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October 10, 2009


Gregory Koster

Baseball? Let's see that's where you tee the ball up, kick it so the folks on the other side can hit it back, trying to get it through the hoop for a par, right?...

As president of the Anti-Striated Muscle Fetish League, sports strike me as the nearest approach to Hell outside DC and the noisome gang of quacks that infest it at the moment. Even so The Weekly Standard has a swell article on Darwin and his approach to baseball that may interest the sports fans.



Darwin called mutations "sports", so do you think he would have considered that atrocious bad call by that Ref against the Twinkies in the 11th a "sport", or instead an example of "Artificial Selection?" Or possibly the Ump was actually checking out Kate Hudson in the grandstands, in which case it would have been an example of "Sexual Selection", Darwin's alternative evolutionary mechanism working in conjunction with "Natural Selection?"

Gregory Koster

Daddy, unnatural selection certainly.

Let me take this rare moment to thank you for all the stuff on Begich&Co you've been posting. You must shudder at having to wade through all. I must bow to your judgement of Murkowski's effectiveness as a pol, but handing a Senate seat to his little girl makes me think that there's dry rot in at least part of his effectiveness. He'd do well to retire, but that's the difficulty in politics: most things after that are dull, and who wants to go back to the old homestead?



Might I have your assistance if you have spare time.

This side of the pond we are all now nuts for the next few weeks due to the Baseball Playoff's.
Greg's link to a proposal to run the Baseball Playoff's on Darwinian rules got me scouring the web for any comments from Darwin about Baseball. They don't exist, which makes sense since Baseball really didn't take off in the States till after Darwin's death in 1882.

But pursuing Cricket, I get this paragraph, written about him in 1884, by one of his sons:

"At school he was fond of bat-fives and this was the only game he could play well, as I have heard him say he was bad at Cricket; he would also never learn to swim especially well. He was the best jumper in the school and could jump up to the apple in his throat."

What the heck is bat-fives? He must have been playing it about 1820. I went to ">http://www.etonfives.co.uk/articles/bat.fives.html"> this link, but can't make head nor tails of it.

It does talk about Spalding Bats made of willow which I find interesting since we used Spalding Bats in the early 1910's and 1920's before I think the mad dash to Louisville sluggers, but other than that, I can't figure out what the heck Bat Fives is.

Anyhow, I toss this this completely useless and inane topic out there for discussion, mainly 'cause I'm sick to death of jabbering about Mister Peace Prize, and Charles Darwin's bat-five baseball bat seems a welcome divertissement.



"I must bow to your judgement of Murkowski's effectiveness as a pol, but handing a Senate seat to his little girl makes me think that there's dry rot in at least part of his effectiveness."

Please don't bow to my judgement to figure these guys out. I'm scratching my head about all of 'em each and every day. Murkowski's move to install Lisa made everybody furious and was icing on the cake at ushering in Sarah. We have since changed the rules so that the Governor no longer can appoint an interim Senator---instead an election must be held. But as in the case of Kennedychusetts, we just saw how well that worked out. It only applies to one political party.

My overall philosophy remains that old de Tocqueville comment:
ÔÇťAmerica is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

Seems to me appointing our kids to Senate seats like Murkowski did tips towards the not-good side of the equation.

And just for interest, came upon 2 more interesting quotes of de Tocqueville's while making sure I had that 1st one correct:

1) "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

2) "Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."

Pretty astute guy for 1835. Wonder if he played bat-fives?


De ofvicial afvard anooncement bei de Svedes.


From Drudge:

"NASA blasts moon's surface with rocket in search for water...

Celestial show 'anticlimactic'..."

Did the moon win?


If so, I'm moving there.

But first, a tribute to my beautiful niece Paige - who is fun and funny and gorgeous and smart and thoughtful and who is this afternoon marrying the man of her dreams - a man who started out as a liberal, but after a few months with Paige (and the help of Auntie Jane) saw the way.

So if you think about it this afternoon, give them a wink.


Happy wedding,Jane.
daddy,IMO no observer has ever topped Tocqueville in his insights about our fair land. Which goes to show that a classically educated human being with a clear eye and an open, inquiring mind can better fathom a new land and culture than a million people with PhD's in sociology .



Have fun at the wedding, Jane.


that atrocious bad call by that Ref against the Twinkies in the 11th a "sport"

Twins= whiners

hit and run

The traditional A Rod is A Monster (Against The Twins) open thread.

Samantha Power got kicked out of the Obama campaign for using that kind of language.


Congrats, Aunt Jane! Hope it is a lovely wedding.

Old Lurker

wink, wink

hit and run

Wink, indeed.

Captain Hate

Twins= whiners

As an old (is there any other kind?) Washington Senators fan, the Twins even being in the post-season is an abomination. Wasn't it just a few years ago that Selig was trying to "contract" them out of existence? Too bad Bud's as clueless an executive as Il Douche.

JM Hanes


It's ironic, but in my experience, no one has more warped views of society than sociologists and no one has more troubled children than psychologists. As de Tocqueville's astute commentary suggests, it's probably not the observing that's the problem, it's the impulse to experiment with human nature -- with a view to shaping the lives of others.

Of course, the lack of professional professionalism has always amazed me. No one is worse at estimating construction costs than architects, no one is less prescient than pundits, and, alas, these days it seems that no one is less accurate than the graduates of journalism school.


Heh, jmh.
It may be that "it's the impulse to experiment with human nature" that's the problem, but I think that it's the lack of a clear eye and unbiased reporting and analysis that's the problem. The academic pressure to conform to prevailing views is so strong that it takes a strong gut to go against it.

How long wsa it before someone called out Mead on her fairytale about Samoa, despite the Samoans' vehement denials of her descriptions? I think the anthropologists of academe wished for a society better than their own because of approval of adolescent promiscuity and she delivered what they hoped for. Why they wanted this requires no detailed explanation.


Boy am I glad I didn't rip into Thomas Collins for picking A-Rod as MVP. I almost posted his horrendous post season stats. Damn Evil Empire!


And if your still around Jane...May your niece and hubby have a happy and lasting domestic incarceration.

JM Hanes


As always, it seems, my mother had the last word on Mead. She said she wasn't sure what we expected to learn from obscure, primitive cultures, because they were the ones that failed to thrive.


Would somebody post a New York City beer.

If the Red Sox are lucky enuff' to come back from 2 down to face the Yanks,I would like to be able to compare a New York Beer to Boston's fine Sam Adam's beverage---I don't think that important angle has been explored yet. I am very familiar with the excellent lights and darks pumped out at McSorley's, (Lincoln drained a pint there!) down on I think about 7th or 2nd street in lower Manhattan, but other than that, I am clueless on Bronx suds.

Anybody out there able to help?


Well, your mom would have been forcibly evicted from the groves of academe for voicing such an opinion today,jmh. I guess that just proves your point about how wise she was.

JM Hanes


Instapundit linked to a video of Richard Feynman today, and in the sidebar, I noticed another one in which he just happened to be opining on the social "sciences".

JM Hanes


Alas, I fear the Sox may soon be available to do all the taste-taking you might need.



Wedding Blessings to your niece, Paige!
Comforting when the young ones see the light, nes pas?

All the wonderful attorneys,who blog here,
start our "JOM Island Think Tank", so we can nominate real people for Nobels. Please, my husband serving in the guard in the 70's or my bro in VN and Iran did more for world peace than brother Barack has thought of not doing! I'm sure people here and in their family have the same story. This might be the way we get the names of the "facist cabal" who back Obama, other than George Soros. Soros doesn't go back as far as where this Obama setup life and story began and the plan for this "Invasion" began.

When farce is presented as history, conspiracy theories flourish! It's like having your rich daddy buy you a place on the team because your not talented enough to get there on your on. Most kids would be ashamed, but not BHO "mmm, mmm, mmm!"

Surely you are joking.

JMH, that is a small portion of a marvelous interview, well worth watching the whole thing. I wish Feynman were around today to eat up this global warming claptrap.

While you're at it read DeMint about Honduras. And I think it is RedState with a portrait of the crazed murderer Che Guevara. When captured he said 'Don't shoot, I'm worth more to you alive than dead', and he was executed the next day.


* on your own *

and I thought I was coherent, today :)

JM Hanes

===== Are you OK with being addressed by your former screen name? ======

It may be A-Rod Saturday at Dear Leader's house, but it's turned into Feynman day chez moi! Here he is on the Inconceivable Nature of Nature.

One of my former screen names was De Rerum.


"Tuva or Bust" was pretty dandy also:)


As an old (is there any other kind?) Washington Senators fan, the Twins even being in the post-season is an abomination. Wasn't it just a few years ago that Selig was trying to "contract" them out of existence? Too bad Bud's as clueless an executive as Il Douche.

I forget, were the Twins begat from the Washington Senators, or was it the Seattle Pilots?

And Bud Selig is also as conflicted an executive, being the owner of one of the Teams.


Joy to your Paige and her Mr. Right, Jane. I hope you are having a wonderful time.

Gregory Koster

Late as usual, feeling mighty perverse, let me ask:

What would Richard Feynman think of de Tocqueville?

de T was certainly not a trained credentialed sociologist. Nor did he conduct rigorous experiments. He did have a a sharp eye, actively engaged himself in the common life of the day, thought hard about what he had seen, heard from others, and experienced himself. He wrote what he had concluded. No "scientific method" as Feynman is pushing for. Would Feynman say DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA is no good? Would you?


Gregory Koster

Daddy I still bow to your judgement on Murkowski, because, like de Tocuqeville you are on the spot, observing, and thinking about what youu've seen. Clarice has said I judge Sarah Palin too harshly for resigning before her term was up. Listening to that interview you linked where she was fried by the squawk radio personality certainly gave me pause. What a zany that fellow is! Either that or you have managed to link to your simulator, showing us the disasters that are Alaska politics. But I'll still stick with my earlier judgement that SP made a mistake by resigning until someone can show me a governor who quit (not because of health of because he had been elected to a higher job) and came back. I don't think Nelson Rockefeller is a good example. This puts SP in uncharted waters. She might be able to pull it off, but the odds are as long against her as a successful 3rd party run for Prez. I think a 3rd party run in 2012 would be a disaster for the nation, guaranteeing The Once and his wrecking crew four more years to finish the job.


Daddy - I think the moon did come out as the winner. It probably picked up a nice defense shield somewhere. Do we need to worry about a response to our unilateral attack on the moon?


JMH, How seductive a man is Feyman?


Now we have a report that the White House was involved in some planning in the Honduras fiasco..


"Did Obama bribe Brazil with 2 Billion to help put Honduras's Zelaya back in power?"

"I read your excellent blog and I think there is a very good case to be made that the Obama administration and the Clinton State Department may well have conspired with Brazil to bring about the current crisis situation in Honduras, and they began their efforts before Zelaya was overthrown. I believe this supports your conclusions."


JM Hanes

Never having met him, clarice, I couldn't say.

JM Hanes


"Would Feynman say DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA is no good?"

He would say it's not science.


JM--I'm going on his books and that UTube presentation--He's positively adorable.


I like Feynman's take on Cargo Cult science. It wasn't just social science he was criticizing. His point applies to a much wider area of postmodern "blessed by science" mumbo jumbo. For example there is a lot of bad climate "science" out there too.

Favorite quote:

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool"
Feynman applies the back end of the Cargo Cult idea to pseudo science, ie the fakery and going through the motions. ISTM the front end also applies to social justice multiculturalism ... that the framers of the US constitution hoarded all that liberty equality and prosperity for themselves when it was supposed to be for everybody.

And now does it not seem ... that Obama is in the process of correcting that injustice, taking that ill gotten wealth away from all the old white males and ... well ... kinda funny, there doesn't seem to be as much left after it's taken away.

JM Hanes

LOL, clarice. My comment was an intended joke, because I thought you were talking about his mind!

I sing everywhere, man.

No, JMH, it's not like it's effective camouflage anymore, anyway. I quit using my name originally from shame at the way I'd treated Danube of Thought, Boris, and clarice over the birther stuff, but I like the literary device of a postscript for a name. Plus, it is still minimally cryptic, and I like that, too. If nothing else, it keeps the newbies on their toes wondering whom you are addressing. Also, I don't need anymore notoriety than I have already, so under the rose is ok wid me.


Who me? My POV was that the constitutional requirement without a congrolling legal mechanism empowers citizens/voters to know the circumstances of a candidate's birth.

IMO the idea that lack of mechanism gives some kind of right to privacy ... BS. Lawyers are perhaps bound to think that way but the constitution was not written just for them, or judges.


Mind? Mind,jmh?
Of course, his mind was divine..but the entire guy was just plain seductive..

JM Hanes

===== Was that a no, don't address replies to your old moniker, or no you don't mind if I do? Just want to make sure I get this right. :-)

JM Hanes

I'll give you dibs, then, clarice, although, alas, it's a little too late to use them.

It's a method.

Have you noticed I write ambiguously?

JM Hanes

OK ===== it is, then!

Have you noticed I write ambiguously?
That's ok -- Obama is going to repeal DADT

On a main side street off of "the strip" in Vegas and going into Mandalay Hotel & Casino is a billboard sign asking--Where's the Birth Certificate?

It was from wnd.com


Simply a comment on Feynmann.

It is evident from his books the great respect that Richard Feynmann had for his father, and especially what his father taught him. Feynmann quickly realized that intellectually his father was quantum leaps beneath him in terms of intellectual brilliance. But what his bio's reveal is that what his father taught him, was how to observe. The example of his father teaching him the motion of the ball in the red wagon and making him consider what was the cause of the motion of that ball as the wagon moved and stopped was a wonderful example of Newton's momentum. That simple lesson from his self educated, uneducated father was crucial to Feynmann. And the lesson of the bird; that simply simply knowing the name given to the bird by humans meant nothing and still left you intrinsically knowing nothing about the bird---you had to take the time and effort to actually observe the bird in order to know something about it---that was crucial. That Feynmann took the time to make these observations about his Father are insights into his mind. Or the example of his father, after discussing the height of T-Rex, making him run up to the second story window and look out and concretely imagine how high his head would have been. This to me is the guts of Feynmann. He was gifted with an amazing set of neurons and he knew it. But the fundemental wisdom of his uneducated father at teaching him simply how to observe and how to concretely use those neurons are a remarkable and essential part of the story, which I think relates to Toqueville's brilliance in simply keeping his eye's open and being honest about what he saw. I might also relate that to Charles Darwin, but the Guinness is talking now. But
Charles very explicitely remarks
upon the powers of observation that his father had. In one so sharp as Darwin, that cannot have failed to have become a fundemental part of his make-up.

So all that nonsense being said, I salute the common sense of your good mother JMH. My brother the Carpenter is the smartest by far of the bunch of us and he reads human natures like a book.

JM Hanes

cathyf! How great to see you!

JM Hanes

That's what dislike about all these "intellectual" snobs who seem to be proliferating everywhere these days. Watching the weather means checking the forecast to see if you should take an umbrella to work, or if it looks like your ball game could get rained out. If somebody in a city wants to hear live music they don't have to play an instrument, they can just buy a ticket -- and become an expert critic. And a music snob, of course.


Darn right JMH,

And Greg,

Hopefully I'll get a better response in the future. But just let me say that, (In My Opinion), unlike the Bush's or Kennedy's or Obama's or Murkowski's or even Begich's of the world, Sarah was not born or bred by family or position or ideology to ever want to become some political leader. Instead when I look at her, she is simply the soccer mom pissed at the school board who joins the PTA, winds up running that, then Mayor, then Murkowskis' panel where he disses her for actually taking her appointment seriously and uncovering corruption, and when he disses her for it and esentially does nothing, she is in the situation of not "I'll run for Governor", but instead, "this stinks to high Heaven, someboy has to do something...hello...is there an echo in here?...Okay, maybe I'll run for Lt Governor to get some experience.".
Well that doesnt work because the people like her and trust her and encourage her to run for Governor, so she does, and wins handily. Then as Governor she does her AGIA gasline and anti-coruption work, which is highly applauded, until the day McCain picks her as VP. From that instant the whole game turns. It becomes attack city against a lady who's entire reason for being there has not been venal or moneygrubbing or powergrabbing or anything else,besides being thrust in a position that needs competence because others aren't stepping up to the plate, and if she doesn't step in, it'll be somebody who she knows from experience is awful, or nobody. That's where I see Sarah coming from. So when she resigns as Governor after seriously considering her options, I have no problem with her decision at all. Perhaps if she had always yearned for political power, she would have played things different. But I think she now sits there, watching what the heck is going on, and see's the lackluster leadership of our John McCain's, Bob Doles, Michael Steele's and David Brook's etc, and she goes, "Geez, I too wish we had a strong Ronald Reagan type to lead us and motivate us, but if there is nobody else stepping up to the plate for our bloggers and talk radio guys and Tea Partier's etc to get behind, then here's my hat in the ring. I can't do any worse an awful lot better."
Again, the beer is talking, but I don't see her motivations as any more complex strategy than that, and I don't think Todd gives a single crap about how anybody did any of this stuff in the past. I think she'd prefer to support any very competent individual she see's pursuing the job competently, but if not I think she'll personally step in and take the last second 3 point shot herself. That to me is how to understand Sarah.

JM Hanes

Talking about observation, and what you know and don't: I've got the Science Channel on talking about Physics greatest hits. So you start with Aristotle's law that says heavier objects drop faster than lighter objects, and nobody seroiusly tested it out for 1700 years. Shape can make a difference, but the golf ball and the ping pong ball dropped by your friendly physicist hit the ground simultaneously. A leaf fell more slowly than a book -- until he put the leaf on top of the book and then made the drop. Voila, they hit the floor together.

JM Hanes

While I'm just bobbing along here, I think those old flat earthers have gotten a bum wrap too. Would anybody around here put a beer bottle down on a beach ball? I don't think so.

JM Hanes

I guess that would actually be a bum *rap* Wish I could say it was the beer typing, but nuh hunh, it's just me.


Amen, daddy!

Hit reported today that even on the live coverage of "The Presidents Cup" a male golfing announcer was making fun of her.

We have a mountain to climb and a country to save. I wish Fox could come up with a SNL program to rebut the other carp. There definitely is enough material.


With you JMH. Just consider the last 40 years of hysteria of pollution causing frogs to be born with no legs---unitl finally they got off their butts and opened their eye's and said "Gee, look at those hungry dragonfly nymphs nibbling on baby tadpoles. Golly, they seem to like to eat the legs!"

It almost made me link last night to a new BBC Science hysterical report on the Worldwide Threat to Amphibians. It has multiple pictures of frogs, and goes on and on about threats to them from eveything including pollution. But any mention or mea culpa about hungry dragonfly's and bogus research for the last 50 years? nada. Still on the BBC page but screw the link---too much trouble and not worth the effort.

And actually, it's not Guinness tonite---it's Asahi's- a Jap lager, and it's still daylight at 4 PM here in Japan.


If you watch parents and children in art museums you can see how so many of them stifle their children's capacity to observe things for themselves. "Look at this, Rodney. This is by a famous painter__. Notice how______." Instead of letting them look for themselves, and asking them questions that help them focus on what THEY see .

It's a kind of mental abuse.

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