Tagged: Jeff

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 28: A Pirate’s Private Prison and Other Stuff

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

For the first time EVER in RSBS Podcast history, Jeff, Allen and Johanna all meet IN THE SAME ROOM!  That’s right, no phone lines, no Skype, just a microphone and three unfettered opinions overlapping and slip-slapping without pause.  Among the topics of discussion are the Tigers, the Cardinals (it’s PLAYOFFS, duh!), an Ozzie Guillen-less Chicago, “blowing” it down the stretch, why you should see Catching Hell and much, much more!

Now getchyer beer and getcho happy on!

– – –

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Follow Keith on on Twitter and, if you like spontaneous awesomeness, check out his crew and their gut busting Undercast!

– – –

Recorded Saturday, October 1, 2011

One Podcast to Unite Them All

Ladies and gentlemen, today is the day.  Spoken in legend, whispered in fear, the day has arrived.  Today, in Chicago, Illinois, the RSBS Podcast braintrust, MC Lung, Sweet Johanna Mahmud, Often Absent Allen and the podmaster that unites them all, Keith Carmack, come together to record the next installment of the RSBS Podcast.  In person.  That’s right, in person.  Allen has journeyed to Chicago to fulfill the prophecy.  Stay tuned this coming week as the abhorrent afterbirth of this unholy union draws its first unsteady breath.  You will never be the same.

-Jeff and Allen

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 27: A Man Named DIANNE and Other Stuff

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

Jeff, Allen and Johanna kick back on all the baseball drama comin’ down the stretch including STRASMAS!, Verlander’s MVP bid, Nyjer AHHHHHHH Morgan and several other topics sure to offend as much as entertain!  The crew also gets a visit from AM 670 The Score’s very own Tim Baffoe, the one and only Ten Foot Midget!

– – –

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Make sure you follow him on Twitter and check out his laugh spawning Undercast.

– – –

Recorded Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mr. Lung’s Invisible Hurdles

My friend Mr. Lung, while an excellent writer and a true baseball devotee, has the misfortune of often face-planting when his thoughts turn towards the political arena.  Here’s an accurate representation of Jeff’s political discourse:

I say this because although Mr. Lung may have made one or two valid points in his original “coming-out as a Libertarian” post, his argument this past Friday mainly left me feeling embarrassed for him.  I don’t have time to go back and correct all of his logical and factual fallacies one by one but there is one point that bears discussion.

Let’s take these two statements:

Tell that to the folks paying $4.25 for a gallon of gas, the people who can barely afford groceries, who are meanwhile raped for 20% of their income in taxes to fund programs they’ll never benefit from.

and:

They hate us because of our longstanding foreign policy which is to invade, overthrow and then set up puppet governments and act as dictators to protect our interests in oil.

You don’t get it both ways, my friend.  Despite what your new friends on the fringe of either party may tell you, avoiding foreign entanglements by drilling at home or investing in alternative fuels is not going to change the price you pay at the pump.  Sure, over the course of a generation or two you can make those changes but in the short to medium term, your choice comes down to either securing fuel supplies in whatever clusterf**k part of the world they happen to come from or paying $6-8 a gallon like our friends in Europe.

I’m going to simplify all of this for you.  Government is a social contract in which the governed (including you and I) agree to give up a portion of their individual sovereignty for the good of the whole.  There are different levels to which this premise can be taken from the socialism of the Nordic states to the relative autonomy of the European Union.  Both extremes have their problems and both have their benefits.

In the US, we have eschewed the extremes and held to a longstanding tradition of slowly moving from one side of the equation to the other as necessary but never moving too far from the center.  From FDR’s New Deal to Reagan’s supply-side economics, programs come and go as they are needed.  It’s often painful, it’s occasionally embarrassing and it doesn’t always work.  But you know what?  If you don’t like it you can go out and vote for someone who promises change or even run for office yourself.

Many Americans prefer to lament the “broken” system, though, and sign up for whatever -ism fits their current worldview.  It’s simple, it’s available and it allows them to refrain from accepting any personal responsibility.  So tell me, my friend, how are you any different?

-A

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Summer vacation is the stuff of dreams.  In elementary school it’s a lifetime of water balloon fights and slowly driving your parents crazy.  Once you hit high school, it’s a chance to make some cash for the school year by working as many odd jobs as possible.  By the time you move on to college, it’s either summer jobs to keep the debt manageable or internships so you can hopefully nail down a job after graduating.

Once you graduate, though, there’s no more summer vacation.  Sure, there are occasional Flex Fridays and no summer is complete without a nice 4th of July weekend.  But three months of free time to spend as you wish?  Nope.  That’s gone.

Me, I have no pretension toward excitement and simply choose to accept the reality of lost summer vacations.  But there are others who still try to find their own little piece of summer vacation in between the mundane rigors of real life.  Maybe it’s a weekend share in the Hamptons.  Perhaps you follow in the footsteps of Mr. Lung and attempt to watch 5 baseball games at a time every evening.  Or maybe you go a little more extreme.

For instance, Londoners decided to burn down their city as a way of celebrating their summer freedom.

Or like Chris Jeon who decided to join the Libyan rebels during his summer break. He may not speak any Arabic and he may not know how to carry a gun but he’s got spirit and that’s half the battle, right?  Let’s be honest, for a 21-year old math student in California, this has to be the highlight of a life whose decisions up til now have mainly consisted of  burrito fillings.  And what’s with the polyester jersey?

At least others dress up appropriately for their adventures.  I’m sure these guys had mothers who told them that if you’re going to be launching yourself 30 feet into the air over a pond, it’s probably a good idea to wear a helmet:

You know, come to think of it, Jeff might actually have the right idea.  At least watching baseball games in the safety of your own home helps lower the possibility of being shot by a Gaddafi loyalist or getting hit in the face by a foul ball.  There’s something to be said for that.

-A

The Back Seat Libertarian

Full disclosure.  When I read this title on Mr. Lung’s post last week, “Celebrate! It’s Mr. Lung’s Liberty Inspired Coming Out Party!” I wasn’t all that surprised.  See, Jeff and I met in choir in college and then got to know each other better while doing theatre.  The main difference between us was that Jeff is actually good at the singing, dancing and acting so when I read that headline, well, you can see where I’m going with this.

Then I read that the coming out was actually as a Libertarian and Ron Paul supporter.  Jeff, I can support you liking dudes but supporting Ron Paul?  I think it’s time for an intervention.

Here’s the problem.  Ron Paul isn’t a libertarian.  Ron Paul has a lot of libertarian positions but it’s like being vegetarian.  Once you eat a piece of meat, you can’t really claim to be a vegetarian anymore.  Similarly, once you say that the government should be able to regulate one area (in Paul’s case, abortion), you can’t really claim to be a libertarian anymore.

Honestly, I like Dr. Paul.  I think that a lot of what he says makes sense and that if the Republican party believed the same way as him, they would regain much of their dynamism.  That being said, there’s a lot of what he says that makes no sense at all.  The elimination of fiat money.  Abolishing the Fed.  Getting rid of most the Executive branch departments.  Yes, the US bureaucracy is often unwieldy but it’s downright streamlined compared to most of our OECD friends.  Like it or not, that bureaucracy is what creates highways, ensures that people are treated equally and keeps us safe from those who want to do us harm.

More than that, we live in an era of globalism that has generally profited everyone.  Paul would have us close up our borders but it’s foreign trade that allows us all to have televisions in our home and computers at work for a fraction of what they would otherwise cost.  Closing up shop, leaving the United Nations and forsaking NATO would leave us vulnerable and insular, like the 19th century Japanese shogunate.

Let me turn back towards my friend, Mr. Lung, now.  Jeff, I applaud you for your willingness to come out.  I respect your courage at opening yourself up to the same kind of ridicule Dr. Paul has both deservedly and undeservedly endured.  But if anyone should understand that the world doesn’t truly follow the black and white dictates of libertarianism, conservatism, liberalism or any other -ism, it’s a baseball fan like yourself.  There are rules but the rules have to be interpreted and interpretation leads to shades of gray.  One man’s balk is another man’s strikeout.

Enjoy being a libertarian.  You’ll find yourself back here with the agnostics soon enough.

-A

Milwaukee (and America’s) Best

Like Amy Winehouse’s death and taxes, sad but inevitable, the US finally lost its AAA debt rating.  Sure, it’s only S&P that followed through on the cut but it’s not like we didn’t see this coming.  At least 7 US companies have more cash on hand than the US government.  Apple has a market capitalization larger than America’s.  Not to have seen this coming is to have been willfully blind at best and ignorant at worst.  But, not all hope is lost.

The thing is, the US has a very potent tool in its arsenal.  It’s something that basketball and football figured out long ago, something that baseball is starting to figure out and something that the beer companies have been taking advantage of for years.  It’s something that even the Russian government is using to its advantage.  Sex.

And it sells.  There’s a reason we use nubile young men and women to fire that t-shirt cannon at baseball games instead of throwing Jeff out there:

There’s a similar reason for putting dancing girls on court during breaks in NBA games.  It turns the experience into a multi-sensory orgy of entertainment.

One of the worries with the S&P downgrade of US long-term debt is that investors will now demand higher returns.  But maybe they just want more in general.  My thought is that instead of offering more attractive interest rates, we should consider gathering up the hottest women in the country (these ones will work for a start), convincing them that they need to do this for their country and then putting them up on stage for US bond and treasury auctions.  Hey, we may not be able to give you a better interest rate but look at all these hot women!!  I think this could work.

-A