September 29, 2007

I Don't Care Anymore

But that could be the Pouilly Fumé and the Pinot Noir and the Glenmorangie and the Lagavulin and the Patron talking…

Posted by Charles Austin at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

September 24, 2007

Free Speech for Me But Not for Thee

Right, Mr. Bollinger?

Iran’s judiciary has sealed off the offices of a popular news Web site critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s policies after journalists continued to update it despite official filtering, the Web site said.

Meanwhile, ...

Sure we'd invite Hitler to speak, says Columbia dean

Because like Churchill said, "to jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war." Unless, of course, you grasp of reality is capable of advancing beyond such limited dichotomies to deal with, say, Hitler's policy of burn-burn the Jew-Jew, the Taliban's policy of kill-kill the little girls who want to learn to read, or al Qaeda's policy of boom-boom for anyone not sufficiently submissive to their will.

FYI, the quote from Churchill is inexact as it was taken from untranscibed conversations in 1954, and pretty clearly must have been taken out of context given Churchill's experiences in the 1930s. But I digress.

Posted by Charles Austin at 01:55 PM | Comments (5)

Don't Do Drugs


U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton said Sunday she can appeal to Republicans as well as Democrats on the presidential trail.

Posted by Charles Austin at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)


This made sense until the very last word ...

The Bush administration said Monday the only way to permanently fix Social Security is through some combination of benefit cuts and tax increases.
That was one of the key findings in a new paper on Social Security released by the Treasury Department in an effort to achieve common ground on the politically explosive issue.

"Social Security can be made permanently solvent only by reducing the present value of scheduled benefits and/or increasing the present value of scheduled tax increases," the paper said. The Treasury paper said that while other changes to the giant benefit program might be desirable "only these changes can restore solvency permanently."

Meanwhile, Senator Obama has half a solution ...

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., is considering a major tax hike on the rich to shore up the nation's Social Security system.

I'll begin to take Democratic proposals to fix Social Security seriously when they choose to address the spending problem as well, rather than just raising taxes.

Posted by Charles Austin at 01:41 PM | Comments (0)

Pool Postponed

An Internet outage prevented any posting this past weekend. Fun and games will resume in week 4.

Posted by Charles Austin at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2007

Slow News Day

Thanks for clearing that up ...

Hillary Clinton officially declared she's not a lesbian - not that there's anything wrong with that.

During an interview with The Advocate to be published next week, Sean Kennedy, the gay magazine's news and features editor, asked the presidential candidate, "How do you respond to the occasional rumor that you're a lesbian?"

"It's not true, but it is something that I have no control over. People will say what they want to say."

Kennedy told the Daily News he's convinced. "I 100% believe she's a straight, heterosexual woman," he said.

Of course, the correct response would be to wag a finger at the reporter and say, "I did not have sex with that woman." After all, it worked so well before.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:05 AM | Comments (2)

I Never Would Have Guessed that So Much Undue Influence Could Be Purchased So Cheaply

Bring back the good old days when newsrooms exerted undue influence on governments and large corporations ...

Dan Rather said Thursday that the undue influence of the government and large corporations over newsrooms spurred his decision to file a $70 million lawsuit against CBS and its former parent company.

Assuming for the moment that Dan Rather is right, how exactly will putting $70 million in his pocket fix it?

"Somebody, sometime has got to take a stand and say democracy cannot survive, much less thrive with the level of big corporate and big government interference and intimidation in news," he said on CNN's "Larry King Live."

Dan has joined the black helicopter brigade. As with President Reagan once he left office, the only real question now is how long ago did his faculties fade.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2007

God, I'm Bored Already

0-7-1 so far this week, or down another $2,200, leaving the pot at $7,430. I hope someone is using me as a very strong negative indicator somewhere where doing so is legal.

Let's get this over with as quickly as possible. I'm revising one bet and adding another for tonight's game. I'd go higher, but my repect for law and order requires that I must stay within the rules. Man, I wish I had allowed parlays and teasers.

Washington Redskins +7 over Philadelphia for $1,000
Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles over 39 for $1,000

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:48 PM | Comments (2)

September 16, 2007

Week 2

The results from week 1 were decidedly mixed, down $370 for the week leaving the pot at $9,630. I think maybe I should remember to avoid overs in week 1.

New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts over 53 for $200
Chicago Bears + 5.5 over the San Diego Chargers for $100
Philadelphia Eagles - 2.5 over the Green Bay Packers for $200
Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins Over 35 for $100
Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams Over 42.5 for $100

Dallas Cowboys - 5.5 over the New York Giants for $200
Tennessee Titans +7 over the Jacksonville Jaguars for $100
Pittsburgh Steelers - 4.5 over Cleveland Browns for $100

Overall record 3-5.

On tap for this week we have:
Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills over 38 for $200
Cincinnati Bengals -8 over Cleveland Browns for $200
Carolina Panthers -6.5 over Houston for $200
New Orleans Saints -4 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers for $200
Minnesota Vikings +3 over Detroit Lions for $200
Seattle Seahawks -2.5 over Arizona Cardinals for $200
Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs over 34.5 for $500
New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens over 33 for $500
Washington Redskins +7 over Philadelphia for $200

Remember, play money only. Watch for me on TV at the Rams - 49ers game today.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2007

Dull Boy

All work, no play, and all that.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

John Ashcroft for AG

Why not? Last time he was in the news, the Democrats loved him.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2007


Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:04 AM | Comments (2)

Let Me Axe You a Question

Look at this picture carefully and ask youself, can a fawning biopic of Leon Trotsky be far away?


Posted by Charles Austin at 09:56 AM | Comments (1)

September 09, 2007

The iPhones Are Moving Fast

Stocks Drop After Weak Jobs Report

Oh, it's not about Apple after all. Sorry.

Posted by Charles Austin at 12:38 AM | Comments (0)

Push On the Poppies and Make 'Em Come Up

With apologies to Ween for the title, I haven't bothered to watch the video or read the transcript because I could care less what Osama bin Laden says, and nothing I might see or read is going to help lead to his capture..., but that assumes he is still alive. What if the fake beard is to help cover up the fact that it isn't really him?

DOWNDATE: Ok, maybe it's him but he's still dead.

Posted by Charles Austin at 12:11 AM | Comments (1)

September 08, 2007

Week 1

No time to do this properly, so here goes...

Dallas Cowboys - 5.5 over the New York Giants for $200
Chicago Bears + 5.5 over the San Diego Chargers for $100
Tennessee Titans +7 over the Jacksonville Jaguars for $100
Philadelphia Eagles - 2.5 over the Green Bay Packers for $200
Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins Over 35 for $100
Pittsburgh Steelers - 4.5 over Cleveland Browns for $100
Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams Over 42.5 for $100

I'll be at the Rams and Panthers game tomorrow. Remember everybody, play money only.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:52 PM | Comments (1)

Caption Contest

He's got the whole whirl in his hands...

Has Al Gore been putting on weight? Well, let me put it like this, the mass of Al's pinkie has surpassed the threshold necessary to become a black hole.


Image copied from here.

Enter your own if you like in the comment section.

Posted by Charles Austin at 01:17 PM | Comments (3)

September 07, 2007

Facts Are Hard Things

And by hard, I don't mean hard hard, I mean the soft, malleable hard that comes from words having no real meaning other than what I choose for them to mean at any given moment...

On Thursday, British director and art house favourite Peter Greenaway illuminated some of the many secrets of the Rembrandt masterpiece "The Nightwatch" in his sensuous film "Nightwatching".

The movie explores the three women in Rembrandt's life and the influence of his home life on his painting, while also offering an explanation for the "riches to rags" story of the 17th-century Dutch master of light and shadow.

"I can't prove every single fact, but you can't disprove it either," Greenaway told a news conference.

A perfect postmodern statement of epistomology as we move beyond "fake, but accurate" into a realm of magical realism where factual no longer means objectively true but rather subjectively not disprovable.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)

A Retraction

Yesterday I complained that I couldn't watch the first game of the NFL season because Charter Communications had not reached an agreement with the NFLNetwork to show the game. While they still have not reached an agreement that will keep me from watching some games at home later this season, tonight's game was on NBC.

I was wrong. I apologize to my readers and to Charter Communications. There are only 475 reasons to hate Charter Communications and not 476.

Posted by Charles Austin at 12:12 AM | Comments (0)

You Like the Kool-Aid -- and Steve Jobs Knows It

Apple screws its iPhone customers by cutting the price of the iPhone from $599 to $399 less than three months after so many of the iDweebs waited overnight in the rain for the privilege of giving money to Mr. Jobs. And after some of them complain, Mr. Jobs offers them a coupon for $100 that can be applied towards purchasing more Apple products.

He's got your number.

Posted by Charles Austin at 12:03 AM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2007


Last Saturday I attended the Illinois - Missouri game at the Edward Jones Dome here in St. Louis. It was the first Illinois game I've ever been to where the Chief was absent.

A friend from Missouri asked me if Illinois had a new mascot yet. I told him that I didn't think so, but if they could come up with a mascot that looks like a middle finger extended towards the NCAA, I'd support it.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:49 PM | Comments (0)

And So It Begins

Colt 41 Saints 10. I lost some respect for Sean Payton tonight. Down by 17 in the fourth quarter, 4th and 1 at the Saints 30. And. He. Punted. The Saints would lose if they go for it and fail, but they will also lose if you give up the ball. Almost a quarter of football left and he gave up. Wow. How demoralizing was that to his team?

So the pot now stands at $9,780. Time to pick it up over the weekend. You can decide whether I'm a better negative indicator over the next few weeks.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:40 PM | Comments (0)

New and Improved Second Edition Now Available!

You can still buy my wife's book. This edition has been revised for a middle school audience. By buying a single copy you can raise her Amazon rank by 100,000 places! Visit her website to learn more.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:38 PM | Comments (0)

I Like Peyton Manning

I really do. He's a decent person and a fantastic football player. But he is already way overexposed, and we're not even two minutes into the second half of the first game of the year.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

You'll Get No Argument From Me

Anybody else get a chuckle at NBC's halftime promo tonight:

Keith Olbermann: The Worst Man In the NFL

DOWNDATE: I didn't see the segment, or the previous one that prompted this one, but I understand that Keith agrees with me. Yes Keith, we get it. It is all about you.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:16 PM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2007

The NFL Betting Pool

Here are the rules.

1. I start with $10,000.
2. I must bet on at least half the games each week during the NFL season.
3. Bets can range from $100 - $1,000 per game.
4. I can bet on either the winner against the published line and/or the over/under on any game.
5. The vig is 10%.
6. All results will be published here.

The game tomorrow night with the New Orleans Saints at the Indianapolis Colts has the Colts going off at -6 and an over/under of 53. I haven't had a chance to do a lot of analysis, but we have two dome teams with good offenses and average defenses teeing it up under ideal conditions. It looks like a sucker bet since it is more than a touchdown higher than any other game this week. You just don't see numbers this high in the NFL too often, but I am a contrarian. $200 on the over.

Current pot: $10,000.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:12 PM | Comments (0)

Fantasy Football Tips (#1 in a Series)

Ten players you are going to wish were on your fantasy football team at the end of the season, or at least you could have got for less than they will be worth then (in no particular order):

Cedric Benson
Lee Evans
Carnell Williams
Isaac Bruce
Patrick Crayton
Daniel Graham
Tony Hunt
Vince Young
DeShaun Foster
Wes Welker

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:00 PM | Comments (0)

You Can Call Me, Al

Russell's uncle says deal with Raiders 'almost done'

Because, he'll be able to contribute so much now this season.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:52 PM | Comments (0)

Reason Number 476 to Hate Charter Communications

Because they still haven't reached an agreement to carry the NFL Network while providing over 250 channels of crap every minute of the day. meaning I cannot watch the first game of the NFL season tomorrow night in the comfort of my La-Z-Boy recliner with heat and massage while I graze on Hillshire Farms Little Smokies cooked in my own single malt barbeque sauce.


Posted by Charles Austin at 10:45 PM | Comments (0)

Ok Tiki, So You're a Quitter

Thanks for sharing ...

"If Tom Coughlin had not remained as head coach of the Giants, I might still be in a Giants uniform," Barber writes, according to the Daily News.

Wow, you mean you could have led the Giants to another 8-8 season if only Tom Coughlin had left?

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:36 PM | Comments (1)

Guess the Headline

Which of these headlines is authentic?

Food additives may cause hyperactivity: study

Food additives may not cause hyperactivity: study

Take a guess ...

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

Is There Anything Global Waming Can't Do?

Global warming could mean more heart problems, doctors warn

Of course, these doctors seem to be unaware that even the global warming shills predict that warming affects evening temperatures and temperatures at the higher latitudes more than it does daytime temperatures in the lower latitudes.

On the sidelines of the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting in Vienna this week, some experts said that the issue deserved more attention. It's well-known that people have more heart problems when it's hot.

During the European heat wave in 2003, there were an estimated 35,000 deaths above expected levels in the first two weeks of August. In France alone, nearly 15,000 extra people died when temperatures soared. Experts say that much of that was due to heart problems in the elderly worsened by the extreme heat.

Weird. I thought 15,000 people died during a heat wave in the middle of summer in August (gee, who'da thunk it?) because everyone is on vacation in France during this time period. Remarkable isn't it?

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:03 PM | Comments (1)

Of Course, It Worked

Because gods that rule the sky, well, um, well, ...

Officials at Nepal's state-run airline have sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god, following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the carrier said Tuesday.

Link courtesy of Reuters, who continue to live up to the highest standards of news selection.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:58 PM | Comments (0)

Christopher Hitchens is Brilliant

But you knew that. I'm not sure that there is a cleverer, more erudite, more in command of the facts debater and lecturer alive. Of course, his youthful enthusiasm for Trotsky and utter hostility to religion is kind of weird, but it doubtlessly enhances his book sales. The more I know and read about him the more impressed I am.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:52 PM | Comments (0)

Holy Crap

I'm posting again. The effect of a bottle of Zinfandel in the middle of the week can be truly amazing.

I'm thinking of temporarily turning this blog into a review of the NFL and my fantasy teams and leagues, including a wholly imaginary betting pool on the NFL. My fantasy credentials are decent and my opinions marginally unorthodox, but I've won at least one championship for each of the last six years, and three last year. Any thoughts?

To whet your appetite, in my longest running legaue (14 years and counting) one of the owners celebrated the Appalachian State win over Michigan by naming his team the Michigan Sucks. Being from Cleveland I think he has some long running Michigan issues, but I digress. I suggested his new team motto be "Go Blow!" and he liked it.

Less than 24 hous until football begin again. It's good to be an American in the 21st century.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:48 PM | Comments (1)

Imagine Frank Sinatra Singing...

Call a lawyer and Hsu me, Hsu me, what can you do me? Hillary?

Instapundit has a number of better puns.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:40 PM | Comments (0)