Whom the gods would destroy

Medea had nothing on the Minnesota Vikings. After that ludicrous collapse yesterday, they went and waived Randy Moss! Right, because he was the problem. Interestingly enough, Favre wasn’t the problem last night, the one underthrown ball to Percy Harvin that led to a fantastic interception by the Patriot rookie cornerback notwithstanding.

1. Childress blew another challenge. A week late doesn’t count, Chilly.
2. Going for it on fourth-and-goal was a reasonable call. Trying to run behind Loadholt instead of Hutchinson wasn’t.
3. Apparently we have never heard of “play-action” passes. Especially not when everyone in the stadium knows the ball is going to AD.
4. Asher Allen.
5. And again, Asher Allen. Is there any way Antoine Winfield doesn’t make that tackle on Wes Welker?
6. The Tarvaris Jackson Experiment still cannot play quarterback in the National Football League. I remember that signature, “lift up the ball high as the pocket collapses around you, then somehow manage to hold onto it as you get sacked” play. Nice to see he’s still got it.

Naturally, the solution to all of this was getting rid of the Hall of Fame wide receiver who commanded double and triple-teams all game. Childress has to go and he has to go now. He’s the only coach in the league capable of being outcoached by Mike Singletary. There’s no need for an interim coach, just let Brett Favre do it. It’s not like he could do any worse.

I kind of hope New England signs Moss. It would be a fitting conclusion to the madness.

Republican irrelevance

In which it is proved by the Republican House Majority Leader-to-be, Rep. John Boehner:

Why You Should Vote For Republicans

Americans are speaking out and demanding a new way forward in Washington. Republicans have listened and outlined a new governing agenda in the form of a Pledge to America focused on creating jobs, cutting spending and changing the way Washington does business.

A smaller government

At the core of the Pledge is an idea Washington just hasn’t tried before — that the path to recovery lies in making government smaller instead of making it bigger. To jump-start job creation, the economic uncertainty gripping small businesses has to be eliminated, and the spending binge in Washington has to be stopped.

The Pledge puts forth a clear plan to end the current uncertainty, starting with stopping all looming tax hikes so that small businesses can get back to creating jobs. This is followed by a blueprint for fiscal sanity that begins with cutting spending to pre-“stimulus,” pre-bailout levels, a move that will save taxpayers $100 billion in the first year alone.

Very well. Smaller government sounds good. Saving $100 billion in the first year alone sounds like a lot. Now, what was the federal budget in 2010? According to “A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America’s Promise” which is the Orwellian title for The United States Federal Budget for Fiscal Year 2010, the 2010 budget is $3.552 trillion. And according to the most recent estimate in July, the deficit alone is going to be $1.47 trillion instead of the $1.171 trillion originally forecast.

So, Republicans are going to cut 2.8% of the federal budget, or if you prefer, 6.8% of the federal budget deficit. In other words, if the nation were a car speeding towards a canyon at 70 miles per hour, the Republicans master plan for saving the passengers would be to slow the car down to 65.2 MPH! And let’s see if what Boehner’s plans are for addressing the four pressing issues I mentioned in today’s column:

1) The economy. He mentioned it. But repealing “the job-killing health care law and” replacing “it with common-sense reforms focused on lowering costs and protecting American jobs” is isn’t even going to begin solving the debt-deflation problem of $52 trillion in public and private debt.

2) The massive mortgage fraud. Nothing. I suspect the Republicans will come out on the side of the banks and sacrifice the rule of law for nothing. But who knows? Boehner didn’t mention it.

3) Immigration. Nothing, although there is just a hint of anti-Ricardian rhetoric detectable in the phrase “protecting American jobs”. Again, Republicans are more likely to be part of the problem than the solution here; Ronald Reagan was signed Ted Kennedy’s 1986 law.

4) The endless wars. Nothing. And they’re for it.

In conclusion, I see no reason not to vote Republican if it amuses you. They’re certainly not going to make things any worse than the Obama-Reid-Pelosi Democrats. So vote how thou wilt, because it will make no substantive difference in the material outcome of the nation’s fate.

IP is book burning

Jeffrey Tucker explains how IP reduces the store of human knowledge:

Last week, I had to haggle with an authors’ consortium in Britain concerning a 1946 text. The author had no children and he died before the copyright on the book expired. Someone swept in a renewed the thing, thereby taking it off the market. It hasn’t been in print for some 40 years. A paralegal helped me discover the owner, which turns out to be some scam operation that preys on people who want to reprint books. I asked to distribute the thing online. The consortium never seem to have heard of the internet. They wanted a fee for $1 per book with a contract that lasted 2 years and a limit on our sales. None of this works for us. So we said no. As a result, the book, which is not that mission critical, goes back to its eternal resting place, all because of “intellectual property” which is just so obviously a hoax and a violation of human rights.

This is only one of dozens of cases I’ve dealt with. And there are actually millions of books in this condition, effectively burned and destroyed by IP law.

The amount of human knowledge that is being lost to future generations thanks to IP law is really disturbing. Since scientage, or “the body of scientific knowledge” is one of the tripartite aspects of science, science fetishists who habitually fulminate about an incipient “new Dark Ages” should really spend a lot less time worrying that illiterate and innumerate children run the risk of not having TE(p)NS talked over their ignorant heads and a lot more about the disappearance of information that was published in the past. Lest you think there is nothing valuable to be learned from keeping the words of dead authors alive, consider the cost of this temporary loss of this insignificant tidbit of scientage.

WND column

No Change after Nov. 2

There is nothing surprising about the Republican tsunami that will rock Congress on Election Day. It was obvious given the parody of governance demonstrated by the Obama-Pelosi-Reid triumvirate of incompetence. I first predicted that the Republicans would reclaim the House, and quite possibly the Senate as well, back on July 14, long before the conventional wisdom otherwise known as Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight began suggesting that they might have a shot.

Now here is another prediction: The tea party is about to learn that its efforts to transform the Republican Party by working through it are doomed to failure. In fact, there is a reasonable chance that as soon as 2012, the tea party will go from the Republican Party’s most visible ally to its most vicious and implacable enemy.