Monthly Archives: June 2015

Greece is the word  Ya know, here’s a thing:  The Greeks are said to be kinda lazy.  The Germans, they have the bankroll, and by virtue of them having the bank roll, they are assumed to be more hardworking and industrious. Ipso facto.  And this is maybe so, but I kinda find it hard to believe this is a generalization that’s allowed in polite society these days, racial and ethnic as that observation is.  But yeah, the Germans are more ‘productive’ in terms of ‘product’.  They make more and sell more, do more work per person, etc.  I dunno, they say this, they say that.  They do have cratering demographics in Greece.  I’ve come to understand, I think rightfully, that the welfare state works only if you got a lot of young workers being the base of the pyramid.  Or, if you can inflate your currency.  Greece has neither.  That lot of young workers thing… that what we call ‘economic growth’.  So it’s odd that we have this perspective out there where some people want something more tempered or ‘sustainable’ than ‘growth’, such that ‘sustainable’ can’t pay for a modern, social democrat welfare state. It’s a position at odds within the people that hold it, but it’s not as if they know that, because they think you can just tax the rich.  Anyway, I will posit, maybe sustainability works somewhere down the line.  I do have some sentiment that with mass production and the obsolescence of labor, everyone ought to get a minimal share of what they robots make.

Jots w/ dots 6/30

Bakken Bust Hot Air guy seizes on the Atlantic article to make his partisan point.  It remains crap, and it’s objectionable because of the word ‘bust’.  What I didn’t say yesterday:  what’s been established there is large scale hydrocarbon extraction, with a baseline economic footprint that will provide robust regional commerce for generations to come.  It ain’t no Fing bust.  I have been to NoDak a lot, but been a bit since I have been on I-94 at Dickinson.  I would like to see that, maybe this fall.

CSI Lake Elmo  I grew up there, I do not know this woman.  You got a NIMBY thing going on obviously, but I have no sense the NIMBY people are the old families.  But I have no idea really.  I washed dishes for Ed at his place when I was 17-18, good fellow, must run a restaurant about as well as anyone could aspire to.

Not just kids  Bert Blyeven was a big time tongue sticker outer when he pitched, usually when he was throwing a curveball.  As a boy I emulated Bert… I started sticking my tongue out too, and I have no sense that I was trying to take my emulation to that detail, it was just something that happened when you tried to crack off a deuce.  I just wrote crack off a deuce. Gehar.

Next, we’ll have guys marrying dead horses….

Lot of caterwauling out there on the conservative side like gay marriage is the end of the world, and particularly, because it would bode the end of judicial restraint or textualism.  Meh.  The ruling is harmonious with a certain logic that says, government doesn’t manage the marriage business.  But if we’re to notarize marriages, we’re going to notarize them for any two people that ask…  Other thing – the slippery slope leads to polygamy, I guess.  And marrying your horse.  I doubt it.  Such that legalized gay marriage is a bit a function of public acceptance, I really pity the justice that writes an opinion that legalizes polygamy and horse marriage.  The public’s enforcement of the normative is a powerful thing.  Horse marriage is not going to be accepted.

The important question: what do the gun people think….  I don’t get much sense they are very aggravated.  I think I’ve said before, the Venn overlap between the fundies and the gun people isn’t very big, with the gunny people not being much ever inconsistent on their innate libertarianism.  There is an immediate observation out there by the gunnies that if gay marriage is to be recognized interstate, then carry permits are going to have to be also.  Could be…

Jots w/ dots 6/29

This is true, individualism vs collectivism is the crux of the biscuit:  And I think it’s right and proper to be selfish in retaining the individual right and in doing so allowing for some oblique and rare violence externalities.

Overly dour:  You see these gleeful articles reporting on the inevitable maturation of the Bakken…   There’s an ulterior implication there, as if the whole business is supposed to be thus invalidated because its slowing down and there’s a bit of dislocation.  Ba-loney.  They have a guarantee of basically vibrant commerce up there for a long time.

Hey ya know where I got an offer recently?  Rhymes with NinnCure  I didn’t take that offer, but hadn’t contemplated that the future of the project might be in question.  And I doubt it is.  It’s a perverse staple of a Minnesota exceptionalism that would make state government here want to plow ahead with its own exchange.  But that’s what will happen.

World Champion Twins….  You go to McPhail’s Wikipedia page, and it’s says “graduated with a degree in American Studies from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and a somewhat decent player on an otherwise undistinguished Division III baseball team”  So he was about as good as the typical competitive player that makes up the local amateur leagues.  Better than me, but not astoundingly so.  I like that.

I meant to get to this, but may not.

Decade at Bernie’s

He seems an authentic character, and with his appeal has a chance to be destabilizing / an agenda setter on the blue side.

I think I understand the boomers’ matriculation into adulthood, broadly, better than I know the Xers.  Bernie here, he’s missing something that we do contemplate of boomer men running for office.  He might be last of his kind that way, we won’t contemplate for election any more men born in the 40’s

The best detail I can find about his post college, early 20’s is that he spent it on a kibbutz in Israel.  Can’t find any other details anywhere.  Not in his bio, not in the news articles that make up the bulk of Google results.

Sitting out that war on an overseas civilian peace mission is the tell-tale description for draft avoidance.  Sanders was verifiably anti-war….but the explanation of his draft status seems elusive.  Was he a CO?  Have another kind of deferment?  Did he ride it out until Carter decided those guys would never be prosecuted?

We are way down the road on this, and draft avoidance isn’t a blemish the way it might have been, like in the 80’s and 90’s.  And Sanders has this halo of principled-ness.  So I doubt he comes off poorly when this discussion eventually arises.  But it’s a discussion that is going to happen, I guess I’d like to see him be assertive.  Philosophically, I don’t think it’s the obligation of any young man to not question their conscription.

It will be ironic if Hillary tries to make an issue of it.

Lunch Googling Update:  he ostensibly had a college deferment, and applied for CO status when he graduated in 1963 …. And his app didn’t get denied for 4 years, by which time he was 26 and too old…Just in case, he spent those next 3 years out of the country…

A bit of draft evasion gamesmanship there.  Which is fine.

Jots w/ dots 6/26

Re Nikki Haley, she’s getting some high regard for taking down the stars and bars.  Nixon going to China thing eh.  I think thats fine, having not had strong feelings myself about the Confederate flag much before as a cultural issue.  I am moved by the people who say it ought to go.

It’s curious / ironic that Haley’s governorship is owed to being endorsed as the most Tea Party-ish candidate by Sarah Palin when Haley was otherwise in 3rd place going into the SC gov primary a few years ago.  Curious / ironic because Haley appears to be very much a thoughtful person, and curious / ironic because Palin is on minute 15 of her 15 minutes of fame, basically cuz there’s no there ‘there’.

This is awkward  The abstinence campaign is supposed to be a point of hypocrisy eh.  And it is.  Yeah, abstinence is kind of “myth-y”, and I bet this is always as it has been.  Such that fundies link a certain kind of chastity to virtue, they are probably unwise there, such that it can’t really be accomplished.  “People are horny,” as Patrick Reusse says.

SCOTUS:  now, gay marriage.  Fine, of course, though I’m having a reactionary instinct about all these liberal victories.

Yes, he’s been fairly consequential  Reaganesque, you might say.

Jots w/ dots 6/25

MN: Open for business:  It is good here, and yet there are some questionable analyses of this.

1, I sense ‘they’ and some fellow travelers are advancing an idea we have high business taxes here, and we thrive, and its cause and effect and its ideal.   Meh.  We have high income taxes.  I’m not sure we have that high corporate taxes.

2, ‘they’ are advancing an idea, and they are not the first, that having high taxes somehow contributes to the dynamic business environment.  And that Dayton had an insight that even higher taxes would goose that dynamism a bit….  In the CNBC article even Dayton corrects this.

Minnesota has been exceedingly prosperous for a hundred years.  No doubt a certain public spiritedness in the zeitgeist the whole time helps this along .  You get to 2010, we’re very prosperous.  The Dayton tax argument was not that more taxes goose the business environment.  It was that we have the capacity for more taxes for some things we want to pay for, and it will not depress that business dynamism….  He was right about that.

3, ya know, we ain’t ‘right to work’, but you actually hardly ever encounter union workers that aren’t government workers.  Some of the trades are, but there is not a union drag on the economy here.

4, I dunno, the Minnesota economy, it’s diversified with a bunch of sectors interacting kinda harmoniously / symbiotically.  It’s good.  We’re lucky.

Yeah, I buy that…

I don’t want to hear any of this BS about a partisan SCOTUS

Jots w/ dots 6/24

I said that but nevermind, this is past the realm of theory.  Re Scherzer’s run I was moved to mention, tangentially, that the ball doesn’t have as much horizontal break as the batter perceives, this a feature of parallax.  Also, that there might be some sweet spot for rpm rotation that essentially allows the ball’s location in flight to be somewhat masked from the batter.

It’s probably more the rotation than the parallax, and it’s a problem present generally; it’s part of the broader athletic challenge of hitting a pitched baseball.  Over the distance it travels and the speed it travels vs how many frames people can process a second… the ball’s spin distorts the batters sense of where it is in flight.

The question might remain, is there a sweet spot for RPM where you get maximum visual distortion?  In my own dilettante baseball odyssey, it was an odd visual phenomenon to see a low spin fastball, where it looked like just a couple revolutions on its way to the plate and you could see the seams well.  I don’t recall if those were easier to hit, but I think easier.  And I’d say those were two seamers, supposed to be sinkers.

Anyway, if it can be figured out…. and it can be, no doubt…. then you can coach to it or scout from it, if there’s an actual piece of insight there that speaks to some effectiveness.

I agree with this counterintuitive notion:  See, the Pope and the Church are pro-population growth right?  Right they are (I am too!).  But more people can’t co-exist with tempered or decreased consumption and economic growth, as the Pope also encourages.  You can have one or the other.  There’s more there to critique, but big thing is the encyclical’s perspective is disqualified by the impossibility of making these two desires harmonious.

I agree with this counterintuitive notion:

Yes, get rid of the confederate flag.  But vaguely, I can see a necessity for this, such that I’m not sure a proper result of Charlestown is that Civil War reenacting goes beyond the pale.  You going to do Civil War reenacting, you need Confederates….  There is a merchandising curiosity here….  Target had shelf space for this is the first place, either virtual or real?  Why?  This is a question of mission…

Jots w/ dots 6/22

Yeah, it is:  I alluded before, for that to be the perfectly used word you’d like observe the retard there connected to a movement larger and more nefarious than himself.  But he aimed to terrorize, so its terrorism.  Such that it is, the next question is how much do you perceive this event as a leading indicator of a larger trend? I don’t think you do, I don’t think you take the retard as emblematic of a larger body of thought, certainly not ‘right wing’ thought.  I’ll allow a sliver of daylight, as at the moment I’m sensitive to an ambiguous, corrosive hostility out there, and who knows what its power to breed is…. but he’s certainly way less emblematic of ‘right wing’ thought that the Ft. Hood shooter was of radical Muslim thought.  Now, that Ft. Hood was terrorism, right?  Were we able to agree on that?


This is a bit intemperate   Now, it’s true, as far as it goes.  The profit spike is something that happens.  But it’s an externality of the politics, and the politics are not ‘the gun business wants gun rights / a churned up political environment so they can make all this money…’   That’s not an accurate description of the motivations, which are avocational in nature first among just about everyone involved in the trades.  Other thing is, ya compare it to anything else, and the gun industry is not big money business.

Not sure this is fair.  There was, no doubt, at the very least an ambiguous indifference to the holocaust in places.  Or an inability to grasp it.  But the European air war was indifferent to that question, it was an attritional gambit to obliterate the German war machine using every AAC / RAF airplane there was.  IE let’s put 800 B17’s up and saturation bomb Munich eh, and hopefully 500 will come back so we can do it again two days from now.  It was very expensive in terms of crew and plane mortality, not sure it’s a reasonable expectation that a dozen planes could be afforded to bomb a less strategic rail line and be lost doing it.  And to imply that was an option and that Eisenhower / LeMay were malevolently indifferent to it implies a lack of seriousness / character on their part that hasn’t been pointed out in any other ways.

Thing is, it was a noble lie.

I bet it doesn’t  There’s some revisiting of Paul Ehrlich going on here and there last couple weeks.  I’ve been meaning to say something, though maybe what I have to say isn’t all that elaborate.  As a younger person, I was swayed by the doom-ist perspectives.  I unlearned it somehow.

What’s Max Scherzer’s deal?

Last 18 innings for him, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 hbp, 26 strikeouts.  He didn’t throw a perfect game Sunday, but he almost did.  Anyway, looking at the list of perfect game pitchers in MLB history is kind of instructive.

No hitters and perfect games can be kind of fluky…. See Phillip Humber… but about half of those guys on that list are what we know as historically superlative ‘stuff’ pitchers. Koufax, Jim Bunning, Dennis Martinez, David Cone, Randy Johnson, Felix Hernandez.  The difficult to hit quality of their pitch in flight is / was truly penultimate.

Now, some guys with penultimate stuff are not on the perfect game list… Nolan Ryan, Bob Feller…they merely threw a buncha no hitters.  Also a mark of penultimate stuff.   And Scherzer is one of those penultimate stuff guys.  Right now, at 30, he’s in the prime physical moment of his career.  That’s what’s going on, with this peak moment such that his pitch is almost impossible to hit.  Like Koufax in 65 or Ryan in 72-74.

He sits at 95 as a starter.  Very fast.  And throws with a low-ish release, just above shoulder level.  Gets a lot of curl, ‘run’ to the right side, on his fastball.  (actually, comparable to Bob Gibson in the old days though Gibson’s motion looked more wild).  For hitters, you’re standing in the box there and you swear that running pitch curled off 10-12 inches from where it was supposed to go.  That’s the eyes playing tricks as a function of the batters parallax view to the pitching lane.  They measure that stuff these days, in reality fastballs break a few inches, curveballs maybe 7-8 inches.  Ya know, not ‘a foot and a half’ like you swear when you strike out.

You get less than .4 seconds to swing, so it’s hard to hit.  But there’s been pitchers with superficial Scherzer / Koufax / Ryan type stuff before, at least the speed.  Raw stuff is not so completely unique.  Yet most actually don’t pan out, don’t get on that run of established success. Why weren’t they so hard to hit?

I wonder if good pitchers… and this is would be applicable broadly to pitchers with generic pro speed and control ….don’t have a quality where that parallax perception of the pitch isn’t embellished / distorted for some kinesiological reason not yet understood.   Like their ball off the hand generates a sweetspot in rpms where the spin can’t be picked up such that the batter would be able to accurately discern its approach… and that this is functionally identical to the batter losing sight of the ball for a frame or two during that .4 second pitch time.

And that pitchers who have this attribute on their pitches are harder to hit, and succeed easier than guys who don’t but superficially throw just as hard.

Dunno.  If it comes to pass, and some sabermatrician or kinesiologist or scout ends up reading this as part of identifying the phenomenon a generation from now, please send a royalty.  Doesn’t have to be a huge one.