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Vacationing in Estes Park December 30, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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…and trying to ignore current events and the like.

Hope your holidays were, and continue to be, outstanding!

Ohhhh…Eff Me December 26, 2016

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My farewell column

Thomas Sowell looks back at quarter century of writing syndicated commentary

I didn’t link to Thomas Sowell too much, because it seemed to me that most of his material was more philosophical and not directed at current events.

But I really appreciated his work, and I’ll miss him.

To His Koi Ambassadress December 26, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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Y’all have known for many years about my penchant for Asian-type media.

And yet you still let me post here.

So let this be a lesson to you: witness the remarkably viral Koi Dance:

How viral, you ask? So viral that among all the obligatory copycat videos, even the staff of our Japanese embassy (including US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy) did a version:

I don’t normally have much use for the Kennedy clan, but that was pretty funny.

President Obama Says Nothing Will Change When He Leaves Office December 26, 2016

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From The Daily Caller:

Barack Obama said the first thing he’ll do once he’s out of office is take time to think about himself.

President Obama Gets One Right December 26, 2016

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President Obama addressed the troops at Marine Corps Base Hawaii yesterday:

“I just want all of you to know that it has been the privilege of my life to serve as your commander-in-chief,” Obama said during a visit to the base with his wife, Michelle.

This is true, but it’s something that everybody already knows, especially the military. Obama mansplains it as if it’s a surprise that being granted the responsibility for the lives of American service members is a unique privilege.

Only a surprise to him.

So I Made a Thing December 25, 2016

Posted by Sobek in News.
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20161225_154529-1

Why Nobody Likes Reporters, a Continuing Series December 24, 2016

Posted by Sobek in News.
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Montana’s sole US Representative, Ryan Zinke, was tapped to be Trump’s new Secretary of the Interior.  That means Montana will have a special election (assuming Zinke is confirmed, and I see no reason why he wouldn’t be).  The Billings Gazette published a straight-news article discussing six Republicans who either said they were interested in running for the spot, or who said they weren’t ruling it out.  That article also said no Democrats had announced, and even quoted some who said, in effect, “what’s the point?  We’d get our butts kicked in the current political climate.”  Very possibly true, although Montana did just re-elect a Democratic governor in the same year that Trump took the state and Zinke crushed his Democratic challenger.

A day or two later (12/21), the Gazette published another piece that said Democratic state legislator Amanda Curtis was interested in running for the spot.  The same article also mentioned that two other Republicans had said they were interested.  The majority of the article was about Curtis, and the other two Republicans got brief mentions at the end of a long article.  But whatever, I’m not here to complain about word count.

Rather, I want to mention that today (12/24), the Gazette did another piece on Curtis.  Or rather, they published a piece written by a writer for the Montana Standard (owned by the same company that publishes the Gazette).  Here’s where my complaint comes in.  This is a 1,000+ word campaign ad that looks like a straight news piece.  The headline is “Experience of Senate Run Could Help Curtis in a Race for Zinke Seat,” which I suppose is true, even if not exactly news.  There isn’t a single word of criticism in the article.  No mentions, for example, that she thinks wearing tampon earrings is a pretty good idea.  They spin the fact that she got humiliatingly crushed in her last statewide race by saying, “Despite these obstacles and some mailers and ‘fake news’ that accused Curtis of being a communist, the Butte legislator garnered 40 percent of the popular vote…”  Ah yes, complaining about “fake news” in an allegedly straight-news article that’s really an in-kind campaign contribution.

See, that’s why newspapers are a dying industry, Gazette.  You are utterly incapable of learning from your mistakes.  Americans don’t trust you, because you habitually flush your credibility down the toilet.

Oh, and I can’t comment on the Gazette’s sins directly because they recently disabled all of their comments.  Nice.

Incidentally, any whitewash of Curtis should probably go towards explaining the stuff in this video:

FYI, noting out loud that she has crazy eyes is sexist.

Godzilla Christmas, 2016 December 24, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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It’s almost unavoidable. When you’re caught up in the hubbub of shopping, cooking, cleaning, and worshiping in your preferred way, it’s easy to forget that every year Carleton releases a commemorative Godzilla ornament. But I never forget, because Godzilla, with his atomic breath and city-destroying habits, reminds you to celebrate life amid the tragedy and suffering we wade through all year.

…plus they make really cool noises.

So please to enjoy the Godzilla family (together with last year’s King Ghidorah):

godzillas2016

The new kid is in the back row, 2nd from the left. Here’s a closeup, courtesy of Amazon:

2016 Godzilla - Carlton Heirloom Ornament

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!!

Me vs. Krugman December 23, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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Y’all may remember those crazy days of yore when I made a little graph that we fondly called “The Chart.” It plotted the unemployment rates predicted by the Obama administration vs. what actually happened, showing that the “Stimulus” was not working in any meaningful way. It went viral back in 2009, so yay.

But after a year of updating that plot, I realized that the unemployment statistics had become meaningless, so I made my own version of the stats to give us a better feel for the real health of employment. It plots full-time employment divided by the “civilian non-institutional population” (basically a measure of the size of the workforce). I’ve been updating the new chart for over 6 years – here’s the latest:

fulltimeempvscivpopdecember2016

Meanwhile, the president and Dems crow about the jobs added during his two terms:

Photo

And here’s Paul Krugman’s version:

So there’s a disconnect there: my chart says that things still suck, but according to the president and Paul Krugman, things should be peachy.

I think most of us would agree that in our personal experience, things are still not peachy.

Of course there are always subtleties hidden in the data that simple charts like those above (including mine) cannot capture. But I have to say that my chart is far more indicative of the real employment situation than Krugman’s or the Dem’s charts. I say this because the metric I use excludes part-time employment, and captures the effect of population growth and those who have fallen out of the job market.

And now it turns out that both Krugman’s and the Dem’s charts are a complete waste of time; just propaganda charts with no relevance to the actual health of employment in this country.

Why? Because part-time jobs is why:

Fast forward 6 years, when a report by Harvard and Princeton economists Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger, confirms exactly what we warned. In their study, the duo show that from 2005 to 2015, the proportion of Americans workers engaged in what they refer to as “alternative work” soared during the Obama era, from 10.7% in 2005 to 15.8% in 2015. Alternative, or “gig” work is defined as “temporary help agency workers, on-call workers, contract company workers, independent contractors or freelancers”, and is generally unsteady, without a fixed paycheck and with virtually no benefits.

Krueger, who until 2013 was also the top White House economist serving as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Obama, was “surprised” by the finding.

Quoted by quartz, he said “We find that 94% of net job growth in the past decade was in the alternative work category,” said Krueger. “And over 60% was due to the [the rise] of independent contractors, freelancers and contract company workers.” In other words, nearly all of the 10 million jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were not traditional nine-to-five employment.

So Paul Krugman is spouting partisan clap-trap, as usual.

And my chart?

Well, I don’t mean to brag*, but…

*Totally lied right there

Cheery Xmas News: You Ain’t Gonna Retire as Early As You Thought You Were December 23, 2016

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Two days ago the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of future Social Security revenues and spending. Here’s their projection:

cbosocialsecurityprojection

The good news is that you can set aside all those mailings from retirement villages: I don’t think we’re going to have to worry about retiring for quite some time. As of 2029 all reserves will be exhausted and benefits will have to be reduced by 29% to make outlays match revenues.

Don’t believe me? Here’s what the CBO said:

Under current law, CBO projects, Social Security’s trust funds, considered together, will be exhausted in 2029. In that case, benefits in 2030 would need to be reduced by 29 percent from the scheduled amounts.

Having adamantly opposed social security reform efforts, I’m sure that the Democrats will be only too happy to propose a 40% tax increase for social security. That would mean that both you and your employer would be taxed at 10.5%.

Makes me long for the Bush plan.

Red Alert: UK Periodical Engages In Shameless Ribald Puns December 22, 2016

Posted by lauraw in News.
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It’s Dick Joke Day Thursday

Pretty well done overall, but I have to detract style points for this:

Pensioner pleases neighbours with his massive flashing cock

The author- and no kidding, his name is Richard- gives his all, straightaway in the headline. But then he just keeps repetitively hammering it home.

Slow down, man. Take your time. Work up to it, throw in a little variety, you know?

Must-Have Fashion Accessory December 20, 2016

Posted by geoff in Fashion.
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More fashion tips for you sad little shut-ins. I can only imagine the gratitude on your puckish faces for another exciting and informative post in my widely acclaimed series on fashion.

Today it’s all about fashion accessories, where, as usual, the Japanese have taken the lead into heretofore unexplored territory.

Check it (below the fold):

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