Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Devil's Wheel

 

Strangely mesmerizing.

Is the Australian Open in Question?

Leaked emails reveal twists in the Australian Open vaccine drama. Supposedly nobody who wasn't "double vaxxed" would be allowed into the country but now it looks like some exceptions may be made. 

World Number One Novak Djokovic has not revealed his vaccine status (good for him) and his participation may be in question. And why would a person of Djokovic's stature and accomplishment want to quarantine himself for 14-days in a hotel as the exceptions require? If Djokovic and others decline to participate or are not allowed to participate - the winners of the Australian Open should have a huge asterixis next to their names in the record books.

If I were in Djokovic's shoes - I'd hold a competing tournament at the same time as the Australian Open and hold it in one of the Nordic countries that has completely removed all COVID restrictions. I'd sell the TV rights to this competing tourney and use those funds to pay the participants.  The IFT (International Tennis Federation) should question why Australia has one of the four tennis major tourney's in the first place. Open up a competition to replace Australia and generate so much more exposure and interest for the sport. Australia has no one to blame but themselves. Going forward the Australian Open should be relegated to the status of a local tourney and nothing more.

Cancel Culture Takes a Big "L"

Matt Taibbi on how the press tried and failed to hype a crisis into existence over Dave Chappelle's new Netflix special.

Agree with Taibbi that the "coverage across the board was ridiculously one-sided" and the press basically once again revealed themselves as being not only completely biased but also bereft of any sense of humor. Those in the media who argued that Chappelle "defended" the rapper DaBaby also probably thought he was defending Jussie Smollett in an earlier special.  

Dave Chappelle, himself, speaks out about the "controversy." And for the record - Hannah Gadsby is completely unfunny. 

Peter Thiel Thinks People Should Be Concerned About Surveillance AI

I think Peter Thiel is 100% right.

"If we say crypto is libertarian and that it is fundamentally a force for decentralization, then I think we should also be willing to say that AI, especially the low-tech surveillance form, is essentially communist."

"If you want to frame it as a technological race... I want the crypto decentralized world to work," he said.  

(HT Meanderthal)

Quotes for Today

 Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"It is amazing how much panic one honest an can spread among a multitude of hypocrites." - Thomas Sowell

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." - Epictetus

"That which we need the most will be found where we least want to look." - Carl Jung

"I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand." - John Wayne

Heh Heh


 Via

Monday, October 25, 2021

Bob Neumeier RIP

 

Not an exaggeration to say that Bob Neumeier may have been my favorite sports broadcaster from my youth. It would also not be an exaggeration to say that Neumy, along with Mike Lynch and Dan Roche were and are among the nicest people in Boston sports. He was one of a kind.

I Think It's a Great Idea

Governor Ron DeSantis wants to offer "anti-vax" police offers bonuses to come to work in Florida.

Was talking about this very thing this weekend with some friends. Florida and Texas are the perfect landing spots for these cops. Two things to add:

1. Many of these cops would be taking retirement and then moving to Florida. They would thus be both experienced but also fairly flush with cash which would also help the State's economy.

2. The article originally appeared on the Huffington Post and you can see the clear lefty bias in the article.

What We Lose When We Lose Thomas Jefferson

New York City takes down statue of the author of the Declaration of Independence.

Even though I have conflicted feelings about Jefferson - the author of the piece provides a compelling argument and some interesting history. One thing I'd point out is that removing Jefferson is not about slavery - it's about removing traces of our history and what this country was built upon. The statue of Teddy Roosevelt was removed from outside the Museum of Natural History in NYC and he never owned slaves.

Monday Flotsam and Jetsam

Have a new Flotsam and Jetsam column up at Substack.

As always if anything in the column made you smile or think please hit the Like button and share with your friends. Also please subscribe. Thanks in advance.

Cortes and Mexico

On the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, people from Mexico's smallest state Tlaxcala say their ancestors were liberators.

Some historians are revisiting "the accusation of treachery, arguing that Tlaxcalans and other city states were in fact fighting a war of liberation against the oppressive Mexica (as the Aztecs were known)." Interesting history. 

Quotes for Today

Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"Obscurity is the refuge of the incompetent." - Robert Heinlein

"Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." - Adam Smith

"Poems are always better than a bloody turkey foot in the mailbox,. Few would disagree." - Jim Harrison

"It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him." - JRR Tolkien The Hobbit

Truth

Sunday, October 24, 2021

If You Were Wondering What to Get Me for Christmas

 

The Jetson One only $92,000! Too bad there's only 20 minutes of flight time and that they're not in production until 2022. Next Christmas then!

More Good News

This was a long time overdue. Now make Congress obey the same set of rules!

Good!

Beyond Meat implodes after reporting catastrophic Q3 sales

You couldn't pay me to eat fake meat. Who the hell is buying $106 million's worth of this crap?

Our Purgatory is Their Nirvana

VDH catalogs the disasters of the first nine months of the Biden Administration and how the Administration is playing them off as no big deal.

VDH's columns can seem repetitive at times but that may be because he seems to be among the few in the media who recognizes that these things are BIG deals. And people need to pay attention to them. For instance we still have many Americans stuck and seemingly forgotten in Afghanistan since their plight is almost universally ignored by the corporate media who seem to prefer to cover what Netflix will do about Dave Chappelle instead. 

Indexing the Creator Economy

Interesting look at how the "creator economy" has not only become a real thing but big business. Next year expected to pass $10 billion.

Stripe is an interesting business.  

Quotes for Today

Here are some quotes that I hope may resonate with you.

"Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know." - Ernest Hemingway

"You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger." - the Buddha

"The most contrarian thing of all is not to oppose the crowd but to think for yourself." - Peter Thiel

"The secret to being likable is to not care if people like you." - Ed Latimore

Many a Truth is Said in Jest


 Via

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Heh Heh


 

First they ignore you

Then they laugh at you

Then they fight you

- J├Ągermeister

Via

The Gentleman Thief of Venice

A fantastic long read from the archives

Would make a great movie.

I Stand with Enes Kanter

More info on why the Celtics' Enes Kanter spoke out against China.

Kanter is a brave man living in exile from his own country. He knew he'd get death threats but spoke out anyway. 

Dem's Vaccine Mandates for Police are Bound to Backfire

Agree 100% with Glenn Reynolds on this.

I would also add that most of those who get the shots to save their jobs - there is bound to be a lot of resentment. That resentment will manifest itself in many ways - not least in who they vote for in upcoming elections.  

Quotes for Today

Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"You have to be odd to be number one." - Dr. Seuss

"If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind." - the Buddha

"Depend on nobody. Take pride in yourself. And fight for everything. That's the way it has to be." - Bob Gibson

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self." - Ernest Hemingway

Five Years Ago Today

Five years ago this was the prediction made by The New York Times. Just a reminder not to believe what you read in the New York Times.

Friday, October 22, 2021

KGB Defector Yuri Bezmenov's Warning to America

 

Must watch video. The video has been posted at many places the last couple of years but it is one of those things that NEEDS to be watched periodically to remind us of what this country is really dealing with.

A Sad Story

A movie's cinematographer has died after being shot by a prop gun on a movie set. The gun was fired by Alec Baldwin but until proven otherwise I'd hold him completely innocent. In fact - I'd say he's also one of the victims. Can't imagine how awful he must feel.

On the other hand - Hollywood has had so many cop show plot twists where someone switches blank prop gun bullets with real ones that I'll be following this story to see what the investigation finds. If only Columbo or Castle were on the case. 

EDIT: Seems like it was a real gun loaded with one real live round - not a "prop gun." Still giving Baldwin the benefit of the doubt - for now.

Can Elon Musk Become the First Trillionaire?

Some financial experts say that Musk could become the world's first trillionaire and it would because of SpaceX and not Tesla

Musk is currently the world's richest person with a net worth of $241 billion. Or as Morgan Housel puts it, "Elon Musk's net worth is now higher than the market cap of all but 25 public companies."

The US Navy is in the Best of Hands

NCIS wished the Navy a happy birthday with a picture of a Russian ship

Good enough for government work I guess. 

Web3 - the Future of the Internet

Have a new post up on Substack on Web3 - where I see the future of the Internet going in the very near future.

As always if you could share my post and perhaps let some of your audience try my writing and viewpoints - it would be greatly appreciated!

Is China a Paper Tiger?

China's economy slows amid power cuts and real estate crisis. "The world's second largest economy could contract even further as the year draws to a close."

Increasing energy costs and food shortages will further hurt the Chinese economy and trust/obedience to the CCP. Also do not trust China's self-reported growth numbers. The CCP is not to be trusted.

Quotes for Today

Some quotes that I hope may resonate with you.

"All cruelty springs from weakness." - Seneca

"Professionals are people who can do their best work when they don't feel like it." - Alistair Cooke

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan

"If you take care of the minutes, the years take care of themselves." - Tibetan Proverb 

Especially True When It Comes to Sports Betting


 Via Shane Parrish's great Knowledge Project podcast.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Good on Enes Kanter

"The NBA's Chinese broadcast partner abruptly erased Boston Celtics highlights and live streams from its website and app on Thursday, not long after Celtics center Enes Kanter called China's leader, Xi Jinping, a 'brutal dictator.'"

How do you insult a pig by calling it a pig? Don't trust China - China is asshole! Free Tibet! Free Hong Kong!

What if the Universe Had No Beginning?

Interesting look at casual set theory and how it fits into quantum physics

This theory competes against string theory and loop quantum gravity. In my opinion string theory is a waste of time. It should be noted that it's not just casual set theory which imagines a universe without a beginning - loop quantum gravity does the same. In fact even Georges Lemaitre, who came up with the concept of the Big Bang, thought the Big Bang may not have been the beginning. Lemaitre, who was a Catholic priest, even persuaded the Pope not to say that the Big Bang was confirmation of the Biblical creation story because there was a chance it may not have been the beginning of things.

"A huge part of the casual set philosophy is that the passage of time is something physical." This - right there is why I lean towards casual set theory as being correct according to my intuition.  

(HT Newmark's Door)

Thursday Flotsam and Jetsam

Have a new Flotsam and Jetsam column up on Substack.

As always if it makes you smile or think - please hit the like button and share with people. 

Operational

Steven Pressfield on the military term "operational" and how it applies to writing.

If you have been thinking about a project - declare yourself "operational" and get to work.

As always the comments on these posts are also well worth your time.

Quotes for Today

Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"If you're trying to fit in, you'll never reach your potential." - Shane Parrish

"Socialism is astrology for beta males." - Jack Posobiec

"Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic." - Frank Hebert Dune

"Practiced execution become game results." - Mike Lombardi

Agree 100%

Via

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Keith Olbermann has Been a National Joke for a Long Time

The moment Keith Olbermann became a national joke.

And it should be noted that the take-down came from the left - SNL and Ben Affleck.

How to Rev Up Innovation

Matt Ridley's article is geared towards the UK but the principal it true for all free counties.

As Lord Ridley states, "Innovation is the source of all prosperity." And as he emphasizes, "One of the key elements that is required for innovation to flourish is freedom." That underscores how voluntarily giving up your freedoms through censorship, vaccine mandates and other way is not just morally wrong but in the end also economically damaging. 

Big Media Brought to You By Pfizer

If you were wondering if "Big media" and "Big Pharma" were working together.

You could probably do a "Congress brought to you by Pfizer" as well seeing how much of Congress is making money off their sudden investments in the company. In journalism and politics "follow the money" used to mean something completely different than how the media and Congress are profiting today.

Lectures from Limousine Liberals

Bridget Phetasy with a tremendous look at the narcissism and hypocrisy of elitist liberals and how it was laid bare by their actions during the pandemic. Bravo! Make sure to read the whole thing.

Think it was Naval Ravikant who observed that if politicians and journalists stopped getting paychecks - the lockdowns would end tomorrow. How true!

Southwest Airlines Backs Down

Southwest Airlines scraps plan to put unvaccinated workers on unpaid leave.  

Chalk this up as a win for the pilots union. Common sense seems to have prevailed.

Quotes for Today

Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending." - C.S. Lewis

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."- Stephen Hawking

"Don't eat a scorned woman's spaghetti." - Chris Lynch

"Eternity is a mere moment, just long enough for a joke." - Hermann Hesse

Tom Petty - Don't Do Me Like That

 

This song was written by Tom Petty back in 1973 back when he was still in Mudcrutch. It was offered by his record label to the J. Geils Band who turned it down. The song ended up being Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers first Top 10 single in 1979 on the Damn the Torpedoes album. 

Today would have been Tom Petty's 71st birthday. Gone way too soon.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Heh Heh


 Via

The Cutter - Echo and the Bunnymen

 

Another mostly forgotten classic.

China as Military Threat to US

 

Some people still don't think China is a military threat to the United States. The above video is of China's Unitree company which seems to have blatantly stolen Boston Dynamics robot technology. Imagine all those robots equipped with weapons.

In even bigger news, China recently surprised the US with a hypersonic missile test. This is eye-opening for many reasons. First, our intelligence agencies and our military seemed to have been caught flat footed - not even aware China was close to this capability. Guess they were too busy spying on us and working on their wokeness. Secondly, it shows the awareness of President Trump in forming the Space Force. If the Chinese are weaponizing space we need to be ready. Finally, it really helps emphasize that we need to get our military house in order.  

And we haven't even mentioned China's biological weapons.

More on Nick Rolovich

Dan Wetzel with, I believe, a pretty fair look at Rolovich being fired as head coach at Washington State. The fact that four assistants also had to be fired shows Rolovich wasn't alone in his beliefs in that locker room. 

It should be noted that Rolovich was paid $3 million last year and was set to make that much this year as well. No information on what he receives as termination pay but I'm sure it will be a hefty amount. Rolovich probably made at least $1 million a year previously as head coach at Hawaii. Suffice it to say he can probably comfortable retire at this point. Others aren't as well financially situated and are being forced to either compromise their beliefs or lose their jobs. That's not right.

I'm surprised that unions are not being more vocal about this. Or perhaps they are but it is just not being widely reported? 

What Happened to Our Beloved Military?

VDH details on how the highest echelon of the U.S. military is becoming dysfunctional. And bloated (in more ways than one.)

I have to admit that I have a hard time reading about General Milley because his very existence makes me angry. 

Quotes for Today

Some quotes that I hope may resonate with you.

"It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes." - Thomas Aquinas

"Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim." - George Santayana

"If you want to perform when the world is watching, you have to do the work when no one is watching." - Shane Parrish

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that's the stuff life is made of." - Benjamin Franklin

Analysis - True!

Monday, October 18, 2021

Washington State Coach Nick Rolovich in Vaccine Mandate Limbo

Washington State head football coach Nick Rolovich in vaccine mandate limbo as he waits to hear if his religious exception is granted. Or if he may be out of a job.

Rolovich has about $9 million left on his contract and if he is fired - I say he has a good case to be paid the whole amount. He is not breaking any rules of the university and not all PAC 12 coaches have to obey any sort of mandate. Sure all Washington state employees have to comply (see the stories about all the State troopers "retiring" because of it) but I'm guessing there wasn't any such language in his contract.

EDIT: Nick Rolovich reportedly out as coach of Washington State. This story is far from over though.

How Daniel Craig Got His James Bond Bod

Interesting look at how Daniel Craig made a commitment to have the best "James Bond" body of all-time (sorry Sean Connery). 

It came down to commitment, a good trainer and proper diet. Those are three things everyone could access - maybe not to the same degree but then again most people are just trying to live a healthier life not look spectacular on film.

Still haven't seen the latest Bond movie (and not sure if I'll end up seeing it in the theaters). 

Monday Flotsam and Jetsam

A new Monday Flotsam and Jetsam column is up at Substack.

As always please subscriber and share with others. Thanks in advance! 

Top 5 - Michael Caine Roles

Michael Caine has announced he's retiring from acting and at age 88 who can blame him? Here's my favorite Michael Caine roles. (And a reminder - if you say say the words "my cocaine" you are also saying "Michael Caine" in his own accent.)

1. The Fourth Protocol as John Preston an English spy trying to outwit Pierce Brosnan's Russian agent. 

2. The Man Who Would be King as Peachy Carnehan opposite Sean Connery.

3. Secondhand Lions as Garth in this very underrated movie for which I have a soft spot.

4. As Alfred in the Chris Nolan Batman Trilogy

5. Harry Brown - Caine doing a Death Wish style action movie at age 77? Yes - very underrated.

Please note I'm too young to have seen Alfie and have never seen The Cider House Rules, and don't think Get Carter has aged well (even though it was later remade by Sylvester Stallone). Remember these are my favorite roles - your preferences are bound to be different. Would have liked to put his role as Laurence Jamieson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on the list but honestly never felt a desire to re-watch that flick.

Quotes for Today

Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"Action may not always bring happiness but there is no happiness without action." - Benjamin Disraeli

"What you learn from a life in science is the vastness of our ignorance." - David Eagleman

"You always have the option of having no opinion." - Marcus Aurelius

"Si, yo soy fiesta." - Rob Gronkowski

My Idea of Great Art


Sunday, October 17, 2021

Interesting Thread

Interesting thread on how JIT (Just In Time) manufacturing is counter productive.

Especially in these days of supply chain disruptions. 

The Deep State is Real

Matt Taibbi: Yes Virginia, there is a Deep State.

Amused that "deep state" started off as a leftist belief and is now a tenet belief of the right. Yet nobody seems prepared to do anything about it. 

American History Tidbit


Quotes for Today

Here are some quotes that I hope may resonate with you.

"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much." - Oscar Wilde

"The best way, perhaps the only way, to change others is to become an example." - Naval Ravikant

"If it's not right, don't do it. If it's not true, don't say it." - Marcus Aurelius

"Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers." - Voltaire

Them!


 A common ant as seen via an electron microscope. 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Why You Should Stop Reading the News

I Stand with the Southwest Pilots

More background on the Southwest pilots "sick out" that is causing hundreds of flight cancellations every day

Keep in mind this mandate is not a duly passed LAW - it is a royal Presidential DECREE.  

(HT American Digest)

Three Videos

Three short videos to make you think.

First a very well credentialed doctor is angry (you should be too).

Second Joe Rogan and Sanjay Gupta. The question of if CNN is lying about a comedian taking horse dewormers what else are they consciously lying about remains unanswered (but I think we know).

Finally - the word "just" and the moving of goalposts

Quotes for Today

Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way." - Christopher Morley

"A stupid decision that works out well becomes a brilliant decision in hindsight." - Daniel Kahneman

"Free education is abundant, all over the Internet. It's the desire to learn that's scarce." - Naval Ravikant

"Being nice counts the most when you are nice to people ignored by others." - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Heh Heh


Friday, October 15, 2021

It Sounds Crazy

Some very interesting observations here.

"Opinions crawl while events leap. It's a tricky little thing." The article reminded me of the Frank Zappa quote on how minds are like parachutes - they only work when they're open.

Climate and Energy Silliness

Matt Ridley reminds us how those Climate Conferences are always all hat and no cattle.

Too bad he didn't use that metaphor in the English House of Lords.

On a related note - when world leaders like Joe Biden and Boris Johnson do act it normally is a huge mistake.

Friday Flotsam and Jetsam

I have a new Friday Flotsam and Jetsam column up on Substack.

As always if the column made you smile or think - don't be afraid to hit the like button. Also please subscribe and share with your friends. Thanks in advance.

Cool History

European civilization is built on ham and cheese? Fascinating hypothesis. Read it twice and still unclear where the ham comes in. Was vellum made out of pig skin too?

Wonder what this means for the hypothesis that it was the Irish who saved civilization. I'm guessing they both can be true.

(HT Stephen Landry

Quotes for Today

Some quotes that I hope resonate with you.

"Get better daily. Don't try to get it all done in a day." - Shane Parrish

"We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything." - Thomas Edison

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." - Albert Einstein

Teddy Roosevelt


 On this day in history Teddy Roosevelt is shot in the chest by would-be assassin. He continues his speech and when asked about his health he responds that he's as healthy as a "Bull Moose" and thus the Bull Moose Party is born. In his honor - here's one of my favorite quotes from Teddy:

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Who Said It Better Part Deux?

Waiting on the memes of Snoop Dogg and Eminem lyrics next to a photo of Roger Goodell.

 (Image Via)

A Crisis in the Military

A 46% increase in suicides year over year. Wonder how many of those deaths can be attributed to our disasterous withdrawal from Afghanistan or to other preventable factors? 

(HT for the story)

How Animals Discover and Use Medicines

Fascinating look by Dr. Mark Plotkin on how animals discover and use medicines.

Listened to the podcast yesterday but the transcript is also above. I've added two of Dr. Plotkin's books to my ever-growing wish list.

The Great Barrington Declaration One Year On

The scientists and medical professionals who crafted and signed the Great Barrington Declaration were right a year ago and they are still right today.

I supported the Great Barrington Declaration then and I support it today. Lockdowns were a mistake then and they are an even bigger mistake today. Any physician who supports lockdowns is violating their Hippocratic Oath. 

It has always seemed to me that those who supported lockdowns fell into three basic categories; opinion makers who are older or in the most vulnerable categories when it came to the virus (they were acting out of fear), those who have autocratic tendencies (people must listen to me!), and sheep (because they're sheep).

(HT Newmark's Door)

The Skeleton Key to The Simpsons

This one obituary explains so much about The Simpsons.

Homer, Marge, Lisa, Maggie, even the Wiggums - all right there in the obituary of Matt Groening's mom. Groening was, of course, the creator of the show The Simpsons.

Quotes for Today

 Some quotes that I hope may resonate with you.

"Don't expect to help the weak by pulling down the strong." - Calvin Coolidge

"Science can amuse and fascinate us all, but it is engineering that changes the world." - Isaac Asimov

"People do not decide their future, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures." - F. Matthias Alexander

"He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight." - Sun Tzu

Truth


Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Who Said It Best?


Yeah those are Joe Biden's words not Jon Gruden's. Difference is Joe Biden gets to keep his job. If I used some of Hunter Biden's racial quotes with Jon Gruden's likeness I'd probably be banned from social media.

Who is going to play the role of Charlton Heston reading out the lyrics of the rappers the NFL has hired to play the Super Bowl halftime show?  Again not defending Gruden or his private views but the hypocrisy of the NFL is stunning.

(Image Via)

I Stand with the Pilots


The Jon Gruden Email Saga

Have a new article up at Substack where  I try to explain why this is happening now.

And where I may have completely buried the lead on what will happen next. This has the feel of Roger Goodell's NFL Offices wanting their own HBO drama.

This was the sort of longer pieces I've stopped writing here over the years but also the type of writing that I think stretches and strengthens the writing muscles.

As always if you enjoy the piece please hit the like button and subscribe. Most importantly if you enjoyed the writing or the argument made - please share it with others.

Quotes for Today

Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"Standards become habits. Habits become outcomes." - Shane Parrish

"Political correctness is tyranny with manners." - Charlton Heston

"The happy man is one who is  freed from both fear and desire because of the gift of reason." - Seneca

"What goes in your mind today is what you think tomorrow." - Shane Parrish

Happy 246th Birthday!


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Analysis - True!


 Via

Parents Are Not Domestic Terrorists

"Showing up to dress down school boards over their dereliction of duty isn't a crime. It's good parenting and good citizenship."

First off - shame on the FBI; shame on Merrick Garland; and shame on the Biden Administration.

Second off - kudos off to the author who actually was a person in this arena serving "two consecutive terms on Manhattan's largest school board."  I admit that I have neither the time nor the inclination to run for public office such as a school board but I also see the need for concerned parents to get involved by running for these posts. Many parents will also take a more active stance in their child's education by pulling them from public schools. Home schools, charter schools, and private school enrollment will boom in the next couple of years. 

Educational funding going to parents and not school districts is bound to become one of the more important issues in upcoming elections. Candidates will have to support educational funding going directly to parents to earn my vote. The more people who feel that way and the more vocal they make their feelings known - the more likely real change to how our kids are being educated can be effected.

Tuesday Flotsam and Jetsam

I have a new post up at Substack.

If you like what you read - please subscribe. Also if you could spread the word about my efforts it would be greatly appreciated.

Speaking of being grateful - thanks!

Does the Federal Vaccine Mandate Actually Exist?

Interesting argument that it's not legally binding and certainly not a law.

I noted a few days ago that the federal guidelines for implementing the vaccine mandate included a large number of loopholes. Maybe that's because the lawyers behind this know the emperor has no clothes and the loopholes are in place because a hard and fast mandate isn't legal? 

Quotes for Today

Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"A world is supported by four things; the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous and the valor of the brave." - Frank Hebert Dune

"Aw, come on guys, it's so simple. Maybe you need a refresher course. It's all ball bearings nowadays." - Irwin Fletcher

"It's mystifying to see so little skepticism of oft-vilified big pharma re Covid vaccines on the left. Can someone explain this?" - Jordan Peterson

"The mind commands the body and it obeys. The mind orders itself and meets resistance." - Saint Augustine

Peace, Love and Obey the Establishment!

 Via

Monday, October 11, 2021

On This Day in 732

On this day in 732 Charles "the Hammer" Martel defeated the Muslims at the Battle of Tours. Many credit Martel's victory with saving Western Civilization.

Heh Heh

Southwest Airlines offering free flights to passengers who are vaccinated and can fly a plane.

The Babylon Bee strikes again.

James Bond Theory

The Daniel Craig James Bond movies were always about Vesper Lynd. I would agree with this theory. 

It needs to be remembered that Ian Fleming's "cold hearted bastard" Bond only truly emerged after the death of his wife in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Was going to see the new Bond film this weekend but we opted for dinner and shooting pool with another couple instead. 

Pfizer's Vaccine Immunity Wears Off After Two Months

Two recent studies demonstrate that the immunological protection provided by two doses of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine wears off after about two months.

The initial headlines from the Israeli study were about how they found that previously infected patients had superior immunity than two-dose vaccine recipients but this aspect seems more important to me.. 

Wasn't there also a recent study showing the Pfizer vaccine was only 42% effective against the Delta Variant? 

Sports Betting is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

Wil Leitch  on new technology and the old specter of the Black Sox.

There's another related danger to sports. When I was in high school I once drank a pint of blackberry brandy in one gulp. Of course I got violently sick. Haven't been able to drink blackberry brandy since. Even the smell makes me nauseous. There's many, many people in danger off making the easily available and highly addictive sports betting their equivalent to blackberry brandy.

These people may abandon sports in disgust the way I've avoided blackberry brandy for decades.

(HT Newmark's Door)

Heh Heh

The Babylon Bee is the best! 

Quotes for Today

Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide that your problems are your own." - Albert Ellis

"If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello." - Paulo Coelho

"Every time you have to speak, you are auditioning for leadership." - James Humes

"He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks does not know." - Lao Tzu

I'm an Awful Person for Re-posting This

Sunday, October 10, 2021

The Revolt Begins - At Southwest Airlines

Pilots at Southwest appear to be sicking out in a rebellion against vaccine mandates that has crippled the airline since Friday.

Don't see much reporting of this story in the media.

A Little Physics Humor


VDH On Why He Left National Review

In his own words VDH explains why he left National Review.

National Review is a desiccated husk of a magazine. Can't recall the last time I went there on purpose.  

How to Read Hard Books

5-tips on how to read "difficult" books.

Glad the author included that it is OK to give up on a book in her last tip. Took me decades to learn that (I used to stubbornly refuse not to finish most books no matter how bad I thought they were). Today if a book isn't grabbing me by about page 50 - I'll put it down and pick up something else. Maybe some other day I'll be in the mood to pick that book back up.

Life's too short to read bad books.

(HT Daddypundit)

A Trust Urban Myer Can't Earn Back

Michael Lombardi on Urban Myer's breach of trust and failure in leadership.

"The players don't trust the coach, the coach don't trust the players," - Urban Myer last year in words which could equally describe his current situation.

Quotes for Today

 Some quotes that I hope may resonate with you.

"I became a journalist because I did not want to rely on newspapers for information." - Christopher Hitchens

"Listening to books instead of reading them is like drinking your vegetables instead of eating them." - Naval Ravikant

"There is no such thing as public money; there is only taxpayers' money." - Margaret Thatcher

"Opulence - I has it." - Hunter Biden 

Two Rules in Life

Saturday, October 09, 2021

The Rooftop Rule

Great business (and life) advice from Execupundit:

"If you can't shout a policy or practice from the rooftops, you shouldn't be doing it. Don't have wink-wink, nudge-nudge, policies or practices that cloak the truth."

Had not heard of the Rooftop Rule before. Now, hopefully, I'll never forget it.

Interesting Legal Battle in California

UC has put me on leave for challenging their vaccine mandate.

Seems to me if a doctor has a real case that they may be being forced to violate their Hippocratic oath to "first do no harm" that they should at least be heard out. Not forced to comply or else. Can see both sides here but generally the side that takes the heavy-handed approach is normally in the wrong.

Interesting History

The history of the  Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses.

Love reading interesting origin stories like this. A good, quick read on one of America's most iconic products.

(HT Daddypundit)

I'm an Awful Person for Laughing at This


Via 

What Happened to the 12-Team College Playoff?

Pete Thamel looks into what is delaying the adoption of a 12-team college football playoff (instead of today's 4-team playoff).

I think nothing would get a 12-team playoff adopted faster than an undefeated BYU and Cincinnati making the playoff this year. Can you imagine how upset the Big Ten, Pac 12, and ACC will be if all three are shut out from the playoffs (and playoff dollars)? This is also a reasonable outcome. Clemson will probable win the ACC and they have 2 losses. Ohio State will probably win the  Big Ten and they have a loss to Oregon. Nobody in the Pac 12 is undefeated and none more worthy than any of the teams mentioned above.

If a one-loss team does make the playoff it will probably be the loser of the eventual Alabama-Georgia SEC Championship game. The loser of that game would still be the second best team in the country. 

A Funny From the Archives


Quotes for Today

Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"California: where you can walk into a store and steal $800 worth of stuff but only if you're vaccinated." - Bridget Phetasy

"Reappraise the past, re-evaluate where we've been, clarify where we are, and predict or anticipate where we are headed." - Toni Cade Bambara

"Be a free thinker and don't accept everything you hear as truth. Be critical and evaluate what you believe in." - Aristotle

"Beware of his false knowledge: it is more dangerous than ignorance." - George Bernard Shaw

Reminder


Friday, October 08, 2021

Nature Shows How This All Works

Morgan Housel with two little stories from nature and how they relate to investing.

You can quibble with some of the details of his stories but the overall lessons are spot on.

Tesla Moves HQ from California to Texas

Tesla moves headquarters from California to Texas. One of the least surprising announcements from Elon Musk you could have expected.

Saying Texas is more business and employer friendly than California is the understatement of the year. 

King of Spades

Did you know that the King of Spades on a playing card was originally supposedly designed to represent King David from the Bible? The sword he holds was supposed to be the sword used to cut off Goliath's head after young David killed him with a rock from his his sling.

During the early parts of the Civil War - Robert E Lee was given the nickname "King of Spades" because of his propensity to dig trenches as part of his strategy. At first the nickname was derisive because soldiers hate to dig. Later when the effectiveness of his tactics saved the lives of many of these same soldiers - the nickname became affectionate. Reportedly Lee always loathed the nickname.

And Robert E Lee didn't play cards.

I'm Writing on Substack

"One day or day one. You decide." - Unknown

Today is Day One of me publishing on Substack. I believe in what they are trying to do and decided not to be a bystander to their success but to instead try to use their platform to stretch my own writing and reach. 

The first post is up!

I will continue to also publish here at A Large Regular but with some minor changes. The plan is to post a Friday Flotsam and Jetsam column on Substack every Friday (the name of the post should have indicated that) and have one or more longer essays during the week. That obviously means no more Flotsam and Jetsam posts here at A Large Regular but other than that little will change. You will actually probably see more posts here than less. For some time I've noticed that I no longer tend to write longer pieces here but let those ideas whither and die in my Draft Posts graveyard. Committing to at least one longer piece on Substack hopefully will change that.

Not sure how it really works at Substack but my understanding is that all my posts are FREE but if the traffic gets to a certain point that may change. If they do ask you to subscribe - I hope my efforts may be worth $5 a month to you. I've never made a dime here on Blogspot and that's not why I do this. However, if I'm able to make enough writing on Substack to take my girlfriend out for a nice dinner once a month that would be nice.

I've named my "Newsletter" at Substack - Hypnotized Fish simply because I'm greatly amused by the phrase (which would also be a great name for a band). Thanks in advance for your support.

Quotes for Today

 Some quotes that I hope may resonate with you.

"Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to rock the boat." - Jean Paul Sartre

"The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom." - John Locke

"With Great Pumpkin comes great responsibility." - Linus

"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

Dr. Seuss


Thursday, October 07, 2021

Is The Rock a James Bond Movie?

 

If by Rudyard Kipling - Read by Michael Caine

Vax Mandates and Government Employees

Biden Administration outlines process for disciplining, removing unvaccinated federal employees.

November 9th is D-Day for employees who don't comply. However, if you read the guidance closely there seems to be a number of loopholes that could delay or stop many dismissals. Wonder if private companies could put those same loopholes into effect?

(HT Meanderthal)

Perspective

A Tale of Two Sundays: The Outsized Impact of Experience.

Interesting look at boom and bust and the relationship to risk and safety.

The Force of Habit

Jim Harrison's last poems as final words.

Memento mori.

(HT The Happy Curmudgeon)

Stephon Gilmore

First and foremost - thank you Stephon Gilmore! He was the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and a key contributor to the Patriots Super Bowl victory over the Los Angeles Rams that year.. 

Cynics will say all the Patriots got (and being generous) in return for Stephon Gilmore was Jamie Collins, a 6th round pick in 2023, and salary cap relief (you could call this a player to be named later). Not much return for a guy most arm chair quarterbacks thought would get back at least a 1st round pick. 

I can recall when Bill Belichick signed Gilmore as a free agent, many of those same arm chair quarterbacks thought Belichick was overpaying for a cornerback. That big contract ended up being a bargain in hindsight but will Belichick ever get credit for the signing? Nope.

My guess is because of the contract impasse Gilmore was not going to contribute to the Patriots this season. Belichick then moved in the best interest of the team to do what was done today. One aspect that doesn't seem to be getting attention is that the trade removed a sure distraction from the team. Distractions are not helpful to winning football in New England.

The Deep State and the Two Americas

VDH: The dangerous, diminishing power of the independent American citizen.

More formally, our professional legal, academic, and politically active elitists have lost faith in the ancient customs and the Constitution itself. They loath the fact that our traditions have privileged individual liberty over government-coerced equality of result.

Not long ago the idea of a "Deep State" usurping power from the duly elected was scoffed at as fringe conspiracy theory stuff. With example after example made public seemingly every day (many examples are laid out by VDH in this piece) the question has changed from; "Does the Deep State exist? to "What do we do about it?"

I may be more optimistic than Dr. Hanson because I feel the pendulum has swung too far and a course correction is on the way. I have faith that the "independent American citizen" has had enough. 

Quotes for Today

 Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"The three big ones in life are wealth, health and happiness. We pursue them in that order, but their importance is reverse." - Naval Ravikant

"The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshiped anything but himself." - Richard Francis Burton

"Why are people calling me Brandon?" - Joe Biden

"Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it." - Winston Churchill

Analysis - True!


Wednesday, October 06, 2021

When Panic Strikes

More fighter pilot wisdom from Steven Pressfield.

Really enjoy these writing Wednesday posts. And unlike most things on the Internet - the comment section on these posts is always worth your time as well. 

Crypto Miners and Electric Co-Ops

Crypto miners create problems and opportunities for electric cooperatives.

Peak and off-peak pricing plus security deposits seem to be a workable solution for both sides. Sufficient broadband bandwidth also is a missing ingredient not mentioned in the article.

Red Sox 6 - Yankees 2

Balance in the universe is restored as Boston sends the MFing Yankees home for the season. Anything else that happens in the playoffs is gravy. 

Like many Sox fans - things got a little dusty for me when Jerry Remy came in to throw the first pitch. For non-Red Sox fans you must understand that Remy has been part of our lives for decades and decades. He's battling cancer and when I saw him I was both saddened and sure that the Red Sox were going to win this game. No way they were going to lose this game.

Also glad to see some Boston bleacher creatures know how to properly celebrate a home run.

Will Those Responsible for Russiagate Hoax be Held Responsible?

Are the Russia hoax's 'big fish' finally in John Durham's  crosshairs?  The author doesn't think so.

Sadly I'm also in the "I'll believe it when I see it" camp. Really hope to be wrong though.

Let's Go Brandon!


It's one thing to hear the chant at a NASCAR event in Alabama. It's another altogether to hear the chant at a teacher's union protest in NYC

(Image vis)

Kyrie Irving vs the NYC Vaccine Mandate

The drama surrounding the NYC vaccine mandate and Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving not getting the vaccine is getting juicy. The NBA and the Players Association are siding with the City by adopting a "no jab - no pay" policy.

In 2020 the teams and unions were understanding and supportive of any player who wanted to opt out due to COVID concerns. In 2021 it is "conform or else!"

At this point I also wonder if a Kyrie Irving for Ben Simmons trade straight up would solve both teams problems? Does Philadelphia have a vaccine mandate?

Shame on MIT - Shame!

MIT abandons its mission - caves to woke culture and cancel culture. Cowards! 

"I am a professor who just had his prestigious public science lecture at MIT cancelled because of an outrage mob on Twitter. My crime? Arguing for academic evaluations based on academic merit. This is the story of how a cancellation is carried out, why it should worry all of us, and what we can do to stop this dangerous trend."

"I mostly just wanted to do my science and not have anyone yell at me," that's the attitude which is so dangerous to even the hard sciences today. And when the Professor spoke up - getting cancelled was the sad reality. 

Be sure to read the advice at the end on how to best confront and beat cancel culture on campus. 

Quotes for Today

 Some quotes I hope may resonate with you.

"Tell me what you know. Tell me what you don't know. Only then can you tell me what you think. Always keep these three things separate." - Colin Powell

"What you owe yourself is to work for your living; what you owe your neighbor is not to interfere with his work." - Ayn Rand

"I decline utterly to be impartial as between the fire brigade and the fire." - Winston Churchill

"For us in Russia, communism is a dead dog, while, for many people in the West, it is still a living lion." - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Truth


 Reminder - this quote comes from a guy who wrote the book The Plague

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

America's Supply Chain Truck Wreck

People no longer know where things come from, how they are made, and what it takes to satisfy consumer demands.

If I were a trucker (especially in California) I'd probably find myself asking, "Who is John Gault?"

Words We Get From Fencing

Living by the Sword: On 'Forte' and 'Foible."

Love learning the origin of words like this.

White House Calls for "New Course" on China Trade

Biden Administration trade chief Katherine Tai indicts Beijing's market distorting practices. Good!

"For too long, China's lack of adherence to global trading norms has undercut the prosperity of Americans and others around the world. In recent years, Beijing has doubled down on its state-centered economic system," Tai said. "It is increasingly clear that China's plans do not include meaningful reforms to address the concerns that have been shared by the U.S. and many other countries."

China cannot be trusted! I hope this is evidence that Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all see and agree on this.

China has not lived up to its end of the trade deal signed with President Trump. They were supposed to buy $200 billion in farm, energy, and manufactured products from the US by the end of the year. The article states that China has bought 89% of the agreed upon farm products but just 42% of the energy commitments. How much in manufactured goods has been bought was not mentioned but my guess is it is less than the energy commitment. 

I can understand the 89% of farm products since Xi needs to keep his people fed. The Communist Party cannot have unrest because of hunger while they simultaneously crack down on freedoms across the board. The energy purchases are also understandable since they were agreed to under Trump when energy prices were much lower. That slack has probably been made up by Russia.

The failure to purchase the agreed upon manufactured goods may not be because "China is asshole!" It may be further evidence that the Chinese economy is not as robust as believed in some circles.

Keep the tariffs in place and make sure there's some action to back up the tough talk. I think most Americans could agree on that.

Lab Leak and Natural Origin Proponents Face Off

Lab-leak and natural origin proponents face off - civilly - in forum on pandemic origins. Not sure why the author used scare quotes on "lab-leak" but not on "natural origin" but the article seems fair.

I'm 100% in the lab leak camp. If it were "natural origin" why hasn't the culprit animal been found? When Ebola first had it's outbreak we quickly found the source. It's been two-years now an no bat, pangolin or other source animal has been identified. At the same time the Chinese government has actively suppressed information from and access to the Wuhan Institute for Virology.