Opening Day!!!

So far I think the best part of opening day 2010 has been watching Pat Neshek have a successful outing. That almost makes up for the mediocre offensive performance in an opening day loss. The coolest moment of today was almost certainly Jason Heyward going yard in his first MLB swing. So many other fun story-lines, Pujols being Pujols, two ex-Twins (Gomez and Garrett Jones) not being the players they were in MN at all and a lot more.

The worst part was reading these two posts by Glenn Greenwald on Salon.com. I've long called Greenwald my favorite lefty (stolen from someone at 2+2 I'm sure) and a big part of that is due to the insight he has into the effects of US foreign policy, specifically the two wars we are fighting.

How Americans are propagandized about Afghanistan
WikiLeaks releases video of slaughter in Iraq

The wikileaks video is worth 17 minutes of your time.

UPDATE: The important thing to keep in mind when watching this video, as well as reading about the Afghanistan masscare, is this: they hate us for our Freedom!

Posted bySL__72 at 12:00 AM 2 comments  

Still alive...

Had to post due to all the good new lately:

To start off lightly: Twins trade Bonser for ptbnl while keeping Bobby Keppel on the 40man roster. Wow... Now on to the really scary stuff. December has been a blast so far:

First, Obama sends 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and claims we'll be out July '11. This is insanity. We won't be out of Iraq by then. Cool article on CBS about the true increases in US presence in Afghanistan:

The Nine Surges of Obama's War

Next, we have Senate democrats, today, reaching a "compromise" on Health Care Reform. The CBO hasn't come up with an official estimate of the cost of this version of the bill (which will of course be far short of the it's true cost) but initial estimates I've heard are ridiculous. The new bill has replaced the "public option" with a series of possibly worse ideas.

Third, Obama calls for more Stimulus, $150b+. I don't know the exact amount but I'm pretty sure we aren't half-way through the first one yet, which, I might add, worked wonderfully:



Finally, one of the most important and least covered news stories of the month, The Copenhagen Climate Summit. I'm not exactly sure of the specifics of the Copenhagen accord (mostly because the leaked version didn't have any numbers filled in yet) but it sounds like it will be another incredible expense.

Further reading: Copenhagen — All Pain, No Gain

Of course they are moving forward with all this despite Climategate and the fact that there is no consensus among scientists on Anthropogenic Global Warming or whether it would even be a bad thing if it did exist.

We are only 10 days into December and we have or are on the verge of committing to trillions in new government spending and all the while the private sector, the part that has to pay for all this spending, continues to contract. Make sense of this statement if you can:

The unemployment rate edged down to 10.0 percent in November, and nonfarm
payroll employment was essentially unchanged (-11,000), the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics reported today.


http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

How could we lose a net 11,000 jobs and have unemployment go down? Well, it could be that the method behind the official unemployment number leaves a lot to be desired:


I can't wait for 2010, it's going to be a blast. At least they haven't taken over the music industry yet:

Posted bySL__72 at 9:04 PM 0 comments  

Sigh...

I've been finding it hard to watch the Twins lately. It's depressing. Any team that keeps giving the likes of Alexi Casilla and Delmon Young playing time really doesn't deserve to win. That isn't trying. At this point DY is a complete wreck when you compare him to your average team's 5th outfielder.

Since the big Cabrera trade I believe Brendan Harris has played one game... at third base. Cabrera isn't better then Punto of Harris. Not by any margin that could be considered anywhere near significant enough to have any impact on the remainder of the season anyway. We are talking maybe, if he hasn't actually lost a step defensively, a fraction of a game per 150 games better. The only value I saw in bringing him in is that it would allow the Twins to go Harris/Cabrera/Punto vs. LHP if Crede is hurt (ie keep Casilla off the field permanently!). Of course Casilla has been playing about half the games at 2nd since the trade and Buscher who at least had a tiny bit of value (pinch hitting vs. RHP and possibly filling in at 3rd vs. RHP) gets sent down.

The Pavano trade. I think the Twins actually lucked into a good move here! I have a friend and fellow pained Twins fan who once said "no one loves guys who used to be decent more than the Twins." At first glance, this trade appears to perfectly fit that MO and I'm sure that is what they were thinking when they made it. But, upon closer inspection, I think the Twins have accidentally made a really nice addition!

K/9 BB/9 ERA xFIP BABIP LOB%
09 6.3 1.65 4.43 4.15 0.330 64.3
Career 5.81 2.41 5.37 ~4.21 0.310 69.6

All signs point to Pavano still being a decent pitcher who has just been pretty unlucky so far this season. And hey, maybe his lack of luck this season will allow the Twins to keep him around next year at a reasonable price. Now, it isn't like this move is going to make a big difference, but still, its nice to actually be able to write something positive for once!


I don't even know what to say about this. Sadly it isn't surprising. It isn't like California is special, or especially bad. It's just that they can't hand out "money" like the federal government can. They are constantly doing the exact same thing on a much much larger scale only no one notices because their IOUs say "dollar" on them.

Story

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Small businesses that received $682 million in IOUs from the state say California expects them to pay taxes on the worthless scraps of paper, but refuses to accept its own IOUs to pay debts or taxes. The vendors' federal class action claims the state is trying to balance its budget on their backs.
Lead plaintiff Nancy Baird filled her contract with California to provide embroidered polo shirts to a youth camp run by the National Guard, but never was paid the $27,000 she was owed. She says California "paid" her with an IOU that two banks refused to accept - yet she had to pay California sales tax on the so-called "sale" of the uniforms.


Yesterday, because it was raining, I found out that the golf dome over on White Bear Ave. has a hit as many balls as you want for $12 deal that runs all summer. Pretty awesome deal, except my hands are sore as a result of the two large buckets of balls I hit.

Ever heard of Daniel Hannan? He's a libertarian-leaning MEP and author from Britain. I don't always agree with him, though I usually do, but his writing and speeches are always interesting. He came into internet fame after very publicly scolding the Gordon Brown, PM of the UK, back in March:



Here is part 1 of a more recent speech he did in the US that I found entertaining:



And finally... I have to of course close with some music:

Posted bySL__72 at 9:59 AM 1 comments  

Football Season

I cant' wait. I can't promise it as I've always had trouble finding time to write since I started my new schedule, but I'd really like to start posting more again.

I find that I am even more excited for the upcoming Vikings season knowing that Favre isn't going to be on the team. He may have made the team a little bit better, but in my opinion the improvement would have been marginal. At this point is his career Favre is massively overrated and I know that Vikings fans have far more animosity for TJack than he deserves. Sage is also a very average QB. I think it was the prospect of watching him through 2-3 interceptions per game that I was worried about, I don't know.

It obviously wasn't big news to most, but last week the Vikings released Chuck Gordon. At the time there was some speculation that it was to make room for another signing which obv. didn't happen. Hopefully they give him a shot at training camp, but I'm guessing the move means he isn't healthy yet. Really too bad.

I watched an interesting short lecture the other day by a guy called Doug Casey. He's an interesting guy. He's been a very successful investor, economist, author, etc. for a very long time. It is nice to see someone so frankly talking about "these damn governments" messing everything up. None of his advice is useful to me at this point, especially the things I haven't heard said before, but it was still a fun listen.

Here's the link to part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKIYNr2PPgM

And of course a "crazy" music video, Passion Pit - Sleepyhead:

Posted bySL__72 at 9:59 AM 2 comments