Thursday, August 31, 2017

"Grassley, Graham say records show Comey concluded Clinton case prematurely"

Via my web home page:  Fired FBI Director James Comey drafted a statement to announce the conclusion in the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server before the FBI interviewed key witnesses, including Hillary Clinton herself, top Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee claim.

Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, reached that conclusion from transcripts of interviews with people close to Comey and provided by the Department of Justice's Office of Special Counsel (OSC). Those transcripts, the Republicans said in a Thursday letter to current FBI Director Chris Wray, show Comey had already drafted a conclusion for his investigation before interviewing 17 key witnesses, including Clinton, and before the DOJ had reached immunity agreements with former Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson.

Comey's sudden July 5 announcement that there would be no charges in the Clinton investigation -- despite his sharp criticisms of the former presidential candidate -- threw a wrench in an already-tumultuous election cycle.

"Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that's no way to run an investigation," the senators said in their letter to Wray. "The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy."

(Link to more)

"Jordan Peterson: Postmodernism: How and why it must be fought"

Link to video

"Lord of the Flies 'all girls' remake spawns social media backlash"


Via Twitter: A film adaptation of William Golding’s 1954 novel Lord of the Flies is in the works but with a major twist that’s drawing ire across social media: all of the boys stranded on the island without their parents will be girls.

“We want to do a very faithful but contemporised adaptation of the book, but our idea was to do it with all girls rather than boys,” Siegel said.

MeGehee added that they were “taking the opportunity to tell it in a way it hasn’t been told before, with girls rather than boys, [which] shifts things in a way that might help people see the story anew.”

(Link to more)

NYT: Men and Women aren't the same


In research published in 2002 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, Pamela Dalton of the Monell Chemical Senses Center and her colleagues exposed men and women to smells in the laboratory. Not just once, but over and over again. Dr. Dalton and her team found that with repeated exposure, the women’s ability to detect the odors improved 100,000-fold: the women were able to detect the odor at a concentration 1/100,000th of the concentration they needed at the beginning of the study.

But the male subjects, on average, showed no improvement at all in their ability to detect the odor.

How is that possible? What’s going on in the anatomy of the olfactory system – the system we use to smell – that can account for such huge differences between female and male?

(Link to more)

Kim Jong-Un, Dennis Rodman


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"'I Detest America': 148 Lost Documents by Alan Turing Accidentally Found in Old Storage"

Via Instapundit: After not seeing the light of day for at least 30 years, a unique collection of letters by famous mathematician Alan Turing has been found in a storage space at his old university.

Wrapped in a plain paper folder and tucked at the back of an old filing cabinet, the 148 never-before seen documents include a letter from the UK's intelligence services, and another letter in which Turing remarks "I detest America."

Alan Turing was one of the pioneers of modern computer science, and a machine he built during the World War II enabled the decryption of Germany's Enigma code, eventually shortening the war.

In 1949 he became deputy director of the computing lab at the University of Manchester, and earlier this year the university staff accidentally stumbled upon a whole heap of Turing's correspondence while cleaning out a storage room.

"When I first found it I initially thought, 'that can't be what I think it is', but a quick inspection showed it was," says computer engineer Jim Miles from the university's School of Computer Science.

"I was astonished such a thing had remained hidden out of sight for so long. No one who now works in the School or at the university knew they even existed."

The university's archivists immediately set to work to sort through these documents, cataloguing and storing them for posterity, and have now published the entire archive online for readers to peruse.

(Link)

"Scandal Erupts over the Promotion of ‘Bourgeois’ Behavior"


Were you planning to instruct your child about the value of hard work and civility? Not so fast! According to a current uproar at the University of Pennsylvania, advocacy of such bourgeois virtues is “hate speech.” The controversy, sparked by an op-ed written by two law professors, illustrates the rapidly shrinking boundaries of acceptable thought on college campuses and the use of racial victimology to police those boundaries.

On August 9, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax and University of San Diego law professor Larry Alexander published an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer calling for a revival of the bourgeois values that characterized mid-century American life, including child-rearing within marriage, hard work, self-discipline on and off the job, and respect for authority. The late 1960s took aim at the bourgeois ethic, they say, encouraging an “antiauthoritarian, adolescent, wish-fulfillment ideal [of] sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll that was unworthy of, and unworkable for, a mature, prosperous adult society.”

Today, the consequences of that cultural revolution are all around us: lagging education levels, the lowest male work-force participation rate since the Great Depression, opioid abuse, and high illegitimacy rates. Wax and Alexander catalogue the self-defeating behaviors that leave too many Americans idle, addicted, or in prison: “the single-parent, antisocial habits, prevalent among some working-class whites; the anti-‘acting white’ rap culture of inner-city blacks; the anti-assimilation ideas gaining ground among some Hispanic immigrants.”

(Link to more)

"A few brave professors"

Via InstapunditFifteen professors at Harvard, Yale and Princeton have written an open letter urging students to resist campus orthodoxy. “Think for yourself,” they urge. James Freeman at the WSJ calls this good news, and I guess it is these days. But why does this even need to be said? And what about the rest of the professoriate. There are at least 3,000 faculty members (and as many as 8,000, depending on who’s counting whom as faculty) at these three universities, which means the 15 signatories represent, at most, one-half of one percent of the faculty. Maybe the other 99.5 percent could not be reached for comment in their safe spaces.

Meanwhile, Yale’s president, Peter Salovey (definitely not a signatory), has found yet another way to beclown himself and his school. It was bad enough when Yale covered up a Puritan’s musket in a stone carving on the wall of its library (at the behest of a committee of censors responsible for shielding students’ eyes from art that was “not appropriate”). Yale was widely mocked for this vandalism, and even Salovey managed to be embarrassed. ““Such alteration represents an erasure of history, which is entirely inappropriate at a university,” he proclaimed.

His brilliant solution: Take down the whole piece of art! It will be moved (with the musket brazenly uncovered) to “an as-yet-undecided location where it will be available for study and viewing,” the Yale Daily News solemnly reports, without a hint that anyone at the newspaper realizes what a farce this is. Maybe they’ll get the joke when they see it on a future episode of “The Simpsons,” whose writers are in deep debt to Salovey and his sensitive students.

(Link)

politicized shoes

Everyone's a critic. But the silliest thing isn't even jumping to criticize shoes worn at departure and not the shoes worn on arrival. No. It's even more ridiculous than that.

Irony picked up from the Gateway Pundit.


Cops: Woman Called 911 Over Meth Quality

Via Drudge:  A Montana woman called 911 to report that she had purchased some “bad meth,” adding that the drug left a “bad taste in her mouth,” according to police. A Great Falls Police Department officer was dispatched Friday afternoon to the home of Margery Ann Dayrider, 33, who had dialed cops to report having a bad reaction to meth she had injected.

As detailed in a probable cause affidavit, Dayrider told Officer Jon Marshall that she “believed she got some bad meth and was having a bad reaction to it, vomiting, tingling tongue, bad taste in her mouth."

As first reported by the Great Falls Tribune, Dayrider told the cop, “I do meth three times a day everyday and have never had this reaction before.” Dayrider said that she and her boyfriend had purchased the drug the night before and that she injected herself at 9 AM, 11 AM, and 3 PM.

(Link)

"Hallucinatory 'voices' shaped by local culture, Stanford anthropologist says"

Stanford anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann found that voice-hearing experiences of people with serious psychotic disorders are shaped by local culture – in the United States, the voices are harsh and threatening; in Africa and India, they are more benign and playful. This may have clinical implications for how to treat people with schizophrenia, she suggests.

Via Reddit:  People suffering from schizophrenia may hear “voices” – auditory hallucinations – differently depending on their cultural context, according to new Stanford research.

In the United States, the voices are harsher, and in Africa and India, more benign, said Tanya Luhrmann, a Stanford professor of anthropology and first author of the article in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

The experience of hearing voices is complex and varies from person to person, according to Luhrmann. The new research suggests that the voice-hearing experiences are influenced by one’s particular social and cultural environment – and this may have consequences for treatment.

(Link to more)

Stela of Ameny, BM EA 162, offering formula

As you can expect a lot of ancient writing important enough to chisel in stone will be formulaic. Amusingly, to me, a good deal of it is titles for deities, kings, and aristocracy that sound a bit like the Star Trek Next Generation character Lwaxana Troi announcing herself Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed. And these formulas are spotted right off. They're basic. All the beginning textbooks cover these. So through three or four beginning textbooks the experience is like inhabiting the beginning of the beginning of codified writing.

I like the instructor of this class quite a lot. She writes to her students about this exercise:

This dates to the 12th dynasty (c. 1937 B.C.E. to 1739 B.C.E). That makes it over 3700 years old. You’ve just translated an extended text that is older than the oldest book of the Hebrew Bible—older than the poems of Homer. And you did it from the original—not a later copy of a copy of a copy etc.

Wow. I didn't know that.

The immediate tip off that this is an offering forumla is the pyramid shape at the beginning that means "give." And then the staircase shape, actually a throne, that will stand for either Isis or Osiris. Those two together will suggest an offering by a king in the name of some deity.

The students studied only the first three of the five lines at the top of the stela reading left to right.


See the sedge plant (royalty) and the tall triangle (give) and the eye over the step shape (throne) at the beginning. That's the indication that the whole thing will be an offering formula. Whatever follows will be exceedingly formal and rather haughty like the Lwaxana Troi's titles. All there is to learn is which king, which deity for the benefit of whom, and which standard offerings are mentioned. And if we're lucky, if it's not a stela like this is, if it's written somewhere else, say on a tomb or an obelisk or a temple wall, it might mention how many thousands of oxen were were offered, how many vases of beer, how many loaves of bread, how much linen, how many ducks. When these formulas are shown on television I get all bent out of shape when the cameraman scans across the hieroglyphs just to show hieroglyphs but with no lingering over them to see how big an event this offering represented. When a king makes an offering, a real offering, not a voice offering like this one, not a prayer, real commodities turned over to the priesthoods, and then chisels in stone the accounting, it's a very big mind-blowing deal tallied in the thousands. And that's worth checking out. 

But not here. 

The students are looking at a photograph of the actual stela, not a drawing like this. The bashed out portion is guess at. By the expected formula the text book guesses "the great lord." By the allowed space, the British museum guesses simply, "lord." 

And photographs of the actual object are more difficult to discern than an artist's rendition. 

With a great deal of help in the book, the students agree the top three lines read:

1) An offering the king gives before Osiris, Khentyimentu, great god, lord of Abydos, in all his good and pure places.

2) So that he may give a voice offering in bread, in beer, in oxen and fowl, and everything good

3) for the ka of the revered one, general-in-chief, Ameny of Kebu, the justified.

Usually formulas continue with "true of voice," and "first companion," and a whole list of other prestige titles. 

You can take in quite of lot of how the formula will go by scanning over the glyphs before digging in, skipping over sections because individual glyphs and clusters can mean different things. And the formulaic arrangements are often shuffled. No need to get bogged down immediately. For example, the owl can mean a lot of things. Here it means "in" used in the phrases "in bread, in beer, etc." While lower down on the third line it also has the meaning  "manager" associated with soldier determinative, with three lines, meaning "army." So then, some kind of manager of the army. A general! It must be. Who else will have an offering made through the king to a god and chiseled in limestone, a lieutenant? What sticks out is the glyph of a soldier. You don't always see that. While the three lines behind it will mean "army." 

So this guy Ameny is some kind of general or some type of manager (owl) of the army. And it's Ameny of Kebu but there is no circle with an x in the middle, a wagon wheel shape, that means "crossroads" or "town." See in the first line one of the titles of Osiris is "great lord of Abydos" with one of the "crossroad" glyphs meaning Abydos is a town. But Kebu is not a town. It means Ameny son of Kebu, not Ameny from the town of Kebu. Because Kebu is not shown with a "crossroad" sign.

Faced with the stela and with no idea of its content, just scanning across the first three lines, skipping over details, can provide a good deal of insight into its content before digging in further:


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Study: "Lack of sleep causes people to take risky decisions"

Via Drudge: The authors, who took brain scans during the tasks, found slow sleep waves were reduced in the right prefrontal cortex, which previous studies show is linked to higher risk-seeking behaviour.

‘We assume that behavioural changes occur for anatomical-functional reasons to some extent as a result of the right prefrontal cortex not being able to recover properly due to a chronic lack of sleep,’ Professor Baumann said.

Around 30 per cent of us do not get enough sleep and the study, published in the journal Annals of Neurology, ends with a warning.

It states: ‘While we cannot exclude that individuals in positions that require high-impact decision-making may be more resilient to the effects of sleep restriction, our results suggest that all of us, but particularly leaders of companies and countries, are well advised to work and make decisions only when fully sleep-satiated.’

(Link to more)

An Island made from plastic bottles

Link to video

"University Of Maryland Will No Longer Play ‘Maryland, My Maryland’ At Events"

Via Drudge:  The University of Maryland’s marching band will no longer play “Maryland, My Maryland,” the official state song of Maryland, at school sporting events because of its ties to the Confederacy.

On Monday, the University of Maryland shared that its marching band has cut the Southern-leaning state song from its line-up. After the deadly rallies in Charlottesville, the controversial anthem will no longer be playing on the university’s campus at all.

The song is a nine-verse war poem, put to music. It was used as a pro-Confederate battle hymn and talks of spurning the “Northern scum.”

Click here for the full lyrics for “Maryland, My Maryland.”

“To be honest, I don’t even know what the tune is. I’d be more upset if they didn’t play the fight song, I think,” said University of Maryland student, Chris Rogers.

Another student said that they didn’t think people would even notice. (Link)

Ben Shapiro: "Houston Is The Best Of America. Berkeley Is The Worst"

Via InstapunditOver the weekend, we saw the best of America: Americans helping Americans in Houston. Race, creed, color — none of it mattered. Americans were in need, and other Americans moved to help them.

Meanwhile, in Berkeley, we saw the worst of America: Americans, garbed in black, helmeted, wearing bandannas over their faces, assaulting peaceful protesters merely there to exercise their free speech rights. We saw the police stand down. We saw assaults in the streets.

So, what’s the difference between Americans in Houston and Americans in Berkeley?

The existential threat.

Human beings unify in the face of an existential threat. It’s why members of the military become brothers; it’s why the West unified in opposition to Communism; it’s why Americans unified after 9/11.

In Houston, the existential threat is nature. And Americans who wouldn’t share a meal are now sharing speedboats, attempting to help each other survive her wrath. Survival is the top priority; death is the ultimate enemy.

But remove that existential threat, and people look for a new existential threat. That’s what we’re seeing in Berkeley: Americans defining one another as an existential threat. Antifa defines the “system” as an existential threat — a wellspring of racism, bigotry, and economic injustice. And they define anyone who disagrees with them as a “fascist” worthy of violence. This is horse manure, but it’s their justification for their violence. Similarly, as Charlottesville shows, the white supremacist alt-right finds itself a different existential threat: non-white people whom they believe are inherently unable to assimilate to Western civilization. Their argument is absolute racist garbage, but because they believe it, that means that all those who don’t become their “cuck” enemies.

To define our existential threat, in other words, we must define ourselves. And right now, we’re breaking down along tribal lines, along class lines. We’re not breaking down along the lines of principles: non-violence in politics; free speech; rights inherent in human individuals free of government. The founding vision has been undermined, and so we search out abroad in favor of new dragons to slay. Meanwhile, the real dragons grow at home, in the form of those who see the founding vision as the problem.

If we want more Americans like those in Houston and fewer like those in Berkeley, we’d do well to remember we share a republic — and we share more in common than the danger of death. We share a common ideal. And if we don’t, we become our own worst enemies. (Link)

"Journalist goes to Joel Olsteen's church..."

"....to prove it is not flooded and could be opened to help flood victims" via Reddit

Monday, August 28, 2017

WKRLEM: Bachelor Number Two is a Serial Killer?




The 1970's? Was there ever anything like it?

Doesn't the guy who won give off gay serial killer vibes?

There was an actual serial killer on the Dating Game.

They should bring this show back.

WKRLEM: They got bigger........

Whose that girl?



She is not someone that Jerry Seinfeld would say is a comedian. In fact she was a gold medal winner in twisting things so to speak.

A spunky chick in her hey day she was waif like but still a champ in her chosen field. Now a revered teacher she looks nothing like she did when she was the toast posties of the town. It must have been because she ate her Wheaties.

At least she will not be a transsexual like Jenner as she is all woman. Hear her roar.

Whose that girl?

She is not a slave......



Is Mel B’s VMA dress a message to her ex? 

By Jaclyn HendricksAugust 27, 2017 


For Mel B, sequins speak louder than words.
The “America’s Got Talent” judge wore a dress that might have been a message to her estranged husband Stephen Belafonte at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night: the skin-tight sheath was emblazoned with the phrase “You Will Never Own Me.”
The striking ensemble also boasted a giant eyeball on her behind.

Patton Oswalt: Joke Theft Is No Laughing Matter

Link to video

"Bull wounds anti-bullfighting activist in French arena"

Via Drudge:  An anti-bullfighting activist jumped into the arena in Carcassone, southern France, on Sunday and was promptly attacked by one of the animals he wants to protect, local police said.

Two protesters, a man and a woman, were in the audience before managing to make their way into the main ring during the "novillada", a series of fights involving young bulls.

One bull charged at the man who, according to police a received "a long but not deep" injury from its horns.

The protester, in his 30s, "was very lucky" that he was not properly gored and was only lightly injured, another source said.

He was taken to Carcassone hospital for examinations. His female companion was not inured and was arrested by police.

Earlier two other protesters had briefly hung a banner saying "Stop Bullfighting" from the ramparts of the medieval French town.

Bullfighting is banned in most of France but is allowed in some southern regions where it is protected as part of local traditions.

(Link to more)

"All clear for the decisive trial of ecstasy in PTSD patients"

Via Drudge:  One of the main targets in the war on drugs could well become a drug to treat the scars of war. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), better known as the illegal drug ecstasy, a "breakthrough therapy" for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a status that may lead to faster approval.

The agency has also approved the design for two phase III studies of MDMA for PTSD that would be funded by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a nonprofit in Santa Cruz, California. MAPS announced the "breakthrough therapy" designation, made by FDA on 16 August, on its website today; if the group can find the money for the trials, which together could cost an estimated $25 million, they may start next spring and finish by 2021.

That an illegal dancefloor drug could become a promising pharmaceutical is another indication that the efforts of a dedicated group of researchers interested in the medicinal properties of mind-altering drugs is paying dividends. Stringent drug laws have stymied research on these compounds for decades. "This is not a big scientific step," says David Nutt, a neuropsychopharmacologist at Imperial College London. "It’s been obvious for 40 years that these drugs are medicines. But it’s a huge step in acceptance."

(Link to more)

Instapundit: Houston's Ray Nagin

Link to Insta comments

What some people defending the Mayor of Houston have to say...

Is the IRS Scandal About to Break Wide Open?

Via InstapunditIn a lawsuit involving True the Vote, Judge Reggie B. Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the IRS last week to release the names of employees involved in targeting conservative and Tea Party groups. Walton also told the IRS to explain why groups were targeted and search for additional records in agency databases from May 2009 to March 2015.

The IRS has until Oct. 16 to complete its records search.

Walton's order was a turning point for True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht in her legal battle with the IRS that began in 2013.

"We've come so far, and I believe that we are going to bring this thing to a head," Engelbrecht told the Washington Examiner. "I believe we will see the IRS correct its ways, and as to accountability, I'd love to see some perp walks."

But she and her lawyer, Jim Bopp, are preparing for the IRS to drag out production of the names and documents.

(link)

Pump it, interpreted in ASL by Bjorn Storm, Nyke Prince, Keith Wann

Every movement you make means something. My dogs taught me that.

If I tied my shoes that means, “Yay! We’re going outside for an adventure!”
If my keys jingled that means, “Yay! We’re going outside for an adventure!”
If I zipped up my jacket that means, “Yay! We’re going outside for an adventure!”
If I put on my sunglasses that means, “Yay! We’re going outside for an adventure!”

See the richness of meaning in movement?

And going outside for an adventure means it’s time to get excited. Really exited. For all the fun that’s in store for us. So my dog taught me to talk to her first before busting any kind of move. They all did.

Before tying my shoes, handling keys, zipping up a jacket or putting on sunglasses I must first talk directly to the dog and say, “Tera, I’m going outside. (Yay! Excitement. Hopping around) But you must stay here. (Ears back. Bummed out. Hopes dashed.) And you must be a good soldier and guard the whole house. (Comes to attention) From intruders (Smartens up) I’m putting you in charge to make sure nothing bad happens while I’m gone. (Rigid. Focused. Resolved. Serious.)

And there is no hopping around like and excited child in full abandon. And there is no trash pulled out and nervously chewed to a billion bits in anxiety of being abandoned.

My dogs taught me how I must talk to them. Because every movement means something.

And that’s dogs’ intelligence. Even more so with humans. Every motion you make transmits meaning.

The Federal Reserve Bank has a very nice cafeteria that compares favoraby with the better restaurants downtown. I was sitting at a table by myself one afternoon gazing down on the 16th Street Mall with my attention on a family group at the corner of Arapahoe who were beginning to separate, on the far side of the street. A woman was holding a small girl in her arms and the woman told the child to say goodbye. The girl stretched out her arm and her tiny hand held in a flattened position waved “bye-bye” and up in the cafeteria behind bulletproof glass I heard a specific young girl’s voice speak directly into my ear, clear as a bell,”Bob” not as a sound from my mind, rather, a physical sound in my ear.

That’s how strongly movements have meaning. You can actually hear them.

I’m starting to key into this guy’s handwriting. Bjorn Storm. I’m getting him well. I can hear him. He departs imaginatively from textbook versions of signs while adhering to their classifiers so that “radio” is not formed with an “R” at the ears, and then “stereo” is two of his his stylized radio signs, and “louder” is the whole volume of everything  in the room as if it were water in a pool that we’re in. “Let’s get it on” is shown such as “bring it to me,” and “way we do it” is shown “we, right here.” And when Kyke kicks in her chorus of  “ooooh” they are formed with an “O” and her “la la la” is formed with those letters. The two are stylizing all over the place while still being comprehensible.

As for myself, for Technotronic’s  “Pump Up the Jam", I used a bicycle pump motion.  Bjorn stylizes an outburst for “pump it” enhanced in post processing with more arms as an Hindu deity.

“Damn” really is a “D” shaken and pushed forward. I’ve only seen it expressed amusingly, tritely and followed with an “it” just to be silly. It's not a useful expression. And now I’m seeing the same thing expressed as a vocalization upon seeing a hot woman, and repeated. Another stylized deviation that still adheres to the standard. His motions are readable. Every motion has meaning. And when you key in then you can actually hear him say "d-a-a-a-a-a-a-m-n" in a voice your brain provides for him, not the musical word that's given.

The guy who comes into the room at the beginning and is shown rocking out at home at the end is Keith Wann who grew up in a deaf household. He’s a comedian with a whole series of videos on YouTube of himself on stage entertaining with stories told in American Sign.

I would really like to meet these goofballs. They’re my type of people. We’d have a lot of fun.

Bjorn asks viewers to watch this in high definition and full screen. I agree it makes a big difference.

I'm trying to get you to appreciate how people stylize this language, put it in their own handwriting, so that it becomes highly idiosyncratic. And I really like the style of these people.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Queen Bitch: David Bowie


Last night I was re-watching The Life Aquatic  on Netflix, when this song come on at the end, and then just a little while ago, I came across a Victoria Tweet where she is commenting while watching #The Crown via Netflix. When it hit me. 

This is kind of interesting when a kind of synchronicity hits. I just have to be a little bit aware.

La Vita Bella nursing home in Dickinson Texas

Link to source

Premium Mediocre, what does it mean?

Via InstapunditIt is not hard to learn to pattern-match premium mediocre. In my sample of several dozen people I roped into the game, only one had serious trouble getting the idea. Most of the examples below, and all the really good ones, came from others.

Premium mediocre is the finest bottle of wine at Olive Garden. Premium mediocre is cupcakes and froyo. Premium mediocre is “truffle” oil on anything (no actual truffles are harmed in the making of “truffle” oil), and extra-leg-room seats in Economy. Premium mediocre is cruise ships, artisan pizza, Game of Thrones, and The Bellagio.

Premium mediocre is food that Instagrams better than it tastes.

Premium mediocre is Starbucks’ Italian names for drink sizes, and its original pumpkin spice lattes featuring a staggering absence of pumpkin in the preparation. Actually all the coffee at Starbucks is premium mediocre. I like it anyway.

Premium mediocre is Cost Plus World Market, one of my favorite stores, purveyor of fine imported potato chips in weird flavors and interesting cheap candy from convenience stores around the world.

(Link to more)

What simple task are you surprisingly bad at?

Reddit top voted comments...

Remembering people's names.

Whistling

Fucking handshakes man. I always do the wrong thing. Oh you wanted a fist bump?

Folding clothes. Can take forever and they never look OK :(
Even worse for sheets

Hearing. Sometimes people will say something and ill completely misinterpret it and usually have them say it again a few more times.

Picking up babies. Every time I touch one they cry and people look at me like I'm going to break the damn thing. They'll then take their kid away from me in horror.

Phone calls. Even with people I like and want to talk to.

Ironing clothes.

Using a key. Every time I unlock my door (I never do it if other people are watching; I'll always find some excuse to make them do it), it takes me at least 2-3 minutes of struggling. Mostly the part after it's unlocked where I have to take the key out. I tried Googling "How to remove key from door," but that only turns up results on how to remove a broken key. Because what person can't remove a regular key?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

"Orpheum theater won’t show ‘Gone With the Wind,’ calling film ‘insensitive’"

Via Drudge: The Orpheum Theatre Group decided not to include the 1939 movie about a plantation in the Civil War-era South in its 2018 Summer Movie Series after feedback from patrons following the last screening Aug. 11.

“As an organization whose stated mission is to ‘entertain, educate and enlighten the communities it serves’, the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of its local population,” the theater’s operators said in a statement.

Memphis’ population is about 64 percent African-American.

(Link)

WKRLEM: Dolly Parton Challenge

Tina and camera shutters

This is Tina, a favorite dog of mine long ago gone off to the happy hunting grounds in the sky. She was a lovely creature.

She would trust me to the end of the earth. This was my apartment as teenager.

 

The photo is terrible. It's old. Very old. And I cannot even recall which camera I used. 

I was given a vintage Argus C3 to play around with in High School. I learned the numbers by that camera. I knew what the numbers meant but I hadn't internalized what I knew. It was always maths and never intuition. I took mostly b/w photos and developed them myself. And that's where I learned how much of the art is actually in the developing, the darkroom, as much as the actual negative. It's important as taking a great shot in the first place. Guys like Ansel Adams spent as much time in the darkroom producing variations as he did scouting sites and setting up his shots. 

This must have been my dad's camera I borrowed all the time, a Yashica FX2, much easier to use.



Although I don't remember it, I deduce the photo of Tina was taken with the Yashica because it's in color. 

Both of these cameras have shutters that look like the designs on James Bond movie posters. They look like aperture setting fins of modern lenses. The apertures themselves move. Stated differently they look like the aperture setting is the size of the hole that is set for the middle of the shutter fins. The shutter fins will all slide open to the aperture setting and then shut. 

Here is a YouTube video of an Argus shutter. In High School I found this movement fascinating. The video shows only one shutter movement at the beginning. All the rest of the video is dead air. So if you want to see two or three, then replay after the first one.

YouTube Argus shutter release



Lenses for Nikon digital SLR, probably all modern lenses, have fins similar to these. The lenses do, not the camera. The number of fins varies, and then the number of fins for the lens aperture determines the shape of the bokeh speck reflections that the lens produces. More fins, then the rounder the little out-of-focus spots of glittering colored light that appear in the out-of-focus areas. 

While their shutters are completely different. The shutter is an actual shutter constructed of horizontal blades or panels blocking the camera's sensor. With a mirror blocking the view of the shutter. The mirror must get out of the way, then the shutter of hair-thin panels slams opens then shuts and the mirror returns to position. This top to bottom movement of the camera's shutter allows for some very adept manipulation by skillful photographers. Some camera's advanced features allow adjustments to this top and bottom allowance of light. 

YouTube video Inside a camera, the Slow Mo Guys.


I'm really glad the Slow Mo guy explained the paint splatters on his camera. I just now wrote to a friend and relayed my appreciation for my Nikon. I've abused my camera inexcusably this same way as this guy and it just keeps taking great photos. Much better photos than I did way back then with my old film cameras and my dogs and without any real clue about how to work with light. That photo up there is backlit. I'm impressed there is any tonality to the dog's black coat. Usually the dogs photograph as black ink blots. And there is no light nor color to the interior room. The camera's settings were for the light outside. Not for the light inside. This is a very common error that amateur photographers make. Your point-and-shoot camera will most likely have a setting for this backlit situation. In that case the camera mathematically averages bright and dark areas and provides a compromise between them. So at least some detail in darkness is saved. 

With modern cameras, though, as with earlier darkroom work, mid tones can be adjusted post processing by programs such as Photoshop so long as the original full raw file is saved. Usually though, amateur photographers will accept the camera's own processing to save camera memory space. the cameras do an excellent job of it. 

Professionals save their raw files so they can make these types of adjustments themselves. There is much more information available to manipulate using raw files. Then after that manipulation the photos are reduced to manageable size for printing and for computer displays. I could do much better adjusting the scan file of my dog if I had the raw digital information. Alas, the photo was taken a decade before digital cameras became widespread. There is only so much can be done with a poorly taken original film photo. Such a shame. Tina deserves better treatment than this. 

And then they came for Dolly Parton...

SJW tried To Destroy Dolly Parton ‘Dixie Stampede’

“Advertised as an ‘extraordinary dinner show … pitting North against South in a friendly and fun rivalry,’ Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede is the Lost Cause of the Confederacy meets Cirque du Soleil,” Harris wrote in her hit piece on Parton for Slate. “It’s a lily-white kitsch extravaganza that play-acts the Civil War but never once mentions slavery.”

The “smoking gun” of proof of Dolly’s supposed racism that Harris thought she had on this lighthearted venue was that audience was divided into two sides – the “north” and the “south.” When Harris checked the venue out for herself, she found that there were people of both races sitting on each side of the dinner theater, and it wasn’t racially divided as she wrongfully assumed.

In fact, her whole point in exposing little Dolly Parton and her dinner theater as a hotbed of hate backfired when the only shred of racism she “uncovered” was wood finishes on the bathroom signs. With the “Northerners” sign painted black and the “Southerners” in yellow, this was all Harris could contrive in her own twisted mind as being bigoted.

“I did at least have time to run to the bathroom—a necessity after three and a half hours of sucking down lemonade by the bootful. This seemed like it could be a nice break, but when I got there, I stumbled upon this:”

“’Southerners Only’ on a light-colored placard and ‘Northerners Only’ on a dark-colored placard,” Harris noted.

“This was, at best, horrifyingly tone-deaf, but I went in the ‘Southerners Only’ stall anyway because it was the only one open and my bladder felt ready to explode.”

However, just when Harris thought she had all the supposedly racist propaganda to take Dolly and her Dixie Stampede down, she emerged from the restroom to catch the final act of the show. If she hoped that Dolly was going to come out and don a white sheet and pointed KKK cap, she got the complete opposite.

The country singer secretly won this silent fight against her despite the subsequent slam piece on Slate that followed. Rather than looking like a racist, she proved to be just the opposite in the closing act when Dolly brought both sides together in a way that racist rioters can’t, by saying “We’re all Americans.”

(link to the whole thing)


CNN: Everyone Who Voted For Trump Is A ‘White Supremacist By Default’

Via Twitter: Trump voters helped advance white supremacy by giving them room to operate, CNN reported based on the assertions of others in a piece headlined, “‘White Supremacists by default’: How ordinary people made Charlottesville possible.”

“It’s easy to focus on the angry white men in paramilitary gear who looked like they were mobilizing for a race war in the Virginia college town,” CNN reported. “But it’s the ordinary people — the voters who elected a reality TV star with a record of making racially insensitive comments, the people who move out of the neighborhood when people of color move in, the family members who ignore a relative’s anti-Semitism — who give these type of men room to operate.”

CNN put the weight of the assertion on the views of what they described as “activists, historians and victims of extremism,” but made no visible effort to question their assertions or provide a counter point of view. Fordham University professor Mark Naison’s, for example, is quoted prominently in the piece accusing tens of millions of Americans of being white supremacists.

We are a country with a few million passionate white supremacists — and tens of millions of white supremacists by default,” Naison told CNN. He’s a political activist and history professor. He compared all Trump voters to “nice people” who facilitated the horrific violence of the Holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda by looking the other way.

(Btw. CNN will the first to say this narrative does not apply to Muslim jihadies)   

Southern hospitality

Acosta






Friday, August 25, 2017

"I want fat hands and I want to dance"

Tom Cruise talks about his characters.

(link to video)

“Schools are teaching small children about transgenderism — without parents’ permission or knowledge”

Via InstapunditAngry parents stampeded a California charter school board meeting Monday after a teacher read her kindergarten class picture books about transgenderism to affirm a gender dysphoric classmate. During the class, parents say, the gender dysphoric boy also switched clothes to look more like a girl in a “gender reveal.”

Parents were not notified beforehand of the discussion or the classmate’s psychological condition, and learned about it when their confused kindergarteners arrived home from school that day.

“The kindergartners came home very confused, about whether or not you can pick your gender, whether or not they really were a boy or a girl,” Karen England of the Capitol Resource Institute told CBS News.

(More)

Detroit: War on police? Many officers fear growing tensions

Via Drudge:  Has it become fashionable to lash out at police? Law enforcement advocates fear it’s a growing trend in some circles.

Whether they’re being shot at, cussed at, zapped with a stun gun or denied service at a restaurant, many police officers in Metro Detroit and across the country feel they’re being disrespected more than ever.

“Everybody thinks it’s cool to not talk to the police, and to hate the police,” Detroit Police officer Ki’Juan Anderson said. “The bad guys love this. A criminal will commit a crime, and nobody wants to tell us what happened. We’re trying to help them ... and they say ‘get off my porch; I hate the police.’ ”

Anderson, who is assigned to the department’s Gang Intelligence unit, was in the Special Operations crew of Kenneth Steil in September, when Steil was killed in a shootout with a carjacking suspect.

(link to more)

"Mayor of Venice says ANYONE who shouts 'Allahu Akbar' in his city will be shot by snipers"

Via Drudge:  The Times reports that mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro has reportedly decided its an unacceptable phrase to be shouted in the city's St Marks Square.

He claimed Venice is safer than Barcelona - where 14 people died being run down by a van last week.

Speaking at a conference in Rimini, north east Italy, he further revealed the extraordinary order he has given to armed police at one of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe.

Brugnaro was applauded by delegates when he said: “In contrast with Barcelona, where they had not set up protection, we keep our guard up.

“If anyone runs into St Mark’s Square shouting ‘Allahu Akhbar’, we will take him down," he continued.

"A year ago I said within four paces, now within three. I will say it in Venetian: ‘Ghe Sparemo’ (We will shoot him)."

He went on to recall the arrest in March of four suspected jihadists who allegedly planned to kill hundreds of tourist by blowing up the world famous Rialto bridge.

He added: "They wanted to go to Allah. But we'll send them straight to Allah before they can do any damage."

(link)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The coup is in progress......the Deep State has won......We the people have lost....if we don't take our government back.



The Generals Have Trump Surrounded (Washington Post by Charles Lane 8/24/17)

You know that Americans are going through an extraordinary political moment when The Post reports that “military leaders are rapidly consolidating power throughout the executive branch” — that they’re “publicly contradicting” the president and “balking” at carrying out his policies — and civilian politicians react with undisguised relief.
They are grateful that, while President Trump transgresses and blunders, the generals in powerful jobs — national security adviser H.R. McMaster, along with Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis — provide “a steadying hand on the rudder,” as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) put it.
Non-involvement in domestic politics and submission to civilian control are hallmarks of a professional military under constitutional democracy. The United States has by and large practiced those principles while also preaching them, albeit inconsistently, to other countries.

WRLEM: After Charlotte....lets bring the races back together ....through film!

Whose that girl with the name that reminds you of her best attribute?

Whose that girl with the drink that has a name that reminds you of another drink but not the one in her hand?

I saw her the other night on an old sitcom. She played the wife and was incredibly young. She was part of a replacement couple who took over for the former stars when the show changed networks. Which was quite unusual for the sixties.

She guest starred on a bunch of my all time favorite shows like Police Story, Starsky and Hutch and even Fantasy Island. She was in two of my all time favorite exploitation films one of which is in the top five all time blackspolation films!

Whose that girl?

Gullah shrimp and grits, Bill Green



I like this guy a lot. 

Lordy, you won me when you told us flouring the shrimp keeps them moist. I never thought of that.

And you're such a likable person. 

Then you said, "Now for the garlic" and sprinkled powder all over it woooooooooo, you lost me right there.

But I recovered and stuck with you even though you started with oil and not butter and I like your cast iron pan and even as I observed you overcooking the shrimp to death past their cremation the whole time hoping the flour is protecting them.

Wooooooooooo I've never seen shrimp cooked that long.

But then, and this kills me, you added water and not vegetable broth or chicken broth, not wine or beer, not milk, nothing with any flavor or body. Just water. I still can't get over that.

And these departures from culinary canon can only be disappointing. 

Pros:

* cast iron pan
* protected shrimp with flour

Cons: 

* garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. These are two separate entities entirely
* plain tasteless oil instead of butter
* overcooked shrimp from beginning to end. The shrimp cooked throughout the whole process. Chefs cook shrimp until they are done and no longer than that. They take extra care to avoid overcooking it.
* plain flavorless water for sauce liquid instead of any other liquid more substantial and flavorful. 

I can taste it from here. The taste is hospital food weak. It's shrimp in thick water sauce flavored with onion and faint shrimp. You may as well eat shrimp simmered in water with onion and garlic powder, and that's fine. And if you simmered with their shells still on they'd be a lot more flavorful. Most of shrimp flavor is locked up in their carapace. 

How would a chef do this?

They'd make a sauce beginning with roux. It would already have wine in it as first step liquid. They'd use real garlic with their onions. They'd add the shrimp last. 

They'd do anything to change the color to something more pleasing than gray. Cayenne would turn it red while contributing capsaicin heat. Tarragon would contribute significant and delightful somewhat liquorish flavor. His only flavors added are alliums, and one of those dehydrated. 

We don't see this, but additionally real trained restaurant chef would not use hominy grits from a box. They would mill their own treated kernels. They would expand the flavor profile all over the place while highlighting the shrimp flavor. They wouldn't even consider garlic powder. That is a chef's cop out. They would use the shrimp shells to advantage. They would control color so that it's not gray. They would have a proper sauce not one made with oil, flour, and water. Oooooooowe, I can taste it right now. 

This actually put me off the idea of buying a Gullah cookbook. As much as I enjoyed watching, I no longer have any interest. The whole time I'd be thinking, so this is what's left of how the slaves did things back then. Interesting. But the whole thing's been improved very well. The processes have been perfected by experts. There is no point to living like this. Unless you're in need for hospital food.

Edit: I should add all the comments to this video are very complimentary except for one. A guy says in French very rudely, "This is not good, we do not know how to lick our nuts, we're racist."

What is a random thing that gives you severe anxiety?

Reddit top voted comments...

Calling in sick for work

Driving down a two lane highway at night, I assume every car I pass is gonna end my life

Those stupid first day of school/first day of work things where you say your name and tell a few things about yourself.

Getting a haircut.

When someone interrupts me when I first start talking and everyone else just picks up on what they said and the whole conversation just moves on.

Knocks on the door when I'm not expecting anyone. Drives me insane and scares me for no reason.

When I'm getting change at the register and I'm trying to put the money back into my wallet.

My alarm tone. Doesn't matter if I'm using it just to time the oven when I'm cooking something, still gives me anxiety when I hear it.

"UC Berkeley chancellor’s message on free speech"

Via Instapundit: This fall, the issue of free speech will once more engage our community in powerful and complex ways. Events in Charlottesville, with their racism, bigotry, violence and mayhem, make the issue of free speech even more tense. The law is very clear; public institutions like UC Berkeley must permit speakers invited in accordance with campus policies to speak, without discrimination in regard to point of view. The United States has the strongest free speech protections of any liberal democracy; the First Amendment protects even speech that most of us would find hateful, abhorrent and odious, and the courts have consistently upheld these protections.

But the most powerful argument for free speech is not one of legal constraint — that we’re required to allow it — but of value. The public expression of many sharply divergent points of view is fundamental both to our democracy and to our mission as a university. The philosophical justification underlying free speech, most powerfully articulated by John Stuart Mill in his book, On Liberty, rests on two basic assumptions. The first is that truth is of such power that it will always ultimately prevail; any abridgement of argument therefore compromises the opportunity of exchanging error for truth. The second is an extreme skepticism about the right of any authority to determine which opinions are noxious or abhorrent. Once you embark on the path to censorship, you make your own speech vulnerable to it. . . .

We all desire safe space, where we can be ourselves and find support for our identities. You have the right at Berkeley to expect the university to keep you physically safe. But we would be providing students with a less valuable education, preparing them less well for the world after graduation, if we tried to shelter them from ideas that many find wrong, even dangerous. We must show that we can choose what to listen to, that we can cultivate our own arguments and that we can develop inner resilience, which is the surest form of safe space.

(link to source)

Media member strugles to understand Trump's poll numbers

Via Instapundit: Hugh Hewitt, the venerable conservative radio host (and one of my MSNBC colleagues), got at this possibility in a recent tweetstorm. Essentially, he suggested that contempt for "elite media" is even wider and more intense than generally recognized — so much so that it binds Trump’s voters to him even as they grow frustrated with his presidential style.

It’s an argument I would have discounted in the past. Resentment toward the media has been a staple of populist conservatism for decades. I’m conditioned to treat it as an aspect of any given Republican’s core base of support — not a force that can be harnessed to defy the political laws of gravity as we understand them....

More than we’ve seen in the past, popular culture took sides during the campaign, vehemently pushing back against Trump. It’s hardly new for celebrities to weigh in on behalf of Democrats; but with Trump, the entertainment world was sounding an urgent, existential alarm.

Again, Trump critics will say this was well-deserved; my question here is analytical: Did this kind of reaction from the media and popular culture widen the political divide into a chasm that was not just about Trump and politics but also media and culture?

That would explain how a candidate like Trump could engender such negative feelings from so many voters and yet still rally enough of them behind him to win. It’s not that they like him or even think he’d be a good president. They’re voting against the other side of a vast cultural gap.

It would also cast Trump’s current poll numbers in a different light. After all, the election ended nine months ago, but the campaign atmosphere remains: The frantic news cycles; the mass public engagement; and the bleeding-over of politics into popular culture. Late-night television can feel like an extension of cable news these days.

If his poll numbers ended up being good enough back then, can we be sure they aren’t good enough now?

If it sounds like I have more questions than answers, it’s because I do. There's a risk of over-interpreting any election result, particularly one as surprising as last year's. But Trump’s rise to the Republican nomination and the presidency has challenged me to reconsider what I thought I knew about politics. How many of the supposed rules — as I understood them — don’t apply anymore? Or just don’t apply in the case of Trump? Or never applied at all?

Quintessential

Via Reddit: These guys celebrate winning a 'fair use' lawsuit.

coiling snake pop-up card

This is a card for a nephew. I've sent cards to his mother, my favorite sister, but this is the first to him, my favorite nephew. I play favorites. Why not?

I've done coiling snakes before based on an arm glued into crimps pushed into a paper step. When the card is shut the step also folds shut and the crimps in the two corners fold shut along with it.

When the card is halfway opened a single step forms to the side, with its two corners crimped.

When the card is fully opened the steps are stretched to flat band and the crimps in the corners are also fully flattened. all you see is a band.

The tiny triangular shapes of the crimps are used to glue an arm to attach to flat doughnut shapes. The discs are centered first then the arm is trimmed to fit and glued. With a snake pattern drawn on the disc it really does look like a snake coiling because the discs move in opposite directions. But you only get two coils and a third disc glued to the surface of the step. The crimp-coils rotate under the step. The step is drawn to look like a branch.

I kept trying to think of ways to have the snake coil around the branch. I kept thinking about a series of steps like a staircase that shows as such when the card is half opened, and that's still a possible solution.

This idea takes a different track. This relies on an arm attached to the side of the card where there is no snake action. It's placed on a hinge 1/2 inch away from the central fold, when the card is fully opened. When the card is closed the arm at the hinge travels upward in an arc to 1/2 inch height and then folds shut over the snake coils 1/2 inch from the central fold but now in the opposite direction. That means the arm and hinge travel one full inch. That's significant movement in pop-up terms.

This arm has slots cut into it for levers to transfer energy from horizontal to rotational. The levers are arms that hold coils with snake patterns drawn on them lined up in a row. When the first arm moves horizontally then all five lever arms move vertically in an arc and all five snake coils turn a little less than one inch.

This card relies on paper rivets for the lever arms holding the snake coils.

Fourteen photographs follow.



Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Has the Deep Sate Won?


American Thinker by William F Marshall
The title of this column reflects the first thought I had on the news of Steve Bannon's resignation last Friday as President Trump's strategic advisor.

Although I do not know Mr. Bannon personally, the impression I have gotten from reading biographies of him, as well as my knowledge of his enunciated beliefs, his patriotism, and the pivotal role he played in galvanizing Donald Trump's presidential campaign, caused me to believe that he was the one individual with the intellectual firepower, intestinal fortitude, and strategic vision to check the unchecked growth of our government.

Now, with his resignation, I fear that that the barely-begun battle to retake control of the government and pare it back to something resembling sanity, is lost.

Could Britain have survived the Nazi onslaught if Churchill had resigned? Could America have held together had Lincoln quit?

Pepper Balls

A Phoenix protester brought everything he thought he might need to survive the uprising -- except for...


Kudos to police marksmanship!

Next time wear a cup!

Is Google secretly recording YOU through your mobile?

Via Drudge:  If you own an Android phone, it's likely that you've used Google's Assistant, which is similar to Apple's Siri.

Google says it only turns on and begins recording when you utter the words "OK Google".

But a Sun investigation has found that the virtual assistant is a little hard of hearing.

In some cases, just saying "OK" in conversation prompted it to switch on your phone and record around 20 seconds of audio.

It regularly switches on the microphone as you go about your day-to-day activities, none the wiser.

Once Google is done recording, it uploads the audio files to its computer servers - often dubbed "the cloud".

These files are accessible from absolutely anywhere in the world - as long as you have an internet connection.

That means any device that is signed into your personal Gmail or Google account can access the library of your deepest, darkest secrets.

So if you're on a laptop right now and signed into Gmail - you could have a listen.

(link)

"Chicago murder on the steps of a church tests the faithful"

Via InstapunditYou could feel the bravery in the congregation from the moment they began to sing the great spiritual "I Am on the Battlefield for My Lord." And you could see the strength of it as the husbands, wives, grandparents and children stood together to sing out their praise for God.

That strength was in their smiles, although some smiles trembled a bit at the edges and some eyes were wet, remembering what happened. And strength and kindness was overwhelmingly evident in their grasp, when they held hands and prayed with a stranger among them Sunday.

"We are always reminded of who the enemy is," the Rev. Dr. Reginald Bachus told me in his office before Sunday's service began. "Just about this time last Sunday, we were reminded that the thief comes to kill and destroy, to steal your faith, but Jesus won't let that happen."

The previous Sunday, a church usher, Emmanuel Fleming, 34, and another man Michael Swift, 46, were shot to death on the steps of that church as Fleming yelled to his three little children to run.


So this where Chicago is now: Murder on the steps of church.

If silence is consent, then Chicago politicians are remarkably silent about murder on church steps in the city. They must like it that way.

(link)

Venezuela's Maduro asks pope help, vaunts Russia ties versus US

Via Drudge:  Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called Tuesday for Pope Francis's support against a "military threat" from the United States, as international pressure mounts over the deadly political crisis Caracas is facing.

"May the pope help us prevent Trump from sending troops to invade Venezuela," Maduro told a news conference. "I ask for the pope's help against the military threat from the United States."

Maduro has faced months of deadly mass protests by opponents who blame him for an economic crisis and are demanding elections to replace him.

International pressure has also grown, with US President Donald Trump even saying this month that the United States reserved the option of military intervention in the Venezuela crisis.

Maduro pointedly highlighted his alliance with Russia, which had rejected Trump's recent threat as "unacceptable."

The Venezuelan leader said he wanted to "keep strengthening the military cooperation agreement" between the two countries "for the sovereign defense of Venezuela."

Russia recently sold fighter jets and ground to air missiles to Venezuela.

"Venezuela has the full and absolute support of Russia," he said, adding that he would soon go to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

(link)

"ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee taken off UVA game due to name"

Via TwitterESPN broadcaster Robert Lee will not work Virginia’s season opener because of recent violence in Charlottesville sparked by the decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
A spokeswoman for ESPN says Lee has been moved to Youngstown State’s game at Pittsburgh on the ACC Network on Sept. 2. The network says the decision was made “as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name.”
ESPN feared people would not be able to tell them apart.