Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year!

I'm really not a big fan of New Years Eve drinking. I mean it is the same bullshit as Paddy's day. I used to  drink all the time. Every day. So I didn't need to go over the top to prove I was Irish or that I was happy that we were having a new year! I like to stay home and eat potato puffs and pigs in a blanket and watch Dick Clark having a stroke. Which is what we are doing this year. No Dick Clark but Ryan Seacrest and Andy Cohen who like to stroke a dick. So to speak. Still they are amusing little homo's,

Anyway one year the wife convinced me that she wanted to do it up big for New Years. I rented a tux and we went to the Campbell Apartment which is a bar over Grand Central Station. It was originally the apartment of a Railroad Robber Baron guy. They turned it into a bar. The key attraction was that they had a big band and a Frank Sinatra impersonator. So we got to listen to music and enjoy champagne and can of peas. It was actually fun. After the ball dropped we ventured into Times Square. The crowds had dissipated and we went to Kevin St James which was the bar that Lisa was managing at the time. We hung out until dawn. It was a lot of fun.

I hope youse guys enjoy your New Years Eve. I hope Lem picks up a lot of people. In his Uber of course. I hope Sixty enjoys stroking his wood as he welcomes the New Year. Momma M can think of new insights she can share with us in the New Year. Chickie can come up with some more great music that I am not familiar with to enjoy. Dust Bunny Queen can post some of her old recipes in the New Year to take up the lack. I especially hope that our friend Chip will decide to come back and share his inimitable talent.

Happy New Year!

The difference between NYC and Texas!

Two recent incidents perfectly illustrate the difference between NYC and the rest of the country.

A moron with a knife goes in a synagogue and stabs a bunch of Jews. A moron with a gun goes into a church and starts shooting and they shoot him first before he can kill a bunch of people.

A good guy with a gun beats out a bunch of bullshit about gun control.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Them - Baby Please Don't Go!





Hey whose that singing?



Baby please don't go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mr. Imus and Me.


When I was working as an accountant I was really bored. You are sitting in an office working with Quick Books or putting in information on a tax return. After you have been doing it for 20 years you can do it with your eyes closed. So what we did to make it tolerable was to play the radio.

Sometimes we listened to music. I sat in a big room with two other guys. So it was always an issue as to what station to listen to during the day. WNEW with the progressive rock. WPLJ with a more pop sound. WBLS with the disco and soul. It was hard to agree with an Irish/Italian mook, a Orthodox Jew and a Chink all sitting together. So we compromised  and listened to WFAN the sports station all day long.

WFAN was a big deal at the time during the 1980's and 1990's. You had Mike and the Mad Dog in the afternoon. Midday was a revolving door with everyone from Ed Coleman, Dave Sims, the Sweater and the Smoozer and a cast of thousands. The morning had one guy. The icon. Don Imus.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

On: You're Going to Miss Me When I'm Gone


On the negative side, her loose hair hanging over the dough and the fan blowing clouds of flour all over the room drives me nuts, but the rest is peppy.  I especially like the jingle bells over the door that ring at the beginning and the end.

This week, in one of the boxes of saved items from our 2018 move,  I found the musical set of three metal bells that hung over the door in my immigrant grandpa's bike shop.  He was a man with an eighth grade education who went on to found a successful screw machine shop, with three patents in his name.  One of the SonsM recently bought a old commercial building, German barn style, erected in the 1850's in the small town where we now live.  He's working on renovating it for rental space on the ground floor, and redoing the apartment upstairs for himself.  In days gone by it also housed a bike shop in the back and he's planning to hang the bells on the rear door there. 

In the face of changes, losses, challenges and gains, the bells I've held onto all these years (that previously hung in my dad's workroom in the home I grew up in and bought after he died), represent the held hope that a faithful journey matters; that who we are and what we leave behind (or take with us!) has the potential to resonate or ring for others in unexpected ways that exceed imagination. 



Thursday, December 26, 2019

More Arguments at the Christmas table!


Well we started the argument at the Christmas table. Funny enough it wasn't about trees. Who the fuck argues about trees?  It was about important stuff. Sauce.

My mother-in-law and I have been having this argument for about twenty years. She calls it gravy. I call it sauce. Gravy is on your freaking roast beef. Sauce is on your meatballs. Stop the bullshit.

Look I know I have an Irish name and I look like a retired cop as if Officer Joe Bolton got locked in a bakery but I am pure guinea. The grease oozes out of me like the bottom of a brown paper bag of zeppole at the feast. So stop with the bullshit.

I finally figured it out though. Her family comes from Yugoslavia. She ain't even really Italian. She hates when I say that. But it's true.

What do youse mooks think? Is it sauce or is it gravy?

Here is the perfect new series for youse guys for the Christmas Season!



I give it top marks. It is engrossing. And gross. Just what you need as an antidote to cloying Holiday Cheer.

You just have to have Hulu. Most people who cut the cord have Hulu because you can get the regular channels ABC, NBC and CBS with a little add on so you don't have to get the whole cable package. Add in the Amazon Fire Stick with the pirate downloads and you can see every show and every movie as soon as it comes out in the privacy of your own home.

You get to treat the cable company like a harlot. So to speak.

The Spirit of the Season 2

T

I kind of hate to give gifts. The only thing I hate more is to get gifts. When we were first dating my wife was appalled that I didn't exchange gifts with my best friend. We never did. We both felt if we wanted something we would go out and get it. Who wanted to deal with the gift giving bullshit?

Well this year I got a gift that touched my heart. My little niece decided she was going to get everyone gifts. The kid is only ten but she is very thoughtful. She got her Grandma chocolate. She got her favorite Aunt Lisa gluten free dark chocolate. But she got her Uncle Jim some John Wayne Playing cards. Every card is a different photo of the Duke. I think that proves it.

I am her favorite!

CONEY ISLAND?





It's not the Coney Island I remember.

Only one thing is the same.

The craic was good.

The Spirit of the Season!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the Lemmings!

Every year it seems that people get all bent out of shape and start to fight. Resentments that fester all year boil over at Christmas time. Because yes we celebrate the little Baby Jesus but the Devil never sleeps. He is always poking at us and trying to get us to tell people what we really think of them. The resentments that we have all year finally get to us and we explode. It just happens. I don't know why. But it does.

I have a relative that I really hate. Not dislike. Not just not fond of. I hate her with the heat of a thousand suns.You see she made my wife cry once and I have hated her ever since. I have to sit at the Holiday table and pretend we get along. And I do. I face her with my usual attitude of studied genial contempt. This season I am helped by of all things the Hulu original program "Harlots."

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas

Here is the song I usually post on this day - it seems appropriate:


I have very fond Christmas memories of my father conducting the church choir in much of Handel's Messiah. This one stuck with me.


I got the tree set up in the front room - a day late but it is out there blinking away.

Read more at your own peril - it is, predictably, just more of the same.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Chrismas Everybody!

Dr.Sebastian Gorka with Jan Jekielek.

It's a broad sweep of the geopolitical landscape with interesting personal story besides.




Vocal coach with young student

Cheryl Porter, the coach, is beautiful. 



Last of the Mohicans



This is the most spectacular scene in the most amazing movie I've ever seen.

How they got the look of the original American forest is beyond me. 

The soundtrack is perfection.

Secret Santa

Hey! Want to see an old woman cry?



And here's a third box with cash to have your little dog devoiced. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Bread

Last night I made bread, and boy, that was a massive effort.

It wasn't that hard but I had to do it with my ribs hurting, my neck hurting, my head throbbing and my eyeballs being squeezed by a malevolent spirit and my throat hurting.

Today I tried to speak and words come out like a croaking frog.

Then I realized that I didn't even knead the dough.

It rose in the bowl and looked perfect. I drizzled a ring of flour around the edges. Then I used a plastic bench scraper that can be pressed to take the shape of the bowl and shoved it downward dragging along with it the sprinkled flour so it doesn't re-stick to the bowl. The whole mass is loosened and upturned onto the work surface.

A big fat blob.

The blob is stretched in all directions. And that is all the kneading that I did.

This redistributes the yeast.

They're having sex inside the blob and suddenly I make them all switch partners.

That's how we roll.

The stretched dough is folded into a loaf and pinched shut.

The elongation is trimmed to fit in my pan.

The extra is turned into rolls.

So, when baked, it collapsed a little bit and I don't like that.

Because now my slices will be like this:

This is using a covered pan for a Pullman style loaf.



I had King Soopers deliver groceries. The young man was a lifesaver. He did very well picking things out. I have nice deli ham and okay sliced cheese and now all I need is some bread.

When young people help you out so greatly I believe in rewarding them handsomely. Had people done that with me then I would have been a lot more cooperative. So little from us means so much to them. And when I think about it, he saved me a huge amount of trouble.

* walking around shopping for things.
* loading the vee-hickle
* unloading the vee-hickle into another cart
* bringing up the cart.
* unloading the cart.

Bless your heart, Young Man, you saved me a huge amount of trouble.

But he did make some stupid mistakes. Next time I'll take his suggestion and use the app to keep in contact while he's going around filling the cart. There is no way that young people have to predict our preferences or why. They don't know why four or five large russet potatoes is better than the small bag of Yukon Gold potatoes. They do not know a pound of serrano peppers is too many.

I have a few cups left of whole wheat that I bought from CoBrew downstairs. They chop up the grain to chunks to make a sort of grain tea to start their beer.

I buy their grain and mill it myself to fine powder.

The grain is malted. I bought the most heavily malted. When the grain hits the water (last night was simmered milk) the odor that comes up is amazing.

But that malting process involves toasting the grain to stop the action. So each grain is already cooked. It will not behave as regular raw grain.

It is inert.

To compensate for this shortcoming, for the rest of the flour I use high protein bread flour. Now I have increased gluten activity combined with inert cooked whole wheat.

When the loaf baked, the aroma that filled the entire apartment and the hallway outside was provocatively alluring. I'm surprised people didn't beat down my door to get at it.





It's incredibly expensive but I don't care.

Much more expensive than the flour that you buy from the grocery.

But this willingness to experiment is the reason my bread is so g.d. alluring. I've baked extra loaves and taken them downstairs to show them, "See? This is what your grain does." And they're all, "Holy crap, this is good."

Now it's almost gone and time to replenish.

In some ways it's actually better than sourdough.

The bread this produced is light as a feather. The opposite of ordinary whole wheat.

Bulldog runs Westminster agility course



German guy sings like an American

Do you know why Yurpeans sing like Americans? Why audiences clap so hard when they manage to sound like us?

Because English is the lingua Franca. ← Irony right there.

And none of the English speaking countries sound so musical as Americans. Our English is real. In singing our English is free of affectation. We pronounce the crucial letters. We speak from the heart, not through a screen of weird nationalized codified mispronunciations. To speak like an American simply drop all the bullshit and get real. And that's very good for music.

To speak like a British person pretend you're retarded. And that's not good for songs.  So, British sing like Americans speak.

As individual singers they must be thinking, "Oh man, for my song to sound real I must drop all my cultural affectations, all my purposeful mispronunciations, all my class signifiers, all my purposeful culturally accepted mangling of proper English. Or else my song will sound as absurd as I do in ordinary speech. Get real. Get American.

When I first heard Adele singing I quite naturally assumed she was American country singer. Looked like one too. Then she spoke. Sheer bathos.



Korean style tornado omelet

This is an impressive technique.



Kidding.

The cook is rotating the pan a quarter turn to create the tornado, then holding the tornado in place and returning the pan to its original position. And he does that two or three times.

And the cooks do not bother folding the filling into the omelet, rather, they make a pile of rice and place the tornado shape on top of it.

And that gives you ideas that the pile doesn't have to be rice. It can be all the regular thing that you'd like for breakfast, hash brown potatoes with bacon bits and jalapeño, for example, cheese and crispy lettuce and herbs and so on. It gets you out of having to make a sort of egg burrito.  

White guy goes to black cookout

This is a reaction video. There are several others responding to this white guy describing his experience. I watched to see which parts cracked him up the most, having his sub-culture described by an outsider.

Stammering, blabbering, stuttering Pelosi tries to explain the impeachment delay

That's the title of the video, not my characterization of it.



Now, who in their right mind is even going to watch that?  What are you, masochist? 

Let's read it instead.

"We are, we have, I have... When we bring the bill, which is, just so you know, there's a bill made in order by the Rules Committee that we can call up at any time in order to send it to the Senate and to have the provisions in it to pay for the, for the impeachment. And then the next step, and the eh, que, uh... uhl ... ... whatever you want to call it, the qu uh, the trial," 
The satires of Pelosi are funnier. But here Pelosi out-satires the satires of herself. 

Their intense Trump-hatred has made them all crazy. That and alcohol. And working themselves to the bone. But mostly intense Trump-hatred.  

Believe it or not, this is how we prefer them. Because when they're in power they're even more intolerable.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

I heard a version of this tune on the radio today

And it reminded me of a CD I used to have. Haven't heard this version in 20 years so it was nice to revisit it here in the Christmas season. It's a nice old carol.


And who among us has not experienced this particular type of Christmas?


Here Comes the Boom

New video by Joe Gorman at Intellectual Froglegs.

I'm seeing this video all over the place all at once, but not on YouTube. See?

Too bad. Because I cannot post it here.

Here it is on his own site.

It's schizophrenic. The music changes every five seconds. It features people we actively avoid. He laughs at his own jokes. His laugh sounds like he smokes.

With all those shortcomings it's still very good.

Emotional Impeachment Versus Practical Impeachment

Scott Adams has the best post-impeachment take you will not hear in mainstream media.

His impeachment take ends 20 seconds after the 24 minute mark. So, don't despair, seeing how long the entire video lasts. It will only set you back about 24 minutes, but, they will be worth it, I promise.

Fevered dreams

They weren't actual dreams. I don't think.

I experienced the third sleepless night. I think. I lay there on the sofa and try to sleep but sleep doesn't come. My thoughts recycle a single scene. Over and over and over. And that's very unlike a dream in which a single thought cannot hold without transforming to something else.

I kept getting different versions of the exact same thing.

The scene is me at the oversized counter in the kidney specialist office. I tell the two on the other side I like their parking lot. I always get a spot right in the front. "See? That's my truck down there."

They tell me they have additional covered parking to the side. The woman sells it. It's very nice. Just built. Easy to use. Direct access and so on.

I say, "I'm scared of covered parking."

The young man, twenty-something, tall and well built, says, "So am I."

The young woman says, "I'm not. It's very convenient. I prefer it. What scares you about it?"

      "I could get raped."

The young man, laughing, said, "Yeah. Me too."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

What in the world is so funny?

This same thing happened before.

A few years ago I answered a knock at the door. A tall blond young man stood there holding a package. He looked like a Viking dressed in a delivery outfit. The man was bigger than the position he held signaled by his clothes. He did not match his clothes. After the exchange I said, "Jeeze, my door was unlocked this whole time. He said, "Hmmmm." I continued. "Someone could have just walked in here and raped me.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

He laughed the whole time he walked away to the elevator. He was still laughing while he waited for the elevator. I could hear all the way down the hall.

What in the world is so funny? 

Apparently sixty-five year old men don't get raped. That's what is so funny.

I'm comforted now that I've become rape-proof due to age.

The other half is visualizing the indoor parking lot. Over and over and over. These thoughts do change but they stay on the same subject. That's what makes me think that I'm still awake. 

The subject is three companies who put up cameras to monitor the parking lot. The cheesiness of the cameras indicate they are not serious about preventing parking lot rapes. 

Now I must confess something horrible.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

New shirt

I just bought the most expensive shirt that I've ever owned.

From The Rack.

I think Nordstrom's moves everything over to The Rack for discount when they're not selling quickly enough. But I don't know. The prices are usually reasonable marked down from extremely unreasonable. But, I'm happy with everything that I bought from them.

Just yesterday my housekeeper said, "You have really good taste."

I used to buy shirts for work. All high quality but plain as day. Disgustingly plain. Disturbingly plain.

Now I don't have that concern so my search always includes "pattern." Nordstroms is careful about quality.

And I've learned that when something jumps out at me from the thousands, then stop thinking and buy it. And that's what happened now.

But I had to dismiss an incredibly high price.

What the heck.

My rule says, "buy it."

I'm guessing my neck is 15.5, what the heck, I'm not wearing a tie anyway.

And the description says the sleeves are long.

We'll see. The package is already here. That was fast.

It's goofy.

And I like that.

From a distance the shirt appears to be pale blue with prints of animals. This color is wrong ↓.


It's actually white with thin blue lines. The description says "blue." The thin blue lines makes it appear light blue.

And the animals are retarded.

Totally.

Purposefully.

Each animal is divided in three and put together randomly. The legs don't match. Birds are put with fish and mammals. But you have to get up close to notice.

And that's why I like it.

I can't wait for people to notice.

"Hey! Your shirt is actually retarded." 


Imported. I think it's Yurpean. But I don't know.

That might explain why it is so expensive. All those socialist countries try their best to rip off Americans. And now Trump's tariffs make that even worse. 

Oh well. 

12 most mortifying media moments of 2019

Just try to watch it and see how far you can get.

Actually, all media moments are mortifying. Narrowing it down to twelve is simply arbitrary.

You are not expected to actually watch it. And if you do, then shields up!



I've seen this video posted everywhere I go. First in comments then as a separate post. I tried twice to watch it and got so far as 10 seconds before realizing these are all the same people that I actively avoid. So, why would I want to see the worst of them all together? That runs counter to my objective for myself.

No.

Just no. 

No. No. No. 

All these people can just bite me. They do not get 11 seconds of my attention. 

Pier-ee-ud.

I see them featured everyday and I skip each one every time. I don't give a f what Whoopie Goldberg says. Although I enjoy her very much in movies when she's saying someone else's words.

I skip everything from the View. I cannot imagine why conservative sites are so fascinated with these dingbats.

I don't care what McCaine's daughter says. I see her everyday. Skip, skip, skipity, skip, skip. Why conservatives give these people so much of their energy is beyond me. It's annoying.

Gregg Gutfeld's production always has overly lengthy clips of liberal politicians and activists saying provocative things so his audience sees the material that he is reacting to. Skip, skip, skip. I don't want to see them. 

My soul does that.

In this manner the soul inside me controls my actions and my soul tells me don't watch that. 

Why, Soul, why?

     "To shape your outlook. To avoid poisoning your spirit. To ingest nothing and mentally and spiritually process nothing that poisons and inhibits your spiritual development. Concentrate instead on the better thing. You are a being of spiritual advancement. From the thick heavy physical world of mud to refined spirit in association with God. All this negative political crap on earth holds you back. Do not give it any of your attention or energy." 

"Oh." 

That's easier said than done. Even your carefully chosen associates give it to you as I am doing now. 

This post is a soul-test. 

You are supposed to ignore the video. And everything like it.

Watch cruise ships collide

Origami horse

The paper is a specific foil type that makes a sound when Jo creases it.

Best muted or the sound will get to you. And best on double speed so you can watch the thing before your grandkids grow up.

It's a very nice horse.



Jo has nice hands. It's fascinating watching them work expertly.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Kiwico, spin art machine

Mute is good when the guy stops talking.



Yay! A mess making machine. 

Maybe you could amp it up and turn it into a gyroscope. Maybe it could launch a propeller. 

Maybe you could add an arm with a needle attached to a speaker and play 45 records on it.

Maybe you could use it to hypnotize people. Maybe you could turn the disc into a gear and attach another gear to move an arm. Maybe you could get it fling marbles or toss dog food to your dog. Maybe you could build a drive, add two axles to the box with cardboard wheels and have it drive itself around. 

Scott Adams, impeachment


Daddy, what does impeachment mean?


It means being fuzzy, warmed and blemished by the sun. It means becoming juicy and delicious. 

I don't like these cupcakes. ↓

Disco clam uses light to mesmerize predators

Marine biologist Lindsey Dougherty explains them. Dougherty speaks with a girlish terminal uptick even though she's a doctor so you have to accept that to get at the information.

In my day the pioneer women who crossed the Mississippi River in conestoga wagons to reach the great sequoias of Leadville Colorado spoke the same way as men. For life was too harsh to speak girlishly. They spoke in definite affirmatives and interrogatives and never mixed the two by inflection.



Credit where it is due. That is a great butterfly display on her wall in the background.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Jewish moms try each other's brisket

Brisket is a slab of meat from the lower chest of beef. The muscles include pectorals that support 60% of the weight of cattle and the muscles have a significant amount of connective tissue and all that means the meat is tough and flavorful. The opposite of tenderloin. It must be cooked slow and low for a long period of time to tenderize and to gelatinize the collagen fibers and to melt the fat. Water is needed so it doesn't dry out and to combine the elements as cooking changes them.

Covered and cooked slowly. Braised.

The question becomes what flavors the cook adds to the already flavorful cut of beef. Smoke, usually, and BBQ. Various sweeteners. Flavors that contribute to the already flavorful beef without competing or conflicting.

I never cooked brisket but off the top of my head pineapple seems like it would be good.

Leeks, potato, carrots, celery, the usual things added later.

I'm big on Napa cabbage in place of the usual green cabbage. It cooks very fast. It's almost like lettuce. Even the thick white part is tender and filled with water. When you eat the thick white stem part water explodes in your mouth. It cooks in seconds. A barely cooked Napa cabbage sliced on the side would be refreshing while an overcooked Napa cabbage would be dreary.

A brisket is already dreary. I'm thinking of things that would brighten it up. Things to lift up its heaviness. Like fruit. If cooked, then only barely.

Some of my best photographs of meat are tenderloin beef and pork slices surrounded by fresh fruit and berries. It just looks super appealing. And when your fork goes down the first thing it jabs is a blueberry or a strawberry or a chunk of pineapple.

The scale is 1-10 but I cannot get past the plastic service-ware. That's just flat wrong. Everyone starts out at minus-zero because beef and plastic knife and fork do not go together.

Come on, Princesses! Demand proper service ware.



I like watching women. 

They're mean. 

Contrary to that, I watched a Jewish woman compete with a cook and she was open and receptive and in a frame of mind to learn by comparing and trying new things. She was so sweet. She was interested in interrogating the cook to discover new ways for improvement. About a traditional dish. I think it was chicken soup and matzo ball.  She surprised me delightfully.


They're all unconcerned about the crust. None made a crust top. Each is based on the pumpkin pie principle. The only one who tried something new, alcohol, was shot down by the others.

They're all sticking to a fairly strict expectation of what sweet potato pie is supposed to be.

That means they would all hate the pie that I made.

If I submitted it as a sweet potato pie.

And I really liked my pie.

I put all kind of weird crap in my pie so that each bite would be different. Each forkful will bring up a different combination of fruit flavors. Sweet potato is only one of the flavors. It has both bottom and top crust. It's profile is not anything customary. It will not meet anyone's expectation.

My pie would fail so badly because it doesn't match anything they're judging against. They're judging against some vague personal ideal that they got from their own families.  The spices they name are all ordinary holiday pie spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. Nobody mentioned cardamon or clove, or even mace. Nobody mentioned ginger. I don't think anyone mentioned lemon. There are a ton of really great flavors that these women do not want in their sweet potato pie.

Why not pecans? Why not orange peel? Why not a brandy? Why not another fruit besides the root vegetable sweet potato?

These women convinced me I must not call my pie "sweet potato pie."

No. That will not do.

Because it will not match anyone's expectation and that will cause disappointment. Because they'll be looking for what they know and not see it or taste it.

Therefore I must call it something else, like, "Bizarre pie with sweet potato in it along with a bunch of other crap like raisins and dried cherries." 

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell orates about Democrat irresponsibility

"The House conduct has damaged the institutions of American Government."



Irrelevant.

U.S. Coast Guard vs low-profile go-fast boat

They're crappy stinking little bullet-like boats made from wood with three outboards stuffed with bails of contraband and loaves of pre-cut white bread.

When the operator has to go to the bathroom they hang their butt over the side and poop. They're so low the splashing water wipes their butt. So they have salt water butts. I'm guessing.

The single operator surrenders without resistance apparently satisfied to be lifted from their miserable situation. Apparently. I'm guessing again from the video.



Our Coast Guards are studs.

I have an acquaintance who joined the Coast Guard but phased out. For reasons of insufficient studliness. They were way too much for him.

Guys with better things to do than listen to news get update from Alexa




Wednesday, December 18, 2019

President Trump, KAG rally in Battle Creek Michigan

Kellog Arena. The man is on fi-yer. No holds barred. Cut loose. I've honestly never listened to a political rally and laughed out loud until now. It's all here. Nobody says it better.

Technical glitches. If you manage to catch this live the comments on YouTube are flying.

It's fun!

Baikal Lake winter

Southern Siberia.

Voted optical illusion of the year 2019

Seen on IOTW Report.



Who voted it optical illusion of the year? The Optical Illusion Club of Earth?

The image is not rotating on any axis. It's a GIF file composed of forty-six layers. It is forty-six pictures displayed sequentially. And they're not even transparent layers. The layers are stacked vertically then for our convenience the layers are arrayed horizontally in another window as "timeline." So it is a line of images in a row that run in sequence. The last frame leads to the first frame so when the run finishes it continues with the first. It's a loop of images.

The comments at IOTW are amusing. They manage to connect it with the Democrat sham impeachment of Trump.

Rise, cover by Superfruit

With Brian Crum, Mario Jose and Mary Lambert.



Superfruit is the duo Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying. Scott is the first singer with the great hair that looks like an ocean wave. Mitch Grassi is the second singer with the voice of a very strong woman.

They are both from Pentatonix and they have a YouTube channel that centers on music and comedy.

Brian Crum is the individual who sang "Creep" for America's Got Talent.

Mario Jose is a singer from San Francisco who studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston and was part of the group Pitch Slap. His web page with his music. 


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The sounds of skating on thin ice

PIPER RETURNS......and nobody is happy!





She is best remembered as the mother in "Carrie" but I like to remember her in "The Hustler" with Paul Newman and the Great One.

Piper returns after two week absence.

Boy cries. It's all good.

Robert Lighthizer Maria Bartiromo

Bartiromo's interviews are excellent. Robert Lighthizer is surprisingly diplomatic.

Trump's whole team is this way. They blow my mind.

I feel a tension within myself as I sit here and observe Lighthizer respond to Bartiromo's questioning. He is not there as an open book to be read, rather, he is there as a book that wants to read chapters of itself to you.

As a self-reading book he does that through the availability of Bartiromo's questioning. That is, he shapes his answers to her questions to suit his pre-written chapters.

The tension is between my mind and my spirit.

When I was younger my spirit and mind would agree when observing a diplomat answering (that's what Lighthizer is among everything else). I want to be like that.

And now my mind is willing to copy while my spirit says, "Nah, Brah."

When Pelosi takes credit for passing USMCA Lighthizer is willing to acknowledge her contribution. My mind processes that as appropriate while my spirit says "F that s. Pelosi's a hag, she did no work whatsoever. She is taking unearned credit. My team did all the work and her team worked against us throughout until the moment it became profitable for Pelosi to concede, then boom, she got off her butt and passes our work."

When Lighthizer says that Trump calls him everyday to apply pressure, my spirit says, "Trump rides my ass like a maniac."

My mind processes observing Lighthizer as model, and my spirits says, "Oh no you don't."



Monday, December 16, 2019

The Italianman

Since the fake Irishman can pretend he knows how to speak Italian in the Jimmy Hoffa snoozefest, how about a German hiring an Italian librettist to write the lyrics for his Figaro opera. Today as I was driving from point A to point B I heard this on the radio:


I had no idea that Beethoven (HBD, LvB) had written variations on that theme by Mozart. Having seen Le Nozze di Figaro a couple of times of course I was singing along "Something something mumble mumble Signor Contino" when that theme came around on the piano. I enjoyed it so much I did a search on the opera version of that tune. Here is one with a bit of context and a ton of stage business:


And since we are in a Figaro mode, how about the all time champeen version of that name in song:


Two of my works in walnut in situ way down east:


Sunrise this morning:


That's it - the weather has been warm but it is turning cold again. *signs 'winter'*

Update:

In response to BB&H's comment, here is a picture of a bowl I just finished. This is not a good picture - it is raining outside.


It's a happy smiley bowl!

But wait, there is more! Here are two pictures of the sweetgum bowl I was working on earlier:



Once again, not great pictures, but I think the amazing figure that was in that burl comes through just fine.

What a Mess

This is a pop-up book by Keith Allen and Jill Jankowski about two kids who are told to clean up their room. Each page is a mess of kids' stuff. The art is inept, and the book shows you really don't have to know how to draw cartoons to write a cartoon book. The pop-up mechanisms are simple and standard and they're not overdone, not overcomplicated although it looks as they are due to all the junk slathered on top of them for content.

It is a delightful book that pretty much every kid can relate to. And every adult has their own original kid inside of them whether or not they choose to acknowledge them.

So, everyone can relate to this book.

Except born priggish neat-freaks.

They cannot relate. Although they could relate by knowing someone like this.

The first page is an explosion of entering the room

The second page is a mountain of kid stuff.

As the page opens you can see the mechanism. If you look into the layers as they open then you can see how the pages are put together.

Page three is a toy box in a forest.

We expect page four.

This is a mechanism that combines two opposing simple mechanisms to twist a page 90°. The page that gets twisted is a separate page inserted inside the original two open pages but with its central fold perpendicular to the original central fold.

When the book pages are closed the mechanism twists the inserted pages to line up with the book pages and the mechanism closes flatly. When opened the inserted pages twist to lay flat but only by 90°. When all four corners twist at the same time the content looks like a tornado. So this mechanism is useful for things like a car wreck. Or to create a swirl of things flying all over the place.

Here is how this mechanism is constructed. It is brilliant. Whoever invented this mechanism is one twisted mo-fo. Everyone uses this mechanism. At this point, rare is the pop-up book that excludes it.




Two of these simple useful mechanisms face each other. The key element is the X in the center. The tabs disappear, either glued behind the base pages or folded backward and glued on top. Now, having done this you can see that actually both mechanisms can be formed in one piece of card stock and the whole area between the two points can be glued to the base pages. This area is the two arrow shapes that point to each other horizontally, if both were on one piece of paper. 


Either glue on these blue spots, or holes in these spots for tabs to fit through. Glue will form a tight construction while slots with tabs will be loose. Sometimes you want things to be kept loose so they flop into place. Either way works with this mechanism.

The inserted card is smaller than the original pages. It covers the mechanism and hides it. It folds upward into a tent while the original pages fold downward into a valley.


The corners of the top page interfere with the insert opening and closing so they are cut off. 

Because this page is glued to the mechanism, when the pages are opened and closed this insert (folded in half in the opposite direction as a tent in a valley)  twists to lay flat when opened and it twists back to fold when the pages are closed. 

The insert is loaded with content. Because you are new, all this content is separate and glued on. But experts will draw and print it directly onto the original mechanism to save production effort. 


Watch as all this crap twists like a tornado hit the whole room when page four of the book is opened. This mechanism is perfect for this situation.


Page five is the same mechanism that you see inside cases of wine. The cardboard inserts keep the bottles separate. This arrangement of cardboard slats with slots cut half way then pressed together facing each other slot to slot, has fascinated pop-up constructors forever. When taken out of the case as a single unit the whole thing folds flat. Surely that idea can be put to use for pop-up books. And this is what you see when page five is opened. You can make an entire chess board using this mechanism. Content is added to the mechanism so that the content extends above it.

This book is a very good study. Because it's so simple and because it uses so many standard mechanisms. Each page can be easily copied to produce separate cards with entirely different content. Perhaps even drawn better than this. The cuteness of this book is in how all these elements are brought together for the effort of describing the messy bedroom of children. And the magic of having it all cleaned up.

Amazon $22.00. Totally worth it. As a study. As confirmation you don't have to be a good artist to produce charming cards.



Gregg Gutfeld, 12/15/2019

This is a funny episode.


The stupid thing about the sweater is the lines of coke are drawn in the wrong direction. A coke snorter will go left to right or reversed, not close to himself then farther away from himself. Duh.


Shut up. I saw it on t.v. 

While at the FRB I was told an unGodly % of all currency was tainted with cocaine, that at least someone had used nearly every single bill in circulation rolled up to a tube to snort coke. And that every wallet with U.S. currency was tainted with cocaine. If you've got cash then you've got tainted currency.

But I didn't believe it.

One of my jobs there was to count piles of currency to be destroyed. People didn't like this because it really did interfere with our regular job, but I liked it because it was something different. And it was bizarre. 

Another of my jobs was to destroy it.

Teams of four people pulled from different departments were assembled each day to do those two things. 

They wanted teams of people outside the Money department. Not because people inside the Money department couldn't be trusted, rather, to spread and thin out the possibility of collusion. They didn't want all the steps of handling currency to be carried out by a single department. 

It brought us together.

I liked it.

Two teams of two people to count the same piles of cash.

A table full of cash in equal bundles. Then bundles of bundles. Extremely large bundles of cash. Destroyed every day.

Then two teams of two people to destroy it. 

When tours of people saw this they were always aghast. Always. They always had the same simplest questions. "Why don't you give this money to poor people instead?" Their questions revealed a comprehension of near zero. And there was no convincing them otherwise. There is no talking sense to them.

There is a giant chopping machine in the subbasement for this. It reduces the bundles of cash to shreds that is more shredded than confetti. Tiny dots of filthy paper. The dirtiest hands handle this paper until it nearly falls apart. Diseased people. Filthy people. Truly filthy cash. It's hazardous just touching it. Breathing the dust. It's enough to put you off cash altogether. Almost. But not quite.

We packaged it in tiny bags and handed them out to kids taking tours. They loved it.

I have a very large puffy bag of it that I combine with plaster for Egyptian style frescos. They used hay, I use shredded cash. 

Christmas spiders

Peacock spiders. I think.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Christmas package from the boys

Jim told me about this. He said the boys picked out everything. It is their shopping ideas. I notice Alona included some things too. Jim told me she came back from Ukraine with candy. And now I have some. Know what's funny? Sugar and chocolate are pretty much the same everywhere.



Brave girl allows herself to be subject to Gary Douglas voice demonstration

Douglas asks for a volunteer and this girl stood up. You might not notice much of a difference but the people in the voice-class audience do. They are much more supportive than the commenters on this video at YouTube. Click over for their cynical and negative and hilarious responses.

The thing is, she is not a strong singer and she is not feeling it and she doesn't know how to breathe or how to tap and channel energy. Douglas explains to her how. But he does that by speaking so fast that he's barely comprehensible.

Whatever.

I found the video at least interesting. And I know a few people who can use help from Douglas. Including myself.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Bits and pieces

Wrapped up another season today. That was good. 

This was what the sky looked like when I went outside after a day indoors:


I took my dog for a walk last weekend - it was an interesting day to be out - the woods were dead calm - all kind of grayish, so quiet, peaceful. I espied a tree with a lightning scar running down it. It was so tranquil out there it was hard to imagine weather intense enough to produce that kind of action. But there it was - proof that lightning strikes somewhere when you hear it nearby.

My dog also found a yellow softball:


But she denied any knowledge of it when asked.

This sunset occurred that day:


Two nights ago this sunset occurred:


After talking with a coworker who just got his shop insulated I hired some guys to insulate the attic of my shop. I had insulated the walls back when I bought the place but at that time I grew tired of working with fiberglass batting so I stopped short of finishing the job. On Tuesday I got the job completed.

Once that was done I worked in the shop on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings with a heater going. It was nice to be able to get some work done even though the weather has turned cold. Among others, I completed these two objects:



Speaking of dog, and I was, I have trained her to run with me - as I mentioned before, but now when I run laps in my backyard she has learned to take a treat out of my hand like a relay race - I don't even have to break stride - I turn my left hand palm up, fingers together, place the treat in my hand and she grabs it out of my hand as I run. That's a good dog right there. And I still have all my fingers. 

Epoch Times, Victor Davis Hanson

It's American Thought Leaders through the Epoch Times. The interviewer is Jan Jakielek. Remember the name, we'll be seeing a lot of him. When he says his own name it sound like Yanyay Kellick. He is a very good interviewer. Unlike all the rest on cable news he asks the right questions and he allows his interlocutor to answer.

There is nothing like an hour with Victor Hanson. This is better than any of the classes that I took in college. And it's free! Who else reaches back to Greek classic philosophy and mythology and language to explain modern politics? I can forgive him for not mentioning ancient Egypt because our system is not grounded in any of that. So instead we'll get Greek tragedy and the concepts of hubris and nemesis to view the impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

Why is IG Horowitz's report on FISA abuse unlikely to satisfy those seeking more accountability for the Spygate scandal?

Like me.

*waves hand vigorously*

Because it's so narrow. Surprisingly thin. It leaves out very much that we know about. It's only one small part of an outright government-wide coup. It describes one narrow sliver of resistance, and that sliver is described only partially. There are very many known straight up crimes left unmentioned. There is more to the FISA abuse that the report doesn't mention. The lacuna glaring the IG report is written about everywhere; Bongino, OAN, Red State, Breitbart, Epoch Times, The Federalist, for only six examples. The IG report is only a few trees in a whole forest.




Glenn Greenwald with the Intercept says the IG report on FBI spying reveals a scandal of historic magnitude for the FBI and for the U.S. media

We know.

While Glenn Greenwald is the rare journalist who will say so.

Greenwald is an impressive journalist. An impressive lawyer as well. And he is an impressive linguist.

I watched Citizenfour on Amazon Prime. As I recall it the beginning is not so impressive. I almost switched off. Then Snowden appeared and the show suddenly became much more interesting. Snowden is shown mostly holed up in a hotel. In Hong Kong, I think. Mostly barefoot in bed. His voice is annoyingly vocal fry the whole time, but if you can overlook that then what he says is incredibly interesting. They're trying to figure out what to do. Greenwald's advice is superior. Greenwald is mostly silent but when he speaks his questions go directly to the heart of the matter. There is no messing around. Later we see him addressing Brazilian journalists speaking Portuguese. He has a clear American accent but the journalists are all completely respectful totally inthralled. It's a very good show. Recommended.

Now Greenwald dissects the Inspector General's report.

* squeaky ventriloquist voice * "What does he say?"

He says quite a lot. The page goes, scroll, scroll, scroll.

     "Tell us what he says."

That would take too long.

     "Come on. Be sport. Tell us."

Okay fine.

I'll tell you what he says in each paragraph. You asked for it.

First, the page is loaded with pleas for support.

*  Following the Mueller report, the IG report reveals years of major claims and narratives by U.S. media are utter frauds.

* Before analyzing the media component of the scandal, the FBI's gross abuse of its power, its serial deceit is so grave that it's easy to demonstrate. The IG report documents several instances in which the FBI had the FISA court give it permission to spy on Trump campaign operative Carter Page. They manipulated documents, concealed exonerating evidence, touted what it knew were unreliable false claims.

* FBI lying, concealment of evidence, manipulation of documents to spy on a U.S. citizen is not aberrational. FBI are blackmailers. They tried to get Martin Luther King to kill himself. That's who they are. They are out of control with unlimited police state factions that lie, abuse their spying and law enforcement powers, and they subvert democracy and civic and political freedoms as a matter of course.

* The IG report is brimming with proof of FBI subterfuge and deceit to persuade a FISA court of something that was not true: that Carter Page was an agent of the Russian government and needed to be surveilled.

* The first part of the IG Report was on the warrants obtained by the DOJ for the FBI to spy on Carter Page on the grounds of him being an agent for the Russian government. They made sure the media widely disseminated this falsehood. The Mueller investigation examined the accusations and failed to establish that Page coordinated with the Russian government to interfere with the 2016 election.

* The IG report documents a multitude of lies and misrepresentations by the FBI to deceive the FISA court into believing there was probable cause to surveil Page as a Kremlin agent. The first FISA warrant was to spy on Page after Page left the Trump campaign but weeks before the election.

* The FBI fell far short of the requirement in FBI policy that they ensure that all factual statements in a FISA application are scrupulously accurate. The IG identified several instances where factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA application were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation based on information the FBI had in its possession at the time.

* This point ↑ is reiterated twice.

* The first application contained seven inaccuracies:

     1) The FBI concealed that Page had been working with the CIA in connection with his dealings with Russia and had notified CIA case managers of those contacts.

     2) The FBI lied about both the timing and substance of Page's relationship with the CIA.

     3) They vastly overstated the value of Steele's prior work for the U.S. government to make him appear more credible.

     4) They concealed serious reasons to doubt the reliability of Steele's key source.

     5)  The FBI did not have corroborating information on the specific allegations against Carter Page in Steele's reporting when it relied on his reports in the first FISA application or in subsequent renewal applications.

Well, I guess there are 5 serious inaccuracies, not 7. I seem to have missed two or possibly combined them. Oh, wait.

     6) The FBI touted a gossipy unverified unreliable rag that it had no reason to believe and every reason to distrust but hid all of that from the FISA court. They needed FISA court to believe the Steele dossier was something that it was not or else they would not have permission to spy on Carter Page.

I'm tired of counting items and trying to make it amount to seven. Greenwald didn't number them so I don't know where one leaves off and another begins.

* FBI decided to seek reauthorization of the FISA warrant to continue to spy on Page, and they did that three times; January, April, and June of 2017. Here they add ten more major inaccuracies.

But I'm not going to try to count them.

* They repeated the 7 errors contained in the first FISA application and added 10 more.

* FBI omitted the fact that Steele's Primary Subsource had made statements in January raising significant questions about the reliability of allegations included in the FISA applications including that they did not recall any discussion with Person 1 concerning Wikileaks and there was nothing bad about the communications between the Kremlin and the Trump team and that they did not report to Steele in July 2016 that Page had met with Sechin. That is, Steele's own key source told the FBI that Steele was lying about what the source said. A critical fact that the FBI concealed from the FISA court because they knew how devastating that would be to continue to spy on Page. The most serious of the 10 additional errors was the FBI's failure to advise DOJ or the court of the inconsistencies between Steele and his primary sub-source on the reporting relied upon in the FISA applications.

* The FBI hid key information from the court about Steele's motives. It omitted information obtained from Bruce Ohr about Steele and his election reporting including

     1) Steele's reporting was going to Clinton's presidential campaign and others.
   
     2) Fusion GPS's Glenn Simpson was paying Steele to discuss his reporting with the media

     3) Steele was "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President."

[He's British! It's none of his stinkin' British bizwax. Mind your own business British spook. Now, look at you. You've got your own problems. You got your own British Trump. Take a deep bow, you butt.]

Greenwald now speaks to his liberal audience. He tells them point blank that if FBI repeatedly and deliberately deceiving the FISA court into granting permission to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign doesn't bother you then it is certain that you are either someone with no principles, someone who cares only about partisan advantage and nothing about basic civil liberties and the rule of law. People of good faith will see in this report that the FBI abuses its power in severe ways to subvert and undermine U.S. democracy. If you don't care about that, what do you care about?

He's not talking to us right now. Because we do care about that.

Greenwald, God bless you. You are the light on the hill. You stick out head and shoulders above all of your peers.

Now Greenwald switches from the FBI to the media. You sense that he's really going to let them have it. Pow, right in the kisser.

* The revelations of the IG report reveal that so much of what the U.S. media has authoritatively claimed about all of these matters for more than two years is completely false.

[We know that! But finally we are hearing from someone inside of U.S. media. Although he's in Brazil. Let's hear it. Let 'er rip. He's going to be like Trump at one of his rallies pointing to media and calling them fake news "Ah! The light just went out on their cameras. They stopped recording."]

* News outlets rely on claims of security state agents, worse, now they're employing them in their newsrooms to shape the news.

* The ex-security agents yearn for a second lucrative career in the public eye. Greenwald cites Politico:
He takes a crash course in speaking in soundbites, refreshes his wardrobe and signs a TV news contract. Then, several times a week, waits for a network limousine to shuttle him to the broadcast news studios where, after a light dusting of foundation and a spritz of hairspray, he takes a supporting role in the anchors’ nighttime shows.
* They're not in the business of breaking news or uncovering secrets. Their loyalty is to their original agency. It's like a TV network covering the auto industry through the eyes of dozens of paid former auto executives.

* The CIA, FBI and NSA have always tried to infiltrate and shape domestic news but they had the decency to do it clandestinely. In 2008 NYT David Barstow won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing a Pentagon program whereby retired Generals and other security sate agents would get hired as commentators and analysts and then unbeknownst to their networks coordinate their messaging to ensure that domestic news was shaped by the propaganda of the military and intelligence communities.

* Now it's all out in the open. We're bombarded with former Generals, CIA operatives, FBI agents, and NSA officials who work for the networks as commentators and as reporters.

* Example. Twitter CNN congratulating Josh Campbell.

[I wouldn't know. Nobody sensible watches CNN anymore. Cat videos are more useful.]

* The past 3 years of "Russiagate" reporting, U.S.  journalists lavished themselves with Pulitzers and other prizes despite a multitude of embarrassing and dangerous errors about the Grave Russian Threat has relied almost exclusively on anonymous, uncorroborated claims from Deep State operatives. With few exceptions such as:

Example tweet from Terry Morgan displaying a video of John Brennan saying something stupid. I didn't watch it so I don't know what the embarrassing thing is. Homey ain't got time fo dat.

* This means that the U.S. discourse on these national security questions is shaped almost entirely by the agencies that are trained to lie: CIA, NSA, Pentagon, FBI, and their lying has been highly effective.

[Only if you watch them. And sensible people stopped that. So now only insensible people watch them. It's like smoking.]

* For years we were told by the nation's leading national security reporters something that was blatantly false; that the FBI warrants to spy on Carter Page were not based on the Steele Dossier. Devin Nunes was vilified and mocked by super-smart DC national security reporters. The IG report corroborated the Nunes memo; that FBI lied to spy on Carter Page through a series of misrepresentations, falsehoods and concealment of key evidence.

* Nunes memo example

* IG report example

* Greenwald lauds left-wing Matt Taibbi with Rolling Stones for courage in reporting counter to the standard narrative. Democrats are not going to like this, but the Horowitz report ratifies the major claims of the infamous Nunes memo.

* Media servants rushed to deny the page warrant was based on the Steele Dossier. Did they have evidence? The FISA warrant applications are highly classified. No, they were just repeating what the FBI and CIA and the pathologically dishonest Rep. Adam Schiff told them to say. Good and loyal puppets. What media kept telling the public in highly definitive tones was completely false as we know form the IG report.

[I wouldn't know without being told. I don't listen to them anymore.]

* Example tweets about the the Steele Dossier not being used for FISA applications.

* Repeatedly the IG report makes clear that contrary to denials, the Steele Dossier was crucial to the Page eavesdropping warrant.
We determined that the Crossfire Hurricane team’s receipt of Steele’s election reporting on September 19, 2016 played a central and essential role in the FBI’s and Department’s decision to seek the FISA order. 
In support of the fourth element in the FISA application-Carter Page’s alleged coordination with the Russian government on 2016 U.S. presidential election activities, the application relied entirely on the following information from Steele Reports 80, 94, 95, and 102. 
*  It was the Steele Dossier that led FBI leadership including James Comey and Andrew McCabe to approve the warrant application in the first place despite concerns raised by other agents that the information was unreliable.
FBI leadership supported relying on Steele’s reporting to seek a FISA order on Page after being advised of, and giving consideration to, concerns expressed by Stuart Evans, then NSD’s Deputy Assistant Attorney General with oversight responsibility over QI, that Steele may have been hired by someone associated with presidential candidate Clinton or the DNC, and that the foreign intelligence to be collected through the FISA order would probably not be worth the ‘risk’ of being criticized later for collecting communications of someone (Carter Page) who was “politically sensitive.”
* The narrative manufactured by the security state agencies and laundered by their reliable media servants about these critical matters was false, a fraud, a lie. U.S. discourse was subsumed by the propaganda because the U.S. media and key parts of the security state have decided that subverting the Trump presidency is of such a high priority that their political judgment is greater than the results of the election, that everything including outright lying even to courts and the public is justified because the ends are so noble.

* Taibbi: "No matter what people think the political meaning of the Horowitz report might be, reporters who read it will know that anybody who touched this nonsense in print should be embarrassed. No mater how dangerous you believe the Trump presidency to be, this is a grave threat to the pillars of the US. democracy, a free press, an informed citizenry and the rule of law.

This ends the part about American media.

* Another major lie spun by the newly-minted media stars and liberal icons from the security state agencies. Ever since the Snowden reporting, and before that, when the NYT Eric Lichtblau and Jim Risen (now with the Intercept) revealed that the Bush-era NSA was illegally spying on U.S. citizens without warrants it was widely understood that the FISA process was a rubber-stamping joke that offered no limits on the ability of the U.S. government to spy on its own citizens.

* Over the last 3 years, the strategy of Democrats and liberals particularly their cable outlets and news sites has been to venerate and elevate security state agents as the noble truth-tellers of U.S. democracy. Once reviled by liberal sites such as Lawfare  composed of little more than pro-NSA and pro-FBI apparatchiks gained mainstream visibility for the first time on the strength of a new group of liberals that decided the salvation of the U.S. democracy is not with the political process, rather, it is with the dark arts of the NSA, FBI and CIA.

* Sites like Lawfare became twitter and cable news stars and they used their platform to resuscitate what had been a long-discredited lie: that the FISA process is rigorous and that the potential for abuse is low.  Liberals eager to believe that the security state agencies opposed to Trump should be trusted despite their decades of violent lawlessness and systemic lying started to believe in the sanctity of the NSA and the FISA process.

* The IG report destroys that delusion. It lays bare what a sham the whole FISA process is and how easy it is for the NSA and the FBI to get from the FISA court whatever authorization it wants to spy on any Americans they want no matter how flimsy the justification. The ACLU and other civil libertarians spent years getting people to realize this truth but it was wiped out by the Trump-era veneration of these security state agencies.

* Excellent article on the fallout from the IG report, NYT Charlie Savage, leading journalist on these debates, shows how devastating these revelations are to this concocted narrative designed to lead Americans to trust the FBI and NSA's eavesdropping authorities.

* Horowitz and his team uncovered a staggeringly dysfunctional and error-ridden process in how the FBI went about obtaining and renewing court permission to wiretap Carter Page.

* The litany of problems with the Carter Page surveillance applications shows how the secrecy shrouding the government's one-sided FISA approval process breeds abuse. The concerns apply to intrusive investigations of others including especially Muslims and far better safeguards against abuse are necessary.

* His exposé left some former officials who generally defend government surveillance practices aghast.

* David Kris, expert in FISA who oversaw the DOJ National security division during Obama administration, "If the broader audit of FISA applications shows a systematic patter of errors of this sort that plagued this one, then I would expect very serious consequences and reforms."

* The FISA only rarely rejects wiretap applications. Only 1 was denied out of 1,080.

* Defenders say the low rejection rate comes from how well the Justice Department self-polices and avoids presenting the court with requests that fall short of the legal standard. They stress that officials obey a heightened duty to be candid and provide any mitigating evidence.

* The IG found major errors, material omissions, and unsupported statements about Mr. Page in materials that were sent to the court. FBI cherry-picked evidence, they told the DOJ stuff that made Page look suspicious and they omitted material that cut went the other way and the department passed that misleading information onto the court.

* This system of unlimited domestic spying was built by both parties who rouse only when the power is in the hands of the other side. Last year a majority of GOP members joined with minority Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff to give President Trump all-new domestic spying powers while blocking reforms and safeguards to prevent abuse.

* [It's beginning to sound like a wrap]  Maybe these revelations will lead to the realization of how rogue and dangerous these police state agencies have become  and how serious reform is urgently needed. If nothing else, it must serve as a tonic to 3 years of unrelenting media propaganda that has deceived and misled millions of Americans into believing things that are simply not true.

[Not us! We never did believe anything from these butts. For us, this whole thing is bias conformation. And that's why we love you so. Because you're telling them. And they respect you, but they don't respect us. So they're hearing it from one of their own and not from us.]
None of these journalists have acknowledged an iota of error in the wake of this report because they know that lying is not just permitted but encouraged as long as it pleases and vindicates the political beliefs of their audiences. Until that stops, credibility and faith in journalism will never be restored, and – despite how toxic it is to have a media that has no claim on credibility – that despised status will be fully deserved.
OMG, I could kiss you for that. Even though you're not my type.

I can't believe how brave Glenn Greenwald is. That takes a lot of guts. There must be something to chopping his way through the Amazon jungle.

Plus he likes dogs.

I saw him on t.v. in debate with a Pentagon general. The general was all standard boiler plate bromides and platitudes and trust us. Glenn got right to the crucial points and enumerated the problems. He was clear as a bell and he left no room for contrary insertion. He made the general look stupid by simply being himself. He didn't argue, he simply drew a very clear picture.