what's been floating my boat lately:

"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 former."
-Albert Einstein-

9/17/17 (19:27)

  • the USC/UT game wasn't a disappointment. i was very close to going to the game, but family and work obligations kept me from making the drive. i regret this decision quite a bit now. great game, 2OT. lots of missed opportunities by USC and a lot of heartache, but they got the job done. i thought we were done for when UT was driving the ball down the field on their last regulation possession. we refused to put double coverage on johnson for some reason. but when i saw that we had 39 seconds on the clock and were at the 35 yard line i was surprisingly confident. normally i'm in deep despair in this situation because the odds are pretty bad....but we have sam darnold. he's the best clutch qb USC has had in my memory. i honestly think the kid is better than leinert. i just remembered the rose bowl and thought to myself "this is exactly where sam darnold wants to be; this is where he's at his best." he drove down the field and got within chip shot range and the kicker nailed it. great game to watch. the execution wasn't all there and i really regret missing it in person, but very fun to watch.
  • trump is going after daca now. the way he's doing it, however, is probably surprising for those who think he's literally hitler. instead of just canceling the deferment program, he's giving daca people 6 months to renew and he's telling congress to solve the problem with an actual law. this is much more in line with what one would expect from a conservative president. and, frankly, this is the way more of our lawmaking and regulatory structure should work. we may have forgotten since it's been so long since it's gone the way it's intended, but the way the system is intended to work is congress writes laws and the executive is in charge of executing those laws. it's part of the constitution for the president to faithfully execute the laws of the u.s. when a president says they're going to selectively execute the laws or when congress refuses to write laws to address issues of the day, then the system starts falling apart. there's been a consistent power grab from the executive branch since FDR to take on more and more of these duties and i think it's coming to its logical conclusion now...an inept congress that can't or won't address major issues like immigration. given this power vacuum, the president steps in and does what he can, even if he thinks it's unconstitutional (as obama said). i should expand on this because i don't think the mainstream clickbait media is covering this very well and the average voter probably doesn't remember it.
  • in 2011, obama explicitly said that the president can't just write an executive order to stop deportations or change immigration law. in 2008 he said "we're not going to use signing statements as an end run around congress." but with DACA he flipped on both of those. DACA says he's telling the executive not to execute existing immigration law in an even way...he's prioritizing who we should go after. not only that, but he created a framework for young illegal immigrants to be legitimized in society. further, he expanded it to not only DREAMERS, but also their close family members (DAPA). this is constitutionally questionable in my opinion. the 5th circuit ruled on this and also said he went too far with DAPA and essentially said that it's more than just an executive action. i think it's basically the right sentiment, but executed in a way that very well might not be constitutional. of course obama supporters would say he had no choice because republicans suck. i would argue, that's the way the system works. just because you have the presidency doesn't mean you get to suspend the way the system is designed so you can get your agenda through while your party occupies the white house. if you do this then it's just a race to the bottom. whichever party is willing to push the boundaries of executive power the most gets its agenda through. so, it's more than a bit galling when obama lovers gripe about authoritarian trump taking over and doing unconstitutional things when they were pretty much silent on obama doing the same stuff, to a lesser degree.
  • you would think that after W, democrats would be a bit wary of too much executive power and military overreach and all the rest, but they didn't seem to learn their lesson. i think part of this was the notion that there was a demographic shift in the country so they thought it was literally impossible to lose the presidency. oops. meanwhile, there's the party of small government (republicans) that has factions in it that are very prone to authoritarianism, strong military presence, etc. they should be the check when it comes to presidential power, but are every bit as power hungry as the democrats. one reason i think W was so bad is that he was the worst of both worlds. big government, big spender, bad on environment, bad on foreign entanglements, etc. he basically was picking the worst policies of each party. seems like a nice guy, though.
  • saw a bit of the zurich track and field meet a couple weeks back. mo farah is just phenomenal. he bided his time the entire race and then took over. with about 200m left he had 4 strong challengers, but i told the people i was eating with that no one outkicks farah. well, let's just say it was close. honestly, i got a bit worried at the end and was surprised to see that they kept up with him, but farah refuses to lose in the stretch. he's basically unbeatable in this scenario. he's truly one of the best ever...up there with haile gebrselassie.
  • SF and KS are interesting test cases. in kansas brownback basically ran an experiment where he cut taxes and services and all the usual conservative wet dream stuff and it apparently didn't go so well, though getting hard data on this and comparing it to other states in the region for an apples to apples comparison, is beyond what i'm willing to do. but, all the usual suspects say it was a failure of conservative economic policy and i'm basically willing to accept that. SF, meanwhile, is run by liberal people top to bottom and they have an absolutely abhorrent problem with drug abuse and homelessness. they have all the tax revenues they could hope for, but the homelessness has been a visible blight for as long as i've gone there. either they have liberal policies that have completely failed or the liberal people who run the place are so deeply hypocritical that they refuse to address the homeless problem. two small case studies that aren't really case studies, but i think they show the weakness of extreme left/right politics. in both cases i think reasonable people would have to conclude that whatever it is the people there are doing, it's not making those problems any better. need a left wing and right wing to fly.
  • DADA. data, analysis, decision, action. i see a lot of people who have intractable problems in their lives which are only intractable because they don't follow DADA. collect data on what the problem is. analyze the data. make a decision about what course of action to take. take said course of action.
  • was listening to michael krasny on KQED the other day and he brought up TS Eliot for some literary reason. but he didn't just mention eliot, instead he felt it necessary to remind us all that apparently eliot was a horrible anti-semite. i found this interesting in light of the monuments debate we're having lately. eventually, people like krasny are going to bring up the writings of jefferson or washington and feel compelled to remind us that they both were slave owners. "speaking of great american buildings...monticello is great example of neoclassical architecture, even though it was built by the rapist and slave owner thomas jefferson, who i would spit on if i could."
  • have i talked about this yet? basically, i think we're getting thinner and thinner skin these days. couple that with a move in popular "right thinking" culture to thinking that government is the answer to all our problems, and you have a pretty bad mix. you don't have an inalienable right to not have your feelings hurt. government shouldn't be around to protect your feelings. neither should your school. i pretty much reject the idea of a safe space if that means you want a space where your feelings aren't going to be hurt by ideas you may not agree with. if, by safe space, you mean that there should be a space to safely explore all sorts of ideas, then i'm all for that. some people who seem to be doing this sort of exploration correctly are josh zepps, sam harris and glenn loury...they all have podcasts that do a pretty good job of exploring some interesting ideas in a mostly respectful way.

  • 9/5/17 (20:01)

  • the primary reason i buy so much on amazon, as opposed to everywhere else, is because it's easy. one click shopping. i can easily choose multiple shipping addresses, multiple cards (business, personal, shared account, etc.). i went to usps.com to buy some stamps and they wanted me to setup an account, a rectal examination, they want the name of my first love, the city i was born in...they want me to choose yet another fucking password to manage, etc. it's just too much fucking crap. i have too much stuff going on in my life as it is. too many customers asking me to do shit, too many passwords and shit to manage....just buy everything from amazon and my life is easier. maybe i pay a couple bucks more for the same coil of 100 stamps, but that's the profit that amazon gets for making my life easier. meanwhile, everyone else wants to make my life more difficult. my bank holds deposited funds for weeks. my sole employee calls in sick. my customers change shit on me left and right. ups doesn't pick up returns when they're supposed to. my tax preparer can't deliver my stubs in a consistent manner. my dumpster rental place doesn't work in richmond because they say richmond has an agreement with one rental company and won't allow anyone else to do business in town (she straight up called them the mob). basically, i can't rely on much these days, but at least amazon generally makes my life easier.
  • been very hot here lately. it was 92 in the house the other day. trying to sleep when it's that hot kinda sucks. the girls have fans, but we don't. it's also warmer upstairs so it's probably about even. they were great about it.
  • i need to listen to more music.

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