Saturday, May 16, 2015



The page displays tweets concerned with a man who knowingly spread AIDS and was convicted by a Missouri court and sentenced to sixty years in prison for separate occurrences served concurrently that may be reduced to thirty years. The tweets are mostly by LGBT activists who find the Missouri law stunted.

Writing for Buzzfeed, Steven Thrasher describes the state’s case against Johnson as one shot through with dated, unreliable science from an era in which we did not fully understand HIV as well as high-strung emotions. During his days as a competitive athlete Johnson often used the stage name “Tiger Mandingo,” an identity that he would often use on the hookup apps that he used to meet men. 
The man was a high school wrestler with a body of death. Literally. He had sex with somebody and then told them later that he is HIV+. Later other of his sex partners came forward, one who has contracted HIV. Johnson's home videos didn't help his case.

They all wanted raw sex, assuming an unaffected partner. The one who contracted HIV would be active with men besides Johnson. Without delving into details of the case it does not follow that Johnson necessarily infected the man.

Groenweghe, with the final word, said this case was worse than the murder cases he’s tried, because a murder ended when “someone is hit by a bullet and died.” But HIV, Groenweghe argued, has “an agenda” to “make as many copies of itself as it possibly can.” In Johnson, the virus “could not have had a more accommodating host,” who had unprotected sex with “one young man after another.” 

Chris Mathews wants to ban train track turns

"How do you get rid of the turns?"

"My hotel made sure I wasn't date raped... I'm in awe"

Posted to Reddit by anotherglassofwine...
A guy who seemed totally normal and okay hung out with me and bought me a couple of drinks tonight. We talked a lot, but he insisted that since we're both married it was only conversation and that's what he wanted. He got me a couple of strong drinks and after the last one I drunkenly headed up to my room.

Then I noticed he came up to my floor, he was right behind me asking me if we could hang out in one of our rooms. Um, no. I told him that I'm absolutely not okay with that.

About two minutes after I arrived in my room I received a call from the front desk. Someone was concerned after they saw that man, drunk, follow me into the elevator and just wanted to make sure I was okay.

I almost cried on the phone thanking these people for this kind of courtesy. I have never felt so looked out for. Novotel is the shit.
Top 2 comments...
If you haven't already, send a letter to the manager of the hotel and maybe even the regional manager if you can. Your thanks are probably thanks enough for those people, but hotel people get treated terribly by complaining customers regularly, and good news gets rewarded :)

That's really awesome.

I went out with one of my guy friends one night and he got really drunk, so I drove us home in his car. My car's lights turn on automatically, so I'm used to that and didn't think to turn the headlights on. I got pulled over and the cop talked to me for a bit to make sure I wasn't drunk (I hadn't had a single drink all night), then went to his car to run my license, etc.

A few minutes later he came back and asked me to get out of the car, and I start freaking out thinking I had a warrant or something. Instead, he just took me aside and said, "I can tell you're totally sober but I wanted to ask you, is everything okay? You look like you've been crying so I wanted to make sure you were safe." (We had been in smokey bar and smoke makes my eyes water, so I guess that's why I looked that way.) I told him yes, the guy was my friend and I was just driving him home. He offered to follow us home and I told him it wasn't necessary.

I thought that was super cool of him (and my friend and I had a good laugh about it.) It's nice to know there are people out there who look out for one another.

Happy Armed Forces Day

unhappy cake

Hardey-har-har. Very funny joke, now, toss the cake.

They're telling you something, Seth. Cut it up, share it, have a jolly time, don't eat any yourself then go out and have tiramisu made by someone who cares, and coffee. Any Denny's and the company of any book will be better than this. But it is not actually a cake wreck. Those are mistakes and this is not. 

If you choose to go there (sub. case) you might see a lot of mistakes that occur by orders being taken over the phone, often by workers who speak another language first and unfamiliar with American customs so messages piped onto cakes read literally, like, write a: BIG #2 with STARS next to it. And that's exactly what is written. 

Besides amusing misspellings another thing that happens so much they don't even mention it, just show it and refer to it cryptically is party balloons depicted as sperm. Confectioners are trying to draw balloons on cakes so they outline an oval and fill it in then provide the balloon with a string but never a string pulled straight by its weight, always a squiggly string so in multiples balloons look like sperm racing across the surface of cakes and the icers don't realize this by making that pervy connection to the tremendous amusement of Cake Wrecks audience who take it for standard Cake Wrecks tsk-tsk filler material. On the site they display two examples currently on the front page with  "easy come" then "easy go." That's all. And it means, "sperm." Another unhappy cake presently on the front page that is not an actual wreck is the one reading "Sorry for being an asshole." Such a heartwarming apology. It is a hilarious site.


I'm so tired of people getting the subjunctive mood wrong (triggered elsewhere).

Say what you will about the "Woodstock Generation" -- at least Robert Hunter knew his subjunctive mood. I count at least four instances of correct usage in his lyrics for "Ripple."

Lyrics after the break

Friday, May 15, 2015

"Michael Morell: Foreign governments have Hillary's email"

I think that foreign intelligence services, the good ones, have everything on any unclassified network that the government uses,” Morell said Friday in an interview on the Hugh Hewitt Show.

“I don’t think that was a very good judgment,” he added of Clinton’s decision to use the private server for official State Department business. “I don’t know who gave her that advice, but it was not good advice.”... “She’s paying a price for it now,” Morell said of the server. “It was not good.”

Former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell

Stephanopolis on Daily Show: you don't donate to Clintons' without expecting quid pro quo.

If you're spending billions to rebuild Afghanistan, can't ya, *adorable look* toss a little this way to Baltimore?


* trained seals applaud with fins, humans with back of hands, "ARF ARF ARF"*

See? You just got an applause from that line. Every politician knows… 

Okay I give up. You wear me right out within three insanely stupid minutes and I give up. You are for somebody else not for me. I am all for nonsense but not of this type.  You are talking to somebody else not to me. I cannot stand listening to you another minute and I mean it nor you to me were I doing the talking and you shutting up listening.  And THAT never happens. You would shut me off as I do you. So I don't get to hear the part about you telling the truth about how nobody contributes to the Clintons without expecting something in return. That comes after I give up on you. I am unable to revel in what people are calling schadenfreude nowadays because first of all I cannot continue and secondly  that's not damaging enough and insufficiently gleeful my feeling were I to continue would be more like totale Vernichtung-ekstase, total destruction-ecstasy, but I cannot continue so I don't get to have that wonderful feeling. All I see is a politically malevolent dunce talking to another politically malevolent dunce so my eyes automatically avert as if having fallen upon some sight forbidden to me, of eavesdropping into a private conversation between politically malevolent dunces, a neighbor's argument, people lying to each other, I must not look. 

The Daily Show. As if! God, I despise being linked to that place but that's where Stephanopolis spoke, just as Politico would be the place to reveal his indiscretion and not get back to the Free Beacon with their original inquiry that opened this can of worms, as properly done. Of course Politico cannot discuss their sources nor origin of their stories. The liar just keeps lying and behaving sleezily as even more connections emerge so many connections between journalists and Clintons and so pervasive a saturation it doesn't even occur to them to report their contributions, their connected interests, and it's all of no importance they would have us believe. He, who cares so much about global issues that he hands his cash over to an intervening political campaign organization that will make sure a very small percentage supports such causes. My first grade primer would have have been more interesting had it read: See Stephanopolis lie. Lie, Stephanopolis, lie. With a picture of Stephanopolis on the Daily Show. I could have enjoyed that back then.

"Tsarnaev Gets Death Penalty in Boston Bombing"

Via a NYT Email..
A federal jury on Friday condemned Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a failed college student, to death for setting off bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured hundreds more in the worst terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001. 
The jury of seven women and five men, which last month convicted Mr. Tsarnaev, 21, of all 30 charges against him, 17 of which carry the death penalty, took more than 14 hours to reach its decision.

Mitt Romney To Fight Evander Holyfield for charity

"Amtrak engineer’s online rants"

"The Amtrak engineer at the controls during Tuesday’s deadly Philadelphia derailment — whose train inexplicably sped up to 106 mph going into a sharp curve — had been ranting online for years about the perils of ­fatigued train ­operators."
“Everyone wants an extension to hours of service to avoid inconvenience, but what will you say when the crew that’s been on duty for long­er than 12 hours accidentally falls asleep and passes a stop signal and rear-ends a loaded hazmat train, killing dozens or hundreds of people?” wrote an online train forum member who identified himself as Brandon Bostian in some posts. (read more)
Elsewhere in related news. The safety controls that could have prevented the train wreck where installed, but the bureaucracy had not turned it on yet. From the NYT...
The Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night was equipped with an automatic speed control system that officials say could have prevented the wreck, which killed eight passengers and injured hundreds. (read more)

"It'd mean a lot to me and my brother" (video at the link)

"Sons of fallen Weld County Sheriff's Deputy outbid at auction for dad's squad car; get keys anyway"
Tanner was just 15, when his dad, Weld County Deputy Sam Brownlee, was killed in the line of duty after a police chase in 2010.

Nearly five years later, Tanner and his brother, Chase, were hoping to get one of their dad's prized possessions from the Weld County Sheriff's Office.

As the bids reached $50,000, Tanner's limit had clearly come and gone, just like his dad's car.

"60! Sold it your way, Mr. Steve Wells. Thank you very much," said the auctioneer.

The car sold for $60,000 to a local rancher. Tanner didn't know Wells before Wednesday, but won't be able to forget him now.

As soon as the auctioneer handed Wells the keys, he turned to Tanner.

"Tanner, here's your car," said Wells.

"You had no idea that that guy in the back was bidding and was going to hand you the keys?" asked 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger.

"Nope. I shook his hand and I didn't know," said Tanner. "It means so much to me."


When in Rome...

The Vandals were an L.A. Punk band from the 1980's. This isn't their best one, but I think it's a mood-lightener. The "yodeling" still makes me crack-up. It sounds like glossolalia. That was the spirit of L.A. punk.


Thursday, May 14, 2015


Baltimore real estate, specifically.

Dave, who is a bit weird but I haven't noticed, wrote a powerful essay a few days into the Baltimore rioting, a monologue in colloquial form from a white guy to an imagined rioting black guy one-to-one who would be unlikely willing to listen. Dave who is weird mentions a few specific Baltimore locations in buttressing his insider take but if you are not a resident then you will not know what these specific locations in Baltimore look like. Dave includes a few photos of rioters, "this is you," and he describes and infers without showing the places. And I'm curious about that. Because this is right there along Washington/NY commuting corridor so close to Washington. And now with the commuting train incident in that area I'm thinking it would take a mighty force indeed to depress all that real estate. Here is what Weirddave said back then that I found interesting enough to open Google Earth with the hope it could help show what Weirddave is talking about. It does! Even parsed so poorly without addresses.

"If artists were suddenly not allowed to use looks and sexuality..."

"to promote their brand and albums, which artists would fail and be quickly forgotten?"

Top 3 Reddit comments...
I feel like "boy bands" wouldn't be a thing, since image/sexuality seem to feature so heavily in their promotion and fanbase.

On the country side of things, 90% of the Nash-trash pop-country stars would be forgotten immediately. Almost all of the Red Dirt/Texas Country artists would survive as most of them are a little hard to look at.

Rick Ross

"Beijing police warn 'strange outfits' on subway may cause stampedes"

"Costumes and masks are likely to attract the attention of other passengers, Xinhua quoted Liang Jianwei, vice head of the Beijing municipal traffic administration corps, as saying."
"When a lot of people stop to watch, the risk of stampedes increases," Liang said.

Passengers should avoid forming flash mobs, the article quoted Liang as saying.

"Although such behavior is not banned by law, passengers should not be too wilful," Liang said.

Police will warn against "problematic behavior" when they come across it, Liang said.

Last October, state media cited Beijing police as saying that people face arrest for wearing Halloween fancy dress on the subway as it may cause crowds to gather and create "trouble".

Easiest Drawers Ever!

George Stephanopoulos Donated to the Clinton Foundation

dog trick

Let me pull up a fainting sofa for you all and get some some smelling salts. *waves shotgun cartridge under noses* While I review with you what you already know. These dogs, your dogs, are hyper as you know and require continuous human interaction, they watch every move and imbue it with meaning and relevance to them. This would be one of some fifteen or twenty or so utterly ace tricks that the dog does resulting from their extensive, channeled and structured interaction together. Overreacting to one such common trick is absurd. And also pushy and nobody is listening anymore to effete fools and silly unselfconscious tools of State.

For some reason they all remind me of Alex in A Clockwork Orange being subjected to Ludovico Technique of aversion therapy with his eyes forced open to scenes of brutality and the drugs causing him to associate the music of Beethoven that he loves with violence. Until in the end through violence he is cured of their brainwashing.

But these typical liberal British fiercely opinionated island-dwelling dipshits have no idea of their own brainwashing. They think they thought it all up themselves, the opinions spoon-fed them from infancy.  

Every one of those British commenters are thoroughly brainwashed to respond physically to the thought of guns. There never is a gun in the video, just the suggestion of one, a human hand and the voice of  a man playing with his dog but they all respond with revulsion as if it were not play and say so and that's what makes them so unbearable to stand. Who's going to take advice from these idiots? Democrats. My impulse is go buy a gun just because I can, and believe me, I have no business owning one, but that's my response to these morally vainglorious asses.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"North Korean Defense Minister Executed by Antiaircraft Fire, South Says"

"Hyon Yong Chol is reportedly killed for falling asleep at military events and showing disrespect to Kim Jong Un"

Mr. Hyon’s execution was watched by hundreds of officials at a public execution site north of Pyongyang, the intelligence service said at the hearing. Satellite images taken in October of that site showed what appeared to be six antiaircraft guns and unidentified people at an imminent execution, a recent report by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea said.

South Korean government officials have said dozens of officials have been executed, some by machine gun, since Mr. Kim took power. The highest-profile case came in late 2013 when Jang Song Thaek, an influential adviser and an uncle to Mr. Kim, was executed for treason.

"Justice Department's civil asset forfeiture"

"How the DEA took a young man’s life savings without ever charging him with a crime"
Joseph Rivers was hoping to hit it big. According to the Albuquerque Journal, the aspiring businessman from just outside of Detroit had pulled together $16,000 in seed money to fulfill a lifetime dream of starting a music video company. Last month, Rivers took the first step in that voyage, saying goodbye to the family and friends who had supported him at home and boarding an Amtrak train headed for Los Angeles.

He never made it. From the Albuquerque Journal:
A DEA agent boarded the train at the Albuquerque Amtrak station and began asking various passengers, including Rivers, where they were going and why. When Rivers replied that he was headed to LA to make a music video, the agent asked to search his bags. Rivers complied.
The agent found Rivers's cash, still in a bank envelope. He explained why he had it: He was starting a business in California, and he'd had trouble in the past withdrawing large sums of money from out-of-state banks.

The agents found nothing in Rivers's belongings that indicated that he was involved with the drug trade: no drugs, no guns. They didn't arrest him or charge him with a crime. But they took his cash anyway, every last cent...
Joseph Rivers is not the only one... (read more)


Univision news reports fails to disclose ties to the Clinton Foundation

"The ties between the Clintons and the Spanish language television network run deep."
There was no mention of the network’s partnership with the Clinton Foundation in a May 4 segment on Univision’s nightly news program about allegations that donations to the foundation affected Hillary Clinton’s decisions during her tenure as secretary of state.

Talan [Univision spokeswoman] declined to respond specifically to questions about disclosing the network’s relationship with the foundation in its reporting.

Domenzain [a liberal strategist who was a founding producer on Univision’s Sunday news show “Al Punto” and who ran Obama’s Hispanic media outreach in the 2012 election] said she thought the network should always note the partnership whenever covering the Clinton Foundation.

“Even if it’s apolitical, for childhood education … given that the foundation most likely will be a center theme in this campaign, that yes, these are alliances that should be put out in the open,” Domenzain said. “When covering the political aspect of it, yes they should, and they’re going to be much more under the microscope because of that.”

Then there’s the subject of Univision’s owner, billionaire media mogul [Haim] Saban, who purchased Univision in 2007 along with a group of investors. Saban has donated as much as $25 million to the Clinton Foundation, and his wife sits on its board. He has said it’s a dream of his to see Hillary Clinton elected. The week before Bill Clinton’s Univision appearance, Saban hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in California.

“As much as is needed,” Saban said in July when asked by Bloomberg Politics how much he’d give to the Clinton campaign. “I think she would be great for the country and great for the world.”

Despite Saban’s Clinton fandom, a firewall exists between editorial and corporate, Univision’s Talan wrote in an email.

Obama watched Fox and decided

Breitbart transcript. (video at the link)
I think that the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leeches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving, got traction. And look, it’s still being propagated. I have to say that if you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant venue. They will find folks who make me mad. I don’t know where they find them. They’re all like, “I don’t want to work. I just want a free Obama Phone, or whatever.” And that becomes an entire narrative that gets worked up. And very rarely do you hear an interview of a waitress, which is much more typical — who is raising a couple of kids and doing everything right but still can’t pay the bills. 
And so, if we’re going to change how Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) think, we’re going to have to change how our body politic thinks, which means we’re going to have to change how the media reports on these issues, and how people’s impressions of what it’s like to struggle in this economy looks like. And how budgets connect to that. And that’s a hard process because that requires a much broader conversation than typically we have on the nightly news.
May I suggest Fox implement an Obama Mad Index. Fair, Balanced and a little Afraid.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Keeping one's eye on the ball

It's not funny. Not posted for your amusement. This is the down-to-earth level, the street-level, the backyard level manifestation of the man's geopolitical grasp: close your eyes and hope the ball falls into your arms having been expertly thrown by somebody else, that is, it's all up to you.

Knowing this about yourself why would you allow yourself to be photographed performing your weakest ability? Why would you think you would not look ridiculous? It is the worst thing that can happen to self-regarding person, to be seen as ridiculous and not taken seriously.

To be honest I don't even know the person in the Twitter timeline. This came to me from out of the blue and I noticed CO in the name.

A flakka attack... no, is not about politics

"It is very bizarre behavior, and it does concern us," says Commander Danial Lynch of the Melbourne [Florida] Police Department. (news video at the link)
A 17-year-old female was arrested at 2:30 in the morning Saturday after police said she jumped through the window of a home on the 1600 block of Sycamore Street in Melbourne, according to her arrest report.

The residents of the home say they were terrified after following the incident. The arrest report states that the girl, covered in broken glass and blood, slapped one of the residents of the home, and then ran outside. When police arrived, the report says she charged the officer while screaming, "I am God, I am Satan!" The officer wrote that he backed up at first, but then Tasered her and took her into custody.

Melbourne Police say this behavior is indicative of someone high on "flakka," a relatively new synthetic designer drug that burst onto the scene in 2012 in South Florida.
"Danial" is probably a misspelling of Daniel.


Heavens to Murgatroyd!

"Yogi Berra’s Best ‘Yogi-ism’ Was a Profound Act of Kindness"

"To mark the beloved Yankee’s 90th birthday, the director of the Yogi Berra Museum recounts a ‘Yogi-ism’ of profound empathy and kindness"
Everyone enjoys a good Yogi-ism, or has a favorite Yogi Berra story—whether or not it’s actually true. Here’s mine: One spring, when Yogi was managing the Yankees, a streaker darted onto the field in nothing but a pair of sneakers and a paper bag. Asked later whether the streaker was a man or woman, Yogi purportedly replied, “I don’t know, they had a bag over their head.”

On the occasion of Berra’s 90th birthday on Tuesday, there will surely be a flood of yarns and one-liners that have come to define the Hall of Fame catcher since his baseball career began nearly 70 years ago. But here is a different Yogi Berra story, one without the Yogi-isms, and totally nonfiction. It’s a story about a legacy and involves a young man named Carlos. (read more)

A sagging of sorts at Zappos paradize

Holacracy®.... what the heck is it?   (Link to video above)
Yes, the registered trademark symbol is necessary. Crazy as it sounds, Holacracy — as an organizational design model — is trademarked (...).

In a nutshell, Holacracy is an organizational structure — initially devised by self-described “recovering CEO” Brian Robertson of HolacracyOne — that purports to do the following:
Holacracy is a distributed authority system – a set of “rules of the game” that bake empowerment into the core of the organization. Unlike conventional top-down or progressive bottom-up approaches, it integrates the benefits of both without relying on parental heroic leaders. Everyone becomes a leader of their roles and a follower of others’, processing tensions with real authority and real responsibility, through dynamic governance and transparent operations.
Holacracy is depicted as a way to operate an organization without the classic “command and control” dogma found in many of today’s organizations... (read more)
Holacracy or bust...
On the surface, one might imagine that everyday employees would be thrilled to work in an environment free from overbearing supervisors (that class of non-farm laborer who, in America, is enjoying record wage growth even as those they manage have seen their pay stagnate) harboring false notions of superiority. This is probably why Hsieh [Zappos CEO, still?] felt comfortable distributing a memo which criticized the company’s lack of progress in shifting to a completely Holacratic structure, to Zappos’ 1,500 employees.

In the memo, Hsieh essentially gives employees a deadline for full implementation before reminding them that they are free to take “the offer”, a reference to Zappos’ practice of offering to pay employees to quit. The rationale behind the practice is to ensure that everyone who works at Zappos truly wants to be there. Historically, only around 1-3% of employees accept the pay-to-quit proposition and as such, it likely came as quite a surprise to Hsieh when more than 200 people chose to take the money and run rather than work in an environment with no managers. (read more)

Monday, May 11, 2015


I don't know much about the history of this much longer version of "Gimme Shelter." But I am sure that it was the same take as the one released on Let it Bleed in 1969. I think the album version was edited and remixed, but it was the same take. How can I tell?  Merry Clayton's vocal track (beginning at the 5 min mark). She could only have done that once. She went home later that evening (morning?) and miscarried her child. So actually someone may have been harmed in that recording.

The redeeming factor in this otherwise menacing song is the last verse: "Love, sister, it's just a kiss away."

Full lyrics after the jump:

Liars Lying About Murders In Chicago

One year after Chicago Magazine reported that Chicago Police Department was under counting the City's murders, the problem persists, and the top brass are up to some new tricks.

This year's tricks are mostly under charging - calling something that was a homicide by a non-homicide name - in order to rig the statistics so it looks like the homicide rate is declining.

It isn't.  In fact, homicides are up.

Chicago Magazine writers David Bernstein and Noah Isackson have written a marvelous story of investigation and deception in Chicago homicide statistics.  I have attempted to excerpt it for this topic, but it is far to rich to be summarized in a few paragraphs.

So this evening when you have a few minutes of reading time, read the full article here.

"How Aperture, Shutter Speed, And ISO Work In Photography"

Ever wondered what you could do to make your photographs look that bit better?

"I'm pretty blown away... It's a toy in the dressing room. It enhances the experience"

"Imagine a fitting room with a "smart" mirror that suggests jeans to go with the red shirt you brought in."
Stores are tapping into the significant role the often-forgotten fitting room can play in purchase decisions. While 36 percent of store browsers wind up buying something, 71 percent of shoppers who try on clothes in the fitting room become buyers, according, Paco Underhill, a retail consultant. Yet the typical fitting room isn't always inviting: Only about 28 percent of shoppers even walk into a dressing room of a typical clothing chain, Underhill says.
"The dressing room experience in many places has been close to miserable," Underhill said. "There's bad lighting. They're dirty. And they have poor service."

I'm not drunk

Ever wonder if Matt Drudge is moonlighting as a bookstore clerk?

Instapundit: With juxtapositions like this...


"Players Try To Play Soccer While Viewing The Game From Above On Video Headsets"

"Report: Obama lied about bin Laden raid"

Obama administration’s counterterrorism policies.
“High-level lying nonetheless remains the modus operandi of U.S. policy, along with secret prisons, drone attacks, Special Forces night raids, bypassing the chain of command, and cutting out those who might say no,”...

“Obama’s speech was put together in a rush,” Hersh wrote of Obama’s announcement of Operation Neptune Spear to Americans.

“This series of self-serving and inaccurate statements would create chaos in the weeks following,” he added.

“This was not the fog of war,” Hersh quoted his anonymous source as saying.

“The fact that there was an agreement with the Pakistanis and no contingency analysis of what was to be disclosed if something went wrong – that wasn’t even discussed,” the source added.

“And once it went wrong, they had to make up a new cover story on the fly,” the source said of Obama’s advisers’ response to his speech on the raid, Hersh wrote.
In other related news... "Along With Saudi King, Most Gulf Rulers to Skip US Summit".
It is not just the Saudi king who will be skipping the Camp David summit of U.S. and allied Arab leaders. Most Gulf heads of state won't be there.

The absences will put a damper on talks that are designed to reassure key Arab allies, and almost certainly reflect dissatisfaction among leaders of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council with Washington's handling of Iran and what they expect to get out of the meeting.

Life's a drag

This goes with post two below but I'm slow on the uptake and output. She's so privileged. Honestly. Compared with everyone else in the world. And yet always victim at heart, at her core she is victim, and not just feigning sympathy. She needs to be. We've seen this before. It's not that she would have us believe, it's that she really does need to be victim. But what do I look like a psychologist over here? I know what I've seen and what I've heard for six years.

But she is not talking to me anyway and she never was. Here is this uncomfortable feeling again cast over me as a pall that I've become so familiar, of myself overhearing something I shouldn't, or eavesdropping (eyesdropping, actually) on signed conversation that reveals girlish nonsense hardly worth bothering like the two smart pre-teen girls at Glenwood Springs who caught my attention by their signing whose entire conversation was through their fascinating little hands. 

"Then she has her hair all tied in a knot." 
"With frizz and bits of hair hanging out."
"And she just barges in and takes over everything."
"And she's always bossing everybody around."
"I hate her so much. Are you guys going biking? I'm not."
"I'm staying here."
"Me, yes, too let's stay put."

And I question, why am I looking at this, why am I studying it, why am I paying attention to a private conversation between girls? I feel icky pervish for watching even though it's a huge crowd, it's a very large outdoor pool. She is somebody else's first lady. And yes, it has everything to do with race and with racism. She's studied it. Written academic papers on it. I haven't. It's not my thing and it never will be. Better to not listen to this. Do you see what I mean about not listening in? 

And Deliverance From Evil

Fifty years ago, white American poverty was synonymous with rural Appalachia, just as black American poverty was (and still is) with urban despair; LBJ's "War On Poverty" was a two front war. The worst Appalachian poverty was in eastern Kentucky. Nobody writes about that much anymore--instead we learn about it from shows like Justified.*

An ugly face was put on the people there sometime ago, perhaps after the movie Deliverance --mountain people become derisional characters, all too much to blame for their own misery.

I googled "Appalachian poverty" and the first hit is National Geographic piece called A Fresh Look At Appalachia--50 Years After The War On Poverty. If you're like me, you no longer trust National Geographic for impartiality.  This is sad because the magazine was a part of our growing up. Sure enough, the first photo does not disappoint:

The father of the young woman writes in the comments to the hit piece:
My daughter is the young lady getting out of the racecar, Kealey Lowe. She is not a hillbilly or a red neck. She races cars and she is also a member of the cheer leading squad at her high school. She has been involved with a ballet studio right here in Cumberland County since she was 2 years old. We have lived in Cumberland County all of our lives. I think parts of this story are great, but I feel as if there is not enough positive involved. There is still a lot of poverty in this area, but we are not backwards hillbillies. I work at Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Admissions. We are a technical college. We have the technology to educate people and the students to prove it, but the jobs are just not in the area. We need to start showing more of this side of Appalachian areas and the growth that has come and stop dwelling on the negative. We need to help the area grow with positive images and industry to attract companies to our area.
Bravo, dad!

[Added] I think the banjo player shuns the guitar player in the Deliverance scene because the latter breaks the 3rd Commandment (twice).

Sunday, May 10, 2015

"Michelle Obama Lets Loose on Race in Graduation Speech"

"The road ahead is not going to be easy... It never is, especially for folks like you and me."
"As potentially the first African-American first lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations, conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others," she told the class of 2015. "Was I too loud or too emasculating? Or was I too soft? Too much of a mom and not enough of a career woman?"...

"Then there was the first time I was on a magazine cover," Obama told the graduates at the historically black Alabama college. "It was a cartoon drawing of me with a huge afro and a machine gun. Now, yeah, it was satire, but if I'm really being honest, it knocked me back a bit. It made me wonder 'just how are people seeing me?'"...

"We've both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives. The folks who crossed the street in fear of their safety, the clerks who kept a close eye on us in all those department stores. The people at formal events who assumed we were the help," Obama said. "And those who have questioned our intelligence, our honesty, even our love of this country, and I know that these little indignities are obviously nothing compared to what folks across the country are dealing with every single day. Those nagging worries about whether you're going to get stopped or pulled over for absolutely no reason. The fear that your job application will be overlooked because of the way your name sounds." (video at the link)

The first 4-5-4 triple play in MLB history.

What are you afraid of? Muhammad Pictionary Game


What are you Ted Cruz... ¡En español!

Link, in case video has a problem

"What do you actually want for Mother's day?"

Moms of Reddit:
Moms, we love to get you things for mother's day, but it's hard sometimes, because maybe you have more money than us and get everything you want, or maybe you have interests you don't talk about, or maybe you just don't like many things?

I once got my mother a 6 pack of craft beer and a box of dark chocolate and she thought it was a great gift.

So here is your chance. What would make a great gift for you (bonus points if it is not a common thing!) 
Top 3 comments...
I have a 20 yr old in college, and he has no money. So a lovely card with a handwritten note saying he appreciates me, and listing some reasons why would be all I want. And maybe cook me breakfast.

What's better than that?

A professional massage. I've been so stressed chasing after the kids, it would be really helpful. Also, a nice meal with my family... Thai or Vietnamese would be perfect.

My daughter is a 12 year old smart ass. I would like one day without her sassing back at me. That is all.

London riots

Labor lost big time. Tories have undisputed and uncompromised control. Labor voters are unhappy with the outcome and not taking it lightly. My Twitter stream was filled with scenes of London rioters, a bit odd seeing everyone so well dressed, everyone with good shoes, well groomed, but angry and acting out. Of all the pictures one stood out with the caption along the lines of "cop guilty applying pressure behind jaw" or something like that, something that ridiculed the gentleness of the police brutality.

I found sometimes an explanation is useful. I don't know why exactly but the tenderness of the roughing up reminded me of Rob Schneider reading a biography of Elvis Presley. Looking at it again I see something I missed before, how easily Schneider slips into his Elvis persona, back and forth, he just drops into a sneer or snarl and you know he has plunked himself into the persona he practiced so thoroughly. 

This is not the routine I saw before, it's been honed, the part I recall is not here. He said, "Know how you love your little baby doll? Well I'm going to love you just like you love your little baby doll. Exactly how you love your little baby doll. 'Cept differ'nt." 

I forgot about the 'cept differ'nt part. That totally makes it because he keeps repeating it to sinister effect.