Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Joe Biden Shatters Masturbation World Record

It's official, Joe Biden is the new king of masturbation. In a stunning feat of endurance and determination, Joe Biden achieved 36 orgasms in a 24 hour period! Sleeping intermittently during the 24 hour marathon, Joe Biden remained focused and aroused by his impressive library of pornographic films. With over 400 films in his library and 3 televisions playing movies at all times, he had a continuous stream of footage to aid him in his quest. It is apparent by the massive development of the muscles in his forearm that Joe Biden is not your average masturbator. In an interview with UJ reporters after the record setting event, Joe Biden was quoted as saying, "masturbation for me is a way of life. I've been training for this day since I was 13 years old and I'm happy with my performance today". This record was formerly held by German Student, Hans Blickstein who achieved 27 orgasms in a 24 hour period. Mr. Blickstein was not available for comment. When asked what his next world record achievement would be, Joe Biden said "my immediate goal is to get a bag of ice and some lotion on my penis to soothe the burning".
Source here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I, Government

"Why, then do I ever fail?" OR why the Pencil is more wonderful than Government.

I, Pencil all over again

Tim Harford talks about why rich countries have complicated economies and poor ones don't:
One of the defining characteristics of the modern economy is that it’s awfully complicated. Even a fairly humble product such as a shirt might incorporate cotton from west Africa, oil from Indonesia to make the polyester in the button (manufactured in China), and designs sketched out by an Italian using American computer software. Then there is the sheer number of products: Eric Beinhocker, author of The Origin of Wealth, reckons there are probably 10 billion distinct products and services available in a modern economic environment such as London, Tokyo or New York. It’s a guess, but a fairly educated one. Beinhocker also estimates that for a traditional hunter-gatherer society, the number is closer to 300.
Headline explained here.

Can anyone explain whats with the villagers and nuns?

Intriguing Reuters video.

A google news search for "Romanian Nuns" yields nothing at the time of the search and a google search for "Romanian Nuns" links only to this video. Can anyone translate the sign?

Things to look out for:

1. Butt Crack
2. The nun driving the car guns the engines while the villages hold the car back!

Survivor-Type Gameshow for religion?

Nice idea. Finally we can find out which religion rules them all! But what happened to Hinduism?

Audio here. Seems like there is no prize if the atheists convert the priests.

Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC take note.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Great Article on Test Cricket, Mike Brearley and Psychoanalysis

While psychoanalysis has has been justifiably criticised this is a good article on Brearley and his approach to captaincy and Test Cricket.
Cricket, particularly in its five-day form, requires intelligence, astuteness and an ability to withstand long periods where nothing much happens while keeping alert for the moment when action erupts—not unlike psychoanalysis itself. Certainly, despite its genteel reputation, few games are as psychologically arduous.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dutch game shows rule

I wish someone could translate what is being spoken on the screen

Monday, November 24, 2008

Petitions, petitions

Cartoon by Chris Britt for the Springfield State Journal-Register

Hat Tip: St. Louis Beacon.

Post headline explained here.

That is what taxes are for

"When firefighters battle flames," he said of public crews, "they don't make a distinction between a $50-million Oprah mansion and a tract home."
That is because they are paid for by taxes levied on both (income and sales taxes come to mind).

More at Hit and Run.

Hysteria much?

At the guide's launch, Ms Fulton hit out at the big chemical companies for pushing the "benefits" of growing GE canola to farmers for their commercial gain.

"They're going to control the world," she said.

"We thought Hitler was a bad fella ... these guys could show him a thing or two - and they're creeping up on us quietly without guns or anything like that, but the poison is there."
Chronicle of paranoia here. Hat Tip: Hit and Run.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It is not the intent of the alleged harasser, but the impact on the recipient.

Inspiration: Politically correct indoctrination.

Headline ripped off from here.

Can one legitimately claim harassment due to the impact from such PC indoctrination?

Environmentally conscious President?

The Obamobile being prepared for the president-elect is said to be a monster gas-guzzler made by General Motors, the troubled car giant. It will look like a black Cadillac but is built like a tank. A spy photographer who tracks down future car models for magazines snatched pictures of the heavily disguised first-car-in-waiting when it was being road-tested last summer.

The armour-plated car, which has a raised roof, windows up to 5in thick, extra-strength tyres and a body made of steel, aluminium, titanium and ceramics, is thought to be based on a GMC 2500 truck that gets less than 10 miles to the gallon.
Full story here.

Choice for me but not for thee

Barack Obama's position on school vouchers:
During an October 2004 debate, Obama stated that he opposed education vouchers for use at private schools because he believes they would undermine public schools.
Where he is sending his daughters (emphasis mine):
Continuing a tradition among Washington's power elite, President-elect Barack Obama and his wife have decided to send their kids to Sidwell Friends School. Michelle Obama confirmed yesterday that Malia and Sasha, the incoming first daughters, will enroll at the pricey private school when the family moves into the White House in January.


Tuition this year for elementary school is $28,442; for the middle school, $29,442.
Barack Obama is rich enough to send his kids to tony private schools.
n December 2007, Money magazine estimated the Obama family's net worth at $1.3 million.[169] Their 2007 tax return showed a household income of $4.2 million—up from about $1 million in 2006 and $1.6 million in 2005—mostly from sales of his books.[170]
Why does he want to deny families poorer than him to make the same choice?

Reeks of hypocrisy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Affirmative Action by Obama?

News here.

Megan McArdle is beside herself
I take nothing away from Professor Rouse. But she's a labor economist with a heavy, heavy specialty in returns to education. Goolsbee, by contrast, focuses on taxation and capital formation. Right now, I'd say the latter is our bigger concern.

More to the point, the worst financial crisis in seventy years is really not the time to see if you can brighten up the CEA offices with a nice, decorative matched set of X chromosomes. Goolsbee has been advising Obama since the beginning; presumably, this is some sort of testimony to the esteem in which Obama holds his competence. Throwing him overboard now makes this look like less of a "plus factor" and more like Obama is much less concerned with competence than painting a pretty picture for voters. Given the stakes, that's more than a little irresponsible.
Why Goolsbee is good: He blew the whistle on Obama's anti-NAFTA primary campaign in Ohio as mostly political posturing.

His reward: Addition of Jason Furman as another of Obama's economic advisors and face to the media, pushing Goolsbee out of the limelight.

1. This is just a rumour with no conformation from hard sources. Must be taken with more than a pinch of salt.

2. The CEA has 3 members. Goolsbee may well be nominated to the council as a member if not chair.
This story is way too premature to make any hard inferences.

Update, November 24, 2008:

It is Christina Romer.

Hat Tip: Marginal Revolution.

Romer on taxes:

1. Tax increase reduces economic output. Yay! 2. Tax cuts now, do not reduce public spending and lead to tax increases in the future. Noooo!

Hat Tip: Hit and Run.

Sarah Palin does not care about context

Story here.

Palin pardoning the Turkey, followed by interview excerpt (bowdlerized by MSNBC)

Full length interview

1. The butcher is totally mugging for the camera.

2. Does the Alaska Governor's office have a PR division? If yes, could they not suggest the pardoning be carried out over at the Governor's house (similar to the White House pardon)?

3. The chyron writer in MSNBC should be given a pat, better still, a raise.

4. Sarah Palin obviously does not believe in sugar-coating. Good for her!

5. Sarah Palin needs to get the tic in her left eye checked out.

6. Sarah Palin is still hot. She was truly VPILF material. It is a small consolation that she is still a GILF (G = Governor). We were robbed, both of a VPILF and a FLILF. :(

The apparatus behind Palin is known as a killing cone.

Fat people bankrupt airlines, cause Climate Change

Obese people have the right to two seats for the price of one on flights within Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Thursday.

The high court declined to hear an appeal by Canadian airlines of a decision by the Canadian Transportation Agency that people who are "functionally disabled by obesity" deserve to have two seats for one fare.
Full text here.

1. By taking a seat without paying for it, fat people are driving down the profit margin of the airlines , causing them to cut costs, leading to shittier service (cue the shit airline food) and finally to bankruptcy.

2. The people who could not get airline seats due to fat people have to go on other flights (or use other forms of carbon fuel based travel), increasing emissions of greenhouse gases causing climate change.

Word of the day

Stupidiom (n.): A word that has worked its way into the dictionary through

	1) common misuse

	2) the hesitancy/cowardice/unwillingness of dictionary editors to challenge the utterings of the ignorant.

Synonyms: Ignologism, Ignomineologism, Moronicon


Thursday, November 20, 2008

What is so great about being a grown-up?

Funniest line I read all day
...when you're grown don't have to worry about finding a girlfriend and how to do things with her because you have a wife and children.
And also grow a moustache.

Narendra Modi, Hindu Hriday Samrat?

Full story here.

Maradona creates Havoc

Background here.

Obama National Anthem

Have to give credit to Glenn Beck. I think he is a moron but this is pretty funny:


Discriminating against married people

Attorney John Claassen, formerly of Skadden Arps, is suing online matchmaker, which declined to list him because he is not yet divorced and it has a rule against listing profiles of persons who admit to being married. He’s claiming marital-status discrimination in his suit, filed in Alameda County.
Related news.

Quote of the Day:
This case is akin to a meat-eater suing a vegetarian restaurant for not offering him a ribeye...
--Michelle Malkin (Linking is not endorsing but this was the best quote I saw all day)

If Obama had lost

Yeah yeah its not for Obama but for this guy.

Marx and Lenin, meet Roman Abramovich

As a result, the monument of Mr Abramovich, who would certainly be a contender in a survey to identify the face of unfettered capitalism, will be unveiled on the city's Karl Marx Street, just a few hundred yards from a statue of Lenin, on Dec 11.
Full story here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How environmentalists can stop worrying and love the Nano

Ezra Dyer of the Esquire:
...environmentalists are already fretting about the impact of 250,000 new cars a year spewing their hydrocarbons across the subcontinent. However, that concern is a little bit misguided, because a good number of those Nanos are actually going to reduce their owners' carbon footprint. Like, by 100 percent, permanently.


At the side of one country road, a Tata heavy truck sat in a crumpled mess, locals calmly organizing the fruit that had fallen off the back. They didn't pay much attention to the driver, who was right there, hanging out--of the windshield.


Into this fracas goes the Nano, a car whose $2,500 price tag was probably not reached through the indulgent inclusion of comprehensive safety equipment. Good luck, Nano drivers, and remember: If might equals right, you don't want to be wrong.

Reservation in action

Quota Raj: Maharashtra reserves 80 pc jobs for locals
In an apparent bid to hijack MNS chief Raj Thackeray's agenda, Maharashtra government on Monday decided to reserve 80 per cent of jobs to locals in state industries.

Anyone who has been residing for over 15 years in the state would be considered as local, the statement said.
Hat Tip: Prem Panicker

Truth in Advertising

How Mail-In-Rebates work

Here is a simple overview of how a rebate with CPG works. Company X puts a rebate on its product, let’s say for $20. Company X expects to pay out 5000 of these rebates to consumers. Company X would then put the $100,000 needed to cover that rebate into CPG’s bank accounts. CPG basically escrows the money for consumers. CPG is trusted with this money in order to make sure the consumer is “safe.”

We have it from good sources currently that CPG owes consumers somewhere in the neighborhood of $9M to $12M worth of rebates. The problem here is that CPG currently only has about $3M in cash to cover that $9M-$12M in rebates owed to the consumer. Where that money has gone to is anyone’s guess and we will leave speculation up the law enforcement authorities and the courts.

Currently CPG is contacting its customers telling them that they will need to yet again deposit money into CPG accounts in order for CPG to have the cash to cover rebate checks to consumers. This is money that companies have already paid CPG previously. CPG is telling its customers that if they do not pony up AGAIN, consumer rebate check payments are in jeopardy. In our example above, CPG is not sure where the $100,000 is that Company X paid them, but we are sure that they want another $100,000 or CPG will start bouncing consumers’ MIR checks.

If you have a rebate out with CPG, I would check into it quickly. If CPG is no help, contact the company that manufactured the product directly and explain your concerns.

Obama's Islamic Connection

The Organisation of Islamic Countries has 57 constituent nations :)


History repeating itself

The New York Times reminds us of a similar situation 30 years ago.
For Garel Rhys, head of the Center for Automotive Industry Research at Cardiff University in Wales, the trajectory of General Motors is reminiscent of British Leyland not only because of the former’s decision to seek aid to avert bankruptcy, but also for its slow, seemingly inexorable loss of market share. “Both had a history of being the biggest in their market but couldn’t adapt as they lost sales,” he said. “They couldn’t get customers back.”

Historically, British Leyland’s roots stretched back further than Henry Ford’s Model T. The company controlled 36 percent of the British market well into the 1970s, with mass-market brands like Austin and Morris and premium lines like MG and Jaguar. But rising competition from Japanese and German automakers, shoddy workmanship and a breakdown in labor relations brought the company to near bankruptcy by 1975, Mr. Rhys said.

Michael Edwardes, who took over as British Leyland’s chief executive in November 1977, recalled that when he joined, no one even knew whether individual brands were profitable. “It was a farce — no one knew what the costs were,” he said.

As it turned out, every MG the company sold in the United States resulted in a loss of $2,000 for British Leyland.

Wildcat strikes consumed more than 32 million worker-hours in 1977, and the company became a symbol of labor strife, with some employees walking out the door with spark plugs in their coat pockets and engines in the trunks of their cars, Mr. Edwardes said.

Mr. Edwardes immediately began reducing the company’s work force of roughly 200,000 — to 104,000 within five years — and closing 19 factories. He appealed to the Thatcher government for aid, arguing the money was needed if British Leyland was going to be able to afford to lay off workers while investing in new models.

Eventually, the government put up £3.6 billion, equal to £11 billion in today’s money. But the rescue did not do much to preserve British Leyland’s labor force or market share in the long term.

By the time it received its last government infusion of cash in 1988, Mr. Rhys said, British Leyland’s market share had slumped to 15 percent. British Leyland evolved into MG Rover, which was eventually acquired by BMW, then spun off, finally going bankrupt in 2005.

According to Mr. Rhys, just 22,000 workers remain at British Leyland’s successor companies, about 10 percent of its work force in the mid-1970s.


Despite the British experience, the case of Renault, which combined fresh money and new management in the 1980s, showed that government bailouts can be beneficial.
Lessons from Renault:

1. Cut costs by
a. Get out of non-core business

b. Lay off workers (if the UAW allows and/or at the cost of your life)
2. Privatize

Scare tactics used by the Big 2.5:

The U.S. Auto Industry & the Ripple Effect from GM blogs on Vimeo.

The Center for Automotive Research is a nonprofit research organization with industry, labor, academic and government ties. The 1 in 10 jobs claim is debunked here.

The case against the bailout has been made eloquently by Megan McArdle. The bailout is the Broken Windows Fallacy all over again. As Oliver Cromwell memorably said to the Rump Parliament
You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately ... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
To GM, Ford and Chrysler, go to Chapter 11 or if that is not possible then go to Chapter 7, but In the name of the Taxpayer, go!

Update, November 20, 2008: The video on vimeo seems to have been removed. Youtube saves the day:


Mr. Pace, you could have been magnanimous in victory.

Funniest tech support question ever

Topic : Pictures automatically attach to e-mail?

Some selected excerpts
Please help! I took my husband's i-phone and found a raunchy picture of him attached to an e-mail to a woman in his sent e-mail file (a Yahoo account). When I approached him about this (I think that he is cheating on me) he admitted that he took the picture but says that he never sent it to anyone. He claims that he went to the Genius Bar at the local Apple store and they told him that it is an i-phone glitch: that photos sometimes automatically attach themselves to an e-mail address and appear in the sent folder, even though no e-mail was ever sent. Has anyone ever heard of this happening? The future of my marriage depends on this answer!
-- Susan042764
Images don't automatically attach to emails.

I hope you and your husband can work things out though.
-- Tamara
Susan, it's most DEFINITELY a glitch. I've had it happen several times on my phone, as have my coworkers who use iPhones.

The reason the answers here have been so skeptical is just how rare photo use is with the iPhone, as well as the apps installed on the phone that would cause this. It has to be under very UNUSUAL circumstances that it can happen--yet it can and does frequently.

Please ignore any of the "troll" answers you're getting causing you grief. (You can find a definition of troll at )

Hopefully, this bug will be resolved in the next firmware update.
-- erikislame
I feel bad for Susan, but I am morbidly curious of what the picture looks like and the end results of her findings. I must not be the only one who is wondering about that.
-- eldeecee
Well, if you must know ... it was a close-up shot of him pleasuring himself taken at the exact moment of maximum pleasure. (I'm trying to remain G-rated here.) It's such a good shot that one must wonder if he actually practiced it a few times before getting it right!

Add that picture to the late night phone calls and some other miscellaneous texts and e-mails that I found ... and this is not the first woman ... and let's just say that my atty is working on the divorce complaint.

Nonetheless, I wanted to remain open to the possibility that it was all some big mistake (I think that he is the big mistake) and thank everyone who provided input on this discussion.
-- Susan042764
think your marriage has a glitch :)
-- dedhero0
Veracity of the complaint is undetermined. News item here.

God Trumps

The New Humanist comes up with a great card game:

Hopefully the Sikhs, Jains, Shintoists, Taoists and others not represented above will not take offence at their absence.

Now to get some card stock and print these cards and start the game. I trust Martin Rowson won't be threatened by the likes of these

Above picture from the Daily Mail.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Arranged Marriage in France

A French appeals court reverses a marriage annulment of a couple who wanted their marriage annulled.

1. Man wants to marry woman provided she is a virgin.

2. Woman claims she is.

3. They marry.

4. Man finds out she was not a virgin, wants an anullment, claims he was deceived into marriage.

5. The French civil code allows a marriage to be annulled if a spouse has lied about an "essential quality" of the relationship. Lower court admits that in this case the woman's virginity was an "essential quality" of the relationship, otherwise the man would not have married her. Annuls marriage.

6. Feminists go nuts. They claim that this would allow men legally to reject women on the grounds they were not virgins. They argue the decision is unfair because a woman would not be able to cancel her marriage if she thought her husband was not a virgin.
a. This will allow men to legally reject non-virgin women only if the woman's virginity was an essential and explicit pre-requisite for the marriage. If the essentiality of this requirement was not made explicit before marriage then obviously it cannot be used as a pretext for annulment. In this case the essentiality of the woman's virginity was made explicit before marriage. She deceived him. Breach of contract.

b. Women can also claim the converse. They can also demand only to be married to virgin men and to annul the marriage if they find out that their husbands deceived them with respect to their virginity. Nowhere is this option denied to the women.

c. People everyday discriminate against other people with respect to finding spouses. The discriminating factor can be beauty, race, age, wealth, love, personality, potential of success blah, blah, blah. The presence or absence of virginity is just another such criterion. If this last criterion can be outlawed then why should any other criteria be allowed in choosing a spouse? Should we outlaw all such discriminatory criteria? In that case is one legally bound to marry whoever wants to marry them?
7. Despite widespread outrage both parties accept the annulment and want to go on with their lives. Both unhappy about the brouhaha.

8. Government wants to mollify the feminist and other assorted critics. Direct public prosecutor to appeal.

9. Appeals court reverses annulment. Woman married to man again.

10. Feminists, Government: Happy. Man, Woman: Unhappy

11. The law has worked its magic.

Sources: 1, 2, 3.

Scarlet Letter

Publicly shaming his plagiarizing students on his blog led to the dismissal of a professor.


1. The professor on his syllabus had noted that students guilty of academic dishonesty would be publicly named and shamed and be failed in the course.

2. Students who took his class knew this.

3. Six students decided to push the limits of the warning and got burnt.

Now the FERPA prohibits release of a student's academic information without the student's permission. So would the release of the names of the plagiarizing students be against the law? Does his notice in his syllabus pre-empt the law? Or does the law not apply here? After all the entire academic records of the students were not release. Only two of the six have contacted this professor. One admitted guilt but is unhappy with the grade and disputes it, while the other pleaded ignorance of the need for citations. Meanwhile the Department may reassign the failing grades.


1. Public shaming is pretty harsh. Would not just the "F" suffice? The professor's example of VP-Elect Biden is persuasive but maybe the "F" would be a suitable deterrent to the students not to indulge in academic dishonesty. Public humiliation of the sort in question now could be meted out for further such infractions. The students should be punished but a little mercy could go a long way. A face to face discussion regarding the public humiliation coupled with the "F" could be enough to scare the students from plagiarising again.

2. Under no circumstance should the failing grades be changed (as long as the charge of plagiarisation can be proved).

3. There is nobody to speak on behalf of the students. Maybe there are some mitigating factors we do not know.

4. Does the University have any due process for students accused of plagiarism?

Hat Tip: Eugene Volokh. The Professor defends his actions on his blog.

Indian Media is not squeamish

Well in some cases anyway

Story here.


Note: In India the steering wheel is on the right side.

War is real

A moving poem.
-- Julia Vinograd

No blame. Anyone who wrote Howl and Kaddish
earned the right to make any possible mistake
for the rest of his life.
I just wish I hadn't made this mistake with him.
It was during the Vietnam war
and he was giving a great protest reading
in Washington Square Park
and nobody wanted to leave.
So Ginsberg got the idea, "I'm going to shout
"the war is over" as loud as I can," he said
"and all of you run over the city
in different directions
yelling the war is over, shout it in offices,
shops, everywhere and when enough people
believe the war is over
why, not even the politicians
will be able to keep it going."
I thought it was a great idea at the time
a truly poetic idea.
So when Ginsberg yelled I ran down the street
and leaned in the doorway
of the sort of respectable down on its luck cafeteria
where librarians and minor clerks have lunch
and I yelled "the war is over."
And a little old lady looked up
from her cottage cheese and fruit salad.
She was so ordinary she would have been invisible
except for the terrible light
filling her face as she whispered
"My son. My son is coming home."
I got myself out of there and was sick in some bushes.
That was the first time I believed there was a war.
Hat Tip: India Uncut

How to give an example of a racist joke?

Make one yourself:
Writing in his blog, Mr Czarnecki, an MEP, quoted the foreign minister [Radek Sikorski] as saying: "Have you heard that Obama may have a Polish connection? His grandfather ate a Polish missionary."
Sikorski is married to Anne Applebaum who un-endorsed John McCain for the 2008 US Presidential Elections.

Megan McArdle on Losing a Job

But that doesn't mean I don't understand how awful and terrifying it is to have expected a certain life, and have it stolen away from you by a fate you do not very well control. In June 2001 when I graduated from business school, I had a management consulting gig that was scheduled to pay over $100,000 a year and had just moved back to New York. Two months later, two planes crashed into the World Trade Center, killing a number of people I knew and leaving the rest of us traumatized. Four days after that, I was working at the World Trade Center disaster recovery site, trying to come to grips with what had happened. Four months after that, the consulting firm, having pushed back my start date twice, called my associate class and told all of us that our services would not be required.

For the next eighteen months, I struggled to find a job, in the teeth of a recession that kicked MBAs especially hard. It was awful in a way that is difficult to describe to anyone who hasn't been unemployed long term; the thing makes you question everything about your life. I remember going to see Avenue Q on a date, and writhing in humiliation, thinking that my date must be identifying me with the aimless failures on stage. I was 29 years old, and living at home. I had money--I always managed to work. But as far as I could tell, I had no future.

When I finally did get a job, with The Economist, it paid about a third of what I'd been expecting as a consultant. I had about a thousand dollars in loan payments, and of course, I had to live in New York, where my job was. For the first time in my life, I understood what Victorian novelists meant when they described someone as "shabby". Over the years since I'd had a steady income, my clothes had stretched out of shape, ripped, become stained, gone out of style. I couldn't afford new ones. And I wasn't one of those whizzy heroines who can make over her own clothes. Instead, I frumped around in clothes that never looked quite right, and felt the way my clothes looked.

It took me a long, long time to crawl out of that hole. I'll never make what I expected to make as a consultant. I'll never have the job security that I had learned to expect in the pre-9/11 world. The universe will always seem a potentially malevolent place to me, ready to unleash some unknown disaster at any moment.
Read the whole thing here.

I am becoming a fan of Ms. McArdle

How Government Screws Up

Martin Samuel gives an example from football
...the French presidency puts forward its proposals for a European financial commission for football, in the image of La Direction Nationale du Contrôle de Gestion (DNCG), which monitors the sport in France. The DNCG ensures adherence to national and Uefa regulations and financial governance measures.

It can enforce transfer bans, place limits on budgets and payrolls, dock points, relegate, prevent promotion and, in extreme cases, exclude. It is run, as these things always are, by commissions composed largely of lawyers, accountants and, no doubt, politicians.

The French ... want to impose the same arrangement on clubs throughout Europe. As if their model has produced a wonderful, competitive, egalitarian league; as if what football needs is more interference from bureaucrats.

It is easy to blow a hole in French intellectual supremacy with one fact: Lyons have won the league title for the past seven seasons (and are seven points clear at present), making the league run by the DNCG the least competitive throughout Uefa's 53 members, with one exception: Moldova.


For one club to dominate a competition for as long as Lyons have held sway in Ligue 1 is exceptional. Holding up the most predictable, and therefore by definition the worst, leading league in Europe as the torch for all to follow is a monument to French arrogance.

Time to stop some people's suffring?

Now can somebody commission a similar poll for McCain voters?

Update 1: Zogby, which carried out the poll will not duplicate a similar poll for McCain.

Update 2: John Ziegler, who commissioned the poll has an entertaining interview with Nate Silver.

Update 3: The video asked the question:
Which Candidate Won Their First Election By Getting All Of Their Opponents Kicked Off The Ballot?
I had initially thought this was regarding the 2004 election to the US Senate from Illinois where his initial Republican opponent had to withdraw his name due to a sex scandal and was replaced by Alan Keyes but it refers to the 1996 election for the Illinois State Senate seat from the 13th District. Obama got the four other candidates off the ballot by challenging the validity of the signatures on their nominating petitions.

Kya main aapki pant khol sakta hoon?

Casting couch, Bollywood style!!

Hat Tip: Greatbong

Nato Missile shield

Hat Tip: The Grauniad and Tom Leonard

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bailing out Big Labour

These are the people for whom our heartstrings are being tugged. Below is one of the reasons (apart from poor management) why the Big 3 are on their deathbeds.

Hat tip: Mark Perry

In all fairness if the Big 3 go down, their ancillary suppliers will also go down and I don't know how much workers in those industries make.

Too big to fail

Most of the supporters of the auto bailout (and other bailouts) claim that the bailout is necessary because otherwise a vast population (of workers in these and ancillary industries) will be adversely affected, as hilzoy says of the order of 1-3 million.

Obviously the argument is that these institutions are too big to fail.

Let me propose some remedies. Let us first suppose that above "N" employees a company becomes too big to fail. The exact value of "N" is not important. There are two possible solutions:

1. No company will be allowed to have more than "N" employees. In which case it will never become too big to fail and thus we will never need bailouts again


2. if company has more than "N" employees, confiscate some proportion of the gross company revenue (I say revenue and not profits because profits can be whittled down by generous compensation to management and workers) which will be kept by the government and released to the company when it desperately needs some cash and this release can be decided by Congress.

Any feedback about the two solutions proposed above?

P.S. To be fair, I did not think of solution 1, it was thought of by a friend of mine. Solution 2 is obviously inspired by solution 1.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Heads I win, Tails you lose.

Orin Kerr, November 4, 2008 :
1. Republicans Must Now Oppose Executive Power; Democrats Must Be In Favor Of It

2. Republicans Must Now Oppose Judicial Confirmations; Democrats Must Be In Favor.

3. Republicans Must Now Favor Legislative Oversight; Democrats Must Now Oppose It.
GreatBong, November 15, 2008:

After a terrorist attack in India if the alleged perpetrator is:
I. Belonging to the Minority Community:
a. Arundhati Roy, Pakistani Media, Jihad apologists:
1. Take to the streets, sign petitions and froth themselves into a frenzy refusing to even acknowledge the fact that those accused may actually be guilty.

2. Point out the holes in police procedure and the government case against those arrested.

3. Strongly speak out against the “trial by media” whereby the press labels the “innocents” as Islamic terrorists.

4. Implicitly justify these heinous acts by repeating words like “Gujarat”, “Babri Masjid”, “marginalization”, “institutionalized bias”.
b. Hindu right wing:
1. Castigate the Muslim community for not sufficiently condemning the terrorist attacks, as if the entire community is to be held responsible for the acts of a few.

2. Label a person as “guilty” the moment he is arrested.
II. Belonging to the Majority Community:
a. Arundhati Roy, Pakistani Media, Jihad apologists:
1. Stay inside their homes and make no presumptions of innocence.

2. Are totally comfortable with the weakness of the government case and police ineptness or at the very least do not equate it with a setup.

3. Are silent with regards to the “trial by media” and actively participate in it.

4. Provide no justifications of the act.
b. Hindu right wing:
1. Do not expect Hindus to condemn their brethren with the same shrillness that is expected of Muslims.

2. Go to great lengths to point out that the Sadhvi and the Colonel have just been “accused” and should be considered innocent till proven guilty.

3. Accuse the government of setting up these people as part of a large conspiracy re-using ironically the same liberal rhetoric that I talked about previously, albeit in a diametrically opposite context.

4. Point out weaknesses in the official case against those arrested displaying a depth of analysis and Sherlockian powers of induction not displayed when someone of another faith is arrested.

5. Justify the acts as a token “reaction” to the deluge of Islamic terror.

6. Provide rationalizations like “But then something happens in a non descript town in the interiors of one State, where one bomb explodes and a few people died” as if the fact that the town is “non-descript” and the people killed were “few” makes the crime any less important than it is.

How Government got the better of The Lord

Noah Today

Dog gets high on crack

Bastiatian wisdom from Megan McArdle

Megan McArdle dispenses some Bastiatian wisdom about opportunity cost, and does it with compassion, here.
But it doesn't matter. These vital towns, where generations of people lived happy lives and raised fat, burbling babies to a middle-class adulthood, are all dying. Should the government save these places too? Shall we support Eastman Kodak indefinitely, whether or not it can produce a product anyone wants to buy? And Xerox, and Carrier, and a thousand companies you've never heard of? Shall we make it illegal to make a better product than American corporations? Why not just ban new products that make old ones unprofitable?

To do that, we'll have to take the money from other people, in other cities. Other businesses will not get the capital that we give to dying firms, so they won't expand. Some other families, not yours, will lose their homes because their business failed, or have to move away from home in order to get jobs because their area is in the doldrums. Meanwhile, everyone in the country will be slightly worse off, because we've shifted limited economic resources towards products they demonstrably do not want.


Moreover, it wouldn't be right to save it by destroying someone else's business, killing someone else's town. That's the choice we are facing. At its heart, economics is not about money; it is about resources. Every dollar sent to Detroit buys a yard of steel, a reel of copper wire, an hour of labor that now cannot be consumed by a business that actually produces a profitable, desireable product. It's not right to strangle those businesses in order to steal some air for the dying giants of an earlier day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Beautiful cover. Ugly policies?

H L Mencken:
The Democratic tendency to make gods of successful politicians makes it all the more necessary to oppose them vigorously.
Hat Tip: Don Boudreaux
Aesthetically, no doubt. This is a beautiful cover.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Environmentalism = Religion

According to Michael Crichton:
There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.
Hat Tip: John Tierney.

Unfortunately Michael Crichton believed in spoon bending (psychokinesis)

Potty begins at home

Raj Thackeray can only use a western style loo, How many "Marathi Manoos" can potty Indian style?

List of Raj Thackeray's depredations here. Wikipedia coverage here

No Irish need apply

List of approved minorities:
1. Blacks
2. Hispanics
3. American Indians (Note: NOT Indian Americans)
4. Asians (Open question whether South Asians and Middle Easterns are included in this group. Typically only the Far-East is considered)
5. Pacific Islanders

Hat Tip: Reason -- Daily Brickbats

Original pic here

I thought supporting McCain was cool

What if this was in California and the little kid was opposing Proposition 8 and the teacher was supporting it (wouldn't be surprising) ?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

McCain on Saturday Night Live

McCain is a good sport

Keith Olbermann is a Douchebag

Ben Affleck is masterful

Democrat President, Republican Congress

Veronique de Rugy rates the various President-Congress combinations based on fiscal responsibility:
Based on these findings, we can rate the different Congress/White House combinations from mediocre to worst: 1) Democratic White House and Republican Congress, 2) Republican White House and Democratic Congress, and 3) unified Republican or Democratic rule.

Let the Issues be the issue

Created by creative director - Tor Myhren from Grey NYC.

Hat Tip: The Cool Hunter

Daylight Savings Kills

From the Washington Post of November 1, 2008, IT'S NOT JUST A MATTER OF TIME:
Back in 1999, terrorists on the daylight-saving West Bank built several time bombs, delivered to co-conspirators in Israel and scheduled to explode at a set time. Problem was, Israel had just switched back to standard time, so the only people injured were the terrorists themselves when the bomb detonated an hour earlier than they expected and killed them all.
In a similar vein

The Laffer Curve

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute explains the Laffer Curve.

The Delapotron

The Human Sling

Cults scare me


Baby, you can drive my Qahr

Ms Saudi Arabia

Qahr was the previous winner in June.

McCain should go to some Human Rights Tribunal

Ageism is disgusting.
Kimberlee Ouwroulis doesn’t believe her age should be a roadblock to success.

So, the 44-year-old adult dancer from Stouffville has filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, alleging the owner of a Mississauga strip club fired her because she was too old.

“He told me that the club is going in a new direction with younger girls,” Ms Ouwroulis said. “That’s age discrimination to me.”

Obama v Obama


Monday, November 3, 2008

Marketplace Senior Editor Paddy Hirsch explains short selling and naked short selling. But What happens to Sam now? What does Caitlin do? Why can't Sam just give back Caitlin $1000 and everyone carry on as if nothing happened?

Getting naked in short selling from Marketplace on Vimeo.

Captain Scott = Lehman Brothers?

Marketplace Senior Editor Paddy Hirsch stretches a metaphor to explain the 2008 Financial Crisis

The credit crisis as Antarctic expedition from Marketplace on Vimeo.

Explaining Credit Default Swaps -- Weapons of Mass Financial Destruction

Marketplace Senior Editor Paddy Hirsch explains what Credit Default Swaps are.

Untangling credit default swaps from Marketplace on Vimeo.

Explaining Collateralized Debt Obligations

Marketplace Senior Editor Paddy Hirsch explains how CDOs amplified the popping of the housing bubble into the 2008 Financial Crisis

Crisis explainer: Uncorking CDOs from Marketplace on Vimeo.

Google's reverse jujitsu?

An interesting analysis of Google's settlement with the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild.

Harvard fights back.

Why vote?

Gordon Tullock on why voting is irrational

Also watch this.

Dude, where's my bailout

Hat Tip:

Yatha praja tatha raja

Mencken on voting in the Baltimore Sun of July 16, 1920
When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental—men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost… All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre—the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
Hat Tip: Cafe Hayek

Friday, October 31, 2008

Great Expectations?

Hope and Change

Subsidies for who?

Freudian slip

Metaphor Alert?


Fanzone needs to be replicated for other sports

Match in question: 2008-2009 Premier League, Gunners vs Spurs at Emirates 4-4

Match video

Arsenal v Tottenham

Fanzone video. I feel for the Arsenal fan in more ways than one. The last 30 seconds are sad :(

A Pirate scores a goal

The pirate is Daryl Coleman scoring the consolation goal for Ryman League Chipstead as they lost to Torquay 4-1 in the FA Cup. He was booked for the celebration.

Steven Landsburg makes sense

The video needs no explanation

The End of Racism

The Myth of the Rational Voter (Wikipedia)

The Myth of the Rational Voter (Essay)

Speaks for itself

Can you guess who will reduce world poverty more?

The answer may surprise you.

Little Thief gets a pre-halloween gift

First they came for your yard sign, then they will come for your taxes.

Sign battle starts with a zzzzzzzt!

Wishful Thinking :(

One can only hope

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Government, please get out of the way

20/20 - Politically Incorrect Guide To Politics - FULL from Bradley T. on Vimeo.

Update, November 4, 2008:

The Vimeo video is no longer available. Here is the same program as a youtube playlist.