Thursday, November 27, 2014

For $300,000 You Can Get Someone To Read A Teleprompter At You

... or, you could buy about 4 Lotus Elises and then get one of those text-to-speech apps to read the text instead.

I can tell you how I'd spend that $300K if it were mine.
Hillary Clinton, it turns out, bags 300 large to read a teleprompter.
When officials at the University of California at Los Angeles began negotiating a $300,000 speech appearance by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the school had one request: Could we get a reduced rate for public universities?

The answer from Clinton’s representatives: $300,000 is the “special university rate.”
The money is just the beginning. There are scads of special demands. My favorite was this one.
After a lengthy call with a Clinton representative, UCLA administrator Patricia Lippert reported to campus colleagues, “She uses a lavalier [microphone] and will both speak from the audience and walk around stage, TED talk style. We need a teleprompter and 2-3 downstage scrolling monitors [for] her to read from.”
Outstanding! She will walk around the stage like a real professional speaker would do, acting like it's all spontaneous as a pair of huge video screens fill her empty head with thoughts written by someone else.

For heaven's sake, would it kill her to memorize her speech? It's not like she's saying anything new or revolutionary. She hasn't had an original thought in her life. Everything is calculated and hedged. What does it say for her intellect that she can't manage to mechanically regurgitate her progressive platitudes by now?

And how about UCLA? What a pack of rubes. If I had a kid in their MBA program, I'd withrdraw him immediately. If you can't convince your administration that 300 Gs is insanely overpriced for someone who reads pablum to you, you should all be fired and the school shut down.

Stepping back a bit further, this is beautiful. A politically hyper-connected, pampered, egocentric woman with insignificant credentials is being paid $300,000 of taxpayer funds to blather about income inequality and why even more needs to be taken from the taxpayer. I think this has all played out before.

Hillary Clinton = Eva Peron.

Catican Note: Have a Happy Thanksgiving! I seldom do holiday posts and was going to do one today when I saw this. Oh well. Here in the Compound, we hope you eat up, watch football, make merry and share love with the family.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Let The Baby Have His Bottle

... and let the media and the rioters and the race baiters have their fun far away. Where we live, it's just something you read about.

Yesterday, I was at a police station helping my daughter deal with her very first ticket. It was for a minor infraction, thankfully. At the station, there were several people gathered for job interviews. Some administrative position was open and there must have been 6 people queued up for their chance. One of the guys, a young black man, was sitting outside, waiting. As we left, I asked if he was there for a job interview. He said he was. I smiled and said, "Good luck!" He gave me a big smile and said, "Thanks!" I then told him I'd say a prayer for him, which got another big smile and thanks.

According to the media and the activists, I probably shouldn't have done that. I should have glared at him or walked as far as possible on the other side of the walkway, checking to see if the police were in range if he suddenly attacked me. As I drove away, I could have locked my car doors so he could hear the "CHUNK!" as we left.

Naaahhh. I think I can live my life without advice and help from the news media and the pundits. So can the rest of us. The pleasant interactions I've had with blacks in the last couple of days remind me of the Zimmerman Days of Rage when I was working downtown at Catholic Charities. A few blocks away, black activists were giving speeches and raging away. In our little storefront office, people of all races were laughing and smiling.

This is why I watch sports instead of the news. They don't tell me how I'm supposed to think and feel.
Image source.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Frankly, I Think HyperX Could Have Shown A Little More Sensitivity

The choice of words in this ad on a Ferguson rioting YouTube video does seem a bit inappropriate.

Perhaps they could have said, "Release that part of you that is filled with righteous anger at the social injustices which have led to the perfectly justifiable burning of businesses which had no part whatsoever in the shooting of Michael Brown."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Most Creative People

... don't care if the talent catches their death of cold?

Reading an article on the web, I came across this clickbait ad for another web site. It did not have the intended result on me.
The photographer is wearing a down jacket so long and heavy that they look like Arsene Wenger on a cold, London Saturday. The model must be freezing her cute, little tuckus off. That's not exactly a turn-on.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Catholics Are Judgmental

We all know this to be true. All those rules, the Sacrament of Confession*, and that horrible homophobia - it all adds up to judgmentalismishness. Lots and lots of it.

You're a sinner and so am I. That's all there is to it.

Yesterday, my wife and I taught the remarriage class for the diocese. It's a mandatory class for couples who want to get married in the Church and have been married before. This time, an unusual number of couples were already civilly married, some for many years. They wanted to finally get right with the Church. In the eyes of our hateful Catholic rules, they were, as one couple said with a laugh, "living in sin."

We all pointed and screamed at them in a rage.

Actually we didn't. One of the advantages of being a sinner and recognizing that everyone else is, too, is the ability to have a little perspective on this stuff. Those rules and regulations aren't there to make you feel guilty. You can do that on your own. Those rules and regulations are there to provide an ideal to strive to achieve.

Everyone in the room had been around the block a few times, so to speak, and the conversations during the class were fairly deep and sophisticated. We all recognized that the atomic bomb blasts we had set off in our lives through divorce, infidelity, drugs, alcohol, abuse and so on were the result of not following the rules.

It's almost like God laid out those rules because He loves us or something. Crazy, I know. (Why hasn't anyone told us?)

In any case, the class was a lot of fun, we led them through discussions of the primary ways marriages fail and got the couples to have conversations about topics they may not have addressed. There was lots of laughter and no one pointed fingers of shame, despite the fact that the room was full of world-class sinners. Instead, we acknowledged the existence of objective rules, laid out by Someone Else for our own good. If any of us felt deservedly shameful, it was an added bonus.

* - No, not Reconciliation, it's Confession. You did wrong and now you must confess. Confess! Like so:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Spider Mites

One of our late-season tomato plants was recently attacked by mobs of spider mites. After getting photographic evidence and investigating disciplinary actions against said mites, we chose to go old school and used dogs and fire hoses on them. The dogs didn't do much other than wander around the yard, seemingly unaware of the mites (a crafty ruse on their parts, no?), but the hose blew the mites off the plant and we hope that's the last we see of them.

I had wondered if there were predators we could buy as the mites were gathered in huge numbers. For aphids you can buy ladybugs and the ladybugs will make short, delicious work of the aphids. Ladybugs are not recommended for mites. I think the size difference is too great. It would be like inviting guests over for dinner and serving them a couple of rolls of Sweet Tarts. Unsatisfying all around.

In any case, here is the photographic evidence of the spider mite assault, in case I ever need to present it to a grand jury. Even after cropping in Photoshop, it's still in reasonably high res. Click and enjoy.

Friday, November 21, 2014

I Miss The Border Already

So if we're not going to deport anyone, just what are Border Patrol agents going to do now?

Why have a fence at all?

Is the border a marker for which government gets the taxes? If you're on this side, the taxes go to Mexico City, if you're on that side they go to Washington, DC?