Saturday, September 20, 2014

naturally curly hair

Let me play with your hair. *boing boing boing * It is not often *boing boing* one encounters *boing* such naturally curly *boing boing* hair as this! *boing* 


Our neighbors Gina and Tom came over for hamburgers on the grill this afternoon.  They are recent arrivals in our 'hood; a nice young couple.  We enjoy their company.

The past few months have been rough for them, like they can be for nearly everyone in these difficult times.  The economic recovery hasn't yet kicked in, and there are few job openings, so people have to take what they can, even if it isn't the ideal situation.

Tommy used to work on the docks.  The union's been on strike and he's down on his luck.  It's tough, so tough.

They are fortunate that Gina is working, although her degree in sociology hasn't equipped her for what anyone could call a real career.  Don't you wonder what a person who works for a degree in sociology expects will happen after graduation?  It's liken there's no real plan or idea of what happens next.

Gina works the diner all day. Working for her man she brings home her pay for love. For love.

I'll say this about Gina: her attitude is marvelous. She says, "We've got to hold on to what we've got.  It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not. We've got each other and that's a lot for love. We'll give it a shot."  

It made me think about those times years ago when Mrs. Haz and I were starting out.  She used to encourage me when things were tough.  "We're half way there", she'd say,  "livin' on a prayer.  Take my hand and we'll make it, I swear, livin' on a prayer."

They needed cash, so Tommy got his six string in hock.  Now he's holding in what he used to make it talk so tough, it's tough.

The grils were in the kitchen talking while Tommy and I lit the grill.  Later Mrs Haz told me that Gina dreams of running away.  When she cries in the night, Tommy whispers, "Baby, it's okay.  Someday." And she tells Tommy we've got to hold on to what we've got.  It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not, we've got each other and that's a lot for love.  We'll give it a shot.

You have to admire that.  Life can be tough, am I right?  We have all experienced that in one way or another. We've all had to say we're half way there, livin' on a prayer.  Take my hand, we'll make it, I swear.  Livin' on a prayer. We've got to hold on ready or not.  You live for the fight when it's all that you've got.  We're half way there; livin' on a prayer.  Take my hand and we'll make it, I swear; livin' on a prayer.

They'll be okay, Tommy and Gina.  I sense that that they will.  And it's good that they live next to Jack and Diane, the other younger couple in the neighborhood.  They have so much in common, and their upbeat attitudes are a good thing.

"Why Does Coffee Always Get the Blame?"

"Sometime in the future, a friend comes over to my house, looks around and says: “John, how did you and Lisa afford such a beautiful house?”

“Well, Scott, I didn’t think we could do it, but we gave up lattes for twelve-hundred-and-seventy-five-years, and we were able to make a down payment. Of course, there has been a downside: we’ve been dozing off the entire time because of the lack of caffeine.”

"Former State Dept. Official: Details of Maxwell’s Benghazi Document Story ‘Ring True’"

"The Daily Signal reported Monday on Raymond Maxwell, a former deputy assistant secretary at the State Department who says he observed an unusual after-hours session in a basement operations room of the agency’s headquarters in Washington in October 2012."

"Maxwell said a State Department office director told him those present were ordered to separate out any documents related to the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on Americans in Benghazi that could prove damaging to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. While he was present, Maxwell said, Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan stopped by." (read the whole thing)

Whitleblowers don't seem to have the cachet they once had. Any ideas why that might be?

Prison gangs

"“Now watch what they do,” says Christopher Acosta, a corrections officer with a shaved head who worked for 15 years as a front-line prison guard and now runs public relations for Pelican Bay. We are standing with our backs to a fence and can see everything.

At first, we seem to be watching a sullen but semi-random parade of terrifying men—heavily tattooed murderers, thieves, and drug dealers walking past one of five casual but alert guards. Some inmates, chosen for a strip search, drop their prison blues into little piles and then spin around, bare-assed, to be scrutinized. Once inspected, they dress and walk out into the yard to fill their lungs with oxygen after a long night in the stagnant air of the cellblock. The first Hispanic inmate to put his clothes on walks about 50 yards to a concrete picnic table, sits down, and waits. The first black inmate goes to a small workout area and stares out at the yard intently. A white guy walks directly to a third spot, closer to the basketball court. Another Hispanic claims another picnic table. Slowly it becomes obvious that they have been moving tactically: each has staked out a rallying point for his group and its affiliates.

Once each gang has achieved a critical mass—about five men—it sends off a pair of scouts. Two of the Hispanics at the original concrete picnic table begin a long, winding stroll. “They’ll walk around, get within earshot of the other groups, and try to figure out what’s going down on the yard,” Acosta says. “Then they can come back to their base and say who’s going to attack who, who’s selling what.”

Eventually, about 50 inmates are in the yard, and the guards have stepped back and congregated at their own rallying point, backs to the fence, with Acosta. The men’s movements around the yard are so smooth and organized, they seem coordinated by invisible traffic lights. And that’s a good thing. “There’s like 30 knives out there right now,” Acosta says. “Hidden up their rectums.”"

-The Atlantic via Razib Khan


Here's a poser: whatever could we do to prevent drugs and weapons from entering prisons?

One very lucky cyclist

"Swedish Man Acquitted of Rape Due to 'Sexomnia'"

"Mikael Halvarsson was acquitted of rape this month after experts said he was asleep during the attack and had no memory of the incident, according to a translated court ruling from the Sundsvall appeals court in Sweden."
Halvarsson was accused after the victim woke up as Halvarsson allegedly assaulted her on April 2, 2014. They had been sleeping in the same bed, but they each had their own blanket, according to the translated court documents, which also noted that she called the police the next morning, and they found Halvarsson still asleep in her bed when they arrived.

In the appeal, Halvarsson's previous girlfriend testified that he had previously tried once to have sex with her when she was sleeping. When she stopped him, he then acted confused and asked what had happened.
While the term sexomnia may seem made up for the purposes of getting away with a crime, Dr. Kingman Strohl, a professor of medicine and director of research at the Sleep Center at Case Medical Center in Cleveland, confirmed it's an actual medical diagnosis that includes unintentional sexual behaviors during sleep.

"You want to know how people react to it. You want to know what the people look like and want to know how each partner reacts to it," said Strohl of diagnosing a sexomnia incident. "You don't want to encourage unwanted sexual advances."

Friday, September 19, 2014


My favorite version:

The roots of the song predate recorded music history. Everybody played it but The Animals -- fifty years ago this year -- were the first to switch the lyrics around from a woman's to a man's point of view. I find that astonishing.

"Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death"

"Article 262 of the Islamic Penal Code states insulting the Prophet carries a punishment of death, however, article 264 of the Penal Code says if a suspect claims to have said the insulting words in anger, in quoting someone, or by mistake, his death sentence will be converted to 74 lashes."
The anonymous source claims: “Unfortunately, despite this Article and the explanations provided, the judges issued the death sentence.

“They didn’t even take any notice of Soheil’s statements in court in which he repeated several times that he wrote the posts under poor [psychological] conditions, and that he is remorseful.”
Any clues as to how the legal minds arrived at 74 lashes?

"Shakespeare Didn't Really Want To Kill All The Lawyers, But We Should Deregulate Their Profession"

"If the market for legal services were deregulated, practitioners would quickly figure out the optimal kind and duration of training for them to succeed in business. It isn’t the years of law school classes (almost all of which is quickly forgotten) that make one competent, but instead the need to build your reputation through good service."

"In short, the licensing regulations in the legal profession don’t protect the public, but merely raise the cost of services, doing the most harm to those who can least afford to pay." (read the whole thing)

Would deregulation lower legal fees... what are your thoughts?

Normal iPhone6 is too heavy

First iPhone 6 sold in Perth is dropped by kid during an interview

My brother's iPhone just arrived

school lunch snacks

FLOTUS plan to allow only healthy snacks inside public schools across the United States is a smashing success.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scotland from Great Britain

Improved! Now with more color and corrected Asian.


For all the separatists and their elk:

Der Sommeschlacht is a great word.

Added: a 1991 track from the band Kurt Cobain called "the best band in the world" -- Scotland's Teenage Fanclub:

"Scottish Independence Is Crap"

O flower of Scotland
When will we see your like again?
That fought and died for
Your wee bit hill and glen
And stood against him
Proud Edward’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again.

Butterfly fails to faze flautist

Speaking of Good News....

Scientists now believe that the Ebola virus can mutate into an airborne form.  Be assured, though, that this can only infect beings who breathe.
It was previously thought the untreatable virus, which causes massive internal bleeding and multiple organ failure, could only be transmitted through contact with infected blood.
But now Canadian researchers have carried out experiments showing how monkeys can catch the deadly disease from infected pigs without coming into direct contact.
Well, it's only monkeys and pigs, so why worry?
 'Our findings support the hypothesis that airborne transmission may contribute to spread, specifically from pigs to primates, and may need to be considered in assessing transmission from animals to humans in general,' they said.
This isn't very encouraging.
 The virus can be contained because it kills its victims faster than it can spread to new ones.
Pause to think about that.  Then read this:
However, if the disease is now airborne it could make containment more difficult.
Let's hope and pray that the 3,000 young Americans being sent to Africa to "fight" Ebola aren't being sent on a suicide mission. And maybe we should buy a supply of protective masks, just in case.

Read more here.

How ISIS Works

ISIS is more than a rag-tag band of fighters.  ISIS has a command structure, a financing structure and a semblance of a political and governance structure.  ISIS is well armed, and its ranks are growing by recruitment of volunteers from around the world.

The New York Times provides this ISIS primer.

ISIS has declared war on America.  President Obama has largely ignored that declaration, while seemingly inviting ISIS into the US via an open southern border.

The question is this:  If ISIS fighters are congregating in one part of the world the size of Illinois, shouldn't the western countries fight and destroy ISIS where it is rather than waiting until ISIS is attacking western cities?

Or is our beloved leader planning to have a caliphate established in America?

Rush Hour


Fake. Rotoscoping, where an element is isolated, copied, and added at a different time.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

TMZ: Django Unchained actress played the race and fame cards.

"The "Django Unchained" actress who cried racism against the LAPD ... claiming they harassed and hurt her because she was just making out with her white boyfriend in a car -- has some explaining to do, because we obtained pictures that seem to show A LOT more than sucking face."

An eyewitness who saw Daniele and Brian as he worked in a nearby office tells TMZ ... Brian was sitting in the passenger seat with his feet on the curb and Daniele was straddling him with her shirt pulled up -- breasts exposed. The eyewitness says she was grinding on top of him, rocking back and forth.

The eyewitnesses say Brian then began "horizontally bongoing her boobs back and forth." He says she eventually reached into the center console, grabbed a tissue, wiped him down and then herself and tossed it on the grass.
Someone from the office called the cops and made an indecent exposure complaint.
And now you know, the rest of the story... good day.

Obama: U.S. Will Not Fight Another Ground War in Iraq

"The U.S. will not send armed forces to fight a ground war in Iraq, President Barack Obama reiterated Wednesday, a day after his top military adviser said he could envision recommending that the president deploy ground troops there."

"It is more effective to use our unique capabilities in support of our partners on the ground so they can secure their own countries' futures," Obama told service members at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida. "That is the only solution that will succeed over the long term."

What It's Like To Get Robbed At Gunpoint

"Take off your backpack"
Traveler Alexander Hennessy was riding a bike through a rough neighborhood in Buenos Aires when he was held up at gunpoint.

"Jewish group chides Biden for using 'offensive' term"

"Vice President Joe Biden "should have been more careful" in a speech when he used a term that some consider anti-Semitic, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League said Tuesday."
"That's one of the things that he finds was most in need when he was over there in Iraq for a year," Biden said, "that people would come to him and talk about what was happening to them at home in terms of foreclosures, in terms of bad loans that were being...I mean these Shylocks who took advantage of, um, these women and men while overseas."

ADL National Director Abraham Foxman issued a mild reprimand later Tuesday.

The name "Shylock" derives from the name of the antagonist in Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice." Shylock, a Jew, was a ruthless moneylender in the play, and he's remembered for demanding a "pound of flesh" from the merchant Antonio if he failed to repay a loan.

"Shylock represents the medieval stereotype about Jews and remains an offensive characterization to this day," Foxman said. "The vice president should have been more careful."
All in all, it was a "good thing" that it was VP Biden that suffered the slip of the tongue and not someone higher up the food chain, someone like former VP Cheney.


Thally ithn't particularly clever with acathia thornth.

Snow Forest, Sweden

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Media Bias is not a myth

The Fix... Democrats now have a 51 percent chance of holding the Senate

"Japanese Maple"

By Clive James

Your death, near now, is of an easy sort.
So slow a fading out brings no real pain.
Breath growing short
Is just uncomfortable. You feel the drain
Of energy, but thought and sight remain:

Enhanced, in fact. When did you ever see
So much sweet beauty as when fine rain falls
On that small tree
And saturates your brick back garden walls,
So many Amber Rooms and mirror halls?

Ever more lavish as the dusk descends
This glistening illuminates the air.
It never ends.
Whenever the rain comes it will be there,
Beyond my time, but now I take my share.

My daughter’s choice, the maple tree is new.
Come autumn and its leaves will turn to flame.
What I must do
Is live to see that. That will end the game
For me, though life continues all the same:

Filling the double doors to bathe my eyes,
A final flood of colors will live on
As my mind dies,
Burned by my vision of a world that shone
So brightly at the last, and then was gone.

Via Slate

“It’s a big city, Somebody’s going to drop something.”

"And somebody, if the item is sufficiently treasured, is going to try to pick it up. These are the fishermen of the (NYC) subway system, cobbling together homemade instruments to pluck items from the tracks and release them to a grateful city."
They have lifted bikes and basketballs.

One worker, Bob Devine, recently recovered the detritus of a lover’s quarrel: a bag of clothes hurled beside a third rail in the Bronx during an argument.

“We’re O.K. now,” the man told Mr. Devine, repacking his jeans.

For as long as there have been subway tracks, New Yorkers — haggard, perpetually busy and forever jostling for space — have been dropping things on them.
But in recent years, the workers say, the rigors of the job have multiplied, with smartphone proliferation and in-station Wi-Fi producing a more distracted ridership and sending more phones tumbling to the tracks.

“That’s job security,” said Mr. Devine, a 30-year veteran of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

There is the occasional aggrieved passenger, chafing at the response time if a crew is traveling from another call at a far-off station. But almost universally, riders are appreciative. A few have tried to tip the workers, though they say they have never accepted.

“A little hug, we take,” Mr. Geraghty said. “I usually tell them, if it’s a man: ‘Take your wife out. Have a good time on us.’ ”

Monday, September 15, 2014


Fair enough, but consider the source — over the past 12 years, the New York Times, when not going on benders on the evils of golf courses and air conditioning, and publishing outright fabulism, has, more recently, published pieces calling for the end of the US Constitution, and mocking the “fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity” of its presidential candidates — only, upon further review, to discover that these extreme worldviews are Catholicism, Lutheranism and Mormonism, bedrock religions of America’s history.  Its leading journalists have publicly called the citizens of the American midwest “The dance of the low-sloping foreheads” and filed William S. Burroughs-style stories of openly experimenting with drugs. And of course, in 2008, it went all-in to champion a man who was clearly not ready to be president, to the point of actively burying potentially damaging stories about him and refusing to run op-eds from his opponent.
Damn, I wish I could throw darts like that.  Read the whole thing here.  It's part of larger story.

“They just wanted me to go away but I wouldn’t just go away”

The decision to place Maxwell on administrative leave was made by Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, according to three State Department officials with direct knowledge of the events. On the day after the unclassified version of the ARB’s report was released in December, Mills called Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones and directed her to have Maxwell leave his job immediately.
"Cheryl Mills directed me to remove you immediately from the [deputy assistant secretary] position," Jones told Maxwell, according to Maxwell.

The decision to remove Maxwell and not Jones seems to conflict with the finding of the ARB that responsibility for the security failures leading up to the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi should fall on more senior officials.

“We fixed [the responsibility] at the assistant-secretary level, which is in our view the appropriate place to look, where the decision making in fact takes place, where, if you like, the rubber hits the road," Pickering said when releasing the ARB report.
The guy they decided to throw under the bus is not going quietly.
“The crime that he is being punished for is not reading his intel. That explains why Jones and Dibble were not disciplined,” this person said.

Maxwell had no response to this allegation other than to say he has not been officially counseled on what he did wrong and has not been allowed to read the classified report. Also, he believes that Clinton’s staff, not the ARB, was in charge of the review of the attack that took place during her watch.

“The flaws in the process were perpetrated by the political leadership at State with the complicity of the senior career leadership,” he said. “They should be called to account.”
Eight months after the attack, congressional investigators and outside groups are still pressing the State Department to explain how the ARB came to the conclusion that four midlevel officials were the only ones with responsibility for the failures that led up to the attack.
The Scapegoat Raymond Maxwell wrote a poem in his personal blog...
“The web of lies they weave gets tighter and tighter in its deceit until it bottoms out -at a very low frequency – and implodes,” he wrote. “Yet all the while, the more they talk, the more they lie, and the deeper down the hole they go.”

"US creating pilot programs to deal with violent extremists"

"Today, few threats are more urgent than the threat posed by violent extremism. And with the emergence of groups like ISIL, and the knowledge that some Americans are attempting to travel to countries like Syria and Iraq to take part in ongoing conflicts, the Justice Department is responding appropriately," Holder said in a video message Monday, using an acronym for the Islamic State group. (read more)

What is Eric Holder really up to with this move?

"On 9/11 I saw the worst of humanity, the absolute worst, on 9/12 I saw the best"

Mass. woman solves mystery of 9/11 photo.
Keefe found the photo at ground zero right after the attacks. She made it her mission to find out the story behind it.

Elizabeth Stringer Keefe posted a wedding picture on social media every 9/11, hoping to find the people in the photo.

But every year was the same -- no leads.
This year, however... one message from Fred Mahe changed everything.

"When he answered the phone he said his name, and I said, 'This is Elizabeth Stringer Keefe.' And he paused for a minute and said, 'You are awesome,'" Keefe said. "I said, 'Are you in that photo?' He said, 'That is my photo.' And it was unbelievable. I immediately started crying."

Mahe worked in tower two. He had just come off the subway when the building was hit.

The photo, taken at his friend's wedding, was tacked to his desk on the 77th floor.

Mahe now lives in Colorado. He said all six people in the photo are alive and well.



This is what reading aloud David Wiswell's Facebook updates from his phone would be like. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Flyball Dogs

Book Claim: "Richard Branson failed to deliver on $3bn climate change pledge"

Naomi Klein writes in 'This Changes Everything, Capitalism vs The Climate'.
So the sceptics might be right: Branson’s various climate adventures may indeed prove to have all been a spectacle, a Virgin production, with everyone’s favourite bearded billionaire playing the part of planetary saviour to build his brand, land on late night TV, fend off regulators, and feel good about doing bad,”

Obama appears to be making up the ISIS strategy on the fly.

From the NYT Paths to War, Then and Now, Haunt Obama ...
Asked by one of the columnists what he would do if his strategy did not work and he had to escalate further, Mr. Obama rejected the premise. “I’m not going to anticipate failure at this point,” he said.
 The president also plays what I would describe as ISIS pundit.
If he had been “an adviser to ISIS,” Mr. Obama added, he would not have killed the hostages but released them and pinned notes on their chests saying, “Stay out of here; this is none of your business.” Such a move, he speculated, might have undercut support for military intervention. (read the whole thing)
What a strange thing to say by a person on whose shoulders rest the awesome responsibility of sending soldiers into harms way. If you are a soldier somewhere halfway around the world, and you read something like that, said by your commander in chief, what are you supposed to think?

Sunday Morning Headlines

CA firefighters battle out of control wildfire as area withers under triple-digit temperatures

Peterson Update: Peterson turned himself in over the weekend in Texas, where the incident occurred, and then returned to Minnesota after posting his bail.
confident smile

Sunday Morning With Van Morrison

She's as sweet as Tupelo honey.  She's an angel of the first degree.

Have a great Sunday everyone!