"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
the ivy league scandal
is interesting. a bunch of rich people and celebrities paid to get better
grades, test scores, etc. for their kids so they could get into good schools.
the thing we don't like about this isn't the uneven playing field. we don't
care about the cheating. what people actually care about is when rich people
do the cheating. they don't like it when the playing field is shifted in
favor of the rich. there's a concept in comedy and journalism about "punching
up" vs. "punching down." basically, you're allowed to write an expose or
make fun of rich people, politicians, people in power, but you can't do
that to people who are below you. it's okay to punch up, but it's never
okay to punch down. it's the same thing here...if you found out that some
people in the ghetto cheated on their SATs and got into a better school
than they deserved people wouldn't really care. the FBI wouldn't be involved.
the media would report on it for a day on page 4 and you'd never hear about
there's been a lot of talk
since trump about "norms." specifically the Dems complain about Trump overturning
norms and changing the way things have been done in the past. this is interesting
for a couple reasons. 1. everyone pretty much agrees that their is dysfunction
in politics today so maybe there needs to be some changing of norms. 2.
Dems don't care about norms anymore than Republicans do. both sides care
about norms like they care about the debt - selectively, as it suits them.
Dems say, for example, that we should pack the courts. There's no law that
says the supreme court should always have 9 justices, but it's a long-standing
norm. they don't care because they want their agenda to do well so you
have a few major nominees suggesting court packing schemes of different
a (michael lewis) podcast that touches on the Cambridge Analytica issue
a bit. basically the media mis-reported the story (i've touched on this
before) because they wanted it to be about how CA gave Trump the election.
they ignored the fact that Cruz also hired CA and that didn't seem to work
out so well for him. there's also a lot of talk in the russia/CA discussion
about voter suppression, but 2016 had the 3rd highest voter turnout in
the last 50 years - despite having two of the worst candidates in a long
time. in other words, president Cruz was elected because Cambridge Analytica
and Russia did a great job of suppressing the vote to all-time lows.
the mainstream media has
a bad habit of looking about 3" in front of its face at all times. it's
all about the scandal of the moment and they never look backwards. thankfully
there are some good stories on the fringes that look back a bit, or take
a longer view of things and actually analyze things like the CA story or
the toyota gas pedal recall non story. we can't have good reporting if
the news cycle gets dumped upside down every 1-3 days.
there's also been a lot
of talk about treason with Trump in office. perhaps it's pedantic, but
it's not treason to collude with Russia. I don't even think it's illegal.
but, worst case scenarios, let's say that Trump and Russia worked together
to suppress the vote through facebook or online or that they shared a dossier
on Hillary or something. it's still not treason because, at the very least,
treason only exists when you're talking about an enemy of the country.
Russia is an ally so there's no treason.
remember when Romney said
Russia was the biggest international threat to the US and he was laughed
at? might be a good time to look back on that now that Democrats hate Russia
Remember when Republicans
were the ones who hated Russia? Remember when Republicans though the FBI
was great and the Democrats were wary of it?
what's happening here is
that people choose party over country and party over ideology and party
over ideas. people are more married to their affiliation with D or R than
they are with any actual ideas. so, they very easily drift around as the
party rallies behind one idea or another. Remember when Democrats thought
handing out money to big health insurance companies (in the form of an
individual mandate) was a bad thing? When Romney did it and called it a
market solution, it was bad. When Obama did it, it was a good first step.
When Trump had it repealed it was armageddon and would lead to a death
spiral (it hasn't). I don't understand how these people don't get whiplash
from their flip-flopping.
meanwhile, i've always
thought the individual mandate was bad and that both parties are shit.
at least i should get some points for consistency while about 80% of the
country floats along with their party, whatever it may believe in today.
just a reminder that 60%
of our budget goes to: social security and medicare/medicaid. 20% more
goes to military and debt interest payments.
medicare for all is a topic
of debate right now. it's costs about 15% of our federal budget (about
as much as the military) and serves 15% of the nation. 15% of our budget
to give medicare to 15% of our population. doesn't seem like something
i'm that keen on expanding. of course, it's serving some of the most expensive
people and there's a certain amount of overhead, but...
18% of our GDP goes towards
healthcare. something needs to change with all this, but i don't think
the government is helping much. a lot of people say we should just have
the government handle healthcare. i don't think a lot of people realize
how involved the government is already in healthcare. government pays for
about half of all healthcare spending already and yet some think it's not
on average, households
that make less than $12k a year spent 5% of their income on the lottery.
this is the kind of statistic that really kills me. when you're poor you
need to be better than the middle and upper class. you can't make mistakes
like them. if you get a DUI you're more screwed. you can't pay for legal
help, you can't pay court fees, you can't easily get rides to/from work,
etc. same goes for getting a ticket or falling down the stairs or getting
robbed or anything else that may happen to you or as a result of your bad
decisions. life is hard, but when you're poor and you're flushing 5% of
your money down the toilet it's really hard to feel bad for you. "but but
but, they are desperate and they're playing the lottery out of shear desperation."
you have to be smart in this world. the lottery is the opposite of smart.
if you're over the age of 20 and you're playing the lottery while poor
then you're not being smart.
“Suppose one reads a story
of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up
suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad
as it was made out. Is one's first feeling, 'Thank God, even they aren't
quite so bad as that,' or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a
determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking
your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I
am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will
make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a
little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to
see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall
insist on seeing everything -- God and our friends and ourselves included
-- as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever
in a universe of pure hatred.” - CS Lewis
how is it that Saira Rao
is a mainstream politician who doesn't get constant blowback for her blatantly
racist worldview? it's a clear double standard. punching up vs. punching
down, i suppose. here's where Trump et al. have a point, though, the media
is in the bag for Democrats so people like sarah jeong and saira rao get
a total pass. the same kind of stuff coming from a congressman out of the
republican party would be vilified immediately. it really sucks that the
media gives Trump these easy wins. give his followers enough ammo and they
think that he's right about much more than he is. it's a lose-lose for
in case you care about
global warming: the top 15 shipping vessels in the world put out as much
greenhouse gases as all the cars in the world.
last year cryptocurrency
mining used as much energy as the entire world's renewable energy sector
lots going on lately, should
update more often. been a very tumultuous few months. caught up in a lawsuit,
had $10k worth of tools stolen, employee got arrested, employee had nervous
breakdown, other employee attempted suicide, zoe's school might be closing
down, etc. a couple weeks ago i was down to just myself again. now i've
got three guys working for me. things go up and down i guess.
mueller report not being
released is very odd. that said, the new AG's summary of it doesn't make
it look like that big a deal. in fact, it makes it look like the media
really was engaging in some fake news propaganda. unfortunately, we can't
really say because we're only getting a summary and a few quotes of the
report, instead of the whole thing. i'm not sure how that's at all kosher.
at the same time, it really looks like the left overshot things on this
one. people calling trump a russian spy and all the rest. then they said
that the interim AG (whitaker) was a trump stooge and keeping him around
at all was grounds for impeachment. then barr was appointed in 3 months
(which didn't filter to my news much at all) and that storyline disappeared.
it's really interesting
not being totally invested in the news. i heard lots of speculation and
talk about whitaker and how much of a bad guy he was and how much of a
trump stooge he was and how he thought the mueller report was a witch hunt
and so keeping whitaker in place was going to be armageddon. but then he
gets replaced by the permanent AG (Barr's second term - his first was under
HW Bush) and that news was basically not in my feed at all. what does that
say about the news i consume? what does that say about the larger media?
my experience is that the outrage and coverage of whitaker was at a level
6 and the coverage of barr's appointment was at a 1.
the trend i perceive in
the news coverage surrounding trump is that anything that could be construed
as bad or scandalous (whitaker, mueller report, etc.) is generally getting
a high level of treatment - more stories, more intense coverage, etc. anything
that could be construed as bipartisan or favorable (appointing barr instead
of keeping whitaker, bump stock ban, criminal justice reform (first step
act), etc.) gets a low level or perfunctory level of treatment.
i don't like trump or the
vast majority of what he does, but the media is clearly in the bag for
the democrats since 2016 and it's going to bite them (and us) in the ass
if they don't get it together.
also, why is biden even
considering running (again)? and why is anyone surprised that he's getting
push back on the touchy feely stuff now? we knew this was coming. youtube
has had compilations of him being a creep for years now. #metoo killed
any chance he ever had of being president. if the democrats nominate him
then they may as well commit political suicide (not unusual for the dems).
biden as the nominee would be a great gift to trump. if he has an ounce
of intelligence and doesn't have a ridiculous ego, then he'll bow out and
say thanks but no thanks. go away quietly, joe, and don't tarnish your