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A Ridiculous Deep Dive Into Hogg’s Sloppy Prose June 29, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.

Just reading Ace’s takedown of David Hogg’s silliness about manhood and patriarchy and such like that. Hogg is an idiot and Ace manhandled him nicely, but I was particularly taken by one of Hogg’s lines:

Add selling 100,000,000 more guns and you just raised both the number of people who want to and can kill someone a ton.

There are numbers there, so being a graduate of the Double-Domed Institute for Advanced Thinking, we can have some math fun.

According to Hogg, the Harvard student, we have the following formula, which assumes that each new gun goes to one person:

100 million New Gun Owners = (1 Ton of Potential Killers)/(AvgWeightPerPerson)

…where I’ve taken the liberty of dividing by the average weight to make the units come out correctly.

The average adult weight is 181 lbs, which means that 11 potential killers will emerge among the 100 million new gun owners. That’s 0.0011%.

I don’t think there are many endeavors with that low a risk. Thanks for the safety tip, Mr. Hogg!

Is COVID Obsolete? June 29, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.

*** Going to the CDC website so you don’t have to. ***

I was reading about the FDA’s recommendation that drug manufacturers retool their vaccines for the Omicron variants of COVID-19 (seems a little late for that). Thought I’d check how deaths are doing to see what the current threat level is.

Turns out it’s imperceptible (chart screencapped from the CDC):

For the week ending June 25, here are the deaths per 100,000 people in each age group:

AgeDeaths per 100,000 People

That means that if you were in a group of 10 million people between the ages of 40 and 49, only 4 would die of COVID. So, not terribly concerning.

No more DC cocktail parties for CDC and FDA management.

Steep Learning Curves Ahead June 26, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
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I liked Buck Throckmortin’s “Pet Peeves: Pretentiously Incorrect Words (And Open Thread)” post, particularly the clarification of “fewer” vs. “less.”

But, I didn’t like his take on “Steep Learning Curve.”

He states that “Steep Learning Curve” is misused because a curve where you learn quickly and easily would be steep, and one where you learn slowly and painfully would be flat. But “Steep Learning Curve” means that you are required to learn quickly, which is challenging. You’re not looking backward, saying, “Wow I really learned that fast, so a steep learning curve is easy” you’re looking forward and saying, “Oh my, I’ve really got to absorb this insanely quickly.”

So I believe that the term is used correctly in common parlance.

Feel-Good Politics Run Roughshod Over Musical Merit June 26, 2022

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In early May I put up a post about the Eurovision 2022 contest, with a video of the Ukrainian entry (which I didn’t care for). At that time I promised to link to the winner when the final results came out.

Turns out Ukraine won, so I was prescient in presenting their video. I know it’s my musical prejudice showing, but I’ve got to believe that they would have won even if their entry had been “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” or “Happy Birthday.”

Whatever. Can’t really get too lathered up about them being thrown a bone, given their circumstances.

Hope Springs Eternal June 26, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
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One of the nasty side effects of the COVID-19 lockdowns was Coca-Cola taking the opportunity to ditch half of its product lines while nobody was looking. Among the 200 or so products they abandoned was, of course, my beloved TaB.

I started drinking TaB in 1978, and was still drinking four or five a day when they shut it down. I paid outrageous prices ($25/12-pack, compared to 3-for-$10 and 4-for $12 previously) to get some of the few remaining 12-packs until they finally, really, totally ran out.

Still miss it, because nothing else hits the spot like TaB. So it was with surprise and no little glee that I heard that the Save TaB Soda people were still alive and continuing to pester Coca-Cola management. Their latest feat is a billboard that faces the Coca-Cola building:

Ironic that this is the most advertising TaB has seen in 30 years. Coca-Cola kept whining about how small the sales for TaB were, but they hadn’t advertised it or supported it for decades. Almost every time I bought some at the supermarket, the checkout person said, “TaB? I didn’t know they still made that.” I wasn’t the only one with that experience. A few years ago someone was offering a t-shirt that said, “TaB. Yes they still make it.”

Kind of tough to sell in quantity when no one knows your product exists. So eff Coca-Cola for claiming that low sales were a simple fact of life, rather than admitting that they committed negligent homicide.

I’ll admit that this post is completely self-serving, written only to further my goal of getting back my sweet nectar. But hey, if just one person mentions it to another, I’ll be satisfied.

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop June 19, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.

So we’ve got a ton of mortgages out there with interest rates around 3%. But now inflation is logging in above 8%. Mortgage rates have already doubled, but there’s no way for the lenders to recoup the erosion of their assets for the existing loans.

So at some point they’re going to come to the government, hat in hand, looking for relief. And we’ll be on the hook for another few $trillion.

Brings to mind P. J. O’Rourke’s take on the $500 billion Savings and Loan Bailout in the 80s (from Parliament of Whores):

The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 will end up costing every man, woman and child in America $2,000. Except it won’t. Because not every man, woman and child in America pays taxes. Babies don’t pay taxes. . . . And no taxes are paid by our unemployed, lay-about brothers-in-law, bum cousins, noodle-brained sisters who give all their money to EST and crazy uncles who are forever losing their shirts in business ventures such as “CHAT-EAU—the catnip flavored blush wine for your cat.”

That leaves you and me. We’re about the only people in America who pay our taxes. So when all’s said and done, this savings-and-loan bailout is going to cost us $250 billion apiece.

No doubt you have various questions about the savings and loan industry and the nature of its financial difficulties and the type of legislation necessary to remedy the current problems and prevent their recurrence.

A. Let me see if I can answer that as succinctly as possible. . . . Savings and loans are kind of a nitwit
populist creation of the Depression era.

. . .

…another nitwit populist creation of the Depression era, Jimmy Carter, got into office, and the economy started to look like an election in Haiti, and interest rates went on that taxi ride to Uranus that we talked about earlier. S&L owners—who are, after all, just a bunch of dumb guys from the sticks—were left with nothing to make money from but 6 percent mortgages that they couldn’t get rid of for thirty years. [Sound familiar? -geoff]
Meanwhile, S&L depositors didn’t think 3 percent interest was a very good deal anymore and were taking all their money out of savings and loans and investing it in one gallon of unleaded gasoline. S&Ls started losing money with both hands.

Q. Tough luck. If S&Ls are losing money, let them close up shop, give people back their savings and be done with it. Why should me and PJ have to pay through the nose for it?

A. . . .
Savings and loans can’t just close up shop and give people back their savings, because savings and loans don’t have any money. The money is all out at the fur-bearing trout farms, and we can’t get money back from the trout because trout don’t have pockets.


A Rare Defense of MSN June 17, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
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Saw this article linked at Ace’s this morning:

MSN Quietly Deleted a Story Revealing That Severe COVID-19 is Rarely Found in the Unvaccinated.

…the original paper having been written by “Robert Verkerk, Ph.D., the founder and executive and scientific director of Alliance for Natural Health International.” So was MSN evil and wrong to put up a story and then remove it?

I don’t think so. Folks, this Verkerk guy seems like a flake. His organization seems loony. As critical as I have been about COVID stats and the administrations’ handling of the pandemic, this sort of “scientific paper” does not add anything to the discussion, even if it would be great if it were true.

MSN was in the right to back away when they (apparently) realized how weak the credentials of the author were.

Who Owns Pronouns Anyway? June 9, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.

Was just reading about another idiot millennial who doesn’t just have custom pronouns, but now has different pronouns depending on whether you, the speaker are “cis” or not.

Which got me thinking, “Why are people being allowed to define their preferred pronouns at all?” Pronouns are used when the speaker is talking to someone about a third party. So long as there’s no confusion between the participants of the conversation, the pronouns should be acceptable, and are none of the third party’s business.

So if I was talking to RetiredGeezer and said, “That DaveinTX got all Twitterized and now he doesn’t blog at IB anymore,” both RG and I understand who “he” is, and DaveinTX doesn’t enter into our choice of pronoun. In fact RG and I could use a number of substitutions for “he.” For example:

“that loser”

“that traitor”

“that guy with soft hands and an easy touch”

If Dave was in the room, he could object to our choice of references, but he should have no authority to dictate how RG and I converse.

But in today’s twisted world, of course, he has exactly that authority.

White House Spin Machine Tries Again May 24, 2022

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So the White House is trying to find something, anything, to crow about concerning the economy. Here’s their latest effort:

The White House released a report Tuesday to show that President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief measure of 2021, which is now being blamed for record-high inflation, has succeeded — especially by helping Black people and Hispanic people get jobs and keep their homes.

“This is the most equitable recovery in terms of jobs and employment that we have ever seen. This was by design,” a senior White House official told reporters in a conference call on Monday.

Unemployment among Black people saw the biggest calendar-year drop — 2.9 percentage points — since 1983 and is now lower than pre-pandemic levels at 5.9%, the report said.

I think every racial category probably saw the biggest drop since 1983, since employment was artificially suppressed in 2020. But you’d be expecting that Black people would be ahead after that, yes? Let’s just see what the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Household Survey has to say about that (chart taken from the BLS site):

What you see right there is that the unemployment rate for Black people is, in fact, at 5.9%, just like the man said. But you can also see that Black unemployment dropped far more precipitously under Trump than it has under Biden, dropping more than 7.6 percentage points in the 9 months between May 2020 and January 2021. Biden’s only dropped it by 3.3 percentage points in the 15 months after his inauguration. [Data below the fold]

You expect a slowing of the improvement under normal conditions, of course, but not after throwing $2 trillion at the economy.

Their selection of a calendar-year metric was designed to hide both Biden’s mediocre performance and Trump’s much more impressive performance. Cheap trick by unethical people.

The White House spin team is really pathetic.


Dropping Salamanders May 24, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.

Turns out some salamanders (the ones that live in tall redwood trees) are capable of gliding, whereas your regular salamander is not.

Scientists being scientists, they dropped both kinds in a wind tunnel (video at the link). I’ll bet they giggled when they dropped the first (regular) guy.

Poor bastard.

In Appreciation of the Great Work by Biden and Fauci May 22, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.

We’ve had 16 months of “grownups in the White House,” so naturally all of our previous problems have been solved. Take, for example, the COVID-19 situation (basic chart downloaded from the CDC):

You can immediately see the benefits of a steady hand on the tiller. And thank God somebody’s actually listening to Dr. Fauci! You can see how quickly things improved once the administration faithfully followed his recommendations.

But seriously, given the prior experience, availability of vaccines (for what they’re worth), and the emergence of a dominant strain with markedly reduced lethality, it’s stunning that Biden/Fauci have performed as poorly as they have.

Crisising Our Way Toward Global Socialism May 13, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
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One of the hallmarks of good management is that you never notice it. Crises are anticipated and headed off before they ever emerge.* Negotiations are conducted and resolved before aggrieved parties reach an impasse. Supply chain issues, personnel issues, budget issues, etc., are all addressed early, before they balloon into disasters.

So if you’re not part of the management process, you never really notice it. Things are humming along, everything is stable, and you can enjoy the present and plan for the future.

Contrast that with the current administration’s approach, where even on the few occasions where they anticipate a crisis, they do nothing about it. Most of the time they seem oblivious or in denial when a crisis looms. And once the crisis finally arrives, they spend all their time deflecting blame and responsibility, rather than taking action.

They’ve been so consistent with not bothering to take effective action that I’m coming to believe that it’s deliberate: they are crisis nurturers and profiteers, rather than crisis mitigators (I know I’m late in finally accepting this, as other folk have been warning of this for some time). Now, rather than waiting for a crisis to occur organically, they nudge it along, inflate the threat, and then use it to move toward their ultimate goals.

It is instructive that even when the administration was warned about the threat of inflation, saw inflation occurring, and then saw it grow out of control, they didn’t change any of their spending plans. They didn’t do anything but stay the course, when that course was obviously damaging the American people.

Now, what are they proposing instead of throttling back on deficit spending ?

Price controls.

More government intervention and control, replacing capitalism with unilateral government decision-making. Or, more concisely, socialism. And, given their penchant for violating our sovereignty with ridiculous international agreements, global socialism.

I know conspiracists have been warning us about the New World Order for decades, and I always felt there was at least an element in society that was pursuing that goal. But I didn’t think it was a dominant element, or even that significant of an element. But now, it seems transparently obvious that the goal of the administration is to guide us toward that eventuality.

The old movie Rollerball has been coming to mind a lot lately, but I wasn’t sure why. Now I think I know. In that movie there were two classes of people: the executives, who ran things, and everybody else. The executives took care of everything: food shelter, companionship. Commoners just had to toe the line and keep their mouths shut. Pretty much exactly the scenario that the administration is driving toward.

James Caan’s character (Jonathan E.!) is benefiting hugely from the system, with the best of everything provided him. But he eventually realizes that he’s a bird in a gilded cage, and starts to question whether all the comforts and security are worth the sacrifice of freedom, independence, and self-determination.

In the 70’s, it was obvious to most of us that they were not. Now, however, I think most of the population would be perfectly happy to let someone else take responsibility for their lives.

Better buy some roller skates.

*With obvious act-of-GodChina type exceptions, such as COVID-19