Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Guy on the Street Corner Said This and You Overheard.

Rhhardin brought to My Attention a Work That I am Diligently Working Through: Anne Carson's "The Autobiography of Red."
I am Now on the Second Pass: I Think It Will take Me a Few More -- My Escalator Seems to Run Slow, and I May Have a Shoelace Caught in the Grille. But: Enjoyment -- there is Indeed Enjoyment.

That Said: I Would Like to Toss Out a Line or Eight on Occasion to See What People Read into the Tea Leaves of Out-of-Context Thought, Without Feeling Like They Need to Know The Story. Even Better: Do NOT Know the Story. A Guy on the Street Corner Said This and You Overheard.

Yes: I Realize This is Reminiscent of the Gatsby Project: Good Ideas are Good Ideas. Even More: I Would Love Ann to Comment if She Desires.

Did I Mention the Sub-Title is "A Novel in Verse"?
No, no: Stay Here, it is Safe.


Later well later they left the bar went back to the Centaur's Place
the Centaur had a cup made out of a skull
Holding Three Measures of wine
Holding it he drank
Come over here you can
Bring your drink if you're afraid to come alone
The Centaur Patted the sofa beside him
Reddish yellow small alive animal
Not a bee
moved up Geryon's spine on the inside.

Have a Bowl of Honeycomb Cereal and a Cup of Coffee and Let us Know Where the Ouija Board Takes You...

Ryan Andrew's bloodstained roof

It is a coming of age tale, a bildungsroman, two years therapy otherwise, here in morbid graphic novel form. It reminds me how, among all the blessings and joy and excitement, and warmth, and love, among all that good stuff, I did view childhood as slavery.

Dad devised all kind of slavish ways to impart discipline and 'go get what you want' attitude, and I was all, just give it to me.

He made my brother and me mow the yard no matter where we lived and that started early. Then when I wanted something he said earn the money and get whatever I want. Then that turned into earning everything for everything I wanted.  And then he suggested go with what I know and mow yards for money, but then I should buy my own lawn mower and buy my own gasoline, and mix the oil that goes into the gasoline and keep the spark plugs clean and do the maintenance on the motor, and the proper rope to start it, the undercarriage cleaned up and the blade balanced and sharpened, and do his yard I mean our yard for free, and edging while I'm at it, and I'm all frustrated with these income impediments, "Come on, Dad, I'm ten."

Maybe he was trying to teach me to be a better negotiator but the whole thing was slavery.

More Math, Less Fighting #7

Not that there's a lot of fighting these days. For that, we must thank math.

Or think math. But it's Saturday. So fun math. Enjoy!

This is the inspiring story of Hafid

from Dubai, The douchebag

Ignore Spelling
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who stole my phone.
He forgot to switch off the camera upload function.
That's why we will enjoy a deep insight into his life.

Apologies there, I had to show this thing a useful word. 

The tumbler entry is two pages. 

The first brief video is the gayest thing I've ever seen, almost, okay not really, but it is still truly pathetic, so anger becomes blended with pity. Repressed homosexuality so severe its only expression is violence, feigned violence that goes, boink boink boink boink bed and recorded unselfconsciously as if that didn't happen.

Also. Those ubiquitous plastic uni-formed lawn chairs. The chairs that appeared suddenly all over the world a few decades a ago, and I mean suddenly, as if Aliens did it, instantly put them all over, every continent and in the most unlikely places as Aliens wouldn't know any better, outside African huts, inside Arctic stations, at diplomatic meetings, on distant beaches, near volcanos, outside casinos, on mountain cabin porches, cafés. Everywhere all at once with an equalizing unifying force that is breathtaking and mystifying. Those chairs. If you own a few of those, a very high likelihood, they're convenient, easy to manufacture, inexpensive, decorative, designed well, utile, they stack nicely like at Home Depot, you might be a pod-person. Just say'n.

Trade up for flamingos.

Story hooks vs. Explanations

"Hey, did you see what I did there?"

 I've just seen both Pacific Rim and The Wolverine. Both are popcorn movies and not meant to be particularly deep. Both had obvious and less obvious elements included in their construction. Some of those included details may have been meant to support other parts that ended up on the cutting room floor, but I'd like to think that sometimes an artist/writer/director/actor includes some detail on the sly because the story-word demands it, even if very few people will notice what they've done.

 I also think that including open hooks instead of set explanations makes for richer writing and better stories. People think more when you don't do all of their thinking for them or demand that their "take" is the same as you, the creator, intended.

 I don't intend to "spoil" either of the movies, but if you're worried about it you'd probably better not read the rest.

From the Bloggingheads Vault...

Some community introspection

Here's another crowd-sourcing post, but this time non-technical, and related to Comments Home itself.  I'm not going to put forward any ideas myself, but just offer questions as topics for conversation, because I'm very interested to see what people think, and to see what sorts of conclusions and possible solutions they come up with through the interplay of each other's comments.

One of the great things about this community of commenters to which we belong has always been its inclusiveness, in terms of diversity of thought.  There are few sites where you can find hard leftists like Robert Cooke, pragmatic leftists like phx, centrists like MadisonMan, libertarians like Revenant, neocons like me, and hard righties like Methadras, all free-form debating in more-or-less good faith, usually at a very high quality level (where it's not just name-calling and argument-by-assertion).  (If I've miscategorized any of you, I apologize and feel free to call me an idiot in the comments).  I've learned quite a bit from reading opinions that I don't share, supported rationally by eloquent proponents.

First question:  Am I right  here -- do we want a diversity of thought, rather than an echo chamber?

Second question:  Do we have enough lefties?  Because I haven't seen much from them in comments.

Third question:  How do we get more leftist and progressive commenters, if we don't have enough?

And a request:  If you consider yourself to the left of the average Comments Home commenter*, please reveal yourself as such in the comments to this post, and we'll take a quick survey.  We'll sedate you, tag you with a transmitter, and release you back into the wild.  Maybe there are dozens of you out there lurking.  Maybe you can tell us what we can do to lure you into the conversation.

*(I didn't say "if you consider yourself left of center" here, because I don't think anyone does.  Communists and right-wing extremists consider themselves centrists; it seems like an extension of the natural tendency to think of oneself as the center of the universe, not necessarily in an egotistical way, but in the sense that you think your own philosophy must be in the center because it's so perfectly reasonable on every issue.)

Trayvon's hoodie to the Smithsonian


They are the nation's septic tank I meant to say attic just now. And it is natural for them to go for every little piece of crap I meant to say scrap just now of historical tidbit. But I wouldn't rely on them to describe the piece right.

CNN: CIA working hard to cover up involvement at Benghazi

Reportedly interrogating agents monthly with lie detectors. [I thought those were discredited, and that agents could fool them.] And that is a lot compared to how often agents were interrogated with lie detectors previously. 

To see who is talking to Congress and media. Pure intimidation.

National Review Online says CNN says that, so there you go.

Nancy Mace to announce primary challenge against Lindsey Graham

Ruth Ann Adams twitter feed.


Known chiefly for his delicious and popular honey crackers, primary ingredient in quintessentially American campfire treat, smores, Lindsey Graham is also known to be deeply politically entrenched, his constituents like him -- and isn't that always the case? -- and he has an impressive war chest, much like a pirate's treasure chest except mostly legit and in the form of accounts and access to money.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Open Thread

Kris Kristofferson - Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)
"Quinn the Eskimo (Mighty Quinn)" is a folk-rock song written by Bob Dylan and first recorded during The Basement Tapes sessions in 1967. The song was first released in January 1968 as "Mighty Quinn" by the British band Manfred Mann and became a great success. It has been recorded by a number of performers, often under the "Mighty Quinn" title.

Left-Handed Thunderdome.

This is Comment Home. Or Comment Thunderdome? As Tina Turner (Almost) Said: What Do Comments Have to Do With It?

As Ike Turner Replied: Everything, My Beloved Love. Would You Kindly Pass Me a Salty Crumpet and Then I Will Rub Your Tiny Feet with Langour?

The Horn Section Always Has a Crumpet Player.

In England.


In an Earlier Post creeley23 said...

"...Most people had such dreadful experiences of poetry in high school that they go into a trance of learned helplessness when they see a block of compact language with a ragged right edge."

I Love This: Love This. Compact Language, Referenced Compactly and With a True Ragged Right Edge: Not What He Was Necessarily Inferring, But -- After a Moment -- Nick Cave Came to Mind:

On a gathering storm comes
a tall handsome man
in a dusty black coat with
a red right hand

-- also --

Darcy said...

" Love Eskimo pies."

 That Was From the Post: ""Who Doesn't Like an Eskimo Pie?"

Nick Cave Also Sang:

The man at the rodeo
And the lonely old Eskimo says
Babe, I'm on fire
Babe, I'm on fire

Obviously the Connection is Clear: Eskimos are Left-Handed.


In a World Dominated By Right-Handed Non-Eskimo People tell Us Why You are -- at Least Spiritually -- Fiercely Left-Handed?

(Quinn Will Jump for Joy)

Voor Pampus Liggen

There's an old Dutch expression, voor Pampus liggen, which literally translates as "to lie before Pampus." Today the phrase means passed out drunk or in a food coma as after Thanksgiving. But there's more to the story than that; I first heard it from a Dutchman on a sailboat in sight of the island of Pampus in the Zuiderzee -- that big brackish interior of the Netherlands.

In the olden days -- before the dikes were built and Amsterdam was still a major seaport -- heavily laden ships returning from the Far East used to lie anchored a few scant miles from Amsterdam waiting -- sometimes for days --for favorable tide conditions to allow them to pass over an enormous submerged sandbar (actually a submerged silt channel) which blocked easy access to the port. There was no proper island then (that came later) and Pampus referred to the murky submerged shoal.

Someone devised a plan to ease the boredom and impatience of the randy sailors. Smaller craft, bearing vices: food, liquor, and women, plied the waiting ships like a captive audience. The sailors were easy marks. There must have been some commercial collusion going on for who would pay a seamen his wages before disembarking the ship?  Anyway, the phrase came from the condition many a sailor found himself in after coming so close to and yet so far way from home.

The lesser of two evils

(Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday he was confident of victory against rebels in a devastating 28-month-old civil war that has
killed more than 100,000 people and sent nearly two million fleeing abroad.
Insurgents have seized large swathes of territory, but Assad's forces have staged a counter-offensive in recent weeks, pushing them back from around the capital Damascus and retaking several towns near the border with Lebanon.
This July 23, 2010 article reports the granting of amnesty to  rebelling Syrians.
(snip) Assad has framed the revolt against four decades of his family's rule as a foreign-backed conspiracy fought by Islamist "terrorists." When pro-democracy protests started in March 2011, a military crackdown eventually led to an armed insurrection.
At the time the civil war broke out, March 2011, around 60% of the Syrian population were Sunnis Arabs living in dire poverty. (Sunni Kurds make up about 10-15% of the Sunni contingent.) I do not doubt there was foreign influence contributing to the uprising, from Westerners or Jihadis or both.
(snip) The struggle in Syria has become markedly sectarian,broadly pitting majority Sunni Muslim rebels and against Assad's minority Alawite sect, which is an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.
The disenfranchised Sunnis were pitted against not only Assad and the Alawite sect, but also the Shi'ites,  Sunnis, Christians,  and Jews of the upper class, i.e., a cosmopolitan elite. They are located, largely on the western edge of Syria, between Damascus, to the south, and Aleppo to the north.
(snip) He has also received solid support from Shi'ite regional powerhouse Iran, Lebanon's Hezbollah movement and longtime ally Russia, while his fragmented foes have received little military aid from their Western backers wary of the growing presence of hardline Islamist rebel groups, some of them linked to al Qaeda.
 I am pro-Assad in the sense that I do not wish to see Islamists ethnically cleanse Syria of Shi'ites, Alawites, Christians and Jews, turning her into another Muslim Brotherhood controlled state. If the Syrian rebels and Assad come to the negotiating table, I assume that the poverty of the 60% Sunni Arabs will be addressed and hopefully lessened, eventually.

Modern Gloss

Breaking Bad has a new promo out that has some people talking about the poem Ozymandias. Here is the poem:

Percy Bysshe Shelley

MET a traveller from an antique land 
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, 
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown 
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command        
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read 
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things, 
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed. 
And on the pedestal these words appear: 
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: 
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" 
Nothing beside remains: round the decay 
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, 
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Some people on reddit were having trouble understanding the poem, so a user posted this amusing gloss:
I met this dude who came from a country that was old
and he told me about this old statue he found in the desert out there but it was broken and all that was left of the statue was the legs attached to the base
And laying next to the statue legs was the head of the statue broken off and half buried in the sand and the face had a frown carved into the stone lips and it looked like that of a serious king
And you could tell whoever made the statue, whatever artist it was long ago put into the work the emotion from the ruler.
The fist of punishment and at the same time the soul of one who does foul in order to benefit his kingdom.
there was still a sign at the bottom of the statue that said
"My name is Ozzy, boss mother fucker of all bosses"
"Look at this huge city all around you, and back the fuck up because we roll deep and I run all this entire city!"
But there was no city left, the desert had swallowed it all back into the sands long ago and the only thing left of that once mighty empire was the broken statue from long long ago.
All that is left is the sand.
I wonder what other amusing glosses for great poems could be composed. 

Watch a video of a Santa Ana police officer shoot an unarmed homeless man

Just seconds after he called her a bitch.

No don't. On the Blaze. Why in the world would you want to watch that? 

Honestly. What's wrong with you? 

Santa Ana interim Police Chief Rojas says he was  a convicted burglar, and he was combative when he first got into altercations with individual at McDonald's parking lot.

Shot him dead and with his head went galumpin' back.

[Incidentally, I drove right by a huge McDonalds that went up in my old neighborhood and I thought, oh man, I haven't had one of of those hamburgers in years. And I imagined holding one in front of my face, right there at the steering wheel their compressed steamy soft buns, their meat patties nice and flat and apparently containing apparently more than mere meat, and careless artistic splotch of catsup and single crunchy pickle WATCH THE ROAD !] 


What an odd word to come across. How would I say that? I'd simply show it. How do you show it? So I look.

I could not snag the filename right off because I cannot spell candelabra, and the reason I cannot spell candelabra is because the guy is showing a candle right there on the bottom of his stack of signs. 

The man shows quite clearly a burning candle, then on top of that a bowl, and I must say the bowl shape is formed so graphically that you simply cannot miss it, placed on top of the candle, and when that bowl forms in the air the sound forms in the mind of the viewer "neb" and the concept of "lord" because that is so common and it appears utterly appropriate there, and then an array of candles atop the rim of the bowl, that look for a moment like a row of painted egyptian figures, his fingers sticking up and showing a row of moving digits, three signs big as all sh… very clear signs and they they are formed exactly like hieroglyphics are formed in a vertical register, and I mean exactly. He says, "candle" then "bowl" then "array of candles"  and when finished the formation looks for all the world like a chandelier suspended in space. 

It is a matter of opi onion, for candelabra I'd go, "post" and "candle" on top of that. My candelabras are single posts, his are more glorious and contain a splendid array of candles. It is a difference in attitude about candelabras. 

But I want to add, this man, I do not know who he is, looks very authentic to me. His style is precisely what I see at large. He looks deaf to me. And he was a bit tricky for me at first because he is dark, his clothes are always dark too, and his fingertips pink, it makes pink dots flash around in darkness a bit more than usual, but the video shows very well what I see in real life. 

the birds, twitter

There is so much to grab in the twitterverse, people are talking about everything, so much to read, and so much interest in politics. But now that you brought it up, speaking of twitter, b3ta weekly challenge is "Hitchcock" and there are quite a lot of entries over there on the message board relating to the Birds.

By monkeon, a favorite there on b3ta, often front paged, incredibly funny person,  I do not doubt the intelligence of telling the punchline first. Knowing what is going on forces you to focus on the punchline

bloodroot animated GIF

Wisconsin professor, 163 trips, 542 days

And it was all business.

What kind of business, monkey business?

None of your business.

This is my problem, professor.  I'm going to pretend I am speaking directly.

You work for a State College. It is your job and your employer is the State and the State extends to the edges and everybody there is taxed for paying for your job, yet you behave as if you are paid by somebody else. And you are overly expensive. Not only are, let's say half,  those people not getting their money-worth,  you are actually damaging their interests and you know it. 

There is a word for that. Where individuals take up positions within State government, then engage in "politically correct" speech policies, and enforce them, and exclusionary hiring practices once lodged there, and then use that position to advance the interests of Party over the interests of State, loose sense of the relationship between employer, the people of the State, Republican, Democrat, Independent, uninvolved, or in their minds blend those interests so thoroughly they become indistinguishable. There is a word for that. Come on, you're a professor, help me out here, um, um…

Sociologist, indeed. You could study yourself. How society allows itself to be duped. You park bad.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Who Doesn't Like an Eskimo Pie?

Cliche Geometry: Eskimos Have Forty Words for Snow.

Norwegians Have Thirty-Four, But Also Have a Lot of Extra Consonants and Umlaut-like Letter-Beret-Type Things. And Volvos. Joke For Another Time, Involving Lady Parts. Volvo Lady Part = Alternator. Jump Start?

Peruvians Also Have a Lot of Words for Snow, But That May Be a Digression. Mayan Be a Digression? Mayonnaise? As the Sacrificed Virgin Last Said: My Heart is Not In It.


In 1992 Snow Rapped:

"You know say Daddy Snow me, I'm gonna blame
A licky boom-boom down"

When is the Last Time You Felt "A licky boom-boom down" and What Did it Mean to You? How Did You Respond to Licky Boom Boom?


Can You Own Up to that Unfortunate Asymmetrical Haircut?

Open Thread

Althouse asks Glenn Loury "if he thinks it was a mistake to select the George Zimmerman case to be a racial cause célèbre." They discuss Glenn Loury's contribution to that "selection".

The Althouse comments are moderately open for that post. Comments at CH are not moderated. 

I tried to embed a "pithy minute" clip of the conversation here, but I couldn't.

For the "pithy minute" and for the whole conversation between professors, Althouse and Glenn Loury, please click here.

Human Wave Garage Sale

Over at According to Hoyt.

Ladies, Gentlemen, Beings of Furritude, I come not to bury grey goo plotting but to yawn at it and to sigh “I don’t care what happens to all these characters” and — occasionally, when a novel rises a little bit above the common style –, to sigh and say “I want them all dead by chapter two.” (Ah, for a minion I could dispatch to story world. “Guido, see to it. I want them all dead by chapter two before they all start the belly button contemplating until it reels the mind. Make them dead. Hide the bodies.” Of course, in many cases this would improve the pacing and action of the plot. In others no one would notice.)
The antidote is called Human Wave fiction. The Garage Sale is a list of (mostly) Kindle special deals from authors who have promised not to serve up grey goo or contemplate belly buttons.

Scroll down, but don't skip reading Sarah's post because each and every word is put there with malice aforethought to engage and entertain (even if you refuse to be properly thoughtful.)

You know you need more to read, you know you do! So go.

Cut out the middleman...

Moscow police have once again entered the dark realms of the paranormal, busting a Russian "psychic" ring that has been lifting curses for money — or, as the police claim, simply scaring clients into thinking they were jinxed. 
 The psychics also promoted their company through shows on cable television such as Komsomolskaya Pravda TV.Sapphira staff convinced callers they were cursed and claimed to be performing "magical" rituals during their phone conversations. The staff convinced their potential clients they needed supernatural help, which the center then provided for payment, the report said.
 Six alleged psychics now face up to 10 years in prison on fraud charges, the report said. It did not release the suspects' names, only the old-style aliases they used — Alexy of Siberia and Grigory — and said the two founders were natives of St. Petersburg and Kazakhstan.
Moscow Times via The Macho Response
...and ask 8 Ball online.


Don't you hate it when you're all, "Have you thought about this? How about that? Notice these things that are important." And then someone is like, "A piece of string walks into a bar, and the bartender says, 'We don't serve your kind here'".  It's like being used, treated like an object, an object just good for jokes. 

It's like taking sugar out of your lemonade, gives you that scrunched up, sour face. And by you, I don't mean you in particular. Some people don't like that.  

Often it's not really about humor per se, it's the timing. No jokes at funerals, after national disasters, or if I'm trying to say something serious.  

Hey you, yeah you, in the back, stop snickering!

 I'll admit, confess even, I've often been the guy who after someone says something serious, adds a little joke, occasionally even at inappropriate times. 

They don't know what they're talking about

Over the course of writing a fair amount lo these many years, I've run into a lot of grammar issues.

My own, certainly. I'll be the first to admit that my public school education did not guide me well in the ways of grammar. Sure the basics, but once you get past the basics, there's a whole lot left.

I started really learning grammar when I started taking foreign languages.  I write intuitively with English, mostly picking up tips and tricks from reading. But other languages? There's no intuition to be had (for me at least), so it becomes more of a scientific pursuit.  Everything with a genus and species, connected with sure laws of that language, which once mastered can be flexibly ignored.

In my continuing quest to finally learn the English language, I've run into problems that aren't so nicely settled. They're not my problems. It's not me.  It's English. 

For instance, English lacks a generic singular.  We have a neuter: it.   But, when I'm trying to talk about a general person's ideas or behaviors, it's not nice to say, "It may think."  We're not robots!  "He may think," would suffice, but maybe I want to include the ladies.  "She might think," maybe, but that might lead Instapundit to give it a #waronmen tag. 

The old standby was to assume the masculine. Everyone is a he unless otherwise noted, and, like with the Greek, a group of guys could mean all guys or a mix of guys and gals.  Mankind, for instance, isn't  just for men, but everyone "man-like" in a genetic/clinical sort of way.

You don't even need a kind, just Man suffices.  "How to serve Man" was a cookbook for how to eat people, not just humans with penises. 

That's not acceptable anymore.  We say humanity now, or the tortured 'humankind', instead of mankind.

"All men are created equal" isn't allowed, as we want to say everyone has equal rights no matter what parts they have below.

Did you notice what I did in that last sentence?  Each person (a generic singular) has rights, no matter what... what....

What pronoun is appropriate to press on in that sentence?

 If you're old-fashioned you use just the "he" or if you're enlightened just the "she."  Some use "he or she," but that's a sign of indecisiveness, and that's something I will not abide.  Which is it?!

Admittedly, in our contemporary world "he or she" might even be an appropriate label for a specific subset of people.  We're not talking about hermaphrodites, however, in our generic sentences, we're trying to talk about a specific, yet not specifically gendered, person. 

Picking one or the other satisfies the need for a singular pronoun, and we all know a person isn't limiting the discussion to one gender.  But this brings its own problems.

So, I've gotten into the habit, along with many others, of using the plural "they" as a singular.  Which doesn't fit any rule but does fit how language has adapted itself to fill in missing gaps.  Like with memory, it may not be correct but it does allow us to function. 

A number of people disagree.  But they're wrong

Hollywood bending to pressure

Daily Mail UK has a piece about Hollywood bending to pressure from Hitler, one MGM executive divorcing his Jewish wife.

"But Honey, Hitler is making me do it."

And I was thinking, boy, sure is a good thing nothing like that could happen nowadays. 

Open Thread

 No Rain Cover (Blind Melon)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Another Problem for the CH Brain

A guest post by bagoh20.

Let's say there is a man who has a profitable company.  Upon his death, he wishes the company to be transferred to at least some of the long term employees.  He would prefer that it continue to employ people and support its customers and vendors, but secondarily it could be sold and the proceeds divided among the employees based on seniority.

The problem:

1)     Depending on the law at the time, the tax burden of a transfer of ownership could be enormous and enough to make the new owners insolvent, and thereby prevent it from continuing.

2)     It will be impossible to sell it for what it’s worth, because the proceeds passed to the employees would be sufficient for most of them to quit their jobs, and the value of the company is closely tied to the employees.  The real value of the company is their ability to produce a profit.  If they are leaving, nobody will be buying.

It’s a catch 22.  Maybe I'm alone on this, but this post forced me to finally know the origin of that term after pretending to my whole life.

“The term catch-22 was coined by Joseph Heller in his novel Catch-22. Initially this is based on the explanation of the character Doc Daneeka as to why any pilot requesting a psych evaluation hoping to be found not sane enough to fly, and thereby escape dangerous missions, would thereby demonstrate his sanity:”  ~ Wikipedia


1)     Is there a way to avoid the pitfalls above?

2)     If you were a key employee, middle aged, and likely to inherit this, what would you want to happen?

"Pasta -- There is only so much I can do on my own.

The special interests know it, and they're counting on you to be silent on gun violence and climate change. They hope you're not paying attention to creating jobs or fixing our broken immigration system.

And they plan to make the loudest noise when your members of Congress come home for August recess.

I'm counting on you to be just as vocal -- to make sure the agenda that Americans voted for last year is front and center.

Say you'll do at least one thing as part of OFA's Action August in your community, no matter where you live.  (Link removed.)

I know it's easy to get frustrated by the pace of progress.

But it's not a reason to sit back and do nothing -- our system only works if you play your part.

If you don't let your representatives know where you stand in August, we risk losing an important battle on your home turf.

So I'm asking you to speak up -- commit to do at least one thing in your community during Action August:  (Link removed.)


 And appearing at the end of this very personal email from my pal, Barack:

 Organizing for Action is, of course, a tax exempt educational entity with no partisan political purpose.  In fact, it was not only granted this status with no delay, but it was granted it retroactively; even though such a thing was "extralegal", a perky and upbeat way to describe usurpation by rogues answerable to no one.

Come on, guys.  Be patient.  There's only so much Barack can do on his own.

Fox News babes are intriguing

I just now flicked through Fox News slowly enough to hear Kirsten Powers say something very close to, "I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I don't think it's right to say, the military did something wrong so let's close down the military." Then repeated or buttressed that I stopped listening, went on to another channel.

But my thinking stayed back there with her, assuming she was talking about the IRS and drawing a comparison with demands to closing it down, I'm assuming all that, and imagined myself across from Kirsten Powers annoyed with her false analogy, it's a thing people do all the time, and I really do not have a kind way or a gentle amusing way, I'm not that mature, I haven't learned to not be aggressive when annoyed that way and I know my visage changes and I do not want that.

P-p-p-p-p-p-poker face.

That's what I want. The unsightly argument that formulates all by itself by being stuck there like a magnet by her alluring beauty, intermittent charm and annoying sayings was, "T-t-t-t-t-t-there is alternative means to collect funds Federal government, and do that fairly, as yet there is no alternative for military. So your comparison there does not make sense"

People hate being told they do not make sense.

She is formulating her counterattack while I was there speaking in my mind and since she is doing that and not paying full attention to me speaking her counterargument is farther away from where she started and where it has gone. Being a gentleman and averse to the un-poker face thing that happened, to make up and to compensate I go, "B-b-b-b-b-but you do make a very good point about being rash. Best to get to the bottom and get it all out."

Selling my baby

What a lovely way of sayin' how much you love me

Selling my baby

What a lovely way of sayin' what you're thinkin' of me

Heather Wall and Randall Bonneville. 

We see Randall is 80. Is that centimeters? Big person. 6+1/2 feet tall. 

She received 10 year suspended sentence, 8 years probation, his deal is still pending. 


Department of Education investigating Arizona High School for hosting "Redneck Day"

In mockery of television show "Duck Dynasty."

One student arrived to class draped in a Confederate flag. Queen Creek Unified School in suburban Phoenix said they are sorry but that does not satisfy the most honorable and always well-meaning Rev. Jarred Maupin II, former Phoenix school board member,
protégé to Al Sharpton, whose conviction for lying to FBI was all overt racism, and who has very nicely styled non-African type hair, is not satisfied with that and remains outraged at the school creating a racially hostile environment.

He does have a point. You display a historical flag, one that carries emotional weight, one that provokes irrational emotional response, and get that response, then it is your fault for not controlling your flag displaying impulses. 

What if the student brought a Death's Head Jolly Roger Skull and Bones flag then people even outside the school who didn't even notice the flag would start thinking about pirates and the environment turned hostile. We can all become hostile just thinking and talking about it. The school created a hostile environment by allowing something awful provoking hostility. The school, and we,  must always be careful not to provoke hostility this way. 

The other flags that provoke hostility are, the Japanese flag with the rays coming out as attacking when at war , the Nazi flag that usurped the pinwheel symbol that was easy to weave into fabrics, forever tarnishing flag and symbol, and Britain's flag because it looks like the Confederate flag and because they harshly bossed us around all over the place and attacked us, kidnapped our mariners, came here to kick our butts twice, burned our brand new capitol, so those four flags provoke hostility and if they're ever seen around here then, Buddy, it's on, law suit time. 

Moral: Just when you think this is dead, very nearly dead, a protégé pops up to keep it alive another generation. Too profitable to let go. Cannot help noticing the II in the name Jarred Maupin II, where Jr. will not do.


What I got up to when you weren't looking. This is about hieroglyphics, skip if you like, I will not be offended. Not one bit.
A visitor from Japan dropped into one of my other little sites where I tack up various nonsense, a visit from photobucket hieroglyphic set and that is unusual so I looked to see which hieroglyphic chicken scratch would interest a viewer in Japan and it turns out to be the word for "old". 

From there the visitor went to a page with beginner phrases. And there are some really cool phrases too that I think would make decent tattoos. If they were drawn better than mine. 

I remembered a guy with a large ankh drawn on his torso. You rarely see that glyph on its own in real glyphics. And here are all these nice phrases available, nothing at all tricky with grammar.  

I looked in images to see if other hieroglyphic tattoos would be that single ankh. If so, I am ready to ridicule them completely. But it turns out I'm wrong. They are all rather nice, sophisticated in fact, and better than I draw them myself. 

Let's read them.

Focus, Dude. 

Oh, that means disease. It's an oval tipped over, there are two types of this symbol and he picked the squishy one, this one has tendril and looks like a big fat sperm with ears, but they mean disease. And with the tail, the person is saying it's bad. That's what sticks out among all of that. It's odd and sticks right out. It is the last character of four characters printed on somebody's back. They are excellent unadorned stark glyphs as if typewritten. The b/w photograph stark too in its low quality. 

The first character is a standing eagle, "ah," when you sound it out in your head, and the second character looks like a feather is a sedge frond, "ei" when you sound it out in your head, and the third is a tall incomplete inverted u representing folded linen meaning the sound for "es" when you sound it out in your head, and I suddenly felt sad.

He has AIDS and is saying so with his tattoo, and sad too because he left out the "d" which would be a flat hand.  

Wait. I'm wrong again.  "ahies" means brain. Really now. When you have that determinative symbol for "disease" sticking right out like that. Meaning "body organ" for this and not necessarily a diseased body organ, I did hear Egyptians regarded the brain as junk but I did not hear it regarded as disease, and he did select the symbol with stuff squirting out, the other non-squirting symbol less interesting, I suppose. For some reason he says "brain" quite clearly on his back. That's the problem with sounding things out phonetically, a portion of your thinking goes to assembling as you go and it's zipping around drawing conclusions for you based on everything there and gets it wrong. It's why I come off as such a dunce all the time.

This one has a wadjet eye and a stylized cartouche containing a lion, "leh", standing eagle, "ah", baby chicken  "weh" or "eu", stylized human mouth "ar", standing eagle, "ah."  leh -ah-ew-ar-ah, l. The name is the modern name "Laura." I double-dog betchya.

One more. 

Tattooed leg or arm, I do not know, one or the other. Like a typewriter inside a cartouche. Royal names go in cartouches so expect the name of royalty. Owl, "em",  string with a knot, alternate "oh", half circle "tee", simple maze, "heh", forearm "eh", stylized human mouth, "ar" so then, em-oh-tee-heh-er-ar, the English word "mother"

Isn't this fun?  I'm impressed with these thoughtful tattoos. They completely surprise me and there is real art too. I do appreciate these.

I was thinking the way to go is put a protective symbol across your whole back possibly embellished with a simple spell, something along the lines of, "whosoever messes with this human being while he is here on Earth I shall break their neck like a bird." And, this is important so that it works, the subject must forego idle conversation with the artist and slip into a meditative trance while enduring the prolonged torture of being tattooed and that will serve as required ritual for both artist and subject that imbues the symbol energizing it with protective magic. 

Saudi editor sentenced to 7 years and 600 lashes

For founding an internet forum that offends Islam and expounds liberal thought.

Raif Badawi

600 lashes with what? That has got to destroy your back, completely shred it. Why so many? Is the point to kill him? I do not understand this at all.

But I do know this photo of Riyadh is very psychologically revealing.

“Given that civilian possession of weapons is much less available,

they’re unlikely to have weapons because they’re unlikely to be facing people with weapons.”
"They're" refers to guards protecting $136 million diamonds at the Carlton in Cannes.

Every paragraph in this article makes you go, "What?" Every paragraph seems an inverse of reality, or notes from the edge, the edge of reality and the beginning of pretend space, the 'edge of fail' where reality breaks through wishful thinking.

Breaks through to unreality where Israeli billionaires allow displays of their collections in places they know assume to a fault that everyone is civilized. An unreality so deep that loss that great doesn't really matter. I wonder, Lev Leviev, did you even feel that?


Guantanamo librarians have said in the past that they screen reading material for sexual content,

even blacking out photos of scantily clad women in the advertisements in sports magazines.

50 Shades of Grey is more popular that the Koran at Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

During a visit last week, Reuters saw an eclectic mix of books in numerous languages, from religious tomes to Star Trek novelizations, Agatha Christie mysteries, stress reduction workbooks and the Greek classic "The Odyssey."

That's good. Whatever keeps their minds occupied as long as they cannot hurt anybody. I understand a good mind stimulus activity used widely to keep captive's minds from wasting is to hide their food. 

nypost, Reuters

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bubble Yum Armageddon.

Darcy said... Hi. I buy canned peppers.

Helter Skelter: It's Coming Down Fast.

When the Sirens Whistle and the Shrill Whistles Call, I Ask: What is In Your Shelter?

Insert: All the Shoelaces of Civilization Have Come Untied.

You Have a Year to Wait Out the Radiation: Chocolate-Covered Pretzels? Canned Spam? Paperback Novels? Have you Prepared?

What Did You Bring Into the Shelter? What Do You Wish You Had Brought Inside for a Mole's Year?

Continued adventures in low-grade alcoholism

With this post I hope to recapture some of the scorn, profanity, and abuse heaped upon me after my first cocktail post, my take on the Old Fashioned.

Tonight's drink:  Gordon's Cup.

This is no ordinary drink.  I'll have you know that I've received glowing compliments on this, and not just from slobbering yobs already half in-the-tank.  I've had sophisticated people, actual hoity-toity Europeans (well, dirty Swedes, but still technically Europeans) tell me it's the best cocktail they've ever had.  It's refreshing and somewhat dangerous, in that you don't taste the alcohol and could drink them like it's your goddamned job.

You'll need:

3/4 lime, wedged
cucumber, two 1/2" thick slices
1/4 cup gin
2 tbsp simple syrup
pinch sea salt
crushed ice
Details after the jump.

So...Bradley Manning was acquitted of the charge of aiding the enemy.

Manning was acquitted of the most serious charge against him this afternoon, but convicted on many of the lesser charges.

Manning was a 5-foot-1, 105 pound out-and proud homosexual who enlisted during the DADT era. He once threatened his stepmother with a knife, and the police were involved, although apparently no charges were filed.  He was nearly discharged in basic training, where he complained of being bullied, was rumored to have had a breakdown, and screamed back at his drill sergeants when they would scream at him.

During his military training, he was referred to Army mental health counselors.  He was an emotional basket case. once crying for hours after watching "The Last King of Scotland."  At one point, he sent a photograph of himself dressed as a woman to his master sergeant, and he considered gender reassignment surgery.

So naturally, this guy was given top secret security clearance.

WTF, US Army?  My son hopes to get into intelligence, and his Marine recruiter told him that if he had so much as a high school suspension, he could forget it.  They had him fill out a questionnaire with about 200 items on it, and a "YES" on any one of these items meant "Your Enlistment Stops."

My question:  Had he shown up for his enlistment in an evening gown, would he have been put on the fast track?

Open Thread

Bell Peppers

Remember to get Bell Peppers.

Do we make a list? Althouse was big on lists.

I claim my five pounds

More "Crowd-sourced Solutions"

I'm building a swivel chair for my daughter. It's actually an old IKEA chair with a round seat and a wooden shaped back which I removed and attached to the seat with hinge (think toilet seat cover for a visual as I can't put a photo up at this point). The hinged part will support a leather saddle which she wants to convert to a seat for her room.

The engineering problem is that I want something to support the hinged saddle part and which adjusts through an angle of about 5 to 30 degrees. I made this quick sketch:

I've thought of just using various sized shims made out of wood but I'd rather have something adjustable which can bolt to the base and to the seat part. It should be strong and able to support the weight of a small adult and the saddle.

Poetry... your favorite lines or stanzas

Between melting and freezing
The soul's sap quivers.

-T.S. Eliot

and yet the fear level is still stoked

even though what we have is objectively less murders every year, (double karate chop) we have less crime (double karate chop), we are living in a safe society (double karate chop), at the same time crime is going down, and we are (table jab) putting (table jab) more (table jab) people (table jab) in prison (ta daaa)
Amazingly, the woman sitting there listening to Chris Hayes spouting frenetically deluded stupid silly nonsense does not say, "You idiot." 

The comments pin him like a nail gun, a joy to behold. 

Greg Hengler  at townhall. 

Contractors running U.S. spy missions in Africa

"Tusker Sand is a manned airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platform, along with an associated intelligence fusion cell designed to address emerging theater collection requirements and command strategy to build partner nation capacity." If I am decoding this government-ese correctly, the "associated intelligence fusion cell" are the private contractors. The Chinese are already ensconsed in Africa, and do we, or do we not, need to catch up?

In October, President Obama sent about 100 elite U.S. troops to central Africa to scour the terrain for Joseph Kony, the messianic and brutal leader of a Ugandan rebel group. But American contractors have been secretly searching for Kony from the skies long before that, at least since 2009, under a project code-named Tusker Sand, according to documents and people familiar with the operation.
The previously unreported practice of hiring private companies to spy on huge expanses of African territory — in this region and in North Africa, where a similar surveillance program is aimed at an al-Qaeda affiliate — has been a cornerstone of the U.S. military’s secret activities on the continent. Unlike uniformed troops, plainclothes contractors are less likely to draw attention.
But because the arms-length arrangement exists outside traditional channels, there is virtually no public scrutiny or oversight. And if something goes wrong, the U.S. government and its partners acknowledge that the contractors are largely on their own.
(snip)Among the jobs to be outsourced: pilots, sensor operators, intelligence analysts, mechanics and linguists. The expectation was that the personnel would be veterans; most needed to certify that they had passed the military’s survival, resistance and escape training course, because of the possibility of aircrews being downed behind enemy lines.
Contractors would have to supply the surveillance gear, including electro-optical and infrared sensors that work in the dark, and a laser-emitting sensor that can peer under the jungle canopy. All had to be concealed within the body of the plane with retractable mounting to avoid attracting suspicion.

Added: creeley23 says, "Last year a friend told me to look into Joseph Kony because Kony had become very high profile with young Americans after a documentary "Kony 2012" came out. Kony is abducting and enslaving children to be child soldiers and child sex slaves, so it's the sort of cause the young can identify with."

The IRS subjected conservative groups already granted tax-exempt status to additional scrutiny during the 2012 election cycle

thehill via Instapundit

Elijah Cummings is trying everything he can to push back and hold the tide, here is what he says about Darrell Issa expanding the probe into IRS treatment of organizations already recognized as tax-exempt by the IRS  that appear to have faced questionable treatment by the IRS:

* Issa is pushing a political narrative by picking choice quotes and disregarding contrary evidence.

* not conducting a responsible investigation focused on implementing real reforms

* urges to focus on obtaining the full set of facts rather than making unsubstantiated allegations. 

Cummings said that in a letter to Issa on Monday

The Leadership Institute was audited in 2011 and 2012 for activites in 2008 election year, even though it had functioned as tax-exempt since 1979. It faced invasive questions including questions about intern, where they went to work. Ultimately turning over to IRS more than 23,000 pages of documents at a cost of $50,000 (jeeze, that's $2.00 a page) 

Organizations already tax exempt appear to have faced questionable treatment by the IRS, Issa wrote to Treasury Inspector general 

Cummings countered bravely

* groups were referred to the special unit on a case-by-case basis
* unit did not automatically mean an audit would occur
* referrals to the group were actually meant to facilitate an approval, not burden the organization with additional inquiries.
* liberal groups cam under the same scrutiny

Jack Lew reiterated progressive groups were improperly targeted alongside conservative ones, adding there is no evidence of political pressure

More details at the Hill. 

Colorado is home to delicious craft beer and wonderful scenic ski slopes.

Thankfully though, it also has the largest concentration of Space Warfare facilities in America, because skiing is for pussies and space-nukes are cool.
Tatiana Danger, road rippers.kinja per gizmodo

This does not look modern at all.

The places Dad worked looked different from this, all those places you could smell the ozone from electronics. The rooms were darkened with a green glow. That is how I recall them and nearly all my recollections are faulty. When I see photos they're brighter than that.

I told my aunt a photograph of the inside of USAF radar control room was my dad's stereo and she goes, "Really?" She had every reason to believe it was true. She was so easy to fake out. Only because we all are so distant. My nuclear family was what I knew for the most part. The others were there, of course, but we rarely saw each other.

I don't get the interest over there at rippers, these places look like dumps. I get the creeps just looking at these, and not just regular creeps, claustrophobic anachronistic, what's-with-that-huge-paper-catalog thing kind of creeps, like you really deep down do not trust your Earth-destroying electronics completely or your competency with them so need paper backup.

I love that show. Love that whole show. Stargate. But this entrance is dithhhh-pickable. Deplorable uncompromising brutalistic utilitarianism. Needs more flamingos. A few mountain plants.

[Somebody outside is singing. And has been for hours. It is the sort of thing where your impulse is to go, SHUT UP! Then I realize the noise is why I came here and the alto voice does sound very nice. And now when they stop I miss it.]

line up

line up, line up
row, row, people in line
row, row, line up
get in line
two separate signs
for emphasis

No reason.  

I wondered why the previous things posted already, and I did see the schedule say EST and wondered, "Hey! Im in the middle, not the East Coast," that's what I wondered. And now I realize, it really meant it when it said that.  Me park bad all time. 

The word for line is your two pinkies touch then pull apart and it really does look like a line, and if you wiggle them then it means spaghetti.

Teabow will play quarterback not receiver.

bostonglobe from somebody's conversation with Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels.

90% of Tebow's activity during his time with the Patriots has been spent learning to play quarterback with the teams's system. He wears a red non-contact jersey on the field and he runs the third-team offense during team drills. <-- I do not know what that means.

McDaniels doesn't show much concern about replacing Aaron Hernandez. Refers to him as "Swiss Army Knife" explosive, versatile player.

Quarterback cameras suck. They bounce around too much and do not add anything to the quarterback's experience that doesn't contribute to him overanalyzing things. Good for coaching but they give you a headache. 

Other linked items on the Boston Globe page.

* MLB may suspend Alex Rodriguez under labor deal, its collective bargaining agreement, instead of suspending him under its drug rules. 

* Indians beat White Sox on Jason Giambi's home run

* Michael Phelps hasn't absolutely positively conclusively decided not to swim in Rio Olympics.

* Red Sox take back first in AL East with a 5-0 win over Orioles, with the Ray's loss to the Yankees, the Red Sox are in control of the division.

* David Ortiz gets a pass but was ugly and nobody wants to see it again. 

Oh! That the Papi thing innit. Who says we don't want to see that again? 

* Kamar Aiken hopes to be a regular with Patriots

Red Sox ramp up as trade decline approaches