Charles Oliver - Econ/Media-Boy
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Even a blogger needs to eat. This blog is primarily Charles' hobby. But if he is intent on continuing to woo the Hooter's waitresses in Chatanooga he needs something that pays.... wings don't come free you know. Here's a link to his day job where he works the education beat and, assuming he can't annoy enough people that way, is sometimes allowed to write opinion pieces.


Need perspective? Watson offers readers all they could possibly eat. For a unique view on current events, namely how they look from orbit, here's Chuck's Real-Time(ish) Satellite Imagery of Areas of Interest. Whenever it strikes his fancy, and there's good telemetry, Chuck will process and post near real-time images of locations in the news. Eminently engrossing.


Wanna get into the head of a Japanese salaryman? Why, for Chis'sakes?! Well, assumin' you do, feel welcome to check out the on-line journal of Campbell's English class. Everyday, a group of disaffected salarymen are required to spill out their inner-most thoughts about life, the universe and everything in broken English. Amazingly prosaic.




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Shoutin' across the Pacific
Chiizu taberu koufuku shiteiru saru ga kangei-saremasen.
 
Sunday, August 31, 2003
 
Where's The Flip flop? Arnold S. is being taken to task for supposedly waffling on the 1977 Oui magazine interview.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was asked on Wednesday by a conservative radio host to talk about his racy 1977 Oui magazine interview -- detailing drug use and group sex. The GOP gubernatorial candidate responded with a laugh, "I never lived my life to be a politician. I never lived my life to be the governor of California."

"Obviously, I've made statements that were ludicrous and crazy and outrageous and all those things, because that's the way I always was," he said.

A day later, he was asked about it at a press conference. "I have no idea what you're talking about," he told reporters. "I have no memory of any of the articles I did 20 or 30 years ago."


Now, maybe in the Wednesday interview he discussed the Oui story in depth, which would give lie to his later assertion.

But based solely on this story, I don't see any problem. There's no contradiction in his two statements. Indeed, one can reasonlaby see Arnold clarifying by saying "I don't recall that particular interview, but I said a lot of outrageous things in my youth."




posted by Charles at 2:03 PM
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Saturday, August 30, 2003
 
God Help Me. A Dean presidency is looking more and more attractive.

posted by Charles at 7:11 PM
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Thursday, August 28, 2003
 
Redneck Economics. A friend of mine was trying to explain to a mutual friend why natural disasters and the like aren't really good for the economy as some people sometimes think. He recast Bastiat's parable of the broken window in more familiar terms.

If Earnest T. Bass destroys a $50 window at Weaver's Department store, then the company that supplies and installs the new window benefits to the tune of $50. Good for them.
But there is no net gain in wealth to the economy. The $50 Ben Weaver had to spend on the new window could have been spent on more inventory, employee raises, new hires, etc. It was not. ...
Post Hurricane Andrew, certain businesses cashed in mightily. Others were decimated. But I know of no evidence that shows a net gain in wealth to the local economy and in fact, some areas of South Florida have never recovered from the storm.
Economies grow with the creation of new wealth, goods and services which previously did not exist.


Our friend still didn't quite get the point. But another mutual friend read what my first friend had wrote, and he, having worked for 20 years in retail, made this controbution:

Sure, Ben would like to repair the windows Earnest T. broke, but dammit! now is not a good time. Weaver's borried a shitload of money from the bank to build a new warehouse and, well, sales have been preeety slack the last couple of months and Ben missed a couple of payments and the feds are on his ass about making his public shitters handicapped-accessible and Jesus! one of his clerks sold underage Opie cigarettes and a box of bb's and the goddamn shoplifters are boosting goods right and left while the sheriff turns a blind eye to the damn thieves in this town plus there's the woman suing him over that slip-and-fall and how much is that going to take to settle and wouldn't you know it, a damn Super Walmart opened up out on the bypass, and of course, there was a federal grant to revitalize the downtown, but most of that money went for a bag of cobblestones and a trip for the town council to Las Vegas to take part in a REVITALIZING DOWNTOWN convention, well sir, the grant went to strippers in units of one dollar bills, that's where it went, and well screw this shit, says Ben as he decides not to bother fixing the window, but instead to close her down and let Mayberry continue its rocket ride to hell.



posted by Charles at 10:08 PM
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Wednesday, August 27, 2003
 
I'm No Theologian. But it seems as if some Judge Roy Moore's supporters don't really understand the 10 commandments.

In the version of the commandments erected by Moore, the key passage is in the second commandment.


posted by Charles at 12:47 PM
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Now Which One Was The Stupid Party? California Democrats are complaining that Taco Bell has rigged the election to favor Arnold.

posted by Charles at 12:28 PM
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Tuesday, August 26, 2003
 
Wonder If He'll Be Boycotted. Toby Keith has a secret.

He really wasn't gung ho about the Iraq war.

"Look, my stance is I pick and choose my wars. This war here , the math hasn't worked out for me on it. But I'm smart enough to know there's people smarter than me. Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, George Bush — this is their job, and I have to trust in them. I support the commander in chief and the troops."

Keith took a long pause to consider his words, and then added: "I was for Afghanistan, 100%. We got struck and the Taliban needed to be exterminated, but this war here, in Iraq, I didn't necessarily have it all worked out. It didn't work out for me. I know a tyrant is gone and all of that, but whether it was our duty to go do that, well, I haven't figured that out."



posted by Charles at 7:59 PM
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Monday, August 25, 2003
 
Guitar Gods? I've got no problem with ranking Jimi Henrdix first and Duane Allman second if we are talking strictly blues and rock.

But B.B. King at number three? He's top 20 material, maybe even top 10. But he's not even the best King. (That would be Albert.)

Clapton at 4? I thought so, too, once. But I've come to see that too much of his work is technically proficient, but not very soulful. And I'm sorry, but Robert Johnson is very overrated. Don't get me wrong. He's good, and if this were a list of the most influential guitarists, I'd put him in the top 10. But he doesn't deserve that place on pure talent.

I like Chuck Berry, Stevie Ray Vaugh and Ry Cooder. I'm not terribly convinced Keith Richards is top 10, but I won't argue too vociferously. But there's no way in hell Jimmy Page belongs on the top 10. He created some great riffs, but he was a sloppy guitarist, especially live.

And Joni Mitchell and Joan Jett shouldn't be on a top 100 list. I saw Joan at Six Flags once when her regular guitarist was not there for some reason. She tried to play lead, and well, there were guys in my dorm who could have done a better job. If I had to pick a woman for the top 100, and I'm not sure that I would, there are much better choices.


posted by Charles at 9:38 PM
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Trading Places. My Reason review of books on trade policy by Jagdish Bhagwati and Douglas Irwin is now up.

posted by Charles at 8:52 PM
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Sunday, August 24, 2003
 
Salad Days. Virginia Postrel recommends McDonad's new caesar salad. I'll second that. In fact, all three (or six) of their new salads are pretty good. For a long time, their fries and chicken sandwiches, especially the grilled chicken, have been the only things on the menu I could stand. And as my friends know, I have pretty low standards for fast food.

Hooters also makes a very good chicken caesar salad.


posted by Charles at 9:28 PM
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Wednesday, August 20, 2003
 
A Is A. Jim Henley and Franklin Harris had an interesting exchange about Steve Ditko's post-Marvel work.

Franklin argued that Ditko's Objectivist-oriented later work was no more didactic than other comics of the 1960s and 1970s. At first, I agreed with Franklin, but then my pal Bill Mitchell sent this word:

I have in my grubby little hands a copy of E-Man #4, in the back pages of which I found a Ditko story featuring Killjoy (a Spider-Man-esque character).

Yikes.

It is truly painful. Like something from a college sophomore who just read Rand for the first time.

Sample dialogue:

CROOK 1 (to victim): Hold it! I'm a $ have not...You are a $ have! I have a right to have $, so hand over my $, you crook!

CROOK 2 (appearing on the scene and wielding a club): Wait! I'm deprived! His $ belong to me!

CROOK 3: I'm exploited! His $ are MINE!

(...more crooks appear, much similar dialogue...)

VICTIM: What about my right to my earned $ ?

CROOK 37: Keep out of this! You have no say. Because it is your $ you have no right to keep or use it!

(VICTIM is rescued from mob by KILLJOY)

LIMOUSINE LIBERAL (wearing three-piece suit, and carrying sign that reads "PROTECT THE GUILTY FROM JUSTICE") (to Killjoy): You have no right taking a victim from his attackers!!


posted by Charles at 10:58 PM
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A Name You Can Trust. Domenic sends word that the NSA has just put out a "security enhanced" version of Linux. I'm sure there will be a big demand for that.

posted by Charles at 10:53 PM
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The Tortoise and the Hare. Several weeks ago, I finally upgraded from dial-up to DSL. And I've noticed something odd.

Yes, my Internet service has gotten much faster, but everything else seems much slower. My computer did its weekly virus scan tonight, and it took twice as long as it used to. Simple stuff like opening Word takes a (relatively) long time now. Very weird.


posted by Charles at 10:52 PM
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Tuesday, August 19, 2003
 
Lies and the lying liar who tells them.

posted by Charles at 7:13 PM
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Sunday, August 17, 2003
 
Those Who Can Do, And Those Who Have Done Time Teach. Thanks to Domenic for rbing this story to my attention. I'm not sure that having been in prison necessarily makes one a better professor, but I'd imagine the kids at Northern Kentucy University could do worse than Stephen Richards

In 1982 in South Carolina, Richards was arrested on a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

"There was no charge of 'possession' and no charge of 'sale,'" he noted. "Conspiracy means 'having knowledge thereof.' It doesn't necessarily imply participation."

Richards said he believes he was arrested for one main reason.

"The federal government wanted me to testify against other people," he said. "I refused to cooperate. I refused to participate in the destruction of other people."

He said he made a "moral choice," based partly on his experiences growing up in an orphanage.

"I had 40 brothers and sisters there," he said. "They were all orphans and they were my family. I would not have participated in naming them."

Richards also disagreed with the long prison terms being meted out for drug convictions as the federal government's aggressive 'War on Drugs' was ramping up in the early 1980s under the Reagan administration.

"I told the FBI that if I knew someone who had committed a serious crime like rape or murder, I would cooperate," he said. "Or, if marijuana was just a misdemeanor or a short time in jail, I would testify.

"But, for federal conspiracy, you can get a life sentence. I wasn't going to testify in a case where I could cause great damage to the people I love."



posted by Charles at 9:07 PM
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Thursday, August 14, 2003
 
I Don't Want To Get Into A Georgia v. Tennessee Thing. But Glenn Reynolds says this photo of Arnold isn't likely to hurt his reputation. Seems to me it would. Steroids just can't help sometimes.

posted by Charles at 12:04 AM
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Tuesday, August 12, 2003
 
The Splendid Splinter. I used to think that cryonics was just goofy and those who belived in it were harmless kooks. But this Sports illustrated story makes some of them seem more ghoulish than I thought. And some of Ted Williams' children seem even slimier than I thought.

posted by Charles at 9:26 PM
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Sunday, August 10, 2003
 
When the Feds Step In. Last week, the Georgia Department of Education, released its report on schools that have failed to make "adequately yearly progress" under the No Child Left Behind act. It's turned into a real clusterfuck.

The state says some 40% of Georgia schools belong on the list. But just about every school district in the state is complaining that one of their schools was listed in error. Meanwhile, the federal Department of Education says the state should include another 270 schools. The state disputes that.

Locally, the schools that were listed were doing well overall, at least by the measures used by the No Child Left Behind act. Hell, one won an award from the state last yaer for improving its standardized test score. But that school didn't test enough of its students with disabilities. They have to test at least 95% of students, as well as 95% of students in various subgroups. The school did that for the school as a whole and for all the other subgroups. But they had something like 30 students with disabilities. Two missed the test for some reason. So they are on the list. BTW, those who were tested met the passing standards. It was only the numbers tested, not the test results that got them on the list.

Two other schools that made the list actually passed overall, and most of their subgroups passed as well. But they failed to have at least 60 percent of their students with limited English proficiency reading at grade level, so they were listed as not making adequate progress. Duh!. That's why they are classified as having limited English proficiency.


posted by Charles at 6:21 PM
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Thursday, August 07, 2003
 
Mary Roush? I'm surprised this story isn't getting more play.

Apparently, someone set up a fake web site claiming to be that of John Lott. After the site was discovered to be fake, it then claimed to be a parody site. Now, it seems that the site has some connection to an anti-gun activist.



posted by Charles at 10:21 AM
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Tuesday, August 05, 2003
 
Freak Accident. The Daily Citizen made both Obscurestore.com and Boortz with this tale of an elderly driver who ran over himself.

posted by Charles at 9:58 PM
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