Saturday, December 20, 2014


It's De Blasio Time

Two police officers were shot in their patrol car today as they sat outside a housing project. One is dead at this point and another is critical. There are conflicting reports that the perp might have been shot at the subway station. Reports differ.

I wonder if that college professor who was arrested for throwing a garbage can on the Brooklyn Bridge will protest? Will the hipster who closed down traffic stop to think about these two men? Will De Blasio and Obama go on TV and say "That could have been my son?" Will Rosie O'Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg and Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart and Chris Matthews and Rachael Maddow all talk about how terrible this is on their shows?

I am old enough to remember Officers Piagentini and Jones. To remember what NYC in the 1970's was really like. How you were afraid to ride the subway. Walk down the street. Go to Times Square. Those oh so happy days are here again.

I live in the belly of the beast. This is what NYC has become under Obama and De Blasio.

Don't let anybody fool you. Don't let anybody offer excuses and lies. This is what they really think.

This is De Blasio time.

“I was driving too fast, arrest me”

"Michael Ware, 53, allegedly falsely told cops that he had no idea his daughter Julia used his vehicle during a trip to the Poconos over the Labor Day weekend, according to a report this week."

"But the truth was that Ware knew the girl was joy riding in his SUV because he handed her the keys and even asked her to bring him back a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich from a barbecue restaurant, the Bucks County Courier Times reported, citing court documents."

Dad facing charges after he ‘lied’ about teen’s deadly joyride

Marco Rubio on Mark Levin

Rubio is talking about Obama's one-way deal with Cuba. He is tremendously knowledgeable and interesting. Fifteen minutes of rapid fire dishing out knowledge. I learned quite a lot. And one of the few instances, I think, that' you'll find Mark Levin in listening mode.

Right Scoop. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Dinner Redux

The one that never was.

How to top saying that it was John Huston's career-topping last movie?  The best of better films? A labor of love for a beloved writer?

My revision of that scene would be a metaphor for the old Althouse crowd. One by one they self-identify like guests at a dinner party that never really happened in real life.

The context was Irish -- as certain as Joyce was constrained to what he knew best. But, the theme is universal and cuts across literary media.

Christmas Dinner

“I’ll ride with you” story was a complete fake?

"Surprise! Woman who started viral “I’ll ride with you” story admits it was a complete fake"
I saw a woman on the train start to fiddle with her headscarf.

Confession time. In my Facebook status, I editorialised. She wasn’t sitting next to me. She was a bit away, towards the other end of the carriage. Like most people she had been looking at her phone, then slowly started to unpin her scarf.

Tears sprang to my eyes and I was struck by feelings of anger, sadness and bitterness. It was in this mindset that I punched the first status update into my phone, hoping my friends would take a moment to think about the victims of the siege who were not in the cafe.

I spent the rest of the journey staring—rudely—at the back of her uncovered head. I wanted to talk to her, but had no idea what to say. Anything that came to mind seemed tokenistic and patronising. She might not even be Muslim or she could have just been warm! Besides, I was in the “quiet carriage” where even conversation is banned.

By sheer fluke, we got off at the same station, and some part of me decided saying something would be a good thing. Rather than quiz her about her choice of clothing, I thought if I simply offered to walk her to her destination, it might help.

It’s hard to describe the moment when humans, and complete strangers, have a conversation with no words. I wanted to tell her I was sorry for so many things—for overstepping the mark, for making assumptions about a complete stranger and for belonging to a culture where racism was part of her everyday experience.

But none of those words came out, and our near silent encounter was over in a moment.

My second status was written as a heartbreaking postscript to my first. While the woman appeared to appreciate my gesture, we had both left defeated and deflated. What good is one small action against an avalanche of ignorance?

Hours later, social media showed me good people can create their own avalanche of kindness.
So, the woman’s head scarf may not have been a hijab, and she may not have been a Muslim, and she may not have been self-conscious about riding the train. All of that was pure bleeding-heart fantasy from a university professor who wanted some attention online.

And boy, did she get it!

The Norks Had Commandos in America

North Korea dispatched covert commando teams to the United States in the 1990s to attack nuclear power plants and major cities in a conflict, according to a declassified Defense Intelligence Agency report.

Dafuq is that all about?  It's bad enough that we have to worry about jihadis and Chicoms and Russkis, but now the pot-bellied doofs who run North Korea are sending terrorists to America?

Sounds awfully improbable.  They have people capable of doing that?
The Reconnaissance Bureau is part of the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces and is in charge of the estimated 60,000 North Korean special operations commandos.
The North Korean Ministry of People’s Armed Forces, the ministry in charge of the military, “established five liaison offices in the early 1990s, to train and infiltrate operatives into the United States to attack nuclear power plants.
One more thing to worry about.  If you are a prepper, you have already prepared for this.

"Birds 'heard tornadoes coming' and fled one day ahead"

"It's very unlikely that this species is the only group doing this," Dr Streby said.
Dr Chris Hewson, a senior research ecologist at the British Trust for Ornithology, told BBC News that infrasound was a plausible explanation.

He pointed out that several birds, including falcons, are thought to use infrasound to help them navigate.

"And you can see from the weather data that there doesn't appear to be any alternative cue that they could be picking up on," he said.

The new study is the first time that migratory birds have been seen taking such dramatic evasive action.

"We know that birds can alter their route to avoid things during regular migration," Dr Streby explained. "But it hadn't been shown until our study that they would leave once the migration is over, and they'd established their breeding territory, to escape severe weather."

Castro rises

From his rejuvenating sarcophagus.

All you had to do was wait and Fidel Castro would be dead before ever seeing his nemesis capitulate, but no. We just had to hire an extreme leftist for president with leftist-dictator sympathies and leftist dictatorial tendencies himself of the sort who bristles at sensing the slightest trace of a hint of such tendencies in any Republican and who goes whole hog once he senses there is nothing left to lose. For himself. Never mind what he insisted previously. That was then and this is now.  Never mind the prospect for his party for decades to come. Never mind the damage he does to those in his party coming up behind him. Never mind what Cubans living here think. Never mind his overtures benefit the dictator's ruling party and not benefit the people they rule with an iron grip. Such a tiny person, I want, I want, I want, I want, I want, I want, I want. Never mind everyone else.


Wrighting A Wrong

Suppose that the recent deep bow to Cuban authorities signals Obama's future closure of the Guantanamo Naval Base and a withdrawal from Cuban territory.

Can't happen?  Visualize World Appeasement.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Karl Marx Quote

garden structure and planning

Now is a good time to plan for 2015 garden. My area is is a large terrace on the fifth floor. Sometimes high wind. Limited direct sunlight. Extremely dry.It is an all around challenging area.

Amateurs such as myself make a common mistake of waiting for the season to roll around then visit local nurseries and accept what is available at that moment in time and try as we might to tack together some sort of agreeable arrangement with no real planning involved. But now is a good time, I think, to search for interesting plants and items that add structure to one's composition of textures, colors, color-values, density, foliage, positive and negative space, and the like, all the elements that go into well thought theme, one stated with authority.

I have a terrace. It's architecture is the decorative railings. That is my starting architectural design element. Everything devolves from and fits into that.

Every garden photographer knows you cannot get a good picture of densely packed riot of various flowers. You just cannot. There is no backbone to it, There is nowhere for the eye to settle. Gardens need architecture. The architecture comes first and the plants secondarily. You build around what you have, walls, stairs, pathways, what have you.

Clever decorations can break up the mess. Partially concealed to delight by discovery. Real human faces draw one's attention compellingly. I see garden decorations intended to break up riots of compacted foliage and bloom but used inappropriately as centerpieces or disjointed nicknack objects d'art, purchased because they are adorably cute, or caught the eye separately from the garden. I see all kinds of cheap craptastic containers. I don't want them. I see what is available at the hardware stores and reject most of it. There are very few garden decorations that avoid the trite, the overused, the common, such as sun faces, gnomes, ducks, frogs, peacocks, wire things, cute things, adorable things, children-type amusements, whirly gigs, weather vanes, flamingos with wire legs, very few items can pull this off uniquely, impressively with maturity and authority.

I just now found one such item, that if placed sufficiently cleverly and well enough disguised, can do just that. It is concrete and not very large. I bought it. And so the experimental adventure continues.

Respect mah authoritah!

This appealed to me by striking a chord to a fantastic memory.

In Cancun a group of us rented a house in a gated neighborhood. In Mexico all beaches are public. Nevertheless houses are build in secluded areas that for all intentions and purposes become private by their inaccessibility. Our rented house was built on the base of a stone jetty. A short wall divided the jetty from a small area that formed a perfect little beach. Even the other houses behind the gate did know about so didn't care about this tiny private beach. The wall is built of local lava rock in striking black and white and gray pattern.

I sat there on the beach reading my Mary Renault book about Rome and weary from the heat gazed idly upon the stone wall. I recall thinking, "Jeeze, that pattern of rock is fantastic. It could be anything. The pattern made into any textile for any purpose at all. It is quite amazing. Think of it, clothing, patio furniture, throw pillows, sheets, tarps, anything at all."

Then it moved. Startled the hell out of me. Perfectly camouflaged. Extraordinary evolution, right there. Darwin's proof right before my eyes. And it was there the whole time. Once noticed it cannot be unnoticed. It cannot be forgotten. 

This is the effect that I have in mind.  

Even If the Sky Falls Down

The things is, a thing is, N. Korea does not regard their miserable little turd as we do our president, as subject for mockery.

One time I was watching video of a tour of reporters visiting N. Korea under the watchful supervision of minders. Deadly serious minders. One reporter stood next to a statue of the miserable little turd's father. Then mounted the base of the statue and then laid horizontally with his head up on his hand, amusingly, for the shot. A young rail-thin guard freaked out. 

And not just regular-freaked out. Impressively massively freaked out as if he himself would be shot on sight for not preventing the effrontery to State, to religion, to sacred icon, to personal self, to humanity, to art! The guard's reaction amazed the whole group. 

Kind of like Egypt in the old days, you just don't do that. Gaaaawl! Everybody knows that! 

But then, oddly, it is a  little bit like here. Hollywood makes a movie about assassinating Bush Jr., then falls all over itself piling on the awards for capturing the national zeitgeist and for being so brave and forward-thinking, applauding like trained seals,  but would soil themselves publicly then display their soled garments, and write endless essays and excruciating exegesis about how that is so, so, so very wrong on earthly and spiritual levels. 

Ha ha ha. La la la. #caring. 

The music for the film, better than the original, I think by this brief sample, is out on CD, but who buys those anymore?  

"Obesity 'could be a disability' - EU courts rule"

The court said that if obesity could hinder "full and effective participation" at work then it could count as a disability.

Judges said that obesity in itself was not a disability - but if a person had a long-term impairment because of their obesity, then they would be protected by disability legislation.

Renewed U.S.-Cuba diplomacy Quotes

"In the medium and long term, this is a challenge for the Cuban system, because it undermines the climate of hostility that has long been used to justify one-party state," said Arturo Lopez Levy, a former Cuban government analyst who now teaches at NYU.

"I want to see who they blame now for the economic collapse and lack of freedoms that we have in Cuba," dissident activist Yoani Sanchez wrote on Twitter following the White House announcement.

"For a government that denies economic freedom and property rights it seems clear that the changes proposed will first benefit the state apparatus," said Jose Daniel Ferrer, leader of the Cuban Patriotic Union dissident group in Santiago, the island's second largest city. "Only in the medium or long term will we know the effect on the Cuban people."

India launches its largest rocket ...

And unmanned capsule which could send astronauts into space.

BBC Breaking news.

They're calling it Kali Yuga.

I probably made up the name.


This item is included because as you can tell by the name of the place you can expect things that are both amusing and edifying.

So don't give me any shit about not posting serious things of substance.

A straight diet of that is a drag all the time. It damages one's psychology.

And on account of I'm the sensitive type. *examines nails*

This impressed me. Wikipedia entry:
A crinkle crankle wall, also known as a crinkum crankum, serpentine, ribbon or wavy wall, is an unusual type of garden wall.  
The crinkle crankle wall economizes on bricks, despite its sinuous configuration, because it can be made just one brick thin. If a wall this thin were to be made in a straight line, without buttresses, it would easily topple over. The alternate convex and concave curves in the wall provide stability and help it to resist lateral forces.

You don't say. I did not know that. Is this awesome or what? 

Oh, bummer!

I found the word in a book. A book! A book about gardening that is full, and I mean FULL of new words. Mostly having to do with plants. They used the word to describe hedges of hornbeam that imitate the snaking walls at Chatsworth in Derbyshire.


Get a thrill

"Pearl Harbor On The First Amendment"

Says Alan Dershowitz link

The metaphor may be unfortunate, given that we don't know whether Sony's decision came from Tokyo -- do we?

[added] Since when did "we the people" not include businesses in America? link 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

American Picker Kids

Tonight I watched a portion of American Pickers on the History Channel. The show was a review of previous shows highlighting the characters they encountered on their hunts. The crew related how they met and how they developed their shop and how they picked up Danielle along the way. Near the beginning they mentioned that they came to realized their show affects their viewers in unexpected ways, particularly children. Mike said children are natural pickers, naturally curious about old things, and everything is old to children, that boys are basically pickers by nature. They showed a few brief clips of various videos of children pretending to be Mike and Frank and how amused they are by the whole phenomenon. Here is one such video from YouTube, there are others. The videos really are entertaining and charming. And it shows how the  kids pay close attention and have Mike and Frank down to a tee.

Lawyer's office

I did not watch Alan Gross on television today. I had much more interesting and engaging things to do  like take a walk and speak to acquaintances and strangers. I figure anyone who gets themselves arrested in a communist dictatorship for providing forbidden communication devices pretty much deserves what they get. 

What do they get? Access to the vaunted free healthcare that does not include dental. I learned Alan Gross lost a few teeth during his captivity. Cry me a wee rivulet. I don't expect so much as a river. 

And his choice of lawyers. Have a look at his office. 

Alan Gross praises "generous" Cubans. NY Post.
Obama Announces US and Cuba will resume relations NYT
Marco Rubio: Alan Gross release puts a price on the head of every American abroad ABC News. (auto play)
Marco Rubio on Cuba deal: Obama worst negotiator since Jimmy Carter TPM

Ew, that framed picture makes me angry, very angry indeed. Now I will have to annihilate your planet with my Uranium PU-36 Illudium radioactive space modu-lay-tor.

“It’s one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a gala,”

Barack Obama said.  (The Blaze)
“It’s another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed, or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress.”
You and your imaginary son again.

Stephen Miller has an hilarious piece on Obama's imaginary son on Every other sentence has the word "imaginary." Readers come out of it sticking the word "imaginary" in front of everything.

His imaginary son was shot by an imaginary neighborhood watch guard. But his imaginary son is plucky and resilient and has lived a(n) imaginary hard life in the (imaginary) hood so he keeps bouncing back.

See? Stephen Miller misses a few chances to insert the word "imaginary." But that's only because he's trying so hard to avoid being completely obnoxious. And at this point, I don't.

The piece starts out about Michelle Obama's "wonderfully" publicized visit to Target, hardly disguised at all. Funny, she looks perfectly ordinary to me. And I mean perfectly ordinary. Nothing says perfectly ordinary than a woman wearing a boy's baseball cap. And I mean nothing does. Good grief, she could be anybody. The only woman who even spoke to her was a woman asking for help to reach an item on an upper shelf.

Asked her for help!

Gawl! Doesn't the woman know she is speaking to a queen incognegro?

Oooooh, the indignities one suffers due to the color of one's skin. I'm still trying to process "wonderfully publicized." And where was her security detail? Were they all dressed like plebes too? 

Recommended reading for fun and for mockery.

“You love it but at the same time, you really, really hate it”

In all the years I’ve played football I have never heard anything like it,” said Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. “Nothing even close.”

[Andrew] Luck (Colts quarterback) has become famous for congratulating—sincerely and enthusiastically—any player to hit him hard. Any sack is met with a hearty congratulations, such as “great job” or “what a hit!” He yells it after hard hits that don’t result in sacks, too. It is, players say, just about the weirdest thing any quarterback does in the NFL.

“You want to say thank you but then you say ‘wait a second--I’m not supposed to like you!’”

"Japan airport opens pod hotel..."

"... where guests have NINE HOURS per booking (that's an hour to shower, seven to sleep and one to relax)"

"The sci-fi '9h nine hours' hotel at Narita Airport, Tokyo, is more like a honeycomb than a honeymoon suite. Rows of sleeping capsules line the building plus locker rooms, showers and a lounge. The bizarre accommodation is just perfect for passengers boarding early morning flights or arriving late by car."

We are only missing the elusive flying cars.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Unbearable Lightness of Xmas: #XmasAMovie

propellers polyanthus

I bought the book Winter Gardening for Beginners, suggested on Ace this weekend. It is a very fast read, fifteen minutes or so and not very helpful. Most of the suggestions are what to do to prepare for gardening in Spring, what to do to prepare in Fall and the like, not actual winter gardening, as in growing things in Winter, and that is what I was looking for. Nevertheless, the book did mention that polyanthus is a good winter flower, and I did not know what a polyanthus is so I looked it up. Turns out polyanthus is a hybrid primrose that does well in shade. They are usually a single color petal with contrasting center and they come in a very broad range of colors.

This is a new hybrid. The photos I looked at all originate in Britain. They are all the exact same photo, actually. None of the websites were helpful for finding seeds. One vendor sells polyanthus seeds on Amazon. They too have a very wide variety of colors but not the propellers variety. I wrote them inquiring and included a photo. They said they do not have it, but they are interested, check back. So I will. In the meantime I'll try to find seeds in Britain.

I love flowers that look like they're drawn by a cartoon artist, and these certainly do.

Is this outrageous, or what?  I'm tempted to photoshop them spinning around. 

Damn if you do, Damn if you don't

Who really wants to go and see The Interview?

"To Stop Teen Drinking Parties, Fine The Parents"

"Many parents felt drinking was inevitable, she says. One mother told Friese, "I'd rather they make their mistakes when they're at home than when they're away."
"The bottom line is you can't provide alcohol to minors, period," says Bernadette Compean, an alcohol beverage control officer with the Ventura Police Department.

Public health researcher M.J. Paschall, also with the Prevention Research Center, recently did a study comparing cities in California that had social host laws with cities that did not.

"We found that cities with more stringent and enforceable social host laws had lower levels of drinking at parties among teenagers compared to cities with less stringent laws, or without any kind of social host law," Paschall says.
Necessary evil or more nanny state run amuck?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Nothing Succeeds Like Liberal Secession:

Blue America Without Red America Would Be a Basket Case.

Kurt Schlichter @ Town Hall.

Schlichter writes about his political fantasies to provoke. Again.

Using Michael Tomasky butthurt outburst about southern states all falling to Republican leadership as premise, this outburst:
Practically the whole region has rejected nearly everything that’s good about this country and has become just one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment. A fact made even sadder because on the whole they’re such nice people! (I truly mean that.)
Schlichter visualizes what it would be like if Blue States under a president De Blasio actually would succeed from red states led by a president Abbott. What an imagination. What a character. What a provocateur. What a tremendously amusing person.

Fuzzy Thurston, RIP

Fred "Fuzzy" Thurston passed away yesterday at age 80.  He was a key member of the Packers' offensive line during the team's glory years under coach Vince Lombardi, when they won five NFL Championships including the first two Super Bowls.

Along with two former Packer teammates - Herb Adderly and Forrest Gregg - Thurston is one of only three players in pro football history to play on six World Championship teams. He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in January 1975.

This is how a football player used to look, before there were shaved legs and UGG boots.  Fuzzy Thurston at his locker, being interviewed after the 1966 championship game.

Thurston was well known for his response to a sportswriter's question about how he prepared for the famous Ice Bowl game, where the game time temperature was 13 degrees below zero. Thurston responded that he drank "about 10 vodkas" in order to stay warm.  Thurston remained popular in Wisconsin after his playing days and could often be found at Fuzzy's, a bar he owned not far from Lambeau Field. 

I stopped at Fuzzy's once when I was a college kid.  Fuzzy was there, tending bar.  This was in the years before big salaries, when the players had to work in the off season in order to make a living. Fuzzy was loud and funny, the same as he was on the field.

Here he is a few years ago, at Lambeau with Jerry Kramer on the left.

RIP, Fuzzy.  Most of your team mates from that era have already left the field and headed to the big locker room.

"Sony Pictures Demands That News Agencies Delete ‘Stolen’ Data"

The studio “does not consent to your possession, review, copying, dissemination, publication, uploading, downloading or making any use” of the information, Mr. Boies wrote in the three-page letter, which was distributed Sunday morning.
“If you don’t comply with this request,” he wrote, Sony “will have no choice but to hold you responsible for any damage or loss arising from such use or dissemination by you.”
Does David Boies have a leg to stand on here?

#IllRideWithYou: Anti-Islamophobia Hashtag Movement Springs Up In Response To ‘Sydney Siege’

"Fearing possible backlash against Muslims in response to what appears to be a Muslim gunmen who has taken hostages in a café in Sydney, Australians have taken to Twitter with a new anti-Islamophobia hashtag movement, #IllRideWithYou."

Anti-Islamophobia, there's a big compound word for you.

Islamic gunmen holds dozens hostage inside Sydney cafe

Reports differ to the number of hostages ranging from a few dozen to forty. It is also not known how many gunmen are involved, possibly one.

Hostages were made to raise a Shahada flag belonging to the extremist group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is fighting the Assad government in Syria.

Five hostages have escaped.

The cafe is located in Martin Place considered the ceremonial heart of Sydney. The Cenotaph memorial is a few blocks down the street, the U.S. Consulate is located between them. U.S. personnel are instructed to evacuate the consulate and U.S. citizens in Sydney have been warned to be aware of their surrounding, to be on guard for potential threats. The area is in lockdown, Martin Place shut, traffic rerouted, planes diverted away from the city center.

The situation is presently in siege mode. Police are attempting to wear down the hostage taker(s).

Click for enlargement.

Several photos at Daily Mail.

More information at P.J. Media, Richard Fernandez.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Rules for Whites": I thought the protests weren't about race

100 Years Ago, Something Remarkable Happened On The Western Front

Read more here

“I’m stationed in Missouri and we haven’t seen each other in six months...

What’s the problem with me staying and visiting with my wife?” Bolt said."

The landlord, whose name is Chuck, told FOX Carolina he enforces that rule for all his tenants.

Since Bolt’s name is not on the lease, even though he is a spouse visiting, the landlord said he is not allowed to stay. Bolt said the landlord threatened to press charges and double his wife’s rent if he stayed.

“He stated to me that he didn’t care about our situation, he didn’t care about me being in the military,” Bolt said