Coffee with Scott Adams: VP Debate

What does Scott think of the persuasion shown on last night’s debate between VP Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris? Get some coffee, sit down and see.

On Debates

I did watch last night’s Presidential Debate and was extremely disappointed, mainly with the moderation. Both candidates interrupted each other and talked over each other. Thus I mentally tuned out. The cacophony was too much.

I hold the moderator and network responsible Laura Ingraham does a much better job when two strong, loud people are battling for airtime.

In the future, I’d implement control over the mics. When it’s someone’s turn to talk, their mic is on. If they want to counter a claim, they’d have a device that they could type with and whatever they want to say would appear on the bottom of the screen.

The idea of the open time was a major failure because both candidates just talked over each other.

I usually watch the evening news and some follow up commentary shows. Not today. I just want to move on.

Chris Wallace may be a fine interviewer, but as a moderator he failed. He couldn’t keep order and his voice has a screeching pitch so that made things worse. I’d get James Earl Jones to do the job. His voice is commanding. Someone could give him the questions.

Travel Now? Where?

airbus aircraft airplane airport

Photo by Manfred Irmer on

This morning I caught a bit of the stock market show Squawk Box. Jim Kramer, one of the hosts, opined about the state of travel and why people aren’t traveling. After all some people aren’t scared about the virus.

That is true. I’d say I’m able to assume the risk and take precautions. I’d love a cheap airline ticket. However, Jim, just what would I do when I got to my destination. I can’t think of a museum, national park, theater or site that’s open. On top of that restaurants are closed. All the pluses of travel are shut down.

Just because something’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s worthwhile.

My 2¢: Convicts Voting?

Townhall’s have to be the toughest forum to do on a campaign. The questions are hard to predict. Bernie Sanders, whom I once liked a lot, was asked about allowing prisoners — even the Boston Bomber — voting while in prison. Bernie was fine with that. He asserted that every citizen should vote, even those serving time.

Imagine a small town with a penitentiary, inmates may outnumber citizens of voting age. If convicts can vote for local elections, then mayoral and congressional candidates would have to please the prisoners to get into office. Should prisoners elect our judges and States’ Attorney Generals?

Kamala Harris first said this was a conversation worth having. She’s since pulled away from this position.

AOC’s campaign director agrees with Bernie because he thinks people most impacted by the criminal justice system should be able to vote. Hmm. They can vote, if they’re old enough, before they’re convicted they can vote and impact the government.

Jury Duty

I don’t mind the idea of jury duty. I’ve served whenever I’m in the US and I get summoned. Still it was a bummer to be summoned on my birthday and to have to go all the way out to Maywood. I didn’t even know Maywood was in Cook County. If you asked me where Maywood was before yesterday, I would have tentatively said, “South? South and a bit west?”

Now I know. It was a long drive and the courthouse is quite dilapidated compared to the others. I didn’t get called and would have done my best if I were, but I am happy that I don’t have to get myself down there for a long trial.

I will say it’s high time Cook County raised the money they give jurors. Since at least the 1980s it’s been $17.20. If you adjust for inflation, that $17.20 should now be $55.28. If you’re employed, the money isn’t an issue as most companies continue your pay. If you’re not employed, The amount most likely, doesn’t cover your transportation and lunch unless you live close to the courthouse or can use public transportation. This fee should be increased. In 2015 all the other counties in Illinois increased jury pay to $25 for the first day and $50 for each day thereafter. It’s not exactly what it should be, but I’d take it. Cook County has the most crime and perhaps the most civil cases. Still why should jurors be the only people who’s rate of compensation hasn’t changed at all? Other counties have worse transportation, i.e. no trains and fewer buses so jurors probably spend more on transportation. Still the fee should increase over the years.

Today they didn’t need any new jurors so after three hours at the courthouse, we all got to leave. I hope next time I’m called, I can go to the courthouse that’s just 20 minutes from me. I wonder if anyone who lives near Maywood was sent there today.

On Liberty

Here’s a short video I made introducing the ideas of John Stuart Mill culled from his work “On Liberty.” Mill was a big champion of free speech.

I think more people should read this book. You can get it for free here.

Education Bubble

I do think tuition rates are ridiculously high. Even though I went to a state school and paid for my second graduate degree as I went and thus have zero debt, I still think I paid too much because it’ll be a long time till I make up for that investment.

I think it’s high time people rethink all the money spent on college in America. All the extra services, many of which most students don’t use, and administrators seem unfair. If you can’t write at the college level, why should the students who can pay for your writing center sessions? Do we need all these extracurricular activities and facilities? Why wouldn’t those who need or use these things pay for them?

The idea that cost of education has quadrupled, as Peter Thiel states in these videos, yet many still graduate but are unable to write a paragraph, should be examined.

Accepting the idea that you can take out a loan and everything’s okey-dokey is unwise. Most people, parents and children alike don’t realize how long it’ll take to pay off that loan.

I also think it may be wiser for people to send their children to community college for two years and then transfer to the pricier university. Ten or twenty thousand dollars extra for a particular social experience, (e.g. dorm life, parties, status) seems like a bad choice. If you’re in a certain income bracket, all the other parents are sending their kids to schools with status. You don’t want to “deprive” your kids. That’s understandable.

Now it seems like it’d be better to put that money aside and give it to a child when he or she needs to buy a car, furnishing for an apartment or a condo. Of course, this is a personal choice for each family.

I’d like to see more colleges offering low-cost options. Think a Southwest Airlines version of higher education and more parents considering different paths to attaining education.

Virgin Atlantic

From the creative safety video to the actually yummy food, Virgin Atlantic was a joy to fly. I don’t know how I’ll manage with lesser airlines. The crew was genuinely polite and at the end of the flight they thanked us for letting them take care of us.

Amazing. I’ve never felt that American crews enjoyed that. I’ve felt that they put up with the passengers and I cringe when they sharply direct non-English speakers to “Stow your bags!” They don’t seem to realize the problem might be that they use uncommon words like “stow.”

The entertainment selection was vast and there was something for everyone to enjoy. The food, especially the mini strawberry popsicles were tasty.

I definitely aim to be a regular on Virgin.