Charter Member of the Sub-Media

August 31, 2007

No Scientific "Consensus" on Global Climate Change « Media Distortions »

They've been lying to you, folks.

But then, why would you be surprised at that revelation?

Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers "implicit" endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no "consensus."

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Posted by Nathan at 03:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Predictions on Kansas City Chiefs Final Cuts to 2007 53-Man Roster Tomorrow, 1 Sep « Kansas City Chiefs »

Brad Ekwerekwu
Bobby Sippio
Jeff Terrell
James Newby
Marcus O'Keith
Gilbert Harris
Marlon Fair
Kiki Gonzalez
Patrice Majondo-Mwamba
Keith Willis
Ean Randolph
Justin Phinisee
Nick Reid
Montez Murphy
Derrick Ross
Rob Hunt
Michael Heard
*William Poole
*Kendrell Bell
*Chad Williams
*Samie Parker

*veterans ineligible for practice squad

Read More "Predictions on Kansas City Chiefs Final Cuts to 2007 53-Man Roster Tomorrow, 1 Sep" »

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Posted by Nathan at 10:09 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
Democrat Corruption You Don't Hear in the News « Media Distortions »

Josh Marshall says Republicans are more corrupt than Democrats. He limits his "search" to the last 7 months (when there were more Republican scandals in the airwaves) to "prove" his thesis.

The only thing is, it isn't necessarily so.

When your party controls 80-90% of the media gatekeepers, it is really to starve a Democrat corruption scandal of oxygen.

Just compare the media coverage of Duke Cunningham (Republican) to the minimal/nonexistent of Dianne Feinstein. And that's just one of the better examples.

Here's another great example. Democrats and California fund-raising illegalities. They go together like a horse and carriage.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:10 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

August 30, 2007

10 Plane Crashes that Changed Aviation « Link O' Admiration »

I learned some stuff in this article. You probably will, too.

It's worth your time.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:56 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Something I Believe to be True « Social Issues »

All non-voluntary behavior is conditioned to a greater or lesser degree.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:37 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)
Education News « Social Issues »

You know what's cool?

Seeing a blog-worthy topic, being too lethargic to post it yourself, then seeing it covered quite nicely somewhere else, so that you can just put a link and consider your point covered.

GMan states my view rather well, as does Erica. I don't agree with Mr. Martinez. I particularly dislike how he assumes that those who don't agree with him must have blinders on. I'd say that's typical of the liberal/left, but in truth it is merely typical of those who don't like to consider the opposite view may have some good points. I think it is more a function of youth and immaturity than anything else. And youth/immaturity certainly has a high correlation with liberal/left populations, but that's another issue right there.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:31 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

August 29, 2007

The Cost of Weddings « Social Issues »

Here's one answer.

Then there's this one:

A boy asked his dad, "How much does it cost to get married?"

The dad looked perplexed and didn't answer.

The boy said, "Dad?"

The dad said, "I don't know..."

The son said, "Well, how much did it cost to marry Mommy?"

The dad said...

Read More "The Cost of Weddings" »

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Posted by Nathan at 08:37 AM | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)
Flying "A La Carte" « For Jeremy Gilby »

Bargain-rate flying.

Q: Your business model also requires passengers to pay for any extrasdrinks, blanketspiecemeal. Will consumers go for that? A: They were paying for it before! Those were never free. Why should you be made to pay for all those sodas and blankets that other people use that you don't?

Q: You're even charging for checked luggage, $5 a bag.
A: If you don't check a bag, why should you pay for those who do? We make our prices very clear, so we've had very few complaints. If you pay $80 for a Skybus flight instead of $180 for the competitor's flight, and you pay $5 for a bag and $2 for a soda, that's $87 versus $180. America can do that much math.

I, indeed, can do the math.

And I like the idea, basically. I could pack lighter to save money. I agree that it is often transfers and the hub system are HUGE parts of what makes flying so expensive and such a hassle, and this airline will try to avoid them. Basically taking the best of Southwest Airlines' model, and going farther.

One thing that gives me pause is that I'd want to see a sufficiently-long safety track record, first. I'd hate to assume that an airline that cuts corners on service to lower costs might also cut corners on maintenance... But I'd also hate to pay for a $40 savings with my life.

We'll see how it goes. Southwest Airlines has an excellent safety record.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:13 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

August 28, 2007

Chiefs Cut 14 From Active Roster « Kansas City Chiefs »

Kansas City placed G Chris Bober, FB Greg Hanoian, LB David Hicks and WR Maurice Price on Injured Reserve and terminated the contract of WR Rod Gardner. The Chiefs also released 9 players: T George Batiste, CB Michael Bragg, DE Chris Harris, WR Brent Little, CB Marcus Maxey, TE Mike Pinkard, T Ramiro Pruneda, WR Titus Ryan and T Kevin Sampson.

If you remember, these were my guesses.

I'm going to count IR as a cut, since they won't play a down for us this year.

Thus, my list was (actual cuts in bold):
Michael Bragg
Marcus Maxey
David Hicks

Brian Crum
Michael Heard
Chris Harris
Greg Hanoian

Derrick Ross
Maurice Price
Brent Little
Titus Ryan
Mike Pinkard
George Batiste

Rob Hunt

So four guys (Hunt, Heard, Ross, and Crum) are still hanging around for at least another week.

The surprise cuts?
Sampson, a former starter
Bober, a versatile backup, top back up for at least 3 spots last year
Gardner, a former #1 pick, but not a big surprise as I had him getting cut by the 1st...
Pruneda, also not a big surprise, as I had him not making it past the next round, anyway...

Still, having both Bober and Sampson out of the running for the O-line frees up two more slots on the O-line. It makes it look like Chris Terry is a lock...but I'm not so sure. It also seems like it ensures Herb Taylor makes the final 53. I'll have a full re-assessment of the 1 Sep cuts and the final 53 roster soon.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:08 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)
Coming Soon! « Blogging »

Brainfertilizer Sings!

Followed by Bandfertilizer (Brainfertilizer the Band is already taken by a German band...).

Within about a week I'll start posting mp3 files of me singing classical art songs. Probably followed by some solo jazz guitar, some original guitar/song compositions, a blues piece (if I can come up with decent lyrics), and some Chinese songs in which I insert myself singing a harmony line. Maybe some midi-based karaoke? We'll see.

I will add a tip-jar to provide a tangible way to express thanks. I will also make CDs available for purchase. I am open to suggestions/requests, although I make no guarantees...

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Posted by Nathan at 09:46 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Honeypot Squad? « Social Issues »

The Blogfather asks:

Well, either [Republicans are] more likely to do [the things that create sex scandals], or more likely to get caught in ways that become public. Which is it?

Professor Reynolds is talking about this.

Well, the obvious answer might be that the left-leaning media tends to play up Republican scandals much more, in word count and story-framing devices. The media can still act as gatekeepers on some issues and storied.

But I truly wouldn't be surprised if there is a self-designated "suicide squadron" of ideologues who makes it their mission in life to entice Republican leaders into embarassing positions, then expose and discredit them. Please note: I'm not speaking of the Craig incident, which involved a police officer...just discussing the trend of news reports in general.

If this is true, it wouldn't change the fact that if the Republicans acted in a moral manner, there would be nothing to expose and discredit.

But the glee in which the supposedly homosexual- and sexual freedom-supporting left castigates Republicans engaging in extra-marital sexual relations is disturbing.

I'm not claiming there is such a deliberate activity. I just wouldn't be surprised if there is.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:05 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0)
Tuesday « Quotes You Can Steal »

Tuesday: the Second Monday of the week.
---Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame

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Posted by Nathan at 07:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 27, 2007

"LASER" « Militaria »


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Posted by Nathan at 08:57 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
Priorities « Snark »

If you're gonna break the law, do it with style: defraud a stripper.

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Posted by Nathan at 04:53 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)
Finns Crush Cellphone-throwing Competitors « The Brain Fertilizer Way »

Of course, it's only until the US realizes there is a new sports competition and gets involved.

Some frustrated parents will live their second childhoods by forcing their kids to practice in that 30 minutes right after soccer and before equestrian training. Then despite the near-total lack of spectator interest, feminists will demand that women's cell-phone throwing have the same funding at the college level as the football program.

Bonus Untrue Fact: Before this, the Finns only other claim to fame was making a high-quality version of the Mosin-Nagant M91/30...

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Posted by Nathan at 04:44 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

August 26, 2007

Ask Brainfertilizer « The Brain Fertilizer Way »

Paula asks:

Called Dish net work to try to fix my TVS in bedrooms. Went to Virizon to try to get my money refund. But these two things I didnt do as good as my husband did. Dish told me they will sent a technician to my house, but would charge me $50, but they can only come this weekend. My husband called and yelled at them, then they will come to my house tomorrow to fix TV. Virizon refused to refund my money, they said somebody must download data from my cell phone, but I never did it, and I didnt know who did it. My husband called verizon again to raise the hell, then they will refund my money tomorrow.

My husband told me that I should understand why his temper is not good, because others cant screw up him, but my temper is good, and others always screw me. It seems what he said make sense? What do you guys think? Honestly in China people are nice and easy to get along with, and others usually take advantage of their nice. Americans are the same??

Your husband's way is one way to get things done.
But we call it "burning bridges". If you ever watched "tongji miyou" (Fighting for Love) with Zheng Xiuwen and Tony Liang Qiaowei (I think that's the pinying), Zheng Xiuwen gets things done by treating her employees really bad, but then when she needs help, they refuse because they hate her.

If you need to get things done, there are two things you can do:
1) Explain to the customer service representative exactly what the problem is and what you want them to do: "I didn't use my cellphone that much, and you can look at my record and see I never did it before or after. Because I've been such a good customer, I want you to remove that charge from my bill."
Be calm, patient, and reasonable.
2) If they refuse, then ask to speak to the customer service representative's supervisor. They usually cannot refuse. Due the same thing with supervisor, i.e, explain what happened, what you want, and why they should give it to you. If the supervisor refuses, then ask to speak to [i]their[/i] supervisor, then do the same thing.
If you go all the way up really high, you can usually find someone who can help.
3) At whatever level you get stuck, meaning they won't agree to what you want, and they won't let you speak to their supervisor, then ask them to slowly explain exactly why they refuse, because you will send a letter explaining exactly what you want, why, and why they refuse to the Better Business Bureau, the local Chamber of Commerce, and the consumer protection/investigation division of the largest television and newspapers in the region.

If that still doesn't work, you use your final weapon:
Nicely hang up, wait until the next day, and call again. Often, just speaking to a different representative or supervisor, you'll get one that thinks your request is reasonable and will give you exactly what you want.

All while being pleasant.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Evil China Again Threatening Taiwan « China/Taiwan »

This time with tall charity-bringers.

I can see why Taiwan would feel this is a direct attack on their sovereignty. [/sarcasm]

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Posted by Nathan at 11:42 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)
Quote O' The Day « For Jeremy Gilby »

This is for Jeremy for two reasons.
First, he was one (like me) who never gave up belief that we'd win in Iraq. Second, I found this via a link from Instapundit.

So here it is, subtle evidence of progress in Iraq:

There at the first corner, I see it. New glass. Someone has put new glass in a shop. Someone only installs new glass when they think it won't get broken. New glass is confidence.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 24, 2007

The updated stats page is a little difficult to navigate at first, but now that I'm used to it, I like it much better.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:38 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
Horrible Loss to the Saints in the Chiefs' 3rd Preseason Game « Kansas City Chiefs »

Yeah, it sucked.

Our heir-apparent QB was 5 of 17 for 45 yards. That's scary-bad.

Our LT of the Future (Svitek) was starting for our injured FA pickup starter (MacIntosh) and did a bad job (helping Brodie attain that atrocious completion percentage).

Our WRs dropped everything (helping Brodie attain that atrocious completion percentage).

I'm not happy, no. I'd like for us to go out and have Croyle lead us to 4 TDs in his first 4 series.

And I'm slightly worried, yes.

But nothing counts yet. We've seen teams that looked horrible in the pre-season win the Super Bowl. And teams that have done great in the pre-season have had losing seasons.

Our horrible offensive production worries me, it truly does.

But I'm NOT proclaiming gloom and doom unless we get blown out in our first 3 games.

The thing is, this was preseason. The game doesn't count. The stats aren't entered in any record book. Preseason games are approached very differently than regular season games.
From what I hear:
We ran only one running play. We ran only one coverage scheme on defense, and didn't use stunts or blitzes to get pressure. We didn't use any (much?) of our multiple shifts that get us the favorabel mis-matches in the passing game.

Moreover, we were evaluating lots of players on the bubble. Phinisee got some time with the first-team defense, likely evaluating whether he can contribute outside the return game or not (meaning that he may make the team rather than Ean Randolph, contrary to my prediction in the roster cut-down post; I can live with being wrong on that; moreover, while Randolph still has a significantly better PR average, Phinisee has moved significantly to the lead in KR average).

We know:
1) Our starting, pro-bowl running back did not play
2) We have played 3 games that don't count
3) We got some good evaluation data on how players perform in a game situation (i.e., it looks like Phinisee got some reps with the first team to see if he might be able to do more than just PR/KR)
4) We have not played well on offense in 3 games
5) Our defense has done quite well despite playing only one coverage set
6) We can't do much without our pre-snap shifts to cause mis-matches
7) Our currently starting LT isn't starter-level yet
8) Our defense will be good
9) Improving on paper is not the same as improving on the field....HOWEVER:
10) Sucking in pre-season is not the same as sucking in the regular season
11) We plugged alot of holes with youth; youth makes mistakes...but it can improve from those mistakes. Old players can get old during a season, and get injured more. Having a young team is painful at times, but far better for playoff chances
12) If we don't challenge for the playoffs this year, the experience we get + another draft focused on the O-line (or maybe another FA LT) will make us a strong contender in 2008
13) Surprise! We may have decent depth at CB (more clear in the first two games than against NO)
14) Our defense is best in the Red Zone (when it counts, actually). We aren't giving up long scores, and we can shut down even the best offenses with our base scheme once we have the goalline at our back.

I am on record for saying our offense will be at least #12 in scoring. I made that prediction after the 2nd pre-season game, but even though the game against the Saints makes me feel nervous and sheepish about it, I'm not going to back away from it just because of one horrible game. You can't let one data point shake your analysis.

So I reiterate:
By the end of the year, the Chiefs will be top-10 in yardage and scoring defense, and at least #8 in yardage defense. The offense will be at least #12 in scoring (at about 22 points/game), and probably around #16 in yardage (more scoring from a strong running game than passing).

I stand by it. Don't worry, we'll make the playoffs. Or we might go 4-12. But there's no reason to jump off the bandwagon for any one bad game, and especially not any one bad pre-season game (even if the offensive trends look scary).

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Posted by Nathan at 10:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Gore Has Some Good Suggestions « The Brain Fertilizer Way »

Sure, we* laugh at him... But sometimes he makes some good points.

The only thing is, even if everyone follows his suggestions, we'd reduce our energy costs by something like 10%. And that's if everyone does it.

I think it is better to point out these things as a way to save money:
Do these things and give yourself a 10% pay raise! Stop wasting your own cash on heating/cooling!!!

1. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs

These energy-efficient bulbs cost less than $4 and are produced by major corporations like GE. If every household in America switched five regular light bulbs for five fluorescent bulbs, it would be the equivalent of taking 1 million cars off the highways for a full year.

2. Outdoor solar lighting

These yard or patio lights cost less than $20, and they don't burn any electricity or produce any CO2.

3. Programmable thermostats

Though these thermostats cost from $50 to $100, they can actually cut your heating and cooling costs. Set the setting so it's a little bit cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer when you're not in the house. A difference of 2 degrees can reduce a home's CO2 emissions by up to 9 percent over the course of a year.

4. Air filters

Changing the air filters in your heating and cooling systems regularly can knock 2 percent off of your CO2 output each year.

5. Electric water heater blanket

Water heaters use a lot of energy and generate a lot of CO2. A blanket costs less than $18 and can cut your home's CO2 emissions by almost 4 percent.

Read More "Gore Has Some Good Suggestions" »

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Posted by Nathan at 08:37 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
A Really Interesting Experiment « Social Issues »

No bathing or washing for 6 weeks!!!

And she was apparently very honest about the results, including being jealous of others getting to take showers, and gross teeth.

But there are some benefits, however. Good reading.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:56 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Introducing a New Category Series « For Jeremy Gilby »

"For Jeremy Gilby.

He's the only one I know who doesn't ever check out Instapundit, so if I find something cool linked over there, I now consider it my duty to make sure Jeremy gets a chance to see it.

That is, assuming he stops by here every day. I know he's got me on RSS feed, so that should be sufficient.

Without further ado, here is the Very First For Jeremy Gilby Link:
Airbags of the Sky: Whole-Airframe Parachutes Meet Personal Jets

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Posted by Nathan at 06:28 AM | Comments (48) | TrackBack (0)

August 23, 2007

Quote O' The Day « Quotes You Can Steal »
She wants the Mexican government to protect Mexicans who illegally move to the US and commit Social Security fraud.

---Bryan of Hot Air

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Posted by Nathan at 01:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
"Juan, I'm Sorry About This" « Social Issues »

Oh, well, since you apologized, that makes the gaping hole in my chest okay, then.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:03 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)
Ex-Nemesis News « Kansas City Chiefs »

John Elway is going to be a coach.

High school, that is. Elway will be the QB coach. Which seems like overkill, because what could Elway teach his son, Jack, that hadn't already been taught in their backyard?

You have to scroll down quite a bit (or use the edit function searching for "Elway") to find it, but John coaching for his son's team is a return to the past: John's dad, Jack, was a high school football coach at the school John attended. The wording of the article doesn't make it completely clear if their presences were concurrent.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:47 PM | Comments (46) | TrackBack (0)
DPP's Political Advantage Does NOT Equal Democracy « China/Taiwan »

I've already established I don't agree with Michael Turton's politics.

Fine. We can disagree and not hate each other.

But he objected previously to my assertion that pro-Green pundits conflate independence, DPP interests, and democracy. Well, here is a good example. You'll have to scroll down to see what I mean, so here is a blockquote:

Finally, State thinks that Taiwan will be "emboldened" by military sales. To do what? Have more democracy? Note that we have a coalition of more than 20 pro-Taiwan groups pushing the referendums and wanting to overturn the referendum law, and that this referendum move is taking place without any reference to the military situation. The public wants to enter the UN. If State really thinks that the referendum is going to cause a problem, it needs to pull its head out and make sure that Taipei is adequately armed to protect itself -- because the referendum isn't going to be stopped. The DPP can't call it off now, not without taking a hit in the polls. I know its insane to call for diplomats to recognize reality, especially in the Taiwan case, but perhaps State needs to adjust its thinking to the situation on the ground....and, as always, observe the unbalanced State Department view: arms sales embolden Taipei -- but failure to sell arms doesn't embolden Beijing. Once again, we have that lurking Beijing-think, where democracy is a problem, but weapons buildups in China are a force for stability.

Let me take those point-by-point:
1) "Finally, State thinks that Taiwan will be "emboldened" by military sales. To do what? Have more democracy?"

Well, there it is, a perfect example. I don't want to lapse into insults, but I'm tempted here. Democracy is not the problem, was never the problem, and it is disingenuous or perhaps even invidious to imply so. No, the problem is declaring independence. In other words, the problem is Taiwan sticking a thumb in the PRC's eye to no real benefit. No one stops Taiwan from writing its own laws, voting for its leaders, throwing said leaders in jail for corruption, etc. Taiwan abrogated its responsibility in defending itself a long time ago, choosing (although with little other choice) to depend on the U.S. for its defense. Thus, if Taiwan provokes the PRC into an invasion, Taiwan will do so depending on the U.S. to come and defend it. Got that? U.S. lives will be lost to defend Taiwan, which elected a President who appeared to not care about defending the country for the first 7 years of Chen Shui-bian's presidency. Don't try to shift the argument to "defending democracy", because the fact that Taiwan has already had free elections proves that the U.S. has already successfully defended democracy in Taiwan. If the U.S. has to fight to preserve that democracy, it is simply because Chen Shui-bian and/or the DPP decided to risk that democratic freedom by provoking China for its own domestic political purposes. I don't blame Chen for attempting to use an advantage...but to claim that risking U.S. lives to establish Chen's legacy of the Father of Independence and/or help him avoid jail is "more democracy" is just ridiculous.

2) "Note that we have a coalition of more than 20 pro-Taiwan groups pushing the referendums and wanting to overturn the referendum law, and that this referendum move is taking place without any reference to the military situation. The public wants to enter the UN."

There was a coalition that pushed for Chen Shui-bian to step down, too. The "public" that wants to enter the UN (as evidenced by the referendum petition) was approximately the same number as the "public" that wanted Chen to step down (more than 1 million). Why is one group "democracy", but the other group just "thugs"? If Chen listens to the voices of the people, why does he only listen to the ones that tell him to do what he already wants to do? Whither democracy when it is anti-Chen?

3) "The DPP can't call it off now, not without taking a hit in the polls."

And there is my second point, in black and white. Even if the referendum might spark a war, even though Chen Shui-bian can't back up his bravado because he let the arms procurement bill languish throughout his entire first term, the DPP can't do what's right for the country because they are too busy doing what is right for themselves. And before anyone tries to move the goalposts again: no, a DPP victory isn't automatically "right for the country". "Right for the country" is preserving peace and democracy. Both of which Taiwan has right now as a direct extension of the Peace and Democracy they had before Chen was elected. He hasn't done a single thing to expand those two blessings, but he has done plenty to threaten them.

Chen doesn't know what side of his bread is buttered. He causes significant problems for the U.S. for his own political purposes, and then has Pan-Green adherents confusing independence and democracy and DPP electoral advantage to help obfuscate the fact that Chen has no right to drag his nation or the U.S. into a war simply for his own political benefit.

No, Taiwan doesn't deserve to be invaded and forced to be part of the PRC. But they aren't part of the PRC now, and they have full democracy. What, exactly, is Chen Shui-bian trying to change? When you already have what you want, any change just makes things worse. Thus, independence and full democracy are not what Chen truly wants. He wants the legacy of being the Father of Taiwan Independence, the primacy of the Min-Nan ethnic group over all others, and to avoid jail for his illegal enriching of all his associates.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
I May Disagree With His Politics and Analysis « China/Taiwan »

But you gotta love his pictures.

Sometimes he has a little too much market stuff...they all blend together. I'd love to see some more east Taiwan coast and/or mountain scenic beauty. But his skill is obvious, and the clarity and vibrancy of his photos always impress me.

Now I'm going to tear apart one of his blog posts in my next entry (sorry, Michael!).

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Posted by Nathan at 09:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Taiwan is a Part of China...Just Not Part of the PRC « China/Taiwan »

Should I link the original article? Well, the main point of it is to blame China for something (pollution) that Taiwan already does to itself quite well (Damn those mainland Chinese, sneaking in and poisoning all of Taiwan's rivers!)...but the issue I want to respond to is at the bottom. Maybe easier if I link to the post that highlights the issue the raises my dander:

Reunification? [emphasis in original] For once, I would like to read an article that says, "China says the island is a breakaway province, but the PRC flag has never flown over the island." I bet we would start seeing a significant change in the way people view Taiwan if these two little paragraphs that are in nearly every article about Taiwan were more accurate. Making clear that, yes, China does claim sovereignty over Taiwan, but there's no talk of "reunification" -- only unification -- seeing as the PRC never controlled (to my knowledge) any part of Taiwan. Also, Nationalist forces fleeing to Taiwan does not divide Taiwan from "the Mainland," seeing as there were already people on Taiwan before these outside forces came to Taiwan.

To be fair, I get tired of the cut'n'paste journalism standard over-simplification of the cross-Strait issue, too. And it could be worded better.

But it doesn't help when the Taiwan side distorts the issue for their own purposes.

Here are the facts:

Read More "Taiwan is a Part of China...Just Not Part of the PRC" »

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Posted by Nathan at 08:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Women « Snark »

Can't live with 'em, can't promote 'em to lead companies.

The comments are interesting, too; someone tries to suggest that "success" of companies can be measured in "harmony" rather than "aggression". Which totally ignores that a company's success is quite simply expressed in its profit.

Activists: can't win? Change the definition to suit your argument.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:25 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

August 22, 2007

Don't Forget This « Media Distortions »

Just imagine the reverse situation of this, i.e., Republican Congress sub-peonas the heck out of a Democrat President, affecting policy, and thus doesn't pass very much legislation. You can bet they'd be raked over the coals by the media about violating the separation of powers, betraying checks and balances, trying to push the executive branch under the control of the legislative, etc.

But since it is Democrats investigating a Republican Administration? We get vague approval, with the only three examples given all one-sidedly emphasizing a Democrat talking point.


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Posted by Nathan at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Quote O' the Day « Quotes You Can Steal »
A car is no more destructive to the environment than a couple of farting moose.

Wisdom from Bob Krum.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Stop Wasting Money « The Brain Fertilizer Way »

Top Ten Money Drains

Here's the thing: wasting money is like a pay cut. If you don't waste money on a regular basis, it is like a pay raise.

If you make sure you don't pay interest (on anything but your mortgage...a house is nearly impossible to pay for all at once), it's like giving yourself somewhere between a 5 and 10% pay raise.

Most people pay between 11 and 19% on credit card interest. That's huge. And don't get sucked in by the 0% interest balance transfers: they usually have a transfer fee that means you pay 3% up front; it might be worth it, if you do the math...but better to not have the debt at all.

Yes, that means you shouldn't pay interest on a car, either. Particularly since a car's value depreciates, it just isn't worth it. If you purchase a new car for $15,000, even at 5% interest you'll be wasting almost $2k over 5 years. Obviously, it's even more if you buy a more expensive car, or if you extend the loan to 6 years, or can't get 5% interest.

You don't have to buy a new car anymore to get reliable, fuel-efficient transportation. Cars last longer; 100k is no longer an automatic death for any brand except maybe Kia (and I might be slandering them...Hyundai has excellent quality control these days).

I can afford to pay cash for a Lexus, Acura, or BMW right now. But I drive a '99 Toyota Corolla and an '01 Chevy Prizm. Why? Because neither of them have given me a lick of trouble in more than a year. The Prizm has nearly 100k miles on it, but I am confident I can drive it up to 150k without a hiccup. I plan on driving it into the ground, because when you get right down to it, it transports 4-5 people to a destination in comfort, safety and convenience. Isn't that all you need from a car? Why waste the money on new car payments and interest to get essentially the same function?

That money adds up.

But, as always: you get what you pay for. I do not wish to disparage those who value the enjoyment of the bar experience, who savor their Starbucks Coffee (I think it tastes burnt, personally), who value getting the latest and greatest car at their earliest possibility (I, too, have purchased new cars...but regretted almost every time). Some people like to purchase what they can afford at the earliest opportunity. Patience pays, but we all make our own decisions and live with the consequences. I just like to clarify what those consequences are, exactly.

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August 21, 2007

Far Be It From Me To Chortle Over the Untimely Death of a Terrorist... « GWOT »

But sometimes ya gotta:


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Posted by Nathan at 09:39 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Roster Guesses, 2007 Pre-Cutdown Edition « Kansas City Chiefs »

My Lucky 8-Ball doesn't have an "NFL Roster" setting. I thought about coin flips, but couldn't find any coins with Justin Phinisee on one side and Ean Randolph on the other. My Ouija Board froze up trying to spell Ekwerekwu. All my normal sources for figuring out the future Chiefs roster failed to come through for me, so you are stuck with my SWAGs. Which, as you know, are my Stupid Wild-A$$ Guesses. Provided for entertainment purposes only, not as a source for gambling. And, as always, all predictions 100% or your money back! (money paid directly to me, that is...)

Read More "Roster Guesses, 2007 Pre-Cutdown Edition" »

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Posted by Nathan at 06:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

...but in a good way.

I think.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:41 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)
Ways To Irritate Other People, #2746 « The Brain Fertilizer Way »

If you are watching a documentary with other people, there are times the narrator will make a declaritive sentence, and then pause.

Something like: "After successfully exploiting the Normandy landing and breaking through the German lines, the German Army was completely demoralized and on the run, and were rendered unable to resist the Allied spearhead into the German heartland."

Maybe 10% of the time, it is a deliberate set-up, and after the pause, the narrator will say, "Or...were they?" and then go on to narrate some surprising event, like the Battle of the Bulge.

That means the other 90% of the time, you can insert an appropriate version of "Or...did they?" into the dramatic pause.

It's only funny if you do it about 30 times, and even still, it's probably only funny to you and the one friend with the right attitude. That is, if you even have friends after trying out an annoying stunt like this.

Have fun!

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Posted by Nathan at 11:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Excellent Rant on the Media Mob « Media Distortions »

From the American Thinker:

The Big Media are a mob. That should be Politics 101. They are a tiny, unchecked power elite, locked into life-long careers in the remnant of a crumbling monopoly over America's national conversation. Like other unaccountable elites, they are monumentally fickle, self-indulgent, snobbish, vain, vulgar, entitled, incestuous, arrogant, ignorant, unprincipled, hysterical, and demagogic. They sound like a unified chorus for the same reasons that street mobs run as a group -- because by and large, they don't dare to stand alone. Media snobs are always looking over their shoulders to see if they are still singing from the same hymnal as The New York Times. The US media have been one-sidedly Leftist, while piously proclaiming their devotion to impartiality. Thus, they are also institutionally mendacious. Telling the truth is hardly their job. They're just not qualified.

Check it out.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 20, 2007

DVD-Sniffing, Anti-Pirate Black Labs « The Brain Fertilizer Way »

Labradors, that is.

As in the dogs.

Kind of an interesting story, when you check it out.

So check it out.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:42 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Nigel Tufnel Answers Robb Allen « Link O' Admiration »

The answer is "None. None More Cute.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Four Boxes to Bring About the World You Want « Link O' Admiration »

Via Robb of Sharp as a Marble.

You have 4 boxes to use, and in this order: 1. Soap 2. Ballot 3. Jury 4. Ammo

I'm grudgingly giving Robb credit; from what I know of his intellect, it's a cinch he stole it from someone else...

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Posted by Nathan at 10:02 AM | Comments (59) | TrackBack (0)
Blue-Eyed People Better Off « Snarky Self-Deprecation »


You may not be able to tell from the photo in my sidebar, but I have blue eyes. I don't seem to be any better off.

I certainly don't play golf.

Then again, I do feel like I'm a fairly good strategic thinker. And the Lama said "...but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:50 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
Proxy Argument for Sex Education « Social Issues »

Teenagers and driving.

I'll just bet that many of the people who think teens shouldn't be taught driving crisis skills because they might try to use them are the same who think that sexual education in the 4th grade is a necessity.

And vice versa.

Food for thought, anyway.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 17, 2007

More Global Climate Change Smokescreen Debate « Media Distortions »

For once, the comments are just as good (if not better) than the article.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Statistical Rarity Occurs « Montana, My Home »

Canadian Flies to the US for Treatment She Can't Get in Canada.

No, that's not the statistical rarity.

But the birth of the identical quadruplets the lady delivered in the Great Falls hospital (a 1 in 13 million occurrence) is, however.

Montana, serving Canadians with the excellent health care the Canuks can't give themselves since 1889.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:11 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Two Americas « Snark »

I was thinking yesterday about Edwards insistence that there are two Americas.

It couldn't be, I thought.

But then I went to check out the facts; I went to the most authoritive sources I could find, and you know what?

John Edwards was right:
There are two Americas!

Read More "Two Americas" »

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Zero-Sum Games « China/Taiwan »

One of the many things that pisses me off about the Taiwan independence movement is the immature and unnecessary hypocrisy. The Taiwanese tend to look down on China, seeing it as a place to enrich themselves at the expense of low-wage Chinese workers. They want to continue to avoid the disadvantages of being labeled a foreign country for business purposes, but then want all the advantages of being a foreign country in every other way.

I've made snarky comments about the Taiwanese blaming everything even remotely bad that happens on China, from economic difficulties to even weather (at times). The Taiwanese don't seem to realize that they give sovereignty to China by default when they see everything through the prism of China's influence.

Chen Shui-bian is one of the worst about this.

When China passed the Anti-Secession Law, Chen squawked like a chicken with anger...thus making it clear to everyone that he thought China's laws carried weight in Taiwan.

Dumb move.

Chen also makes a huge mistake by pushing so much for membership in the UN and getting in dollar diplomacy wars with the PRC for diplomatic recognition from otherwise unimportant nations.

Do any of the 24 nations that currently recognize Taiwan do anything for Taiwan's defense? No.

Taiwan exists as an autonomous semi-nation because of the support of Japan and the US, almost exclusively. Both these nations also have close working relationships with China...which means they also have reason to resent China on some levels.

That's what Taiwan should do: find other nations that resent China for some reason or another, or would enjoy sticking a thumb in China's eye (diplomatically or economically speaking), then gently point out that the world's two biggest economic and military powerhouses, the US and Japan, both support Taiwan while nominally recognizing China, and close with suggesting the nation in question follow the lead set by the US and Japan. Thus, the countries could still get access to China's markets...but their sympathies would slowly drift in Taiwan's direction.

It wouldn't have to be dollar diplomacy...just a clear explanation that an independent Taiwan is good for everyone's national and economic security.

Maybe Chen is doing that. But I doubt it. He cares more about domestic power than doing what is actually good for Taiwan. If it was clearly and obviously good for Taiwan to elect Ma Ying-jeou, Chen would still oppose it with his dying breath.

Final point: I support Taiwan's right to not get attacked by China for refusing to re-unite. I do not support the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), their platform, or their methods. They remind me way too much of the US' Democratic Party: power is the goal, the end justifies the means, and they'll say and do anything to get their hands on the reins of control. Including manipulating tragedy, distorting facts, exploiting their supporters, engaging in dirty last-second election tricks, and merely taking over corruption-filled leadership positions when they won the elction on the promise of ending corruption.

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Posted by Nathan at 05:58 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)

August 16, 2007

Guitar Hero Helping Create Future Guitar Heroes « Music/Guitar »

I gotta get me a copy of this game...

In another sign of the games influence, when new versions of Guitar Hero are released, the songs on it can see a spike in iTunes, notes Ted Lange, an associate producer at Red Octane, the company that makes Guitar Hero.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:42 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

August 15, 2007

Nanobattery! « Stuff Important to Me »

This is pretty cool. They haven't even begun to plumb the myriad possibilities yet, I'm sure.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:02 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)
What's Up With Priest Holmes?!? « Kansas City Chiefs »

The numbers on Priest Holmes:
Played 9 seasons, now age 33
108 games, rushes: 1734 yds: 8035 ypc: 4.6 TDs: 86
catches: 344 yds: 2945 ypc: 8.8 TDs: 8
3 straight seasons with 300+ carries, and slightly less than 400 touches overall.

There are many questions surrounding Priest Holmes' comeback attempt. Is Priest Holmes serious? Can Holmes make the team and contribute? Will he contribute? If not, is this Priest's scheme to grab some of the limelight? Or is this Carl Peterson's scheme to put pressure on Larry Johnson? Or is Priest just after cash?

Let's see if we can answer these questions, and more:

Read More "What's Up With Priest Holmes?!?" »

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Posted by Nathan at 10:21 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

August 14, 2007

Re-Direct « China/Taiwan »

Micheal Turton posts a sligthly more even-handed take than the post I linked earlier.

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Posted by Nathan at 03:54 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)
I Might Be Air Force... « GWOT »

...but the good General is wrong.

We need all the services, and we need all the services doing what we're doing. You can't win the support of Sheikhs from 25k feet. And who, exactly, will be down there on the ground clearing out all the MANPADS systems, hmm? I'll give you a hint: Army and Marines. So you might as well let them do the rest of the job.

Yes, the USAF does a great job safely killing targets you can fix and locate. They don't do so well with insurgencies and terrorists.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Better Than a Flying Car « The Brain Fertilizer Way »

A flying house!

Seems to me something like this would be a good replacement for a fixed house. You could take vacations in it. No property taxes. 5k sq feet of living/storage space would cost close to a million for a brick-and-mortar house, in most locales, no?

I may have to save up for one.

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Posted by Nathan at 02:16 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
Interesting Ecological News « Stuff Important to Me »

It's a statistical push-back on some claims to save the earth through using ice to cool rather than air conditioners.

But the result is not debunked savings, but debunked excessive claims. Using ice still does help save electricity and reduce pollution.

That's a good thing, no matter what your view is of the Sham That Is The Consensus Politi-Science of Global Climate Change.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:15 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
Ma Ying-jeou Acquitted « China/Taiwan »

Surprisingly, in the first trial.

I expected a conviction, and then for Ma to win on appeal (in Taiwan, you aren't really "convicted" unti you lose your 2nd appeal, the 3rd trial). Having him be acquitted in the first trial demonstrates how weak the case was.

Many prosecutors (some his Pan-Green opponents) said Ma should never have been indicted. Moreover, several Pan-Green politicians were acquitted or the prosecutor refused to indict for the exact same action/charge.

Yet the hardcore Pan-Green supporters still cry foul.

Reading a number of Green-leaning blogs (not just Mr. Turton's) and reading the Pan-Green media, one is given the impression that whatever the DPP does is good, and anything the KMT does is bad. The facts in a lawsuit can never actually be on the KMT side; thus any KMT victory in the courts can only be due to judicial malfeasance, bribed judges, etc. The only time justice is ever done is if the Pan-Green wins. (sigh)
Equating Ma's inadvertant financial accounting mistake with Chen Shui-bian's deliberate theft and cover-up (using not only his wife, but his wife using her friends to provide fraudulent receipts!) is just silly. Chen has half his family either in trial or convicted. If even just 1/10th of what has been revealed about Chen's dealings is true, he's one of the most corrupt politicians since Boss Tweed.

There are political hatchet jobs, and then there are people who treat politics like a spectator sport, complete with unreasonable loyalties and the logical blind spots that ensue. The Pan-Greens seem to have more than their share of blind partisans. Exaggeration for Effect Alert: Most of them seem to think that the best step to improve democracy in Taiwan is to not allow the late 40s immigrants, their descendents, and the military to vote.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:59 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

August 13, 2007

Expensive Mushrooms! « Stuff Important to Me »

Man, I wish I had a small forest of 40+ year-old evergreens!

The best part? They guard their plots like moonshiners or marijuana cultivators!

Pickers keep their patches secret and guard them from intruders, often with guns. A mushroom poacher once tried to shoot Kouy Loch, who both picks mushrooms and works as a mushroom monitor for the Forest Service. Dana Van Pelt, the owner of a campsite, said more than a thousand pickers come in good years, along with the drugs, the prostitution, the robbing at gunpoint.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Another Jagged Alliance Download Link « Jagged Alliance »

Just what the title says.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:42 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)
I Restarted Again « Jagged Alliance »

Geez, I have no idea how many times I've restarted.

The point this time is to maybe try out some different Mercs.

The last few re-starts featured attempts to get Vince more quickly and not bother with Flo. It looks like the first is difficult to do, the second idea is a good one. You just waste too much time getting Flo up to speed, even as a trainer. She does eventually become equal to most of the others in level and Marksmanship, but only about the time you get to the Omerta/Meduna endgame.
Even then, she is still quite deficient in Health, Strength, Dexterity, Agility.

I think Shank may be worthless for the same reason. Dynamo is a good lock-picker, though, and picks up Marksmanship pretty quickly, so I'll let him stick around.

But I'm beginning to think it isn't worth it to recruit Miguel and Carlos. Sure, they're free...but by the time you take 5 villages, all that is left is Omerta and Meduna. Miguel is level 6, which is good, but only 88 Marksmanship. He also has good Leadership, but the village militias should already be all trained up. So what's the point. And Carlos is a Level 4 guy with Marksmanship in the high 60s and no significant redeeming strengths.

Whereas, I've learned that I like a number of different mercs. The problem is earning enough cash early in the game to have a credible force. But I've figured out how to do it.

"Freebie" mercs:
Yourself, Ira, and Maddog can all be obtained within the first 36 hours, with Dmitri by early day 3. If you get your own merc with martial arts, then he goes to San Mona to participate in the Ultimate Fighting bouts, and right after he wins one the first night, you send him down to Estoni (to increase in Level/Marksmanship on the way down, to pick up the bonus equipment like Compound 18 and bipods from Jake), and you can recruit Maddog then.

You get Vince after you get something like 30 militia trained in Cambria and a high loyalty percentage (I think 80%, but it may be 90%), usually after finding Joey in San Mona.

Then you have to stick with the hires until you can get Dynamo and Shank from Tixa.

For hires, I start off with:
Barry (need him for locks)
Igor and Buns (for combat ability while everyone else improves)
MD (To pair with Ira for training, and to give him a chance to start improving his Marksmanship early, and any healing if necessary)
Buzz (to get a longer range weapon, plus excellent combat ability, gives her an early chance to improve her atrocious Dexterity).
Buzz gets hired for one day. I used to hire Shadow and after I rescued Maria and win $15k from the bouts, I was able to extend his contract another 2 days, by which time I had enough to extend a week; by the end of the week (with a few extra Ultimate Fighting bouts and selling weapons), I could get him for long-term while still extending some of the other, cheaper mercs. But with Buzz, hiring her for one day is far cheaper than Shadow, and although I haven't done the math, it may be possible to get to the 2-week extended contract by day 2 or 3. That will just leave more cash for other hires.
I hire Igor, Barry and Buns for 1 week each; I get equipment for Buns and Barry, but Igor has to grab guns to arm himself.
With this set, there is enough to hire MD for a full 2 weeks; but it isn't worth it to purchase his equipment; you get enough med kits from Ira and the airstrip at Drassen.

As soon as possible, I hire Fox (keep her separate fro Buns!), Wolf, Spider, and Dr. Q.

Counting the freebies, that's already 14 of the 18 mercs you can have! So you can see that keeping Shank, Miguel, and Carlos fill up your slots with less useful, less fun mercs. I still haven't decided to dump Dmitri or not. His low Dexterity and forgetfulness is irritating...but his Marksmanship starts at a respectible 78, and he's good with throwing knife. I'll probably see how good he is by the time the numbers get tense.

I still want to try hiring Raven and Sidney. They have Wisdom in the high 70s, so they won't learn as fast as the others I try to hire (my original rule was: no hires of anyone with less than 85 Wisdom...but I ignored that rule for Fox because of her high Dexterity, training skill, and ambidexterity which made her deadly with two MAC-10s...but now Vince has all that, plus amazingly high Wisdom to help him rapidly overcome atrocious Marksmanship (starts in the 30s)). Their Marksmenship is good enough to not worry about their advancement speed.

That's 16.

But other mercs I want to hire include Shadow, Thor, Stephen, Colby, Danny, Victoria. I like Shadow. Danny is arrogant, but quick. Thor and Stephen are awesome, too. But that's 6 Mercs when I only have room for 2. Do I skip Sidney or Raven? Avoid Wolf? I thought of skipping Fox, just because she and Buns don't get along. Both Fox and Buns are weak, get tired easily. Buns is not as good with medical...but she starts good with guns, and is an Expert Trainer. I don't want to skip Fox because she and Wolf work well together, but thinking it through, I guess I'll have to. And then I'll have to choose one between Thor, Stephen and Colby. Victoria will probably wait to see if I want to dump Dmitri or not.

So without Fox, I can choose 3, and I guess it will be Danny, Shadow, and Thor. I'll report on who I hire as I do so. The money shouldn't be an issue, because in the last iteration, I had my Merc hires maxed out with at least 13 day contracts by Day 9. Money no longer becomes an issue at that point, because your mines outpace what you spend on contracts, especially with selling stuff and the fighting bouts. Before, money would be tight until Day 16 or so, sometimes Day 20. But I've got it worked out now. It's all about extending contracts before people level up.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:17 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)
Continuing the Guitar Theme « Music/Guitar »

Let me set your mind at ease about one thing:
The guy absolutely is playing those solos. He is not doing air guitar. His finger movements are exactly what they need to be.

However, there is something about the video quality that makes me wonder if he didn't speed up the audio and video by some factor...10 or 20%? Digital technology would make it possible to do so without altering the tone of the music. But that move would puzzle me somewhat...what he does would be amazing even if it were 20% slower, so if he sped it up...why?

In any case, it's some nice technical playing. It doesn't demonstrate "feel", nor can the compositions be considered songs by any but the most relaxed of standards. They are merely Satriani-ish chord progressions designed to facilitate maximum shred.

The shred is good, though.

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Posted by Nathan at 05:12 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

August 12, 2007

This Aint' Shabby, Either « Link O' Admiration » « Music/Guitar »

Yeah, I like guitar stuff. So what?

This guy needs to put out albums. He's the best technical wizard I've ever seen.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 11, 2007

Truly Amazing.
UPDATE: This guy clearly has lots of flemenco guitar training. Watch the point where his thumb just about vibrates to staccato pick, the full-string finger flutter. Those aren't the technical terms for the technique (because I don't know the terms), but that's what he does. He's a good finger-picker, as well.

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Posted by Nathan at 08:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Advocacy Journalism Taken to New Levels « Media Distortions »

In this Editor's Note revealing that the "Surgically Altered iPhone Thumbs story was a satire, we find that the North Denver News serves a community of 35,000 people, but also likes to make editorial slams against Fox News.

That goes a little too far, in my opinion.

Now, I don't watch Fox News. I don't watch Fox News commentary. I don't go to the Fox News website. So I can't say exactly how "conservative" Fox News is.

But regardless of how conservative Fox News might be, it reports news as accurately as any other news media outlet. The focus of the stories might be different. The storied chosen might be different. But the report the news. The pundits are intelligent conservatives who help inform and shape conservative opinion. That might be a bad thing from a liberal perspective, but from a biased, liberal perspective only.

So how can a print news outlet justify printing an editorialization like this:

The Fox of course, is reference to Fox News (aka Faux News).

Even in an Editor's Note?

Brainfertilizer's Note to Liberals:
If you have to pre-emptively denigrate a competitor, you clearly don't have any confidence in your own product.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:50 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)

August 10, 2007

Questionable Dating Advice « Social Issues »

Make a woman feel inferior to you, and she'll cling to you for self-esteem.

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Posted by Nathan at 01:40 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
Bad Press is Still Good Press « Blogging »

This silly article on (left-leaning) Slate on blog names seems to dis pretty much only conservative-leaving sites, and praise left-leaning sites.

For instance, their multiple editorial layers couldn't correct "conservative christen" ?!?! Not to mention that both of the sites he cited as "conservative christen" have never seemed to focus on faith at all, except perhaps as a tangent (criticizing the intersection between Islam and Terror, at least with the Jawa Report).

It just seems like he found some conservative-leaning sites he didn't like and looked for an excuse to slam them.

Still, like the title says, his links will still drive traffic. It's just, do you really think anyone coming over from Slate will listen to good, conservative sense?

Me, either.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Beware of Snake Heads « The Brain Fertilizer Way »

You now can't say you haven't been warned.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:58 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)
Good News, If You Dislike Baseball « Link O' Admiration »

Destruction Of National Pastime Given Two-Minute Standing Ovation

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Posted by Nathan at 07:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Men Are Bad/Stupid/Selfish Even in Hong Kong « China/Taiwan »

So says this article, at least.

The only possible reason the author could think of that Hong Kong men prefer mainland Chinese women is that the mainlanders are more "subservient".


Anyone who knows Chinese women knows that there is nothing subservient about them.

Here are the judgments about why Honk Kong women are remaining single rather than marry into the surplus of mainland men:

But she added that the career-mindedness of Hong Kong women may put off potential mainland suitors.

"In general," she said, "the work culture in Hong Kong has resulted in a greater proportion of women who are career-focused and independent, which may counter some of the expectations of mainland men."

Huh? It's the mainland Chinese men's fault? They just don't want a woman who makes money, even if she begs him?

Hong Kong women, on the other hand, are far better educated and more independent than their mainland counterparts and do not want to be bossed around by patriarchal husbands. Moreover, many of the city's women are financially independent and no longer think of marriage in terms of economic security. A rising divorce rate can probably also be attributed to the growing assertiveness of Hong Kong women.

Oh. Hong Kong women are just too assertive for mainland men. Mainland men are just too patriarchal and bossy.

As Bik-kei - a 32-year-old administrative assistant enjoying the single life - put it: "For single women who are financially secure with a good education, I feel the environment in Hong Kong allows us to live happily and stay single instead of being submissive to someone. Marrying a mainland guy, there is a possibility of family pressure, while parents might feel he has a lower social status.

And the truth accidentally slips out.

Social status.

Simply put, women keenly assess their own social status, and are usually only willing to marry into a higher social class. Outside of small towns where the selections are few, women only rarly marry someone of equal status, and never marry someone beneath them. It's not "assertiveness" or "bossiness" or anything. Deep down, for most women, men are means to an end: more material comfort than they can achieve on their own. And if the man cannot provide it, or she finds she can provide it on her own, the relationship is likely over.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:43 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

August 09, 2007

Summing Up a Mark Steyn Argument in One Long Sentence « GWOT »

Personal motor vehicles are only a very small fraction of overall oil consumption, but in any case, the overall growth of personal motor vehicle ownership is greater than any possible incremental reduction of consumption by changing habits in the US.

That being said, I seek the best fuel economy in my vehicles; however it is because I hate wasting money on fuel that can otherwise be avoided. I'm not trying to save the world with my car purchase.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:31 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
How to Age Better « The Brain Fertilizer Way »

Thoughts from Dr. Life.

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Posted by Nathan at 12:13 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Apologies « The Brain Fertilizer Way »

It seems like lately I've just posting links to things you probably saw first at Instapundit.

Well, you stick to what you're good at.

The above link points to an article about moon basing that I saw from Instapundit.

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Posted by Nathan at 11:18 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

August 08, 2007

You've Heard of Shotgun Weddings? « Quotes You Can Steal » « Snark » « Social Issues »

Check out a "Shotgun Divorce".

Man, I wish I'd thought of that when it was current...

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Posted by Nathan at 11:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Dilemma in Taiwan « China/Taiwan » « Snark »

They have no idea what to do or say. They are being hit with something really bad that can't be blamed on China in some way.

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Posted by Nathan at 06:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 07, 2007

Car Owners: Why American Cars Don't Sell Well « Car Issues »

Straight from the horse's mouth: the owners themselves.

On the other hand, Popular Mechanics says there are still some great cars being made here. That's true. But they are few and far between. The US doens't have the technological edge any longer.

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Posted by Nathan at 03:05 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)
Comedy is Not Pretty « Aphorisms »
Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.
-- Peter Ustinov

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Posted by Nathan at 09:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
WR Dwayne Bowe Signs « Kansas City Chiefs »

The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Monday that they had come to terms with their first round draft pick, rookie Dwayne Bowe out of LSU. His signing dispels some rumors floating around, namely that Bowes hold-out was related to the hold-outs of QBs Brady Quinn or JaMarcus Russell; Quinn just signed today and Russell remains unsigned.

Bowes absence from camp was big news; he was one of the last draft picks to sign a contract, and hes missed at least 200 offensive snaps according to Head Coach Herm Edwards. Worse, hell miss more snaps as he takes time to get in shape, because as Coach Edwards puts it, The first thing is to protect the player, Edwards said. You dont want to put him in a situation where all of a sudden something could happen. All football players, when theyre not here on time, what happens to them when they do get here and they get on the field, they automatically start competing at a high level. Thats not fair to himThese guys have their training camp legs under them and he does not because he hasnt been here. Herm further indicated Bowe would miss his first opportunity to get on the field for the Chiefs, not suiting up until the Chiefs play Miami on August 16th.

All this means Bowes development may be delayed. WRs dont usually contribute very much their rookie year, with a few exceptions like Anquan Boldin of the Cardinals or Maurice Colston of the Saints.

So if we cant depend on Bowe lighting it up for us this year, what does he bring to the Chiefs? It is obviously good to have your picks signed and practicing; but what will Bowe contribute this year and throughout his career?

Lets take a look at the WRs currently on the roster:
Kennison, Eddie 6-1 201
Parker, Samie 5-11 190
Webb, Jeff 6-2 211
Hannon, Chris 6-3 205
Gardner, Rod 6-2 219
Randolph, Ean 5-8 173
Bowe, Dwayne 6-2 221
Ekwerekwu, Brad 6-3 216
Little, Brent 5-11 193
Price, Maurice 6-0 197

One thing that jumps out is that last years starters, Kennison and Parker, are 20 and 30 pounds lighter, and slightly shorter. An inch or two might not seem like much, but football is a game of inches. And the extra weight is clearly muscle mass that will help Bowe win the physical battles against ball-hawking safeties and cornerbacks jams at the line that Kennison and Parker usually dont. Bowe gained a reputation for using his strength to break tackles after the catch.

Bowes height, weight, strength, and abilities are very similar to another guy already on the roster: Rod Gardner. But that doesnt make Bowe superfluous. On the contrary, even though Gardner is having a great camp, he didnt show much after joining the Chiefs last year. Rods been trying to revive a career that floundered after four decent seasons with the Redskins. But even if Gardner has revived his abilities, Bowe has much more upside than a 7-year veteran. In any case, there will be plenty of snaps for any wide receiver who produces. As Edwards said, when I look at starters those receivers to me are going to play in this system on a rotation [basis] with three or four of them. We want to keep them fresh. Having two players similar in size and technique able to rotate should only make the Chiefs offense more effective.

But what Bowe really brings to the Chiefs is the un-measurable ability to make something happen: 75% of Dwaynes catches at LSU went for first downs. Thats the sort of production the Chiefs could have used last January in the playoff game against the Colts.

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Posted by Nathan at 09:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 06, 2007

The Stats for the Support for the Surge « Link O' Admiration »

Via Captain's Quarters.

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Posted by Nathan at 10:37 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)
Pretty Much Feeling the Same Way (edited to increase clarity) « Link O' Admiration »

Jeremy never lost faith.

Still, it's good to have people jumping back on the bandwagon again.

People, there's plenty of room for more. It would be nice to get a supermajority of support again.

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Posted by Nathan at 07:53 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

After owning the entire DVD series for more than a year, I finally got around to watching the Firefly series.

Good! Despite the rave reviews by fans, I'd even say "Surprisingly good!"

It has its flaws, of course. I'm halfway through the second episode, so I'm not totally sure the series has already decided to betray the "crew first, business second, nothing else matters" character they established for Capt Mal. But aside from that, the acting/dialogue is sometimes a little too overwrought. Kaylee is a little too cute, the "whore with a heart of gold" tries a little too hard to be sexy.

But the humor is excellent, and the first story was quite good. I also like the western theme (although the stories are purely science fiction and couldn't be written to fit into the Old West). I especially like the way they combined the US and Chinese language/culture/society. They have to emphasize the English parts for the dialogue, of course, but it still holds the right flavor.

I approve!

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Posted by Nathan at 06:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 05, 2007

Wild Roster Guesses « Kansas City Chiefs »

Some wild guesses based on analysis of training camp reports:

Tyrone Brackenridge is getting plenty of time as the first-team nickel back. However, from reports it seems as if Justin Phinisee is making amazing play after amazing play. Is he inconsistent, playing well on play and getting burned the next? Or is he merely excelling against weaker competition. In any case, at this point it looks like he may make the team ahead of Michael Bragg.
Benny Sapp is also apparently stepping it up to make a case for being a fully-qualified corner, as opposed to his reputation as being a nickel package cornerback most suited to covering a smaller slot receiver or blitzing from the edge. He's small, yes, but other small CBs have done very well by excelling in coverage and leaping. If there is a knock on Sapp from the past, it is that he doesn't have good enough hands to guarantee a pick if he is in the right position. Successfully defending a pass is good, but missing out on a sure INT will hold you back.
Current guesstimate of depth chart:
Starters: Ty Law, Patrick Surtain
Back-ups (in order): Breckenridge, Sapp, Phinisee, William Poole
That would force the controversial move of cutting both Bragg and Maxey; both are young enough that they could improve...but unlikely to ever be solid starters.

Read More "Wild Roster Guesses" »

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Posted by Nathan at 01:25 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

August 03, 2007

Not Exactly "Snakes on a Plane" « Link O' Admiration »

Rather, "Bad Stats on a Subway." Or maybe, "Jerks at a Newspaper."

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Posted by Nathan at 07:25 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

August 02, 2007

Can, Can't, Can't Even Can't « Aphorisms »
Those who can do, those who can't teach, and those who can't teach teach education.
-- Nicolas Martin

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Posted by Nathan at 04:53 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)