Implied Dissent

Monday, January 28, 2008

I am not a fan of Steve Landsburg, but this column about the stimulus package is right on. Don Boudreaux (chair of GMU's economics department) agrees. Paul Krugman's reaction to it is to write what is, to use the technical philosophical term, a fuck you post. I'll grant (grudgingly) that there is the possibility that Landsburg could be wrong. His position, though, is not a "crime" and evidence that he "obviously just doesn't get it". People who think that Keynes was wrong aren't morons or charlatans. They may be wrong, but it is very much up to debate. This wasn't an academic paper, it was a column promoting certain ideas. He has to be honest is so doing, but has free range to consider whatever ideas he sees fit and that fit into the space available. Honestly, I expect a little better from someone who is on the list for winning the Nobel Prize, teaches at Princeton, writes a regular column for the NY Times, and is writing on the NY Times site. But maybe I'm being unrealistic.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Home State

I've never been so embarrassed to be associated with New Hampshire. Not embarrassed enough to want to be associated with Vermont, but this is bad.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Playoffs, Week 3

Very entertaining games last week, but frustrating for me. I missed watching the only game I got right (Packers), Sunday's games I got completely wrong, I wanted the Colts to win so the Pats could play them tomorrow, and Gostkowski missed an easy kick that would have made the final score exactly what I had predicted and covered the spread. Grr. So, I was 1-3 against the spread, 2-2 picking winners, bringing me to 2-5-1 and 5-3.
Onto the conference championship games (again, spreads from SG):
San Diego Chargers at New England Patriots, Patriots favored by 14. I want to pick the Pats to cover, I really do, but I don't think it will happen. Teams have figured out that overcovering Moss, while it leaves lots open underneath, is the way to go, so expect long drives by the Pats, but few, if any big plays/quick scores that will drive up the final margin. While it is of course possible (especially given their animosity for the Pats), I would be shocked if the Chargers win the game outright. Patriots 31, Chargers 20.

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers, Packers favored by 7. I keep picking against NY, and they keep winning. Why stop the pattern now? Besides, Green Bay is a tougher place to go into that either Dallas or Tampa Bay, both those teams had their own issues in the games that I don't believe GB has, and Green Bay was my pick to win the NFC going into the playoffs, so I'm sticking with them. Packers 31, Giants 20. (yes, identical scores for the 2 games).

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Interesting exchange between Mitt Romney and an AP reporter, about whether lobbyists run his campaign or not. I have no idea who's right here, though Mitt's style of repeating his assertion annoys me. What I want to highlight is the part (3 min in) where his press guy confronts the reporter; very creepy. "Don't be argumentative with the candidate." Wow.

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For Real

Go Montana! They're leading the fight against Real ID, and forcing a showdown. Of course, DHS is simply ignoring the complaints that many (17 states!) have raised, and is simply forcing it down our throats. I in particular liked Chertoff's strong logical argument, "grow up". Actually, now that I think about it, he's convinced me. We should grow up about civil liberties and privacy from the federal government, just like those who complained about the Enabling Act should have grown up. Just like abolitionists should have grown up. Just like people who pointed out that no one had even read the Patriot Act before voting it into law should have grown up.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Tom Cruise goes off about what Scientology means to him. I trust that no commentary is needed.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Playoffs, Week 2

So, against the spread, I got the first game right, pushed the second, and lost on the last two. 1-2-1. Ugh. Picking winners, I was 3-1. On to the new picks (again, spreads from SG).
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers, Packers favored by 7.5. Let's see, Seattle is a poor road team, Green Bay is one of the toughest stadiums to go into, and Seattle is coming off a big win (hence, letdown this week). My only concern is the Holmgren coached Favre for so many years, but that was so long ago I don't think it matters much. Packers 34, Seahawks 17.
Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots, Patriots favored by 13. The Jags are very good, and if the weather were bad, I'd put the line around 5. But, it should be a little chilly but dry, so I think this line is basically right, as the Pats are the best team in the league, and in the running for greatest ever. Patriots 34, Jaguars 20.
San Diego Chargers at Indianapolis Colts, Colts favored by 8. The Chargers have a lot of talent, especially LDT. But, the Colts are also loaded, and I'll take the good flawed coach over the bad coach. Colts 31, Chargers 20.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys, Cowboys favored by 7.5. The hardest pick, just because we don't know what's up with Romo's thumb and with TO in general. At full strength, I'd take them by 14, or maybe more. No TO and injured Romo, I'd call it 50-50. My sense is that TO will play, and play well, and that Romo is fine. Cowboys 27, Giants 17.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008


Learn some important lessons on how to eat sushi properly with this instructional video. Don't worry, it's pretty entertaining.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Playoff time

It's that time of the year again, time for me to embarrass myself making NFL playoff picks against the spread. First, the review of years past:
2007: 7-4 picking winners, 6-5 against the spread
2006: 5-6, 5-6
2005: 8-3, 7-4
2004: 5-6, 2-8-1
2003: 8-3, 4-7
Totals: 33-22 picking winners (60%), 24-30-1 against the spread (44%).
Spread info from Sports Guy.
Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks, Seahawks favored by 3.5. Let's see, Seattle is a great home team, is more experienced in the playoffs overall, and Washington has a crappy QB. Why is the spread only a field goal? Yes, the Racist Names closed the season well, but come on. Seahawks 27, Redskins 16.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers, Jaguars favored by 2. This looks to be the game of the weekend. The Jags closed the season very strongly, while Pittsburgh is an excellent all-around team. If the Steelers were healthy I'd probably choose them, but I think they're just banged up enough to allow the Jags to come in a knock them out. I guess we'll find out soon if Garrard is an underrated good QB, or a trick crappy one. Jaguars 23, Steelers 20.
New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bucs favored by 2.5. Much respect to the Giants for the game they gave my Pats, but they aren't actually good. Not that the Buc are either, but they're slightly better and home. Yes, the G-Men had an extra day of rest, but they also have some extra injuries. Bucs 24, Giants 20.
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers, Chargers favored by 9. I love the way San Diego closed the season, especially Tomlinson. However, it's not like Tennessee limped to the finish line, and they did play SD tough in week 14. Coaching definitely favors Tennessee. If the Titans had some receivers, I'd pick them to win. They don't, so they'll likely lose. Chargers 24, Titans 17.

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