Why Koufax and Kershaw are so similar….

You got this celebration that Kershaw is equaling Koufax’ unparalleled success 2 generations ago right… and we’re all stat heads, so there is this great delight in comparing their stats, which are similar in ways ironic…….and also because they are both Dodgers. And their names are more than a bit similar in linguism….  And both left-handed, both 6 2ish, 6 3ish….

Start thinking about that morphology and go back and watch Koufax’ ’65 game 7 vs the Twins. To throw that 100mph fastball of his and get on top of the curveball like he did Koufax uniquely flexed his back I assert in excess of almost anyone who played in the pros, ever.  His raw stuff isn’t that unexplainable, he was doing something athletically no one else did (…Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson… also guys throwing the ball in ways no one else did…)

Kershaw … does exactly the same thing as Koufax’s singularly unique thing…. Kershaw’s back is a trebuchet, but I think no one has picked this out because he has a little bit of a hitch in his wind up.  Doesn’t matter, it’s the same ….

So you got a guy, Koufax, who had singular success with singularly unique pitcher morphology…. A certain height and raw strength and leverage and limberness.   And you got another guy, Kershaw, who has the same success 50 years later as a function of being blessed with identical pitcher morphology.

There’s a conclusion to be drawn from that.  Like, it’s not all random.   Or it is all random.  Pick one.  Or pick both.

Chait Stains:  (D) ex-presidents are popular, (GOP) ex-presidents are not


I don’t buy this.

Yeah, W is not ‘popular’, but…

HW is reasonably popular, he could campaign for GOP candidates if he was ambulatory.

Reagan is popular, he could campaign for GOP candidates if he was alive.

Thing is Chait’s point is undermined by the small sample size problem.

MNLEG: 529 credit in the tax bill

College is expensive, I dread the expense for the kids but I am making a game effort in the preceding years here.  Been tuning up the kid’s 529Ks, so I was curious to see there is a 529 credit in the tax bill.


Page 7530

Max of $500 credited against, I guess, your personal income balance owed, tabulated by calculating 529 contributions against somewhat arbitrary fractional multi-pliers that are stair stepped amongst some income boundaries.

The most generous multiplier there is .50 on the dollar (max of $500) available to those with an AGI of less than $80k.

Important question:  Do I get this?

Answer: maybe, I’m not sure I’ve had an AGI over $80 given standard deduction, med insurance premiums, 401k, etc., but it’s been close.

Anyway, I contribute $2500 a year into the kids 529’s.  .5 of $2500, is way over that $500, I’d max out there.  If I go into the next AGI bracket, $80k – $100k, the multiplier is .25.  I’m going to max out there too, it’s over $500.  So good, I get the credit.

Is it meaningful?  Yeah, kinda.  I got to think $500 is more than 10% of my typical state tax obligation.  Pretty generous there, to the point that I imagine this goes away if the state runs a deficit in the next couple years.

Skeptic:  The ‘Ferguson’ effect increased crime

The narrative has been essentially that BLM protests in the last year have caused police to dial back their policing in some ways, which has say removed the brake on some amount of crime that is otherwise bottled up.  Today’s article is in Vox, but this has been largely a conservative indictment against the BLM protest movement.


I don’t buy it… it would seem sensible that the police could cut out some of their abusive practices that BLM complains about without diminishing their ability to do meaningful crime interdiction.  Ya know, like the cop in Chicago that shot Laquon McDonald…. Not being able to shoot Laquon and have the rest of the precinct squad there lie about it in conspiracy, that doesn’t actually prevent those guys from doing good neighborhood police work amirite.

It’s BS.  We get ten years down the road on this, if there was a murder spike here… and there very well might be… The cause will probably be properly identifiable as economics / demographics, as always.

Lacrosse:  more than just a game for aspiring male hairdressers

That’s a joke… And this is curious…and maybe vestigial


I didn’t go to Hill-Murray…  I went to Stillwater, and HM was a regular suburban east opponent, always on the schedule for everything.  My father went to Hill-Murray, so I was inclined to think favorably of the school … go Pioneers… while my own Pony schoolmates generally did not…  Which is to note, there is this ambient loathing of Hill-Murray in many places.  HM is a private school, I suppose people don’t like it because its ‘rich kids’.  Yeah well that’s a bit of an inauthentic chip to have on your shoulder in a lot of places.  We ain’t slumming it in Stillwater, not now, not in the 80’s. And I don’t think ‘rich kids’ and ‘Catholic school’ goes together naturally, though HM certainly is expensive now.  I just instructed the boys that bigotry against Catholics was a thing that used to exist… not that I myself ever faced it in a meaningful way…. But you’d be exposed to some attitude now and then, specially if people assumed you were just another Swedish Lutheran. I experienced that.  Vaguely, this HM thing strikes me as a remnant of that.

Small s skeptic

h/t, Newscut  http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/dear-skeptics-bash-homeopathy-and-bigfoot-less-mammograms-and-war-more/

I have thoughts:

I like this quote – “When people like this get together, they become tribal. They pat each other on the back and tell each other how smart they are compared to those outside the tribe. But belonging to a tribe often makes you dumber.”

I like this quote – “The Science Delusion” is common among Capital-S Skeptics. You don’t apply your skepticism equally. You are extremely critical of belief in God, ghosts, heavenESP, astrology, homeopathy and Bigfoot. You also attack disbelief in global warming, vaccines and genetically modified food.”

“I’m a science journalist. I don’t celebrate science, I criticize it, because science needs critics more than cheerleaders. I point out gaps between scientific hype and reality. That keeps me busy, because, as you know, most peer-reviewed scientific claims are wrong.”  Except for global warming, those ones are unimpeachable eh…

Misanthropic atheisim is a thing…. “Just to be clear: Dawkins is comparing Lawrence Krauss to Charles Darwin. Why would Dawkins say something so foolish? Because he hates religion so much that it impairs his scientific judgment. He succumbs to what you might call “The Science Delusion.” Krauss and Dawkins are the biggest ones.

Singularity – “So is the Singularity, the idea that we’re on the verge of digitizing our psyches and uploading them into computers, where we can live forever.Some powerful people are believers, including Google’s director of engineering, Ray Kurzweil. But the Singularity is an apocalyptic cult, with science substituted for God.”  The singularity is a fanciful topic the kids are all hip on these days, along with things like the ‘illuminati’.  My kids asked me the other day if AI and the singularity were coming.  I said no, that shit ain’t consciousness and never will be, it’s still all just instruction lines going into a processor.  Ya know, I’m a smart rube right, and I don’t need a Stanford doctorate to know that with proper certitude when credentialed people will tell otherwise.

My Bailiwick: Dark Tower

There’s going to be a Dark Tower movie starring Idris Elba.


This comes from a Stephen King book that I have not read, but the gun details have over the years trickled into my consciousness nonetheless.

Main character Roland carried a “.45 Magnum” six-shooter.  Which would be a robust piece.  This thing Elba has looks robust enough.

In the book I understand Roland’s piece had ‘Sandalwood’ grip panels.  Ya know who knows a lot about six shooter grip panels?  Me.  Sandalwood is a bush right…(?)  I haven’t actually understood Sandalwood to yield a wood kernel big enough for single action panels.  Call it fictional license on King’s part.  If you could render panels from Sandlewood, I think they’d be creamy yellow.  Elba’s panels appear to be typical brown walnut.