Dennis Kucinich For Supreme Commander

I flipped over to the Democratic debates last night for a few minutes. I had to turn it off after just a few minutes due to the overuse of the words “progressive”, “tax”, “program”, etc. I even commented on Rogel’s blog before I went to bed that I just couldn’t take it.

Too bad I was fast asleep when Kucinich said those magic words–“unidentified flying object”.

Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. Maybe life really does exist somewhere besides this planet. Maybe he was mailing a letter from Shirley McClain’s house and accidentally used one of her “special stamps”.

Funny though.

Latest Blogrush Updates

If you haven’t been to Blogrush to check your stats in a while because it seemed like they would never have any reports available, now is the time to check back in. I would have been happier if they’d gotten stats up quicker and not worried about making them pretty, but they are very pretty.

Milton Friedman and Phil Donahue

This one is making the rounds, and worth watching.

It’s widely known that Phil did his show free of charge for many years. When he was finally forced to accept compensation, he handed what was left after taxes over to the gov’ment to do with as they saw fit. A real humanitarian.

[youtube RWsx1X8PV_A]

Ask Not What Google Can Do For You

I’d wager that most of this blog’s regular readers fall into two main categories. The first group is those who know me IRL and like to see me make an ass of myself. Lately that has been happening online with a keyboard much more frequently than late at night with a debit card. Probably not as funny, but they have the convenience of seeing it whenever they want. It’s a trade off.

The other group is made up of other people who are part of the blogosphere and, like the first group, like to see me make an ass of myself. I see a pattern developing here. Based on what I’ve seen and read on their sites, a large majority of these people are in it solely for the fame and glory of blogging. They can actually write, and they aren’t as concerned with the piles of nickels and pennies that can be piled up slowly by spending countless hours working on their layout, optimizing for search engines, reading message boards about search engines, and on and on.

So for those people who aren’t keeping up with the technical end so much, I’ll give you the quick and dirty version of what’s been happening with Google over the last few months. Whether you actually care or not, this is going to affect you eventually.

* A site’s Google’s PageRank (site relevancy) is influenced by links from other sites
* Naturally, this created a market for links, and people bought links from other sites to boost the PageRank of their site
* Google didn’t like this and is now penalizing link sellers who did not report paid links.
* Some people will stop selling links. Some people will sell links and not get caught. Other people who have never sold links will be wrongly penalized.
* All of these people could become angry.

I’ve said before and I’ll say it again–creating good, original content is your best strategy in the long run. You can game the system for a little while, but remember that the search engine belongs to them–they make the rules of the game.

For those who don’t like Google’s latest tactics, your choices are pretty simple. You can play Google’s game by their rules, you can play Google’s game by your own rules, or you can support a different search engine whose rules you like better. My official stance is that of Switzerland. Although unofficially….

My guess is that we are about to see several new web ranking systems that do not belong to Google. They’ve basically rendered PageRank useless. Don’t be shocked if some big players in the game jump ship from Google and start using their influence with their users to thwart Google’s current dominance.

Not Even Local News

SVD has a pretty funny post over at KtownLowDown about “Local News“. Well what do I find featured in the KNS the very next day? A real scoop: Kenny Chesney Still Loves The Vols.

Look, I get it that offbeat stories are interesting. When somebody does something really stupid or odd, it’s going to attract interest. I even understand covering stories about scandalous nude photos or crazy sexual escapades. If nothing else, there’s some web traffic to be gained.

What I don’t understand is a front page (at least on their web site) story about which college football team has earned the allegiance of a singer.

Can anyone who would actually care one way or the other even read?

This isn’t even local news.

Nashville Increasing Licensing Fees For Strippers

From The Tennessean:

Even though the board has discussed increasing the dancing permit and club licensing fees to $500, it probably won’t be able to charge that much.

Metro attorney Doug Sloan said the board is prohibited from charging more money than it needs to regulate the industry, and the board is waiting for a tally on those actual costs

If they factor in the cost of enforcement of the tax they should be able to justify it. Just like the cross-border cigarette enforcement, Metro Nashville will no doubt have to send revenue officials into strip clubs in all neighboring counties to make sure that the dancers are not actually Davidson county residents.

Supporting Social Programs Is A Lot Like Driving

I don’t remember where I heard this comment, but the basic idea is that there are two types of drivers:
1) Maniacs–these are people who drive faster than you
2) Idiots–these are people who drive slower than you

What is the ideal speed? Whatever speed you drive.

I think a lot of middle class neo-liberals have the same basic outlook on how social programs should be structured. There should be two types of people in their view.
1) Payers–these are “rich” people (people who make more than them)
2) Recipients–these are “poor” people (people who make less than them)

And what is the ideal wage to neither pay or receive? Whatever they make.

Want to put this to a test? Let the market decide. List every social program on the individual tax returns and allow people to choose how much of their yearly income will be allocated to which program. Allow people to contribute as much or little as they want. Allow them to choose as many or as few programs as they want.

What do you think would be the result?

Three Things I Haven’t Let Go

When I first got hit with this meme by BillyMac, I thought the topic was “3 Things I Wouldn’t Let Go”. That one would be pretty easy–family, health, and some other random item.

But this is “3 Things You Haven’t Let Go”, which has a much different conotation. Maybe I’m inferring it incorrectly, and it’s vague enough for interpretation, but I take this as “3 Things I Haven’t Let Go (but probably should)”. Believe it or not, this is a part of my character I’ve really worked on over the past few years. I’ve really tried to develop “the ability to let that which does not matter truly go.” Despite my best efforts, I still have plenty options. After all, I am powered by spite.

Spite CanAs I’m trying to narrow it down to the top three, I’m realizing how much I don’t want to admit any of this publicly. It’s not the fear of baring my soul that’s holding me back–it’s the realization of how stupid they all are. All instances of forgiven, but not forgotten. In order of increasing ridiculousness on my part…

Las Vegas August, 2005
I was going out for a weekend with about 15 other guys. Soon after booking my ticket I saw that there were UFC fights that weekend, so I asked some other guys if they wanted to go. I could only buy eight tickets, and as soon as seven other guys said they were in, I bought 8 together. $100 per ticket before all the taxes and charges. Not a problem–these guys are all local and they all have jobs. I’ll get my money back this week, right? Wrong. But that’s not the worst part. Literally thirty minutes before the fights I met up with the final two guys who owed me for their tickets. They walked up with two other guys who I didn’t know, paid me for the tickets, and turned around and sold them for $200 each to the other guys right in front of me! Chuck Liddell is lucky he didn’t have to fight me that night.

Summer 1993
I was living in a dump of a house in Ft. Sanders with two other guys–$300 rent. We split the electric and basic phone service evenly, but if anyone had long distance calls they had to pay it themselves. The month he moved out, one of my roommates had $37 worth of long distance calls to his girlfriend in California. By the time the bill came, he was gone, and the other guy and I had to eat it. Sure, not a lot of money, but at the time it was, and besides it’s the principle. I never got the money back from him, but I did hit him in the back with a folding chair (part of the height of my pro-wrestling obsession) in Long Branch one night when he was playing pool. Surprisingly, it didn’t make me feel any better.

St. Patrick’s Day Rugby Tournament, Savannah Georgia, 2000
We had a pretty solid team, and were scheduled for a Sunday morning match. Of course we’d all gone out on and had fun on Saturday night. At game time on Sunday, we only had 12 guys there. We started the match shorthanded, and when the other guys finally rolled up, I was infuriated. I didn’t even want them to come into the game–my preference was to take an ass kicking and let them sit and watch it. After the match (we lost) I refused to shake their hands. I love all of those guys, but I haven’t let the fact that they didn’t show up for us that morning go. I could have stayed in Knoxville if all I wanted to do was drink beer and not play rugby. Under certain conditions and in the presence of certain people, this one still sends me into a mild rage.

See the common thread here? All cases of being let down by friends. So I guess that is my biggest pet peeve? Possibly.

Up next are:
SVD
Ivy
Taylor–fingers crossed she’ll relate this to public education

Fudge Round or Star Crunch?

Little Debbie Snack CakesLast week’s poll was a real nailbiter. We had a three way tie, but I think the Ron Paul supporters were stuffing the ballot box. Or maybe they’re the only ones who care enough to vote?

I asked my readers to choose between a bowl of Crispix, a peanut butter banana sandwich, Vienna sausages with crackers, or any single Little Debbie snack cake for their last meal.

Vienna sausage was the big loser, but only by one vote. I guess I’m not too surprised that it was so close. First of all, the voting was completely anonymous, so there was no risk of being singled out as someone who is actually willing to put Vienna sausages in your mouth. Another possible reason that the sausages got any votes at all is based on the same rationale that prompted me to choose the Little Debbies…

This is my last meal! Trans fat and phosphates be damned! I’m going out with a bang!

Don’t get me wrong–I’m a huge fan of both cereal and peanut butter and ______ sandwiches, but for $.35, it’s tough to beat a Fudge Round.

I’m Doubting Any Republican Can Win

If you saw the debates last night you know why. Most of these guys can only talk about Hillary or Ronald Reagan. If they aren’t doing that, they are trying to squeeze pre-written jokes. Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo are the only two with anything different to say. Tancredo can’t get his ideas across, and the Republican party (at least the ones in attendance at last night’s debate) don’t like what Paul has to say.

Sorry guys. You can boo all you want, but 77% of the people being against our involvment in Iraq isn’t Paul’s opinion, that’s just a fact.

I’m really hoping for a third party run.