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Scary Robot with Guns November 4, 2019

Posted by Retired Geezer in Ballistics, Gardening, News.
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OK we all know this is Photoshopped but the quality is pretty amazing.

Thanks to my buddy Kelly, The Skydiving Realtor, for sending this to me.

The Cost of Elizabeth Warren November 2, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Many commentators have gasped over Elizabeth Warren’s $52 billion (over 10 years) Medicare-for-All plan, and have laughed at her optimistic, double-booked, scheme for funding it. But I haven’t seen anybody tally up the costs of all her plans.

But I don’t get out much.

Anyway, presuming you haven’t seen a total either, here goes (all numbers taken from her website):

Program 10-Year Cost
Environment $3 Trillion
Medicare-for-All $52 Trillion
Education $1.25 Trillion
Child Care ~$0.7 Trillion*
Gun Control 0.001 Trillion
Immigration 0.015 Trillion
Social Security >$1.5 Trillion**
TOTAL $58.6 Trillion

 

I may have missed a few, but I think that’s bad enough. For reference, the CBO’s latest 10-year budget projection (2020 – 2029) for the entire federal budget is $57.85 trillion.

She claims that it’ll all be paid for by increased taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

Har.

*Her website says that the cost will be roughly 1/4 of $2.75 trillion
** She never tallies it up, but just her provision for adding $200/month/person is $1.46 trillion

Double the Fashion November 2, 2019

Posted by geoff in Fashion.
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Been so long since I graced the ‘tubes with a fashion post, so let me rectify that by casting a pearl before your benighted swinely selves. I know some of my previous fashion recommendations may have seemed a bit exotic or frivolous, but I truly believe this one has legs.

Four, to be exact.

Yes, this particular look requires a pair of ladies, which is obviously a feature, not a bug. Please enjoy this Siamese dress from famed Chinese designer Guo Pei (via The Telegraph, photo by James Veysey):

SiameseCatwalkPhoto

No word on how hangers for this dress work.

Brief Movie Reviews November 1, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Hopefully not too spoilery. Obviously focused on action/action comedy movies, since my taste in movies stopped evolving at age 16.

Hobbes and Shaw (2019): First hour and a half are great – lots of action, quipping, and explosions. Female lead (Vanessa Kirby) is outstanding. Johnson and Statham are fun, and the cameos by Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart leave you wanting more. Idris Elba’s villain was smart, competent, and menacing.

Then they get to Samoa, and things get ridiculously stupid very quickly. I’m talking super, super, super stupid.

Shaft (2019): Started off a little slow, and Jessie Usher (playing baby Shaft) seemed stiff at the beginning, but then things started gelling. Ended up really liking it, and especially liked the appearance of Richard Roundtree as granddaddy Shaft.

Avengers Endgame (2019): I’m probably one of the few people who didn’t like Endgame. Cheesy plot gimmick, too much of a TV series farewell episode vibe, too PC, too many characters at the end, and unsatisfying resolutions of many of the stories. But it sure is long!

Spiderman: Far From Home (2019): Great movie – funny, actiony, super effects, and a bit of heart. Peter Parker may be a bit whiny, but he’s at that age.

John Wick 3 (2019). Just lots and lots and more lots of shooting, peppered with really creative (and funny) alternate ways of killing people. Which I love. Kind of the same pace as Dredd or The Raid. Which I love.

The Magnitude of Lobbying October 27, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Never really understood how much money is spent on lobbying every year. Open Secrets tallied it up:

OpenSecretsLobbying.GIF
That’s $2.5 billion every single year.

It’s no wonder Washington DC doesn’t seem particularly well-aligned with the interests of the rest of us.

The Terror of the CA Fires October 27, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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This video, taken by a family’s doorbell camera, shows the family’s panicked evacuation from their home as the CA fire approaches. You can see flames at the right of the screen.

Freaky stuff.

Merkel Recants October 21, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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The poster chancellor for open borders finally acknowledges reality:

Speaking to a meeting of young members of her Christian Democrats (CDU), Merkel said allowing people of different cultural backgrounds to live side by side without integrating had not worked in a country that is home to some four million Muslims.
“This (multicultural) approach has failed, utterly failed,” Merkel told the meeting in Potsdam, south of Berlin.

She said too little had been required of immigrants in the past and repeated her usual line that they should learn German in order to get by in school and have opportunities on the labor market.

 

What a difference 2 years make:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her controversial decision to admit over a million refugees in 2015, and insisted she had no regrets, saying she would take the big decisions “the same way again.”

“It was an extraordinary situation and I made my decision based on what I thought was right from a political and humanitarian standpoint,” she told the Welt am Sonntag.

“I’d make all the important decisions of 2015 the same way again,” Merkel added.

After years of lecturing the world on their moral responsibility to accommodate society-shifting levels of refugee immigration, Merkel finally acknowledges the damage she has caused.

Molokai Tide October 20, 2019

Posted by skinbad in Music.
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So yesterday, I was sitting in a parking lot in the family truckster waiting for the Mrs. to return from stimulating the local economy. The radio was dialed in to an easy-listening/oldies-ish station and a song came on that I’d never heard. My thought process went something like this:

  • That’s a really pretty song
  • That sounds like The Beatles
  • No. It’s more like a folk song
  • What the hell is he saying?
  • Molokai Tide?
  • That’s a weird Hawaiian song
  • Bagpipes? Whaaa?

Then I found some paper and scribbled down some lyrics so I could look it up. So it’s “Mull of Kintyre” written by Paul McCartney (with Wings) in 1977 and is about the area in Scotland where he has had a home since the 60s. It’s one of the best selling singles of all time in the UK. You can read about it if you care. Anyway, the bagpipes make a lot more sense for Scotland than Hawaii. Mystery solved. Once in a while I’m reminded that those Beatles lads were a talented bunch.

That Wacky Colorado Weather October 10, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
4 comments

Yesterday’s High: 79°F

Yesterday’s Low: 22°F

The Racism Trap October 9, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Just reading Campus Reform’s article on San Diego City College’s flyer for their “Confronting White Supremacy through the Arts” event (H/T to Instapundit). The flyer included this graphic:
SDCCRacism
There are obvious and detestable incidences of racism (Housing Discrimination, Hiring Discrimination, etc.) mixed in with ridiculous items such as “But we’re all just one human family.”

But trying to sum up the the philosophy of the graphic, I come to these conclusions:

  • A non-POC cannot contest any points made by the racism cottage industry, or you’re a racist
  • There is no solution to racism, because the racism cottage industry is about browbeating, not racial harmony

Note the way the points in the graphic fence the non-POC individual in:

  • You can’t try to help (“Self-appointed White Ally”; “White Savior Complex”)
  • You can’t try to treat everybody equally (“Colorblindness”)
  • You can’t try to enjoy/integrate other cultures (“Cultural Appropriation”)

So all of the paths to a solution are cut off. Even trying to propose a solution makes you a racist.

The only “solution” that the racites seem to entertain is perpetual racial navel-gazing on a finer and finer scale, accompanied by wealth transfer based on race.

That approach means that there will never be a solution to racism.

Taxing Wealth, Part IV October 2, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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OK, all the distractions are gone and I can finally keep my promise and talk about the Cato poll. This study focused on trying to determine the importance of compassion for the needy vs. resentment toward the rich in defining attitudes on wealth and capitalism.

I think the most telling chart was this one:

Cato Poll Billionaires Immoral.GIF

Compassion for the needy is actually slightly anti-correlated with the acceptability of billionaires, while resentment of the wealthy is high correlated.

So Bernie and his Bros are really just envious of wealth, and looking to cut the legs out from under those who are wealthy.

Attitudes Toward Capitalism. It has long been my thesis that those who hate capitalism are those who suck at it, and who envy those who don’t. As the poll results below indicate, the level of  compassion you have for the unfortunate is more weakly correlated with hating capitalism than is harboring resentment toward the rich:

Cato Poll on Capitalism.GIF
Obviously resentment/envy isn’t the only reason people don’t like capitalism, but it’s just as obviously a leading cause.

Taxing Wealth, Part III October 1, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Before I get to that Cato poll, I remembered that I forgot to address one of Bernie’s points from the NYT article (discussed in Taxing Wealth, Part I):

Mr. Sanders is blunt about his desire to reduce the size of America’s biggest fortunes, even highlighting how much individual billionaires would have to pay in taxes under his proposal. He said last week that he did not believe billionaires should exist in the United States.

“There’s no question to my mind that the United States is moving toward an oligarchy,” Mr. Sanders said. “This is an issue that has to be addressed, and this wealth tax begins to do that.”

The thing about oligarchies is: they need a source of power. In this case, the power of the billionaires is derived from their influence over the government.

geoff’s First Axiom (of the day, that is): The only way of reducing the power of the oligarchy is to reduce the power of government.

Taxing the wealthy and giving the money to the government does not reduce the influence of the billionaire class on government, it just gives more resources to government for them (the billionaires) to influence and control.

So Bernie is doing the exact opposite of what he should be doing.

And I’ll be getting to that fershlugginer Cato poll tomorrow morning, it looks like.