Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hairy Elefante

See what I did there?

Anyway, here's a new painting by one of my favorite young artists, Nigel Conway:

And here's a great video to go along with the art:

Friday, August 30, 2013

You have to laugh...

The Repubs sat on their hands the whole time that GW Bush grossly expanded the de facto powers of the Presidency.  It was clearly unconstitutional, but they said nothing, because it was THEIR jerk running things.

Now that Obama has seen everything that Bush did, and then decided to raise, the Repubs are making some tepid noises of protest.  Nothing really big, nothing that would be effective, just whining in the background.  Which is a shame.  The Prez would back down in a heartbeat.  He's bluffing.  But he wins hand after hand, because the Repubs are worthless.  They actually LIKE a powerful, autocratic Presidency.

If you read this post, you're a bad person

Amazing piece on Slate , titled, "If you send your child to private school, you're a bad person"

Here's the thesis:

it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.

According to the article, this happens because it's the activist parents who take their kids out, so if they were in, their activism would be channeled into improving the public school.

As of 2007 (latest data I saw, thanks to Andrew Young), 88% of kids go to public schools. So if they stink at this level of participation, somehow getting the last 12% in would make a long-run difference? This I doubt.

I also think, as Alex T. pointed out many years ago, that exit makes voice effective. Or put another way, voice without exit is of limited use (think about complaining at the DMV).

People, you do not owe the government blind support and cooperation. You absolutely do not.

What is the "blues"?

Howlin' Wolf answers.

Note the potato chip bags in the "cupboard."

Nod to Dutch Boy, who clearly knows more about music than picking baseball teams.

UPDATE:  A partial plagiarism list for Led Zeppelin songs, from blues greats, from the comments for the video above:

Zepp's plagiarism is actually well documented: 
Lemon Song: Howlin' Wolf 
Whole lotta love: Muddy Waters 
Killing Floor: Robert Johnson 
Moby Dick: Bobby Parker 
Bring it on Home: Sonny Boy Williamson 
Hats Off: Bukka White 
Custard pie: Sleepy John Estes 
Nobody’s Fault But Mine: Blind Willie Johnson 

And Led Zepplin plagiarized much more than that. Howlin' Wolf was able to sue and get compensation but most did not.

Angus has in the past discussed the overt and unacknowledged plagiarism of other white "supergroups."  It is rather appalling.  That people got so rich covering songs about having nothing.  And the people who actually wrote the songs about having nothing, the songs that made people rich, those writers ended up with nothing.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

NASCAR Post-Race Interview

I think more baseball players should do post-game interviews in the persona of other sports stars.  But clearly NASCAR is the best choice...

Nod to SL

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bangs, Bucks, & Higher Ed

Look. If you can go to Harvard, do. OK? Let's get that out of the way right up front.

If you can't, here's a list of 12 places that are good value for money.

I have a lot of connections to schools on this list. I almost went to the University of Cincinnati. I had students who taught at Ohio University. I taught at George Mason. I currently work at the University of Oklahoma. I received job offers from West Virginia University and the University of Texas. I guess I am just a big bang for the buck kind of guy.

Oh and by the way, the average wage premium for a college degree over no college at all was right at $21,000 PER YEAR in 2011.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I need you tonight

The new breed of business journalism still stinks!

I've mocked business journalists before for always having an authoritative ex-post "explanation" for why the market moved one way or another.

Now I meet a business journalist who simply berates the market for not doing what he wants it to.

People, meet Joe Weisenthal.

He's mad that the the stupid stupid market is uptight about the impending Fed taper and not sufficiently angry and worried about the Republican Party!

Here's his headline:

Wall Street Is So Obsessed With The Taper, It's Missing The Bigger Threat Coming Out Of Washington

Gee Joe, maybe the market is worried about how unwinding QE appears to be crashing markets across Asia? You know, those events you so insightfully report on by tweeting "BOOM!"?

Even F. Scott Sumner has kind of sort of figured out that there may be a problem.

And maybe the market isn't too concerned about the debt ceiling because we've been there and done that with little damage.

I for one welcome the debt fight because we can go back to the oh so productive "mint the coin" rants.  Krugman has gotten that bandwagon out of mothballs and back on the street already!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday's Child

1.  Economists to developing nations: Invent the next Facebook, and monetize.  Or, starve to death in the gutter.  Good luck!  (Exception: P-Kroog, who thinks that Robert Mugabe is a genius.  Now THAT is a deficit.)

2.  Ten things losing candidates say:  Here are six of them, and then here are four more of them.
What *I* said was, "I'm glad that's over.  I deserved to lose, and I did."

3.  Darwin Award barely missed. Woman shoots self with own gun, walking the aisles at the Staples in Wake Forest, NC.  Oh, and her two year-old child was with her.

4.  Here's the thing:  many things we now take for granted were once seens as ridiculous.  This seems ridiculous.  That does NOT mean it will soon be taken for granted.

5.  Rainbow mountains in China.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Indie Math

OK people, here we go.

Pedro the Lion + Centro-Matic+(Bedhead/The New Year) = Overseas

Got that? Want to check my math? Think that I've just mis-described the Undertow Orchestra?

No, it's all correct.

David Bazan, Will Johnson, and the Kadane Brothers are touring and recording as Overseas.

This of course is beyond self-recommending.

If you don't know the components, for Pedro the Lion try "It's hard to find a friend" or "Control".

For Centro-matic, try "South San Gabriel Songs".

For the Kadanes as Bedhead, there's "Transaction de Novo"; as The New Year, there's "The New Year".

Bonus Kadane math: There's also a sweet split out there called "Macha Loved Bedhead" and Matt Kadane joined Mission of Burma mainstay Clint Conley in a band called Consonant. Their self titled first album is well worth checking out.

I Almost Forgot My Phone

(With apologies to CSN&Y, who sang "I almost cut my hair..."  And yes I know the comparison is infelicitous.  I often just leave my phone home.  But then I'm old... Hair was the symbol of revolution through connection through conformity in the late nineteen sixties.  Now phones are the symbol of conformity through connection through isolation in the early twenty tens.)


The EYM has arrived and moved in to his dorm/apartment at NYU (He is starting the Politics PhD program...)  The view from his window is pretty fine, considering: