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The Damning Nature of Twitter Vocabularies October 31, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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As long as we’re on the subject of vocabulary, I somehow missed last month’s study by the Queen Mary University of London:Twitter Language Use Reflects Psychological Differences between Democrats and RepublicansThey analyzed the frequency of word use in Twitter tweets, and found that Democrats and Republicans write very differently. Here’s the summary chart of their conclusions, where the bolded type represents hypotheses that were confirmed by their analysis:

journal.pone.0137422.t009

So Democrats use “lol” more frequently than Republicans?

Game, set, match.

Don’t Do the Crime if You Can’t Do the…errrr…Name October 31, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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One of the most annoying things about the Left is their habit of changing the meaning of words to suit them and banning the use of words that offend them. “Gender,” for instance. We all pretty much understood gender to mean them’s with parts and them’s without, but over the past two decades the word has come to mean something much different to liberals.

Or take “illegal immigrants.” Pretty straightforward, yes? Or “handicapped.” Or in the case of one ex-president, “is.”

Today the word they’re trying to change is “criminal“:

Is it wrong to call someone who steals a “criminal”?

In the site’s Crime and Safety area, where residents share strategies for fighting crime, Malkia Cyril asks her Noe Valley neighbors to stop using the label because it shows lack of empathy and understanding.

Cyril suggested that instead of calling the thief who took the bicycle from your garage a criminal, you should be more respectful and call him or her “the person who stole my bicycle.”

“I [suggest] that people who commit property crimes are human and deserved to be referred to in terms that acknowledge that,” Cyril, who’s the executive director of the Center for Media Justice in Oakland, writes in the thread.

The mind boggles. It’s fast getting to the point where communication between the two ends of the political spectrum will be impossible.

A Military in Liberal Hands October 30, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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President Obama, addressing the UN General Assembly (9/28/2015):

I lead the strongest military that the world has ever known.

The Heritage Foundation 2016 Index of Military Strength (10/28/2015):

All four branches of the military face severe readiness, capability, or capacity challenges. Three of the services were rated as “marginal” in their ability to contribute adequate combat power. The Army fared worse, earning a “weak” rating overall. Both Army and Marine Corps earned poor “capacity” scores, meeting only 64 percent of their manpower needs. The Navy and Air Force were rated as “marginal” due primarily to inadequate modernization and equipment replacement programs.

Hmmmmmm . . . either things went south in one short month, or the president is clueless about all matters military. Which could it be, I wonder?

Melissa Harris-Perry and the Power of a Picture October 29, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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Melissa Harris-Perry, a devout member of the Church of Perpetual Umbrage, generously lectured a guest about “hard work”:

Harris-Perry told a guest to be “super careful when we use the language ‘hard worker.’ Because I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like.”

You know, Ms. Harris-Perry, most of us who hold down jobs don’t need to be reminded of what hard work looks like. We may not labor in cotton fields, but I guarantee you we work harder than you’ve ever conceived of working in your pampered, sheltered life.

Maybe I should lecture Ms. Harris-Perry on the difficulties minorities face, since I have as much personal familiarity with that as she does with hard work. Of course, to be properly credentialed, I’d have to hang an appropriate picture in my office. That’s apparently all it takes to speak as an authority on a subject.

The Victorian Era vs. Generations Y & Z October 28, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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Was just reading about the Invictus games, which led me to look up the poem (by William Ernest Hensley):

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

A far cry from uptwinkles, safe spaces, and trigger alerts.

In a world full of Morlocks, we’re raising a generation of Eloi.

The Fed Grades Obama’s Economy October 27, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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[This isn’t really news, it’s just an overdue observation.]

The MSM is constantly telling us that we’re in recovery, and President Obama is constantly bragging about his awesome job creation statistics. But there’s an easy way to tell if the president’s policies have had a positive effect on the economy.

You see, it turns out that the Fed continually grades the economy to see if they should raise their target interest rates. You hear about their grading process all the time in terms of its effect on stock prices, but you never hear about it in terms of it being a de facto grading of President Obama’s economic leadership.

So here’s the deal: if the Fed thinks the economy is strengthening, it raises rates, and if it doesn’t it lowers them. What does that mean for our president? Take a look-see:

FedTargetRate

Yes, during the president’s nearly 7 years in office, the Fed has had the target rate locked down at its lowest value. During that time it has never felt that economic indicators are strong enough to warrant an increase.

So what does that tell us about President Obama’s “recovery?”

Nothing we didn’t already know, but it’s nice to be reminded that the Fed agrees.

From the “Headlines Too Awful to Check” Department October 26, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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Speedy Ants Make A Baby Bird Disappear In A Day

Full disclosure: I didn’t watch it, and never will.

A Fruit Too Low October 25, 2015

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I normally like Instapundit’s take on things, but this time he was too tempted by what seemed to be low hanging fruit:

BUT REMEMBER, IT’S THE RIGHT WHO’S ANTI-SCIENCE: Sand Causes Cancer, Say British Fracktivists.
Green activists have found a new way to villainize hydraulic fracturing in Britain: claiming that sand, one essential component of the sluice pumped at high pressure into horizontal wells to “frack” shale, will give people cancer. . . .

By this logic, greens ought to be calling for the quarantining of beaches—to hear these activists tell it, the sand you’d be tanning on there would be as big a cancer risk as the UV rays you might be soaking up.

That’s cute, and it’s hard to resist the temptation to pile on with more jokes about vaginal cancer rates among fracktivists (‘cuz there’s sand in their ‘ginas, see?), but let’s look at reality.

  • Very fine, airborne silica particles can roughly double the lung cancer rates in people who have extended exposures
  • Fracking sand does contain very fine silica particles (where beach sand does not)
  • Fracking does result in airborne sand. From OSHA: “NIOSH identified seven primary sources of silica dust exposure during hydraulic fracturing operations:
    • Dust ejected from thief hatches (access ports) on top of the sand movers during refilling operations while the machines are running (hot loading).
    • Dust ejected and pulsed through open side fill ports on the sand movers during refilling operations
    • Dust generated by on-site vehicle traffic.
    • Dust released from the transfer belt under the sand movers.
    • Dust created as sand drops into, or is agitated in, the blender hopper and on transfer belts.
    • Dust released from operations of transfer belts between the sand mover and the blender; and
    • Dust released from the top of the end of the sand transfer belt (dragon’s tail) on sand movers.”
  • Of 116 air samples collected at various fracking sites around the country, NIOSH found that half exceeded OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit.

So there is a possible health risk due to fracking operations, if one is exposed for many, many years. It’s probably an exaggeration to call fracking sand a “toxic chemical,” as the Friends of the Earth did, but you can’t just laugh it off without seeming ignorant.

So sorry, all those great sand jokes will have to wait until dust mitigation efforts are shown to have solved the problem.

Obamacare’s Famous Bent Cost Curve Nearly Doubles Insurance Rates October 25, 2015

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“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” The lie continues.

It was always obvious that the Affordable Care Act was only “Affordable” in the sense that the very poor and very sick would receive coverage they would otherwise not have been able to afford. But for everybody else, “Affordable Care” would become unaffordable.

That’s the experience small business owners in Santa Cruz County are now having:

The owners of the Sockshop & Shoe Co. face a stunning 85 percent increase in the cost of their group health insurance plan for their employees.

This is not what they expected from the Affordable Care Act. They thought rates could go up 10 to 12 percent, hoping as more people got health coverage, costs would come down, but that’s not happening.

The premium increase Sockshop faces is not unusual in Santa Cruz County.

“I am already delivering 75 percent to over 100 percent rate increases to small business group plans that now have to move to the new Affordable Care Act ‘metal’ plans,” said Pamela Fugitt-Hetrick of DCD Financial and Insurance Services in Santa Cruz. “They are still determining if they can keep group insurance going.”

It’s a story you’ll be hearing all over California:

Some 35 states are allowing renewal of grandmothered plans but the board of Covered California, which runs the state health insurance exchange, declined to do so, saying there would be no consumer benefit.

With Sockshop’s plan expiring Dec. 1, the Gils have to switch.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 70 percent of small businesses in California offering employee health insurance will be switching because their plans will no longer be available.

This is one of the wonders of government: We used to have 85% of Americans insured (prior to the recession). Now we have 88% of Americans insured. But somehow, in order to provide insurance for that extra 3%, we have to nearly double the costs for everybody else.

Another triumph of government efficiency.

[Great article by the Santa Cruz Sentinel, by the way – well worth reading the whole thing.]

Every Town Needs One October 24, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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A crazy-big puffer fish (currently only available in China):

GinormousPufferFish

Nice Little Bike Ride October 23, 2015

Posted by Retired Geezer in Crime, Handblogging.
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Remind me to never try this:

The Missing Amendment to the Bill of Rights October 22, 2015

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The right to keep things the same.

People struggle their entire lives to create the lifestyle and environment they prefer. Whether urban, suburban, rural, or prepper, they buy property in an area that suits them, blend in with the neighbors, and relax into the life they’ve dreamed of.

Until someone or something comes along to turn their life upside down. Like, say, as is currently happening to all those little towns in Europe who are being flooded by immigrants. And little towns in America who suffer the same thing.

Progressives always focus on the upside of change, but they never respect the rights of those who are quite happy with their lives, and who don’t want to lose the lifestyle they’ve either inherited or created. You’re always going to have change, of course, but incidental change isn’t the issue: directed, planned, enforced change is.

So like I said, we need an 11th amendment to the Bill of Rights.