Thursday, August 29, 2013

Final Approach

The college football season is here. Our captain has turned on the seat-belt sign as we are on final approach to actual, meaningful football. A flight attendant will be making her way down the aisle to collect any baseball-related trash you may have accumulated during the summer.

Please remember to stow your tray tables, place your seat-backs in the upright and locked position, and discontinue the use of all electronic devices. We will be on the ground shortly. Thank you for flying off-season airlines.

The season is here!



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

One Day Left Until Christmas!

One. Day. Left.

This is the deep breath before the plunge. Get ready.

The Folly of Striking Syria

You might as well try to teach a snake to juggle as hope the Obama administration will think strategically. The “peace president” is about to embark on his third military adventure, this time in Syria, without having learned the lessons of his botched efforts in Afghanistan and Libya. He hasn’t even learned from the Bush administration’s mistakes — which he mocked with such delight.

Before launching a single cruise missile toward Syria, Team Obama needs to be sure it has a good answer to the question, “What comes next?”
Go read the whole thing.

I still haven't heard what the goal in Syria is. What's our compelling national interest? What is our motivation? Is Congress going to be given a chance to authorize this action?

This seems like President Obama got his feelings hurt and is wanting to lash out. Otherwise, I can't explain it.

How the Gin and Tonic Shaped History

A brief history of the gin and tonic.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

US Intervention in Syria: Why?

Apparently, our Nobel Peace Prize-Winning President is seriously considering sending military assets into Syria because...we'll I'm not sure way. On one hand we have a  oppressive tyrant who has committed atrocity after atrocity in the pursuit of keeping the country under his thumb. Not really a guy that we like.

On the other hand, we have a force of rebels led by jihadist elements of Al-Queda who are bent on establishing an Islamic based state. These guys aren't exactly who you want to bring home to mama, either.

So they're killing each other in a civil war of sorts. So far, about 100,000 people have been killed. Most recently, the tyrant has used chemical weapon on the rebels, killing a thousand or so. What to do?

When the US (or any country) is making the decision to intervene and bomb (kill people), there needs to be a solid reason why. Killing people is....a big decision, you know? We should be able to answer one of these two questions before taking military action:

1. The use of force is absolutely morally justified in order to protect ourselves, in that we have to do so because it's directly in our interest not to be a victim of an attack. (Self Defense)

2. The use of force is absolutely morally justified in order to protect another group, in that we would not be able to live with ourselves in being a bystander, while another group is harmed. (Defense of others)
Ideally, there should be a mix of the two. In the case of Syria, it's pretty clear that #1 doesn't apply. We're not being attacked, and we're not in any imminent danger of being attacked. It's a civil war in a country between jihadist elements and a secular dictator. Neither one of these groups likes us, and neither one of these groups is sympathetic. Why should we bomb either side? If we do, what's our goal? Is it to level the playing field? Is it to decapitate the regime? Is it to stop the use of chemical weapons, but allow normal killing to continue? Is there a moral difference between killing someone with chemical weapons and shooting them with an AK-47? Either way you're just as dead.

I know it's not a popular philosophy in foreign policy, but the doctrine of "Meh, shit happens..." shouldn't be overlooked here. I know that comes across as isolationist, but there has to be an event somewhere in the world that falls under the category of "Not our problem".

I think Syria qualifies as such.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Nikki Haley Announces Reelection Bid

It's not really news, per se, but it's something. I didn't know she was the youngest governor in the country, but that makes sense. If you like re-runs, get ready for an encore performance of Nikki Haley vs. Vincent Sheheen.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Open Thread 8-23-13

Lotta news out there. I'm sure you can find it somewhere. Here? We're grilling steaks and having cocktails.

Here at Permanent Press™, we suggest the Pappy.

Enjoy your weekend.

SC State Museum to Host "Bourbon and Bowties"

Happy Friday.

On September 5, the State Museum will host a "Bourbon and Bowties" event to celebrate the last days of their latest exhibit. Tickets are $40 for non-members. Might be fun since it combines two things I like: drinking and looking good.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

2013 Gamecock Football Game-by-Game Prediction

Ok, folks. It's that time of year again. Last year, I accurately predicted a 10-2 regular season, with the only problem being I picked the Gamecocks to beat Florida and lose to Arkansas, and the opposite happened, so they kind of washed each other out.

We're now seven days away from kicking off the season.

Anyway, on to the present. Here is the official Permanent Press™ prediction for the 2013 Gamecock Football season. I hope we can work in the tight ends this year the way we successfully did at moments last year. Everyone is telling me that this is going to be the year that the O-line puts it together. I'm skeptical, but I'd sure love for them to be right. Clowney will get double teamed most of the year, but he'll have his moments. I almost hate how much publicity he's received. There's almost no way he can live up to it unless he hurls fireballs from his eyes every play. He'll end up in New York, but I doubt he'll win the Heisman. Carolina will have some young linebackers, but they'll be ok. Here's the detailed game-by-game prediction:

2013 Game by Game Prediction

8/29 North Carolina
The South Carolina Gamecocks start their 2013 campaign next Thursday against the North Carolina Tarheels. North Carolina has a really nice campus, they have a good coach, but they ain't SEC. This game will probably be close in the first half with UNC running the up-tempo offense, but the Gamecocks size and strength will wear down the Tarheel front seven in the second half. Look for lots of yards from Mike Davis and company.

1-0 (0-0 SEC)

9/7 @Georgia
You know this game is important. I don't have to tell you that. Georgia is not happy about losing to the Gamecocks the last three year. They're going to be mad. They don't like Spurrier, and they look at South Carolina as the little brother who needs to know his place. Sorry, Dawgfans. Carolina wins again in a hard-fought game. I think Shaw's legs are the difference in this game, as he'll scramble out of trouble and put a dagger in the heart late. Clowney and the rest of the D-Line will keep Murray under pressure all night, so it will be up to the Dawg running game to keep the chains moving. They'll do it some, but it won't be enough

2-0 (1-0 SEC)

9/14 Vanderbilt
James Franklin is a great coach. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't have a great football team. Vandy will be breaking in a new quarterback who will be introduced to a nasty D-line. I think this game is going to be a stomping. Carolina goes up early and doesn't look back.

3-0 (2-0 SEC)

9/28 @Central Florida
Not really thrilled with having to go on the road to Central Florida. This is the kind of game that worries me. UCF is now in the AAC, whatever the heck that is. The only thing that gives me confidence is that Spurrier doesn't lose these types of games. I think Central Florida will play the Gamecocks pretty tight, and they might even have the lead early. In the end, the Gamecocks sneak out with a win. I think this is one of those "gut-check" win-ugly kind of games.

4-0 (2-0 SEC)

10/5 Kentucky
The offense will be happy to be back within the confines of Williams-Brice after the trip to Orlando. Kentucky will be the perfect team to beat up on before the big three game road trip that looms large. The offense and the defense will both put up big numbers in this game and give everyone a boost of confidence going into the road trip. We'll need it.

5-0 (3-0 SEC)

10/12 @Arkansas
Dammit. I hate going to Arkansas. I mean, I'm not actually going, but I hate it when the Gamecocks have to go to Arkansas. We never play well there. I don't know if it's the travel or what, but Arkansas just always seems to have our number. I know Arkansas has a new coach that likes to play the Big 10 style of football, but I'm not entirely convinced that the Gamecocks win this game. I'm going to go ahead and call this a stumble on the road in the SEC. I'm so glad they won't be our permanent Western opponent anymore after this year.

5-1 (3-1 SEC)

10/19 @Tennessee
This game scares me, but it doesn't scare me as much as Arkansas. South Carolina doesn't have a great track record in Knoxville, but the Volunteers aren't what they used to be. They'll match up good on the offensive line, and this could be a low-scoring game. I'll take South Carolina by a field goal at the end, but I would not be shocked by a loss here. Disappointed, but not shocked. Any win on the road in the SEC is an achievement. This will the the one road game I attend this year.

6-1 (4-1 SEC)

10/26 @Missouri
We saw the fast paced offense of UNC in the first game, and this is the same type of offense. They're going to try and run the up-tempo style. I'm not too worried about this game, as Mizzou isn't going to have the same quality defense as the Gamecocks. I think the WR corps has a great day in the other Columbia, as Carolina puts up some big numbers on offense and wins by two touchdowns, and I think it's set up by more than two interceptions from the Gamecock defense to put our offense in short yardage situations.

7-1 (5-1 SEC)

11/02 Mississippi State
South Carolina gets to host CLANGA this year, so at least we don't have to go to Starkville and listen to CLANGA. This is a nice draw from the SEC West, as we're dodging Alabama and TAMU. Dan Mullen is a great coach for CLANGA, but he's not going to bring his boys to Williams-Brice and win.

8-1 (6-1 SEC)

11/16 Florida
Last year's game against Florida was awful. We held Florida to under 200 yards, but still lost because we were entirely inept on offense to the point where we just handed the ball to the Gators on the 1 yard line a few times. It was awful. The team will remember this game, and they will be motivated to play better. This will probably be the career defining game for Connor Shaw. If he can beat Florida (and my predictions are right so far) this will seal up the SEC East for South Carolina, and punch our ticket to Atlanta. I think he gets it done in a hard-hitting, slugfest of a low-scoring game. I'm thinking the Gamecocks win in a score of something like 17-14.

9-1 (7-1 SEC) Atlanta Ticket is punched.

11/23 Coastal Carolina
Kind of a week off game. With the ticket already punched for Atlanta and Clemson looming, the starters get pulled early, and the new kids get lots of playing time. My guess is that Carolina will win, but we won't cover the spread with all of our starters sitting on the sideline the entire second half. It's not a bye week, but it's about as close as it gets.

10-1 (7-1 SEC)

11/30 Clemson
Five in a row. That is all.

11-1 (7-1 SEC)

My guess is that we go to Atlanta, face Alabama and lose. I'm not sure where that will put the Gamecocks for a bowl game, but it will be a good season. Not a great season - that would require an SEC title - but it's a good season. Clowney falls a little short of his goal of delivering an SEC title, but winning the SEC isn't easy. It's the de facto national championship until some other conference steps up.

Thoughts? Disagreements? Am I too optimistic? I hope not.

If $15/hour Is So Great, Why Not $200/hour?

The answer is of course, obvious. So why do so many people think that doubling wages for fast food workers is a good idea?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summer is Almost Over

The kids have come back to Columbia for fall classes at USC, football is around the corner, and fall is going to be here before you know it.

Time to squeeze the last bit of summer out of the next few weeks. 

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer, y'all.

Obama Suspends Aid to Egypt?

According to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Obama administration has secretly cut off military funding to Egypt because of the coup. Suspending their funds secretly, huh? Egypt was already on probation, sir.

Looks like Dean Obama has put Egypt on double-secret probation.

College Football Photos To Set The Mood.

I started my game by game prediction, but then after about 45 minutes, the entire post was lost. Dammit. So, I'll start over...tomorrow. Until then, here's a few photos to get you in the mood. No, not that kind of mood. The mood where you want to watch football.

Lion King Lesson.

Mornin' Dabo. Nice car.

Nice pass, moron.

Time is officially up on making fun of this guy.

But it's always ok to make fun of this guy...

Remember this one? Damn, Brad Wing is awesome.

Finally, a guide to understanding the current intro to College Gameday

Hurry back football, my life is too normal without the psychosis that you bring.

Monday, August 19, 2013

History of the World in One Chart

Happy Monday.

Not much going on today, so here's the history of the world in one chart. The only thing missing is that the SEC should have a little indication of power starting around 2006.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Open Thread - Watch My House

Open Thread. I'll be flying up to Atlantic City New Jersey today. Keep an eye on my house* for me while I'm gone.

* When I say "my house" I mean the house I would like to have eventually.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Steve Spurrier: Shirtless Dawnbringer of the SEC

We're so lucky to have such a great coach here at South Carolina. He knows exactly what he's doing, and he's damn funny. Speaking of damn funny, Spencer Hall does great work. His latest piece on Spurrier is wonderful. I can't quote the whole thing, so just go read the whole piece, alright?
It's not hard to grasp the concept of a tonal language if you're used to listening to people like Steve Spurrier. This is what he said this week, verbatim, about several injured players after a South Carolina practice.
"We got a bunch of hurt guys that act like they’re really hurt," Spurrier said after Monday’s evening practice, the last of No. 7 South Carolina’s first two-a-day session. "Right now, they may not play."
On paper it's one thing, but the way he said it meant a whole other thing. Translated: I do not believe these very important players to our football team are truly hurt. I would like them to know there are people waiting for their jobs if they are only mildly hurt, and attempting to malinger. In addition, I feel deep disdain for them for even attempting such a ruse. All of this should be very clear to them.
Spurrier managed to say that using way, way fewer words than that, and all while not exactly saying it explicitly.
Like I said. Go read the whole thing. Two weeks from today, we kickoff the season.

Gear for Guys - A Man's Vehicle

In the context of "Gear for Guys" which I started with some cool boatshoes awhile back and then followed up with a gentleman's knife, I've decided to move to the vehicle that a man needs.

A man needs a car. It gets you from place to place, and it brings all your gear with you. I've picked this particular vehicle for the Southern Man who needs a vehicle that he can put his gear in, go anywhere, take his dog with him (and not worry about the upholstery), and it also looks great. Answer below the jump.

When Is a Lion Not a Lion?

A Chinese zoo is under fire for trying to disguise a Tibetan mastiff dog for an African lion. The twisted scheme began to unravel when the supposed "African Lion" started to bark.

I'm a Chinese Lion!
That's hilarious. You gotta love those crazy Chinese zookeepers!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Pacifier Controversy

As the parent of a child who is almost two years old (He’ll be two in September) I’m definitely still in the “Rookie Parent” camp. Like all other parents I’m protective of my child, but I’m pretty easy-going about most things that aren’t that big of a deal, and I don’t pretend that my way of doing things is better than anyone else’s. However, I have started to realize that there are some parents who have deeply held dogmatic beliefs about child-rearing techniques and methods.

Case in point: I took my son to day-care today, and he’s being fussy because he wants to stay with me, rather than go to day-care with his friends. I know this will change eventually, and he’ll probably make me drop him off two blocks away from the school because he’s embarrassed of his dad. So I’m in the elevator with him and a stranger, and my son is just standing there whining in more of a cry that isn’t really any words – he's just making noise in protest, really.

I looked at the stranger and said something along the lines of “When he was younger, I could just pop a pacifier in his mouth and get some quiet, you know?” That's all I said. Pretty harmless kind of a half joke.

I was kind of just expecting a laugh or some kind of commiseration from the other adult in the elevator. However, that wasn’t the response I got from my elevator cohort. They kind of gave me a stern and icy look was like I had said: “When he was younger, I could just give him a glass of bourbon and get him to pass out.”

This little trip in the elevator suddenly got really awkward when this person responded with “I don’t believe in pacifiers, they’re controversial.” I wasn’t sure what to say to that. Luckily, the elevator ride ended, and we excused ourselves, as the elevator carried the stranger up a few more floors. On the ride into work I was thinking about what they said: “I don’t believe in pacifiers...”

That really doesn’t make sense to me. This person doesn’t believe in them? Pacifiers aren’t something that you take on faith, like God’s divine providence. It’s just a little rubber/plastic thing that you give to babies. It’s not something that you believe in. It’s just a thing. And controversial? I was not aware of that. I did a little research, and found that there are plenty of parents who think that pacifiers are either the devil’s creation, a tool of the baby-industrial complex, or a combination of both.

And the parents who don’t use pacifiers are Very Proud of this fact and want everyone to know they don’t use these evil and highly controversial things. Pacifiers are controversial? I don’t think so. Abortion is controversial. Religion is controversial. Whether to intervene militarily in Syria is controversial. The scope and role of the Federal government is controversial. According to some “mommy blogs” the use of pacifiers belongs in the same category as all of these other things.

I’m not saying that I’m on Team Pacifier, but I’m certainly not going to go around and judge people who do or do not use pacifiers with their children. It’s just not that big of a deal. When your 6 month old kid is crying at 3:00AM, you try anything you can to get him to stop crying. I just can’t imagine standing on the principle of being on Team No-Passy and letting my son cry when I could give him a pacifier and solve the problem. That’s not the time to be a suffragette for Team No-Passy. You want to go to sleep, and you want to soothe your child. There’s a reason that pacifiers work. I’m not sure what it is, but there’s a reason.

Anyway, I just think if you love your kids and act in their best interests there’s plenty of ways to do little things. The funny thing is that parents have all of this conflicting advice. I mean holy moly, don’t even start looking at all of the people who have strong feelings about breast feeding. The people on each side of that issue make the Civil War look like a high school debate.

Just be a good parent, relax, and quit trying to tell everyone else what to do. But it's probably not a good idea to give your 8 month old bourbon. I've read lots of studies that babies prefer scotch. (Just kidding. Please do not send me an irate e-mail about giving babies bourbon or scotch.)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Insurers Required to Report on Climate Change

Minnesota has joined four other states in requiring its insurance companies to discuss how extensively they’ve prepared for climate change.

I'm not sure about which states make up the other four, but you would think that Minnesota would  be thinking "Let's get some global warming going on up in here! It's freezing!".

Columbia Mayor Wants Minor League Baseball

The Columbia Mayor (Steve Benjamin) wants to bring a minor league baseball team to Columbia and spend millions on a stadium. Where do these idiots get the idea that this kind of stuff helps the economy of a city?

Study after study shows that it does nothing but saddle the cities and local areas with debt. But it gives the pols a good shot at crony corruption so they continue to be built. If a team doesn't want to pay for it's own stadium, they can go elsewhere. This is such an epically bad idea.
Robert A. Baade of the Heartland Institute, a research group in Chicago that promotes free markets, examined 48 cities over a 30-year period and found “no factual basis” for the argument that professional-sports stadiums and teams have a significant impact on economic growth. A study by Judith Grant Long, an associate professor of urban planning at Harvard University, found that public subsidies for stadiums are typically 40 percent more expensive for taxpayers than initially advertised.
Do you know anyone in Columbia that desperately wants to attend a minor league baseball game? Building a minor league stadium with public money is a massive boondoggle that can only be a giveaway. Ask Detroit how all those big downtown stadiums are doing for the economy.

I love sports more than the average guy, but this is a really bad idea. Unfortunately, the City of Columbia excels at doing stupid things, so I'm sure that it will happen.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

College Football Countdown: 17 Days

Seventeen days left. In seventeen days we're going to have some college football. I'll probably have my game by game predictions for South Carolina out this week, but in the meantime, here's a little morsel from last season to get you through the last few days:

I know that everyone likes the Clowney hit, but I have a confession to make. I like this one more. Don't get me wrong, The Hit is great. It's legendary. But I like this one just a little bit more.

When I saw this play live, I immediately knew that Swearinger would be flagged for taunting, and my thoughts (even before the flags came down were: Totally worth it.

We can make it seventeen more days.

Sunday Math Problem

Three Sons and a Camel. All I can say is that a lawyer would have probably helped them solve this problem by taking about a third of their camels.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Further Thoughts on Student Loan Debt

I had to wake up early to tend to some BBQ I'm slow cooking overnight. While up, I checked around to see if the internet was still awake. It was.

I checked on Brad's blog. While over there, I saw that Mark asked me a question about student loans. I started writing an answer, but it turned out to be too long for the comments, so I posted it here.

Mark, if you've made it this far, welcome to my little corner of the internet, and here's my answer to your question about student loans:

My entire life, I’ve heard everyone in charge (parents, politicians, administrators, professors, etc.) insist that there is insufficient funding for education and that having a college degree is the pathway to a better life. That's certainly true, but only to a certain extent, and only at a certain price.

But as any economist will tell you, when you subsidize something you get more of it than you would otherwise have; and the price of what you're subsidizing will rise. Accordingly, we've all (as a country) agreed to subsidize the cost of going to college since we all think it's such a great thing. We have subsidized it too much.

The ocean of student-loan money artificially boosts the cost of tuition, which creates a new cycle of indebtedness by students. How else to explain the way in which the cost of college tuition has outpaced the rise in the price of almost every other measurable good. Higher tuition makes “pay-as-you-go” a less-likely option. Think about it. Do you know anyone who pays for college "as they go" by working? It's just not possible to earn $25k over the summer when you're 18 years old. I bet that some of y'all actually used to "work your way through college". That's now impossible. Look at this chart:

Sure enough, when you have a credit bubble, you're going to start increasing the amount of debt. Student loan is higher than all other types of loans (except mortgages).

How is college subsidized? Student loans. How easy is it to get a student loan? About as easy as it was to get a subprime home mortgage in 2003. Anyone remember how that ended?

Soft student loan requirements make it easier for colleges to spend money poorly. The federal government provides a loan to virtually anyone who applies for one, which enables university administrations can spend foolishly (which they do).  There’s so much money, why not hike salaries and pensions for professors? Why do you think there are so many college administrators now? Why not offer programs and majors that are of questionable intellectual or economic merit? Why not offer beautiful, expansive "health club" like gym facilities for the students?

I know people with six-figure loan debt, multiple degrees and few job prospects. There were few lending standards – hey, it’s free government money – so they took on loan after loan. The lenders kept making loans. Other friends of mine used loans to gain useful degrees with lucrative job potential, but they still came out of school with a huge load of debt that will take decades to repay. Guess what it's harder to do when you have a big student loan: buy a house, buy a car, save money to get married and have kids. I'm lucky. I got a great job as a lawyer, and I'm able to repay my debt.

But I would almost have to say that the group only 5-8 years behind me isn't going to do as well. It's really hard to find good jobs out there to support your student loan debt. Here's that previous sentence in a chart:

The consequences of the student loan bubble are pretty far reaching. Remember, this debt isn't dischargeable in bankruptcy, so it's there forever. A decision you made when you were 18 to borrow $125k to major in "Gender Studies" at Wellesley is going to follow you around until you die or pay it off. Why do you think so many young people have left the labor force, taken part time jobs, and/or moved back in with their parents? It's the combination of high student loan debt and a lousy economy.

So, that's my answer as to why it's the principal - not the interest - that's the real problem with student loan debt.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Republic, If You Can Keep It...

President Obama had a press conference today in which he explained that he delayed the implementation of a law because he consulted with "businesses". Here's the full quote:
With respect to health care, I didn't simply choose to delay this on my own. This was in consultation with businesses all across the country, many of whom are supportive of the Affordable Care Act, but -- and who -- many of whom, by the way, are already providing health insurance to their employees but were concerned about the operational details of changing their HR operations if they've got a lot of employees, which could be costly for them, and them suggesting that there may be easier ways to do this.
Great. So let me see if I have this correct. Congress passes a bill and the President signs the bill. Therefore, the bill becomes law. Everyone still with me? The ACA (Obamacare) is now the law. I also specifically seem to remember the White House reminding everyone that the ACA is now the law.

Now, part of that law (the employer mandate) is politically inconvenient to implement because it's a giant mess, and it would cause all sorts of chaos if implemented on the schedule that the law requires. Oops! So the President decided to delay that portion of the law.

How, you ask? How could the President simply decide to delay enforcement of a law that has been duly passed by Congress? Simple. He did it "in consultation with businesses". Presto! Laws can now be done away with by consulting with businesses. Congress? Whatever dude, I've consulted with corporations, and they're good with this. Relax!

Actually, I really like this precedent. As soon as a Republican becomes President (It's eventually going to happen) he/she can just "consult with some businesses" who may not like other provisions of the ACA and delay more provisions.

Taxes: Don't like paying your taxes? No problem, I've consulted with businesses, and I've decided to delay the collection of taxes over 20% this year. You're welcome.

Vice: Officer, I did not break the law by hiring a prostitute. I only took action after negotiating with her pimp consultation with businesses.

Nothing like the random, selective, and arbitrary enforcement of our laws for political ends. Yet no one makes a peep. Freedom and liberty? Yeah, it's going to end not with a bang, but with a slow whimper of being devoured by a leviathan administrative bureaucracy.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
                                                         -Stuff Thomas Jefferson said, Vol. III

Not Ashamed of Being Religious

Gamecock QB Dylan Thompson isn't afraid to share his faith. I strongly believe that Spurrier has recruited a great group of football players over the last few years. Not just on the field - but outside the lines. Ever since a certain QB left, South Carolina has been blessed to have great players on the field who are genuinely good guys.

Here's Dylan Thompson, if you don't know who he is:

Dylan Thompson - Doing what he does best.
I'm sure Marcus Lattimore's influence is a major factor, as he is probably the foundation of the locker room ethos that exists right now. Although he's in the NFL, his work ethic and attitude are still present with this team. I can't remember a previous summer when there were zero off-field problems for the Gamecocks. We haven't had anyone in trouble, and it's due to having solid guys of character on the team.

Here's Kate Upton, if you don't know who she is:

Kate Upton - Doing what she does best.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How Bad Is The Ammo Shortage?

While I'm on the subject of guns, here's a story illustrating how bad the ammo shortage still is.

Editorial Fail - Unicorn Guns

I'm not sure what the problem is with journalists/editors and guns. It seems like every time a journalist tries to write a story involving guns, they get facts wrong. It's almost like they go out of their way to look like uninformed, sloppy knuckle-heads.

Case in point: Some Fox News reporter named Perry Chiaramonte is writing a piece about the Foot Hood Shooting and trial. Pretty simple, right?

Actually, no. Here's the line in the piece describing the firearm used.
Three witnesses took the stand after opening arguments, including the manager of the store Guns Galore, where Hasan had purchased the Glock 27 model 5.7 handgun used in the attack.
Wait, what? A "Glock 27 model 5.7 handgun"? What the hell is that? A Glock model 27 is this:

See? It says "Glock" on the side. That's the name of the manufacturer, like Coca-Cola, or BMW, or Apple. The number 27 refers to the model number, like it's a Coca-Cola Classic, or a BMW 325i, or an Apple iMac. It's a basic, subcompact, semiautomatic .40 caliber handgun.

An FN Five-Seven is an entirely different thing. Entirely different. This is an FN Five-Seven:

Notice anything different? Well, for starters, other than being a handgun, it's totally damn different. Different manufactuer, different caliber, different size, shape get the idea.

Here's what really gets me: there's no such thing as a "Glock 27 model 5.7 handgun". It only exists where unicorns dance around with magic elves. It's not a thing.

Where is the editor on this screw-up? Look, I understand if you're a newspaper editor who knows nothing about guns. But shouldn't you know that and maybe run it buy a guy in the office who can alert you to the fact that you're making up imaginary things?

And people wonder why newspapers are failing.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

68th Anniversary of Hiroshima Bombing

Sixty-eight years ago, the Enola Gay dropped "Little Boy" on Hiroshima Japan in the first ever use of a nuclear device in warfare. Here's how the New York Times covered it the next day:

With the hindsight of history, many people have argued over whether using nuclear weapons was necessary. If you want to argue that it wasn't necessary, it's important to remember the historical context in which the bomb was dropped. An Allied invasion of Japan was expected to be extremely costly. I know that every soldier, sailor, and airman who didn't have to invade Japan was happy that the US decided to use the atomic bomb.

All I have to say about dropping nuclear bombs on Japan:

Mess with the bull, get the horns.

Wendy Davis: Blissfully Ignorant

Wendy Davis, the newest champion of the pro-choice movement gave a speech to the National Press Club in DC yesterday. Following her speech, she was asked a question about her position on abortion related to the atrocities that went on with Kermit Gosnell in performing very late-term abortions.
Davis didn't answer the question. "I don't know what happened in the Gosnell case," she told me.
Remember, this woman was talking about wanting to be Governor of Texas. I guess she's just decided that being willfully ignorant of current events is a good strategy for her going forward. I'm sure she can put her experience in not knowing about things to work as Governor of Texas.

However, in all fairness to Ms. Davis, I don't think that abortion is really an issue she's focused on.

Wendy Davis: Governor of the State of Ignorance

Monday, August 5, 2013

A "Barbeque Trail" in South Carolina?

NOT SUCH A BAD IDEA. I know there are plenty of good BBQ joints in South Carolina that could use a little more publicity.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

New York City Photos from WWII

I love old photos. Especially those from WWII. Here's a great set of photos from the late 1940s in New York City.

Newspaper editors traveling to Governor's Island, with Manhattan in the background.
I'm always on the lookout for similar photos of the South from that time period, but they're harder to find.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

25 Greatest Unscripted Scenes in Film

Pretty good. [Caution, some of the scenes have mature language.]

I heard somewhere that the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Indy just shoots the guy with the sword was improvised. If it was, that should probably be near the top of the list. Maybe that's just an urban legend, though.

Friday, August 2, 2013

5 Questions For South Carolina As Fall Practice Begins

South Carolina is #7 in the pre-season poll, and here are five good questions facing the team.

USPS Wants to Deliver Booze

The US Post Office is considering allowing deliveries of beer, wine, and spirits to help alleviate the problem of no one using the post office anymore.

It's not a bad idea in theory, but I don't think it's going to solve the larger problem facing the post office.

Income and Child Custody

Think family court work is easy? Think again

I'll put it up against any field of law, any day of the week. It's tough work. Very fact specific and lots of judgment calls. Not much in the way of "bright line" rules.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Marines Don't Leave Anyone Behind

Even on 5K races.
A marine who gallantly dropped back in a race to help a nine-year-old boy finish has become an internet sensation. Lance Corporal Myles Kerr was competing in the annual run while home on leave in Charlevoix, Michigan when he spotted Boden Fuchs struggling to keep up.  The boy reportedly asked 19-year-old Kerr: 'Sir, will you please run with me?', after losing the group he was running with.
Lance Corporal Myles Kerr doesn't leave a 9 year old behind.

It's nice that the boy would have the courage (risking rejection) to ask for someone to run with him, and even better that the Marine would do so. I bet it made that little boy feel great that he got to run with a Marine, and actually crossed the finish line ahead of him.

I'm pretty sure that Lance Corporal Kerr is going to be an awesome dad.

P.S. Someone needs to tell the British journalists that the Marines and the Army aren't the same thing.

h/t Ace

Unfit to Carry a Firearm

Some people are mentally mature enough to carry a firearm. Others are not.

If you aren't capable of safely operating a tool, don't. If you aren't psychologically capable of dealing with safety issues, don't do unsafe things.

This lady needs counseling. She's way over the top with the drama. Just because you are allowed to do something doesn't mean you should. I think the flaw in her main argument is that she projects her own stupidity, paranoia, and incompetence onto everyone else.