31 January 2009

If Wrong Was Your X-Axis, and Hilarious Was Your Y-Axis, the Following YouTube Clip Would be Plotted Somewhere High in the Upper Right Corner . . .

(via an Ed Driscoll Tweet, linking to Breitbart.tv)

(unintentional humor is often in poor, or even horrible, taste, doesn't make it less funny)

Thank You Kristen Bell . . .

Sometimes a question floats to the top of your consciousness, yet you have no easy way of going about and getting the answer, and then suddenly, the Universe provides the answer.

For me, the earthly messenger of the Universe's serendipity was Kristen Bell's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel last night. She was on promoting a small picture she did years ago, that is just now getting a limited release (Fanboys). She spent the first part of her segment raving about, and pimping The Room by Tommy Wiseau (all sorts of YouTube snippets available here). For the life of me I couldn't remember the name of that film, or the writer/director/producer/star of that film, but Ms. Bell just dropped in my lap. Thank you Universe, and thank you Ms. Bell.

The reason I was trying to remember that pic, was cause I'm pretty sure I saw Mr. Wiseau recently, and I wanted to do a celebrity sighting bit, but A) he's not exactly a celebrity, and B) couldn't remember his name.

Of course, now that I know his name, and the film he did, the moment has passed and I don't feel like posting the details, but at least the knowledge that I knew I recognized that dude from somewhere has been put to rest, and I can move on and fill whatever portion of my intellect that was churning over those disconnected half remembered images, they are now free for other equally useless endeavors.

Screw the Superbowl This Year . . .

I'm still watching, but I'm not gambling or picking, this season was too kooky. But hey, look here, Puppy Bowl line up,

Say it with me, aaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Also, STAINS RULEZ!!!!!!

30 January 2009

Ohhhhhh, Snap!

Maybe Canon owners are just more self-absorbed.

Damn, that's a great comment.

(and yes, my title is dated, and makes me sound like a gay man trapped somewhere between the mid 80s and early 90s, but within the context of the link, and the comment, I'm sticking by it)

How You Know "The Real Shaq" is the Real Shaq . . .

Tweeted recently:

Thank u all 4 da votes,witout u there is no me

Congrats, Shaq, you've earned your return to All Star status, you've been playing with energy, and you're even making your free throws lately, keep it up and you'll get your team all the way to a 1st or 2nd round sweep by the Lakers (unless the Spurs sweep the Suns out of the playoffs, first), enjoy it.

Female Empowerment?

“If we look at robbery, once it would be the girls who enticed the youth to be mugged, but a youth carried out the mugging. Now girls are being more violent in their own right,”


You can not escape Giant Reggie Face, feast your eyes on its giantness, also check out Nintendo's release schedule, since chances are you have a DS or Wii that you've only bought a few games for, and was wondering if anything else worth buying was coming out for either of those systems.

(for a wildly successful system, seems odd so few Wii releases for the USA in 2009, they must be cooking up plenty more, just not ready to announce)

28 January 2009

Salesman of the Year!

Perusing the Zune software for the latest releases, I couldn't get away from The One. He stared back in multiple genres. Here are but a few of the latest releases using Obama to sell their songs (or songs specifically about #44). The one that bothers me the most is A Change is Gonna Come. Sam Cooke does not need Obama to sell that song, that performance of that song is far better than anything President Obama can ever hope to accomplish.

And can this sort of worshipful stuff be maintained for 4 to 8 years?

26 January 2009


That probably would have been what I would have said in response to the preceding statement as well.

Monday Time Waster

Tim Blair linked to this little flash game. It's interesting. After getting the hang of it, I ran 10 trials just to see how I would do,

best time=20.748
worst time=10.595
average time=16.417

(and Blair is right, This is evil)

What Will It Take To Kill Zombie Keynes?!?


Conor Clarke blogging at Atlantic Business has this catchy post title, "We are all Keynesians now (including Ronald Reagan)". He uses as evidence a quote he pulls from the NYT interactive guide to past recessions and attempts to work our way out of them as narrated by various professorial types. Clarke quotes Jeff Frankel as follows:

Even though it wasn't done under a Keynesian banner or with Keynesian intention, it did have Keynesian effects, and it did help pull us out of the recession of 1981-82.

Let's apply that logic to other areas, like say chemistry, even though it wasn't done under a hermetic alchemical banner, or with alchemical intention, it did have alchemical effects, and they did manage to transmute lead into gold.

Keynes in a lot of ways is like an economists version of Plato. A thinker with some big ideas, but ideas that were created in a closed system resistant to experimentation and the scientific method. When Plato expanded the classical system of four elements and used it to explain all observable phenomena, he was really just talking out of his ass, but he talked so well, folks listened for many centuries. He was so persuasive that when people tested his theories, they questioned their experimental results, or forbade experimentation all together, rather than question the theory.

Seems Keynes holds a similar position for a certain ilk of economists and political scientists. Keynesian economic policy appeals to progressives given that it requires a firm central government hand guiding fiscal policy, and all that spending can be used to transform societies from the top down. Problem is, Keynesian efforts to combat recessions have failed every time and every place they've been attempted, there has never been a recovery, anywhere in the world, that could be called classically Keynesian. There have been economies that have recovered despite Keynesian policies enacted by governments, but those have all been due to other forces at play.

President Obama seems intent on steering us towards a centralized government, with a domineering executive branch, and within that executive branch the decision making will be largely divorced from the traditional bureaucratic structure in place. He's weakening the various cabinet positions while installing all these new 'czars' to oversee policy, and the lure of spending unlimited funds makes the Keynesian method of economic recovery irresistible. That's why it's in Obama's interest (and those that support his goals) to exaggerate the extent of the current crisis (or even help make it worse) so that massive increases in non-defense and non-entitlement spending fueled by skyrocketing budget deficits will be our only way out of the situation we're in.

Total load of crap, obviously, we've seen supply side oriented policies work over and over again, and not just in the USA. There are those that insist on rejecting the possibility that reducing government, increasing the flexibility businesses have to respond to this mess by lowering their tax burden, and easing the regulatory maze they must navigate, are all bad ideas because of the current recession. This is the best time to get a bit libertarian on this government's ass. A shame voters didn't vote that way. A high price is going to be paid for the decisions folks made in November 2008, these debts we will be incurring along with the power the federal government is likely to usurp (it's rare for that power to ever revert back to the states or citizens once it's flowed towards Washington) are going to last a lot longer than the current economic crisis.

24 January 2009

I'm Not Sure That This Product Reflects the Gravity and Seriousness of Our Current Historical Moment . . .

Hail to the Ch- Ch- Ch- Chief

(found via Gateway Pundit)

There's nothing that Obama can't sell, or no product line that isn't trying to cash in on #44.

"Chickens have an uncanny ability to think and are very agile. They are very athletic to me."

If you say so, Michael Vick.

I'm Merely 12th on Obama's List of Most Hated Bloggers (But I'm Aiming for Top Ten Status)

What, you think major radio personalities are the only ones inspiring the wrath of #44?

So, I have an inside source who claims to have access to President Obama's enemies list. I can't give you specifics on the daring and dangerous subterfuge employed by my source to sneak out the details of this list. Suffice to say, it would make an excellent suspense film, the kind that Hitchcock used to make, and though there was no hanging off of Mt. Rushmore, there were monuments involved, and that whole Purple Tunnel of Doom, it was actually an elaborate ruse set up by my source to slip surveillance so that she (or he) could get the information in the proper hands.

Hope and Change is hard to fight, when you are up against 'true believers', they'll stop at nothing to prevent embarrassment. Also, my source found out that the whole 'enormity' thing was an inside joke (Enormity is Michelle's nickname for the President's man parts).

Anyway, I think I can safely give you the top 15 Most Hated Bloggers (or Blogs) as currently conceived of by President Barack Obama, this list is subject to change (especially if I have anything to say or do about it, I'm moving up, the notes about each are my own speculation as why these particular folks are on the list)

1. Instapundit - Why would he be #1? He's a pussycat, but he's a pussycat with a huge audience and a libertarian outlook which is antithetical to bigger government progressivism which Obama espouses. That's troublesome for The One

2. Victor Davis Hanson - He's just so damn eloquent, and he's focused on uncovering the historical echoes (and the bad places similar choices in the past lead) of the policy choices the Obama Administration seems headed towards.

3. Deadspin - Yeah, not so much about the politics, Obama the mega sports fan just doesn't like their incessant snarkiness.

4. Hugh Hewitt - Another conservative blogger who is sticking to his principles, despite the swirl of Hope and Change in the air.

5. Glenn Greenwald - I know, I know, he's basically on the President's side, but his prose style is just so turgid that Obama, The Author can't stand this torturer of the language.

6. Hit & Run - Reason Magazine's group blog, as a group these libertarians seem rather wary of New Deal II. I can't imagine why.

7. Megan McArdle - You'd think she made the list for her eloquent advocacy on behalf of libertarian economic policies, but no, it's just his male insecurities and general freaked-outedness about a woman taller than he is.

8. Andrew Sullivan - Again, on his side, yet he makes the list. Why? Simple, even an adoration junkie like President Barack Obama can take only so much obsequious fawning before wanting to puke. Sully has consistently pegged the Presidential Puke-O-Meter with his sycophantic posts regarding #44.

9. Perez Hilton - Another surprise for this list, he's just a bit too catty for Obama's taste. Plus those stupid scribbles he adds to pictures are an affront to photographers and photoshoppers everywhere (doesn't help that he dissed Michelle's gown designer).

10. The Blog at The Weekly Standard / The Corner at NRO - From Obama's perspective both these blogs and magazines sort of blend together into one big pile of conservative punditry. He has trouble differentiating them, so he just melded them together into one big enemy. That's the awesome power of being The One.

11. The Volokh Conspiracy - Not all the conspirators incur the wrath of #44, but enough of them do, and they state their cases with such clarity, that he's keeping an eye on them. Plus there's a bit of the old professional jealousy thing going on since he was a one time Law Prof himself.

12. Immodest Proposals - Woohoo!!! Yeah, Me!!!! It's an honor just to be nominated. My prominence on this list is completely out of proportion with the number of eyeballs I get. I think it's the whole "The Obama Will Wash Away Your Sins" thing that especially riles him. He has his eye on me, but I have my eye on him, so the feeling is mutual #44.

13. Hello Kitty Hell - Obama's secretly a huge Hello Kitty fan (being surrounded by all those women has to have some sort of effect, I guess this is one of them), and he doesn't appreciate this blog's attacking of that great brand.

14. Little Green Footballs - How are we supposed to be all Hope and Change-y and have the world love us again if blogs like LGF (or the Jawa Report) are pointing out all the problems in the world? The Obama is not amused. Plus, the comment section does get a bit out of hand there, and every time Obama's tried to register, they've ran out of space before he could sign up.

15. Althouse - Althouse earns the last spot on this list, despite having voted for President Obama. She's just a bit too gleeful in pointing out when he's being hypocritical, and she's a bit too eager to point out the insane adoration accorded #44 coming from the supposedly neutral media. Those are traits that irk President Obama, and that irksomeness is enough to make the last spot on the current list.

I'm sure this list will expand over time, give him a few months and he'll probably make Nixon's enemies list look paltry.

23 January 2009

Not if President Obama and the 111th Congress Have Anything to Say or Do About It . . .

Economy expected to recover on its own . . .

(big changes require a big crisis, we must be hopeless before we accept hope, if the economy recovers on its own, our appetite for Hope and Change might dwindle, and can't have that)

Turns Out Every Adam Ant Song is About Nazis . . .

Tweet from Lileks upon the occasion of watching Downfall:

Hitler sorta answered Adam Ant's question - "Don't smoke, don't drink - what *do* you do?"

Combine his observation with my previous post about the ethics of sexual relations with Nazi chicks, and seems that two points make a line.

Other Adam Ant songs that are actually about Nazis (and/or Hitler):

Place in the Country: All about Berghof

Crackpot History and the Right to Lie: All about Mein Kampf (nothing but a load of lies and crackpot history)

Puss 'N Boots: (Nazi officers were a bunch of preening nancies who loved to shine up their leather boots)

I'm sure there's more, but a clear pattern does seem to emerge if you peer closely enough to the subtext of Antmusic.

Did you really think I'd mention Downfall, Twitter, post a YouTube clip, and not embed the Downfall parody about a Twitter outtage?

I Guess This Qualifies as Change . . .

We also need to be affectionate, and you can see that with Barack and Michelle as well. They do a lot of a lot of touching, kissing, even fisting with one and other.

(context, and more from Ed Driscoll)

(I'm almost dead certain Pres. Bush and Laura Bush weren't fisting with one and other, but what happens behind closed doors is none of my business)

(I'm less certain about Pres. Buchanan and Mr. William R. King, however)

Separated at Birth? (with a dose of YOU MAKE THE CALL!!!)

Am I comparing Tina Fey to a impish demonic creature? Or Alec Baldwin to a hot chick?


(Inspired by this post at Alan Sepinwall's blog)

You Make the Call (Love Edition)


A disease?

A drug?

All you need?

A losing game?




22 January 2009

Had I Carried Out My Plan, I'd Have Alcohol Poisoning About Now

Twittered earlier before watching tonight's LOST 2-parter:

Proposal for a LOST drinking game: Stabbing=shot, Shooting=2 shots, Matt Fox looking constipated=finish glass (could get real drunk)

Even sober I lost track of how much alcohol consumption those instructions would have caused. I believe the technical term is "awholehellofalot". I had assumed the last instruction would be the killer, but turns out the first two would have caused the consuming of mass quantities (and without a native of Remulak's constitution, that could be dangerous).

Must reformulate the rules before actually engaging in any LOST drinking games, fun is fun, but proceeding with a bit of prudence can prevent a lot of pain.

Also, that episode did not suck. It did not suck, hard.

(I'm assuming it's understood that using 'hard' as a qualifier in this context means that this episode did not suck even more than just plain not sucking, and if I trusted that this show wasn't going to go off the rails again in a few episodes, I would be inclined to say that this two parter was quite good)

21 January 2009

As Far as Ethical Dilemmas Go, That is a Poser (not to be confused with a "poseur")

Sure, Nazis are bad. But is it okay to sleep with them if they're really hot?

That's the challenging question the new Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) Oscar-baiting movie asks.

The answer appears to be a qualified "yes".

Luckily, whether or not to bed a comely Nazi Fräu (or Fräulein) is not something a young man is faced with on a daily basis anymore. There simply couldn't be too many real Nazi women left to sleep with, those that are still around and could have been considered actively "Nazi" are at least in their mid-80s, and would be rejected based primarily on age discrimination grounds, and all the various neo-nazis simply don't count, they're usually just misguided idiotic meth freaks, and if you choose to sleep with women who fit that description, your problems are deeper than their sad attraction to a vile ideology.

So, this is mainly a hypothetical exercise, and I think a hypothesis most men would agree with is, Kate Winslet or hotter is bangable, even if they're Nazis (but only of the 'just following orders' kind), when you get to say a Salma Hayek level of hotness, they could be right up there with Goebbels and Himmler in the Nazi hierarchy and most men would give bedding her serious consideration, but say Toni Collette level of hotness and they better be regretful about their Nazi associations and hopefully worked to sabotage that evil regime, even if it was in very small ways. Any less attractive than that and suddenly most men would get real ethical all of the sudden.

I think Adam Ant expressed it best:

I love your blonde hair
I kiss your pigtails
And I could not share
The scratch of your nails
And though you mark me
Your eyes so glassy
Oh why did you have
To be so nasty?

Remember the curls
Of the Deutscher Girls?
A love of mine
From down on the Rhine

And yes, men are pigs.

Speaking of piggish men, wow, Tool Academy, over at Jezebel there's two posts (so far) with clips, the comments get interesting, too.

Why Do I Have Such a Problem With Chris Ayres?

OK, first of all I don't really have a problem with Chris Ayres, just thought I'd get that out of the way, second of all, I do have a problem with the following passage from his most recent missive from our corner of the world

But, of course, we're all wiser now, even here in LA, where gullibility - or “suspension of disbelief', as Hollywood prefers to call it - is pretty much a requirement for simply getting out of bed in the morning. This is a town where it rains for two and half minutes a year, after all: human life shouldn't be possible - yet here we are, regardless. Which perhaps explains why Angelenos fall for bubbles harder than anyone else, while trying their damnedest to sell the very same hype to the rest of the world.

Suppositions without supporting evidence, there's simply no proof that Angelenos are any more susceptible to huxterism than any other part of this country, or the rest of the world, for that matter.

First, the entertainment industry is only one minor part of the overall economy here, this is not a company town, no matter how often people want to make that claim, there are sections of Los Angeles that may feel like a company town, and if you wander into a coffee house in the 'wrong' part of town, you'll be overwhelmed by the preening, self-satisfied yet oddly desperate manner of the folks hunched over their laptops or speaking too loudly into their phones. In number of employees and even overall dollar value of trade, the entertainment business is a major factor locally, but it's not everything, if anything is king in L.A., it's international trade (Port of LA's economic impact is huge), and tourism. The dream factory accounts for a lot, but its impact is not equal to trade or tourism locally, but in the popular imagination around the globe, Los Angeles is a company town.

Second (boy, that was a long first, wasn't it?), given that we've got a town full of hustlers and players and wannabes, rather than being naive and easily fooled, it tends to lend a 'been there, done that' vibe to most folks who aren't absolutely, 'fresh of the boat'. If anything, our proximity to Hollywood lends itself to less susceptibility to the various irrational exuberances that sweep over a place like Iceland or Albania.

Third, give your countryman some due. The phrase "willing suspension of disbelief" was coined by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his philosophical work, Biographia Literia (text of Chapter XIV, here). I assume Mr. Ayres knows this, so why attribute it to "Hollywood"? Furthermore, I don't think most folks in Hollywood use the term, other than derisively to discount a work that relies on its audience willingness to suspend their belief a bit too much. But even if he's wrong about Angelenos being particularly susceptible, and even if he's wrong about "Hollywood's" use of the phrase, I think he's right to connect Samuel Taylor Coleridge's philosophical definition of poems and poetry with the inflated sense of expectations surrounding our freshly minted 44th President. Here's the first paragraph from Chapter XIV of Biographia Literaria
During the first year that Mr. Wordsworth and I were neighbours, our conversations turned frequently on the two cardinal points of poetry, the power of exciting the sympathy of the reader by a faithful adherence to the truth of nature, and the power of giving the interest of novelty by the modifying colours of imagination. The sudden charm, which accidents of light and shade, which moon-light or sun-set diffused over a known and familiar landscape, appeared to represent the practicability of combining both. These are the poetry of nature. The thought suggested itself (to which of us I do not recollect) that a series of poems might be composed of two sorts. In the one, the incidents and agents were to be, in part at least, supernatural; and the excellence aimed at was to consist in the interesting of the affections by the dramatic truth of such emotions as would naturally accompany such situations, supposing them real. And real in this sense they have been to every human being who, from whatever source of delusion, has at any time believed himself under supernatural agency. For the second class, subjects were to be chosen from ordinary life; the characters and incidents were to be such, as will be found in every village and its vicinity, where there is a meditative and feeling mind to seek after them, or to notice them, when they present themselves.

I quote the whole paragraph, to give the context, but the key point is, "the incidents and agents were to be, in part at least, supernatural; ... And real in this sense they have been to every human being who, from whatever source of delusion, has at any time believed himself under supernatural agency."

The current fervor over President Barack Obama seems to have a supernatural and delusional tinge to it. I've been poking fun at the cultishness of the faithful for quite some time, and his election and subsequent inauguration has yet to dim this adoration. For those that believe, he really is a supernatural being, and he really will be "The One", he can no sooner live up to those expectations than he can waive his magic wand and turn his own turds into gold (turning lead into gold is way too easy for a demigod, I want to see turds into gold before I choose to believe).

20 January 2009

I Wish I Had a Rabbit and a Hat and a Bat and a 6 4 Impala

A Baller in the White House, that means more to me than ethnicity. But what really matters is political philosophy, so I'm not on board just yet for the great new Obama era. Hopefully he'll surprise his critics and disappoint his supporters, otherwise it might be a tough few years.

Where was Skee-Lo during the Inaugural? I'd have had him sing this song at my inaugural, guess you'll just have to wait till 2017.

Speaking of Ballers, Eric Holder and Herb Kohl might have gotten a bit silly with all the basketball talk at his confirmation hearing.

And even though I'm giving up a good 3 inches to #44, I could totally guard him, I've got quick feet and a wide body and I'd just Barkley his ass beyond his comfort zone. I used to guard guys taller than him in pick up games all the time, I don't have great handles, don't have a long range shot, but I'm not afraid to get low and use my mass and speed to frustrate skinny upright players like Obama.

18 January 2009

I Was Expecting a Bit More, Really (It's Female Orgasm Chat TIME!!!)

Daily Mail does what Daily Mail does and turns a teapot into a tempest. This time it's a BBC newsreader reading the news a bit breathlessly.

Because Tasmin Lucia Khan is a hottie, I'm willing to accept the explanation that she was having a little 'personal fun time' just as she went to air. The official explanation given was that she was late to work, and was gasping from exertion.

Luckily, the clip is on Youtube, so let your own ears be the judge. Though, women reading news as if they were caught in a moment of passion might be one way to bring viewers back to news on network and cable TV.

For whatever reason, I don't think women get the same degree of titilation from hearing men engaged in what sounds like sexual endeavors. Wonder why that is?

Idle speculation on my part, women don't need to guess when a man has reached his moment, but men aren't afforded the same luxury. We (for the most part, there are some unmistakeable and unfakeable physical cues, too) have to take the word of our partner that she has been satisfied, so the auditory cues of the approach of that moment are a signal that we've done something right and will likely be rewarded with future and frequent access to more happy fun together time, which is why when men hear women making those noises, even in an unrelated context, we get a bit excited.

Speaking of orgasms, howabout this article regarding wealth and getting off?

True, load of bollocks, or just another poorly designed study meant to reinforce the presuppositions of the people who conducted the study?

Without actually hooking these women up to devices that measure the physical manifestations of an orgasm, it could be that women with wealthy partners simply assume that any sort of sexual peak is close enough to an orgasm that they call it an orgasm, while women with poorer partners demand a greater degree of physical satisfaction before they admit to being satisfied. Also, what about lesbians? If the comparative wealth of your partner is a key factor in female arousal, then does that mean the partner with the bigger salary is the one with the less satisfying sex life in a lesbian relationship? Back to straight relationships, is this effect comparative, and based on the upbringing of the woman? If you were raised in a impoverished household, then some guy making $100K a year might rock your world, but if you were daddy's special trust fund girl, then any man bringing home less than $5M a year might seem poor to you, and therefore doesn't set off the evolutionary biological response that this study claims to have uncovered. Is this why Madonna (allegedly) cheated on Guy Ritchie with A.Rod? A.Rod had a bigger 'bank account', so that made Madge more receptive?

I'm guessing that this study is a load of bollocks, and I'm basing this claim primarily on the above photo that one of the study's authors has up on his CV page (sorry, I just can't trust the research of any Ph.D candidate with a freakin' eyebrow ring, sorry, dude, just not credible, and the Daily Mail article describes Pollet as already having a Ph.D but his CV describes him as still being a Ph.D candidate, and lists Daniel Nettles as a Prof, but couldn't find Nettles on Newcastle's website, so don't know what that means, but do see that Nettles and Pollet are listed as co-authors on quite a few papers, and I know much excellent research has been done by grad students and Ph.D candidates, so that doesn't factor into my negative suspicions regarding this particular study, instead, it's my personal antipathy towards survey based studies, that douchy smirk, and that damn eyebrow ring)

17 January 2009

Something's Not Quite Right with That Photo . . .

Victoria over at Sundries kindly posted a few photos of Paris Hilton's new pink Bentley.

It got me thinking that it makes perfect sense for Ms. Hilton to have a desire to ride around in something big and pink.

After all, much of her notoriety can be attributed to a time in her life where she was captured riding on something (fairly) big and pink, so there's a certain symmetry in this, and the universe likes symmetry.

So, I think it's only appropriate that a few changes are made to that photo . . .

There, much better.

(and really, one of the biggest selling "adult" vids of all time? seems like folks should have better taste than that)

(and don't pretend you don't get why the faux "night vision" is humorous, admit it, you've watched a bit of that vid at some point in your life)

Also, let this be a warning to any of my young female readers, if a gentleman friend of yours is trying to convince you to let him tape the two of you engaged in some 'happy fun kinky time', don't do that with any man who might be described as a little 'too cocky'. It's usually the ex-partner of a famous chick (or semi-famous) who releases these recordings, and it's a sure bet that if their 'part' in it was less than impressive, they'd manage to make sure that those images never see the light of day. See ladies, size matters (at least when it comes to the release of sex tapes).

My Hollow Shell Gives You These Pictures . . .

It was a brutal 78 degrees F today near the beach. I forced my hollow shell to take a hollow walk and record a bunch of hollow images to document the hollowness of a life lived bereft of seasons.

There's a conversation regarding hollowness over at Althouse, consider this post, these photos, and this set over at Flickr my contribution.


First up, the obligatory shot of palm trees


Next, a hollow vent, venting hollowly (probably venting over its location out here in the land without seasons, and largely without anything interesting to vent from beneath the street)


See, we have seasons, so our "fall" is happening a bit late, and amounts to a few trees, but dammit, this looks pretty damn fall like to me, maybe we aren't so hollow after all


If she's hitchhiking, she might be there awhile . . .


Nothing but knee slappers out there, but that doesn't stop some from suiting up and sitting on their boards





We may not have the character building joys of surviving subzero temps, but if you can remain hollow after seeing another golden sunset over the wide blue, well, I think you have bigger problems than living in a bankrupt state with a sunny and pleasant clime.

11 January 2009

It's Funny (and Sad) Because It's True . . .

That may have qualified him for a tenured professorship at the University of Michigan, but the blogosphere should hold itself to a higher standard.
Found over at Michael Totten's blog where he quotes that line from Blackfive contributor, Uber Pig.

(Juan Cole remains an idiot, he's still too sexy for that shirt, and it's still because of the eeeevil Juice!!!!)

09 January 2009

Why Stop with Flat Screen TVs?

So, our California Legislature is proposing tight regulations on the kinds of TVs that can be sold in the state. I doubt this will get through committee. Here's a really dishonest little chart that accompanies the LAT article linked

LCD TVs are more efficient, but this chart makes it seem as if the old school CRTs are better. If they want to compare these four kinds of TVs fairly, then they should compare them on a watt per square inch basis. The real complaint from the regulators and the enviro-scolds isn't that the new TVs are less efficient, instead, it's that they're too big, and too cheap. If it was only a few really rich people buying a 52" Plasma display, then no need for regulation, but when everyone and their mother has more than one LCD TV over the size of 40" in their house, you'll see an uptick in energy consumption even as these sets get more efficient. Manufacturers aren't guilty of making an energy inefficient product, they're guilty of making that product too attractive to too many consumers.

Why just blame TVs, though? Why not limit computer power supplies to 500 watts? It's not like anyone really needs a PC that requires a power supply bigger than 500 watts. If you want to be a good citizen in Ecofornia, then you shouldn't even be thinking about having a computer with an energy hungry multiple graphics card set-up so you can run Crysis. Nobody needs to play Crysis, it's not like it's any fun, anyway. Blow dryers and curling irons suck down an enormous amount of electricity, ban both those products completely, make their use, or even possession illegal. If women don't like the way their hair looks without the use of these environment-raping devices, then get a different more manageable haircut, good citizens shouldn't be given the right to contribute to the destruction of the planet just for personal vanity's sake. All Microwaves should be limited in size and power rating as well, what's the hurry? Take your time, or do something radical and use the stove instead. Electric space heaters? ban them, it's not like it's ever that cold in any part of California (any readers in Truckee at this moment (current temp a balmy 25 degrees F), please ignore that comment). Christmas lights? Ban them, all lighting must be functional only, no decorative lighting of any kind, Gaia won't allow it.

Or we could do something really radical and pass the cost of energy consumption on to the consumers and they can decide for themselves whether or not having a 52" display that sucks down around 300 watts compared to a 40" display that consumes 200 watts. (Got to remember that a 40" TV has only 60% of the area of a 52" set (688 square inches compared to 1163 square inches, so it's unsurprising that the energy consumption is also about 65% of the bigger set).

Also, build more nuclear power plants, we don't need to limit our consumption, we need to expand our clean energy supply. Modern economies thrive on the availability of cheap energy. Nuclear energy is the only proven tech that is scalable, carbon-free, and readily available, just strip away the regulatory hurdles, speed the building process, and let the energy taps flow wide open, and then we can stop worrying about idiocy like whether or not folks use the right kind of light bulbs or watch the 'environmentally correct' sized TVs at home.

Also, since I haven't picked on Times (of London) Los Angeles correspondent, Chris Ayres, in awhile, let me point out some of his thoughts on the same issue,

But what makes monster TVs such a public nuisance? Well, the average LCD screen uses 43 per more electricity than a cathode-ray tube set (a plasma screen uses 300 per cent more) and people tend to leave them on for hours or days at a time - if they ever switch them off at all. A TV used to be something you sat down and watched: now it serves much the same function as wallpaper. All of which puts an enormous strain on California's ageing power grid.

Now much as I abhor the concept of bans, I'll concede that a few Americans have taken the concept of flat-screen TV ownership too far. A few Sundays ago, for example, I went over to my friend Dave's house, and he was watching American football on a screen so large that if the living room walls had failed, the TV would have been able to keep the ceiling propped up. At the same time, Dave was keeping track of two other games via two other (only marginally smaller) displays, while also streaming live data to a couple of laptops positioned strategically on straight-backed chairs at either side of the room. The amount of energy being sucked into Dave's flat could probably have kept the streetlights on in Baghdad for a decade.

First off, power usage from TV use is up because the TVs are bigger, but so what? That's called progress. I don't consider it a tragedy that we have "monster" TVs available at relatively cheap prices. Also, there's no evidence whatsoever that larger sets are more likely to be left on unattended or half watched when compared to older smaller sets. All stats point to less TV viewing now, rather than more, ratings have collapsed across the board for TV programming, and people in their teens and twenties seem to watch TV in historically low numbers. In this DVR/Tivo aided age, I posit that fewer folks 'watch' TV inattentively and as a sort of 'wallpaper'. People only watch the programs they want, when they want, and they skip the ads. Folks don't sit down and watch a solid block of primetime programming any more. Networks can't rely on grabbing a viewer at 8pm and having them not turn the set off until their done listening to that night's Late Night monologue some time around midnight. Are there folks like Ayres' friend "Dave" who have multiple screens on from time to time? Sure, but do they do that 24 hours a day? Hell, no. Sounds like "Dave" is a gambler or fantasy football geek, and that's why he was watching both nationally broadcast games, and had a couple of laptops in view to keep track of his bets/fantasy football players. For every "Dave" out there you can point to as anecdotal 'evidence' of rapacious energy use, I think you could come up with dozens of other characters who keep their TV watching to less than 10 hours a week and do it either on their PCs, or on modest sets.

If our "ageing power grid" is under "enormous strain" it's not cause of the likes of "Dave" so much as its because of all the NIMBY jerks who oppose the construction of new power plants. Besides if you look at the actual stats, we are some Green Ass Folks here in the Golden State. We are 48th in per capita energy consumption, and our share of US production of CO2 is 2.4%. Our 36.8M folks produce $1.8T in economic activity (with a population about 40% smaller than the UKs, our economy is only 15% smaller than theirs, so suck on that you limeys, and our CO2 production in 2006 was 59M metric tons (from the stats link) compared to the UKs Gaia destroying 587M metric tons of global warming gas(stat pulled from this wiki)).


The things you learn while half listening to confirmation hearings. Tom Daschle has been tapped to be the new Secretary of Human Health and Services. It seems that his ex-compatriots in the Senate are really looking forward to being serviced by him.

Given he used to be the top dog amongst Democratic Senators, it's no surprise really that the hearing has been convivial and breezy. That's invariably the case when Senators are getting 'grilled' by their ex-co-conspirators. They confer a great deal of respect upon each other, much of it seems totally unearned from an outsider's perspective.

But, that's not what this post is about, one of the Senators threw out there that HHS has a staff of 67,000. Much of what they do is important, but it's also duplicative of similar work being done at the state level, and it would be a breath of fresh air if we as a nation tried on for size a bit of that good old federalism for a change.

This "cabinet" is in charge of a veritable alphabet soup of organizations, many of them of dubious authority, responsibility, and necessity at the federal level.

As the various "cabinets" have seen their influence and importance within presidential administrations diminish, the number of titles and departments within each "cabinet" has flourished. I hope we'll see some change in this trend during the upcoming years of "hope and change", but I'm not holding my breath. Seems like the Obama Administration is strolling in with the goal to federalize as many responsibilities as possible, and they are going to use deficit spending and a torrent of money printing to fundamentally undermine local authority by making any responsible state or local government that doesn't gorge themselves at the federal trough disadvantaged when compared to their spendthrift and irresponsible neighbors.

This notion that we must burn tons of federal money on local and state 'shovel ready' projects to jumpstart the economy in the near term is short sighted and bound to lead to horrendous effects down the road. Many of these projects are lengthy, and will outlast the current recession, but the public debts we are planning to accrue will limit our flexibility to either shrink the federal government later, or respond to unforseen challenges that may crop up in the future.

The fact that just one of our "cabinets" has 67,000 employees is a symptom of the overall problem. The federal government is bloated at all levels, the productivity revolution that has changed the economy in every other sector has completely bypassed the government. Instead of leading us out of a recession, all that bloat is going to do is delay any potential recovery. It's what happened in the 1930s with a series of ill conceived projects back in the New Deal days, and the Obama Administration's New New Deal has the potential to be equally or even more disastrous.

More Contemptible Words From the Most Contemptible Ex-President in History . . .

I suppose I should be incapable of being surprised by anything our 39th President does or says in his years since being resoundingly rejected by voters back in 1980.

But, as pointed out by Prof. Bainbridge, that execrable excuse of a human being slime-eating slug, finds a new low with astounding ease. The Washington Post should never have given space for this ridiculous Op-Ed. Shame on them. Shame on all the current critics of Israel. Israel isn't perfect, but the enemy they are fighting is out and out evil, and to pretend that's not the case, is also evil.

Hamas are terrorists, that the people of Gaza chose these nihilistic nutjobs to run things, and have not acted to slit the throats of these jerks at every and any opportunity just means that they have earned every bomb and every shell that is dropped their way. They must revolt against their revolting leaders, or they will continue to suffer. Israel is not the source of Palestinian misery, they are just the agents by which just punishment is being meted out. The source of Palestinian misery is their embrace and veneration of victimhood, their twisted genocidal dreams against their neighbor, and their criminally incompetent government. Israel is their scapegoat, Israel can be a great partner in all things for Palestinians, even after all the bloodletting on both sides, but that can't happen until the Palestinians grow the fuck up.

02 January 2009

Now That's Some Cracking Good Detective Work . . .

Here's the teaser for this article at Times (of London) Online:

Police found Eveline Kelmenson's body, bound with duct tape, in her bedroom and are treating the death as suspicious

Gee, what made the police suspicious? I don't think they should rule out natural causes, she was 83 afterall, and maybe the binding and duct tape was a normal part of her nightly routine, she could have been a restless sleeper and this was to prevent herself from falling out of bed.

Or not.

I guess, "suspicious", is probably the right call.