Discussion of the Pence Rule

For those of you who don’t know, Mike Pence, the VPOTUS, supposedly has a rule where he doesn’t eat alone with a woman who is not his wife. To discuss this topic in this thread, I’m going to respond to tweets about this subject. To start off, I’m going to respond to a tweet expressing vindication of the Pence Rule: Continue reading ‘Discussion of the Pence Rule’

2017 NFL: Week 10

Seahawks-Cardinals Continue reading ‘2017 NFL: Week 10’

S-Town (podcast)

Chris recommended that I listen to S-Town, a true crime podcast–at least that’s my understanding. I’m going to write some thoughts/notes about it here. I listened to the first episode, and I think Mitchell would find this interesting, and Don could, too.

In the first episode, a reporter, Brian Reed, tells about an email he got from a guy named John from a small town in Alabama (what John refers to as “Shit town”). John’s writing to talk about crimes committed and covered up in his town. He’s fed up with it. Anyway, this correspondence goes on for a while, and eventually the reporter talks on the phone with John. Here are some thoughts on John and Episode 1: Continue reading ‘S-Town (podcast)’

Hateful Eight (2015)


The Hateful Eight (2015)
Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Damian Bilchir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Continue reading ‘Hateful Eight (2015)’

2017 NFL Week 9

Bills-Jets Continue reading ‘2017 NFL Week 9’

Frontline: Putin’s Revenge, Part 1 and 2

PBS’s Frontline has a documentary on Putin and the Russian interference in the 2016 election. I don’t part 2 has come out yet, but I’m interested in discussing this, if you guys watch it.
On the website, there are also separate interviews with several experts and former government officials as well. Here’s the link.

5Qs: Halloween Edition

I thought we might have done one of these, but I did a search and nothing turned up. So…

1. Favorite trick-or-treat candy?
2. Best costume you ever wore?
3. Best costume you’ve seen?
4. Scariest real-life story you’ve been involved in (on Halloween or not)?
5. Scariest movie

Examining the Uranium One Story

Don’t know anything about the Uranium One story? Here are some links: Continue reading ‘Examining the Uranium One Story’

2017 NFL Week 8

Dolphins-Ravens Continue reading ‘2017 NFL Week 8’

2017 NFL: Week 7

Raiders-Chiefs Continue reading ‘2017 NFL: Week 7’

Will Massive Tax Cuts Lead to a Business Boom That Will Replace Lost Government Revenue?

This is a key principle for Republicans. Cut taxes and the economic activity will increase, if not explode. What about the loss of government revenue from these tax cuts? Don’t worry, conservatives say, the economic boom that results from the tax cuts will be so large that it will cover most, if not all of the lost revenue from taxes. My understanding is that this idea has little merit, and there’s an interesting story from NPR’s Planet Money podcast that reinforces this. The podcast is about the Governor Brownback’s attempt to implement tax cuts based on this principle in Kansas.

Short answer: it didn’t work. Indeed, The Atlantic has an article with Kansas Republicans warning that the GOP tax plan for the federal government, based on a similar principle, won’t work either.

Here are two interesting things I got out of the article. Continue reading ‘Will Massive Tax Cuts Lead to a Business Boom That Will Replace Lost Government Revenue?’

NFL 2017: Week 6


Eagles-Panthers Continue reading ‘NFL 2017: Week 6’

I Would Really Like to Know (Part 2)

They say the point
demons guard is
an ocean grave
for all the brave.
Was it you who said
How long?
How long?
How long
to the Point of Know Return?

NFL 2017: Week 5


Patriots-Buccaneers Continue reading ‘NFL 2017: Week 5’

Gun Violence

Thread to post articles on gun violence and gun control, as well a place to discuss the topic.

I Used to Think Gun Control Was the Answer My Research Told Me Otherwise is a somewhat surprising op-ed from a former writer from FiveThirtyEight. Continue reading ‘Gun Violence’

2017 NFL: Week 4


Bears-Packers Continue reading ‘2017 NFL: Week 4’

The Football Death Spiral, a Way of Understanding Football Games

I can’t remember if I talked about this before, but my understanding of football games and also my analysis of football teams comes down to which team can avoid getting into a death spiral in a game. Before I go into an explanation, let me say a few things. First, I don’t think what I’m saying is all that revolutionary or new, not in terms of the concepts. I suspect what I’m about to say will sound obvious and banal to many of you. However, in all my years of watching and reading about football, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone articulate or organize some of the concepts into what I’m about to say, which is a little surprising if true. So what do I mean by the death spiral? Continue reading ‘The Football Death Spiral, a Way of Understanding Football Games’

Why Are NFL Ratings Down?

I heard someone mention this, and I was a bit surprised. (I understand Trump made some comments about this and other NFL topics, but I didn’t bother reading them.) I have no idea if this is true, but if this is, why do you guys think this is the case?

I actually feel my enthusiasm for the NFL diminishing a bit, but I have no idea if this is the same reason others aren’t watching the NFL as much. Indeed, if I had to guess, I’d say the reason(s) is probably different. For me, the first thing that comes to mind is the number of injuries, particularly season-ending injuries that seem to occur before the the first regular season! The frequency seems so high that I feel like any key player or players could go down at any time. By the end, many of the teams that make it will likely be missing several important players. To me, this is a big turn off, and I must confess it’s mostly for selfish and superficial reasons: namely, it ruins the quality of competition, and even legitimacy of some of the games, if that’s the right way to describe it. If a team is missing several starters, one or two of them really important players, if a team beats them is that a legitimate victory? Injuries are part of the game, but if there are two many injuries, to too many key players, it weakens the meaningfulness of the games. Or at least I start feeling that way.

And maybe I wouldn’t if the quality of the play seemed high. That leads to the other issue for me–the quality of the offensive line (OL) play and how that affects the quality of play overall. To me, terrible OL play makes the game almost unwatchable.

By the way, I don’t think the officiating is much of a problem (although the way I watch games in condensed version and sometimes I don’t pay much attention to the penalties). I actually think the officiating is a lot better than a few years ago, when they seemed to call every defensive hold or pass interference. It’s a lot better since them. But I wonder if scoring is down. I don’t notice as many defensive holding calls that bail out offenses, so maybe that has lead to less scoring. If so, that might explain why TV ratings are down.

Any thoughts? Is the NFL less appealing to watch for you? If so, why?

2017 NFL: Week 3

Rams-49ers Continue reading ‘2017 NFL: Week 3’

NFL Hall of Fame: Class of 2018 Modern Nominees

The 2018 nominees of the modern era for the NFL are out. I thought it would be fun to go by position and discuss who we think is worthy, unworthy, the best of the group, etc. Let’s start with the QBs: Continue reading ‘NFL Hall of Fame: Class of 2018 Modern Nominees’