Friday, June 24, 2016

My Plan For the UK

Brexit passed yesterday and people are wondering what is going to happen next. Here is what should happen next:
  1. The four countries that make up the United Kingdom should vote to be free from each other.  England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland should go their separate ways.
  2.  Each region in each of the four now free countries should vote to be free from all other regions in the four countries that made up the UK.
  3. Each city in each region should vote to be free from all other cities in their region and all other regions in all countries that made up the UK.
  4. Each person in each city should vote to be free from all other persons in their city and all other cities in all other regions in all four countries that made up the UK.
So, at the end of this four step process, each person would be free.  Nobody in Brussels, London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, or Glasgow would be telling anybody else what to do.  There would be no confiscating of income or personal wealth for the funding of socialism or the bailing out of other countries that went bankrupt because of their socialism.  There would be nothing besides freedom attracting immigrants.

Now, it would quickly become apparent that something was needed to protect the rights and freedom of everybody in the former UK.  When that happened, one or more governments would be formed (I don't care how many) with the sole mission of protecting individual rights of the people of the former UK.

My only ask, since it was my idea, is that whatever country contained the coolest parts of the former UK be called "Greglandia."

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Recently Read Novels

Here are the last few novels I've read and some notes on each:
  • Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

    Really good. A sci-fi detective story.

  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman

    Not bad.

  • Gateway by Frederik Pohl

    I liked how the story was presented. Half of it takes place in the past, and half takes place in therapy sessions with an AI.

  • Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

    The payoff in this book is supposed to be amazing. However, I couldn't finish it. It was just a big jumble of words.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    The characters in this classic were really believable and well crafted.

  • The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir

    Very good. A survival story set on Mars. I liked the attitude and mindset of the main character.

  • Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

    Really good. The magic system was well thought out. The first of the three books was a good heist story set in a fantasy setting.

  • My Antonia by Willa Cather

    I read this in college, and I decided to reread it. It's a really sad book for me in some ways. It's also really good.

  • Slain in the Spirit by Walt Rosenfeld

    A co-worker wrote this book, and it was free to read. It was a really good effort for a "non-professional novelist". I've read other self-published books that I couldn't finish. I finished this one. It had some good things going for it.

  • Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow

    I couldn't finish this book. It was weird for no reason I could figure out. And, I was suspicious that the plot wasn't going anywhere.

  • Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

    I couldn't finish this book. It was too slice of life/naturalistic

  • The Unlimited Dream Company by J.G. Ballard

    I couldn't finish this book. It had a lot of weird sexual stuff in it. A Day of Creation is one of my favorite books, and it was also by J.G. Ballard. However, this one didn't do it for me.

  • Wool by Hugh Howely

    I liked this. Big plot. Interesting characters and world.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Minimum Wage Laws Violate Which Right?

Freedom of association.

Not everybody realizes this.

Note how this silly page at the Daily Kos mentions "freedom of association" twice in support of forming unions without realizing that that freedom also applies to the relationship between businesses and workers.

Nice try e2247.  You probably need to read some more books (or something).

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

How to Organize a Lot of Cash

This is a good tip from:

"Like, if I had five twenties," Ory says, "I'd fold them in half. If I have ten tens, I'll fold them in half in hundred-dollar increments. A $100 bill, I'd fold it in half so you can just count quick if you have a substantial amount of cash.

Monday, July 7, 2014

What Lebron James Should Do

Michael Jordan is worth an estimated one billion dollars.  His total income from NBA salary as a player is a faction of this number.  He makes an estimated $80 million per year many years after he last played in an NBA game.  The maximum an NBA player can make per year is about $30 million.

Lebron James should try to "go Jordan".  He should forgo income now with the goal of a much greater total lifetime of earnings.  The way he does this is to sign a series of one year contracts with whichever team gives him the best chance to win a title in a given year.  If he does this for the next 6 years and wins 5 championships, he will end his career with 7 titles.  If he manages his image well and does things in the right way, this level of success should be enough to set him up for a lifetime of basketball income far greater than he could make by taking large contracts now (and winning at most a few more NBA titles).

Forgoing large salaries now allows James to sign with any team.  Also, James taking less money allows whatever team he does sign with the ability to sign more and better players in an effort to win a championship.

Lebron James is in danger of becoming the Buffalo Bills of the NBA.  He's one freak play and Ray Allen long ball away from being 1 for 5 in the NBA finals.  The Buffalo Bills didn't "go Jordan".  You have to be a big winner to do that.  If James doesn't choose well, he might end up with a 2 for 7 or worse record in NBA finals.

So, if James is convinced "going Jordan" is what he should do, which team should he sign with?  I think the answer is obvious, the San Antonio Spurs.  Here is why:

  1. The Spurs give James the best chance to win the title next year.  They won it last year without him.  All of their key players are coming back next year.
  2. With James, the Spurs might challenge the 72-10 mark of the 95-96 Bulls.  Succeed in this and James will take Jordan down just a notch and raise his own brand.  The chase for the single season record would be a huge, ongoing story.
  3. The Spurs have a history of managing players' minutes.  With James, the Spurs would probably be the deepest team ever.  This would allow James (and everybody on the team) to play less minutes.  This would help come playoff time.  Also, it could help extend James's career.
  4. By joining the Spurs, James does not have to face the Spurs in the finals or earlier in the playoffs.  That means a lot considering the Spurs have beaten James twice in the NBA finals.  And, the Spurs have a player (Kawhi Leonard) and a defensive scheme that slows down James more than maybe any other team.
  5. Texas has no state income tax.  This allows James to keep more of his money.  There are only five NBA teams in states without state income taxes, the Heat, Magic, Mavs, Rockets, and Spurs.  The Spurs are clearly the best team out of those five for James to go to if his goal is to win a title next year.
A great player who stays in one place his whole career is one kind of great NBA story.  Another great NBA story is a player who wants to win NBA championships and will do whatever it takes to win.  This is the story Lebron James should tell and that is what he should do.  If he does this and does this right, he will be able to "go Jordan", make a ridiculous amount of money, and secure his place in NBA history.

For all the reasons outlined above, just before NBA camps open this year, without fanfare or press conferences, we should see this on the NBA wire "The San Antonio Spurs have signed Lebron James to a one year contract for the veteran's minimum salary."  If anything else happens, Lebron James has made a poor choice.  Go Jordan, Lebron.  It's in your best interest.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Kathleen Murphy Wins Terrible Person Award

My blog is going to start handing out awards to terrible people.

Kathleen Murphy has won the first such award for her call to start forcing doctors to take Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Here is a link.

If this person is elected by the good people of Virginia to any position, I'll be sad.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Elliott Video

The best part is at about 4 minutes.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My College Football Plan

(I posted this before but here's a fresh writeup.)

I wish college football was structured like this:

1)  10 regular season games.  These games take place from the last weekend of August to the 2nd or 3rd weekend of November.  Schools would have 11 or 12 weeks to play these games.  No games would be held the weekend before Thanksgiving.  (In 2013, games would be held from August 31st to November 16th.)

2)  Conferences of 16 teams would get an auto bid to the playoffs.  These conferences would have two 8 team divisions and would play 7 (or 8) conference games.  Each of these conferences would have a conference championship game.  Conferences of less than 16 teams could get an auto bid as well if they were paired another conference of less than 16 teams and the two conferences played a championship game to determine who made the playoffs.  So, conference sizes would typically be either 16, 8, or 9 teams.

3)  Conference championship games would take place the last weekend in November, Thanksgiving weekend, and no other games would take place that weekend.  This would allow college football to "own" Thanksgiving weekend.  It'd be the biggest sport during that holiday.  (In 2013, championship games would be held November 27th to November 30th.)

4)   On the Wednesday after championship weekend, the 16 playoff teams are announced and seeded.  Each conference championship game winner makes the playoffs and at large teams fill out the rest of the spots.

5)  Also on the Wednesday after championship weekend, each remaining team in the nation is ranked and put into groups of 3 by rank.  Two teams from the same conference and two teams that played each other in the current year could not be in the same group.  So, for example, the top group would be the top 3 ranked teams, the next group would be the next 3 ranked teams, etc.

6)  The teams in each group from 5) would play each other round robin during December in what I call "ladder games".  Each school would get one home and one away ladder game.  These would replace bowl games.  They would be a school's special game for the year.  These ladder games would also be a chance for teams within a conference to root for each other.  For example, there would be several SEC vs BIG12 match ups.  Which conference is the best?  These games would help decide that.  (In 2013, the ladder games would be held December 14th to December 31st).

7)  The playoffs would take place during 4 weekends in January.  (For the 2013 season this would happen January 4th to January 25th.)  Because of the ladder games in 6), playoff teams would have a month plus off from games to heal up and get ready for the playoffs.

Good things about this plan/organization:

1)  More meaningful games.  It reduces the number of OOC games (often against mediocre opponents) to 2 or 3.  Also, the championship games and the ladder games are all quality/meaningful games between teams of nearly equal rank.

2)  College football would absolutely own Thanksgiving weekend.  The championship games would be a huge four day sporting event during a time when many people have days off from work/school.  These games would be worth a ton of TV money.

3)  The regular season is still meaningful.  Teams are playing for a spot in the conference championship game/possible inclusion in the playoff.  They are also playing for a better ranking for their ladder games.  A better ladder ranking would result in a better team coming to town to play in the home ladder game.

4)  The ladder games replace the bowl games.  The attendance at many of the bowl games is a joke.  And some teams that go to the lesser bowls lose money?  The ladder games are a good deal for every team.  They are a special game for every single team that doesn't make the playoffs.

5)  The ladder games are a chance for real conference versus conference competition.  Fans will tune in to root for other teams in their school's conference.  It's a chance for conference pride/bragging rights to be put in the balance.  The games would be great.  All of December would have extremely entertaining games to watch while we waited for the playoffs to start.  The ladder games would bring in more TV money than the bowl games or meaningless OOC games to start the season.

6)  The 16 team playoff (really almost a 32 team playoff because of the conference championship games) would be a huge sporting event that would rival the Superbowl in fan interest.  The playoffs would be worth so much TV money.  It'd be like the college basketball tournament times 10.

7)  Teams would play a reasonable number of games.  Most teams would play 12 games.  A very small number of teams could play 11 games (if a team somehow made the playoffs without playing in a conference championship game and lost their first round game).  A few teams would play 13 games (conference championship losers that didn't make the playoffs or teams that won only one playoff game).  A very small number of teams would play 14 or 15 games (teams that went far in the playoffs).  However, teams that make the playoff would have a month plus off from games before the playoffs started.  This would help reduce injuries/the strain of playing more than 12 games.

8)  A 16 team playoff would allow for sixteen 16 team conferences at DI.  That's 256 teams.  It's enough for every team to have a chance to earn a spot in the playoffs on the field.  That's about twice the number of D1 teams we currently have.

9)  The college football season would have the several distinct periods of time that help create fan interest.  OOC games get fans ready for the conference schedule.  The conference schedule determines the teams in the conference championship games.  The ladder games help determine the conference ratings/relative strengths.  The playoffs determine an overall champion (and also help determine conference ratings/relative strengths).  During December and the ladder games fans/media can talk about the playoffs and there is a whole month to build that up/hype it.

The ideas above should be implemented today.  They are awesome and I'm not just saying that.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Shame on Merkel for Acting in the Best Interest of her People!

From here.

“The [European] project is today battered by a marriage of convenience between the Thatcherite leanings of the current British prime minister – who only conceives of a Europe à la carte and of rebates – and the selfish intransigence of Chancellor Merkel, who thinks of nothing but the deposits of German savers, the trade balance recorded by Berlin and her electoral future.”

She should totally seize the assets of the people of her country to pay for the out of control welfare states in other countries.  It's obvious.  Duh!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My NFL Team Strategy

If I ran an NFL team, I would emphasize having good offensive and defensive lines.  I would attempt to increase the number of players that would be productive members of the team by having these good lines and by accepting smaller players who are "fast enough" to play at positions other than on one of the lines.  I would run a conservative "possession" offense to cut down on big negative plays and to eat up as much clock on offense as possible.  What follows are the details of what I would do.

I would try to have a very good offensive line.  I would accomplish this by using a draft pick from the first three rounds each year on an offensive lineman.  Having a very good offensive line does a bunch of good things for your team.  It increases the number of players who can be productive QBs, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends.  This makes finding those players easier.  Offensive free agents will want to come to your team if they know the offensive line is top notch.  You can also play "lesser" talent at those skill positions and still get good results.  You can run the ball better and potentially eat up clock and use your running game to setup the passing game.

I would try to have a very good defensive line.  I would draft one defensive lineman each year in the first three rounds of the draft.  A good defensive line helps stop both the run and the pass (by generating a pass rush).  A good defensive line also increases opponent's turnovers.

If I have too many offensive or defense lineman because I drafted one each a year, I would trade away the older players for draft picks.

I would try to trade the remaining pick from the first three rounds each year to pick up additional picks in that year's draft or future drafts.

If I have one or more first three round picks that I can't trade, I would draft a player that plays at the line of scrimmage, a corner back, a tight end, or a wide receiver.  I would probably draft a good corner back in an early round over any of the other positions.

With my remaining draft picks I would draft the other positions.  My main focus would be getting players that are fast enough to play at some position in the NFL.  If I end up with a small team at every other position beside the offensive and defensive lines, so be it.

I would use free agency each year to plug holes at various positions on the team and to pick up the kinds of players I wasn't getting in the draft.

On defense, I would run a 4-3 defense.  For linebackers, I would use fast enough, bigger, and good tackling college safeties. For safeties I would use college corner backs that aren't fast enough to play corner in the NFL.  Using players at a position they are fast enough to play at without regard to size will increase the number of usable players.  There should be undrafted players each year that could contribute to the team by repositioning players as described.  By using players that are not desired by other teams, you greatly increase your pool of players to draw from.

The defense described above could potentially be good against both the run and the pass.  The defensive line would be good and could stop the run and have a decent pass rush.  The linebackers (the college safeties) should be big/fast enough to play the run and big/fast enough to cover tight ends and running backs out of the backfield.

The main weakness of this defense would be against tall/big receivers down the field.  This weakness is mitigated somewhat by the pass rush and by the fact that throwing long passes is one of the more risky and difficult things to do in the NFL.  Also, I wouldn't except the defensive backs to get beat more than "normal" defensive backs.  They would just lose "jump ball" situations more.

On offense, I would run a "possession" type offense.  I would try to methodically move the ball down the field with short to medium passes and with about as many rushing plays as passing plays.  I would be very conservative in my play calling.  The offense would try to minimize big negative plays, turnovers and big losses.  I might run a bunch of two receiver/two tight end sets.
Once the offense reached the opponent's side of the field, I would go for it on almost all 4th downs of five yards or less.  That would result in more TDs, more time taken off the clock, and put more pressure on the other team's defense.

I think the plan described is different from how any current NFL team is run and it has the potential for good results over a long period of time.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What's Wrong With Politics in America

  1. Nobody takes ideas seriously.  Principles?  What are those?  A coherent world view?  Why would we need that?
  2. The people that want to be in politics and who are successful have the intellect of infants.
  3. Neither party is right enough about to make it substantially better than the other party.
  4. We are constrained to a two party system instead of having mechanisms for small parties to have a chance to grow and have influence over time.
  5. The average voter is a moron.
  6. Most media coverage is moronic. 
But who am I kidding?  It's all going to work out and be great despite the above.  I'm just a peasant anyway and I shouldn't worry my little head about anything above my pay grade.  Carry on!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I like that opinion piece from CNN.

Here are the important parts:

  • Over the next 75 years, the federal government is projected to have $222 trillion more in liabilities than revenue if changes are not made.
  • The Democrat's proposal of taxing people who make more than $250,000 a year more will result in only $40 billion in more revenue each year.
  • The White House has no plan to deal with this problem and they don't like the plan put forth by the Republicans.
I don't understand how this big, looming problem is not an important part of the political discussion in America.  I don't understand why Obama and the Democrats are not criticized for not offering a plan to deal with this problem.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Nobody Likes the Rich

75% tax rate? The new president says he does not like the rich. Ouch. Nothing like that would ever happen in the USA, right?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Conversation With Tess

So, I came out the bathroom in the middle of shaving this morning to check on Tess and we had this conversation.

Tess: "Dad. You look funny."

Me: "I'm in the middle of shaving."

Tess: "What is shaving?"

Me: "I'm cutting the hair on my face off with this (and I hold up the razor)."

Tess: "It's just going to grow back."

Me: "Yes but I'll have a smooth face for a while."

Tess: "Do girls have to shave."

Me: "No. They don't."