Friday, April 20, 2018

Thank you, Lizard Queen

Newsweak reveals that Hilliary Clinton helped scuttle her chances at the Presidency by not taking seriously the fact that she's seriously unlikeable.  She couldn't even fake sincerity and compassion, apparently, and quite frankly, had she made it back to 1600 Pennsylvania, there's no telling what she might have done. 


And along those lines, this might explain a lot about the Clintons.  Did she lose human compassion in grief at Bill's seeking love with others, or did Bill seek love with others in response to her lack of human compassion, or did both things feed on each other?    Or are they simply two creeps who richly deserve one another? 


Give her enough chardonnay, and you might get an honest answer.  Thankfully for her, the Secret Service will prevent you from hearing her answer.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Yes, death panels

Let's remember Sarah Palin's lie of the Year truth that the Democrats didn't want made known as we consider this sad case from England, where (once again) a court is deciding who does, and does not, get medical care.  In similar news, apparently mental illness is now a criterion for euthanasia in the Netherlands and Belgium. 


So if you'd prefer not to be murdered by your government when the cost of keeping you alive gets to be too much, you might support free market health care.

How Americans can dominate in distance running

Apparently, judging by the results from the Boston Marathon, all you've got to do is run distance events below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and introduce some strong winds.  Maybe we could do the Summer Olympics next time in Murmansk (Russia), Barrow (Alaska), Oulu (Finland), or perhaps even Antarctica.  Suffice it to say that the runners from the U.S. and Canada showed some serious sisu. Well done!


It reminds me of watching--with some despair of course--the Big Ten team's (nearly) annual collapse in the Rose Bowl back in the eighties, and pondering whether they'd have done better if the game were played in a more neutral venue like Lambeau or Soldier Field instead of UCLA's home field.   Either that, or I would have just enjoyed watching all those Californians shiver on New Year's Day. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sigh

My wife and I got a fund-raising letter from Michigan State University--we're both alumni--starting with a sentence about bringing healing, but the overall subject of the letter was to get funds to build a new place to store special library/museum collections.  Yup, I'm sure that all those ladies who brought Larry Nassar to jail will be ecstatic that some books are warm, dry, and well cared for.  It's nearly as tone-deaf as this invitation to an alumni dinner in Jackson.


Worth noting is that MSU does have a good communications arts school that at least used to turn out graduates who understood PR.  Maybe they should talk to someone there and learn a few tips.  Or maybe just talk with a logic professor who might be able to explain the concept of "bait and switch" to them. 



Friday, April 13, 2018

Wow

Apparently James Comey admits in his book that he modified how he handled his non-investigation of the crimes of Hilliary Clinton due to a desire to avoid marking her as an "illegitimate" President.  That's awful nice of you, Jim, but what would have been even nicer would have been if you'd actually convened a grand jury to collect some actual evidence, and best of all would have been if you'd applied the law as it's written.


But apparently that's a bit too much to ask of a career investigator.  Lock Comey up, he's obviously been obstructing justice here.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Picture of government intervention

Check out these pictures of graveyards for abandoned "bike share" bicycles in China.  Writing as an amateur bike mechanic for my family's bicycles, it's just plain sad to see so much wasted.  Now writing as a bike enthusiast, I must also note that if I have a choice, that kind of bicycle is not what I want to choose--you're simply too restricted in the number of gears, in the physical dimensions important for comfort, and quite frankly the "step through" design tends to be pretty heavy as well.


What's telling especially, though, is that in a country that half a century ago was seeing tens of millions of people die of hunger in the Cultural Revolution, they are now seeing bicycles being thrown away because they're not worth bringing back to the owners.  It even appears that a lot of these bicycles aren't being taken by amateur mechanics like me for someone else to use.


It's a great thing that there is now such abundance in China, but it would be nice if governments would stop pushing these solutions that don't work.  We have enough junkyards as it is, don't we?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Things that make you go "hmmmm....."

Yesterday's raid on Trump lawyer Michael Cohen raises an awful lot of questions, to put it mildly.  First of all, if Robert Mueller is actually investigating the possibility (impossibility, really) of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, exactly how does the non-issue of Trump's alleged dalliance with Stephanie Clifford play into this?  Exactly why did Mueller take enough evidence regarding the matter to make a referral?  As Mr. D. notes, this looks like a reason for firing a LOT of people in the FBI and DOJ.  There is no plausible reason that Mueller should have been doing this, and no less than Alan Dershowitz agrees. The only possibility, really, is if Rod Rosenstein made the bounds of Mueller's investigation impossibly broad, which is in itself a violation of rules governing special counsels.


(and to the obvious rejoinder, L'affaire Lewinsky, remember that that was drug in when Paula Jones sued Clinton for harassment--a suit that was tangentially related to the Whitewater investigation)


Then we have the question of why the federal attorney's office in New York picked up a case with such clear implications of the violation of attorney-client privilege, and when there are a lot of other far more important cases to take there.


To be blunt, I have to wonder who's really running the country.  Somehow it doesn't seem like it's our elected officials anymore.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Political differences defined

Apparently former First Lady Michelle Obama has characterized her husband as the "good parent" in contrast to the current President.  Now apart from who I voted for, I've got to note that I object to this for a very simple reason; government is not my parent, nor does any sane person want government as a parent.  Anyone who reads this history of the 20th Century would conclude that this would be child abuse, after all. 


Along other notes, apparently my high school sport of choice, distance running, has joined weightlifting as a sport where the inherent differences between men and women aren't significant enough to prohibit transgender individuals from running the Boston Marathon as "women."  Now granted, not too many guys are going to get mutilated just to score better in the age groups after Heartbreak Hill, and the East Germans and Czechoslovakia made a farce of sprint and middle distance running in the 1970s and 1980s with their steroid programs (along probably with the Chinese in the 1990s in the 3000 meters), but the fact does remain that being male does correlate with narrower hips, tighter ligaments, and higher bone density, all of which are very helpful in distance running. 


Again, people have been cheating on these things for millennia, so this comes as no surprise, but it's still disheartening when it's made official. 

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Either words matter, or I've been assaulted

Say what?  Here's what; an article that notes that the famous statistic of "one in five college women has been sexually assaulted" derives from research which includes forced kisses and groping as sexual assault. 


Now I'm not a fan of either forced kisses or groping, but having experienced both in college, I'm going to have to guess that it differs in character and impact from things like date rape and forcible rape.  In my case, a young lady decided that since I was a runner, my thighs were fair game for Roman hands.  I removed her hands and said "no", and that was that.  Another time, I did something kind (I forget what, maybe killing a spider or something) for a different young lady, and when I responded to her "thank you" by noting it was nothing, ended up with a peck on the cheek.  In her defense, she made clear that a peck on the cheek was all she had in mind, and I still cry laugh about it today. 


Yes, I'm not a very good victim, and to be sure, young ladies (gentlemen) whose lips were mashed and body manhandled by a drunken frat boy (s-girl)  had a much more traumatic experience than did I.   Even so, however, these overly broad descriptions of misbehavior don't do those who are genuinely traumatized any good, since we end up looking for a lot of perpetrators who simply don't exist.


And in the process, we fail to convict perpetrators who are very, horribly real.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

A very real tragedy

Contrary to the usually very good reporting of the Babylon Bee, it turns out that not only was it legal to produce God's Not Dead 3, but it has been produced under the name God's Not Dead, A Light in DarknessWhat's the tragedy?  Well, look at the rating--3.2/10--and compare it with Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Return of the Killer Tomatoes, Killer Tomatoes Strike Back, and Killer Tomatoes Eat FranceYes, you read it here; GND3 rates below all four Killer Tomatoes movies, twice by a long shot.


Really, Christian movies need to come to grips with the fact that a lot of them are just plain awful, and that we need to learn something from good movies, even if they contain elements with which we disagree. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Say what?

The Economist takes a look at gun ownership in Switzerland--which has evidently fallen drastically since they ended mandatory conscription in the army--and comes to the conclusion that more gun control would work in the U.S., too.  One wee little problem comes at the end of the article, where they make this claim:


The rate of gun homicides in 2015, 0.2 per 100,000 people, was roughly half the level of the late 1990s.  In contrast, America's figure was 4.0, and over the same period it has barely budged.


For the record, the U.S. firearm homicide rate dropped by about half from 1993 to 2016 as many states enacted shall issue concealed carry laws and otherwise reduced firearm restrictions.  It is quite shocking to see none less than The Economist using such an easily disproven statistic, and it's not a good sign for journalism in general.   Apparently the reality that about ten thousand people make it to the next year alive who otherwise would not have is of little significance to this journal.


It is also worth noting that, with a population currently of around 8.7 million souls, Switzerland's huge reduction in gun deaths amounts to only 16 lives per year, and the statistical shift is only barely statistically significant.  Those are 16 important lives each year, but let's keep these things in perspective.  Plus, their suicide rate is apparently 40% higher than ours. 

Half a million wasted

It strikes me that Michigan State both spent half a million bucks to monitor the social media accounts of the victims of Larry Nassar and their loved ones, and had a spokesman (and other personnel) who were apparently unaware that Rachael Denhollander had a law license and had been involved in the political process since she was a child. 


This is, of course, knowledge that the defense team at MSU would have had if they'd done the hard work of "reading the papers."  Now I'll grant my alma mater the reality that, yes, looking at social media accounts can be a good way of establishing whether a particular witness is credible, but if you won't bother reading the papers, maybe full time monitors of a Twitter feed ain't gonna do you much good.


Ironically, MSU has one of the nation's best journalism schools whose professors could have taught Mr. Engler and his staff something about this.

Nice work if you can get it?

No, not that I'd sign up for any amount of money to sleep with the President, but this column about says, inadvertently, quite a bit about the media.  Apparently former porn "actress" (whore) Stormy Daniels is arguing that she is entitled to more money because the agreement she signed does not also contain Donald Trump's signature.


Yes, adultery is wrong, and yes, the agreement does appear to be rather odd in its construction, but it strikes me that $130k to keep quiet about a consensual affair that may or may not have occurred is pretty good money for that line of "work", and that maybe, just maybe, she ought to do what whores have always done--simply count the money and go about her way.


Along these lines, there is a line of investigation that I'm not seeing in the media that really ought to be getting some traction.  Specifically, isn't it remarkable that a 38 year old hooker washed up porn actress actress whose "talents" aren't getting much attention lately is simultaneously initiating legal action to get more money while going on a national tour of strip clubs to take pictures with lechers perverts customers for twenty bucks a pop?


Or, really,  it's not a surprise at all.  The most likely reality here is that she's learning the hard way that if you make a career as eye candy, you'd better save your money for when your looks fade.  If we had, as Mitch Berg notes, an industry with printing presses, reporters, websites, and all that devoted to the investigation of truth, we might find out something very interesting about this case.  Specifically, Stephanie Clifford is most likely broke.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Worse than I'd have thought

This article from CNN scares me, and quite frankly, I'm a bit harder to scare this way.  Back in 1988, I was a "marginal at best" runner on Michigan State's track and cross country teams, and I'd visit the the training room in Jenison Fieldhouse to get ice or get an "ouch" dealt with.  Yes, one of the places where Larry Nassar worked a few years later. 


I got to know who was there while getting ice; Mario Izzo (no relation to Tom), a backup big man, was there often, but most of the others were members of either the men's gymnastics team or cheerleading squad.  So I know well that all that acrobatic jumping can leave someone feeling down. 


But that noted, this story bothers me because training on broken bones and the like leads to lifelong injuries at best.  At worst, I'd have to guess it conditions its victims to be victims of another sort of abuse, like that of Larry Nassar.


Whether or not this was part of some evil plan, those who tell kids to "tough it out" when a doctor diagnoses broken bones and the like need to consider exactly what they're training young athletes to do.  It might be, really, the "sportsball" equivalent of the "casting couch" in acting.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Hope they got their man

The recent arrest of Larry Nassar's former boss, William Strampel, makes me hope that the investigators at my alma mater are getting to the root of the problem in a somewhat personal way.  The last time I donated blood, I talked with a woman from Traverse City who noted that her niece had been told by a medical school professor that--in a trip to a developing country no less--she needed to be less modest in her attire. 


I didn't get the name of the niece or the instructor, but I sure hope that niece is being heard now, and if the instructor wasn't in fact Strampel, I hope Bill Schuette is closing in on him, too.