The Sarcastic Cynic™

Sarcastic and cynical view of the world.

Haiti and Colombia — July 10, 2021
Charities for the rich do donate — July 5, 2021

Charities for the rich do donate

just not to the needy.

While private foundations and donor-advised funds amass huge sums of money, demands on nonprofits to provide essential social services have skyrocketed. Despite the growing need and increased contributions to foundations and DAFs, average giving to charity in the U.S. has remained constant for 40 years at roughly 2 percent of disposable income.
The growing problem with homemade ‘ghost guns’ — December 2, 2019

The growing problem with homemade ‘ghost guns’



Associated Press

For a few hundred dollars, tools and some elbow grease, you can make your own rifle or handgun. It’s all perfectly legal – and it can be done without leaving anything behind for the government to trace.

These ‘ghost guns’ have long been popular among hobbyists or gun enthusiasts. But gun control advocates say they are increasingly popping up in crimes, used by people who are prohibited from buying a firearm and are trying to circumvent a background check.

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Do cheaters always win? How to enforce fair play in MLB? — November 29, 2019

Do cheaters always win? How to enforce fair play in MLB?

Sports Illustrated December 2, 2019 Volume 130 No. 34 SI.COM @SINOW


Allegations against the ASTROS may taint their title and have heightened fears about technology by TOM VERDUCCI

First the answer to the question.  NO!  Cheaters sometimes lose.  How do you enforce fair play?  You can not really enforce fair play.  Every stadium has different dimensions, wind currents, orientations, turfs, soil, fences, foul areas, and the home team normally has the advantage because of the fans and the fact that they play and practice more at their home field.

My solution is to raise the pitcher’s mounds to 1960-70 standards.  Allow batters to interfere when running down the base paths.  Create parallel basepaths between home and first and home and third base.  The batter should have the advantage if he made contact with the ball or if the pitcher threw wildly or if the catcher didn’t catch it.

Let the runner change from inner to outer base path but not outside the base path.  If runner steps out of his path because of interference from an opponent he is then considered out if he does so to avoid a tag.

Pitchers should have a repertoire that can change for each batter.  Only two pitches may be the same, but the pitcher must throw a sequence that includes at least a fastball, a slider, a curve ball, a screw ball, a knuckleball, an offspeed, a sidearm and whatever else the pitcher can throw.

So a sequence could be slider, curve, fast, fast.  If the batter was not struck out or if he’s still alive,  the pitcher must throw still the slider, curve,and fastball but this time the pitcher can change the repeated pitch.  So the next four pitches could be curve, curve, fast, slider.  How the catcher and pitcher communicate what is being thrown, is left to them to figure out.

Memory, signs, electronic signal, noise, sun position, moon phase, name of batter, etc.  The only constant is the three pitches the batter has to figure out every fifth pitch thrown.  Simple? NO, but don’t let them officiate this game out of existence.

There’s nothing so boring as NFL referees throwing five consecutive flags against the Jets v. Cowboys game, or the slowdown that takes place in every NBA games in the fourth quarter, or the flopping that World Cup players from Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Colombia, Senagal, etc do at every match.

So I recommend you read this intriguing article by Tom Verducci in Sports Ilustrated.0921031147





So why are humorist Tom Lehrer’s lyrics on the previous post? — November 16, 2019

So why are humorist Tom Lehrer’s lyrics on the previous post?

The other “father” of the space program in the United States of America, a man from Germany, Wernher von Braun, “made what amounted to a Faustian bargain for the advance of rocketry,” by joining the Nazi Party and becoming an SS officer!

He claimed he had no choice, arguing that the Gestapo kept a close eye on him, watching him for signs of disloyalty.

However, some of his “contemporaries did manage to resist the fascist regime, often perpetrating small, undramatic acts of slowdown, sabotage, or resistance.”

The Peenemünde team of engineers, lead by Wernher von Braun, “were Hitler loyalists who looked forward to the day when Aryan Germans would have the promised Lebensrum (room to live) granted by conquest of Europe.”

Von Braun later claimed he was “merely an earnest enginner who put his craft above all else.”

“This excuse didn’t  prevent him from enjoying his wartime position or being fêted by the Third Reich’s rich and powerful.”

“Von Braun, a colonel in the SS, was deeply complicit in the war crimes at the Mittelwerk and Dora facility” that “was carved inside Kohnstein Mountain, near Nordhausen in the Harz Mountains.  Using concentration camp slave labor, they transformed a tunnel complex into a facilty that could produce thousands of V-2s.

Arthur Rudolph, a close colleague of von Braun and chief operations officer at the Mittelwerk V-2 production facility,  oversaw the slave labor. He was an ardent Nazi and anti-Semite.  Nevertheless he was quietly accepted into the United Sates and granted citizenship in the mid-1950s.  Keeping a low profile at Fort Bliss, working in secrecy, he immediately began making contributions to the American rocket program, as did ex-Peenemünder Kurt Debus.  Hubertus Strughold, another beneficiary of Operation Paperclip,     was a physician who had been the director of the Luftwaffe Institute of Aviation Medicine during the Nazi  era was given a a similar job heading the new Air Force of Aviation Medicine, in West Texas.

[Operation Paperclip: a paperclip was placed on the files of those Nazis chosen to work as rocket engineers in the United States of America.]

As Strughold settled in America, quite a liberty to enjoy the privileges of democracy, his former colleagues were facing trial at Nuremberg for war crimes he’d known about.”

Warning! Do not read if sensitive to acts of torture. 

In one experiment, Jewish inmates were forced to squat in a chamber as the pressure insde the chamber was altered in a matter of seconds, simulating a depressurized airplane dropping from high altitude.  The doctors watched as the prisoners died or permanently lost their minds.

Okay to continue reading after this period.

Werner von Braun’s first public speech, in the United States of America to the El Paso Rotary Club stated:

“It seems to be a law of nature that all novel technical inventions that have a future for civilian use start out as weapons.

Rocketry entered a new dangerous territory with the development of the first intercontinental ballistic missiles, and Werner von Braun, once again did the sensible thing to lie low and develop his ballistic missiles in Fort Bliss—White Sands for U.S. Army purposes while keeping the moon and beyond in his dreams.

Did he ever think about the pain inflicted to all those who died, or survived, or who were harmed severely by the manufacturing and use in acts of war, by the V-2 rockets he engineered?


Tom Lehrer – Wernher Von Braun Lyrics | MetroLyrics — November 15, 2019

Tom Lehrer – Wernher Von Braun Lyrics | MetroLyrics

I just happen to be reading acclaimed historian Douglas Brinkley’s fresh look at the American Space program.





So why are the lyrics of Wernher Von Braun by Tom Lehrer below?

Tom Lehrer – Wernher Von Braun Lyrics

Tom Lehrer

(Introduction, spoken:)
And what is it that put America in the forefront of
the nuclear nations? And what is it that will make it
possible to spend twenty billion dollars of your money
to put some clown on the moon? Well, it was good old
American know how, that’s what, as provided by good
old Americans like Dr. Wernher von Braun!

Gather ’round while I sing you of Wernher von Braun
A man whose allegiance
Is ruled by expedience
Call him a Nazi, he won’t even frown
“Ha, Nazi, Schmazi” says Wernher von Braun

Don’t say that he’s hypocritical
Say rather that he’s apolitical
“Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That’s not my department” say Wernher von Braun

Some have harsh words for this man of renown
But some think our attitude
Should be one of gratitude
Like the widows and cripples in old London town
Who owe their large pension to Wernher von Braun

You too may be a big hero
Once you’ve learned to count backwards to zero
“In German, oder Englisch, I know how to count down
Und I’m learning Chinese!” says Wernher von Braun

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