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Site Theme Voting Update January 29, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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Elemin takes a commanding lead with 6 votes. Of course it’s one of the most expensive templates they have. You guys sure have good taste.

Elemin geoff, Jimbro, Sobek, Cathy, historyupclose, jam2
Opti geoff, skinbad, retiredgeezer, historyupclose
Plane OBF, retiredgeezer, Cathy
Lovecraft OBF, Cathy, historyupclose
Colinear geoff, Mr. Matamoros
Adaption geoff
P2 geoff

Obama’s Legacy: America’s Fitness January 28, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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‘Nuff said.

We Don’t Want Them Here January 27, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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This is sure to get a reaction from the usual suspects:

President Trump on Friday continued his crackdown on illegal immigration, signing sweeping new orders that tighten the country’s refugee and visa policies –suspending almost all refugee admissions for four months and indefinitely barring entry for some Syrians.

Trump said the new measure was intended “to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America.”

“We don’t want them here,” Trump said.

In the article, Fox breaks out “We don’t want them here” into its own little banner. Now, Trump was obviously talking about “radical Islamic terrorists,” but I’m quite sure that the press will take this quote completely out of context, and the Left will turn it into another misinformed rallying cry (like “Hands up, don’t shoot).

But I’ll stand by what Trump said. I don’t want radical Islamic terrorists as neighbors. I don’t want any terrorists as neighbors. I don’t even want non-terrorist immigrants who don’t want to assimilate as next door neighbors.

And I especially don’t want immigrants from California, who are like liberal locusts – leaving their dying land and destroying other states’ prosperity, logic, and civility in the name of progressivism.

So I think Trump’s statement was reprehensible only in that it wasn’t sufficiently inclusive. He should have signed the “Trapped Like Rats in Hotel California” bill, which would allow people to enter California, but not leave.

“We don’t want them here” is a perfectly fine sentiment, no matter what Mark Zuckerberg thinks.

Comparing Inaugural Wordclouds January 27, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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Wordcloud from Obama’s inaugural speech:

This word cloud was compiled from the text of Obama's inaugural address , which totaled more than 2,000 words. 'Nation' was the most frequently used word, keeping with Obama's campaign theme of uniting the country. Here's one way he used it: 'In reaffirming the greatness of our nation , we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.' Other prominent words include 'today,' 'now,' and 'forward,' all of which refer to the present and the future.

Wordcloud from Trump’s inaugural speech:



The Innocent Bystanders Site Theme Poll January 26, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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As we mentioned previously, after more than 10 years our site theme seems a little restrictive and dated. So I asked everybody to submit their recommendations on alternative themes. Skinbad, lauraw, and I all suggested several themes, with laura really getting into the groove.

Here are the exciting previews of our site with each of these themes. A few notes before we start, though.

  1. I couldn’t find several suggested themes: An, 2016, Editor, and Able. If you can find them, I’ll happily include them.
  2. You have to look at the theme layout rather than the colors (which can be customized later).
  3. I didn’t bother to do much customization of the themes – there may be features I missed that would make things a lot cooler. I think it was the Colinear theme where I finally noticed that it had a 3-column option in addition to the 2-column option. I may have missed similar options with other themes. If you care, you can take your favorite theme, customize it, screencap it, and we’ll swap out my picture for yours.

OK, so here they really are – vote for as many as you like in the comments (couldn’t get the stupid poll thing to work):


Obama Legacy: Sugared Soda January 26, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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This one isn’t particularly serious, and it really relates to Michelle, not Barack, Obama. Michelle made kids’ nutrition her pet issue, pushing healthy student lunches and pretending to personally tend the White House garden. While there’s nothing wrong with caring about kids’ nutrition, I felt that most of her efforts were unrealistic and heavy-handed.

So it is with some mirth that I view this chart from the Washington Post:


Way to go, Michelle.

Liberal Recalcitrance on Voter IDs January 26, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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The actual magnitude of illegal voting is obviously subject to debate. But I’d rather talk about voter ID at the moment. I’ll attempt to sum up the controversy in a few lines:

Conservatives: We want voter ID because we think you guys are effing cheaters.

Liberals: There is no cheating and you just want voter ID because you’re racist and want to suppress the minority vote.

Conservatives: There’s no way to measure cheating without IDs. Look, we’ll spend the time and money to make sure that every legitimate voter has ID. Just humor us.

Liberals: No. Racists!!

To which I say: there are many ways to measure the Left’s sincerity on this issue. An organization:

  1. That spent a good deal of time after the 2008 and 2012 elections bragging about their modern, internet-based, database-driven political machine that reaches out to voters on an individual basis,
  2. That routinely canvasses neighborhoods to register voters, and
  3. That supplies buses to take disadvantaged voters to polling stations,

could obviously assist voters without ID to obtain some form of acceptable identification.

Instead they’ve dug in their heels and played the well-worn race card.

Meaning they’re effing cheaters.

Obama Legacy: North Korea January 25, 2017

Posted by geoff in News, Obama's Legacy.
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It’s so fun to hear the ex-President tell us how great is administration has been, when by almost any measure it was at best impotent. In the case of North Korea it was far from its best.

Y’all may recall President Bush’s infamous “Axis of Evil,” which prominently featured North Korea. That same year (2002), it was revealed that North Korea had violated a 1994 agreement with the US by operating a secret nuclear weapons development program.

So yeah, Axis of Evil.

  • 2005: The Bush administration leaps into action, reaching a tentative agreement to give a bunch of  goodies to North Korea in exchange for all of North Korea’s nuclear efforts.
  • 2006: North Korea detonates its first nuke.
  • 2007: North Korea signs an agreement to dismantle its nuclear weapons facilities in exchange for . . . a bunch of goodies. And Bush takes them off the list of countries that support terrorism.
  • 2008: Well howdy, howdy, howdy. Turns out that North Korea is missing its dismantling deadlines, and refusing to allow inspectors to check their nuclear weapons sites.
  • 2009: North Korea detonates its second nuke.

By this time everybody can see North Korea’s game. They really, really want to be a player on the international scene, but they have no technology or economy or culture that interests anybody else. Getting nukes is a shortcut to respect ==> just look at Pakistan.

So they string the international community along while they keep developing the nukes, collecting $200 every time they pass “Go.” …or every time they press “boom.”

Enter the Obama administration. Having seen that neither diplomacy, economic carrots, nor economic sticks (i.e., sanctions) are stopping North Korea, and that North Korea has blatantly violated two treaties, you might think they’d have learned something. Something like, “Gee, you can’t negotiate with these guys. You’re going to have to step things up.”

But of course they figured that the Bush administration was just incompetent at negotiating, because, well, cowboy Republican neanderthals is why.

  • 2011: They resume talks with North Korea.
  • 2012: North Korea agrees to stop missile and nuclear development in exchange for . . . a bunch of goodies.
  • 2013: North Korea detonates its third nuke.
  • By the end of President Obama’s term, North Korea detonates a fourth nuke, claims to have also detonated a hydrogen bomb, tests medium-range ballistic missiles, and claims to have developed intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The Obama administration didn’t do any worse than the Bush administration in terms of diplomacy. Their crime is not respecting their predecessor’s efforts and instead arrogantly/foolishly repeating their mistakes. As WaPo put it:

Mr. Obama has failed to take the North Korean buildup seriously enough. For years, his administration pursued a policy of “strategic patience,” which mostly consisted of ignoring North Korea while mildly cajoling China to put more pressure on the regime. In February, Mr. Obama signed into law a bill pushed by congressional Republicans that gave him broad new powers to sanction North Korea and cut off its economic lifelines.

However, . . . Mr. Obama has not used the powers Congress gave him. As The Post’s Anna Fifield recently reported, customs data shows that China’s trade with North Korea in June was almost 10 percent higher than the previous year, in spite of the sanctions. Though the White House has issued executive orders sanctioning Mr. Kim and other senior leaders, congressional leaders point out that it has yet to penalize any Chinese companies or banks for continuing to do business with the regime.

The upshot is that 10 years after North Korea detonated its first nuke, they have made significant progress on nuclear weapons technology as well as missile technology capable of carrying nuclear weapons. But the president thought that diplomatic business-as-usual would suffice, especially since his administration would be sooooo much more empathetic and diplomatic and stuff.

So it is directly due to both former President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton that the world, and the United States in particular, have become a much more dangerous place.

[North Korea timelines taken from the BBC and CNN]

If America is First, Who is Second? January 24, 2017

Posted by skinbad in History, News, Politics.
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The Dutch make their case. They’re not really considered Scandis, so I suppose it is possible.

Obama’s Legacy on Foreign Policy, In Brief January 18, 2017

Posted by geoff in News, Obama's Legacy.
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So the Obama administration has prepared briefing materials for the incoming Trump administration:

The Obama administration has written 275 briefing papers for the incoming Trump administration: nearly 1,000 pages of classified material on North Korea’s nuclear program, the military campaign against the Islamic State, tensions in the South China Sea, and every other kind of threat the new team could face in its first weeks in office.

Seems like if President Obama had had an effective foreign policy, they could have written far fewer papers.

Trump Cures US Climate January 18, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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Yes, it’s only been a couple of months since that tumultuous election night, but ever since Trump has been shaking things up. We all know about the foreign policy shifts and the emphasis on investment in America and job creation, but who knew that he was solving climate change in the US at the same time?


Sadly, I’m guessing his foes will continue to be unappreciative of his efforts.

[Though this post is completely tongue-in-cheek, the data is from NOAA and is quite real.]

Taxation Without Carbonation January 18, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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The liberal set has always believed that only greed and lack of empathy prevent money from being given to the government for distribution to the causes it deems worthy. Businesses and the wealthy are envisioned as bottomless pots of money, ready to be tapped freely in service of progressivism.

So when they start a’tapping, their subsequent befuddlement comes as no surprise:

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney fought hard to pass a new tax on soda and other sugary drinks.

He won, and the 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax is now in place, affecting both merchants and consumers, because that’s how taxes work.

Businesses pay the levies, and they offset the cost by charging higher prices. That is as basic as it gets.

The only person who doesn’t seem to understand this is Kenney, who is now accusing business owners of extortion.

“They’re gouging their own customers,” the mayor said, according to KYW News.

The mayor apparently thought the city council could impose a major new tax on businesses, and that customers somehow wouldn’t be affected.

They even tax sugar-free sodas, so it’s not the sugar he was after, and they tax a variety of drinks, so it’s not just sodas he targetted. He just thought he could grab some money from those fat cat businesses.