Idiots On Parade

Stacey Dash

If you care to see true freakin’ idiocy – goo check out reaction to Ms. Dash on her Twitter account:

@REALStaceyDash

Musings On Ferguson

smut and sensibilityThe dominating theme for the past week has been and is Ferguson.

I think it’s fair to say that most rational minded Americans are trying to make sense out of the events that occurred this summer and then the recent Grand Jury’s decision this past week.

I was recently pointed to this post over at Smut and Sensibility as a response to that decision.  Below my response:

The only kind of bombs I fully support are truth-bombs, and that’s why I’ve come together with a group of POC and select White allies to write this post. We feel it’s critical to have conversations about social justice loudly, noticeably, personally as well as systemically, and eloquently*—in this case, specifically around Ferguson, #stoptheparade, #BlackLivesMatter, #IndictAmerica, and all the myriad things happening right now around police brutality and the devaluing of Black lives.

I’m immediately put off by the reference o=to POC and ‘select white allies’.  This smacks as dog whistle for that group of people who preaches tolerance save for positions other than their own.

That being said, I am fearful of an ever growing and tyrannical state.  A police force being part of that state I am ever watchful.

However, the goodwill generated in the very real condition of big government = bad [ i don’t believe the author actually thinks big government is bad, only big government that doesn’t fit her paradigm ] is lost with #BlackLivesMatter.  Not one single individual I know feels that black lives don’t matter.  Further, given that black lives matter – there seems to be lower hanging fruit that can be harvested rather than heap on this case.

American Racial Incident Bingo

This. Is. Insulting.

The author is treating the incident as a game.  More than that, the very real arguments that challenge her point  of view are being marginalized to that of a common parlor game.

But Mike Brown robbed a convenience store!

Yes.  He did.

No one thinks that the punishment for felony strong armed robbery is the death penalty.  No one is making that case.  Rather, the point is that Mr. Brown state of mind at the time of the encounter was that of a felon – not that of a child seeking the company of his granny.

Mike Brown was a giant demon who charged at Darren Wilson, who had no recourse but to fear for his life and use lethal force.

It has been established that Mr. Brown not only charged Mr.s Wilson but that he assaulted him in the cruiser and attempted to take Mr. Wilson’s gun.

I’m white.  Anglo Saxon.  Protestant.  Male.  Upper Class.  If I try to steal a cop’s gun and then charge said cop I get shot too.

And, more importantly, this is what I teach my son.

Mike Brown smoked pot regularly and/or was high during his interaction with Wilson.

Smoking pot should be legal.  Pot smokers are more calm than alcohol drinkers.  I resonate with the author on this point.

Mike Brown was reaching for a gun when killed.

Mr. Brown was unarmed – but I’ve not heard the defense that he was reaching for a gun.  He simply was presenting a threat to Mr. Wilson.

Mike Brown was a threat and could not be taken into custody alive.

She had me at ‘threat’.

Why are you making this about race?

Serious.  Please check the data that suggests cops kill white people too.

What did riots ever solve? Why are people getting violent?

Wait.  No one is saying not to protest injustices or wrongs committed by the government.  DO!  I’m just saying that evidence suggests justice was served here.

Why riot?

The rest of the post degenerates into mostly straw man arguments save for the interesting:

Do you think you know better than the grand jury? Did you study state law?

I am not an attorney – neither is the author.  I am compelled by the evidence that the Grand Jury was provided all relevant evidence.  I cannot get into an argument regarding the Grand Jury.

Personally I think that the DA reviewed the evidence and came to the conclusion there was no case.  However, because of the political nature surrounding the events, decided that he was going to go forward with a Grand Jury.

It should not be surprising that a group of reasonable and rational people came to that same conclusion.

 

The NHL and Goals Scored

Wild

I’m experiencing a resurgence in NHL hockey.  This can be attributed to 3 (4) things:

  1. The Wild made huge news with the signing of Parise and Suter last season – and then the season was shortened.
  2. The Wild signed Thomas Vanek – s favorite of mine when he won the National Championship with the Gophers.
  3. My brother is wild about hockey.
  4. I’m losing interest in the NFL

So, now that the Wild have those three studs, the younger skaters and a full season – I’m all in.  I’ve purchased the NHL package and am watching more hockey in these first few weeks than I’ve watched since the Stars fought the Hawks for playoff wins.

And I love stats.  So, here is the first shot:

How many goals does a team need to score in order to win more than 50% of their games?  Based on the 2013 season?  Four.

Winning Score Games Won Ratio Winning Ratio
1 34 2.8% 2.8%
2 183 14.9% 17.6%
3 342 27.8% 45.4%
4 339 27.6% 73.0%
5 214 17.4% 90.4%
6 86 7.0% 97.4%
7 27 2.2% 99.6%
8 3 0.2% 99.8%
9 2 0.2% 100.0%

Adrian Peterson – Should He Play

Minnesota Vikings

Adrian Peterson, a  running back for the Minnesota Vikings has been inactive and suspended for much of the season after reports surfaced that he ‘switched’ his child too the point of welts, open wounds and bruises.  Adrian lives in Texas where such discipline  is legal as long as the child is not in danger.  That being said, a grand jury indicted him on felony child abuse charges.

Today Peterson pleaded no-contest to misdemeanor charges which will let him off with no jail time and a minimal fine.   This result, while not surprising, is sure to upset a number of fans and child advocates.

My take- Adrian Peterson was disciplining his child in a way and manner consistent with a parent’s right.  That said, the parenting technique of switching or even spanking, is an old one with significant studies showing that such techniques are counter productive.  Peterson was raised in an environment where such disciplining techniques were, and remain, common.

Adrian Peterson is guilty of ignorance, not child abuse.

Now, what do the Vikings do?  My hope is that they partner with Peterson and local and national child advocate s and launch a parenting awareness campaign.  If they can use AP’s profile in the hopes of educating people on the proper use of discipline, the conditions surrounding the unfortunate events can be transformed into a positive.

Election Night

Election Night

With Arkansas now in, the republicans need 10 more wins and stand and need net +4 to win the senate.

——

Early results are following expectations.

Kentucky to McConnell and the republicans sweep South Carolina.  That’s 3.

As a side point – South Carolina just elected the first black senator from the South and just the 5th ever.  Further, they elected a Indian-American woman as governor.

Battle For the Senate -2014 Election Tracker

Republican vs Democrat

Tuesday is a big day – the control of the Senate will be decided as 36 Senate seats are up for election.  For fun I’ve been watching the polling and have been keeping track of the races.  My spreadsheet is below and shows the races not up for election and the ones I’ve called:

 

Contest Republican Democrat
Not 2014 Election 30 34
Kansas
Georgia
Iowa
North Carolina
Alaska
Colorado 1
Louisiana 1
New Hampshire 1
Arkansas 1
Minnesota 1
Kentucky 1
West Virginia 1
Michigan 1
Virginia 1
New Mexico 1
South Dakota 1
Mississippi 1
Illinois 1
Oregon 1
South Carolina 1
Maine 1
Tennessee 1
Deleware 1
Montana 1
South Carolina 1
New Jersey 1
Nebraska 1
Idaho 1
Massachhusetts 1
Hawaii 1
Rhode Island 1
Texas 1
Oklahoma 1
Oklahoma 1
Wyoming 1
Alabama 1
Total Seats 49 46

Going into the election I have Republicans needing 2 to win and Democrats needing 4.  The races in play are listed above.

Stay tuned for election night results.

Why Capitalism Is Good

Wal MartSo much is said regarding ‘greed’ and ‘corporations’.  Let’s not forget that until the advent of free trade and individual property rights – the common peasant was destined to farm the same land with the same tools as their ancestors.

The benefits of free trade:

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pushed down prices for some generic prescription drugs to just $4 eight years ago, setting a new industry standard. Now it is trying to do the same for seeing a doctor.

On Friday, a Walmart Care Clinic opened in Dalton, Ga., six months after Walmart U.S., the retailer’s WMT, +0.27%   biggest unit, entered the business of providing primary health care. It now operates a dozen clinics in rural Texas, South Carolina and Georgia and has increased its target for openings this year to 17.

An office visit costs $40, which Walmart U.S. says is about half the industry standard, and just $4 for Walmart U.S. employees and family members with the company’s insurance. A pregnancy test costs just $3, and a cholesterol test $8. A typical retail clinic offers acute care only. But a Walmart Care Clinic also treats chronic conditions such as diabetes. (Walmart U.S. also leases space in its stores to 94 clinics owned by others that set their own pricing.)

“It was very important to us that we establish a retail price in the health-care industry because price leadership matters to us,” said Jennifer LaPerre, a Walmart U.S. senior director responsible for health and wellness, in an interview.

Health Care is just another commodity that, when subjected to the free market, will bend to the advantage of the consumer.

Adrian Peterson

Minnesota Vikings

You have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard about the Adrian Peterson events in the last 5 days.

Regarding Peterson and his punishment comes a comment that adds a great deal of levity.  Courtesy Althouse:

Isn’t it ironic that outrage at the unfair punishment inflicted by Adrian Peterson distorts thinking about how to punish him? Emotional overpunishment — it’s the problem, not the solution.

Indeed.

The Demand Curve Is Not Optional

Demand CurveWe will find ways to meet the supply:

 

More than half of the cigarettes for sale in New York are smuggled into the state illegally – the highest percentage in the country, according to a recent report from the Tax Foundation.

According to the non-partisan research group, increased excise taxes on cigarettes to discourage smoking have, in fact, created lucrative incentives for black market trafficking between states.

According to the report, 56.9 percent of the cigarettes sold in the Empire State are brought in from other states. New York state has the highest cigarette taxes in the country – a whopping $4.35 a pack. If you live in New York City, it’s another $1.50 per pack, bringing taxes to $5.85 per pack, with the overall cost of a pack in the city in the $12 to $15 range.

 

The One Percenters

 

1 percentTalking to a friend today and the concept of the 1% came up.

Who are the 1%:

  • Roughly 80 percent of millionaires in America are the first generation of their family to be rich.
  • Roughly a third were entrepreneurs or managers of nonfinancial businesses.
  • Nearly 16 percent were doctors or other medical professionals.
  • NYU sociologist Dalton Conley says that “higher-income folks work more hours than lower-wage earners do.”
  • The top 1 percent pay 36.7 percent of all federal income taxes
  • They earn just 16 percent of all income