Saturday, October 26, 2013

Feline Power

phx said...I would like to see more Bob Dylan posts here if you please.


Liz Cheney's Senate Bid

Daniel Larison of the American Conservative questions the logic of some Republicans primary challenges:
The trouble here isn’t that incumbents are facing primary challengers, which can be a good and necessary thing, but that they are frequently facing challenges that seem to serve no purpose. The Cheney challenge to Enzi [in Wyoming] is the absurd extreme of this phenomenon: someone with a lifetime ACU [American Conservative Union] rating of 92.7 has to head off a challenger whose sole reason for running is self-promotion. It is fairly harmless, but also completely useless. Challenging Alexander or Cochran might be more justifiable based on their voting records (their lifetime ACU ratings are 78 and 79 respectively), but even if successful they wouldn’t make it that much more likely that conservatives will be able to advance their agenda in Congress.
Larison makes the point that party money could be more practically spent in attempts to unseat Democrats, but I think it can be argued that she would be useful in a run for the presidency in a few years.  Straightforward in speech, nice looking, iconically blonde, and with five children to boot, she will be 54 in 2020. She has worked in government in foreign relations. But she has received criticism for only recently moving to Wyoming in 2012 before making her bid:
On July 16, 2013, Cheney announced that she would be running for the Senate in 2014 from the state of Wyoming as a Republican, challenging the incumbent Republican senator Mike Enzi.[30] The National Republican Senatorial Committee says the group plans to back Enzi, as is policy.[31] Cheney is expected to receive strong fundraising, but faces concerns about the fact she moved to Wyoming in fall 2012.[32] In the video announcing her candidacy, she noted that the Cheney family first came to Wyoming in 1852.[32] Her father served Wyoming in the House of Representatives from 1979 to 1989.[32]
She was also ticketed by a game warden for obtaining a Wyoming fishing license before she had completed one years' residency:
In August 2012, Cheney purchased a resident fishing license despite living in the state for only a few months. After a newspaper article in August 2013 pointed out that she should not have been eligible for a resident license, Cheney was ticketed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.[34] Cheney released a statement, saying "On August 3, 2012, I spent the day on the Snake River with a group of wounded warriors and the Rivers of Recovery organization. ... When I went in to purchase a license, the clerk asked if I was a resident. I said yes because I was living in Wyoming. It was my mistake not to realize there was a 365-day requirement to hold a resident license. The clerk did not ask how long I had lived in Wyoming. August 3, 2012 was, unfortunately, the only day I had the opportunity to fish in Wyoming last year. When I realized that I had not fulfilled the residency requirement, I met with officials from Game and Fish in Jackson and I paid the requisite fine on August 14."[35] The Wyoming Game and Fish Department concluded its investigation after Cheney paid the fine. A department spokesperson said, "The investigation did not reveal any intent to provide false or misleading information."[36]
Hillary Clinton winning the presidency in '16 is a big If. I think it is highly likely, given that there may be a groundswell of women of all stripes to push her over the top, but there are few people so hated by so many as she and Bill are. If she fails in her bid, I can see Liz Cheney stepping in with the help of the nation's female vote, and I think the Republican party already has this gamed out.

"Take the Brad Pitt Movie-Hair Quiz"

Over his [Brad Pit] 25-year career, he's mixed up his hairdos in ways big and small, both on his face and scalp. Take the Brad Pitt Hair Quiz and find out how well you remember all of his movie dos. You'll see just the hair and have to guess the movie. Luckily, right or wrong, you'll get to see that handsome mug of his. Good luck!


"World’s tallest dog, Giant George, dies"

Giant George, a Great Dane that on its hind legs stood an astonishing 7-foot, 3-inches tall, died last Thursday in Tuscon, Arizona, with his loyal owners Dave and Christie Nasser by his side. He was 7 years old.

Giant George 2010 Guinness World Record tallest dog
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce Giant George died last night. George passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones; one month before his eighth birthday,” Christie Nasser wrote on a Facebook page devoted to the towering canine. “We appreciate the love and support you have given Giant George over the last several years.”

NY Post

Driving While Female In Saudi Arabia

"Saudi women are holding a day of action to challenge the kingdom's ban on female driving, amid signs of slowly growing readiness by the authorities to consider reform in the face of strong opposition by the clerical establishment."

Twitter, Facebook and other social media have been used to get women drivers on the roads on Saturday in a marathon push against this unique restriction."

Activists say they have 16,600 signatures on an online petition calling for change. Efforts to publicise the issue by the "October 26 driving for women" group have been described as the best-organised social campaign ever seen in Saudi Arabia, where Twitter has millions of users and is used to circulate information about the monarchy and official corruption."

Arguments aimed at keeping women off the roads can be shocking and nonsensical. "If a woman drives a car that could have negative physiological impacts as...physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards," warned Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan."

Nafjan argued in a commentary for Amnesty International that the fundamental issue was challenging patriarchy. "If there was one word to describe what it is like to be a Saudi woman, it would be the word patronising. No matter how long you live, you remain a minor in the eyes of the government."

the guardian

“Everybody’s a reporter,” said Hayden

He should’ve taken the quiet car.

But that’s not what Michael Hayden did on Thursday afternoon as he boarded Acela No. 2170, bound for New York.

Instead, the former NSA director [Michael Hayden] nestled into a regular coach seat and soon began what for many travelers is an Amtrak ritual: talking, often nonstop, on a cellphone as the train rolled on.

A passenger a few seats away couldn’t help but be intrigued by the conversation...

It took nearly half an hour, but then it clicked for Matzzie, a former Washington director of the political group He whipped out his phone and began tweeting.

“Former NSA spy boss Michael Hayden on Acela behind me blabbing ‘on background as a former senior admin official,’ ” Matzzie wrote. “Sounds defensive.”

While a CIA strike team never burst onto the train, someone must have tipped Hayden off, because when the former official finished one of his calls, he got up — and walked straight over.

“Would you like a real interview?” he asked Matzzie.

“I’m not a reporter,” Matzzie replied.

The two proceeded to have a conversation about the Fourth Amendment and the NSA’s surveillance activities. They agreed to disagree, but before they parted, Hayden posed with Matzzie for a photo.

And then, Hayden swept off the train at Newark.

WAPO The Switch

Matthew Albanese

Don't believe you're eyes.

Shredesign presents a spread of special effects artist Matthew Albanese work. On the left (on their site, top here) you see the finished work, and on the right side, (below here) you see how the image is produced. There is lightening, coral scene, eh, aquarium enthusiast do that one all the time, dioramas of sunrises, lava pouring from a mountain, the moon, ice scape, woods on fire, tornado, and Mars.

I can See Chicago From My House

"First Lady Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the contract to build the failed Obamacare website."

Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company."

Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni."

Toni Townes ’85 is a onetime policy analyst with the General Accounting Office and previously served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, West Africa. Her decision to return to work, as an African-American woman, after six years of raising kids was applauded by a Princeton alumni publication in 1998."

George Schindler, the president for U.S. and Canada of the Canadian-based CGI Group, CGI Federal’s parent company, became an Obama 2012 campaign donor after his company gained the Obamacare website contract."

Daily Caller

Friday, October 25, 2013


Porno For Pyros - Pets / Woodstock 1994

A Sad Song...

...From a profoundly sad album...

...just that kind of mood.

The Harpoon*

The Harpoon has become a favorite cocktail around our house. Of course we modified it, substituting gin for vodka:

(double this for two)

1½ oz gin
½ oz orange liqueur
¼ oz lime juice
enough cranberry juice to color

Mix and shake over ice.  Pour into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of lime.
*Originally blogged by EBL, here.

The Harpoon is related to the Maggie, but less limey. Also, the Maggie looks different, lacking the socialist red hue.

Was Pirated Code Used By


Should copyright even exist when so many lives are at stake?

'Math Mentor Killed with a Box Cutter'

A 14-year-old Danvers High School freshman ducked into a darkened movie theater for a matinee of the new Woody Allen movie after authorities say he murdered his popular math teacher and dumped her body in the woods, a law-enforcement source said.

The theater manager said Chism “blended right in.” “He was here and gone before we even knew he was here,” manager Scott Przybycien told the Herald.

Chism was found at 12:30 a.m. yesterday while walking north on southbound Route 1 near Salem Road in Topsfield — about six miles by foot from the theater. A law-enforcement source said authorities believe Chism attacked Ritzer with a box cutter. The source said the boy was seen on school security video pushing a large recycling bin, which authorities believe he used to take her body outside.

Police found Ritzer’s body near the school, where they went to look for her after family reported her missing at 11:17 p.m. Tuesday. Cops found blood in a second-floor bathroom inside the school.

Chism’s arrest marked a horrifying turn of events for Danvers High School staff and students. They’d gone to bed Tuesday night worried about Chism after the missing-person alert was put out, only to awake yesterday and find he was accused of killing the beloved teacher.“It was like, hashtag find Phil, and then everyone just turned,” said Veatch, referring to the social-media effort to locate Chism Tuesday night. “Now everyone’s saying, ‘I can’t believe I talked to a murderer.’ ”

Boston Herald

Ohio governor does end-run

"Ohio Governor John Kasich’s plan to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul, approved two days ago by a state legislative panel, was challenged in a lawsuit brought by a group of Ohio lawmakers.
Six Republican state representatives, joined by anti-abortion organizations based in Cleveland and Cincinnati, filed the complaint challenging the panel’s action yesterday at the state’s Supreme Court in Columbus.
The plaintiffs asked Ohio’s top court to void the Ohio Controlling Board action, arguing it exceeds that body’s lawful authority. Kasich, a first-term Republican, sought approval from the board after he was unable to persuade his party members who control the state legislature to agree to the plan.
“The governor is not king,” Maurice A. Thompson, the lead lawyer on the case, said in a telephone interview yesterday. The purpose of the lawsuit he said, is to “protect Ohio’s checks and balances.”
...“Why is that some people don’t get it?” Kasich asked during an Oct. 18 event at the Cleveland Clinic promoting the expansion. “Is it because they’re hard-hearted or cold-hearted? It’s probably because they don’t understand the problem because they have never walked in somebody’s shoes.”"
Okay, this is big. This is about the rule of law and states' rights, and will be an interesting case to follow.


I'm thinking of attending a Tea Party meeting one of these days, and would like to know what it is like, and what to expect. Any insights would be appreciated.

"A Brief History of Dude"

"Dude may be the most Mandarin Chinese word in American English. In Mandarin, depending on how I intone the single syllable ma, I could be saying “mother” (mā), or I could be saying something as radically distinct as “horse” (mă)."

Dude has a comparable quality. Just think of the last time you did something awesome in the presence of a friend who affirmed your awesomeness with the exclamation Duuude! Or the last time you said something objectionable to someone who began setting you straight with a firm and sober Dude. There may not be any obvious difference in denotation between these cases, but the difference in connotation is, you’ll appreciate from experience, pretty major."

[A]ccording to Scott F. Kiesling, the author of a seminal 2004 study from the journal American Speech—titled, yes, “Dude”—the term has long implied a particular understanding of fellowship among guys. Its dominant linguistic function, Kiesling argues, has been to enable men, mainly young men, to address one another in a conspicuously straight mode of laid-back camaraderie: “Dude allows men to create a stance … of closeness with other men (satisfying masculine solidarity) that also maintains a casual … distance (thus satisfying heterosexism).”

And yet women now use the word, too—both with men and with other women. Perhaps unsurprisingly, usage patterns vary by gender: Kiesling’s work indicates, for instance, that women show a relative tendency to deploy the term when trying to mitigate conflict with friends or acquaintances. (“Dude, you know I’d never do that.”) But even this usage is a variation on a theme. You can, after all, take the masculinity out of dude, and it still works as a way of establishing solidarity without intimacy."

If that makes you wonder whether you can take the heterosexuality out as well, consider Bret Easton Ellis. Recently, on, the (gay) novelist lit into the entertainment industry for, among other condescensions, chronically portraying gay men as “bitchy clowns or the queeny best friend.” How did Ellis describe the kind of chill, unself-consciously gay character he’d like to see more of—the “not-famous, slobby, somewhat lazy” guy who “just wants to be himself”? The gay dude. “Why,” Ellis asked, “isn’t the gay dude I have always known and the gay dude I have always wanted to be not front and center?”

Written by a dude named J.J. Gould of The Atlantic via Instapundit

"Sebelius: ‘I Don’t Work For’ People Who Want Me to Resign"

“My goal is to actually get the website up and running,” she [Sebelius] told reporters. “The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don’t work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place. I have had frequent conversations with the president and I have committed to him that my role is to get the program up and running and we will do just that.”

A group of 33 House Republicans on Wednesday sent a letter to President Obama calling for her resignation.

The Corner via Tweet (video at the link)

Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better, Unless You Are The Government

This past Tuesday Althouse asked a very good question in relation to the ObamaCare "glitches".
What else have they [the Obama administration] plowed ahead even though they knew it wouldn't work?
Let's remember this particular delusion: that a machine already in motion is either [easier] to fix than one that you keep on the grounded until you know it works (or at least until you don't know that it doesn't work!).
Using that context as a premise, watch this short video of Marc Faber, publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, telling CNBC on Monday, that investors are asking the wrong question about when the Federal Reserve will taper its massive bond-buying program. They should be asking when the central bank will be increasing it. The program is also known by the less onerous name "the Fed Pump".
Every government program that is introduced under urgency and as a temporary measure is always permanent.
The question is not tapering, the question is at what point will they increase the assets purchase to say 150, 200 billion... a trillion dollars a month.
The ObamaCare "glitches" aren't glitches at all. ObamaCare was conceived, designed and executed to fail, so as to make it as big as it would not otherwise have been.

Everything is proceeding according to plan.

Althouse , CNBC , Pollo Post

My Last Duchess

Sir, ’twas not
Her husband’s presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps
Frà Pandolf chanced to say “Her mantle laps
Over my lady’s wrist too much,” or “Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat”: such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, ’twas all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace—all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men,—good! but thanked
Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, “Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
—E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop.

from My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

Thursday, October 24, 2013

lacist lap ba'oh

Oh no he dint!

Three kings

"In a segment on possible Tea Party contenders for the Republican Party's nomination in the 2016 presidential race, Hayes used a graphic (above) that portrayed Cruz, Paul, and Rubio as kings in a deck of cards--and that, rather conveniently, spelled out the initials "K K K." (Hayes did not say the word "kings" during the segment.) 
...There is a hazard, of course, in taking offense too quickly at bad jokes, and there is always the possibility that Hayes was unaware of the graphic, or even that the KKK reference was entirely coincidental. However, given Hayes's past record, and the constant obsession of fellow MSNBC anchors with making false accusations of racism against the Tea Party and the Republican Party, Hayes has arguably exhausted the benefit of the doubt."
If this was intentional, I hate to see this kind of thing in someone like Hayes. I enjoyed him very much the times he appeared on Bloggingheads. I had hopes for Maddow, back in the day, but she immediately  launched into a mini-me impression of Olbermann. I guess it's the way of the media world...if you sign with MSNBC, you are expected to play to the masses more than the average info-tainment outlet does. Was this a back-handed KKK reference or an innocent graphic? 

The Grand Inquisitrix

'For now' (she is speaking of the Inquisition, of course) 'for the first time it has become possible to think of the happiness of men. Man was created a rebel; and how can rebels be happy? Thou wast warned,' she says to Him. 'Thou hast had no lack of admonitions and warnings, but Thou didst not listen to those warnings; Thou didst reject the only way by which men might be made happy. But, fortunately, departing Thou didst hand on the work to us, the DNC. Thou hast promised, Thou hast established by Thy word, Thou hast given to us the right to tax and to untax, to bind and to unbind, to feed, to clothe, and to heal. Man does not live by blog alone.  And now, of course, Thou canst not think of taking it away. Why, then, hast Thou come to hinder us?' 
~Excerpted from "The Brother's Karma's Off" by Inga DoesPee'offsky

Mind The Gap

Train Station Somewhere in India

"Opt-Out Obamacare Penalty Can't Be Enforced -- Unless You Get a Tax Refund"

RUSH: For those of us who take as long as we can to pay our taxes, October 15th was the extension filing date for 2012, and I dutifully was in there. My accountant, who is almost afraid to be my accountant because he thinks he's gonna get targeted, too, just 'cause his name's on my return, he said, "Look, you may not know this, but you keep talking about these Obamacare fines if you don't buy a policy...

... [H]e said to me that, according to the law, the only way that the government can collect the fine or penalty for you not buying insurance is if you are owed a tax refund. If you do not owe a tax refund, they cannot go into your bank account or anywhere else and get that money. Now, the sad thing is that most people file their taxes to get a refund 'cause they think they're screwing the government, and they're not. You're giving the government all that money all that year...

Therefore, the only way that they can collect the penalty or the fine is by taking money from your refund. If you are not owed a refund, they cannot get money from you. They can't issue a lien. They can't garnish your wages. They can't use any of the normal procedures available to them if you owe them money, even though the Supreme Court has said it's a tax...

... [I]f you structure your taxes so that you do not get a refund, you do not have to buy insurance and you do not have to pay a fine 'cause they can't collect it from you if you don't have a refund due. And that is just another nail in the coffin of Obamacare imploding on itself.

Rush Limbaugh via Drudge Tweet

"Obama wants Marines to wear ‘girly’ hats"

Thanks to a plan by President Obama to create a “unisex” look for the Corps, officials are on the verge of swapping out the Marines’ iconic caps – known as “covers” — with a new version that some have derided as so “girly” that they would make the French blush.
The old hats (left) compared to the new ones (right)
 “We don’t even have enough funding to buy bullets, and the DoD is pushing to spend $8 million on covers that look like women’s hats!” one senior Marine source fumed to The Post. “The Marines deserve better. It makes them look ridiculous.”

“None of the [members] liked the idea of a universal cover for all Marines,” the internal memo noted. “The group members did not like the appearance of the Dan Daly cap on the male Marine.”

NY Post via ...

"Hollywood Pulls 'Anti-Gay' 'Bill and Ted' Halloween Show"

Universal Studios Hollywood announced it was shelving its Bill & Ted Halloween Horror Nights show, which critics had charged with being homophobic.

The show featured Superman, who was "turned gay" by being sprinkled with "fairy dust," according to reports. The Superman character then displayed a series of gay stereotypes meant to be played for laughs.

"After thoughtful consideration, Universal Studios Hollywood has made the decision to discontinue production of the Halloween Horror Nights' "Bill & Ted" show for the remainder of its limited run," Universal Studios Hollywood said in a statement.

The Hollywood Reporter via Drudge Tweet

Hillary Watch

Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke to a large crowd at the University at Buffalo Wednesday night, as part of the university's Distinguished Speaker Series, and was heckled.

"Benghazi, you let them die," the heckler shouted. (video at the link)

"We have to be willing to come together as citizens to focus on the kind of future we want, which doesn't include yelling. It includes sitting down and talking with one another," Clinton said in response to the heckler to huge applause from the audience.

Real Clear Politics 

"Obama assures Merkel U.S. is not spying on her phone and won't do it again"

With the government shutdown out of the way for a few months, intense media and public focus has turned to the fizzled launch of ObamaScare, the new healthcare system that will be doing hardly any of the grand things Obama promised at the start.

Remember, "If you like your current healthcare plan, you can keep it"?

Anyway now President Obama is also in a lot of hot water abroad for embarrassing revelations about ubiquitous American intelligence-gathering operations disclosed by Edward "I'm Just Trying to Help" Snowden.

A Chicago businessman, Robinson loved to tell the story of his initial CIA briefing. He asked if the CIA spied on even Canadians. “No,” was the reply. “But we do spy on the people we would spy on if we did spy on them.”

Thursday Germany's Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador for an official scolding. To preempt something worse, Obama talked with Merkel by telephone on Wednesday.

The White House description of such calls rarely reveals who initiated the connection. But this time it was most likely Obama on damage-control over widespread reports that the NSA eavesdropped on Merkel's cellphone. As usual, we have the entire White House text below.

Such descriptions typically lack specific details. In this case, though, that's the telltale clue.

For example, read this seemingly clear-cut denial: “The President assured the Chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of Chancellor Merkel.”

Notice the verb tenses in this White House statement: “is not monitoring and will not monitor.”

What's missing there is the key phrase "has not monitored." Sometimes what’s important is what's not said.

In other words, Obama's NSA is not eavesdropping on the German leader and the American president promises not to do it again. Andrew Malcolm 

"Deepak Chopra sues ex-partner over $5M donation"

New age health guru Deepak Chopra is battling a former pal and business partner over a $5 million donation for “consciousness” research.

Medical researcher Jim Walsh is trying to wrest the millions away from the 66-year-old doctor and best-selling author for his own use even though it is earmarked for Chopra, a lawsuit filed Wednesday claims.

Chopra, in a legal salvo he filed in a Los Angeles state court, claims he handed Walsh $150,000 in recent months, in part to set up and run The Consciousness Project, a nonprofit that would study consciousness and spirituality.

Walsh, instead of setting up a new nonprofit, simply papered over one of his own organizations, the suit claims.

The two men met last March and apparently hit it off instantly. One month later, Chopra put Walsh on the board of The Chopra Foundation, according to the suit.

By September, Chopra had given Walsh $80,000 to help set up the nonprofit, the suit alleges.

Chopra also gave Walsh $75,000 in exchange for a stake in Walsh’s research-and-development company, HESA Institute, which lists major universities and partners in its work of finding computer-based cures for autism and other disorders.

But the relationship soured almost as soon as it started.

“In time, Dr. Chopra and the Chopra Foundation began to learn about Walsh, his business practice and his past,” the lawsuit said. “A look into Walsh revealed a trail of unsuccessful, abandoned or failed companies and projects, lawsuit judgments, liens and bankruptcies.”

Walsh didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

NY Post

"Will U.S. Public Debt Reach $22 Trillion by Feb. 2014?"

"Just imagine an undisciplined out-of-control spender whose credit limit has just been extended. In other words, they can continue overspending without any accountability. That “they” is the U.S. government."

It’s been almost a week since Congress reached a temporary deal to suspend the U.S. government’s debt ceiling and the Treasury department has already wasted no time by adding another $375 billion in new debt."

Suspension of a cap on U.S. debt, which was previously fixed at $16.69 trillion, means the Treasury department, headed by Jack Lew, can effectively spend whatever amount of money it needs or wants."

How much debt can the U.S. government rack up by the next debt ceiling deadline on Feb. 7, 2014? At the current spending pace of $375 billion per week, U.S. public debt would reach $22.70 trillion." 

"When you are the largest economy in the world, when you are the safe haven in all circumstances, as has been the case, you can't go into that creative accounting business," said International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde in an interview with NBC News' Meet the Press."

What does the bond market have to say about this?"

After reaching a yearly high of 2.97%, the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries (NYSEARCA:IEF) has since fallen by 12.5%. Put another way, the bond market is saying that it doesn’t care about the fiscal realities of the U.S. government’s unmanageable debt load."


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Left Guard

phx said...I would like to see more Bob Dylan posts here if you please.


*whispers* Bailey, play dead.

Blogger Michael Haz said...
Where are the dog photos? I was told that a serious blog that features 'writing' must have dog photos as mot less than one-third of its topics
October 23, 2013 at 10:36 AM

"Discovered: A Natural Protein in Breast Milk That Fights HIV"

"For decades, public health officials have puzzled over a surprising fact about HIV: Only about 10-20 percent of infants who are breastfed by infected mothers catch the virus. Tests show, though, that HIV is indeed present in breast milk, so these children are exposed to the virus multiple times daily for the first several months (or even years) of their lives."

Now, a group of scientists and doctors from Duke University has figured out why these babies don’t get infected. Human breast milk naturally contains a protein called Tenascin C that neutralizes HIV and, in most cases, prevents it from being passed from mother to child. Eventually, they say, the protein could potentially be valuable as an HIV-fighting tool for both infants and adults that are either HIV-positive or at risk of contracting the infection."

The research, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was inspired by previous work by other researchers showing that, both in tissue cultures and live mice, breast milk from HIV-negative mothers was naturally endowed with HIV-fighting properties. Scientists suggested that a few different proteins in the milk could potentially be responsible, but no one knew which one."

Tenascin C’s presence in breast milk, though, prompts a deeper question: Why would milk naturally include a protein that battles HIV, a virus that evolved extremely recently in our evolutionary history, sometime in the early 20th century?

“I don’t think it’s in breast milk to combat HIV specifically, but there have been other, related infections that have passed through breastfeeding,” Permar says. “Our work has shown that Tenascin C’s activity isn’t specific to HIV, so we think it’s more of a broad-spectrum anti-microbial protein.”

In other words, Tenascin C is effective at combating a large variety of infections (perhaps related to its role in adults, where it holds various types of tissue together, necessitating receptors that can bind to a wide array of different cells). The fact that it happens to bind at just the right spot on HIV’s outer envelope so that it combats the virus’ transmission, as Permar puts it, is “a gift from evolution.”

'Women say no sex until their demands are met'

"Women in the small town of Barbacaos* in southwest Colombia have been sleeping on the sofa for the past few days."

They say they've stopped having sex with their significant others in protest of what they say is the terrible condition of the road that connects their small, isolated town to the rest of Colombia, says reporter John Otis in Colombia."

[T]he women say the conditions of that road is so bad that it takes them 12 to 14 hours to get to the nearest hospital. Otis says even pregnant women have died in the back of ambulances, trying to get to a hospital to give birth."

That's why they've gone on a sex strike, dubbed the "crossed legs movement."

This time it seems that members of the "crossed legs movement" are actually getting results."

Otis says he's seen pictures of bulldozers and heavy machinery on the road, starting repairs."

PRI , * Barbacaos Colombia is yet to be mapped by Google.

Animation: Orson Welles


"Hands-Free Texting Is No Safer to Use While Driving"

"The Texas A&M Transportation Institute studied people driving a closed course under three conditions: while texting by hand, while texting by voice (using Siri for iPhone and Vlingo for Android), and without texting at all."

The results surprised me—and troubled me. Turns out it makes absolutely no difference whether you text hands-free or by voice. “Response times were significantly delayed no matter which texting method was used,” the study says. In each case, drivers who were texting took about twice as long to react as they did otherwise. Incredibly, they also spent less time watching the road, even when they were texting by voice."

It doesn't make intuitive sense. It seems as though texting by voice should be safer than looking at your phone. And to be sure, this was only a single study, involving only 43 subjects."

We already knew that hands-free phone conversations are just as dangerous as hands-on, and now we know the same thing about texting by voice. You shouldn't text at all while driving. Your teenagers shouldn't. I shouldn't."

Scientific American ,

"Let Me Make This Perfectly Clear...

...If you like your healthcare plan you can keep your healthcare plan."

This was some chirbit advice given to Freeman Hunt a few months ago in response to something she wrote here or at Althouse. I think the message is more widely applicable.

[click on the green play arrow at the link]

Russia left behind

NYT doing what it does best, a journalistic survey of the 12 hour drive between St. Petersburg to Moscow. Very nice web design. Great use of Java. And very good reporting and photojournalism too. We see deterioration, a modern train, a rotting city. Video of a 14 year old getting married. Seventy mile traffic jam, a beautiful church surrounded by poverty and very nice vacation home for Putin.

Does that look Soviet or what? 

"US to stop printing nautical charts"

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday that to save money, the government will stop turning out the traditional brownish, heavy paper maps [nautical charts] after mid-April.

The agency will still chart the water for rocks, shipwrecks and other hazards, but sailors, boaters and fishermen will have to use private on-demand printing, PDFs or electronic maps to see the information, said Capt. Shep Smith, head of NOAA's marine chart division.

"Think of them as the roadmap of the ocean," said Smith, who grew up with charts of Penobscot Bay on his bedroom walls in Maine. "The navigational charts tell you what's under the water, which is critical for navigation."

Sea dogs say they will miss the charts, which also get used as decorations.

"It's the nautical history, you know, pirates and ships," said Newburyport, Mass., harbormaster Paul Hogg, who has a chart on his office wall. "It seems more nautical. There's just kind of, like, a feel to it."

There should be a historical feel to it, because the idea was Thomas Jefferson's. He asked for a survey of the U.S. coast in 1807, and ever since, a government agency has been charting American waters. The soon-to-be-eliminated maps date to 1862.

At New York Nautical, store manager James "Smitty" Smith saw the end of the old-fashioned maps coming. He sells far more of the on-demand maps on the lighter weight, whiter paper.

But personally, especially for decorations, he prefers the old maps because they are "more soothing on the eyes."

"There must be some art value in them because a lot of people love them," he said.

AP via

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Data (dot) HealthCare (dot) gov : Behind the Promises

If this is what I think it is, and I don't know that it is for certain, I believe this is an ObamaCare Critic Rosetta Stone.

Psst... you don't have to waste an entire day trying to sign on to that abomination, not to mention declaring all your business to the government, just because you might be curious about how much "savings" Obama has told you are supposed to get. 

Like I said, this could be a fake. Take it with a large grain of salt.*

Twitter's DC Dude , *Althouse link

"Veteran Wants Flag Vandals To Take Responsibility For Crime"

COLLIN COUNTY (CBS 11 NEWS) – Plano veteran Larry Lorance always has a flag flying at his home. And he’s fed up with having to replace it.

Lorance’s front door flag was destroyed for the third time early Friday morning. He says his verbal response to the attack isn’t fit for publication; but, he thought ‘my gosh, they did it again.’

“A lot of men and women gave their lives for this flag,” he said sternly, adding that, “as an American, and as a veteran, I was offended by that.”

Lorance didn’t report the vandalism to Plano police, saying he was a teen once and doesn’t want the vandals to have a record. But, he is posting the surveillance video online at in the hope of turning the disrespectful mess into a teachable moment.

“These kids need to step up, say ‘I did this.’ I’ll shake their hands and say ‘thank you for standing up and being a man, let’s take care of it.’”

In keeping with the federal flag code, Lorance said his damaged flag will be properly destroyed this weekend, by a local VFW chapter.

CBS Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas - video at "read more"


per David Burge's twitter feed. He says, "You're welcome."

High speed photographs of dogs shaking off water, by Carli Davidson. It's a book.

And the dogs are ugly. And slobbery. Except some are cute. She picked the floppiest wrinkliest most slobbery most loose-skin of all the breeds.

PETA! Dog abuse. She made dogs wet just to photograph them. You can see they're miserable and just want to be petted and loved. She's using dogs for commercial porpoises, Close her down now! Kidding. 

My dogs did not like being groomed. At first. But I made a regular thing of it, personal time. Talk to the dog the whole way through and make a vanity thing out of it. Most of it went over well eventually. They'd jump on the grooming table, accept being squirted, but not in the face. At first resisted having their nails ground down with a Dremel, hated the noise. So I brought out the hand drill, basically, allow them to investigate, turn it on, allow them to run off from the noise, pack it all up and put it away. Then do the same thing the next day. Then the next nick one little toenail. Pack it all up and put it away. Out again the next day. And so on building up confidence and number of nails nicked per session  trimming their nails one and two at a time. 

Eventually, quickly actually, after all that, the process is faster than it sounds, they're jumping on the grooming table and offering their paws like ready to enjoy having a manicure. And they are. 

But they did not accept having their tails brushed. Even if I held the hair and brushed only that. Nor did they like hair in their ears snipped. And water is fine as long as I'm wet too and it's all fun and games. But snow baths are better than water. They like being dragged through the snow and having snow balls rubbed into their fur. They shake that off and they're clean and fluffy, and dry. 

Minit Mart Twilight

Minit Mart

Republican senator doubts his party can govern

Ramesh Pnnuru writing for Bloomberg.

But he doesn't name the senator. Expect more of this bullshit.

"Are Obamacare call centers outsourced too?"

I wouldn't be surprised if the call center was in India.
Obama hired a Canadian company to build the ObamaCare website to beguine with.


Update: Commenter request after "read more"

Delayed Jobs Report

"American employers added 148,000 jobs in September, according to a delayed report released Tuesday by the Labor Department. The pace of growth was somewhat slower than what economists had been expecting."
The unemployment rate ticked down to 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent the previous month.
Federal Reserve officials and economists are closely watching the report for any signs of weakness. But the numbers may not offer the most current picture of the economy.
NY Times

Morning Frost Bite

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall. 
~ Robert Frost

h/t Cody Jarrett

Getting All Racy In The 1950's

 Joe Turner recorded the first version of "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" in 1954:


Here are [the] astonishingly frank (for 1954) lyrics:

Monday, October 21, 2013

The day I passed maths

"The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind"

"Dozens of residents of a small community in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, have filed lawsuits claiming that a trio of large wind turbines located near their homes have been harming their health."
In the summer of 2010, the town of Falmouth and a private company called Notus Clean Energy erected three 400-feet-tall, 1.63 megawatt wind turbines.
Just months later, Sue Hobart, a 57-year-old wedding florist, began experiencing spells
of dizziness, bouts of insomnia, ringing in her ears and severe headaches.

‘Sometimes at night, especially in the winter, I wake up with a fluttering in the chest and think, “What the hell is that,”’ and the only place it happens is at my house,’ she told
ABC News.
'Many people living within 2 km (1.25 miles) of these spinning giants get sick. So sick that they often abandon (as in, lock the door and leave) their homes,’ according to the book’s description. ‘Nobody wants to buy their acoustically toxic homes.'
Mr Anderson, however, [an earlier enthusiastic supporter] insisted that his symptoms were purely physical and not the products of an overactive imagination.
‘Just come in to my house and feel the walls shaking,’ he said
Mail on Line

"Not sure if I should be excited or grossed out"

Ripped from Reddit

Top 5: "Obamacare "Glitch" Explained In 25 Quotes"

1. “I hope they are working day and night to get this done. When they get it fixed, I hope they fire some people that were in charge of making sure that this thing was supposed to work.” — former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on MSNBC’s “Now with Alex Wagner,” Oct. 14

2. “A thousand Social Security numbers being sent to the wrong people is not a glitch!” — CNBC contributor Carol Roth on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Oct. 12

3. “How can we tax people for not buying a product from a website that doesn’t work?” — House Speaker John Boehner, Oct. 10

4. “Despite the widespread belief that the administration was not ready for the health law’s Oct. 1 launch, top officials and lead IT contractors looked us in the eye and assured us all systems were a go. Instead, here we are 10 days later, and delays and technical failures have reached epidemic proportions.” — Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) in a statement, Oct. 10

5. “We’re going to do a challenge. I’m going to try and download every movie ever made and you are going to try to sign up for Obamacare — and we’ll see which happens first.” — Jon Stewart to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on "The Daily Show," Oct. 7

Zero Hedge

Update: Woman nearly faints while hearing Obama explain the "glitches".
Consumer Reports: ‘Stay Away From’
Obamacare seeks to segregate patients, doctors by race

"Why Have Young People In Japan Stopped Having Sex?"

Japan's under-40s appear to be losing interest in conventional relationships. Millions aren't even dating, and increasing numbers can't be bothered with sex. For their government, "celibacy syndrome" is part of a looming national catastrophe. Japan already has one of the world's lowest birth rates. As The Guardian reports, 45% of Japanese women aged 16-24 are "not interested in or despise sexual contact". More than a quarter of men feel the same way. Is Japan providing a glimpse of all our futures? Many of the shifts there are occurring in other advanced nations, too. Across urban Asia, Europe and America, people are marrying later or not at all, birth rates are falling, single-occupant households are on the rise and, in countries where economic recession is worst, young people are living at home...

Zero Hedge

"At 12:01, Same-Sex Couples in New Jersey Say ‘I Do’"

In Lambertville, N.J., the marriage certificate of Beth Asaro and Joanne Schailey allowed only for a “bride” and a “groom,” so Ms. Asaro — in a pink suit — was listed as the groom, and Ms. Schailey — in a black suit — as the bride.

“It’s just going to list one of us as groom and one of us as bride, and we’re just going to wing it,” Marcye Nicholson-McFadden said breathlessly.

“Everyone was helping us and congratulating us,” Ms. Walpin said. She and Ms. Shapiro were two of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that resulted in the judge’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage last month. “It makes us just like everyone else — they were excited like they would be for anyone who’s getting married.”

“We had a personal shopper,” Ms. Shapiro added, still marveling. “They wouldn’t have had a personal shopper for just a civil union!”

“I think all four of us have spent most of our wedding day just tracking down a judge that would do it,” said Amy Quinn, 37, a lawyer who was planning to marry her partner of 10 years, Heather Jensen, 43, alongside a pair of gay friends, on the Asbury Park Boardwalk. “I’m so happy to get married in my own state, in my own town.”

“Now we have to wait,” Mr. Lesniak said. “But it’s only a short wait, considering we’ve waited for years.”

Then he counted down from 10, until midnight. The crowd cheered, and the brides kissed.

NY Times, Complimentary Video after "read more"

'Bags of Weed are not Welcome'

SEATTLE -- Despite the recent legalization of recreational marijuana* in Washington, Seattle police want to remind everyone that thrift stores can't resell donated bags of pot.

In the release, police say "Donating to thrift shops is a terrific way to give a second life to your well-loved Velcro sneakers, keyboards or flannel zebra jammies," but they say tires, soiled mattresses, laptops and bags of weed are not welcome.*

A thrift store employee called police Thursday afternoon to say he found a garbage bag containing 2.5 pounds of pot in the store's donation bin.

Police confiscated the marijuana and put it into evidence for destruction.

KATU dot com , *Althouse link , Parody after "read more"

Trust NPS?

I am not going out of my mind. I did notice a post on Hot Air about trusting the National Park Service ever again after the shutdown theater, the title and lead-in posed as a question easily answered with, "no." 

That is what I wrote. Two people got in before me. Checked later and there were some 35 responses, some long, 100% in agreement "no way will they trust them again." That surprised me. I thought I was being unusually uncharacteristically closed-mined about this, turns out it's just a regular attitude held by anyone who noticed what happened. 

Now the post is gone. It was on top. Sometimes they move down. I do not see it there on Hot Air now. 

Gosh, I hope it comes back. I wanted to see how far it would go. Did it get too ugly? 

For me it goes like this [Smoky the Bear ---> fascist ] Just like that. One step. One single event and wham my whole attitude changed toward the entire national parks system generally. And I don't care who it is, National Park Service, National Park Police, National Park Administration, National Park Overseers whatever, don't confuse me with tidy distinctions. They're all lumped together and they're all bad news even if there happen to nice ones in there caught up in the theater beyond their control. I honestly do not care if I ever make it to the Grand Canyon, or to Yellowstone, or to Mt. Rushmore anymore. I'll read about those things and avoid fascist fiefdoms, even Estes that opened quickly enough, none of them are acceptable now. They're all off limits to me. And if I end up there by mistake, say, a series of unfortunate events, it happens, I certainly will have the creeps the whole time through knowing I'm in the presence of weak-minded stormtroopers. My attitude will not change. It cannot, because they cannot. I will hold this soured attitude until the day I die. Best for me not to think about national parks and leave all those splendid things for others. 

So. What do you think? 

First I'll check to see if the post came back. Nope. Not in "more green room" either. See? That there is fascism. It's everywhere.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Why do people toss shoes to tangle on telephone wires?

I say to pretend for a moment you are a gaucho with a bola, that's why. To punk your little brother thus affecting your mastery over his foot-related discomfort.  I don't know.

* Australia means lost virginity
* for bullying purposes
* mafia message to cops about street
* drug dealing
* gang colors mark territiory
* mark the passing of gang members
* signature as graffiti,  "shoefiti"
* art
* used in art to depict urban decay
* mark the passing of life stages
* a form of memory
* world-wide phenomena 
* its become a meme (an idea that's behaves as a virus) 
* made you look
* mark quitting a job (memory) 
* idle mischief regarding old shoes ( memory) 
* street-type people using it as external memory
* leave a mark (communal memory)

There, now you don't have to watch the video. 

"The War on Halloween is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things"

"In the latest example of small-mindedness plaguing our educational system, schools around the country are attempting to ban costumes and candy on what is surely one of most kids’ favorite days of the year. The excuses range from vague concerns about “safety” to specific worries about food allergies to—get this—fears of breaching the wall of separation between church and state."
But whatever the motivation, the end result is the same as what Charlie Brown used to get every time he went trick-or-treating: a big old rock in the candy bag. What sort of lesson are we teaching our kids when we ban even a tiny, sugar-coated break in their daily grind (or, even worse, substitute a generic, Wicker Man-style “Fall Festival” for Halloween)? Mostly that we are a society that is so scared of its own shadow that we can’t even enjoy ourselves anymore. We live in fear of what might be called the killjoy’s veto, where any complaint is enough to destroy even the least objectionable fun.
Reason dot com via Charlie Martin

Another Russian Dash Cam Gem

Весёлый заправщик (Cheerful Tanker)

Petty Crime Is A Growth Industry

Have you noticed how merchants are starting to discount cash transactions while still offering the same product for more if a credit or debit card is used?  I see it at gas stations out here. More of them in fact than last year. The reason is that companies like Visa and MasterCard bill the merchants fees. Retail fuel is a low-profit, high volume business. So more of them are trying to encourage people to pay without credit cards. This means that such merchants will be handling greater sums of cash. Just wait for this trend to catch on with liquor stores.

Damn Thing Probably Ate My iPhone!

Giant Oarfish Washed Up On Shore In Oceanside

"Relative says family of Egyptian doctor honored by Israel won’t accept award"

AP CAIRO — "A member of the family of the first Arab honored by Israel for risking his life to save Jews during the Holocaust says the family isn’t interested in the recognition."

"The Egyptian doctor, Mohamed Helmy, was honored posthumously last month by Israel’s Holocaust memorial for hiding Jews in Berlin during the Nazis’ genocide, but a family member tracked down by The Associated Press this week in Cairo said her relatives wouldn’t accept the award, one of Israel’s most prestigious."

“If any other country offered to honor Helmy, we would have been happy with it,” Mervat Hassan, the wife of Helmy’s great-nephew, told the AP during an interview at her home in Cairo this week."

Washington Post via Tweeter's Yair Rosenberg

"Dershowitz Says Angela Corey Violated George Zimmerman’s Civil Rights"

Pat Dollard , Fox News Huckabee

"Man killed during bowling alley brawl in NJ"

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) - Prosecutors say a man was apparently beaten to death during a large brawl that broke out during a party at a central New Jersey bowling alley."

But it's still not clear what started the brawl, which began around 1:30 a.m. Saturday in Piscataway and involved roughly 250 people. Authorities say the combatants were fighting inside the alley and in the parking lot, but most of them fled when police arrived."

MyFoxNY dot com via Drudge tweet

'Men To Pay For Dates App'

"There’s only one method of manipulation that has stood the test of time: bribery.

Give a woman a present, and she’ll..."

That's the opening line of a press release for Carrot Dating, a new matchmaking app that lets men "bribe their way to a date."

The app enables users to "accept gifts/activities for a first date, with men and women being tempted with offers such as plastic surgery or a tank of gas for a “yes”. What doesn’t work: messaging and hoping."

By the way, he got the idea from his mother.

Business Insider

"Why We Make Bad Decisions"

"SIX years ago I was struck down with a mystery illness. My weight dropped by 30 pounds in three months. I experienced searing stomach pain, felt utterly exhausted and no matter how much I ate, I couldn’t gain an ounce..."

I went from slim to thin to emaciated. The pain got worse, a white heat in my belly that made me double up unexpectedly in public and in private."

Trying to find the answer, I saw doctors in London, New York, Minnesota and Chicago.
I was offered a vast range of potential diagnoses."

Faced with all these confusing and conflicting opinions, I had to work out which expert to trust, whom to believe and whose advice to follow. As an economist specializing in the global economy, international trade and debt, I have spent most of my career helping others make big decisions — prime ministers, presidents and chief executives — and so I’m all too aware of the risks and dangers of poor choices in the public as well as the private sphere. But up until then I hadn’t thought much about the process of decision making. So in between M.R.I.’s, CT scans and spinal taps, I dove into the academic literature on decision making. Not just in my field but also in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, information science, political science and history."      
What did I learn?"