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.”

Today I learned...

"Thomas Jefferson cut and pasted from a King James Bible in order to make a condensed version that included the philosophy of Christ the man, with no supernatural events included."
Using a razor, Jefferson cut and pasted his arrangement of selected verses from the King James Version of the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in chronological order, putting together excerpts from one text to those of another in order to create a single narrative. Thus he begins with Luke 2 and Luke 3, then follows with Mark 1 and Matthew 3. He provides a record of which verses he selected and of the order in which he arranged them in his "Table of the Texts from the Evangelists employed in this Narrative and of the order of their arrangement".

Consistent with his naturalistic outlook and intent, most supernatural events are not included in Jefferson's heavily edited compilation. Paul K. Conkin states that "For the teachings of Jesus he concentrated on his milder admonitions (the Sermon on the Mount) and his most memorable parables. What resulted is a reasonably coherent, but at places oddly truncated, biography. If necessary to exclude the miraculous, Jefferson would cut the text even in mid-verse." Historian Edwin Scott Gaustad explains, "If a moral lesson was embedded in a miracle, the lesson survived in Jeffersonian scripture, but the miracle did not. Even when this took some rather careful cutting with scissors or razor, Jefferson managed to maintain Jesus' role as a great moral teacher, not as a shaman or faith healer."
Reddit Top voted comment...
Just my two cents:

I've read most of the new testament and sometimes jokingly say that I am a secular christian. Most of what Jesus says is pretty standard morality and generally the world would be better if people lived that way, but he wasn't a supernatural being.

Obviously this isn't entirely true, but for the most part following the actual teachings of Christ, the man, aren't going to hurt anyone. I think this is what Jefferson was going for. Casting Jesus Christ as a philosopher like Plato whose teachings have been corrupted by their connection to the old testament and the ravings of fanatic followers.

"Hostage Review Will Make It Easier for Families to Pay Ransoms"

"The White House is about to change how Washington tries to save captured Americans"
The shift, which was first reported Monday by Foreign Policy, will be detailed Wednesday as part of the administration’s long-awaited review of U.S. hostage policy, according to two government officials and others familiar with the matter. The White House launched the probe last year after coming under fierce criticism for failing to do more to bring back missing American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and aid worker Peter Kassig, all three of whom were beheaded by the Islamic State. Three other Americans — journalist Luke Somers in Yemen, and aid workers Kayla Mueller in Syria and Warren Weinstein on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan — have since been killed while in militant custody.

In a statement Tuesday, Warren Weinstein’s widow called her family’s interaction with the government “inconsistent at best, and utterly disappointing” during more than three years of his captivity. Elaine Weinstein offered lukewarm praise for the creation of a fusion center but said the White House should have more oversight of the process.

“We hope to be the last family that fails to receive the level of coordinated government support that those who serve abroad deserve when trouble finds them,” Elaine Weinstein said.

When it publicly releases the results Wednesday, the administration will reiterate that the U.S. government itself will not negotiate with, or pay ransoms to, terrorist groups. The so-called “no concessions” policy has been in place for decades and is a key difference between how Washington and its European allies deal with captured citizens. Many key American allies, including Germany, Italy, and Spain, freely admit to paying money to militants to bring back their hostages. The United States, by contrast, believes that ransom payments would encourage kidnappers to grab more Americans.
This is crazy.

"US nuclear missile commander says Vladimir Putin's actions echo those of Nazi Germany in the 1930s"

Russia 'aggression'
Lieutenant General Stephen Wilson, commander of US Global Air Strike Command, said: “I don’t think we’ve ever seen so much power put in one person in Russia, and some of the things happening there are troubling and concerning for everybody.”...

“Some of the actions by Russia recently we haven’t seen since the 1930s, when whole countries were annexed and borders were changed by decree.”...

Lt Gen Wilson, also used the briefing to accuse Russia of risking lives when its military jets fly unannounced close to Western countries’ airspace, or near to corridors used by international commercial airliners.

“When we fly, we fly to a flight plan – we announce it, we ‘squawk’, our transponders are on, we are talking to air traffic control, we are following all international laws,” he said of USAF and other Nato missions. “That isn’t happening with Russia. You’ve got contested airspace with people flying all the time, you’re unannounced, you’re not on a flight plan, you’re not squawking. We would not do that. It puts people at risk.”

red rock outcropping


The song is 50 years old and now represents a half dozen microaggressions against wymen and gurls, but, Welcome to Summer!

Monday, June 22, 2015


Speaking of, when it comes to design I can think of no other flag that tops Japan for its flag and for its apparently inborn natural sense of graphic design that applies to everything else especially textiles. Their flag is the best flag imaginable in terms of graphic design. Top honors.

Then, when as emperor-worshipers they decide as a nation to go full-on hog-ass wild, blam. 

Sixteen rays. Is there anything more graphically perfect? 

Oh man, I'm going to pass out. 

Hang on.

I needed a trigger warning back there. 

That image makes me short circuit. It does. This nasty thing, perfect as it is, really does need to be banned. It has bad connotations. It stirs bad memories. When people see it they (we) get upset. I cannot rest until this flag is banned. I think I have to throw up. 

Please, I beg you, it's time to make this flag go away and don't even display it in museums, and don't teach this stuff in schools either. There's no point to it.

Best salad ever

No dressing. Just lime juice to protect apple and avocado. I discovered this by accident and laziness.

If your avocado and your mango are too hard then just forget the whole thing. 

"Entries in long-hidden notebook show Pete Rose bet on baseball as player"

"This does it. This closes the door"
For 26 years, Pete Rose has kept to one story: He never bet on baseball while he was a player. Yes, he admitted in 2004, after almost 15 years of denials, he had placed bets on baseball, but he insisted it was only as a manager.

But new documents obtained by Outside the Lines indicate Rose bet extensively on baseball -- and on the Cincinnati Reds -- as he racked up the last hits of a record-smashing career in 1986. The documents go beyond the evidence presented in the 1989 Dowd report that led to Rose's banishment and provide the first written record that Rose bet while he was still on the field.

"We knew that [Bertolini] recorded the bets, and that he bet himself, but we never had his records. We tried to get them. He refused to give them to us," Dowd said. "This is the final piece of the puzzle on a New York betting operation with organized crime. And, of course, [Rose] betting while he was a player."

The documents obtained by Outside the Lines, which reflect betting records from March through July 1986, show no evidence that Rose, who was a player-manager in 1986, bet against his team.
"Closes the door," meaning the door to re-admission to baseball and possible chances to the Hall of Fame.

Fox Guest: Obama's Use Of N-Word Makes Him 'The Rapper-In-Chief'

Link to video

"Bernie Sanders Wows Hollywood Progressives at Two L.A. Fundraisers"

"super-liberals turned out Saturday to support Sanders."
Early Saturday morning, they filled the already blazing front yard of actress Mimi Kennedy’s Van Nuys home, and — at midday — the living room of long-time activists Betty and Stanley Sheinbaum’s sprawling Brentwood Park mansion, to hear the program of a candidate they see as everything Hillary is not.

“I’m here with my wife and my friends because we believe Bernie is providing us with the opportunity to have a voice and a role in the Democratic process at a time when progressives are on the rise,” said former California state Senator Tom Hayden, who introduced Sanders at the Van Nuys event.

“Bernie has launched a very critical campaign in several states,” Hayden said. “He’s actually doing well in the early polls. He has an opportunity to change the conversation in the country. He has an opportunity to be an effective debater (against Clinton) in the primaries. He has an opportunity to attract Libertarians and Republicans, as well as Democrats and Socialists. It always was a motley crew — the progressive coalition.”

Stuck in a drain: Texting while walking

"Onlookers tried to help, but after realising that she was completely stuck, called emergency services who arrived and freed her after a 45 minute ordeal. “We managed to remove the bars and quickly freed her once we arrived at the scene,” Fire brigade spokesman Ming Lai said."

Where that to happen enough times, how long before we evolved avoidance mechanisms? a six sense perhaps?

"It's time to hold physical cash"

"... says one of Britain's most senior fund managers"
The manager of one of Britain’s biggest bond funds has urged investors to keep cash under the mattress.

The best strategy to deal with this, he said, was for investors to spread their money widely into different assets, including gold and silver, as well as cash in savings accounts. But he went further, suggesting it was wise to hold some “physical cash”, an unusual suggestion from a mainstream fund manager.

His concern is that global debt – particularly mortgage debt – has been pumped up to record levels, made possible by exceptionally low interest rates that could soon end, and he is unsure how well banks could cope with the shocks that may await.

Boreas Pass, Loveland Pass

To Breckenridge and back, the Family Circus way. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Incessant babbling

I meant to say just now a two minutes of quietude. This is spring runoff through Deer Creek at Bailey Colorado.

Confederate Artifacts of National Importance

The CSS Hunley is not in the news, but Confederate relics are. I've been to Charleston exactly once--about 20 years ago before the wreck was raised. If I were to go back (and chances are that I will), I'll go straight away to the museum which houses the wreck.

Happy Fathers Day

"New York Times Ignores Children of Gay Parents..."

 "...Who Want a Mom and Dad"
The New York Times ran an article this weekend (June 13) profiling and quoting many children of gay and lesbian parents under the headline “What Could Gay Marriage Mean for the Kids?”.  Noticeably absent were any children who, while loving their two moms or two dads, yearned for both a mom and dad...
In February 2015, Katy Faust published her moving testimony in the form of a letter to the man known to be the pivotal vote on the Supreme Court: “Dear Justice Kennedy: An Open Letter from the Child of a Loving Gay Parent.” She wrote:
I write because I am one of many children with gay parents who believe we should protect marriage. I believe you were right when, during the Proposition 8 deliberations, you said “the voice of those children [of same-sex parents] is important.” I’d like to explain why I think redefining marriage would actually serve to strip these children of their most fundamental rights.
Faust explains: “While I did love my mother’s partner and friends, I would have traded every one of them to have my mom and my dad loving me under the same roof.” (read more)

Hawaii, cigarettes

Hawaii just became the first state to raise the legal smoking age to twenty-one.

Said their governor, David Ige,
"Raising the minimum age as part of our comprehensive tobacco control efforts will help reduce tobacco use among our youth and increase the likelihood that our [children] will grow up tobacco-free,"
Always the best intentions. Good luck with this.

The immediate thing that will happen is a brand new class of criminals. Just like that. The magic wand is waved and flash a whole new group of young criminals, along with a new income stream from private citizens to state.
Breaking the new law for the first time would result in a $10 fine. Further violations would cause a $50 fine or community service.
This allows us to put one more impediment to people smoking too much.
Impediments, costs, constriction of liberty. Hope it works, for health reasons, especially now that Hawaii state exchange failed, but I doubt it will because, frankly, I've never seen so much drugs as I've seen in Hawaii and I live in Colorado. Beautiful as it is, Hawaii has a very serious drug problem if we must call it such, but only so due to the war on drugs. Imagine yourself living on an island.

It's all good fun the first weeks as you drive around and explore then eventually realize the whole place is rather small.

Alan said, "I'll never forget what you said on the drive to Waimea Bay."

I cast back to the drive out there, placed myself in the car, but only recalled Alan's insistence on stopping for an underwater camera and a sack of frozen peas. None of us cared about any of that. Alan is incredibly annoying sometimes. Turned out he took some extraordinary photos and he sure did know how to get a bunch of colorful blue and yellow-striped fish to gather around him. I didn't say anything important or interesting on that car ride, nothing at all to remember. "What did I say?" Alan said that I told everyone in the van in serious tone that few people know the truth that Waimea Bay was actually discovered by an Italian guy named Gillispie, captain of wooden ship that was torn up on the coral. This being the second ship that Gillispie lost he knew he had fatefully reached the end of his career and would be facing charges soon enough, he fell to his knees in the sand, torn up himself, shredded and bleeding, threw his arms up to God and pleaded, "Why-a me-a? Why-a me-a? Why-a always-a me-a?" A mnemonic device, that's all, one that enabled Alan to come up with the name of the place a decade later. I also recalled thinking that car ride to the opposite side of Oahu from Waikiki, gosh, it's less than forty miles apart.

I asked the woman I worked with at Denver FRB why she left Hawaii after living there so long. She answered, "Rock fever."

It's a thing. There's a word for it.

You're out there on your island pursuing your interests in a largely self-contained world. They are the sweetest people I've met. Their politics and their sweetness do not go together. So easily given to laughter, always up for a game, always ready to sing. I never heard people sing to piped in Christmas music before and laugh at overheard bits as sharing the joke.

Yet not unserious either. For example, I expected their flag to be blue, of course, with a rainbow, and palm tress, a surfer, a unicorn, something like that. Surely a palm tree. But no, their civic sense is serious. Their flag is terribly serious-looking. It's perplexing because it contains the Union Jack within it. I found it puzzling and now that I noticed the flag is seen everywhere, as it must, there are boats everywhere, it is a heavy flag-reading place. All those boat flags mean something, diver in area, personnel working aloft, anchoring mooring weighing, and the like. Finally, one day at breakfast, an open table sort of affair, everybody crowded around tables close by, we asked the four older men at the next table to please explain the Hawaiian flag.

The whole table looked us over top to bottom, scanning us with their eyeballs judging us 100% Haole. How rude! 100% different. 100% foreign. Interloping punks. Smiled broadly, all four did, and the nearest drew closer and carefully explained the reason why British are on their flag. "Hawaiians have an affinity toward Britain. They are important to our history. That is not the British flag in the corner. It's the British flag reversed."

"What? Come'on. British flag can't be reversed. You're putting us on." They all laughed.

"Sure it can. That's how they secretly signaled the boat is in distress, by turning their flag upside down.  You'll notice the thinner diagonal red cross is not centered against white. Viewed as a propeller, it's spinning backwards when hung upside down. The Hawaiian flag is an upside down Union Jack." He explained it relates to nautical story in their history having to do with disease and distress, before involvement with the United States.

"Oh." They could not have been more kind and polite and instructive to a couple of dummkopfs. The whole table really was interested in having us two understand the meaning of their flag. The subject is important to them. The whole episode surprised me.

From what I saw a law like this can have no impact on behavior. The linked article is brief but it managed a few statistics. Meaningless statistics that supported their liberty-snipping action. Maybe this works for island dwellers, I don' know,  but I doubt it. Have you ever seen Dawg, Bounty Hunter?

Confessions of a pineapple thief.

Moonlight over Georgia