Friday, May 31, 2019

Marsupials in Congress

Congress-critter Jerrold Nadler is saying that there "certainly" is evidence worth impeaching President Trump, but first of all, it must he must "get the facts out", facts that apparently require lots of Congressional hearings. 

Translated; since the Mueller report gives no such evidence as Nadler says exists, Nadler is in effect saying "we need to go on a fishing expedition until people are tired enough of it to impeach."  It's the definition of a kangaroo court Nadler seeks to head, really, and in a just world, he'd be the one under investigation for his complete disregard for the 4th Amendment.

In other news of the witless, new Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard desires to bring back banners from his college days in 1991-2 and 1992-3, when the stinky weasels, after going to the Final Four both seasons, had victories vacated because players were taking money from a booster

So apparently Mr. Howard wants a banner up in Crisler Arena saying "1992-3 Michigan Wolverines, 0-4 because they cheated".  Suffice it to say that this is not auspicious for his coaching career in Ann Arbor.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

How to clean up athletics, sports, and games

Just out of curiosity, I wondered how long it typically takes the human body to "clear" synthetic testosterone (or natural I guess in excess amounts) from the body.  It turns out that the time is about 3 weeks, and testing for excess testosterone from natural sources can be done with a kit costing about $35 from Wal-Mart.

Of course, I would have to guess that a "true" IAAF test--the kind that detects synthetic testosterone, HGH, and other ways of "tricking" the body into making more muscle and recovering more quickly--would probably get up into hundreds of dollars or more.  So to adequately test athletes, you'd have to do at least ~10 randomized tests per year with a cost probably exceeding $10,000 per athlete--plus the costs of those to go visit the athlete and watch while he/she gives a blood sample and tinkles into the test jar.

Multiply that by the ~10,000 athletes that take part in the Summer Olympics every four years, plus another ten times that many who have a legitimate shot at making it to the Olympics every four years, and you're talking about a billion dollar annual cost of policing the system.  In the NCAA, there are close to half a million student-athletes, many of whom ought to be tested, as well. 

The long and short of it is that it appears that world class athletics is going to be a steroid and EPO enhanced freak show for a long time until people really decide to police things.

What's missing here?

From an NPR article about recent deaths on Mt. Everest:

Nepal's government doesn't put a specific limit on permits.  This year 381 people were permitted to climb--a number the AP says is the highest ever.  Foreign climbers must pay a fee of $11,000 for a spring summit of Everest and provide a doctor's note attesting to their fitness.

OK, government permit and fees.  Check.  Doctor's statement of fitness.  Check?  What's missing?

The article makes a big deal that there is no limit on the number of permits, and that's fair, but what strikes me as particularly important is that the article does not describe any requirement for climbing ability, or a requirement that one must have summited a few great peaks before-hand. 

Now certainly a reputable guide would insist, say, that applicants must have summited some of the other great peaks--Denali, Kilimanjaro, whatever--but it's terrifying for me to consider the probability that some of the death toll is people who should have been told "try some of Colorado's 14'ers before you go to where you need oxygen."  That, or people assisting people who should have proven themselves on those 14'ers first. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

An encouraging ruling

It's not huge, but the Supreme Court has ruled that requiring fetal remains to be either incinerated or buried after prenatal infanticide does not impose an undue burden on the "right" to abortion.  It's not much, but here's what it means; it means that the Court has found that a minor addition to the expense and difficulty of prenatal infanticide like the cost of cremation or burial is not inconsistent with previous jurisprudence.  It also is worth noting that half the "liberal" wing agreed with this.

We might infer that if, say, Planned Parenthood loses federal and state funding, that that also would not violate current precedent.  And that is good news.

And of course, there is a discouraging ruling that the rest of the law, which prohibits abortion for reasons of race, sex, ancestry, or fetal abnormality, is indeed unconstitutional.  But that noted, we might wonder precisely how, if abortion is otherwise legal, we would punish this.  It's almost routine to have a sex determination ultrasound, and of course parents would know what race, ancestry, or fetal abnormality their child would be--and hence nothing would prevent them from acting on this information and telling the abortionist "none of your business." 

My take on the second part is that it was an unforced error by the Indiana legislature.  There are very real things that can be done to rein in this atrocity, but those provisions are not among them.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Sad news from Kenya

A prominent Kenyan track coach has been banned for ten years from the sport for helping athletes--Kenyan and British--evade and beat doping tests.  As someone who loves the sport, and who in particular loves watching the Kenyans run--most distance runners at the world class look like death warmed over, but the Kenyans tend to actually look healthy--I am tremendously disappointed, but not altogether surprised, that some of them have taken a hint from world class cycling and started to help their performances with drugs like EPO, which increases the # of red blood cells and thus keeps distance athletes going.

Really, the more I see of elite sport, the more I'm becoming convinced that a huge portion of it is a fraud.  Probably a good number of "clean" athletes out there, but especially on the (theoretically) XX side of the equation, a huge portion has been fraudulent for half a century now.

We might suggest that either the IAAF needs to institute the cycling federation's "biological passport" testing (basically control charts on various factors related to doping fed with routine tests), or the world is going to see the entire enterprise as a gigantic episode of the Avengers.  And if they do clean things up, I dare suggest that there are going to be a certain number of world records that are going to be untouchable for a while in the same way that all of the women's track WRs up to 800 meters are over 30 years old. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Congresswoman Tailgunner Nancy

Nancy Pelosi has accused President Trump of a coverup in plain sight of crimes that she's not willing to mention.  Seems to me that Senator Joe McCarthy was censured by the Senate for about the same thing.  Just sayin'.  Same thing goes for Schiff, Nadler, and a whole lot more.

Why rape investigations go nowhere

One might think that a key element in the 88-96% of rape allegations that end with neither a criminal conviction nor a conclusion that the reporter was lying would be the fact that typically, a rape is witnessed only by the perpetrator and the victim.  True as far as it goes, but according to this report from the Star-Tribune, other key elements include:

  • Investigator never assigned to investigate, 25%
  • Investigator never interviews victim, 33%.
  • Police never interview potential witnesses, 50%. 
  • When the name of a perpetrator is provided, police check background only 10% of the time.
Overall, adequate investigation appears to have been done, according to the Strib, in only one of five cases.  The scarier thing, in my view, is that the conviction rate in Minnesota appears to be better than average, implying that nationwide, the police may be putting even less effort in this regard.

But you can always find Officer Friendly on traffic patrol, or busting dopers.

It strikes me that if someone you love is assaulted this way, you might do very well to keep the parable of the persistent widow in mind.  Don't let it be comfortable for police investigators to let your case slide.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Too true

The Babylon Bee reports that a caravan of pre-born babies has escaped to artificial wombs and stolen their mothers' cars to make it safely to freedom and safety in Alabama.

Yes, for the humor impaired, this is satire, but at a certain point, Roe v. Wade does need to be challenged, and it will be done with a law like Georgia's or Alabama's.  Probably wasn't wise to eliminate exceptions for rape and incest, but at some point, it will need to be challenged. 

One big mistake I think the laws' sponsors made, though, was trying to get the laws passed simply because they had the votes, and not after seriously trying to make the case that there is something obscene about things like keeping abortion clinics open (and medical clinics closed) in poor neighborhoods by routing Medicaid recipients to Planned Parenthood for birth control and the like.  Laws that pass without establishing a consensus are awfully hard to maintain.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Where'd the 4th Amendment go?

One of the most interesting questions that comes to mind with the attempted full body cavity exam of the President by House Democrats is whether there is any limitation imposed on Congress by the 4th Amendment, or at least by the principle that there must be a justifiable reason for a demand for evidence.  A new tactic by Comrade Pelosi is to demand it under the threat of impeachment

Now this is yet again more evidence that Pelosi is not the sharpest knife in the block, as even she should know that without a clear piece of evidence, the Senate is not going to vote to convict, but for those of you who value the opportunity to have decent men and women in public service, you'll want to oppose those who want to impose a legal "full body cavity exam" when there is no clear evidence of wrongdoing.  Fishing expeditions are for fish, not for people.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Missed it

According to Russell Moore, I have apparently missed my midlife crisis.  I guess I am going to have to come up with another great reason pathetic excuse to get myself that $10,000 carbon fiber bicycle

Friday, May 10, 2019

Pure genius!

Somebody is spoofing bottled water while creating a brand just perfect for punk rockers by selling canned water from the Alps as "Liquid Death Spring Water."  Looks like something that I'd be glad to take to yoga class.  That is, if I did yoga besides "downward dog doing something inappropriate for the living room." 

Yes, you can buy it on Amazon.  I just might get some, just so I can drink from a can of "liquid death" at group meetings.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

New York Times: Doxxer?

That's about the only conclusion I can come to with the recent New York Times article about President Trump's tax returns.  They say the returns were provided by someone authorized to have them, but that doesn't change the fact that if the person is in government, releasing them without proper cause is a felony, and even if the person is outside the government, it's generally a crime.  Certainly H&R Block would reconsider an employee's  employment status if they found out an employee was shopping such information around, and notify authorities.

It strikes me here that it's very interesting that the media couldn't talk with people who knew Barack Obama in college, or find an indication of what his grades might have been at that time, but they can induce people (perhaps Michael Cohen?) to break the law to release Trump's tax returns. 

Can't exactly say they're not biased, can we?

Monday, May 06, 2019

Life and times of the unobservant

New Jersey "Senator" Cory Booker is endorsing a national registration of gun owners, apparently first of all ignoring the fact that such national registries were used to disarm victims in all of the major genocides of the 20th century.

Now that I can sort of forgive--Booker's degrees probably don't include history--but what is telling is that Booker, a lawyer, appears to be not only unclear on the Heller and McDonald decisions, but also appears to be unclear on the fact that where they exist, state and city gun owner registries do not appear to have a measurable impact on crime rates.  For example, the Illinois FOID program is entirely compatible with huge crime rates in Chicago, East St. Louis, and elsewhere.  It is as if criminals are people who do not obey the law.

It also is worth noting that when we think of the mass killings which get a lot of press, almost all of them are the first major crime by the perpetrator, which means that either the national registry would fail to help the problem, or it would require a fairly lengthy psychological evaluation that would wrongly prohibit many people who pose no threat from exercising their legal right. 

Even then, you've got the reality that a lot of people seem to "snap" into a psychosis or other disorder that leads to violence--the long and short of Booker's proposal is that huge amounts of treasure and liberty would be squandered for little gains in public safety--or possibly losses in public safety, as, again, criminals are defined as people who do not obey the law.

It's especially galling in that there are two wonderful known ways to greatly reduce carnage on our streets.  First of all, shift police from traffic patrol to things like murder and rape investigations, and shift resources to make sure things like rape kits are properly analyzed and catalogued.  Second, stop paying people to have children outside of wedlock.

Or is that too much to ask? 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Now here's an interesting question

Attorney for sexual abuse survivors John Manly links a very interesting article that deals with the detection and punishment of child pornography.  It's saddening to consider the poor guy who has to look at the stuff, and it's not surprising that those who look at child porn are also likely to molest children, but the thing that raises the most question is why black men are only 3-5% of those convicted of possession, trafficking, and the like--when they are 12% of men overall. 

You could argue it's poverty, but if so, Hispanics are also strongly likely to be poor--and about 2/3 of blacks are middle class or upper class as well.   Now I admit I'm working from stereotype, but I have to wonder whether the (again, stereotypical) preference among blacks for more prominent "features that become prominent after puberty" (hips, breasts) inoculates them against child porn.

Is it possible that doing what both feminists and traditionalists have been pleading for for decades--to redefine beauty away from the "Twiggy" standard--might put the kibosh on this perversion?  I don't know, but it's worth a look.

Friday, April 26, 2019


Apparently some clowns in Philadelphia have stolen half a million bucks worth of colonoscopy probes from a hospital.  So we would infer either that there is a market out there for back-alley colonoscopies, or somebody has a level of sick I don't even want to consider.