I Stand with Rand

The Republican Party lambasted the Obama administration in 2010 and 2011 for the trillion dollar deficits that they now want to partake in themselves. Senator Rand Paul is making his stand against more debt being piled on top the future generations of this country. Yes he is not going to succeed, but he is certainly making his presence felt in the bowels of the GOP. The Party of limited government is a fraud and Rand is laying it out for all to see.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/08/politics/budget-vote-congress-shutdown/index.html

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Enough Already

Endless sexual assault claims are now beginning to concern me. This new trend of women coming out with all sorts of crimes and misdemeanors are accomplishing exactly what “fake rape” victims did years ago; they actually harm the true victims by compromising their validity in court.

My most egregious example? Columbia Mattress Girl Discredited.... [Read More]

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: Monday, January 29 2018

Three Billboards Outside, Ebbing, Missouri: Monday, January 29 2018

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was even better the second time I saw it. I laughed out loud, I was deeply moved, I was surprised, I was engaged emotionally. I liked the characters. I LOVED the film.

I really liked Mildred Hayes, the mother who rented the three billboards to advertise the lack of police action in finding her daughter’s rapist and killer. What a face has Frances McDormand! I was drawn to her immediately. It was clear that she was suffering a deep sorrow, yet wasn’t lying down to it. She has a legitimate complaint against the local police force, and was determined to express it publicly, to try to produce some action. I admired her fighting spirit.... [Read More]

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Weekend Musings

My Grandson is 14, and as such is hitting the curve where he is too cool to want the company of old folks. I remember, even though it was several geologic ages ago.

He is a good kid who is currently in love with videogames, alternating between the PS4 and the I7 CPU, Nvidia Graphics Windows Machine I put together for him, with the mechanical keyboard and curved screen. ... [Read More]

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Vlast

Vlast is a documentary, made in 2010, about Russia in the late 1990s and 2000s. It centers on Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the erstwhile head of Yukos (the Russian oil and gas company) and his close associates. Khodorkovsky was one of the Russian oligarchs who acquired his wealth during the 1990s as the Russian government was divesting itself of state-owned enterprises under Yeltsin. He was subsequently arrested, tried, and imprisoned for a decade until being pardoned by Putin, whereupon he gained residency in Switzerland. Yukos was sold, via a sham auction, to connected members of the nomenklatura.

The film allows that Khodorkovsky may have used some unsavory and possibly illegal means to obtain his wealth, it also makes clear that Putin was threatened by Khodorkovsky’s political activism, which led to his prosecution. A number of his associates were also caught up in the sweep. According to his lawyer (interviewed in the film), he was well aware of the danger of being arrested on false charges but refused to flee the country.... [Read More]

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Sports Illustrated Non-Swimsuit Edition

Please explain this one to me. (To be on the safe side this link is probably unsafe for work. It has the strategic areas covered but not by much.)You get women to show solidarity for #metoo by asking them to strip and writing words on them in black marker. Is Harvey Weinstein a photographer at SI now? How empowering!!!

Don’t these models know they are being used? I am real sure the guys won’t be looking at the words and saying, “I have changed my mind and I don’t see a woman as an object. If she only had some sushi to go along with the words I would talk about these issues in depth with her.”

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‘Banana Republic’ Upgrade Quest

Now just one hour into the second electrical power failure in two weeks (the last one lasted 22 hours and it was 19 degrees F. when it began as 23:30), I and about 2500 other customers in the Pittsburgh suburbs are preparing to prevent frozen pipes in our homes. Actually, being a born-again survivalist, I am in pretty good shape – better than most – in that I have a standby electrical generator which runs everything except the main HVAC system.

My survivalism has translated into several ways to heat my house. I have two Mitsubishi mini-split heat pumps. One supplies heat when needed to the kitchen/family room; the other, the master bedroom. They work down to outside air temperature of about 11 degrees F. Last time, I did not use those, however, as I have a wood-burning freestanding stove (requires no electricity anyway) and a ventless gas stove in the kitchen.... [Read More]

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TOTD 2018-02-07: Experts

Ever since the 19th century, the largest industry in Zambia has been copper mining, which today accounts for 85% of the country’s exports.  The economy of the nation and the prosperity of its people rise and fall with the price of copper on the world market, so nothing is so important to industry and government planners as the expectation for the price of this commodity in the future.  Since the 1970s, the World Bank has issued regular forecasts for the price of copper and other important commodities, and the government of Zambia and other resource-based economies often base their economic policy upon these pronouncements by high-powered experts with masses of data at their fingertips.  Let’s see how they’ve done.
World Bank forecasts of copper price vs. actual price, 1970–1995

The above chart, from a paper [PDF] by Angus Deaton in the Summer 1999 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives shows, for the years 1970 through 1995, the actual price of copper (solid heavy line) and successive forecasts (light dashed lines) by the august seers of the World Bank.  Each forecast departs from the actual price line on the date at which it was issued.... [Read More]

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