Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekly Picks

A nice bounceback week thanks to some small underdogs that should have been favorites. Now I need another 5 or 6 points this week to erase the horror of Week 1. There are a lot of games I like which is usually a bad sign.

NEW YORK JETS -2 1/2 tennessee
Coming into the season there were probably higher expectations for the Titans than for the Jets. But it's possible last season the Titans overachieved thanks to Kerry Collins and turnovers. Two things that might not have carried over to this year. So I am going with my old theory, "Believe what you see, not what you believe."

green bay -6 1/2 ST. LOUIS
Here's a game I like. The Packers are better than they showed last week, I don't think they will lose to two bad teams in a row. I don't think the Rams are all that good either but they did almost win last week.

chicago -2 SEATTLE
I like the Bears, what can I say? They got a huge win against Pittsburgh and I think Cutler got his worst behind him with that horror show in week 1. I'm not impressed with the Seahawks at all, and think the Bears defense can shut them down.

denver -1 1/2 OAKLAND
I'm changing my mind on Denver really quickly this season. But I think JaMarcus Russell fuckin sucks. Although it is dangerous to see a guy play so poorly, then expect him to do the very same the following week.

pittsburgh -3 1/2 CINCINNATI

The Steelers are not losing two games in a row this early in the season. The fact that the spread is 3 1/2 scares me a little because so many games end up 3 point differences. But I trust the Steelers to totally clamp down on defense and win this game big.

Last week: 4-1 (5 points)
Season: 4-6 (4 points)
Best Bets: 1-0 (1-1)
Home Favorites: 1-0 (1-1)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (0-0)
Road Favorites: 0-1 (0-2)
Road Underdogs: 3-0 (3-3)

A Fitting Yom Kippur Story

Proud of his religion and worried about its future, Chicago dentist Max Feinberg wrote a will with an unusual catch: His grandchildren wouldn't inherit a penny if they married someone who wasn't Jewish.

His decision led to family feuds, lawsuits, counterclaims and, on Thursday, a unanimous ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court that Feinberg and his wife were within their rights to disinherit any grandchildren who married outside the faith.

"Equal protection does not require that all children be treated equally ... and the free exercise clause does not require a grandparent to treat grandchildren who reject his religious beliefs and customs in the same manner as he treats those who conform to his traditions," Justice Rita Garman wrote in a ruling that overturned decisions by two lower courts.

One disinherited granddaughter had argued it was improper for a will to set up conditions that promote religious intolerance in people's marriage decisions or even encouraged couples to divorce.

"It is at war with society's interest in eliminating bigotry and prejudice, and conflicts with modern moral standards of religious tolerance," said Michele Feinberg Trull's brief to the Supreme Court.

The court's ruling was based partly on technicalities in the way this estate was arranged. The court did not provide a broad ruling on whether similar religious restrictions would be valid under other circumstances.

The dispute has its roots in 1986, when Feinberg died.

He put his money into trusts for his family, but his will declared that any grandchild marrying someone who wasn't Jewish, or who didn't convert to Judaism, "shall be deemed to be deceased" and would inherit nothing.

Feinberg's will gave control of the trusts to his wife, Erla. When she died and the grandchildren were to inherit $250,000 each, she followed her husband's wishes and imposed the same restrictions.

By that time, four of the five grandchildren had married gentiles.

Erla Feinberg's death triggered a series of disputes. Trull accused her father and aunt, the Feinbergs' children, of mishandling the family money. In return, they tried to get the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that the daughter was "dead" for purposes of inheritance and had no standing to sue.

So the courts had to decide whether it's acceptable for a will to base inheritance on someone's marriage and religion.

Feinberg's son, Michael, argues there's nothing wrong with it.

Michael, who stands to inherit more money if his children are cut out, argued in court documents that the will simply rewards the grandchildren who help preserve the "heritage and faith" his father loved.

His position won the support of several Jewish organizations, including Agudath Israel of America, a national Orthodox group.

David Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel, said he didn't know of any other court rulings that directly address whether a will can tie inheritance to religious choices. Such restrictions aren't unusual, he said, because some people want to discourage intermarriage that is contributing to the declining number of Jews in America.

"There is a strong sense within certain segments of the Jewish community that in order to preserve the religious identity, it's important to promote marriage within the faith," Zwiebel said.

Michael Feinberg, who is the co-executor of his parent's estate, was pleased by the ruling but had no other comment, his attorney said. Trull's attorney said she was disappointed but looking forward to court action on her other legal claims.

The two sides of the family can't even agree on what to call the part of the will causing all the trouble. The granddaughter calls it "the Jewish clause." Her parents have adopted the phrase "religious preference clause."

The state Supreme Court based much of its decision on the fact that Erla Feinberg's will awarded set amounts of money based on the marriage status of the grandchildren at the time of her 2003 death -- either they qualified for the money or they didn't. The court said that meant the will didn't try to control what the grandchildren would do in the future and didn't offer any incentive for a particular couple to divorce.

A will that provided money year after year if the heir did not marry a gentile might not pass muster, the court suggested. That's because it would amount to a dead man trying to control actions for years to come and would encourage divorces so that people could claim an inheritance.

I honestly don't see what the legal dispute is here. To my knowledge, there isn't nor should there be a law restricting to whom and for what reason heirs are chosen.
This reminds me of how people often confuse the free speech debate. Free speech and equal protection are granted by the government. If this old coot wants to treat his grandchildren unequally, that should be his right.
You know how many root canals this poor schmoe had to do to earn this money.
He doesn't want some schicza with a cute nose marrying his grandson and using his hard-earned money to buy Christmas presents.
I can't believe the case even came this far.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Should TON Do Some Work?

I hate change.
But there comes a time when it becomes necessary to improve.
For instance, the blue and orange background you see now has been my layout since I started this blog nearly four years ago.
But as things change (this blog predates youtube), this layout may have outlived its usefulness.
Is it time for TON to choose a new layout that doesn't cut off widescreen youtube vidoes?

Paulo's Book Club: "Fooled by Randomness"

A funny thing about life, two people can look at the same thing, and see it completely differently. And that's why I didn't like "Fooled by Randomness" by Nassem Nicholas Taleb.

The book explores the "Hidden Role of Chance in Life and the Markets," something I often think about.

But here's the difference, I look at the strange things that happen and see the Universe, Taleb sees randomness.

The book is interesting because Taleb provides a great many thought experiments to prove his points but his thinking a little rigid, and he overuses ancient philosophers.

One of Taleb's main point is about the "black swan." He theorizes, correctly, that seeing a million white swans, doesn't prove that all swans are white, but seeing only one black swan, disproves that theory.

The Black Swan (another of Taleb's books) is the name for an unexpected event. He used the black swan theory to say that basically none of the traders on Wall Street have any idea what they are doing. They just do what everyone else is doing, and through pure luck, avoid the black swan. But when the black swan comes, the explode, and explode spectactularly, a theory that seems to fit and even the foretell the current economic crisis.

Although I disagree with Taleb's cynicism, many of you who think my Universe talk is crazy might enjoy his take. Hell, he may even be right. But my way is much more fun.

How Does Tim Tebow Resist This Temptation?

Under normal circumstances it would be good to be Tim Tebow. The guy is not only a ladies' man, but he's also a man's man. He's tough as nails, has two national titles and a Heisman Trophy and one of the greatest speeches of all time.

Only problem is, this guy claims to be a virgin. He comes from an ultra-conservative Christian family, and says yes in fact he is a virgin.
I can't believe a college kid could resist when girls who look like this are wearing t-shirts that say "fuck me, Tim Tebow."

Despite what the shirt says I bet she would take it in the ass if Tebow asked for it

I mean, could he really walk away from a girl with tits like these without fucking her? I don't think so.

Erin Drewes claims she never fucked Tim Tebow.  Tim Tebow claims he never fucked anybody.  I have my doubts

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You Know What's Coming

"Three separate missions examining the moon have found clear evidence of water there, apparently concentrated at the poles and possibly formed by the solar wind."

But did they find any water on Uranus?

Did I Say Gang-Raped? Sorry, I Meant Gang-Banged

An 18-year old Hofstra student reported to police that she had been gang raped by five dudes in a bathroom stall at one of the school's dorms.
One Hofstra student had signed in his four friends, and police immediately arrested all five.
One of the men, thinking defensively or trying to get proof of this amazing story, recorded part of the incident on his cell phone.
This immediately refuted the girl's claims that she had been tied up and raped by five guys.
Turns out she was just a drunk slut who willingly banged five guys (though a few of them claim they never did her).
She claims she made up the story when her boyfriend (maybe now her ex-boyfriend) asked what she had been doing and why she was walking funny.
But the worst part of this whole incident is this photograph of the alleged rapists upon their release from prison.

Bob Arum Rips MMA

Great interview with boxing promoter Bob Arum. He says he hates MMA and UFC fans are skinheads.

Nine minutes long but worth it.

"Guys rolling around like homosexuals."


Story suggested by TON

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why Bank Robbers Need Weapons

Banks tell their employees that in the event of a robbery to just hand over the money and do what ever the robber says.
Too bad no one told this guy.

Best Moment in Conan History

Seeing Rebecca Romijn on Conan again reminded me of this famous moment, my favorite in Conan's history.

Song of the Week

"Leaving on a Jet Plane" - Peter, Paul and Mary
Poop on Me used to sing me this song when I was little because it made me cry.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Concierge's Bachelor Party Location: Denmark

The Denmark tourism bureau makes its pitch to host the Concierge's bachelor party:

Link to the video on HuffPo

This is not a real story, this is a viral marketing campaign from the Denmark tourism bureau. Basically, their pitch is "come sleep with our hot slutty women."

Mr. Met is Only Six-Ten

The world's tallest man, Sultan Kosen, who checks in at 8-foot-1 (and is called TallSultan by his friends) towers over Mr. Met, despite the mascot's giant head.

Sultan Kosen and Mr. Met

The Passion and the Pageantry

ESPN's college football crew mocks a passionate fan for his reaction to Clemson's loss to Georgia Tech.
The first part takes place during a commercial.

Looks like Roach and I freshman year.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Poop Move Night

"The Stepfather" looks so awesome. It's a throwback to those great suspense thrillers of the 902 like "Fear" and "Unlawful Entry."

"The old lady across the street. She fell down the stairs and broke her neck."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekly Picks

Somebody call FEMA. Last week was a complete disaster getting every game wrong, but we have plenty of time to recover. Now you know why I don't pick underdogs.

new england -3 1/2 NEW YORK JETS
I think last week's poor performance by the Patriots may have some people thinking they are done. On the contrary I think it shows they still have what it takes to win. As for the Jets, they played great, have a good defense, but a rookie QB against Belichick could be trouble.

baltimore +3 SAN DIEGO
I'm sick of picking the Chargers, I never know when they are going to come to play. They might have some trouble against the Chargers defense.

I know Super Bowl losers tend to have disappointing follow-up seasons but I think the Cardinals will win this game.

new york giants +3 DALLAS
Tampa Bay ran all over Dallas but lost the game on a few big plays. The Giants can dominate them on the ground and avoid those big plays and win this game spoiling the debut of the Cowboys' new stadium.

MINNESOTA -9 1/2 detroit

I'm making this pick because of Adrian Peterson not, Brett Favre. Also, I'm getting the feeling Matt Stafford maybe isn't quite ready to carry a team this bad.

Last week: 0-5 (-1 point)
Season: 0-5 (-1 point)
Best Bets: 0-1 (0-1)
Home Favorites: 0-1 (0-1)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (0-0)
Road Favorites: 0-1 (0-1)
Road Underdogs: 0-3 (0-3)