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“0% Inflation” is Actually True August 16, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
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Was reading Ace’s take on the “0% inflation” business from our illustrious president, and I don’t think he’s right. The easiest way to see what’s going on is to look at the CPI itself, rather than the change in the CPI. I cribbed this graph from the St. Louis Fed:

As you can see, prices flattened out over there on the right, so the month-to-month inflation was 0. So Biden’s victory jig was justified . . . a little. The fact is that the CPI would have been at 270 – 275 right now if we’d kept our old inflation rate. Now it’s at 295, and that’s breaking our backs.

So nothing wrong with what Biden said, but he’s celebrating a bit too much, given the pain consumers are feeling.

Ace was claiming a correspondence to the difference between acceleration and velocity, but it’s really a correspondence of distance and velocity. The CPI isn’t changing, so our velocity is zero, but our distance from where we want to be is still large.

Concentrated Evil (/Time Bandits) August 16, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
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As I wander the interwebbytubules I’ve seen people decry the hypocrisy of the Dems’ support for the FBI raid contrasted with their drive to defund the police. The claims of hypocrisy go the other way as well, with liberals mocking conservatives’ support for the police but shock at the FBI raid.

I don’t see hypocrisy here, I see evil.

The Democrats are clearly very comfortable with extending police powers at the federal level. Expanding the Capitol Police, the IRS, the EPA, and supporting the FBI are all part of that comfort level, which is derived from the fact that they expect to control those institutions forevermore.

Conservatives like local law enforcement, but are wary of centralizing police powers in DC. The objection to the expansion of federal policing stems not only from the Democrats’ control of those powers, but from an inherent distrust of concentrating authority and enforcement at that level.

I suspect the battle over local vs. federal powers is also a part of the Democrats’ objections to the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade. Sure they love themselves some abortion, but the fact that the power over abortion rights was returned to the states is a real setback for their plans to centralize control of, well, everything. Education, health care, the economy, personal freedom, transportation, and, of course, law enforcement.

Destabilizing the safety and economic well-being of the citizens allows the Dems to claim that the federal government must step in to solve these problems. The same gameplan they followed with COVID, until a few states started rebelling.

Crisis creation and enabling totalitarianism?

That there’s evil.

Some Pics of Dave July 24, 2022

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I just put up a page of DinTX pics that I had from various sources. Most are from 2009. The page is password-protected, the password being the nickname of IB, each word capitalized, no spaces.

If you have posting privileges here (and who doesn’t?), feel free to add pics of your own.

No No No No NO July 22, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
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It is with great, great sadness, and no little confusion about cosmic justice, that I’m forced to report the passing of one of the major authors at this site, DaveinTexas, this past Wednesday. I have no information concerning the circumstances or arrangements [Update: Link to the funeral home included at the bottom of the post].

Dave was a prolific author here through 2017, after which work demands unfortunately took him away from blogging. He wrote almost 500 posts here, his last post being in 2019 (“A Veteran Laid to Rest“),

One of his earliest (2006) efforts was a video he made of “The History of the Innocent Bystanders,” where you can still enjoy listening to him try not to giggle as he fabulates with abandon.

And, of course, who can forget his epic “Crap Tree” post, which was posted here almost every year since he wrote it.

I suck at eulogies, which is why I usually asked Dave to write them. He always came through brilliantly. He had a natural gift for expressing heartfelt empathy without being smarmy. He was an amazing combination of irreverent humor and genuine caring. And bass playing.

As usual I’m at a complete loss, and now I don’t have Dave to turn to.

Sorry, Dave – you deserve far, far better.

Link to the funeral home site.

Ugly Demise July 20, 2022

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Adding insult to injury (or, in this case, death):

A former Russian biathlon star-turned pilot and two wealthy Russian tourists on a £4,250 sightseeing trip were killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday, before being dragged away and gnawed by bears, according to reports.

My dad once had a surgery and my brother asked him how he was doing. “I feel like I’ve been eaten by wolves and sh*t off a cliff,” was his reply.

I think “I feel like I crashed in a helicopter and got eaten by bears” conveys the same sort of sentiment.

Buttigieg Tries His Hand at Cherry-Picking July 20, 2022

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Pete Buttigieg, who exposes his incompetence weekly (which is actually far less often than his superiors in the administration), thinks he scores a point on Rep. Scott Perry:

“I think it’s fair to say that even you have implied that [consumers] should buy an electric vehicle and absolve themselves” of that cost, Perry told Buttigieg. “Just looking at Kelley Blue Book, the price of an EV is about $55,000,” he added.

Buttigieg responded: “First of all, I want to be clear, nobody I know, certainly not me, thinks that all, or even most Americans, can easily afford electric vehicles.”

“That said, I’m struck by this $55,000 number that keeps going around,” Buttigieg said.

“I knew this might come up, so I just pulled a few of the latest prices: A Chevy Bolt, so an American-made, 2022 EV, is $26,595,” he told Perry.

Going to the Chevy website, here are the starting prices for their electric vehicles (pictures here and below taken from their site):

Those are 2022 prices, which are higher than Buttigieg’s number because last month Chevy announced that their 2023 price would be lower by $5K. [Sad that Pete is relying on future prices to assuage the pain consumers are feeling right now.] Either way, let’s compare to Chevy’s low-end gas-powered options.

The Spark and the Bolt EV have very similar bodies, but the Spark is half of even Buttigieg’s discounted price.

Of course, neither the Bolt nor the Spark are among the best-selling cars/trucks/SUVs in America (here are the top 25 for 2021). Why? Because they have limited space and few features. They are cars that work well for people with short commutes and a lot of city driving, but they’re not the best choice for a family car, for instance.

This is why we compare averages, Mr. Buttigieg, instead of cherry-picking the cheapest car and pretending that it represents a valid solution for all American consumers.

Neanderthals and Zermatism II July 13, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
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More evidence that Szukalski may have been right:

Some of Us Are Part-Neanderthal, And It Could Affect How You Process Medicines

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

Posted by geoff in News.
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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.
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*** 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
0-40.0
5-110.0
12-150.0
16-170.0
18-290.01
30-390.0
40-490.04
50-640.06
65-740.09
75+0.23

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

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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

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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

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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.