Sunday, 4 September 2011

09:22 – I just read an article on FoxNews about the importance of religion in the GOP presidential campaign. According to the article, more than 70% of Republicans and more than 50% of Democrats considered it at least somewhat important that a candidate have “extremely strong” religious beliefs. I guess that explains how buffoons like Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman, both of whom would like nothing more than to remake the US into a theocracy, can be taken seriously as candidates. On the other hand, re-electing Obama might be even worse. Moderates like Ron Paul (a Lutheran/Episcopalian/Baptist) and Jon Huntsman (a semi-lapsed Mormon) have no chance, with the media ignoring both of them as a matter of policy. And, of course, admitted atheists have no chance of being elected to any office, let alone the presidency. (Yes, I know Obama is an atheist, but he won’t admit it; even Democrats won’t vote for an atheist.)

What all this tells me is that, once again, there won’t be any major party candidate worth voting for in 2012. No surprise there. I think the last time we had a major-party candidate worth voting for was when Thomas Jefferson ran.


I’ve read several articles about negotiations between Netflix and Starz falling through. When that hit the news, Netflix stock dropped something like 10%. I can’t see that it’s a big deal. In 2008, Netflix negotiated a contract with Starz for about $30 million per year. That contract expires in February 2012. Netflix offered to increase its annual payment by a factor of ten, but $300 million a year wasn’t enough for Starz. They wanted Netflix to charge a premium for access to their content, and that Netflix absolutely refused to do. Good for Netflix.

All of the articles focused on Netflix losing Starz content, but what none mentioned was that Starz gave up $300 million a year, which it has no prospect of getting elsewhere. Netflix, on the other hand, now has $300 million a year available to buy streaming rights from other content providers. As Netflix said, in 2008 Starz was a major provider of Netflix’s streaming content. Now, not so much. Starz is down well below 10% of what Netflix streaming customers watch, and headed for 5%. Netflix can do an awful lot to replace that 5% with $300 million a year. And, of course, nearly all of what Starz was providing streaming is available on DVD, so Netflix can simply buy the DVDs for its customers. We’re not going to miss out on anything. And, if Netflix really wants to stick it to the studios, it can simply stop giving them a 30-day window after the DVD is released before that DVD is available from Netflix.


Barbara and I are spending some time over the long weekend assembling more chemistry kits.

11 thoughts on “Sunday, 4 September 2011”

  1. I just heard that Netflix will introduce across-the-board rate increases for all services this month. They sure have held the line for a long time.

  2. And, of course, nearly all of what Starz was providing streaming is available on DVD, so Netflix can simply buy the DVDs for its customers.

    With the recent changes customers who loose Starz from streaming have to pay for a separate DVD subscription, and a lot of them have chosen streaming-only. Those customers don’t have any access to that material.

    Since all Starz has ever received is $30 million per year, that is all that will be missing from their revenue column when the year-to-year comparisons are made.

    In the long run I think Netflix will do just fine (I own some stock, so I keep an eye on the company) but things could get a lot more interesting depending on how other content providers react.

  3. Yep, no candidates worth a piss-hole in the snow. The Annointed One of the GOP morons will be the Mormon Millionaire, and he will go up against The Prophet Barack Hussein, many blessings be upon his name. The end result will be the same: a tanked economy with the country’s infrastructure falling apart, the continued destruction of any remaining political liberty, and, of course, the the ongoing Orwellian clusterfuck wars to which we send our children, in order to bomb, blast and burn to death other peoples’ children, in alleged pursuit of the War on Some Terror (just not ours) and to save and promote the Goddesses Democracy and Diversity.

    What’s not to like?

    And in another online space, someone just mentioned that the Christmas displays are already in full swing, even before the holiday that has since surpassed it in gargantuan retail splendor, All Hallows Eve.

    Is this a great country or what?

  4. “Moderates like Ron Paul (a Lutheran/Episcopalian/Baptist) and Jon Huntsman (a semi-lapsed Mormon)…”

    Sigh… You know you’re getting old when the candidates for president are younger than you. I’ve only read the Wikipedia on Huntsman but he doesn’t look semi-lapsed to me. He’s just not as full on as some of them.

    Huntsman looks pretty good to me. He’s pro-science and cut taxes drastically in Utah while maintaining a budget surplus. Even the Cato Institute likes him. What more could you want? (Yes, I know you’d like him to be an anarcho-libertarian, but loons like that have zero chance of being elected. 🙂 )

    I think Huntsman or Gary Johnson would be a good pick. Pity about Ron’s age, and Rand’s lack of experience.

    Michelle or Newt? No. Just, No.

  5. One of my major criteria in supporting a candidate in the primaries is which one drives the other party completely insane. On the Republican side, Palin was the one for a while. Her will-she-won’t-she dance is tiresome and now counter-productive, so I think the hat goes to Bachmann. On the Democrat side, Obama works just fine. (Which is a good thing, since his policies and actions are keeping a lot of Americans from working, ba-boom-ch.)

  6. I’m reading a book called “Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?”. The author quite convincingly argues that they shall — and I’m sad to find I agree. The future is bleak.

  7. As Heinlein commented on a related issue, yes, they’ll inherit the earth. In 2 by 6 foot plots.

  8. Is that a threat or a prediction?

    If a prediction, I’m sure you’re right. Their idiocy will almost certainly destroy the human race. I don’t see that as a good thing.

  9. Nuclear war before we’ve established a space colony. I’m perhaps being gloomy, but I think it’d do the job.

  10. A full scale nuclear war wouldn’t be pretty but it wouldn’t come close to wiping out Homo sapiens. Not by a country mile. I’m worried about resistant bacteria but they wouldn’t come close to wiping us out, even if they were genetically engineered.

    Well, I’m reminded of the Real Men song “if there’s war between the sexes then there’ll be no people left.” *That* might do the trick.

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