Sunday, August 30, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009


The right has taken the biggest idiot they can find and given him Gina's rules for working with production designers - as if somehow that makes it all better. These 'the moon is made of green cheese' idiots need to be called out. I've read a lot of historiography and a lot of science fiction over the years - but I never imagined i'd see the day when a society destroyed itself by becoming too dumb to breathe.


It's 4th and 3 on the 40...
The Giants line up... and try to draw the Cowboys offside with a series of sharp noises before the hike... the cowboys dont jump - so Feagles puts the ball into the video board. Maybe it'll work the second time they try it... or the 15th (because by then the boos should be so loud that the defensive line cant hear). Afterall, if you're going to have dumb rules poorly enforced it has to be football of one sort or another.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Food for Thought

No country that has insurance companies lets insurance companies make a profit on basic health insurance, and they have pretty strict rules. I mean, this is nice insurance. In Germany, for example, there are about 200 insurance companies. It's not single-payer. I want to make that point, 200 insurance companies. Anybody in Germany can buy any of the 200 company plans. If you don't like your insurance, guess what: You can drop it, shift to the next guy, and the new guy can't raise your premium. Now, that's, you know, more choice than anybody in America has. These companies have to cover everybody. They have to pay every claim. They don't have all those people going through, saying sorry, we don't cover that.

In many countries, if you're stressed, and the doctor says you need a weekend at the spa, the insurance has to pay for that. That's in the law. Generally, they have to pay in a short period of time. In France, the doctor has to be paid within three days. Get this: In Switzerland, if the insurance company doesn't pay your claim in five days, your next month's premium is free.
and now the rest of the story

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Made my day

Of course, the crowd reaction at the showing didnt hurt

Monday, August 24, 2009

Apologists Everywhere...

Panetta is the latest...
When i read that... i saw the exchange going something like this...

Obama: They tortured people, Leon.
Leon: Was that wrong? Should we have not done that? I tell you I gotta plead ignorance on this thing because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing was frowned upon, you know, cause I've worked in a lot of offices and I tell you people do that all the time.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chalk it up to 'bad ideas'

Victoria's Secret decided to have a camwhore competition.
The /b/tards found it... with predictable results.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Generally speaking if you're going to have a penalty for a certain sort of bad behavior it should serve to discourage the behavior. That is sort of the point. Punish the perpetrator, discourage others from following suit, and if you're really progressive try to put the guilty in a position to learn from their mistakes so they wont do it again. Unfortunately - that approach may well be applied to individuals, esp poor ones without good lawyers (as opposed to asshole kids who torture cats on youtube, who are sons of powerful oil barons with connections to the DA) - but it sure isnt used for large and powerful institutions.

Today it's Memphis basketball.
When SMU was found guilty of paying it's players they got the death penalty. It killed SMU football in a way that, well, honestly has never recovered. I think it's that truth - that applying a drastic penalty can destroy a program for decades - that explains why the NCAA never does anythign substantive to schools found to be cheating. So instead of punishing a school for violating the rules - they simply tell them 'you didnt win those games' - which accomplishes exactly what? Pointless. If Edwin Simmons can get paid 10k a year to turn off the lights at Memorial Stadium - and it's legal - then obviously people are already skirting the edge of the broken system. Lacking any sort of actual effective penalty for this sort of behavior just means they wont bother.

Teams must be punished for this crap. That means shutting programs down. Period. And that means they'd better take a good look at SMU football because that's what should be happening out there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Sometimes I wonder whether the country is even fixable. Happy Monday delayed.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I love this one

A story in the UK on one of the myriad of free health care expos we have in large american public arenas to support the poor in this country (something people dont talk about much).

The story is great...

The comments by the right wing nutjobs are MUCH better.

The reality is that America is simply filled with delusional idiots that get their talking point pablum shoved down their throats from somewhat questionable authoritative sources.

Oh sure - I hope this health care legislation fails too - but because it's a sellout to big pharma and the insurance industry - not because it's too socialist. IMO it's nowhere near socialist enough - and instead will make the problem much worse rather than better. Change you can believe in my ass.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What's wrong with this picture

One Afghan contractor, speaking privately, told friends of one project he was overseeing in the volatile south. The province cannot be mentioned, nor the particular project. “I was building a bridge,” he said, one evening over drinks. “The local Taliban commander called and said ‘don’t build a bridge there, we’ll have to blow it up.’ I asked him to let me finish the bridge, collect the money — then they could blow it up whenever they wanted. We agreed, and I completed my project.”


One Luxury Cabin on the Failboat Please...

What kind of complete and utter moron do you have to be to pull a stunt like this. You're basically a company that caters to granola-chicks - with aisles filled with garbage aromatherapy and yoga mats - and you come out with a WSJ editorial essentially pissing in their whole-grain wheatties alternative breakfast cereal.

Just skipping the idiocy of his 'facts' - what kind of terrible business decision is that?!

I dont know how many thousands of dollars I've dropped at Whole Foods over the years, but I can tell you this - there wont be a dollar more. Congratulations jackass.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Great Read

On the other hand, the algorithm that TIVO uses to recommend programs needs work. What lately its been recommending to me are these shows which are live filming of surgery, where you actually see them cutting people open. I don’t know what it is in my viewing habits that makes it think I want to watch that but it insists that I do.
- Paul Krugman
You gotta read this one...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Entertainment

I've been reading Bernard Cornwell's norse/danish series this summer on the recommendation of a friend i loaned the sharpe books to... it's fine but it feels a bit of a stretch. Not a lot else that's come out - most of the authors I read seem to be taking a break. In the mean time I've gotten beyond used to not having television in the house. If there's a show I want to watch i just watch it online - but almost nothing falls into that category. I havent gone to the movies - there have been a couple i'd consider going to see, but really nothing that's gotten me out of the house. The only summer anime I really like is Bakemonogatari (ep2)- which is really more of an animated comic book than anything (and as you know I've always had a thing for Tsunderes). (if you get attached dont blame me).

Friday, August 07, 2009

End of a long week

I love these angry white teabaggers going after democratic congresspeople. They're so laughably moronic - what's not to love. With all the outright thievery of the bailout and the uncompetitive insurance industries running woefully inefficient (77 cents on the dollar goes to care) systems that all resemble ponzi schemes writ large -- there comes a point where you start looking around and you realize it all seems to be coming apart at the seams.

Thus I give you Jared Diamond:

Some people may reason correctly that they can advance their own interests by behavior that is harmful for other people. Economists term such behavior "rational," even while acknowledging that morally it may be naughty. The perpetrators are often motivated and likely to get away with their rational bad behavior, because the winners from the bad status quo are typically concentrated (few in number) and highly motivated because they receive big, certain, immediate profits, while the losers are diffuse (the losses are spread over large numbers of individuals) and are unmotivated because they receive only small, uncertain, distant profits from undoing the rational bad behavior of the minority.

A typical example of rational bad behavior is "good for me, bad for you and for the rest of society" — to put it bluntly, "selfishness." A few individuals may correctly perceive their self-interests to be opposed to the majority's self-interest. For example, until 1971, mining companies in Montana typically just dumped their toxic wastes of copper and arsenic directly into rivers and ponds because the state of Montana had no law requiring mining companies to clean up after abandoning a mine. After 1971, the state of Montana did pass such a law, but mining companies discovered that they could extract the valuable ore and then just declare bankruptcy before going to the expense of cleaning up. The result has been billions of dollars of clean-up costs borne by the citizens of the United States or Montana. The miners had correctly perceived that they could advance their interests and save money by making messes and leaving the burden to society.

A further situation involving rational behavior and conflicts of interest arises when the interests of the decision-making elite in power conflict with the interests of the rest of society. The elite are particularly likely to do things that profit them but hurt everybody else, if the elite are able to insulate themselves from the consequences of their actions. Such clashes are increasingly frequent in the modern U.S., where rich people tend to live within their gated compounds and to drink bottled water. For example, executives of Enron correctly calculated that they could gain huge sums of money for themselves by looting the company coffers and harming the rest of society, and that they were likely to get away with their gamble.
I'm going to have a beer now.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


So I'm reading this one about how american drug companies take government funded work, spend some money on testing and lawyers, and reap profits...
and then restrict access to people in poor countries because, well, they're poor...

and i'm thinking 'if the net result of this system is that some people are going to die'... how about we even out the load. For every 100 people that die in a poor country as a direct result of corporate american drug profiteering - one randomly chosen worker at said company is put to death. In 5 years we can make it 1 for 10... and in 10 years limit it to sales VPs, EStaff and lawyers.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Police States are Fun

So... 5 cops surround a car...
man gets out with his hands raised...
and then it gets bad

Note: the next time I am on a jury i will absolutely discount any evidence involving a police officer. Sure, some are good guys - but too many are horrible sacks of shit. I'd rather have guilty people walking the streets than innocent ones put behind bars.