Sunday, June 25, 2017

"Sketchy firm behind Trump dossier is stalling investigators"

"A secretive Washington firm that commissioned the dubious intelligence dossier on Donald Trump is stonewalling congressional investigators trying to learn more about its connections to the Democratic Party."
The Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month threatened to subpoena the firm, Fusion GPS, after it refused to answer questions and provide records to the panel identifying who financed the error-ridden dossier, which was circulated during the election and has sparked much of the Russia scandal now engulfing the White House. 
What is the company hiding? Fusion GPS describes itself as a “research and strategic intelligence firm” founded by “three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters.” But congressional sources says it’s actually an opposition-research group for Democrats, and the founders, who are more political activists than journalists, have a pro-Hillary, anti-Trump agenda. (Link to more)
Via Instapundit...
The fact is that that firms creating opposition research are often staffed with former journalists, who use their connections in the editorial world to redistribute this sort of thing. (Naturally, there are “right-leaning” as well as “left-leaning” firms of this sort.) Work in a newsroom long enough and you’ll begin to recognize “oppo” when you see it. Sadly, a number of journalists who were laid off by big news outfits and can’t find work elsewhere have resorted to doing this kind of work. As news organizations cut back on reporting, it’s easier than ever to get “oppo” published as news without sufficient fact-checking. What’s the opposite of a virtuous circle?

"Research suggests sexual appeals in ads don’t sell brands, products"

Via Reddit:  “We found that people remember ads with sexual appeals more than those without, but that effect doesn’t extend to the brands or products that are featured in the ads,” says University of Illinois advertising professor John Wirtz, the lead author of the research.

Wirtz and his co-authors conducted a first-of-its-kind meta-analysis of 78 peer-reviewed studies looking at the effects of sexual appeals in advertising. Their findings were posted online this week by the International Journal of Advertising.

Their research found that not only were study participants no more likely to remember the brands featured in ads with sexual appeals, they were more likely to have a negative attitude toward those brands, Wirtz said.

“The strongest finding was probably the least surprising, which is that males, on average, like ads with sexual appeals, and females dislike them,” Wirtz said. “However, we were surprised at how negative female attitudes were toward these ads.”

(Link to more)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Westword Music Showcase.

The whole place is saturated with young people. And the music is very loud around the entire neighborhood. The double windows cannot block it out. Completely shut out, the walls still vibrate with muffled sound. This shot is off my terrace. There is another similar stage set up one block beyond, and in the opposite direction across Broadway all of the music clubs in a row also have band lineups scheduled throughout the day and night with large crowds of people in front of them. How music enthusiasts decide which club to go or which outdoor stage to check out is beyond me. The band schedules are posted outside each place but visitors must walk around the whole area to know where their favorite bands are playing. I do not know where all these people get their information. Westword website is not that helpful. To me.

Westword itself is two blocks down the street.

They give us free tickets here for our whole building to compensate for the intrusion, and that really is worth something. But I did not partake them. I love the place crawling with young people. I do. Crawling is not a good word to use. They're all much faster than I am. On the sidewalk they all pass me right up. They pour around me actually. I'm in their way but they manage me as easy obstruction. But wherever they're stopped and we chat, to a person they're kind and considerate and respectful. Not at all what you read online about them. Not one bit.

"Coffee-seeking 81-year-old leads Denton police on low-speed chase"

Via Drudge:  The Denton police officer rapped on the elderly driver's Jeep, telling her to roll down the window and unlock the door. But Nancy Strader, who honest to God just wanted to get a cup of coffee, had other ideas.

"I just was out riding around," Strader would tell the news station later. "I thought, I'm going to go have me some coffee or a sandwich or something because I hadn't eaten all day."

But police stopped Strader after other drivers reported her driving around in circles and going the wrong direction on Elm Street.

I just want to make sure you're OK," the bodycam video showed one officer saying to her. "Unlock the car for me."

Instead, she began to pull away.

(Link to the rest of the story)

What's your favorite piece of useless trivia?

Reddit top voted comments...

The door opening noise from star trek was a piece of paper being taken out of an envelope.

The composer Richard Wagner blew most of his money on women's lingerie.

A second is called a second because it is the 2nd division of the hour by 60, the 1st division being a minute.

The country with the longest fence in the world is Australia.

Aldous Huxley and C. S. Lewis died on the same day, but nobody heard about it because it was also the day JFK was shot.

If you push a living sponge through a fine mesh screen, it will rearrange itself in a few hours.

Ketchup was sold as medicine in the 1830s

The whole of Australia could fit comfortably into the Sahara desert, with plenty of room to spare.

The release of the original Spider Man movie was delayed because of the 9/11 attacks. They spent the following months editing the twin towers out of every scene. But they missed one

"Why Democrats can't quit Nancy Pelosi"

Via Instapundit: Democrats would have massive gaps to fill if they were to oust Pelosi.

Chief among those is fundraising. Since 2002, Pelosi has hauled in $568 million for House Democratic campaigns — including $141 million during the 2016 campaign cycle.

Pelosi also has a long history of holding her party together through difficult votes — enabling former President Barack Obama to shepherd into law a series of Democratic-backed measures in 2009 and 2010 and later forcing Republicans to grapple with the politically damaging divisions within their own ranks.

No other Democrat possesses the stature to match those accomplishments.

That reality was the subtext for Pelosi’s taunting remarks Thursday in which she cast her Democratic critics as hungry for attention rather than serious about ousting her.

“When it comes to personal ambition and having fun on TV, have your fun,” Pelosi said. “I love the arena. I thrive on competition.”

Of the political impact of the Republican attacks: “I think I’m worth the trouble,” she said.

Revenge on a IRS Phone Scamming Company - Call Flooder

Update:  The individuals are being arrested, but evidently not all of them.
Indian police arrest alleged ringleader of IRS scam.
News of the scam broke last October when Indian police raided nine calls centers -- eight in Thane in Maharashtra -- and arrested more than 70 people on suspicion of posing as IRS agents to steal cash from U.S. citizens.

CNN sends sketch artist after Trump bans press briefing cameras 


A better captain than Jack Sparrow for sure...

They were, in a sense, the best of Flint. 

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean

Via Wikipedia:  "Billie Jean" is a song by American singer Michael Jackson. It is the second single from the singer's sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). It was written and composed by Jackson and produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones. There are contradictory claims on the meaning of the song's lyrics. One suggests that they are derived from a real-life experience, in which a female fan claimed that Jackson (or one of his brothers) had fathered her twins. However, Michael Jackson stated that "Billie Jean" was based on groupies he had encountered. The song is well known for its distinctive bassline played by Louis Johnson, the standard drum beat heard in the beginning, the repetition of "Billie Jean is not my lover" towards the end of the song and Michael Jackson's vocal hiccups. The song was mixed 91 times by audio engineer Bruce Swedien before it was finalized, though he reportedly went with the second mix as the final product.

The song became a success; it was one of the best-selling singles of 1983 and is one of the best-selling singles worldwide. The song topped both the US and UK charts simultaneously. It also topped the charts of Switzerland and reached the top ten in Austria, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden. "Billie Jean" was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1989. Rolling Stone magazine placed the song in the 58th spot on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Michael Jackson Lived: Aug 29, 1958 - Jun 25, 2009 (age 50)

Friday, June 23, 2017

What is socially accepted when you are beautiful but not accepted when you are ugly?

Assuming people want to interact with you

Saying you're ugly. If you're actually ugly you just end up making everyone uncomfortable. If you're beautiful people tend to fall all over themselves trying to reassure you that you're beautiful.

Bothering people who are reading. After years of sitting in coffee shops reading, I realized I was curt with anyone who tried to engage me in conversation, unless they were an attractive girl.

Being a criminal sometimes!
I remember when that 'beautiful convict' guy was floating around the internet for a while.

Going on about how inner beauty is more important than outer beauty. If you're attractive and say this you're humble and empowering, but if you're ugly and say it, you're just seen as whining.


Bad at your job.

This super hot girl farted once in my high school class. People thought it was hilarious and some of the football players hugged her and thought it was awesome. Later that year in English Class an overweight girl let a ripper go and was mocked and ridiculed and was told she was disgusting.

"They’re Wrong About Everything"

"More evidence the political class doesn't know what it's talking about"
The fact is that almost the entirety of what one reads in the paper or on the web is speculation. The writer isn't telling you what happened, he is offering an interpretation of what happened, or offering a projection of the future. The best scenario is that these theories are novel, compelling, informed, and based on reporting and research. But that is rarely the case. More often the interpretations of current events, and prophesies of future ones, are merely the products of groupthink or dogma or emotions or wish-casting, memos to friends written by 27-year-olds who, in the words of Ben Rhodes, "literally know nothing." There was a time when newspapers printed astrology columns. They no longer need to. The pseudoscience is on the front page.

Nor are the empty conjectures and worthless hypotheses limited to Donald Trump. Yes, pretty much the entire world, myself included, assumed he would lose to Hillary Clinton. Indeed, a not-insignificant segment of the political class, both Democrat and Republican, thought the Republicans would not only lose the presidency but also the House and Senate. Oops! I remember when, as the clock reached midnight on November 8 and it became clear Trump would be the forty-fifth president, a friend called. "Are we just wrong about everything?" he asked. Perhaps we were. But at least we had the capacity to admit our fallibility.

There are few who can. Conjectures and guesswork continue to dog Trump in the form of "the Russia thing," the belief that the president, his "satellites," or his campaign worked with the Russians to influence the election in his favor. Months after the FBI opened its investigation into whether such collusion occurred, no evidence has been found. The charge itself is based on an unverified and gossipy and over-the-top memo prepared by a former British spy for Democrats.
(Link to the whole thing)