Author Archives: Michael Froomkin

Putin Joke

Predictable punch line, but still funny:

Putin dies and ends up in hell. After a few years, the devil calls him in and tells him that he is being paroled back to Moscow for good behavior. Putin arrives in Moscow and goes to his favorite bar and orders a small pitcher of vodka. He starts talking to the bartender. “I’ve been away for a long time, Tovarisch, and I have been out of touch. Do we still hold Crimea?” “Yes,” the bartender replies. “How about the Donbas?” “That, too,” says the bartender. Putin is hesitant to ask, but he jumps in the deep end, “Do we have Kyiv?” “Yes, we have Kyiv.” “That’s wonderful!” says Putin and pulls out his money to pay for his drink. “What’s that?” asks the bartender. “Ten rubles,” says Putin, “eight for the drink and two for you.” “Rubles? We haven’t used rubles for years. The price is ten Euros.”

Posted in Completely Different, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Only in Miami?

It not uncommon for city or county governments to rip off taxpayers by handing valuable land cheap to developers, or even subsidizing development whose benefits will run primarily or even entirely to the mega-wealthy. That is the story of many a sports stadium.

But only in Miami would the beneficiary of one giant taxpayer ripoff, indeed the largest in area history to date (the Marlins stadium), do a video mocking another proposed ripoff, here the Melreese giveaway.  That’s the giveaway of a huge park that will supposedly be used for a soccer stadium, but which camouflages the fact that most of the land will be used for a mall and other private profit-making buildings. Is the video fueled by envy that the new ripoff would smash the Marlins’ record?

See the video at Twitter. Be warned that it contains language that people from more delicate parts of the world may consider unfit for polite company.

Spotted via Political Cortadito

Posted in Miami | Leave a comment

HUUUUGER Than Watergate

Nixon had the eighteen-and-a-half-minute gap in the White House tapes. Nixon was a piker. Trump has a SEVEN+  HOUR gap in his phone logs that just happens to fall during the Jan 6 insurrection. There’s almost no conceivable explanation that doesn’t make Trump look awful.

I’m actually quite depressed about this, as I fear that it vastly increases the odds that Governor Evil will become the Republican nominee, and perhaps even the next President.

Posted in The Scandals | Leave a comment

Ukrainian Joke

Question: why are all Russian vehicles in Ukraine marked with a “Z”?

Answer: the other half of the swastika was stolen by military contractors

From Business Ukraine Magazine via Eugene Volokh.

Posted in Ukraine | Leave a comment

Five Random Mysteries

  1. A constitutional question. Why do people who think Donald Trump won the 2020 election think he’s eligible to run again in 2024, when the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution says, “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.”? (Gary Trudeau wonders this too.)
  2. An ID theft ‘prevention’ question. What is the point of (for pay post-website-breach) so-called ID-theft-prevention services sending me notices that my email has been found on some (unspecified) hacker site and I should change my (unspecified) password? I have few emails and many passwords, all unique except the worthless ones. How am I supposed to figure out what to do? Why not send me the password if it’s compromised anyway so I could search my password manager and password spreadsheet and change it?
  3. A basketball question. Why does the NBA penalize teams for taking good shots that miss when it doesn’t penalize bad shots? The NBA uses a shot clock to force teams to move quickly to score. Ordinarily a team has 24 seconds from getting possession to attempt a shot on pain of losing the ball. If they miss but hit the rim and rebound, the clock is reset to 14 seconds. That makes sense if the offense took the shot with fewer than 14 seconds remaining on the shot clock, and matches how the clock is reset if the other teams fouls or kicks the ball when there are fewer than 14 seconds left on the shot clock. But unlike fouls and kicks, where taking the ball out on the side never costs a team shot-clock seconds but only adds to them if the shot clock is running down, when a team shoots with more than 14 seconds on the clock, misses but hits the rim, then the short clock is shortened to 14 seconds. This just penalizes a team for quick offense. The absurdity of it is even clearer when you consider what happens to a team that attempts a shot when there are more than 14 seconds on the shot clock, but the shot is so bad that it doesn’t hit the rim — that wild shot has no effect on the shot clock at all! The incentives are all wrong: the NBA should reward good shots more than very bad ones rather than the other way around.
  4. A religion in the public sphere question. How come more evangelicals don’t entertain the idea that COVID was a plague sent to punish us for electing Trump?. Goodness knows they’ve claimed all sorts of earlier natural disasters were chastisement for progressive policies.
  5. A shopping question. You have to figure Gatorade is suspicious given the origin story with U. Florida…but this bad? Maybe it’s a good thing G2 is missing from stores? And is lemon-lime G2 cancelled? It does seem to have gone missing from the G2 website.
Posted in Basketball, ID Cards and Identification, Law: Constitutional Law, Shopping, Trump | Leave a comment

Mysterious Traffic Spike–in November 2020

Normally, I don’t spend much–well, really, any–time worrying about blog traffic. I used to work at encouraging traffic, but, as I have explained previously, I stopped a long time ago. Once in a while a post triggers an email from an old friend or acquaintance, and that makes me happy, unless they hated in it, in which case, whatever. But yesterday’s post for Russian readers had me clicking on the little map in the right column, and that led me to glance at the stats.  They’re under-counts, since anyone who blocks cookies or some other things won’t be counted, and lots of my friends are in the privacy and tech community and likely block more than enough stuff not to be counted. But they do tell me something about trends.  And there sure was a big spike in the data back in September 2020:

Looking at the Discourse.net archive for September 2020, I can’t imagine what set it off, and I don’t have logs that go so far back; I did win an award that month, but at most you’d think that would cause a few hundred hits, not eighty thousand.

The 40,000 in July 2020 is also a mystery. My biannual local ballot recommendations for the Judicial elections are popular, but the idea that they get more than a few hundred hits at most strains credulity.

On the other hand, the chart just records hits and doesn’t say what they were to, so there’s no evidence that the traffic was caused by a then-recent post.  It really could be anything I’d published up to that date. Maybe some new search engine repeated Google’s old mistake and ranked my post “How Not To Pick Up Women Online” highly for people searching for a similar phrase without the “not”.

Any ideas, anyone?

Posted in Discourse.net | Leave a comment