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Updated GDP Growth Chart, By Request May 31, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.
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Andy (of The Snausages and AoSHQ) asked me to update this chart showing the real GDP growth rate since 1950. As you can see, there’s a general downward trend that suggests that unless proactive steps are taken, we’ll soon be enjoying 2% growth numbers. In our good years.

Real GDP Growth Rate Since 1950

It’s worth noting that the FY2015 White House budget predicts GDP growth of ~3.3% for 2015 – 2017, and then has it dropping down to 2.3% in 2021 and beyond. I think their near-term growth assumptions are optimistic, and their long-term projection is realistic, but pathetic.

Here’s the thing. If you’re truly concerned about the long-term welfare of these United States, you try to take significant action to ensure that welfare, especially when predictions based on your policies show tepid future growth. On the other hand, if you’re a political animal who thinks the GDP is just a big ole pot of limitless money that should be used to advance liberal causes, I suppose you don’t worry so much about future growth. Or growth.

Andy, take it and do with it what you will.

The Devolution of Strength? May 28, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.
8 comments

I came across this possible explanation as to why some IBers might not exhibit Herculean strength. Or near-Herculean strength. Or remotely-distant Herculean strength. Or strength.

Researchers in China say that starting roughly 6 million years ago, evolution supported intellect over brawn, and our bodies compensated by diverting energy from muscle production to brain development. In other words, humans became punier as their brains got larger.

But check out the last line of the article:

“It is a very simple explanation, and it could be completely wrong,” Khaitovich said. “In evolution, however, simple explanations often work well.”

Why did they waste our time? Speculation like this is for fun and inspiration; it’s not science.

About the President’s Foreign Policy Speech at West Point May 28, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.
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I think this single sentence by the Daily Mail sums it up:

Receiving tepid applause and a short standing ovation from less than one-quarter of the audience upon his introduction, Obama argued for a contradictory foreign policy that relies on NATO and the United Nations while insisting that ‘America must always lead on the world stage.’

Elliot Rodger’s Faux Misogyny May 27, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.
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This whole Elliot Rodger thing should have been dropped in a memory hole so as not to encourage other self-absorbed, egotistical, racist, classist, psycho jerks to try to get some notoriety at the end of their meaningless lives. I’m betting that there’s a limitless supply of these losers

But unfortunately, feminists have decided to make this all about misogyny, with professional pinhead Sally Kohn trying to tell us that this act is part of a nationwide problem with misogynistic terrorism.

As Elizabeth Plank and Jessica Valenti and several other writers have pointed out, the shooters rants are the very definition of misogyny. And the hatred of women is not a random personal twitch but a deeply ingrained worldview—let’s call it an ideology, even—with social and political implications.

And yet while in America we’re quick to recognize and politicize the broader implications of Islamic extremism, misogyny is treated not as an ideology but simply a sub-category of crazy.

There are many reasons why Ms. Kohn’s theory is silly, but I thought I’d just focus on this excerpt from Rodger’s loony manifesto (p. 100):

I saw obnoxious slobs who dressed in basketball shorts and T-shirts walking with hot girls. And there I was, decked out in Armani, all by myself. It was preposterous! I should have been the one walking with the hot girls!…

I soon found out the name of the beautiful girl in my math class. Her name was Brittany Story. Being the obsessed stalker I was, I looked her up on Facebook, and what I found shattered my already wounded heart to pieces. She had a boyfriend. Not only that, but her boyfriend was the type of boy that I have always hated and despised: a tall, muscular surfer-jock with a buzz cut. As I looked at the pictures of the two of them together, I shivered with pure hatred. I could physically feel the hatred burn through my entire body. I wanted to kill both of them, and I was capable of doing it. Brittany Story should have been mine, and if I can’t have her, no one should! I fantasized about capturing the two of them and stripping the skin off her boyfriend’s flesh while making her watch.

A page or so later:

I couldn’t help but feel a bitter form of envy at all of the rich kids at the concert. They grew up in lavish mansions, indulged in excessive opulence, and will never have to worry about anything in their pleasurable, hedonistic lives. I would take great pleasure in watching all of those rich families burn alive.

So who did this melodramatic kid hate? Everybody who had something he wanted. He hated everybody with relationships, money, and status.

His misogyny wasn’t even really misogyny – he was angry with beautiful women who wouldn’t go out with him, and especially angry with beautiful women who had relationships with “inferior” men. So again, it comes down to his hatred of people who wouldn’t give him what he wanted and those who had what he wanted.

This isn’t misogyny, it’s puerile selfishness and a gargantuan sense of entitlement.

Delegating the Memorial Day Post May 26, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.
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It being Memorial Day, I should say some words about those in the military who have fallen in service to their country. But I don’t think I could do it was well as DaveinTexas did at Ace of Spades, nor was well as the series of posts at xBrad’s site. So please enjoy their posts.

Desperate Statistical Gaming May 24, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.
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Italy finds a way to bend the EU’s rules, rendering themselves completely pathetic in the process:

Istat, Italy’s national statistics office, will include estimated dealings from drugs, arms trafficking and prostitution in its GDP figures from now on, acoording to Bloomberg.

The Italian government had pledged to limit its budget deficit to 2.6 per cent of GDP this year, but a sudden rise in GDP will give the government a better deficit ratio, and therefore more money to spend.

Istat said the calculation would also include revenues from contraband tobacco and alcohol, adding that the procedure would be “very difficult for the obvious reason that these illegal activities are not reported”.

It makes you want to cry.

The Plight of Many an IB Gent May 24, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.
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President Obama’s Weekly Radio Address (5/17/2014) May 21, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.
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The President’s weekly address last Saturday had a lot of very special moments. He opened with this:

At a time when our businesses have created 9.2 million new jobs in just over four years, and more companies are considering bringing jobs back from overseas, we have a choice to make. We can make it easier for businesses to invest in America – or we can make it harder.

It’s true that businesses have created 9.2 million jobs since his inauguration (though that’s just over 5 years, not 4), but consider this:

Just before the recession, peak private employment in America was 115,862,000 (February 2008). Last month, private employment was 116,383,000. So six years later we’ve netted 521,000 jobs. In fact, it was only in February of this year that private employment exceeded that of six years prior.

(more…)

Zionists 1, Elmo 0 May 14, 2014

Posted by Sobek in Personal Experiences.
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A pic I took last weekend in San Francisco:

Elmo

I wish I had the full story here, but I don’t.  All I know is, when we first drove past, I said, “Look kids, it’s Elmo.”  Elmo was wearing his mask at the time.  A little while later, I walked past and overheard Elmo yelling about Israeli Apartheid against the Palestinians.  Elmo still had the mask on.  A few minutes after that, I walked out of the building and took this picture.

Conclusion: the Zionists took down Palestinian Elmo.

A Spare Residence May 13, 2014

Posted by skinbad in Stupid shit.
35 comments

A Rare Reticence May 12, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.
5 comments

Looking out the window at the second day of snowfall here in Colorado.

But I’m not going to say anything snide about global warming.

Nope, not gonna do it.

Probably.

The Decline and Fall of Archer May 9, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.
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My son and I had been looking forward to Season 5 of Archer for a year, but we decided to hold off watching it until the entire season was available online. At long last our wait was over, so we bought the season at Amazon and dove in.

And were immediately disappointed.

Without spoiling everything, let’s just say that this season’s involved a change of direction that left every episode laboring under a huge moral cloud. That took the fun out of everything.

And that change of direction, prompted by the show’s writer/creator’s tiring of the old spy format, was completely unsuccessful in reviving his creative juices. Pretty much the same jokes repeated ad nauseum throughout the season.

Notes to the Archer team:

  • Drug trafficking isn’t funny
  • Drug addiction isn’t funny
  • Endangering unborn children isn’t funny
  • A paraplegic soiling himself in despair at his condition isn’t funny

I’m pretty bummed out, because I think it was the funniest show I’d ever seen on TV. Sometimes previous seasons had meandered a bit, but they always brought the unfettered funny. This season they bound and gagged the funny, and then clubbed it like a baby seal.

But, ever an optimist, I’m already waiting for Season 6.