28 March 2009

So, Rob Zombie, Malcolm McDowell, and Weird Al Yankovic Walk Into a Bar . . .

. . . and then the bartender said, "I don't even own a duck!"

(sorry, you'll just have to imagine the rest)

(but you won't have to imagine those three posing for the same picture, cause it's right here from Weird Al's twitpic fed)

Now even Weird Al is tweeting, this is getting out of hand.

26 March 2009

Women Whose Blogs at Which I Should Comment More Vigorously (and Flirtatiously) . . .

. . . so, over the weekend, Prof. Althouse made it official and revealed some details about her recent betrothment to a fine gentleman (by the handle of Meade) she met in part because he was an avid commenter on her blog.

So, as a single man, maybe I should explore this avenue of bliss more heartily, if it worked once, why shouldn't it work again?

I know inconstancy is a big turn off for women, so if I wanted this to be effective, I should probably limit this list to one name, but in fairness to all the wonderful and attractive women who blog, I'm not capable as of yet to limit my affections (a touch of reciprocity would go a long way into focusing my attentions, and intentions).

So here's a list in no particular order, with reasons for, and against, of bloggers whom I might pitch woo.

Conservative, check, gorgeous, check, creative, check, smart, check, drives a Porsche, big fat check, lots of positives going for her, she could post a bit more often, but I'm sure she's doing other things, so it's understandable. Now some reasons why I might hesitate, blonde, sorry, I just don't find blondes aesthetically pleasing for the most part, it's a peculiarity of mine, for the right woman I could look past it, and celibacy, now that isn't necessarily a drawback, it would mean that any relationship would move forward strictly based on intellect and emotions with the physical stuff limited until we are both ready for a serious commitment, I'd like to say that's a positive, but the horndog in me used to relationships proceeding physically fairly quickly would probably get frustrated.

Tammy Bruce
Conservative, check, gorgeous, check, creative, check, smart, check, loves animals, big fat check, lots of positives going for her, and really just one minor negative. OK, so that one negative is more a problem regarding me, being non-distaffed and all, and unfortunately that's not something one can overlook easily. I guess it's true, all the good ones are taken, or gay.

Felicia Day
Gorgeous, check, creative, check, smart, check, loves D&D, big fat check (I've never played myself, but I'd be willing with the right group of geeks), lots of positives going for her, and really just one big negative, that she's probably a big fat liberal. Having dated people in or interested in 'the business' in the past, I'm not sure it's something I want to repeat. It's tough on people's psyche and all the crap they deal with tends to come home with them, I would imagine it would be even harder on a woman just shy of 30 who enjoys a strange mix of big success in one market segment and near anonymity with the mainstream. I'd be shocked if she's not ever so slightly neurotic, but I'd probably enjoy being a stabilizing rock with which she could anchor herself to the real world (and those pics with her and firearms, as Conan would say, rowwwwwwrrrrrrrrrr!!!)

Kat Dennings
Gorgeous, check, creative, check, smart, check, endearingly quirky, big fat check, lots of positives going for her, and one huge almost deal breaking negative, she's way too damn young for me to even consider thinking about in a romantic manner. Normally, I'd consider any woman under the age of 25 a big huge fat no-no, but there's just something so interesting about her that I'd be willing to risk corrupting her and negatively influencing her development as a person (most of these flings between guys pushing, or past 40 and girls barely past 21 do harm to both parties). It's those damn YouTube videos she used to make, she comes across as so charming that I'm willing to throw my scruples out the window. (I have to admit it, it's also her big huge . . . ., eyes that stir my passions)

Heather of Go Fug Yourself
Gorgeous, unknown, creative, check, smart, check, endearingly snarky and completely obsessed with pop culture, big fat check, lots of positives going for her, as to the negative, she may not actually look like Joan Collins circa 1982. Seems like being around her might bring my inner Blackwell to the fore, which probably wouldn't be that sexy and could be really confusing sexually for both of us. Can a straight man snark on fashion and be sexually enticing simultaneously? It would be an interesting experiment. I think Heather's writing style is slightly better than Jessica's, but if it turned out that I was more compatible with Jessica rather than Heather, I'd have to attempt the very tricky blogging version of the infamous "Roommate Switch". Better men than I have lost limbs trying that maneuver.

Better start working on those commenting/flirting skills, before others beat me to the punch, and to all the bloggers out there I didn't list, it's not you, it's me, really.

The Badass MF Awards (First in an Irregular Series)

So, John Hawkins of Right Wing News tweeted this:
"The great danger to the consumer is the monopoly -- whether private or governmental. His most effective protection is free competition." MF

I readily deduced that the MF in question had to be the inestimable Milton Friedman. So in response I tweeted the following (which Ed Driscoll kindly retweeted, thanks Ed)
MF=Milton Friedman, of course, I think he should always be referred to as Badass Milton Friedman (or Badass Mofo, for short)

If any economist ever earned the title Badass, it certainly must be Milton Friedman, and that'd be the case even if his initials weren't MF.

Surely there are other MFs that deserve to always be referred to as the Badass MF, so here at Immodest Proposals it's time to bestow the Badass MF Award to the baddest assest MFs in a variety of categories. Some are transcendently badass, others may have earned their badassness somewhat by default, but all are, in one way or another, Badass MFs. To inaugurate this honor, I'm going the presidential route.

U.S. Presidents
And the nominees for Badass MFs amongst current and former Presidents are:

  • George Washington for being our first, and a man who followed Cincinattus' example when he could have easily gone the despot route.

  • Abraham Lincoln for correcting a horrible wrong, waging a horrible but just war, and preserving the Union against great odds.

  • Calvin Coolidge for saying more with his silences than most Presidents do with all their yapping.

  • Millard Filmore for actually having the initials MF (and for not much else)

  • Ronald Reagan for being a force of nature, reshaping an entire generation of American politics and righting the wrongs of his immediate predecessor.

  • And the winner is, George Washington, sorry Millard, you may be the only MF, but you aren't the baddest of the badass MF Presidents, that'd be our first President, hands down, no real contest.

    24 March 2009

    Meh, The President Speaks, and Speaks, and Speaks, and It's Not HIS Fault!!!!

    Live Press Conference blogged lively...

    Since when do press conferences begin with 8 minutes of teleprompter copy?

    First thing he says, "Not my fault, it was like that when I got here".

    Don't think I can blog too much of the blather, unlikely that he says anything interesting as long as he's reading from his trusty prompter.

    To paraphrase, individuals borrowing and spending money they don't have has ruined our economy, but to fix that, the government must borrow massively more in the aggregate than all those individuals did on their own.


    To paraphrase, don't blame me, and yeah, those bonuses were soooooo awful, we need to de-capitalize capitalism. Only the government can dole out capital, free markets can't do it on their own. But, I guess we need entrepreneurs, or else there will be nobody to tax, so let me say that we shouldn't demonize them, even though that seems to be all I ever do.

    Jennifer Loven AP, first up.
    Regulation, you want it, why will it be better this time?
    Obama: no, no, no, it was under-regulation that caused this mess, AIG wasn't under the FDIC, so that's why we need to create all sorts of new red tape to counter future risk taking. We need to centralize everything, cause DC knows better about everything, and central planning always works well. Quick follow up, 'why should we trust DC', Obama" 'because I said so'.

    Chuck Todd (NBC), next
    Wars require sacrifice, this is a war, what sacrifices must we make?
    Umm, ahh, uummmm, ahhhhh, I'm stalling, I've asked for sacrifices, it's just all that awful stuff that existed before I can to office, that was the problem, in other words, I'm going to ignore your question, but ummm, ahhh, voters are already sacrificing, and if I say what I'm going to do to them over the next 3.5 years, they may not re-elect me, so I'm just going to pretend that everything is the GOP's fault and say that if you trust me, and elect even more DEMs in 2010, then everything will be hunky dory. Chuck Todd follow up, 'You said this was huge, how could you not ask for sacrifice', Obama: 'Did I say that?', nevermind, everything will be fine as long as you trust me.

    Jake Tapper (ABC), next
    Senate Dems, no middle class tax cut, no cap and trade, what's up with that?
    Ummm, ahhh, ummmm, ahhh, we need health care reform, we gotta have energy policy, we gotta have even more federal spending on education, we gotta fix the deficit, we know things may change through the legislative process, and we already got the middle class their tax cut, so don't worry about that, and cap and trade is part of a 'broader principle' so don't worry about that. I still believe in cap and trade, even though it has been a costly, bureaucratic nightmare when tried in Europe, but we'll do it better somehow. Jack Tapper follow up, will you sign it if it doesn't meet your priorities? Obama: Ehh, whatever.

    Chip Reid (CBS), next
    Generational Theft, close to $10T in new debt over 10 years, what's up with that?
    The GOP are evil, and they did it first, so nevermind. We'll cut the deficit in half over five years, those ten year projections are wrong, growth will be higher than the CBO predicts, despite all my attempts to strangle the economy somehow growth will remain robust cause of all the magic fairy dust I'll be spreading around the country. With all the added magic fairy dust I'll be spreading around like so much manure the flowers of prosperity will bloom. And my critics won't release their own budgets so they have no standing to criticize, did I mention health care? Yeah, health care, yeah, I'll really FIX health care, and while I'm at it I'll dismantle our military to balance the budget. Follow up, what's with the out years if you are really cutting? Obama: Don't look behind the curtain!!! Pay no attention to that, those savings are going to happen once I spread the magic fairy dust, magic fairy dust will fix everything.

    (the question to answer ratio remains as lopsided as the last dog and pony show, and the questions asked aren't the ones he actually answers, does he really think folks aren't going to notice this?)

    Lourdes (her news outlet wasn't captioned, didn't catch it)
    Mexico, sucks don't it? Does it threaten US security?
    We're dealing with it, and we'll do more if we need to, and it's US guns that are the problem so we need more gun control (though that statement is ridiculous on the face of it).

    Kevin (Stars and Stripes)
    What can you cut from the military budget without political blowback?
    We're giving more money to veterans, and we'll take care of their PTSD having asses (cause all troops come back 'wrong'), we'll save money by reforming the procurement system. (??? - That's going to save hundreds of billions?) Obama wants to say he'll gut the military, he just can't admit it, yet, instead he'll pretend that 'reform' will lead to savings. No more off the book war expenditures, that'll help, too.

    Ed Henry (CNN)
    Andy Cuomo's done more to hit AIG than you did, what's up with that, and aren't you leaving a bigger mess to the future than what was left you?
    This isn't easy, it's hard, it's really, really hard. My solution, reduce health care costs by nationalizing health care?!?!!!???!!!????? (the particulars are all a smokescreen, he wants one payer health care like our betters in Canada and Europe, which really means he wants rationed care, which is what they get). He's not answering the question again, just claiming that outrageous amounts of government spending will lead to outrageous growth rates and everything will be just fine. Are folks really falling for this fairy tale? Follow up, you weren't angry enough about AIG? I took time cause I like to know of what I speak.

    Major Garrett (FNC)
    China wants an IMF currency, Europe doesn't want stimulus spending, given that you want to be a 'global' president, are you hurt by the criticisms?
    We all need to row in the same direction, at the G-20 we will work on job creation collectively, avoid protectionism, and create even more red tape, cause red tape=prosperity. The dollar is strong, and we're still number one. As far as changing our image, but the world loves me more than they love Bush. Follow up, global currency? No.

    Mike Allen (The Politico)
    Right to cut deductions for charities and mortgages?
    Yes, we need to make sacrifices cause of wage stagnation, the top 5% are going to feel some pain, but they'll enjoy it and they won't go John Galt on us so everything will be fine. This won't decimate charities, I swear, you shouldn't worry about deductions when giving to charity, so screw you rich folks! They can afford it, so bend over and take it. Follow up, charities claim this will be horrible. Obama: No, it won't be a problem, grow the economy, and charities will get paid.

    Kevin Chapelle (Ebony)
    1 in 50 children homeless, what are you going to do for homeless children?
    That's terrible, my recovery package will solve everything, and we'll extend the safety net, and we'll throw money at the states to prevent families from being homeless.

    Ann Compton (ABC Radio)
    Let's talk race, are you still black enough?
    The economy knows no color, the inaugural was great, but y'all are still kinda racist, but the economy is more important than reminding all of you how racist you still are.

    Jon Ward (Wash Times)
    Stem cells, moral, immoral, consider it at all personally?
    I'm going to pretend I care about embryos, I barely think babies are people so you think I think twice about putting embryos in a blender? I'll just pretend to be thoughtful on this issue and spout platitudes. He's sure taking a long time not to answer this question, isn't he?

    (I'm really tempted to switch to the Lakers game, this crap is boring, even though the Lakers are only playing the lowly Thunder, still better than this crap, I'm guessing the next question will be the last question, so I'll stick it out)

    Last question, Stephen Collison (AFP)
    Palestine-Israel, sucks don't it, and Netanyahu is evil?
    It's going to be tough, and the status quo is unsustainable, there must be two states with peace and security. Mr. Sally Jesse Raphael glasses (aka George Mitchell) will help with bringing the sides together. We had the Orange and the Green together here on St. Pats, so we'll get the Israelis and Palestinians together, too. Persistence is what I'm all about, if at first you don't succeed, blame previous administrations for your failures, and fail, fail again.

    He's still talking, but he ain't saying nothing. As usual, he's highlighting that ridiculous video to Iran, it's an example of his wonderful persistence, he's saying don't expect results, just listen to my rhetoric, as long as I talk a good game, you shouldn't pay attention to a lack of results, cause results require real plans, real change, and all I've got is talking and a perpetual campaign to run.


    President Obama went without his trusty prompter, instead relying on a really big TV in the back of the room, seen in the above YouTube clip from Fox News (via Drudge).

    What do you suppose his reaction would have been had a bunch of reporters chosen to stand up in front of the display just after he started speaking? Would he have harrumphed, or would he have called over the Secret Service?

    (also, what's the carbon footprint on that thing, did he pay his offsets?)

    (finally, give a speech, or hold a press conference, don't do both)

    A Modest Proposal on Achieving a Greener More Sustainable Great Britain

    JONATHON PORRITT, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population if it is to build a sustainable society.

    Mr. Porritt is right, there are too many people in the United Kingdom, and the only way to create a sustainable future for the United Kingdom will be to halve the population. There are many possible methods for halving the population, one might be to prohibit all and any medical treatments to persons over the age of 55. That would have two benefits, one it would quickly shrink the number of pensioners, and two, would greatly reduce the costs of the NHS. But, that would only be a partial solution as even without medical care many people over that age might linger on for decades, plus that part of the population are, for the most part, not breeding and creating the next crop of Brits. Another might be duomation a la the old Roman tradition (decimation was a form of military punishment, where 1 in 10 were killed by their cohorts, duo-mation would be slightly more drastic, but given the grave peril our planet is in, a necessary sacrifice), folks chosen at random lot, with even the royal family subject to the whims of a random number generator. But again, even after culling the population down from 60 million to 30 million, people would begin breeding away, and before long the population would grow and grow.

    No, those processes might solve the problem in the short run, but they don't offer a long term fix. Here's my modest proposal on both immediately halving the population of Britain in the short term, and at the same time solving the problem of continued population growth in the long term. It's a simple solution, expel all males from the island. Anyone caught with a tallywhacker will be summarily vacated from Albion. Obviously, Northern Ireland poses some problem, given that it shares a border with Ireland, and men knowing that an entire population of women were bereft of male companionship might be tempted to sneak in if only for the sport of it. So possibly sell Northern Ireland to the highest bidder, and leave them to their own devices, then the task of patrolling the waters of Scotland, England and Wales and keeping walking tadpole factories off the shores of pristine virginal Albion would be far easier. With all the men gone from Albion, henceforth renamed Boudica in honor of one of its earliest known warrior queens, your two main problems with sustaining a green and good island would be solved.

    As Boudicans adjusted to not having any men in their society, there might be minor upheavals, but the greater good would prevail and within a surprisingly short amount of time, their society would normalize. Men would be allowed to visit, but only if they were to submit to exams to prove that they have had a vasectomy, or were otherwise infertile, and never for more than a month at a time, or for more than two months in a calendar year. The citizens of Boudica would still create families, but instead of the willy nilly and capricious nature of biological reproduction that plagues our planet, Boudicans would instead have the serene and orderly process of matching prospective mothers with just the right sperm donor from special reserves of genetic material culled from only the finest men the globe has to offer. Births would be allowed in numbers just sufficient to account for the anticipated number of deaths that year, and of the women desiring to be parents, and physically capable of breeding, a lottery would be held to pick which women for that year would be allowed to attempt to breed. Special care would be given to only have female babies born, as any male children would have to be evicted from the island before they reach sexual maturity. While the particulars of how to best express sexuality in a nation without opposite sexes would be up to each individual Boudican, there would be certain accommodations made for those women who miss physical intimacies with males of the species. Boudicans would be allowed to go on holiday, just as before, with the one minor change that any pre-menopausal woman wishing to travel would be required to take oral contraceptive while travelling abroad, and be subject to a medical exam upon return, and should they be found full with child, submit to an immediate termination of their previously unapproved pregnancy. For women not interested in travelling (but still wanting for temporary male companionship), special clubs would be set up where male prostitutes, all of whom must have had a vasectomy, as well as use condoms during each sex act, would be made available for use by Boudicans at a nominal fee generously subsidized by the government. These men would only be allowed temporary terms within these 'workhouses', and would be rotated in and out on a regular basis so that clients wouldn't become too attached to any of the workers. In Boudica forming emotional attachments to a member of the opposite sex would soon be seen as a perversion of the grossest and most dangerous kind.

    While this future Boudica might sound like the notion of someone writing a bit of Speculative Fiction, it's all well within the reach of modern science, and with the future of the very planet hanging in the balance, these sort of drastic measures will be required by citizens around the globe if we are to forestall the deleterious effects of our modern market economy on the fragile ecosystem Mother Gaia provides. Island nations serve as the perfect laboratories for incubating the sort of social change that would transform our planet and our relationship to it as a species. If not Boudica, then Japan, or even Australia might make excellent testing grounds for the sort of changes required to save this planet. People in the 'first world' are the worst for the planet, something must be done to keep them from living the sort of comfortable and productive lives modern technology provides. Maybe the example Boudica sets, and the success it is sure to have once all the men are removed, might start a wave of changes that will create sustainable systems throughout the globe, but somebody has to be first, and some sort of sacrifice must be made, might as well be the elimination of all the men in a particular society, in the name of Gaia, the most bountiful, it must be done.

    19 March 2009

    Leave My Childhood Alone, You BASTARDS!!!

    First, Star Wars was rogered, then Indy was diddled, but this time they've gone too far, they've molested Schoolhouse Rock!.

    (at least Spielberg and Lucas had nothing to do with this, but I smell the grubby fingers of a certain former Vice President all over this one)

    (and I ain't talkin' 'bout Dick)

    (though, the VP I'm talking about is a major league DICK, just his name isn't Richard)

    18 March 2009

    [ ] - Ology, Episode VI, Detroit Rock City

    All those other posts were the prelims, here's the Final Four plus Championship Game. I've already hinted how I think this will turn out, but best to have it in a separate post, anyway, I'll use this to recap each bracket, as well.

    In the West, #5 Purdue advances, and the Sweet 16 featured a 1-5 and a 7-11 match up. (how's that for bold prognosticating?)

    In the South, #4 Gonzaga advances, and the Sweet 16 was a more formful 1-4 and 2-6.

    In the East, #6 UCLA advances, and the surprising Sweet 16 was a 4-9 and 6-7.

    In the Midwest #1 Louisville overpowers all comers, and the Sweet 16 was a 1-4 and 3-10.

    Now, on to the picks

    #1 Louisville over #5 Purdue
    Purdue's stifling defense fails to stifle Louisville's explosive offense. Louisville is playing well at the right time, and they are the best bets out of the top seeds to make the Championship Game.

    #4 Gonzaga over #6 UCLA
    These teams ought to put on a good show against each other, but Gonzaga should be able to play their way past a decent UCLA team.

    The Championship

    #4 Gonzaga over #1 Louisville
    Louisville is playing great ball, but Gonzaga will overcome that any way. It's going to come down to execution on offense, making free throws, and which team stays calmer as the other team makes their run. Gonzaga will be a pretty big surprise and win it all. John Stockton (Class of '83) might even show a modicum of emotion.

    [ ] - Ology, Episode V, The Midwest Regional

    Final region, other than USC making a surprise run, pretty formful.

    First Round

    16 Morehead St over 1 Louisville
    Ahhh, just seeing if you were paying attention, of cours it's Louisville, sorry Morehead fans if I got your hopes up.

    2 Michigan St over 15 Robert Morris
    Who knew a talent agency had a basketball team? (oh, that's William Morris, get my Morrises mixed up).

    3 Kansas over 14 North Dakota St
    I think it's safe to say that North Dakota St will not become the first team from North Dakota to advance to the Final Four. I know I'm going out on a limb with this prediction, but that's the sort of bold leadership you've come to expect from this blog.

    4 Wake Forest over 13 Cleveland St

    5 Utah over 12 Arizona
    Arizona should not be in the tourney, and they'll prove it by getting blown out by Utah

    6 West Virginia over 11 Dayton
    Yawn, II.

    10 USC over 7 Boston College
    In my opinion, the most interesting match up of the first round. USC has been playing very well of late, and I think they'll continue that play through a few rounds of this tourney.

    9 Siena over 8 Ohio St
    Another 8-9 coin flip of little consequence given that the 'winner' gets to be demolished by Louisville.

    Second Round

    1 Louisville ove 9 Siena
    I think Louisville will be the only #1 that will look like a #1 throughout the tournament. A blow out here.

    10 USC over 2 Michigan St
    A big upset, Michigan St is ripe for an upset, talented and well coached, they're just unlucky to run into a wildly inconsistent but even more talented team just as they're putting things together.

    3 Kansas over 6 West Virginia
    Another solid victory for another solid Kansas team.

    4 Wake Forest over 5 Utah
    Another solid victory for another solid Wake Forest team.

    Sweet 16, Elite 8, Regional Champs

    1 Louisville over 4 Wake Forest
    Louisville just has too much firepower, Wake Forest will play well, but not well enough.

    10 USC over 3 Kansas
    If they can beat Michigan St they can beat Kansas. Trojans keep on rolling.

    1 Louisville over 10 USC
    The Trojans' run ends. They'll get unrolled, used, and then discarded like a, well, um, brand name latex prophylactic.

    Louisville will be the only 1, 2 or 3 seed in this tourney to escape the upset bug and see its way to the Final Four in Detroit. I blame Pitino's hair, it's glorious.

    [ ] - Ology, Episode IV, The East Regional

    I expect the first round here to be pretty formful (other than the 5-12 matchup), but then all hell breaks loose and it's upset city.

    First Round

    1 Pittsburgh 16 E Tenn St
    1 v 16, 'nuff said.

    2 Duke over 15 Binghamton
    I'm almost tempted to pick Binghamton just to please Tony Kornheiser, but I'm not crazy, Duke in a romp.

    3 Villanova over 14 American
    'Nova shouldn't have any problems here.

    4 Xavier over 13 Portland St
    Another romp, Xavier looks like Elite Eight material.

    12 Wisconsin over 5 Florida St
    A plodding and boring game, Wisconsin will drag this game down to their level, and win it when the 'Noles keep turning the ball over.

    6 UCLA over 11 VCU
    Despite a hiccup versus USC in the Pac10 tourney, UCLA are deep, experienced or talented (their most talented players are inexperienced explains the 'or' there), plus having a Senior point guard who has been to three Final Fours ought to give them a huge advantage in seeking to make it four in a row.

    7 Texas over 10 Minnesota
    Texas are a talented and inconsistent bunch, who knows what they'll do, they could lose this game, or make it to the Sweet 16, I'm guessing they'll be Sweet.

    9 Tennessee over 8 Oklahoma St
    I think Tennessee has enough talent to be a surprising team, or they could flame out, another talented but inconsistent team, that's why their seeded in the middle of the pack.

    Second Round

    9 Tennessee over 1 Pittsburgh
    Here's where it gets interesting. Tennessee will pull off this upset. They've got a size advantage over Pitt in every position, and they'll use it to their advantage.

    7 Texas over 2 Duke
    Another big upset, I just have a feeling these inconsistent teams with talent will pull together and put together a run. An early exit for Duke, which will be good cause they suck (how's that for in depth analysis?)

    6 UCLA over 3 Villanova
    Another upset, though not a big one, 'Nova's a solid squad, but these Howland era Bruins teams just have a knack for putting together their best ball at tourney time, don't expect 2009 to be different.

    4 Xavier over 12 Wisconsin
    Xavier is the only lower seed I have advancing in the 2nd round in this region. They'll figure out Wisconsin's defense and just overwhelm them with their athleticism.

    Sweet 16, Elite 8, Regional Champs

    4 Xavier over 9 Tennessee
    These are similar teams, but the inconsistency that plagued the Vols all season will happen again after they have a letdown following a big upset over a #1 seed.

    6 UCLA over 7 Texas
    Should be a solid game, it will take the Bruins best to get past a Texas team that will play well, too. UCLA at their best is one of the best teams this year, and they'll prove it on the court.

    6 UCLA over 4 Xavier
    In a bit of a surprising match up the Bruins will take on the Musketeers. I expect a mauling, UCLA's superior experience and coaching will overcome Xavier's athleticism.

    Look for UCLA to make it 3 Final Four losses in a row. That's both a fantastic accomplishment, and pretty frustrating. So close, yet so far (if Westbrook and Mbah a Moute had stayed, they'd be looking at a sure thing this season).

    [ ] - Ology, Episode III, The South Regional

    It's the Dirrrty South's turn to be placed under the microscope, I expect a few 1st round upsets here, with the 14th and 12th seeds playing on the weekend (but not beyond). UNC looks beatable, and I think they'll be beaten, which leaves a surprising Gonzaga team poised to make a huge run all the way to the top (and not just of the region).

    First Round

    1 UNC over 16 Radford
    1 v 16, no surprises, just an ass whoopin'.

    2 Oklahoma over 15 Morgan St
    Oklahoma has at times looked like the best team in college hoops, they'll have no problem in the first or 2nd rounds.

    14 Stephen F Austin over 3 Syracuse
    Some might think the crazy amount of basketball Syracuse played this past week will pump them up and prepare them for the tournament, I think they'll be completely drained and unable to compete against a decent team from a little school in Texas.

    4 Gonzaga over 13 Akron
    The Bulldogs got a run in them, here's where it starts.

    12 Western Kentucky over 5 Illinois
    Illinois would be one of those overrated Big 10 teams, Western Kentucky will run them out of the building and when with surprising ease.

    6 Arizona St over 11 Temple
    The Sun Devils made the Pac10 tournament finals (losing to USC), and are playing well at the right time, they are set up to do very well in this tournament.

    7 Clemson over 10 Michigan
    I just don't care, whatever, Clemson should win, but that'll be the end of their fun when they run into OK.

    9 Butler over 8 LSU
    Another match up that doesn't really matter given that the winner gets to get demolished by UNC over the weekend.

    2nd Round

    1 UNC over 9 Butler
    UNC will play like the number one seed in this game.

    2 Oklahoma over 7 Clemson
    Oklahoma should have no trouble against Clemson, it helps having one of the best players in the NCAA.

    6 Arizona St over 14 S F Austin
    They're the Lumberjacks, but they won't be OK in this game, the Sun Devils will chop them down to size.

    4 Gonzaga over 14 Western Kentucky
    Gonzaga is going to put together something special this tournament, sometimes teams put together everything just at the right time, and this is that team, and this is their time (despite an embarrasing loss to Memphis, this team has lots of talent, a solid system, and good coaching).

    Sweet 16, Elite 8, Regional Champs

    4 Gonzaga over 1 UNC
    The Bulldogs match up well against a deep and talented Tar Heels team, Gonzaga will play better than they usually do on defense, and force UNC into too many turnovers. Should be an exciting match up, whichever way it goes.

    6 Arizona St over 2 Oklahoma
    The Sun Devils will figure out a way to stop Blake Griffin, and with that accomplished, Oklahoma won't have an answer, an upset, but only a mild one.

    4 Gonzaga over 6 Arizona St
    Gonzaga will do enough on both sides of the ball to control this game. Gonzaga will be tested, but they'll win in the end.

    Regional Champs Gonzaga, and after having to go through UNC and Arizona St, they should be prepared for the other challenges they'll face on the road to their schools' first ever NCAA Championship.

    [ ] - Ology, Episode II, The West Regional

    In the West Regional, I think you are going to see a good amount of upsets (other than the first round), Connecticut doesn't look that good to me, Memphis and Missouri look ripe for upsets as well.

    Round 1
    1 Conn over 16 UT-Chatt
    I'm not crazy enough to pick any 16 seeds, not ever going to happen.

    2 Memphis over 15 CS Northridge
    I'm almost tempted to go with the Matadors, but that's not going to happen, either. Too huge of a difference in the athleticism between these two.

    3 Missouri over 14 Cornell
    Have fun while it lasts, Missouri, cause this is your last victory of the season.

    4 Washington over 13 Mississippi St.
    The Huskies looked great at times this season, but other times, not so much, they should be able to put away Miss St. no problem.

    5 Purdue over 12 Northern Iowa
    Purdue are the best of a crappy lot of Big 10 teams, but their very physical, slow it down ball, will frustrate the teams they face, and I see them advancing all the way to the Final Four.

    11 Utah St over 6 Marquette
    I've got no sane reason for this pick, other than I don't see an entire region's favorites advancing in the first round, just not going to happen, so here's my 1st round upset for the West. Also, as happens on teams from Utah, they've got a lot of older players due to players who sat out a few years to do missionary work, and that maturity will be a big advantage in the tournament.

    7 California over 10 Maryland
    These teams are pretty evenly matched, may come down to preparation and coaching, and I think Cal will be better in both areas.

    8 BYU over 9 Texas A&M
    Coin flip time, the coin came up Cougars.

    2nd Round
    1 Conn over 8 BYU
    I don't think U Conn is that great, but they're good enough to get past BYU.

    7 California over 2 Memphis
    Cal's got some talent on their team (though Memphis has more), I think their experience, and playing in a tougher conference will be the edge that leads them to beat out Memphis' athleticism and depth, but they'll have to shoot lights out from distance to pull off this upset, and I think they will.

    11 Utah St over 3 Missouri
    Missouri's will be ready for a letdown and will probably overlook little Utah St. I have them as the worst seed to make it to the Sweet 16.

    5 Purdue over 4 Washington
    Washington matches up well against Purdue, it's a high octane offense versus a brutal defense. The brutal defense usually wins in these contests, it will this time, too.

    Sweet 16, Elite 8, Regional Champ

    7 California over 11 Utah St
    The worst seed to make the Sweet 16 will run out of luck against Cal. Cal will continue to put up big numbers from the perimeter and should beat Utah St easily.

    5 Purdue over 1 Connecticut
    Purdue will frustrate the Huskies, and they'll have a turnover prone disaster of a game. Purdue will control this from the beginning and just demolish the seemingly better team.

    5 Purdue over 7 California
    Purdue will continue their run of dismantling teams with their defense. Once Cal's outside shot is taken away, they've got nothing, Purdue will win in a romp.

    Purdue will be your West champs, their only test in will be against Washington, after that they'll have surprisingly easy games versus UConn and Cal.

    [ ] - Ology, Episode I, The Overview

    It's Bracketology time. Or not, I'm not really feeling real invested in this season's tourney, but I'm tempted to make picks just so I can beat the picks made by The President of the United States (hey, not like he's busy or anything).

    So, unlike last year, I'll do the whole bracket thing, rather than picks round by round.

    First some generalities about my picks, I always favor Pac 10 teams, no matter what, even though there was a lot of uneven play from those teams this year. Also, the Big 10 was awful, and got too many teams in the tourney, but they play a style of basketball that other schools might have trouble matching. Finally, the Big East was indeed a B'East this year, and was by far the best conference, but that doesn't mean they'll be sending all their schools into the Sweet 16.

    Because I'm picking every game, that's too much for one post, instead I'll break it into Regions, and then a Final Four post, so expect 5 more posts to come to cover all my picks.


    I hadn't looked at Obama's picks before making my own, but after looking at them, I'm detecting a heavy dose of East Coast Bias. He has every Pac10 team losing in the 1st round except for Washington. Is that any way to treat the conference in which your brother-in-law coaches? Maybe Michelle looked over his shoulder and told him he better not pick any Pac10 teams, at least until Oregon State makes the tourney. He has no team worse than a 5 seed making the Sweet 16, and he has only UConn as a 1 seed failing to make the Final Four (and he has 2 Memphis beating them). His has to be the most boring bracket ever. I'm going to say it right now, Obama's my bitch, and I will obliterate his score in ESPN's Bracket Challenge. Even though we've had a few years where #1s have done well, those were exceptional years where there were only a few great teams, this year there are NO great teams, but lots of good ones, and this is going to be one of those old fashion unpredictable tournaments with upsets in every round.

    17 March 2009

    Screw "U" and Your Messed Up Spelling Rules

    So I got suckered into playing Times of London's Spelling Bee game, first run through the list had no words with different spelling for American and British English, so I scored a 15 out of 15, though I didn't get too high of a score cause some of the speakers they use are decidedly British, so that slowed me down (couldn't tell if "paddy" was "paddy" or "party" with a very long aaahhhhr and soft t, so used the word help and saw that its language of origin was Malay).

    Took it again determined to up my speed, and the results are above, 3 words out of 15 this time that Brits choose to spell incorrectly (favorite, meter, harmonize), I caught on to spell 'metre' and 'harmonise' in that messed up manner Brits prefer, but somehow it slipped my mind on 'favourite'.

    Dudes, you've had over 200 years since Webster tried to bring some sense to our shared language and figure out that favorite, color, neighbor, etc don't need an extra "u" in them, get with the program people.

    (or should that be 'programme'?)

    (and don't even get me started on the whole reversing the 'er' ending on words thing, I'm talking to you too Canadians, it's center, not centre, dammit, if you changed the spelling the Raptors and the Maple Leafs might stop sucking so hard..., seriously both those teams are going to miss the playoffs, and practically every damn team in the NBA and NHL make the playoffs, so that takes some doing)

    (and I probably shouldn't make too much fun of 'The AirCanada Centre', given that Staples Center would be full of losers, too, if it weren't for the Lakers, those damn Kings and Clippers suck even harder than your Leafs and Raptors, I guess the 5 time champion Toronto Rock of the NLL are their Lakers equivalent, though they seem to be having a rough start this year)


    I played again, this time 15 out of 15, slowed down again though cause two of the words have homophones, and they don't give the word in a sentence (bail/bale, and foul/fowl in this case), but what made this attempt special was the word "snatch", I laughed out loud with the way the woman who got to say that word said her word. It was a truly glorious, and most likely intentionally smutty, reading of the word. For that I can almost forgive the damnable extraneous "u"s.

    OMG!!! OMG!!! OMG!!! Cut & Paste!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Really, Apple people, really? This is exciting news?

    15 March 2009

    Special Thoughts on the Special Relationship . . .

    It would be easy to scoff at this Gallic arrogance, arguing that while Monsieur Myard can sit under his wisteria enjoying some lovely cheese, his country’s antipathy towards America means that all the pop music on French radio is rubbish and that his government cannot afford a new aircraft carrier.

    However, if you look at Gordon Brown’s recent trip to Washington, Johnny Frenchman would appear to have a point. Gordon gave Obama Barrack a penholder carved from the timbers of an antislavery ship. The sister ship, in fact, of the one that was broken up and turned into the desk in the Oval Office.

    Barrack, meanwhile, gave Brown The Graduate on DVD. Which smacks of an “Oh, Christ. What shall we get him?” moment at the local petrol station.

    Jeremy Clarkson provides his thoughts on the status of the 'special relationship'.

    (and as one commenter pointed out, there's one thing Brits and Yanks can agree on without hesitation, and that's that the Frogs suck, though Clarkson seems to think reproachment might have value)

    "Since September 2007, all UK schools have had a statutory responsibility to promote the wellbeing of their pupils."

    Normally this is where I hold Britain up as an example of how not to do crap and how to demoralize and stupidify a nation, but all this self esteem nonsense has been pretty much standard procedure within our school systems for more than a decade as well.

    This is just one psychologist calling this nonsense, nonsense, so hard to know if Dr. Carol Craig's words at a conference of headteachers will cause any ripples, but one can hope that maybe her words will resonate both in Britain and here in the United States.

    It makes sense that if all you do is praise children, they will turn out to be narcissistic little monsters incapable to deal with even the slightest setback. Teachers aren't doing any favors to their students by not demanding some accountability from their charges. Good parents fight this self esteem nonsense, not by belittling their little ones, but by being honest with them, and heaping praise only when praiseworthy their progeny have accomplished something worth the praise.

    Schools aren't alone in turning out narcissistic monsters, but they shouldn't be in the business to counter good parenting and reinforce bad parenting, and right now, that's the way most public schools are set up.

    The Dangers of An Unattended and Logged In Twitter Account (When Combined With Having Brothers in the Vicinity)

    First Felicia Day fell victim to her brother posting while she left her twitter feed logged in and unattended (screencapped above, read from bottom to top)

    Then Sarah Lane's bro committed similar shenanigans.

    Let this be a warning, log out, and watch your laptop or phone when out and about, especially when you are partying up a storm at the SXSW shindig.

    Beat That Score, Biiiiyaaaaaattttcccchhhhhhh!!!!

    I scored a 124/400 on this quiz. That makes me "Very Evil" in their estimation. I tried to get my score down to "You must be Dick Cheney incarnate", but missed by a 12 points.

    (via Moxie, who scored an impressive and incredibly sexy 41 on this quiz)

    (also, given the title of this post, and Moxie's score, I guess that makes me Moxie's bitch, and I'm perfectly OK with that, she's welcome to do with me what she wills, over and over again)

    14 March 2009

    If Leo Laporte Pointed It Out on Twitter, I Guess I Won't Be a Misogynist to Embed the Video Here...

    A collection of European women, driving (poorly).

    (via Leo Laporte, in turn who tips his cap to ds1069, so any women who want to point out how unfair this portrayal of women drivers is in the above video, please direct your complaints to Youtube user, ds1069, and given that he lists his location as Ukraine, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he was a touch misogynistic himself)

    (prejudice against women is a bad thing, prejudice against people who are presumably ethnic Russians or Ukrainians, that's OK, cause those dudes deserve it)

    Am I a Member of This Secret Society Without Knowing It . . .

    Stumbled across this blog, and it has a few things you sometimes find here, conservative thought, an obsession with hello kitty, and an advocacy of nuclear power.

    And here it was I thought I was unique in combining Hello Kitty, conservatism, and nuclear power, guess it's nice to know I'm not alone...

    (these guys deserve scrutiny, one thing they have over me is prolific output, over 100 posts in March already, and I'm barely averaging one a day)

    Long Promised, Well Delivered, It's a Lileks Screed of Epic Proportions . . .

    Amitai Etzioni made the mistake of sending James Lileks one of his spamilicious missives promoting his 'communitarian' nonsense.

    Needless to say, James was not amused, and he cooked up an excellent and detailed response to Amitai's Punitarian nonsense (Punitive+Communitarian=Punitarian, and all communitarians in the end know for individuals to act 'for the greater good' that serious punitive measures such as high taxes or ridiculous regulations are needed to fetter our natural self interest).

    I originally called this crap, Punitive Communitarianism, but I've decided that Punitarianism is a better portmanteau of those two words that still conveys the meaning (Blake had an excellent post at his blog that reminded me of that concept, and Lileks attacks this nonsense in his screed, the Obama administration has a way of bringing out the Jacksonian in folks, I guess).

    You can't spell "Punitarian" without the letters from "Puritan", and in all the ways that count, these folks are the modern version of 'Puritans', noble sounding goals, consumed by self righteousness, zealotry, and a need to find witches to burn (in the case of Punitarians capitalist are their Satan worshipping witches, but the principle's the same).

    Just Call Me Brian . . .

    "Oh, it’s okay. I’m pretending to be those two guys beside Him.

    (it might not be blasphemy, it might just be that Dylan is a fan of Monty Python)

    Me and My Folks (Christmas 74)

    (picked up a slide scanner, testing it out, this shot was underexposed, might have overcompensated a bit, I'm the wee one, and those are my parents, my grandparents had traveled to Japan that year, hence the kimonos as presents)


    For the record, my father is not Richard Pryor (firstly, Richard is much skinnier than my father, and secondly my father did far less coke and never freebased, or set himself on fire), though maybe the kimono, and memories of the sketch below might have lead to some confusion...

    12 Random Songs (or I Don't Have Anything Else I Feel Like Blogging About on a Lazy Saturday)

    12 random songs, blogged about randomly for your enjoyment.

    1) The One, Kylie Minogue from X
    I enjoy me some Kylie, can't help it, her crappy dance tunes are always really well produced crappy dance tunes, which makes them not so crappy after all. This one has a nice little synth part that's sort of telegraph like that holds the composition together, also the vocals are nicely multi-tracked and play off of, and build upon each other. Complexity in the service of something that sounds simple, it's pop, it's throwaway, but doesn't mean it's unmeaningful or unartistic.

    2) Sleep, Imogen Heap from I Megaphone
    Imogen was the singer for Frou Frou, they had that song you got sick of from the commercial for the film Garden State a few years back. Song is sleep, and it's a bit lullaby-ish, piano, and half sung, half spoken lyrics, interesting.

    3) Planetary, Booka Shade from The Sun & The Neon Light
    Atmospheric, and a touch spacy, which makes sense for a song called Planetary. Spare, and very electronic, with lots of sounds that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 8-bit era video games. In other words, right in my wheelhouse, I kinda really like this tune.

    4) The Pearly Gates, The Real Tuesday Weld from I, Lucifer
    The Real Tuesday Weld is an odd project, kind of soundtrack music from movies that never existed done in an electronica-ambient meets the British dance hall tradition kind of way. Very down tempo, but pretty, the whole album is pretty great, but is one of those albums that you need to listen to in one sitting, none of the songs stand alone as well as they do as part of the whole project.

    5) Slow Love, Prince from Sign 'O' the Times
    I must confess that I never really liked this song, always felt kind of cheesy when compared to the better tracks from this album. The intervening decades since this came out haven't changed that opinion. I think the bones for a really good slow jam are there, with a different singer and a more powerful arrangement, this might kick ass, but this version is limp (it pains me to post criticisms of Prince on this blog, but honesty trumps fandom)

    6) Lonely Lonely (Frisbee'd Mix), Feist from Open Season
    I don't remember downloading this album, and I don't think I've ever listened to it. Probably grabbed it when I grabbed her more recent album but never got around to listening to it. Has a nice funky drummer (on Quaaludes) thing going for it, that's a plus, they've played with the vocal track quite a bit (I'm assuming, don't recall hearing the original version), guess that's what makes it a 'mix'. Solid, mellow trip-hoppiness, can't complain, may have to listen to some of the other tracks on this album now.

    7) Memphis, Joe Jackson from Steppin' Out: The Very Best of
    I wasn't in to Joe Jackson back in the day. I liked the songs they played on the radio, but never felt compelled to seek out the rest of his catalogue or pick up any of his albums. That might have been a mistake, I like his stuff, and would have liked it back then, too. This has a Steppin' Out meets Green Onions feel to it. Strange mix of sounds, plus his vocals are shouty rather than smooth on this, strange choice, but it works.

    8) River Come Down, Jolly Boys from Pop 'N' Mento
    Old school calypso mon performed by old school Jamaicans. Nice little album, nice little song. Don't understand a thing they're saying, but doesn't matter.

    9) And You and I, Yes from The Ultimate Yes
    One of them big long prog-rock epics that Yes used to pump out back in the early 70s. Cheeseball stuff, some of this, and there's a touch of cheese to this, too, but it's really well done cheese, even while it's pretentious self important twaddle, there's also some great hooks within this piece, so it's easy to forgive the ridiculous. Takes its time to get where it's going, and did I mention that the lyrics are pure twaddle? Worthwhile trip, anyway, these blokes could play, that's for sure, and the composition is complex without being needlessly, or distractingly so (which for much of prog-rock, the complexity became the ends, rather than the means, which is when it all started sucking)

    10) Eve White/Eve Black, Siouxsie & The Banshees from Nocturne
    Off their live double album released in 1983, this was one of the tracks from that album that doesn't have a studio version. Kind of a slight little spooky song at the beginning, then becomes a bit of a noisefest towards the end. I love Siouxsie's voice, nice tone coupled with great power, not a combination that many singers pull off as well as she does.

    11) Everything (That's Mine), The Motions from Nuggets Vol. 2
    This is the foreign bands Nuggets collection. This is one of the more Stones-ish garage band songs on this album. Good song, lots of fuzzy guitars, this entire collection should be on Rockband (as well as the first Nuggets collection, which had American bands), it's what Rockband was invented for, garage rock from the 60s may not be well known to their target audience, but this stuff is fun, and almost all the songs are perfect for the game (I know I've complained that there's too much 'whiteboy' music in the game, and they should expand beyond 'whiteboy' genres, but they also should broaden their selection of 60s music given that those songs are perfectly well suited for the Rockband experience, plus it'd give the kiddies playing the game a musical education to hear this stuff and play along to it)

    12) Grooveallegiance, Funkadelic from The Original Cosmic Funk Crew
    This song can also be found on the album One Nation Under a Groove, it's mostly an instrumental piece, with Bootsy laying down a bass line that carries the melody rather than provides the beat. Layered on top of that is Mike Hampton laying down some solid licks on the guitar, but mainly this song is about freeing up the bass from it's usual foundational role and letting it loose (I'm assuming Bootsy's doing the more expressive playing on bass while some other bassist is keeping the groove, but I don't know for sure). Also, wikipedia is full of crap, the following sentence couldn't be more wrong, "A song with a slight reggae feel". The time signature is wrong, the drums are wrong, the bass line is wrong, and the guitar line is wrong, it's funk, with a hint of freeform jazz, but reggae, it's not. And yes, I have pledged allegiance to the flag of the United Funk of Funkadelica.

    12 March 2009

    But Does She Smell Like She Sounds?

    Turns out if you take one, not entirely unattractive pop singer, mix with a hot leggy model, let mature for 19 years or so, the resulting offspring can turn out to be another phenomenally hot leggy model.


    (and don't worry Simon, I'd much rather steal away your still very hot wife away, rather than corrupt your very hot daughter)

    11 March 2009

    The Curse of Abundance

    Victor Davis Hanson lays out the sorry state of governance within this rich, fertile and ridiculously blessed land, California.

    A point I've made time and again, is that places with rich natural resources often under utilize their human capital (and conversely, places that lack natural resources get every ounce of benefit out of their folks, compare Russia to Japan, for instance).

    California used to be one of those rare places that had abundant resources and utilized its human capital fully.

    Not so much anymore, oh well.

    The seeds for a rebound are there, we're still an attractive destination for tourism, we still have tremendous potential, we just need a state government that gets out of the damn way and facilitates entrepreneurship and innovation rather than attempt to strangle each and every potential John Galt in their figurative crib with yards of red tape, and onerous tax burdens.

    That's Not Painting, That's Tracing . . .

    Interesting theory on the technology used by Caravaggio in executing his 'chiaroscuro' painting style.

    Relatedly, might explain his 'mad as a hatter' mental state.

    07 March 2009

    That Ought to Give Any Zombies or Vampires Pause . . .

    This sign, ought to do the trick against any stray zombies or vampires that infest your burial site.

    And nothing indicates a clean and sanitary household better than the smell of барф!

    Finally, inconvenient for whom?

    05 March 2009

    This One is For the Ladeeeez . . .

    Ummmm, ahhhh, errrraaaahhh, yeah, just follow this link.

    Carol E. Lee of Politico, You Have Earned a Place on the Obama Administration's ENEMIES LIST, Congratulations!!!

    So, the whole, President Barack Obama is a fantastic orator bit is crashing in with the reality that it's more like, President Barack Obama does a mighty fine job of reading prepared bits, but if the teleprompter fails he's in deep doodoo.

    Carol E. Lee points out on Politico today (hat tip Drudge), that President Obama relies on his little glass panel to an unprecedented degree.

    She also mentions the trouble photographers are having finding an angle to get a good shot of #44 while keeping the telltale glass panels out of the shot.

    Somehow I think if #43 had required a teleprompter at every single engagement, we would have seen every picture of W. with the prompter in the frame. What does it say about a man who needs a prompter even when he's repeating rote campaign rhetoric? It says to me his short term memory is completely shot, and he knows his thoughts don't flow from one to the next as they should.

    What exactly is he pretending not to smoke now, anyway?

    (what's the latest, is he or isn't he a smoker?)

    Maybe that explains his shoddy treatment of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He forgot he was coming over for a visit, and did everything at the last minute, plus he didn't want to the traditional joint press conference cause he knew that he'd come across as a stammering ninny compared even to the charisma challenged Brown.

    04 March 2009

    You Get What You Pay For . . .

    Challenging Labour's decades-long silence on school-age mothers, he wrote: 'It's time to stop worrying about how people's feelings might be hurt if we question the choices they've made. Because very often, those choices are wrong. And it's about time we said so.

    So, some in the Labor Party (sorry, I'm an American, I can't type that extra "u", even if I should in this case) are coming to the realization that it might not be good for British society as a whole to reward poor choices. Teens are irresponsible by nature, short-term thinkers, and they like to screw each other. Turns out, if you create a system that gives money to teen mums, those teens may not entirely think about the opportunities they'll be missing by taking those assistance checks, instead they'll just see that they're getting paid to be a mother, and life on the dole isn't all that miserable, and they can probably dump the wee ones on their own mothers (who odds are were unmarried teen moms, themselves) if they decide they want to go out for a night of carousing.

    My Sentiments, Exactly . . .

    (via Instapundit)

    David Harsanyi speaks truth to the squawking classes
    Since when is rooting for the success of an ideologically driven elected official a civic duty, you may wonder? Wonder no more. It merely depends on the politician.

    Rush Limbaugh is right, and he expressed his disdain for the policy directives issuing forth from the Obama administration in exactly the right terms. It would be horrific for our nation if they manage (despite themselves) to succeed. We are a resilient, resourceful, and productive people, and even with an Obama administration hellbent on turning us into MegaSweden, we might actually manage to pull out of this recession even with the Democratic party doing everything in their power to undermine our economy and increase the grasp of the federal government.

    If the economy recovers, they'll take the credit, and that would be a disaster, cause that would mean more policy suggestions like we've seen these past few weeks, and there's only so much of this nonsense that we can handle before we're plunged into French like economic stagnation and malaise.

    So, failure now for Obama's policies, even if that means more economic hardship for the American people, will sow the seeds for a rebirth of economic responsibility, adherence to the federalist nature of our constitution, and decapitation of that evil zombie known as the New Deal (and it's recent manifestation in Obama's New New Deal). When Carter failed miserably in the late 70s, it was the best thing that ever happened to us as a nation, had by some bizarre miracle the economy recovered despite his idiotic policies, then we never would have had Reagan, and we might already be MegaSweden rather than the U S of Effin A!!!

    01 March 2009

    Lies, Damn Lies, and the Usual Lying Statistical Claims Not Based in Facts . . .

    Daily Mail in an article about the potential problems facing returning Afghan vets (there's no data about actual cases, just speculation about potential down the road problems) quotes a hoary old statistic that may have been close to the truth at one point in the early 80s, but here as we quickly approach the second decade of the 21st century is utterly ludicrous.

    In the U.S., it is estimated that 44 per cent of all homeless people are Vietnam veterans.

    No, 44% of homeless are not Vietnam Vets, that's absurd on the face of it. I live in Santa Monica, "Home of the Homeless", and I can tell you that the vast majority of homeless are not old enough to have served in Vietnam (though plenty claim to have, though I guess enough have been busted on their accounts of being in Vietnam that they tend to update their tales of harrowing experiences that inexorably forced them to a life on the streets to the 1st Gulf War). The kind of PTSD inducing combat that might leave somebody forever scarred largely ended by 1973, and we were completely out of Vietnam by 1975, so unless you were born before 1955, it's impossible for you to have experienced combat in Vietnam. 44% of homeless people in the United States are not over the age of 54, and of those that are homeless and old enough to have served in Vietnam, nowhere near 100% of those folks did.

    After some quick googling, I can't find any study that states such a high number, for current populations of homeless (again, 25 years ago, a number like that would seem plausible, but not now). Seems the last big federal government study about homelessness was done by HUD in 1996 (and updated in 1999), and even 13 years ago, homeless veterans constituted less than 25% of overall homeless, and in other studies from 13 years ago, even then Vietnam Vets were around 40% of the total of male homeless people (women veterans rarely end up homeless, interestingly), and in the intervening 13 years, I'm certain there's been attrition to that number (this table from HUD is of people using their services, but they speculate based on other surveys that there numbers are in line with the total figures)

    If I threw out a statistic claiming that 20% of British Seamen suffered from rickets, I bet you could go back through the historical record and find a time when 20% of limey sailors suffered all sorts of wonderful diseases, but that's not the case now, and if I were using those old statistics to make a claim about the scope of a future problem, then I'd hope anyone reading would laugh off my ridiculous suggestion.

    And as far as the gist of the article, I'm not understanding why it matters whether British Veterans get their free health care from the NHS or from the military. What difference does it make? Either way, the government is picking up the tab, and a psychiatrist is a psychiatrist, whether they work on a military base, or in an NHS run clinic. If anything, an NHS based service should be more convenient, and more easily accessible than if veterans could only seek care from military specialist.

    This shouldn't be viewed as a problem at all, unless NHS doctors exhibit anti-military bias (which wouldn't be surprising), and the general service at NHS clinics was sub-standard (again, wouldn't be at all surprising).

    Combat is traumatic, always has been, always will be, societies have differed in how to help combatants to recover from their experiences, and social mores have sent troops into conflicts with differing skill sets in how to process their experiences to begin with. It's inevitable that combat leaves a mark, it's not inevitable that it leads to an inability to reintergrate with society at large, and most veterans have found a way in which to carry on with their lives and function even with the memories of what they did and what they faced. We need to honor those that defend our freedoms, and give them all the help they need, but we shouldn't be so quick to lump all combat veterans into the 'ticking time bomb' stereotype that pervades Hollywood and the rest of media, cause history and experience shows that stereotype as being false and pernicious.

    A New Irregular Immodest Feature: ADVENTURES IN TWEETING (Lilyroseallen Edition)

    A series of tweets today from Lilyroseallen:

    Just had a power nod

    Power nod is : a.) The opposite to Paranoid.
    b.) A method of looking extremely interested whilst being interviewed.
    c.) Championship level felatio. Answers on a postcard to.

    I'm guessing B is the correct answer, but both A and C are intriguing (also, major props for the use of the word, "whilst" in a tweet).

    If What ABC News Reported Was Actually Factual, Things We Might Expect to See in the Future . . .

    According to ABC News "Conservatives are biggest consumers" . . . . . . . ., of porn.


    (oh, wait, I guess my reaction should be more along the lines of Newsbusters, that this is bunk, and the research ABC cites doesn't support their claim)

    But, if pornographers were to take this news to heart, they'd want to cater to their biggest fans, so what would 'conservative' porn look like.

    The old --- delivery man scenario --- out.
    The new --- hippie-dippy signature gatherering chick gets invited in while trying to promote some lefty cause, and instead gets the ride of her life while her scene partner vigorously quotes from Hayek and Popper --- in.

    The old --- pop culture parodies, like Not the Bradys XXX (link sort of SFW, but not really safe for your eyes given the background and text) --- out.
    The new --- Ayn Rand parodies, like Atlas Tugged --- in.

    The old --- Fake Sarah Palin (link goes to a NY Daily News article back when the Hustler project was first announced) getting screwed --- out.
    The new --- Wait, I guess that one sort of works for conservatives as well, so long as they don't portray her as a buffoon (which judging from what was written about that film, seems she was an object of derision and lust, rather than admiration and lust, so that will have to change) --- in.