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Surprise, surprise.

Recent posts

Some thoughts on the marijuana thing- which, since I've never used the stuff much, I can put together somewhat coherently

First off, yes, marijuana IS harmful. Some contemporary studies show that chronic use can cause a substantial drop in a person's IQ. It does brain damage which doesn't seem to be reversible.

I think it's ridiculous to compare marijuana to cocaine or heroin or other opioids. But it's also ridiculous to compare it with alcohol. Marijuana use has never had the social acceptance and cachet of beer or wine or cocktails. Prohibition sought to close the barn door after the cow had already escaped; the cannabis cow only has her front hooves out the door at this point. And given the unprecedented ignorance of the population of the Western world these days,  do we really need to be encouraging the use of yet another drug to muddle the mind?

I distrust the current spate of "scientific studies" purporting to show that marijuana is relatively harmless because the results of those studies publicized by the avid pro-pot population heavily cherry pick the data and because o…

The American Himmler is running for the Senate

When former Arizona sheriff and pardoned criminal Joe Arpaio was in office, his jail led the nation in inmates who hanged themselves. Conditions were that bad.  Inmates, including pregnant women, were denied proper medical attention.  He once tried to frame an innocent man for plotting to murder him; the man walked free when his attorney was able to prove in open court that Arpaio himself had invented the whole story in an attempt to send a man he knew to be innocent to prison.

Arpaio was very fond of arresting people for the crime of driving- or walking, or just being someplace he didn't think they ought to be- while looking Hispanic. His discrimination against people of Hispanic origin and his habitual abuse of their civil rights was serious enough that he was convicted and sentenced to prison.

President Trump once again displayed his disdain for the Bill of Rights, the law, our traditional American values, and common decency by pardoning the jackass. The president was right ab…

An update on the Direct Express travesty

"No mas," as Roberto Duran would say.

"Satis est," as Phillip Melanchthon would say,

Enough is enough.

My new Direct Express card didn't arrive. Turns out that despite my request that it be sent by expedited mail and my agreement to pay something like eighteen bucks for the privilege,  it was sent by ordinary mail anyway, and may not arrive until Friday (NOTE: It arrived on Saturday).

Today I opened a checking account at a local bank. Turns out that they are willing to open it in anticipation of next month's Social Security payment. In the future, my Social Security payments will be sent there. If problems should arise, I will no longer have to spend a week or more calling at all hours around the clock and never being able to talk to a human being. I will simply walk a few hundred feet up the Skywalk to a branch of my new bank and talk to a human being face to face. I won't even have to go outside to do it.

Supposedly the card could arrive tomorrow, but w…

DON'T use the Direct Express card for your Social Security payments!

Social Security checks are a thing of the past. Social Security has long since gone paperless. The United States Department of the Treasury recommends that Social Security recipients who don't want to have their payments sent to a bank account instead use the Direct Express card, which is administered by Comerica Bank.

The United States Department of the Treasury needs to think again.

Most banks either require minimum balances or create other hoops for account holders on fixed incomes to jump through. One bank that is quite popular in my area (but whose name I will not mention) requires no minimum balance and even offers "overdraft insurance" for account holders who also have savings accounts. They don't mention that the saving account IS the overdraft insurance- which, though not an unreasonable arrangement, nevertheless needs to be explained right off the bat. I was once employed by that bank and had the job of explaining all this to people after the fact. I suppo…

Why the Cubs should forget Yu Darvish and re-sign Jake Arrieta

My Cubs need one more starting pitcher in order to have a decent chance of getting back to the World Series. The choice is said to come down to re-signing Jake Arrieta or going after the Dodger's Yu Darvish, both of whom would probably cost approximately the same amount of money, I think it's a slam dunk- and not in the direction most Cub fans seem to think. In fact, most Cub fans seem confused about some basic things.

First, while Jake is older than Darvish, it's only by a few months. And Darvish has thrown over 400 more innings than Jake has. That's the equivalent of two full seasons! If the question is which is farther downhill in his career, contrary to what most Cub fans seem to think, the answer is clearly Darvish. Moreover, even though he has more miles on him, Darvish has never achieved what Jake has. And he never will. Darvish has never won the Cy Young award. And on top of it all, Darvish has had Tommy John surgery. Jake has not. Darvish is damaged goods.


A modest proposal for a shocking innovation which is completely within the rules but which would, if adopted, revolutionize college football

I call it defense.

The idea- crazy as it may sound- is to supplement the scoring of points by your offense with an attempt to stop the other team from scoring them. Yeah, I know.  Really "out there," isn't it? But it has a history of winning not only games but championships. Modern college teams should try it more.

I'm a bit bummed about the Rose Bowl outcome but amused by the score. It seems that certain conferences aren't sure whether they're playing college football or high school basketball! I've noticed that in the scores of Sooner games. Last season the nation's college teams set a record by scoring an average of slightly more than 30 points each per game. That's a lot. Historically, that's a REAL lot.

The final score of the Rose Bowl was 54-48, though to be fair that was in double overtime. But to get there, the teams had to be tied 45-45 at the end of regulation! Last year was even worse. Southern Cal beat Penn State 52-49- in regulat…