Saturday, April 8, 2017


Overheard at Lem's:
edutcher said...
Now you're just plain wrong. One strike, one shot across the bow, is not intervention and it isn't war.
If Trump just wanted to make a point, he made it. I haven't seen any follow-up, and I haven't any announcement of troop commitments.
So it looks like we do have a one off and that should be the end of it.
April 8, 2017 at 8:38 PM

Ed aims and throws a missive like a tomahawk missile. Speaking of which:


I realize that most of you have seen that Carson clip. But if there's just one of you who hasn't, it was worth reposting.

Don Surber: NYT does a 180 on Russia

Via Instapundit:  Here is your narrative in the New York Times before Thursday night:
C.I.A. Had Evidence of Russian Effort to Help Trump Earlier Than Believed
Here is your narrative in the New York Times after:
Syria Strike Puts U.S. Relationship With Russia at Risk
(Link to the rest of the blogpost.)

Elsewhere, however, I found how hard it is for some in the left to give up this precious narrative. Lawrence O'Donnell to the rescue. He believes Putin masterminded the Syrian chemical attack to help his pal Trump image... a wag the dog "moment" (more like conspiracy theory). And wala, narrative saved, once again to continue to haunt Trump with... la-di-da la-di-da... Putin and Trump are pals.

Link to entire video

"Google to display fact-checking labels to show if news is true or false"

Via Drudge: The small snippets display information about the claim made by a particular page or site and who made the claim, as well as the results of fact checking on the highlighted claim. The fact checks are not performed by Google, but by named trusted publishers and fact-checkers using an open system to mark claims as having been checked.

Cong Yu from Google and Justin Kosslyn from fact-check partner Jigsaw said: “With thousands of new articles published online every minute of every day, the amount of content confronting people online can be overwhelming. And unfortunately, not all of it is factual or true, making it hard for people to distinguish fact from fiction.

“As we make fact checks more visible in search results, we believe people will have an easier time reviewing and assessing these fact checks, and making their own informed opinions.”

Fact check boxes will not be displayed for every search result, and only publishers that are “algorithmically determined to be an authoritative source of information” will be included in the program Google said...

(Link for more)

I couldn't have said it better!

From the Vox Day blog quoting the Zman:

Yesterday, the alt-right and even many seasoned geezers like me took a body blow when Trump abandoned everything he said over the last two years and embraced the idiocy of yet another war in the Middle East. Not only is he embracing the lunacy of the traitorous neocons, he is risking war with Russia. His “reason” for condemning himself to ruin is that his daughter got the sads over seeing pictures of dead kids in Syria. She takes to twitter over this latest agit-prop and in a day daddy is launching missiles at Assad.

The United States has no interest in Syria. There are no good guys to back. There’s no “solution” to what ails that part of the world, short of another flood. Syria is a mess because it is full of Syrians. The only sane policy is to make sure it remains full of Syrians. Let them kill each other there, not in Paris or Portland. If the Russians want to build their pipeline there and pay the price for it, good for them. If the Saudis want to stop them, best of luck with it. This is not an American problem. It is their problem. Let them own it.

"Theodore Dalrymple on outrage"

Via Instapundit:  “Outrage is a substitute for religion: It convinces us that our existence has some kind of meaning or significance beyond itself, that is to say beyond the paltry flux of day-to-day existence, especially when that existence is a securely comfortable one. Therefore we go looking for things to be outraged about as anteaters look for ants. Of all emotions, outrage is not only one of the most pleasurable but also one of the most reliable.”

Theodore Dalrymple, “Better Left Unsaid” (Taki’s Magazine, Dec. 31, 2016, courtesy of Patrick Kurp)

What are some of the small pleasures in life?

reddit top voted answers...

Stumbling across a really cool song or band you never heard of before.

Putting effort into cooking a meal and it coming out exactly as intended.

When a joke lands and you do your best not to look too proud but inside you feel witty

Pull-through parking spots

Around 3:00 on a Friday when everything is done and you can just coast into the weekend

Brand new socks.


Rosie O'Donnell has condemned Trump's attack on Syria. Link

That makes me for it.

Global Warming Blamed For Titanic Sinking...

...think about it.

Friday, April 7, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Justices

Reddit landscape photography

low hanging fog in Yosemite, CA

Rocky Mountains, CO after days of rain

Hillary: Misogyny 'played role' in election loss

Via Drudge:  "I don't know that there is one answer," she told the Women in the World Summit in New York when asked why a majority of white women voted for a Republican who had boasted of groping women.

"Certainly misogyny played a role, I mean that just has to be admitted," added the former secretary of state, who was treated to an ecstatic welcome and standing ovation from the crowd.

"I think in this election there was a very real struggle between what is viewed as change that is welcomed and exciting to so many Americans and change which is worrisome and threatening to so many others.

"And layer on the first woman president over that and I think some people, women included, had real problems," she told a New York Times journalist at the ticketed women's empowerment event held each year.

Having dreamt for years of making history as America's first woman president, Clinton admitted the aftermath had been "devastating."

- 'So troubling' - (Video at the Link)

"U.S. Launches Missiles at Syrian Base After Chemical Weapons Attack"

Via Drudge: The United States launched dozens of cruise missiles Thursday night at a Syrian airfield in response to what it believes was Syria's use of banned chemical weapons that killed at least 100 people, the U.S. military said.

Two U.S. warships in the Mediterranean Sea, the USS Ross and the USS Porter, fired 59 Tomahawk missiles intended for a single target — Shayrat Airfield in Homs province in western Syria, the Defense Department said. That's the airfield from which the United States believes the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fired the banned weapons...  (Link)

Here is as Instapundit sees it...
On the one hand, that’s more than Obama did to enforce the “red line.” On the other hand, it’s rather a sharp turnabout for Trump, isn’t it?

On Facebook, a friend comments that half the point of this was doing it while the Chinese president was with him. And Richard Fernandez notes: “The bitter fruit of Obama’s war by executive order is now upon us. Whatever happened to Congress’ war powers?”

Neither Democrats nor Republicans would assert those powers under Obama. Who will do so now? But this does seem more like a continuation of Obama’s mideast policies than a reversal of them. Which, given how they turned out, isn’t promising.

UPDATE: Bibi was right, Obama was wrong: “Benjamin Netanyahu will never be popular in America’s major newsrooms. Or among most of the think-tankers who set the tone and parameters of foreign-policy debate. His name is a curse on college campuses. So it’s worth asking whose vision of the Middle East has held up better under the press of recent events.”

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Noam Chomsky Calls Democrat's Obsession With Russian Conspiracy a Joke

Chomsky has always been cunning in more ways than one. Link

Why Am I Doubting That Assad Used Sarin?

There is a Turkish report circulating today that three victims were chemically poisoned by sarin gas. Link

The report falls short of chemical identification, instead hedging with evidence of symptoms which look like sarin poisoning. Yet sarin and sarin metabolites have distinct chemical fingerprints and isotopic signatures. The preferred method of detection is called GC/MS and it can detect very low quantities of the substance with absolute certainty. Of course, samples could be spiked with sarin, but even that would require sophistication.

I don't trust the Turks. Their President recently threatened friendly European governments with floods of refugees. Europeans fought the Ottoman Turks for centuries. We entered a war against Turkey's ally 100 years ago today. The Turks are no friend of democracy and are constantly harassing the Greeks.

Exactly who used or triggered chemical weapons last Tuesday is important. I am not impressed that our President has already made up his mind on both the types of weapons used and who used them. Trump has been proved right in the past. Perhaps he will be vindicated again. We shall see. There are many ways forward on how to gather more facts about this important matter. We should discuss them.

"Woman walking around naked claims she’s a mermaid"

Via Instapundit:  A woman with webbed toes identified herself as a mermaid named Joanna after she was found mostly naked and walking along a dark road in the middle of the night in Fresno County.

The young brunette was wearing only a black sports bra and had wet hair when cops found her near Millterton Road and Brighton Crest Drive in Friant around 3:15 a.m. Tuesday, the Fresno Bee reported.

“She was wet. She said she had been in the lake, said she needed help and needed to be taken to the hospital,” Fresno Police Lt. Mark Hudson told “We did go through records after fingerprinting her and we still did not come up with her identity.”

The mystery woman is 5-foot-4 and weighs 150 pounds. She has webbed toes on both feet. Officials said she could be between 16 and 30 years old and either white or Hispanic.


Don Rickles, comedy legend, dead at 90

Comedy legend and actor Don Rickles died of kidney failure, Fox News has confirmed. He was 90 years old.

Rickles was known for his stand-up comedy work and his frequent longtime appearances on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" and "Late Show with David Letterman."

"Senate Republicans Force Historic Rule Change to Advance Gorsuch"

Via Drudge: Senate Republicans ignited the "nuclear option" to allow confirmation of President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee and bar Democrats from blocking future picks, a dramatic rule change that could deepen partisan divisions and put more ideologically extreme justices on the court.

The 52-48 party-line vote called for by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday will let the Senate confirm Neil Gorsuch on Friday to take a court seat that Republicans refused to let President Barack Obama fill during his last year in office.

The rule change means Gorsuch and all future Supreme Court nominees can be confirmed with a simple majority vote and will no longer face a 60-vote hurdle.

"Nunes steps aside from Russia probe"

Via Drudge:  House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) will temporarily step aside from an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including interactions between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

The move comes as the House Ethics Committee announced that it is investigating allegations that Nunes may have mishandled classified information. With the Ethics Committee now formally involved in the dispute, Nunes could no longer oversee the Russia probe, although he will remain in place as chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

The Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation will be taken over by Reps. Michael Conaway (R-Texas), Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.).

In a statement, Nunes blamed complaints filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics over his decision to brief President Donald Trump on intelligence intercepts of conversations between Trump campaign aide and Russian officials during the election.

“Several left-wing activist groups have filed accusations against me with the Office of Congressional Ethics," Nunes said in a statement Thursday. "The charges are entirely false and politically motivated, and are being leveled just as the American people are beginning to learn the truth about the improper unmasking of the identities of U.S. citizens and other abuses of power."

Bill Cosby nods: "Stripper gets probation for drugging clients, taking their money"

Via Instapundit: Justice Bonnie Wittner asked if she had anything to say. “I’m glad this is done,” she answered, wearing a black leather jacket, stilettos and waist-length blond extensions.

Barbash was the last of her glamorous cohorts to be sentenced.

Roselyn Keo, 33, also got a lenient deal. She copped to grand larceny and attempted assault in exchange for no jail time in March 2016, said the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor.

Former Scores “massage” girl Karina Pascucci, 29, and Marsi Rosen, 31, were sentenced to weekends in jail for four months and five years’ probation in January 2016. The two pleaded guilty to conspiracy, grand larceny and other raps as part of their agreement with prosecutors.

The brunette temptresses trolled for their marks at fancy hotel bars then drugged their drinks, officials said.

The half-conscious men were taken to strip clubs and separated from their credit cards, which the voluptuous vixens used to make thousands in charges for liquor and lap dances.

The scheme was uncovered when Dr. Zyad Younan reported the scam to authorities. Pascucci lured him to Scores in 2013, drugged him and racked up $135,000 worth of charges on his credit card.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

It's Morning in America

Via Instapundit:  How calm is America these days? So calm that Black Lives Matter and the anti-Trump “Resistance” have time to argue over a Pepsi ad they find problematic, because it co-opts their “movement.” Which is why half the left resembled these poor sods last night on Twitter:

President Trump is making a horrible mistake.

Daily Mail By Franseca Chambers April 5,  2017
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that it is now his responsibility to resolve the humanitarian and political crisis in Syria as he opened the door to military action in the country.  
Trump upped the ante in a Rose Garden press conference after having said earlier in the day that the the chemical weapons attack is a 'terrible affront to humanity.' 
'My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much,' Trump declared, suggesting with the statement that he may be reconsidering his directive to US diplomats to take their focus off removing Bashar al-Assad from power. 
The 'horrible, horrible' sarin gas attack that killed small children and 'beautiful babies' had a 'big impact' on the president, who declared Wednesday that the attack 'crossed a lot of lines.'
'When you kill innocent children, innocent babies...with a chemical gas that is so lethal...that crosses many, many lines. Beyond a red line,' Trump said, making reference to Barack Obama's infamous 2012 threat to Assad.

This is a horrible, horrible mistake. It is indulging in the neocon delusion that worlds problems are our problems. It is a shame about the dead kids but kids are getting shot in Chicago every day. Now they have to wear bullet proof vests to go to school. We are not responsible for the ragheads killing each other. We don't need their oil anymore. When they are killing each other they are not killing Jews. We need to step back and let them get to it. If Russia wants to stick their dick in that zipper let them go right ahead. It is not any of our business.

I hope he comes to his senses and ignores this crap. Go back to tormenting CNN and talking about the babes they have banged with Bill O'Reilly. 


Who among men hasn't fallen in love with a "Brandy" -- in real life or in silico? Who among women hasn't fallen for an itinerant seaman?

But here's the good part: The real life story of Brandy (You're A Fine Girl) as told by singer/songerwriter Elliot Lurie:

Highlights of the interview: 
  • Lurie looks much better without his girly locks and blouse. 
  • Brandy was named for a high school girlfriend named "Randy." 
  • Lurie is from Brooklyn, just like our beloved Trooper York; he talks about having to change his Brooklynese "r's" for the song. 
  • Lurie dispels the notion that he was inspired by the real life story of Mary Ellis, despite the remarkable coincidence.  
  • Barry Manilow did change the name of his song Brandy to Mandy. Manilow should have renamed it "Randy" -- NTTAWWT. 

ESPN Doubles Down On Left Wing Politics

Via Drudge:  On Monday night, just minutes after the tip of the NCAA basketball title game, the People's Republic of MSESPN tried to sneak in a new policy on politics. It was textbook MSESPN, claim objectivity while actually allowing its talent in the opinion business to double down on left wing politics. You can read the new policy here. And, of course, the new policy was released under the cover of night while the vast majority of sports fans were just settling down to watch North Carolina and Gonzaga.

The next day MSESPN did what MSESPN does -- it replaced a prominent conservative voice, Sage Steele, with a prominent liberal voice, Michelle Beadle. You'll recall that Beadle has spent much of the past several months on Twitter denigrating Donald Trump and those who voted for him. If Beadle had Tweeted the same things about Barack Obama and his voters, she'd be fired. But say it about Trump and his voters -- millions of whom watch ESPN every day -- and at MSESPN this is cause for promotion.

After the news went public of her removal from NBA coverage Steele trended on Twitter, being ripped by a mostly black audience for the audacity she has to not be a left wing liberal in sports....

(Link to the rest of the article)

"Susan Rice gets tangled up in her own statements about 'unmasking' Trump officials"

Via Instapundit:  First, Susan Rice denied any knowledge of unmasking the identities of Trump officials named in intelligence reports linked to the president's transition team. Then, the former national security adviser admitted that unmasking occurred, while insisting it wasn't for political purposes.

What will the Obama administration official say next? If her Tuesday interview with MSNBC offers any answer, it's that Rice appears to shift her story in direct proportion to political pressure.

In her most recent explanation, Rice explained to Andrea Mitchell, that from time to time the correspondence of private citizens would get swept up in legal surveillance of foreign actors. And occasionally when the redacted name of those persons was deemed pertinent to national security, she sometimes requested the "unmasking" of an individual.

"The intelligence community made the determination whether the identity of that U.S. person could be provided to me," Rice said, insisting that she didn't make the call.

While her account of the process might be correct, there's a problem. Two weeks ago during a PBS interview, Rice denied having any knowledge of unmasked information. "I know nothing about this," she told Judy Woodruff. "I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today."

Back then Rice responded to allegations that the Obama administration was surveilling members of Trump's camp for strategic gain by pleading ignorance. Hedging her bets after new reports from Bloomberg and the Daily Caller, Rice now says that any unmasking of identities was "absolutely not for any political purposes, to spy, to expose or anything."

Still, after contradicting her own statements, that distinction will do little to placate Republicans gunning for her head. And she'll find little sympathy after failing to categorically deny that she was responsible for any of the unmasking. Already, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has called for Rice to appear before Congress to testify.

(Link to article)

Coming out of the dark

The Grand Canyon lit only by lightning

Storm Above The Field

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

"Google Is Teaching Their Ad Bots to Recognize 'Objectionable' Content"

Via Instapundit: If you're a big name advertiser, it stands to reason that you don't want to taint your brand by having it associated with racists or other vile people who populate so much of the internet. For Google, the largest internet advertising provider, this has been a serious problem. Now, they're trying to address it in order to put advertisers at ease...
Google engineers, product managers and policy wonks are trying to train computers to grasp the nuances of what makes certain videos objectionable. Advertisers may tolerate use of a racial epithet in a hip-hop video, for example, but may be horrified to see it used in a video from a racist skinhead group...
It's a justified concern for those brands. Unfortunately, it raises concerns in a different direction.

For example, a large portion of the criticism of President Obama was labeled as racist. How will that come into play? Will these computers be able to tell the difference between a video of a commentator who takes issue with affirmative action and a video of a Klan member railing against interracial marriage?

(Link to entire post)

There is a vitally important story that is being totally ignored by the media!

Lawsuit Claims Roger Ailes Said ‘The Five’ Host Will ‘Get On Her Knees for Anyone’

by Daniel S Levine The Heavy Website

In the sexual harassment lawsuit Julie Roginsky filed against Fox NewsRoger Ailes and Fox News Co-President Bill Shine, she claims Ailes said that a female The Five host would “get on her knees for anyone.”
Roginsky, who still appears on the network as a liberal political commentator, claims in the lawsuit (which you can read in full here) that Ailes sexually harassed her on several occasions in 2015 and even tried to have a sexual relationship with her. When she rejected his advances, he retaliated by keeping her from having a full-time position on The Five, the lawsuit claims. In the lawsuit, Roginsky alleges that Shine was also aware of Ailes’ actions.
The lawsuit also provides a behind-the-scenes look at The Five, which is one of the network’s most popular shows. According to the lawsuit, Roginsky was asked to replace Bob Beckel on The Five in early 2015 because Fox News could not find him. After that incident Beckel was taken off the show and Roginsky became a frequent liberal voice.

Susan Rice: 'I Leaked Nothing To Nobody'

"This is completely made up" 

At the beginning of the interview Susan Rice appears to overstate her importance as National Security Advisor for president Obama.... Here is how Andrew C McCarthy explains it at the National Review Online.
Understand: There would have been no intelligence need for Susan Rice to ask for identities to be unmasked. If there had been a real need to reveal the identities — an intelligence need based on American interests — the unmasking would have been done by the investigating agencies.

The national-security adviser is not an investigator. She is a White House staffer. The president’s staff is a consumer of intelligence, not a generator or collector of it. If Susan Rice was unmasking Americans, it was not to fulfill an intelligence need based on American interests; it was to fulfill a political desire based on Democratic-party interests.
Some of you may recollect how Susan Rice had to withdraw her nomination for the coveted post of Secretary of State, because, it was speculated, she could not gather enough confirmation votes, in the senate, given her history of half truths and obfuscation.

Also, leaking to the press is not the aggravating charge she is being accused of.... unmasking U.S. citizens is...

'1984' to be screened by cinemas worldwide in anti-Donald Trump protest

Via Reddit:  Now almost 200 cinemas around the US and other parts of the world are planning a simultaneous screening of George Orwell’s dystopian classic in protest at the new President.

In the US, the UK, Canada, Croatia and Sweden, the “National Screening Day” has been organised for 4 April by Dylan Skolnick, co-director of the Cinema Arts Centre in New York, and Adam Birnbaum, director of film programming at the Avon Theatre Film Centre in Connecticut.

“In particular, this undermining of the concept of facts and the demonisation of foreign enemies [by the Trump administration] really resonate in 1984," Mr Skolnick told Al Jazeera.

“No one is suggesting that we’re living in Orwell’s world. But the road to that world is people just becoming disengaged and allowing their government to do whatever it wants.”

The novel is centred on protagonist Winston Smith, who resists the establishment in an authoritarian world, which is controlled by one political party amid war and Big Brother surveillance.

(Link to story)

What behaviors instantly kill a conversation?

Reddit top voted comments...

When I laughed during a conversation and he told me I laughed like a pussy.

Name dropping and constantly talking about themselves

Standing too close or too far away

I have a friend who just can't be wrong. Once he says something he commits 100% to it and will never admit he is wrong even when presented with evidence otherwise and it's infuriating.

Not getting to the point.

Complaining about moments of silence.

My mom will literally change the subject of conversation in the middle of a sentence if she doesn't want to talk about it anymore. It could be about something important or trivial and happens all the time. It's so frustrating and usually just ends up with me getting up and walking away.

corn pancakes

This is one tin of corn and one small tin of hot jalapeño peppers.

With the usual things added to make it a pancake.

Mum made them with creamed corn. Hers were thin and lacy. Flour is added in increments do desired thickness. A small amount of corn meal and formed a little more stiffly for hushpuppies they can be deep fried. 

These are a lot better than I imagined. I made them a little bit too sweet.


The most famous unmasking scene in film history:*

Who knew it was John McCain under the mask?
*Universal Pictures (1925) forbade any pre-release stills of Lon Chaney and his make-up.

Monday, April 3, 2017

"Marvel executive says emphasis on diversity may have alienated readers"

Via Reddit:  Marvel’s vice president of sales has blamed declining comic-book sales on the studio’s efforts to increase diversity and female characters, saying that readers “were turning their noses up” at diversity and “didn’t want female characters out there”.

Over recent years, Marvel has made efforts to include more diverse and more female characters, introducing new iterations of fan favourites including a female Thor; Riri Williams, a black teenager who took over the Iron Man storyline as Ironheart; Miles Morales, a biracial Spider-Man and Kamala Khan, a Muslim teenage girl who is the current Ms Marvel.

But speaking at the Marvel retailer summit about the studio’s falling comic sales since October, David Gabriel told ICv2 that retailers had told him that fans were sticking to old favourites. “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity,” he said. “They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not.”

Marvel’s vice president of sales has blamed declining comic-book sales on the studio’s efforts to increase diversity and female characters, saying that readers “were turning their noses up” at diversity and “didn’t want female characters out there”.

Over recent years, Marvel has made efforts to include more diverse and more female characters, introducing new iterations of fan favourites including a female Thor; Riri Williams, a black teenager who took over the Iron Man storyline as Ironheart; Miles Morales, a biracial Spider-Man and Kamala Khan, a Muslim teenage girl who is the current Ms Marvel.

But speaking at the Marvel retailer summit about the studio’s falling comic sales since October, David Gabriel told ICv2 that retailers had told him that fans were sticking to old favourites. “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity,” he said. “They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not.”

(Link for more of the story)

Life behind the falls, Kvernufoss, Iceland

Link to pan and zoom source

Don Surber: Investigate Obamagate

Via InstapunditThe abuse of presidential power by Barack Obama and his minions is Watergate on Steroids.
  • The Obama administration openly shared classified information with political appointees about Donald Trump in the summer of 2015, and likely earlier. The citation.
  • Obama's attorney general sought warrants to spy on President Trump's campaign team last June, and was denied last June by a federal judge. The citation.
  • Obama's attorney general sought warrants to spy on a server at Trump Tower last October and was granted one by a federal judge. Ibid.
  • The Obama administration spied on President Trump's transition team. The citation.

    This information alone — supported by mass media news reports — is enough to warrant a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice, as well as a civil rights investigation into Barack Obama's possible violation of Donald Trump's right to seek the presidency.
(Link to the whole article)

Susan Rice Sought Names of Trump Associates in Intel

Via Twitter:  White House lawyers last month learned that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The pattern of Rice's requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government's policy on "unmasking" the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like "U.S. Person One."

Rice herself has not spoken directly on the issue of unmasking. Last month when she was asked on the "PBS NewsHour" about reports that Trump transition officials, including Trump himself, were swept up in incidental intelligence collection, Rice said: "I know nothing about this," adding, "I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that account today."

(Link to the entire story)

"You're not a serial killer, you're just a serial inconveniencer. What do you do to people?"

Reddit top voted comments...

Ask questions during movies while said questions are being answered by the movie, so the person you're watching it with has to rewind. Endless loop

Unplug peoples cell phones in the early of the night after they have fallen asleep.

I take a really long time taking pictures of famous paintings...with an iPad held above head height.

Press every button I come across.

I would purchase everything in pennies

Walk really slow on a narrow sidewalk

Sunday, April 2, 2017

"Minimum wage activists call tipping racist"

Via InstapunditThat's the argument being forwarded by some liberal activists and politicians as a way of stigmatizing laws that exempt certain professions, mainly restaurant workers, from the federal minimum wage.

However, there is little historical evidence for the argument.

"I don't think tipping was particularly racial … It was more a matter of customers showing off their wealth," said Gerald Friedman, professor of economics and history at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and associate editor of the scholarly journal Labor History.

Nevertheless, activists pushing for a higher minimum wage have pushed the argument now that their movement has gained ground. Nineteen states are set to phase in higher minimum rates this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That has brought more attention to the exception for tipped employees in most minimum wage laws. Those employees, mostly in the service industry, can legally be paid less the standard minimum on the grounds that their tips make up for it.

Minimum wage fans have argued that that's not merely wrong but a vestige of 19th racism...

(Link to the whole Washington Examiner article)

"A man dies and goes to hell"

Via Reddit:

There he finds that there is a different hell for each country.

He goes to the German hell and asks,

"What do they do there?"

He told, "First they put you in an electric chair♨ for an hour.

Then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour.

Then the German devil comes in and beats you for the rest of the day."

The man doesn't like it, so he moves on and checks out the American hell, the Russian hell and hells of other countries.

He finds that they're all more or less the same as the German hell.

Then he comes to the Indian hell and finds that there is a long queue of people waiting to get in.

Amazed, he asks, "What do they do here?"

He told, "First they put you in an electric chair for an hour.

Then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour.

Then the Indian devil comes in and beats you for the rest of the day."

"But that is exactly the same as all the other hells; so why are so many people waiting to get in here?" wonders the man.

He is told, "Because the maintenance here is so bad that the electric chair does not work.

Someone has stolen all the nails from the bed

and the Indian devil is a former government servant,

So he just comes, signs the attendance register and then goes to the canteen."

Arizona Aquascape

There are parts of this recording that I watched like this: skip, skip, skipskipskip skip. James Findley somehow gets his hands on a few pieces of Arizona petrified forest and just holding the things and imagining them being trees 225 million years ago that grew two hundred feet tall. Just thinking about it blows them away. Even though they're not American it begins a fascination with Arizona so they dedicate a whole tank to the rocks that they have. To Arizona.

How thoughtful.

If you stuck with it, and as seen in the key frame, this doesn't look like the Petrified Forest.

We can say inspired by the petrified forest. Inspired by Arizona. The choice of red palette, textures, plant height all inspired by imaginings of how an idealized Arizona could be and all that applied through a Nature Aquarium style. 

By studying these three Takashi Amano books. There's more than three, but a set of books are numbered to 3.  

In wich I learn that I share the same birthday. Same year too, as the author. And ages ten through twelve we lived some ten miles apart. I was especially interested in what he wrote about that age. We both had an interest in aquariums at that time. He experimented with tossing soda water into his small aquariums and doing water changes every day so his difficulty was keeping up with soda water demand. That was his way of increasing CO2. He observed the affects on fish. He increased light and began planting local plants, experimenting with extending what he can get away with. He changed the entire industry. Over time. The products that James Findley is spreading in the aquarium above are all worked out by Takashi Amano's company. 

But Arizona does not look like this. Arizona is not this lush. Even when the desert experiences a flush following a drought, like now, and the whole desert suddenly blooms it's still not so lush as this aquarium. 

No, vegetation is sparse in the Petrified Forest. This is where the stones really have center stage to themselves. 

February Arizona Highways dedicated a few essays to Arizona Petrified Forest. This is where I thought that I read how they were formed but now I cannot find it.

So instead, from Wikipedia:
Petrified Forest National Park is known for its fossils, especially of fallen trees that lived in the Late Triassic period of the Mesozoic era, about 225 million years ago. During this period, the region that is now the park was near the equator on the southwestern edge of the supercontinent Pangaea, and its climate was humid and sub-tropical.[12] What later became northeastern Arizona was a low plain flanked by mountains to the south and southeast and a sea to the west.
That part was for fun. See, to enjoy it we must hold two disparate inconsistent things in mind as if they are not contrasting and not discordant. Entire continents can break up and shift around the climate experience repeated periods of extremes, giant species that reigned supreme for a million years eliminated. While on the other hand ... forget it. I don't want to give the argument any oxygen.

Here's the real part. 
Streams flowing across the plain from the highlands deposited inorganic sediment and organic matter, including trees as well as other plants and animals that had entered or fallen into the water. Although most organic matter decays rapidly or is eaten by other organisms, some is buried so quickly that it remains intact and may become fossilized. Within the park, the sediments containing the fossil logs for which the park is named are part of the Chinle Formation.
That's a lot more passive than where I read elsewhere nearby eruptions coated entire forests of incredibly tall trees with silica that was taken up into the cells and compressed to crystallization and then over vast time the whole scene eroded so the ground literally dissolves from under the crystalized trees. 

And hardly anything grows on the surface. images, [petrified forest]. The photos are stunning. They're inspiring. It makes the hobbyist want to paint the picture with plants while pictures of the actual place show very sparse plant growth. You could say the place is a proper desert. 

I enjoyed the Arizona Highways article. The concept for them is obviously recycled. The photographs especially are outstanding. Flipping through and reading with a magnifying glass, the whole time I was reminded of a friend a long time ago whose family drove there. I watched their dog. Lady. This took me back decades. He told me way back then that they didn't bring any rocks back because if people did then the place would be stripped. That made sense. Too bad. 

It's not just me thinking the Arizona Highways article is great. This month letters to the editor are published from readers recalling their own childhood trips to the petrified forest. Some wonder why the segments look like they're sawn into pieces. 

While national forests aren't the only places that petrified wood is found.

Our own aquarium ode to Arizona's petrified forest, and named that, will have a lot less plants and very low ones, and the whole thing will resemble more closely a Japanese rock garden. Most of these examples are inauthentic it appears to me. Too garish. Too involved. Too much stuff. Real ones are characterized as sparse. Spartan in esthetic. 

It's weird to call genuine real Japanese work inauthentic but I do. I had the real ones explained to me at the real places, shrines, actually not that great an experience at the time. I wasn't into it then. And they weren't all Zen gardens either. They say the idea of the rock garden is like expressing the concept of Japan itself. The garden is water with islands. Sometimes the gardiners rake waves through the little stones around islands of larger stones. To do that you have to stand on the islands.

That idea is close to what the real Arizona petrified forest is like. And it would make a great tank interior. And without all those pesky demands of increased CO2 and intensified light.