kurt's nightmare

Generally, I post once a week. Topics are randomly selected and depend mostly upon whether it's baseball season or not. Other topics will include sex, politics, old girlfriends, music, and whatever else pops into my little brain. If you'd like to read, or ignore, my blog about China: http://meidabizi.blogspot.com/

Location: Dayton, OH, Heard & McDonald Islands

I'm an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton. I represent no one but myself, and barely do that. I'm here mostly by accident.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I was tempted to do a proleptic postmortem (yes, I know; I'm rather proud of it as well) on the McCain campaign, but I'm too superstitious to do so.

Instead, I will simply congratulate the Philadelphia Phillies, who now have a glorious second World Championship to add to their first, along with their 10,000+ losses. The Phans, of course, showed their typical propensity to violence, but aren't as good at it as fans from other cities. I really hate the city of Philadelphia; perhaps that is irrational, but it's there. I found the Rays much more likable, and it takes a lot—A LOT—to get me to cheer for an American League team.

I don't really blame Bud Selig for the rain. I do blame him for being an idiot (oh, my, why do I suddenly have the feeling that my loyal critic Dr. Anonymous will somehow tie this in with Hillary Clinton?)

I don't know who is in charge of marketing Major League Baseball, but they seem confused why they don't have younger fans. One possibility is the attention span of the average American—including mine—is about 4.3 seconds. I'm sorry, what? Oh, wait, yeah. But many of us older folks, born during the Cambrian Explosion, remember some Series games being on during the day. Teachers letting us watch it. Running home from school to see the end of the game.

Now, all night games, and most of it on cable. In my area, if there was a football game of any significance—don't ask for ESPN Radio's criteria for "signficance"—then there was no way to see or listen to the game without going to a bar. If I'm too poor to afford cable, I'm supposed to have the money to go to a bar to watch a game, nu?

MLB seems to like to piss in its fans' soup, and then wonder why it loses some fans and fails to attract enough new ones. Geniuses.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The few, the proud, the brave

I've gotten kicked off a few chatrooms. Mostly conservative (or beyond): Stormfront, Ann Coulter's "official" board, linked from her on-line column, a spin-off of that board when Ms. Coulter decided to dump the moderators (followed by a defection of many of its members), Covert Conservatives (a tolerant bunch, to be sure), and I'm barely hanging on at another spin-off, Outcast Conservatives. (I also got kicked off the chatroom of the Society for Women in Philosophy, which is not all that conservative; I think one of the moderators didn't like the attitude I adopted when I pointed out with an example just how ridiculous one of the posts was. A long story.)

I like going there to see what people think. As at most chatrooms, there are some really smart and/or informed people, some sort of feeling their way through reality, some just there to find others with whom they agree, and some jerks. (Hence, as I've mentioned here, on one of the earlier boards, one guy kept offering to fly to anywhere in the US to fight me at a "dojo or gym" of my choice.)

The current batch of those tolerating me are really, really worried about William Ayres, Jeremiah Wright, and a few others who are less frequently mentioned in the mainstream media (this term seems to be media that these folks disagree with: hence Limbaugh and the WSJ op-ed page seems to be "non" mainstream, while FOX and especially FNC is sometimes mainstream, sometimes not, depending on what is being said.) They are also very concerned that Obama's birth certificate is illegitimate.

Recently I was told that if Obama is elected, America will change from what it was to something completely different. It seems to me that this is a tautology, in that whoever is elected will change America. Their point, however, is that Obama is the greatest threat to America ever posed; that he either embraces terrorists or is himself a terrorist, that he hates America, he especially hates white America (and Americans), that he has accomplished nothing, that he is a Socialist, or a Marxist, or a Communist, or all three (in spite of some conceptual incoherence this may generate.)

This comes from people who I actually respect (although they don't think I do). I don't agree with them on much, and some of them are a bit over-the-top. But I fear that they are being a bit hypocritical, in that some of them were absolutely adamant that Democrats were undermining America by being so critical of the President, and that he (W) deserved a great deal more respect because he was the President. I don't see this respect being afforded Obama if or when he is elected.

I also fear that in spite of both Obama and McCain saying warm fuzzy things about unity, working across ideological divisions, etc., that this group will be even more alienated than they were during the Clinton era, an attitude exacerbated by the relative weakness of those who would carry out their desires (the Bob Barrs, the Henry Hydes), as was done in bringing impeachment charges against Clinton.

I don't know how many Americans my fellow chatters represent. But sometimes I worry about a group of people (many with guns) being so full of vitriol and antipathy toward Obama, and what this tells us about various scenarios (political and otherwise) that may play out in the next few years. I hope I'm wrong. And given how often I am, that's some solace.

Monday, October 06, 2008

For my friends the Cubs' fans


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

More wisdom from Sarah Palin

Sometimes Ms. Palin says things that I think are just flat-out correct. I have no problem saying that. I just wonder how much she will be talking about the importance of the idea she states here, in an interview with the neuron-deprived Hugh Hewitt. I've put it in bold, just so my reader can get there quickly. I'm sure this will be a prominent aspect of the campaign, from here on in. Particularly with those donating to the McCain campaign from the South, and those advocating the hilariously-titled "right to work" laws; management will be jumping on this bandwagon with enthusiasm.

HH: Governor, you mentioned the people who are struggling right now. Have you and your husband, Todd, ever faced tough economic times where you had to sit around a kitchen table and make tough choices?

SP: Oh my goodness, yes, Hugh. I know what Americans are going through. Todd and I, heck, we’re going through that right now even as we speak, which may put me again kind of on the outs of those Washington elite who don’t like the idea of just an everyday working class American running for such an office. But yeah, there’s been a lot of times that Todd and I have had to figure out how we were going to pay for health insurance. We’ve gone through periods of our life here with paying out of pocket for health coverage until Todd and I both landed a couple of good union jobs. Early on in our marriage, we didn’t have health insurance, and we had to either make the choice of paying out of pocket for catastrophic coverage or just crossing our fingers, hoping that nobody would get hurt, nobody would get sick. So I know what Americans are going through there. And you know, even today, Todd and I are looking at what’s going on in the stock market, the relatively low number of investments that we have, looking at the hit that we’re taking, probably $20,000 dollars last week in his 401K plan that was hit. I’m thinking geez, the rest of America, they’re facing the exact same thing that we are. We understand what the problems are. It’s why I have all the faith in the world that John McCain is the right top of any ticket at this point to get us through these challenges. It’s a good balanced ticket where he’s got the experience, and he’s got the bipartisan approach that it’s going to take to get us through these challenges. And I have the acknowledgement and the experience of going through what America is going through.

Entire Hewitt interview here.