Saturday, June 30, 2012

True Then - True Now

File this under the more things change the more they stay the same:
"All middle-class citizens of education have a common belief that the tendencies towards centralization and paternalism must be halted and reversed." Dwight Eisenhower July 1949
Although I think today it would be more true of middle-class citizens with common sense. Education is no true indicator of intelligence or common sense any more (if it ever was).

Death Cab for Cutie - I Will Possess Your Heart

I love listening to this song.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.
236 years ago George Washington's bodyguard was hanged for a plot to kidnap our founding father. I'm a history guy and I had never heard this story.
Bill Clinton crashes a wedding in Ireland. You can't help but like the guy after stories like this.
The Heineken Cube. A concept - yes. A good concept? That's debatable?
Pretty cool Game of Thrones (books) video.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Shame on You

I found this ad for Mitt Romney amusing. It follows the Alinski "punch back twice as hard" rule and shows some people who thought John McCain was too docile last election that the Romney people are ready to play hardball. The most interesting thing to watch is if Hillary Clinton responds to the ad in any significant way. My guess is that she gives a token refutation but falls back on her role as Secretary of State to try and stay above the fray. And above the fray - I mean she may not really want to see Barack Obama re-elected. I may be strange but I just find the ad to be funny.

Would Hunter S. Thompson Vote for Mitt Romney?

It’s been almost 40 years and coming up on 10 Presidential elections since Hunter S. Thompson released his political opus Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72. Reading the book today it is almost impossible to not wonder what Hunter S. would make of the current election contest between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. The easy assumption would be to think that Thompson would support the Democrat Obama but would that really be the case? Too long an article to post here. Too much time invested by me to just give it away. Buy the essay Would Hunter S. Thompson Vote for Mitt Romney? Revisiting Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72. It's just $.99 and is well worth your time and money.

Nets Russian Billionaire Owner

I can't be the only one who still thinks this is the Russian guy who owns the Nets.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations. I'm conflicted about the Celtics two first round draft picks. I think both Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo are great value picks and even if only one guy pans out then the draft was a success. I'm conflicted because I knew who both players were going in and these days that's normally not a good sign... The show Louie was back last night but I missed it because the Red Sox were playing on the West Coast. Anyway - here's 50 cool pieces of Louis CK fan art (although some of these don't even look like him)... I was thinking that a good comparison for Sullinger was a slightly taller Ryan Gomes. I really hope Sullinger can stay healthy (note to Celtics - keep him away from any Red Sox medical staff)... Heh heh - Dora the Explorer the Movie... Last night Saint Bonaventure had a player taken in the first round of the NBA draft. I fully expect a 5,000 word screed from Bill Simmons about why can't Holy Cross produce NBA draft picks sometime today... Physics questions and the Avengers. I would seriously watch a show on the Science Channel that had physics professors answering these questions... Elizabeth Hurley was supposedly the original choice to play Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter movies. Hurley was (IMHO) at one point the hottest woman in the world... I love reading stories about Romney Superfan Jim Wilson. I would love to see regular guy Wilson debate Obama political operative David Axelrod...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

CC Sabathia to DL

Now I understand why he's on the DL. That must have been very uncomfortable.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Arizona Drone Strikes

If I was a lawmaker in Arizona, in view of yesterday's Supreme Court decision - I would abandon any policy of police pulling over suspected illegal immigrants. I would instead file a bill with the legislature asking for money for an armed drone program. This way police could call in a drone strike on the suspected illegals without having to go to the hassle of having to actually arrest them or deal with them in any way other than with Hellfire missiles.

Of course I wouldn't be serious about this domestic drone program but I think making the Obama Administration have to comment on such a change in policy would be worth the effort.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Red Sox Magic Number - 98

Currently the Red Sox magic number is 98 but that will probably change today. You would think I'd mention the average body temperature being 98 degrees but I want to mention a different 98 that will also probably change today.

Elias points out that the last player to reach Will Middlebrooks numbers of .331 BA / 9 HR / and 33 RBI though their first 40 games was Albert Pujols. And as good as Middlebrooks has been - lets not get carried away comparing him to certain Hall of Famers such as Pujols. In all honesty - Middlebrooks is not even close to being the AL ROY at this point. That honor belongs to Mike Trout of the Angels.

Getting back to the number 98 - that's also the number of career runs scored for 25-year old Josh Reddick (a number that could easily change today). What does Reddick have to do with Middlebrooks? Besides being highly touted Red Sox prospects both Middlebrooks and Reddick have been hitting HR at the exact same rate of 1 HR every 15.8 AB this season.  Let's remember Reddick as a reminder of how bad the last few deals by the Red Sox have been (Reddick for Bailey, Lowrie for Melancon, Scutaro for nothing) as we wait for the Red Sox to move the guy Middlebrooks is replacing - Kevin Youkilis.

Although to be completely honest - just getting Youkilis out of town in and of it self would be a good trade for the Red Sox at this point.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

How deliciously ironic would it be if President Obama's Executive Privilege ploy on the Fast and Furious scandal gets undermined by people leaking documents?... Pretty cool - navigating the solar system from your desktop... Is it just me or does Jarrod Saltalamacchia always look like he just came from a Phish concert?... 11 Authors who hated the movie versions of their books. Didn't know about the Mary Poppins story. They easily could have added Tom Clancy, Elmore Leonard and Ernest Hemingway to the list... Have you seen that Subway commercial where the fire chief steals and eats the fireman's sub? You know that same fire chief sexually harasses the female firefighter when nobody is around. You just know it... Wow - no wonder nobody is hiring! Obamacare adds $1.79 per hour to the cost of a full-time employee... My two word response to people who ask me why I support the death penalty - Jerry Sandusky.

Bill Whittle on Fast and Furious

I agree with this video 100%.

I keep waiting for reporters to ask the simple question of who was the Obama Administration official responsible for giving the green light to Fast and Furious. It's been a year and a half since the death of Brian Terry. Don't the parents of Brian Terry deserve at least that most basic answer? Any Democrat who asserts that this is just political grandstanding should be made to answer the question of who was responsible in public and if they can't provide the name then they should be asked to resign.

Friday, June 22, 2012

You Have to Be Kidding Me

When I heard about this I thought for sure it had to be a joke. But no its real.

Today President Obama spoke at lunchtime at the meeting of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials - the thing is the Secret Service did not allow any knives and prior to the President speaking even the forks were confiscated. Are you kidding me? Do you think the cutlery was confiscated when Obama had a dinner at George Clooney's house or at Sarah Jessica Parker's home? If this was an NAACP meeting would the sharp objects have been whisked away by the Secret Service?

To top it off the gist of the President's speech was that they couldn't trust Mitt Romney. The President who can't even trust his audience with forks is saying people can't trust Romney.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Saint Cornelius of Ireland

Though not widely remembered today - at one point Saint Cornelius of Ireland (not to be confused with Saint Cornelius of Antioch) was second in popularity in the Emerald Isle only to Saint Patrick. 

Saint Patrick is remembered for driving the snakes out of Ireland. Saint Cornelius was said to have driven the squirrels out of Ireland. This "miracle" of Saint Cornelius later proved to be his undoing. During the Great Potato Famine starving Irishmen and women wished they had tasty squirrel meat to eat and they cursed Saint Cornelius for driving out the furry rodents. In response to this outrage - Pope Pius IX removed Cornelius from the roll of official Catholic Saints.

Romney's Son Pranks Him With Schwarzenegger Sound Board

I thought this was pretty amusing.

Fast and Furious - Executive Privilege

Yesterday I jotted down my thoughts on Fast and Furious just prior to it becoming the dominant story of the day as President Obama used Executive Privilege as a get out of jail free card for Attorney General Eric Holder. Since then there has been much said about the President's action and what it really means.

I have three thoughts I'd like to toss out there.

1. People seem to want to make this an either / or situation. Either this is a legitimate use of Executive Power or the President and Holder are trying to hide something nefarious. I suggest a possible third path or explanation - this exercising of Executive Privilege may simply be another example of simple incompetence. Holder and Obama may just not understand the principle of Executive Privilege and this article by John Hinderaker seems to support the frivolous nature of the claim. Of course I don't rule out the option that the Administration is both trying to hide something AND incompetent.

2. Karl Rove on Fox News floated the idea that the Obama Administration knows this isn't good news for them but that they need a shiny object to keep people distracted from focusing on the economy for a few weeks and Fast and Furious was the least evil of the options available to them. This was a WOW! statement for me. The Democrats have tried Bain Capital, high school bullying, Romney's record as Governor, Mormonism, even an Executive Fiat version of illegal immigrant amnesty and now they are out of shiny objects? Wow - Obama's own people must think things are not just bad but awful if this is the case and Fast and Furious would be the LEAST damaging distraction.

3. Small quibble but anyone who says this is just "election year politics" should be reminded that this started a year and a half ago and AG Holder could have ended it at any time by just providing the information requested. He's the one that delayed things so it is now coming to a head 5 months before the election. The simple question of "who authorized Fast and Furious?" has not been answered. Until that question is answered this will continue to be an issue.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Time Running Out or Running out the Clock?

The New York Post has an article from Michael Walsh suggesting that time is running out for Attorney General Eric Holder. Walsh also argues for keeping the pressure on - a strategy I agree with. However, as I've said before - Eric Holder is trying to run out the clock - in effect running a "four-corners" offense until the November elections. Then either way, win or lose, the President can offer his friend a blanket pardon for any actions related to Fast and Furious.

Two thoughts:

1. I think the handling of the situation has been awful by the Obama Administration. Putting everything off to the very end just keeps the story in the news just when the Administration can't afford these types of stories. It was easy for friendly media outlets to ignore this story in the past but how can they possibly ignore a story about the Attorney General being cited for contempt? Giving the impression that the Administration is lawless and capable of anything is not the way to convince voters to give Obama four more years in November.

2. I wonder even if Obama gives Holder a blanket pardon - would that pardon cover crimes that occurred in Mexico? Could Mexican officials press charges against Holder for the dozens of murders and counting that are related to Fast and Furious and would Holder be liable to extradition?

This story will get bigger and bigger and the Obama Administration has no one to blame for the timing or the scope.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I'd pay good money to watch Niall Ferguson destroy Paul Krugman in a debate on the proper role of the government in the economy... Jeremy Guthrie is 3-6 with a 7.02 ERA for the Rockies while Jason Hammel is  7-2 with a 2.87 ERA for the Orioles. If that trade was not made by Dan Duquette then the Orioles are in last place with the Red Sox right now. How come Boston can't get a GM like that?... Over the weekend Rodney King died - taking with him to the grave the answer to who really killed OJ Simpson's wife. At least according to how many remember recent history... Obama plays 100th round of golf. If you added up the time golfing and the time spent at fund-raisers it should equal at least a full year's worth of time... The George HW Bush documentary 41 on HBO is well worth the time. A good film about a good man... Heh heh - this just made me chuckle.

Free Wi-Fi

This is a handy little Life-Hack list - Top 10 Ways to get Free Wi-Fi Anywhere you Go.

I book marked the list.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

US Open Odds

Some US Open odds via Darren Rovell:

- Furyk 9/4
- McDowell 5/2
- Westwood 6/1
- Tiger 12/1
- Els 15/1
- Hossler 100/1

Based on those odds a strategy of placing a few shekels on a combination of Westwood/Tiger/Els would probably be worth the gamble. If you put $100 on each you would be looking at a minimum of a 2/1 return on your money if any of the three won.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

It is amazing that Derek Jeter at age 38 leads the AL in hits. Amazing... Wicked funny - Jack Brayer and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog visit Chicago's Weiner's Circle... I've said it before but Barack Obama not campaigning in Massachusetts for Elizabeth Warren is probably proof that his polls show his presence would just antagonize likely voters into voting for Scott Brown... Awesome! Where are my dragons?... Todd Helton is the same age as Derek Jeter and has a higher career batting average (.321 to .313) yet Helton is not close to getting that magic 3,000 hits. Did going to college at Tennessee cost Helton a few years of playing and a potential spot in the Hall of Fame?... Speaking of Tennessee - as a former frat guy I think this is great!... A final Derek Jeter nugget - he needs just 10 hits for 3184 which would tie him for 14th place on the all-time hits list with Cal Ripken.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

In Lieu of Flowers - Defeat Obama

I was amused by this. The former owner of the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors apparently was not a fan of Barack Obama. James "Fitz" Fitgerald Sr. had this as the final line in his death notice:
Memorials may be made to St. John Vianney in Janesville, WI, St. Coletta of Wisconsin in Jefferson, WI or whoever is running against Barack Obama. 
Wow! From hell's heart I stab at thee Obama! The other two suggestions for memorials seem to be Catholic institutions so I wonder if the last suggestion had something to do with the Obama Administration's controversial contraception policies that Catholic Bishops are suing the government over.

The NFL Should Study the Rams

I was watching a National Geographic special on mountains and they showed some Rocky Mountain rams head-butting. My immediate thought was that the NFL should study how these rams can get up to speeds of 20 MPH prior to collision and basically do this all day without any apparent brain damage. The rams have a second layer of skull to help absorb the impact - but in essence isn't a football helmet just another layer of skull too? (That I'm thinking of the NFL in June also tells you about my hopes for a long successful Red Sox season.)

I mentioned this thought on Twitter (@ALargeRegular if you haven't followed me yet) and Chris Lindsay (@ChrisLindsay9) was nice enough to reply that a study had been done on woodpeckers.

The key finding from that study seems to be that woodpeckers keep their "pecking" to straight linear strikes whereas football head injuries aren't just linear but also the result of too much torque where the head rotates or twists. Getting back to the rams - their head-butting is pretty much linear as well. So maybe the key is getting rid of the torque?

This got me thinking that the future of the NFL may involve helmets like the one worn by the comic book villain (is he really a villain - because I always liked him) Juggernaut. He was impervious when wearing his helmet.

Or along the same idea - the new NFL helmet may make players look like the Sontaran warriors from Doctor Who.

This really could be the future look of the NFL.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fast and Furious Theory

I think anyone following the Fast and Furious scandal has come to the realization that Attorney General Eric Holder had to be involved and that knowledge and authorization for the operation may have even gone higher than him. Holder, however, has given no indication that he is going to resign and President Obama has given no indication that he plans to ask for Holder's resignation any time soon.

Let me share a thought that occurred to me earlier today - maybe Attorney General Holder's plan is to "run out the clock" until the November election. Then if President Obama loses - he can give Holder a blanket pardon for any involvement he may or may not have had in Fast and Furious. That way Holder doesn't go to jail and he also becomes the place where the buck stops. Holder will have incentive to say the President was in no way aware or involved in Fast and Furious.

The more I think of it - the more I think that this is a likely scenario.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thoughts I'd share.
Interesting - What the most successful people do before breakfast
Heh Heh - Its funny because its true. The One has become a punchline
Obama skips out on lunch tab - the funny thing is this comes right after Obama doing the metaphor of Bush sticking him with a dinner check. The gang that can't shoot straight.
Here's one of my favorite baseball commercials of all-time
If you are a Breaking Bad fan - how can you watch this and not get pumped up for the new season?
Eric McErlain is back to blogging
All the best to Sean McDonough who needs brain surgery. He literally has a hole in his head.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fast and Furious

I think this scandal will start to get more and more attention in the coming months - and well it should. Watergate didn't have a body count.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I normally like crunchy food but not when that food is Sausage Egg McMuffins... Another reason to like Kevin Durant - him playfully swatting the ball out of Kate Upton's hands... Combined the total area of the 27 countries that make up the European Union would still only cover half of the USA.... Cool - Pop Icons in a Different Light... With summer upon us here's a handy tip. In the wilderness dusk with crickets chirping in harmony - if you count the number of chirps in 15 seconds and then add 40 you'll get the air temperature in degrees Fahrenheit... Heh heh - its funny because it is soooo true...  One of my favorite little factoids - "Britney Spears" is an anagram for "Presbyterians"... Classic - Toy Story meets The Wire... Acifex is a product pronounced "ass-effects" whose possible side-effects could include gas, infection and constipation. That always cracks me up... This is also funny (to guys at least) because its true... I'm not really upset that HBO and Game of Thrones had a bust of President George Bush on a spike. I am upset that they switched actors playing Mountain Clegane between seasons 1 and 2... Interesting - How do they decaffeinate coffee?


I would really like to stay at the Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses in New Zealand.

If I had to stay in this hemisphere then I'd like to stay at this 727-themed hotel in Costa Rica.

Am I somehow subconsciously upset that I did not have a tree house as a kid? Either way - I'd love to stay at either place.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

There should be outrage at the Pacquiao decision but should there be any surprise? It is also funny listening to people on sports talk radio talk about the situation who did not even watch the fight (and no I did not watch the fight either).... Interesting common sense approach to business problems - The 5 Whys. I'm going to try to incorporate this approach into my every day life... The movie Heat would have been much more interesting if Al Pacino hunted Robert DeNiro with just a bow and arrow... My favorite moment of the Belmont was seeing Bob Costas interview jockey Johnny Velazquez. They were eye-to-eye. Man is Bob Costas short... Johnny Damon may not get to 3,000 hits but he already has more total bases than Wade Boggs - 4174 to 4064...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Red Sox Magic Number - 109

The Red Sox magic number for this season is now 109. When I hear the number 109 - I think of JFK and his PT 109. However this Red Sox team bears no resemblance of to heroic tales of WWII and certainly no resemblance to JFK who was much more a good Scotch and Cuban cigars guy than a fried chicken and Bud Light fan.

No this Red Sox team is much closer to another 109 - that's the number of career wins Carl Pavano will have with his next victory. This team certainly has a Carl Pavano feel to it. A team with a connection to those great Red Sox teams from a few years ago (Pavano was traded for Pedro Martinez). A team that should have great potential but inexplicably doesn't meet that potential. A team that can't seem to shake a better than .500 record (Pavano's career winning percentage is .502). A team that can't shake injuries. And a team that honestly isn't that likable.

I have to say that for the past few days I've been doing "what could have been" scenarios in my head. I've been thinking that a good general manager should adopt the physicians creed of "first do no harm." I've also been wondering if Ben Cherington and the team would have been better off if he had done nothing at all.

Let's look at some of the moves:
- December 2011 - Sox trade Jed Lowrie to Astros for Mark Melancon. They then also sign utility man Nick Punto. Lowrie has 12 HR and an OPS of .920 this season (only David Ortiz has comparable numbers on the Red Sox) while Mike Aviles has an OPS of just .708 and an OPS+ of just 89 (100 is average for a hitter). Melancon was viewed as a set-up guy but the Red Sox had a great set-up guy in Daniel Bard. So the Red Sox weaken themselves at short and tried to move Bard to starter - how's that worked out? Plus if Lowrie isn't traded then Aviles fills the role Punto has (and does a better job at it).
- December 2011 - Sox trade Josh Reddick to Oakland for Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney. So far Reddick has 14 HR which would be leading the Red Sox while Bailey hasn't pitched an inning for the Red Sox because the often injured pitcher is injured.
- April 2012 - Sox trade for Marlon Byrd who was awful and released in less than 2 months. The Red Sox needed a centerfielder but had the talented Che-Hsuan Lin at Pawtucket. Why not reward the talented youngster with a call-up? It would have been much better for the team and much better for the bottom line.

I won't even get into the Marco Scutaro salary dump trade. The point I guess is that the Red Sox have to move Kevin Youkilis soon and I hope when they do that they improve the team but first I hope that they do no harm.

Because rooting for this team is getting to be like rooting for Carl Pavano.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Backstreets - Bruce Springsteen

40-years ago today - Columbia Records signed Bruce Springsteen.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Kate Upton turns 20-years old on Sunday. Knowing this I now feel like a dirty old man (though I'm not really that old)... I'll Have Another is scratched from the Belmont on Saturday. Let the doping rumors begin!!... If you are a fan of politics and of JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings - you'll get a kick out of this photoshop... Barack Obama skipped going to Wisconsin to help out in the recall effort probably because his internal polls showed that it was a losing effort and he didn't want to be associated with that loss. I wonder if this also explains why he hasn't been to Massachusetts to help out Elizabeth Warren... Heh heh - PornHub wants Chad Ochocinco to change his name for one day to Seisnueve (69)... Is it some sort of subliminal advertising? I can remember a stupid commercial about a truck driving up a roller-coaster that's on fire but I can't remember what kind of truck it was. Just as well... What Wisconsin means for public sector union employees... Lord Stanley never actually watched a Stanley Cup hockey game. He just gave his sons the funds for the silver championship cup... I had a good laugh Tuesday night imagining Keith Olbermann sitting at home watching the election results and alternatively screaming at the TV, sobbing and stuffing his face with comfort food...

Caller ID

Heh Heh

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Bill Clinton's Support of President Obama

All of the talk of former President Bill Clinton's "support" of Barack Obama has made me think of Teddy Roosevelt who said in 1898 of then President William McKinley that he had "no more backbone than a chocolate eclair." But of course I'm sure that in the next breath Roosevelt would say that he supports McKinley. In the strange bedfellows department - McKinley then turned around and made Roosevelt his choice for VP in the 1900 election.

All of which made me think of the strange bedfellows aspect of Clinton and Obama. Of course if Clinton made the "chocolate eclair" remark about Obama - he'd be called a racist.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

File this under "One of these things is not like the other" - of the four remaining teams in the NBA playoffs - three are coached by men who are considered in the top 4 of NBA coaches. The other team is the Heat... Gates to White House - STFU... Kevin Garnett likes to talk about taking a lot of pride in his "craft." That's why it disappoints me that nobody ever describes him as "crafty". Or even a "crafty vet"... Interesting - resampling the Wisconsin exit polls show that Mitt Romney is either tied or ahead of Barack Obama... Some time in July I plan to strap an old Christmas tree to the roof of my car, dress up in a Santa suit and drive around City Hall 50-times. I'll have someone video the reaction of onlookers... Spooky or cool science? Gravity hills... This joke would be funny if it wasn't so sad that its true. "You can always tell a guy who masturbates a lot by looking at his hands. If you look closely - you'll see a wedding ring"... Incredible photograph - the sun, Venus, the Taj Mahal and a bird... Just a reminder - Rex Ryan will have to go 7-9 to equal Herm Edwards record in his first 4 years as Jets coach (35-25). There's a good chance Ryan doesn't do it... This was just awesome. Hitler finds out that Scott Walker won the Wisconsin recall election... The show Unlocking the Universe is one of the best science shows ever made... Who knew? Tim Burton's first choice to play title role in movie Beetlejuice was Sammy Davis Jr...

A Conversation with Ray Bradbury

Author Ray Bradbury has passed at age 91. The above inspiring talk gives you a good flavor of the man.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.
How the real Jaguar marketing people felt about their car being the center of Mad Men attention.
The Wire - The Musical (and I know everyone on the Internet has linked to this but that's because its good)
Cool story of original  E Street Band drummer Vinny Lopez being a caddy at the US Open
Inspiring story of high school sportsmanship 
Good story on Anthony Bourdain moving to CNN
Jack Twyman - the greatest teammate in NBA history. Words cannot do justice to how great a human being Jack Twyman was. The world is poorer for his passing. (Thanks to Keith for the link.)

Monday, June 04, 2012

Barack Obama and the Preference Cascade

Ed Driscoll has a very nice piece entitled "Obama Gets Left Behind" The Preference Cascade Begins to Build.

I'd add a couple points to the argument.

1. The Obama Administration severely miscalculated on the contraception issue. They tried to force something on the Catholic Church and they were completely caught unaware by the resistance they met. Now the Administration is being sued by the Catholic Bishops and the religious Right to Life are asking why they are supporting this guy? Sure the bible says "give unto Caesar" but the idea that Obama thinks of himself as Caesar is in itself off-putting.

2. The "Polish Death Camps" gaffe was an unforced error but the unwillingness to apologize was hubris. Combined with the Catholic contraception issue - the support of many Polish-Americans who may normally vote Democrat now may be in play. This demographic may be the deciding factor in many battle-ground states.

3. One parallel to the preference cascade that bears mentioning is how people self-report. Many Democrats may be saying they are supporting Obama when asked by pollsters but may act completely different when alone in the voting booth. Don't be surprised if the polls are found to be off by a big factor the day after the election.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Jason Stark, Ryan Braun and Steroids

Jason Stark of ESPN makes the case that perhaps the best evidence that Ryan Braun was as innocent of using steroids as he claimed is the fact that this season Braun is basically hitting the exact same as last season. While the stats for this comparison certainly make for a nice column - the logic behind it is lacking. Two words came to mind when reading Stark's offering - David Ortiz.

David Ortiz is having perhaps the best season of his career - that does not mean that Ortiz never took banned performance enhancing drugs. He certainly did. Ortiz admitted that he tested positive in 2003. If I worked for ESPN I could probably put together a column comparing Ortiz' 2012 season to his 2003 season and what would my argument be - that Ortiz is back on the juice? That would be silly. But would it be as silly as Stark's argument that Braun's 2012 season somehow proves he didn't juice last year?

The Bowling and Beer Fitness Regime

OK - how's this for a way to improve your physical fitness - go bowling and drink beer! Sounds good - right?

Here's what I'd like to do. During the summer go bowling three times a week. Each time bowling I'd bowl three games. Now bowling in and of itself is exercise but the extra wrinkle I'd add is after each frame I'd do a push-up for each pin left standing. This would both help me work on my strength and give me incentive to improve my game. Although I'd have to weather the strange looks I'd get from other bowlers but I don't mind that so much. The push-ups would be the stick. The carrot would be that for each strike I'd bowl - I'd reward myself with a cold beer after bowling was done. This last wrinkle may be too much as the better I get the more damage I'd do to my liver - so the physical benefits of the experiment may actually be negative. Maybe the answer would be to average the number of strikes and spares from the three games and that would be the end of night beer reward.

You could do as many push-ups before the summer experiment started and then at the end of summer see how many more you could do. I'm guessing the number of push-ups you could do in a single "sitting" would double.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.
Tornado tracks in the US from the past 50 years
Heh heh - what men see
Paul Pierce and the Celtics do seem to be playing LeBron James and the Officials. Love Brad Daugherty for saying it.
 Is this the most beautiful bookstore in the world? I love bookstores and libraries.

The Wire

It has been exactly 10-years since The Wire debuted on HBO.

Maxim had an excellent oral history of show. Must reading for any real fans.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Tyranny of Cliches

Jonah Goldberg's The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas was a very enjoyable read. I would quibble with the title of the book since it dealt more with ideas than cliches. The book informs the reader about the political science and history of a variety of subjects and does so in a most amusing way. It gets two big thumbs up from this guy.

Some of the "cliches" dealt with have often bothered me - "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" always seemed like a crap expression. The moral equivalence involved in thinking such thoughts is sickening to anyone who takes the time to really break down what is being said. I wonder how many MSM pundits have called Bobby Kennedy's murdered Sirhan Sirhan a freedom fighter?

The history behind some of the sayings and ideas like "let them eat cake" was particularly enlightening while the hypocrisy involved in most of the other ideas mainly left one angry. For instance when some Hollywood actor threatens that if so-and-so gets elected then they will move out of the country.  Goldberg points out that what they are really saying is that they value their own political beliefs over the beliefs of other citizens and even over the country itself.

Titus Welliver - Al Swearengen Auditions

If you are a Deadwood fan - you'll love this.

Kevin Youkilis

The debate in New England right now is who will be traded first - the Bruins goalie Tim Thomas or the Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis? The Red Sox have denied that Youkilis is on the trading block but come one - who are you kidding?

The Red Sox have every reason in the world to be looking to trade Youkilis; he's highly paid and moving his salary will give them more flexibility for the rest of this year, they already have a better replacement in rookie Will Middlebrooks who also happens to be a fan favorite, and they are going to have to cut him after the season anyway because the Red Sox will not be picking up Youkilis' 2013 $13 million option. Of course they are looking to trade him.

Please note that I am not definitively saying he will be traded but I am saying Youkilis is on the trading block. The Red Sox may keep Youkilis for the rest of the year if they cannot come to agreement with another team on pieces that will help the team either this season or down the road. To tell us he is not on the trading block is to ask fans to suspend belief.