Saturday, July 26, 2014


R Crumb's "Keep On Truckin'" (1968):

The Grateful Dead's "Truckin'" (1970):

In the 1920s and 1930s, black jazz musicians used the verb "to truck" in the Robert Crumb sense of "Keep On Truckin'." You can see an example of it in Disney's 1941 "Dumbo," where one of the crows says "And they tell me that a man made a vegetable truck," and all the others crows assume the Keep on Truckin' position. link

Here's the scene from "Dumbo;" the line occurs at around 58 sec:

The crows do a lot of stereotypical strut and swagger, and I wonder if R Crumb was influenced by this in creating his iconic cartoon? Terry Zwigoff's documentary "Crumb" recorded how the young Crumb brothers were obsessed with at least one Disney movie, "Treasure Island" (1950), and Crumb probably saw Dumbo too as a kid (what boomer didn't?). Also, Crumb showed an early fascination with -- ahem -- African American caricature.

California Dreaming... again

A different take

Unaccompanied Elderly

Known Unknown

"Go Vegan, Get Your Water Bill Paid?"

"The water shutoffs in Detroit have gained attention from around the country — including PETA. The organization is offering to pay one month’s water bill for 10 Detroit residents."

"In return, those residents have to go vegan for a month."

Eleanor Holmes Norton on Executive Privilege

"You don't have a right to know everything in a separation-of-powers government, my friend. That is the difference between a parliamentary government and a separation-of-powers government," Norton said during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.

What are the chances the congressional delegate would defend presidential executive privilege, if, let's suppose for the sake of argument, Karl Rove was being invited to testify?

How I love tap

Why is the White House inviting impeachment punditry?

Google News "Impeachment" search


Instructions for delivery taking into account hard of hearing customers, rickety, elderly, inform, wheelchair bound, etc.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Food bringing us together

“Not infrequently, Southern food now unlocks the rusty gates of race and class, age and sex. On such occasions, a place at the table is like a ringside seat at the historical and ongoing drama of life in the region.”
— John Egerton, founder, Southern Foodways Alliance

Importing The New Voter Base

He will do it and he doesn't give a shit what you think

This would be a good time for HRC to speak up and distinguish herself from BHO.  Except she won't.

"Suddenly I See"

National Geographic: "It's Time to Stop Thinking That All Non-Native Species Are Evil"

"After all, nativeness is just one environmental value, and arguably not as important as preventing extinctions and preserving biodiversity. In some cases we can best serve biodiversity by leaving the non-natives alone or even—brace yourself, now—introducing them on purpose."

"This is the thinking behind, for example, installing the Aldabra tortoise on the islands of Mauritius. The islands lost their own large tortoises, and the fruiting plants that formerly had their seeds moved around by these fruit-loving reptiles have been on the decline. A tortoise that's related to the island's large tortoises—a non-native from the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean that was intentionally introduced in 2004—is now handling some of that work."

Cathy Young: What ‘Women Against Feminism’ Gets Right

"The latest skirmish on the gender battlefield is “Women Against Feminism”: women and girls taking to the social media to declare that they don’t need or want feminism, usually via photos of themselves with handwritten placards. The feminist reaction has ranged from mockery to dismay to somewhat patronizing (or should that be “matronizing”?) lectures on why these dissidents are wrong. But, while the anti-feminist rebellion has its eye-rolling moments, it raises valid questions about the state of Western feminism in the 21st Century — questions that must be addressed if we are to continue making progress toward real gender equality." (read the whole thing)

It's Believable

Good satire needs two qualities: It has to sound authentic enough to be believable, and it has to be something the reader or listener actual wants to believe.


MSNBC Anchor Resigns; Admits to Spreading “Lies on Behalf of Obama” 

The article appeared on the National Report website.  National Report is an Onion wannabe.  Readers who don't know it's a satire site want to believe the MSNBC anchor actually said this:
“I have spent my entire professional career working toward a position based on false pretenses.  I have worked hard to obtain a position with a major news network and expected to be reporting on serious issues.  Instead, I am handed Pro-Obama scripts and asked to be a mouthpiece for the administration.”
Except she didn't say that.  Readers believed that she did, even after National Report added a few lines at the bottom of the article that should tip off any reader that it isn't a real story. Didn't work. Commenters still believe that it's true, even after even after other commenters try to point out that it never happened, that the story is false.

Well done, National Report.  Article here.

Meet the Press host to be replaced?

"But the Page Six item—which suggested that Turness will replace Gregory at MTP shortly after the midterm elections in November—prompted an energetic round of speculation among network insiders about who planted it, for what reason, and which ambitious on-air personality will dislodge Gregory from the anchor chair of the third-place Sunday show.        

In multiple conversations that I had with people inside and outside NBC after the item appeared, it was taken as a given that Gregory is toast. The Post reported viewership has sunk an alarming 43 percent—and in recent months MTP has been beaten consistently by ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos and CBS’s Face the Nation, hosted by Bob Schieffer—since Gregory assumed the unenviable position of taking over for the late Tim Russert, who turned the show during his 16 years as moderator into No. 1 must-see Sunday television.

The principal pretenders to the MTP throne are NBC News’ chief White House correspondent and political director, Chuck Todd—who anchors The Daily Rundown, MSNBC’s weekday 9 a.m. show—and the cohosts of the three-hour-long Morning Joe program that precedes it, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski."

The Daily Beast

"Alabama man claims penis was amputated by mistake"

"An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday."

"Johnny Lee Banks Jr., 56, said in a lawsuit filed in state court earlier this week that no one at the Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama, had told him why it had been necessary to remove his penis." (no video at the link)

butterflies pop-up card

This is a sympathy card for a friend whose mother died. Her name is Dorothy, we called her Dot.

If you cannot make it out, it is a double arc of scritchy-scratchy butterflies connected with horizontal braces in the shape of more butterflies. 

Butterfly, metamorphosis, standard condolence symbolism. Usually I do something along the lines of a caterpillar on one page, or the cover, with a butterfly on the next, or a butterfly on a lily pad or a butterfly that appears to fly off the page or some such, but this time I made a mess of butterflies. I could have drawn nice ones, I could have drawn them carefully and copied using a printer. I could  have found appropriate butterflies online and copied those, I could have used Hobby Lobby type butterflies made of feathers, but Instead I scratched them out rapidly.

I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't have patience anymore for careful drawing. Everything comes out scribbly and I send it off. 

The arc is based on Robert Sabuda's idea of Alice in Wonderland (video, skip to the end for Alice with cards) under a similar construction of deck of cards tossed into the air. It is marvelous because it really does look like they're carelessly tossed and seems to have no organization at all with cards flying all over the place, yet it all tucks in obediently. His version is fantastically imaginative. I like it a lot and so do other people too. Benjamin Lacombe copied Alice and the cards explicitly in his Il Était Une Fois [Once Upon a Time] (Video, Alice and cards at 0:54)

These two books together make an interesting contrast. I notice both authors struggle with themes. Sabuda relies heavily on familiar stories rather than making up his own. So does Lacombe rely on familiar fairy tales decidedly un French as if at a loss for material or unable to contrive something unique. Whereas Saubda is brilliant at devising pop-up mechanism, often times overly elaborate, so elaborate they need a bit of help closing shut because he relies on mechanism upon mechanism upon mechanism upon mechanism taking each to an extreme. But his art suffers. He is not that great of an artist. 

Lacome, on the other hand is a beautiful artist. I've shown his book to several women and they all fall in love with his art. They deeply appreciate his take on common themes and marvel at his interpretation through his careful painting. For example, his cards that are tossed in the air are all wonderfully imaginative and beautifully detailed. But his mechanism are terrible. Some hardly work. Most are exceedingly basic as if he has no training in pop-up mechanisms at all, and figured things out on his own just for this one book as I did for my first cards. His flower pedals are whole pages that shift on a tiny hinge. They almost don't work. There is no symmetry or balance, they do not actually pop up but rather fail to fall flat, and they barely shift and almost never stand upright so you worry your copy has something wrong. His strength is in his art.

And that tells me if I'd just take the time to make things beautiful then I don't have to concern myself with mechanisms, women will love them anyway. But it's not how I roll. I lost the patience I had at age twelve for tediously getting the drawings perfectly representative of my vision. Now I just scratch them out. I think hieroglyphics did that. Draw those things a couple thousand times and you're over it. 

Scritchy-scratchy will just have to do.

I have no idea how this card was received. The subject was never brought up.

More on this card if you care to, here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Breaking News: U.S. House Panel Votes to Authorize Lawsuit Against President Obama

"Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday took another step toward authorizing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama, claiming he has overstepped his executive powers in carrying out his landmark healthcare reform law."

"In a partisan vote of 7-4, the House Rules Committee approved the legislation, likely setting it up for consideration by the full House next week. The Republican initiative already has spawned a bitter debate with Democrats less than four months before mid-term elections that will determine the political control of Congress next year." (video at the link)

The Corner: Thesaurus Synonyms for ‘Obstructionist’ Include ‘Right-winger,’ ‘Rightist,’ ‘Tory’

"Apparently only conservatives and others on the right can be obstructionists, according to Roget’s Thesaurus."
A search for synonyms of “obstructionist” on, which cites Roget’s, reveals that the source considers several words related to conservative and right-leaning political stances to fit the definition of a “person who is cautious, moderate; an opponent of change.” Under antonyms, it lists left-leaning words.

Other synonyms listed for obscrutionst are “traditionalist,” “conserver,” “conventionalist,” “unprogressive,” and “redneck.”

This is the second time in recent weeks that a reference book has equated a negative quality with conservatism. Earlier this month, the Daily Caller found that both theOxford English and Merriam-Webster dictionaries included “right-wing” and “conservatism,” respectively, in their definitions of “bigotry.”
At Lems, here is what an obstructionist looks like...

Knoxville knocks

Ted Cruz claims White House may have used FAA against Israel

What is ridiculous is the Obama administration refusing to answer simple questions about whether this was dictated by politics and why the FAA is singling out Israel while not focusing on other areas around the world,” the Texas Republican said Wednesday night on Fox News’ “Hannity.”
“Was this politics from the White House? Or was this an airline safety decision? And I think the facts strongly suggest it was politics and an effort to strong arm the nation of Israel.”
The State Department vehemently objected to Cruz’s comments.

“It’s ridiculous and offensive, quite frankly,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said during a press briefing. “The FAA takes its responsibilities very seriously. … They make these decisions based solely on the safety and security of American citizens, period. For anyone to suggest otherwise is just ridiculous.”

Late Wednesday night, the FAA ended the ban on flights to Israel.
Do we see any improprieties here, did any White House interference on behalf of the presidents foreign policy, if indeed there was interference, rise to the level of illegality? Should there be a congressional oversight hearing?

I was going to ask, should there be an investigation, but with Holder at the helm, there are more chances of 20 IRS hard drives failing, around the same time, than Holder appointing an independent investigator.

Via Instapundit

Trailer: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

"E.L. James’ novel Fifty Shades of Grey made sexy sexy again. Not only did it put a 21st-century spin on the bodice-rippers your mom used to read in secret, but it made it OK to read them in public, as any public transit rider or plane passenger can tell you. Today, the trailer for the film adaptation was released."

I already have my outfit picked out

"...LANCASTER, N.H.— Like any good bonfire, the evening ritual at the Porcupine Festival deep in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, includes a drum circle, plumes of marijuana smoke, shared bottles of whiskey and spirited debate.

There are also guns. Lots of guns.

Colt .45s, Smith & Wessons, and Rugers hang on hips. A bearded man clings to an AK-47; a guy with a Mohawk has a shotgun with flowers coming out of the barrel strapped to his back. For this isn’t your typical bacchanal in the woods...

......Porcfest — as it’s known here — is put on by the Free State Project, a group dedicated to recruiting at least 20,000 libertarians to move to New Hampshire. The idea — that a group of this size can make a difference in a state with a low population — came from an essay in 2001 by then-Yale doctoral student and current Dartmouth lecturer Jason Sorens. Thirteen years later, the FSP has had nearly 16,000 people sign a “statement of intent” to move. The plan is that when 20,000 people sign the list, it will “trigger” a large migration. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,500 people have moved already.

...By most counts, more than 20 Free Staters have been elected to the state House of Representatives (about 10 of whom currently serve), with many others serving in municipal government. In 2012, state Rep. Cynthia Chase (D) called them “the single biggest threat the state is facing today.”

It’s certainly an overstatement, but the Free Staters have been active in the political arena. They have helped repeal New Hampshire’s knife laws, blocked implementation of a national ID system in the state and helped allow jurors to acquit defendants not because they think they are innocent but because they believe the law at issue is unjust."


Daily Caller: "130 Environmental Groups Call For An End To Capitalism"

"Environmentalists have declared that global warming can’t be stopped without ending the “hegemonic capitalist system,” saying that cap-and-trade systems and conservation efforts are “false solutions.”
“The structural causes of climate change are linked to the current capitalist hegemonic system,” reads the final draft of the Margarita Declaration, presented at a conference including about 130 environmental groups.

Environmental activists met in the oil producing, socialist country of Venezuela as part of a United Nations-backed event to increase civil engagement in the lead up to a major climate conference. (video at the link)

Bananas, Dole VS. Chiquita

Pluto mail, unsend your emails

Pluto mail allows you to unsend or edit an email. It also allows automatic expiration and tracking email opening. The service works on Apple Mail, Iphone and Ipad, Android, Outlook, Hotmail, Thunderbird and Gmail.  The service is free. Presently demand has caused backlog but you can put your name on a waiting list. There are some 4,000 ahead of me at the time of this writing. I imagine it is a matter of server space.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

“I just know it was not efficient... It took a long time.”

"The execution of a convicted murderer in Arizona lasted for nearly two hours on Wednesday, as witnesses said he gasped and snorted for much of that time before eventually dying."
State officials disputed these accounts, contending that Wood was never in pain and that he was only snoring. 
“I’m telling you he was snoring,” Stephanie Grisham, spokeswoman for the Arizona attorney general’s office, said in an e-mail to The Washington Post. “There was no gasping or snorting. Nothing. He looked like he was asleep. This was my first execution and I have no reason to minimize this.” (link to the story)
Undated file photograph of Joseph Wood
Update: Lawyers demand outside probe of two-hour Arizona execution


"Meet Hilda, the creation of illustrator Duane Bryers and pin-up art’s best kept secret. Voluptuous in all the right places, a little clumsy but not at all shy about her figure, Hilda was one of the only atypical plus-sized pin-up queens to grace the pages of American calendars from the 1950s up until the early 1980s, and achieved moderate notoriety in the 1960s.
“She’s a creation out of my head. I had various models over the years, but some of my best Hilda paintings I’ve ever done were done without a model,” veteran artist Duane told the online pin-up gallery Toil,
Despite being one of history’s longest running calendar queens alongside the likes of Marilyn Monroe, even the most dedicated vintage enthusiasts probably won’t have come across Hilda before."

SF Gate: "Lana Del Rey can’t get through a show without a cigarette"

She tells Complex magazine, “Dude, I have to (smoke on stage). I can’t get through it (the show) … (I have been smoking) since I was 17. It’s crazy. That’s why I try to play mostly outdoor festivals. … Because 45 minutes into the set, when you’ve still got 45 more minutes to go, you need to smoke.”

And then there is this quote from the sultry smoking singer Lana Del Rey...
"I like a hands-on love," she told Complex. "How can I say this without getting into too much trouble? I like a tangible, passionate love. For me, if it isn't physical, I'm not interested." (link)

Does meditation induce gene expression changes?

"(Medical Xpress)—With evidence growing that meditation can have beneficial health effects, scientists have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body.

A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of mindfulness meditation.

The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation."

Medical Xpress


Do you meditate? I dabbled in it, but didn't really try. One time I experienced a kind of 'going under' effect where I consider I 'got it.' With practice, I think I could achieve positive results, both mentally and physically. 

Acuity Flagpole project

I was thinking about turquoise, I was thinking about gold. I was thinking about diamonds and the world's biggest flagpole. As we rode through the canyons and the devilish cold I was thinking about Isis and how she thought I was so reckless. 

Impressive indeed. But not the world's tallest.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan: 541 feet

Baku, Azerbaijan 531.5

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 436

Amman Jordan 416 feet

Abu Dhabi 403.5

"Talking to Strangers Can Make You Happier"

Connecting with strangers on a train may not bring the same long-term benefits as connecting with friends,” University of Chicago Booth School of Business Professor Nicholas Epley said in a press release. “But commuters on a train into downtown Chicago reported a significantly more positive commute when they connected with a stranger than when they sat in solitude.”
Over the course of nine experiments, the researchers learned that people predict that social isolation will result in a more enjoyable commute or waiting room experience. But the participants ended up reporting positive feedback both being spoken to and initiating conversation with a stranger.

The researchers also discovered that fear drives much of our solitary behavior: Participants said that even though they wanted to chat with someone, they assumed the other person wouldn’t want to reciprocate.

But in fact, “the pleasure of connection seems contagious: In a laboratory waiting room, participants who were talked to had equally positive experiences as those instructed to talk,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Lead foot

"[Sarah Palin] was stopped in her hometown of Wasilla last Wednesday for going 63 in a 45 MPH zone in her Toyota Tundra.  The cop wrote her up and she was on her way.

Palin cops to the crime, telling us, "I wasn't speeding, I was qualifying."  She didn't accept full blame, saying Sammy Hagar's, "I Can't Drive 55" on the oldies station contributed to her lead foot.

We're told Palin will pay the $154 ticket STAT.

TMZ via Memeorandum

Sen. Rob Portman: "Heading Off the Entitlement Meltdown"

"Each day, 10,000 baby boomers retire and begin receiving Medicare and Social Security benefits. And while five workers supported the benefits of each retiree in 1960, there will be only two workers funding each retiree by 2030."
Those who dismiss long-term budget projections should re-read the last paragraph. The retirement of 77 million baby boomers into Social Security and Medicare is not a theoretical projection. Demography is destiny.
ObamaCare is also driving spending upward. According to the CBO, over the next decade, ObamaCare will be the single largest driver of rising health-care spending. (read the whole thing by entering on Google --> "Heading Off the Entitlement Meltdown")
"Some day, all this will be yours"

Rancho Mirage

German artist, Oliver Bienkowski, lights up facade of U.S. Embassy

And it is not nice!

How embarrassing. He is depicting our president with his hat backwards!

Hoodie tries to rob a bus driver, passenger goes 'fist of fury'

Pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser, pow, right in the kisser! (18 pows right in the kissers)

There there, Mum, everything is fine now. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

NYPD Bill Bratton: "I'm not particularly happy about the event"

"The mystery surrounding two white flags that appeared on top of the Brooklyn Bridge today deepened as the New York City Police Department admitted they don't know who committed the security breach or how they accomplished it."

"White flags, which are symbols of surrender, flew from poles on the stone supports atop the famed bridge that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan over the East River."


One of these things...

The old mechanical mouse replaced the new laser mouse

Big Cabbage on my sister's kitchen counter

Video: Pulsar's Dramatic Morph Caught by Space Telescope

NBC Sports: "Tony Dungy elaborates on his Michael Sam comments"

"On Monday, the Tampa Tribune published Tony Dungy’s answer to the question of whether he would have drafted Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly-gay player. Dungy’s 38 words triggered a flood of debate and controversy, and plenty of pointed criticism."

I wouldn’t have taken him,’’ Dungy told the Tampa Tribune. “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. It’s not going to be totally smooth . . . things will happen.’’
Back to todays apparent qualification...
On Tuesday, Dungy issued a statement elaborating on his comments. The full text of it appears here.
“I gave my honest answer, which is that I felt drafting him would bring much distraction to the team,” Dungy says.

“I was not asked whether or not Michael Sam deserves an opportunity to play in the NFL. He absolutely does.

“I was not asked whether his sexual orientation should play a part in the evaluation process. It should not.

“I was not asked whether I would have a problem having Michael Sam on my team. I would not.”

CNBC: "Fed appeals court panel says most Obamacare subsidies illegal"

"In a potentially crippling blow to Obamacare, a federal appeals court panel declared Tuesday that government subsidies worth billions of dollars that helped 4.7 million people buy insurance on are illegal."
"Section 36B plainly makes subsidies available in the Exchanges established by states," wrote Senior Circuit Judge Raymond Randolph in his majority opinion, where he was joined by Judge Thomas Griffith."

"We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance. At least until states that wish to can set up their own Exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal Exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the ruling—for now—"does not have any practical impact" on premium subsidies issued to enrollees now. "

"We are confident" that the ruling will be overturned, Earnest said. "We are confident in the legal position we have . . . the Department of Justice will litigate these claims through the federal court system."
Eric Holder is on the case... UPDATE: Separate Court Rules in Favor of Obamacare Subsidies
A second federal court ruled Tuesday on the legality of Obamacare's health insurance subsidies — and this one found, unlike the D.C. Circuit Court ruling hours earlier, that the subsidies are legal.
That was quick... Stay tuned... Roberts is going to have to take another look.

From the Bloggingheads Vault... which Ezra chews Coulter a new one, not.

"It's a life-or-death situation"

You're going to do what you have to do to get water back on in your home,” said Valerie Blakely, a community organiser and mother of five whose overdue bill stands at more than $1,000. “As far as I'm concerned, what the city is doing is the illegal activity. You're not going to come and put us in a life-or-death situation and not have us act like we are fighting for our own survival.”

“There are severe consequences,” said Bill Johnson, a spokesman for Detroit's water and sewerage department. “People are making things worse for themselves. The penalties may be more than the actual bill." (read more)

Boston Globe Jeff Jacoby: "Democrats losing moral clarity on Israel"

"[B]elow the surface, America’s Israel-friendly consensus is splitting along the same left-vs.-right fault line that has polarized so many other issues. While support for Israel is overwhelming among Republicans and conservatives, it has been shrinking among Democrats and liberals. “The partisan gap in Mideast sympathies has never been wider,” reports Pew, with 73 percent of Republicans sympathetic to Israel in the ongoing conflict, but just 44 percent of Democrats. Respondents identifying as liberal Democrats were five times as likely as conservative Republicans to sympathize more with the Palestinians."
Thus is the Democratic Party losing its way on one of the great moral issues of our time.

For roughly the first third of Israel’s existence, Democrats tended to support the Jewish state more strongly than Republicans did. In a compelling new book, “Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel,” foreign-affairs thinker Joshua Muravchik writes that during the run-up to the Six Day War in 1967, “Israel was above all a cause championed by liberals.” So heartfelt was this support that even ardent Democratic opponents of the Vietnam War, such as John Kenneth Galbraith and Eugene McCarthy, advocated US military action on Israel’s behalf.

Only over the last 25 years has support for Israel grown so much greater among Republicans than among Democrats. The reasons for the divergence are many. On the right, they include the high value Republicans have attached to Israel as a stable ally in a very unstable region, as well as the migration to the GOP of evangelical Christians, many of whom support the Jewish state as a matter of transcendent conviction.

But on the left, the Israeli-Arab dispute itself has been redefined. (read more)

Mike and Mike

Monday, July 21, 2014


Pay special close attention to the brief drum opening by Charles Connor. He's said to have inspired John Bonham's opening salvo in Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll."

Hollywood's top earning actor

Robert Downey, Jr. films, in general free polls 

"If there’s one actor who has proved himself in-disposable, it’s Robert Downey Jr. The actor has made millions playing Iron Man and for the second year in a row, he tops FORBES’ list of the Top Earning Actors. We estimate that Downey earned $75 million between June 2013 and June 2014, the same amount as he earned last year.

Downey reigns as the highest paid man in Hollywood because at this point, it would be incredibly difficult for Marvel to continue making Iron Man and Avengers films without him. Marvel movies starring Downey have earned almost $4 billion at the global box office and millions more on home video, not to mention the millions the movies have generated in merchandise.

Disney, which owns Marvel, wants to keep that gravy train going for as long as it can and like it or not, that means paying Downey whatever he demands. The actor coyly held out during negotiations for the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron and secured more money than ever upfront for the film. The movie is sure to be a huge hit and he’ll earn even more on the back end."

Forbes via 

Too good to be true -- Luenell

There is some discussion on the right-o-sphere about the left-o-sphere's panel discussion within the Netroots Nation convention recently held in Detroit. The question raised on the left and discussed on the panel is why isn't the left as funny as the right? Apparently they perceive the right as more funny than the left, a questionable conclusion I think most comedians are leftists overall, they conclude because comedy on the right depends so heavily on racism, sexism all isms, taboo subject to the left.

The right seems to agree the left is not funny, but disagrees about why. The right states their own reasons why the left isn't funny and goes to some length explaining why their sanctimonious attitude prevents humor aimed at their protected targets.

The problem with that is comedians are mostly leftist, most probably vote left, they appeal to leftists, and few subjects are actually taboo. They do much more than make fun of the right. In fact those are their least funny bits. Analyze it however you like, use whatever conceit you wish, the left is funny and they do transgress their own taboos, and that is why they are funny, I'd say more funny than conservative comedians.

However, having said that, British jokes are just flat not funny, and that has nothing to do with Americans not getting it as they keep repeating, no, it's because their jokes are flatly not funny, because they are all based on their spoon-fed BBC liberalism, delivered as cutting commentary, and they all fall flat. See the best of sickipedia, pick any category, all the jokes suck. Look at the American category (sub under racism) or religion category, they think these jokes are funny. They are not. I guarantee you they're not. Not a one. Yet they will go down insisting the problem is we just don't get them.

We get them alright. The problem is these jokes would be funny, perhaps, at age seven or eight.

Except for satire. British do satire better than Americans do, generally, I think, especially conservative satire. What I see of conservative satire is just not funny because it transmits its intention overtly. It fails to inhabit the target sincerely and follow through to conclusion without the possibility of anything being learned, absent the chance for change. Conservative satire look to me like, we sure are doing satire right now, hint, hint, nudge, nudge, get it? This is the ridiculous thing we're depicting, nudge, nudge. And that is not funny. Real satire depicts the ridiculous sincerely and lives with the problems it causes, the bathos, the descent from the sublime to the ridiculous with complete sincerity so that the characters can be picked up again and applied recognizably and lovingly to a new skit under new circumstances with no change whatsoever, the suffering shown and shared.  British do this better than Americans, liberals better than conservatives. That is my view.

Do you imagine Luenell is politically conservative? The video is only a minute.

Daily Caller: "IRS Reports EVEN MORE Computer Crashes"

"IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total number of crash victims to “less than 20,” and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are still backed up somewhere."

"The new round of computer crash victims includes David Fish, who routinely corresponded with Lois Lerner, as well as Lerner subordinate Andy Megosh, Lerner’s technical adviser Justin Lowe, and Cincinnati-based agent Kimberly Kitchens."

Gov. Perry sending National Guard to border

"[According to a not yet released memo] Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to announce he will activate the Texas National Guard at a news conference Monday in Austin, said state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen. 

...Troops are expected to enter the area gradually, building up to 1,000 after about a month, the memo said.

...State leaders approved funding for extra DPS troopers to fill in gaps in Border Patrol coverage in the Valley as the federal authorities were overwhelmed with an influx of children and families from Central America. The state officials feared Mexican drug cartels might exploit the situation to move their own drugs and human contraband while Border Patrol attention was turned elsewhere.

Hinojosa said Perry's move smacked of political gamesmanship.

“All these politicians coming down to border, they don't care about solving the problem, they just want to make a political point,” he said.

“This is not a militarization of the border,” the memo states. “The DPS and the National Guard are working to keep any drug and human trafficking south of (U.S. Highway) 83 and with the goal of keeping any smuggling from entering major highways to transport East/West/and North.”

...“It is not clear where the money will come from in the budget,” the memo states, adding that Perry's office has said the money will come from “non critical” areas, such as health care or transportation.

Hinojosa said the National Guard was not equipped to aid immigrants crossing the Rio Grande.

“They (cartels) are taking advantage of the situation,” he said. “But our local law enforcement from the sheriff’s offices of the different counties to the different police departments are taking care of the situation. This is a civil matter, not a military matter. What we need is more resources to hire more deputies, hire more Border Patrol.

“These are young people, just families coming across. They're not armed. They're not carrying weapons.”"


Do you agree with Texas state senator Hinojosa that 1) National Guard troops are not equipped to aid immigrants crossing the Rio Grande, and 2) that resources should be diverted to hiring more deputies and Border Patrol, because this is a civil, not a military matter?

The Monitor via Memeorandum

Playing at the jury room

I'm all talked out.

CBS The Talk playing at the jury assembly room

Al Arabiya: "ISIS burns 1,800-year-old church in Mosul"

"Militants from the radical jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have set fire to a 1,800-year-old church in Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul, a photo released Saturday shows."

"The burning of the church is the latest in a series of destruction of Christian property in Mosul, which was taken by the Islamist rebels last month, along with other swathes of Iraqi territory."

ISIS burned down 1,800-year-old Syriac Catholic Archdiocese in Mosul

Advise Column: "I want a lesbian love affair, but can't imagine leaving my male partner"

"I lost my virginity to the same man I have been with since I was 19. I'm now 26 and still very attracted to him, and can't imagine being with anyone else. But I've started visiting lesbian dating sites and mostly fantasise about women, though I feel guilty. Would it be wrong to ask my partner if I could experiment with women? I don't want to hurt people, but I crave a discreet but honest love affair with a woman."

Columnist response...
There's no "right" or "wrong" here... (read more)


Where the wave function collapses.

Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
She shall have music wherever she goes.

Zero Hedge: "What Disposable Income Looks Like: With And Without Government Handouts"

While it is now undisputed by even the Federal Reserve itself, that all the "benefits" of QE have accrued exclusively to the wealthiest segment of society, those 0.01% whose wealth is mostly invested in financial assets which have inflated in direct proportion with the Fed's balance sheet, some have tried to suggest that because the disposable income of the average American has also increased in the past few years, then QE has been a success. There is one problem with that statement: it isn't true.

As Eric Sprott points out in his latest letter, "if one looks past headline figures, things are not really getting better. As shown in Figure 1, real disposable income per capita in the U.S. has increased only modestly since the Great Recession. However, all of this increase is due to Government Transfers, not from an improvement in the real economy. If we exclude those transfers from the numbers, disposable income per capita is actually lower than it was at the end of 2005 and has been painfully flat since 2011. Also, those numbers assume that the headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) accurately represents people’s purchasing power."

Presenting our chart of the day: disposable income with and without government transfers.

And it is not just disposable income: as Sprott explains, "the U.S. economy has been on life support, graciously provided by Central Planners. However hard they try, they will soon realize that no amount of money printing can cleanse the rot of the U.S. economy." (read more)

snail town pop-up cards

Three of these cards were constructed at one time for three women important to me whose birthdays converge in September. Frankly, the card is a cop out in two ways. First, I am not thinking of each woman individually and infusing the card with individual love as usual, if that makes sense to you. Secondly, the original idea that I was working on before I ran out of time was a war between slugs and snails with salt-related weaponry. I already had several pages worked out; a salt trebuchet, slugs torturing a snail, I had variations of peaceful snail and slug settlements with indications of animosity toward the other species indicating some kind of feud in progress, snails with a ramrod attacking a slug castle, a jousting session, weapons having to do with salt traps, beer traps, slug poison and such things as gardeners use, weapons involving salt and salt shakers. But time bore down upon me and in urgency I realized the women don't care what I am thinking, they don't care about what I am planning, they respond to the thing at hand and it does not matter to any of tthem if I infuse it with personal energy or not. They're not psychics. They won't sense that. So I made all three at once and they loved it. I rarely get direct feedback especially in writing, but my sister did write to tell me she adored the card and took it to her church. Passed it around. She noted the different reactions between the adults and the children. She told me the kids opened and closed the card some fifty times so that she feared it would fall apart. That cheers. me. It does. My brother told me that he and his wife took her card along with previous cards to her birthday dinner with friends and they marveled. The cards became the center of attention. And that well pleases me too.

I drew dozens of these snails for the insides of three cards. I poured Elmer's glue on my finger, drew a backward S for snail slime to shine. This is the cover. Messy, as snails are.

Content flips up as it opens revealing construction. The arrangement is a series of V mechanisms as incomplete chevrons, unattached at the point, and in chunks, completeness is not needed because they are all attached to the tree base. The tree lifts up and drags all the rest with it. It's a fake out. It looks like separate pieces working, but it is not. It is a single piece, that is, several pieces glued together as one single piece.