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progree's Journal
progree's Journal
January 30, 2018

Anyway to simulate a table, i.e. to line things up?

Back before June 2017 or whenever the second big hack occurred, there were special HTML tags that allowed one to make tables.

Those special tags have been turned off, apparently permanently

So the only way that I can make a table now (i.e. where things are lined up) is by sticking a bunch of back quotes ( ` ) to create spaces (because DU compresses multiple spaces into one space). For example:

{#} ACTUAL Federal Spending and Deficits - Fiscal Years 2008 - 2017, in $Billions

Fiscal year 2017 ended September 30, 2017. Similarly for all the other fiscal years.

Note: all figures in this section are actual, not budgeted. I only point out that Bush signed the FY 2009 budget.

` ` ` ` ` ` v-last Bush budget was FY 2009 (all figures are actuals, not budgeted)
2008 ` 2009 ` 2010 ` 2011 ` 2012 ` 2013 Fiscal Year
2,983 ` 3,518 ` 3,457 ` 3,603 ` 3,537 ` 3,455 Total Outlays, $Billions
(450) (1,413) (1,294)` (1,300) (1,087)` (680) Surplus (deficit), $Billions
(3.1) ` (9.8) ` (8.7) ` ` (8.5) ` ` (6.8) ` (4.1) Surplus (deficit), % of GDP

2014 ` 2015 ` 2016` 2017 Fiscal Year
3,506` 3,688 ` 3,852 ` 3,981 Total Outlays, $Billions
(485) ` (438) ` (586) ` (666) Surplus (deficit), $Billions
(2.8) `` (2.4) ` (3.2) `` (3.5) Surplus (deficit), % of GDP


As one can see, it is not pretty, and not all that well lined up, and it takes a long long amount of trial and error to make it line up as well as it is.

And then I don't know how it looks in browsers other than my own -- other browsers / platforms might display a different font and thus it could look way not-lined-up.

A fixed-width font would help a lot (e.g. courier new, where all characters are the same width)...

Anyway, is this the best one can do? Other than, say, building a pretty table in Word or Excel and taking screen snapshots and cropping it and loading it to photobucket or imgur or whatever?

That's a helluva lot of work too for tables that I modify frequently (e.g. the one in my sig line). And people can't "scrape" it for words and numbers of interest since it is an image, not text.

Thanks for any ideas

January 5, 2018

All the contraceptive methods - usage and effectiveness (ideally, and in actual practice)

For example, in perfect usage -- rigorously following the instructions always -- the pill only has a 0.3% failure rate per year (i.e. the woman becomes pregnant -- that's about 1 in 333). But as actually used, overall on average, the failure rate is 9% (i.e. about 1 in 11 chance of getting pregnant in a year).

From the December 2017 issue of Population Connection magazine, which is focused on male contraception.

Fun fact: the ACA does not require insurance companies to cover vasectomies!!!! But 3 states do require insurance companies to cover that at no cost to the insured: Illinois, Maryland, and Vermont.

January 5, 2018

Population Connection, a non-partisan organization, allegedly pushing the Democratic agenda...

Here's a letter to the editor of Population Connection (PopConnect, formerly ZPG - Zero Population Growth) complaining that PopConnect is pushing the Democratic platform. The response is fantastic, especially the last 2 paragraphs:

Over these past few years of reading your magazine, I’ve come to realize that “Population Connection” has moved a long way from its earlier “Zero Population Growth” agenda. Rather than supporting ways of reducing population growth and ultimately reducing population, the organization seems to have become a spokesperson for the Democratic platform. Not that I disapprove of the Democratic platform, but I don’t support either party’s platform and will not support either party financially.


Further, attempts to tie pet Democratic political positions to population growth is counterproductive and confounding.

The response by John Seager, president of Population Connection:

Thanks for your comments. We try hard to stick close to our mission (I might add that Population Connection scrupulously avoids partisan electoral activity, while Population Connection Action Fund engages in that area as a sister organization).

Unfortunately, the Republican party (with sadly rare exceptions) has abandoned its once-strong support for programs that advance our mission of population stabilization. Presidents Nixon and Ford supported key programs, as did the young Congressman George H.W. Bush. Even 20 years ago, there were about 40 House Republicans who supported family planning. Today, there is only one, even on a good day (Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA/15), and he’s retiring.) We appreciate the two Senate Republicans (Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins) who are great supporters. But the other 50 Republican senators are solidly aligned in opposition.

The fact is that, when Obama took office, funding for international family planning was boosted by 40 percent. Now Trump wants to eliminate all such funding.

We just follow the facts where they lead. Nothing would please us more than to see both major parties competing to do more for our cause. As it is, the members of one party (Democratic) are mostly supportive, while members of the other (Republican) are almost universally opposed.

As Walter Cronkite used to say, “That’s the way it is.”

– John Seager


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About progree

Thanks for all the good wishes. A wellness check was done several days ago My next door neighbor of 43 years is looking out for me

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