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Generic Confusion

When you leave, my blog just fades to grey
Nu ma nu ma iei, nu ma nu ma nu ma iei


News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Another curse to end

The Curse of the Bambino is gone. Now, another curse will go away.

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, no candidate from Winston-Salem or Charlotte has won statewide office in North Carolina since 1920. Senate candidate Erskine Bowles is from Charlotte, and candidate Richard Burr is from Winston-Salem. The article also mentions that there hasn't been a governor elected from Guilford County (home of Greensboro) since 1841.

There's also the pattern (not a curse, really) that the winner of the last Washington Redskins home football game before the election determines whether the incumbent party or challenger party wins the presidency. Today's Packers win would say that the Democrats will win the presidential election.

I know we humans like to search for patterns, and when we find one, like the aforementioned Redskins game result, that has a certain relationship, it sounds very cool. They are fun to discuss, but they mean nothing. Consider that using the NFL alone, there are dozens of teams, dozens of games to check, many different criteria that could be analyzed (home vs. away, conference vs. non-conference, etc.). And with so many options, it's not surprising that there's one that fits the same pattern as the winners of the presidential elections. You will note that the last Redskins home game had to be used, since in 1996, for example, the last Redskins game before the election had the opposite result than this pattern predicts.

If someone had more time than me, they could probably find the same pattern with the Green Bay Packers home opener, or the first game in October for the Chicago Bears, or some other random choice. There are only 17 elections for which the Redskins pattern is applied, and if you think hard enough, there are a lot more than 2^17 combinations of criteria. The Redskins game pattern is just a coincidence, noteworthy only because it's the Washington team and the game before the election. (And OpinionJournal points out that the last game played in Washington, not Maryland, before the election, was in 1996.)

As with all of these patterns, they only hold as long as they hold. Once Boston wins the World Series, there is no more historic losing streak. Once an incumbent party wins following a Redskins home loss, this pattern goes away as well.

So I'll make the bold prediction that, just like Boston's World Series futility, so too will end the Redskins predictive ability. Bush 291, Kerry 247. (This vote tally would come from New Hampshire switching to Kerry and Wisconsin and Iowa switching to Bush. I really think that "Lambert Field" faux pas will cost Kerry in Wisconsin.)


Another Baron Hill lie

Still no commercials for my congressman, but I saw another Baron Hill commercial which had a statement that very neatly compacted THREE lies within it. It stated that Mike Sodrel will risk your Social Security money in the stock market. Let's summarize the lies one by one:

  1. Mike Sodrel: In all proposed partial privatizations of Social Security, the individual chooses whether or not to participate. No government employee makes that decision.
  2. Your: Under Social Security, you do not have any money. If Congress voted, and the president signed, a bill to end Social Security, you would get NOTHING. No money you pay goes into an account with your name on it, and it won't... until Social Security is privatized.
  3. Risk: Over a thirty-year horizon, investing in the stock market isn't risky. Over a one-year horizon, it is.

This is not to say there aren't risks to privatizing Social Security. To me, the biggest risk is that people who participate and choose idiotic investments will complain, then get relief from the federal government.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

One curse down...

Too many to go. Congratulations to the Red Sox for winning eight straight games to win the World Series! What curse of the Bambino?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

New South Park!

South Park has started its new season, with a timely episode making fun of PETA, voting, and P. Diddy. Yes, they decided to take the idiotic "Vote or Die" slogan literally. Best line was the comment that PETA doesn't care about people. So true!

The new series following it, billing itself as the first animated reality show, was quite funny as well. They picked eight great archetypal cartoon characters, including a psychotic Pikachu-clone.

Typical Democrat ad

One of the most competitive congressional races in Indiana features Mike Sodrel trying to unseat Baron Hill. I see a lot more ads for this race than for the race in my congressional district. And it's close, so the Democrats are getting desperate. I just saw an ad that misrepresents the national sales tax proposal that Sodrel supports. Ever notice how Democrats rely on the ignorance of voters? Sad.

One more game!

Red Sox are up three games to nil! Hooray!

I must confess, my main reason for wanting them to win is so there will be one less "curse" bandied about by sports enthusiasts. When there are teams that have never won a World Series, isn't a team with 5 championships in a better position, historically?

On the other hand, here's one curse I'd like to see gain attention.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Timeline: Root Causes of Terrorism

You absolutely must read this hilarious piece from Beautiful Atrocities. It's a bit old, but that doesn't lessen the hilarity.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Which Nigerian Scammer Are You?

The Internet is replete with quizzes, but this one was especially funny.

THIS is from National Review?

Now this is an article one wouldn't expect to see from the National Review.

Yet I've remained nostalgic about D&D. I still have a box, stashed away in
the recesses of my basement, that holds a Player's Handbook, a Monster
Manual
, and, of course, the DMG with that big red monster on the cover. Duct tape is the only thing keeping these battered volumes together. Stuffed into the box with them are a collection of adventure modules, stacks of character sheets, and folders full of carefully drawn maps of cities, kingdoms, and worlds that have existed only in my imagination. It's a pretty big box, this one. And no — as I inform my wife every year or two — I won't get rid of it.


That's because I've long harbored a secret notion in the back of my mind: Wouldn't it be awesome to get a game going again?


There. I've said it. If you feel an urgent need to call me a big loser, I'm ready to take it like a man.



Actually, in the community of role-playing gamers I'm familiar with, there are a surprising number of conservatives. This fact became apparent in November and December 2000, when gamers, just like everyone else, were talking about the hot topic of the day, the ever-continuing presidential race.

Update: Another column, this one from the Boston Globe.

Hurrah!

The Boston Red Sox are going to the World Series!

Normally, I don't care for Boston teams, but when the alternative is the Yankees, I'm all for the Sox!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Here's a restaurant to avoid

Driving through the new shopping center, I saw a new restaurant about to open, Ted's Montana Grill. My first thought: Ted Turner has a ranch in Montana; is this his restaurant? Upon further investigation of the flyers posted, I found out it is his restaurant. I guess I won't be eating there.

What I found funny is the description of the theme of the restaurant:

The decor blends the warmth and charm of an authentic Montana bar and grill. The design is faithful to the Arts & Crafts architectural style of the early 20th century, which emphasized comfort and the use of natural materials.

This prompts me to write the following e-mail to the restaurant chain:

I noticed your restaurant, Ted’s Montana Grill, is opening in my area. However, I am shocked that Ted Turner would lend his name to a restaurant designed to reflect the atmosphere of the early 1900’s. In that time period, women were denied the right to vote, African-Americans were systematically denied basic civil rights, Native Americans were driven from their ancestral lands, and the United States was spreading its empire around the globe. I cannot bring myself to eat in a restaurant that evokes tragic memories of this dark period of American history.

I highly anticipate receiving nothing more than an automated response.

I also found it amusing that, according to the liquor license application that was for some reason posted publicly on the unopened restaurant, the franchise name is TMG of Ohio. There's also no restaurant in Montana right now.

Good timing!

I turned off the VCR to see the end of the inning, with the score 6-0 Red Sox. "The Yankees crows is shell-shocked," said the announcer, as New Order's Shell Shock played in the background. Let's hope the Red Sox can persist to victory!

One quick statement before this evening commences

Go Red Sox!  Defeat the Evil Empire!

Team America: World Police

I went to see the new and highly offensive movie, Team America: World Police. Even before the movie came out, it was a topic for the blogosphere, due to its political nature. Does it favor the Republican or Democratic position? Or does it only make fun of Hollywood?

There are jokes that target both sides of the political spectrum, and assorted others (a mime gets it, to the cheers of the world). In other words, there's evidence to support you if you think the movie is trashing conservatives, and evidence to support you if you think the movie is trashing liberals. But something noteworthy can be seen if you analyze the main jokes.

Team America (the Bush Republican stand-in) causes casual destruction as it fights to save the world. Have you seen this joke before? It happens all the time in humorous series, especially cartoons. Watch Cartoon Network and see Townsville destroyed on the Powerpuff Girls, or New Jersey destroyed (yay!) on Megas XLR. South Park sees its share of collateral damage, too, from disasters as diverse as independent filmmakers, Mecha-Barbara-Streisand, and a flood of sewage.

The Michael Moore puppet is shown two-fisting hot dogs, stained by mustard. Have you seen this joke before? Certainly; the fat slob is a common archetype. But it's only a brief joke against a liberal.

The big anti-liberal joke: Liberal Hollywood types, led by Alec Baldwin of South Park Movie "Bomb the Baldwins" fame, believe the evil Kim Jong Il when he announces a peace conference. Have you seen this joke before? I can't think of anything similar. It's far more common to see the evil geniuses command legions with the aid of a mind control device.

Leftists come out of the movie far worse than conservatives. But that's to be expected, based on what Trey Parker and Matt Stone have done before. They really hammer those who ignore common sense in embracing liberal positions. One episode that comes to mind is the (also horribly offensive) episode where gay schoolteacher Mr. Garrison is acting in his most offensive manner in trying to get fired, only to be stymied by the townsfolk's blind following of tolerance. A column in TechCentralStation by Stephen Stanton highlights the "South Park Republican," which is really more Republican with libertarian leanings, who are no prudes.

As for the movie? Funny, of course, and way on the offensive side. It pays homage to countless movie types. Trey Parker shows his mastery of all styles of music with a Broadway musical song, country track, and much more. "I'm So Ronery," the solo by Kim Jong Il, stands out, and I like the clever song "Montage," playing as a montage of training scenes plays. The character Kim Jong Il shines as the evil leader, acting a lot like the Saddam Hussein character does in South Park. All in all, if you like humor and if you are not shocked by anything, you will probably like Team America: World Police.

Lt. Smash has a roundup of reviews from the blogosphere.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Bush vs. Kerry in 250 words or less

Vox Blogoli IV, at hughhewitt.com, challenges the blogosphere to answer the questions "Why vote for Bush and what's wrong with Kerry?" in 250 words or less. A lot has been said about the issues, the flip-flops, and who has been and is on the right side of history. But instead of focusing on this, I'll suggest the following:

What does Bush versus Kerry boil down to? It’s a question of a leader versus a poser.

Senator Kerry wants to be all things to all people. He’s a hunter, just like you. A football fan. Against the war. For the war. No one should think less of a politician just because he’s not an avid college football fan, and if a voter thinks that, do you need his vote? But Kerry cares about each and every voter’s vote, even if it means he’ll have to say something different than he said previously, in order to please the voter. And he cares about pleasing foreign leaders, even if it means acting against the best interests of America. There is nothing more important than being liked.

President Bush cares about the voter, not the vote. He will act to defend America and do what he believes is right, no matter if others disapprove. If you hear Bush advocate a position, you know it is his position, not one carefully calculated to please others. The toughest decisions are often the most unpopular. There is nothing more important that doing what is right.


People follow Bush because they share his views. Kerry shares the views of people because he hopes they will follow him. It’s a critical distinction, and only the former marks a true leader, the right leader for America. Re-elect Bush November 2!

Time Travel

I happened to watch two shows recently that featured that common topic, traveling back in time to change events. One was the movie The Butterfly Effect, which had a DVD release featuring an alternate ending. In this case, I agree with the focus groups and say the director's ending was so much worse than the final version. The theatrical version was the blatantly obvious answer, given an earlier line in the movie.

The other show was the season premiere of Star Trek: Enterprise. Now, time travel is a very common feature in the Star Trek universe. The cliffhanger of the previous season involved World War II, and had the series been cancelled, it would have been an intriguing cliffhanger that was never resolved. The two-part show was fairly satisfying, but the "temporal cold war" is a plot line that requires significant disbelief to follow.

All this reminds me of Larry Niven's law of time travel, which basically says in a universe where time travel is possible, it won't be invented. If it is, it destabilizes everything, so the only stable universe is one with no time travel.

But in the event I do travel back in time, I have a set of winning lottery numbers memorized, providing excellent seed money for some key stock market investments. :-)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

WEA

WEA, which bills itself as the representative of "White and European American" students at UM-Amherst, created a plan to reserve a specific number of seats in the Student Senate for members of this organization. One candidate who opposed this plan was defeated in a race for Student Government Association president; he was labeled as a "racist" for opposing this setaside plan.

Oh, who am I fooling? The organization is called ALANA, representing everyone who isn't white, and demanded the setaside, and for opposing this discriminatory plan, the candidate was called racist.

The story continues with the school's attempt to punish students for unpopular biting satire.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Verdict

From a Bush supporter, I preferred Bush on the substance of the comments. I was too busy typing the comments of the candidates to look at the screen much, so no comments on mannerisms, smiles, nervous tics, sweating, or candidates sneaking drinks from a flask. (After that debate, wouldn't you be looking for a stiff drink?)

Another debate comment

Okay, shouldn't someone have mentioned the polarizing that the 527 groups are doing, and how it reflects the utter failure of McCain-Feingold?

And check out the comments at VodkaPundit.

Comments on the third debate

Can we be as safe as we were? You mean when nuclear holocaust was threatening us? A lousy question to start the debate.

Flu shot question: Bush hits it out of the park by mentioning companies being afraid of lawsuits if they produce flu shots. Whether or not this is the primary reason American companies don't produce all of our flu shots, it is a statement that most Americans will nod their heads to. Kerry missed an opportunity to say "I understand the President has nothing to do with this problem." His comments on health insurance are way off. I have health insurance, and I've never gotten a flu shot. (It's almost certain to make me mildly sick, so I'll take my chances with the flu, given that I rarely get sick.)

Pay as you go? Ironic comment to me, an actuary, since pay as you go is the reason why Social Security is such a huge problem. I honestly don't believe there was any meaningful pay as you go program in the U.S. Congress; I bet programs continue to increase left and right.

What do you say to someone who lost his job overseas? Another Bush win, to an educated viewer like me. I recognize that we should lose simpler jobs that can be done overseas easily, and use that savings to help support more complex jobs and new industries. And education is needed for that purpose.

Homosexuality: Why did Kerry bring up Dick Cheney's daughter? Bush wins, just because I recognize that contrary to what Kerry says, states can't manage laws in the face of activist judges.

Health care costs going up: Bush wins again, again because of what I know on the subject. I support health savings accounts, restrictions on lawsuits, and bringing market forces into the field. Neither side mentioned one of the important reasons: health care costs more because it keeps getting better. As a young man, I hope health care discoveries keep coming.

Where are we going to get money for everything? I found it really interesting how Kerry said that covering people up to 300% of the poverty level would be a net gain. That sounds suspiciously like the dynamic scoring that Democrats vehemently oppose for analyzing the reduction in revenues due to tax cuts. Bush makes a good point about employers lacking the incentive to offer health care if employees can just be covered by Medicaid.

Social Security: As an actuary, I know what needs to be done to save Social Security: move it to a fully paid basis. Social Security absorbed the railroad pension plan long ago because it was pay as you go, and employment dropped considerably, so the plan failed. Good to mention Moynihan-he's always been good on the subject. But right now, we collect more in taxes that fund Social Security than we pay out, so I fail to see how it's Kerry's invitation to disaster.

Kerry has now allocated that tax increase for the top 1% to social programs AND saving Social Security. Will someone call him on that subject?

Greenspan: John Kerry has announced he disagrees with Greenspan on the subject of Bush's tax cuts. That can't bode well for him. People respect Greenspan more than either candidate!

Good to see Bush mentioning how much taxes those at the top are really paying.

Minimum wage: Bush dodges the question. Neither discusses the implications of raising the minimum wage on inflation, employment, etc. Naturally, that discussion won't fit 90 second speeches.

It is apparent that Kerry has a litmus test on judges, with regards to Roe v. Wade. Bush doesn't, but the candidates he nominates aren't likely to approve of the decision. Remember, everyone, that all Roe v. Wade does is return abortion to the decision of the states!

Affirmative action: Bush makes good points on minority homeownership and businesses. How is that possible in an environment of rampant discrimination?

I didn't much care for that final softball question on what the candidates learned from the women in their lives.

Some missed opportunities for Bush:

On the subject of strain on the national guard, when Kerry mentioned real alliances, I wish Bush would have apologized to Blair, Howard, etc. for the comment Kerry made. And in the second comment, I wish he would have commented on the "truth" of France, Germany, and Russia being in the pockets of the Iraqi government.

On the question on partisanship, he should have pointed out the judges that the Democrats refuse to allow votes on in the Senate.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Another mascot protest

The Onion strikes again with another excellent parody, this one of protests over college mascots. It even includes a mention of my alma mater!

I remember an article in my college newspaper in 1994, where someone opposed to American Indian mascots tried to explain what it was like by making up fake team names like Montgomery Mexicans. This oh-so-clever writer ignored the very real example of teams named after non-Indian real peoples, such as the Michigan State Spartans, University of Southern California Trojans, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Minnesota Vikings, and San Diego State Aztecs.

I have to point out that with the exception of the UC-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs, teams are named after things that have positive aspects, ones the athletes can aspire to. Animals, peoples, workers, emotions, concepts, etc.; they're all worthy of emulation. (Yes, I know there are other exceptions too...)

The Florida State Seminoles are viewed as a model of using an Indian name, as they have the approval of the tribal nation. However, shouldn't they be upset with the shame the football team brings on the school, and thus the Seminole name?

Multiculturalism, human advancement, and computer games

I've never been a big fan of multiculturalism. I think a study of African or American Indian history would be interesting, but in the course of limited teaching time in elementary and secondary education, it is much more important for American students to study American history and the cultures that had the greatest impact on shaping the Americas: European history, then the Byzantines and Romans before that, then the Greeks, Egyptians, and Middle East cultures before that.

Too much of multiculturalism puts a major focus on a minor event. Worse, some offer suspect theory as demonstratable fact, theories that fit their world views.

In a 1998 column, Charley Reese made a bold statement to counter the multicultural focus: "The progress of the human race is entirely the result of Asian, Mediterranean and European people. Period." In the column, he detailed dozens of important discoveries from the dawn of recorded history to 1600, none of which came from the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, or Oceania.

The occasional article seen in the news reinforces the political aspect of multiculturalism. For example, for Columbus Day, a discussion on attempts to place an Islamic influence on Columbus' voyage. Suspect history.

But there's a unique way to demonstrate why these cultures didn't have an impact. Try playing Civilization II, the computer game by Sid Meier that simulates exploration, scientific discovery, and world domination. Use the Earth map, start in the Americas, then don't sail across the ocean. See how advanced your culture is compared to the first visitors from Eurasia.

Civilization II is one of my favorite games. I played extensively through college, and still find time for a game here and there. It doesn't perfectly model human history, naturally. Two key differences: units can walk through deserts just fine, apparently able to survive any climate, and caravels are the first boats that can safely cross the ocean, not frigates. In the early game, meeting the other nations and exchanging knowledge will likely get you six to twelve advances.

Quality Hollywood productions

I caught the movie Mr. 3000 in what is probably its last week in the theater. I just have one complaint. If you're going to spend tens of millions on a movie, you should at least learn how to pronounce Waukesha! As a former resident of Waukesha County, it's pronounced WAU-keh-shah, not wau-KEE-shah. The pronounciation was so bad, I didn't even realize they had said Waukesha until the name flashed on the screen!

Monday, October 11, 2004

It goes without saying....

A year ago today, Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim captured the world's attention as a Dallas medical team separated the brothers, born fused at the crowns of their heads. Though no longer conjoined, the Egyptian twins have remained celebrities -- beaming for TV cameras alongside their home country's president, its biggest rock star, and even Oprah Winfrey.

Two questions come to mind.
  1. I thought we were the Great Satan?
  2. Why didn't this surgery happen somewhere in the Middle East?


Sunday, October 10, 2004

Ask Ted Rall!

Comixpedia.com is soliciting questions for an online interview with Ted Rall. I'm sure we can provide some good questions. I'd write some here, but this is a family Weblog.

Why computers won't replace humans

I periodically check the Sitemeter record for my blog, looking for referrers. A fair number are random blogs on Blogspot, and I assume that they got here by pressing the the "next blog" button.

One person reached my site by coming from
http://amazinggardeningtips.blogspot.com/

The Sitemeter programming helpfully abbreviates that to
http://amazinggarden...ngtips.blogspot.com/

The reader should be able to note that by replacing one "i" with an ellipsis, it lengthened the URL.

Only a computer could do that!

Another thing to hate

"Encore presentations" of new series. Can't the TV networks come up with enough new series to fill twenty-one hours of prime time each week?

Friday, October 08, 2004

Australian Election

A good post by an Australian blogger on the upcoming elections there. Here's hoping for a victory for John Howard and his coalition!

Turlock Journal

The Turlock Journal (that's Turlock, California, about 15 km from Modesto), a small newspaper, has started publishing comics from Keenspot. One wonders if they will succeed. I'm sure they're paying a lot less than for syndicated comic strips. (Wild guess here, but this paper is probably too small to afford a full comin strip page.)

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Left behind

In today's [Thursday, October 7th] Best of the Web, check out the story titled "Whose shoes?" If you've heard the story about Marine uniforms left behind at a dry cleaners (even if it was just because the Marine was transferred in a hurry), read this about unclaimed property at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City.

Squash being a sport generally played at the collegiate level--or, in downtown New York City, by young men and women in the financial services industry....


If you don't know the focus of the article from this sentence, then you're probably a Kerry voter.

A basic economics lesson

Imagine you're working in a society with a high tax rate, with a top marginal tax rate of 100%. Say your income puts you at the border of tax rates, so that your next dollar earned is taxed at 100%. Do you take the opportunity to work a second job, or paid overtime? Of course not. What if the marginal tax rate is 90%? Probably not. Higher tax rates are a disincentive to produce, which means you shouldn't expect a tax rate of 2x to produce twice the tax revenues.

That's the essence of the oft-maligned Laffer Curve.

Another impact of increasing marginal tax rates is its impact on investment decisions. Consider a potential investment of $100,000 with the following returns:
90% lose $100,000
10% gain $900,000
In theory, you would view this investment neutrally, as the expected return is zero: 0.9*-100+0.1*900=0 (In practice, you wouldn't accept a zero return, since you could earn more with safe investments. But for illustrative purposes, let's continue.)

Now consider the impact of taxes. The loss would reduce taxes, and the gain would be subject to taxes. If all this income/loss was taxed at the same rate, then your view of the investment wouldn't change. But say the tax rate on that $100,000 (that you've already earned elsewhere) is 20%, and the tax rate on the gain is 40%. The expected return, after taxes, would be 0.9*-100*.8+0.1*900*.6, or an expected loss of 18,000.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Harassment: redux

The Volokh Conspiracy is all over this story, with links to the letter from the Department of Education with the judgment in this case.

ABBA Über Alles

At Beautiful Atrocities, we have horrible tales of how hate crimes laws are killing free speech in Sweden. It's a word of warning for those who propose such laws in America.

What is most telling is how they're selectively applied. Check out the link for specifics. Here's one telling case:

Public prosecutor: "The purpose behind the law against incitement of ethnic hatred was to ensure legal protection for minority groups of different compositions & different religions. Cases where people express themselves in a derogatory way about men of ethnic Swedish background were not intended to be included in this law."

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Harassment: is something missing?

I receive periodic e-mails from my university's alumni association with news items about the university.

Here's one:

First, check out this list of headlines.

The article in question is titled as follows, and the e-mail included a single-sentence summary:

UNC CLEARED, LECTURER CITED IN HARASSMENT INCIDENT
After a five-month investigation, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights determined that UNC responded appropriately to an incident in which an English lecturer targeted a student for criticism based on the student's race and gender.

Now, read the article.

I think there was something missing from the summary. They didn't mention the unique angle to the story, that the discrimination was targeted against a white male heterosexual. What well-crafted news story doesn't start with the most noteworthy fact?

It'd be like starting an article "A Giants player hit a home run in today's game" without mentioning that it was Barry Bonds's 700th home run.

A revealing quote

"I'd say if you live in the United States of America and you vote for George Bush, you've lost your mind."
--John Edwards

This quotation really highlights the way wealthy liberals look down on those who deign to think differently than they. They are perfectly happy to allow you your own pitiful existence, as long as you acknowledge their superiority and respect your lesser place in life.

One strong reason to vote against Kerry

Both John Kerry and John Edwards, despite being among the wealthiest fraction of Americans, made specific, conscious efforts to not pay a higher tax, even though they could afford it.

Massachusetts lowered its state income tax, but left a line on the tax form where a taxpayer could voluntarily pay the higher older tax rate. Despite being one of the "winners of life's lottery," John Kerry did not pay the higher tax rate.

John Edwards did something even worse, setting himself up as an S-class corporation, with him the sole member. Although the dividend he paid himself was taxed at exactly the same rate as it would have as normal income, he avoided paying Medicare taxes on millions of dollars.

One of the things I hate most is hypocrisy and double standards. The Wonder Twins of the left sure have it in surfeit.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Google News

Jim Treacher and "Puce Parchesceau" want to be on Google News, along with Daily Kos.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

DolphinCam!

Heh. Gotta love the quest for Lambert Field.

Friday, October 01, 2004

So where was I?

I went to a local club to see the Crüxshadows in concert. This is a band whose music I first heard by chance. At Dragon*Con one year, I was walking through the Hyatt and heard some cool-sounding music playing from a booth. I listened, picked up a CD, and liked it. This year at Dragon*Con, I caught the end of a concert they did. However, the acoustics in the ballroom/meeting room were so bad, I couldn't recognize any of the songs.

The local show was sparsely attended, with maybe 100 people at the club, not a surprising number. There were no problems with the sound system here. Lead singer Rogue was using a headset microphone, allowing him to roam through the crowd while singing, which the crowd appreciated. On stage were the other members of the band (the violinist, the keyboardist, and the guitarist), along with two women billed as dancers/backing singers. They were much appreciated visually, with great hair in all-natural colors (provided you were living in anime), bright red and pink. However, the only backing vocals I could hear were from the keyboardist.

Prior to the show, I spied Rogue doing his hair, which led me to wonder--is hairspray is a tax-deductible business expense?

Hungry Lucy, who I had only heard from one song on the State of Synthpop album, performed a generous 11-song opening set, with a strong focus on their forthcoming album. I picked up a double CD for $10, and will certainly consider future purposes.

The club had video screens showing the movie A Clockwork Orange, no sound, but with the closed captioning on. I hadn't seen that movie in 10 years.

This is an example of real diversity, much more than a bunch of students at an elite university, all from a privileged background, who happen to have differing skin pigmentation. How often do you see a discussion of a Goth band on a conservative weblog?

No debate post?

Nope, I wasn't home to watch the debate. For a post-debate analysis, I happen to like Hugh Hewitt's detailed point-by-point debate analysis.