Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.
|Monday, 29 September 2014 at 18h 50m 8s|
Nawlins Napsters Wins --- 8 years in a row.
The time has come for me to brag about my fantasy baseball prowess. A small consolation for my tiny
little ego. (Yea, right.)
The second league was much more difficult. Only in September did I begin to separate from the pack
-- thanks to Jacob DeGrom, Drew Storen, Carl Crawford, Starling Marte, Jorge Soler, and Wilmer Flores.
Let league number one be a testiment to the insignificance of batting average in the modern era. I
was last in batting average but still beat the
living crap pants off of everyone in
the league. Honestly, I'm a little surprised myself, but that's what happened.
And please take notice, you win with pitching.
|Tuesday, 26 August 2014 at 19h 41m 12s|
Thought of the Day
Greed always undermines the essence or means of existence that enabled wealth in the first place.
The studios of Hollywood are filled with dramas and plots involving the self-destructive paths of
greedy selfish fools who couldn't see past the inner spirals ending in their demise. People lose
millions of dollars trying to gamble at twice the odds, just to make more money; or they spread their
investments too thin because they want more and don't have the capacity to stop while they are
ahead. Relationships often fall
apart because one of the two people wants too much of the other person to the point where that other
person feels that they are being taken for granted, or that their love is not being being
reciprocated. Greed is the entropy that disrupts a normally smooth functioning system -- because some
people want more than others, or have to go faster than others, or have to be the first to get
attention, etc. , which tilts the dynamics of the system
out of balance.
As such, our modern aristocrats can't see past their own small pecuniary interests and narrow
circles of influential patrons. The vast majority aren't interested in
developing and investing in a nation, but in making more profits, paying less taxes, and getting
some sort of recognition. At least
this is the net result of their actual aggragate actions, regardless of the convoluted and lexical
language that is often spoken as cosmetics over the actual intention. They assume themselves to be the
pillars of the human race, worthy of privileges by their extreme wealth and self-inflated rank. The
foundations and non-profits that they fund are really just organizations that pursue their own
agendas. They are not really an investment in society but an extension of their ideology which
of the social order within its grasping fingers. Basically, they want to buy a moral statement.
It's not charity, but an extension of their pride
and authority, a moral authority through which they establish a connection in a paternal sense,
another branch of the empire beneath their feet.
societies members and then paying for certain social opportunities (like college, health care, or
police ) out of the collected tax dollars is ALWAYS more effective and efficient than out sourcing
this collection of money to various wealthy philanthropists. So when the mega-wealthy and their
hired spokespersons always praise charities as the antidote to big bad government, they reveal
themselves for what they actually mean.
|Thursday, 14 August 2014 at 19h 21m 35s|
Yes I am still alive
Once again, I have gone dark for a few months. Rest assured that I have gone nowhere, but I have
been spending time doing a lot of research on nutrition that is totally mind blowing (look up Gary
Taubes on youtube) of which I will get around to
start blogging about sometime soon. That's why I'm really doing this blog post -- to remind myself
to do it.
I've also been going through this whole "Common Core" charade that strikes at the heart of the
profession I love, which pains me quite dearly. However, I am a hopeless perpetual optimist. I
refuse to get
stressed about matters of which I have no control, and insist upon viewing the insanity of transition
with a positive view towards finding the beneficial nuggets that exist. After all, even a pile of
enough nutrients to sustain flies and various species of bacteria, right?
I haven't been wanting to blog my opinions about "Common Core" for a lot of different reasons;
but the number one reason is respect for Terra Nova High School and the wonderful school district
for which I work.
Because truth-be-told, the district is itself amidst a sea of change outside of its control. They are
all good people, and I feel fortunate to work with such dedicated, integrity-filled people. Hence, I
have no desire to raise contention and ruckus about matters external to the district's control,
know parents and students may quite possibly read this blog, and I don't want anyone getting the
wrong impression about the place where I absolutely love to be working.
And frankly, teaching is always hard. You don't do this job unless you understand the time you work
for 36 weeks. 60 times 36 (2160) is the MINIMUM number of hours per year -- which is more than 40
times 50 (2000)
weeks. BY 160 HOURS, OR 4 MORE WEEKS OF 40 HOURS.
(YEA, that's right, teachers work at least 4
more weeks per year than the normal 40 hour per week worker who works for 50 weeks and gets 2 weeks of
total vacation -- holidays included)
This is why I detest "experts" who have never taught. They think
teaching is something that can be mass-packaged and standardized.
Because it's not. Teaching is getting to know 150+ students every year and being able to somehow
create a schedule of events and activities that best meet the needs of every single one of those
150+ students. You can't put that in plastic-wrap in sell it, but oh don't let that stop them from
advertizing otherwise and using dramatic cinematography to oversimplify reality and make a selling
point -- the purpose of which IS ALWAYS the desire to make money. That's why all the big textbook
companies (Pearson especially) developed the common core standards.
I better stop. Peace out.
|Wednesday, 28 May 2014 at 21h 36m 28s|
The Inimitable Vin Scully
Jamie Womack had been in the minor leagues 13 years and just got his first call up to the MLB as a
Los Angeles Dodger. He was asked by Vin Scully whether it bothered him. According to Vin Scully,
Jamie's response was ...
I didn't put much emphasis on where I wasn't. I worried about where I was.
UPDATE: The kid (well, he is younger than me) comes up to pinch hit. Vin Scully details the events.
Most people do not know his background. He's certainly well put together. He's 6 foot 2 and 220
pounds.... All those years. All those nights waiting and praying to get the phone call. Well let's
see what happens.... And a one hoper, right to the glove hand of the first basemen. Well, you
can't hit it much harder than that.
|Thursday, 22 May 2014 at 16h 41m 34s|
Thought of the day
Man will always feel alienated from the environment.
Man took the jungle, the wilderness, the
marshlands, and the prairies from the other animals. Mankind altered the environment to suit the
needs of the feeding and tbe aggregating of more people. Animals that could be eaten, controlled,
were gathered and put in between fences, into pens, and within barns. The other animals were
exterminated, one by
one, and the effectiveness depended upon the belligerence or protest of the animals in question.
Those that were passive remained. Those that were aggressive in their rights, such as tigers,
usually lived on the verge of extinction, until the civilization of mankind got to a point where
there was no more question as to whom was at the top of the food chain, and then these aggressive
species got some sanctimony from humans who wanted to put them in zoos and look at them on Saturday
afternoon's while eating popcorn and ice cream with the kids.
Now that mankind has become the creator of the environment, this theft of the Earth by one
species has left a void. Yet, the instincts of the homo sapiens have not abated; even if the
in which we have evolved over millions of years has vastly changed in the last 4,000 years. The theft
of the landscape has now inverted, and mankind is now stealing from one another.
Or as Nostradamus once said in a famous prophesy, "...and man will become a man eater."
I heard that line from a movie by Orsen Welles who narrated a film about Nostradamus I saw while in
High School. To this day, I still hear the same audio track I hear 30 something years ago.
In fact, I probably repeat myself. I know I've said as much at some point in this blog over the last
BTW, yes, I'm finally back after a long absence.
|Saturday, 29 March 2014 at 16h 49m 56s|
Napster's 2014 MLB Bold Predictions
Here's my bold predictions per team
Pitching will fall apart. The bad Ubaldo shows up. Gausman moves to the bullpen and takes over the
Injuries ruin a repeat. Sizemore however plays all year.
Beltran gets hurt. Teixiera hits less than 25 homers. Tanaka, Pineda, and Nova all pitch better than
CC Sabathia, and the bullpen winds up being very good.
The Rays will win the division. Chris Archer and Will Myers take their game to the next level.
Loney does better than last year in the power and RBI department. Desmond Jennings has a good year
and steals more than 30 bases.
Jose Abreu is the real thing. Marcus Siemen sticks around and excels, eventually replacing Beckham
who gets traded. DeAza plays more games than Viciedo. Avisail Garcia hits 20 home runs but
strikesout a lot. John Danks has a resurgent year and Quintana earns the 5 year contract with an
increased strikeout rate.
The offense takes a step back. Verlander has a lot of bad games. Joe Nathan manages to have one
more good season, but it won't be as elite as 2013. Castellanos becomes a solid Third basemen but
his best years will begin in 2015.
Yordano walks too many batters and makes too many mistakes. Shields is the only SP who is reliable.
Moustakas reaches his potential and hits 30 home runs. Lorenzo Cain has a good year. Butler still
hits less than 20 home runs and doesn't crack 90 RBI's.
Division winner. Will have the best pitching in the American League. McCallister has a great year.
Masterson is Cy Young worthy. Salazar strikesout more batters than innings pitched. John Axford is
a top 10 closer.
Jared Cosart shows his pitching promise. The bullpen is the worst in baseball. Singleton begins to
play regularly and hits more than 15 home runs with a .300 batting average. Jonathan Villar steals
30 bases but will bat 7th, 8th, or 9th most of the year.
Weaver is less than effective. Hector Santiago is too erratic. CJ Wilson is their best SP but I
think he get's hurt. Hamilton and Pujols will be a lot better than last year, but they won't be in
the top two tiers. Kyle Calhoun hits 15 or more homers, steals 20 bases, scores 100 runs with a .280
batting average, and is the lead-off hitter all season.
Winds up in 4th place because their pitching falls apart. Yu Darvish has issues more often than
not, but will be awesome for most of the year. Soria becomes a top 10 closer again. Michael Choice
becomes the best Texas Outfielder and hits 20 or more home runs.
Plays better than last year and winds up in 2nd or 3rd place. Farquhar saves more than 10 games.
Taijuan wins more than 10 games and has a sub 3.80 era. Roenis Ellis stays in the rotation all year
long and does well his first MLB season. Brad Miller hits 2nd all year long and puts up Dustin
Pedroia-like numbers. Almonte becomes a pretty good lead-off hitter. Either one (or both) of Corey
Hart and Morrison have a resurgent year. Ackley finally shows what everyone thought he could do.
Seager is decent and has a repeat of last year.
Cespedes does better but not quite what everyone hopes for. Lowrie stays healthy again. Coco Crisp
however plays less than 120 games because of injuries. Sonny Gray and Kazmir have really good
years. Jim Johnson saves more than 45 games again.
The mets are one of the worst teams all year. No pitcher will be fantasy relevant. Poor David
Wright goes back to his worst year's.
The Phillies will show their age. Utley and Howard are injured again. Rollins decline becomes
obvious. All pitchers not names Cliff Lee have sub-par years. Papelbon's erratic pitching
continues. Daren Ruf and Domonic Brown will hit the most home runs. Asche remains mediocre.
The offense clicks with resurgent years from BJ and Uggla, but Gattis won't play more than 100 games
and won't hit more than .240. Andrelton improves his batting average, but doesn't steal more than
10 bases or hit more than 12 home runs. Alex Wood stays in the rotation all year and is their
second best SP on the team after Teheran, with Minor ranked 3rd.
Will hit better than last year. Yellich has some bumps, but he shows promise. Stanton hits more
than 35 home runs. Saltallamacchia has a better year than a lot pudits think. Eovaldi becomes a
Taylor Jordan makes a run for rookie of the year. Werth has another sub-par year despite last
year's promise. The Nats have trouble scoring runs, but their pitching staff is the best in the
Jose Baez becomes a fixture in the lineup. Ruggiano has a good year, but Schierholz will take a
step back. The bullpen is a mess all year long.
Will take the division again. Wacha competes for the CY YOUNG. Carlos Martinez joins the rotation
by June or July and has a run of awesomeness that is breathtaking to behold. Matt Adams becomes
the Cardinals first basemen and Allen Craig stays in the outfield. Kolten Wong has a rookie of the
year worthy campaign. Carpenter is just as good as last year.
The pitching staff takes a step back. Gerrit Cole has growing pains. Melancon winds up with the
closer role at some point. Starling Marte improves and becomes a top 15 outfielder this year.
Gregory Polanco impresses when he comes up in May.
The pitching staff falls completely apart. Khris Davis will be okay, but he won't be the player
everyone thinks. Ryan Braun hits less than 30 home runs.
Jay Bruce will have a career year. Brandon Phillips will too. Todd Frazier finds his groove again.
Hamilton steals 80 bases and scores 120 runs with 5 homers, 40 doubles and a .270 batting average.
The outfield crumbles as Kemp, Crawford, and Ethier all suffer bouts with injuries and diminished
Nolan Arenado begins to show his hitting promise. Car-Go plays more than 140 games.
Madison Bumgarner competes for the Cy Young, but no other Giants pitcher is reliable. Brandon Belt
achieves his potential. Mike Morse hits more than 20 home runs. Panda has a resurgent year, but
then gets injured again.
Will have a very bad year. Everything goes wrong. No one hits more than 20 home runs or gets 100
rbis. Cashner is the only SP who does well and Tyson Ross struggles to find last year's 2nd half
Pollock becomes a good hitting outfielder. Owings competes for rookie of the year. The Arizona
pitching staff will be one of the worst, and Archie Bradley won't improve it when he gets called up.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
UPDATE: 22 May 2014
OMG. I'm laughing so hard at most of these predictions. I'm no better than a Binomial distribution.
But for those of you who know math, I guess that means, ... yea, like, duhhhh?
|Saturday, 21 December 2013 at 15h 22m 16s|
Oil spills, gas explosions, mine collapses ... every month, every year
Because the industry cares about your safety, it intimidates news organizations to not investigate
or even publish under threat of lawsuits. The industry prefers to spend millions on advertizing
campaigns than actually invest in safer equipment and more efficient processes. Did I also mention
funds to "fund"
bribe politicians who stall or negate actually enforcement of laws?
Here's my favorite.
September 29 A North Dakota farmer winds up discovering the largest onshore oil spill in U.S.
history, the size of seven football fields. At least 20,600 barrels of oil leaked from a Tesoro
Corp-owned pipeline onto the Jensens’ land, and it went unreported to North Dakotans for more than a
week. An AP investigation later discovered that nearly 300 oil spills and 750 “oil field incidents”
had gone unreported to the public since January 2012.
The largest onshore pipeline oil spill in US history happened in 2013. And it got no news coverage
Thinkprogress.org put together a list of 45 such accidents in 2013. Click the source.
[SOURCE: Thinkprogress | Emily Atkin | 17
|Thursday, 19 December 2013 at 20h 19m 19s|
Recently, their has been a lot of hacks into corporate business servers stealing credit cards and
financial information. It has happened to me three times in the last 10 years, and the same can be
said for probably most people. The bank cancelled the card and I had to wait 7 days for a re-issue,
but the reality is that the information is still in the hands of some criminal or criminal
enterprise that might decide to take out a loan with my name and do all sorts of other nasty things
-- that really happen.
Target's CEO came out an issued a statement
Target’s first priority is preserving the trust of our guests and we have moved swiftly to address
this issue, so guests can shop with confidence. We regret any inconvenience this may cause.
[SOURCE: Huffington Post | | 19 December
This thing called monopoly consolidation and agency theory of corporations gets in the way of the
corporations ability to do anything else BUT a ritualized public relations campaign. Problems are
supposed to go away and fix themselves once Target spends 10 million or so on a massive advert
campaign with happy caring employees and soothing music and nice people that have nice voices saying
how much Target does to protect your private information.
For those of you who don't know, "Agency theory" means that managers who do not own the company are
making decisions about the welfare and operations instead of the owners. Allowing the "agents"
(CEO's) to have some of the profits is supposed to keep them interested in the welfare of the
corporation. This theory might have some merit in a competitive business environment. However, once
the competitiveness of a given sector of the economy becomes limited and oligarchical, a different
system evolves, and the need for competent management becomes less important than loyalty
So despite the stream of advertisements, nothing will change. The CEO is no longer human. He is a
sociopathic robot. How else can
you expect them to say such obvious hypocrisy with a straight face. They are paid huge dollars to
soothe their conflicted souls, and they are surrounded by self-inflated egos and sycophants to the
point where they are beyond clueless. The few that are different, who survive the pressures and
remain sane are rare specimens to be cherished.
Target is not afraid of losing customers, and they depend upon the average zombie who buys their
cheap crap to have a memory shorter than a house fly. Just like all the commercials paid for by BP
depicting a return to normal on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico by an astute looking attentive
corporate manager from BP. All the spills every month all over the country from burst and leaking
pipelines, or run-off from coal extraction and "fracking" that destroy's drinking water and poisons
the topsoil for decades. All the cancer's created by exposure to toxic chemicals. All the deaths
due to negligence and lack of concern for safety oversight. All of it is washed away by the magic
of cinematography and a good video editor at a top-notch Hollywood studio.
Everything is fine people. Go back to sleep and pretend the invisible hand runs the magical free
market independent of and without any human influence whatsoever.
|Friday, 13 December 2013 at 22h 10m 15s|
The achievement gap
If you look at those graphs, you notice a rise in black and spanish from 1973 to 1990, followed by
flatline, whereas the blue line is fairly flat.
It's because you can't teach critical thinking. All you can do is create an environment that
enables every student to reach their potential. To a large extent the mind is only so good as the
development. If a human never learns syntax or language by the age of 7 or 8, that human will never
be able to learn a language because their mind has developed too far beyond the necessary time that
language could be accommodated. It's neurological reality. A student who has not had the same
opportunities of development at the age of 14 is at an inherent disadvantage, which is why such
development must begin and be addressed as early as possible.
Overtime the level of knowledge and average human ability increases, but the process isn't constant
or consistent. In 1950, 25% of US High school students took Algebra in high school and maybe 40%
graduated. In 1900, Calculus was a subject only a few college students ever took. Today, every
single high school teaches a Calculus class, and most have more than one section per year. Today,
almost every student take Algebra in high school, and the national high school graduation rate is
Beware of wolves who speak of crisis and offer reforms for a problem that doesn't exist.
Our schools are fine for the most part, the schools that are in trouble are in trouble for reasons
outside of the schools themselves. They've been saying there's been an education crisis since the
1950's and yet there has been no shortage of ingenuity and innovation in the economy. There are
plenty of high quality engineers and professionals who are top notch graduating every year, and year
after year despite so called crisis of education that doesn't teach "critical thinking" or whatever
is the buggaboo currently available.
The corporate elite keep saying they can't hire people who have skills. But then you find out about
how they offer $10 per hour jobs for high level skills that used to be top dollar, so that people
who have such skills are more likely to get their employment elsewhere rather than take a large cut
in pay. Then you find out that the same companies keep turning away quality high skilled applicants
... because they are "too old" or don't "fit the profile" because they have "too much experience".
In other words the real problems isn't a skills gap at all. The real problem is these corporations
don't want to pay living wages and would rather inexperienced wage-slaves trained dirt-cheap on the
public dime then they care about education.
Funny that the danger of falling behind the rest of the world didn't stop the entrepeneurs who build
the computer industry and the internet and the many new businesses that evolved since 1980. Because
we really do have one of the best educational systems in the world. The problems have to do with
economic disparity not a poor educational model.
I would also add that it's not that we teach black and spanish kids poorly and white kids better so
much as it is that black and spanish kids are more likely to come from a poor educational or family
background. If the average spanish/black kid was equivalent to the average white kid, the gap would
be much much less than it is now.
And remember that the graphs are based on averages. Just because the lines for black and spanish
kids is lower, does NOT mean ALL black and spanish kids are lower.
The problem with the disparity also has more to do with the larger problems of economic inequality
than it does with the system of education. Schools cannot address the larger social problems alone,
and this factor shows up in the achievement gap. A Stanford professor found that 2/3rds of the
variation in the PISA test scores (from 2006) can be explained by how many books they have in the home.
This would be 0.81 correlation coefficient ... or 81% -- which is btw the same correlation as
between IQ and scholastic achievement.
There is also the reality that these NAEP tests (and the PISA tests) are very challenging. Most
would have a hard time if they took them. The tests are more like tests you give to see if a student
is gifted and talented. They are not proficiency assessments. They are not testing to see how much
you know, but how you think and the depth of your thinking. So you can't see these poor results as
reflecting a lack of education or knowledge.
|Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 13h 6m 11s|
So what am I thinking about today, oh many things really. There's no way I could succinctly
summarize all of the random thoughts into a few morsels.
But in the past 15 minutes, I've been thinking about the women I've known in my life, thinking about
the relationship from their point of view, which is something I like to do in general. What is the
perspective from someone else's point of view. That stranger on the bus or in the grocery store,
what is their life about, what are their thoughts, their issues. The imagination wanders.
I've had 5 girlfriends in my life that I really liked. Two other hook ups were nice girls but we
never got a chance to develop a relation beyond the moment. Only one of those seven girls do I
really still love, even though I accept the reality that I will never see her again.
She's happily married living somewhere in the world. Sometimes I wonder if she ever reads this
blog, but I suspect that she is completely ignorant of it's existence. She probably never thinks
about me except maybe once or twice a year (maybe) if she thinks about her college years. She was a
girl. She was also completely different than me, and that's probably why it worked for a few years,
but sooner or later those differences began to matter, and well, it just wasn't meant to be.
And it's for the best too. But I still always wonder if I'll ever get an email or contact out of
the blue like has happened with some other people I used to know. I suspect not, but still sometimes
GOTO THE NEXT 10 COLUMNS