Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The same goverment lawyer appointed to release destroyed IRS Lerner emails...

... is now in charge of overseeing the release of Hillary Clintons State Dept. emails.
“The person in charge of document production at two different places on two different scandals has not been completely straightforward with us,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a top IRS and Benghazi investigator, in an interview. “She was at the IRS when there was a preservation order and subpoena — and documents were destroyed. She is now at the State Department, where we were supposed to get [certain] information, and we know that some of the emails were not given.” 

[O]n Tuesday afternoon, State turned over the emails of three former top Clinton aides: Susan Rice, Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan. But now, with an IRS watchdog announcing last Thursday that tax agency employees under Duval’s watch had erased more than 400 backup tapes central to Congress’ IRS probe of the tea party targeting, Republicans are even more suspicious.
Mind you, that the State Department is going over and under orders to release to the public the emails Hillary chose to release. She already scrubbed them. So, why are they doing this? Any theories?

Zandria Robinson

Professor, University Memphis.

At first I was like,

And then I was like,

But why?

Professor: White People Are Conditioned to Commit Mass Murder Like in Charleston.

Robinson suggested that the Charleston shooter was not mentally ill but rather just another example of “white people acting how they’re conditioned to act.”

Robinson also posted a tweet on June 26 declaring that “Whiteness is most certainly and inevitably terror.” It has since been deleted, but not before being captured by the blog SoCawlege.

More at National Review.


Maybe Zandria Robinson has a point. Critical race theory has taught us many things. We should ponder this deeply and with open mind. Maybe these murderous impulses really are conditioned. While we're preparing for this meditation, opening our minds as funnels, how about a little song to cheer us up with Zandria Robinson. Poor dear I think she lost her job because of the harsh and ungenerous things she said, if I understand this right. It's a happy song about traveling. I'll put the words under the video so Zandria can follow along it's complex and it goes really fast. They goof around, starts at 1:00

Lyrics:  Chester Dewayne Turner, Maury Travis, Lorenzo Fayne, Henry Lee Jones, Robert Rozier, Maury Travis, Eddie Lee Mosley, Richard “Babyface” Jameswhite, Robert Rozier, Vaugh Greenwood, Harrison Graham, Andre Crawford, Gregory Klepper, Cleophus Prince, Kendall Francois, Wayne Williams, Elton M. Jackson, Terry A. Blair, Carlton Gary, Mohammed Adam Omar, Timothy W. Spencer, John Allen Muhammad & Lee Boyd Malvo, Charles Lee "Cookie" Thorton, Darnell Hartsfeld & Romero Pinkerton, George Russell, The Tinley Park Murderer, Harrison Graham, Henry Louis Wallace, Craig Price Charles Johnson, Eugene Victor Britt, The Zebra Killings, Ray Joseph Dandridge and his uncle Gevon Gray, Chester turner, Reginald and Jonathan Carr, Coral Eugene Watts, Charles Lendelle Carter, Brian Ranard Davis, Derrick Todd Lee, Paul Durousseau, Anthony McKnight, Mark Goudeau, Justin Blackshere, Donell Ramon Johnson, Jimmie Reed, Jervon Miguel Coleman, Shelly Brooks, Mathew Emanuel Macon.

Wait, wait, wait, ERROR, ERROR, Danger Will Robinson. My bad. That's the happy people song not the happy places song.

Aaron Schock's office

U.S. Representative, Illinois, 18th Congressional District. Republican.

The first frame is Schock's office in Washington. This was featured on Gawker.

Somebody said the theme is from "Mad Men" but I'm not so sure about that. Somebody else said "Downton Abbey" theme but I am not seeing that either. It looks to me simply shaggy chic - hipster - post modern expression of seriously poor taste. The article said the decoration was provided free but then still cost tens of thousands of dollars for leather chairs and granite countertops and such. That cost doesn't bother me so much as how little that bought. This whole wall treatment can be done with one trip to a flea market. Gild a few old wooden frames, pick up historical photos or rip them yourself. I get it. Post modern. Frames and pictures but not used appropriately. The walls say welcome to all that history. All that, everything at once, inside and out, backward and forward, compressed in time, blown out of their frames, tossed in the air and flung on the walls, appreciated as collected accumulated wisdom and industry. So why hold back? Why so conservative? Oh, Republican.

The feathers have to go.

I know people who like those feathers for decoration. Hunters with feathers around all over, it's part of it, part of hunting, and wings and bird's nests and decoys as home decorations. This one looks like a feather duster stored in a vase, and the smaller one makes it worse. If hunting, then have something better, like rattle snake tails, or scorpions or what have you, something fierce, unusual and extraordinary.

The little framed photo on the short stack of books a contrived designer neuroses. Nobody will touch those books. They may as well be glued or made of plastic. It's cheap designer kitsch. Same with the pile of books on the table with the crystal tray or whatever candy tray as book-anchor that says, "don't bother this precious designer vignette, you oaf." You don't want that.

The one ironic non-historic piece on the wall of non-art, horizontal stripes filling a frame. Out. Pick a theme and stick with it throughout. Historical figures, it seems. They needn't be serious. They needn't be all politicians. Mickey Mouse is an historical American figure. If you want something disarming and insist on something ironic. Highly influential. He belongs in an American history pantheon as much as anyone else. The pastel horizontal stripes do not. They are a cop out to design idea.

I wanted to go hog-wild on walls ever since I was a little kid and saw Dr Who walk into a room on his home planet Gallifrey. Time Lords. The BBC production crew came up with an idea that enthralled my childish imagination. The entire walls were gears, as industrial gears also sort of like inside a watch, but these gears were more post-industrial. They hinted at steampunk. Different sized gears splayed on the wall in layers. As if a bunch of gears were arranged on a door, then a vacuum mold produced from it, then copies of the same panels repeated throughout, alternating upside down and right side up for fake-out variation. I thought, "Oh man, oh man, that is brilliant. I must start looking for and saving up gears right now."

I didn't remember correctly. I recalled the walls painted gold or bronze color, not grey. I recall industrial gears and oversized watch gears that were not necessarily enmeshed, just arranged as a flattened machine. The whole wall sort of like this except different sizes and gauges.

I think this is the Dr Who clip. It is the only thing similar that I can find. I'm disappointed. They do not look like gears as I recall. They look like hubcaps.

Ever go into Hubcap Annie's on Colfax? Fascinating.

A bit expensive too. But I guess if you need the exact hubcap, it's probably a good deal.

Mama, Papa is Wounded

Yves Tanguy

Link to image source
ht/ ricpic...

Chris Christie announces 2016 presidential bid

Link to video
Watch for the animated guy in a blue shirt in the back

Worrying about the fate of the faith, what should the Christians do?

Post same sex marriage Supreme Court decision David Brooks suggests Christians....
Consider putting aside, in the current climate, the culture war oriented around the sexual revolution.

Put aside a culture war that has alienated large parts of three generations from any consideration of religion or belief. Put aside an effort that has been a communications disaster, reducing a rich, complex and beautiful faith into a public obsession with sex... 

Consider a different culture war, one just as central to your faith and far more powerful in its persuasive witness.

We live in a society plagued by formlessness and radical flux, in which bonds, social structures and commitments are strained and frayed. Millions of kids live in stressed and fluid living arrangements. Many communities have suffered a loss of social capital. Many young people grow up in a sexual and social environment rendered barbaric because there are no common norms. Many adults hunger for meaning and goodness, but lack a spiritual vocabulary to think things through.

Social conservatives could be the people who help reweave the sinews of society. They already subscribe to a faith built on selfless love. They can serve as examples of commitment. They are equipped with a vocabulary to distinguish right from wrong, what dignifies and what demeans. They already, but in private, tithe to the poor and nurture the lonely.

The defining face of social conservatism could be this: Those are the people who go into underprivileged areas and form organizations to help nurture stable families. Those are the people who build community institutions in places where they are sparse...

I don’t expect social conservatives to change their positions on sex, and of course fights about the definition of marriage are meant as efforts to reweave society. But the sexual revolution will not be undone anytime soon. The more practical struggle is to repair a society rendered atomized, unforgiving and inhospitable. Social conservatives are well equipped to repair this fabric, and to serve as messengers of love, dignity, commitment, communion and grace.
Top voted up comment there...
While I agree with everything you say here, David, the truth is that, if your Social Conservatives were to do what you suggest, they would be Social Liberals, the reincarnation of Dr. King. Young people have no interest in Right Wing Christian values not merely because those values are anchored in sexual repression, but because they also contain strong elements of racism, denial of climate change, materialism, and hypocrisy. Apparently Jesus was an arch capitalist, a proponent of greed and guns, and an opponent of health care. These RW Christians have mingled radical-Republican ideology with Christian values for so long that it has become impossible to disentangle them. So youngsters are throwing it all out and starting over. I can only say, amen to them.

Monday, June 29, 2015

baby caladiums

They're the cutest little things. This rectangular planter is loaded with a layer of bulbs for these things. Three contrasting types. This is just the very beginning. I can see groups of spears coming out of the dirt. It's going to get crowded. When as a kid and I would draw a jungle then this is the shape leaf I imagined jungles had most of. These plants are turning out to be fun. I recommend them.

Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

This afternoon, I was at the community pool with the nephews, before a downpour came. While there I listened to this song and started thinking about the gripping story as told in the song. I have my settings on random, I never know what is going to play next.

Smoke on the Water, Fire in the Sky, is a song memorializing a nasty real life event in Montreux Switzerland. Somebody may have died in the fire, the song doesn't make that clear.
The song is honoured in Montreux by a sculpture along the lake shore (right next to the statue of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury) with the band's name, the song title, and the riff in musical notes.
I thought, why is it that we would never think of banning a song memorializing whatever, something or other, as easily as we seem eager to ban a flag?

I know, maybe I'm beating a dead horse, with yet another apparent confederate flag post. But maybe somebody can elucidate my puzzled mind... Smoke on the water, fire in the sky.

Now I cant stop listening to it.

Link to video

Lyrics at the jump 


I know, right?

Should you ever meet Tony the first thing you will notice besides her charm, humor, and good sense is her keen intelligence and boundless curiosity. She doesn't conceal it. She knows a lot that a girl's got no business knowing. Worldly, traveled, educated, smart family, all the rest. She taught me how to solve crossword puzzles by pursuing and reaching for unlikely connections between seeming unrelated things. How to be happy to encounter a clue in Roman numerals to figure out some maths. And it always surprises me and tickles me to no end when really and truly smart people like Tony and like Dr. Fred, and many others,  show huge gaping holes in knowledge especially about basic things. 

Toni and I visited the art museum for an exhibit on the fertile crescent, some Babylonia things, and a lot of cuneiform tablets. Scores of them.  I had never seen them in real life before. Interesting that they look like pillows with writing on all sides, not wasting any area. Tony said, "It always impresses me how the scribes carved this hard clay so fast to take dictation."

She didn't know the clay is wet and the scribes jab it with reed. Papyrus-looking reed again, they're using the triangular shape of its stalk. Plus a convenient and endless supply of styluses right there at hand, and clay. Then fire the tablets for storage and for posterity. 

Man, was I laughing my butt off inside. That there is stew-pud and it's coming out of Toni. That's what makes it so hilarious, she, the free-ranging thinker who pulls things out of the air, the impressive puzzle solver, thought the scribes carved hard clay rapidly as jabbing wet clay.

But that's okay, I get laughed at too. I take my hits. And hard. I did not laugh out loud at Toni in the museum, only giggled a little, but that does not spare me the same shame of pointing fingers and japes and remarks about my ridiculous ignorance.

I went up to Aspen to ski and I was staying at Tom Deusterberg's house that time. He had a coffee table book of James Audubon's work, along with other interesting things to get into. I had always admired Audubon and here was a great big book showing his work. I flipped through the book and marveled all over again, my admiration reinforced with every single detail I studied, and did I ever study the details, my amazement with Audubon's brilliance built to bursting, the plants, the season of the plants, the way the birds grab the branches, the way the bird turns its head, the fine points of feather arrangements and coloration. I poured over the illustrations and was filled with awe and respect and real admiration for genius all over again. Man, that guy is good. Good as Michelangelo any day. That level of genius and ability.

I put the book down and said to Tom Deusterberg, an older gentleman, "It always totally got me how Autubon could impress the fine details so well in his memory by just looking through his binoculars catching glimpses then come home and reconstruct to perfection from memory and do it so well. The photographic memory combined with artistic talent combined with drive is truly impressive" 

Tom looked straight at me and said, as if angry, "He shot them." 

Observing my complete shock, "He's a taxidermist!" 

I was twenty-two when I learned rather rudely that John Audubon is not quite the genius I thought that he was. And everyone there in Aspen thought that my abrupt and obvious disillusionment was soooo hilarious. 

Justice Sotomayor goes out on a limb

NYC City Council to propose new police reforms

The nine council bills up for review at Monday’s Council Public Safety Committee meeting include:
  • Requiring that uniformed cops provide their full name, rank and precinct, as well as the CCRB number, during any traffic stop or property search.
  • A measure that would allow police to use “injurious physical force” only “as is proportionally necessary,” but that does not define how proportionality will be determined.
  • Making the NYPD report the precincts of the 200 cops with the most CCRB complaints filed against them.
“These pieces of legislation have been proposed by individuals who have neither the expertise nor the experience to establish policy in the dangerous business of fighting crime,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said in a statement Sunday.
“Policing policies must be left to the police management who understand the intricacies and difficulties of complex legal issues and the appropriate use of crime-fighting tactics.”

Are we going the way of Greece?

Jeffrey55, Sheffield, United Kingdom, said... 
This is your final final final final deadline......if you fail to adhere to Heir Angela's orders we will have another final deadline....there is no renegotiation until we try and renegotiate again....you will not be bailed out until we give you even more debt money and allow you even longer to never pay it back......now is that clear.......anybody ?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

words for abortion and birth

Yesterday I was surprised to see in my twitter timeline the video from the Handspeak site for the sign meaning "abortion." I'll look. Here in a bunch of the same thing, the one from Less Gov. More Fun that asks, "Have you seen the heartbreaking ASL sign for abortion?

Most unusual to have a sign pointed out from the hearing world like this. A bit startling, actually.

As it turns out I have seen the sign. I have seen the exact video. I studied her dictionary. The woman is committed to turning out a great website. Turns out we all recognize the interpreter from videos I've shown. That is a word that comes up in my reading and I need it in practice and I did look it up all over. It is not the only way to say it. On Spreadthesign the USA version is similar but no reference to stomach area, the abortion could be a discarded credit card transaction, all other countries indicate a dismissing, a dispensing, of something unwanted, not always around the stomach.

And yet "birthday" is not "birth" + "day" and I am glad it's not because it's a bit clumsy and extravagant and choppy. Too much jabbing, flippy-flopping around, two handed bulge then the arc of the sun, two arms fingertip to elbow, from straight up arced down to horizontal, all that for birthday. The real sign is the middle fingertip "touch" sign to chin then to sternum. I don't know why, but it's a heck of a lot better than "birth" + "day."  I've seen a thousand kids do this sign at least. It's a very good solid sign.

A similar thing with Egyptian hieroglyphics. I need the symbols for "birthday" for text on Egyptian pop-up cards but I do not see them, and I looked. Everywhere. Even Budge. But apparently celebrating birthdays is a rather modern conceit. I would have thought ancient parents would celebrate a child surviving their first year, and be very well please each year thereafter given their poor early chances. Combining birth + day in graphic glyphs turns out to be something I don't recall seeing. Eh, what the heck, make it up as we go.

R', referring to Re, sun, day. You can also have morning. (I had about 10 cards for various forms of day and they're disappeared from blogger.) Here's one, "good day to you." 

Looking at it now, it's more like: "Behold, to you one day good/beautiful/innocent. " That e-u feather-chick ligature is an odd antique sentence starter, a placeholder of a sort.

At any rate you do not say birth day. Instead, you say, "born of" and here is where the symbol becomes quite strange because it appears to rest upon an ancient custom lost to time and realized again anthropologically by noticing remote tribes unaffiliated in any way with Egyptian writing whose custom it is for women to place fox skins over the hut openings during birthing. Nobody knows why. Insects? Spooks? Spirits? Filter? Nobody could make sense of the symbol of three fox skins tied together but they know it is fox skins and they know it means "birth" and they know it sounds like "mes" but they do not know why three fox skins. Until just recently.

It is an important sign. You see it everywhere, in names such as Ramses. 

Another sign having to do with birth and with creation is the agricultural hoe. This sign arises naturally from agrarian society. 
 Picture it.  You're a farmer out there in the field. It's hot as the dickens and you're basically naked. You're hunched over scratching the dirt with a wooden tool that's a sharp poking digger with a handle and brace with twisted rope holding the two main pieces together. It looks like an "A." You're digging a long slit through the earth, poking and jabbing, and dropping your seeds into the fresh moist opening that you widen. As you go. All day long. Day after day.

And then later wheat pops up wherever you did that. Year after year. Reliably.  The sign means "bring forth" "brought forth by" "born by," this is a common and useful sign as well seen a lot in royal names. There is an incipient creator-cocreator-created somewhat religious aspect to the trinity of productive sticks. It means the sound "m-r" and there is another sign for "m-r" sound also seen a lot in names. This hoe and the canal m-r are often seen with one or two fronds, for "i" and for "y" thus Meri, Maria, Mary, Merrison, Merrywether. Kidding.

It is a reed leaf that looks like a feather. Gardiner's M-17, very common sign, that differs from the sign for feather, plumed as large ostrich feather and categorized under Gardiner's H, parts of birds, H6.

David Sweat, shot and in custody

Oops. Wrong video. I think that's yakkity-sax, because it's a saxophone and it sure is yakkity. Written a long time ago by Benny Hill, what the heck, this is America, we re-write history over here, we X out the parts we don't like, and I mean X out all over the place all at once, overnight, like taboo. Instant taboo. Just like that. We're that flexible. Like Japanese teach their young and impressionable about the atomic bomb dropped on them by United States but avoid teaching about Japanese aggression that brought on and kept the whole thing going to the bitter bitter bitter end. Just like Soviets did, alter photographs to eliminate people from their brand new history, and how we laughed and laughed at such systems that do such. We do that too now. And, man, do we ever. And we rewrite laws, adjudicated as they're legislated and however many times necessary to get the darn things to say whatever we'll have them intend, even intentions clearly unintended, even as their authors are on record repeatedly stating the opposite intentions. The exact opposite intention. This is Obama administration's America presently with its Boehner House, McConnell Senate and Roberts Court. The government that cannot keep its own personnel files secret and will have all of yours. 

We're all, *puts on stern German accent* "Your papers are in order, you may board the plane" for real. Real for you, pure theater otherwise. And everybody all over the world knows this about us. 

As for David Sweat, honestly, I understand he's convicted murderer, obviously an exceedingly manipulative guy, the worst ever and dangerous, but after Cuomo, or Son of Cuomo, dynastic king of New York if I have my American political families right,  interjected disastrously then even with all that against the fugitive my interest shifted to him. I hope he wins. Too bad. Shot and caught. I don't get my sinister wish. It wasn't just Cuomo that caused loyalty to shift to the felon. I know it's wrong, but that's what happened inside me while watching events unfold. I'm glad people who helped them are punished while I'm still bummed both crooks were shot. No I'm not. Yes I am. No I'm not. Maybe I'm torn. Maybe I wanted the crook to make it to Canada. That's romantic. But here is how we know that YOU meaning all youz guys charged with containing and chasing, were never really that interested in any serious management at all. In the background, this Fox video seemed strange to viewers. Giggling boys expected tighter security than what shows casually by chance.

YouTube comments: *sigh* the tower is at the corner. An outside vendor is delivering lunch to the guards.

This is their tower lunch-delivery system. This is America. 

Faking Bad Update: The Vesper

Chip's improved photo (see comments)
The Vesper*

'A dry martini,' [Bond] said. 'One. In a deep champagne goblet.' 

'Oui, monsieur.
'Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?' 
'Certainly, monsieur.' The barman seemed pleased with the idea. 
'Gosh, that's certainly a drink' said Leiter. 
Bond laughed. 'When I'm...er...concentrating,' he explained, 'I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name.' 
—Ian Fleming, Casino Royale (1953)

*This one's destined for a retail display

"Walmart makes ISIS cake, refused Confederate flag cake."

Link to video
"Walmart could be in hot water with Southerners after customer Charles Netzhammer posted a video showing evidence that he had been able to get an ISIS cake made while having another refused that presented the Confederate flag."

"Did you notice that there was not an iota of speculation about how the four Progressive justices would vote?

Andrew McCarthy writing for National Review, Let's Drop the Charade: The Supreme Court Is a Political Branch, Not a Judicial One.

This is why the Supreme Court has become the lowest court in the land and I am not trying to be cute nor funny. Seriously, it really does mean you couldn't manage things yourselves and now your case has sunk to its lowest possible place of adjudication by the Three Stooges X 3. McCarthy makes the point that supple minds however likeminded will often disagree and sometimes dramatically on the basics of the constitution, its canons of constructed laws, the gray area of separation of powers, the origin and consistent meaning of words and phrases, and very much else, he cites as example two originalists Scalia and Thomas debating about Jerusalem.

They don't. Because their minds are not supple.

Roger Kimball asks, when was the last time you heard such a spirited debate on the left side of the Supreme Court? Go on, Roger will wait.

Roger doesn't say this but he creates an image in the minds of his readers of our government devolving to a single legislative unit and not three branches as designed, rather, legislation originating from the Executive branch reworded and fixed into law by Court, all three branches legislating, with results to a system resembling more closely the fictional Idiocracy. This is how the John Roberts court will be remembered. Forever.

Andy McCarty writes and Kimball reflects something that clarified my understanding of all this. What the justices did was kill federalism.

These minds, supple as bricks, their storied Constitutional acumen so much sharper than our own, just now all by themselves made the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution nil. That is what the Roberts court did. We are ruled by a lividly partisan claque of nine.

The law that Congress wrote states says contains the text that in order to to qualify for healthcare subsidies people must be "enrolled through an exchange established by the state." But the law that the Supreme Court wrote Thursday says that "established by the state" didn't mean "established by the state." It meant "established by the federal government."

So Constitutional scholars, what becomes of the 10th Amendment that states "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Kimball writes,  Chief Justice Roberts might want to gloss as "are reserved to the federal government, not the states, and certainly not the people."

The 10th Amendment is nil. As if it never was. Just like that. Roberts Court, the whole lot, this is what will be remembered.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Who First Lichened Politics To A Type Of Moss?

The chemical definition for litmus disambiguates to the political expression "litmus test."

The OED says that the political usage first appeared in 1957. link

WTH happened in 1957?

[Update: Twitter friend Meadabawdy reports that Merriam-Webster dates the usage of "Litmus Test" back to 1952: link]

That puts the coinage squarely in the McCarthy era.

[Originally posted here with plenty of "interesting" comments]

Ted Cruz, Constitutional Remedies to a Lawless Supreme Court

Writing for the National Review the adjective there, lawless, says Ted Cruz is throwing down the gauntlet. He summarizes conservative grievances with the important court decisions of the week past.

Ted Cruz states outright the justices violated their judicial oaths by rewriting Obamacare again in order to save a failed law and then by close decision that not only redefines marriage but also undermines the foundation of representative government. Now 320 million people are ruled by a 9-member council, unelected and with lifetime terms. 

Ted Cruz insists the judicial activism is lawless.

Hang on. That déjà vu thing is happening again really hard this time.

Ted Cruz reiterates everything that flooded social media last week, that words have no meaning when the term "established by a state" means "established by the state", the difference there is between indefinite article and definite article, a/the but bearing on common low-level confusion about federalism meaning more power with states and less power in unifying layer of federal government. Common as that. Cruz takes up the term SCOTUSCare. He commiserates his party will pretend anger but is actually complicit.

Ted Cruz offers subversion. He's already introduced a constitutional amendment to preserve authority of elected state legislatures to define marriage...

Talk about a lost cause. 

... and stripping federal courts of jurisdiction over legal assaults on marriage. Also repeal Obamacare. 

What, I thought it's called SCOTUSCare now. Make up my mind.

"But there is a broader problem: The Court's brazen action undermines its very legitimacy."

Finally, we're at what we came for. 

Ted Cruz  cites Justice Scalia, hubris, pride, fall, with each step the court takes that makes decisions properly left to the People themselves, and not based on law but on "reasoned judgment" of a bare majority the court moves one step closer to being reminded of their impotence.

Cruz claims the Court's decision is not tied to reason and logic, that they are alien to our constitutional system by redefining the meaning of common words and redesigning the most basic human institutions. The court crossed from activism to oligarchy.

Cruz harbors a list of grievances against the Supreme Court. 

* condemned millions innocent unborn to death
* banished God from schools and public squares
* extended constitutional protections to prisoners of war on foreign soil
* authorized confiscation of property of one private owner to transfer to another
* now, required all Americans to buy specific product
* force all AMericans to accept redefinition of institution ordained by God and long predating the Court

Many attempts have been made to compel the Court to Constitutional fidelity but as Justice Alito said, "Today's decision shows that decades of attempts to restrain this Court's abuse of its authority have failed." 

I am looking for Ted Cruz's remedies. 

Ted Cruz reiterates the history of states passing laws to be superseded by higher courts. He reiterates the contortion of rewriting important law so that they can be considered legal. He asserts the early framers did not anticipate judicial tyranny on this scale. He insists the justices are not meeting the constitutional provision that justices "shall hold their Offices during good Behavior" and they are far from meeting this standard. Cruz discusses more of what the framers did and did not anticipate.

Whoa. Skip, skip, skippity-skip looking for Ted Cruz's remedies, this: "The decisions that have deformed our constitutional order and have debased our culture are but symptoms of the disease of liberal judicial activism that has infected our judiciary."

Them's fight'n words. I like. 

Cruz notes twenty states adopted a form of judicial retention elections allowing people to pass judgment of the judgement of their judges. He notes also California removed three activists that repeatedly contorted the state constitution to effectively outlaw capital punishment no matter how bad the crime. So too did Nebraska remove a judge that overturned a law subjecting legislators to term limits. Iowa removed three judges who had, like the Supreme Court justices, invented constitutional rights.

So that's it then. Judicial retention elections. The next five paragraphs support this idea.

Legislation: Single-Person Bathrooms Gender Neutral In NYC

We must look to help trans-gender individuals who quite frankly, have fears,”
Aiming to curb gender bias and harassment in New York City, officials are readying a plan that would require businesses to convert one-person restrooms into gender-neutral facilities.

“This is a very important issue,” said New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, whose office is releasing a report Friday recommending the changes. “It’s time to help individuals who identify as transgender to use the bathroom without fear of consequence.”

“We’re not talking about constructing new bathrooms or spending any money, except basically purchasing a sign,” Stringer said. “Just putting a sign on an existing bathroom will go a long way to reducing discrimination.”...

“Being transgender, it’s not about the bathrooms. It’s that other people try to make it that way,” said Renfroe, a transgender man. “This step is simply just a way to make things more equal for everybody, to stop transgender people on a basis that doesn’t really exist.”

“I’ve been aware that it would not be safe for me to access the facilities appropriate for my gender,” he said. “So having a space where a basic necessity of the body, where we can actually go and do that without fear of being assaulted, is pretty important.”

"Public’s Shift on Same Sex Marriage Was Swift, Broad"

"Don Can Think Whatever He Wants"

CNN host Don Lemon’s mic appeared to be cut Friday afternoon following an awkward exchange with “The Lead” host Jake Tapper.


I bought one these the other day:

It's pretty cool, but I'm saving it as a gift for someone special.

Here's the series closer song, followed by the one they should have used, IMHO:

Friday, June 26, 2015

"15 emails missing from Clinton cache"

"The State Department cannot find in its records all or part of 15 work-related emails from Hillary Rodham Clinton's private server that were released this week by a House panel investigating the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, officials said Thursday."
The emails all predate the Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. diplomatic facility and include scant words written by Clinton herself, the officials said. They consist of more in a series of would-be intelligence reports passed to her by longtime political confidant Sidney Blumenthal, the officials said.

Nevertheless, the fact that the State Department says it can't find them among emails she provided surely will raise new questions about Clinton's use of a personal email account and server while secretary of state and whether she has provided the agency all of her work-related correspondence, as she claims. (read more)
Perfect time to release this information.

The McCain Mutiny

John Roberts' bittersweet dissent in Lem's previous post reminded me of this scene in "The Caine Mutiny":

"Supreme Court extends same-sex marriage nationwide"

"The Supreme Court has declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States."
From the Scotusblog...
The Chief Justice has the principal dissent, which is 31 pages long. Toward the end of it, he says, "If you are among the many Americans--of whatever sexual orientation--who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today's decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not Celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it."

"Decapitated Head Found Pinned To Gate in French "Terrorist Attack""

"Man decapitated as severed head is 'covered in Arabic writing' and hung on a fence next to Islamist flag at factory in France after terrorists storm building and set off 'gas bomb' explosions."
Shocking attack took place at the headquarters of American-owned Air Products close to Lyon in southern France.
Two men burst through the factory gates in a car, setting off small 'gas bombs' and injuring factory workers.
Murder victim's severed head was said to have been covered in Arabic writing and left hanging on a fence.
It is not yet clear whether the terrorists killed the man elsewhere and transported his body to the factory.
30-year-old man 'known to security services' was arrested at the scene, telling officers he was a member of ISIS.
News Radio report said the attacker was seen carrying an ISIS flag.

KLEM FM: Definite Articles of Confederation

Just one niggling point: as a boy, I knew instinctively that he sang "Virgil quick come see, there goes the Robert E. Lee." The Robert E. Lee* was a riverboat you see, and I knew that because I had built a scale model of her by then. The song was talking to me, man.

Built shortly after the war, the Lee was quite famous and had beaten the Natchez in a famous 1870 steamboat race immortalized by Currier & Ives:

Here's the Joan Baez version: link She too swallows the definite article, but she too sings "there goes the Robert E. Lee."

*According to the Wiki, the Robert E. Lee still holds a record time for a commercial craft on the Mississippi, set that night of the Currier & Ives lithograph. That's astonishing and quite an achievement for a racist boat race.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


I saw photos, bought them not knowing what to expect, not knowing anything. I guess I expected seeds. Received a few dozen, possibly three or four dozen tiny wrinkled fingerling sweet potatoes. That is what they looked like. By then I had forgotten what they would grow into if they would grow.

I picked out a stone pot that would hold them all in one layer and covered them with dirt. Then these popped up en masse and I had no idea what they are. They look a bit like clover.

In the morning the flowers are closed tight.

Everyone who sees this goes directly to this plant and asks about it, women, children, men. I put it on the bench only to photograph it. The planter is usually tucked under other plants.

Soon enough the flowers open to the cutest little things like cartoons then close when it turns dark or storms, so they're opening and closing all the time. They grow in clusters out of the bulb with more following behind what is already growing and blooming. I think the type of plant is used for ground cover.

The flowers aim toward the sun then the leaves fold back like feathering propellers when they become too hot. The plant is very reactive, oddly turning toward and away from the sun.

They were first to come up and so far easiest to grow with least complaints. They haven't browned from too much water as others, they haven't wilted from too much sun as others, they haven't suffered by wind and hail as others have they haven't wilted from being too dry. I haven't pulled out anything dead.

I would like to have more and I see as all things they come in a broad range of different types including this one I noticed on a Spanish site called Oxalis Versicolor then on English sites the same thing named Candycane sorrel.

I want. 

The best place I found is out of stock presently and won't be selling again until August anyway. What a bummer. 

So now that you know about this wonderful plant even if you don't care to have one or ten or a few hundred, how will you come up with the name on the spot before the buzzer goes off the next time you're contestant on Jeopardy! or answer a crossword clue without hesitation, or otherwise win the admiration of your peers by producing the name as if normal conversation?  

I don't know. I have no idea how your mind works.

Yankee North vs Rebel South

Civil War chess set on Amazon, one of over a dozen available at various price points even so high as thousands of dollars, but not through Prime, only two regular common Civil War sets, and nothing about them actually collectable.

Here is their most popular available through Prime, just $60.00 and it is rated 4 stars. 

One is a bit classy and the other a bit garish. Man, what a tough decision.  

That's all you're having through Prime.

But there are still plenty others, pewter marked down to $197.00 from $235.00, extra large chessmen 4.5 inches tall. Only $150.00 and 5 stars reviews. I would get this one.

Because bigger is always better.

The Italians will sell you a set with its own table for $3,375.00, or a large set with high gloss marble-looking blue and tan board for $1,225.00.  Koehler Group will sell you a set for $8,183.00 but it is unclear on Amazon what makes it worth that much. Made out of glass. Nobody's reviewed it because nobody bought it, most likely. 

On the results page Amazon finds fit to show me 150th anniversary USPS forever stamps, novelty Civil War currency. Four good solid pages of chess set results, the rest peters out to books. 

And the whole time I'm imagining people actually playing these games. I have such a chess set of medieval knights and castles for rooks, knights on horses, people as bishops that never gets played. Not even once. They're plastic and unweighted. Not fun to handle. And I realized, who'd want to play Civil War chess when you know in advance which side wins every time? 

The Hennigans were southern as possible. They used to joke about me being yankee with my strange yankee ways even though none of us identified with any north/south differences. It was funny. Gary could not care less about the Civil War, race relations, all the things projected onto southerners Gary is utterly devoid, but he does love his region and with good reason. So it's doubly funny when he deigns to wallow in southern resentment and purposefully get everything wrong. He's being funny. He'd raise his fist and shake his voice in exaggerated southern accent, "The North will r-i-i-i-i-i-s-e again!"  

Erasing U.S. History*

* Update...
"Apple Will Restore Battle of Gettysburg App"


With all this weather, especially wind and rain, now is a good time to collect airborne organisms for sourdough starter. Your flour slurry already has its own and can go by itself, but now it can have atmospheric organisms delivered right to it directly shoved in and in very larger number.

The bread will be leavened and flavored and it properties affected by the living organisms of the area. It will be powerful.

But here is the thing about sourdough that books and magazines and internet articles do not tell you outright. Sourdough bread baking works on the principal of continuous production. The sourdough starter is kept at full activity bubbling away hard as it can in cycles. The starter is fed every eight hours or else every twelve, keeping  close a schedule as possible. 

Right off the bat you are dedicated to this dough. You cannot stop. Some bakers call this loose wet sponge the mother, Adam last name unknown the baker in Kitchen Confidential who made the most amazing bread calls it the bitch. Anthony Bourdain's description of Adam and of the bread is one of the more interesting incidents in his book. The point of the episode was knowing your workers. Knowing when something is wrong with them. 

The useful thing I learned from that is Adam tossed soggy mushrooms and bruised fruit and the like into his sourdough starter. And nobody can match Adam's bread. 

It is best suited for bakeries. The yeast that is spread out in dough and on implements that sit in water, attach to dry flour, carried in the air and goes all over the place, and collects, as say, a cheese cellar does.  On your clothes, on your arms, in your hair, everything. 

The starter with its complexity of organisms will flavor the dough on its own if baked right away, and it is good,  people notice a definite difference, but it is days of fermentation that intensifies sourdough flavor.  To do that the dough is chilled and slowed down.  After all that trouble getting organisms to go at top maximum activity and keep them that way, now they're commanded to slow. 

For three days. 

Who does that? 

Bakeries do. Or they should but most don't bother. It is not practical for the home baker. It just isn't. Unless the home baker makes a lot of bread. 

After fermentation of however many days the baker decides, the dough is expected to jump back to life again. And it does. In reverse, encouraged with heat of a warm room.  The baker controls this with temperature, first warmth to keep the starter active, slam on the brakes with coolness for the dough, then accelerate with warmth of room temperature or more by the stove that is warming the whole room. 

Meanwhile the starter is being fed,  and concurrently new bread dough is being prepared for the chiller.  Three cycles being maintained. The starter, the bread dough going into the chiller, loaves being baked three days later. 

Sounds like fun, eh? 

Another way is cheat on all this and use regular yeast the regular way and add a bit of this chilled and inactive starter for flavor. 

The trouble with that is the starter is inactive, most organisms inside it dead, the flour inside it completely exhausted and inert. To get it active again would take a few days of feeding. It changes the new dough's texture and affects the operation of its commercial yeast, turns the new dough into a substance that feels like clay, the dough becomes inelastic and does not bake properly. It is inert and insalubrious to the dough. 

But man, does it taste good.

They looked promising but they're horrible buns. Too bad. They are delicious, though. A bit tough to eat. And when you do, you go, "dammit, this is good." You just don't ever taste this. Not ever. A bottom of one of these would go very well with an egg, as Benedict, or with a sauce. Something to loosen it up. 

See, you can get your minds off your government forming policy that is determined by the most cynical and malevolent minds available and having all that litigated by ineluctably sinking to the lowest and  stupidest and most politicized court in all the entire land disputing the first and second definitions of "state" when used interchangeably in the same document. Yes, Assholes, we all know what you mean, but that is not what you said

"Supreme Court upholds nationwide health care law subsidies"

Drudge: Supremes love Obamacare
The Supreme Court has upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.

The justices said in a 6-3 ruling Thursday that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, under the 2010 health care law.

Chief Justice John Roberts again voted with his liberal colleagues in support of the law. Roberts also was the key vote to uphold the law in 2012.

Justice Anthony Kennedy also voted with his more liberal colleagues.
(added) Justice Scalia wrote...
Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is “established by the State.” It is hard to come up with a clearer way to limit tax credits to state Exchanges than to use the words “established by the State.” And it is hard to come up with a reason to include the words “by the State” other than the purpose of limiting credits to state Exchanges. “[T]he plain, obvious, and rational meaning of a statute is always to be preferred to any curious, narrow, hidden sense that nothing but the exigency of a hard case and the ingenuity and study of an acute and powerful intellect would discover”. Lynch v. Alworth-Stephens Co., 267 U.S. 364, 370 (1925) Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved. (Bold edit mine)


It's a catchy tune, even without the words.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Photobucket is photo hosting site similar to Flickr. Both sites offer Vistaprint type services to enhance the commercialization of their hosting. They offer interesting things to do with your photographs, make a shower curtain, fleece blankets, throw pillows, woven blankets, metal prints, framed prints and the like. Presently they are offering 75% off canvas wrapped (around a frame) by entering their coupon code.

That is a significant savings. 

Joe drove all over back and forth over two passes, and not just regular passes, continental divide passes, and apparently he didn't mind stopping whenever I asked and for the slightest provocation, say, an interesting pattern of trees or melting snow or whatever. Back home a friend emailed, one of his actual traveling companion who takes more serious trips together and he told Joe has not stopped talking about this road trip. To the point of being a bit annoying as they have their own real trips to plan.

16X24 is not so terribly small. This is printed on canvas, like a painting, framed, with the edges wrapped around with the edges of the photo. We'll have to see how well they handle that. 

There is a photo I like for myself. So I bought one. I have no immediate use for it. I just like it. So now this will look like a 16X24 painting on canvas. 

I don't know why I like the trees so much. The atmosphere they create is inviting. 

The next two are sent directly to Paradise Valley. I have no idea if Joe will even use these. He might consider them a pain in the butt. Other photos represented the trip better but the unusual thing is how much rain there was. This field shows that. The thumbnails don't do it justice, the two tones of grass patches this thick is a bit unusual. 

They were supposed to be $137.00 each. Not so bad. 

The discount is $103.00

Shipping is kept lowest and slowest, fast enough for me.

The cost is $42.25 each. 

Total $126.75

That is an irresistible deal. Imagine it, your photos treated respectfully. 

I drew you a picture.

This here is ART. 

weather disruptions

Also, plant-oriented people are nice.

Talk of climate is all well and good, the whole subject has been completely corrupted so even the Catholic pope goes over to the dark side.  It's all nonsense of the worst sort and so is the discussion. But weather is where it's at, that's where you live the discussion and it's fantastic.
To be honest, I don't know what I'm doing. Read books, watched videos, but never grew caladiums. 
I bought 30 bulbs total, 10 each of  3 types. Boy, the pictures sure are pretty.
Planted them all about the place.  Filled all the blank spaces of dirt in container arrangements in large pots. 
Of the 30, only 6 have emerged as spikes to begin unfurling leaves so I can identify the type a bit early. All six in the same pot, of two types.
Restated, six plants out of thirty.  Two types worked. 1/5 success.
No sign of life for any of the rest.  
I'm at the critical point where I must go out and buy mature plants to compensate for these non-starters.  
It has been one thing after another this season but this caladium episode of having only 1/5 the bulbs work is a particularly strange setback. I thought quite a lot about my selection, now I must go out and settle for what is available when I look. 
What was I expecting? Some kind of assurance. Money back guarantee. Plant-related advice. Compensation. Commiseration. An understanding ear. Or perhaps, "hey, that's the way it goes."
Thank You for the email. 
I pulled your order and it looks like we shipped your order on Friday June 5th meaning you should have received them on or about June 9th.
You guys have had such crazy weather in Denver this year it's not funny.
Basically though the answer to your problem is the bulbs just haven't been in the ground or dirt long enough. If you planted them the day you received them than they've only been in the ground for about 14-15 days 
That is Nowhere near long enough for the bulbs to germinate. Without even asking which ones have come up I can safely say it's probably the Scarlet O'Hara. They are the fastest germinating caladiums we grow 
Growing caladiums is all dictated by ONE thing, the soil temperature. The short answer to your problem is to just give them some more time, They are going to come up!! They always do!!! 
We generally have about a 98% germination rate on our bulbs. On occasion a bulb may be bad but those are very rare.  
With temperatures climbing as quickly as they are you will be seeing life pretty soon!!! It's just going to take longer than a couple of weeks.  Here in FL it takes at least a couple of weeks before you'll start seeing them sprout and we are wayyy hotter than you guys. 
Hang in there, They are going to come up!!! 
If you have any questions, Please Do Not hesitate to give me a call.

Happy Gardening!!
They knew just what I needed. I didn't mention I gouged out all their eyes.  It's another of those live and learn things, but patience will not do.  If I were patient the whole season would go by with me still waiting to start something that should be well advanced. I was patient with the giant alliums and they never did come up. There I was expecting twenty very tall very large purple balls bandying about in the wind, but nothing. That's what patience gets you.

"slump in solar activity threatens 'little Ice Age'"

Climate experts warn the amount of light and warmth released by the sun is nosediving to levels "not seen for centuries".

They fear a repeat of the so-called 'Maunder Minimum' which triggered Arctic winter whiteouts and led to the River Thames freezing 300 years ago.

The Met Office-led study warns although the effect will be offset by recent global warming, Britain faces years of unusually cold winters.

"Should US military bases named after Confederates be renamed?"

Via Stars and Stripes
What do these US military bases have in common?

Fort Bragg, Fort Rucker, Fort Hood, Fort Lee, Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Polk, Fort Pickett, Camp Beauregard (Operated by the Louisiana National Guard)

They are all named for Confederate generals. There’s been talk for years about whether this is appropriate, and now in wake of Charleston and the South Carolina Confederate flag, it’s coming up again.

Do you think these posts should be renamed to honor people who fought in the U.S. Army exclusively? Vote, and share your thoughts in the comments section below

"Japan finally lifts its 67-year-old ban on dancing"

"Japan has lifted a 67-year-old ban on dancing, to the delight of the nation's clubbers."

The ban forbids public dancing unless the venue has a license, and even licensed premises have to stop all dancing by midnight.

The Footloose-esque law was put into place after the Second World War, in an effort to crack down on dancehalls that were often a hotbed for prostitution.

The lifting of the ban was partly due to the upcoming 2020 Olympics, with the government taking the neccessary steps to make sure visitors have as much fun (and spend as much money) as they can during their stay.

Japan may finally be catching up with the rest of the world, but that other highly-developed democracy, Sweden, is still sticking to its own dancing ban.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"Anesthesiologist trashes sedated patient — and it ends up costing her"

"These audio clips are excerpts from conversations between a gastroenterologist, an anesthesiologist and a medical assistant during a colonoscopy. This was entered as evidence in a lawsuit filed by the patient for defamation and medical malpractice."

The jury awarded the man $100,000 for defamation — $50,000 each for the comments about the man having syphilis and tuberculosis — and $200,000 for medical malpractice, as well as the $200,000 in punitive damages. Though the remarks by Ingham and Shah perhaps did not leave the operating room in Reston, experts in libel and slander said defamation does not have to be widely published, merely said by one party to another and understood by the second party to be fact, when it is not.

“I’ve never heard of a case like this,” said Lee Berlik, a Reston lawyer who specializes in defamation law. He said comments between doctors typically would be privileged, but the Vienna man claimed his recording showed that there was at least one and as many as three other people in the room during the procedure and that they were discussing matters beyond the scope of the colonoscopy.

“Usually, all [legal] publication requires is publication to someone other than the plaintiff,” Berlik said. “If one of the doctors said to someone else in the room that this guy had syphilis and tuberculosis and that person believed it, that could be a claim. Then it’s up to the jury to decide: Were the statements literal assertions of fact? The jury apparently was just so offended at this unprofessional behavior that they’re going to give the plaintiff a win. That’s what happens in the real world.” 
One of the jurors, Farid Khairzada, said that “there was not much defense, because everything was on tape.” He said that the man’s attorneys asked for $1.75 million and that the $500,000 award was a compromise between one juror who thought the man deserved nothing and at least one who thought he deserved more.

“We finally came to a conclusion,” Khairzada said, “that we have to give him something, just to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”