Friday, February 17, 2012


If, as many note, art/entertainment are America’s greatest (and most profitable) export, and no doubt, America leads the world in producing such, from the most low-brow of entertainments (pornography) to the most high-brow of pursuits sports, then American sports (art) entertainment has “taken it to another level” this year!

On the heels of Tebow-mania comes its basketball equivalent, LINSANITY!

A 23 y/o undrafted point guard out of Harvard has set the NBA and the entire sports world on fire, leading a Knicks, a team that had dropped 9 straight games, one more than its season victory total to that time (8-15), on a 7 game winning streak and counting (now 15-15).

More than that, once again the sports/arts world (which earlier served to render the Bernie Madoff scandal easily understandable through the travails of the NY Mets and the current economic contraction process via the NFL & NBA lockouts much clearer) is illustrating yet another real-life reality, as only it can.

I’ve spent years explaining the concept of “Expanding Variability” as a reason why the “experts” political, economic, etc., are more often wrong than they are right.

Here, the unlikely rise of a 23 y/o undrafted (sports) artist out of Harvard (hardly a sports/arts powerhouse) has proven the experts wrong (as usual) and Expanding Variability correct. Just how rare Harvard grads in the NBA are, it’s been reported that just 4 Harvard grads have played in the NBA, while 8 have served as President of the United States!

A dozen teams had passed on Jeremy Lin, two others had cut him outright and the NY Knicks were days away from waiving him, when they pressed him into action on February 4th!

Since that time the Knicks have been transformed from a sad-sack team barely winning a third of their games and on an interminable 9-game losing tear to one of the hottest teams in the NBA over the last 10 days.

Far more important than “Will it last,” which can rightfully be asked in either case, is “How can these so-called “experts” be so reliably wrong?”

23 year-olds out of Harvard and weeks out of languishing in the NBA’s “D-League” (Developmental league) rarely set the league on fire, but that’s exactly what Jeremy Lin has done. Lin’s jersey is now the leading seller among NBA jerseys. Masks have been made of his face and taken to games. China has reset their TV scheduling to be able to broadcast Knick games. Toronto, with its 12% Asian population went wild when the Knicks visited a few days ago, turning an away game to a veritable “home game” for the NY Knicks.

Should the “experts” being proven wrong (AGAIN) be any surprise to astute people (those paying any attention) everywhere?


Of ESPN’s 12 football “experts” (and all of them had weighty credentials) ONLY one picked the NY Giants to even make the playoffs. . .NONE picked them to be IN, let alone win the Super Bowl!

Of course, the “experts” being proven wrong and more-wrong, happens across every field, virtually EVERY day! Mark Zandi (often described as President Obama’s favorite economist) of Moody’s Analytics’ recently noted, “The January employment report will be on the soft side. I expect payroll employment to increase by just over 100k and private sector employment to increase by 125k. Unemployment will edge higher to 8.6 percent.” That prediction for the January employment number was every bit as wrong as the ESPN preseason NFL picks were.

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ numbers came out Friday, they showed that rather than edging higher, to 8.6 percent, as Zandi had predicted, the unemployment rate had dropped, to 8.3 percent. And the nonfarm-payroll number grew 243,000, more than double what he’d predicted.

In August of 2011 David Leonhardt, a 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner for what the Pulitzer Board for economic reporting (the Pulitzer Committee heralded “his graceful penetration of America’s complicated economic questions) wrote an article titled, “Stocks Are Still Expensive. In it he claimed that U.S. “stocks are under pressure because they are fairly expensive right now relative to earnings,asserting that, “Stocks would have to fall another 6 percent from their current level to return to the 50-year average.”

Since that article was printed U.S. stocks, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, rose by a whopping 12%. . .and 18-pecentage point swing FROM Leonhardt’s predicted 6% decline.

Expanding Variability rules the day once again!

Beyond all that, Lin’s sudden rise has also brought in the inevitable issue of race. Are many non-black athletes discounted and unheralded due to preconceptions (bias)?

That charge has been aro0und for decades. Paul Warfield a standout NFL receiver, who happened to be black, noted way back in the 1970s that there were many white receivers that didn’t get the chance a white teammate of Warfield’s (Chris Collingsworth) got “because they were white and a lot of coaches just didn’t want to take a chance on them”).

ALL of that controversy could easily be overcome IF we’d just go by the numbers using standardized modalities of measurements. The NFL has it “Combines” where prospects are scrutinized purely on the numbers (how fast, how high, etc.), if those measurements were used and the subjective input from coaches and other “experts” were ignored, at least there’d be hint of bias.

Standardized modalities are NEVER biased.

Certainly it would’ve resulted in LESS shock over Jeremy Lin’s success had the “experts” simply gone with the numbers rather than allow their doubts over his pedigree and background take precedence.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

From BAD, to WORSE...Much WORSE!

The Obama administration may have actually found a way to make a very bad situation even worse, by, ironically enough, seeking a compromise.

News reports today announce that the religious exception WILL BE acknowledged and respected, and that women will still be guaranteed coverage for contraceptive services without any out-of-pocket cost, but will have to seek the coverage directly from their insurers if their employers object to birth control on religious grounds. (SEE:

This an absolute NO WIN!

First, it shows that the initial over-reach was deliberate. If they had a plan B why challenge the 1st Amendment’s PRIMARY protection, that of “religious freedom?”

This won’t end the controversy and will provide ammunition for opponents to use with moderates over a President most moderates have concerns over such over-reaches with.

Religious Conservatives will not be placated and this will only serve to energize that group behind ABO (“anyone BUT Obama”) AND he’s once again managed to pull the rug from beneath his liberal “supporters.”

For the past week, liberals in the administration and in the media have been engaged in the most acrobatic of gyrations seeking to defend this assault on the 1st Amendment, now only to have him pull a bait and switch on them...once AGAIN!

Now it’s not like liberals are going anywhere. They have nowhere else to turn. They have no other options available.

But how many times are they going to simply grin politely after being left to hang out to dry after defending something that this President again backs away from?

What SHOULD this administration have done?

In my view the ONLY thing you CAN do in such a no win situation is to let the courts overturn that decision.

That way, while the controversy continues to build and spread (this compromise will do nothing to change that), at least he sticks to his guns, fights for principle (even opponents respect that) and at the least DOESN’T alienate and humiliate his own base.

While NOTHING President Obama would’ve made things better with religious people, Libertarians and Moderates, at the very least, he shouldn’t have once again skewered his own long suffering liberal base.

Greg Kelly’s Accuser (Maria Di Toro) Does NOT Warrant “Victim Annonymity” Protections

An odd controversy continues to swirl around the identity of Greg Kelly’s (NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly’s son & a Fox-5 “Good Day New York” Anchor) false accuser (Maria Di Toro) being named with photos in the New York Post the day after charges were dropped. (SEE:

To some, it appeared that one arm of News Corp (The NY Post) was, in effect, “punishing” someone for bringing charges against an employee of News Corp.

Of course, that would ONLY be true IF the charges held any weight.

The fact that Ms. Di Toro and Mr. Kelly “exchanged steamy text messages” both before and AFTER the alleged “rape,” seem to show that the charges were unfounded (false), since victims rarely send sweet nothings to their attackers.

First, the NY Post was NOT the first media outlet to publish pics of Maria Di Toro. That honor, so far as I know, goes to the U.K. Daily Mail (

Note that the Daily Mail photos were published on February 9th, a full day before the first pics of Ms. Di Toro appeared in the NY Post.

BUT the fact remains that once those charges were dropped and found unconvincing, she no longer had a right to the protections the Press usually accords victims of sexual crimes.

DSK’s accuser’s pics were splashed all over the tabloids the very day the Manhattan D.A.’s office refused to go forward with the charges.

Andrea Peyser, a NY Post columnist and generally a partisan for women in most cases wrote: "The DA must take a stand against false claims leveled against men, the same way he would uphold the right of any other minority to not be harassed and scorned because of physical appearance."

The one thing that the recent onslaught of false rape allegations have done is to have effectively destroyed the old canard that went, “Why would any woman make a false rape report?”

Obviously the answers are as varied as, “For fun, for revenge (over being dumped) and for profit.”

The unfortunate thing is that such false reports are not YET taken as seriously as other false reports, but the trend seems to be heading in that very positive direction.
American Ideas Click Here!