Uncommon Sense

September 6, 2022

Trump Had Better Not Visit Saudi Arabia Any Time Soon

Filed under: Politics,The News — Steve Ruis @ 12:48 pm
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A recent news report stated:

“A Saudi woman recently sentenced to 45 years in prison was convicted of using the internet and social media accounts to “spread lies through tweets”, among other alleged crimes, according to a newly obtained Saudi court document.”

Trump would have to put away for at least 450 years based upon the sheer volume of his Twitter lies.

August 20, 2022

What a Bunch of . . .

I read often enough postings about the dismay of citizens who decry active shooter drills their kid’s schools feel compelled to run.

What a bunch of pussies. When I was in grade school we had drills to protect us from a nuclear bomb being dropped on our community. Lots of good hiding beneath our desks would have done.

Instead of decrying these drills, how about supporting more stringent gun laws? Australia had a major mass shooting, passed stringent gun control laws, and haven’t had any mass shootings of note since. We have more stringent regulations governing car ownership and use than we do for guns, and while cars can be used to kill people, that is not their primary purpose. The primary purpose of guns is to kill.

So, instead of whining about an intolerable condition, how about you support the elimination of that condition? The U.S. has a mass shooting roughly every day of the year. This is ridiculous, but people support it by supporting the gun nut lobby. Vote them and their paid for hire politicians out of office. Then vote in people who will do something sensible.

And I have had enough of the gun nut lobbies argument that they need their guns to oppose the tyranny of government. This is ridiculous. Imagine the Michigan Militia going up against the Fifth Cavalry (tanks, drones, howitzers, missiles, etc.) They wouldn’t last a day. These idiots have to stop watching the movie Red Dawn over and over. People should be allowed hunting weapons (An AR-15 is not a hunting weapon.) and personal defense weapons, after having passed a stringent training program. Historical collectors should be allowed to practice their trade, with a license, just like any other business. But the current situation in which anyone with money can buy a gun has to stop. Cars are licenses, ID tagged, and registered, and you need training to operate them. It is not tyranny to demand the same for guns.

August 14, 2022

Why, Religion, Why?

The current political climate in this country is fueled by an odd combination of Catholics, evangelicals, and fundamentalists. So, why are these strange bedfellows against abortion, contraception, same sex marriage, etc.?

The history of “the Church” tells us. Yes, I know “the Church” is not a monolith, but their differences within are small compared to the differences they have with secular/non-religious folk.

In any case, the history of the various churches is rife with a basic strategy and that is: to out populate their competitors. All of the above practices hold the birth rate down, you see. But the various religions promoted high birth rates by any means whatsoever. Then, after all the myriad babies were born, they promoted indoctrination of the children by various and often sordid means. Jewish boys were mutilated so that they would bear an unerasable physical sign of Judaism. This practice was also adopted by Christianity. Various “guidelines” as to how to dress, whether one’s hair could be exposed, etc. were all adopted to isolate “the flock” in the pen of the Church. You can see all of these in operation today, e.g. Sikh turbans, Christian dress codes, burqas, hijabs, etc. Various indoctrination schemes were implemented to stage the children up to full blown believers. And, these are still in operation today.

And now the Supreme Court of the U.S. is larded with people of this ilk who still believe they are fighting a war of attrition and that numbers matter more than anything else. Despite all of the signs that there are too many people now, the same bankrupt strategy is being employed by jurists who cannot think their way out a wet paper bag or see a future where we are all impoverished on a depleted Earth, but thinking they won because they ended up with more believers.

When believers ask “What harm does religion do?” Here is your answer. When religion is inserted into politics, it actively opposes necessary actions needed for the betterment of all citizens because of ancient practices they do not even understand. Right now we need to do everything in our power to hold down the population of humans on this planet. Religious zealots are currently putting the brakes on that effort.

April 13, 2022

Dissing Sports History

Filed under: Culture,History,The News — Steve Ruis @ 8:46 am
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Recently, NBC Sports dropped this factoid on us: “Joel Embiid averages more points per minute than anyone who has played at least 300 games — ever. He averages 0.83 points per minute, or about five points for every six minutes he plays.” They went on to gush “Embiid had 13 games this season with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds.” And, of course, to pump up Embiid’s chances to be voted Most Valuable Player for the season, they added “For 31 games this season, Embiid averaged better than a point per minute. Think about that. It’s tied for the fourth-longest streak of its kind in the last 40 NBA seasons.”

Interesting.

In the 1961-1962 NBA season, Wilt Chamberlain scored 50.4 points per game (including 45 50+ point games, two 70-point games, and twelve 60-point games) and he played 48.4 -minutes per game. (Question: Since there are only 48 minutes of playing time, how did he get to 48.4 minutes per game? Answer: there were seven overtime games.) Of course, he also lead the league in rebounding with 27.2 rebounds per game.)

Now, where is my calculator. Let’s see. He played in all 82 games, so 50.4 points per game divided by 48.4 minutes per game is . . . carry the one, uh, . . . 1.04 points per minute played.

So, how did NBC Sports come up with “Joel Embiid averages more points per minute than anyone who has played at least 300 games — ever.” Gosh, I guess it was just laziness, since the record book is wide open. Oh, it was Philadelphia-based NBC Sports? Maybe that explains it as Mr. Embiid plays for the Philadelphia 76ers.

And the ironic part of this is that Mr. Chamberlain played for the Philadelphia NBA team in 1961-62 when he set those records. Standard sports reporting technique is too refer to the glorious sport past of a city as often as possible, so phrases like “Not since the amazing feats of Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors has . . . blah, blah. . . .” are the norm, but my guess is the low wage, twenty-something “reporters” at NBC Sports aren’t old enough to have useful memories and aren’t encouraged by editors/producers to check the record book.

March 19, 2022

Russia-Ukraine War?

Filed under: Politics,The News — Steve Ruis @ 10:57 am
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The title of this piece is a variant of myriad article titles I have read over the past week. But this is not a war. In war you have armies, generals, battles, etc. Have you heard the name of a Ukraine general or army group mentioned? And battles described? Plain and simple, this is an invasion and only an invasion. Those headlines should be . . .

Invasion of Ukraine by Russia

March 8, 2022

Fox News Gets It Wrong Again . . . Way Wrong

The irony is the commenter was whiny about liberal disinformation, then followed it with this whopper! You have to read it to believe it.

View at Medium.com

January 8, 2022

You Can’t Make This Shit Up!

Filed under: Business,Culture,Politics,The News — Steve Ruis @ 12:56 pm
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In the news I read that “California deputy district attorney Kelly Ernby died from complications of COVID this week after years of opposing vaccine mandates.” Ah, another dose of irony that will have no effect on her “followers” as they are vaccinated against irony.

A quote of hers in the coverage drew my attention and needs a response, I think. Here it is:

“I don’t think that the government should be involved in mandating what vaccines people are taking,” she explained. “I think that’s a decision between doctors and their patients…. If the government is going to mandate vaccines, what else are they going to mandate?”

Ah, let me think . . . governmental mandates, mandates, ah, we are mandated to:
• drive on the right side of the road
• pay our taxes
• get a driver’s license to drive a car on public roads
• requiring drivers on public roads to possess insurance
• that doctors, lawyers, and hair dressers be certified
• file a federal tax return by April 15th
• that medicines be proven effective before being allowed on the market
• that cars meet minimal safety standards
• that carcinogenic chemicals not be added to food, cosmetics, etc.
• and . . . and . . .
I could go on (and on and on . . . ) but I think you get the point.

These anti-government idiots seem to think that our governments have been imposed upon us by Martian Communists instead of them being the mechanism by which we act in concert. Our government (name which one you want: state, local, school district, federal, etc.) is “us acting together.” And yes, we do not want “too much government” or “too little government” but just “the right amount of government.” I don’t see how a comment like “If the government is going to mandate vaccines, what else are they going to mandate?” helps us find the right amount.

Plus this idiot is, excuse me, was a California State legal official; she should know that children have to be vaccinated to be admitted to a public school. The “government” has been mandating such vaccinations for decades! Plus businesses can mandate that their employees get vaccinated to continue to be employed. So, businesses should have the power but not us acting collectively?

We have to stop electing idiots to public office and yes, I do know they have a constituency. But even that constituency should realize that having an idiot representing their interests is not to their advantage.

November 21, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse Redux

Filed under: Culture,The Law,The News — Steve Ruis @ 9:28 am
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So, the criminal trial is over and Kyle Rittenhouse is off the hook, right? Well . . .

Mr. Rittenhouse is off the hook for jail time, but now, one would expect, the civil suits should begin. I believe “wrongful death” cases will be brought, one for each victim, and I do not expect Mr. Rittenhouse to win all of these or even one of these.

The penalties in wrongful death suits can sometimes be discharged in bankruptcy courts but that is not a done deal. The amounts of money in such penalties are often tied to the amounts of money the dead people could have made had they lived, so Mr. Rittenhouse is looking at a future of being a very poor person, or . . . if the right wing assholes of this country embrace him, he could have a decent life but, of course, his notoriety will follow him.

June 28, 2021

It Is Easy to Be Confused

Filed under: Culture,Medicine,Reason,The News — Steve Ruis @ 11:47 am
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I read two blog posts recently, one that stated that none of the vaccinated (in the US) are dying from COVID-19 and the other (from the UK) that only the vaccinated are dying from COVID-19. Actually, both are true.

In the US, the unvaccinated are many, just under half of the population. In the UK, the percent vaccinated is approaching two thirds.

The vaccines are reported to be in the mid-90’s% in preventive effectiveness, which is not 100%, so the vaccinated will still be getting sick, but the vaccines also prevent more severe symptoms, so the vaccinated getting the disease will be dying at a lower rate.

Consider a hypothetical region that is 100% vaccinated. What is the death rate of the unvaccinated? It is zero, of course. The death rate of the vaccinated must be higher, by default, but what people don’t hear is that the death rate is much lower than it had been for the unvaccinated. So, the vaccinated dying at a higher rate than the unvaccinated is a logical consequence of a vaccination program.

I wish that headline writers would strive to be more accurate and more complete.

Otherwise you end up with people seeing “None of the Vaccinated are Dying” and “Only the Vaccinated are Dying” and those who are not detail oriented throw up their hands and claim that “you can’t trust the news media because everything changes at the drop of a hat. Or the ideologues choose which stories to “pass on” to others who are like-minded.

In writing this I realize that a great many of the “issues of the day” have been treated the same way, exacerbating our divisions.

Do you have any ideas as to how to fix this? (Obviously expecting more from the general population isn’t going to work as it hasn’t worked for forever.)

June 27, 2021

Donald Trump 2.0?

Filed under: Culture,Politics,The News — Steve Ruis @ 8:29 am
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Before we have dispatched Donald Trump 1.0 people are trying to identify Donald Trump 2.0. My brilliant partner worried when Donald Trump was first elected that someone would come along who actually had the talent and desire to do the job in a Trumpian manner, and we would then really be in trouble.

A post today on Medium.com had the subtitle of “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be a GOP favorite to attempt to continue the former president’s brand of tyranny in 2024.” The title of the piece was “The Threat of Donald Trump 2.0 Is Beginning to Emerge.”

This is an abuse of the version labeling system.

While catchy and titillating as a title, the facts don’t match it, DeSantis is at best Trump v1.01.

He does not have the savvy, intelligence, or moxie to make it past v1.1 in my estimation. He is Trumpian in a slightly better looking package.

This is a little like when television became immensely popular. People worried about the effect it would have on education, children in toto, our culture, etc. I didn’t worry so much as I hadn’t seen anyone capable of using it effectively.

Have you seen a political TV ad recently? I stopped watching them years ago, but I occasionally watch one to see if anything has changed. So far, nothing has changed. There is nothing of value in a political TV ad and there are so many of them that any which might be effective are diluted out in a sea of mediocrity. (And they pay consultants millions of dollars to produce that crap.) So, no one has learned to use TV effectively, although Donald Trump did a better job of that than any previous presidential candidate.

The big threat right now is not Donald Trump, v1.0 or v2.0. The problem now is the antidemocratic Republican and Democratic parties. Yes, I know, one is worse that the other, I don’t care; they are both execrable. The uber-rich have captured our politics and now the entire system serves their interests and not ours. And, if you think their interests parallel yours, what planet are you from?

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