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Frickin’ IB Nostradamus, Baby July 22, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.

Y’all may require the period back in 2006 – 2008 where I kept posting long, heavily documented posts on the military and economic ascendance of Russia and China. I stopped posting about it because it seemed to get old, and because it wasn’t like the current administration was going to do anything about it. And, of course, there were many skeptics who thought both Russia and China were too technologically and economically backwards to pose a threat in the next couple of decades, and I got tired of trying to educate them.

But today we have this:

The Russian Air Force Is Back: Stealth, Su-35s and Syria

*stretches lazily*

I don’t think I need to say another word.

From the “WTF Headlines” Department July 21, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.

To protect yourself from malaria sleep with a chicken next to your bed

Unproductive Federal Spending July 20, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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Ironman over at Political Calculations points out that federal spending has never contributed less to US productivity than it does today:


Head over to his site for bigger graphics and better explanations.

Congrats, Tushar July 13, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.

He did it the right way:

Important announcement: after 17 years, a lot of hassle and tons of money, I finally got my US citizenship today.
Very Proud!

How About Some Debt To Go With That Debt? July 13, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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Not much to like in the latest CBO Long-Term Budget Outlook report. Debt, debt, and more debt. Here’s the projection compared to historical debt levels (all charts taken from the CBO report):


Depressing, but at least it’s a pretty chart. You might ask yourself, “Hey winsome IB reader, does that debt come from too much spending or not enough revenues?” So here’s that chart:


Yup, spending is the culprit, rising from its historical (post-WWII) level of 19-20% to 28.3% by 2046 (30 years from now). Inexorably rising, I should have said.

The debt projection has gotten much worse in only one year, so you can look forward to next year’s projection:


How to fix it? Here are some scenarios:


Yup, you’d have to cut more than $2 trillion out of the budget to keep the debt level the same as it is today, and $4 trillion to get it back to pre-Obama levels.

If you compare the likelihood of Congress making those cuts to the likelihood of Congress increasing spending over current levels (via, say, more entitlement programs), I think you’ll agree that the CBO’s most pessimistic curve (the top one) should be the baseline.

Chinese Light Novel Panic July 11, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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I have juvenile and odd tastes, so I have recently been spending too much time reading translations of Chinese light novels, focusing, of course, on the wuxia (chivalrous swordsmen flying through the air and stuff) and xinxia (dao-based magic + plenty of fighting) stories. I was reading a story called The Nine Cauldrons, when I came across this pair of lines (“Internal Arts” means martial arts, of course):

The Internal Arts were so diverse!

China’s Internal Arts was magical because the first purpose of this kind of Art was caring for health, not murdering.

WTH? sez I. I stopped dead, unable to continue for a moment. I mean, after all, what’s the point of this genre if not to kill 50, maybe 60 people?

Shaken, I continued to the next line…

After health, there was killing.

All was right with the world after all.

“What do you want?” July 11, 2016

Posted by lauraw in News.

She cannot answer the question.

This video is great because it exposes the lie at the heart of this BLM ‘movement’- it is not a civil rights movement at all, but an attempt to refresh a historic blood feud, and repurpose it. Anyone with a truly pressing claim would have answered this question directly and swiftly.

I feel sorry for these kids, who are being cynically used by truly awful people and they don’t even know it.

Thanks to longtime Moron dri, who originally posted the link on the sidebar at Mothership.

Saturday Afternoon Diversions: Spot the Phone July 9, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.

They say this is a viral image that’s driving the internet crazy, so why should you guys be left out? Here you go: spot the mobile phone in this image.


The answer is here.

Airing Out the Pits July 9, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.

I don’t know how we can live with ourselves, falling so badly behind the Japanese in hygiene and comfort products. And in particular, I don’t how we could have lived for so long without . . . the Japanese Armpit Fan!!


Although the picture on the lower right makes it look like it’s trying to cure cancer.

Black Lives Matter Petition July 8, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.

Update -probably best to let this one slip by. While I think the BLM movement is divisive, destructive, and irrational, the movement doesn’t seem to have had anything to do with the shootings (though I’d be stunned if no one at the protest knew about it beforehand). I’ll wait and see how the facts play out…

In case you feel strongly about the Dallas shootings (and everybody should), I should point out that there’s a petition asking the White House to formally recognize the Black Lives Matter movement as a terrorist organization. Oddly enough the petition was started the day before the shootings. While not written very well, and a little messed up (I think the State Department is in charge of designating terror groups, not the Pentagon), it seems like a worthy cause. Here’s the text of the petition:

terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims”. This definition is the same definition used to declare ISIS and other groups, as terrorist organizations. Black Lives Matter has earned this title due to its actions in Ferguson, Baltimore, and even at a Bernie Sanders rally, as well as all over the United States and Canada. It is time for the pentagon to be consistent in its actions – and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare Black Lives Matter a terror group – on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety.

If a better one comes along, let me know.

July 2016 Employment Situation July 8, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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Boring Employment Situation Report from the BLS today: the media is celebrating the 287K jobs they say were added, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t amount to much. Just a little uptick in the employment chart:


Then you’ve got the manufacturing jobs. Or, rather, you don’t. Because with a mere 3 months to go to keep the president’s promise to add 1 million manufacturing jobs, he’s 654K short. And the trend has been negative over the past 6 months:


It was a stupid promise for a president to make, but having made it, he totally owns this spectacular failure.

The July 2016 Exports Data July 7, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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Since it’s early in the month, I know you’re all itching for the latest employment and exports info. Well, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the employment update, but the exports data was released yesterday, so voila!


You see that tall rainbow-colored bar at the January 2015 point? That’s what the president promised to do. And those depressing short grey bars? That’s what really happened. So we’re sucking some major wind, exports-wise.

In the end, I think President Obama will have the worst exports growth performance of any president ever in the history of man on the planet (I’ll plot that up and see if it’s true). But if history serves, he’ll simply say that he did wonderful things with exports, and his fans will nod their heads in unison and call us racists.


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