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Where Did I Put My Tiny Violin? September 2, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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Ace points out this ridiculous headline from HuffPo:

“Hillary Clinton’s Emails Illustrate The Difficulties Of Achieving Work-Life Balance”

We normally interpret the “life” part of “work-life balance” to mean those duties associated with child-rearing and running a household. Hillary’s only child went to college 18 years ago, and I doubt Hillary has cooked a meal, cleaned her house, or done her own laundry for 3 decades. Hell, she doesn’t even drive herself.

No, Hillary Clinton’s emails illustrate the difficulties of emphasizing political positioning over every other aspect of her life, including her duties as Secretary of State. Her obsession with the presidency means that she worked late and skipped some holidays and vacations. Well boo hoo. Simple rule of life: ambition sucks until it’s realized.

Welcome to everybody’s reality, Ms. Clinton.

Alcoholic Pathos, WaPo Style September 2, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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Alcoholism is obviously awful, but I find myself suspecting an ulterior motive when I read articles like “What happened when this college student drank too much, too quickly.” It smacks of one of those “soften up the audience” articles that’s a prelude to “we need to DO something!”

Basically this kid became an alcoholic in high school, blacking out every time he started drinking. By his second semester in college he was blacking out every night. That’s terrible, but is it a common track for a college kid?

He tries to make it seem like it is:

As a college student, I suppose “social drinker” was the way to categorize me. I was a kid, and kids black out: Studies say that between 35 and 50 percent of undergraduates have blacked out at least once.

Nice try, but no dice. Anyone who drinks themselves to oblivion every time they drink is powerless over alcohol, and is by definition a full-fledged alcoholic, not a “social drinker.” He tries to worm his way into the social drinker category in order to contaminate that relatively benign category with his outrageous drinking behavior. The WaPo editors shouldn’t have let him try such underhanded trickery.

In addition, he conflates his en bloc blackouts (no recall of the drinking session at all) with fragmentary blackouts (where only pieces of the session are missing). Only 1 out of 5 of those “between 35 and 50 percent” had experienced an en bloc blackout, meaning that his experience is considerably more rare than he thinks.

Similarly, he tries his hand a misusing a statistic or two:

Fifty-nine percent of those women but only 25 percent of those men said that that one blackout experience scared them enough to change their drinking habits.

That means 75 percent of guys were not put off. At college, I sometimes drove wasted friends to the very emergency room that treated me.

Many of these friends now consider themselves social drinkers, but many still black out every weekend. The line between drinking like a normal 20-something and drinking like an alcoholic can be murky.

First of all, the “75 percent” number does not mean that 75% of the guys experienced subsequent blackouts – it just means that they didn’t think it would happen again. Second, deftly switching from the stat to anecdotal experiences doesn’t really support his argument.

The line between social drinking and alcoholism has always been blurry, but one of the longest-standing criterion has been “Are you in control?” Can you decide not to have a drink, and having had one or two or three, can you decide to cut yourself off?

This fellow couldn’t do either, which is tragic, but his attempt to smear the rest of his peers with his alcoholism comes off as jealousy that they have the self-control that he lacks. He can’t seem to understand that their drinking is fundamentally different than his, which suggests that despite his horrible experiences he hasn’t really learned anything at all.

Breeding Incompetence Into the Human Race September 1, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.

Survival of the fittest. A means of strengthening a species so that it can improve its lot and withstand future adversity. It’s a vital principle that is threatened by the crutches that well-meaning scientists and technologists provide so that the weaker may thrive.

Well-intentioned perhaps, but they’re just making our species more vulnerable.

Today they’re threatening to do it again, enabling the weak with their latest development, so that bad genes are handed down to succeeding generations. I shudder to think of our children’s children, living in a world where these genes not only survive, but whose propagation is encouraged.

I’m speaking, of course, of eating ice cream:

Eating an ice cream cone is often a matter of timing. You need to snarf it down fast enough to avoid the sticky mess of melting frozen dairy product encroaching on your fingers, but slowly enough to stave off the painful brain-freeze phenomenon. If only science could help us out. Oh wait, it can.

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland are looking into using a naturally occurring protein called BsIA to slow down the melting process in ice cream.

As someone who was traumatized in his youth by the near-tragic tale of Slow Joe and his peppermint ice cream cone, I have trained assiduously to excel at ice cream eating. Focusing on speed and accuracy, I have no use for a world where the slow may lap half-heartedly at their frozen confections.

I despair yet again for the fate of humanity.

More Unsolicited Fashion Advice for the Wimmens September 1, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.

Finally finished my travels and have returned to bring you, once again, fashion advice for the IB wimmens. Today’s selections come from the Miley Cyrus Concert Collection. I’ll be greatly disappointed if I don’t see at least one of these outfits adorning the ladies at the next IB gathering:


Ms. Cyrus has a decided knack for turning sexy into banal.

Feel Good Kitty Rescue August 31, 2015

Posted by Retired Geezer in Ducks, Heroes.

Two guys were fishing on a river in Alabama when a couple of kitties swam out to their boat.

Wrong Side of History August 24, 2015

Posted by Retired Geezer in Family, History.


How to WIN! August 23, 2015

Posted by Retired Geezer in Crime, Man Laws.

… at Rock Paper Scissors.

It’s Science, beyotches!

Both Activities Have Their Merits August 19, 2015

Posted by skinbad in Family, Humor, Literature, Man Laws.

So I clicked on a little news-nothing from Good Morning America about a boy who damaged a library book when it fell out of his bed after he went to sleep while reading. He sent a nice apology note to the library. While watching the clip, the captions were running and it went by kind of fast and I thought–“Did that say what I thought it did?” So, replay, pause, and screenshot. Nice job, GMA. He’ll probably appreciate the encouragement one day.

GMA advice

So NOW Executive Experience is Important August 15, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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A lot of us pointed out in 2008 that Barack Obama had no experience in anything relevant to the presidency, especially management. Deaf ears, deaf ears. But now management experience is a selling point for the Democrats (as it should be):

“I am not the only candidate for president in our party who holds progressive values, but I am the only candidate for president in our party with 15 yrs of executive experience,” Democratic 2016 contender Martin O’Malley says.

If only he had mentioned this 8 years ago.

Chop Chop With Those Sammiches August 13, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.

We joke a lot about how wimmens need to be making sammiches for the menfolk, but somebody didn’t get the memo that it is, was, and always shall be, a hyperbolic joke:

A Nigerian court granted a 57-year-old man a divorce after hearing that his wife often brought his meals to him too late in the evening, local media reported on Thursday.

“My wife had failed in her matrimonial obligations. She does not prepare my food on time and I have warned her several times, but she would not listen to me,” he was quoted as saying.

“There is no point in harbouring a wife that makes me hungry. I am totally fed up,” Adekoya told the hearing, for which the paper gave no date.

A different and not very appealing world.

Time to Tweet? August 13, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.

Update: vaitguy tells me that the 10000-character limit only applies to direct messaging. So Twitter still sucks (IMHO).

I had a Twitter account many years ago (DrRichardSeaton), but gave it up because it seemed to me that the 140-character limit was just driving us toward more bumper-sticker-style political discussion. It’s not like we need to be more shallow in our policy analysis.

That concern has been borne out by many years of tweeted tripe, but I didn’t realize that Twitter would become relevant because it was also a fast way to propagate news stories across the web. So yay Twitter. But I still didn’t feel that it was all that useful to me.

But now Twitter is going to allow 10000-character posts, which means you can actually say something that’s not just a surface-level jab at the opposition. That changes the game completely.

Might just have to become a tweetin’ fool.

Belated Book Review: Nickel and Dimed (2001) August 12, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.

All the minimum wage hoopla reminded me of a post I’ve long wanted to write: a brief debunking of Barbara Ehrenreich’s liberal classic, Nickel and Dimed.

Back in 2001, Barbara Ehrenreich (a writer with a PhD in biology) decided that she would experience just how hard it is to get by on entry-level jobs. Dr. Ehrenreich tried several jobs during 3 months spread over 2 years, sometimes two at a time (well, for a grand total of 3 days), including waiting tables, cleaning hotel rooms (well, for 1 day), cleaning people’s houses, being a nursing home aide, and working at Wal-Mart. She wrote up her experiences (with much drama and angst) in Nickel and Dimed and the book was a bestseller, forming part of the foundation and mythos of the Left’s class wars ever since.

I applaud her spirit in getting her hands dirty and diving into those sorts of jobs, but her blindness to logic and reality permeate her decisions and her actions. For example:



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