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Pushing Pawns October 4, 2015

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In the endgame in chess, you often end up trying to push pawns to the far side of the board, hoping to turn them into queens. In the most spirit-crushing scenario, you push two pawns, so as soon as the defender cuts off one pawn’s advance, you can switch to the other pawn. The defender ends up running back and forth, unable to stop the pawns’ inexorable march.

At least that’s how it always worked out for me when I was being crushed by my opponents. And it appears that it’s how it’s working out for the Obama administration as well.

Russia moves troops into the Ukraine, but before we can resolve the situation, China pushes forward in the South China Sea, but as soon as we jump on that, Russia moves into Syria. While we’re worrying about Syria, China presses its advantages in South America, but when we notice that, Russia starts making noises about reabsorbing the Baltic States. [I may have the order wrong, but you get the point.]

I wish President Obama was better at foreign policy than I am at chess, but it appears not. He doesn’t even seem to be aware of how tightly coordinated Russia and China are.

It’s particularly galling to see him try to shore up his ineffectual foreign policy by bragging about having the strongest military forces in history, as if the military he’s weakened and cut has the ability to wage war on two fronts (as was always the requirement in the past).

No Mr. President, you don’t even have the strongest military of the past 10 years. And a strong military hasn’t been needed this badly in 30 years.

Fortunately his plan to turn swords into social services is still going strong, so we can be weakened militarily and economically at the same time.

From the “Holy Toledo!!” Department October 3, 2015

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Surgeons reattach toddler’s head to neck following near-death car accident

Obama’s Promise-Keeping Takes a Turn for the Worse October 3, 2015

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At the beginning of every month you can pretty much count on me mocking the Obama administration for falling on its face regarding anything to do with the economy. This month is no exception, with the minor difference that Investor’s Business Daily joined in the fun.

So yes, as more people are beginning to notice, the president’s promise to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs doesn’t seem to be going well:


He has a remarkable ability to curse anything he talks about.

The Case for Witholding Shooters’ Names October 2, 2015

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I really wish they wouldn’t release the names of these mass shooter types. They should be left with no place in history, thought about by no one, none of their life’s details splashed across our media.

They should be denied the fame they tried to buy with the stolen lives of others.

September 2015 Employment Misses Predictions by a Huge Amount October 2, 2015

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Wow – the street was expecting employment to increase by 203,000 jobs in the latest Employment Situation Report, but it only increased by 142,000. That’s quite a miss. “Unexpected,” I’m sure. The Household Survey actually showed a loss of jobs, but it looks they were mostly part-time positions.

Here’s the chart you’ve come to know and love over the past 5 years:

FullTimeEmpvsCivPopOct2015Not very impressive – we’ve been crawling sideways since last December. At this rate we’ll never regain the glories of the mid-00’s.

Perqs of the Blog October 1, 2015

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Google Claiming it Can Make us Gods

Too late – I already blog at Innocent Bystanders.

The Two Faces of Obama on Gun Control October 1, 2015

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Then (Fall, 2008):

“When you all go home and you’re talking to your buddies and you say, ah ‘He wants to take my gun away.’ You’ve heard it here, I’m on television so everybody knows it. I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe in people’s lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away.”


“We know that other countries in response to one mass shooting have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours. Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.”

Great Britain: you mean that country that confiscated everybody’s handguns? And Australia, which essentially banned handguns?

Seems like somebody has finally revealed his true feelings – feelings we pretty much knew he held all along.

WaPo Proves Gun Safety is Increasing for Young People October 1, 2015

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I know I’ve been picking on the Washington Post a lot lately, but they’ve been deserving every bit of it and more. In fact, I may have to make it a daily or even twice-daily feature, because they suck so badly at journalism and facts.

Hot on the wake of the Oregon shootings, they published this post:

Shooting in Oregon: Young people are far more likely to die by guns than in cars

And they provide this handy chart to support that headline:


Yup, as the plot shows, the rate of motor vehicle occupant deaths is smaller than the total rate of gun deaths for people between the ages of 15 and 24. Then they point out that homicides are about 60% of gun deaths, so case closed, there are more homicides than motor vehicle occupant deaths.

And yet. Somehow they managed to get through the entire article without mentioning one key fact: both motor vehicle death rates and gun death rates are declining. Motor vehicle occupant deaths in that age group declined by a stunning 65% (from 1999 to 2013), while gun deaths declined by 20%.

So rather than representing an epidemic of gun deaths, their stats show an improvement in motor vehicle safety for young people.

I won’t even get into how crude their statistics are, with no analysis based on demographics or geography.

WaPo Whiffs on Illegal Immigration Concerns October 1, 2015

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I don’t know what’s wrong with the Washington Post these days, but following closely on the heels of their disastrous 3-Pinocchio rating for Carly Fiorina (which has received a huge backlash), they’ve managed to whiff on another subject. Today’s WaPo buffoonery concerns the “anti-immigration movement.”

The WaPo author (Jeff Guo) claims that there are four misconceptions driving the anti-immigration movement, and then proceeds to debunk them with the help of a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences. The four misconceptions are:

  • Immigrants don’t learn English fast enough
  • Immigrants are uneducated
  • Immigrants make crime worse
  • Immigrants are unemployed

But Guo’s entire analysis is based on a comparison of concerns over illegal immigrants with statistics based on all immigrants. He states out the outset that Trump’s popularity is in part derived from his anti-immigration stance, but Trump’s stance is anti-illegal immigration. You don’t build a fence to keep out legal immigrants – you build it to control illegal immigration.

So the article can be immediately discounted, because Guo is tilting at windmills. Attacking a straw man. Battling demons from his own id.

But you can also go through the points one-by-one and see how badly he’s warped the story. It’s fun and informative. Here’s the run-down:


Approaching Peak Whine October 1, 2015

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Katherine Timpf at The National Review noted a couple of silly pieces at HuffPo and The Guardian. Let’s start with The Guardian, where a poor lass is trying her feminist best to cope with the horror of sweat-shaming:

In this powerful, heart-wrenching piece, Roe explains that she recently went into a Starbucks after her run only to have some lady ask her if she’d gone swimming. Horrified, Roe explained to the woman that she was just sweaty — and then proceeded to flee the shop before even adding the half-and-half she wanted because she was just too traumatized to stay there a moment longer.

“Eventually the caffeine kicked in and it hit me: I’d been sweat-shamed,” she writes. “Sweat-shaming is when someone points out your sweatiness as a way to signal disapproval,” she continues. “Like its counterparts, slut-shaming and fat-shaming, sweat-shaming is aimed mainly at women, who are actually not supposed to sweat at all.”

No, my dear, the myth that women are not supposed to sweat was dispelled decades ago, when women began running and working out routinely. Sweat-shaming is reserved for those people who are too inconsiderate to avoid going into an enclosed space with their stinky, sweaty bodies.

I’m confident that I sweat more than any human born on this planet, so when I finish some sweat-inducing physical exertion, I spare the patrons of Starbucks my drippy glory, and grab a shower or at least wait until I cool off before I inflict myself on the public. It’s called courtesy. And hygiene. And social mores. And such like that there.

So far from identifying another slight against womankind, the author at The Guardian has identified herself as a socially backwards lout.


Moving on to the sad little HuffPo author, who says that because she is brown-skinned, she is forced to shave her legs and armpits.

According to Agrawal, although “humans of the porcelain-skinned variety” like Madonna and Miley Cyrus have the option of not shaving their armpits, she cannot join their furry-feminist fuzz fest because of her race.

“So while they reject the status quo, they’re going somewhere I can’t follow,” she explains.

She “can’t follow,” she explains, because her “grooming habits are not a simple style choice or preference,” but rather dictated by the “out-and-out racism” of our society that has only gotten worse since 9/11.

As with all matters involving the possibility of racism, we should treat her complaint with sensitivity and understanding. So as to the delicate matter of the racial inequities of grooming, let me just say:

Hey, hairy-legged spider girl – shave your damn legs!!

We may have a couple of weirdo celebrity types who don’t shave their armpits, but the norm in this country is for ladies to shave their exposed body parts. All ladies. You are welcome to not conform, and to complain about the standards of conformity, but the simple truth is: if you want to fit in, you accept the appearance standards of the society you live in.

Everyone has grooming issues. Everyone hates to shave (although there’s a cool new laser shaver coming out!). Guys with five o’clock shadows complain that they have to shave twice a day. Everyone has a skin condition, or a hair condition, or some unique circumstance that makes their life a pain in the posterior.

But those are issues to take up with your Maker, not to attribute to racism.

Grossly Premature Christmas Ornament Fun September 29, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.

I normally refuse to blog about Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but CNET made me violate my principles with this image:


Yep, that’s the scene from the end of Wrath of Khan, where Spock sacrifices himself for “the many.” In fact, that’s the name of the ornament: The Needs of the Many Ornament.

While I’m on the subject, the 2015 Godzilla ornament isn’t too impressive:


But check out King Ghidorah!!

King Ghidorah2015

Oh yeah.

Slow Motion 3D Fire Breathing September 29, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.

Very, very cool:


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