Hey Mr. President, Where Are Our Exports? May 29, 2015Posted by geoff in News.
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So it turns out that the economy shrank last quarter, and everybody’s abuzz about it. They’re blaming it on weak exports. But you, Uberalert Reader (even better than a Dave Barry Alert Reader), say to yourself, “How can this be? Didn’t President Obama promise to double exports in his January 2010 State of the Union speech?”
Yes he did. Yes indeedy.
A key part of his economic recovery plan, doubling exports within 5 years was supposed to add jobs and promote GDP growth. But of course, not doubling exports, or even letting them sag, would be expected to hurt jobs and GDP growth.
Like it just did.
Just as a reminder, how exactly did President Obama do on keeping his promise? Well, he officially failed in March of this year, and he just keeps on failing:
Ace mentioned the fabricated outrage/twitterlanche over the Mansplaining statue at some high school in Texas. It’s led to a disproportionate amount of hand-wringing and mockery by the usual crowd of semi-professional offense-seekers.
But mansplaining isn’t new, and in days past it was dealt with using humor rather than outrage. As evidence, I present these 30-year-old Eyebeam cartoons.
Gotta Be a Typo May 27, 2015Posted by geoff in News.
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Facebook Gives You the Clap May 27, 2015Posted by geoff in News.
[I’ll just hang this here on this dormant blog.]
In addition to privacy concerns and the risk of a single sentence destroying your life, it looks like social media is also contributing to the proliferation of STDs:
Rhode Island is currently experiencing what health experts are calling an “epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases”—and hookup apps may be partially to blame, officials said.
From 2013 to 2014, infections of syphilis increased 79%, gonorrhea cases went up 30% and new HIV cases increased by about 33%, according to data released by the Rhode Island Department of Health.
…the agency also acknowledged the role of high-risk behaviors, including “using social media to arrange casual and often anonymous sexual encounters, having sex without a condom, having multiple sex partners, and having sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol,…”
I’ll note that when a chlamydia outbreak hit a Texas high school, the headlines were all about the fact that the school only had abstinence education, to wit:
But the headlines saying “Sex education doesn’t prevent increase in STDs in Rhode Island” seem to be missing.
Land of Confusion May 26, 2015Posted by Sobek in News.
[Please note, the following is not a post. That should be obvious, because IB was shut down like four months ago or something. So whatever you’re about to read, it is certainly not a post.]
Not too long ago, I was listening to the radio, and I heard the song Land of Confusion, by Genesis. Here’s a reminder, in case you have a brain condition that keeps you from remembering awesome things:
Now I’ve always liked that song. I like it even though the video makes it perfectly clear that Phil Collins et alia are a bunch of Commie Nazis who need to go back to whatever country they came from (Soviet Germany? Something like that). I like it because it’s a great tune, and I can usually ignore stupidity from movies and music. And Collins’ idiocy is easier to laugh away in retrospect, knowing that Reagan never nuked anyone (nope, Democrats still own that distinction). Also, those puppets are hilarious.
Also also, and here we’re getting to the whole reason I’m typing this, I’m charmed by Collins singing, in 1986, “I won’t be coming home tonight/my generation will put it right/we’re not just making promises/we know we’ll never keep.” Hah hah you poor, naive mutant. There’s no way you could have possibly known, in 1986, that the hippie movement was completely discredited and no one believed that We Are The World crap anymore (exception: the people who sang “We Are the World” in 1985). It’s the same reason I don’t get too bothered by ’60s music. Sure, it was dangerously naive and stupid, but hippies can’t be blamed for hipping, so whatever.
But that’s not where this non-post ends, good chums. No, because in 2005, post-grunge rock outfit Disturbed made a cover of the song. I actually kinda like that one, too, in spite of the fact that Disturbed is pretty much useless, because even though it’s Disturbed doing the cover, at least they’re doing “Land of Confusion,” so there’s at least one point in their favor.
For comparison purposes:
As lenient as I’m willing to be with Phil Collins failing to realize he wrote his song 20 years too late, it’s much harder to be forgiving towards Disturbed. Not only was their cover about ten years too late, the laughable line “my generation will put it right” is forty years behind the times. Phil Collins’ generation didn’t fix squat. You mean to tell me, whoever is the lead singer for Disturbed (I’m not going to look up the dude’s name), that your generation is finally going to figure it out? No. Your generation listens, inexplicably, to bands like Disturbed. They vote for idiots like Obama. They’re not going to fix anything. Certainly not through some naive idea that a catchy song can get monstrous tyrants to change their minds about bloodthirstiness or tyranny.
Till the Next Goodbye March 25, 2015Posted by skinbad in Ducks, Family.
I’m sure you can imagine why I have hesitated to share this anecdote with the group, but I guess as a last thought or tribute I want to just say a big thank you to Michael and Cathy.
When the original IBSBP was being concocted, Michael got to the “need a head count” phase and I watched some responses being sent to the blog. I talked to my wife about it and we just laughed because it wasn’t realistic. I sent an email to Michael and told him as much. He responded saying it might be a big deal for me, but it wasn’t for him because he had a million frequent flier miles he would never use and he could arrange a ticket for me if I would like to come.
So, I did what any self respecting, introvert moocher would do when faced with the reality of an awkward social gathering–I asked if I could bring my wife. He said that would be fine. You know, what’s a couple of airline tickets between people who had never met or even spoken to each other.
We had a wonderful time. Some fake, internet friends became very dear, real friends to us. So thanks again to Michael, Cathy, Innocent Bystanders and assorted hangers on for a lot of laughs and thought fodder (that’s not to say I have to meet you to include you in the circle of friendship).
I have it on good authority that Michael is doing fine in the Mormon Re-Education camp. There are plenty of jello salads and casseroles at the mess hall and he has a part-time job skimming the pool and keeping the chemicals balanced. He’ll have it ship shape when we get there.
The Official SobekPundit Blogger Interview: Thomas Sowell March 24, 2015Posted by Sobek in News.
Howdy, folks. I have a real treat for you all today. Much to my amazement, I actually got the opportunity to interview Pulitzer Prize winning economist Thomas Sowell. I’ve long admired his insightful work, so I can’t really express how excited I am about this. I should add that for no real reason at all, I wanted to start the interview with the following citation from the Book of Revelation:
And when the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was in heaven a silence which lasted about the space of half an hour. And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
Old Friends March 24, 2015Posted by wiserbud in Family, Love.
(I know I’m not exactly a main commenter here, but since I still had rights (See, Michael? I promised you I wouldn’t abuse them!), I thought I would share just a few of my thoughts on the end of IB.)
So many memories… So much fun and so much love. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back and read some of the old threads here, to laugh at all the lame and not-so-lame jokes, but more importantly to remember. To remember the good times during so much bad. To see the names of those who have gone before us, all too soon.
To see the friends bicker and banter and tease each other. Like friends do. And to see these very same friends express support, caring, and love for each other in so many small ways. Sharing with each other, remembering the little things, as well as the epic.
I’m going to miss this place. I’ve enjoyed meeting so many of you, sharing so many laughs. I’ve always thought it was insanely cool how our two blogs evolved into something like bookends. We were different, but we were two sides of the same coin. (As an aside I have always found it interesting, at the meet-up on the CT River, how the H2ers and the IBers arranged themselves around the picnic table by blog, one crew on one side, one on the other. Cracked me up when that happened.)
So here’s to old friends. Those who are still with us and those who, while gone, still hold a very special place in our hearts.
I’m gonna miss this place.
L to R: H2, IB
Innocent Bystanders = Michael’s Dream March 24, 2015Posted by Retired Geezer in Heroes.
OK, show of hands, how many of you remember Michael’s ‘I had a Dream’ rant?
From clipped fingernails to shorn scrotum in 8 comments. That’s what I love about IB.
There was a time, Elzbth, when I had a dream. I dreamed that I would be the Site Administrator of an intertubes forum devoted to dignified and scholarly discussion regarding matters of public importance.
I had a dream that day.
I dreamed that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed on my website, and all flesh shall see it together!
I dreamed that commenters would come from the red hills of Georgia to Lookout Mountain in Tennessee, all united in contributing their witty comments to a single noble purpose. Our voices would rise together in solemn assembly, and we would say: let freedom ring!!!
From every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, the IB commenters would hasten the day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
Needless to say, the dream has died. We are talking about clipping nails.
Anyway, I really do endorse the Phillips sonicare™. That is a great little electric toothbrush. Well worth the price.
Y’all really should go to the link and scroll up and down to read the whole thing including the comments.
I remember when we first started IB, we all suggested and then voted on our ‘Official Endorsements': Theme song, Attitude Picture, Bird, Crimefighting Dog and Official Chemical Element (Carbon). I think it was Skinbad who had the vision to suggest Carbon. We were cutting edge from the get go.
I remember reading some of the hilarious comment threads out loud to Mrs. Geezer and having to stop because I was laughing so hard. Lauraw usually wrote the comments that cracked me up the most.
I remember going to the first IB gathering at Michael and Cathy’s home in Columbus. They treated us like royalty.
I remember everyone putting their weaponry on Michael’s pool table. Somebody has a picture of that, I’m sure.
I remember Sobek’s classic post interviewing Innocent Bystanders on his blog.
Most of all I remember the kind, clever, funny and generous people that we have met online and in person through this endeavor.
I Love All of You March 24, 2015Posted by Sobek in News.
Last summer I drove across a couple of states to go to my High School reunion. You may be surprised to hear this, but I was never part of the “in” crowd back then. Quite the contrary. But my friends were great, and we’ve since moved all over the country, and so the reunion was a perfect opportunity to see them again.
What about all those other people? Everyone who made me feel excluded and weird and alienated for so many formative years? I’m writing this from the vantage point of many, many years after the fact, so it’s always possible that I’m misremembering everything, but I had to admit the possibility that they felt excluded and alienated and weird – or at least some of them, anyway. Maybe the reason we weren’t friends was because I didn’t make much of an effort to befriend them. So the reunion was a perfect opportunity to get to know all these interesting people who have lived lives, grown, and experienced the world in ways that I haven’t. The plan was to spend the whole time talking to people, whether or not I knew them, whether or not we were friends back in the day, or even if I didn’t like them back then. Because again, it’s possible I misremember everything, but I couldn’t think of anyone who I hated back then who I had an actual reason to hate.
I have to say, that reunion was about the most fun I’ve had in a room full of near-strangers (I’m not including IB meet-ups, because although you’re pretty strange, I can’t say you’re strangers). That includes the times when I shook hands and smiled, genuinely, at people I really didn’t like back then. I don’t remember why I didn’t like them, and rather doubt there was ever a reason beyond normal teen-aged angst. That being the case, the problem was more with me than with them. Several hours passed before I knew it, and it was time to go. I can’t wait for the next one in ten years.
Afterwards, I went to dinner with some friends, one of whom didn’t go to the reunion. He said it would have been nice to see some people, but he wasn’t interested in seeing many of them – the same types I’ve been mentioning, those who felt comfortable in their own skin, those who made him feel excluded and weird and alienated. “F*** those guys,” he said, because if they made him feel bad back in the day, why would he want to be friends with them now?
That question is why I’m writing this post as my farewell.
It’s possible that for everyone in High School who made me feel excluded and weird and alienated, there were three or four more who felt the same about me.
My on-line personality is a lot more curmudgeonly than the meat-space version, so when I heard the blog is going dark, I briefly considered writing something along the lines of “Screw you all, I’ve secretly hated you for years.” But even as a joke – which I’m sure you would recognize for what it was – I quickly decided was not the way to go out. The fact is, I love you goofballs a lot. This has been a great place to laugh, learn, commiserate, celebrate and mourn. The fact is, I spent too much time on negativity, even as a joke, and that’s something I want to change. I never want anyone to feel alone, unloved, friendless, unaccepted. I see too much of that, and it breaks my heart, and I want the world to be a better place, even if only by the tiniest amount, because I said something kind to someone who needed it on a bad day. I want my last post here to say, simply:
I love all of you.
Bye, Michael. -lauraw March 23, 2015Posted by anycomments in News.
At a meetup a few years ago, Michael introduced my husband to the miracle that is Texas smoked brisket. Other than corned beef, neither hubby nor I had ever had brisket before. But when Scott came home he was raving about it.
Now it is a semi-regular home project of culinary love.
Another great thing Michael did was make us laugh, especially in person. Such as when he tried to break into a tool company trailer that was parked behind the Doubletree hotel that time. I had never with my own eyes seen a corporate lawyer try to commit a break-and-entry / potential attempted larceny. Somehow, he managed to be back in our huddle before the cop showed up.
It’s hard to say goodbye. I can’t quite believe he’s gone. It’s also hard to say goodbye to this site which is an archive of a lot of fun times between us. But it’s his, and he’s not here. Time to go.
Love you, man. Say ‘Hey’ to Harrison for me.