Saturday, November 13, 2004

The Real KGM Surfaces

Jeez, I'm going to get my ass kicked.

Check the 7th entry of this Yellow Pages search

He lives! The real Killer Grease Mungowitz actually still lives in Austin, which is where I first encountered him.

I have to call him....more soon. Don't know what I'm going to say..."I have been using your name for the past six months...Is that a problem?" Okay, I won't actually START with that. First we'll just chat about the Cowboys.

Possibly for the last time, I am, as ever,
Killer GM, Jr.

(PS: nod to CL, who actually posted the search, but didn't realize the awful truth)

Friday, November 12, 2004

Control Freaks

Remember the words from "The Wall"?

The Happiest Days of our Lives (Waters) 1:20

When we grew up and went to school
There were certain teachers who would
Hurt the children in any way they could

"OOF!" [someone being hit]

By pouring their derision
Upon anything we did
And exposing every weakness
However carefully hidden by the kids
But in the town, it was well known
When they got home at night, their fat and
Psychopathic wives would thrash them
Within inches of their lives.

Some bricks:

1. This girl has got to stop exercising during recess.
2. Our excellent immigration system.
3. Pinata girl tries to get through our immigration system.
4. Michael Jackson, complaining about Eminem's video, says about children: "I love them so much!" I bet. And, so often, too.
5. Stupid dirty education secretary
6. I carried a pocket knife in grade school. Who knew I was a criminal?

On the other hand, it could be worse: this brick for brains could be in charge.

"God, I hate this place...."

Dulce et decorum est. It never changes.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

King me: The Boss of the People

Golly sakes alive. From our own excellent "independent" (meaning uncomprehendingly left out) newspaper: Melinda Ruley wants to force us to be free.


Rose loves to tell the story of Saddam Hussein, how he's a bad man who killed people and how they found him in a hole in the sand with a rug over his head and now he's in jail and that's a good thing, but that our president had started a bad war and he was killing people too and he is such a ... well, she can't say that word.

When Rosie told this story to her preschool teacher, the teacher said that really, really, Bush wasn't a bad man, he just made "bad choices." Rose later asked me whether he would keep on making bad choices.

"Only if we let him," I said.

"Because it's up to everyone to decide?" she asked. The concept of a representative government is, for her, like a remote rung on the monkey bars. She's on her toes, but it's just out of reach. She can't believe, with all she's heard about Bush, that he could represent anybody. That he could, as Henry puts it, keep on being the boss of the people. She can't believe the grown-ups could fail her so badly.

Yes....with "all she's heard about Bush." What exactly has she heard, Ms. Ruley? How could she possibly have a realistic or accurate view, in "Melinda's House o'Propaganda"?

Nod to BN, who is fair. That means everybody hates him. I certainly hate him; he's infuriating.

Auguring the Eschaton

CBS NEWS interrupted the final minutes of Wednesday night's episode of CSI: NEW YORK in order to air a special report about the death of Yasser Arafat.

CBS has apologized and says it will rebroadcast the episode, in its entirety FRIDAY at 9PM CENTRAL TIME."

An overly aggressive CBS News producer jumped the gun with a report that should have been offered to local stations for their late news. We sincerely regret the error. The episode of CSI: NEW YORK will be rebroadcast Friday, Nov. 12."


Maybe we could pass a law: no news can happen during our fave shows on telly. Maybe we can take our GLOCKs and pump the telly full of lead. (Click, pringlesbreath: There's a movie!)

They are kidding...I think

As a native southerner, I wonder why more Yankees aren't honest this way.

Mood music.....

(Nod to Chateau)

Animals are Running the Zoo School

Why do you taunt somebody?

Why do you get a baseball bat and hit someone who taunts you?

The Zoo School, in friendly Minnesota.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

This is helpful

Can reasonable people disagree? Can people who disagree be reasonable?

From Craig's List

Straight male seeks Bush supporter for fair, physical fight - m4m
Reply to:

Date: Wed Nov 03 19:11:50 2004
I would like to fight a Bush supporter to vent my anger. If you are one, have a fiery streek, please contact me so we can meet and physically fight. I would like to beat the shit out of you.

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Copyright © 2004 craigslist

(Nod to mwt, who is still visibly excited because of the Red Sox)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Permanent Link to Bauerlein Article

From a gentle reader....

I'm glad you posted this, and I would like to see it conveniently linked, perhaps way down on the sidebar. It just seems so well stated, its a nugget to keep handy. I, too, work on a campus so this just hits home for me.

Done: See right side, top o'the ol' blogroll...

No active or noisy elimination need occur...

Wow. Pretty strong indictment, here, from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Here is a short excerpt below....and a much longer one (so atsrtwt) here
(nod to TtwbC)

(Issue dated November 12, 2004)
Liberal Groupthink Is Anti-Intellectual

...The public has now picked up the message that "campuses are havens for left-leaning activists," according to a Chronicle poll of 1,000 adult Americans this year. Half of those surveyed -- 68 percent who call themselves "conservative" and even 30 percent who say they are "liberal" -- agreed that colleges improperly introduce a liberal bias into what they teach. The matter, however, is clearly not just one of perception. Indeed, in another recent survey, this one conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute of the University of California at Los Angeles, faculty members themselves chose as their commitment "far left" or "liberal" more than two and a half times as often as "far right" or "conservative." As a Chronicle article last month put it: "On left-leaning campuses around the country, professors on the right feel disenfranchised."

Yet while the lack of conservative minds on college campuses is increasingly indisputable, the question remains: Why?

The obvious answer, at least in the humanities and social sciences, is that academics shun conservative values and traditions, so their curricula and hiring practices discourage non-leftists from pursuing academic careers. What allows them to do that, while at the same time they deny it, is that the bias takes a subtle form. Although I've met several conservative intellectuals in the last year who would love an academic post but have given up after years of trying, outright blackballing is rare. The disparate outcome emerges through an indirect filtering process that runs from graduate school to tenure and beyond....

... to create a livelier climate on the campus, professors must end the routine setups that pass for dialogue. Panels on issues like Iraq, racism, imperialism, and terrorism that stack the dais provide lots of passion, but little excitement. Syllabi that include the same roster of voices make learning ever more desultory. Add a few rightists, and the debate picks up. Perhaps that is the most persuasive internal case for infusing conservatism into academic discourse and activities. Without genuine dissent in the classroom and the committee room, academic life is simply boring.

Mark Bauerlein is a professor of English at Emory University and director of research at the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Wrong Store in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

Maybe John Kerry was talking about this poor kid.

I waited in line for more than an hour for Halo 2 at the EB Games. So, it's about 1 am, and this kid in front of me is bragging loudly into his cell phone: "Yeah, I'm gettin' the game. I'm standing in line in the cold, but it's worth it." He said this perhaps 30 different times (though not different ways; always said exactly the same thing). He doggedly autodialed every kid on his phone memory, and delivered the same phrase in stentorian tones: "Yeah, I'm gettin...." Why they all needed this information, I am not sure.

You get the idea. Not one person in line would have tried to protect the kid if someone had hit him with a bat.

Anyway, we get inside and I'm still behind him. At the counter, the kid presents his pre-order receipt with a flourish.

And, the guy behind the counter says, "Um...this is for GameStop. putz."

The kid runs out the door, shouting "I'm gonna kill my brother, I'm gonna kill hiiiiiiiiiiiiiim....."

Made the whole wait fully worthwhile. You don't mind waiting, if there's a show.

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Lemons Problem: No Road

As is well known by any sophomore economics student, it is orthodox to claim that there are three kinds of market failure: information, externalities, and economies of scale. However, in some ways these are the least important “failures” of markets. I have been thinking about the problem of the failures of markets in a larger context....Here, it seems to me, are the REAL market failures, all of which involve the failure of the state:

1. Government fails to foster, or actively removes, what Hayek called the “infrastructure” of market processes. Infrastructure includes a system for defining and trading property rights, a legal system for the adjudication of disputes, and a monetary system to facilitate exchange.
2. Government creates, or fails to remove, impediments to market processes. Such impediments might include taxes, subsidies, regulations or standards that distort prices and information.
3. Markets fail to perform efficiently because of informational asymmetries, externalities in consumption or production, or large economies of scale in production.

Type 1 market failure arises from inadequate infrastructure, type 2 market failure results from poorly designed policies, and type 3 market failures are caused by flaws in market processes themselves. The hierarchy here goes from 1 (most profound) to 3 (manageable, might require minor state action to correct, though it is not obvious that the state won't just make things even worse).

Now, you can't blame type 1 failure on markets. That would be like thinking your car is a lemon because there is no road. It's true that the car won't go, but the problem is that it is surrounded by trees. The car, as cars go, may be perfectly fine.

Charging markets with type 2 failure is like blaming your car for breaking down after you put water in the gas tank and sand in the crankcase. Again, the car is as good as a car can be. But it can be ruined by idiots who decide that a water burning car would be better for the environment.

Only type 3 is really a market failure; type 1 and 2 failures are malfunctions of government management of markets.

Consider how important these distinctions are in diagnosing problems. In all three cases, the car won’t go! Should you conclude it is a lemon, and trade it in? A new car won’t help if the real problem is bad roads or bad maintenance; the new car will soon break down also. Unless we can think more fundamentally, the result will be an endless cycle of expensive trade-ins, none of which get us anywhere.

And that is where we seem to be going. Or, not going.

Democracy is Overrated, III

Two H.L. Mencken quotes, for the Dems crying in their beer this week. The point is that it is hard for someone who believes in the wisdom of “the people” to accept it when “the people” disagree. I happened upon these two quotes in something I wrote some time ago, and they seemed to have a particular freshness....My favorite part is the bit where he says: "What I can’t make out is how any man can believe in democracy who feels for and with [common citizens], and is pained when they are debauched and made a show of." Dems? How about the show last Tuesday? Weren't your common citizens debauched and made a show of?

Quote #1:
The highest function of the citizen is to serve the state—but the first assumption that meets him, when he essays to discharge it, is an assumption of his disingenuousness and dishonor. Is that assumption commonly sound? Then the farce only grows more glorious…Is [democracy] extraordinarily wasteful, extravagant, dishonest? Then so is every other form of government: all alike are enemies to decent men….In the long run, it may turn out that rascality is an ineradicable necessity to human government, and even to civilization itself—that civilization, at bottom, is nothing but a colossal swindle. I do not know. I report only that when the suckers are running well the spectacle is infinitely exhilarating. But I am, it may be, a somewhat malicious man: my sympathies, when it comes to suckers, tend to be coy. What I can’t make out is how any man can believe in democracy who feels for and with [common citizens], and is pained when they are debauched and made a show of. How can any man be a democrat who is sincerely a democrat? (H.L. Mencken, Notes on Democracy, 1926.

Quote #2:
It [is impossible] to separate the democratic idea from the theory that there is a mystical merit, an esoteric and ineradicable rectitude, in the man at the bottom of the scale—that inferiority, by some strange magic, becomes superiority—nay, the superiority of superiorities. What baffles statesmen is to be solved by the people, instantly and by a sort of seraphic intuition. This notion . . . originated in the poetic fancy of gentlemen on the upper levels— sentimentalists who, observing to their distress that the ass was overladen, proposed to reform transportation by putting him in the cart. (H.L. Mencken, from Notes on Democracy, 1926.

Signs of the Apocalypse

1. Never a good sign when gold hits record high prices; you don't own gold to make money, you own gold to avoid holding money, in case money becomes worthless

2. Suha Arafat gets a microphone, and gets quoted a lot saying psychotic things, after calling Al Jazeera. She hasn't seen him in years, and lives in Paris. NOW she's worried about him?

3. A reality show

4. One of the last moderate Republicans gets blasted for talking sense

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Oh, Damn....

I quoted James Carville, when I was doing an interview with the WaPo.

In it, I said, "Like Carville said, John Edwards wasn't used right. He was a thoroughbred, but they kept him in the barn." I meant that the whole thing was a quote of Carville, but that wasn't clear. My bad.

Anyway, the BBC picked up on this, and now I am the preening quotemeister. I'm sure that the skeletal James C has had his stuff stolen by better men, but this is silly. Carville said it, not me!

Why? Bushistas, Why?

Why are you people doing this? Look, you won, ferrcrissakes. The guy's wife has cancer.

(Nod to CL)