Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Shining: The Feel Good Movie of the Year

Via Slate, this is funny.

Monday, November 28, 2005

When both sides suck.

I agree with Tyler Hamilton's lawyer. I don't really trust the athletes, but there do seem to be a lot of irregularities in these tests. And his point that the UCI (and WADA) leak info like sieves that later turn out to be Weasil Words (technically true, but framed to mislead) cause me to question the UCI.

My guess here is that the UCI believes Hera's is guilty not becuase of the EPO test, but because they have a history of bloodwork on him. The interesting thing is that the UCI has admitted the EPO test has problems. Their main contention with WADA seemed to be that while Dick Pound seems to make judgements based on his gut, with tests to justify them, they had working histories that provided real evidence.

The ethical question is this.. does their having the history make using questionable tests ethical? I don't think so. If they can't use the bloodwork history as the main evidence then I don't see why we should accept a faulty test.

The part I guess I really don't understand is how so many doctors are lining up to support the tests... if they said the tests were really validated I wouldn't have a problem. But they mostly seem to say "well, yes there are problems with procedures/protocols/false positives/etc but becuase it is based on proven technology/my gut/the reputation of other doctors we know it is accurate".

My economics upbringing was that this logic was unacceptable. Am I misunderstanding the role of doctors? Are they more like the think tank "economists" that spout crap than the generally reliable academic ones? throw me a bone....

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Euskatel in the fire

Isn't this (scroll down) the kind of pressure that pushes people to doping?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Peskin.. Jackass?

Cyclingnews.com has a new story on the San Fransisco GP including Peskin's priceless response to SFC LLC recieving and adjusted invoice the day before the meeting.

Here is the money quote:

"In the intervening year, the police department sent four invoices," Peskin replied. "If you get a Visa bill for $1,000 and you only owe $500, you make arrangements. You don't sit there for a year and not saying anything! The city law is really clear that they would get a reimbursement [for overpayment.]" The statement was unclear whether the new remaining balance for the 2004 race would be paid. "They still haven't fully paid for the 2004 race," said Peskin. "They have said that they will but I will believe it when I see it.

Actually, no you don't. If you have a dispute on your bill with Visa you file a dispute and dont oay until it is resolved. Once you pay, legally you are accepting the bill as correct. The same applies for government. Peskin either knows that and is lying or is an idiot. Either way he moves into my "Jackass" catagory.

On a side note, my personal experience with the City of Seattle is not that different. We reserved space at Seward Park for a cycling clinic. When we arrived, the space was not only *not* closed like we were promised but it was in use. When I challenged the bill they told me I should have told whoever was there to leave. At only $75 we paid; but have no illusion that there is more to the story than Peskin is telling us. His behavious is to deceptive to take his motives as trustworthy.

Monday, November 21, 2005

San Fransisco GP.. Aaron Peskin plays dirty pool

It was sad to hear that the San Fransisco GP won't happen next year. It was even more shocking to hear that SFC LLC owed over $80,000 to the city from the 2004 edition. However, as I read the latest article, article I was disturbed to read this graf:

Both San Francisco Cycling and Newsom's office told The San Francisco Chronicle that the company shouldn't be blamed for the delay in payment because the Department of Public Works only sent the final 2004 bill this month.

Race operations director Jerry Casale called misleading charges that San Francisco Cycling had failed to pay its 2004 bills, leveled by supervisors Daly and Aaron Peskin during the November 14 Audit and Oversight Committee meeting.

"We were faxed the final and adjusted SFPD bill for $89,924 for the first time on November 10, 2005, just one working day prior to that meeting," Casale told The Chronicle. All other city charges had been paid before we got our ISCOTT permit for the 2005 race. It wouldn't have been issued otherwise. And then they said we were late and purposely avoiding payment. That's simply not true."

followed up by

Peskin, meanwhile, said the city is simply getting rid of "a bad actor that has repeatedly refused to pay its bills, or pay them on time."

I did some research and found that this type of tactic isn't unusual for peskin. I checked his own website and I wouldn't exactly call his endorsements unequivcable.

My experience is that you can tell alot about the quality of argument by the methods used to fight prove this arguments. It may come out that SFC LLC has had a history of being late. But, the specific argument used by Peskin was that they were late on this specific bill which they clearly are not. And if he knew they were late and the exact ammount, then I think it's fair to assume that he also knew that the bill had just been sent. And even if he didn't, his later quote indicates he doesn't care much for whether the actual charge is true or not.

One thing Peskin is credited for is intellectual honesty. I am sorry, but he clearly does not demonstrate that. If he did, he would admit that he made a misleading statement, and either present other evidence to support his position or change it.

He did neither.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

What do you do

Oh, the joy of business.

So what do you do when a vendor screws you to a pretty substantial tune but has no money to recover?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Monorail

I voted for the monorail, but I can't say I feel sorry it died. Frankly, this is a good example of management excess. If you guys had been good and realistic this could have been built. I hope you are all happy. And I don't feel sorry for any of you.

And honestly, this comment makes me wish I had voted no too:

At the gathering, SMP board member Cleve Stockmeyer grabbed a small map showing monorail and Sound Transit routes and ripped it lengthwise, to show that the west side of the city was going to be left without a transit line.

"The political leadership has decided that this half of Seattle doesn't count," he said.

The political leadership? Dude, you f*ed this up yourselves. You spent too much effort on pet renewal projects and codling each others egos. Nichols at least had the balls to come out and say he didn't trust your judgement. Here's a suggestion. Go take some leadership classes and quite blaming other people for your own failures.

et tu Roberto?

Dude. Say it ain't so.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Fix the problem

I can't help but wonder of a lack of basic logic skills is a requirement to be a talk show host.

To point I have heard the assertion made repeatedly that Democratic Senators saw the saem intelligence that the White House did. Therefore if the conclussions were wrong, the Democrats are equally as guilty of mistakenly believing that Iraq was a threat.

The problem is not whether the White House correctly analysed the intelligence. The question at hand is whether it ordered the CIA to supress evidence/analysis that Iraq's WMD program was not a threat and to exagerate evidence/analysis that the program was a danger.

Another oft stated point is in we are in Iraq and whether the President lied is irrelevent because we can't pullout. While I am sure many people feel we should pullout and many of those feel we should because the president lied the 2 statements are not logically linked that way.

The real issue is whether this is part of a pattern. If the president did lie and it is representative of how he approaches his job (which I believe it is) it brings up the question of whether he is the right person to make decisions or implement them.