Saturday, March 26, 2016

Oh Happy Day - The Edwin Hawkins Singers

"Couple in running car parked on N.J. street found dead..."

"....of carbon monoxide poisoning"
The couple were found early Friday in a 2002 Chevrolet Tracker with New York license plates... A pink handbag was resting on the hood.
Police have since debunked earlier reports that the couple was having sex when they died. The two were "fully clothed" and appeared to have been "sitting there talking, hanging out together," Detective Capt. Patrick Coffey told the Bergen Record.

Wisconsin Death Trip?

So Trump is traveling and campaigning in Wisconsin. I am only familiar with Wisconsin by my interaction with Cheeseheads on the Internet. There are wonderful people like Michael Haz and Nick Spinelli. There are the dregs of humanity like the Evil Blogger Lady and her pet troll the Lawnboy. So it is your basic mixed bag. Much like anywhere I guess. Just with more cheese.

The interesting thing is that the Donald is eschewing additional debates. He feels he has debated more than enough. Everybody has seen him answer the gotcha questions and the ambush videos that people like Bloody  Megyn Kelly and Charo from Univision que up to screw with him. He takes them in stride and gives the same circular evasions as any politician will in the circumstances. Nothing new there. But there is something new in how Trump is handling the media.

Heidi Cruz's Diary

I don’t know if I should do this. Laura Bush called me up and said I should record my thoughts. She said she had contacted all of the potential first ladies and told them that it is very important that we record our thoughts during the campaign. That it was important for posterity. So I discussed it with the voices in my head and they voted six to two to do it. So I will start writing down my thoughts and dreams. All of them except for the ones with Cthulhu in it.

This was a really tough week for me. Donald Trump threatened to spill the beans about me. After someone took a shot at his wife Melania. It wasn’t us. It was this bimbo who used to work for Scott Walker before she got canned for being a jerkoff in Iowa. She was the one who tried to slut shame Melania. It was really unfair for Trump to blame Ted. Why doesn’t he blame Scott Walker? He was the first to quit like a pussy and try to derail Trump. He is from Wisconsin so you know he would do anything. Ted is above all of that. He is so straight. So rigid. Most of the time. Just not when it counts.  Trump got them twisted and he said he would rat me out. The only question is what he was talking about.

"For first time drone delivers package to residential area"

AP:  The route was established using GPS. A pilot and visual observers were on standby during the flight but weren't needed, [Flirtey CEO] Sweeney said.

He said the package included bottled water, food and a first-aid kit.  "Conducting the first drone delivery in an urban setting is a major achievement, taking us closer to the day that drones make regular deliveries to your front doorstep," Sweeney said.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval congratulated the company "on successfully completing the nation's first fully autonomous urban package delivery." 

"I am thrilled that Flirtey is not only testing its cutting-edge technology in Nevada, but also creating jobs through its headquarters relocation to Reno," Sandoval said in a statement.

Drone lift video of water jugs...

Bird land

Unseasonably cold

A large, powerful high pressure system originating in the
Eastern or Western Pacific and stretching to the
North Pole is required to displace the pocket of cold air.

""The polar vortex will drop into Ontario during the first weekend in April," according to AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Joe Lundberg.

This means arctic air will have a direct path into the Midwest.
"From Sunday, April 3, through the following week, most of, if not all, days will bring below-average temperatures from the northern Plains to the mid-Atlantic coast," Lundberg said. "We expect nighttime temperatures to drop to freezing as far south as the Tennessee Valley."
Temperatures will average 15-30 degrees Fahrenheit below normal with the core of the cold air directed at the North Central states. Normal highs during the first week of April are in the lower to middle 50s in Minneapolis, Chicago and Detroit and in the 60s from Kansas City, Missouri, to Nashville and Cincinnati.

"The intense cold could impact play for opening day MLB games in Pittsburgh and Kansas City, Missouri, on Sunday, as well as games elsewhere in the Midwest and Northeast on Monday," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok."

Does anyone know what kind of hummingbird this is?

Via Reddit

Wisconsin in a Nutshell

Remember Ron Weisflog? Of course you do. He is from Milwaukee, WI.

That voice -- that accent -- it's authentic M'waukee. Listen to him admonish John McCain back in 2008:

Looking back, McCain in 2008 sounded like how Romney sounded in 2012. And Trump sounds today like Weisflog sounded in 2008 but writ larger.

Wisconsin today is filled with Ron Weisflogs (along with a few stray Meades). 

political t-shirts

The Daily Caller ran a slideshow of some 38 most interesting t-shirts sold or seen at a Trump rally. Most are not all that interesting, Make America Great Again. Missed pun opportunity right there. Earlier tonight on Futurama, Bender and his son out of wedlock with a beverage machine were fleeing and trying to enter the base of a dam. Bender says, "Dam." His little square robot son says, "Damn." Bender sees a grate at the base of the dam and says "Grate." His son says, "Great." So the dialogue goes, "Dam." "Damn." "Grate." "Great."

We see right away people wearing the t-shirts are not all middle age white males, disaffected, uneducated and angry and living in mobil homes. Although I'll grant a lot probably are. 

WKRLEM: Ted announces a new campaign theme.

The sublime Pasty Cline.

One of the top ten female vocalists I have ever heard.

Friday, March 25, 2016

It is all about class....if you don't believe me ask the BBC

I have long been convinced that this election is a "class  election." Not a liberal vs conservative split. Rather an Elites vs the Common Man election. A split that splits the parties. Families. Friends. People who have lost touch with their working class  roots turn to the elitists who scorn the people from which they came. A common human reaction. You see it all the time.

There is also a very strong unstated racial subtext. Well much less unstated than usual. The injection of Black Lives Matters and the blatant racism of Barack Obama has divided the country in a manner that we have not seen in a long time. Black Lives Matters has demanded a reaction to their demands. Well they are getting it. In spades. So to speak.

Of course this is not only my opinion. Many other people feel the same way.


Discuss whatever's on your mind.

Ricky Gervais meets Gary Shandling

Were you to watch only one video in this series of five, then I'll recommend the second video over the first video when the two meet for the first time under wrong stated expectations of both parties.

An explanation on this first video is useful. I found it by a person showing another  one unrelated, one that seemed ordinary. The person said, "It was either this or the one where Shandling embarrasses Ricky Gervais." That was my search on YouTube. I don't know if this here is the one he was talking about. I found it interesting because I never really did understand either one of them and now I do.

This is terribly awkward. Shandling's schtick is a bit awkward to begin with but this is worse. It appears as if Shandling is in character for an interview at his house and Gervais is not. There is uncomfortable conflict and crossed communication immediately. The interview is a disaster.

A YouTube commenter writes:

Garry's version of what happened. This is copy/pasted as is. There is an interviewer and Shandling explaining.
garrys version on what happened
What happened when Ricky Gervais interviewed you for one of his TV shows?
You didn’t seem to get on… We were doing interviews for my Larry Sanders DVD at the same time as Ricky interviewed me for his show. My DVD included very low-key visits with my friends, including Alec Baldwin and Sharon Stone. We agreed we’d shoot my interview first then Ricky’s. When I walked into the kitchen, his cameras were on which created a completely different sensibility. I came in to say ‘hello’ with my guard down but there he was shooting his show. I thought: ‘Let’s see if I can signal to him to bring it down because we’re doing this other interview.’ We were doing two shows at the same time.
He doesn’t seem to have got the message…
No. It becomes a boxing match. Either of us could have stopped for a minute and said: ‘Are we on the same page?’ but neither of us did. We were two people doing two different shows. I kept thinking: ‘Maybe this will be interesting’ I was trying to do something not comedian-to-comedian but man-to-man. He was trying to make an entertaining show, which I’m capable of; I just wasn’t doing it in that moment. We all needed to stop.
It's a horrible real life crossed communication throughout with a few good burns. The British people I noticed loved that Gervais is being embarrassed. The American viewers did not see it that way. Generally.

I never did care much for Gervais and at the point of this first video I still don't. It is not until the second video in this series of five videos that I manage to connect with Gervais's sincerity. His genuineness comes through for me. Finally. And the same with Shandling. The burns in the second are natural conversational burns that are tremendously comedic. I haven't watched the remaining three.

"Indiana just banned abortion if the fetus has Down syndrome"

Washington Post:  The law, which was passed by the legislature earlier this month, would make Indiana the second state in the nation, after North Dakota, to ban abortion in cases where a fetal anomaly is detected. It also would bar the procedure in instances where the decision is based on the sex or race of the fetus. And it could make Indiana the first state in the country to require that fetal remains be buried or cremated, rather than treated like medical waste.
Among the critics of the measure were several Republican women in the state House, who said they considered themselves “pro-life” but thought this bill went too far. Still, the signing of the law by Pence — a staunch opponent of abortion who is in a tight race for reelection — was fully expected. (Link to story)

Does this work?

The Sartorialist

IRS continues to stonewall tea party case papertrail

Fox News:  In a blistering rebuke of the IRS, a Cincinnati-based federal appeals court has ordered the tax-collecting agency to quit stalling and produce the names of organizations it targeted based on their political leanings.
The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit gave the IRS two weeks to turn over the documents sought as part of a class-action lawsuit brought by the NorCal Tea Party Patriots.
“The lawyers in the Department of Justice have a long and storied tradition of defending the nation’s interests and enforcing its laws … The conduct of the IRS’s attorneys in the district court falls outside that tradition,” the opinion said.
Mark Meckler, president of Citizens for Self-Governance which is funding the class-action lawsuit, applauded the court's bold comments.
“We are very pleased that the 6th Circuit had smacked down the IRS and its thuggish DOJ lawyers,” Meckler told, adding that he felt the IRS is an “unredeemable organization.”
Meanwhile, in an not so unrelated development... Look I'm not a lawyer but it doesn't seem that complicated to me. The tea parties wanted what religious organization have - tax exemption. Here is a story claiming a tax exempt entity (Mosques) want to do voter registration? Will the Mosques receive the kind of scrutiny tea parties did? I doubt it.
Organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, known as CAIR, the Islamic Circle of North America and the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations are encouraging mosques to turn themselves into voter registration centers before the November election so that Muslims can make their voices heard at the polls. Registration drives are expected to ramp up significantly in June, during Ramadan, when attendance at Islamic centers peaks.
“The fear and apprehension in the American Muslim community has never been at this level,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for CAIR. “The anti-Islamic tidal wave is spurring civic participation.”
Fundamentally transform...

Obama finds difference between Socialism/Marxism and Capitalism an "interesting intellectual argument"

When Obama says "so often in the past" that's a seatbelt signal.


"The notoriously intricate strategy game Go has a new champion.
AlphaGo, Google’s Go-playing computer program, has topped Lee Sedol, the world’s reigning player, in a five-game [4-1] match played over a week in South Korea.

The program, a breakthrough in artificial intelligence, learned to play Go by watching human experts and by playing millions of games against itself."
According to Wiki:

The objective of the game—as the translation of its name implies [encircling game]—is to have surrounded a larger total area of the board with one's stones than the opponent by the end of the game.[8]

Once placed on the board, stones may not be moved, but stones may be removed from the board if captured. This is done by surrounding an opposing stone or group of stones by occupying all orthogonally-adjacent points.[9] The two players place stones alternately until they reach a point at which neither player wishes to make another move; the game has no set ending conditions beyond this. When a game concludes, the territory is counted along with captured stones and komi (points added to the score of the player with the white stones as compensation for playing second) to determine the winner.[10] Games may also be won by resignation.

...In combinatorial game theory terms, Go is a zero-sum, perfect-information, partisan, deterministic strategy game, putting it in the same class as chess, checkers(draughts) and Reversi (Othello); however it differs from these in its game play. Although the rules are simple, the practical strategy is extremely complex.

The game emphasizes the importance of balance on multiple levels and has internal tensions. To secure an area of the board, it is good to play moves close together; however, to cover the largest area, one needs to spread out, perhaps leaving weaknesses that can be exploited. Playing too low (close to the edge) secures insufficient territory and influence, yet playing too high (far from the edge) allows the opponent to invade.

It has been claimed that Go is the most complex game in the world due to its vast number of variations in individual games.[112] Its large board and lack of restrictions allow great scope in strategy and expression of players' individuality. Decisions in one part of the board may be influenced by an apparently unrelated situation in a distant part of the board. Plays made early in the game can shape the nature of conflict a hundred moves later.

...Go begins with an empty board. It is focused on building from the ground up (nothing to something) with multiple, simultaneous battles leading to a point-based win. Chess is tactical rather than strategic, as the predetermined strategy is to trap one individual piece (the king). 

WKRLEM : Hey pasian

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Irish Breakfast

Full Irish Breakfast - Source Link

"Check for yourself to see if there is a warrant for your arrest"

"Concord man accused of not returning VHS rental 14 years later"

Barry Loves David

“One of my most powerful memories and one of my proudest moments as president was watching Boston respond after the marathon, and when Ortiz went out and said, probably the only time that America didn’t have a problem with somebody cursing on live TV, was when he talked about Boston and how strong it was and that it was not going to be intimidated.” 
"I have always loved David. Ever since I found out the was the bastard son of Idi Amin Dada. Just like me. A bastard son of nasty African. David is a real hero. He sacrifices his body by filling it full of illegal steroids so he can help the Red Sox Nation. That was the only way they could ever win. By cheating. It's a Boston thing. Just the way the Patriots do all the time."

TMZ: Garry Shandling Dead at 66... (massive heart attack)

The 66-year-old star was not suffering from any illness ... as far as we know ... so, it appears this was sudden. A source connected to Shandling says he was healthy and speaking to people on Thursday morning.
Our source says there was a 911 call from "The Larry Sanders Show" star's home, and he was transported to the hospital. We're told Shandling was alive when he arrived at the hospital.

Read more:

“Obama attacks the dance floor”

"Obama criticized for doing the tango 2 days after bombing in Brussels"
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were coaxed from their table at a state dinner in Argentina on Wednesday night to dance the tango. And critics already furious that the president had attended a baseball game in Cuba following Tuesday’s deadly attacks in Brussels were unmoved.
“That was a tremendous mistake,” Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday. “It’s fine to go to Argentina, you want to do the work, but you’ve got to be careful of these little photo ops and optics. Baseball games and tangos, that’s inconsistent with the seriousness of the day."
From Cuba: Obama praised the way David Ortiz responded to terrorism in 2013.
“One of my most powerful memories and one of my proudest moments as president was watching Boston respond after the marathon, and when Ortiz went out and said, probably the only time that America didn’t have a problem with somebody cursing on live TV, was when he talked about Boston and how strong it was and that it was not going to be intimidated,” Obama said in an ESPN interview during the game.
“And that is the kind of resilience and the kind of strength that we have to continually show in the face of these terrorists.”
That is not the whole story, however, as Taranto points out in his Best of the Web column today, quoting from CNN...
“Boston and surrounding communities are put on lockdown—with schools closed, public transit halted and people ordered off the streets—as authorities hunt for the surviving suspect.” That was four days after the attack.

Nate Silver Electoral Map as of today

Republicans have cast 19.8 million votes at primary and caucus elections this year, and Democrats have cast 14.8 million. But there’s a third force that has once again dwarfed both of these numbers: the great American tradition of disinterest and apathy.
In the states that have held elections so far, about 106 million eligible voters have opted out of the whole thing. Only about a quarter of the voting-age population, or 40% of registered voters, have turned up to the polls. This is true even though Republicans have turned out in record numbers this year.

WKRLEM: Toxoplasmosis!

"Someone wrote ‘Trump 2016’ on Emory’s campus in chalk"

"Some students said they no longer feel safe."
Students woke up Monday morning to find messages written in chalk all over campus, in support of Donald Trump. That afternoon, a group of 40 to 50 students protested. According to the student newspaper, the Emory Wheel, they shouted in the quad, “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!” and then students moved into the administration building calling out, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
Jim Wagner, the president of the university in Atlanta, met with the protesters and later sent an email to the campus community, explaining, in part, “During our conversation, they voiced their genuine concern and pain in the face of this perceived intimidation.
“After meeting with our students, I cannot dismiss their expression of feelings and concern as motivated only by political preference or over-sensitivity. Instead, the students with whom I spoke heard a message, not about political process or candidate choice, but instead about values regarding diversity and respect that clash with Emory’s own.”
The story spread quickly, as media such as Reason mocked, “At Emory University, Writing ‘Trump 2016′ on Sidewalk Is a Racist Microaggression…,” with references to students needing “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” to protect them from presidential candidates’ names and slogans. For many, it was another sign of college students being so overly sensitive that even political campaigning could be seen as hate speech.
Link to picture source

ignoring your college professor's lecture
to play a game where you serve fast-food to people for fun

"People with 'rage' disorder twice as likely to have toxoplasmosis"

Medical News Today:  A disorder that causes the individual to fly off the handle unexpectedly, as in road rage, has been significantly linked with toxoplasmosis, a parasite commonly associated with cat feces, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) has been defined as "recurrent, impulsive, problematic outbursts of verbal or physical aggression that are disproportionate to the situations that trigger them."

Up to 16 million Americans are thought to have IED, more than the total number for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia combined.

Toxoplasmosis is a common and generally harmless parasitic infection that is passed on through the feces of infected cats, contaminated water or undercooked meat.

It affects around 30% of all humans but is normally latent. (read more)

"Texas Judge Sanctioned After Keeping His Own Divorce On His Docket"

Jonathan Turley:  Herrera filed for divorce on June 6, 2012 and the case was randomly assigned to his court. He said that he was still trying to work things out with this wife, Melissa Carrasco. He said that they had emails trying to avoid litigation. However, on July 16, 2012, a lawyer representing Carrasco, Angelica Carreon-Beltran, filed a counterpetition for divorce. Herrera insists that Carreon-Beltran is a political enemy of his who improperly solicited his ex-wife as a client to retaliated against him. However, Carreon-Beltran insists that she is a long-time friends of Carrasco. She added that Carrasco told her that no one in the town would represent her because of her husband’s position. She also said that the wife said that she was being “railroaded.”
So Herrera kept control of his own case while trying to get his wife to do what he recommended for the divorce. That would seem more serious than just a reprimand-worthy offense.
In issuing a reprimand, the Commission found that Herrera “failed to comply with the law, demonstrated a lack of professional competence in the law, and engaged in willful and persistent conduct that was clearly inconsistent with the proper performance of his judicial duties.” Yet, Herrera insisted that “The fact that it was in this court made no difference. It stayed there. I wasn’t actively doing anything. Me and my former spouse were working on everything. She and I were working on everything carefully.”
While he admitted that it may have been “poor judgment” he concluded to insist “at that time there was no issue, there was no rush. There was nothing.” (read more)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"Pittsford Postman Saves Life While Delivering Mail"

As I got closer, it became pretty obvious that it was a person,” Clifford said. “There's a crest of a hill just past where he was so if you’re coming from the other direction, you’re going to crest that hill and he’s going to be right there.”
So Clifford drove his mail truck just beyond the person and parked at an angle across the road to block traffic. “[I] got out and ran over to him. And he’s not breathing, no pulse and I checked on his wrist for a pulse and I honestly believed he’d passed.”
Clifford called 911 and the dispatcher asked him if knew CPR. 
“And I said, 'Yeah, I do, but it’s been a while since I’ve had any training,'” he admitted.
Luckily, the 51-year-old had had training. Before joining the postal service, Clifford said he’d been a professional scuba diver who’d taught courses on water rescue. But he admitted he’d never had to do CPR before and was nervous. (read the rest of it)

More Virtue Signalling For Bags*

Overheard at Lem's:

Dust Bunny Queen wrote:
Utah is a caucus state. Interesting how Cruz seems to take the caucus states compared to those where the people actually vote.

In a caucus you have no privacy of your vote and are actively met by others who want to persuade you to vote or not vote. It is the most patently UNdemocratic system ever invented. I might have been workable in the 1880's but today, it is ridiculous. link back to original
The theory is that Trump does better in primary states where voters have secret ballots. In caucus states, prying eyes of wives (or other women) see the Trump votes cast. I would like to see hard evidence that Trump does better under secret ballot voting. But is there any hard evidence that women are out to shame or punish husbands or boyfriends for voting Trump?

The nascent 'Vote Trump, Get Dumped' Campaign asks women to stage a sex strike against Trump voters. The political "lysistrategy" is not a new one and was the subject of an ancient Greek tragedy comedy: Lysistrata by Aristophanes.
*My title refers back to this post

Melaina Trump's Diary

Another Tuesday and another big win for my Donald. He cleaned up in Arizona. Won all of the delegates in a closed primary with almost a majority of voters. All things that fat shit Karl Rove said he couldn't do. There is nothing Donald can’t do. Well he couldn’t do Rosie O’Donnell but then who would?

Now we lost to Teddy in Utah. All of those cult people with the funny underwears voted the way their bosses told them to vote. Donald never thought he could win the Mormon vote since the chief carrot salad eater Mitt Romney put out the word that nobody should vote for us. Mitt is enjoying being a tough guy now. He has a lot to say. Didn’t say shit when he was running against Obama. I think he was afraid of him because he was a black guy so he didn’t say shit even when Obama took a dump in his mouth. But he is feeling it now in dissing Donald because all of his tough guy buddies are egging him on. Bill Kristol. Johan Whaleberg. George Will. Wheelchair guy. Boy that would be some street gang doncha think?

snow, March 23, 2016, Denver

The following is a photo essay in muted palette to sooth your nerves and calm your troubled mind. At least cover them in a blanket of detail erasing freezing cold crystal fuzz. The shots are all taken in thirty seconds standing inside with door open to the terrace.

Failed__________ endorses Senator Ted Cruz for President!

Ted Cruz is racking up the endorsements lately. Failed Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney endorses  him. Failed Presidential Candidate John McCain endorses him. Failed Heterosexual Lindsey Graham endorses him. Failed Contestant on 'The Bachelor" JoJo Fletcher has endorsed him.

Now failed Primary Opponent and all around low energy establishment toad Jeb Bush is endorsing Ted Cruz. It can only be a matter of time until Failed Vice Presidential Candidate and Double Speaker of the House Paul "The Beard" Ryan comes out to support Teddy. I think good old Scott Walker is ready to endorse Teddy as well in the critical Cheesehead Primary.  I think he got a message on his secret router or something.

Good show guys. Hip Hip Jorge! Muy bueno.

It is sort of like a car company running commercials by people who crashed their cars so they can sell the next Edsel. Because that's a testimonial you can take to the bank.

"My appearance should be in no way noteworthy, but then again not so un-noteworthy as to be in itself noteworthy"


This guy.

This man presumes to instruct the whole nation on the discouraging tone of the campaigns. We're going to be lectured that campaigns are discouraging and risk alienating people from government and dimming their hopes for the future.

The message is delivered pre-rejected, his speech leaves his mouth "return to sender" already stamped on it. The response from commenters is water/bridge, train/station, horse/barn etc.

A lively rebuttal ensues in comments, then anti-Trump rebuttals to the rebuttals.

Their attitude summed in in one comment:

With one vote for Trump I can vote against Ryan, Pelosi, Mitch, Harry, Boehner, Bill & Hillary, Obama, Mittens, Kerry and the Republican Elite.

Who could pass that up?

The rebuttal to that is summed up by a commenter probably tired of making it.

A great list of politicians Trump gave money to so they could defeat their conservative Tea party challengers. Yep, a vote for Trump sure is a vote against those people. cough, cough.


Trump funded all the RINOs & Democrats you have the illusion that voting for him is against them.

Trump supporters don't hear that. It means nothing to them. They argue in return that Trump participated with the system successfully corrupted as it is. That he knows where and how the corruption manifests and is uniquely prepared and uniquely willing to wreck it. That is the point of view that they've taken. This guy who I've drawn and these guys responding in comments still have not internalized exactly how wide the divide. This guy, face wrought with worry prematurely, etched into his forehead permanently knows his speech will not work after all this. He's going through the motions to deliver it dutifully. He knows it can only remind people of his role in their disaffection. He never addressed that to their satisfaction because he cannot. Clean slate doesn't cut it. Clean slate for his politics, filthy slate for the people who sent him there.  He and his decision to not fight against budget items is a very large part of their problem and now he presumes to instruct them on how they should feel and how they should behave and presumably who to vote for so that people can maintain faith in his vision of government that already abused them and have faith in the future these representatives already sold.  A future designed in no small part now by him and his non representative gang that caused the disruption he now attempts to assuage and dissuade.

You are supposed to guess immediately by his eyes that say gravely, "doom." And if not that then his Eddie Munster hairline.

This is pathetic. After pushing through his budget for politically clean slate, so very very much to conservative voters, then this assuaging speech, so very little for those same people, and so very very late in their expression of contempt and disgust. I am deeply impressed in a negative way that our representatives simply cannot represent and don't know the damage they do themselves.  If his constituency were all go-along, get-along, compromise types for the sake of clean political slates then I could see it. But they are not, so I can't. I just do not see this speech working and neither does he, thus the lateness and the increased furrowed brow, constantly worried expression,  and the chiseling of doom into his face.


"It’s a paradox that’s been puzzling economists for a while"

A trio of economists from the Federal Reserve and the International Monetary Fund think they have the answer and it’s not particularly pretty. They argue in a new paper that the down-shift in productivity is for real. It’s not a mirage of mis-measurement by government statisticians unable to keep up with rapidly changing technology.
To show how important that conclusion is, the paper’s authors cite one telling statistic. U.S. gross domestic product would have been about $3 trillion higher in real, inflation-adjusted terms in 2015 if productivity hadn’t slowed over the last decade.
It’s not that the researchers give the federal bean counters a pass and say they’re now accurately toting up every bit of the economy. It’s just that the measurement problems have been around a while and aren’t new.
So they can’t explain why efficiency gains have slackened in the past 10 years from the previous decade, when statisticians also had trouble gauging the economic benefits of information technology. (read more)


Good Morning, America, how are you?

The song is a generational thing for me. From a personal family series called "Letters Home" that I put on the internet some time ago:

The time finally came when my dad finished basic training at Fort Campbell. Still a teenager, he went off to Europe as part of the 141st Tank Battalion in the US 3rd Army to help oppose Russian troops that had deployed along the Iron Curtain. 

Back then, interstate troop transport meant trains because there was still plenty of WW II troop transport rolling stock. He left Fort Campbell headed for New Orleans to embark on a troop transport ship to Europe--he and about 4,000 others:
July 22nd, 1952
Fort Campbell, KY

Dear Mom, Dad and all,

By the time you get this letter I will be on my way.  We are leaving thur. noon for New Orleans and will get there about 10:00 Fri. morning (by Pullman). [1]
Friday afternoon at 4:30 we are leaving New Orleans for Paris. [2] From France we are going to Bremershaven Germany. From there someplace in Germany. We will be on the boat 18 days. 2 Bn. of Air Force are getting off in Paris. [3]

I got the $10.00 Sunday morning. You can take it out of my next check.
I suppose Jr. is out of the Army now.[4]
I got and sent back that form from the Motor Vehicle Dept., so the licence should be coming. [5] You can put them in my box because I won’t need them.
I can write on the ship if I ain’t too sick. I don’t think it will affect me any. I guess this is all for now.


[1]  At the time, troops traveled by special Pullman cars on overnight trains. Given Appalachian geography, it's likely that he first headed west to Memphis and then linked up with or transferred to a train heading south along the Mississippi flood plain to New Orleans.

I am reminded of the Steve Goodman song The City Of New Orleans (made famous by Arlo Guthrie):
Night time on The City of New Orleans,
Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee.
Half way home, we'll be there by morning
Through the Mississippi darkness
Rolling down to the sea.
[2] Apparently he didn't realize that Paris wasn't a seaport. :)

[3] One battalion is approximately a thousand men. Unlike the Army, the US Air Force was based in France during that stage of the Cold War. A NATO directive stipulated that all air bases be located west of the Rhine, out of the zone of occupation, for strategic reasons (link).  American air power also had a long historical connection with France dating from the First World War. Lafayette Escadrille was a squadron of American volunteers during WW I. Race car driver-turned flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker flew French-made airplanes like Niewports Nieuports and SPAD VIIIs (pictured below).

[4] Refers to his older brother, then fighting in Korea. My uncle was not out yet and in fact wrote to my father later. I have his letter as well and published it in the series.

[5] He lost his billfold as described back here

"Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries"

The New York Times: The nations of the world agreed years ago to try to limit global warming to a level they hoped would prove somewhat tolerable. But leading climate scientists warned on Tuesday that permitting a warming of that magnitude would actually be quite dangerous.

The likely consequences would include killer storms stronger than any in modern times, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets and a rise of the sea sufficient to begin drowning the world’s coastal cities before the end of this century, the scientists declared.

“We’re in danger of handing young people a situation that’s out of their control,” said James E. Hansen, the retired NASA climate scientist who led the new research. The findings were released Tuesday morning by a European science journal, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

A draft version of the paper was released last year, and it provoked a roiling debate among climate scientists. The main conclusions have not changed, and that debate seems likely to be replayed in the coming weeks. (read more)

Electoral Virtue Signalling

It may be legal in his state but I still think it's virtue signalling.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Dusk full moon

Razib Khan predicts Trump will win Utah and the general election

Poll: Utah would vote for a Democrat for president over Trump. I don’t accept this poll. I think Trump will get nominated, and he will win Utah. But, this poll, and results from Idaho, suggest that Mormons have a particular antipathy toward Donald Trump. Reiterates that though Southern Evangelicals and Mormons are allies in the political realm, there are deep cultural differences between the two groups.


This is Smithsonian photography winner under "people" category.

Maybe I should have cropped the black. Maybe it's essential. Maybe klicken sie für große.

This is another peeping Tom type through a glass to an urban interior. She's doing this in public. She looks like a doll. 

The person who took it provides a somewhat pretentious description. Taken in Kyoto Japan, 
There is no fiction, the photo was caught while I was wandering in the streets of Kyoto. My intent was to capture the life of night workers. Shift work, even at night and on holidays, often affects workers psychophysically. The requirements imposed by the “society of work” do not recognize the natural alternations of day and night and workers' biological clocks.
She isn't the first person to work two jobs, or do school and a job. My heart goes out to the overworked girl but she is not the first to suffer diurnal rhythm disruption by pressure of work. It's a great pic, and then that.

All the pictures are great. Smithsonian photo contest winners 2015.

Writing Promt

You’ve been chosen as the last hope of humanity to avoid its total annihilation by a super intelligent AI who will talk to just one more human for an opportunity to change its mind. However, as you talk to it, you discover an awful truth.

Dinosaur thru customs

"Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford dies at 46"

The Globe and Mail:  Official word of his death came from a source close to the family. His passing marks the end of a rare political actor whose everyman persona, budget-slashing agenda and very public substance-abuse issues inspired both intense loyalty and deep loathing among the city’s diverse electorate.

It also ends an 18-month struggle with cancer.

Mr. Ford had been diagnosed with pleomorphic liposarcoma, a rare form of soft-tissue cancer, in September of 2014, amid a heated re-election battle. The illness forced him to withdraw his candidacy for a second term to focus on cancer treatments....

The son of a well-known Etobicoke businessman and former provincial MPP, Mr. Ford left the family label business to win a council seat in 2000. Re-elected twice, he turned his attentions to the mayoralty in 2010, launching a long-shot campaign for the city’s highest office. He quickly tapped into a vein of suburban resentment toward urban elements of the recently amalgamated megacity, and trounced his nearest opponent.

His small-government agenda ran afoul of left-wing politicians and unions, but his bedrock of support – which he affectionately referred to as Ford Nation – only began to erode in May, 2013, after stories emerged on the U.S. website Gawker and the Toronto Star about a video showing the mayor smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine. The revelations touched off a Toronto Police investigation and a ceaseless lampooning on U.S. late-night talk shows hosted by the likes of Jon Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Leno.

Mr. Ford vehemently denied the accusations until abruptly reversing himself in November, admitting to a throng of reporters, “Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine.”

Though damning details eventually emerged from the police investigation and a second crack video eventually surfaced, Mr. Ford maintained surprising support until his cancer diagnosis.

Bill: Obama's "awful legacy"

"In comments video-captured and distributed by the Republican National Committee, Hillary Clinton's hubby said, "If you believe we've finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us, and the seven years before that...then you should vote for her.
A quick calculation of his years would mean that the gravy years were when he was president."
(video at the link)

Brussels, Belgium, EU capital, struck with bombings


"BRUSSELS (AP) -- Bombs struck the Brussels airport and one of the city's metro stations Tuesday, killing at least 31 people and wounding dozens, as a European capital was again locked down amid heightened security threats.

The two airport blasts, at least one of which was blamed on a suicide bomber, left behind a chaotic scene of splattered blood in the departure lounge as windows were blown out, ceilings collapsed and travelers streamed out of the smoky building.

About an hour later, another bomb exploded on a rush-hour subway train near the European Union headquarters. Terrified passengers had to evacuate through darkened tunnels to safety.

"What we feared has happened," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters. "In this time of tragedy, this black moment for our country, I appeal to everyone to remain calm but also to show solidarity.""

Name the B-21 bomber

The U.S. Air Force has a designation for its next generation bomber: B-21. The designation reflects the fact the plane is the first real bomber of the 21st Century. Now the USAF is looking for a name for stealthy new plane, currently under development, and it's inviting the extended Air Force family to help.
If you're an active duty, reserve or retired member of the Air Force—or a dependent or civilian employee—you can visit this site and send in your suggestion. 
The prize? This is the government we're talking about—the prize is in a job well done! You'll get an article about your winning entry on the Air Force web site, and you may get to attend the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference and Exhibition in September and be acknowledged by Air Force leadership.

Our president

Vine. It's a seconds-long video that speaks volumes.

(These things do not display in my Safari but they do display in another browser)

Millennials, the anxious generation

This comes from Karol Markowicz, NY Post, "'They can't even': Why millennials are the 'anxious generation.'"

The article is partial, leaves out more than it offers and it is wrong. Comments are even worse, far worse, far more pinched and far worse. And now I'm cross.

Where are these people writing from, who are they seeing? Their own relatives, what? Nothing I read online matches what I see every day. The young people I see every day are fantastic, and the situation we've given them more dire than the situation given me that drove me insane. I doubly admire young people considering heavily the economic situation they inherit from us. The anxiety over the requirement of advanced education combined with its ridiculous and unnecessary expense. We've made education more difficult to attain and more necessary, we've made home ownership more difficult to attain and considered necessary. Transportation more necessary and more expensive. And on and on, we've piled it on even in many cases placed on them the burden of our retirement while making that more expensive too.

The writer and especially the commenters need to open their eyes and look, impressive, creative, adventurous, bold and intelligent young people all around. The writer relies on studies and refers to internet and helicopter parenting. A silly example about cereal is given, the bowl and spoon being too much cleanup. That's nonsense. A joke. The writer concludes the real anxiety is moving and leaving family behind, and paralyzing choice. She refers to surveys.

Too bad she doesn't live in a city and have eyeballs and ears with which to listen. Put on her glasses open her eyes and look! And when she has a chance, converse. She'd write a completely different story.

 I wonder, do people even recall being that age? Do they not recall the things that drove us insane? Do the commenters not recall their own conversations back then? It's possible. If they could transport back and feel what was felt then and transport right back then they'd have an appreciation for what millennials must deal.

Here's where I gave up caring about their conversations. One commenter out of all those remarking sees beyond his own nose.

Maybe you can't blame the problems with millennial's created by their parents failed generation who embraced Free Trade, Government jobs, welfare for all and all the taxes now piled on to a home.  
We are an economic basket case and 20 trillion dollars in debt. Was that their fault also!
I thought, "there you go." We could have done much better. I feel shame on this point.

You just spouted the Bernie Sanders mantra, and that's who most of you uneducated dopes like.  Look, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, all these schools that charge you $40K a year for a BAD education are your real enemies.  Wake up, you Millennial jerks!  The colleges run by Lefties are soaking you!  They take all your money and mis-educate you to believe all Al Gore's crap.  Wake up!  Down with BIG EDUCATION!  They're worse money grubbers than any oil company or energy company.  BIG EDUCATION = DEATH. 
How rude. But he does make a valid point, one that I make, the uneducated dope who makes a weird connection then attacks the dopey uneducated generalized connection that he made. What an ultra maroon. I had to leave. Truth is not all the commenters are so bad but there sure are a lot of pinched opinions.