February 2nd, 2012

#3198: "Rule of law" applies to Presidents too

Lawyers are urging the judge in Obama's eligibility case in Georgia to cite the President with contempt of court.

Faced with a subpoena to appear, Obama and his lawyers simply refused further participation in the case. If you or I did that, there'd be a warrant sworn out for our arrests.

You can't just arrest a sitting President, but there are other things you can do; and if I were the judge on that case I would summarily find against the President and strike his name from the Georgia ballot.

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The endgame of modern mores and the sexual revolution. A return to traditional values is the only way to offset this kind of situation.

Japan's culture is problematic because the replacement of traditional values with modern ones resulted in an extremely shallow culture. Young women don't want to get married and have babies; they want to take trips and vacations and enjoy going out to drink and having expensive designer clothes.

Young men are largely the same; they want to spend their hard-earned money on techotoys and durable goods rather than blow it on expensive dates with women.

There's an old OL Shinkaron strip which shows a newlywed couple planning their honeymoon trip to Hawaii. He's never left Japan before while she knows all about international travel; and the third panel shows her totaling up what she's spent on trips in the past few years versus what he's spent on courting her...and realizing that all his disposable income went into their relationship.

That works out fairly well for everyone in a society where the commitment to marriage is strong and people don't get divorced unless something is seriously wrong; but in a society where no one thinks much of a couple divorcing because someone got bored--or some other banal reason--it fails miserably. There's no incentive for a man to go to all that trouble to win a woman if there's nothing protecting his investment of time and money; and there's no point to getting married if neither of you intends to honor the commitment past the first inconvenience.

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Just as a side note: realistic sexbots means the end of any society, because if you can get perfectly realistic sex out of a machine why would you ever bother with people? We're not even to that stage yet and Japan's already in trouble. Give it a few years.

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YouTube page with the "Star Wars Uncut" fan-sourced Star Wars. It's just over two hours long, so I haven't even begun to look at it yet.

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And no day would be complete without DOOM!


But the Age of Obama was supposed to be post-racial! Apparently that was a lie. This page has like 3 or 4 pop-ups so I'm going to post this image here:

This is radio host Thaddeus Matthews going apeshit over a black Republican woman's refusal to step on a rhetorical landmine and then launching
...into a 16-minute argument filled with curse words and accusations that added up to her being too close to whites and not really having the interest of the black community in mind. Eventually, Bergmann bowed out of the conversation, and that’s when Matthews really let her have it--not only did he accuse her of being a "token negro" for whites, but he also slipped in references about Martin Luther King and even refused to shake her hand because he was afraid her "whiteness" would rub off on him.
But of course it's impossible for blacks to be racist because they're oppressed, right?

C'mon: imagine what would happen to any white radio host that refused to shake hands with a black person because he was afraid the "blackness" would rub off on him. He'd be fired before the next commercial break.

But seeing that image, all I can do is laugh, because Thaddeus Matthews--in the midst of going apeshit--looks just like one of those old racist drawings of black people.

Clearly there are plenty of black Republicans, though, and someone said this:
Despite the efforts of the Democrat Party to defeat the Voting Rights Act of 1965, today they openly brag about protecting the rights of all people to vote for the candidate of their choice. However, it’s also quite clear that blacks are the only people in America who are publicly ridiculed should they not vote for candidates Democrats so authorize.
Nothing makes the liberals more angry than when someone thinks for himself. Especially when that person comes from a demographic that the left considers to be wholly owned by the Democrat party.

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I make no bones about the fact that I think tattoos are stupid.

Look: if you want to permanently etch some image on your skin you're more than welcome to do it. I'm not about to tell anyone they can't, and the last thing I'd try to do is outlaw tattoos.

People have a right to be stupid.

But this image is very neatly in line with my own attitudes about tattoos:

#3199: GDP grew 2.8%? More government "statistics"

In the Twainian sense: "Lies, damned lies, and statistics."

Real GDP growth was closer to 0.7% annualized in the fourth quarter of 2011.

They say 2.8% (or 0.7% for the quarter) but that figure assumes that inflation was 0.4%.

Inflation--just the way the government figures it right now!--was 3% in the 4th quarter.

See, if the feds figured inflation today the way they figured it in the 1970s we'd be seeing inflation figures of 10% or more. But they exclude food and energy from their calculations, and if you look at how prices have been going you'll find that food and energy cost more than ever.

But! You can buy a 2nd generation iPad for less than the cost of a 1st generation iPad, so you're actually getting more for your money now!

"I can't eat an iPad." Yeah. And you can't run your car or heat your house on an iPad, either. This just goes to show how unrealistic the government numbers are; the average person can't ignore the rising costs of food and energy just because they tend to be "volatile".

So 3% inflation is much lower than the real levels of inflation we're seeing; and at that if you plug that artificially low 3% figure into the equation in place of the ludicrous 0.4%, what do you get?
The consumer price index, which is put out by the US Census Bureau, had prices up 3 percent for the year.

And the rate of inflation used in calculating the third-quarter 2011 GDP was 2.6 percent; in the first and second quarters, combined, the rate was 2.5 percent; it was 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

So how does the Zero-Point-Four-Freakin’ percent sound now?

That’s how Commerce got to the not-very-inspiring 2.8 percent growth it reported last Friday.

Let me put this another way in case you are missing my outrage.

If the inflation figure used in last Friday’s GDP figure had just remained the same as the 2.6 percent rate from the third quarter, Washington would have had to report fourth-quarter annualized growth of just 0.6 percent.

(Calculation: Inflation was lowered by 2.2 percentage points. So subtract 2.2 percent from the 2.8 percent growth to get 0.6 percent.)

And that’s an annualized rate. So divide the 0.6 percent by four quarters and the economy expanded at an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny 0.15 percent in the fourth quarter.
Emphasis added.

0.15% is the real GDP growth for the fourth quarter, using the government's own numbers. The numbers it says we're all supposed to use, that is, not the internal numbers the various agencies use when they want to issue press releases that make Obama look good in an election year.

0.15% is perilously close to "zero growth".

Thanks to how GDP is calculated, though, government spending contributes to GDP, and growth in government spending raises GDP. Since Obama took office, there have been systematic attempts to raise government spending and reduce imports (like Obama's tariff on Chinese tires) both of which will raise GDP without actually increasing the size of the economy. In fact, the more money government spends, the less money is available to the private sector. There's a point at which each new dollar of government spending ceases to return even as much as one dollar to the economy, and we've been past that point for a couple of years now; the GDP calculation doesn't reflect this--it can't--but government spending has now begun to nibble away at the real economy.

So GDP growth has been "positive" and will remain so as long as the Bank Party continues to run things the way it always has. But the economy is not expanding; if it were unemploylment would not be at an all-time high. (And those numbers are, of course, also being fudged by both sides, since if the real state of the economy becomes widespread knowledge few incumbents will win re-election this November.)

The article concludes with the implication that the January employment figures will make Wall Street shit bricks, but I disagree: no one keeps his cushy office in Washington, D.C. if those jobs numbers look horrible (ie "reflect reality"). Oh no. Obama in particular needs unemployment to be under 8% before November--preferably long before--and so it will be, and reality be damned.


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I feel his pain.

In 1983, when I got my C-64 and 1541 floppy drive, I set out to write--in BASIC--a D&D character generator program. I used character graphics to do things like display a diagram of alignments, and all kinds of other things.

One night I decided that I'd erase a few of the older versions...and ended up formatting the disk by mistake.

Commodore didn't have anything like DOS in the computer itself. You had to send commands to the disk drive via the serial bus using these arcane commands:
OPEN 15,8,15
CLOSE 15,8,15
...only instead of "S" (for "scratch") I typed "N" (for "new") and the disk drive obediently wiped out everything on the disk. By the time I twigged to the fact that this is taking too long it was already too late and my work was gone. All I had was a weeks-old backup copy on another disk, and I was so discouraged by my mistake that I never did finish the program.

(HELL NO I didn't type that command from memory. Google turned up this copy of the C-1541 User's Manual.)

This kind of thing is why I have about 40,000 versions of each novel on my hard drive, why I save each new version by date. So a filename might look like "Really-cool-story-02/02/12" and then right above it is "Really-cool-story-01/29/12" and "Really-cool-story-12/21/11" and so on.

It's not 100% foolproof but WTF--a sample novel on my computer, with 31 old versions, takes up barely 8 MB on a 320 GB drive. The storage space is cheap enough so why not keep 'em instead?

Besides, that way--a hundred years from now--scholars can go back and examine how the classical works of Hering evolved.

...and while I'm dreaming I'd like a winning Powerball ticket.

(Eh? "Why not a pony?" Do you know how many ponies I could buy with $35 million? Even after taxes??)