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This Made Me Smile Today October 16, 2017

Posted by Sobek in News.

Every Billy Mays commercial at once. It’s the most beautifully psychotic  assault on the senses I can imagine.


Libs Drift Off-Center October 13, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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The Right has been accused of becoming more conservative over the years, but those of us who live in that political space have always felt that it is the Left that has drifted off center, while we have more or less held the same position for decades.

Looks like we were right, with the Left floating into Looney-Land over the past 23 years:

Everyone knows that the country is more politically polarized than ever, but most don’t know why. Data from the highly respected Pew Research Center provides a definitive answer. It’s because Democrats have moved sharply to the extreme left.

Given the way politics gets reported these days, it’s easy to conclude that the widening gap is the result of Republicans become more extreme in their views. That is, after all, a mantra among Democrats and the press. The GOP is the party of racist, sexist, xenophobic, right-wing extremists, we hear over and over again, while Democrats are but humble centrists.

The Pew data, however, make it clear that the shift toward the extreme has happened among Democrats, not Republicans.

The Pew Center even made a cool chart:

But if we let California secede (at least SoCal and the Bay Area), things should get a bit better.

Another Occasion for the Application of Occam’s Razor October 12, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

Exciting archaeological news?

Fascinating new research has suggested Vikings could have been Muslim after archaeologists found the word ‘Allah’ woven into their burial clothes.

Experts found that patterns woven into garments excavated in Sweden spell the words ‘Allah’ and ‘Ali’, with the discovery raising questions about the influence of Islam on Scandinavia.

Uh sure, it could be that everything we ever thought we knew about the Vikings is wrong…

…or maybe they just bought their burial clothes from Islamic merchants?

Capitol Hill Pharmacist “Walks Back” Comment October 12, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

A Dr. Michael Kim, pharmacist to many members of Congress, caused quite the furor with this comment yesterday:

At first it’s cool, and then you realize, I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,” Grubb’s Pharmacy’s Dr. Michael Kim told STAT News, reportedly citing treatments for conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

After the media released the hounds he had to walk back his statement. A bit.

But Kim underscored that he had “no personal knowledge of any members with Alzheimer’s.”

“But even if I did, I could not tell you or anyone else because of privacy laws,” Kim wrote in the email. “I never said that anyone actually had Alzheimer’s. The comment was taken out of context during a lighthearted conversation and was a broad comment made in a hypothetical nature.”

So what he didn’t say was that he hadn’t prescribed Alzheimer’s meds to anyone from Congress.

Pharmacists aren’t usually privy to the diagnosis, so his walk back is completely meaningless.

Smart guy.

Deep Thoughts on Listening to the “Oldies” Station on the Way to Work October 12, 2017

Posted by skinbad in History, Music, Philosophy, Sex, slutbags.

Has any woman in the history of the world ever really said:

“Come on dudes, let’s get it on!”?

The Blessings of Blogging October 11, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

[Subtitle: Innocent Bystanders June meetup after-action report]

‘Twas the third week of June nearly four months ago, when The Hostages (H2 in the sidebar) scheduled a meatup (<== that’s what those H2ers call their meetups) for June 24 in Cheyenne. Since Cheyenne has pretty poor connections, airport-wise, the Hostages were planning on flying into Denver and driving up to Cheyenne.

I usually check out the H2 website daily, and comment maybe weeklyishkindof. So I thought I’d join the fun, since I live in Colorado. But then Jewstin, the host in Cheyenne, went AWOL, and the meatup started falling apart.

Well, said I, if you already were planning on coming to Denver, I can host a gathering there. And so it was decided.

It was not a well-organized weekend. Almost all of the Hostages bailed out as the date approached (Jam2 and Osoloco hung in there), leaving it as pretty much an Innocent Bystanders meetup. So the event in the end featured the illustrious assemblage of lauraw & scott; Retired Geezer & bride; Skinbad, Mrs. S. and two broodlets; the aforementioned H2ers; and myself.

The organizational issues were exacerbated by the absence of my wife and daughter, who had to go to a college orientation weekend in Philadelphia. Lets just say that my lack of social skills is thoroughly eclipsed by my lack of logistical ability, so preparing for a party was a challenge I was never going to rise to meet. I did manage to at least get the house cleaned (to my inexacting standards), though the Geezers will attest to the fact that I do not count toilet paper rolls very accurately.

In any case, we went out to dinner a couple of times, hung out at my place yakking a bit, and had a beer or so at my favorite dive bar (bought out and closed 6 weeks later, sigh).

But lets get to the loot, er, blessings. [Loot pics are below the fold, and they are so very worth it]


Classier Than the NFL October 10, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

The sound on this video clip is terrible, but the sentiment redeems it. The college players waiting for the Star Spangled Banner to be played were informed that the PA system was down, so the anthem wouldn’t be played after all.

So they just started singing it themselves (Update: RG points out an F-bomb at the beginning of the clip).

Hurricane-Proof Manufacturing Employment October 6, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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Manufacturing employment shrugged off the hurricanes and held steady in September. Hopefully we can crack the “500K Jobs Added Since President Obama Made Another Promise He Couldn’t Keep” threshold next month.


Nice Employment Situation Report October 6, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

Well this is quite the landmark day, jobs-wise. The BLS Employment Situation Report had good news: for the first time since November 2008 we have broken the 0.5 barrier of my employment metric.* Take a look at your nice little uptick for the month of September:


The September gains more than reversed the backsliding of the previous two months, despite the two hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida.

*Full-time jobs divided by the civilian non-institutional population, data taken from the Household Survey

Boring But Stable Exports Report October 6, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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I think I skipped my exports post last month. Not a lot happened, so you didn’t miss much. They’re currently inching upwards at a tortuously slow pace, but that’s far better than the decline we were seeing in the last two years of Obama’s reign.

Here’s your chart:


Bad Gun Control Thinking from the NYT October 5, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

Bret Stephens writes a poorly thought out piece on gun control in the New York Times.

How poorly thought out is it? Consider his opening line:

I have never understood the conservative fetish for the Second Amendment.

Great. So now we know that the rest of his column is going to be on a subject he doesn’t understand.

But you don’t have to take his word for it – his lack of understanding becomes more apparent as he maunders on.

From a law-and-order standpoint, more guns means more murder. “States with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides,” noted one exhaustive 2013 study in the American Journal of Public Health.

Or it could be that more dangerous states encourage more people to arm themselves. In any case, this flies in the face of the reduced homicide rate w/increased gun ownership of the past 20 years.

He continues:

From a personal-safety standpoint, more guns means less safety. The F.B.I. counted a total of 268 “justifiable homicides” by private citizens involving firearms in 2015; that is, felons killed in the course of committing a felony. Yet that same year, there were 489 “unintentional firearms deaths” in the United States…

This is a ridiculous comparison. You’d have to compare the number of crimes thwarted to the number of unintentional deaths to derive a safety ratio. For example, if you stop an attack by simply showing a gun, you may have saved a life without having to pull a trigger.

He blithers on about militias ‘n such, with no real concrete argument. But then he salvages a bit of his article by pointing out that the liberal arguments against guns are quite often irrelevant or not based in reality.

Then there are the endless liberal errors of fact. There is no “gun-show loophole” per se; it’s a private-sale loophole, in other words the right to sell your own stuff. The civilian AR-15 is not a true “assault rifle,” and banning such rifles would have little effect on the overall murder rate, since most homicides are committed with handguns. It’s not true that 40 percent of gun owners buy without a background check; the real number is closer to one-fifth.

The National Rifle Association does not have Republican “balls in a money clip,” as Jimmy Kimmel put it the other night. The N.R.A. has donated a paltry $3,533,294 to all current members of Congress since 1998, according to The Washington Post, equivalent to about three months of Kimmel’s salary. The N.R.A. doesn’t need to buy influence: It’s powerful because it’s popular.

Nor will it do to follow the “Australian model” of a gun buyback program, which has shown poor results in the United States and makes little sense in a country awash with hundreds of millions of weapons.

At least he understands the liberal side of the gun control argument.

Goodbye Language Classes October 4, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

Google’s real-time language-translating earbuds are going to do to language what calculators did to math:

Google’s Pixel Buds translation will change the world