Saturday, September 3, 2016

Trump at Great Faith Ministries Church, Detroit

I love this so much.

And the networks cannot handle it. They cannot help themselves. Their own innate racism cannot be disguised. They cannot even see it so they cannot even think of trying.

And you can tell this by their titles alone. You don't even have to read them. The great thing is, you don't have to.

We'll just ask the internet about [trump detroit] and read the titles. No need to go any further with this. It can only annoy. I'll copy/paste to make this easy.

Trump brings message of unity to black church

Protests heat up in Detroit as Trump looks to court black voters

Trump Tells Black Churchgoers in Detroit Visit Is 'To Learn' - ABC News

Then there's Twitter. Apparently it cannot be avoided even when you say, "No more!"

11 hours ago - View on Twitter
Media. Donald Trump did not visit a black church in Detroit. He rented a banquet center on a Saturday morning next to a black church.Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz)

1 hour ago - View on Twitter
Trump did not utter an authentic word today in Detroit. He was 100% scripted. He is a living insult to the black community.
Trump goes to Detroit and he gets a free ride without having to bail out the auto industry or spend time in . Are you impressed? No!

Detroit's mayor rips 'phony' Trump visit: I feel like I'm watching 'The Apprentice'

BLACK LEADER Praises Trump's Det

Detroit reverend unleashes a righteous smackdown of Trump’s ‘scam’ visit to a black chu
Ugh. No need to continue. There are other ways to phrase this, you know, depending on how you see the world, depending on your lens to the world and depending on your own unchallenged biases. Show us your heart. 

Like this:

Trump to Detroit: 'We're all brothers and sisters' - Detroit News

Now, this is interesting. For all these Trump rallies and meeting and public policy statements I find the Right Side Broadcast Network the most reliable. The most thorough. The least interested in advancing their own interest. They don't have a gigantic logo smeared across the bottom of my preciously tiny screen. But this time they were not there in Detroit and so relied on corporate feed. Too bad, because Reuters cut off the ending as it was just too much for them to endure Bishop Jackson as he was deliverering a blessing to Mr. Trump. These blessings and gifts must happen a lot, I suppose, but I've never seen anything like this and I must say that it is truly touching. 

Trump behaved differently in this church. It is a church after all, and he is speaking to church goers, not the usual rowdy roughnecks and irreligious people like myself. 

I wish I could be good. But I cannot. I just flatly am not that good. And it shows.

You must listen carefully. There are much better listeners out there than me. I appreciate their super hearing ability and rely on them to explain to me what really is happening. 

The cameraman is instructed to shut off the camera. The cameraman says, "I'm getting this. I don't care if I'm demoted." (possibly "fired) So we see the gift of two bibles, nice ones too, from the Jewish Study Center. I think. And I'm wondering, well, that would be the Old Testament then, no? But it is not. It's New Testament and Old Testament. Two large books with gold edges. One for Trump and another for his wife.

Just in case she goes the way of Trump's previous wives. 

I'm kidding, I'm kidding. 

He also presents to Trump prayer shawl that he refers to by a different name. From Israel. The Jewish white shawl with blue parallel lines at the ends, but this one has a neck band sewn into it and a string tie. And wraps it around Trumps shoulders. Trump looks great as a rabbi. Bishop Jackson tells Trump that he prayed over this shawl and fasted. He smiles at his congregation so naturally, so genuinely and so brightly that you understand by his smile alone why he is so popular with this congregation. He says that throughout Trump's travels, he just came back from Mexico and other places, "There will be times when you are rebuked" and he wanted to present the shawl for comfort and for prayer to Mr. Trump as anointment." 

I thought anointment involved oil. But what do I know? 

The congregation is excited. They liked the whole thing from beginning to end. They liked Trump's humility. This gathering has a completely different feel to it. They rise to their feet and applaud.

"Shut it off" And the screen goes blank before Bishop Jackson's blessing is concluded. 

Media as we know it simply cannot handle what they are witnessing and they do not want you to see it. This has become obvious. They simply must reinterpret what they are seeing so that events are forced fitted into their own relationship with truth. This shows in the post titles and everywhere, on Twitter, in comments and throughout. 

The video is short and it is touching. 

One last thing; this passage that Trump reads from an early chapter in John, one of the synoptic (one eye) gospels, is in the voice that makes the New Testament so appealing. 

This was not taught to me in church or any Sunday School classes. I had to learn this myself from reading the bible, not in chunks as it's delivered in church, not how church goers receive it, rather straight through. The voices change as you go. The comprehension of God evolves as it goes. Especially between Testaments. And the voices of the early prophets are frankly harsh, they tend to lighten as they go until finally Zechariah and Malachi at the end before the gap of the Maccabees don't sound all that bad at all, and then a tremendous change in tone at Mathew, Mark, Luke and John and the united voices change dramatically. 

The nature of God as father is introduced by Jesus and that is a deeply profound difference in the character of God delivered by prophets. You grasp as reader why Jesus is seen as Son of God. Jesus taught throughout that understanding the nature of God this way is the best way for humans to understand him. Because of their own earthly father. He says this directly. You know how much your earthly father love you. Forgiving you things not extended to others. The character of a human father's love is unique. You know of their human imperfections. So, how much greater then is God's love for you expressed in perfection. And this is a heartening message that changed the world. This is central to the great appeal of His word through history to this day.

And that makes me sad for broken families because they have more difficulty latching onto this idea until they are themselves a father and experience this forgiveness themselves. Or marry one.

I've seen this in my own father, and extended to all of his children. Further, I've benefitted tremendously from this type of love and affection.

Video of Trump as preacher. Full (ha!) Speech

Reuters cuts feed just as Trump is being blessed by Bishop Jackson.

You must listen carefully to the end to catch the hot mic.

Interesting also is how Bishop Jackson speaks to his wife. I found it touching. I found the whole thing very touching. 


"Heard it through the bovine" at Lem's:
Evi L. Bloggerlady said... 
Guess who sits with Colin Kaepernick? 
September 3, 2016 at 8:36 PM
The link goes to a blogpost reposting this perennial "Man For All Seasons" favorite:

Now, I want to analyze this scene in terms of Hillary and not Colin Kaepernick.
And go he should if he were the Devil himself until he broke the law. 
That's a beautiful use of the subjunctive mood---something that is disappearing in our modern language---but I digress. Hillary you see, has broken the law in the eyes of many. That is the whole point of why she is worse than the Devil in this election.

Billy Preston - Nothing From Nothing

"Nothing from Nothing" is a song written by Billy Preston and Bruce Fisher and recorded by Billy Preston for his 1974 album The Kids & Me. The song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week in October 1974, becoming Preston's second solo chart-topper in the United States (following his 1973 hit "Will It Go Round in Circles"). It spent four and a half months on the chart.

Preston performed "Nothing from Nothing" later on Saturday Night Live - the first musical performance ever on the show. The song was also used in a Chevrolet commercial, and prominently featured in the 2008 film Be Kind Rewind.

NYT: Is the National Anthem Racist?

NYT:  The continuing refusal by the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to stand during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games has set off a debate about patriotism, protest and professional sports. But it has also raised another fraught question: Is our national anthem itself racist?
The journalist Jon Schwarz, writing in The Intercept, argued yes, denouncing the lyrics, written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812, as “a celebration of slavery.” How could black players, Mr. Schwarz asked, be expected to stand for a song whose rarely sung third stanza — which includes the lines “No refuge could save the hireling and slave/From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave” — “literally celebrates the murder of African-Americans”?

That argument drew outrage from some conservative news outlets, as well as a more scholarly rebuttal from Mark Clague, a musicologist at the University of Michigan and the founding board chairman of the Star Spangled Music Foundation. We spoke with Mr. Clague, who is writing a book about the song, about the anthem’s history and shifting meanings. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Why do you think those who call the song racist are wrong?
The social context of the song comes from the age of slavery, but the song itself isn’t about slavery, and it doesn’t treat whites differently from blacks. The reference to slaves is about the use, and in some sense the manipulation, of black Americans to fight for the British, with the promise of freedom. The American forces included African-Americans as well as whites. The term “freemen,” whose heroism is celebrated in the fourth stanza, would have encompassed both.  (Link to rest of the interview)

"The owner at my workplace banned books during my lunch "break""

I've been reading books during my lunch breaks at work and today they decided to ban "reading material" as it "takes me too long to eat". I've been reading reading "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman. I prefer to read it in small bursts, it's a ton of material which leads me thought provoking ideas while I a delivery drive. I couldn't ever understand it reading it all in a week. Every few pages gives me enough to think about.

I explained to them that cellphones and social media and the like also contain letters and that this constitutes "reading material". The owners response was "I don't want to ban cellphones" and the General Manager added "it is against corporate rules". As in, cellphones are also banned. So to them cellphones are OK but a book is not.

I attempted to explain I'm missing the fillings out of some of my teeth due to root canals and me not having the money to replace them. I have to chew with my front teeth (mostly) and I can use my normal masticating teeth very carefully and deliberately. It takes me a lot longer (relatively) to chew food than most people. They decided that the "book" was why I was so slow. I've complained about toothaches before and for a good portion of my earlier work career, I could hardly eat at work at all.

So as my little fuck you to them, I'll be reading my books in ebook format.

I'm literally the only individual this applies too, and I just wanted to share my sticking it to the man.

I found it quite telling that phone games, social media, texting and the like are all "Ok". But when I try and better myself and "read a book" I'm singled out for it. Tells a lot about American culture nowadays.


i wanna dii

or maybe im ded an this is hel

my brane swelld but mi skul dint

an now my iiiz r pushin out

n watur keeps kumin owta mii mowth

if i kal an ambil ants theyl stik needel in my arm

an i wont even here the sirin.

an my dog is ded for 12 yeas ago.

an i threw a way mii fish soup cuz it stinks


Overheard ca. 1969-70:
Jimi Hendrix: I don’t know, man. All I did was play it. I’m American, so I played it. I used to sing it in school. They made me sing it in school, so it was a flashback. 
Dick Cavett: This man was in the 101st Airborne, so when you send your nasty letters in …
Lesser known was Hendrix's call to sing the British anthem, "God Save The Queen," the following year at the Isle of Wight Music festival:

Hendrix to the British crowd: "In fact it'd sound better if you'd stand up, for your country, and your brother...and start singin'! And if you don't, fuck ya."
Of course, this all went to hell a scant seven years later.

The Irritating Gentleman (1874)

Friday, September 2, 2016

Faking Bad Update

Time to celebrate!
Dom Perignon, 1998
I was finally able to create the most difficult and challenging beverage of all, a glass of water:

It looks simple enough, but there are several problems:  (1) to avoid "shrinkage" of the plastic which causes it to pull away slightly from the walls of the glass leading to an unsightly and "fake" appearance; (2) to get the ice cubes to appear slightly melted and (3) to get them to "float" like real ones do. Here is a top view of the ice:

Next, I added a bit of frosting to the outside wall of the glass to give it the appearance of being cold:

I'm still working on simulating the "sweat" that appears on a glass of cold beverage on a hot day.

That is a real bottle of Dom which my father-in-law gave us long ago for an anniversary but it's long gone. It turns out that the ice is fake too:

WKRLEM "I Don't Remember"

Hillary Clinton ‘Could Not Recall’ 39 Email Details for FBI

by CHARLIE SPIERING2 Sep 2016  Breitbart News

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly could not “recall” the answers to 27 different questions from the FBI about her private email server and communications habits. Clinton also specified that she did not “remember” details of her emailing and classification habits at least 12 times.

Below are some of the highlights from the redacted FBI interview transcripts released to the public today.
  • Clinton could not recall a specific process for nominating a target for a drone strike.
  • Clinton did not recall using a flip phone during her time as Secretary of State.
  • Clinton did not recall how any data stored on her Blackberry device was destroyed.
  • Clinton could not recall why State was unable to provide her with a secure Blackberry.
  • Clinton did not recall receiving any emails she thought should not be on an unclassified system.
  • Clinton did not recall her specific conversations regarding the creation of the domain.
  • Clinton did not recall receiving guidance from State regarding email policies outlined in the Foreign Affairs Manual.
  • Clinton did not recall any specific routine for deleting email from her account while Secretary of State.
  • Clinton did not recall a specific cable about securing personal email accounts sent to employees.
  • Clinton did not recall that the cable correlated with Bryan Pagaliano upgrading the email server.
  • Clinton did not recall ever contacting Pagaliano for technical support for her email account.
  • Clinton did not recall specifically who had access to Clinton’s Blackberry and email accounts.
  • Clinton did not recall any other individuals being offered an account on besides Huma Abedin.
  • Clinton stated she did not recall the compromise of State employees gmail accounts.
  • Clinton did not recall using an iPad mini until after her tenure as Secretary of State.
  • Clinton did not recall Jacob Sullivan using his Google email account for official business.
  • Clinton said she did not recall a specific FOIA request on an email dated December 11, 2012.
  • Clinton did not recall specifically who made recommendation to change her email address after it was publicly disclosed in March 2013.

"Hillary Blamed Her Email Lawbreaking On HER CONCUSSION"

From todays Clinton document dump...
Clinton stated she received no instructions or direction regarding the preservation or production of records from State during the transition out of her role as Secretary of State in early 2013. However, in December of 2012, Clinton suffered a concussion and then around the New Year had a blood clot. Based on her doctor’s advice, she could only work at State for a few hours a day and could not recall every briefing she received. Clinton did not have any discussions with aides about turning over her email records, nor did anyone from State request them. She believed her work-related emails were captured by her practice of sending email to the email addresses of her staff. Clinton was unaware of the requirement to turn over printed records at that time. Her physical records were boxed up and handled by aides.
So we now have at least two serious physical health issues that require answers: does she have the ability to work for serious lengths of time consistently, and does she forget key information? Hillary has raised those questions herself with her email server defense. She no longer gets to hide behind random charges of sexism, or indignant insistence that Donald Trump turn over his IRS records (which, for the record, he should).

Putin on DNC leak: 'Does it even matter who hacked this data?'

Listen, does it even matter who hacked this data?’’ Putin told Bloomberg on Thursday. “The important thing is the content that was given to the public.’’
“There’s no need to distract the public’s attention from the essence of the problem by raising some minor issues connected with the search for who did it,” Putin said. “But I want to tell you again, I don’t know anything about it, and on a state level Russia has never done this.”


Autumn arrived in the northwoods two weeks ago.  One day it was 85, humid and muggy; the next day it was 65 and dry.  The air cleared, the wind direction changed, and the weather was best described as "crisp".   I love autumn.

More than any other season, autumn has a rhythm of activities that repeat each year.  It's the season of preparation, the other three are seasons of waiting.  Spring is waiting for warmth and greening; summer is waiting for heat and thunderstorms, and winter is waiting for snow and darkness.

The Autumn rhythm is ticking along here at the cabin.  It's a syncopated rhythm sometimes, and irregular at other times.  Either way, things we have done every Autumn are being done again.

A winter's supply of propane has been purchased, the price is locked in no matter what the market does.  Price risk has been passed off onto others.  Five cords of firewood are due to be delivered this weekend, enough to keep the fireplace warm all winter.  New service doors were installed in both the car garage and the boat garage.  Old siding and trim was replaced and repainted.  Gutters damaged by last winter's snow and ice are being replaced.  Old Fiberglas insulation in the crawl space is being replaced by high-tech sprayed-in foam insulation that will tighten up the cabin a bit.  The furnace is getting a check-up, the septic tank will be pumped, and the well will be chlorinated, pumped and checked.

Interestingly, autumn is the season when Mrs. Haz and I have our annual medical checkups.  That's part of the rhythm, too, I suppose.

We cleared out a lot of old crap from the cabin and garages.  It filled a dumpster.  It had been accumulating for years, and most of it was of no use to us.

A nice but unused canoe was given to the 16 year old daughter of a friend.  She loves paddling and will make far better use of the canoe then we will.  A paddle boat will be picked up Sunday morning by another friend who will give it to his wife.  We didn't need it any longer, and giving it to a friend is a far better thing than putting an ad in the local paper and dealing with what ever doofuses call and then don't show up when they said they will.  Besides, it feels good to do things for friends.

A few other things will be taken to the local parish's thrift store for re-use by whoever is in need.  It's the seasonal clearing out of things we no longer need, but that may help someone else with their preparations for the coming winter.

None of this happens during other seasons.  It's autumnal, rhythmic work that prepares for winter, the most difficult season here.

I think about that sometimes when I'm in the woods.  The French Jesuit missionaries who explored this part of North America in the 16th and 17th centuries made their way on foot and horseback through thousands of miles of dense woods, mapping and surveying as they went.  They ate what they caught, killed, or harvested.  No electronics, no polartec fleece.  Indians, wolves, and bears were a constant threat to their existence.  How on earth did they do it?  Marquette, Joliet and others survived in uncharted wilds in horrible conditions; I whine when I can't get enough bandwidth to watch a movie in the comfort of a heated cabin.

Tomorrow we are driving a couple of hours to visit the monks of the Society of Saint John up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in the Keweenaw Peninsula.   We travel there every autumn (and sometimes in summer) to visit the monks' wonderful store The Jampot where they sell the wonderful jams, jellies, cakes, cookies and confections they make.  That and donations are their sources of income.

We'll spend too much money, but it will be worth it to stock up on small gifts to give family and friends at Thanksgiving, the celebration at the end of the Autumn season.  You can order the monks' goodies online, and you should.  It's worth it.  Their retail store closes part way through Autumn, and they spend winter praying, studying, worshipping, and preparing for the next year's tourist season.

We do the same here, in our own way, I think.  During autumn we prepare for winter, then spend winter quietly, waiting for the next tourist season to begin.

Time to leave the keyboard for a while.  The sun is out, and I need to sweep pine needles off of the roofs of the buildings.  That, too, is part of the autumn rhythm.

"Colin Kaepernick: I'm not anti-American, will donate $1 million"

"After hearing loud and sustained boos directed at him during the San Francisco 49ers’ preseason game against the San Diego Chargers on Thursday night, Colin Kaepernick called the crowd’s negative reaction a “misunderstanding.”"
Kaepernick, the 49ers quarterback, said the reason he refuses to stand for the national anthem has been distorted. He also said he will donate $1 million to groups that help people affected by the issues he is trying to spotlight — such as racial inequality and police brutality — with his continued protest.

“The media painted this as I’m anti-American, anti-men-and-women of the military and that’s not the case at all,’’ Kaepernick said after playing the first half of the 49ers’ 31-21 victory over the Chargers. “I realize that men and women of the military go out and sacrifice their lives and put themselves in harm’s way for my freedom of speech and my freedoms in this country and my freedom to take a seat or take a knee so I have the utmost respect for them.

“I think what I did was taken out of context and spun a different way.’’
After the game...
Abdisahman Bool of San Diego squeezed his way to the front of the pack, close enough to tell Kaepernick, “You’re the voice for all of us.’’

Yet moments later, as a 49ers team official pulled Kaepernick away from the fans and into the tunnel, a man snidely insinuated Thursday night’s game would be Kaepernick’s last. He suggested the 49ers will cut Kaepernick and free up the quarterback to focus all his attention on drawing attention to himself.

Kaepernick frowned.

“It’s not for me,’’ he said before ducking into the tunnel and heading to the locker room.
Should this protest continue and perhaps even grow, will the NFL consider dropping the anthem all together?

"Student missing for 12 years was 'kidnapped to teach English to Kim Jong-un'"

"David Sneddon was presumed dead after he vanished in the Yunnan Province in western China when he was 24. A student at Brigham Young University, police said Mr Sneddon likely died while hiking in Tiger Leaping Gorge near the Jinsha River on 14 August 2004."
But they never recovered a body.

On Wednesday, Yahoo News Japan reported that Mr Sneddon had been spotted in North Korea, where he is believed to live. He reportedly works as an English teacher, and has a wife and two children.

Mr Sneddon’s parents, Roy and Kathleen, never believed the official story that their son had died falling into a river. Knowing North Korea's reputation for kidnapping foreigners, they believed the Kim regime sought out their son for his fluency in Korean – which he used during his time spent as a Mormon missionary in South Korea - and snatched him for their own purposes.

"Georgetown to Give Slave Descendants Priority for Admission"

"Georgetown University will give preference in admissions to the descendants of slaves owned by the Maryland Jesuits as part of its effort to atone for profiting from the sale of enslaved people."
Georgetown president John DeGioia told news outlets that the university in Washington will implement the admissions preferences. He says Georgetown will need to identify and reach out to descendants of slaves and recruit them to the university.

On Thursday morning, a university committee released a report that also called on its leaders to offer a formal apology for the university’s participation in the slave trade.

In 1838, two priests who served as president of the university orchestrated the sale of 272 people to pay off debts at the school. The slaves were sent from Maryland to plantations in Louisiana.

The university says it will give descendants of those slaves “the same consideration we give members of the Georgetown community” when they apply.
I wonder if I'm the descendent of slaves. What Am I missing out on here?


I experienced a teeny-tiny insight that I feel compelled to share. It was served up by way of visual image and came from recalling a tweet before I slammed the door behind me to that platform that does not work for me.

I'm talking about an item linked by Instapundit that I didn't even bother to read. Whatever it's worth to you, it altered my own thinking considerably.

It's titled Hugh Hewitt, Jonah Goldberg: The "core alt-right" needs to be driven from conservative ranks. With audio. Presently the link has 555 comments on Insty. And that's all that I know about it.

I like both of these people. They're both smarter than I am. Were I to tolerate them further I'd stand to learn quite a lot. But I don't think that's possible. And that's too bad for me.

First, "alt-right" is another of those epithets that means whatever the writer needs it to mean in order to make their point. Its original meaning lost to the individual who contrived it. The term is vacuous. But still useful to writers who must write. Vacuous and flexible as "tea party," contrived and flexible as "neo-con" that can mean anything that you want them to mean. And by using the terms then the writers try to bring their readers about to their own intended meaning.

So we're on pre-shaken ground right off.

I listened to Hugh Hewitt interviewing Trump, and honestly, I became a bit embarrassed by his obsequiousness. He was talking about imagined upcoming Hillary Clinton / Donald Trump debate and he said no less than three times that he'd like to moderate one of them. He made sure to press the idea upon closing.

Second, before leaving Twitter I was following Jonah Goldberg because I respect his knowledge that appears to me vast. I considered him worth following. He tweeted a lot about his dog, and I like that. He tweeted about jogging around Washington. He tweeted about life in Washington. So he wants us to know that his dog sure does amuse him, that he's athletic in jogging and he's chuffed about living in the city that is the center of real power. These things are important to him.

I don't know where Hugh Hewitt lives. His residence doesn't come up readily by searching and I'm not that interested enough to dig further. His biographies mention only radio, the Salem group, religious radio. I still always enjoy seeing him guest on television. I still appreciate both these people and their tremendous insights. They are both very smart people.

Goldberg seems to have a good deal of difficulty accepting that like it or not Trump is his candidate. Whereas Hewitt sucks up to Trump directly and embarrassingly, Goldberg seems to still wish Trump can disappear. But to what? Goldberg writes as if living and abiding in Washington is more important to him than Trump actually winning. As if his picking and pecking at Trump and Trump supporters serves to elevate himself at Trump's expense can have the slightest affect on Trump's success while securing his place in the city of power. As he must while living in Washington. As if he's trying to discourage voters and that's not going to happen.

Just reading the link, and nothing more than that, nothing worthwhile can come from pursuing it except for me to become angry. I'm thinking, "Look, Buddy, Trump is your candidate. Now get used to it. For good or for bad, you are not going back to establishment GOP. It's not there to go back to. That is dead. Do what you demanded of conservative voters all along and support your candidate voters have chosen, not your conceits. The choice has been made. That's done. That party, that expression of conservatism is quite dead.

Dead, dead, dead.


It does not exist anymore. Trump is proof of that. And alt-right, whatever that is to you, is not going anywhere. Tea party didn't go anywhere either. You say it's been killed because you don't see it in that incarnation. They evolved. The result of corrupted government attempting to kill it. You don't see those words anymore and imagine they've been brought into line. They have not. They've evolved into something more mean. And now you have Trump as evidence to that. No more proof is needed.

I take alt-right to mean simply alternative right, alternative conservative, alternative to GOPe as we call the fossilized political dinosaurs, evolved conservatism. Once people evolve in their thought and their values they are not returning back to whence they came. They actually grew while you have not. It cannot happen. People do not reverse evolve. The vast swaths of conservative people having abided without representation and outside of Washington, outside New York and the beltway, and between the West Coast have demanded and received, their representation. And that is the way that it is. There is no going back.

The tea party didn't go anywhere. They delivered congress they changed the political map, and they're all still there and quite active and loud and forceful. And now they're no longer malleable. First they were humble and nice, as conservatives are, having the representatives they sent up refuse to represent them caused them to become actually angry and it shows. They've been abused by government corrupted throughout all of its departments and now they are actually mean and they're fully intent on taking executive branch and wrenching government back into the shape of its design. Like it or not. So the idea of alt-right being kicked out is ridiculous on its face. No. You are the one who must change. Change or join the dead, politically speaking.

The image served up was Jonah Goldberg as suffering Stockholm syndrome then as buttress to a ruined building. A flying buttress to a church already crumbled, with that building inside an actual bubble surrounding a city. A bubble that for all his sharp intellect and unusually large storehouse of knowledge and learning Jonah Goldberg cannot see beyond. A ruined and crumbled church, its beautiful stained glass removed and auctioned, its stones carted off and used elsewhere, and there the buttress still stands valiantly with all its brilliance still imagining the structure it used to support still intact. While it's not.

Reading Jonah Goldberg, at this point, on anything other than history, is the same thing as listening to a gorgeous flying buttress to a once beautiful church existing inside a bubble.

And my respect turns to pity.

This pity I feel extends to Hillary Clinton supporters, real pity for those still imagining their party is well intentioned. Still pure and still good. Blind to our country devolving into a one-party system and all the unhappiness that goes with that condition. Still thinking in terms of party as sports team. People who derive self-satisfaction through association and loyalty to the "good party." It isn't. It's among the most hideous saddest and most rotten entities in existence, every revelatory item about the Democratic party in its present form shows this. So that by their support they are made rotten too. And not knowing that is pitiful beyond words.

And my little insignificant self can do nothing about that. Their opinions so strong they're unmovable. I'd be foolish to even try. The single thing left is not give it any energy at all. Not that withholding energy will starve it. I can only direct my own humanity. Pity, a true pity they've already decided they must make everything political, even breathing air is political and that's no exaggeration either. Not when the pope announces we must atone for the sin of global climate change. That's a bridge beyond too far. Fifteen bridges beyond too far. Twenty-five very long bridges beyond far too far. So giving it no energy means giving them all no energy. None at all. It pains me to my heart to acknowledge and face this harsh truth. And that means a lot more than simply not following a link that I know in advance cannot inform me. Pity that all that comes from such intelligent people, well balanced and worthwhile in other areas. Because no energy means exactly that, no energy whatsoever. Or else I'm assisting its survival.

Man, sometimes these itty-bitty insights served up by visual image sure can be a real bummer.

The impressive place that is Whole Foods

Whole Foods gets a bad rap. They are mischaracterized unfairly. Their products are mischaracterized, their employees are mischaracterized, and their customers are mischaracterized too.

Allow me to correct misapprehension, please. Allow me to defend them.

They need no defense. They're doing just fine.

I've been talking about the Hatch chile because they are seasonal. This is a thing that I never appreciated before. I had no idea what the hubbub is about. No idea why so many tents and giant bingo ball machines with flames blowing on them pop up this time of year around here. Until I bought some and my eyes were suddenly opened. Now I get it.

But I did not know that Whole Foods does the same thing. It makes sense. That's what they do. They seek out the best food available. Then offer it to you. They have the same kind of roaster set up outside their store and offer the same thing and in smaller amount. You don't have to buy a whole bushel whereas you do at the temporary roadside tents.

It's a matter of you appreciating it. Or not.

A few years ago I noticed a bin of very unsightly tomatoes. Yellow tomatoes, Whoever heard of that? Not me. Zebra tomatoes. Those things must be gross. Oddly shaped tomatoes with apparent deficiencies. From tomato plants that do not produce that many tomatoes. Who would want to buy those? It baffled me. When there are nice ones available, perfectly shaped, perfect firmness with no flaws. And hardly any taste. I had become accustomed to second rate tomatoes that are suitable to appeal by appearance on a massive industrial scale. Suitable for shipping and handling. Suitable for marketing. Large number of tomato per plant. But lacking authentic garden tomato flavor. The odd tomatoes blew my mind. I expected the worst, and man, was I ever wrong.

This is what Whole Foods does. They know that and other things too. A lot more other things. They have a lot to teach and offer about food. But you must be open to appreciate it. And all that costs money. It is not geared to compromise. This is the difference.

So now is tomato season and even mass tomatoes grown on vines that produce the most tomatoes are presently at their best. Good as they get, that type. Within a few weeks that situation will change and tomatoes will revert to their flavorless compromise tomatoes. Grown someplace else and transported. I walked into Whole Foods today and they had large table set up right at the entrance loaded with questionable looking tomatoes. Weirdly misshapen orbs, some of them too soft. I grabbed as many as I thought I can eat. This is the season. Take advantage. Life is too short for tomato compromise. You don't have to settle. But it will cost a bit more. Believe me, it's worth it. You are worth it. You don't have to settle for the cheapest there is. Not when it comes to food.

It's not that they seek out the most expensive. They seek out the best possible that they can offer within reason.

The customers are not snobs with more money than common sense. They know this too. Their customers know what Whole Food detractors don't appreciate. To a person they are all kind and friendly.

I learned to accept the grace that people extend to me. Today even before this the Hatch man carried my backpack to my truck. I learned not to say, "That's fine. I got this." When people make contact and offer their grace. Take it. Conversely, not to is rejecting their grace And that happened today at Whole Foods again before even entering the building. A gentleman older than myself showed me that he's not a WF shopping snob by grabbing a trolly for me when we went for one at the same time. He didn't have to do that. He could have minded his own business and not have been rude. He extend to me his grace. I learned to accept it. 

Now, young people get a very bad rap as well. I feel they don't deserve it. What I read about their behavior nothing matches my own direct experience and not by a mile. The employees and clerks that I come into contact are opposite as described. I find them friendly and bright, cheerful and happy, well adjusted, and frankly dealt a great deal of unfairness. Education cost for example. They have my sympathy for being ripped off. Their education is not worth what they're being force to pay. And they think all this is normal. It's not. I'm ashamed to say by my own generation gains wealth at their expense. Home ownership another. They're treated as whipping horses. And that makes me very sad. My heart goes out to them. They deal with all that and with youthful energy and strength. They are born into the world that we created, their condition is largely our fault. 

Inside the store now, I'm amazed to see more peaches in great abundance packaged reasonably to take home. Good old Whole Foods I should have known. The vegetable section is like entering food heaven. I mean it. They've carefully selected the best of everything. Everything you can want is right there and in awe inspiring abundance. 

I want a fish. 

A whole fish. Specifically a red snapper. And I prefer one not too large. These things are expensive. It's the middle of the country after all. I will not find what I want at King Soopers. The sort of thing rather cheap in Mexico. They just don't have that sort of thing here. Their customers don't appreciate whole fish. Their customers don't know what to do with such a thing. And they certainly are not going to pay what it cost to provide it. I push my little trolly (It makes a great walker, I feel normal momentarily) my two canes hooked on the handle, and walk up to the fish counter. A lad is looking directly at me, watching my progress from behind his counter, waiting to help with my selection. They're so aware. They're so right there. I scan the case and see only cut fish. A nice variety, all expensive, but those things don't last. They must move them. Consider that. If they don't sell then their costs are increased astronomically. Sadly no whole fish. I'm disappointed. The lad is still watching me go over their offering. 

"I was hoping for a whole fish." 

"Look down." 

They had a metal tub set up in front of the case filled with ice. Whole fish kept cold. I didn't see them. "Oh Jeeze." The young man laughed. "Were it a snake I'd be bitten!" He thought that was funny. 

"Pick one, I'll wrap it for you." 

The perfect size for red snapper. Bright eyes, kept perfectly cold. I reached in and pulled one out, now my hand has fish on it. A young woman suddenly appeared at my side.

"I'll take that from you, if you like." (I learned not to reject grace extended. My intention was hand it to the lad to wrap. I gave her the fish and wiped my hand on the ice and she took the red snapper behind the counter. It's the perfect size. 

"Would you like me to filet this for you?" Again, I had visualized doing that myself. "Go ahead, please, yes. But I do want the head and the bones for broth." 


So now I get to talk with the young woman as she's working, cheerful and attractive and bright. Very interested in what I have in mind with this fish. I tell what I intend to do with it. She's impressed with my plans. We talk a good deal, actually. I tell her other things too. I do go on and she apparently takes it all in. She really is interested in the things that I'm saying and not just pretending to be nice. All of the people in there are like that. They are all very interested in the subject of food and what people do with all these things that they sell. 

While the customers and clerks at King Soopers, the regular store, are not. Not to that extent. They cannot take time to discuss the subject of food and have little interest in my plans. This young woman is beautiful. Truly. I'm not just making this up. She says to me.

"I like the way you think about food. I like your understanding and how make things from so little." 

I mentioned my blog. 

"Tell me the name of your blog. I want to see what you do with this. I need to read your page about bread." She actually wrote down the name of my blog.

This sort of thing is actually common there. Young people hard at work, doing what you ask of them and doing it cheerfully and with genuine interest. They impress me tremendously. All of them do. No matter the subject. 

Now. As to cost. Last week at Tony's an urban market like this closer to my place I noticed they had two red snapper last week and I've been thinking about them since. (They all behave similarly there. All the young people are intensely interested in their business. I gave a sourdough starter to a young man there last week and I'm curious how that's turning out.) But there was no red snapper the second visit. I asked and the young man there about them and he said he could order them. They were the perfect size and that gave me the idea for bouillabaisse. When I asked about cost he said that it's $17.00 LB. "How many pounds?" Usually three or four.

Change of plans. 

No pot of fish soup is worth $50.00 to $65.00. That far exceeds the cost of the huge red snapper I bought at Whole Foods last year and thought a bit expensive for a fish. 

What a bummer! 

So this whole fish from Whole Foods is 1/3 that cost. Still expensive in terms of a pot of soup. But reasonable for all things considered. 

The people I know do not appreciate any of this. They tell me flatly, "I don't like seafood." or "I can't eat shellfish" and the like. They cannot appreciate what is offered. They don't appreciate the effort. Nor the people, the workers nor customers. Frankly, they have it all wrong. I wish I could get them to appreciate. But I cannot. Either you do or you don't. It is a beautiful thing that is offered, truly, and all things considered the cost is actually kept down. For you. But you must appreciate first. They are not in the business to gouge suckers. You must be able to recognize and accept grace extended. To even be able to see and to know that it is grace being offered. Then a whole world of real grace opens up, from carrying your backpack to your truck, snagging a trolly instead of moving along lost in their own world ignoring people around them, to speaking when addressed and not ignoring a greeting, to working their tails off for you, and doing that cheerfully, to seeking out the best they can find and offering it all to you and keeping the cost down so much as possible. 

The characterization of Whole Paycheck misses the entire effort and it says more about the person making the jibe than it does about this really incredible business that attracts truly beautiful and gracious people. Not snobs at all. They need no defense. But I give it anyway. They show me how to extend grace by doing it. I've got a lot to learn. Odd having children teach me.

WKRLEM: For the Birdbrains

Thursday, September 1, 2016

From Enmity to Amity in a Century

Link to original
The families of Manfred von Richthofen (The Red Baron) and his first credited kill have agreed to meet on the centenary of that fateful dogfight 100 years ago.

The painting depicts a British aircraft flown by 2nd Lieutenant Lionel Morris and Captain Tom Rees. The aircraft was a two-seater F.E.2b aircraft designed by Geoffrey de Havilland* and was a "pusher" design having its engine located behind the pilot. This allowed the gunner free use of his machine gun. 

Von Richthofen is depicted flying an Albatros D.III aircraft which was superior in every way.  At that point in time, von Richthofen was not yet a squadron leader but would soon be named one after the death of his mentor, Oswald Boelcke, in October, 1916.

*Geoffrey de Havilland was the cousin of actress Olivia de Havilland. The latter was in the news recently for celebrating her 100th birthday.

This post used 100% recycled tags. 

2016 Wildlife Photography finalist

Free stuff when you're nice

And refrain from swears.

I couldn't stand it. After visiting the fire roasted Hatch tent last week and buying a half gallon of 100% cheery juice, no water, no preservatives, no nuthin' except just straight juice, and enjoying this season's peaches so well, and dreading the week all peach joy vanishes for another whole year, I could not get the gallon sizes of berry juice and peach juice out of my mind. the recurring thoughts just nagged, nagged, nagged, nagged. nagged all day long. And there is only one way to resolve this nagging problem.

Frontal lobotomy.

Okay, make that two ways. Go back and buy it. And I'm glad that I did too because they're nearly out.

It's terribly expensive. You'd object to the cost. Not the sort of purchase for a family of ten children. It'd be gone in half a day.

I don't want the nags to return so I also bought the first guy's recommendation as well, what the heck. I asked him back then what is his favorite thing and he said the queso blanco (white cheese), a dipping sauce for tortilla chips you don't see anywhere else. Not my sort of thing so I dismissed his recommendation.

Bad show.

I believe when you ask a recommendation then take it. Or else don't ask. I broke my own personal rule to live by.

I asked a different guy today, the guy who kept pulling down on the inside of his crotch and undid his belt to readjust it causing me to think, "Look, Bud, ain't gonna happen,"  and he said his favorite thing is the pepper patch salsa. Another dipping sauce. I'm glad he didn't say the jalapeño jelly. That stuff looks weirdly otherworldly green.

Fine. I can always buy a bag of chips or better yet make my own. For corn tortilla chip magnificence.

The man had these red chile peppers spread out on the counter for decoration. I told him I am interested in red ones, mature ones, for their seeds. We discussed planting the seeds and he insisted they must be dried first. 

I don't think so. Consider the plants in the wild. Are those dried? 

I think not. 

They grow where they fall. Get growing soon as they can. The entire chile is like an apple that way. The plant grows however and soon as it can. The fruit rots and the seed is supplied. I don't think the chile rots, the seeds dry then and only then can they grow. No. The plant uses the pod for nutrients to get its roots started. I'm imagining all this. 

Plus the habanero seeds were planted without drying them first. And they are growing like crazy. But maybe Manzano goofed with them genetically to assure they cannot fruit. We'll see. 

He gave me these two un-roasted chile's so that I can experiment. 

Now, isn't that nice? 

Then the man asked, "Hey, do you use this stuff?" And he held up one of three bags of chile powder. Large bags too. This would be several dollars at the grocery and even more at a spice store. 

I said, "Yes. I use it quite a lot. I use it on everything. Even on my Cheerios." He looked at me like I'm some kind of nutter. I lifted my sunglasses and went, blink blink, "What?" Lowered my sunglasses. 

"Here. Have this. Since you've been such a great customer." 

Two free things, just for being conversational and dumping a boatload of cash. I meant to say just now, for willing to pay for top quality farm products directly not available at the usual grocery store. For appreciating their products and effort involved in bringing them to us, and for saying all that. 

I think I'll make popsicles out of the peach juice.

I have no idea why it's cider and not juice. I hope it doesn't give the runs.

Reason 698 why I support Donald Trump!

Donald Trump Forced CNN to Cover the Victims This Time

by JOEL B. POLLAK31 Aug 2016   Breitbart

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump brought the parents of young Americans killed by illegal aliens onstage with him during his immigration speech in Arizona on Wednesday night — and this time, CNN was forced to cover their stories.

The last time the victims’ families had spoken collectively was onstage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio in mid-July. On that occasion, CNN cut awayfrom the victims’ stories, turning instead to its usual panel discussion. As a result, voters were denied the opportunity to hear from citizens who have been routinely ignored by both political parties, but whose experiences and concerns are at the core of the seemingly intractable debate about American immigration policies.