Friday, September 20, 2013

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) The Benghazi "scandal" is like a case of herpes on a drunken sailor: Darrell Issa, the drunken sailor in question, wants to unload it on everyone at any time. Nevermind that every one, and I do mean every one, else has determined there was no wrongdoing involved.

2) The GOP has become like Dennis Moore of the old Monty Python show: Steal from the poor and give to the richstupid bitch

3) OK, this is nauseating.

4) I see a mass killing in Pennsylvania's future.

5) As we prepare to reflect on the first anniversary of Superstorm Sandy in the NY area, it might behoove us to take a moment and reflect that things could have been worse. Much worse. The damage from the 1938 Long Island Express was more costly in real dollars, nevermind adjusting for inflation or population shifts, than Sandy.

6) A new species of lizard was found yesterday….in the jungles of Los Angeles Airport.

7) And now in bad news for cryptozoology…

8) And more news in cryptids.

9) And now, olds in cultural distortion field

10) Today is day 262 of 2013. In 252 of those, a gunman has killed four or more people. Ban. Guns. Now.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

When Does It End? When Will They Ever Learn?

The DC Navy yard massacre this week has raised a whole raft of questions, everything from mental health issues to calls for more gun control, which of course I see as the larger issue in this and every other case of mass killings by a single gunman.

(A side note: As my good friend Scott Eric Kaufmann puts it, “I feel sorry for them [conservatives]…if it’s a mental health issue, Obamacare could cover it.”)

When will the culture at large ignore the little thumb-sucking babies who populate the gun nut fringe of the right wing of the country and pass sensible gun control? Moreover, when will those diaper-clad nimrods finally recognize the very evil in their midst, the very evil they perpetrate upon the rest of us?

Could these delusional yahoos really be so out of touch, could they be such blood-thirsty bastards, that they would ignore the tens of thousands of innocent dead just for the sake of stroking their barrels and thrusting their bullets deep into a chamber?

If so, could they please get the fuck out of the way of the rest of us, so WE can be safe?

Guns kill. People use guns to kill, because if they stood there and yelled “BANG!,” I don’t think too many people would die (apologies to Eddie Izzard).

Knives kill too, but a) knives have additional uses, where the sole use of a gun is destruction of life, and b) nobody has ever killed dozens in a random mass knife attack.

It’s long past time for the cowardice to end. It’s long past time for the little boys and little girls who walk around afraid of their own shadows to grow the fuck up.


Monday, September 16, 2013

To The Surprise of No One....

….people who score high on GMATs tend to be less ethical than those who do not.

Maybe I should explain. The GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) is the B-school version of the SAT. The higher you score on it, the more likely it is you can get into a top-notch business school and hock your entire future for a seat at the casino table that may help you pay it off before retirement. As with the SATs and college, there are a lot of other factors in play, but suffice it to say that a high GMAT score, other things being equal, will attract attention from admissions officers.

It does not appear the relationship is causal, but correlative, between a high GMAT score and low ethical standards, however:

Here are three traits that make you more likely to succeed on the GMAT (and how they may affect your business performance):

1.    You Don't Like Taking Risks: If you're conservative about taking risks, you're likely to score higher. Researchers found a positive association between "uncertainty avoidance" (what Wadhwa calls "safety first behavior'), and doing well on the test that would seem to discourage entrepreneurial activity.

2.    You're Individualistic: Test-takers from more individualistic backgrounds also do better on the GMAT. Individualism has plenty of positive associations in the business community, like more competitive drive, but the self-reliance seen among successful test-takers makes them less likely to adapt their behavior to formal codes of ethics and informal norms around them.

3.    You're Less Ethical: Higher GMAT scores are associated with less of a tendency for ethical behavior. Focus on freedom and achievement means high-scorers are more inclined to see their actions as above reproach, explained Goodell.

We can glean from these three traits the typical profile of someone who scores high on the GMAT: he’s – because men tend to score higher –  conservative with a libertarian bent, and more likely to engage in unethical behavior than the typical person who takes the test, much less the general population.

This would explain a few facets of American life, don’t you agree?