Friday, March 28, 2008

Free Tibet -- Olympics in the crosshairs

From the Washington Post:

The uprising in the remote Himalayan region lasted for barely more than a day. But it generated a worldwide swell of concern. Now, the Games -- intended to be a festive coming-out party for modern China -- could become a dramatic reminder that the Communist Party still relies on Leninist police tactics and Orwellian censorship to enforce its monopoly on power.

"Leninist police tactics and Orwellian censorship to enforce its monopoly on power"

Exactly right. Maoist Communism is built on a brutal sacrifice of the individual in favor of the state. The Olympics cannot, in any way, give this evil entity any right to puff out its chest on the world stage.

Fact: China made promises to clean up its act as a condition for being awarded the games.

Fact: China has changed nothing.

Fact: The International Olympic committee has done nothing to hold China to its promises.

"Leninist police tactics and Orwellian censorship to enforce its monopoly on power"

So what's the next step?

Individually: Boycott -- Buy ZERO, nada, no $ from any sponsor of the Olympics during the games. No IBM, Coke, McDonalds, etc. while the games are on. Send them letters explaining why. Also, watch your government and the media and demand that they take the proper action also.

As a country: Virtual boycott -- Limit use of your flag and your national anthem. Allow athletes to compete, but do not "endorse" games with our symbols. Our flag and anthem represent freedom's triumph over tyranny. Ask instead for a moment of silence to remember all those who died so we can have the freedom to pursue sports.

Media: Balance the reporting. Report on dissidents, Chinese repression, and lack of freedom during the games. WHEN China responds by trying to control or expel reporters, make that the story. If a reporter is banned for reporting on dissidents, pull two sports reporters. Make the Chinese attempts to control the press result in a blackout of coverage of the Olympics. When Chinese officials show up at ceremonies to bask in spotlight, give accurate biographies including the human rights crimes they have overseen (repression of demonstrations, torture, etc.)

"Leninist police tactics and Orwellian censorship to enforce its monopoly on power"

Don't forget this. We don't need to respect these jokers, we don't need to be distracted that their culture is different, we can judge this and condemn it. Humanity DEMANDS that we judge and condemn this!

We live in a free society; if this was China, I would be arrested for writing this and you would be blocked from reading it. History will judge us harshly if we do not stand up for the freedom of our Chinese brothers and sisters against their evil government.

"Leninist police tactics and Orwellian censorship to enforce its monopoly on power"

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Liberals v. Conservatives: Who really cares about the poor?

An interesting debate! The fact is, Conservatives oppose government programs for the poor, but privately give money to charities. Liberals support government programs for the poor, but don't echo those values in their personal spending.

This is from a George Will column today that points out these facts:

Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism." The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives.

If many conservatives are liberals who have been mugged by reality, Brooks, a registered independent, is, as a reviewer of his book said, a social scientist who has been mugged by data. They include these findings:

• Although liberal families' incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

• Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.

• Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.

• Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.

• In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.

• People who reject the idea that "government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality" give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.

Brooks demonstrates a correlation between charitable behavior and "the values that lie beneath" liberal and conservative labels. Two influences on charitable behavior are religion and attitudes about the proper role of government.

This comes on the heel of reports that Obama gave only 1% of income to charity between 2000 and 2004, although that has gone up significantly in the last two years.

My grandparents were a working class household that raised me to believe "giving begins at home." What do you think?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Somebody tell Joe Girardi to grow up!

The "No-Class" Yankees have fully embraced their "Low-Class" leader and played down to the level of a bush-league team today. In an exhibition game against the Devil Rays, the Yankees intentionally threw at a batter in the first inning and in the second inning had a "spikes high" slide that cleared the benches.

On Sunday, [Yankees Shelley] Duncan had dropped a hint that the Yankees might match the Rays' intensity on the basepaths.

"What it does is it opens another chapter of intensity in the spring training ballgames," Duncan said, referring to the home-plate collision. "They showed what is acceptable to them and how they're going to play the game, so we're going to go out there to match their intensity -- or even exceed it."

"There's going to be no malicious evil intent in terms of carryover, but it just adds a different type of fire to your gut when you play that team because you understand how they're playing the game and what their mind-set is," Duncan said Sunday.

Follow this link to the ESPN story that contains the above quote and look at the picture. It contains a Gene Puskar/AP photo of the play. This is not a "high slide", this is left foot firmly planted, metal spike first, in the groin of the Tampa Bay player. The photo clearly reveals Duncan's mindset and it IS malicious and evil.

The story reports:

But Girardi also said he didn't want the Yankees retaliating against the Rays in future games.
So what is it Joe? Are you lying, or have you already lost control of your crybaby team.

For those that would pause to defend Joe, just watch the YES Network archive film from a few years ago when Joe was the catcher. It makes it clear he used to admit that sliding in spring training was not evil, especially when the catcher chose to block the plate and take away other options.

You know, its not often I side with Don Zimmer. But he is right in this case that Joe needs to grow up and set a positive rather than negative example for his Bronx Blowhards. After all, they have an idiot owner that will only make it worse.

Perhaps the dumbest thing about this is, when you play in one of the toughest divisions in baseball, it is always nice to have a bunch of games against a team that sleepwalks to a 50-110 record. That is, until you are dumb enough to make them mad and they start circling the calendar. Mark this prediction down: the Rays will win the season series and those extra losses will keep NY home in October.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Deciphering the Notebooks of History

Slate has an interesting article on deciphering the notebooks of politicians, authors, pastors, and other historical figures. Like Artist's sketchbooks, these give a critical insight into how the finished speech, sermon, story, or poem was developed.

But problems such as bad handwriting, shorthand, abbreviations, and even writing English words with a Greek alphabet contribute to a complex task in which errors are pounced upon. Scholars often are forced by budget cuts to enlist graduate students. On the plus side, they are more likely to use Google to catch bad translations; the the negative side, the "keyboard" generation has little exposure to modern cursive writing and struggles to read an 18th or 19th century hand.

The screen shots of famous journals make the link worth reading.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Media missing some big pieces here!

I have been watching the media coverage and there are a couple of big things I have heard NO ONE say that makes me believe Roger Clemens is a dirtbag:

We need to really look at the timelines on this Roger v. Andy exchange! Roger claims that in 1999 or 2000 he did discuss HGH with Andy, but Pettitte has it wrong; Roger was talking about his wife and not himself taking HGH.

1) Sports Illustrated was in 2003. So Mrs. Clemens was taking HGH 3 years in advance for a photo shoot that even SI had not even thought of yet!!!!!! EDIT -- ESPN is reporting that in 2000, Clemens was talking about a TV show with "3 old people" that benefitted from HGH. It was in 2005 that he was talking about his wife. So Andy misheard BOTH times. . . This fixes the timeline issue, but seems to really strain creditability! Edit 2 == McNamee's lawyer was on Mike and Mike this morning saying I was right about the my original objection. Edit 3 ==
It was depositionS: Roger wants us to believe that both Mr and Mrs Pettitte heard and remember wrong.

2) Clemens deposition was last week. So, over the weekend when he was calling McNamee names for dragging his wife into it, he had already done so!!!!

Survey says: Dirtbag: world class!!!!

Lou Holtz = Genius and nice guy!!!

I got a chance to meet Lou Holtz last September. This was the week before the Notre Dame v. Michigan match-up. Besides being a truly nice and great guy, Lou made a couple of predictions. Thought I would post them here fore review:

1) Michigan will NOT fire Lloyd Carr and will not force him out. He will finish the season and then retire.

2) Tim Tebow will win the Heismann. At that time, no was was talking about him; Sports Illustrated did not even include him in their pre-season predictions.

Great guy and great football mind! Thanks for the fun Lou!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dumb AND Lame Norv Apologist. . .

I love Bill Parcells, but this is downright dumb!

The new coaches also do not have the same understanding of the AFC West. It's almost like playing an out-of-conference game when you don't really know your division opponents extremely well. It goes mostly unseen, but a big part of this season for the Chargers is getting their coaches acclimated to the nuances of playing in that division.
Now I understand why the Chargers have had trouble; not understanding the AFC West means they have a tough schedule of:

Bear (NFC Central)
Pats (AFC East)
Pack (NFC Central)

Maybe it is time to face the facts: Norv is a bad coach. Stop trying to sugar coat it. . . Think about the double standard! Gruden won in his first year in TB with "Dungy's team." He switched conference and division. Must be magic dust at work, because after a switch, it seems like you get no credit for either improvement or taking a step back.

Bill, even if I was to believe you this was so tough, your successor in Dallas seems to be doing OK with the same hurdles. . .

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Myth of "Dilution" in MLB Pitching

I was reading an article bu Jim Caple on statistics in baseball and thought it was great analysys until I got to this:

"3. Expansion has diluted pitching, further increasing offense." Link

I am getting real tired of this being repeated over and over, especially in articles that claim to be analyzing statistics. Here are some facts that are easy to find, but overlooked by the "dilution" proponents:

1) The number of MLB teams has doubled (14 to 28) since 1930.

2) In 1930, there were 108million White Americans. Since 1930, the US population eligible to play baseball has tripled.

3) The population of Latin America is 548million.

4) Baseball has become global with MLB players from Japan, Korea, Australia, and other non-traditional locations.

Let's say that a given population has x% of its population that has the talent to become a Major League pitcher. So, if 108million is enough for 14 teams, than how in the heck is >1Billion too few for 28 teams??

Flies in the face of illogic; time we need to stop saying this is the problem.

Let me also say sorry to Jim; I respect most of what he writes. I just decided to use this post for the rant that has been a long time coming. . .

The Problem with Al Gore and Global Warming. . .

. . .is we are being asked to make decisions that will change the way of life of billions of people and don't have enough information.

We are told the "consensus of scientists support" the crisis is now theory. . .

But really, there is more that we don't know than we know:

Armies of insects once crawled through lush forests in a region of Greenland now covered by more than 2000m of ice.

DNA extracted from ice cores show that moths and butterflies were living in forests of spruce and pine in the area between 450,000 and 800,000 years ago.

Writing in the journal Science, the researchers say they believe the DNAs are the oldest pure samples obtained.

The ice cores also suggest that the ice sheet is more resistant to warming than previously thought, the scientists say.

"We have shown for the first time that southern Greenland, which is currently hidden under more than 2km of ice, was once very different to the Greenland we see today," said Professor Eske Willerslev from the University of Copenhagen and one of the authors of the paper.

"What we've learned is that this part of the world was significantly warmer than most people thought," said Professor Martin Sharp from the University of Alberta and a co-author of the paper.

I find this quote interesting:

"If our data is correct, then this means that the southern Greenland ice cap is more stable than previously thought," said Professor Willerslev. "This may have implications for how the ice sheets respond to global warming."


The problem with many of these doomsday scenarios is that concern over possible outcome causes some to skip critically analyzing the facts. Malthus predicted population crisis in 1798, but his theory had statistical flaws.

Call me a cautious skeptic. I don't believe the hype here. The weatherman cannot accurately predict the weather farther out than 24 hours, but I am supposed to believe they know what is going to happen in the next 25, 50, 100, or more years? Everytime I am ready to give them the benefit of the doubt, information like this comes to light that shows they have flaws in the model assumptions.

If the US were to stop using fossil fuels today, billions would freeze and starve. There are risks and costs for both limiting and failing to limit fossil fuel use. We have to make the right decision with the best information.

Here is my opinion: If the science really supports Global Warming overwhelmingly, then a thorough review of the science should be welcomed. When I know the evidence supports my view; I am happy for everyone to look at it closely. In this debate, we are asked to accept too much without looking ourselves at the underlying evidence. Sets off my skeptical alarm. . .

I did say I am cautious; my family looks at its own carbon footprint and ways to lessen our impact on the environment.