Huge doping news in the world of sport
This certainly makes it more likely that the yellow jersey might stay in American hands.
Update: This headline is hilarious.
"[Timberwolves center Eddie] Griffin told the Pioneer Press a day after the accident that he crashed his car because he was reaching for a cell phone that had fallen off his lap. The complaint, filed in St. Paul District Court, alleges the crash occurred because he was 'under the influence of alcohol' and masturbating while watching pornography on a TV set in his dashboard."
7:44 -- Random note: I really enjoy the name "LaMarcus." It's like his mom was sitting there thinking, "I like the name Marcus, but it could use just a little more oomph." If the Sports Gal and I ever have a boy, I'm pushing for LaBill Simmons. That name can't miss. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm destined to only have daughters. I never should have written that "Grading the Wimbledon Babes" column for my old Web site in '99, that's what killed me. Karma is a bitch. Wait, am I thinking out loud again?
I think that most managers and most teams have strategy down pretty well at this point, but there is one thing that still really bothers me, and that is the use of closers. I don't really understand the logic behind saving your best reliever specifically for the ninth inning, other than to generate a pitcher with a large number of saves. It creates an infexibilty in the team's strategy, and it creates situations in which bad relievers are forced to pitch in the most important, and often the most nerve-wracking portion of the game.
Teams should, obviously, I think, use their "closer" at any point in which the game appears to be on the line. It is easy to preserve a three-run lead for one inning. It is much more difficult to get a key strikeout in a bases-loaded jam. Conventional stats, and especially saves, contribute to this problem, but I'm surprised that more teams don't see through it.
First, contrary to what most Americans assume, current free speech protection has not been a fundamental American right for most of our history. Most people agree that the original intent of the First Amendment free speech protection was freedom from prior restraint. The First Amendment was not presumed to protect people from the consequences of their words. To be fair, there were some who argued for a more expansive understanding of free speech even in the founding era, but even they would be shocked at the types and scope of speech we allow today.
To be fair, there were some who argued for a more expansive understanding of free speech even in the founding era,
Second, though I'll just mention it here, there is at least an argument accepted by some members of the Court that flag burning is not constitutional speech. For not every politically connected action is or should be constitutionally protected (like burning crosses in the yards of civil rights pioneers with the intent to intimidate or as some believe, giving unlimited monetary contributions to political candidates of your choice).
Third, the argument above seems to fall into the slippery slope fallacy. That is, if we set aside some speech that has been protected and no longer protect it, we will begin to lose the whole First Amendment.
I think this just plain wrong. My sense is that Americans of all stripes are more committed to the ideal of free political speech than we ever have been.
Sure we have debates over campaign finance reform and university speech codes, but we all generally agree on the value of free speech. And current debates are nothing compared to the limitations on speech throughout American history. I would ask this--do we really think that an amendment prohibiting anti-war speech is soon to be proposed, passed by Congress, and ratified by the states? I think not.
The Constitution is not a sacred or Scriptural document that we should not mess with. It is a supermajoritarian legal document that sets out the basic framework and values we agree upon as a people in large supermajorities. Constitutions have no cosmic or metaphysical essence. There are good Constitutions and bad Constitutions and everything in between.
Vast majorities of Americans believe strongly in free speech, and find nothing un-American or dangerous about saying that burning the very symbol of our freedom goes too far. Since the Court thought differently, let's display our commitment to country and freedom by amending the Constitution to say so.
Let us show our commitment to freedom by removing a small portion of it.
"2. Bennett Salvatore -- Always one of the worst, he took it to another level this season. If you see him on the court at the start of the game, get ready for about six technicals, two near-brawls and both coaches having to be restrained by their assistants at various times."
Why is this relevant? Not only did Salvatore officiate Game 4 of the Suns-Lakers series (the one where Kobe tied it at the end of regulation and won it at the end of OT on two shaky non-calls on Nash, both by Salvatore), not only did Salvatore officiate Sunday night's Game 5 (in which Miami had a 40-12 free-throw advantage at one point), but Salvatore called the foul on Wade's final drive in overtime (remember, the call where ABC couldn't find a replay to show that anyone touched him?) even though he was standing at midcourt a full 35-40 feet from the play, and even though two other refs were closer to the play. Not only was that NOT his call, he butchered it.
Considering I brought this up LAST spring, do you find any of this a little strange? Why aren't the best referees calling these games? Why do the worst ones always seem to get assigned to games in which it would be better for the league if the home team won? Why am I the only one who notices this stuff or seems to care? Why do I find myself watching these games and concentrating more on the one-sided officiating than some of Wade's spectacular plays? As my buddy House e-mailed on Monday morning: "I don't think I can take much more of NBA refs insisting on controlling the outcomes of the most significant games. The NBA is a disgrace and should be completely embarrassed. I hate this game."
Gore has won the global warming debate—the world is warming as a consequence of human activity, chiefly the loading up of the atmosphere with carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. Yet he feels that he must exaggerate the dangers by propounding implausible scenarios in which sea levels rise 20 feet by 2100. He pretends that the science is settled with regard to the effect of global warming on hurricanes. And he pushes a scientifically tenuous connection between the spread of diseases and global warming. These are little inconvenient truths that cut against his belief that global warming constitutes a climate emergency. On balance Gore gets it more right than wrong on the science (we'll leave the policy stuff to another time), but he undercuts his message by becoming the opposite of a global warming denier. He's a global warming exaggerator.
And while we're at it, how dumb does Pennsylvania look for not making helmets mandatory? I heard a state legislator on the radio this morning say that this accident wouldn't cause him to change his mind. It's about human rights, he said. Riders should not be forced to wear a helmet.
I've got one for you, Mr. Politician. Let's repeal seat-belt laws, and gun laws, and minimum drinking ages, and let's just let America be the Wild, Wild West. Do what you want, when you want.
Laws are made to protect people, even when they think they don't need protecting. Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is about as basic as one can get in terms of human safety. It's irresponsible to argue the other side.
By the way, helmet laws are a particularly interesting bit of nanny-statism, since motorcyclers are such a small percentage of the population. In most states where this law gets passed, the votes of people who will never ride a motorcycle and for whom the law will always be irrelevant generally overwhelms the wishes of motorcyclers themselves. I wonder how many women who piously preach that the government can't tell us what to do with our bodies typically vote for helmet laws that tell people, uh, what they can do with their bodies.
Under two "big-box" proposals pending before the council, operators of large stores in the city would be required to pay their employees a minimum of about $10 per hour in wages and another $3 in fringe benefits.
"There is a tremendous amount of opportunity that can be lost, not just by Wal-Mart but by other businesses that would be affected by this," Bisio said. "If you were a businessman, why would you want to continue to invest millions and millions of dollars ... and subject your business [to a requirement] that applies to some, but not all? It is an unfair ordinance.
"If you want to raise it for all businesses, if you want to do it to all retailers, then you might have something," he continued. "But not like this."
Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd), who supports the big-box ordinance, said that passage would not change Wal-Mart's plans.
"We won't lose them," he said. "Wal-Mart wants to come into Chicago because they see the market. They see how much is being spent in Chicago proper. They want to be here. They just have to pay a living wage."
Finally, when they read the safety instructions at the beginning of the flight, they go through the whole song and dance about “in the unlikely event of a water landing…” and all the precautions in place to deal with that happening. My friend Peter Thompson did some research on this. At least going back to 1970, which by my estimation encompasses over 150 million commercial airline flights, there has not been a single water landing! (Some planes explode and fall into the water, but he couldn’t find anything resembling a water landing where any of those instructions might help you.) So perhaps 15 billion customer trips have heard that 10-15 second set of instructions without it ever being useful to anyone.
Darfur and the like aside, I have a few nominations for what Superman should do:
1. Become a research scientist.
2. Collect data for the Fed.
3. Fly around and tell people -- politely but very pointedly -- when they should accept lower nominal wages.
4. Perform amazing stunts on TV, become a big celebrity, and then preach the virtues of economic literacy; this is Dan Klein's suggestion.