Friday, October 28, 2016

Google translate

Sometimes not the best.

So what was the real Federal deficit in 2016?

The Treasury Department says that the official deficit for Fiscal Year 2016 was $590 Billion.  The Treasury Department also says that Federal debt grew by $1.4 Trillion.  How to explain this?

Simples.  Just like the Fed.Gov lies about the inflation and unemployment rates, it lies about the deficit:
The answer is that Congress uses all kinds of accounting tricks to pretend that money it borrows isn’t part of the deficit...
From the Antiplanner’s point of view, the most important accounting trick is that some spending from borrowed money is regarded as “an investment,” and so isn’t counted in the deficit. This includes student loans and highway and transit spending. In 2016, Congress borrowed $70 billion to pay for highways and transit, yet that isn’t included in the $590 billion deficit.
Someone needs to explain to Congress the difference between consumption spending and investments. Investments are supposed to produce a return. Assuming they are repaid, student loans produce a return. But no one expects that highway or transit spending will ever return money to the Treasury.
I'm just so tired of every single "fact" told to me by the Establishment turning out to be a lie.  And this pretty well sums my feelings up:
Our entire federal government has become a giant Ponzi scheme, and the two parties fighting for control over who will get the last returns from that scheme before it collapses.
What a miserable, contemptible ruling class.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Unfortunate juxtoposition

The economy cools off

You learn a lot from earnings reports:
There’s a pattern shaping up in earnings reports. Things you and I might buy, sales are down and profits falling. Up? Military and Armaments companies that sell to the government. Up hard over the last year, but now flattened and threatening a fall on profit not materializing to support the run up, medical and insurance companies wanting to cash in on Obamacare Monopolies… 
Some specifics:
GM – everyone excited as profits are up! On falling sales… (Oh Dear… ) 
Apple – Failed to have sales growth and profit growth as expected. Talk of “is it a commodity now”?
Chipole – MAJOR miss with 95% or so drop in profits (lots of give aways to get volume back up, but not working)
Retail in General – falling sales… 
Arms Merchants – great profits on lots of sales (Saudi Deal anyone?…)
It’s an interesting pattern. “Friends of Government” and “Suppliers to Government” sales up. Tax payer buys, sales down.
Interesting.  If a Republican were in the White House, this would be covered 24x7 by the media.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

That technology is more advanced than I thought

The Vatican Tells Me I'm Wrong Again

The Vatican has released new guidelines about cremation. 

I have already broken all of them.

I kept some of my son's ashes. They are in a small metal canister in my backpack. When I go hiking, I carry that small extra weight and remember.

We held a ceremony and scattered most of his ashes in a river he loved.

Everyone in the family that wanted some took a bit.

We still have the wooden box with what's left sitting at home.

No word on exactly what kind of sin I've committed. It's probably pantheism. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

This guy is too nice

The cost of illegal immigration

$1 Trillion:
On average, a nonelderly adult immigrant without a high school diploma entering the U.S. will create a net fiscal cost (benefits received will exceed taxes paid) in both the current generation and second generation. The average net present value of the fiscal cost of such an immigrant is estimated at $231,000, a cost that must be paid by U.S. taxpayers. 


Slightly more than 4 million adult immigrants without a high school diploma have entered the U.S. since 2000 and continue to reside here. According to the estimates in the National Academies report, the net present value of the future fiscal costs of those immigrants is $920 billion.
That means that Al Gore's "lock box" needs an additional trillion to pay for the costs.  And anyone who thinks there are only 4 million illegals in this country is smoking dope.

R.I.P. Steven Den Beste

He was one of the first blogs that I followed.  I've been around a lot of smart people in my life, but he set that bar high.  Very occasionally, his style inspired some of my posts.  It was quite a thrill when he stopped by and left a comment to this one.

Rest in peace, Steven.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Wolfgang goes to a Halloween party with us

We all go as pirates.  Sort of like this.

It was the "Yappy Hour" at a local brew pub.  They meet every month, so we'll go back.  Err, not in costume.

UPDATE 25 October 2016 11:36: Here is the beast in full costume (such as it is):

Ghosts in Gettysburg

The Queen Of The World and I went to Gettysburg yesterday and took a horseback tour of the battlefield.  It's an outstanding way to see the site - it gives you more of a nineteenth century feel.

Our guide was outstanding and really helped visualize the battle.  Looking at just how far in front of the lines General Sickles pushed the III Corps was something that makes your stomach lurch when you see it.  I'd known the story, but in an intellectual way.  Seeing that 700 yard gap where he exposed his troops made clear just what an idiot he was.

It was also eye opening to visualize just how big Pickett's charge was, which covered maybe half a mile in width.  It was still a huge mistake, but the sheer scope of it was something that I'd only known intellectually.  I really recommend this ride, from National Riding Stables.    The horses are all rescued from kill pens (the last stop before the slaughterhouse).  I rode Gus, a former plow horse who had been cruelly abused but who is a gentle giant who cannot get too much love and affection.  He's also by far the largest horse I've ever been on, which made it easier to see the sights that were pointed out.  Gus wasn't particularly peppy, but that wasn't the point.

And then we went on to dinner at the Dobbins House in Gettysburg.  As a funny coincidence, reader Roy left a comment yesterday recommending the place which I only saw when we sat down to eat.  I can heartily second his recommendation - the food was excellent and the venue is fabulous.  It was built in 1776 and was a way station for the Underground Railroad, and has a nice (if small) museum.  It also has ghosts*, apparently - The Queen Of The World took this picture while we were eating.  The ghost can be seen right behind the young lady.

Highly, highly recommended.

* You might not believe in ghosts, but I'm told that I do.  And I'm actually OK with that.  It was a fun evening.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Join the Army, they said

Learn a skill, they said ...

Sarah Flower Adams - Nearer My God To Thee

So he [Jacob] came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it...
- Genesis 28:11-12

Sarah Flower Adams lived in England the first half of the nineteenth century, and wrote the poem based loosely on the Genesis verse.  Her sister Eliza Flower put it to music, although the version heard on the shores of the New World uses a different tune.  It rapidly became wildly popular on both sides of the Atlantic, most famously as the reported last song played on the Titanic as it sank.

But it was well known much earlier than 1912.  At the battle of Gettysburg during the American War of Southern Independence, the survivors of Pickett's Charge  staggered back to their lines to this tune played by a band in the Army of Northern Virginia.

Today the Queen Of The World and I head north to Gettysburg for a horseback tour of the battlefield.  This song will be much in mind today.

Nearer My God To Thee (Songwriter: Sarah Francis Adams (words), (music))
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me;
Still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to Thee,
Chorus: Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I'd be nearer, my God, to Thee, 
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 
There let the way appear steps unto heav'n;
All that Thou sendest me in mercy giv'n;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee, etc.
Then with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I'll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee, etc.
Or if on joyful wing, cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upwards I fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee, etc.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Worst. Caturday. Ever.

Perfectly Timed Photos has some good pictures.

You found it!

Elusive though it is.

Bo Burnham - Country song (Pandering)

Russia just epically trolled the United States.  Donald Trump has made voter fraud an issue this year (for actually quite good reason).  Russia shoots; Russia scores:
Russia has reportedly tried to send its officials to monitor the U.S. presidential election in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas.
The U.S. State Department immediately shot the idea down, telling the Russian diplomats 'thanks, but no thanks'.
Representatives from the Central Elections Commission allegedly spoke to the State Department about sending a group of monitors to oversee polling places on November 8, according to Russian media. 
The move has been deemed a 'PR stunt' by the State Department.
Gee, ya think?  Troll level: Galactic Overlord.

The comedian Bo Burnham has trolled the modern Pop Country industry with a side splitting song about how to get a #1 hit in today's Country Music industrial machine.