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What’s Really Going on in Sweden? February 23, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

I personally am not sure, though the Daily Mail’s article today seems pretty awful. But here are some factoids. First, have a look the graph of this funky statistic (“exposure to sex offenses”), shamelessly stolen from nice Swedish peoples.


Something is clearly afoot in recent years – something that can only be explained by increasing disrespect of women. But as to Sweden being the “Rape Capital of the World” due to recent immigration, I’m not seeing it (chart stolen again from those gullible Swedes):


Gorgeous Drainage February 23, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

Somebody needs to use this in a movie before it disappears:

That’s a 72 foot-wide drain in Lake Berryessa up Napa Valley way. They’re draining it due to the high rains. Much more info here, though it’s accompanied by a lot of inanity…

Dedicated Obtusity, Salon-Style February 22, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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I don’t think Salon’s doing well, but they’re certainly not thinking well. Here’s today’s exciting Salontweet:

There are the obvious observations that the Oklahoma City Bombing was not motivated by Christianity, and that it is terrorism outside the country that we are worried about bringing into the country (“During [2016], there were 2476 Islamic attacks in 59 countries, in which 21239 people were killed and 26677 injured.“).

But also…ummm…Salonperson? It’s not a contest – all terrorism is bad. Here was the response to the Oklahoma City Bombing:

  • We executed Timothy McVeigh.
  • Terry Nichols was sentenced to 161 life terms with no possibility of parole.
  • A crackdown on militia groups reduced their number from 370 in 1996 to 68 just three years later.
  • The GSA specified that federal buildings should be set back from the street, buildings should be engineered to prevent collapse, and shatterproof glass should be used. Concrete barriers were placed outside buildings, and x-ray scanners and armed guards were added to buildings. Daycares were banned from federal buildings.
  • Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

If we took these measures to prevent homegrown threats from causing this sort of catastrophe, what measures would we take to thwart external threats?

Just because we have our own problems doesn’t mean that it’s OK to import more.

The Obama Legacy Just Keeps Giving February 22, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

I don’t think I need to remind you of who mocked Mitt Romney’s concerns over Russia, nor who completely ignored this buildup on his watch:

Speaking to parliament, Shoigu said that the military received a sweeping array of new weapons last year, including 41 intercontinental ballistic missiles.

He added that the wide-ranging military modernization will continue this year, with the air force set to receive 170 new aircraft. The army will receive 905 tanks and other armored vehicles, and the navy will receive 17 new ships.

“Shoigu” is Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister.

Then there’s China:

China, in an early test of U.S. President Donald Trump, has nearly finished building almost two dozen structures on artificial islands in the South China Sea that appear designed to house long-range surface-to-air missiles, two U.S. officials told Reuters.

New Season of MST3K is Almost Here February 22, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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April 14. On Netflix.

The crowdfunded 14-episode revival season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the ’90s cult favorite about making fun of bad movies with your robot pals, will officially hit Netflix on April 14.
The crowdfunded MST3K revival project was announced in late 2015, and it managed to raise $6.3 million in Kickstarter pledges and other donations. The size of the project and the show’s enduring popularity 16 years after its cancellation attracted some reasonably big-name talent to the project both in front of and behind the camera, including Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt as series regulars and a list of guest stars that includes Jack Black, Joel McHale, Jerry Seinfeld, and Mark Hamill.

Bloomberg Follies February 22, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.

Not sure why I bothered, but I was just reading a Bloomberg article entitled, “Why Trump’s immigration crackdown could sink home prices.” The author gives several pointless anecdotes about immigrants suddenly not buying homes because they’re afraid of Trump’s immigration policies. And then he gives us this chart:

You can see in the header what he thinks the chart says: foreign-born ownership rates are buoying up the real estate market when domestic ownership declines. But the curves don’t show that at all: it may be true from 2005 – 2007, when domestic ownership slipped and foreign-born ownership kept rising, but in general it’s untrue.

Did he even look at the curves before he wrote the title of the chart?

Then you have to consider that the chart itself is meaningless. Trulia originally made the chart to show that foreign-born ownership rates are catching up with domestic-born ownership rates. The rate is just the percentage of people in that group who own homes, but it says nothing about how big the group is.

Since the number of foreign-born households is much smaller (1/6) than that of domestic-born households, you can see that the rate of foreign-born ownership would have to jump up 6 points for every point lost by domestic-born households. By directly comparing the curves like he did, he’s essentially lying to you.

The last point is that the darker interpretation of foreign-born home ownership is that it prices domestic-born potential owners out of the market. Guess he’s not worried about that.

I shouldn’t read Bloomberg.

Some Optical Illusions to Pass the Time February 21, 2017

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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

Posted by geoff in News.

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

Posted by geoff in News.

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

Posted by geoff in News.
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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

Posted by geoff in News.
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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.