aren't skiing hard enough."

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Oscars

The mistake over Best Picture made the Oscars worth watching.

Reading Deadline or other news outlets made it seem like this was some sort of disaster. Are you kidding? This was the best thing to happen to the Oscars in 10 years. It somehow made a dying event seem alive again.

I mean, if they got the best picture right, there would be silence today about the Oscars. Why? Because no one fucking saw Moonlight. You couldn't pay joe-average to see the film. The material and subject matter is challenging to begin with, but couple it with the cinematic and storytelling style -- this was not a very pleasing or accessible movie. Its victory is a further reflection of how movies no longer occupy a central role in the culture. Will the Oscars going the way of the National Book Award?

An aside - important for future Oscar pool picks -- has the Academy "diversification" project now made black movies the new holocaust movie? In the old days, if one had any doubt about a category in a pool, the safest, most reliable pick was the holocaust film. Is that day now over? Gamblers - adjust.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Is Bill Maher Next?

Explain why Maher shouldn't be fired based on his old defense of pedophilia?

Similar content to Milo. Similar long distance past to Trump's locker room talk. Difference?

Maher is a card carrying liberal.
The Milo Thing

I like the guy. He's a provocateur who to my mind, provokes the people most in need of it. I don't see a significant moral distinction between the awful things he says vs. say, Tarantino's casual racism or any gangster rapper boasting of murder (although I suppose those are art vs Milo's political speech -- but again, I don't see the distinction). I get that he's not mainstream. But I also get the thing he's saying about the gay community -- it's well know many gay guys first sexual experiences happen with older men. Is this abuse? Maybe. Or, maybe, like with most matters of sex, it's complicated. But if it's abuse, I wonder why there isn't more attention paid to the gay guys actually participating in this type of thing (cough, cough, Bryan Singer) versus the guy who's willing to talk about it.

The whole thing is a hit job designed to take down a mouthy guy. And it's the take down culture I don't like. There's an assault on free speech and free thinking individualism in this country being wage on multiple non-governmental fronts. People want consensus and corporate thinking and I personally hate it.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Logging

TV: The Missing S. 2

Final two episodes were terrific, I though. I loved the final scene. Julian Baptiste - one of the greatest TV show characters of all time.

Film: In A Lonely Place

Forgot I had seen the movie before. That about sums it up. Long on character, short on plotting. I prefer my noir with better story.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

How Russia Fights

An insightful article on how the Russians use minimal resources to achieve their political goals.

My instinct is the Russians get the middle sized strategic picture right. They do a lot with a little. They punch outside their weight class. They are capable of strategic brilliance. But ultimately, they have a weak hand with a sensitive economy, too much wealth concentrated in too few (and corrupt) hands.

But they are patient and will stick around and wait for others to fuck up and take advantage.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Logging

TV: The Missing S. 2

I really like the show. But serialized mysteries are a problematic genre in that the genre demands always end up stretching credulity. It's really hard to deliver on whatever is promised in the mystery. The twist at the end of episode 2 made me feel like that's where we're headed. That said, I freaking love Baptiste. Maybe my favorite character on television in the last few years.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Logging

TV: This is Us and Easy

Neither show is for me. One thing I like about This Is Us is the freedom with which they move through time. But the tone is crushing. The overwrought emotion makes me want to puke.

Easy. I'm not even sure what the show is. Is every episode different? It's sort of like watching a bunch a short films about love, I guess. Too much liberal-hoo-ha. Felt very grown up college-student problem-ish. Marriage has sexual problems because woman makes more money than guy. Lesbian starts to change herself because of new girlfriend. This kind of thing. Very familiar. Maybe it's just I prefer more diversity in my viewing.
Good Analysis

Of serialized television.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Better Late Than Never

From Instapundit, ISIS on the ropes and has too many problems to deal with at once.

I sure as hell hope we can deliver a lasting defeat.
I Could See This Happening To Me

A college RA loses her job because she likes to play devil's advocate and doesn't promote social justice enough.

Unsurprisingly (and apparently, irrevelently):
“Justine’s residents love her,” her review noted. “She has been able to connect with many of her residents on a personal level.”

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

If You're Worried About Nazis

I'd look left rather than right.

Shutting down a Milo Yiannopoulos talk in Berkeley using violence. This is fascism.

Reviewing immigration policies may be a contentious policy decision, but fascism it is not.

At least recognize it.
Pretty Good Take

On the immigration stuff this weekend by Ross Douthat.

I'd be more supportive of Trump if he could do a better job of selling his ideas (which aren't all terrible) to those who haven't bought in. Instead, he seems intent on poking the bear. While I applaud poking the bear occasionally, now seems the time to govern and actually get things done. He could do a much better job selling the immigration policies by not being so sloppy and bombastic. He isn't running for office anymore. And he should remember he barely won.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hillary Team Blaming Obama For the Election Loss

That's rich.

What's the Jack Nicholson line from As Good As It Gets, "How do you write woman so well?" "I think of a man, but I take away reason and accountability."

Take accountability, Hillary. And a dose of reason wouldn't hurt, either.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Green Card Ban

Well, now Trump has done something truly dumb: he will not allow access by Green card holders from his 7 "bad" countries. Now if the opposition had not blown their wads and protested nothing, they could actually come together and gather consensus across the political spectrum to oppose this particularly stupid immigration order. I wonder how it will play out. No one ought to be defending this one. It's truly wrong. Immigrants who've gone through the Green card process getting denied entry to the US? Come on now, people. They've done more work towards being citizens than the majority of actual citizens.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

And Now the Grievance Olympics May Begin

Predictably, the LA Times has a story about the Oscars not being diverse enough this year, too.

Notice: no discussion of movies or the craft of storytelling or filmmaking.
Logging

Movies: Moonlight and Edge of Seventeen and Wild Strawberries

Edge of Seventeen is one of the better movies I've seen this year, and I'm wondering why more people aren't talking about it. I mean, here you have a female writer/director and leading role, it should be the film de jour for the moment. And yet, I don't think I know anyone who saw it. I only watched it because it was a screener and the level of storytelling craft, I think, is quite high.

Moonlight ultimately made me feel sad and depressed. I'm not sure if this is a grand accomplishment. And yet, it seems to be working from a marketing standpoint. It flatters the egos of all progressive minded people. It's kinda like you get to be "woke" if you watch and like Moonlight and that to me seems a little cheap.

Wild Strawberries had some of best scenes I've ever seen in cinema. I now understand why people love Bergman. It reminded me of the first time I watched Rules of the Game. Quite a remarkable movie.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Final Thought On the Protests

Did a lot of people show up simply because it was Saturday and the right time of year? As a hypothetical exercise: imagine this same protest scheduled during a work day: what percentage of the protestors with jobs would sacrifice one day of wages to protest whatever they're protesting?

I imagine very few. And that suggests to me the seriousness with which we should take the message (whatever it is).

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Yep

When Protest Fails.
Talking to the protesters in Washington today, it was hard not to hear the echoes of the weakness of the Moscow protests five years ago: a vague, unstructured cause; too much diversity of purpose; no real political path forward; and the real potential for the meaning of the day to melt into self-congratulatory complacency. A Los Angeles woman showing me photos of the march afterward wondered, “Where was everyone before? We didn’t do enough.” Rallying and making funny signs is easy; winning real power in American politics is not.
And whatever you want to call this - the Left, Progressives, Liberals - continue down the path of abandoning their working class roots in favor of the grievance olympics. It hasn't work. It won't work. Do they have an idea how Ashley Judd, America Ferrera, and Scarlett Johansson talking about inequality sounds to a construction worker who got his hours trimmed to 25 hours this week?

Jesus, the tone deaf narcissism of the entire endeavor is stunning.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Headline

Saw the headline on Deadline: Woman's march in DC, Los Angeles, New York, and Sundance. Need you know more?

But seriously, I stopped by with the family for the little Burbank version of the March. People were very normal and relaxed. It was basically a little Saturday stroll. The few organizers looked a little more intersectional-feminist types, but whatever.

Overall, I don't understand the protests. What's the political goal? It strikes me as an incoherent set of ideas with the vague common purpose of diversity, equality, blah, blah, blah, which have all been unmasked as unpopular fictions for the majority of the world, save for people who live in rarified cosmopolitan environments who don't have many kids, pay a lot in rent, and attend expensive colleges.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Alt-Right

Quite a good distillation of alt-right thinking.

I think the American people voted for Trump not due to a sophisticated understanding of his alt-right platform, but rather a gut level instinct that something is wrong with the direction of the country. This article pinpoints the idea: borders (or boundaries). America feels like it's headed toward a border-less existence, in terms of geography, in terms of capitalism/jobs, social behaviors (bathrooms), and identities. The Alt-right favors reinstating borders into our lives and I can't say I totally disagree.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Quarterback

Love the Alex Smith divide on talk radio. Find it a reflection of media insanity when they treat Smith like a scrub and think the Chiefs ought to replace him. If someone shits on Smith, notice they are guys who didn't play football and are creatures of the media. Notice the defenders of Smith - ex-QBs, executives, etc. So here's how I think about it:

I'm a GM/Coach in the NFL. I need a QB of the QBs out there. Take age out of the equation, so that you're not saying, I'd take Andrew Luck over Brady RIGHT NOW. F-that. You're taking Brady. Just to try and make the situation comparable.  Factor in talent, situation, etc.

Tier 1: All Timers

1. Rodgers
2. Brady

Brady's been better, but that's probably because of his situation and Belichick, right? Either way, these guys are 1-2.

Tier 2: The Franchise

3. Drew Brees
4. Big Ben
5. Russell Wilson
6. Andrew Luck
7. Derek Carr
8. Philip Rivers
9. Cam Newton

These are the guys nobody entertains getting rid of. You count QB as one of your strengths as a team. I could debate the order, but I gotta give props to the guys who won Super Bowls. Of these guys, I think Brees has been the most consistently spectacular and the engineer of explosive offenses (again, age not a factor). Big Ben and Wilson occasionally look great, but also look incredibly spotty at time. This is commonly noted on Big Ben, but for some reason Wilson gets a pass. He has a number of very subpar post-season performances.

Luck is still more talent than result. Maybe it's the team...maybe it's injury...maybe...maybe...maybe. Carr earned his spot this year. Rivers probably deserves to be higher, but lately, they just haven't been very good. One could make a very good argument for Rivers #5, just from a pure QB standpoint. He never gets hurt. He's competitive, tough, but coming in last place in the division for several years straight severely hurts the argument for him.

Cam, in my estimation, has had one great year, but shows some signs of being Cutler-ish.

Tier 3: A Franchise QB, But...

10. Tony Romo - Almost belonged in the prior category, but he got benched this year. Romo is at the top of this group because he has the ability to win games by himself.
11. Matt Ryan - One could make a good argument for Ryan to be put into the franchise category, except for the fact that there are questions about his post season ability and he's always been surrounded by incredible talent. I'll say this - when the Niners were in the NFC championship game against Ryan a couple years ago, I feared him. That said, we won.
12. Alex Smith - So I have him here, higher than most. He's a unique and under-appreciated player because he does this thing where he doesn't seem to win games...but guess what? He also does this thing where he doesn't ever lose games either. It's quite remarkable. In the last six years, He's lead his team to winning records and the post-season, or a hair away from it. I think he's more consistent than all the players below him and he stands toe-to-toe in the ring with top QBs. He's beaten Brees, Rodgers, Rivers (mult times), Carr (mult times), Brady, and Wilson in big in-season or playoff games. He's played near equal to Luck and Big Ben in two big playoff games. There are too many instances for it to be a mistake.
13. Eli Manning - he has the two Super Bowls, but neither time could it be said QB was the strength of those teams. Very up and down and a strange career. I'd take Smith over him, but could see a lot of people disagreeing.
14. Matt Stafford - lots of talent, not much in the way of results. Played with one of the most talented receivers of all time. Don't know if he's ever been in the playoffs. Something isn't clicking with him.
15. Joe Flacco - had that one stretch where he won the SB and looked incredible. The rest of the time, not so much.
16. Dak Prescott - almost in the below category, but performed a bit too well and earned his way out of it. People LOVED Dak. So that said, didn't he do this year what Alex Smith has done for the last 6 years? Played well enough to get his team into the playoffs, but came up a little short. And when's the last time Smith had the best offensive line in football. Answer: 2011-2012 when he took the team to the NFC championship game and then got bench for Kap. So if Dak repeats this year for six years, will talk radio be pooping all over him?

Tier 3.5: A Franchise QB, We Think... (But It's Too Early to Tell)

17. Kirk Cousins - top of this category for now. He's got good numbers this season and I believe gone to the playoffs. But I think the jury is still out. Seen guys do well for this length of time (Kaepernick, RG3) and it go nowhere.
18. Jameis Winston - he's looked good at times. Guess what? In his second year, Alex Smith looked good, too. I think they went 7-9 or 9-7 and then Norv Turner ditched the Niners to go coach the Chargers and Alex went into the stink-hole until Harbaugh arrived. I want to see more.
19. Marcus Mariota - ditto. I like his game.
20. Carson Wentz - people say he has the "it" factor. I see a guy who went 4-9 down the stretch with a really good defense.
21. Tyrod Taylor - I haven't seen enough, but from what I read, he makes the cut for now.

Tier 4: A Starter

22. Jay Cutler - Another unique guy, who has the talent to be in tier 2 or 3, but who clearly brings down the people around him. We have a big enough sample size now to confidently say, he's not a franchise QB you would take. But to be fair, he's worthy of a starting position.
23. Andy Daulton - maybe you could with a SB with an excellent team around him.
24. Ryan Tannehill - a bigger maybe you could with a SB with an excellent team around him.

Tier 4.5: A Starter, But...

25. Carson Palmer - has looked great at times, but big time injury and consistency problems. The guys in Tier 3 and Tier 4 don't really get benched and I feel like Palmer gets benched.
26. Sam Bradford - Brings you zero stability, but some upside.

Tier 5: Shopping For A Better Option

27. Blake Bortles
28. Ryan Fitzpatrick
29. Trevor Simeon
30. Brock Osweiller
31. Cleveland Browns QB
32. Rams QB
33. 49ers QB