30 August 2008

An Issue That Won't Go Away . . .

People want to see Sarah Palin while less clothed apparently (see here, and here). I can appreciate that, I'm a big fan of seeing as many attractive women in less clothing possible, too. It seems, some of this frenzy isn't just good old American horn-doggedness, though, some folks on the left somehow have bought in to their own twisted notions about social conservatives and have come to the conclusion that ALL Republicans are gynophobic, skinnophobic, and will recoil in horror at the sight of women with bared ankles, knees and stomachs.

Given Sarah Palin did compete in pageants, and she's a red blooded American woman who grew up in the 80s, I'm guessing she has more than one or two private and semi-public photos of herself with a bit of skin showing.

She should post them on her official website before someone else digs through their pageant photos to try and 'out' her and show off her assets. Make them flash images that can't be easily copied to other websites, and have text of policy positions floating over the pics. Or, do a narrated slideshow and post it on YouTube, show off those pictures, and while you're at it, tell us about you and McCain's positions on the stuff that's really important.

That'd be amusing, display a sense of humor about yourself, and be a great avenue in getting non-political junkies to see, hear and read specific policy positions for the GOP ticket.

So far, the McCain camp seems to understand things like this and have used YouTube far more effectively than Camp Obama, go ahead and harness the power of all those horndogs searching Google, give them what they want, and give them information, too, do this and you won't lose anybody who will be voting for the GOP ticket, and if it's done right, this might even pick up a few independents and centrist Democrats. Every vote will be needed in this election, and every avenue should be explored in getting the message out, it's the message above all else that will win this election for McCain-Palin, and if they need to show a bit of skin to get folks to listen to that message, so be it.

29 August 2008

Just For a Second, Bet You Thought This Might Be an Ad for a New Anchor Team at Your Local Network Affiliate . . .


Aren't most of your local anchor teams, 'distinguished dude', and 'younger (but not too young) babe' combos?

(and the weatherperson is usually the eye candy, or comic relief)

Biden is going to come across as a mean old (and possibly lecherous) man during the Vice Presidential debate, it's almost inevitable.

(I'm pretty sure "A Team You Can Trust" is a slogan that's been used more than a few times for local TV news, too)

H O R S E, Political Style

Given that Sarah Palin was the point guard for a state champion high school basketball team, and Barack Obama also 'balled a bit in his day;

I say, why not a couple of games of HORSE for charity (Say best out of seven)?

The two older Senators could play checkers in the same gym, also (don't want to ask either Biden or McCain to do anything too strenuous).

27 August 2008

Something to Blog About, The Song Shuffle

OK, I'm firing up the Zune software, and I'm hitting shuffle on the entire music collection, no restrictions, let's see what pops up, and I'll write about each song for as long as it plays (only to look for links after I get tired of this experiment) . . . (listed by artist, song --- album)


1. Bob Marley, Duppy Conquerer --- Songs of Freedom, Disc 1
Yeah, that's the stuff, good start, not one of his more well known songs, but it's got a nice easy loping riddim. And if you don't own the 4 disc Songs of Freedom set, what's wrong with you? Good thing this is a short song, I don't really have anything else to say about it, now it's just waiting to see what pops up next . . . . . . . . . . What the hell is a "Duppy" anyway? (that will haunt me till I look it up, if I get a long song next, that's what I'll be doing)

2. Cut Copy, Saturdays (Reprise) --- Bright Like Neon Love
No such look, this is just a snipet, I don't think I've even listened to this whole album yet, sounds like it might be good though, I sample most any new release that looks half way interesting, I like the 'all you can eat'-ness of Zunepass

3. The Cure, The Blood --- The Head on the Door
Damn, mighty fine album, this. Starts with a Spanish guitar riff, add in a dose of depressed sounding Robert Smith, layer on a heavy dose of a solid rhythm track, and you've got yourself something good. The Cure are much better than their fans would make you think they are. You don't have to be a depressed adolescent addicted to kohl eyeliner to enjoy their music (but it sure as hell helps) Still no time to look up what the hell Duppy means, at least this is a good song that I haven't heard in years, yeah shuffle!

4. Sam Butera & the Witnesses, Pennies From Heaven --- Ultra Lounge, Vol.1
Hey, I went through a lounge phase back in the early 90s, didn't everyone? (and I was into the neo-swing thing a few years before "Swingers", I had been to most of the joints in the film before Favreau and company even thought of that film)

5. Sia, Little Black Sandals --- Some People Have Real Problems
Sia, she's good, she's a bit of a change of pace after Sam Butera, but that's the nature of randomness (not that switching gears from The Cure to Sam was exactly normal, either). This is one of the better tracks on this excellent album. Go ahead, click over to your favorite seller of MP3s, and buy yourself a copy of the whole album, you won't be sorry. She's got a solid voice, an interesting way in using it, and a solid band behind her. She seems a bit goofy from TV appearances I've seen (I missed her live when she blew through town).

6. Haircut 100, Boat Party --- Pelican West/Plus
This was their attempt at Spandau Ballet-ish smooth grooviness. It was a B-Side on their big hit Favourite Shirts. It's been long enough ago that this no longer sounds so dated. Funny how that works. Some songs from ten years ago sound ancient, but other songs from 25 years ago sound fresh. Damn, this song is more than 25 years old, now I feel old. I don't think people now really appreciate just how 'funky' some of the early 80s British new wave bands were. There were the heavily electronic outfits, but there was also some nice organic sounding stuff, too.

7. The Untouchables, Twist & Shake --- A Decade of Dance (Live)
I dislike live albums generally, but there's no other Untouchables available on Zune, and I can't not have The Untouchables. They were local gods for a few years during my Junior High School years. I saw more than a few shows, they used to play all sorts of festivals back in those days.

8. Kodo, Nanfushi --- Tataku (Best of Kodo II, 1994-99)
Drums, the whole drums, and nothin' but the drums (Japanese style). This song sounds more 'drumline'ish than Japanese. It's an interesting melding of drumming styles, though. Wouldn't want to make a steady diet of this stuff, don't think I could sit through an entire album of just drumming, but as an occasional song, it's a percussive blast of energy. OK, this song is only half over, it better go some where soon, cause it's starting to lose me. Nice quiet bridge, now it's building towards something, don't remember hearing this before, so I don't know ahead of time where they're taking me. That's always interesting. Kodo is best experienced live, I think, it's different when you can see it and feel it throughout your whole body, then nothing but drums for 90 minutes is no problem at all. OK, some nice syncopations and big beats at the end, good finish.

9. Steely Dan, My Old School --- Countdown to Ecstasy
Ohh, smooth sounds and bitter lyrics. I know, big surprise coming from Steely Dan. Seriously talented, great studio musicians, great headphone music, also stuff of this ilk is directly responsible for punk and new wave. Kids can't aspire to 'smooth', this ain't 'rock' anymore, it's professionals getting together and trying to out do each other. There's a place for that, and it sounds good, but it ain't 'rock', that's for sure. But hey, it still has cowbell, so it can't be all bad. And even in a minor Steely Dan song you can expect to hear some interesting changes, tricks, and licks, and this song is no exception. This song is about 90 seconds longer than it needs to be, but I don't hate it, just wish they'd be more to the point, and less masturbatory.

10. Cuby & the Blizzards, Your Body Not Your Soul --- Nuggets, Vol 2
I love me some garage, even from foreigners. Vol. 2 of Nuggets is all un-American bands, and it rocks hard. It's a bit more psychedelic than the first collection, but both rock hard and are worthy additions to the library of any person who considers themselves a fan of good music. This song is a straight ahead rave up, solid stuff.

11. Funkadelic, A Joyful Process --- Music For Your Mother, Disc 2
An instrumental from earlier Funkadelic. Not too polished, and that's a good thing, has some nice strings+horns accents. Both bouncy and orchestral, strange juxtaposition, but it works. Great drumming, too, along with a fuzzy bass line. If Barack Obama strutted out to this song at tomorrow's appearance, I might even switch my vote (OK, not really, but if dude really does break out with Springsteen and Bon Jovi, he definitely loses my vote)

12. Carla Bruni, L'Amour --- Quelqu'un M'a Dit
Ohhh, L'Amour. Damn, Sarkozy's one lucky little President of France. She's got a seriously seductive purr of a voice, and even if I barely understand a word, I'm still totally won over by her (and her band's not too bad, either). She came out with an English language album this year, but the French language album this song is from sounds better (but both albums are very listenable).

13. Prince, I Wanna Be Your Lover --- Prince
Damn, Prince and Funkadelic in the same shuffle. Not bad, not bad at all. This is one of his best pre-Controversy songs. His first hit, first of many (yet he deserves so many more hits than he's had, he has no equal over the past 30 years). It's two songs in one, really, the first part is a bouncy little song, then after the vocals end, the song goes on as a solid little jam. He was a freakishly talented young little freak back then. All of that still applies other than the young part. His guitar playing isn't given enough credit, either, you can hear his skill, even this early on. There's no way the next song can top this . . .

14. Cut Copy, Unforgettable Season --- In Ghost Colours
I'm not even sure why I downloaded this. It's kind of interesting though. Who are these guys? Guess I'm going to have to listen to both albums I downloaded from them now, this ain't bad. Crunchy guitars, vocals a touch annoying, but it's got a nice new-new wave feel to it. Part of the problem with being an old fart hearing stuff like this is you can hear all the bands that they're cribbing from as strongly (if not stronger) than their own material. It's hard to hear this stuff as being fresh and new, which is unfair to them, but unavoidable, must sound like a great discovery to younger ears, though.

15. Stevie Wonder, They Won't Go When I Go, Fulfillingness' First Finale
This is the least interesting album from Stevie Wonders ridiculously talented half decade. Still a great album, full of good songs, but hints of the crap he'd be putting out after this phenomenal period seeps out from the cracks. This song is a bit too serious, not too interesting, really. OK, I take that back, it's utterly ridiculous the more I hear it. Still a mystery what happened to him in the 80s and 90s. He had the most remarkable five album run in the early-mid 70s, but after that, it all kind of fell apart from a quality standpoint. Occasionally he came out with something good, but most of it was Ebony and Ivory or Woman in Red level dross. Seriously, this is a pretty (unintentionally) silly song both lyrically and in execution, what was he thinking? If I'm offending you with my opinion and this song touches deeply down to the depths of your soul, sorry 'bout that.

16. The Velvet Underground, Venus in Furs --- The Velvet Underground & Nico
Shiny, Shiny, Boots of Leather, Whiplash Girlchild . . . I wrote a paper on this song, back in the late 80s. My English Prof got a bit too excited over it, though. Turns out he was seriously "in" to the works of Sacher-Masoch. Never tried reading it myself, most later German-language romantic literature is a bit too mannered for my tastes. Goethe's not so bad, though. I love this song, and whole album, used to listen to it over and over and over again back during my high school, "I'm going to listen to the original bands that inspired the bands I like" phase.

17. Wendy & Lisa, White --- Wendy and Lisa
From their first solo album after "The Revolution" disbanded. They're really talented composers, and they've done well for themselves lately scoring film and TV soundtracks (they do all the score work for Heroes, they also did Crossing Jordan). This is very much of its time, has that mid to late 80s smooth but funky jazz feel to it. Don't think I'd make a steady diet of this genre, but the occasional reminder of this sound isn't bad at all. There's a real nice deeply buried guitar riff running throughout the song, but the lead instruments are sax and piano on this instrumental piece. It's getting late, I'm cutting this off at 20 songs, let's see if something truly embarrassing pops up (you'll have to trust me and assume that I haven't already censored any of the songs that have popped up). . .

18. Stone Temple Pilots, Trippin' On a Hole in a Paper Heart --- Tiny Music...Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop
By the time I'm done typing the band,song---album info for this song it's half over. Great song, title's too long, though. They don't get the praise they're do, probably cause they're a bit more 'commercial' sounding than their grungy brethren, but out of all the bands from that time period, they may have rocked the hardest and most consistently. Weiland is a solid vocalist, and the band could wail. But, some of the songs are kind of anonymous.

19. Hooverphonic, Club Monterpulciano --- Blue Wonder Power Milk
Groovy song, this. Groovy album, this. Groovy band, this. Their first album was amazing, this album was pretty good, too, but that first album was something special. Not much to say about this, it's a solid bit of euro-chill out music. Anyone out there remember 'chill out' rooms in clubs?

20. The Factory, Path Through the Forest, Nuggets, Vol.2
Another bit of late 60s psychedelica from a band you've probably never heard of. I love me some garage sounds, though. This one's got the fuzzy freak out guitars going for it, and an insistent beat. It's a good song, just on the edge of self-parody, but never goes over that edge. Remember back when every bad movie from the late 60s and early 70s had a bad club scene with a truly awful fake psychedelic band playing in the background?

OK, that's enough of this, good way to kill some time, and keep my fingers busy, if you've read this far, my apologies, don't you have better things to do?

(also, not going to bother finding YouTube links where available, the ones you've heard before, you know, the obscure stuff, probably won't be on YouTube, so I'm not going to spend time on the hunt)

(One last thing, before it keeps me up all night . . . Ahhh, so that's what Duppy means, I'm pretty sure I knew that at one time, and if I hadn't been so busy typing while the song was playing, I probably would have sussed that out from the lyrics of the first song on this list, oh well)

(that's your vocabulary word for the day, try and work "duppy" into a sentence some time before Thursday becomes Friday)

26 August 2008

Improving the Quality of Candidates That Seek Higher Office . . .

I'm sick of perpetual candidates, seeking one office while holding another. I'd love to see an amendment to address this ridiculousness, combine it with a clause to rectify the ridiculousness of barring the Presidency from people who just happen to have not been born in the United States or its territories.

So this amendment would do two things, first, allow any citizen, foreign born or not who has lived continuously in the United States as a citizen for at least a decade prior to the election be eligible to for our highest office. That should be enough, we need the best politicians available to seek our highest office, and the native only clause in the constitution has barred some excellent people from even contemplating a run at the presidency. The other part of the amendment would require any current federal elected office holder (with two exceptions) to resign their current office at least 14 months prior to the election (sitting Presidents or Vice-Presidents excluded). Senators McCain, Obama, Clinton, Biden, Dodd, all did lousy jobs being Senators while they were candidates. If they're serious about being President, I think they should go for that position without the safety net of falling back into their old comfy job in the Senate. They are shortchanging the people of their respective states, and the United States as a whole by this nonsense. In the same clause of the amendment, also bar folks from running for more than one federal office concurrently. That way, the primary losers could still try and win back their Senate seats, though their appointed replacements might have something to say about that, and in the case of an ex-Senator losing the general election, they'll be forced to sit out a few years before jumping back in to the Senate. It may seem contradictory to want more people eligible on the one hand, but place greater limits on one of the primary pools that has produced candidates, but by in large, those trying to go straight from the Senate to the presidency haven't been the best available, they've simply been the ones most familiar with DC, and the ones DC was most familiar with. In my mind, that's more a disqualification for the office rather than a qualification, and an amendment like this wouldn't ban them from running, it'd just give them something a little extra to consider should they choose to make the attempt.

Nobody should be Senator for more than two terms, that so many of them linger for so much longer is sad, but those that stick around longest have access to all the best pork, and pork still buys votes in most states, despite protestations to the contrary. This wouldn't be a big change, but at least it would make these candidates face some real consequences for their ego driven attempts at higher office. Anybody in the House wouldn't be as affected, given that they know they can always get back in two years, but the Senators would lose quite a bit of DC influence if they run and fail, and in my opinion that's exactly how it should be.

If I checked my archives I'd probably find I've made a similar complaint before, but this issue won't go away, so I'll keep complaining.

25 August 2008

The Dream v The Redeem Teams, A Numerical Analysis (heh, heh, He said ysis)

Basketball Reference is an invaluable site for NBA basketball fans/stat junkies. It's also mostly worthless. Of all the major sports, NBA basketball is the one where stats tell the least of what each player contributes to his team. But, imperfect numbers, are better than no numbers at all.

So, using their stats, I compiled a google spreadsheet that compares the players of the 2008 Beijing gold medal winning team to the 1992 Barcelona gold medal winning team.

I intentionally ignored 2 players from each team, first, cause of the 12 players on the original 'Dream Team', ten of them were part of that Top 50 All Time list that the NBA came up with for their 50th anniversary, and the other two were a college player (Christian Laettner), so no NBA stats available to that point, and the other player's haircut was just too awful to mention or think about (Chris Mullin), plus the 'Redeem Team' really only went 10 deep with Carlos Boozer and Michael Redd primarily relegated to 'in emergency break glass' duty on the roster (and nobody got injured, so they sat and sat and sat for the most part).

The stats I used were Player Effeciency Rating in their most recent NBA campaign, an average of the past 3 years of PER, their Win Share, and a 3 year average of WS, plus their NBA regular season and playoff games played up to their appearance in the Olympics.

Why those stats? Well, PER isn't perfect, but it's the stat that translates best from season to season, and player to player. The formula is complicated, and different analyst tweak their formula here and there, but it's pretty indicative of what kind of season a player is having, and how they compare to others at their position. Win Share is a bit trickier, but it's also a pretty good number, it's meant to compute the 'share' of a team's victories attributable to that player, a solid player can see that number plummet if they are on a lousy team (see Wade, Dwyane last year), or if they are the number two guy on a good team with a mega-superstar on their squad (see Pippen, Scottie, any of his Bulls years).

If you want to peruse the individual stats, the link is above, but here are the averages for each squad.

Dream Team 1992

AVG PER = 24.19
3YR PER = 24.65
AVG WS = 12.95
3YR WS = 13.40
AVG Regular Season Games = 613.3
AVG Playoff Games = 82.9
AVG Age = 29.0

Redeem Team 2008

AVG PER = 22.40
3YR PER = 22.02
AVG WS = 10.57
3YR WS = 10.14
AVG Regular Season Games = 458.3
AVG Playoff Games = 56.0
AVG Age = 25.2

All this proves for certain is that the 1992 Olympians were older, and had much more NBA experience. The PER numbers are fairly close, as are the win shares, though Dream Team has the edge on both of those.

Also, if you were to list the ten best players at their position, I think it'd be hard to leave any of the 10 Dream Teamers I did stats for off the list. On the Redeem Team, only Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, and LeBron James would be locks for that list, but Chris Paul, Deron Williams, seem headed in that direction, and Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony all seem like they have the potential to be that good, but whether or not they realize that potential is an open question. Another interesting quirk in the numbers is that the previous season PER and WS are lower than the 3 year average for 1992, and reversed for 2008. I think this shows that you had more players at or past their peak in 1992, while in 2008 you have players who are just beginning to figure out the league. In 1992 all the players were 26 or over (other than Laettner, who I didn't count), while in 2008 you had six players 23 or under. Also, if you take out Kobe and Kidd, none of the other players in 2008 had more than 500 regular season games played, but in 1992 only Scottie Pippen and David Robinson (again, ignoring Laettner) were below that number.

But none of those numbers tell you how'd they match up against each other. Could 29 year old Kobe guard 28 year old MJ? In that match up, Kobe is actually the more veteran player with almost 200 more regular season games played, and 60 more playoff games, plus Kobe to that point had 3 rings, and 2 other Finals appearances, while MJ was off his 2nd straight championship team. Everyone assumes MJ would kill Kobe, but Kobe is a better defender, and has better range on his jump shot. Who guards LeBron James? Malone doesn't have the footspeed, neither does Barkley, Pippen might get the assignment, as long as you give him lots of help in the middle. Where 1992 shines compared to 2008 is in the middle. Ewing and Robinson would eat Howard and Bosh for breakfast, and then ask for seconds. But Paul and Williams would wear down Stockton and Magic in the backcourt, though Magic could use his size to post up those guys, so some adjustments would have to be made. Old and slow Larry Bird would be a huge liability on defense for the 1992 team, and would see most of his minutes go to Malone, or Robinson if Coach Daly went with a 'Twin Towers' approach by putting Ewing and Robinson on the floor at the same time to take advantage of 2008's lack of size.

I don't think the winner between these squads is absolutely certain, 1992 is made up of greater players, some of the best all time, but their age, and lack of ball handlers (seems crazy to say a team with Magic and Stockton has problems with handles, but Paul, Williams, Kobe, Prince could give them both problems) might cause problems against a younger, far quicker team in the 2008 vintage Olympians. Jordan was a phenomenal player, at his peak, but if Jordan is the Alpha of all time shooting guards, then Kobe is a not too distant Gamma or Delta (Elgin Baylor or Oscar Robertson slot in somewhere between Kobe and MJ, probably). Size is where 1992 can kill 2008, and speed and greater team defensive intensity is where 2008 can counter 1992's better individual players. Coach K's 2008 squad is better balanced as a team, but the experience and the collective competitive fire of the 1992 squad would overwhelm the 'Redeem Team' in a single game.

In a seven game series, I think the 2008 players might give those old guys a run for their money, though.

Somebody needs to invent a time machine, snatch these players off the podiums just after they get their golds, and answer this question once and for all (just make sure not to neglect wiping their memories of the contests so that they don't pollute their respective timelines with knowledge of the future).

(also, if you added 2008 vintage Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce to the "Redeem Team", in place of Bosh and Prince, I think you'd have a much more competitive game, but then, if you got rid of old and busted 1992 Larry Bird and replaced him with younger and annoying 1992 Reggie Miller, balance would be restored)

22 August 2008

A Modest Proposal on the Summer Olympics to Ensure That We as Viewers Are Truly Up Close and Personal With the Athletes

The current Beijing Summer Olympics of 2008 are rapping up, and much of the planning and preparation for the next London Summer Olympics of 2012 are already under way. Ever since the spectacularly expensive and well produced opening ceremonies of the current games, commentators have openly questioned London's ability to live up to the new high standard set by the totalitarian government of the People's Republic of China. Leave it to dictators to put on a great show! There hasn't been this much pomp, ceremony, and collective nationalistic good feeling since the Berlin Olympics in 1936. Dictators know how to get their people in line and spruce up a host city to the point where even major politicians from important nations can stand back and only admire and envy the ruthless efficiency with which they can transform and improve their urban areas.

But this has nothing to do with London, with all its fine features, its surveillance cameras everywhere, its policing of ideas (nobody must ever say anything that might offend someone else, to do so would be criminal, unless its a traditionally oppressed minority expressing their dissatisfaction with the status quo, then nobody must question their right to call for the death of other Londoners), London may be edging towards the sort of totalitarian perfection exhibited by Beijing in 2008 and Berlin in 1936, but they fall far short. No, they won't be able to put on the kind of show Beijing did, it's not in the British national character, it's not within the bounds of their legal system, and Londoners have 'evolved' far beyond the sort of civic pride exhibited this past fortnight by the people of Beijing. A further hindrance towards competing with the scale of Beijing 2008 is the simple fact that the economy of the United Kingdom is fall smaller than that of China, and worst of all, it's a democracy, so if they spend more than a paltry £10,000,000,000 there might be some whingers who cause a stink within their parliament and chat shows.

So, with those structural defects when compared to Beijing and China, London and the UK are going to have to be creative and innovative to try and top the spectacle and pageantry of Beijing. To compete they'll have to go with their strengths. "What are the current strengths of the United Kingdom"?, you ask. I'm here to tell you, the people there have cultivated an appreciation and appetite for reality TV programming, and in the aggregate, absolutely no sense of shame in the pursuit of fame.

Use those talents, then, turn the Olympic Village into the most massive and watched episodes of the show Big Brother in history. Run episodes of Big Brother concurrently in every nation that agrees to do so. Given this Times Online article by an ex-athlete revealing the testosterone fueled Bacchanalia of young fit bodies finding fleshy pleasures with each other, if there were cameras throughout the village capturing this activity, the ratings for this would be through the roof. It would be up to each country's broadcasting partner with the London Committee how explicit they chose to make the programming based on local customs. Personally, I'd pay money to watch the Brazilian feed (with or without dubbing or subtitles). The TV rights for these shows would make a mint, I suspect, and would go quite a ways in deferring the enormous bill that will burden the people of Great Britain for a generation or two.

Obviously, a few changes would have to be made, first, no minors allowed, for the 2012 games, all competitors must be 18 years of age at the time of competition, can't have any chance of questionable material of underage folks generating friction with each other. Most sports won't be effected, and any athletes who might miss out on 2012 because of the rule change, will always have 2016 in their future (besides, those disturbingly young gymnast bouncing around are a bit annoying, anyway). Another change would be to make being billeted in the Olympic village mandatory for all athletes, as well as signing a release form allowing for the airing of any footage that is captured. Wire the entire village the way the Big Brother house is, and just sit back, relax, and watch as hours and hours of entertaining television programming piles up. Any athlete who doesn't want to be caught doing anything too kinky, can abstain from having too much fun, and given that many athletes are extroverted, beautiful, in the best shape they'll ever be in, and desperately horny, they'll probably not even notice the cameras watching their flirtations, and beyond.

Why should we, the citizens of each of these nations, only get to see their performance on the tracks, and fields, and pitches, and pools, why not also see their 'performances' on the rooftops, and closets, and balconies, and bathrooms, and bedrooms?

21 August 2008

That Idiot, Nobody Takes Him Seriously . . . What? Really?, Ummmm, What a Great Choice,

Let the rehabilitation of Sen. Joe Biden begin!

(suddenly, he's a fine elder statesman who speaks truth to power and is a champion of the 'little people')

(I don't know that Biden will be the pick, but I am fascinated by the immediate 180° pivot performed by media types)

(the link above isn't a specific example of bias, but just turn on MSNBC today, or watch any of the network nightly news half hours tomorrow, and watch them scrub clean Sen. Biden's record)

18 August 2008

Not Only Have the Lunatics Taken Over the Asylum, But They've Also Stopped Taking Their Meds, Too . . .

First this, then this, and now this (excerpts from the last one)


There’s no reason I can’t discuss the particulars, but I’m going to give it a fortnight for the relevant parties to get on the right side of the matter. I learned the details today about something I’ve suspected for a while, and it’s as bad as it can get: a level of personal and professional betrayal like nothing I’ve ever experienced. A good lesson in life, perhaps, and a test as well: when there’s nothing you can do at the moment, you have to set it aside or burn yourself up.

Seems like journalism is becoming a one party state, and if you don't belong to the approved party, and speak the party line, even in your private hours, then there are many who are determined to make your life hell within that industry (I suspect Lileks ran afoul of someone who doesn't appreciate his criticism of Keillor, among other things).

Don't know for certain that this is the connective tissue that combines all three incidents, but it sure seems like it from the outside. At some point, the people paying the bills will get tired of losing money, you'd hope, and they may make the connection that ideological purity and internal putsches aren't the way to run a newsgathering and disseminating organization. Either that, or all print, TV, and internet outlets will be owned by ideologues and agenda pushers willing to lose a fortune to influence debates and outcomes, and it will be up to consumers to sort through the biases and try and see through a dirt smeared window and only guess as to what the real picture is behind the distortions.

But, I could be wrong, and there's nothing congruent about each incident, and the business of journalism is going through a hard time that has absolutely nothing to ideology, and the vast majority of people running the show at these organizations are committed to objective truth above all else and could care less about meddling into the lives of those that work for them.

Yeah, all of that, and I hear I can get a good deal on a rather old bridge in a place called Brooklyn (which could net a fortune if you could privatize all the toll revenue), at least it gives me an excuse to trot out Fun Boy Three.




(and I know this song is most likely an anti-Thatcher, anti-Reagan rant, but what can you do, in some ways that fact actually reinforces my point)

UPDATE:

When you notice something, suddenly you see evidence of it in the strangest places. Just noticed that see-dubya posting at Michelle Malkin's blog has added this little caveat to a recent post lauding Theodore Dalrymple's take on the decline of England and its root cause, {Post by See-Dubya, written on my own time, on my own computer.}

That new little caveat doesn't mean he's a journalist, but it does mean he's worried that some one will use his blogging against him in his main professional life. Didn't realize that Malkin's co-blogger had a day job other than co-blogging.

It's not just media companies where purges and anti-blogging, anti-internet policing are occurring, but I think the flavor of the attacks are more ideological in that industry, whereas this kind of stupidity in other industries is more about managers trying to appear as if they are managing. Our economy is becoming more about brainpower, and less about brawnpower, yet some in management still cling to notions about time management, efficiency, and how one should approach time 'on the clock', from a perspective suited to assembly lines and not jobs that rely on intellectual engagement and creativity. Goofing off, even when on the clock, is a way to decompress, and often, by de-focusing on the task at hand, focusing temporarily on something recreational, that's when our minds are better able to jar us awake and hit us with inspiration. Managers that focus on results, rather than a strict adherence to policies, 'looking busy', and forcing their employees from even thinking about their personal life and interests while at work, will flourish, and the old school bosses will flounder. But the transition period is going to continue to be a bitch, and good people (at their job, we aren't talking about morals here) are going to get fired for bad reasons, and bad people (again, only talking about suitability for the tasks they're assigned) are going to get promoted for worse reasons.

The need for managers to manage is one reason why tele-commuting hasn't taken off. Most folks don't trust their workers enough to let them be self supervised. They fear getting ripped off, even though chances are, they're getting less production out of their employees because of their need for oversight. In an information economy, it's hard to count the widgets, or determine the exact size of the contribution each employee makes towards the mega-widget, so instead of the shift to information and brainpower making workplaces less regimented and adversarial, in a lot of ways, in a lot of places, they've become even more so.

A Preview of Future Campaign Slogans . . .

I guess it's never too early to plan ahead. And I need my "Change You Can Believe In" type slogan, but I don't believe in change for the sake of change, I don't really believe that the federal government should do much of anything other than protect our borders, secure our trade agreements, get out of the way of the people so that they may prosper, and maintain a military sufficient to defend our homeland, protect our interests in narrowly defined ways, and scare the bejesus out of any country that might get any ideas about being more than just a neighborhood bully.

That narrows my choices of potential slogans, a bit (the whole belief in limited government thing constrains me). Reagan found a good work around with both his campaigns. When confronting the damage loosed by Carter, he posed a simple question in '80, "Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Four Years Ago?", and after leading us away from that disaster, he simply stated in '84, "It's Morning in America, Again".


Well, I think nowadays the press would have a field day with the 'better off' slogan, so that's out. The 'morning' slogan only works for a run at a 2nd term. All's not lost though, I think I've come up with something that could work as an expression of my policy goals that would fit neatly on a bumpersticker. Here it goes . . .


I'll Do My Best to Do Nothing,
And Sometimes Even Less Than That!


(is the exclamation point too much? I kind of like it, but I'm not wedded to it, and I'm counting on people having pretty long bumpers, obviously)

(and if any president, me or anybody else, in the future could somehow manage to do less than nothing, that'd be really something, wouldn't it?)

A Preview of Debate With In (and With Out) an Obama Administration



Above is a hilarious clip (I found it through Boing Boing, they tip their cap to Arbroath), it also contains much NSFW language, as well as raised voices, sobbing, and enough identity politics to choke an elephant. I recommend following all the Boing Boing links, they're instructive. YouTube took it down (though they still have Prof. Shanahan's reply, but it's not exactly a reply, it's a deleted scene from a doc on debates, but he does seem to be replying to a question about the incident recorded above), but LiveLeak will likely leave it up, so enjoy. For a bit of background Inside Higher Ed has you covered.

It has nothing to do with a potential Obama administration, obviously, and yet I think it does offer a clue as to the storm roiling beneath the liberal and academic minded wing of the Democratic party, and the kind of divisions and discussions that Obama would bring with him to the White House should he get elected. He's the first candidate immersed in postmodern theories on the construction of identity. He's also the first candidate who seemingly embraced (at least) the rhetorical angles of marxist theory. Doesn't make him a commie, doesn't automatically make him anti-market, but it does suggest (as have his own words) that for Obama, he views most things in life through a dialectic materialist framework where there is a constant oppositional tension between those that control the means of production and those that do the producing, or a constant class struggle if you will. That also suggests that he sees America as having rather static classes like 19th century Europe, and not the fluid Horatio Algerized dynamic view of class that I believe a majority of Americans still believe in (at least those that didn't take too many marxist theory courses in college).

I've always found that framework ass-tastic, personally, I also find all identity politics equally ass-tastic, so when a couple of professors blow their tops at each other, I'm not surprised that underlying the tensions that came to the surface there seems to be all sorts of victim group politics at play. The language of the left is all about 'reconciliation' and 'understanding' but in effect and practice that language is used to exclude the ideas of which they don't approve and deny legitimacy to anyone who doesn't think or speak in the ways that meet the ever more limited 'speech codes' that have been proliferating throughout campuses across our land.

I don't know that this was about that, it might just be two hot heads in a bad moment, but from reading some comments of people who were there, and reading between the lines, the hippie looking professor blew his top when an insinuation of racism was made, and the other professor (it'd be racist of me to identify her as the 'black woman'; and ironic or sad that one of the courses Prof. Reid-Brinkley teaches is "Interpersonal Communication"?) knew full well that she was insinuating that Prof. Hippie was a racist, but she wasn't going to own up to it in plain and clear language.

Forensics is a beautiful thing when done honestly and with respect, but honesty and respect are viewed with contempt on a lot of campuses, lately (those are just lies told by hegemonic old white men, you know, they never lived up to their old ideals, so those ideals are a product of a false consciousness, and therefore aren't something that should be adhered to, but it's OK to use them, twist them, and reshape them as you see fit in the service of a greater cause to disrupt the old order, cause that's like deep, man).

But back to a potential Obama White House. You just know that he's going to surround himself with ivory tower types, eggheads, and ex-radicals. That's who he's associated with privately and professionally throughout his adult life, why would he change as Commander in Chief?

So, behind closed doors, I wouldn't be surprised at all if more than a few policy sessions become seething cauldrons of hurt feelings, victimhood passion plays, and coalition building based on identity and ideology rather than what's best for the country. He's already stated that he wants to bring together many voices with many ideas and let them hash it out and present him with opposing views. Of course, he never said he'd actually respect all those points of view, just that he'd bring them into the process.

Yeah, should be fun times, fun times, indeed.

(or not, McCain might actually win this thing, whodathunkit?)

Now We Know Just How Bad Obama Did in Saddleback . . .

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The Gumball of News is doing its rotating, flashing dance on Drudge with the breathless announcement that Presumptive Obama will presumptively name his presumptive Vice Presidential choice within the next twelve hours or so.

I think there's some truth to this rumor (this time), checked the Obama site, and they've taken down the sign-up for 'be first to find out who the VP is' list. That suggests to me the choice is imminent.

And I think he would have held off on announcing this decision till just before the convention, or at the convention, if he hadn't got his clock cleaned in Saddleback.

And just to be on record, my money is Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, with Sen. Evan Bayh a close second.

UPDATE:

As I was typing this, Drudge took down the rotating gumball and put up a picture of a smiling Obama instead, I miss the gumball, so I'm putting one up myself. Also the roof-mounted single beacon emergency vehicle lighting (sometimes known as a 'gumball') are practically non-existent as far as current usage goes, think Drudge needs to come up with a new breaking news attention getter.

17 August 2008

All Those Who Haven't Swapped Spit With Ol' Blue Eyes, Please Raise Your Hand . . .

In the Mail, Kate Moss mentions a time when Sinatra planted one on her (and she liked it).

Seems it'd be easier just to identify the women who haven't had some intimate contact with The Chairman of the Board, rather than vice-versa.

At the very least, if you were to play six degrees of sexual contact with Frank Sinatra, that list would encompass a multitude.

For example, there's only one degree of separation between Sinatra and Andre Previn (Mia Farrow), and two degree's between Sinatra and Previn's daughter, Soon-Yi (Farrow, and Woody Allen, and may I add, ewwwww). And speaking of Mia Farrow, Sinatra is only one degree separated from her father (so within two degree's he has a father, daughter and granddaughter, kinky stuff) John Farrow (through Ava Gardner). He's even been with Anderson Cooper's mom (Gloria Vanderbilt, which admittedly, she was pretty damn hot back in the day), for chrissakes.

That's why on Ken Trivia, if it's a list of people, I always answer, "people who have 'known' Frank Sinatra", chances are it's pretty close to the truth.

16 August 2008

Live Blogging Rick Warren Saddleback Pander Fest 08 . . .

(all times PDT)

4:53pm

Really, Rick Warren gets access to the candidates? I prefer a purposeless life, personally (driven, or not).

5:01pm --- Cone of silence jokes, hah-hah-hah-hah-hah. Rick Warren loves everyone, everyone is his friend, and we must be civil with each other. Ahhhh, civility, I wonder how civil Lincoln and Douglas were with each other?

5:03pm --- Obama gets asked who the 3 wisest people he's met. So far, Obama's not answering the question, instead just talking about how his wife bust his balls and how he loves and admires his racist grandmother. Obama continues to not answer the question, he's pandering to the idea of he'll listen to folks from both sides of the aisle. Obama's answer is a bit facetious if you ask me (and full of feces)

5:06pm --- Greatest moral failure personally, and nationally is the question. The answer, I was a selfish and callow youth, and I bet he ignores the other half of the question, wait and see (like how he slipped in a 'doing God's work' line), ohhhh, he quotes Matthew (doesn't say what chapter:verse, though), all about doing for the least. In other words, we aren't Marxist enough.

5:09pm --- Ouch, when have you not been a party aparatchik he's asked (though not in those words). His answer, McCain-Feingold. Uggghhhh!!! That piece of crap legislation was a disaster, a terrible affront to the 1st amendment, and has proven to be as bad as it seemed to begin with. He also goes on to claim he was being brave by opposing the 2003 Iraq invasion while he was in the Illinois State Senate. Yeah, whatever. Now he's asked about what he believed a decade ago that he now has changed his mind about. Welfare reform, he's stating (though that was more like 14 years ago), he's saying work has to be part of his Marxist reforms. Asked gutwrenching decision, again he goes back to Iraq War opposition. He's convinced he knew better than the people who knew better, he's claiming that being on the opposite side of most of the people who knew better wasn't cause he was an uninformed idiot, but because he was prescient and prematurely wise. I suppose being wrong about the surge, but pleased with the outcome is completely different. (time for commercials)

5:19pm --- Worldview/Minefield section. Christ, what's he mean to you? Obama- pablum, pander, pablum, 'I don't walk alone', Jesus is my co-pilot, I guess. Ummm, ahhh, Obama's a bit of a slow talker, I guess he's being thhhhhhhooooooooouuuuuuggggghhhhhttttttffffuuuuuulllllll.

5:21pm --- Now the tough ones, Abortion, 40,000,000 since Roe v Wade, when is a baby a baby? Ummm, ahhh, I can't say, cause I am The One, and The One can't say what he thinks, but he feels your pain, and it is a moral and ethical choice, but he's not going to make that choice for anyone cause being pro-choice means it's up to women, and no woman is going to just wantonly kill a baby/fetus. Still dodging the question basically, now he's going to the legal-but infrequent dodge. He respects those pro-life nuts, those absolutist nuts can't be argued with, but he still wants to work with them to lower the number of abortions, by giving women more 'resources'.

5:25pm --- Marriage is between a man and a woman, and is also sacred, but it shouldn't be codified in law as such. Civil Unions, not marriage for same sex couples. Another dodge, basically. On to stem cells and federal funding for embryonic stem cells. He wants them, but only existing lines, no embryo factories (but he doesn't specifically rule it out, instead talks about no cloning and the sacredness of human life, wait he finally in the end says no embryo factories). Evil, real or not? Yes, evil exists, in Darfur, in our cities (sadly), in bad parents, (I guess we need to pump more dough into the inner cities, and maybe the state should intervene more agressively with families). But let's confront evil with humility, sounds like he's implying that the Iraq War was an evil result from good intentions.

5:30pm --- Who in the Supreme Court would you NOT have nominated? He answers, Clarence Thomas, suggests he was purely an affirmative action hire, also mentions Scalia for ideological reasons, and dodges when Warren asks about Roberts, still waiting for an answer, oohhh, he says he was right to vote against confirmation. Well, that's ridiculous. As is his answer about Thomas, Thomas was more than qualified, and he's been an excellent jurist, so what if he chooses to hold his tongue?

5:33pm --- Faith based initiatives, should they be forced to hire anyone if they want federal money? Obama begins saying how wonderful they are, maybe he'll get around to answering the question, when it comes to federal programs churches must be non-discriminatory. Sensible answer, really, can't say anything snarky about this answer.

5:36pm --- Education. #1 in incarceration, #19 in graduation (woohoo!! USA, USA, USA!!!) Merit Pay? Yes, but only if the unions agree and manage the system, basically is his answer, and as always, they're underpaid because, that's always the answer, even though we already aren't getting much bang for our buck. Next, define Rich? Obama jokes, Rick Warren is rich bitch (heh, heh). $150,000 is middle class, Rick, claims in OC, that's poor. Obama suggests $250,000 is rich, bitch, and they should pay for everything, and I guess families below that should get a ride on their backs (though not exactly saying that). Brings in Iraq War for no good reason. He's 'balancing' our tax code, and he thinks it should be simpler, but he's never made specific suggestions on how it could be simplified, so basically more pablum and pandering. (commercial time again, time to check what Althouse has live-blogged about).

5:44pm --- And we're back. Only 15 minutes to go with Barack, the last section on America's responsibility in the world. Let's talk about War, what's worth dying for? American Freedom, American interests, Obama visited the Arizona while in Pearl, cause he's solemn, and caring, and not really answering the question. NATO is in our interest, but I guess not Georgia. What about genocide, Warren asks, and Obama answers, genocide, schmenocide, it all depends if the rest of the world gets on board or not, so basically it's up to the French and the Chinese and the Russians. Bosnia was OK, so his rule, when Dem prez intervene it's OK, when GOP prez do, it's wrong, (and I guess when Dem prez don't intervene like in Rwanda, that was the right idea, too).

5:47pm --- Orphans, does a bit of pandering to Warren, and commends Bush in that narrow policy area. Doesn't really say anything. Next question, religious persecution. Answer, bare witness, but be careful about it in cases like China. Basically he claims he'll follow what the Bush administration currently espouses (but he doesn't put it that way). Brings up habeas corpus and torture for no good reason other than that he realized he was agreeing with Bush on something, so he had to highlight a difference.

5:51pm --- Human trafficking, it's very, very bad. What else is there to say? (pander, pander, pablum, pablum, evidently, no specifics, or real policy suggestions).

5:53pm --- Wrapping up the Obama section of this panderfest, question, 'why do you want to be Prez', Obama's answer, cause we are slipping as a nation and politics is broken and The One will build bridges and solve problems with His superior common sense.

5:54pm --- Final question, 'Enough about you Obama, what about ME, Rick Warren?' Answer, of course it's good that you invited both of us to sit down and speak with you, cause the people are good, and the people are wonderful, and the people will decide wisely. With the real last question Warren asks, what should people know but don't want to hear, his answer, some Green pandering since he didn't get a chance to do it earlier, about how we must all pull together and sacrifice like we did in WWII (sounds great in theory, but in practice is he suggesting, price fixing, ration cards, nationalizing major industries like in WWII?)

5:59pm --- Obama thoughts (my own). He hemmed and hawed like he normally does when he doesn't have a prepared speech, and he wasn't exactly forthright with many of his answers, but he did get through it OK. Don't think he helped himself with his core supporters, and I don't know that he helped himself with this crowd.

NOW MCCAIN TIME!!!!

6:01pm --- 3 Wisest? McCain answers Gen. David Petraeus, John Lewis a civil rights pioneer who stood up to bigotry and suffered physically in that struggle, and Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay. He actually answered the question directly, and with thought, and picked a soldier, a civil rights trailblazer, and an entrepreneur. Advantage McCain!!!

6:04pm --- The moral failure question, but this time Warren pre-faced it with a hint to the Edwards debacle. McCain's answer, my first marriage, for his personal failure, and for our national failure, not asking more of our own people, especially after 9/11, and avoiding stopping Rwanda, and McCain even uses the words 'a little pandering here', he quotes Warren back to Warren. Ohhh, that was good. Really good, both recognizing that this is pandering, but then to do it well. Advantage McCain.

6:06pm --- Positions you've taken where you've gone against party question. For McCain, that's pretty easy, isn't it (and they joke about that some)? McCain goes back to Lebanon, he opposed sending peacekeepers there (not because it was the wrong thing to do, but because we didn't go in full force). Advantage McCain.

6:08pm --- The Ten years question. Offshore drilling. Man, McCain has this pander thing down pat, plus he is succinct, yet informative (makes a Kallyfornia, Schwarzenegger joke on the issue), suggests that it's a matter of national security, which it damn well is. Dammit, I'm liking this McCain, I don't like liking him, he still sucks, but he sucks less than Obama so far. Brings up France, but that's my line, you bastard, he's been reading my blog I guess, Nuclear has to be part of the mix, and he's not afraid to say it. Advantage McCain.

6:11pm -- Gut wrenching decision question. Deciding to refuse to accept an early release from the POW camp, and he's happy he made that decision. Another answer/question that just makes Obama look like a lightweight dolt in comparison. Advantage McCain. (commercial time)

6:16pm --- minefield questions. Christianity? Saved, and forgiven, going back to Hanoi Hilton, describing his torture, tells a touching anecdote, his faith preserved him and he connected with one of his captors who was a fellow Christian. Advantage McCain.

6:19pm --- Abortion question. Conception is it, purely and only pro-life, no equivocation. Push (McCain is clearer, but I don't know that too many people are as absolute as he is). On to marriage, man and woman only, but it should be a state's choice, he's a federalist (though he could have fooled me all these years), suggests that agreements that aren't marriage are fine. Push again. Stem Cell question, he sees it as a dilemma, optimistic that this question will go away through science. Push again.

6:22pm --- Evil question. Yes, and it must be defeated, period. Gates of Hell again, he loves those Gates of Hell, and indeed Rodin's Gates of Hell are magnificent. Our troops can kicks evil's ass, and take names. Advantage McCain.

6:25pm --- The Supreme Court question. He names Ginsburg, Souter, Stevens, Breyer, suggests they've all have legislated from the bench, and he loves Alito and Roberts. Straightforward, looks pretty political though. Push (both McCain and Obama answered this question too politically for my taste).

6:28pm --- The faith-based and federal funds question. His answer, to paraphrase, money is fungible, and to create obstacles against these organizations from helping is bad for the country. Better answer than Obama, but it doesn't respect the separation of church and state, and so even if Obama was less coherent, his carefully parsed answer is probably more correct. Advantage Obama

6:29pm --- The schools question. Choice and Competition, dammit. HUGE advantage McCain (screw those teachers' unions)

6:31pm --- The define rich question. Rich isn't a matter of money, we should all be rich, we should all be prosperous, and penalizing entrepreneurs is wrong (damn straight!). $5,000,000, not $250,000 like Obama. And he's right. Low taxes will raise revenues, spending is the problem, not that the taxes are too low. Damn, McCain sounds like he's been reading my blog again, that's scary. Advantage McCain (let's hope he means it).

6:35pm --- BONUS QUESTION, when privacy and security collide, how do you measure which wins? Brings up the union secret ballot thing, mentions keeping up with the ability to communicate, so the laws must shift, too, and both sides should be able to work together without bickering on basic security.

6:40pm --- What's worth dying for question. Freedom. American security. Not much different answer from Obama, really, but the tone is very different, and seems more sincere, plus he ties it into the future, and defeating Islamic extremism. Goes on to obligation to stop genocide, period, suggesting he'd have intervened in Darfur, and Rwanda, but not necessarily militarily directly, but helping neighbors in the region to separate the warring parties. Warren adds in a Georgia angle that he left off for Obama, and McCain is saddened by Russian aggression (as he should be), mentions Georgia goes back to 330AD as a christian nation, and Saakashvili was educated here, and has built a 'great little nation'. Russia must be opposed, and Russia must respect the territorial integrity of Georgia, and the other former Soviet States support Georgia, and so should we, and we all know it's about the pipeline. Advantage McCain (this is getting monotonous)

6:47pm --- Religious persecution question. Again with the freedom answer, and a bit of Reagan worship. The president must use the bully pulpit and be an example and an advocate. Simple, clear, concise, and challenging. Advantage McCain.

6:49pm --- Orphan question. Another one in McCain's wheelhouse, given that he's an adoptive parent, he and Cindy got one directly from Mother Teresa no less. Advantage McCain.

6:50pm --- Why you for Prez question. Service, and facing the challenges of the times, and coming together as one nation, his record, and his experience, and he wants to join together to put our country first. He'll be the President for all Americans. Push (McCain's answer is much better, but Obama is more charasmatic, and glamor counts).

6:51pm --- What about objections to a forum at a church question. He's proud to have spoken there. Push.

That's it, I would imagine that the CNN folks are going to be flabberghasted and unable to respond once they get to the spinning shortly. McCain owned Obama, and owned this crowd, and was better in every way in how he presented his positions and his ideas and what his administration would be like. I bet this whole event will disapper down the memory hole.

UPDATE: Fixed spelling error on Gen. David Petraeus (should remember that 'rock' is the first part of his last name), and after perusing other bloggers who watched and live-blogged, seems like Althouse saw what I saw, mostly, Sullivan (Obama post, McCain post) is on his own little planet, but for the most part, I'm not seeing a big response to this on the left (other than to decry the entire enterprise as being some sort of violation of church/state separation), and kudos for McCain on the right. I suppose we could all be right, reality being subjective and all, or, partisans saw it through their partisan viewpoints, and aren't capable of being objective. I'm fairly partisan myself, but I think if you put each response to each question side by side, and let people decide for themselves who had a better answer, then McCain won overwhelmingly.

On top of that, I think his answers are the kind of answers that are more likely to persuade people who weren't already persuaded by him, while Obama didn't hurt himself with his acolytes one bit, but I don't think he converted anybody new to his cause with his performance, so long as people compare his answers to McCain's. If you took Obama's answers alone, without McCain's answers, he comes off much better, so the job of McCain supporters will be to make sure that whenever talking about this forum, that juxtaposition is always made. Just as Obama supporters will be wise to focus only on their man, and pretend that McCain wasn't even there, thus showing that Obama can successfully reach out to an evangelical constituency that's perceived as being his weakness.

15 August 2008

Change I Can Believe In . . .

(via Drudge)

Brilliant move, if it happens. Sure, why not, Sen. Kerry for Veep. Why stop with Kerry, though, former Pres. Carter is still constitutionally eligible, pick him for Veep, while you are at it.

And the change I can believe in should Sen. Kerry be named Sen. Obama's running mate, you ask . . .

That would be my underwear, from pissing myself laughing so hard, of course.

(too much information?)

14 August 2008

Mark Kiszla, and the Fine Art of Kobe Hateration . . .

(hat tip TrueHoop)

Seriously dude, just let it go, let it go.

Mark Kiszla in a column for the Denver Post lets loose with about a ton of bile directed towards Kobe Bryant.

All Kobe's done in the Olympics is act respectfully towards his opponents, enthusiastically about being a part of the Olympic experience, and consistently played the best on ball defense ever seen in Olympic play (seriously, if he plays this sort of defense for the Lakers, they'll be unstoppable next season).

But that's not enough for Kiszla.

Pucker up and Kiszla my ass, jerk.

He's not even man enough to admit that the article is really about the Colorado based unpleasantness from a few years ago, that doesn't get a single mention, but it's the only subject on his mind when he wrote his piece.

UPDATE:

I just realized that my aside about if Kobe played this sort of defense for the Lakers they'd be unstoppable might sound like I'm accusing him of slacking off defensively for the Lakers, and that's not true. He's playing about 30 minutes a night, and they only play every other day, without any travel between, whereas the NBA is a long slog, and Kobe plays around 40 minutes a night with many a back to back, and lots of travel, so it's understandable that he can't maintain the fierce defensive intensity he has displayed in the Olympics (but it'd be awesome if he could).

Also, if he gambles and let's a guard past him, he still has Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, and the like to pick up the slack. This is a monster team, and they play well as a team, which is something new for one of these 'dream teams'. They've started slow, in all three contests so far, but their defensive intensity never wanes, and the points always come eventually, so I expect that they'll crush Spain on Saturday to send a message, and set themselves up for success in the medal rounds against whichever teams they face. Unless the refs just go insane with lopsided calls and give all Team USA's big men early showers, I don't see any team stopping their quest for gold.

I Think Prof Reynolds Has Come Up With a Fun New Slogan for a Venerable Old Brand . . .


inspired by this post . . .

13 August 2008

It's a Good Day to Complain About Semi-Monopolies and Their Ass-Tastic Ways . . .

Pastor Jeff is unappy with AT&T at the moment (understandably so), I am currently miffed with Time Warner Cable of Southern California.

I'd be more than miffed, normally, but what they're doing isn't technically wrong, it's just a bit asshole-ish, so all I can get is miffed.

Used to be, up until about 1:45am August 12th, lots of channels were broadcast by TWC in clear QAM. That means most digital TVs could pick up unscrambled digital cable channels and display them with no external cable box. They are required by FCC regulations to carry your local broadcast channels in clear QAM, or if they go full digital and scramble everything, provide each household with a free converter box (but not one for every device/tuner). Since they make money off of charging a monthly fee on the boxes, and since most people with HDTVs are going to go for the HD-DVR boxes they offer, they don't want to be giving away basic boxes for free, so they broadcast local channels in the clear.

Up until the night before last, they also broadcast all the local HD feeds, plus the HD FSN/Prime Ticket feed, plus a few extra tier cable channels like Discovery Health and TCM across clear QAM, too.

Having the HD feeds through clear QAM was a great convenience, given that the HDTV in my bedroom only has one antenna input, I could watch local HD content without having to switch between OTA (good old fashion 'over the air) and cable signals.

On top of that, for the first few nights of the Olympics, they also let out in the clear all of the Olympic HD coverage (the Basketball Channel, Soccer Channel, USA-HD, Universal HD), which was great, and meant that you didn't have to settle on only the one TV tied to the HD-DVR to watch the HD Olympic coverage.

That was then, now they've choked off all clear QAM other than that they are required to carry by the FCC. I'm seriously miffed about losing the local HD channels, but looking at the regulation, the FCC only requires them to carry the local stations, it doesn't specify Standard or High Def feeds, so it appears that TWC is still in compliance (the bastards).

They've just made internal tuner cards for PCs that pick up QAM signals mostly worthless, they've made 2nd and 3rd room HDTVs (as many people have, and given the prices many more are getting HD sets for even their extra TVs), SD boxes for most people who are unwilling to pay for 2-3 extra cable box rentals on top of the first cable box they are forced to get.

The main family TV has the box, but I use my computer with a tuner card as my extra DVR, luckily I get most of the broadcast channels fine OTA, so I can still use my PC to record sweet HD action from the OTA feeds, but I'm still miffed that I can't watch live HD clear QAM feeds on my bedroom TV now, instead having to deal with the hassle of switching antenna feeds if I want to watch HD while recording something else on my PC, or with my PC off (I refuse to get another box, the first box rental is part of the package, each additional box is a ridiculous fee, given how crappy the boxes are, and the limited storage they provide, their boxes can record about 20 hrs of HD content, my PC can record basically an unlimited amount just depending how many terabytes of storage I choose to buy, plus, I can easily archive stuff I've recorded on my PC in full HD, on the TWC boxes, it's impossible to archive HD recordings).

In the big scheme of things, I have absolutely nothing to complain about, it's just annoying that the cable service they provided had a nice little unsupported bonus that they let slip out, and now they've locked it down again. Not enough to get me to switch to a dish, but when FiOS finally gets rolled out in this neighborhood, I'm going to give it a serious look (same problems apply, and even more so, given that FiOS doesn't offer an analog feed like cable, but the actual HD content is supposed to be much better, and both Verizon and AT&T are being smarter about multiple TV set-ups, at least to begin with, to get you hooked, both Verizon and AT&T are sure to revert to their usual awful ways once they've had you as a customer for awhile, then it's time to see what TWC has to offer again).

But my main point is, there's nothing worse than when government regulations lead to local monopolies on what are now basic services. Get the worst of all worlds with that set-up, bureaucratic intransigence mixed with large doses of corporate greed. There's got to be a non-chaotic way to allow real competition in the tele-communication/internet/cable business.

UPDATE: 6:15pm August 14th

D'oh! Those Bastards are Bastards for not being the Bastards I thought they were. Turns out they didn't stop sending HD channels, they've just remapped them. I ran the tuner's auto memory function and found all the channels I was missing, plus all the Olympic HD channels, plus a channel that TWC doesn't even offer as part of any of their packages (WGN). Hopefully nobody at TWC will read this post, I'd hate for them to 'fix' things again. They even improved things somewhat, they've remapped the HD feeds of the network channels to the same channel assignment as the SD channel (for example, CBS here is 2, and now CBS-HD is 2.001 instead of 93.001 as it was before).

They're still monopolistic bastards with insane pricing policies, sucky customer service, substandard DVR boxes (when compared to TiVO), and their internet is subject to the occasional annoying slow down, but other than that, they're great.

Would It Be Such a Bad Thing?

Althouse notices that she's getting a few hits from many horndogs looking for a variety of searches, all variations on the theme of 'olympics+porn'.

Not that it hasn't already been done, sort of, a couple of Romanian gymnast who had competed in the olympics did perform routines, sans clothes on Japanese TV (which given the etymology of the word gymnastics, actually seems kind of appropriate), and it scandalized the gymnastics community.

So obviously, if a major gymnast were to do something similar, or even more explicit, they'd have to get paid very well, since they'd be blackballed for life.

Also, given the popularity of 'celebrity' sex tapes, even when the 'celebrity' involved isn't particularly a celebrity (though some have become much more 'celebrated' after their tapes, see Kardashian, K, and Hilton, P, for examples), I think a well compensated mash-up is in order.

Lohan v Sacramone would be the sex tape to beat all sex tapes. Don't do a pretend, 'I don't know how this poorly shot, poorly cropped, poorly lit, homemade piece of crap personal video escaped' type release. Do a full on, multiple camera, nice sets, well lit production with professional help.

Lohan's film career isn't exactly going gangbusters, and Sacramone is done as a competitive gymnast, all that's left for her is coaching if she wants to stay involved in gymnastics. But get those together, and have them enjoy each other's company in a rather explicit way, and the subsequent videos would explode the internet.

I figure you could offer each $25,000,000, and give them both 2-3% of the net profit, and still make a ton of dough, as long as you control the distribution channel for the video, and make sure that it doesn't get pirated and distributed for free. It's not impossible to prevent copies of stuff from circulating, videos on the Playstation Network haven't been hacked yet, and the Netflix rentals seem to have been fairly secure, so DRM is getting a little more secure. Make it a Blu-Ray exclusive as far as physical media goes, given that Blu-Ray DRM has yet to be really cracked.

I think a Lohan meets Sacramone tape would generate the most interest, one because folks are obsessed with celebrity, and even though Lohan doesn't seem to be doing much acting lately, she is still constant tabloid fodder. Second, of all the gymnast in this current Olympics, Sacramone looks most like a normal, adult, human being, so lusting after her seems the least scummy (plus since she's already 20 years old, you don't have to wait till she hits eighteen to produce the thing). Just a naked gymnastics routine wouldn't be enough to generate massive revenue, and a typical 'accidental' sex tape with some random loser guy would also not be appealing. But, two relatively attractive women, one a celebrity, another a gymnast, and you'd get people not normally interested in this sort of thing curious, and for the people who normally consume this sort of stuff, this'd be right up their alley. Also, by putting two women together, I think that would broaden, rather than lessen, the potential audience for this, and it would also make this less damaging in the long run to their respective images. If they don't want to be labeled as gay after this, they could always use the pornstar excuse and say they were, 'gay for pay'. Or they could embrace it, and say that they did this to demonstrate that there's nothing wrong with two single people enjoying each other's company, regardless of the genders involved, and if it's filmed professionally, so much the better. Hell, they could even add their respective significant others in the mix, not in on the action, but maybe giving off camera words of encouragement to show that this is a fun hedonistic thing (a special, one time, memory that they can share sort of thing, and not something tawdry).

It's not like this sort of notoriety is such a bad thing in the long run. Even as far back as Vanessa Williams, being 'disgraced' and losing her Miss America title when pics of her and another woman surfaced, seemed like a bad thing at the time, but it didn't exactly ruin her career. Can anybody remember any of the other Miss Americas from the 80s? (bet you remember those pics, though, they were kind of hot). I think Lohan could still get real film roles after this, and Sacramone could still do just about whatever she would want to do, once the initial controversy died down. In the meantime they could both enjoy really fat bank accounts.

Something like this will happen at some point. Not with these two people, but some young celeb who sees their career waning, and their bank account shrinking, will realize that while a million or two for a Playboy spread would be nice, tens of millions of dollars for a little video would be even nicer (although, that's a window of opportunity that will close, too many 'celebrity' sex tapes, and they'd no longer be big news, definitely a business model where 'first mover' status would be of great benefit).

Certainly, I'd bet that half the candidates running for President by the year 2032 will have stuff from their late teens and early twenties up on the internet that they'd rather forget. People willingly invade their own privacy at the drop of a hat nowadays, so why not make some major loot in the process?

Why Not With the Random Music Thing . . .



1) Bobby Darin, More
It's Darin-tastic! On a scale from A to Banana, I give it an apple.

2) Mocean Worker, Collection II
It's electronica, it's ambient, it slices, it dices! On a scale from Ron Popeil to Dan Akroyd as a Faux Ron Popeil, I give it a That British Dude in a Sweater Who Does All Those Infomercials

3) Leroy Holmes, Odd Job Man/I Wanna Be a James Bond Girl
It's peppy, it's brassy, it's cheesy, it's got sassy saxes, it's got xylophone action!. On a Bad, Bad Leroy Brown scale from Junkyard Dog to Ol' King Kong, I give it an Adolescent King Kong

4) Chris Isaak, I Believe
I've forgotten how much I like his stuff, glad I downloaded this recently. On a scale of Orbisonosity, I'd give this an eight out of eleven (the Roy Orbison scale goes up to eleven).

5) Feist, The Reminder
This album got overexposed, but that doesn't mean it's bad, I forgive her, her iPod trespasses. On a scale of Lady Canuck Singer/Songwriters with Avril Lavigne being the bottom of the scale and Joni Mitchell being the top, I'd give this a Feist

(. . . this isn't done yet, but stuff to do, will finish this later)

Update: Is it later, already?

6) The Specials, Why?(Edit)
Ahhh, yeah, this is the stuff. On a two tone scale from black to white (or is that white to black?), I give this a Jah Rastafari, I and I Mon.

7) Saint Etienne, Kiss and Make Up
Memories, dusty water-colored memories. On a scale of the warm and the fuzzy, I give this a Pink Angora Sweater.

8) Me'Shell NdegeOcello, Love Song, No.1
Damn, she's good, I'm pretty sure she was high when she wrote it, and recorded it, though. On a wacky-tabacky scale from skunkweed to pineapple express, I give this a full God's Vagina (it helps to have seen the movie, or the redband trailer to understand the rating)

9) Marvin Gaye, What's Happening Brother (Detroit Mix)
Have I mentioned how dumb most of these 'socially conscience' songs of the late 60s and early 70s were? This one is right up there with the best/worst (as opposed to What's Going On, which is actually just a damn fine song). On a scale of Sammy Davis, Jr. singing In the Ghetto to Elvis Presley singing In the Ghetto, I give this a Jack Jones singing In the Ghetto

10) Feist, The Park
What's up with two songs from the same album on a random 13 songs list chosen out of a 7000+ song collection? I guess the seeming lack of randomness is actually proof of true randomness. Oh, yeah, a scale, on the Sominex scale of sleepiness, I give this song a full Vicodin mixed with Vodka (which, of course, you should never, never, do, that stuff will kill you).

11) Altered Images, Don't Talk to Me About Love
Ahhh, Clare Grogan, at the point where she was trying to transition from cute to sexy (which only made it all the cuter). On a Kawaiiiiii scale of A Mildly Amusing LOLCat posted at ICANHASCHEEZBURGER.COM and Hello Kitty, I give this a solid Oyama no Monkichi!!!

12) Khaled, Sbabi
One of his best songs, off a great album. Khaled kicks ass. On a scale of songs to bellydance to, from one to eleven, this gets a ten (yes, the songs to bellydance to scale, also goes to eleven)

13) Q 65, Cry in the Night
A dutch-based garage band from back in the day, not bad at all. On a scale of bands you wouldn't expect to have a Myspace page, Q 65 get a full WTF!?

This concludes your random 13 for the 13th day of August. I stole the idea of doing a song list from Bill at So Quoted, the Dadaist ratings scales are all my own innovation, however.

11 August 2008

As Homer Would Say . . ., ¡Ou!


Currency defacement, it's not just for US paper currency any more.


Some clever person transformed the image of King Juan Carlos of Spain on the Spanish 1 Euro coin into Homer Simpson.

It is unknown at this time whether or not the King responded with the Homerian, "¡Ou!", or the Bartian "¡Ay, Caramba!".

(according to the wiki on D'oh!, in the Spanish language dubbing of The Simpsons, Homer exclaims ¡Ou!)

Should Swimming Be More Like Track, Or the Other Way Around?

Swimming coverage dominates the early half of Olympic coverage, track dominates the latter half. Both have athletes capable of competing in multiple events (a fast 100m sprinter is likely to be pretty fast in the 200m as well, and a great freestyle swimmer might also be pretty good at the breaststroke, too).

Seems kind of ridiculous to have so many kinds of strokes as Olympic events. I can understand having the backstroke and freestyle, the backstroke for its utility, the freestyle as the fastest stroke, but what's up with the breaststroke and the butterfly?

Imagine if we did that with track events. You'd have the 100m freestyle dash, where you can run any way you want, but for added fun, also the 100m backwards dash if only for the hilarious collisions that would be sure to occur (backwards running (pdf at link) is no joke, though, it's a great training technique, as long as you are in a place you can do so safely, backwards running on public streets, not a good idea), then there could be the 100m run-run-skip (for every two normal steps, at least one leap of more than 1.5m must be included), the 100m crab-run, where entrants would have their bodies perpindicular to the direction of motion, and their feet or legs would not be allowed to cross each other at any point, would also be pretty hilarious (and probably painful in the groinal region and murder on the knees if you wanted to generate good speed), and finally a new tandem event for the Olympics, the 100m three legged race, cause Olympic level athletes competing in an event best left for a family reunion or summer camp is never a bad idea.

Tyson Gay could probably clean up at many of those events as long as you time the trials and events far enough apart, if Phelps gets to go for 8 golds, why not Gay?

Or, make swimming more like track, and excise the extraneous strokes, or limit them to the longer distance races and leave the sprints for real world strokes.

Also, apropos of nothing, I still think The Truly Modern Pentathlon would be a kick-ass event.

(imagine the drama of the Georgian team competing against the Russian team in that event)

In the Face of Russian Aggression . . .

If Russia wants to play imperialist again, it should come at a high cost, one that even with their current oil wealth they can't afford. What Russia doesn't have right now is a very large and capable army. They simply don't have the number of healthy young patriotic young men they once did.

They aren't capable of fighting wars on multiple fronts, so if they want to be aggressive, push back in places they weren't expecting to defend is the only way to support our allies in Georgia.

Kaliningrad and Sakhalin Island are logical targets. Russia's claim on those places are weak, based on illegal actions taken by Stalin in the aftermath of WWII, even though both those places populations are overwhelmingly Russian now, that's after a concerted program of Russification, and there's no reason why those populations can't be repatriated to Russia proper (just as the Soviet Union did to the largely German population of East Prussia after they stole it).

Russia can wipe out Georgia with impunity, and they seem determined to do so, but they wouldn't be able to wipe out Georgia, defend Kaliningrad, and defend Sakhalin all at the same time. Plus, while the Russian government can portray defending ethnic Russians in a hostile Georgia as a noble and glorious task to the people at home, seeing large number of Russians themselves getting displaced due to imperial overreach would be a much harder for Russians to take.

Lithuania, Germany or Poland would be better administrators for Kaliningrad and all three have longer histories in the area than Russia, also Japan has as much legitimacy to rule Karafuto as Russia does (plus, they could use the oil more). The Japanese navy is more than up to the task to take that island, Russia's Pacific 'fleet' is a joke, other than their submarines, but the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force have anti-sub capabilities second only to the United States. If Lithuania, Germany and Poland jointly invaded Kaliningrad, they'd cause Russia more problems than the Russians would want to deal with, plus it would bring NATO into this conflict, which would greatly complicate things for Putin and Medvedev. Tens of thousands would die if this happened, but millions may die later if Russia gets bit by the imperialist bug again.

Not going to happen, of course, folks are content to let Georgia fall, so long as Russia doesn't come after them (you don't have to be faster than the crocodile, just a bit faster than the guy about to be eaten). Plus, that sort of naked aggression is no longer in the character of Japan, Lithuania, Germany or Poland, can't say the same for Russia at the moment, though.

A Russian land counter-attack on Lithuania or Poland would not go smoothly for them, not that an attack on Kaliningrad would be a piece of cake, either, but it seems like Russia is nostalgic for their days of empire, and some Russians in power aren't happy that NATO nations are on their border. They may honestly see effective missile defense as ending their prospect to project their power through the threat of nuclear annihilation, so they may be taking this closing window of opportunity to be aggressive without too great of consequence before it closes completely.

How far, and how aggressively they expand, is up to Russia, as it doesn't seem any country is particularly interested in doing anything but protest diplomatically. Maybe they've gotten what they wanted out of Georgia, and that will be the end of it. Maybe others will be able to ignore this aggression without consequence. Maybe staying out of Russia's way on this and abandoning Georgia is the only prudent course for the United States to take. Maybe Europeans are right in going the appeasement route again (though it's never worked in the past). Been awhile since Europe has been faced with an aggressive neighbor, eagerly gobbling up territory. If history is a guide, one shouldn't expect any serious response until it's far too late.


UPDATE: fixed many spelling errors, any errors in thinking remain, though.

09 August 2008

You Don't Have to Watch Dynasty, To Have an Attitude . . .

. . . but if you want your lenghty screed regarding beachwear published (both on men and women), it sure does help to have been ON Dynasty.

In the Mail, Joan Collins on changing beach fashions.

Next week, Linda Evans writes about the benefits of using free weights instead of more complicated work out equipment . . .

08 August 2008

Whilst The Brits Are Getting Royally Screwed By Their Public Sector, At Least Their Private Sector Journalist Still Use the Word "Whilst" . . .

Twice as many public-funded workers as athletes are in Beijing at a cost of almost £7million to the taxpayer, it has emerged.


Good thing taxpayers are an unlimited resource that can be tapped at will without a complaint and without cost to the overall economy. Think that bill is bad now, wait till they host the damn games four years from now. Add three or four zeroes zeds (sorry, almost typed zeroes) to that £7million and then you'll be in the ballpark on the pitch (OK, that doesn't sound right, what the hell is British for 'in the ballpark'?) with how screwed the taxpayers of the United Kingdom will be as their own hosting of these quadrennial festivities occurs.

But that aside, I am impressed that the word "whilst" was used in the article, don't see that every day here in the Good Ol' U S of A (though we'll be taking home a few more medals than you Brits will, even as we have a better public-funded workers to athletes ratio than y'all do).

Speaking of the upcoming Summer Olympics, (intoned in a chanting manner) U S A, U S A, U S A, U S A, U S A, U S A, U S A, U S A, U S A, U S A, U S A, (and on, and on, and on . . .)

A Preview of Things to Come . . .

. . . only a matter of time, I suppose, before we have stuff like this happen here. After all, health care is something that only governments can provide, and only governments can 'fix'.

Both in Canada and United Kingdom, their systems are 'fixed' all right.

06 August 2008

Sometimes A Big, Long, Stiff, Clock, Is Just a Clock (Unless Your Name is Bob Herbert) . . .

2008 08 05 Getty Center 055



. . . sorry, it's been covered to death already ("it" being Bob Herbert's unfortunate comments about the McCain 'celebrity' ad), but I needed some excuse to post this photo of a big, hard, erect, clock (Louis Quatorze style, too, not only is this a big clock, it's a royal clock, I guess it's good to be the king).

(taken yesterday, at Getty Center, the Bernini exhibit is great, but photography isn't allowed in there, everywhere else is a shutter-ful zone, though, so here are the snaps I snapped)

And speaking of Louis Quatorze . . .



(and some times songs that advocate statutory rape, are just songs that advocate statutory rape, unless you're in Canada, of course, up there 14 is old enough, or at least it used to be, they raised the age of consent this year, so that joke no longer applies)

(and it was OK for me to enjoy that song when it came out, given that I was just thirteen when I first had lustful thoughts about the fourteen year old Annabella)

(this is a really odd grab bag of a post, isn't it? Getty Center, Bob Herbert, Statutory Rape, Louis XIV, Bow Wow Wow, Canadian Jurisprudence, Bernini, my early teen horniness, the glory that is/was Annabella Lwin, Election 2008, and of course things that because they are longer than they are wide and have a certain length to girth ratio that some people feel compelled to see them as symbolizing a particularly generative appendage)

(yep, it all fits together, sure it does)


05 August 2008

Could Natalie Portman Get Any Cooler?

(hat tip Kali the Destroyer)





Devendra Banhart's video for Carmensita. It stars himself and his main squeeze, Natalie Portman. Kat Dennings plays a pleasingly bouncy Kali-Ma (Kali-Ma is not a destroyer in the sense of pure chaotic destruction, rather, she is the destroyer of negativity, so in that way she is the ultimate in positivity)

And speaking of Kali the Destroyer, her alter ego, Kat Dennings, has a film coming soon, and the trailer is below, saw it before Dark Night this Saturday, odd placement for it, but it looks like an interesting film, even if you aren't a teenager yourself.




P.S.: Mr. Barnhart, can you please try and keep the top of your pubes to yourself (and Natalie in your more intimate moments, of course), thanking you in advance, your humble correspondent, XWL

Go Ahead, Work That Feminist Outrage Jezebelites!!!

Ohhhh, Noes!!! Presumptive Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain made a joke about his wife participating in Miss Buffalo Chip contest in Sturgis, North Dakota.

The horrors.

The predictable outrage, at Jezebel.

Yet, when sex workers hold a conference in DC, it's empowering (though, the poster professes some concerns about sex work in general as being anti-feminist). And this isn't a case of different posters with different agendas at a group blog, both posts are by Megan Carpenter, and are within a week of each other.

Methinks this outrage is selective and politically motivated.

Personally, I'm pro-Miss Buffalo Chips, and pro-Sex Workers being legal and regulated. Because of prohibition in most jurisdictions, sex workers get worked over, sex work won't go away just cause most people find it deplorable, make it legal, make it safe, and at least you'll mitigate the harm caused, you'll never make it go away.

But back to McCain, dude still has a sense of humor about himself and his family, what about his opponent?