Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The New $315 Shoe From Nike

The new LeBron James shoe from Nike is a complete and utter disgrace of a product. They're going to sell a shoe that will become a new status symbol, and thus desired by young people, for $315? And no one sees a problem with that? Where did simple values go? Why is this shoe being offered for anything more than fifty bucks? Because I can guarantee you, the cost of making that shoe doesn't even approach fifty dollars; I would be willing to wager that Nike is still getting these from sweatshops and child labor.

How many young kids are going to be robbed of these shoes? How many of them are going to fight to keep them and end up dying or killing someone? How awful.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Japanese Nationalism and Natural Gas


Is this really about nationalism? Is this really about a resurgence of pride and conquest amongst the Japanese population? Or is this yet another troublesome protest fueled by outside interests who are more motivated by publicity and helping to draw attention away from the fact that the natural resources of Asia are being stripped and extracted faster than ever before?

There is such a thing as Japanese nationalism; these are the same kooks you'll find everywhere else. Someone is being paid to stir up trouble, nothing more. That "trouble" is being used to disguise the fact that natural resources and the poor are being exploited.

Asia is ripe for a war over resources. This is why we are maintaining a huge military presence in Okinawa and are considering a move to return to the Philippines.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mary Thom of New Ulm, Minnesota is a Complete and Utter Bigot


The content of this letter is nothing new. The writer has an axe to grind, and so the letter is sent to newspapers where, given their own politics and inability to filter out bigoted hate speech properly, the woman is given a forum for her hateful views.

I suppose there is a benefit to this. Without the publication of these letters, how would you know who the crazy people are?

But the very idea that someone would get to say "homosexual marriages" are "based on something that is morally rotten so they cannot serve to promote the good health of our society" is to promote the ideas of a world class bigot. That is what is morally reprehensible here; not the fact that gay people want to be married but that some crazy lady in New Ulm, Minnesota would get a place to spread her eliminationist rhetoric.

Mary Thom claims to not be "extreme" but that's what she is--an extremist who wants to destroy homosexuals because they are morally rotten.

What's moral? Hating people? Hating the way they were born? Hating the way they live their lives?

When someone says "we cannot afford to be tolerant" it means that being intolerant is perfectly fine. From that, we see violence, shootings, hate speech and murder. We see people assaulted, killed, attacked, shot, knifed and stoned to death.

Someone let Mary Thom emerge from the swamps of cruelty and viciousness. Her letter should have remained there.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Paul Rahe is a Terrified Old Man


Poor Paul Rahe. He's terrified of the future and he doesn't have any idea how to process the information that he's being given.

In the case of Nate Silver, in particular, the act of equating his work with the CIA during the Cold War, and how they missed the collapse of the Soviet Union, is laughable. Silver does not prognosticate with anything other than sheer raw data to back him up. He doesn't "wing" it and throw wild predictions around. He has been elevated to the position he's in solely because his methodology is extremely sound and is based on statistical models which produce excellent results. Silver works those models, and acknowledges his mistakes as well as his achievements with the data; he deals with things that exist in the real world, in other words, and Rahe cannot fathom anything like this.

Rahe is looking at Mitt Romney's prospects and he's using inductive, not deductive, reasoning to argue that Romney is going to win in a landslide.

Which polls does he see? Who's data is he using? Which model shows Romney winning the Electoral College by a wide margin? Everyone else is using data that is many times more sophisticated and accurate than the famous "Dewey Beats Truman" data of yesteryear. That data breaks down the states by polls that are rigorously compared with other polls; the accuracy of a pollster's previous work is also factored in. This is some serious math we're talking about.

But math doesn't tell the whole story; trends and demographics do. The information used by the people Rahe dismisses is pretty damned good. If the polls were going the other way, would Rahe disagree with them as well?

Here's what he actually thinks is going to give Romney a landslide:
Romney can go on to speak of Obamacare. He can point to the corruption that Barack Obama brought from Chicago to Washington. He need only mention Solyndra and sound the theme of crony capitalism. Romney can also point to the President’s systematic misuse of the executive power – to defraud the salaried employees of Delphi and the bondholders of General Motors and Chrysler, to gut the welfare reform passed by New Gingrich and adopted by Bill Clinton, to let school systems out of No Child Left Behind, to sick the IRS on political enemies, to force people into unions, to encourage voter fraud, to deprive Catholics and other Christians of the free exercise of their religion. The list is long.
I'm not aware of anyone who even remotely believes that Romneycare, I mean, Obamacare is a loser; far from it--Romney cannot bring it up and, when one of his spokespeople does, all hell breaks loose.

Solyndra, Delphi, and welfare reform are not on the lips of voters. Crony capitalism is, and the word is Bain. People are vaguely aware that the auto company bailout worked and saved millions of jobs. People probably don't remember how the Bush Administration sent the U.S. Attorneys after voter fraud (another issue no one cares about because it doesn't exist) and the political enemies of George W. Bush; I don't think they see the Obama Administration in any such light. People are also vaguely aware that the Catholic Church has a tendency to change the subject so that people stop talking about all those kids who were raped. Newt and Gingrich are words so poisonous that the man is literally and figuratively bankrupt because people in his own party rejected his candidacy. And Bill Clinton is pretty popular right now.

In short, Paul Rahe has no idea what he's talking about because things like fact don't matter to him. Winning does. And his guy is the worst presidential candidate since whenever.

When you're old, that's gotta hurt. That's gotta hurt like a son of a bitch. But, the facts remain. Which poll shows a Romney landslide? So far, the data simply isn't there.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Don Siegelman Goes Back to Prison


If there was ever a time to use the power of a Presidential pardon to right a wrong, this is that time.

Former Governor Don Siegelman is going back to prison on bullshit charges concocted by lackeys taking orders from Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove. It's that simple.

Putting him in prison for doing what virtually everyone else does is a tremendous injustice. If you held others to this standard, the prisons would be full of Governors, Congressmen, and Senators.

Don Siegelman is guilty of being a Democrat at the wrong time. That's all.