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It Seems Odd to Me… March 16, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.

…that we’re supposed to drill down to the granular level of people’s gender preferences, yet it’s an insult to call trans people anything other than “man” or “woman.” For instance, we’re supposed to differentiate between “genderfluid,” “genderqueer,” “gendervoid,” and “graygender,” but if we call a man who transitioned into a woman anything but a woman, it’s off to HR and Cancellation Jail.

…that trans people need to be allowed to use the bathroom that makes them feel the most comfortable even if it makes many, many more people uncomfortable. Shouldn’t the welfare of the majority should take precedence?

…that being a victim grants you special authority to lecture and define policy for people who were smart enough or lucky enough to avoid being a victim. More sensibly, the non-victims should be lecturing victims on how to avoid calamities.

…that it hasn’t occurred to fans of reparations that the grantees will be reviled for all time if they actually get the money they want. It will permanently taint race relations.

…that I’ve never heard the NEA or any representative of teachers worry about declining test scores. If they care for their students to the extent they claim they do, you’d think they’d consider modifying the curriculum (like more time on the essentials and less time on social matters) to improve their students’ lot.

…that we still adhere to the tenet that “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” when it’s impossible for any one person to ever have knowledge of all laws, or even the entire tax code. Seems like the size of the legal code and tax code should be limited to what a single person can apprehend.

…that when universities started coed dorms, and conservatives said, “Trouble brewing,” that liberals were outraged to find that sexual assaults were a problem. Same deal for the military. Of course, it didn’t help that the definition of “sexual assault” was expanded to include less severe offenses.

…that having “racism” redefined to mean prejudice by people in power (whites) over disenfranchised people (people of color), there is no longer a word for prejudice of people of color against white people.

You can add your own in the comments.

Inflation Continues Northward March 15, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.
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The inflation headlines have all been talking about how the latest inflation data shows that inflation is slowing. I’m not seeing it:

Looks like we had a hiatus from June to December, and then prices took off again.

[As always, this chart was downloaded from the St Louis Fed. Finally noticed that they had formatting options so I didn’t have to have those really wide charts.]

Avantgardey March 10, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.

Japanese ensemble dance group that formed about a year ago and has been gaining in popularity recently. Kind of liked this little snippet, though the girls do remind me somewhat of Oompah-Loompahs.

Getting Woke, Kaiju-Style March 7, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.

You know, I could actually get on board with this:

…though it’s an article of trans faith that there are 73 genders, it’s also often said that the fastest-growing gender subset is xenogender. You’re xenogender if you feel more akin to animals or plants or foods than humans. It’s funny, but it’s also frightening. There’s a girl on TikTok who explains very seriously that her gender is bird – a cardinal specifically, ey/em pronouns. And several people I’ve found identify as cake.

Xenogender? Xenoawesome, you mean, because you know how I’m going to get my xenogender on:

Sexism in PhD Awards March 4, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.

I’ve made this point before, but it’s always good to update my uber-brilliant, startlingly insightful, cutting edge points with the latest data.

As we all know, progressives have cited under-representation of women graduating with advanced degrees as evidence that women are suppressed.

And they’re right! The number of women graduating with doctorate degrees is significantly smaller than men, despite being half the population (Census Bureau says 50.5%):

This has led to a slew of efforts to promote women’s education, particularly in the STEM fields. But those efforts are completely pointless and doomed to failure, because of this:

Yep, if you’re a US citizen, presumably born and raised in this here country (on the average), women are already getting more than their fair share of doctorate degrees. Which means it’s not our chauvinistic society that’s at fault . . .

. . . it’s them dang furriners.

So if you want to cure the disparity in PhD awards in US universities, there’s one simple fix:

Balance the male/female ratio of foreign admissions.

And stop yelling at men in America, where there hasn’t been a problem for more than a decade.

Top Gun Grounded March 2, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.

I loved Top Gun: Maverick – bought it and watched it twice so far. It might even motivate me to get a bigger TV. But a lot of people have questioned the realism of the movie, particularly the dogfights and aerial maneuvers.

But there is one thing that is more unrealisitic than any of that, and that is “How were those F-18s ready to fly at all?”

“Whut?” you ask, “I can see them sitting right there on the tarmac and deck in the movie, ready to go. What’s the problem?”

Well, according to the Congressional Budget Office, those F-18s are only ready to fly about 40% of the time, down from the 60% availability when they were introduced into service. (Chart copied from CBO report)

That’s like taking a third of the F-18s out of service permanently.

The older F-18s (the C/Ds) aged more slowly, which the Navy attributes to increased corrosion due to the increased use of “composite metals.” I’m not sure what a composite metal is – when you’re talking metals you usually refer to metal alloys and composites refer to fiber/filler materials such as graphite epoxy.

The F-18s were designed for a 6000 hour service life, which, at their typical usage of 30 hours/month, should have given them an almost 17 year lifetime. They’re currently being refurbished by Boeing to extend that lifetime to 7500 hours initially and then 10,000 hours.

Here’s hoping that gets the aircraft availability back up to 60% before the next movie.

About That Rasmussen Poll That Got Scott Adams in Trouble February 28, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.
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As I’m sure everybody knows by now, Scott Adams of Dilbert fame got himself uber-cancelled by trying to draw the logical implications from a Rasmussen poll. The poll surveyed 1000 people, 130 of them black, and asked if they would agree with the statement, “It’s OK to be white.” Only 53% of the black respondents agreed.

Adams said that if 47% of black people could not agree with that statement, it was time to throw in the towel on race relations and to just find a safe place to live in an area where half the people don’t disapprove of your existence.

While Adams’ comments have been caught up in the typical Tweetornado that distorts and amplifies what he said, several people have criticized his reliance on the poll, claiming that the sample size wasn’t large enough to support Adams’ conclusion. Here’s one such critique from Red State.

But none of the critics I’ve read have actually looked at the math to determine how errant Adams may have been. So here’s my take:

Typical national-level poll survey 400 or 1000 people. 400 people gives you a 95% confidence that the poll results will only have 5% error. 1000 gives the same confidence for a 3% error. So the overall sample size used by Rasmussen was typical and adequate.

But when you start looking a sub-populations, you need to recalculate the required sample size. While the results for the general population meet the 95%/3% level, those values don’t pertain to the black subset of the population. For the ~40 million black population, you still need 400 respondents to get to that 95%/5% level. And for a volatile question of that nature, 1000 respondents would be better.

But how misleading was the poll information? 130 responses means that the error is 8.6% for a 95% confidence interval (I used this handy calculator to get that value). That says that there’s a 95% probability that the percentage of blacks who did not agree with that statement is between 38 and 56.

That’s still a problematically large number, and should motivate pollsters to do more focused follow-up studies.

In the meantime, I’ve read a lot of the criticisms of Adams’ comments, and they generally fall in to the obvious “he’s a racist” camp, or the “don’t believe the poll” camp.

But I haven’t seen any that say that the vast majority of the black population believe that it’s OK to be white.

Fanning Fears Over Extremist Murders February 25, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.

Kanishka Singh is here to save the day by alerting you to the terrible threat of white supremacy:

White supremacists behind over 80% of extremism-related U.S. murders in 2022

Mass shootings in the United States accounted for most extremism-related fatalities last year in the country with over 80% of those murders committed by white supremacists, data released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) showed on Thursday.

80%! There must be bodies everywhere!! How many victims were there last year!?!


Yes, I said 20.

What’s wrong with you, supremacist!?! It’s 20!!!

Out of the 19,472 homicides in the United States last year, 20 of them were due to white supremacist extremism!! That’s 0.1%!!

Clearly we need strong government intervention to prevent this senseless slaughter!


On a more serious note, obviously if the ADL is correct in attributing 20 murders to white supremacist extremism, they are tragic and the justice system should be exercised vigorously to make sure the perpetrators receive their just due. But this is exactly the type of pseudo-stat (with no statistical significance) that is used to hang a “Racist” sign around the necks of all white people.

And that’s racism on a far greater scale than Singh is worried about.

Housewives Have Become the New Unicorn February 25, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.

Weird to think that in my lifetime housewifery has gone from the norm to being so rare that the Daily Mail is doing a “gorillas in the mist” article about it:

I’m a traditional housewife and I love spending hours cooking and cleaning for my husband – I’m subservient to him, but in a ‘healthy’ way

I personally prefer my wife to have a career, but I thought the housewife system worked pretty well back when I was growing up.

Gettin’ That Sweet US Cash February 22, 2023

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Reading about the largess bestowed upon Ukraine by American debt holders reminded me of the old satirical book/film “The Mouse That Roared.” From the Wikipedia plot summary:

The tiny European Duchy of Grand Fenwick (is)… on the verge of bankruptcy.

The prime minister decides that their only course of action is to declare war on the United States. Expecting a quick and total defeat (since their standing army is tiny and equipped with bows and arrows), the country confidently expects to rebuild itself through the largesse that the United States bestows on all its vanquished enemies (as it did for Germany through the Marshall Plan at the end of World War II).

Apparently the Duchy of Grand Fenwick could have achieved the same result by inviting an invasion by Russia.

The Day Broadcast News Died February 17, 2023

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The day Chet Huntley retired.

Inflation! On the Move! February 14, 2023

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Last few months have been pretty nice, watching inflation slow down to near-zero. But today’s report shows it on the move again:

(Chart downloaded from the St. Louis Fed.)

I think some people are thinking that somehow the prices might go back to their pre-Biden levels. Ain’t happening. I’ll be happy if we just get back to 2% inflation.