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Two Pastel Works November 27, 2020

Posted by Sobek in News.
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Sunset with crape myrtles
Moonlit forest

Where to Move, Part 2 November 21, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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Yesterday I promised a plot of economic freedom vs. tax burden for each state, but I then realized that tax burden is already folded into the economic freedom index. So instead I plotted cost of living versus economic freedom.

Behold:

In this graph, the cost of living is represented by how much $100 is worth in each state. So in Hawaii, for example, $100 will only buy you $84.18 worth of stuff. In Mississippi, on the other hand, $100 will buy you $116.01 worth.

This means that you want to live in states in the upper right hand part of the plot, and avoid states in the lower left part.

Of course, if you’re near retirement then you may not care so much about economic freedom. In that case any state on the right side of the plot will do.

Maybe Biden’s Italian? November 20, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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Whenever anybody brings up Biden’s “trunalimunumaprzure” word (as Stephen Green did at Instapundit today), it reminds me of the old video Ace(?) linked a million years ago, where an Italian guy spews nonsense words that sound like English. You wouldn’t think prisencolinensinainciusol would sound like English, but, well, give it a try:

Searching for Freedom November 20, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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A lot of folk have been talking about relocating of late – trying to find a state or country that most resembles our values of yore. That motivation is particularly compelling given the talk of the pernicous “Great Reset,” which appears to be a socialist/environmentalist wet dream, with administration by a global cabal of your betters. Honestly, I’d rather have anarchy. Go Antifa!

Nowhere in the Great Reset literature do they discuss things like personal freedom or independence. And by discounting property rights they’ve completely abandoned the notion of “every house a castle, every man a king.”

Your freedom is under siege.

So if you’re looking for states with more freedom, a good place to start is the Fraser Institute’sEconomic Freedom of North America 2020” report. On the very cover of the report they have this graphic:

The blue states have the most economic freedom. Here are the top 10 states listed (ignore Alberta):

Our national freedom score has dropped from 8.31 in 2004 to 7.97 in 2018.

Tomorrow I’ll try to plot economic freedom vs. the average state tax burden.

A Little Spot of Humor to Give Our Bleak Lives Some Respite November 19, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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This comedy routine smacks of the tired “black people be like/white people be like” schtick, but I still snorted a few times during it. That’s more than most modern comedy routines get out of me.

See what you think.

Man vs. Robot: Who Does it Better? November 18, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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This spectacular satellite video of Shaolin kung fu practitioners reminded me of a video on dancing robots that we posted previously. Which video shows superior coordinated movements? You make the call.

First, the humans:

And now, the robots:

I’m thinking the humans take this one, but the robots are coming on strong.

Deplatforming Comes to WordPress November 15, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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Disquieting to hear that WordPress has now joined the deplatforming craze. The Conservative Treehouse reports that they received a 3-week notice that they had to move their site before it’s terminated.

The reason? The only reason given was:

. . . the incompatibility between your site’s content and our terms . . .

Not much to find that’s objectionable on their site, unless you’re opposed to hearing about Deep State conspiracies and positive things about Trump.

Kind of makes me think we ought to relocate to another platform, particularly given the very annoying new block-based editor WordPress has inflicted on us.

Thoughts?

Art Restoration, Spanish Style November 12, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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Spain seems to have it in for art, with amateur restorers creating laugh-out-loud abominations.

You all remember the butchery inflicted upon Ecce Homo back in 2012:

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COVID-19 Update: Through 11-11-20 November 12, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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The COVID-19 situation is looking grim (as expected for the winter months), with cases and deaths on the climb. Here’s the morbid daily death chart I shamelessly screencapped from Worldometer:

Will lockdowns, masks, and distancing help? Dunno how effective they are, but I think we should do everything in our power to stay out of harm’s way.

Without tanking the economy, of course.

Rambling About Ism-y Stuff November 7, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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I watched an old Johnny Carson Tonight Show episode from 1974 last night (they’re on Amazon Prime), and was struck by the casual chauvinism displayed by the host. They had Joan Embery of the San Diego Zoo on, with two other zoo personnel there to help handle a 13+ foot python. They were all standing on stage holding the beast, when Johnny stops talking to Ms. Embery and starts asking questions of the unmiked zoo guy holding the python’s head.

It seemed that it was completely natural for him to turn to the man for information, ignoring the miked, designated (but female) spokesperson for the zoo. And the zoo guy had no problem with it.

So that struck me as an example of the need for feminism.

On the other hand, directly thereafter I tried to watch the terrible 1998 movie, The Avengers, with Ralph Fiennes as Steed and Uma Thurman as Mrs. Peel. It seemed like it was going for “tart dialog between two super-agents” but produced “smug banality between incompetent punching bags” instead. Boring action, pointless plot, and no chemistry between the leads.

But more to the point, the interesting thing was how they Mary Sue’d Mrs. Peel. She’s a PhD meteorologist who has better agent skills than Steed, bests him at fencing, and is smarter than him throughout (at least through the 60% of the movie I was able to stomach).

The movie had a strong feminist theme, achieved in large part by marginalizing Steed’s character. The effect was to destroy the team’s synergy and create an unbalanced movie.

In the end, it was a strike against feminism.

What’s My Point? Good question, I’m kind of just musing here. Here goes: I think I was a typical 13-year old who thought nothing of Carson’s behavior back in 1974, and so feminism wrought in me a needed change. But overreach by feminism, as in The Avengers, does a lot of damage to their cause (the same is true of racism issues).

My father used to say, “Always give the other fellow an out,” meaning that even if you had justice and righteousness on your side, cornering and crushing the other guy was counterproductive. You would just make him dig in his heels and fight back, and you wind up with more alienation between the parties.

If you really want constructive dialog and progress toward some sort of resolution to social issues, you need to have a path to reconciliation, not a Conan-esque battle plan. Otherwise what is a struggle for rights for the oppressed becomes a struggle for survival for the oppressor. And that obviously makes things worse.

Militant feminists, social justice warriors, and Black Lives Matters activists take note.

Vote of No Confidence November 6, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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What do we require of our election process? Certainly that it:

  • Be fair (everybody who is eligible gets a chance to vote)
  • Be accurate (every vote is recorded and reported without mistakes)
  • Be timely (we should normally know who’s president by midnight of election day)
  • Be trustworthy

This election had none of these characteristics. I don’t know whether reports of rampant fraud are true, but I do know that I’ve lost my faith in the election process.

Like tens of millions of others.

The damage from this election will likely never be repaired.

The Future May Finally Be Here November 4, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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The heck with election stuff – this is really important.

An actual, bonafide flying car!

This was built by Klein-Vision, a Slovakian company.