Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Neil Armstrong, RIP

Charles Pierce points out that very soon, there will be no one left alive who ever walked on the moon. That makes me more than a little sad. Will the memory of their accomplishments, of our accomplishments as a nation, be honored? Will it spur us to renewed purpose?

I looked at a few different obituaries for Armstrong; together they paint a portrait of a fearless and humble explorer. I am inspired by his life story.

Update: The Guardian has an even more forceful condemnation of our collective lack of vision. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Random Thought of the Day

Sometimes cynicism may be justified - after a thorough examination of a given situation. But more often it seems to be merely a retreat for the intellectually lazy.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Skin in the Game

Others have made this point, but it bears repeating. One of the catchphrases going around in conservative circles these days is that almost 50% of Americans don't pay Federal income taxes, and that therefore they don't have "skin in the game." Laying aside that the working poor are subject to all sorts of other taxes, fees, and financial obstacles, these folks who live on the edge are all in - they have nothing but skin in the game.

For the working poor, the stakes of this "game" could not be higher. One false move, one bad bounce, and for them, the game is over. They have no more chips to take to a hotter table, they have no more time-outs, no more players in the bullpen, no more substitutions to make. Whatever game you care to use as a metaphor, everything is riding on the system running fairly and smoothly. Without a referee to blow the whistle, call the penalty, allow for an injury time out, etc., these people would quite literally become human waste.

No skin in the game? On the contrary: they've got blood, sweat, bone and sinew in the game.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Facts Don't Do What I Want Them To

Good on Soledad O'Brien for following up on this topic after John Sununu dropped a big old turd on her show on the previous day.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Kind of Mind Blowing, Actually

She may not have won the gold, but McKayla Maroney is still pretty amazing. In the same vein, check out these videos from NYTimes.com. The animated gif above and these videos lead me to ask, is there an upper limit to athletic achievement? Do physics and the human form eventually collide to say, 'this far, this fast, and no further, no faster?'