Saturday, March 19, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Giant Killed.

Over at, they have a story on the Kansas loss to Bucknell. Perhaps they were going with irony with this line:
Kansas had an opportunity to steal the game from Bucknell, but it just wasn't going to happen this evening. The No. 14-seeded Bucknell Bisons [sic] knocked the Jayhawks from the NCAA Tournament with a 64-63 first-round win Friday in Oklahoma City. (emphasis supplied)
Kansas now has to "steal" a game from Bucknell? I guess parity is here....

March Madness II

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March Madness I

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Friday, March 18, 2005

Color me Boggled.

According to this article, Congressional conservatives have called Terri Schiavo as a witness. You remember Terri Schiavo, right? She's the Florida woman who has been in what court-appointed doctors term a "persistent vegetative state" for the past decade and a half.
Shortly before a feeding tube was to be removed from a brain-damaged Florida woman, U.S. lawmakers on Friday called on Terri Schiavo to appear before congressional committees in an attempt to keep her alive.
I am trying to figure out under what constitutional authority these so-called conservatives are acting. I tend to agree with Mr. Schiavo's attorney in characterizing this action as one reeking of Soviet-style totalitarianism, not American federalism.
It seems that the Republicans are much more interested in power than conservative principles such as federalism and small government.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Fighting Illini a Strong Buy

Futures markets in Ireland are predicting that the Fighting Illini will win the NCAA title. Illinois' futures, which would pay out $100 if Illinois were to win, are trading at $21 a share. North Carolina, second on the list, is trading at $20. "The futures market correctly predicted last year that the Boston Red Sox would win their first World Series in 86 years, that U.S. President George W. Bush would be re-elected and successfully called 90 percent of the winners at this year's Academy Awards."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Record Trade Deficits

While Greenspan and W fiddled, the US trade deficit hit a record $665.9B in 2004. Last week, I blogged about Warren Buffett's admonition in his Berkshire Hathaway's latest Annual Report. He's not known as the Oracle of Omaha for nothing, I guess.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

TiVo + Comcast = Happy DotBlawger

TiVo and Comcast have agreed to install TiVo software on existing the Comcast DVR platform. Comcast recently agreed to a $1 billion deal with Motorola to buy STBs from the batwing company. I'm pretty excited by this because it gives Comcast (my cable company) the premier user interface for DVR services. I loved TiVo when I had only SDTV and moved away only because its HDTV solution is way expensive. The AP reports that "The new service will be marketed with the TiVo brand, and is expected to be available on Comcast's DVR products in a majority of Comcast markets in mid-to-late 2006." Good news.

No Rational Purpose

San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer ruled yesterday that bans on gay marriage are illegal. Judge Kramer ruled that "It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners." Tradition, the Judge reasoned, cannot support an otherwise unconstitutional law. "The state's protracted denial of equal protection cannot be justified simply because such constitutional violation has become traditional," he wrote.

I agree. I would defy anybody to explain what rational purpose the state has in denying monogamous gay couples coequal legal status to their straight counterparts. The religious underpinnings of the animosity to gay marriage violate the First Amendment's establishment clause. The argument that gay marriage undermines the institution of marriage falls apart for lack of evidence, anecdotal or otherwise.

In fact, gay marriage can only strengthen the institution of marriage, giving gay and straight couples alike even more role models. Don't get me wrong. Gay marriages will fall apart. Straight marriages will continue to fall apart. But the strong marriages of either type will give everybody an aspirational goal. Gay marriage is good for marriage.

Monday, March 14, 2005

FCC Establishes the Obvious

Well, at least the FCC got this one right. After a barrage of complaints from people I can only guess would be happier living in the 1850s, the FCC investigated that little promo for Desperate Housewives that ran on Monday Night Football. Probably tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars later, the FCC yesterday concluded that the promo was not indecent, per Just think about this, every time some Puritan gets his panties in a wad over something, our government must spend time and resources investigating this nonsense.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

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Bill and Nantz-y

Matt May may be a Condi-in-'08 supporter, but this blog post about CBS' announcing team for the Big Ten tournament is great. Note to Matt: the Big Ten tournament is not held in Chicago "every year," unless Chicago biennially morphs into a vanilla Indiana burgh.