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A Ridiculous Deep Dive Into Hogg’s Sloppy Prose June 29, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.

Just reading Ace’s takedown of David Hogg’s silliness about manhood and patriarchy and such like that. Hogg is an idiot and Ace manhandled him nicely, but I was particularly taken by one of Hogg’s lines:

Add selling 100,000,000 more guns and you just raised both the number of people who want to and can kill someone a ton.

There are numbers there, so being a graduate of the Double-Domed Institute for Advanced Thinking, we can have some math fun.

According to Hogg, the Harvard student, we have the following formula, which assumes that each new gun goes to one person:

100 million New Gun Owners = (1 Ton of Potential Killers)/(AvgWeightPerPerson)

…where I’ve taken the liberty of dividing by the average weight to make the units come out correctly.

The average adult weight is 181 lbs, which means that 11 potential killers will emerge among the 100 million new gun owners. That’s 0.0011%.

I don’t think there are many endeavors with that low a risk. Thanks for the safety tip, Mr. Hogg!

Is COVID Obsolete? June 29, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.

*** Going to the CDC website so you don’t have to. ***

I was reading about the FDA’s recommendation that drug manufacturers retool their vaccines for the Omicron variants of COVID-19 (seems a little late for that). Thought I’d check how deaths are doing to see what the current threat level is.

Turns out it’s imperceptible (chart screencapped from the CDC):

For the week ending June 25, here are the deaths per 100,000 people in each age group:

AgeDeaths per 100,000 People

That means that if you were in a group of 10 million people between the ages of 40 and 49, only 4 would die of COVID. So, not terribly concerning.

No more DC cocktail parties for CDC and FDA management.

Steep Learning Curves Ahead June 26, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
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I liked Buck Throckmortin’s “Pet Peeves: Pretentiously Incorrect Words (And Open Thread)” post, particularly the clarification of “fewer” vs. “less.”

But, I didn’t like his take on “Steep Learning Curve.”

He states that “Steep Learning Curve” is misused because a curve where you learn quickly and easily would be steep, and one where you learn slowly and painfully would be flat. But “Steep Learning Curve” means that you are required to learn quickly, which is challenging. You’re not looking backward, saying, “Wow I really learned that fast, so a steep learning curve is easy” you’re looking forward and saying, “Oh my, I’ve really got to absorb this insanely quickly.”

So I believe that the term is used correctly in common parlance.

Feel-Good Politics Run Roughshod Over Musical Merit June 26, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
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In early May I put up a post about the Eurovision 2022 contest, with a video of the Ukrainian entry (which I didn’t care for). At that time I promised to link to the winner when the final results came out.

Turns out Ukraine won, so I was prescient in presenting their video. I know it’s my musical prejudice showing, but I’ve got to believe that they would have won even if their entry had been “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” or “Happy Birthday.”

Whatever. Can’t really get too lathered up about them being thrown a bone, given their circumstances.

Hope Springs Eternal June 26, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
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One of the nasty side effects of the COVID-19 lockdowns was Coca-Cola taking the opportunity to ditch half of its product lines while nobody was looking. Among the 200 or so products they abandoned was, of course, my beloved TaB.

I started drinking TaB in 1978, and was still drinking four or five a day when they shut it down. I paid outrageous prices ($25/12-pack, compared to 3-for-$10 and 4-for $12 previously) to get some of the few remaining 12-packs until they finally, really, totally ran out.

Still miss it, because nothing else hits the spot like TaB. So it was with surprise and no little glee that I heard that the Save TaB Soda people were still alive and continuing to pester Coca-Cola management. Their latest feat is a billboard that faces the Coca-Cola building:

Ironic that this is the most advertising TaB has seen in 30 years. Coca-Cola kept whining about how small the sales for TaB were, but they hadn’t advertised it or supported it for decades. Almost every time I bought some at the supermarket, the checkout person said, “TaB? I didn’t know they still made that.” I wasn’t the only one with that experience. A few years ago someone was offering a t-shirt that said, “TaB. Yes they still make it.”

Kind of tough to sell in quantity when no one knows your product exists. So eff Coca-Cola for claiming that low sales were a simple fact of life, rather than admitting that they committed negligent homicide.

I’ll admit that this post is completely self-serving, written only to further my goal of getting back my sweet nectar. But hey, if just one person mentions it to another, I’ll be satisfied.

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop June 19, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.

So we’ve got a ton of mortgages out there with interest rates around 3%. But now inflation is logging in above 8%. Mortgage rates have already doubled, but there’s no way for the lenders to recoup the erosion of their assets for the existing loans.

So at some point they’re going to come to the government, hat in hand, looking for relief. And we’ll be on the hook for another few $trillion.

Brings to mind P. J. O’Rourke’s take on the $500 billion Savings and Loan Bailout in the 80s (from Parliament of Whores):

The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 will end up costing every man, woman and child in America $2,000. Except it won’t. Because not every man, woman and child in America pays taxes. Babies don’t pay taxes. . . . And no taxes are paid by our unemployed, lay-about brothers-in-law, bum cousins, noodle-brained sisters who give all their money to EST and crazy uncles who are forever losing their shirts in business ventures such as “CHAT-EAU—the catnip flavored blush wine for your cat.”

That leaves you and me. We’re about the only people in America who pay our taxes. So when all’s said and done, this savings-and-loan bailout is going to cost us $250 billion apiece.

No doubt you have various questions about the savings and loan industry and the nature of its financial difficulties and the type of legislation necessary to remedy the current problems and prevent their recurrence.

A. Let me see if I can answer that as succinctly as possible. . . . Savings and loans are kind of a nitwit
populist creation of the Depression era.

. . .

…another nitwit populist creation of the Depression era, Jimmy Carter, got into office, and the economy started to look like an election in Haiti, and interest rates went on that taxi ride to Uranus that we talked about earlier. S&L owners—who are, after all, just a bunch of dumb guys from the sticks—were left with nothing to make money from but 6 percent mortgages that they couldn’t get rid of for thirty years. [Sound familiar? -geoff]
Meanwhile, S&L depositors didn’t think 3 percent interest was a very good deal anymore and were taking all their money out of savings and loans and investing it in one gallon of unleaded gasoline. S&Ls started losing money with both hands.

Q. Tough luck. If S&Ls are losing money, let them close up shop, give people back their savings and be done with it. Why should me and PJ have to pay through the nose for it?

A. . . .
Savings and loans can’t just close up shop and give people back their savings, because savings and loans don’t have any money. The money is all out at the fur-bearing trout farms, and we can’t get money back from the trout because trout don’t have pockets.


A Rare Defense of MSN June 17, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
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Saw this article linked at Ace’s this morning:

MSN Quietly Deleted a Story Revealing That Severe COVID-19 is Rarely Found in the Unvaccinated.

…the original paper having been written by “Robert Verkerk, Ph.D., the founder and executive and scientific director of Alliance for Natural Health International.” So was MSN evil and wrong to put up a story and then remove it?

I don’t think so. Folks, this Verkerk guy seems like a flake. His organization seems loony. As critical as I have been about COVID stats and the administrations’ handling of the pandemic, this sort of “scientific paper” does not add anything to the discussion, even if it would be great if it were true.

MSN was in the right to back away when they (apparently) realized how weak the credentials of the author were.

Who Owns Pronouns Anyway? June 9, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.

Was just reading about another idiot millennial who doesn’t just have custom pronouns, but now has different pronouns depending on whether you, the speaker are “cis” or not.

Which got me thinking, “Why are people being allowed to define their preferred pronouns at all?” Pronouns are used when the speaker is talking to someone about a third party. So long as there’s no confusion between the participants of the conversation, the pronouns should be acceptable, and are none of the third party’s business.

So if I was talking to RetiredGeezer and said, “That DaveinTX got all Twitterized and now he doesn’t blog at IB anymore,” both RG and I understand who “he” is, and DaveinTX doesn’t enter into our choice of pronoun. In fact RG and I could use a number of substitutions for “he.” For example:

“that loser”

“that traitor”

“that guy with soft hands and an easy touch”

If Dave was in the room, he could object to our choice of references, but he should have no authority to dictate how RG and I converse.

But in today’s twisted world, of course, he has exactly that authority.