"How fortunate for governments
that the people they administer don't think."
"Only two things are
infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the
Times seems to agree with trump about CA wildfires. oddly enough, i
think he has a point as well. what's lost in the discussion about this
is that there are a lot of causes for fires like the Camp Fire and what
tends to happen is that people with political motives adopt a cause and
oversell it instead of injecting needed nuance. so, we have everyone on
the left talking about global warming non-stop and people on the right
picking up the trump baton of mismanagement. i tend to agree it's more
about mismanagement than any other single factor. you can look at building
codes/enforcement. you can look at defensible space policies. you can look
at the defunding of hotshot crews. you can look at the defunding of forest
management, prescribed burns, thinning, etc. those can be addressed more
more readily and have a much greater impact on our fires than the issue
of global warming. no amount of californians driving hybrids, installing
solar panels or even committing suicide will put a dent in climate change.
if you believe in climate change then you must also believe in the science
that says 40 million people changing their consumption a little isn't going
to make a difference. it's also not going to change the fire situation.
i'm not sure why people run away from the obvious answers and towards the
one that is hardest to do anything about and least likely to have an effect.
spending money on the TX
senate race always appeared to me to be a fool's errand. he raised $70
million to cruz's $30 million and still lost. for some reason democrats
with money thought going after a TX senate seat was smart. Republicans
are much better about spending their money. this is why they
gained 1,000 seats under Obama. think about that...1,000 seats lost
while obama was president. that's ridiculous.
went to see the beastie
boys on their book tour the other day. it was a good time. as i've gotten
older, and i have more responsibility, i think i've lost some of the humor
i used to have. looking back, i think that's part of the reason i like
the beastie boys. obviously their music is really good, but also they're
just so wacky sometimes and clever and willing to not take themselves seriously.
of course it was sad to see them without adam yauch and i think about him
often. he was a one of a kind guy.
i don't believe the economics
of prop. 10 makes any sense. that said, i think that local municipalities
should have the freedom to make bad economic decisions so i voted for it.
the older i get the less i believe in paternalism. i've just seen too many
examples of well-intentioned paternalism go wrong. basically i think that
you can't have freedom with out the "dom." sometimes real freedom means
allowing people to be dumb. if a city wants to have a bad policy then they
should be allowed to do that. i believe in local control more than state
or federal control (especially with matters of housing) and i believe in
freedom more than the alternative, so i had to vote for prop. 10. i'm also
happy it didn't pass.
in general i believe in
more local control because i think the closer you can get to an individual
deciding their own fate, the better. of course it's for this reason that
i believe in certain federal standards, say, when it comes to voting rights
or discrimination. for example, after devoss talked about allowing some
schools to have guns there were a lot of people who scoffed at the idea.
as a city dweller it might seem ridiculous, but as a rural school president
who is 15-30 minutes away from police help, what is your plan for a school
shooting? hang out and hope that the shooter doesn't find you? how about
if you're the principal of a school in Alaska where wildlife are a legitimate
threat? wouldn't it be a nice option to have a shotgun under lock and key
to scare bears away from the parking lot? these are things that i wasn't
aware of until i went looking (both examples are real). so, a dumb ass
idea starts to make some sense. and, like prop. 10, this isn't the feds
or the state government saying you MUST have a gun in your school. this
is the higher authority allowing you to make that decision for yourself
as a local community. i think the pros outweigh the cons in those situations.
remember when joe biden
said that republicans were going to put y'all back in chains? isn't that
race baiting and fear mongering? it would be really great if the people
who claim to hold the line against the immoral and corrupt republicans
would follow their own advice more assiduously.
i wish the duopoly could
be broken. can you imagine having two bad choices on such a regular basis
in any other part of your life? you get to choose a local school that rapes
your kids everyday or a school that indoctrinates them to believe in scientology.
those are your two choices. have fun. you get to eat fast food dog shit
burgers tonight or deep fried rat. eat up. you get to wait in line for
6 hours at the DMV or you get to not have a car. tweedle dee and tweedle
dum. "but chris, obviously scientology is way better than sending your
kids to butt rape school everyday." yes, it is. congratulations on being
an adult and making a wise decision to support scientology over the alternative....
and we wonder why half the country doesn't vote. ha ha.
also went to Oregon State
to watch USC play. it was the penultimate game in our quest to see USC
play at all the away stadiums in the PAC-12. next weekend i'll go to LA
to see them play at the rose bowl. i think i've been there once, but i
really don't remember. OSU is second in the pac-12 on the hick scale. Pullman
is definitely number one. corvallis is about the size of davis and it has
a nice feel in the surrounding area. after the game their traffic management
was probably the best i've ever seen at any sporting event in my life.
very organized and efficient. fans were average. they play this chainsaw
sound over the loudspeakers which gets pretty grating. overall USC is now
4-6 on our trips. pretty pathetic, but we could be 5-6 if we beat UCLA.
i'm hoping we can go to south bend next year to see ND, but that's definitely
a game we'd need to fly to. we've driven to all the others and flying might
be out of the budget. anyway, if we won those two games we'd be .500 which
isn't horrible, i guess. for the record we started at Stanford, which had
the worst parking, and i think that was andrew luck's senior season. matt
barkley was QB. good game. the wins have been: Cal, CO, WA, and OSU.
finished watching Vietnam
by ken burns and lynn novick. great piece of work. in school we never studied
the war much. american history basically stopped at WW2. there's a lof
of meat on the bone and i recommend everyone watch it. definitely plenty
of blame to spread around. democrats and republicans both screwed the pooch
in a major way. i've never been real high on LBJ - i think he's overrated
personally - and this film solidified that point of view in a big way.
he basically refused to get out of the war because he thought it would
look bad. killing tens of thousands of people to save face is morally abhorrent
and basically unforgivable in my mind.
also interesting to note
that after we pulled out vietnam went into cambodia and had their own version
of a quagmire. they were there for 10 years and failed as we did. they
tried communism and it failed as well. when your enemy is hurting themselves,
don't stop them. obviously this is hindsight, but if we had just let the
vietnamese try communism it was only a matter of time before it would have
i received a liberal education
so most of what i learned about vietnam from movies, and a bit from school,
was pretty simple: america wanted to contain communism because we had an
irrational fear of communism and we involved ourselves in their civil war
when we should have stopped being imperialist monsters. the documentary
shows that reality was much more complicated. i think the international
community screwed the pooch in a major way as well. if we had just let
the north run over the south then hundreds of thousands or millions of
innocent people would have died. in retrospect that's what happened anyway.
however, you could certainly argue that it was initially a good idea to
stick up for the south vietnamese in light of what the north wanted to
do. unfortunately we were really the only ones who wanted to help out the
south. in the end there were no winners, just losers. the amount of lost
human potential in that conflict is so staggering, pointless, and depressing.
i'm glad i watched the documentary to get a real view of the causes beyond
the simplistic "bad america" narrative you tend to get from other sources.
a podcast that will help a bit in understanding why trump was elected.
you won't listen. i understand. anyway, one of the things raised is that
there's a class war of sorts and it gets missed by the media in a way that
race and gender are not missed at all these days. there's a famous experiment
where they submitted resumes with obviously black names and then obviously
white names. both applicants had similar qualifications. the results were
that john smith got call backs at a greater rate than saquan williams (or
whatever). here's where the podcast comes into play. in the podcast they
reference a study that did the same sort of test, but instead of john smith
vs. saquan williams it was john benedict rockefeller vs. joe bob earnhardt
(or whatever). the names and resumes that signaled upper class (through
things like name and extracurricular activities like sailing vs. track
and field or classical music vs. country) did way better than the lower
class. in fact, the fictional lower class resumes received fewer call backs
than those from the fictional black candidates. the upper AND lower class
women received more call backs than the lower class men.
let me restate it so it
doesn't get lost: according to these studies
(limited as they are) it's worse to be a lower class man (1% call back
rate) than it is to be a lower class woman (6% call back rate), a black
person (10% call back rate from this study),
or an upper class person (4-13% call back rate).
now, let's say that this
is your personal experience as a white lower class man. you get call backs
at a lower rate than other classes or genders or races. you get shit on
in media on a regular basis. and then everyone turns around and says that
you have it easy because you're a white guy. how do you think that affects
one of these guys? this is important to think about and understand. it's
just as important to understand as the black experience. the difference
is that, today, it's well known what the black experience is and everyone
is on notice that you need to feel a certain way about it and that you
can't say anything bad about it. meanwhile, if you're a lower class white
guy you're part of the problem because of your white maleness and you better
shut your trap about any of your first world problems because we don't
want to hear about it.
and so what's the lesson
here? part of it is to understand the experience of a certain group. the
other is that we really need to stop grouping people in general. there's
nothing that says that because you're a white guy you've had it easy or
that life is good. we need to get away from speaking in generalities and
start judging individuals. this is beyond obvious and yet here we are where
it actually needs to be stated because people continue to speak in monoliths.
just look at the elections. the media simplistically views all the candidates
in the following short hand: Party, Trump, Gender, Race...probably in that
order. i watched and listened to a lot of coverage leading up to the election
and following it...almost never did the media discuss anything beyond those
things. occasionally they'd talk about fundraising. in some select cases
they would bring up actual policy and how it affected the outcome. "so
and so opposed some local issues that went against the typical party view.
clearly he was appealing to the local constituency here and it seems to
be paying off for him." but, outside of their stance on Trump, the discussions
tended to revolve around whether the candidate was a D or an R. if they
were a woman or person of color then that would enter into discussion as
well. awful coverage.
i was listening to the
radio tonight and heard a story about FL felons having their voting rights
is great news. but there's a subtle thing that they did here and it
shows what NPR and others think about when these things happen. this is
important, but it's the kind of thing that i think most people miss...
NPR said "The current system significantly affects African-Americans in
the state" this is true, but it's less true than saying something else.
Vox.com put it this way: "Black people, who are disproportionately arrested
and incarcerated, will benefit the most." That is demonstrably not true.
What both outlets missed is that the major beneficiaries of these law being
passed are men. Not exactly a sexy reality, but there it is - and they
both missed it.
to this, 1.6 million disenfranchised in Florida. about 1/3 of them
here's how i think they're
thinking of it: 20% of black people will be affected by this law so it's
affecting blacks as a group a lot. 2% of men (rough guess) will be affected
by this law so it doesn't affect men very much.
here's how i think about
it: the people who are going to have their rights restored are about 90%
men and 30% black so it affects men more than any other group. to me it
makes more sense to talk about group actually affected rather than the
demographic that the subgroup happens to belong to. one is to look from
the societal level down to the felon group. the other is to look from the
felon group outward. not sure that i'm expressing that correctly. here's
what it is: the story is supposed to be about the felons who are benefitting
from this new law. the felons are the ones most affected by the law in
question. if you insist on separating the felons into smaller groups based
upon how they were born then the most accurate way of describing the most
of them is as men. after that you can get to the smaller group (blacks)
and after that you can break them down even more if it suits your agenda.
they skipped the largest identifier because it probably doesn't fit a tidy
narrative that is in the news currently.