Sixteen

Every year it’s the same thing. Eagles and flags superimposed on stock images of the twin towers and some kind of “never forget” reminder splashed everywhere.

Sixteen years later, I don’t need a reminder never to forget.

I haven’t forgotten. It’s something I still live with every single day and I was one of the very fortunate ones to bear witness but not have lost anyone directly.

What I find equal parts amazing and frustrating is that for essentially 364 days of the year New York City is chastised by ‘Murika as being a bastion of evil libtard scum. And, then, suddenly it’s all about how NYC is a beacon of hope and courage and embodies the American Spirit as Murikans dust off the memories of what they saw on TV sixteen year ago for a few moments of silence before returning to their axe-to-grind against anyone who’s not like them.

It’s a sad, but really quite a predictable part of the human condition. So some of my critique of their bandwagon-esque approach to memorializing the day is always tempered by the knowledge that my psychological scars are uniquely my own and my experience living here with the sights, sounds, smells, etc. are quite different than those who may have only watched it on TV from afar and have had a much different relationship with the world than I have in the sixteen years since.

They may only have one day a year, on the anniversary, when it comes up in conversation. Meanwhile, for me it’s likely there might only be a couple of days in the entire year were it doesn’t.
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In defense of Aaron Judge.

Strikeouts are annoying. Balls put in play just feel better, even when a pop up or line drive results in an easy out. The strikeout just feels like the elimination of chance, robbing everyone of the possibility of a misplay or error in the field that benefits the hitter and their team.

That’s why Aaron Judge’s record setting strikeout-per-game streak and to-date strike out total feels so demeaning. It feels like a talented hitter like Judge is waisting plate appearances by whiffing so often. And, absent context, it feels like the propensity to generate Ks probably is hurting the team.

And, yet, despite despite total strike outs on the season he has the seventh best Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in the league, and best on the team, 5.5 so his contributions way more of a positive than his strikeouts.

So, let’s put those strikeouts in context for a moment using some MLB, Sabremetrics, Fangraphs and Teamrankings data. To limit our data set there are 18 players with 500+ plate appearaches, 59 with 450+, 120 with 400+ and 163 with 350+ and 238 with at least 300 as of today, which is where we’ll cap the minimum plate appearances for the sake of conversation. Judge its at 548 PA (21st) and 446 ABs.

Also notable, Power hitters tend to have high strikeout and walk rates, since they may swing and miss often, yet are pitched around by pitchers. Contact hitters are the opposite; they tend to have low strikeout and walk rates as noted in Sabremetrics ongoing analysis of more than a decades worth of data.

174Ks leads the league but .390 K/AB is good for only 10th, while .318 K/PA is is also good for 10th.

Meanwhile 125 hits is good for a tie for 50th in the league for a raw hits total and on 446 at bats it’s a .280 batting average, good for 56th in the league.

96 base on balls is good for #2 in the league for his raw total and works out to a .175 walks per plate appearance, which is getting close to the Napoli (TX) and Miller (TB) batting average range and good for #3 as well.

As a mater of interest, of the top 10 Base on Balls leaders, 7 break double digits in Ks as well and 4 of which Ked more than 120 times. 0.55 K/BB average is actually 70th of 238 players in our cohort which is fairly average despite the perception of being a strike out king. What’s also noticeable here is how Judge works walks as his 5 Hit By Pitches are tied for 71st and 10 intentional walks is tied for 11th so the rest of his non-contact on base percentage is really leveraged by his ability to see balls pretty well, contrary to what one might derive from his strike out numbers.

37 Home Runs (HR) is 2nd, while 12.1 AB/HR is T5th.
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End the False Equivalency, there is no “many sides” other than as a narrative of hate

It is time to put the false equivalency aside.

First: There are NO “very fine people” from Unite the Right
There are NO “very fine people” among the Nazis, nor among the KKK, nor among Neo-Confederates, nor among White Nationalists or on the Alt-Right. Nazis are bad. Period. The KKK is bad. Period. Neo-Confederates are bad. Period. The White Nationalist Militia movement is bad. Period. The Alt-Right is bad. Full. Fucking Stop.

Every single one of their ideologies is about exclusivity. Every one of their ideologies is based in hatred of those who are different than them. Every last one of them has the intent of oppressing anyone who not only doesn’t look like them, act like them and think like them, but that oppression has roots in racial, ethnic and religious extermination.

The only good Nazis are the ones already in their grave. As has already been pointed out numerous times, we fought an entire War over this. The whole world was involved.

Second: “Both Sides” are NOT the problem.
There are not many “sides” to the violence. The “left” isn’t the same as the “right.” Not in general and NOT in this case specifically. Period.

Ideologies do NOT exist in an equilibrium. There doesn’t have to be some political balance at play. It is not only entirely possible, it is actually happening, that the right is significantly more intollerant and violence than the left.

Pretending that there has to be this balance and then making up examples that it exists is an attempt at false equivalency and gives cover to the real evil happening.

The right-wing extremists are the problem. Full Stop.

Third: That there is NO SUCH THING as the “alt-left.”
This is a completely made up term that NO ONE self-identifies as. No one other than the Alt-Right uses to describe anything. While the Alt-Right have raised their own awareness through self-identification and gained enteries into Politico’s encyclopedia of politics, into Wikipedia, into and as part of the mainstream lexicon used by the media, regular citizens and politicians literally the ONLY place you can find this fictitious alt-left is when the false equivalency argument comes up on sites like the racists message board 4Chan or out of of the mouths of wing nuts on Alex Jone’s show, or now from the President of the United States. These are NOT credible sources of knowledge or fact.

Forth, speaking of FACT, lets get some down that defend the above positions:

The Momument:

The Confederate Monument in Charlottesville was not constructed immediately after the Civil War as a direct memory of the soldiers that died in battle. It was constructed during the Jim Crow era, more than 50 years after the war ended.

There’s a reason it took that long for this and other monuments to go up: while honoring soldiers killed in action is a nobel cause, the Confederacy was traitorous and it’s leadership deserve no honor in having broken their oaths to the US Constitution in order to fight. Secession was defeated and the nation had NO reason to glorify the insurrection. Of course, in the state’s that remained Sovereign there was no need to even have this discussion as there would never be a thought about honoring traitors, however, many of the surviving Confederate leadership, including Lee, understood the so-called Pride their constituents felt despite losing and were against memorializing the insurrection as the nation struggled to put itself back together. They understood that anything that perpetuated the rebellion post-surrender did more harm than good. These two contributed to the lack of memorialization early on.

As the Southern Poverty Law Center points out, most of the over 1,200 cataloged Confederate monuments come from decades after the way as racism swelled in the post-reconstruction South. They went up with the implicit purpose of maintaining the spirit of white superiority long after those involved in the original war had passed on. It wasn’t about the brave struggles of these traitors as much as it was about using their martyrdom to inflict fear on blacks.
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Breaking the Fruit Meme

Recently there was a meme floating around attempting to demonstrate that eating healthy is way to expensive. It contained an image of a fruit-heavy grocery store trip and a quip about how much the cost could have purchased at McDonalds on the fictitious 32$ budget.

But, how true is the meme in reality? There are plenty of non-scientific studies that debunk it either by showing how little fast food one can actually buy on a budget as well as how much one can buy of so-called healthy food on the same budget. This is my attempt at doing the same:

At a tri-state McDonalds, lets just say you decide to eat inexpensively (because meals can actually get quite pricey quite quickly) … The cheapest burger+fries+drink combo I could find was the following and there is NO WAY anyone is walking into McD as an adult and ordering this meal to make them full:
One Single Cheeseburger from the McValue menu 1.31$ x 5 meals 6.55$
One Small fries from the side menu 1.82$ x 5 meals 9.10$
One small soft drink 1.31$ x 5 meals 6.55$

That is 21.20$ to buy you dinner every evening of a work week. To afford lunch as well, you’d have to knock off the drink (let’s assume you can get water for free) and you’d still be slightly over the fictitious 32$ budget by like 4$. You haven’t eaten breakfast because you can’t afford it, but maybe your place of work does free coffee and the caffiene is enough to stave off hunger. You haven’t eaten anything on the weekend at all, but chances are you work more than a five day work week so you’re missing a work day eating. AND, you’ve only fed yourself the bare minimum those five days – no snacks, no dessert, no adult beverage, no nothing. Your getting 300 cal for the burger+230 cal for the fries+150 for the coke or 700 calories for each meal. That’s really not that much when you consider for the day when you can’t afford the full meal both times, nor can you afford breakfast on that 32$ budget.

McDs is kind enough to craft meals that include the burger+fries+drink into a bundle but the bundle requires you to get two cheese burgers+medium fries+small soft drink. This rings up at 6.41$ a meal at five meals for the week you get either lunch or dinner for the the 32$ budget. You would still have to figure out the other meals of the day those five days and you have NO money for the weekend here either. You single meal calorie count is now higher but you’re definitely only getting the one meal so your daily calories on that budget still suffer heavily.

And, this cheese burger based meal meal is in essence the cheapest option, which may not even be representative of the average person actually buys for their average meal. Even with the so-called healthy options on the menu (which you know, just based on how they are costed out, no one on a budget is buying them, nor are they part of the average consumer’s fast food lexicon)

Yeah, this might appear to be a pretty good spend for 32$ compared to that random assortment of stuff the meme portrays BUT it’s no where near an effective starting point for a viable budget, nor is it providing anything but raw calories (and honestly, not as many as you think, remember, a to a person and eating is more than about caloric intake – as it should include a balance of vits & mins and other nutritional aspects.
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Chomp Chomp

Who is familiar with the a Capella moshcore ensemble Jud Jud?

Now, who is familiar with the progressive swedish death ensemble Meshuggah?

Finally, who is familiar with having to convince a toddler to chew their food?

May, I introduce to you the Jud Jud inspired rendition of Meshuggah’s “Soul Burn” from DEI called “Chomp Chomp”: used to assist in all things high chair.

For those of you who follow this line of thinking, your lol is greatly appreciated.

Who is familiar with the a Capella moshcore ensemble Jud Jud?

Now, who is familiar with the progressive swedish death ensemble Meshuggah?

Finally, who is familiar with having to convince a toddler to chew their food?

May, I introduce to you the Jud Jud inspired rendition of Meshuggah’s “Soul Burn” from DEI called “Chomp Chomp”: used to assist in all things high chair.

For those of you who follow this line of thinking, your lol is greatly appreciated.

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Simpsons Superiority in Seeing the Future

One of the best things about the Simpsons on FX (apart from being followed by Archer) is the thematic runs they do as part of the “every episode” series.

All of the music episodes together? Done.
Every Lisa as the star episode? Done.
All the doughnut episodes? Done.
Every Simpson’s pet? Done.
All of Homerisms? Done.

And most recently, all of All the robots episodes? Done.

It’s such a cool way to experience 28 seasons worth of genius, and it exposes some of the most interesting recurring thematic ideas the Simpson’s tacked in nearly three decades.

The robots one really stands out to be because of all the talk about automation transferring jobs away from humans. Granted, for a certain portion of the population the biggest concern is the misplaced notion that offshoring is hurting the current generation of workers and the current administration’s policy is unfortunately mostly focused on addressing this fallacy. The truth of the matter is even a few decades before the Simpon’s debuted the real threat to the American worker was automation.
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Prepping MPHnoise: War

War.
Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong asked what it was good for.
Bob Marley noted there is War in the east, War in the west, War up north, War down south, everywhere is war
And, of course, the Exploited extolled We don’t need your war! with a little assistance from Slayer & Iced T.
Then again, ,etal, punk & hardcore have had more than enough to say about war – from Bathory & Burzum to Sepultura, Shadows Fall and System of a Down went with the simple one word title for their lamentations on human aggression.
#MemoralizingPatrioticHeroes ’17 will visit the many faces of war as we remember the fallen heroes of war for Memorial Day on MPH noise radio this Sunday evening.
In past years we’ve focused on soldiers, sacrifice and heroism but never on the act of war. As I sifted through my music library it was almost overwhelming to consider the vast range of interpretations heavy music has approached one of man’s oldest vice. I’m looking for requests, dedications, suggestions and otherwise for this year’s war focused show – if it’s about war and hopefully references such in the title it’s fair game. So have at thee.
And, in the mean time do me three favors.
1) check the comments for links to past years shows and listen to them
2) remember that this Memorial Day weekend is more than just BBQ, Bikinis and Beer. It’s about honoring the fallen lost in the course of battle. Take a serious and solemn moment to pay tribute to the soldiers as well as civilians, humanitarians and press corps killed in acts of war.
3) Watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DboMAghWcA
Oh, and don’t forget to please tune in to KAOS Radio Austin this sunday evening for the broadcast.

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