Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Carl Reiner

Entertainment and comedy giant Rob Reiner has passed aged 98.

Alan Sepinwall - Carl Reiner: Exit Laughing

Ken Levine on Carl Reiner

The Hollywood Reporter on a life of accomplishment lived with humor and humility

Cam Newton

A number of people have asked me what I think about the Patriots signing Cam Newton. The truth is - I'm not sure. Yes I wanted to see what Jarrett Stidham could do as New England's starting QB but then again "In Bill We Trust."

This is a very low risk move by Bill Belichick and the Patriots. Newton is reportedly signed to a veteran's minimum contract. If he works out then the Patriots have cap space next year to re-sign the QB. If not then if Newton has to be cut and released, for whatever reason, there will be little roster or cap impact.

You wonder will Cam be able to pick up the Pats offense in such a short time-frame? In comparison Tom Brady has had a couple of months now to get to know Tampa's offense. Also, unlike Brady, Newton has some physical issues namely shoulder and foot injuries from which he's returning. Nobody is 100% sure how game-shape healthy Newton really is.

Bill Belichick likes competition at all positions if possible. Now he has a legitimate competition at the QB position. Josh McDaniels can feel comfortable designing an offense that highlights the skills of both Stidham and Newton. It will be interesting to watch the competition unfold.

Just hope Cam Newton is not still a vegan.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

"What can be added to the happiness of the man who is in health, who is out of debt, and has a clear conscience." - Adam Smith... Heh Heh... I'm really hoping that the "woke-police" come for Yale - trying to insist the school change it's name. But in the back of my head I keep thinking this could be the most elaborate MIT prank ever... "When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love." - Marcus Aurelius... Really don't see how The Washington Post thought that this was a good rebuttal to President Trump's claim... Almost Soft would be a good name for a line of discount toilet paper... "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." R. Buckminster Fuller... No doubt in my mind that if were left to an Internet poll then Yale University would be re-named as Discount Harvard. All those rich Crimson alums would make that happen...

Remembering Gettysburg

One hundred and fifty-seven years ago to this very day Confederate forces under the command of General Robert E. Lee were massed on one side of a small Pennsylvania town called Gettysburg while Union forces under newly appointed General George Meade were amassed on the other side of the small town. Over the next three days these forces were to fight arguably the most important battle in the history of the United States. Yet today you will hear very little mentioned of the battle in either the newspapers or on TV. 

Why was this the most important battle in the history of the United States? 

General Lee had come North out of Virginia to find the Army of the Potomac and to beat it in open battle. If he was able to accomplish this – then Confederate President Jefferson Davis was to give Abraham Lincoln an offer of peace. 

If Lincoln accepted this offer of peace then the country would have forevermore been divided into two nations. If Lincoln refused the offer of peace (which he would have) – then chances are that Lincoln would have lost his bid for re-election to the Presidency. His opponent General McClellan would have accepted the peace plan if elected and again – the nation would forevermore have been divided. 

Think of the implications: 

· How much longer would slavery had survived? Would it still exist today? 

· Would a Spanish Mexico and an English Canada have taken over what are now the Western States? 

· Would Nazi Germany been stoppable in WWII without a “united” United States? 

· Would Communism have been defeated without a “united” United States? 

Luckily we did not have to find out because Jeb Stuart did not return in time to inform General Lee of the Union’s strength; because General Heth ignored Lee’s order to not engage the enemy on the first day; because General Ewell lost his nerve and did not attack and take the high ground when he had the chance and because Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine made their heroic stand on Little Round Top. 

The North won the battle and went on to win the war. For that we are thankful. 

Months later after the battle, on November 19, 1863, a somber President Lincoln made the following speech: 
Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.

We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth.
Now it’s a 157 years later and you would be hard pressed to find mention of the battle anywhere. Funny – Lincoln thought we would remember the battle and forget his speech but the opposite has occurred. 

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The United States has always been a forward-looking nation. We tend to dream of the future instead of dwelling on our past. It is one of our strengths. 

Still - we should remember the sacrifice men made today and the next three days 156 years ago to preserve for us the great Nation we have today. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Spiders on Drugs

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If you added "Candidate McCandidateface" to most polls of Presidential candidates - how much would you like to bet that McCandidateface would be the top vote getter?... Pretty sure this is the casting photo for the re-make of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead set in modern times (have I mentioned how underrated that movie is)... "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." - E.E. Cummings... Some excellent advice... Just saying but after the Civil War Robert E. Lee asked Congress for a pardon. It was never given... Heh Heh... On Zoom meetings a beer poured into a glass can look just like green iced tea - the more you know!...

Life Advice

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Is it wrong that going forward I'm going to judge a person's intelligence on whether or not they use TikTok? It's socially unacceptable to use the "R-word" today but we could certainly use TikTok instead. "You never go full TikTok"... Wailing Monkey Climbing Tree would be a good name for a heavy metal Barbara Streisand cover band... "Nature never deceives us, it is we who deceive ourselves." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau... This is seriously cool... If people really want to protest something they should protest the fact that Bad Company is still not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That's a protest I could get behind... In these times of trouble please remember that Epstein didn't kill himself... Happy 49th birthday to Elon Musk. Maybe 50-years from now this day will be a national holiday...

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Very cool but one of the guys was clearly playing a guitar.

Mel Brooks

Happy 94th birthday to funnyman and American icon Mel Brooks.

Be sure to rewatch his moves before they are all cancelled by people with zero sense of humor.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Alarmed by spiking coronavirus Wuhan virus numbers? Here's why officials insist they aren't worried. "'The most important data continues to be looking at our death data and our hospitaliztion data and our rate of positivity, and... all of the indicators really point to the fact that we are fairly stable and that we continue to slow the spread of COVID-19'"

- Florida suspends drinking in bars. Open up the bars, close the bars, Jesus stop jerking people around!

- Hemingway's advice to aspiring writers

- Democrats really cannot let this man debate President Trump

- The Bar Fight Molecule is my spirit animal.

- Scott Adams on becoming a better writer

- I really want this painting

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

President Trump wants federal hiring to focus on skills over degrees. I support this 100%. I would also add that any federal job (including the US Post Office) should give preference to former active duty military personnel with four years of service and an honorable discharge over anyone with a liberal arts degree... Heh heh - excessive masturbation is hurting China's military. Wonder if this is one of the side-effects of China's one-child policy. All these guys and no girls. As the Brits would say, "Wankers!"... "Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow." - Plato. Excellent advice... I can foresee the Trump Administration announcing a Free Trade Agreement with the United Kingdom sometime around September. Such an agreement makes a lot of sense and the timing would help both nations' economies recover from the damage caused by COVID-19...  "Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." - John Steinbeck. I wonder if the author of The Grapes of Wrath would feel the same way if he could see today's entitled white upper middle-class and radicals... 

EDIT: Just noticed that the China masturbation story was almost 3-years old (but it was new to me)

Last Words

I'm an awful person for laughing at this.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Interesting look at Quantum Biology. I think this field will have major breakthroughs in the next decade.

- A true American bad ass!

- Guy who reverse-engineered TikTok reveals scary things. "There's a reason governments are banning it. Don't use the app. Don't let your children use it. Tell your friends to stop using it. It offers nothing but a quick source of entertainment that you can get elsewhere without handling your data over to the Chinese government. You are directly putting yourself and those on your network (work and home) at risk."

- Heh Heh

- San Francisco Giants will not have fans at the park this season. The Giants and any team that follows suit should not share in any gate revenue when they play on the road. The reasons for following MLB keep getting fewer and fewer. 

- Canada becomes first to lose AAA rating at Fitch

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

One probable outcome of the combination of COVID-19 economic effects and Seattle's CHOP debacle is the chances of Seattle getting another NBA team have probably been flushed down the toilet. Any pro sports team expansion is probably not happening now and even if it were why would the NBA go to a city whose existing businesses will soon be fleeing?.. This was no coincidence. "10 states had unemployment rates in May above 15%. They are all states with Democratic governors, with the exception of deep-blue Massachusetts with its liberal Republican governor, Charlie Baker."...  And speaking of Seattle's CHOP - yesterday I saw that both CHOP and Jay Cutler were trending on Twitter. How funny would have been if this was because Jay Cutler was filming a new reality show about him living in the autonomous zone and not giving a shit about anything. They could call it The Ultimate Nihilist... And speaking of protests - how funny would it be if it turns out the attacks on statues in Washington DC and Philly were underwritten by the Boston Chamber of Commerce as a way to increase the value of Boston's Freedom Trail business... "What I've learned in my life is if someone is acting badly, they're in pain. It's a really simple rule, they're either scared or in pain." -Sebastian Junger...

Life Advice

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- The Segway, the most hyped product since the Macintosh, ceases production. Way back in 2005 I compared the Segway to Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers. Don't think I was far off.

- CCP China really could be in trouble between the protests in Hong Kong, the Wuhan Virus, the border skirmishes with India and a number of other issues. Western corporations would be wise to decouple soon before the bottom really falls out.

- Nassim Taleb - IQ is largely a pseudoscientific swindle.

- 30 (current) beers that changed America

- Businesses sue Seattle over "occupied" protest zone. Good! And if the plaintiffs win how is Seattle to pay the damages? Their modus operandi has been to raise taxes which in turn will force other businesses to flee the city. Seattle could also appeal to the Federal government for relief but good luck with that!

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

With Rhode Island changing the State's official name because of perceived connotations of "Providence Plantations" - should Mass change their official name from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to the Republic of Massachusetts to avoid any perceived socialist connotations? One can only hope... Always remember, "Journalists aren't neutral - they're the cavalry in the culture wars." - Naval Ravikant... I think one of the reasons that statues haven't really come under attack in Massachusetts is because history is a big tourist attraction here (Freedom Trail, etc.). And the local politicians know that... "In order for men to do great evil, they must first believe they are doing good." - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn... Neural Darwinism can be cured by taking long walks. So many smart people throughout history made taking long walks a part of their daily routine. This was just a fancy way of saying long walks (especially in nature) help keep your brain fresh and active...

Bourdain Day

Today would have been Anthony Bourdain's birthday. Raise a glass to his memory. I may watch a few episodes of No Reservations later today.

Custer's Last Stand

Today is the 144th anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn also known as Custer's Last Stand.

The lasting image I have when I think of Custer's Last Stand is the comic portrayal of Custer by Richard Mulligan in the greatly underrated movie Little Big Man.

My favorite historical oddity about the Battle of Little Big is the fact that the Battle also marks the death of George Custer's younger brother Thomas Custer. What's odd about that? Thomas Custer was one of the few two-time Congressional Medal of Honor winners in US history. Nobody remembers Thomas Custer though.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A Blast from the Past

From the great mind of Iowahawk.

A reminder of how lucky America is to have Elon Musk and Tesla.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- VDH on what happens when the madness ends. You should read this one twice!

- And an example of what VDH was talking about. (Hat tip Instapundit)

- The parks of Minneapolis. This sort of thing is going to force some people to make drastic changes on how they vote. And others to simply move out of "progressive" havens like Minneapolis.

- Interesting look at how COVID-19 could effect the NFL salary cap with a particular look at how it could actually benefit the New England Patriots.

- The general wisdom of Ulysses S. Grant.

- Interesting article - How I became a poker champion in one year

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Serious question - in a secret ballot do you think the athletes of the MLB, NBA or NFL would vote to make Joe Biden the head of their players' associations or unions? Honestly do you think with their own financial well-being in the balance they would vote to elect Joe Biden as their leader of their unions?... How people view me... "Sir, there is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern." - Samuel Johnson. I really miss going out to a bar... I wonder if on his deathbed it pissed Christopher Hitchens off that Henry Kissinger would outlive him. My guess is that Hitchens made peace with his situation but I always wonder... I want this painting... Saw that Bill Simmons was trending on Twitter and it turns out it is because of a lack of diversity at The Ringer (read the whole Twitter thread). Simmons has become increasingly political on his podcasts which has made them largely unlistenable. Zero black editors and zero full-time black writers covering either the NBA or the NFL reinforces the dictum of watch what a person does not what they say. It will be interesting if he goes the sackcloth and ashes route or goes into hiding like his friend Jimmy Kimmel. Don't get me wrong I give Simmons tons of credit for his success and that of The Ringer but his constant virtue signaling makes this schadenfreude train wreck tough to turn away from. I'm sure Bill is confused by all this I mean didn't people listen to his podcast with Jalen Rose? Somewhere Kyrie Irving is chuckling...

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Top 5 - New Wave Songs

This is a different type of Top 5 list because these aren't actually my Top 5 New Wave songs. Instead these are the five songs I'd suggest adding to Cultural Offering's New Wave playlist. List in no particular order. Enjoy:

1. Fascination Street - The Cure
2. Straight to Hell - The Clash
3. Hey Saint Peter - Flash N the Pan
4. Bedbugs and Ballyhoo - Echo and the Bunnymen
5. Love Spreads - Stone Roses

These were basically off the top of my head but they are songs I regularly would play on a bar's jukebox. Also not sure if The Clash technically counts as "New Wave" but Combat Rock came out in 1982 so I'm going to count it. There's many, many other songs that could be added. Great period for music.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Is it possible that people will flee certain large cities like NYC to the point where the rent control apartments will be above market value? I can see that happening... If you vandalize a statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn in Austin you aren't a protester - you're an ignorant fuckhead criminal... Prediction - someone will come out with a fantasy football app where if an NFL player on your roster kneels during the National Anthem then that player is not eligible for any points that week. Not saying this is right or wrong but I am saying there would be a market for such an application... I would love to see Tesla come to some agreement to purchase the rights to the now defunct Pontiac brand. I think there would be a market for Tesla power trains, batteries and engines housed under a classic Firebird Trans Am body... If the NBA gets it going in the Orlando/Disney "bubble" it would be nice if the NBA and Disney allowed anyone staying there to accrue any loyalty program benefits even though the teams and the NBA will be paying the bills. Won't mean much for the millionaire players and owners but it would be a nice touch for the team and league personnel who have to be away from their families... Given recent world events I wonder if Alan Moore has changed his mind and dislike for the HBO adaptation of his graphic novel Watchmen... "Sometimes success is 3% brains and 97% not getting distracted by the Internet." - Shane Parrish...

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Post-Pandemic, is the world likely to become significantly less flat? (Hat tip Stephen Landry)

- Cool - the life-cycle of  a blackberry by Sarah Jane Dawson

- How Tesla became the world's most valuable automobile manufacturer in just 16-years. And they accomplished this without any advertising which drives the revenue for traditional auto makers.

- Great lesson and life advice from Warren Buffett

- Heh Heh

- The Shake Shack police poisoning that never happened. I fell for this hook, line and sinker. Mea Culpa.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Ask Not for Whom the Bell Tolls - It Tolls for Thee MLB

Fenway Park used to be a place I'd go to watch Red Sox baseball games but going forward it will be a place I occasionally go to concerts. Like many baseball fans I've had enough.

It is still uncertain if MLB will even play any games in 2020. And if they do play - how many games? But for many fans, like myself, I could care less at this point if they come back or not.

The NBA and NHL are trying to resume their seasons and are much further along than baseball. If these leagues are successful then the epitaph for MLB is all but written.

By my count there are only 12 MLB markets that won't have competition (often on the same nights) from NBA or NHL playoff teams. Many markets, like Boston, will have competition from both the NBA and NHL. I know if it comes to a choice between a regular season game for the Red Sox or a playoff game for the Celtics or Bruins - I'm watching the playoffs. There's a good chance I'd only have the chance to watch less than a handful of Red Sox regular season games.

Then you also have to factor in college football and the NFL. Once late August and September rolls around how many sports fans in Atlanta, for example, are going to tune into a Braves game on a Saturday when Georgia is playing an SEC game or the Falcons are playing an NFL game on Sunday?

Fantasy Baseball is ruined for the season and many folks, again like me, are done with wasting my time with that pursuit. Not just for this season but done period! What's left to make the game attractive to viewers of any age at this point? Sure if the Red Sox make the playoffs I'll probably tune in (as long as it doesn't clash with the Patriots schedule or a top college football match-up).

I can even foresee a time in the not too distant future where the top professional baseball teams will actually be in Asia

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

"Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?" - Charles Bukowski... I thought Neil DeGrasse-Tyson was a bit pompous and full of himself (and perhaps he is) but if I'm being honest with myself I was probably just jealous of his quickness of intellect... So now 2020 has also given us "Meth-gators"... "Every high civilization decays by forgetting obvious things." - G.K. Chesterton... Another example why you can't trust experts... "It is not enough to have great qualities, we should also have the management of them." - Francois de La Rochefoucauld... If you have time today please read this essay "Solzhenitsyn's Prophesy." I would suggest that it is not just that "Men have forgotten God" as Solzhenitsyn states but as Bukowski suggests that people have forgotten who they themselves are out of conformity. That our great nation is forgetting obvious things in efforts to contort ourselves to meet the accepted concepts of the current moment as Chesterton suggests. And that our nation has the greatest framework for freedom, success and happiness but we are losing the management of the principles and guidelines of our Constitution as the de La Rochefoucauld quote suggests...

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Interesting profile of Doug Stanhope.

- Muhammad Ali's son says dad would have hated 'racist' Black Lives Matter

- Reason's case against qualified immunity

- I wasn't familiar with the history of the "Hard Hat Riot."  Would not be surprised if shorty history repeats itself.

- Interesting Werner Herzog interview.

Father & Son - Cat Stevens

Thought that would be a nice song for Father's Day.

Of course you may prefer to go in this direction.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

"You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time." - Donald Rumsfeld. I keep thinking of that quote whenever I see or hear people bemoaning the current choices for President and suggesting other alternatives... Oh the humanity! Covid-19 outbreak at Cruisin' Chubby's strip club in Wisconsin. Of course Covid-19 isn't the only virus these folks should be tested for... Having said the above that the choices in November will be either Donald Trump or Joe Biden there's a significant chance that the choice for Democrats may actually end up as Kamala Harris (or whoever Joe Biden picks as his VP candidate) if Joe Biden has to step aside because of his cognitive decline. But then that opens up a whole other can of worms... Heh Heh... Hiking Mount Wachusett in Central Mass with my daughter for Father's Day. Here's a nice article from Outside Magazine on suggested hikes in the White (New Hampshire) and Green (Vermont) Mountains... Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there... 

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Interesting interview with Marc Andreessen

- FEAR has two meanings

- Steven Pressfield - You too have a body of work.

- I want this photo as a poster

- Who is Marcus Aurelius? Getting to know the Roman emperor.

- 4 steps for self-leadership

Happy Father's Day

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

OK I'll say it! It is slightly hilarious to watch white people who until last week had never heard of Juneteenth trying to virtue signal on social media that they support making Juneteenth a national holiday... Interesting - SpaceX submits application to offer Starlink broadband service in Canada... I propose that we stop saying we are in a pandemic and start saying we are in a "virus panic"... Why don't we just cut to the chase and rename everything after Benjamin Franklin? He was the most laudable and progressive of the Founding Fathers. His biggest sin is he may or may not have participated in orgies and adultery... Heh Heh... The latest Gallup Poll shows the New York Jets are public favorites to win the next Super Bowl (because people always tell pollsters what they really think)... My new favorite exclamation is "That's how babies are made!" Make a long putt, "That's how babies are made!" Make a great pool shot, "That's how babies are made!" Try shouting it sometime...

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- What happens when the cops have had enough?

- Alaska removed infamous "into the Wild" bus after years of hiker rescues and deaths. Chris McCandless was not a hero nor someone to be emulated.

- RIP Ian Holm

- This is amazing

- Cool - map shows literal meaning of every country's name. For example Spain is "Land of Many Rabbits" and the United States of America literally means the "United States of America"

- Smart move - "the Patriots will allow season ticket holders with risk factors for COVID-19 to skip the 2020 season without losing their seats for 2021 and beyond"

Andrew Schultz and the Case for Joe Biden

Friday, June 19, 2020

Camay Soap 70's Commercial

Funny thing is if Rosie and Eddie were wearing masks they could run that commercial today.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- A former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst is going to federal prison for as long as 30 months for leaking classified intelligence to his girlfriend at NBC "News." Good! More of this please.

- Papa Hemingway and questions about masculinity in his works. If you read his books and didn't see the hints of his over-compensation then you need to work on your reading comprehension.

- Tough to argue that Hershel Walker doesn't make valid points about Joe Biden

- Canadian PM Trudeau fails to win seat on UN Security Council. Why? Maybe because "Trudeau did not have a basic understanding of international diplomacy." (Hat tip Execupundit)

- Interesting bit of history

- More good news! The Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act 73-25 allocating billions to National Parks and other outdoor requirements. President Trump called for the passage of the act so he's pretty much guaranteed to sign it.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

"Everyone seems to think the censorship movement won't come for them. If you think for yourself, it eventually will." - Matt Taibbi. If you don't this this is true you haven't been paying attention... I think at this point the AP Style Book should require "scare quotes" any time ABC "News", NBC "News", CBS "News" or Fox "News" appears anywhere in print. It's the only way to even come close to factual at this point... Heh Heh... "Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life." - Eckhart Tolle... Oh my God... Here's a modest proposal that I think would make both sides of political aisle really happy (or really pissed). First make both Juneteenth and Election Day national holidays but in exchange move Tax Day (traditionally April 15th) to Election Day. The idea on that last bit is both voting and paying your taxes are civic responsibilities - why not give people the day off to get both duties accomplished? I do think there's one political party that wouldn't want people reminded of high taxes on the day they go to the polls though. 

Elon Musk's Life Advice

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Some economic good news. I would consider myself in that 53% as well.

- Heh Heh

- Google, NBC "News", and The Federalist. As others have mentioned the idea of Google, which owns YouTube, having issues with the comment sections of anyone is the height of hypocrisy.

- Heh Heh

- This illustrates just how little we know. Physicists are pretty sure they know about 2.5 percent of the matter that makes up the universe and now they think they've identified another 2.5 percent. But that last 95% made up of Dark Matter - yeah we still don't know what that is.

- Heh Heh

- Winners of NASA's Photographer of the Year contest.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

In hindsight Marianne Williamson, crystals and all, would have been a better option for the Democrats than Joe Biden... ESPN reportedly is considering using Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit for Monday Night Football if the college football season is delayed or cancelled. I have a better idea - if the college football season is cancelled then ESPN should write a massive check to the NFL to move some games to Saturday night and have Fowler and Herbstreit do those games... I think this thing would kill more kids than abandoned refrigerators... "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt... How come CNN hasn't had uber expert Greta Thunberg on air to tell us what to think about BLM? What are they trying to hide?... College football prediction - the September 5th game between Oregon and North Dakota State will be cancelled using Covid-19 as the excuse but the real reason is the Ducks don't want to risk playing against QB Trey Lance who may be the best college QB in all of football (only kind of joking about this prediction)...

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

In 1920 when Warren Harding promised a "return to normalcy" - the word "normalcy" didn't even exist in the dictionary. We certainly could use a return to "normalcy" right about now. The biggest jump in retail sales could certainly help with that.. There should have been an episode of Magnum PI where Magnum saw Higgins kill his ex-wife and a waiter but kept silent about it for years... Once had a dream where I was in a group called The Slim Whitman Tribute Band but all we played were Primus covers. Yodeling Wynonna's Big Brown Beaver was actually pretty cool on many levels... "The secret of getting ahead is getting started." - Mark Twain... I like the term "active flexibility" which normally refers to exercise like yoga or kettle bell swings but could really be applied to any aspect of daily life...

The Battle of Bunker Hill

245 years ago today.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

1970 Dodge Charger 500 Commercial

Yeah that commercial wouldn't fly today. For so many, many reasons.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

What the hell? This Shake Shake should be closed as a crime scene until the guilty party or parties are arrested. I also wouldn't be against the NYPD letting it be known that they will no longer respond to any calls from any Shake Shack in the city... I'm always amused when the Chinese bemoans the US military's supposed "hegemonic politics." Don't they realize that most Americans don't even know what "hegemonic" even means? Jeez find another word... Pretty sure JFK would be cancelled by the modern Democratic Party for statements like this... Also pretty sure that one of the jobs that will be hardest hit by the pandemic will be that of the bathroom attendant. Which is OK by me since I always found the existence of that particular job troubling... Still say that Flag Day and Father's Day should be combined into Flags of Our Fathers Day to celebrate dads who served in the military... Masks for Men - really? What's next - bottled water for women?... "Isn't it funny that day by day, nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different" - C.S. Lewis...

OK I'll Say It

Colin Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL since the 2016 season. That season he started 11 games for San Francisco and the 49ers went 1-10 with Kaepernick as the starter.


There's many reasons why Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL in years and yes him kneeling during the National Anthem in protest is part of why he's been unemployed. Nobody should deny that. But that's not the sole reason.

Kaepernick probably saw himself as a starting QB not a back-up. NFL coaches and GM's probably disagreed. Kaepernick may have also wanted to be paid like a starting QB. And since he's been unemployed for three years I'm guessing coaches and GM's disagreed with him there too.

And the kneeling was controversial. What NFL coach wanted that controversy and distractions in their locker room when they are trying to win games? No NFL coach that I'm aware of.

And who knows if Kaepernick even wants to play football anymore. Doug Flutie and Warren Moon were denied opportunity to prove themselves in the NFL for different reasons. But they wanted to play so they took opportunities to play in the CFL in Canada where they showed they were NFL caliber QB's. But Kaepernick was not interested in playing in the CFL

Now NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he encourages a team to sign Kaepernick. But that would be up to the teams. Really Roger? If you really want that outcome I'll tell you how to do it.

First you say that any team who signs Kaepernick gets an extra roster spot for the year so that Kaepernick would not be taking a spot away from another player. Second you award the team that signs Kaepernick a compensatory draft pick between the first and second rounds of the draft. That's a BIG incentive. But the team that signs him has to carry him on the roster for a full year. I can't see the Players Association having a problem with these conditions

Two simple incentives guaranteed to get a team to sign him. But you won't do that Roger will you?

It's a farce but nobody will come out and say it.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Go woke go broke! ESPN ratings sink to 41-year history lows. Over the past 3-months I've watched the Jordan documentary and a few UFC fights and that's it. I won't shed a tear when the layoffs inevitably occur.

- For those who want to get into bird watching

- Nassim Taleb: The Mask Masquerade. Personally I wear a mask when in public as a common courtesy to others. But wearing a mask while alone in your car, on the beach, hiking, or golfing is just silly.

Stories and Data: Reflections on race, riots, and police. Highly recommended reading.

- A thread on heuristics (tips) to make good decisions from Shane Parrish

- Heh Heh (Via Instapundit)

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

No doubt in my mind that if Albert Einstein were alive today and an elementary school student in America some doctor would be telling his parents that he should be on Adderall because he can't seem to pay attention in school... Quantum Foam Pillows would be a good name for a band (or an actual line of pillows)... Interesting thread on how the Chinese Communists used persuasion on POWS in the Korean War and how it relates to social media...  Hillary remains the worst possible stage name for a stripper... The Gnomon (One Who Knows or Examines) would be a good name for a blog... "To be completely cured of newspapers, spend a year reading the previous week's newspapers." - Nassim Taleb...

Farnam Street Knowledge

- Karl Popper on The Line Between Science and Pseudoscience

- Why You Should Stop Reading News.

- Understanding You Circle of Competence: How Warren Buffett Avoids Problems

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Matthew Slater

"When you start looking at people as individuals -- not necessarily men/women, not necessarily black/white, not necessarily Democrat/Republican -- who they are, what their story is, what their life journey has been like, just try to connect and meet with them where they are. I think we've kind of moved away from that, with where we are in our society now. I hope that we can kind of move back in that direction. I have a lot of hope and faith that is something we can move toward as we navigate this uncertain time." - Matthew Slater

Patriots fans who have been paying attention know what a special person Matthew Slater is. I would vote for this man for any office he runs for but I think he plans to go into ministry once his playing days are over.

Quote via the excellent Mike Reiss.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

One silver lining if Joe Biden gets elected President then America can pretend the homeless problem doesn't exist for four years just as we did during the 8-years of the Obama Administration... Tyler Cowen's China- U.S. fact of the day. "China is asshole" and you can't trust assholes... "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." - Charles Darwin... I really want this painting... Kyrie Irving is an entitled douche. Just ask fans of either the Cavaliers or Celtics... Maybe the NBA's return won't be as simple or easy as it seemed. If the NBA has further delays it could clear the way for the NHL and hockey to have to sports world's attention all to itself... Good for the law enforcement officers protecting the Alamo. Don't mess with Texas...

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- VDH on name-changing and statue toppling. I remember a couple of decades ago being surprised that Fort Bragg was actually named after a Confederate General. It never seemed appropriate to me but VDH is probably right in that any changes should wait for a bit.

- Heh Heh

- Three indicted for throwing Molotov cocktails at NYPD vehicles face life in prison. Good!

- Why Officer Derek Chauvin may be acquitted of murder in the case of George Floyd's death. Makes a compelling case though I fear if Officer Chauvin is not convicted of at least manslaughter we may see another round of riots.

- Scholars raise concerns about teaching on Zoom after it acceded to Chinese government demands. (Hat tip Stephen Landry)

- In business there are four things to avoid when delivering bad news.

Don't Be a Cloud


Saturday, June 13, 2020

Friday, June 12, 2020

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Donald Trump should award Elon Musk the Presidential Medal of Freedom for returning American astronauts to space on American rockets launched for American soil. Perhaps he's just waiting for the right moment... What the hell?!?! Did that guy just die... Someone should write a satire book Nancy Pelosi and the Echo Chamber of Secrets... Question which still hasn't been answered - if lab grown meat technology is perfected will that allow McDonald's to offer the McRib year-round?... "It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion." - Dune. Perhaps my second favorite quote from the book behind "Fear is the mind killer."... I've read all the books in the Harry Potter series a number of times each and I can tell you that not once was Biology mentioned as a class at Hogwarts.... 

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Why it is as hard to flee an echo chamber as it is to leave a cult. "Maybe political allegiance has replaced basic reasoning skills." Maybe?

- Elon Musk's Boring Company set to expand its Las Vegas tunnel system to two Strip resort properties

- Some common sense, well-thought out law-enforcement reforms from Dan McLaughlin

- Heh Heh

- Unnecessary lockdowns created social turmoil, global suffering. Lockdowns were a false choice - NEVER AGAIN!

- Interesting

The Motley Fool's Simple Recipe for Financial Wellbeing

Work hard.
Don't spend too much.
Save the difference.
Low costs. 
Long term.

Really isn't more complicated than that.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Saturn's moon Titan drifting away at a rate of 4 inches a year. Our moon is drifting away from us at a rate of 1.5 inches a year.

- New SpaceX spacesuits get 5-star ratings from NASA astronauts. Part of me is sad because the previous space suits were manufactured in Worcester by the David Clark Company.

- Interesting - how the cornavirus has affected Xi Jinping's power in China. "Historically, a strongman in solid control of the military and secret police are rarely brought down by a single crisis. Instead, their authority and prestige are progressively eroded by a succession of policy errors and political missteps as doubts about their leadership grow among the ruling elites and the impact of their misrule fuels social discontent."

- The Gospel according to Peter Thiel. I find Thiel to be a fascinating person. (Hat tip Execupundit)

- Tesla is now the world's most valuable automaker. If not for Elon Musk American car manufacturers would be getting lapped by other nations. What happened? The USA used to own the car manufacturing market.


Arson is a horrible crime. For many people the worst possible way to die would be to be in a fire. And for small businesses many times there's no way to recover from having your life's work burned to the ground. The punishments for arson are harsh for a reason.

Besides the obvious of having to go to jail other punishments include:

- A person can't rent an apartment or be eligible for Section 8 housing. So an arsonist basically has to buy their own home or live with friends, family or parents. Makes sense because putting arsonists into apartments near law-abiding families would be as potentially dangerous as putting Covid-19 patients into nursing homes.
- Can't get Federal Student Aid if you state on your FAFSA application that you're a felon (arson is a felony). Do you think the bomb throwing students are aware of this potential repercussion?
- Felons can't vote (although many in the Democratic Party would like to change this).

Those are supposed to be the punishments and those punishments MUST be enforced. No plea bargaining down to "criminal mischief." Find the people who set fires or threw Molotov cocktails and prosecute them to the full extent of the law. Make them pay!

I'm not being draconian - the punishments for arson are harsh for a reason.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

What if Harambe was some sort of secret sentinel guarding the Gates of Hell and his death in 2016 let loose all the ills we are experiencing now? Thanks a lot Cincinnati!... Interesting - is the periodic table upside down?... Is it me or does it seem like we could be heading for a real-life enactment of Assault on Precinct 13 in the near future... Back half a dozen years ago or so I really wanted the Red Sox to sign Torii Hunter instead of Shane Victorino. Now I understand why this was never meant to be. And the Red Sox admit that Torii Hunter was not wrong to feel the way he did about Boston. Makes me sad... Did you know that Bernie Ebbers, the Worldcom/MCI fraudster, died in February? Just a month after being released from prison. I somehow missed that news... And did you know that a sequel to The Passion of the Christ is supposed to be released in 2021? The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection. James Caviezel is scheduled to reprise his role as the Son of God....

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Mystery at the Bottom of Physics

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Say goodbye to the TV show COPS. Paramount Network and ViacomCBS have not just pulled the plug on the show but they plan to take the show out of syndication. Over 30+ seasons of the show now being tossed into the memory hole... Still say there should be a GoFundMe campaign to replace all of the statues of Confederate generals in the South with statues of Gregg Allman... Our daily struggle with "Time Famine"... If a monogamy gene could be isolated in humans - could future prenup agreements require that the gene be activated prior to marriage through CRISPR?... "'I'm a Reagan Republican,' That means I want growth-oriented tax policies, a strong, secure national defense, limited government and maximum individual liberty." - Peter Hannaford from 2003. That quote seems to crystallize most of my political beliefs... Wow - big difference!...

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- NJ's small, networked dairy farmers are a model for a more resilient food system

- Week late but I got a kick out of this

- Speaking of Trump - the President plans to remove about 25% of the US troops in Germany. And the Germans aren't happy.

- This is from 2017 but recent Covid-19 "models" reinforce the point that "successful modeling with modern computers is 'mathematically impossible'"

- If Drew Brees was forced to apologize - what about RBG? Hmmmm...

- Honda seems to have been hit with a ransomeware attack (Hat tip Steve Landry)

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Joe Biden Attends a Black Church Service (Unattended)

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Perfect storm coming for some campuses - most colleges are facing massive budget cuts due to the Wuhan virus meanwhile students (who don't know any better) are enamored with the talking-point of "defund the police." Boom - bye bye campus police departments (I predict you'll see at least one college go this route)... Elon Musk calls for the breakup of Amazon. "Monopolies are wrong!" As an aside Jeff Bezos also happens to be Musk's biggest competition when it comes to privatized space travel... "How soon before the word "landlord" is attacked and becomes verboten language? I mean by definition a "lord" is male (death to the patriarchy)... So Conor McGregor has announced his retirement from fighting (again). I'll believe this is true in about 5-years... "Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised." - Marilyn Manson... So if spaghetti approached the event horizon of a black hole - would it too become "spaghettified?" Or would it turn into another form of pasta?...

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- FDR's masterful D-Day prayer

- Jordan Peterson - the Value of Beauty

- All four are white and all Democratic Governors oh and they have one other thing in common

- Cryo-electron microscopy has produced images of individual atoms in a protein for the first time. This could be a huge deal for both science and medicine.

- Protest in Hong Kong

- The Athletic lays off 8% of staff and institutes pays cuts across the board.

- The secret to long term wealth

Watermelons - Simon Van Gend Band

Fun little tune.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Billy Mills Wins 1964 Olympic 10,000 Meter Gold

Track and Field distance races aren't usually that exciting but I agree with poker legend Doyle Brunson that Billy Mills winning the 1964 Olympic Gold in the 10,000 meter may be the exception. (Honestly I had never heard of Billy Mills until Doyle mentioned this as one of the great forgotten moments in sports.)

Farnam Street Knowledge

- How to Remember What You Read

- How Not to Be Stupid

- Bird by Bird: Anne Lamott offers Some Instructions on Writing and Life. "There is ecstasy in paying attention."

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Priests Playing Poker

The sins associated with playing cards are nothing new. The Synod of 1404 forbade card-playing by the clergy and in 1423 Saint Bernard called for the faithful to go home, get their playing cards and burn them right in the public square outside of Saint Peter's in the Vatican.

I wonder if that ruling against clergy playing cards has ever been rescinded?  Personally I can't ever recall seeing a priest at a poker table. And now I really want a version of Dogs Playing Cards but with priests instead.

Library Porn

Saturday, June 06, 2020


Above is General Eisenhower's speech he gave on D-Day 76 years ago.

Here is the speech he planned to give if things went badly. He planned on taking full responsibility. Thank God he never had to give that speech.

A Reminder

Friday, June 05, 2020

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Heh Heh

- Good for Boris Johnson.

- Accounting for Stimulus Checks

- Heh Heh

- Urban foxes may be self-domesticating

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Now would be a good time for President Trump to announce he's moving the Department of Agriculture to Kansas and the Department of Energy to Texas... I'm still convinced that Peyton Manning and his brother Eli only work out using Shake Weights... After the passing of NBA Hall of Famer Wes Unseld on Tuesday I've become overly worried about another NBA great Tiny Archibald who is 71-years old and had a heart transplant two-years ago. Tiny was a childhood favorite of mine... This is from two years ago but really the Babylon Bee could just re-post periodically... Random NBA observation - Terry Rozier was having a pretty decent season for Charlotte scoring 18 points per game to go along with 4 assists and 4 rebounds per game before the season was interrupted... The Wages of Sin (Minus Taxes) would be a good name for a band...