Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How We Die

We are coming up to the Day of the Dead, whereby we remember those who died and celebrate rather than mourn their loss.

The above article is a fascinating inside look at how we treat death.  While the writer - as a mortician - has something of a fixation on death, she raises excellent points.  At what point do we fight our mortality?  Certainly the 35 year old cancer patient should battle like hell to recover.

But my only hope for my own passing from life into death is that I have the ability to do it more or less on my terms.  Selfishly, I want my own parents to be there to watch their grandsons graduate from high school or college.  But would I want to cling to a degraded, decaying life to watch my own grandchildren walk across a stage and get a piece of paper?  There is a line from the haunting Jason Isbell song, Elephant: There's one thing that's real clear to me/no one dies with dignity/we just try and ignore the elephant somehow.  And the truth of that line is devastating.  We fight to ignore the reality of our own mortality, and that fighting leaves us exhausted and scared.

Because we have invested death with such awesome power and because many of us no longer believe in heaven, we fear death more than ever.  The article above has a perfect anecdote about the tech dude-bro who fears his own death and screw everyone else.

I grew up terrified of my own mortality.  But as I approach 50 and my body slides into decline, I can see the merit of an expiration date.  I want decades more.  But the minute my mind starts slipping away is the minute I start to think about making my own quietus with a bare bodkin.

Happy Halloween, everyone.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kill It With Fire

Here is another supportable idea from Vox: going to permanent DST.

I LOOOOOOOVE the extra hour of sleep I'm going to get on Sunday, and I broadly feel morally superior as I get up a little earlier during the first week of altered time.

But the early sunsets in New England are just soul crushing.

Soul crushing, people.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Secular Stagnation

Also known as "demand-side economics"...

I would add that I don't think we fully account for the effect of high energy costs on economic growth.  While producing more supplies (like the shale gas boom in North Dakota) can stimulate local economies, ultimately the demand side of the economy is hurt by taking a significant amount of people's income and lighting it on fire to produce energy.

The current collapse in oil prices could be a very strong predictor of better economic growth.

Monday, October 27, 2014

We ARE A Nation Of Cowards

I think Deutsch is 100% right.

I also think that as real threats become rarer and rarer, we tend to inflate imagined threats.

In other words, as we no longer have to fear childhood illnesses, we start to fear vaccines.  As we no longer fear rampaging bands of brigands, we start to fear ISIS.  As we no longer fear dying of appendicitis, we start to fear Ebola.

I don't know why it is we seem to cling to fear like an anti-security blanket, but we do.  And if that's not enough, we fear zombies or vampires or other sundry boogeymen.

Is fear so deeply ingrained in us that we create it where it shouldn't exist?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

This Is An Excellent Idea

This won't win elections or anything, but this is what good governance looks like.  We have a stupid method of selling cars in this country. I have never had a pleasurable experience buying a car, only less unpleasant ones.

The idea of "made to order" - or more broadly for cars - is a really good one.  It would probably lead to MORE sales, as both the price of cars comes down and the experience becomes less a miserable, haggling trial.

But most car salesman are the sort of Babbitt-esque Chamber of Commerce Republicans who see Obamacare as a restraint on trade, but benefit from monopolistic protectionist laws.

Friday, October 24, 2014

This Is Nice

The video of Kevin Vickers opening Parliament in Canada is great.  He seems both moved and slightly embarrassed at the applause.

I also hope Chris Jones is right.

I hope this doesn't change Canada, the way acts of terror and violence change our country.

Or to put it another way:

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Canadian Bacon

Kevin Vickers is likely to become something of a thing.  And rightfully so.  When he "put down" the shooter, he saved many lives.

But it's this story that really captures what makes Vickers such an interesting person.  Here are some excerpts:
Vickers brought with him a reputation for soft-spoken diplomacy. He told the local Telegraph-Journal that he found it comforting to see fathers and sons tossing Frisbees on the lawn of Parliament Hill. He also spoke of how he didn’t want to see fences around Canada’s Parliament.
“In America, security trumps all,” he told the newspaper. “I don’t think that’s the Canadian way.”
He put his diplomatic reputation on display in the summer of 2000, when he was incident commander for the Mounties in Burnt Church, N.B. in a dispute over native fisheries and land claims.
His immediate response was to send in plainclothes aboriginal officers carrying doughnuts and coffee to talk with protestors, allowing them to vent.

There is something so eminently...Canadian... about that.  He is someone who looked - throughout his career - to de-escalate tensions and try and find common ground.  Despite being a law enforcement officer, he seems to be the sort of person who looks for the best in people.

Some of that may be the relative lack of fear that Canadians express compared to Americans.  America lives in a media climate where..ISIS!  EBOLA!!1! TERRAISTS!!!!

The coverage of yesterday's attack on CBC was sober, respectful and calm.  Meanwhile CNN...Well, just click through the link and see the difference in the coverage.

Stephen Marche at Esquire thinks that this is the end of Canada as he knows it.  That they will collapse into the paranoid security state of their southern neighbors.

But yesterday was the first day that Kevin Vickers fired his weapon in anger.  A career in law enforcement and he never shot at someone before.  Compare him to the Rambo wannabes in Ferguson and the picture could not be more clear.

Culture doesn't change overnight.

Here's hoping there will always be frisbee games on the lawn of the Canadian Parliament.

A Note On Renee Zellweger

I don't usually follow this tripe, but it is broadly interesting.

I hear and understand the arguments that Ms. Zellweger was judged by impossible standards.  I know I personally found her unattractive, though I thought she gave good performances in Bridget Jones, Cold Mountain, Cinderella Man and Chicago.  I thought she was good, therefore, when she was kind of annoying.  And maybe her look played into that.

So I get that she is a victim of the way we look at women and judge them by impossible standards. what point does her personal responsibility enter into it?  She decided to have her eyes changed.  She changed the "window into the soul."  And dramatically so.  She looks like Robin Wright but less.  She made that choice.

I'm constantly torn between the degree to which we acknowledge the broad forces that warp our society and the ability of individuals to transcend those forces.

And to some degree this represents a political bias, too.  I don't think conservatives give enough weight to how society is shaped by broad forces, some of which - racism, sexism, the stigma of poverty - have a very negative effect.

But I also don't think liberals give enough credence to the ability of individuals to transcend social morays.  Of course, it's helpful to remember that it often takes extraordinary people or circumstances to transcend these larger forces.  But it can happen.

Really don't know if that sheds any light on anything, but there you go.  Renee Zellweger is an unfortunate victim of societal sexism and also a freak.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It's Not About The College Kids

Barry Goldwater was not "ushering in the New Right" with his Libertarian ideals.

Barry Goldwater was paving the way for George Wallace and Nixon's Southern Strategy.

The rise of the New Right had some connection to the think tanks and political activists that surrounded the Goldwater movement, but that had nothing to do with Goldwater who was simply a vessel for their aspirations to turn back the Great Society and the Civil Rights Movement.

The New Right succeeded because they had demography on their side.

And Rand Paul doesn't.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Working Poor

Yesterday, for Community Service Day, I took four kids to help work at a food bank.  In a couple of hours, we served about 35 families with about a thousand pounds of food.

What was striking was how many of them had jobs.  They were either single moms, working families or people with some form of obvious mental impairment.  Single moms are the backbone of poverty in this country, and I think we can understand why those with cognitive problems would have problems sustaining enough employment to feed themselves.

But the idea that you can work full time - or more likely several part time jobs - and still have food insecurity is striking.  This is a small town in the richest state in the country, and they serve over 200 families each month.

Next month, Republicans will likely win the Senate and a lead pipe cinch retain the House.  The Democrats are running on a platform that is in large part centered on raising the minimum wage.  I would hope that anyone with compassion who would be exposed to the people I saw yesterday would vote to spread the enormous wealth of this country a little more equitably.

I know that Fox News would call that communism, but it is inexcusable that we have a country where you can work 40-50 hours a week and not be sure where your next meal is coming from.  And that's America in 2014.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Evidence, Science and Competency

OK, I guess it's all Ebola, all the time.  WTF....

But here are some things we know.  Travel bans don't work.  Training medical personnel does, but we are doing a lousy job at that.

Hopefully, the blatant pandering to fear mongering that Obama has done with the "Ebola Czar" will yield universal, basic steps to prevent the spread of Ebola.  Because, you know, it's pretty hard to catch Ebola if you know what you're doing.  Doctors Without Borders have thousands of medical professionals in West Africa and only have a handful of cases.

It's not hard.  But it requires clear eyed understanding of the threat and how to meet it.

And that's impossible when the Bedwetter's Caucus continues to distort the public discourse and CNN and Fox are talking about and ISIS-created, Ebola-tinged Sharknado that is coming to your child's school.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The United States of Pants-Peeing Fear

Please read this:

And then explain to me how we are anything but a nation of quaking cowards, afraid of whatever shiny boogeyman that the media thrusts on to our TVs.

We are a nation that things we're John Wayne's Rooster Cogburn, but we're really Don Knotts' Barney Fife.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

First, Kill All The Reporters

Seriously, the level of fear-mongering incompetence over Ebola is criminal in its scope and magnitude.

Meanwhile, thousands of people will actually die this year because Jenny McCarthy was let onto The View.

This Is A Big F-ing Deal

If Lockheed - not exactly prone to crazy, dreamy pronouncement - has really harnessed fusion power, this could dramatically alter the environmental future of the planet.

I know we have to freak out over Ebola for no good reason, but this fusion story should be leading every newspaper in the world.

Can't Believe We Are Going To Elect These Maroons

I think the odds of the GOP controlling the Senate are decent.  I do wonder if the polls sample sizes are being calibrated to reflect 2010, when it's not a 2010 electorate.  I guess we'll see on Election Day (or the following morning).

Meanwhile, Rick Scott refuses to show up on stage to debate Charlie Crist because of a small fan under the podium.  And yet, he could conceivably get another term as governor of Florida, despite having done very little for the people of his state.

Mitch McConnell - a man with negative charisma - makes a statement so obtuse and cynical that it should disqualify him from public office.  Yet he will probably win re-election.

Cory Gardner - whose entire campaign is built on his personality - has been trying to obfuscate a career of carrying water for the anti-abortion extremes.  He currently leads in Colorado.  Same with Jodi Ernst in Iowa, and she's the second coming of Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin by all accounts - a good looking wingnut whose physical attractiveness hides some pretty awful policy positions.

I think Democrats will have a good night on the governors side of things, but the only bright side of the GOP winning the Senate is that they will own the massive clusterfuck that is the US Congress.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MIssed Wednesday

Between work and my neck being in perpetual muscle spasm, I'd really just someone kill me right now anyway.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oil Prices And Dictatorships

Drive a Prius, save the world.

Forget the tree-hugging aspect of higher MPG, CAFE standards and hybrid cars.  Energy efficiency, especially energy efficiency in petroleum, means less money for dictators.  Some of those dictators are nominally our friends (Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, I guess), but many are not (Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, I guess).

The fracking expansion is very controversial and rightfully so.  Its environmental impact is unknown and companies seem to be pretty set on keeping it that way.

But the combination of increased fuel efficiency and expanded domestic production is having political and economic effects beyond the environmental effects.

Dictatorships almost uniformly rely on either coercion or co-optation (or a combination of the two).  And co-optation is almost always accompanied by a resource based economy that the state can control easier than an industrial or service based economy.  Having the bulk of a nation's wealthy sluicing through a pipeline makes it easier for a dictator to siphon off cash that can be distributed to both cronies and the people at large.  It negates the need of going to the people for taxes in order to fund basic necessities.  No taxation, without representation.  It's more than a bumpersticker, it's a principle behind most representative governments.

It would be nice, in a world of coal rolling and Humvees, if we could "sell" fuel efficiency not merely as an environmental good - since some assholes are bound and determined to go out of their way to "Nuke the Whales" - but as a way to combat tyranny around the world.

Hey, Dudebro!  Your SUV is empowering Ayatollah Khamenei.  Just saying.

Republicans And Public Health

Interesting letter from an epidemiologist in Los Angeles about how the Bush Administration "threw money at them" for bioterrorism, which they were able to use for more practical and necessary things.  But then the sequester came along and gutted a lot of staff and resources.

So as we deal with possible pandemics - Ebola ain't one, people - we have a complicated picture of how we provide public health services.

Public health is - you know - public.  It requires public spending.  But the GOP - especially since 2010 - has basically said it is uninterested in any public spending that does not involve bombing other countries.  But the GOP philosophy of slashing public spending has always run into opposition when it comes to actual cuts.

If the GOP takes the Senate - and I remain perversely optimistic that they won't - it will be interesting to see them try and pass a budget with their priorities intact.  It didn't work for Gingrich, and I doubt it will work for Boehner and McConnell.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bad Laws Are Bad Laws

Klein argues that California's new law- that basically codifies the "Antioch Rules" from my days in college- is a bad law, but he supports it anyway, because we have to do something about college sexual assault.

The statistics are shocking about sexual assault on campus.  Maybe George Will doesn't think so, but they are.

So, California has a bill that requires consent at every stage of sexual behavior.  This is a legislative attack on behavior that needs to stop, but is ingrained, sadly, in college culture.  Drunken hook-ups are real and regrettable, maybe for both parties.  But they could now be crimes under this law.

While this is an attempt to create clarity in what is otherwise a murky situation, how exactly will it clarify the actual behavior?

Her: "I gave consent for kissing, but not fondling."

Him: "Yes, she did."

How exactly does that clarify anything?  The only way it does it to create a presumption of guilt on "Him" above.  And presumption of guilt is unconstitutional.

All the feelings of isolation and vulnerability that a woman feels now won't go away - unless the law operates under a presumption of guilt.

This strikes me as a well-intentioned act that overreaches. Not just constitutionally, but like Affirmative Action, it seeks to un-do a lasting social problem with a legal "quick fix".  You can't fix racism by establishing quotas or fact, you reinforce those prejudices.

In a world where we have people coal rolling to protest perfectly reasonably restrictions on pollution, do we really think that these laws won't engender a backlash against efforts to bring sexual assault under control?

I don't mean to suggest that criminal behavior shouldn't be made criminal by legal action.  But sexual assault is already illegal.  Laws haven't changed behavior as much as education can.

Ultimately, if you want to change the sort of sexual assaults that predominate college campuses - drunken licentious behavior that moves from flirtation to assault among people whose already diminished capacity for empathy and long range thinking is impaired by alcohol and drugs - then you have to change their thinking first.

I don't see a legislative mandate as working to change thinking.  I see it as a way for legislators to say they "did something" about the scourge of campus sexual assault.

And a bad law poorly enforced can be worse than no law.

Rooting out the culture of sexual assault and rape will take time and effort that extends beyond a legislative band-aid.  Making every young man feel like a rapist if he moves from kissing to "under the sweater, over the bra" without permission isn't going to solve the problem of men who feel entitled to sex as a matter of course.

This law won't clarify things.  It will make things worse, and I fear it will engender a backlash against the group that bears the most responsibility for ending the problem of campus sexual assault.

If you wanted to make a real dent in campus sexual assault, you should ban fraternities.  And I say that as someone who was in a fraternity.  Large groups of drunken men who feed off poorly imagined ideals of manhood with access to common sources of alcohol are a recipe for sexual assault.  Ban them and I bet the sexual assault rate falls tremendously.

But punishment has always proven to be a poor way to change behavior.  And changing the behavior should be the intent of efforts to reduce the level of sexual assaults.  Not saying, "We did something."

But that would cost legislators votes.  Much easier to do it this way.

Just not as effective.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Walking Dead Liveblog

Well, we're back.  Let's see what Terminus has in store for us.  Cannibalism?  I think that's all that's left.
Well, I guess the FCC doesn't have much say over AMC.

OK, that was a helluva cold opening.  And I do mean cold.
Carol might be the baddest ass in a show full of badasses.

And she's got a little MacGyver in her, too.

At what point does Tyrese turn hardass?
OK, Rick's kind of a badass, too...

"We're still those people, we have to be."

Yeah, whatever lets you sleep at night, Glenn.
Teddy Bears... Jesus.

Greg Nicotero is a sick, sick man.

I'm guessing Tyrese is about to go full maniac.
Respect the Mullet.

Daryl and Carol.  I got verklempft.

Rick and Carol.  More verklempft.

If You Have A Sports Team You Hate...

...I can root for them and they will suck.

Cost you $50.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Shut Up About Ebola


Shut up.  CNN?  Fox?  Everyone else?

Shut up.

You are much, much more likely to be killed by a bee sting or struck by lightning than killed by Ebola.  You're more likely to be killed by a policeman than die of Ebola.

When did we become a nation of cowards?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Race As A Social Construct

I would add to this that America's long infatuation with race purity did give "race" a superficial scientific veneer.

As laws against miscegenation fell by the way side, the lines of race blurred.  We are certainly moving in a direction where "race" falls away and is replaced by more specific ethnicities.  Both are social constructs, but one ultimately is more definable.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Did My Yearly Meeting. Survived Again.

I'd like to post it, but it runs five pages at 11pt font.  Be nice if I could format a "fold", but I'm a technological illiterate, so...

When it appears, it will appear here:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Revenge Of The Shrum

Tough to argue against Yglesias's points here.

If the Democrats lose the Senate, the idea of launching an executive action on immigration will give every moral coward in the Democratic party shivers.  The clean narrative that Obama abandoned in the late summer will be gone.

The only counterargument I can muster is that if Obama pushes ahead with immigration reform, the GOP will flip out.  Expect "impeachment" to be bandied about.

And if so, he will be luring the GOP deeper into the immigration brier patch.  Their howls of protest will only drive the wedge deeper between Hispanics and the GOP.

But that would require the sort of Nixonian political instincts that Obama has never demonstrated in the past.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Watertown In The TeeVee

I know a few of those faces, including one adorable little moppet who is a friend's daughter.

Even now, I still get choked up thinking about Newtown.

This Made Me Laugh

Marriage Equality

In a season when - somehow - the radical anarchists of the GOP are poised to take the Senate, it's nice to see something good happen.

Right now, the conservative 5th and 6th Circuits are basically holding the immediate future of marriage equality in their hands.  If they follow the leads of the other Circuit courts, we could very soon see marriage equality everywhere.

But long term?  The fight is pretty much over.

Ten years ago, who would've thought that?

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Most Important Reading About ISIS

Once you understand that the killing is the point, they tend to make more "sense".

In fact, I've already compared ISIS to the Khmer Rouge - a group that emerged from the slaughter of Southeast Asia as a psychopathic scourge.  The years of oppression, slaughter and civil unrest have unmoored a certain group of people, such things always do.  This is yet another poisoned by-product of the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war and militarized regime change.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Maybe If She'd Taken AP US History...

Here is part of the offending post:

Yes, we practiced slavery. But we also ended it voluntarily, at great sacrifice, while the practice continues in many countries still today! Shouldn't our students be provided that viewpoint? This is part of the argument that America is exceptional. Does our APUSH Framework support or denigrate that position?

From this, we see exactly the sort of problems that a rigorous history course that develops critical thinking skills should address.

First, we see the simplistic use of "we".  What do you mean "we", white man?  "We" didn't voluntarily do jackshit.  "We" fought each other tooth and nail for four years.  When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, desertions increased (especially among draftees), because Northerners weren't necessarily interested in dying for slaves.  The debate over the 13th Amendment - capably captured in Lincoln - shows just involuntary the ending of slavery was.

We do teach the angry, acrimonious debate over slavery.  We examine Frederick Douglass and Roger Taney, Daniel Webster and John Calhoun, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, because it is in examining these differences that we understand the true issues that undergird all the arguments about slavery.

And once those slaves were free, we argued incessantly - for a hundred years - over what we would allow freedom to mean for African Americans.  We warped and perverted the 14th Amendment in order to revivify the primacy of the white race.  We gave the Freedman a sky for a roof and a shred of ignored law for a coat.  And we refashioned chains from debt peonage, chains that ensnared not a few poor whites, as well.

To deny that is to deny the truth of our history.  Perhaps Ms. Mazanec should take AP US?

At least the students in Colorado seem to understand this, even if the "adults" do not.

Friday, October 3, 2014


Looks more and more like the GOP will gain control of the Senate.

But if Jodi Ernst wins, Iowans will have some 'splainin to do.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dismal Scientists

In 2010 - as the Federal Reserve pursued a "cheap money" policy to try and prop up a faltering economy that was about to be deprived of any additional fiscal stimulus from a Teahadist Congress - a group of "economists" (I mean Bill Kristol signed for Chrissake, but then of course he did) wrote a letter saying in effect:


This was in response to quantitative easing by the Fed.  The letter sent by the Hoover Institute - because who else would you turn to during a financial crisis, beside Herbert Hoover - said that:
The planned asset purchases risk currency debasement and inflation, and we do not think they will achieve the Fed’s objective of promoting employment...We disagree with the view that inflation needs to be pushed higher, and worry that another round of asset purchases, with interest rates still near zero over a year into the recovery, will distort financial markets and greatly complicate future Fed efforts to normalize monetary policy.

When Bloomberg News reached out to these sages, they responded with some variation of "We were right!  You just have to understand what we were right about."

Some of the claims to correctness make a small sliver of sense.  Jim Grant suggests that inflation is happening on Wall Street, which... I guess.  Certainly I do think that easy money from the Fed is expanding a stock bubble.  That's really worrisome. At some point stocks will fall, because they are ridiculously over-inflated.  Will that trickle out into the rest of the economy?  Will it be 2001 or 2008?  And while you can plausibly argue that low interest rates have led to a stock bubble - Wall Street can borrow money almost for free - it's hard to pin that blame on QE.

Stanford Professor John Taylor is less convincing when he says that this is a slow recovery.  I mean, he's correct, it has been a slow recovery.  But that's not what he was saying four years ago.  They said it wouldn't help.  Right now, US companies are thriving, as Bloomberg notes, with "low debt, big cash piles and record profits.  They're creating jobs at the fastest average pace since 2005 and unemployment has dropped to 6.1% from 9.8% when they wrote the letter."

So, you can argue that it distorted financial markets I guess, but you can't argue that quantitative easing failed to stimulate the economy.  You can't.  Or if you try, you're relying on counterfactuals and hypotheticals.  You're arguing that somehow cheap money and QE somehow retarded economic growth while simultaneously threatening inflation.  Your evidence that it did so is your beautiful, beautiful theory.

Doug Holtz-Eakin - part of the stellar Bush Fiscal Team - says that we just have to wait.  One day they'll be correct.  Frankly, his response is so absurd, it's as close as they come to admitting they were wrong.  Or I'll just let Keynes take it from here, "In the long run, we're all dead."

Amity Shlaes - whose grasp of economics is so poor she was made Chair of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation...really?  Calvin Coolidge? - says, "Inflation could come, and many of us are concerned that the nation is not prepared."  Mothra could come, too, and I, too, fear that the nation is not prepared for the possibility of Mothra.  Do we have enough Raid?  Do we have Godzilla's cell number?  Well, Obummer?  Do we?

Most of the other signatories refused to comment, which is probably the better part of wisdom.  I don't hear Don Rumsfeld or Paul Wolfowitz crowing about the freedom in Iraq.  Cheney?  Sure.  But when you have no soul to begin with, your dealing with a sunk cost when it comes to blood thirsty venality.

Or you could just read Krugzilla.

So, basically, we can now divide conservative "intellectuals" into two types: Those that run away from accountability and those who have no idea what the word means.

The Global One Percent

Could we be seeing the beginning of the end of groups like the IOC and FIFA?  The rampant, ridiculous corruption identified with these groups may be reaching a tipping point.

While it is true that people will watch these games regardless of the river of slime that flows behind them, if they can't open the venues on time at some point they won't have games to sell to the TV networks.