Monday, December 07, 2015

Lawrence of Arabia's equation

Russ Sype asked for this and it took a bit to backtrack to 2009 on my other blog, but I found it.
The equation on the number of ground troops it takes to subdue a country. Click here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Deflatedgate revisited

Commish and Brady in and out of court, what a needless drama. There is no need to make Brady the scapegoat here. What the general public doesn't realize that suspending Brady for 4 games isn't about the games. Pro players are paid by the game. They only get 16 paychecks a year, playoff games are extra income.
This is a 1/4 income cut for Brady. I don't care how many millions of dollars a year he makes, there is no reason to fine anyone that much of their income on conjecture. They only fined the team 1 million.
Question: what did they do with the officials whose negligence caused this mess in the first place?

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Deflate Gate

Captain's log stardate 050715.0915:
  • News of the NFL's investigation into the New England Patriots deflating balls during the playoffs was released yesterday. They have no proof beyond a reasonable doubt, but the preponderance of evidence points to the Super Bowl Champions cheating. No shit Sherlock. Just about anyone with a lick of sense could have told that months ago when the balls tested positive for deflation.
  • Tom Brady is singled out from all the other players as most likely knowing the balls were deflated. Obvious since he's the one handling them the most and launching the passes, but what about the center? He would know handling them before snapping the ball. What about the running backs? They handled the ball and would be less likely to fumble. What about the receivers? They were the ones benefiting from the deflated balls making them easier to catch. Brady wasn't the only one handling a much softer ball.
  • What about the fucking officials? They are the ones who are most responsible for letting this happen. It is their job to test the balls and not let them out of their sight until on the field. They were the ones collecting the balls after the plays and placing them on the ground. They should be able to tell the difference between the two teams footballs.
It is the humble opinion of the Captain that the following be the appropriate punishment to restore confidence in the NFL:
  1.  That the Patriots be stripped of their Super Bowl championship and forced to give back the Lombardy trophy. This is the only way to make sure something of this nature does not happen again.
  2. The team fined heavily and their salary cap deflated for five years along with losing their first round draft pick for three years. 
  3. All coaches fined 10% of their salaries and bonuses from the previous year.  They should know better, or put a stop to it.
  4. There is no point in fining or suspending any player. The investigation does not carry enough burden of proof for punitive action and the decision to cheat was most likely carried out by someone higher up in the organization. They will live with the disgrace and humiliation for the rest of their lives.
  5. All officials working the games where the deflated games happened be fired for dereliction of duty.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Candy Coated Bitter Pill

Yes SCOTUS struck down DOMA and Prop 8. It didn't cost them anything, but while all those who've been thrown a bone are whooping and hollering they gutted the Voting Rights Act.
California is back to square one on same sex marriage. DOMA was mostly symbolic about the only thing it prohibited was married same sex couples filing joint income tax, which saved them money. All other marriage laws are handled at the state level.
Meanwhile back in the South it seems that racists passing voting restrictions to keep minorities from having a voice in government is okay just so long as you don't admit under oath that you've sometime in the past you've uttered the "N" word.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Political Bribery

Excerpt from James A. Michener's The Source: Twilight of an Empire
Kaimakam Tabari had one simple rule of administration, and it was understood by all his subjects: In Tobariyeh positively everythingw was for sale. If an Arab youth was summoned for military service it was obvious that there was no possiblility for escape; but if his father paid the kamakam enough, he could escape.... For the issuance of the simplest government paper, an established scale of bribes was in force, and in either the civil court of the qadi or the religious court of the mufti, any decision that was wanted could be had by the paying of the proper baksheesh to the kaimakam....
As a result of this constant drain on the people of Tubariyeh, there was no money left for schools, or sewers, or water supply, or a jail in which a human being could survive. There were no hospitals, no adequate policing, no fire fighting, and no roads.

Is America devolving to a country of corruption and bribery? Do our elected officials charge for every service required like in 1880 Palestine?
We have a different form of baksheesh, more modern and sophisticated: Election campaign warchests. Every representative who is elected either to the national or state legislatures spends 18 months out of the 24 months in office raising the money for re-election. Is it any wonder the Republicans openly disdain the masses who contribute little and fight only for the wealthy and corporations who contribute much? Or that the Democrats talk about helping the middle class, but accomplish so little? Elections have become a way of circulating all that campaign money into a closed set. Corporations give the money to the politicians who then give it to advertising agencies who buy time and space from the media. The corporations who give the money own the agencies and media outlets where the money goes so just like water it gets boiled, evaporates and rains back down. Little of all this money reaches the masses who are brainwashed into buying the political product sold to them.
Since Ronald Reagan became president and forty years of trickle down economics many of the signs Michener mentions showing the cost of corruption are prevalent.

  • Our public schools are being starved of qualified teachers, proper rooms and materials for learning so political cronies can make a fortune coming up with standarized tests that prove absolutely nothing about the state of learning in America. Private schools are not held to this testing standard, but when their test scores are compared with public schools they show little to no improvement. Paul Krugman told Bill Moyers in an interview that replacing the hundreds of thousands of teaching positions lost since 2008 would add an extra 200 billion dollars to the economy which would help out with housing, automobile sales, retail sales, insurance premiums, and increased tax revenue across the economic spectrum. I really wish our politicians would fight as hard about closing schools as they do about closing military bases. The same economic principle applies.
  • Amost all cities are faced with aging sewer systems and waste disposal plants that contaminate our shorelines, our underwater aquifers, land and are repaired only when they break. Add to this polluted air from factories, lakes and rivers from fertilizer runoff, fracking for oil and natural gas and chemical discharges and toxic waste in land fills we are truly soiling our own long term nest for short term profits. The polluting corporations can bribe scientists to refute all claims that they are doing harm or export the toxins to third world countries so their populations are poisoned as well as buy the votes they need to keep sane regulations being placed on them.
  • Privatized prisons are filled with non-violent offenders mostly on marijuana charges in substandard facilities that are poorly staffed due to low wages with little training. The corporations pay the baksheesh to the congress critters and rake in the money with little accountability.
  • The most fought over issue for fifty years is health care and even after the passing of the Affordable Health Care Act in the next twenty years the ever growing poor population (due to austerity measures by the government) millions will die due to lack of being able to get proper medical care until it is too late. Who cares about the millions of people finally getting health care and are not denied because of a pre-existing condition, but horrors of all horrors insurers will have to pay for birth control, the morning after pill and abortions. Employers are appalled that their employees want to control thier own bodies without permission. Fuck you Hobby Lobby. Take your conscience and stick it up your self-righteous ass.
  • It's a no brainer that when the economy goes down and there are few jobs crime rises. So at a time of more criminals; states, towns and cities facing budget problems are laying off police and fire fighters. Neighborhoods are forced to pay extra for fire protection and if a homeowner doesn't pay then the fire fighters stand by and watch it burn down. Baksheesh in action. The entire criminal justice system is swamped because all the money is being siphoned into the profits of private security firms and prisons. Maybe city hall should open up a line for bank robbers. Walk up, hand in a note demanding money, get arrested, plead guilty to the judge sitting next to the clerk and police officer, get sentenced to prison so you don't have to sleep under a bridge in sub-zero temperatures. Isn't that the way corporations like to make everyting an assembly line? Maybe if we create enough prisoners from our surplus population there will be enough money in transporting them to the moon to work as slave laborers extracting minerals for the corporations to invest in such a transportation system. After all there are no more places on earth to set up penal colonies.
  • When America's corporations paid taxes instead getting subsidies, and all citizens paid taxes, not just those who make less than a hundred grand a year, and thanks to the GI Bill college was affordable, the schools that are crumbling today were built, the sewer systems that are breaking were dug, the interstate highway system was stretched all across the continent and this led to high employment, a growing middle class, and the highest standard of living in world history with a small prison population. Schools could afford athletics from elementary through high school with large bands to play and perform at games. Teachers taught their curriculum, not how to take a test with high graduation rates. We were able to pay for the space race, Vietnam war, and create Medicare and Medicaid plus food stamps from the taxes raised from this standard of living. In the last forty years of regressive instead of progressive taxation, deregulation of industry, and outsourcing of employment that produces goods instead of services everything we built is falling apart and crumblind like our roads and highways. What good will all the new fancy cars with fantastic sound systems, hybrid engines, and all the other fancy gadgets imaginable be if the drivers are stalled in traffic because a sewer line burst, roads are being patched intead of repaired ruining suspension systems or you're forced to drive a hundred miles our of your way because a bridge collapsed between Dallas and Denver? Is a toll road from Brownsville, Tx to Minneapolis where every driver has to throw money into a booth every twenty or thirty miles really better than maitaining I-35?
  • Was life ideal, no, before Title IX there was little opportunity for women in athletics outside of cheerleading and pep squads; little was done for the handicapped or mentally impaired; inner city was just as crime ridden and the schools suffered not to mention the problems of segregation and racism but the burst of prosperity led to correcting those problems even if they haven't been eradicated. The future I grew up in was a hell of a lot better than the future my children and grandchildren face today with a shrinking middle class and a policital system sucking all the money out of the economy to enrich .01% of the population. Would it be so hard for the Walton family to take a smaller cut from the profits of Wal-Mart and Sam's club so the employees could make enough money to not need food stamps, medicaid, and be able to rent a two bedroom apartment and buy a decent used car? Not to pick on just the Waltons as the same could be said of almost all international food and retail stores.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Time to move on.

A long long time ago growing up there was this magazine all boys tried to sneak a peek at. My father never subscribed so it was infrequently at a friend's house when the parents were away that I could actually get to see a centerfold.
 In high school I worked a Christmas rush and the summer after graduation and before going off to college at a drug store. In the men's room the magazine saleman always placed a copy of Playboy and Penthouse as a courtesy. I enjoyed Playboy, thought Penthouse needed to clean their lenses. The first copy of Playboy I purchased was the November 1976 issue with the interview of Jimmy Carter.  I was a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary living alone as ex-wife was back in Albuquerque in the hospital. The marriage didn't last, but I bought every issue of Playboy since that time. In my second and lasting marriaage wifey has never approved, but grew to accept that nothing she said or did would keep me from "my magazine." She still gives me judgemental stares.
When Zinio put it out in digital format I converted because over the years my closet was filling up with past issues. I joined the Cyber Club twelve years ago and downloaded all the pm's, cc's coeds, celebrities, etc available. My external harddrive overfloweth. I also got rid of all but the best of the hard copies.
Then I don't know what happened, PB started skipping issues to save on printing costs, Penthouse went digital exclusively, which would have been a smart move for PB too, but they trimmed down from 12 issues a year to 10. No big deal actually. When PB started the models were the same age as my mother, when I first glimpsed at the centerfolds the models were like older sisters, when I started buying them they were the same age, then they became younger sisters and now they're younger than my daughter. They've also tended to blur over the years, the novelty of new tits and ass has waned. The articles in the magazine still have a few things to catch my interest, but the advice column and the political pages haven't said anything new in thirty years.
Still it was selling the cyber club to an outside group who ruined the whole experience. What replaced the CC is a total pooch screw. There's no rhyme or reason to it. The old standby catagories are out and there's no more Cyber girl of the month or year, Coed of the month or year. The only good aspect is that all shoots are zip filed and you don't have to download them individually, but then you get backlogged in undoing the zips, choosing the pix you want to keep and discarding the many you don't. And when yo do because the catagories are jumbles you discover you already downloaded a number of the files. Much of the joy is gone so I've cancelled my subscriptions. Hef my still be breathing and screwing girls young enough to be his great-great-great-granddaughter and all power to him, but for me it's time to move on.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Hip hip hurrah

Glad Obama won, nice that Little Miss Nasty lost again, maybe she's done for in electoral politics, hope hope hope. Four out of five in DC are democrats which is a good thing.
Nice that Colorado joined us in the sea of red on the map. Toke up and be happy in the Rockies.