The Epithet Gap July 31, 2013Posted by geoff in News, slutbags.
I’m afraid. Really afraid. For the first time I think we’re in danger of losing one of key edges in our neverending battles to preserve TJ&tAW*.
I’m talking, of course, about “slutbag.”
It’s awesome. It hit me like “asshat” did, so many years ago (thank you Rachel Lucas). So I’m afeared. Are we losing our edge? How do we ever match “slutbag?” And could we ever dream of someday surpassing it?
Or will we have to accept that we have been permanently outgunned?
I invite, nay encourage, you to try to remedy the situation in the comments. Put your backs into it – it’s for your country.
*Truth, Justice, and the American Way
Credit Where Credit is Due July 28, 2013Posted by geoff in News.
Back in January (and before) there was a lot of derision from the right regarding California’s budgetary situation, but that was halfway through their fiscal year. The fiscal year finished at the end of June, so how’d they do?
Total revenue for the year was $103 billion, almost $16 billion higher than last year. Total disbursements were $96 billion, only $7 billion higher than last year.
Yes, California actually had a $7 billion surplus.
I have to admit that I didn’t think Jerry Brown could do it – I thought he was exactly the wrong guy for the job. But he got it done, and shut me up.
Congratulations, California and Governor Brown.
Water Car July 27, 2013Posted by Retired Geezer in Ducks, Man Laws.
It ain’t a Flyin’ Car, no.
Thanks to my friend Herman in Ireland.
Have you ever noticed that the “FA” in FAQs is almost always fraudulent? The questions are not necessarily “frequently asked,” they are just those which the vendor thinks you should be asking, and wants you to know the answer, whether you thought of them or not.
In that spirit of disingenuity, I offer the following FAQs regarding the Columbus Day Texas Moron Meet-Up And Five Million Hits Celebration™, hereinafter referred to as the CDTMM&FMHC.
Q: What is the event?
A: The CDTMM&FMHC. Please try to pay attention.
Q: Who came up with this idea and is the person in charge of this event?
Q: When is it going to happen?
A: The weekend of Columbus Day, October 11-14.
Q: Where will it be?
A: It will be based at my house in the mid-cities area of the Dallas Metroplex, just a short cab ride from DFW, four doors west and across the street from Tony Romo’s house.
Q: What is the purpose of this event?
A1: To celebrate the avarice, courage and adventurous spirit of Christopher Columbus, a man who apparently did not know you are supposed to get a decent haircut before you sit for a portrait.
A2: To commemorate the likely achievement of five million hits from all over the world by Innocent Bystanders, an astonishing occurrence given that this site was initially just a joke by Retired Geezer. See sidebar to check our progress towards 5M.
A3: To enjoy good times and fellowship with the online friends we have grown to cherish over the years.
Q: Who has committed to attend already?
Q: Just Geoff?!?
A: DaveinTexas and Cathy have also said they will attend.
Q: What about you?
A: I have to be there. It’s at my house.
Q: What is going to happen?
A: It’s not really fixed yet, but traditionally these things work like this:
Friday Evening Premeetup: This is especially for folks arriving from out of town on Friday. Likely venue is the Spirit Grille, the dive bar closest to my house.
Daytime Saturday: Likely events include mid-morning brunch at my house, the discharge of firearms at the nearby Elm Fork outdoor range, possible visit to the historic district of Grapevine for some old-timey Texas atmosphere.
Saturday Night: Party involving the burning of meat, the consumption of adult beverages, and Dave falling in the pool.
Sunday: Sobering up, breakfast meetings and departures.
If you have Columbus Day off (Monday), you might want to make this a long weekend and enjoy some of the many attractions in this area, e.g., the Dallas Museum of Art, the Fort Worth Historic District, the Kennedy stuff and West End in the city, etc. The State Fair of Texas will also be running here at that time, a huge fair with many acts and attractions.
Q: What about accommodations?
A: Many choices nearby in the Las Colinas area to fit any budget. There is a La Quinta very close to my house which is moderately priced and, according to Geoff and others who have stayed there, is OK. You can call the La Quinta at 972-261-4900.
Hope you can make it! Let us know in the comments if you have any suggestions or questions.
Obama’s Foreign Policy Report Card July 25, 2013Posted by geoff in News.
Short version: Is there a grade lower than F?
President Obama took office back in 2009, facing a number of foreign policy challenges. Now that he’s cured the economy by giving yet another speech, perhaps it’s time to review his progress in addressing those challenges.
I think we can all agree that the issues the President needed to address included:
- Nuclear proliferation in Iran
- Nuclear proliferation in North Korea
- Unrest in Middle East (kind of goes without saying)
- Rise of China and its effect on territorial disputes & regional stability
- Stability vs. withdrawal in Iraq, and don’t forget our permanent base
- Resolving Afghanistan/Pakistan situation
And he promised that through superior, sophisticated diplomatic efforts (unlike that lout, Bush), he would be able to handle all these areas and restore America’s image worldwide.
So how’d he do?
4,980,790 Views July 24, 2013Posted by geoff in News.
…and climbing. Fewer than 20,000 views to go before we hit 5 million!
Fun With Ferrofluids July 24, 2013Posted by geoff in News.
Last year I made my daughter do a science project with ferrofluids in a rotating magnetic field (rather than the tired old “what mixes with what” kind of junk she wanted to do). She eventually got into it and actually ended up enjoying the experiment (and forgiving me). But now I’m totally bummed that we didn’t have any hydrophobic coatings to work with (which, per AoSHQ, are now available at Home Depot), because check this out:
More info and videos here.
Return to Black Hawk Down July 22, 2013Posted by Retired Geezer in Heroes, Honor.
Stolen from fellow Idaho Blogger, Clayton Cramer.
If I Have to Believe… July 22, 2013Posted by geoff in News.
Trayvon Martin’s supporters are demanding justice for his death, where justice has apparently been redefined from the meaning we used to cherish. If you oppose them, well, as usual you’re a racist. But:
- If I have to believe that the case presented by the prosecution was sufficient to convict George Zimmerman beyond a reasonable doubt;
- If I have to believe that white-on-black violence is more egregious than black-on-black or black-on-white violence;
- If I have to believe that the shooting of 6-year-old Quianna Tompkins was insignificant compared to the shooting of Trayvon Martin;
- If I have to believe that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are anything other than kneejerk, chip-on-the-shoulder, self-aggrandizing race mongers;
- If I have to believe that the President of the United States should weigh in on cases before they’re brought to trial;
- If I have to believe that the job of the Department of Justice is to put up a hotline to try to get evidence to support their preconceived biases which, almost by definition, aren’t supported by evidence;
- If I have to believe that this administration is truly concerned with the justice and well-being of everybody, rather than their pet special interest groups; and
- If I have to believe that the color of my skin defines what I can say, the severity of my crimes, and my qualifications for discussing the colors of people’s skins;
then I’ll just have to reconcile myself to a life as an unrepentant racist, because none of those premises are believable. If I contort logic and my principles to be able to accept the Justice for Trayvon Martin crowd’s perspective and demands, then I’ve lost the intellectual foundation that led me to support civil rights in the first place.
The JfTM protestors should really think about what they’re asking for, because they’re likely to lose far more than they gain.
Going Stealth on Mosquitoes July 20, 2013Posted by geoff in News.
I’m skeptical of most humanitarian efforts because they don’t seem to produce sustainable, meaningful results. Rather, they produce dependency and a parasitic administrative overhead that eventually prioritizes its own well-being over the original mission.
But sometimes a cool opportunity to do good comes along, where you can truly change lives for the better. I think the Kite Patch is such an opportunity:
Kite™ Mosquito Patch is a small, powerful patch that will, when fully developed, allow humans to go virtually undetected by mosquitoes for up to 48 hours.
Kite’s compounds act as a non-topical, spatial repellent, blocking mosquitoes’ ability to detect carbon dioxide – their primary method of tracking human blood meals.
We’re building Kite to protect humans in a small, lightweight, durable, and effective patch, in a wide range of conditions in which humans find themselves in contact with mosquitoes.
They’re currently seeking funding to produce the Patch in volume and test its efficacy in Uganda, where there’s apparently a 60% malaria infection rate.
I know this isn’t news to anybody, but malaria kills a huge number of African children every year (estimates vary, but probably over half a million). This technology could change African society in a lasting way.
You can help out for as little as $10. Seems like a worthy cause to me.
Does ‘Stand Your Ground’ Triple Justifiable Homicides? July 20, 2013Posted by geoff in News.
Jesse Jackson’s been a’flappin’ his gums:
“No doubt, the inclination is to boycott Florida, to stop conventions, to isolate Florida as a kind of apartheid state given this whole ‘stand your ground’ law,” Jackson told CNN. “Homicides against blacks have tripled since this law has been in existence.”
In general, well, that’s real retarded sir. But this business of “homicides against blacks have tripled” since the ‘stand your ground’ law was enacted in 2005 is troubling. I’m seeing a lot of liberal commentators seizing upon this stat, though it’s usually phrased as:
“Justifiable homicides have tripled since the passage of the ‘Stand Your Ground Law'”
So what’s the deal? Is it true that ‘Stand Your Ground’ has turned Florida into a land of trigger-happy, homicidal people just waiting to use excessive force?
Of course not.
First, consider the magnitude of the problem. Justifiable homicides by civilians increased from around 12/year to 36/year. Those are a small fraction of the total homicides in Florida (which typically number over a 1000/yr).
Second, Politifact/Florida took a look at this over a year ago, and pointed out that the stat could easily be due to a change in the definition of “justifiable homicide.”
Gary Kleck, a professor of criminology at Florida State University, has researched how the FBI and police departments define justifiable homicide.
Criminologists are suspicious of sharp increases or decreases within a short time frame, he said.
“I don’t believe anything triples.…Increases that sharp are probably due to some artificial cause like a shift in how people are defining events,” Kleck said. “It’s possible nothing actually changed in frequency except police departments increasingly defined homicide claimed to be defensive as a justifiable homicide. … Local police departments are increasingly viewing alleged defensible homicide as falling into the UCR definition. I don’t think they are trying to rig data, they honestly shifted their perceptions of what qualifies.”
But does that really explain the change? Well, PolitiFact also provided the following lovely table:
|Calendar Year||Justifiable homicide by civilian||Justifiable homicide by police||Total|
|First half of 2011||16||33||49|
Just looking at the table, it’s obvious that the redefinition explanation is very likely to be true, because police homicides jumped up nearly 3X at the same time as civilian homicides. Unless we presume that the police force went crazy at exactly the same time as civilians started abusing their newfound powers, you have to believe that the police changed their definition of “justifiable homicide.”
But I don’t think that’ll stop Jesse from abusing these stats.