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China’s Catching Up February 19, 2017

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I think I may have mentioned my concerns in this regard once or twice:

“Western military technological superiority, once taken for granted, is increasingly challenged,” Dr. John Chipman, Director-General and Chief Executive of IISS, said in a statement.

“We now judge that in some capability areas, particularly in the air domain, China appears to be reaching near-parity with the West.”

A “Day Without Immigrants” Gets Its Just Desserts February 19, 2017

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Been holed up sick the past few days, so the recent “Day Without Immigrants” stunt had zero impact on my life. Wouldn’t have noticed that it happened if the reports of workers being fired hadn’t started trickling in. They bit the hands that fed them to make their political statement, and were surprised when those hands weren’t grateful.

So, to all the illegal immigrants who believe that they have the right to force the United States to change its policies to benefit illegals, and to all the legal immigrants who believe that United States immigration policy should be modified to benefit them and their countrymen, and not the interests of the United States, I say:

Trumptoons February 16, 2017

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Maybe we’ve gone so far down the road of illogicality and institutionalized idiocy that it necessitates a debacle like this to start to set things right.

Or maybe it’s just a debacle.

Sure seems like a lot of unforced errors – amateur hour in a lot of ways.

Anyway, it’s dominating the press, so it’s hard to find anything interesting to write about (I don’t personally like writing about outrage du jours, politics, or debacles like this). I apologize for the gaps between posts, but between all this silliness and a sudden surge in work stuff, I’m a little uninspired.

Wrote a Post a Few Minutes Ago February 13, 2017

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WordPress says it was published. It even says it had some views. But I can’t see it, even after rebooting my computer.

?

UPDATE: One of the reasons I wrote this was to see if it would flush out the other post. And it did.

IMF Doesn’t Appreciate a Rising Tide February 13, 2017

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It’s interesting that two people can look at the same data and derive completely different conclusions. Take, for example, today’s chart from the International Monetary Fund:imf-poverty-chart

The IMF says that the message is that “Growth does not help at all,” but from what I see, economic growth lifted 20% of the population out of poverty, without making inequality worse. The rising tide lifted all the boats. And it’s interesting that the stronger the growth, the faster the decline in poverty.

Of course these people are not doing well (the World Bank definition of “extreme poverty” is $1.90/day, which is a ridiculously terrible standard of living). But it’s clear that their lot is improving via economic growth.

The IMF claims that inequality is important enough that governments should redistribute wealth to make things more fair. I say that that’s a nice college dope session type of fantasy, which neglects all the collateral damage that redistribution does.

Like dampening economic growth.

The Rabid Liberal Mob is Our Best Recruitment Tool February 11, 2017

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Nice story of a liberal gay New Yorker having his eyes opened. Naturally he’s now come to the dark side . . .

When Out magazine assigned me an interview with the Breitbart.com rabble-rouser Milo Yiannopoulos, I knew it would be controversial. In the gay and liberal communities in particular, he is a provocative and loathed figure, and I knew featuring him in such a liberal publication would get negative attention. … Before interviewing Yiannopoulos, I thought he was a nasty attention-whore, but I wanted to do a neutral piece on him that simply put the facts out there.

After the story posted online in the early hours of October 21, I woke up to more than 100 Twitter notifications on my iPhone. Trolls were calling me a Nazi, death threats rolled in and a joke photo that I posed for in a burka served as “proof” that I am an Islamophobe.

And I began to realize that maybe my opinions just didn’t fit in with the liberal status quo, which seems to mean that you must absolutely hate Trump, his supporters and everything they believe. If you dare not to protest or boycott Trump, you are a traitor.

It used to be that if you were a gay, educated atheist living in New York, you had no choice but to be liberal. But as I met more Trump supporters with whom I was able to have engaging, civil discussions about issues that impact us all, I realized that I like these people — even if I have some issues with Trump himself. For example, I don’t like his travel ban or the Cabinet choices he’s made.

Imams Say the Wackiest Things February 8, 2017

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But this one seems pretty reasonable:

Muslim Imam Claims SPONGE BOB Is Responsible For Turning Kids Gay

No More Hot Air February 8, 2017

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All right, Hot Air, I’ve had enough. I like several of your columnists, and I’m OK with the rest. Except one.

Taylor Millard.

This kid has no knowledge and no insight – he seems to specialize only in throwing bombs on conservative views. A huge majority of commenters hate his posts, and I’m certainly in their company.

So that’s it for me. No more Hot Air. This goof has tainted the whole site.

I’m taking it off the sidebar.

Lady Gaga and The Flub February 8, 2017

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Lady Gaga is fighting back against those who thought she had a little too much belly fat during her Super Bowl performance. She had this to say via Twitter (incriminating pictures at the link):

I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions. thank you so much everyone for supporting me. I love you guys. Xoxo, gaga

This is, as usual, much ado about nothing. You can’t pick any subject, no matter how anodyne, without somebody vehemently disagreeing. So there are always losers who will complain about a bit of excess flub. By criticizing a famous star they feel empowered and superior, never realizing that it only makes them objects of pity or scorn.

But as to Lady Gaga’s response, I don’t quite agree.

When she says that she’s proud of her body, I’m of the opinion that she has every right to be. But in general, there are praiseworthy bodies and there are . . . those other bodies. Bodies like mine, for example.

I am not proud of my body, and I don’t think people who are overweight, out of shape, etc., should be proud of theirs either. But if you’re not going to do anything about it, then don’t worry about it. Just accept that that’s where you are in life.

It’s not a matter of pride, it’s a matter of being realistic and being comfortable with that reality.

Being “proud” of your body, without regard for its actual merits, is neither mentally nor physically healthy. If pride matters to you, make something you can be proud of. But being proud of being fat is like being proud of the participant ribbon you “won” when you took last place.

Chickenyodelninjaman February 6, 2017

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OK, you seem like nice people (snork!), so I kinda hate to do this (snork snork!!). There’s a guy. He’s Japanese. Name of Takeo Ischi. Normal tale of a normal Japanese kid.

But in high school he became fascinated with . . . yodeling.

Yes, yodeling.

So he went off to Germany, studied under the greatest yodeler of all time (there is such a title), and in 2011 he gave us this:

But here at Innocent Bystanders we’re not just here to bring you up on old viral videos. No, we’re here to introduce new viral videos!

However, if you thought “Chicken Yodeling” was a little odd, you may not be able to handle . . . Chicken Attack!! Yodeling + chickens + ninjas!!

Via RocketNews24

The White Collar Sweatshop 97 February 6, 2017

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A list of 97 companies who are opposed to Trump’s immigration policy (and filed a legal brief against it) is running around the intertubes today.

The amicus brief, which argues that Trump’s immigration order is illegal, highlights the contributions of immigrants to the tech economy while stressing the immigration controls already in place. The companies argue that Trump’s order is discriminatory and will have a negative impact on American businesses. The brief states that Trump’s immigration policies will make it more difficult and expensive for companies to hire new employees from around the world, and will make it more difficult for companies to conduct business because of travel restrictions on their employees.

There’s not a shred of doubt whether immigrants can contribute to our technology and economy. Not a shred. But I’m pretty sure we won’t miss the exciting talent from the countries that the Obama administration identified as being problematic. Let’s look at the list:

  • Iraq
  • Iran
  • Syria
  • Yemen
  • Sudan
  • Libya
  • Somalia

Yeah, I’m not feeling the sense of irreplaceable science & engineering talent here. Iran does have some decent scientists and engineers, but lets look at how many STEM types were actually recruited from these countries in FY2015:

(more…)

Speaking Truth to Snowflakes February 6, 2017

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Courtesy of SondraK’s site (see sidebar)