Lunch Links

Friday, July 16th, 2010
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59 Responses to “Lunch Links”

  1. #1 |  Brian Moore | 

    re: hitman, Brendan Koerner has done a bunch of research on the economics of contract killings, and apparently the data says that people usually can hire killers (not very good ones obviously) for very little. Apparently this case ($2,000) is a bit on the light side.

    http://www.microkhan.com/tag/the-murder-project/
    http://www.microkhan.com/2009/08/05/the-murder-project-by-the-numbers/

    The average being about $6,000.

  2. #2 |  Nando | 

    Pretty interesting article about the Price is Right. I used to watch it once or twice a week and I, too, noticed that a lot of the prizes do repeat (especially the ones mentioned in the article, such as the Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup). I guess I wasn’t smart enough to remember the cost of each because I remember always guessing wrong, LOL.

  3. #3 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Man on the hook for child support payments he missed while in jail, despite DNA test showing he isn’t the father.

    Typical, heard about stories like this quite a bit. If a woman claims a man is the father of her child and the man does not “respond in time” legally the court says, “You’re the father, and we don’t care about actual evidence to the contrary.” Just another bit of evidence of how screwed up our legal system is. It has a mono-maniacal focus on precedures vs. actually discovering the truth. In fact, I’d go so far as to say truth is irrelevant in our legal system.

  4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

    John Stagliano is still sitting in a defendant’s chair, racking up expensive legal bills, long after the case against him has almost totally unraveled.

    For the government it’s not necessarily about winning. Remember that guiding prosecutorial maxim: “We may not be able to win, but at least we can destroy their lives.”

  5. #5 |  db | 

    The Price is Right story is implausible. Even with extensive study the man claims that at best he had some rules of thumb for the prices of some of the showcase items that would get him very close but not exact prices. To have guessed the price down to the dollar then is really really unlikely. He claims to have used a lucky number for the last 3 digits which means he had a 1 in a 1,000 chance of getting the price exactly right. It could happen, but some sort of inside scam seems far more likely.

  6. #6 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Man on the hook for child support payments he missed while in jail, despite DNA test showing he isn’t the father.

    There ya go, harping about actual innocence again as if innocence is the business of the justice system. Yer nothin’ but a friggin’ trouble maker, Radley.

  7. #7 |  Scooby | 

    If he would have missed by $1 on the high side, he would have lost and it wouldn’t be a story.

    Just because it is a 1 in 1000 chance doesn’t make it implausible. Unlikely things are going to happen eventually, given enough trials.

  8. #8 |  Matt I. | 

    If the Tea Party was in fact an organization geniunely concerned only with taxes, they would politely refute NAACP’s assertion and publicly disavow racist statements or members. They then wouldn’t have any further interest in the NAACP.

    But of course, what they are in reality is a loose collection of “conservative” (i.e. authoritarian) individuals looking for a cause to rally under. That is why they actively engage, ridicule and try to bait the NAACP in order to attract more fringe members into the group.

  9. #9 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Haha! Mark Williams is doing for the Tea Party movement what Mel Gibson has done for, well, Mel Gibson. He opened his mouth to speak, but instead bit off his own nuts. That will probably be his legacy for all eternity.

  10. #10 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #8 Matt I.

    If the Tea Party was in fact an organization geniunely concerned only with taxes, they would politely refute NAACP’s assertion and publicly disavow racist statements or members.

    Yes. One thing I’ve noticed about both parties is that loyalty to the organization far outweighs loyalty to their cause. That’s why almost everything in Congress is polarized by party (except when they fall all over themselves in a mad rush to piss away freedom after a terrorist attack).

    The same can be said for law enforcement. If they were really dedicated to their mission, they would never stand for the shame, embarrassment, and disrespect that abusive cops bring to their profession. But, it’s really not about the mission, is it? No, like the political parties, it’s all about loyalty to the team. How that impacts the mission or the integrity of their profession is irrelevant.

  11. #11 |  Kristen | 

    What was that god-awful show that Fox trie dto launch to counteract The Daily Show? It was just so incredibly un-funny. Anyways, that’s what that Tea Party letter to Lincoln reminded me of.

  12. #12 |  db | 

    “If he would have missed by $1 on the high side, he would have lost and it wouldn’t be a story.

    Just because it is a 1 in 1000 chance doesn’t make it implausible. Unlikely things are going to happen eventually, given enough trials.”

    True enough, but at a minimum he was extremely lucky. And I wonder why he aimed for the bull’s eye given that you loose everything if your over by even a dollar. If you are confident that the price is within a $1000 range why not round it down a bit for caution? His account just seem a bit dubious.

  13. #13 |  Juan Gonzalez | 

    Phoney!

  14. #14 |  InMD | 

    Regarding the child support those situations aren’t unusual. In a lot of states if a child is born in wedlock there’s a presumption (subject to rebuttal) that the child is the fathers no matter how obvious it is that the child came from someone else. You can fix it but you have to go to court to do so.

    Also, how on Earth can the jury in the Stagliano case keep a straight face? If I was put in a courtroom to watch something like this:

    “The 50-minute-long Milk Nymphos scene involves two white female performers, one black male performer, and a whole lot of milk entering and exiting various orifices. One of the female performers repeatedly refers to her male co-star as a “nigger,” declaring, for example, “Come on you nigger, fuck me in the ass,” and imploring the other female performer to “look in his eyes when you suck his nigger cock.”

    They’d be dragging me out in stitches. I’m hoping that there is at least one juror in there who realizes how hilarious this is, especially for Stagliano’s sake.

  15. #15 |  flyingsquirrel | 

    That story about the guy having to pay for a kid that’s not his is not at all unusual. It’s not even the worst.

  16. #16 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Rove:”We know President Bush did not intentionally mislead the nation. ”

    No, it’s even worse. He un-intentionally misled the nation, demonstrating both cluelessness and deceit in one fell swoop.

  17. #17 |  Juan Gonzalez | 

    We have the liberal daily double today, anti-tea party, anti-Rove/Bush. Way to go Mr. Balko, at this point you’ll have a segment on MSNBC like your buddy Weigel soon. What happens if the Tea Party steam rolls in November? Are you still going to pretend that they are a bunch of uncool farmers? The Tea Party movement is full of genuine libertarians concerned about the advance of big government. You know I can’t recall ever reading one thing at this site that could be construed as bashing Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid. Not one? They have done more to damage the country and those that love liberty than anyone else in the last 100 years.

  18. #18 |  Mattocracy | 

    Liberals were doing everything in their power to label tea parties racist. So the Tea Party happily abliged and gave them all the canon foder they would need to make the label stick. Conservatives suck at PR. They don’t know how to manage public image and how to undermine their oppenents in the media. Libertarians aren’t professional politicians, but neither are the Republicans. It only takes one asshole to ruin the image of an organization. Domcrats get that, they actually have quality control with the messages their candidates promote.

  19. #19 |  Michael Chaney | 

    But of course, what they are in reality is a loose collection of “conservative” (i.e. authoritarian) individuals looking for a cause to rally under. That is why they actively engage, ridicule and try to bait the NAACP in order to attract more fringe members into the group.

    You may not be familiar with the whole story, but the NAACP started this. First, they made fun of Ken Gladney (video easily found on Google). Then they repeated the false claims of black congressmen being spat upon and called names and tried to demonize the TP as racists based on events that didn’t happen. And they used that excuse to call the Tea Parties “racist”.

    People who have been to the events have expressed surprise at the number of non-whites there.

    While I’m not a big supporter of the movement – I agree that it’s just conservatives who are only against “big government” when it’s spending on stuff that they don’t like – I do like the fact that they’re bringing fiscal conservatism back to the spotlight. I don’t dismiss them as racists or any of that because, frankly, there’s no evidence of it and it’s no more than ad hominem attacks that people engage in when they can’t dispute the real message.

  20. #20 |  JS | 

    lol Damn Dave, you’re on fire today!

  21. #21 |  Marty | 

    I feel for anyone having to deal with bullshit child support issues. the money quote:

    “…it feels like I’m being punished again, you know what I mean, all over a technicality,” says Harper.

    That such simple, life-changing issues can’t be resolved says a lot about the govt we’re dealing with. These bureaucrats are killing us.

  22. #22 |  Mattocracy | 

    @Juan Gonzalez

    “The Tea Party movement is full of genuine libertarians concerned about the advance of big government.”

    Bull-fucking-shit. Tea Partiers love liberty and freedom for themselves and no one else. Not gays, not non violent drug users, no interest in repealing the Patriot Act or ending the wars. These people are all talk and no walk. The are the same neo-cons that fucked up the GOP in the first place and play lip service to limited government.

    “You know I can’t recall ever reading one thing at this site that could be construed as bashing Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid.”

    Bull-fucking-shit. You obviously don’t read this site enough if you’ve never read anything critical of Democrats. You obviously weren’t here for the ObamaCare coverage. Weren’t here for the coverage of Obama broken promises. You’re a liar and a GOP apologist.

    I’m usually not this angry, but I’ve had a shitty day and fuck you.

  23. #23 |  Alex | 

    Juan Gonzalez is being sarcastic. I think.

  24. #24 |  Lucy | 

    Well, I think I’ll be drinking my coffee black for a while.

    But the idea of wasting resources and time and ya know, freedom of speech on an obscenity trial makes me much queasier than any porn ever produced.

    I thought we had left this obscenity bullshit in the 80s.

  25. #25 |  Elemenope | 

    In fact, I’d go so far as to say truth is irrelevant in our legal system.

    You and every law professor who teaches first-year classes.

  26. #26 |  albatross | 

    Hey, if we don’t re-regulate porn and we don’t hype the cyberwarfare fears, how are we ever going to justify muzzling the internet so all discussions are as “responsible” as the ones in the MSM?

  27. #27 |  Juan Gonzalez | 

    Mattasscrocy you are a full blown liberal shithead. Fine, just stop calling yourself something else so that you might get people to listen to you. Gays and non-violent drug users? You idiot!

  28. #28 |  Les | 

    “The Tea Party movement is full of genuine libertarians concerned about the advance of big government.”

    “Genuine libertarians” tend to BE “anti-Rove/Bush” instead of bitching about people who are, because Rove/Bush WERE “big government.”

    If you claim to be against big government while supporting people who support the drug war, the useless wars overseas, unequal treatment by the law against homosexuals, the only people who will take you seriously are Republicans.

    As soon as the Tea Party stops supporting Republicans and their big government love of authoritarianism, the military, and bigotry, then they might deserve to be taken seriously.

    (Needless to say, I feel the same way about “independent” political movements dominated by Democrats.)

  29. #29 |  Les | 

    Alex, Juan, if that’s the case, then I slap my forehead and apologize.

  30. #30 |  NotPegr | 

    I bought John Stagliano’s movie just so I could have a copy if they decided it was illegal. Down side: $70 is a bit expensive. Up side: Two movie disks, one “Extras” disk, and a soundtrack CD! OK, now I understand what you get for $70.

    I was a bit unsettling for the store clerk to rave on about how good it was…

    (Did I watch it? Heck no, what do you think I am, some sort of pervert? ;)

  31. #31 |  Edmund Dantes | 

    My other favorite contestant that “rigged” the game in his favor is the Press Your Luck guy that figured out the algorithm of the old board. It wasn’t as random as they thought it was. His is a sad story in the end, but it was insane what he pulled off.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Larson

    It’s on Youtube if you search for it.

  32. #32 |  JThompson | 

    @Juan: So you think the government should continue to invade bedrooms of people that are a sexual preference you don’t like and the homes of people that enjoy using a substance you don’t like? There’s a word for libertarians that don’t actually believe in liberty. The word is Republican or Democrat.

    Which one you are depends on if you want to moral crusade or nanny everyone to death. Somehow you managed to fit both into one paragraph.

  33. #33 |  Mattocracy | 

    Oh, of course, I disagree with you so the only option is I’m a LIBERAL! Oh My God, LIBERAL! AAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

    I guess I just have to be because I don’t buy the garbage that the GOP actually believes in fiscal responsibilty. Because they have such an awesome track record of balanced budgets and reigning in pork barrel spending while they ran the show for 6 wasted years. And because I’m so pissed off about it their spedning, I must love big spending Democrats. Only fucking answer apparently. What wonderful logic you use to label people in your black and white world.

    This is suck typical conservative (and liberal) bullshit. “What’s this, critical of conservatives!? Only one answer…LIBERALS!!!!!!” And vice versa. It’s this kind of blind loyalty to a party that allows it to take advantage of it’s voter base. The GOP and Democrats shit on their supprters every election cycle and people line back up every two year assured that this time its not gritty manure coming down the pipe.

    Keep believing the hype Juan. Maybe one day you’ll finally realize the only thing seperating Obama and Bush are skin tone and the letters that follow their names. If you haven’t figured that out yet, then you’re probably the biggest supporter of big government agenda here whether you like to admit or not (just like those dirty liberals).

  34. #34 |  Zargon | 

    #5
    He claims to have used a lucky number for the last 3 digits which means he had a 1 in a 1,000 chance of getting the price exactly right. It could happen, but some sort of inside scam seems far more likely.

    That’s because your focus is on the specific event rather than the bigger picture.

    A quick google search later, I find the price is right had it’s 7,000th episode in 2009, and there’s 2 of these such guesses per show, so over 14,000 attempts.

    In other words, 1 in a million events happen 8 times a day in new york city.

  35. #35 |  JS | 

    Mattocracy “Keep believing the hype Juan.”

    He don’t believe any of that he’s just trying to get a response.

  36. #36 |  celticdragonchick | 

    The Tea Party isn’t helping things when they have candidates like this:

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/36755_White_Supremacist_Campaigns_for_AR_Governor_at_Tea_Parties

    Billy Roper is a write-in candidate for governor of Arkansas and an unapologetic white nationalist. “I don’t want non-whites in my country in any form or fashion or any status,” he says.

    Roper also is a tea party member who says he has been gathering support for his cause by attending tea party rallies. “We go to these tea parties all over the country,” Roper said. “We’re looking for the younger, potentially more radical people.” …

    In several instances, tea party members with racist backgrounds such as Roper have played a role in party events. At the same time, The Kansas City Star has found, white nationalist groups are encouraging members to attend tea parties. One organization based in St. Louis is sponsoring tea parties of its own.

    Fun picture of Roper speaking at an event with Nazi flags here:

    http://www.adl.org/learn/ext_us/w_revolution.asp

  37. #37 |  B | 

    Please don’t feed the troll.

  38. #38 |  Steve Verdon | 

    (Did I watch it? Heck no, what do you think I am, some sort of pervert? ;)

    You’re on the internets, of course you’re a pervert….what color panties are you wearing?

  39. #39 |  Juan Gonzalez | 

    You guys are living in your own dream world. Look at a chart of federal spending and you will see that it has exploded in the last year. Obama is leading this country down the road to ruin and some shithead like Mattasscrocy is talking about the rights of “non-violent drug offenders”.

    The tea party seems to especially bring out the anger at this site. The tea party is a new movement born in the last year or so, they were not responsible for anything that happened during the Bush years. Sarah Palin did not run up big deficits. Ron Johnson in Wisconsin is a businessman, he’s never had anything to do with pork-barrel spending. Clint Didier, Nikki Haley, these are all proud tea party people, but the tea party is talked about at this site and many other Kieth Olberman-approved, fake libertarian sites like they are evil and are made fun of.

  40. #40 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #11 Kristen

    What was that god-awful show that Fox trie dto launch to counteract The Daily Show?

    Was that the Half Hour News Hour? Fox seems to be on a never ending mission to prove that it can indeed get worse.

  41. #41 |  Xenocles | 

    #34: “That’s because your focus is on the specific event rather than the bigger picture.

    A quick google search later, I find the price is right had it’s 7,000th episode in 2009, and there’s 2 of these such guesses per show, so over 14,000 attempts.

    In other words, 1 in a million events happen 8 times a day in new york city.”

    Yup. In other other words, the lottery routinely has a winner. It’s just that the odds of it being a specific person are extremely small.

    #16: “No, it’s even worse. He un-intentionally misled the nation, demonstrating both cluelessness and deceit in one fell swoop.”

    You can’t have it both ways. If it was unintentional, there can’t have been any deceit. He can’t be both an idiot and an evil mastermind.

  42. #42 |  Juan Gonzalez | 

    In the South Carolina gubernatorial primary, the tea party backed a woman of Indian-American descent, Nikki Haley, who was raised a Sikh, over three white men with superior resumes.

    In the GOP primary in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, African-American Tim Scott, with tea party backing, routed Strom Thurmond’s son three to one.

    In Florida, the tea party vaulted a Hispanic, Cuban-American Marco Rubio, into so strong a lead over favorite Gov. Charlie Crist in the race for the U.S. Senate that Crist quit the GOP.

  43. #43 |  Mattocracy | 

    Where was the Tea Party when W was running up the deficit? If debt is such a big deal, then why did it take these people so long to get into the game? Libertarians have been screaming about deficit spending for years, long before the Tea Party jumped on the bandwagon like this was their bag the whole time.

    And sorry, if the tea party isn’t going to take drug war reforms seriously, then they aren’t serious about peoples individual rights like they say they are. They aren’t serious about reigning in spending if they aren’t willing to address the $15 billion a year welfare program designed to keep stupid from hurting themselves with substance abuse. This is why the rights of non-violent drug users matter when talking about spending. You’re the stupid shit head for not realizing it, not me.

    And on top of that, I rarely hear a Tea Party Candidate talk about ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanastan that cost us billions apon billions of dollars a month. And we’re supposed to believe they really want to stop deficit spending?

    How many Tea Partiers scream and holler about ObamaCare when the very idea of creating an insurance mandate was a damned Republican proposition in the 90′s as an alternative to HillaryCare!

    What dream world are you in that you really believe the GOP has learned their lesson? Dude, a lot of us here used to be just like you and we woke up. The Tea Party/GOP/Rush Limbaugh/Rove are taking advantage of you’re anger at Obama along with everyone else’s anger. You’re being played.

  44. #44 |  j a higginbotham | 

    I kind of agree with db @5 on The Price. Did he know most prizes or was he guessing (terabyte sounded like a lot)? Unfortunately the overblown writing style of the article was so execrable I couldn’t read most of it.

  45. #45 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    This Juan Gonzalez guy is f-cking priceless. I know he’s hurling personal insults but please don’t ban this guy Radley – He’s comedic gold.

  46. #46 |  Toastrider | 

    Regarding the drug war:

    It’s one thing to debate in the abstract. Then you read accounts of actual addicts, and it gets /really nervous/ to eye that big red Legalization lever.

    I don’t like the ‘solution’ we’ve got thus far. But be careful when you play with that lever.

    Oh, and regarding the tea party? It’s an agglomeration of various people and groups. Some have realized they don’t like where we’re going. Some are just idjits out to throw up a one-finger salute. Trying to pigeonhole them is as futile as trying to pigeonhole a career, like ‘engineers’.

    But hey, subscribe to the vast right wing conspiracy theory if you like. I hear they like nuts over at KoS and HuffPo.

  47. #47 |  Les | 

    Then you read accounts of actual addicts, and it gets /really nervous/ to eye that big red Legalization lever.

    Drug addicts are no different than alcoholics. Why do you feel we need the government to protect us from some dangerous drugs, but not other ones? Opposing legalization is to embrace big government.

  48. #48 |  EH | 

    I’m sure a portion of the motivation towards prohibition is that the police don’t have an easy way to test for relative intoxication levels for drugs besides alcohol, so they wouldn’t be able to grade charges on a curve.

  49. #49 |  Juan Gonzalez | 

    Mattasscracy: There was this thing in October 2008 called the financial crisis. That and after Obama started to take over segments of our economy spurred the creation of the tea party movement.

  50. #50 |  freedomfan | 

    RE: Bozos in the TEA Party

    The different groups (local chapters, etc.) within TEA party movement find themselves tarnished by these incidents largely because, even though they are not a monolithic group, the media treats them as though they are. And people are unfortunately ready to accept that simple account that any TEA partier is every TEA partier. It happens even at a site like this one, where we libertarians are familiar with being mistaken for others with overlapping views.

    Because of that oversimplified narrative, what one local TEA party group’s spokesperson says becomes the assumed view for everyone identified with any of the TEA party groups. The oversimplification works well for the media, who won’t take the time to present a more accurate picture when it’s so easy to paint the TEA partiers as extremist Republicans (and, let’s face it, vocal opposition to Obama’s agenda hasn’t endeared TEA partiers to the media). It works for the left, who want to demonize the whole movement using the ugly remarks of some members or chapters. And, it works for the Republicans, who want to conflate TEA party support for lower taxes/spending with support for other GOP issues and, thereby, conflate it with support of the GOP in general.

    But, TEA partiers aren’t monolithic; there are just a bunch of local groups rallied under one banner because they share broad agreement on one narrow range of issues. So, when some TEA party crank goes off on an embarrassing rant on some unrelated or peripheral issue, there is no hierarchy to tell him to buzz off and there is no national spokesperson to say, “He’s not speaking for us.” It becomes very easy to write the standard This-Is-The-True-Face-Of-The-TEA-Party story, which many have been hoping to write anyway.

    BTW, I am not a TEA partier; I have not gone to a meeting or rally, and I don’t even know who the local group has endorsed in various races. I know a few people who identify with it and who are very libertarian-minded. They don’t think the group should be dragged into side issues like immigration or gay marriage because that’s not what brought the group together and it’s just a way of getting subsumed into the Republican Party. I think they’d be lucky to buck that trend. Simple thinking is a powerful force…

  51. #51 |  Toastrider | 

    “Drug addicts are no different than alcoholics. Why do you feel we need the government to protect us from some dangerous drugs, but not other ones? Opposing legalization is to embrace big government.”

    And discretion is the better part of valor. Or if you need a more down to earth version: measure twice, cut once.

    Actually, my idea to fix this was rather draconian in itself. Legalization, but if you commit a crime while intoxicated/inebriated/in an altered state of mind, it’s treated as premeditated. Why, yes, that would make killing someone while drunk or stoned a capital murder charge; but hey, they meant to get shitfaced…

  52. #52 |  BSK | 

    “Drug addicts are no different than alcoholics. Why do you feel we need the government to protect us from some dangerous drugs, but not other ones? Opposing legalization is to embrace big government.”

    Are we sure about this? Different drugs have different effects. That is a reality. I think one of the failings of the push towards legalizing all drugs is wrongly equivocating them. Clearly, heroin and crack have great impacts, both desired and not, on someone than weed does. That’s not to say it should be illegal. But saying a crack addict and an alcoholic are “no different’ is to insult common sense and where a lot of people who might otherwise agree with you get turned off.

    Again, I agree with legalization. But I also recognize not all drugs are created equal.

  53. #53 |  Mattocracy | 

    The financial crisis of Oct ’08…who was in office then? Who was running the show the previous 8 years? Who had the majority in congress during the 15 before hand? Who spent all their time trying to hassle homosexuals and starting wars we shouldn’t be in instead of actually dealing with things that actually matter…like stopping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from destroying the housing and lending market? Oh that’s right. It was Republicans, that party that didn’t do any of that limited gov’t or financially responsible stuff they said they were going to.

    I was a die hard Republican. I loved the bitch. Kissed her ass and sucked her toes. And when she moved into the white house, she ran up my debt, got my ass into fights I didn’t need to be in, and made a total ass out herself. But I defended her hoping she would stop, hoping she would get the message. But the more I did it, the more me and everyone else who supported her looked like assholes too. Now some whore from Chicago moved in and it’s all the GOP’s fault. Obama is a Republican creation.

    Now, two years later that cunt is gonna come back and say, “Ah, but baby, it’s gonna be different this time around, I promise.” I have too much self respect to be fooled again.

    The Tea Party hasn’t distanced it’s self from the old guard that caused this mess and ran the party into the ground. Not enough new blood and not enough people holding Bush & Co. accountable for screwing up. It’s the same bitch who screwed me last time.

  54. #54 |  EH | 

    The different groups (local chapters, etc.) within TEA party movement find themselves tarnished by these incidents largely because, even though they are not a monolithic group

    Yeah, the last couple of weeks have really birthed a “we’re not a political party!” cries from the Tea Partiers. However, if they’re not a party, why do they need to demote people who cause controversy?

    “At the start of the week, Williams was listed as a “vice chairman” on the website for the Our Country Deserves Better PAC. Now, the site shows Williams listed as a “spokesperson” for the PAC”

  55. #55 |  RWW | 

    Just because it is a 1 in 1000 chance doesn’t make it implausible.

    Wow, how unlikely does something have to be before you’ll call it implausible?

  56. #56 |  Xenocles | 

    “Wow, how unlikely does something have to be before you’ll call it implausible?”

    Probability fail. You’re missing the crucial difference between “likely to happen” and “likely to happen to me.” If a lottery has a 1 in a billion chance associated with it, it’s very unlikely that you will win. On the other hand, if three billion people play it each time, it’s nearly certain that someone will win (only “nearly” because we can’t assume complete coverage of number picks).

    I agree that it’s lousy strategy to aim for perfection. Even if I knew the exact retail price of all the items I would have rounded it down to the nearest thousand or so just to avoid an overage.

    Now that I think about it, the fact that he did hit it exactly works better as evidence that he didn’t cheat. An effective cheater’s main concern should be balancing maximizing return against minimizing the chance of getting caught. If he knew the answer illegitimately he should have manipulated his “guess” so that he was off but still got both prizes.

  57. #57 |  RWW | 

    You’re reading far more into my comment than intended. I was just being pedantic — trying to point out that “implausible” is synonymous with “unlikely,” and most people would consider an event with a probability of 0.001 to be unlikely.

  58. #58 |  RWW | 

    And even in your deeper digging, your analysis is painfully simpleminded. According to the commenter db above, the relatively high 0.001 probability comes from the fact that the contestant had supposedly done enough intensive study that he had to guess only the last three digits of the price.

  59. #59 |  supercat | 

    EH: “At the start of the week, Williams was listed as a “vice chairman” on the website for the Our Country Deserves Better PAC. Now, the site shows Williams listed as a “spokesperson” for the PAC”

    For whom does the “Our Contry Deserves Better PAC” speak? What fraction of the people who would call themselves “Tea Party” supporters have taken any action whatsoever that would indicate that particular PAC speaks for them?

    There are so many people who claim to speak for the “Tea Party” that merely keeping track of all of them would be a full-time job. It would be impossible for a typical person to denounce everyone who claimed to be speaking for the “Tea Party” who said something he found disagreeable.

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