Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I Can't Right Good. Need School Help.

The further removed I become from college, the more inane I realize my experiences as a legal (albeit young) adult were. About eight years ago I failed Washburn's writing exam, which was an awful member of this collection of experiences.

A couple levels of context should be leveled here. First, Washburn University was an open admissions school - get your high school diploma and you get in. Or your GED. Whichever. Aside from community college (which no one attends out here on the East Coast), I'm not sure if my friends really grasp the idea of not having to 'get into' college. You just graduate from high school and you go. This is why jokes about seniors not being able to get into college perplex me.*

Don't think for two seconds I'm talking down on the students that attend Washburn. Some, yes - the campus is rolling (har har!) with nontrads at a level unknown to most college campuses. However, our mock trial team took 3rd nationally my freshman year. And there are no divisions in this activity - we weren't competing against comparable institutions. First place was Virginia and second was Harvard. We kicked the shit out of schools that have average ACT scores of 28-30. Georgia Tech and Yale. And  those bastards from Washington-St. Louis. There's no chip on my shoulder, just highlighting that despite its low floor Washburn still enjoyed a high ceiling. We had kids would (literally) nail 179 on the LSAT, but were too modest to choose a private school at the age of 17.

I've digressed masterfully here, which may be one of my principal problems. Circling back to the writing exam, this is a written test given to all students to determine whether they must take English 201. 201 is a remedial course that must be completed before taking the junior English course, which must be completed by all students. A bit under 10 percent of the student body must take EN201. These are the kids that can't right good. Each essay is individually graded on a scale of 1-5, and the recipients of ones must take EN201. Easy enough - don't get a one.

I got a one.

The average ACT score at Washburn is 21 (equivalent to a score of 980-1010 on the SAT), and the bottom decile hovers around 17-18 (820-890). There's nothing wrong with falling in that range - someone has to squish into that end of the bell curve - but I'm a damn elitist. The notion of falling here kills pieces of me. Large, kill the dinosaurs asteroid-sized pieces. I wrote papers for money my freshman year, and provided partial refunds for non-As. I killed the the GRE writing exam. My work has been featured on Yahoo! and Sports Illustrated (ok, maybe I do have a chip on my shoulder). Point is, I shouldn't have fallen into the one category. And worst of all, there's no way to protest your score - you simply get shepherded onto the dolt track and live the rest of your life in embarrassment. I did not know a single friend who took English 201.

And neither did I. Washburn requires a freshman and junior English course, at minimum, and a sophomore English course to boot for the dumb-dumbs. Yet I only sat in on one English class during four years there. Not a semester course, mind you, but one, single, 75-minute class. Never went back. Still got my BA (I'd share more, but you know how I hate divulging trade secrets). Every system can be hacked if you're determined enough.

*Fearful of appearing to lie by omission, there are admittedly prescribed actions an incoming student must take if they don't meet some sort of minimum ACT/GPA criterion. The degree process will take longer due to the necessity of remedial coursework by approximately a semester, but this does not preclude enrollment in and of itself. GED still gets you in.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Making Clever

There's a clever pun out there about a dude dancing around the notion of taking a more active role in his kid's life and the phrase 'father figure eights.' Before this decade is over, I intend to find it.

You know, father figures and shit. Maybe his son skates.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Which Race Has The Smartest Inmate Population?

I want to do this study sometime. Not because I'm particularly interested in issues of race, crime, or any of that jazz, but because political correctness will bear down on the results with the fervor of 300 angry Spartans. I would like to feel that.

It began when I was reading about average prison IQ in general - it appears to going down. This makes sense - 50 years ago most people could find a menial yet somewhat supportive job. Chalk it up to collective laziness or globalization or the destruction of unions or whatever, but that's no longer the case.

When most people could be reasonably expected of being capable of providing for themselves, the prison population would be driven by what we consider "bad people." Those that commit crimes because they get thrills out of stealing, don't value human life, or can't control their addictions. Those people still end up in jail, but the economic realities of 21st century America mean more and more people are left behind. And there's a pretty stark correlation between intelligence and ability to provide for yourself. So low IQ citizens go without, and the likelihood of committing crime (either out of frustration or as a means to supplement income) goes up. And thus, average prison IQ goes down.

I haven't come across the empirical study backing this up, but that logic is pretty unassailable. However, that's not what I want to study. Looking at prison populations, the racial make up is well known. A significantly greater proportion of the black community is locked up than the white community. And we're not arguing causes (environment, opportunity, culture, institutional racism, poverty all play roles to some degree). I want to look at whether the average black inmate is more intelligent than the average white inmate.

The thinking goes like this: whites, on average, have more opportunities than blacks. They, on average, go to better schools, come from homes with more money, are subject to more constructive expectations, and are more likely to have two-parent homes. Therefore, we expect the next generation to hold better jobs. On average, the whites that don't succeed are more likely to fail due to low IQ (and thus lack of use to society) than a black peer due to the issues discussed above. Painting an example: a white citizen with an IQ of 100 holds the same likelihood of achievement as a black citizen with an IQ of 105 (I'm just picking numbers out of the air here) due to those embedded obstacles.

Let's say the level of achievement hypothesized above is a job with a working wage, consumate with the ability to put a serviceable amount of food on the table, rent for a sanitized apartment, and basic health care. It's on the margin, and one IQ point below means that citizen can't lock down a working wage position and is put at a considerably higher likelihood of committing crime. That would mean an IQ of 99 for your Caucasian, and 104 for your African American. Which means whites are more likely to go to jail if they have IQs of 99 and lower. Blacks, with IQs of 104 and lower. Which would create a prison population wherein one race has an appreciatively higher IQ than another.

Other factors go into this, of course. I believe this would be a driver though. I can also never run for public office.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Running Again

I just registered to run the Boston Marathon. I won't try to run it seriously - I obviously couldn't be competitive even if I wanted to - but I should try to get in good enough shape that it's easy to finish. As such, it's September 13, and I just went for my first run jog this month.

Some people don't understand what I did there, but to me (and a lot of other runners), it's the biggest impediment to starting running again. I'm not an Olympic athlete, but I can run fast. I like that feeling. There's no joy in going for a jog. A lot of marathoners are just exercise addicts that found a socially acceptable outlet for their psychosis. I have too much antipathy to develop an addiction. People like me like the feeling of flying. I assume it's like driving a motorcycle fast. You can also take one around the park at 20 mph, but there's a lot less thrill in that. Right now my body's not capable of doing much more than crawl around the park. I want to push every cylinder to its limit down the Taconic.

To make a distinct point, I've started a new paragraph. And that's the fact I hate jogging. It's just not fun. I'm gonna have to jog for the next few weeks before I'm ready to start running again. But I'll get there. Or I won't. Whatever - too much antipathy for alacrity.

Editor's Note: Never ran the marathon.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Letting Detroit Burn

Just finished Detroit: An American Autopsy. About the quickest I've ever flown through a book (I'm not the best of readers). Charlie LeDuff the author isn't Steinbeck, but I appreciate how he follows a similar intent - kind of a, it's the system's fault so no one person had control to stop it, but everyone has the responsibility to be responsible. Steinbeck would be down with that.

My last girlfriend opened me up to some solid perspective. There was an intriguing oblivity to be exposed to she brought to the relationship. Ideas like how Robert Moses was good for America, and for blatantly selfish reasons. The discrepancies were bloated - Moses essentially wanted to wall black people into the cities and make it really easy for whites to drive to the cities without actually living among them. Detroit was nothing more than niggers shooting niggers. American society can burn as long as the rich can stay rich. But at the same token, being poor was immoral and if you had a shit position in life you probably deserved it. I'm sure there's a nexus of selfishness, indifference, and ignorance that leads people to believe in the existing power structures while also not understanding why people don't just better their socioeconomic class. It's why I think more conservatives should be forced to take behavioral economics courses.

She used to jokingly refer to Red Lobster as Black Lobster, because only black people would be poor enough to want to eat there. This was regularly thrown in my face with the knowledge my parents wouldn't have been able to afford eating there when I was little. I turned into a bad person during that time; I think I'm getting better.

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Heart Defect Is Too Much Awesome

I like the question of, if your parent is diagnosed with a fatal hereditary condition with no known cure and you have a 50 percent chance of also having the condition, do you get tested to find out. I mean, it's a shitty situation, but it's so intriguing. The decision probably says a lot about the person, though I don't know what.

The last time I was in a cardiologist's office, I was instructed to get a physical before attempting any sort extreme physical undertaking. I ran a marathon in 2:49:40 last fall, and never took that doctor's visit. The prospect of running 26 miles, let alone at under 6:30/mile, may have the potential to destroy my heart. I think the odds are low though. Either way, I'd rather die living life the way I want than live a timid existence. I admire those that would forgo treatments like chemotherapy when they're not given a high chance to live, and choose to get the most bang out of their last few months on earth.

I would in no way, shape, or form compare my experience to that. It's just a fun thought experiment I was lucky enough to experience to a small degree.

Friday, July 19, 2013

5 on/5 off

This is an entry about the best idea I had training for the marathon last year. If you want to hear this excellent workout idea, continue reading. If you do not, I would suggest you close this window. Or give a visit (more clicks = more money!).

I didn't do this workout many times, but wish I would have. I went through every song in my iTunes library between 4:50 and 5:10 long and added the ones that would be worthy of a running mix to a '5 on/5 off' playlist (uptempo stuff like Brother Ali, Jay Z, Mudvayne, Fear Factory). I'd listen to it on hour-long runs, doing five tempo minutes followed by a five minute job.

I'd shoot for 5:30 mile pace, although the clip is obviously adjustable to your needs and abilities. So I'd run five minutes, then jog five minutes, until the watch hit an hour. It was great b/c you knew you were hitting five minutes each time - once the music switched, you were either able to catch your breath or knew you'd have to start running hard. Seriously perfect for developing speed over distance.

Great speed workout.

Monday, July 15, 2013

To Hell With The Jury Selection Process

So, jury duty today. It was just the selection process and I was found wanting, so now I don't have to spend the rest of the week determining whether or not someone REDACTION!!! and their frame of mind in the process. Primary takeaway: the jury selection process is the most awful thing ever. Well, maybe not ever, but I certainly didn't appreciate it.

Before I attack anyone else, this was my facebook status yesterday - just to get it out there that my lead up to the whole proceedings were just as flippant as the next person, and probably more so; particularly in the face of the George Zimmerman verdict just being released and the emotional racial wounds that whole thing generated.

True to form, sitting on the first floor of the courthouse at 8:30 this morning I was joking with the people around me about bad excuses to get out of serving, which is normal. Nobody wants jury duty (unless you're unemployed. Apparently then you're entitled to $40/day). And when I got to the selection process and saw that the defendant was black, the first thought in my mind when asked what I do was to reply I handle public protection budgets for the Senate Majority (while having the advantage of being mostly true, it also implicitly identifies me as a law-and-order Republican that, justifiably or not, carries enough connotation to scare off a public defender). 

End of the day, I didn't. I was part of the second group of potential jurors interviewed, and the attorneys pretty much gave away the case and the defense during the selection process with the first group, so I knew that when asked to how judge when someone's being truthful, replying "someone's reputation and the consistency of a story" would automatically cross me off both the prosecutor's and defense attorney's list - any other discussion re: my family in law enforcement and any family being in trouble with the law was unnecessary to get released (I probably should have admitted to my knowledge of the McDonald's on Pearl as well).

So nobody's perfect, I didn't really do anything to get out of jury duty that was inappropriate, and for the most part everyone treated the process responsibly while recognizing that, despite their desire to not be there, it was their civic duty to not be an ass about the process. And I just wasted five rambling paragraphs justifying whatever, but now it's time to bash the experience.

I think it's ok, and even expected, to joke about not wanting to be there. Be honest - you don't want to be there. But I was sitting about ten feet from the defendant while a judge and two lawyers joked with the jury and trivialized the proceedings. All the while, a guy whose future is about to be decided sits right there listening to people joke about knowing a certain employer and how duty might interfere with their kids' day camp.

I get why it happens. The lawyer that fails to connect with the jury loses, because people base decisions not on facts but how something makes them feel (see: Anthony Weiner's mayoral run, etc, etc.). You have an obligation to your client to joke throughout the very serious and consequential proceedings in order to give them the best chance of winning. Likewise, the judge has every right to make the courtroom feel safe so that people are the most open about their thoughts and experiences. That's how you best select a jury. So I don't fault the players; just the game. And it seems like the best remedy is to not have the defendant in the room at the time (for the record, in 1984 the Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment guarantee of a public trial also extends to pretrial hearings. It's definitely part of the process and the defendant should be there. There have aso been a couple interesting and cases this century affirming the public's right to view pretrial hearings if you're interested in that sort of thing.)

So the dude needed to be there. But at the same time, his future was joked and bandied about for about six hours today. A necessary part of the process, sure. Still offensive enough to make my stomach churn. And for the record, although several quips were made, once I sat down in seat #4 I struggled to find my sense of humor while those sitting next to me laughed at how funny kids stealing from the cookie jar are.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The West Wing Is Disingenuous; Blargh!

The Supreme Court struck down DOMA today (hooray for State's Rights) and the Facebook newsfeed is full of cheers. It reminded me of this clip from the West Wing - one of the greatest moments from one of my favorite shows ever:

The thing we need to remember about the clip is that it represents a fictionalized speech from a politician. I love the West Wing because of its idealism - it's The News Room with politics. Yet Aaron Sorkin (a very politically involved liberal) portrays the Democratic administration railing against crazy Republicans over and over again in the series. Real-life Dems then get to watch and cheer, imagining their Democratic politicians doing the same in whatever office they occupy.

The problem is that this isn't the way it works. There are a lot of crazy Republicans out there, sure. It doesn't mean that the other side is chock-full of selfless Democratics beating back these crazy policies. President Bartlett can rail against people who hate gays all day long, but where is President Obama's gay marriage bill? Sure, he finally moved to cancel Don't Ask Don't Tell, but recognizing equality isn't quite the same as eliminating one aspect of discrimination - he took a step, but never jumped.

The show is rife with similar examples. Sorkin did an excellent job of creating a President we can all love, because he's more concerned with doing the right thing than whatever's politically expedient. I'm waiting for the day Democratics actually do this. And because we know they won't, it's important we continue separating fact from fiction.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Intro To Stats

Statistics is about association. Causation? Correlation? How likely is one v. the other? Since adopting a puppy last week, two correlations are locked in a vicious battle. From my standpoint: the dog just peed. I'll give a stern verbal and then immediately take him outside. He'll soon realize that he shouldn't be pissing on the carpet, and should be taking that business outdoors. From his standpoint: I love going outside, and every time I piss on Dave's carpet, I get to go out. Peeing on the carpet leads to positive outcomes. I should do this often.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Look Out Providence, May 25

In high school I was voted most likely. That's all, just most likely. I guess I proved them right. Li(f)e comes in two weeks.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Geography Influences Politics (i think)

Small communities will always be in favor of less government compared to their bigger counterparts. It took me until today to understand why. A community provides assistance. Some part time work to someone down on their luck. Cutting the yard and bringing food when someone's sick or injured. A vigilant eye and some deterrence to crime. Emotional support.

You see that in Concordia, KS. It's regular. Ain't regular in Topeka - let alone Chicago. It's not that a Highland Acres neighborhood can't be close and look out for each other, but it ain't the same thing. People can't come together around here like they can back home. So they turn to government to fill the void. No judgment calls here; it's a natural progression of thinking. Maybe if you're a decent person you're entitled to some sort of support when bad shit happens. The good people of Concordia can provide that assistance without a bureaucrat directing resources. Not necessarily true in Topeka.

I think this is fundamental in how we view government. Should the people of Concordia pay taxes to provide those services in Topeka that they provide themselves? And if they do, are they 'owed' similar assistance regardless of ability to provide? I suppose your answer to this question allows me to determine if you're a lily livered Democrat or a heartless Republican. And no, I refuse to frame it in other terms.

Some people are rich and live in suburbs and are still anti-government because they can provide for themselves regardless of the presence of community. Some people are rich and live in the suburbs and are big government folks because they're all paternalistic despite an already strong presence of community. Some people are poor and in the suburbs and that must be awful.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How To Rig The NFL Draft (Pre-2011)

I've developed a strategy to maximize your money if you're one of the 20-40 best college football players entering the NFL draft. Seriously, I did. The catch? It's not longer feasible thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement. But it would've worked. Here's how (Scott Boras, eat your fucking heart out):

Say the new CBA didn't happen - there is no cap on rookie salaries and rookies aren't subject to large fines for holding out and not reporting to mandatory training camp (current cost: $30,000/day). We're talking the days when the best college players could be found holding out all summer to secure contracts worth more than proven NFL stars. Your earning potential is limited by employer's willingness to pay.

Now say you're a player like K-State's Arthur Brown - projected to go somewhere around the 30th pick, maybe in the high 20s, but also the potential to drop to the low 30s. You can command great, but not elite money. That's fine. Figure out what you're worth/willing to sign for under normal circumstances. Add 5-10 percent. Then proclaim that you will not sign with a team that doesn't give you that amount of money. You will be drafted by a team willing to pay that much money.

This strategy would not cause the Vikings to select Brown at #23. Or the Ravens at #32. Or even the Steelers at #48 - despite each team's need for LBs. What plays out is you drop to the fifth round, and two things start happening. First, the available talent around you is diminished and you look more enticing in comparison. Secondly, teams begin panicking because crucial needs were not met in the early rounds while pressure mounts to take the best available player. And this is where the beauty of game theory begins to unfold.

I understand that if I'm the Vikings and take Brown in the fifth round, I'm not paying for the #23 (we'll pretend Geno Smith was taken here) player in the draft and the #155 player (should the Vikings take Brown in the 5th round) in the draft - I'm paying for what I consider the #23 (Smith) and the #30 (the real ranking we assign Arthur Brown) in terms of rankings, but paying the equivalent of drafting #23 (Smith) and #15 (say, Georgia LB Jervis Jones). It's costing me more money than if I took Brown at #30, caeteris paribus, but I'm ok with that - it's the price I pay for being able to take two first round quality players. At this point, Minnesota is not paying what it believes Brown is worth on the open market - it's paying for his worth PLUS the value of being able to take another highly talented player. And the farther he drops in the draft, the greater that value becomes.

Some experimentation is needed here. What price would cause teams to drop you into the sixth round without completely scaring them away? There must be a sliding scale model that could be developed. There's also the issue of credibility - are you seriously willing to hold out? It worked for douchebag Eli Manning and forced the Chargers to scuttle him for Phillip Rivers, but Eli is supported by a successful family - this only works if you can demonstrate the ability to support yourself through other means while not collecting a paycheck from the NFL. Additionally, you must assume that the marginal benefit of your additional demand is greater than the loss of revenue from holding out a season (multiplied by the odds of having to hold out).

I think this could've worked. It would've brought the system crumbling down in two years and brought along a CBA structure similar to the current one a lot faster, but there was a window of opportunity. Teams will overpay players in the face of necessity - does anyone really believe Dwayne Bowe is worth top five money? But the free agent market for wide receivers is lousy, the draft ain't any better, and Kansas City has to have a #1 option at the position to be successful. So as of this offseason Bowe now makes top five money. Faced with the prospect of taking a player in the sixth round that likely won't make the team or a potential Pro Bowler who'll command more salary cap space than you'd prefer, if the need is great enough, you go Pro Bowl every time.

Every system can be unexpectedly manipulated through unconventional means, all we lack is insight and the courage to follow through.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

To Sage Francis

Television evolves. As kids it was our babysitter; now it's our mistress.

 Get outside. Do something.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

You've Got Me All Wrong

Really, you do. I don't believe in government because I don't believe in government. I don't believe in government because I don't believe in institution. It doesn't matter if it's WorldCom, AIG, Fannie Mae, or the NYC Dept. of Education. Every institution hits that point where bureaucracy becomes entrenched, provision falters, and adaptation is necessary but unattainable. That's the beauty of capitalism. When you start doing something better than the next guy, fuck the next guy. That's your territory now. As a consumer, I love it. I go to Daily Grind. If there weren't any other options, I'd go buy coffee there if it cost five bucks a cup, it tasted like crap, and the wait staff glared at me as I walked out the door. That's like communism's parallel. But now I've got a market, and don't go there anymore because there's a woman out there capable of setting up shop across the street to brew me a cup from freshly roasted beans for half price with a smile, and Daily Grind would die. As a consumer, I love capitalism. Sometimes I don't want it. I'm willing to pay taxes for the government to pave that street outside my apartment, even though I know someone else could do it cheaper and faster and probably do it so the street lasts longer. But then they'd charge me a dime every time I went home, businesses would refuse to set up shop nearby, and I couldn't order cases of wine online to be delivered to my front door without paying an additional delivery charge to FedEx. That's the country's problem. We're split between people that believe the government did an efficient job of paving that road, and those that don't think the government should be in the business of paving in the first place. Public roads are a necessary evil, but even evil acts good in the sunlight. So keep an eye on your government, because the more you watch the better it acts. I think some people would consider that democracy. You've got a civic duty to fix that which needs fixin', sure. You've got another civic duty to get off your ass and find that which needs fixed in the first place. I think you start recognizing those things not when you stop believing in government, but when you stop believing in institution. That's my definition of democracy. You've got another civic duty to prevent the mingling of institution. That's called capture, and it happens when Bank of America drops the ball on thousands of mortgages and gets bailed out. One poorly run institution cannot stand - the woman across the street that just opened up a coffee shop has a rich brother-in-law who'll bankroll my home purchase without dicking me. But then government institution comes and props up private institution and we can live without the latter, but not the formal. So keep an eye on your government and don't allow it to get captured. The intermingling of institution; the SEC calls it collusion in the marketplace, but in 2008 I called it the SEC. That's when I watched the life savings of millions of Americans fucking destruct while those same hard working citizens also lost their jobs. Prevent the intermingling of institution. Government institution allowed the business institution's shit to happen. Prevent the intermingling of institution with sunlight. That's my definition of democracy.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

As a child, I remember my awe of father's ruthless precision in killing snakes. There was the rattler that tried to kill my mom in the basement, the bullsnake that wrapped itself a around a lamp cord in the bedroom, and the black snake that came after me in the shed. All three met the same demise.

A mite slow to play sports myself, father was a mongoose. Each encounter ended the same - a fatal blow behind the head delivered via shovel or hoe left the body angrily convulsing and mouth desperately gasping for life.

To me he was a hero. To the serpents, a monster. And when he looked himself in the mirror every night, he was merely a man doing whatever necessary to protect his family and defend his farm.

The snake is a metaphor for carpetbaggers. I was born in Alabama in 1862. 

And father shed no tears while laying waste to those bastards from New York and Philadelphia.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chickens In Pots; A TV In Every Living Room

An abundance of poor is necessary to enable the comfort of the rich. Voltaire said something like that. When the rich lack comfort, they set their eyes upon foreign lands. GE best prospers when Cambodia is being bombed and Marines are in Haiti. The military industrial complex prospers during conflict, but uncertain outcome of conflict threatens the nation. The rich must remain satiated to prevent new war. I suppose in that vein, our national security has been most at risk in those moments that threatened the institution of poverty itself.

In the mid 19th century, the fall of slavery provided the promise transcendence, but that's bullshit. The whip was traded for the noose, and the black populace remained enslaved. No major wars following Civil War, killing of natives continued but that was status quo.

The mid 20th century threatened everything. The GI bill provided the opportunity of education to the masses of returning soldiers, depriving society of an easily exploitable poor. The unions also gained power in the mid 20th century, and shooting union members fell out of fashion. The rich were forced to waste resources on improving working conditions. South Korea.

This is why the Vietnam War was so important. Imagine millions of young people, sitting in the quads of universities across the nation. Plotting. Organizing. Smoking weed and spreading anti-establishment bullshit. They had to be sent overseas to be killed. The further profiteering was merely a bonus, the important outcome was to break down a potentially explosive movement. No one returns from military service the same.

It's not enough to keep the poor abundant, they must also be controlled. The only thing that saved us during the rise of the middle class was the ability to pit the newly formed middle class against the poor. Race riots and the drug wars.

With the natural dismemberment of the middle class over the past two decades, new means for controlling the poor must be established. High society lacks the intestinal fortitude of its forefathers to enforce the obedience of the poor through violence. Imprisonment has become increasingly less frightening; conditions are more agreeable than ever; warm food and a bed can be had by all in this institution. If there is no fear and no middle class buffer, there is nothing to protect the rich from the poor. New methods must be established.

Aldous Huxley shows us how - control through the use of sex and narcotics. Technology has allowed these to be combined in new mediums; media. The tv provides escape, and young men can be distracted by the gaming consoles connected to them. Put a tv and Playstation in the living room of every housing project and crack den in America. The aim is not to brainwash, the goal is thought evacuation. Sometimes the poor will steal from each other, but if everyone is provided the same, the market will be saturated and the incentives to steal removed. Everyone must receive a television and cable. No one can be allowed to go without.

If we can devise methods to shuffle young men to and from work while filling idle time with these distractions, the rich can remain in comfort. The women can be oft be counted on to take care of themselves. Ensure the poor girls continue getting pregnant at early ages before they can attain education. Keep abortion difficult to access, if not illegal. Children are the most important impediment to success.

The economist says giving people food for free decreases incentives to work. The activist says we must help those who lack the means to help themselves; think of the children.

It's interesting that people in America still go hungry. Not to say it's surprising. None of your elected officials have experienced hunger. To be hungry is awful, to die of hunger is an awful, painful, miserable experience. I have never died of hunger. Biden grew up comfortably middle class. Obama has a compelling backstory, but was never hungry. No current US Senator has experienced a lack of sleep stemming from hunger pangs. They don't know what it's like to pray for sleep to take away the pain. This is an important distinction. The poor do not provide the money for politicians to be elected, the rich do. We must continue electing politicians unable to empathize with the poor.

And what if no one was hungry? What if all citizens felt they led lives worth living? Then who would fight our wars? It's the proposition of a dangerous world with no honor.