Saturday, March 15, 2014

My favorite items at the market...

...were the antique pétanque boules (bocce balls).

Me too! And everybody else too. We all marveled. They were odd things to pick out amid a house full of such odd things. Most far more expensive more exotic than these. These balls seemed like folk art. All of it did really, but the other stuff is folk art from Africa, pre-columbian folk art, the whole house in Aspen has an animal theme to it, and not regular animals, those will not do, all exotic animals, apparent right from the start, gigantic turtle shells real ones, leaning against an entry wall like shields discarded before entering the home. Not that big a place. But big enough to offer a twenty foot window facing Ajax Mountain, and a wall of that height with three antelope heads with their decidedly unAmerican horns mounted such way up there as if enjoying the view. The kind of objects all around that certainly must be illegal to own. I could go on because we studied the place in some detail marveling at the illegalities throughout and marveling too at what connections it must take to get such things into the country. Turns out, director of MOMA whispers experiencing d. i. v. o. r. c. e., the place was part of the settlement, and more of the all of the same, all of it repeated in a shop in the town, none of it illegal as we were imagining.

The bocce balls were different from other things, among the most innocent I suppose, they appeared to be wooden with short stubby tacks hammered in, rather expertly, forming unique patterns on each, sometimes geometric, sometimes swirls, sometimes numbers, sometimes heavy round brads, sometimes heavy square, all different shape heads on the brads, all heavy, nothing you could pick up from a Home Depot.

Very much like this, except in a wooden basket, in the kitchen, as if an afterthought, junk lying around, more carelessly handled than this, as a basket of fruit except it's all nails.


The balls we handled (titter) were different colors (titter) and all hammered nearly flat to the surface. How they manage to not mess up the spacing is beyond me. They probably figure it out by marking a wooden ball with dots. All this, I think, so you have your own personal ball for a game. 

An ancient game. Pdf. 


Is that cool or what? Each one a lethal weapon in it own right. A bit sad, all that trouble to identify your own playing ball and it ends up being somebody's kitchen decoration.

Koran

I've seen a couple of times exceedingly large pages removed from a Koran displayed as art inside extravagant lacquered frames taking a whole wall provided its own little light. With no small pride, the art piece specifically pointed out from others, its provenance related, place and method of acquisition, cost, exclusivity, rarity and such, it all meant nothing to me. I'm so annoyed.

I try to be interested but I'm not. Not as text, not as scripture, not as art.

I read that book, admittedly quickly, and didn't like it one bit. Part of Regis Comparative Religions requirement. Worst of the lot. Had they? Had they any idea what is in it? "Do you know what it says?"

"Nope. Who cares. I like it. Look at this, that writing is gold."

How I would love like to read it aloud for them and produce something damaging. That's my imagination, for you. Come on, help me out here. This should be easy. My plan for the nonce is produce an extremely damaging Koran verse to recite in such a moment. To fake it. Because I don't like that book and the aggression behind it. To bend future conversations from appreciation to loathing. That is my plan. I know it is sinister, but I don't care. Sometimes I'm bad.

[random quran verse]  Ha! 
He raised the height thereof and ordered it; 
And Allah repulsed the disbelievers in their wrath; they gained no good. 
Allah averted their attack from the believers. Allah is ever Strong, Mighty.
Eh.
Till, when he came between the two mountains, he found upon their hither side a folk that scarce could understand a saying. 
But unto Allah belongeth the after (life), and the former.
Come on.
O ye who believe! Seek help in steadfastness and prayer. Lo! Allah is with the steadfast. 
And trust thou in the Living One Who dieth not, and hymn His praise. He sufficeth as the Knower of His bondmen's sins, 
Then we did drown the others.  
Ding ding ding. Where does this come from? 37:82

What is sura 37? The Rangers.

Let's read it.

Oh my God, that one. He's all over the place. I remember this. I skipped this the first time. Read it fast to get past it. It's bizarre. The product of a disturbed mind. Clearly. Read it, you'll see. It's f'ked. Totally. You can just see the spittle flying out of the guy's mouth. This is a good one to pick.  It's back and forth, first this then that, argument between "them" and "they," it's all over, people in hell, people being rewarded. Mentioning people and tribes we're expected to know. Extremes. Fish. Weird trees. Truly, this sura right here is the worst of religion in concentrated form. The presumptions are quite extraordinary and extrapolations from them incredible. Let's look again more carefully this time, it is important to me for my plan of deception. I'm going to nail this.

It's called Rangers, not like Texas Rangers Arab-style. It's called Rangers because angels are arranged in rows.

That's kind of dumb.

I have to check on why angels as daughters is a thing to them. That's in here weirdly. [arabs angels god's duaghters] I had that wrong. That was a thing then. Angels being girls, daughters of God, it's an Arab thing. It's sexist too, angels should be male. Their ancient dispute. It's not as random as I thought.

[Zaqqum tree] And the tree is an Arab thing too. I had that wrong. It seemed just thrown in there. It's a thing. They used to threaten disbelievers with a tree in hell.

Upon re-reading I see I overlooked quite a lot. It ends with the same visual imagery that it begins. That sticks out now. I missed that before. There is symmetry to the sura that I missed. It takes off, delivers a spiel and comes full circle and lands in the same place.  Sorry. It's actually a bit touching if you visualize the description of concourse of angels. It's wild.  It is a warning delivered to groups describing groups, sweeping aside groups, and embracing others, it cajoles with common references to tradition, and returns to the scene to deliver the stern warning and finally embrace the reader in the warmth that includes in its embrace apostles, all believers, and the startling gathering of angels that it began.

The sura says "arranged in a row" thus rangers.

I missed that whole bit. It's in the title, like a crossword, in the beginning concourse setting  and in the ending concourse setting. Without knowing Arabic, but now understanding the imagery intended I would have chosen the word "concourse" instead of "range" and "row" A concourse of angels is arranged, that is the vastness of the imagery intended here.

Which tells you pick a good translation.

I took this for Mohammed ranting like a madman. I missed the structure of a debate between two groups. I took all that, the whole thing, for Mohammed ranting. It's actually a back and forth debate. The fist part is a debate between two groups being sorted by angels in vast concourses. Both sides being presented. Thus the sweeping back and forth language and extreme wild imagery.

This whole time I thought he was just banging on.

The wild middle portion referring to specific places tribes and people that seems so nutty I see now are biblical references spelled differently. Here the Koran refers to the Bible. I missed that. By way of examples he is pointing out a few characters in the bible who obeyed God and were rewarded, the fish refers to Jonah rewarded by God and Noah rewarded by God. I missed that whole thing the first time. Jeeze, what a dunce.

Then it switches back to the concourse of angels but now there is no argument. The debate is settled. It's quite clear. Nonbelievers go to hell with no second chances, and believers are rewarded. So please be reasonable and come along. Praise Allah.

poof.

There went my plan.

I was really hoping the "then we drowned the others" would lead to something spectacularly damning, but it didn't. Now I'm bummed.

Dear Allah, please forgive me for thinking up a rotten plan, if you're the forgiving type.

(I'll try to pick a better more damaging sura next time)

Could You Pass A U.S. Citizenship Test?

There are 100 questions.  A passing grade is 58 correct answers.  How many questions could you answer correctly?

The test is here.

My score was 96%

Spring

'Let the land produce vegetation'

Video: Bitcoin Explained


Is this market the future?

"Obama don't deport my mama"

"[I]t remains unclear whether Mr. Obama can do anything that would satisfy Latino activists without providing fuel for Republican accusations that he is baldly sidestepping the nation’s laws."
“What are we to do when a president, regardless of motivation, nullifies our vote by failing to faithfully execute the law?” Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, said in a fiery floor speech this week. “Why pursue immigration reform if presidents can turn off the very provisions that we pass?”

A move by Mr. Obama to limit deportations on his own would enrage House Republicans, who in recent weeks have cited Mr. Obama’s various executive actions — as well as his State of the Union promise to use a “pen and phone” to circumvent Congress when possible — as reasons they do not trust him enough to work with him on a broad issue like immigration.

“It looks to me like he’s preparing another trial balloon to go forth with more likely unconstitutional executive actions,” said Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, who has long been a vocal opponent of the president on immigration. “I don’t know how trust can be restored.”
The man who is planning to sue the rescuers who saved his life from a submerged car for $500,000 is likely in the country illegally, according to a comment given by the man’s lawyer to Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson.

Colorado rescuers saved Roy Ortiz from a submerged car in September, but now, Ortiz and his lawyer Ed Ferszt have filed an intent to sue the very first responders who saved Ortiz’s life. Why? Because they believe the rescue took two hours because the divers did not know Ortiz was alive in the flipped car.

“Of course he was thankful because those divers did have a major role to play in saving his life that day,” Ferszt told Denver’s ABC affiliate earlier this week. Read More
The New York Times and the Daily Caller 

"Jack Kinzler, Skylab’s Savior, Dies at 94"

Obituary excerpt...
Mr. Kinzler saved (Skylab) with a parasol.

When Skylab shed its shield, most of the proposed solutions entailed a spacewalk, with all its inherent dangers. To Mr. Kinzler, that was an unattractive prospect: The commander of Skylab’s crew, Charles Conrad Jr., known as Pete, was his next-door neighbor and friend.

What was needed, Mr. Kinzler knew, was a fix that could be done from the inside. He learned that Skylab had an airlock — a narrow passage meant for use as a camera port — near the site of the damage. It might be possible, he thought, to build a kind of flat, collapsible shade tree, which could be extruded through the airlock and, once outside, made to bloom.

He phoned a sporting-goods store and ordered a set of fiberglass fishing rods. The salient thing about them was not that they caught fish, but that they telescoped.

To build his prototype, Mr. Kinzler arranged four rods like the ribs of an immense umbrella, securing one to each side of a piece of parachute silk roughly 24 feet square. Folded, the parasol would just fit into the airlock. Once extruded, its canopy could be snapped open by means of springs.

Normally, Mr. Kinzler said in interviews, the design, building and approval of such novel equipment might take NASA six months. His parasol was ready in six days — six days in which he and his staff of more than 100 lived, worked and slept in the Johnson Space Center.
 
The finished parasol, built from telescoping aluminum tubes and silver-and-orange fabric of nylon, Mylar and aluminum, was stowed aboard the crew’s Apollo spacecraft. At 9 a.m. on May 25, the crew — Commander Conrad, Joseph P. Kerwin and Paul J. Weitz — took off from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Just before midnight they docked with Skylab, where the interior temperature was approaching 130 degrees Fahrenheit; wearing spacesuits, they could work there for short periods.

On May 26, after ensuring the station was free of hazardous gases, crew members pushed the parasol through the airlock and released the canopy. It did not open fully — it remained partly puckered — but in the end that did not matter.

Over the next few days, Skylab’s inside temperature fell to a companionable 70 degrees. Shedding their suits, the astronauts completed their 28-day mission.

For his work, Mr. Kinzler received the Distinguished Service Medal, NASA’s highest honor.

By the time he saved Skylab, Mr. Kinzler was already an experienced unfurler. In the late 1960s, as the United States raced to put a man on the moon, NASA officials asked him to suggest what that man might do to mark the occasion once he got there.

Plant a flag, Mr. Kinzler said, and leave a plaque.

WLEM AM

Where the flesh is weak but the spirit is willing.



Question:

Friday, March 14, 2014

"U.S. to relinquish remaining control over the Internet"

"U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move that pleased international critics but alarmed some business leaders and others who rely on the smooth functioning of the Web."
The change would end the long-running contract between the Commerce Department and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a California-based nonprofit group. That contract is set to expire next year but could be extended if the transition plan is not complete.

“We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan,” Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information, said in a statement.

The announcement set off a passionate response, with some groups quickly embracing the change and others blasting it. Read More
This is fucked up. We invented something wonderful. Hopefully, handing it over to backward people will not come back to haunt us.

Washington Post

KLEM FM


"Fem" was a southern Wisconsin middle and high school put down when I was growing up there: "Don't be such a fem!" It could have been more widespread -- I still don't know -- does anyone?

The Violent Femmes were from Milwaukee which is just a short drive away from Madison. When I first heard about them I remember thinking "that's a weird spelling of 'fem'."  But it was brilliant: it "frenchified" the spoken word, adding another layer of nuance.

The French first explored Wisconsin, but the Germans, Poles, Italians, Cornish, Norwegians, Swedes, Icelanders, Dutch, Swiss, & Irish, etc., settled the state.  Later on came the African Americans, the Hmong, and the Mexicans. Milwaukee and Chicago were the points of entry for many -- but not every -- family. Mine wandered there from PA much earlier on and never set foot in Milwaukee or Chicago.

Such hegemony...how many native American tribes were in Wisconsin first? My white guilt is for what happened to them.

Merkel backs US on the sanctioning of Russia

If Russia continues on its course of the past weeks, that will not only be a great catastrophe for Ukraine. It will cause massive damage to Russia, both economically and politically,” [Chancellor Merkel] said. “None of us wants it to come to this, but we are determined to act. Let me be absolutely clear; the territorial integrity of Ukraine is not up for discussion.”

...Russia cannot suspend oil and gas exports without cutting off its own source of foreign revenue. Any such move would destroy its credibility as a supplier of energy, accelerating Europe’s long-term switch to other sources.

Russian companies have $653bn (£392bn) of foreign dollar debt, and must roll over roughly $150bn this year. Yields on five-year bonds have already spiked 200 basis points, even for blue-chip firms. The rouble has fallen 11pc this year after dropping 8pc last year, making dollar debts harder to repay. “It is going to be very difficult to roll over these bonds, and it will be at much higher cost,” said Mr Ash.

Capital flight reached $63bn last year. Former finance minister Alexei Kudrin said this could reach $50bn a quarter as the crisis deepens. The central bank has already raised interest rates sharply to stem outflows, pushing the economy into recession.

...“Russia could cut off 2.5m barrels a day of refined products such as diesel that are hard for Europe to replace since it has run down its refineries,” he said.

Germany is in an awkward position since it exports $50bn of cars, machinery and industrial goods to Russia each year. There are 6,200 German companies in the country with vast sunk costs. Last year alone they invested $105bn. Germany’s trade group BDA said a tit-for-tat sanctions war would be “painful” for Germany but “life-threatening” for Russia.

Igor Rudensky, head of the Duma’s Economics Committee, said sanctions will boomerang. “They are a double-edged sword, and Western states should be very careful,” he said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Beyond the tinkering the US and NATO have committed in Ukraine, there is the larger issue of encroachment. Yes US and NATO have made a move to bring Ukraine toward the west, with Russia's sharp retort being the stealth occupation of the Crimea to protect the integrity of their only warm water naval base at Sevastopol.  As far as I know, Putin still denies the troops in Crimea are Russian, as he did in this press conference:

"QUESTION: Mr President, a clarification if I may. The people who were blocking the Ukrainian Army units in Crimea were wearing uniforms that strongly resembled the Russian Army uniform. Were those Russian soldiers, Russian military?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Why don’t you take a look at the post-Soviet states. There are many uniforms there that are similar. You can go to a store and buy any kind of uniform.

QUESTION: But were they Russian soldiers or not?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Those were local self-defence units.

QUESTION: How well trained are they? If we compare them to the self-defence units in Kiev…

VLADIMIR PUTIN: My dear colleague, look how well trained the people who operated in Kiev were. As we all know they were trained at special bases in neighbouring states: in Lithuania, Poland and in Ukraine itself too. They were trained by instructors for extended periods. They were divided into dozens and hundreds, their actions were coordinated, they had good communication systems. It was all like clockwork.  Did you see them in action? They looked very professional, like special forces. Why do you think those in Crimea should be any worse?

QUESTION: In that case, can I specify: did we take part in training Crimean self-defence forces?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: No, we did not."


Does this necessarily mean Russia has cause to annex Crimea, if Crimea itself votes to become part of Russia? Ukraine is a buffer country for Russia, so naturally it is one for Europe. 

Malaysia Airlines 370

A world stands dumbstruck in horror, collectively confused, grasping for answers to the baffling problem of a jet disappearing in the night. These are kept track of moment by moment through the marvel of technology, the same level of brilliance that makes ridiculously heavy things fly so well they carry people in a tube long distances impressively fast. Right? Come on, we're shown this cannot happen. We're already convinced this does not happen.

But it does happen. Coinciding by a few days with this video of European air traffic released by NATS.  NAT = National Air Traffic Service, the nation, UK

Detour alert:

For contrast purpose. This is the brilliance of technology we look to. How our opinions are formed. This is what we are taking for granted when we assume all planes are tracked each moment of flight. This is what makes us assume a disappearance such as occurs in science fiction is impossible in real life.



We're shown this brilliance and rightfully assume things are under control. It has the appearance of being so. And that is Eurocentric, most significant in the view of NATS, but it leaves out North America and Pacific so just take this whole thing and splotch it there too, like splat, splat, spat, copy/past this whole activity all over the globe, to get at the whole picture.

It's beautiful. It makes the whole thing look beautiful. Travel romantic. It forces you to wonder what are all those people up to? Why all that movement? What is the urgency? And don't even talk to me about climate change when this is glorified and romanticized as this is. We're reveling in our own technology here, is that unsightly? And is it really all that? Are we really all that, does this really show reality when one of those dots can simply disappear and there goes hundreds of travelers just like that. Will a billion Chinese even notice? Will they feel that dot disappear? 

Theories are formulating, here's six of them on USA Today if you like, even as new clues from various sources around the world continue to pour in for careful examination by analysts expert in this field, the marvel of aviation.




22 Manly Ways To Reuse An Altoids Tin



Commenter MamaM contributes a link to "22 Manly Ways To Reuse An Altoids Tin"

I like the "martini on the go" one.  The valet idea is a little unmanly, I'd say, but it was contributed by a woman, so there you go.

Lunch at McDonald's

Alarmed Bridge
 
Fox News (CC)
 
It reads refresh. Could it also mean refill?
 
 

"Why is the 'mor' in 'Voldemort' so evil-sounding?"

"Sherlock Holmes's mortal nemesis was Professor Moriarty."
Harry Potter's nemesis was Voldemort.

Doctor Who had a nemesis named Morbius. So did Spider-Man. Morbius was also the name of the antagonist in The Forbidden Planet.

Frodo Baggins went through the mines of Moria to get to Mordor, where he met Sauron, who, as great a villain as he was, started out as the lieutenant of Morgoth, the original and darkest villain in the world of Tolkien's Middle Earth.

So what's the deal with "mor"? Is there something to the syllable that suits it for melancholy, darkness, and villainy?

We have to be careful here. There are more words out there that have "mor" that don't carry such dark tones...

But we can say that it has some dark associations available if we want to use them. For starters, the Latin "mor" root (as in moribund and mortal and French words such as morte) refers to death; there is an old Germanic root mora for darkness, which shows up in words such as murky; our modern word murder comes from an Old English word morth for the same; and, of course, a morgue is a place where dead bodies are kept. That's enough to give a familiar ring.

In fact, "mor" may be what is sometimes called a phonestheme: a part of a word that tends to carry a certain connotation not because of etymology or formal definition but just by association. Words that start with "gl" often have to do with light (glow, gleam, glimmer, glitter, glisten, etc.) even though they are not all related historically; similarly, words that start with "sn" often relate to the nose (snoot, sniffle, snot, snore, sneeze, etc.). It doesn't mean that all words with those letters have the meaning in common, but there is a common thread among a notable set of them. READ MORE
Do you have any phonestheme ringing in you ear, you may like to share?
The Week

"Fans of the film classic doubtless have their own short list of suspects"

"The cowardly thief had no heart -- and precious little brain."
Replicas of Dorothy Gale's ruby slippers from the "Wizard of Oz" were pinched from a lobby display case at the Hilton Garden Inn earlier this month. 

http://mfennwrites.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/outsiders-2-dorothy-gale/
And the hotel's security cameras -- there are 50 in all on the premises -- caught the wicked theft in all its brazen ignominy.

Police are asking the public's help in identifying a woman they describe as a suspect in the grand larceny committed on March 1 at 2:05 a.m. She is plainly visible in a still photo and video that accompany the police sheet.


Richard Nicotra, the Hilton's owner, who estimated the slippers' value at $2,500, said he and his wife, Lois, bought them from a vendor in Paris. Displayed for the last several years, they were meant to remind guests that while "there's no place like home," the Hilton strives to provide a reasonable facsimile.

"'Disappointed' is the word," he said in respect of the dastardly theft. "You feel violated." Art worth $2 million graces the hotel, he noted, all of it previously undisturbed for the last 14 years.

The miscreants apparently timed the guard's rounds, so as to have a clear shot at the valuable tchotchkes, Nicotra said. He doubts they were guests of the hotel.
Silive.com via the wicked NY Times

Game of Thrones pop-up book examined.

Matthew Reinhart's book Game of Thrones arrived this morning and I must admit to being put off by the price. I want the price to be around $18.00 like normal but this book is over twice that. Is it twice as good? It may be. 

I gruff. I grumble. And I justify the purchase by processing it as education and I payed through the nose for that. I bled for that. It wasn't fair. The cost wasn't worth the product and that's how I justify everything I want. Classify it as education. And it is.

I'll show you what I learned by the first pass through this impressive work. A lengthy photo essay follows. Mostly photos with lines I drew to show what I'm on about because there is a lot of confusing angles and the photos are not always so clear. I'm not showing the book, I'm showing some of its mechanisms, sometimes the back of the pages and under the pages.

I'm delighted to see familiar mechanisms used throughout, in fresh and especially imaginative ways I hadn't considered before and that's how I sense Matthew's genius. Anything I discover by goofing he's already taken and expanded beyond what I thought of and it's fun to see him go go go with it. He's quite mad. 

The first thing I notice is double V mechanisms facing each other throughout. 

This first paired V mechanisms lay two bands straight across the central fold, the V scored into the band, rather than a band glued as a V. It's also elevated on both providing a sort of proscenium and stage area. The two columns on each side connecting them rather than content in the center as usual, say a body that stretches out. This is a building that stretches, showing what is inside. The columns collapse along different scores so that they do not conflict when folded shut.

The virtuosity Matthew puts on display here with various forms of this mechanism is astonishing. He uses it to make buildings, bodies, ghosts, and scary faces.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, astronaut

Her wikipedia biography is breathtaking. Summarized:

BS 1984  
MS 1985  MIT Mechanical Engineering

Speaks Ukrainian. 

Naval ROTC
Training in diving as salvage officer

De-stranded Exon Houston
Awarded Defense Superior Service Medal, 2 Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal, 2 Navy Commendation Medals, 2 Navy Achievement Medals and other service medals according to her wikipedia bio.

That's a lot of awards. Either she's outstanding, or they're handing medals out like candy for every little thing she does, because she's a woman. Kidding.

Selected as astronaut candidate by NASA April 1996, performed various support duties. Flew aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. Three EVAs. 

Missioni Specialist Space Shuttle Endeavour. 
Three EVAs. 

Lost a tool bag to space. Tools burned in reentry. Estimated cost of loss $100,000 (probably a wrench, space wrench! and a screw driver who knows?) Cause of loss unknown. 

Her specialty is salvaging.

Here, a very odd incident occurred wherein the astronautress attempts to relate earlier incidents that convince her we are not alone.








It's just so odd, dropping, not so odd but popping up that fast does seem odd, then dropping again is odd, maybe, then popping up again that fast again is simply a marvel to behold of human physical endurance and cheerful persistence. 

I've dropped. But I don't pop back up. That's what gets me about this. It takes a long moment to gather one's wits. The only time I popped right back up was when physically hit on the top of the head by the closing freight elevator door, a gate that rolls down heavily before two doors shut, from the top and the bottom like giant metal mouth. Operated manually, some careless someone was too fast on the button.  And you go,

"Where am I?" and "What just now happened to me?" and "How did I get here?" 

Just like on teevee.

And we never did hear about her U.F.Os. 

Kerry: "There Will Be a Very Serious Series of Steps on Monday.”

Secretary of State John F. Kerry is in the final stage of training for the Hustle Up The Hancock April 13 in Chicago.  Mondays are especially heavy training days in his routine.  He's serious about this.

Oh.  Wait.  I need to read the complete article.  Here it is.

Well, this makes more sense.  He's not running stairs; he's talking about what will happen if Russia grabs up Ukraine because of a phony referendum to be held in Crimea this Sunday.  Crimeans will vote whether they want to (a) become part of beloved mother Russia, or (b) be invaded, crushed and destroyed before becoming part of beloved mother Russia.

The U.S. and Europe on Monday would then unite to impose sanctions on Russia, Kerry told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Thursday during a hearing on the State Department's budget.
Kerry responded carefully, saying “we have contingencies – we are talking through various options that may or may not be available.”
“Our hope is not to create hysteria or excessive concern about that at this point in time,” he said. “Our hope is to avoid that, but there's no telling that we can.”
If I was Vladimir Putin, I'd be quaking in my сапоги.  Kerry has contingencies, and also various options that may or may not be available.
U.S. authorities are closely monitoring the number of Russian troops in Crimea, as well as their movements, he said, noting that Moscow is allowed to have a total of 25,000 troops in Crimea.
Allowed by whom?  By the US?  Seriously?  And what will the US do if Putin deploys, say, 30,000 troops to Crimea?  Demonstrate the same courage and leadership as the Obama administration regarding the "red line" and the civil war in Syria, probably.

Vladimir Putin understands that "there will be a very serious series of steps on Monday" is as much a threat  to him as this

Good luck, Crimeans.

KLEM FM



Cate Blanchette should have won an Oscar for her performance as Bob Dylan in "I'm Not There" instead of her performance in "Blue Jasmine."

The clip is lengthy, but I really like the part around 5 minutes when Cate sticks a microphone into Mr. Jones' cage.

The subtitles look Finno-Ugric. Does anyone know for sure?

Cut-up Fold-in Paste-up Atempt

"The cut-up technique is an aleatory literary technique in which a text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text. The concept can be traced to at least the Dadaists of the 1920s, but was popularized in the late 1950s and early 1960s by writer William S. Burroughs, and has since been used in a wide variety of contexts."
My plunge into poverty happened in an instant. I never saw it coming.

Imagine this was your job: you had to wake up every morning, read and watch what was going on in the world, and then, even if you didn’t actually feel this way — in fact, in spite of the fact that you didn’t feel this way—react with outrage about all of it.
There is nothing journalists and pundits love discussing more than each other, so predictably the launch of the “Explanatory Journalism” site Vox.com has been accompanied by a vapor trail of commentary, ranging from serious analysis of its news-delivery style, to discussions of staff diversity, to snark, envy, and mockery of Matt Yglesias’ hipster suit in the launch video.
Then again, there was no reason to feel particularly vulnerable. Two years ago, I was a political reporter at Politico, and I spent my days covering the back-and-forth of presidential politics. I had access to the White House because of my reporting beat, and I was a regular commentator on MSNBC. My career had been on an upward trajectory for 30 years, and at age 50 I still anticipated a long career.
Increasingly, this is the life of the blogger. Despite all the attention and traffic of Upworthy gets for being “positive” these days, outrage and indignation are and always will be pageview magnets. “Outrage porn,” as we’ve come to call it, checks all the boxes of compelling content—it’s high valence, it drives comments, it assuages the ego, projects guilt onto a scapegoat and looks good in your Facebook Feed.
There are indeed many interesting angles here, both serious and snarky. But maybe the most interesting of all is the trend of young and young-ish liberal journalists abandoning posts at legacy mainstream media institutions to go run their own sites. That trend is the reverse of the career pattern most of these journalists began with.
Sources making the cut - The Atlantic, Beta Beat and The Federalist

What's A Standing Army For?

"We determined not only that there is no compelling medical reason for the ban, but also that the ban itself is an expensive, damaging and unfair barrier to health care access for the approximately 15,450 transgender personnel who serve currently in the active, Guard and reserve components,” said the commission led by Dr. Joycelyn Elders, who served as surgeon general during Bill Clinton’s first term as president, and Rear Adm. Alan Steinman, a former chief health and safety director for the Coast Guard.
If I'm hearing Elders correctly, the military is longer about missions or mission preparedness, but rather about last resort access to healthcare? At least she's forthright and upfront about it.

Chris Matthew's Advice: "Go all-in on scare tactics"



Matthews offered his own campaign advice for Democrats this Fall:
"[A]nte on various issues, such as framing voter-ID laws as attacks on minorities and pro-life measures as attacks on abortion rights."

"Is racism making you FAT? Victims of prejudice are at greater risk of obesity"

"Researchers found relationship between racism and obesity was strongest among women who were frequent victims of prejudice.
The study was based on the Black Women's Health Study, which enrolled 59,000 African-American women in 1995 and has followed them since.
Workplace and community-based programmes to combat racism are an important component in strategies to prevent obesity, one expert said."

"The study, by Slone Epidemiology Centre at Boston University, found the relationship between racism and obesity was strongest among women who reported consistently high experience of racism over a 12 year period." READ MORE
One of the top rated comments said...                   
Why, no wonder Oprah's SO AANGRY at " White America " ; we've been making her FAT, all-this-time!
Daily Mail via Hot Air

Morning Frost Bite


Nothing Gold Can Stay 
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. 
~ Robert Frost 
The poem went through a few early drafts. link I know what Frost meant by the "first green is gold" -- it's that golden seen on tree limb buds before they burst.

The second hardest hue to hold is the yellow-green of new shoots given by nascent chloroplasts which later darken into stems and leaves.

Chlorine gas, anathema to plant and animal life, got its name because of its pale green hue. Another paradox.

"What OT hike could mean in California"

"President Obama is expected to issue an executive order on Thursday that could increase overtime eligibility for millions of salaried workers across the country."
While the details haven't been released yet, the president is expected to raise a weekly wage threshold that determines whether an employee who is on salary can get overtime. The move would affect workers such as fast-food or convenience store managers, who aren't highly compensated but are treated as exempt from overtime.

Currently, the Department of Labor says salaried workers are exempt from overtime if they earn more than $580 per week, which is twice the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. That's an annual salary of $30,160. Obama is expected to increase that threshold, opening the door for more managerial-type workers to get overtime.

It's unclear whether the measure will have a large impact in California, where a salaried worker is exempt from overtime if they earn more than $640 per week, or twice the state minimum wage of $8 per hour. Many fast-food managers in San Diego already don't make enough to be exempt from overtime, earning a median $13.87 per hour, or $584 per week, the state Employment Development Department reports.

Also, in California, the qualifying threshold to be exempt from overtime will increase twice in the next two years. READ MORE 
***

From the Weekly Standard.

"At a Democratic fundraiser last night (Tuesday night) in New York City, President Obama said, "I hope you will all step up because, although I'm very optimistic about our long-term trends, the notion that we would waste two years in further inaction rather than move boldly on a path that I think all of us in this room agree on -- we don't have time to waste."

"The president continued, "I don't have time to waste. The clock is ticking. There’s less than two years left -- less than three years left."

Pilot's view, landing, Queenstown N.Z.

Chonday LINK

This is why we fly.  

Sometimes what pilots see in a day people will not see in their lifetimes. 

Oh get over yourself. That's what is written over there, not just this copy but the other copies I saw. Apparently they imagine passengers all blind.

para para paradise
para para paradise
WhoooOOOooaoah.

Cold Play is singing.

The ride is a thrill. You fly between mountain ridges right above a thick layer of clouds, fly, fly, fly above a puffy carpet, then abruptly turn right into the mountain ridge, but it's an opening! Right as you drop into the cloud layer and everything goes gray and you can't see nuth'n, and it goes and goes and goes in gray, flying on instruments, trusting technology then suddenly the city of Queenstown appears in crystal clarity ahead and the runway in sight and just as fast you're coming upon the runway and just as fast as that you're touching down. Whew.

I don't care for flying anymore. It used to be fun. I liked hanging out at airports, but not anymore. Bummer too because I'm better at photography than before but airports are a lot more of a drag than ever before, and they wouldn't care for a guy aimlessly photographing things. The fun is gone.

The last time I flew I told myself, don't do this to yourself again. I was forced to recount in detail why, it was important to dredge up every uncomfortable detail and exaggerate to make my case. I really do not want to be crammed in like that again. I really do not want to put up with all the things one must just to ride a plane. Not worth it.

But it's not that bad, so I had to exaggerate. And it worked.

I go, "Well, how do you get around all the time, are you flying first class or what?'

That got Joe talking about different fares. I already knew, but I let him go on because the point was sinking in. As it was another friend had just taken off that day for Singapore and I asked about him. How does that guy tolerate such a long flight. Is he flying that whole way first class or what? Answer; yes. Turns out, the seat is whole separate little cabin that turns into a bed, a private closed off bed so you can sleep comfortably most the way. It's a whole different ballgame, part of the fun.

I'd do that.

I'd do this.

This looks like fun. I'd do this in a heartbeat. This is entirely different. This is free of all my complaints. Charter a plane and I'll be the first one in line. We rented planes all the time before. Let's go so far as Queenstown and hope for a foggy morning. 

case of wine


The cardboard inserts that separate bottles in a case are brilliant. These have fascinated me forever. It's the old thing, buy a present and the kid plays with the box. In order to get the cardboard slats to intersect cardboard is removed at the lines of intersection. 

The slats are geometric planes. Planes intersect at a line. For one slat to pass through another, cardboard is removed at the line of intersection. 

Here is the impressive thing about this convenient arrangement that fascinates me, at the line where two slats intersect, half the cardboard is removed form one slat and half of the intersecting line is removed from the second intersecting slat going in the cross direction, for matching slots in each slat, half the slots aiming up, half the slots aiming down. You've seen this insert arrangement and most likely pulled it out played with it, noticed how the whole thing can fold flatly. 

The thing about it is the cardboard is doing something in the  physical world that is impossible because physical reality is not mathematics. The cardboard is cardboard, not a mathematical plane, the intersection is where two solid cardboard slats share the same physical space, impossible, not a mathematical line. 

At the point where the two slots slip into each other to form the arrangement, and continue until the solid portions of each opposing slat slip into the slots of the other, at the point in the middle, where two slots meet, the dot is empty. Because half a slot is removed from each slat, the intersection line contains only one plane in each direction, half the plane, actually, in one direction, then another. Simple. Mesmerizing. Perfect for pop-up cards. 

Arranged standing up crossing the central fold as a "V" and two sides fixed, one retro, one verso.  Separate flat pieces, content, can be placed anywhere on the grid as slotted cards. A chessboard for example. 

I drew this for you because I intend to show something wicked later and I don't want to spring it all at once. 

The same is true with simpler mechanisms where three or four layers of paper are glued at the same point. Mathematically it works perfectly, but paper is not math, it has depth of its own, the thickness of the paper interferes with the mechanism working. Along the line everything is fine. All lines are glued according to their working positions, but then they meet at a point and must bend to compensate for their own depth, and that screws up the mechanism performance. Solution: remove the problem area, the point of intersection. The mechanism will work without the problem. The glue tab is fine on all lines except at the point, so remove the point and get on with it. Unsightly, yes, jury-rigged, yes, but it works. 

I saw this same idea the other day when looking for images of solar discs. I noticed they did that same thing inside a particular coffin. I notice it because it is a problem for me. The lines of the feathers converge at a point. I have drawn this design hundreds of times, I grew up drawing this design over and over, and this point of intersection never fails to be problematic. Ancient solution? Remove the problem area, like this:


See the two small squares where the largest feathers join at a point? Removed because that is a problem area. 

Incidentally, when you see that three-prong fox skin inside a cartouche, the central hieroglyph on the left side that looks like the bottom of a fork with a bow on top instead of a fork handle, it's three fox skins tied together, it means  "born" and the word pronounced "mes". It's a big clue the name is Ramses, in this case Ramses III. 

This post is about removing areas from your art to force it to work in the physical world.

CCPAC, Pat Caddell


As if.  I did tune in. Comedy Network, I look for comedy there and sometimes find it, SouthPark, Futurama, that's about it. When I encounter something flatly unwanted, often, the time it takes to get off the channel is measured in milliseconds. Who, who would get their information from Stewart? His -- ironic is it? -- take on something surgically lifted from CPAC is irrelevant. At this point he's shibboleth on par with "Faux snooze" and "Koch Bros., mention of any tells you exactly what you're dealing with. Tells you to wrap up the conversation, smile knowingly and walk away.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

R&B Trip: You Get The Best From Me (Say, Say, Say)


Alicia Myers - You Get The Best From Me

Obama Threatens To Veto Bills That Require Him To Follow The Law

This is not taken from The Onion.

President Obama is threatening to veto a law that would allow Congress to sue him in federal courts for arbitrarily changing or refusing to enforce federal laws because it "violates the separation of powers" by encroaching on his presidential authority.
The lead sponsor of the measure, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said it was designed to curb Obama's abuse of presidential authority, most notably in his frequent changes to Obamacare.
"We have pursued certain remedies afforded to Congress to address executive overreach but these efforts have been thwarted," Gowdy said. "This bill is necessary; it will give Congress the authority to defend this branch of government as the Framers and our fellow citizens would expect."
The Affordable Care Act is law.  It was passed by the House and the Senate and then signed into law by President Obama.  Like all federal laws, the ACA can be changed by Congress, but cannot be unilaterally changed or amended by the President.  Congress, not the Executive Branch, makes laws.

Yet Obama continues to change the Affordable Care Act by extending effective dates, exempting favored groups from compliance, fiddling with coverage, and most recently, delaying the individual mandate.  The President's motives are apparent: politics and favoritism.  As the November congressional elections draw near and the voters are increasingly angry about ObamaCare, Obama simply changes the law so that politicians in his party have theoretically better odds of being re-elected.

Representative Gowdy and others in Congress believe the President's actions to be illegal.  Other remedies are not available (good luck having the AG intervene on behalf of Congress).  As a result, Rep. Gowdy and co-sponsors will bring this bill to the floor of the House for debate and vote.  And if it is passes and then passes the Senate vote (very unlikely) Obama will use his pen to veto the bill.  That may work now, but President Obama would be well advised to consider that the protective Democrat majority in the Senate may not be there after January 20, 2014.

Do you believe Obama is breaking the law by unilaterally changing the ACA?  If you don't, are you willing to have the next Republican president hold the same power?  Because left untested, that is the precedent that has been established.
 

"Underground gas explosion in East Harlem kills 2, injures 36 — up to 10 people feared missing: sources"

"They were picking through the wreckage and searching for survivors Wednesday after a thunderous gas blast in East Harlem levelled two buildings and sent “people flying.”
Two women were killed and three dozen other people were injured — many of them children, one of them critically.

The buildings collapsed with such force it registered two miles west on the seismic scale at Columbia University, which measures earthquake activity in and around New York City.

“It felt like the world shook,” said witness Mustafa Shohataa, 27, who was standing near the buildings at Park Ave. and East 116th St. READ MORE

NY Daily News (more pictures and video at the link)

"We have this freedom inside our hearts, we have this freedom inside our minds"


Bits of French Wit and Wisdom

In a society of equals, the individual acts against equality. In a society of unequals, the majority works against inequality. ~ Paul Valéry 

Equality is less beautiful but more just than inequality. ~ Alfred de Vigny 

Reflections on equality: It isn't at all in the natural order of things. The strongest and most intelligent animal rules. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 

A society where equality of conditions would become strictly guaranteed and maintained would become passive. ~ Jules Romaines 

Our social personality is a creation of the thought of others. ~ Marcel Proust 

Society always has a share of responsibility in the bad behavior of its members. ~ Pierre Delore

Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite





  
pollcode.com free polls 

Another Delay?: "ObamaCare's Secret Mandate Exemption"

"ObamaCare's implementers continue to roam the battlefield and shoot their own wounded, and the latest casualty is the core of the Affordable Care Act—the individual mandate. To wit, last week the Administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty."

"This latest political reconstruction has received zero media notice, and the Health and Human Services Department didn't think the details were worth discussing in a conference call, press materials or fact sheet. Instead, the mandate suspension was buried in an unrelated rule that was meant to preserve some health plans that don't comply with ObamaCare benefit and redistribution mandates. Our sources only noticed the change this week." READ MORE
 
I don't know what to say about the ObamaCare delays anymore. Other than repeat Hillary Clinton's pearl of wisdom; At this point, what difference does it make?

One more law re-write, by a constitutionally equivocal branch, is not going to kill anybody, is it?

What's one more for the road?
 

'Osama Bin Laden is Dead and GM is Recalling', would not have sounded right.

"The Justice Department has begun a criminal investigation into General Motors’ decade-long failure to address deadly safety problems before announcing a huge vehicle recall last month, according to people briefed on the matter."

Right off the bat, the NY Times sees fit to put some distance between the Obama takeover of G.M. and the failure to "address deadly safety problems".
The preliminary inquiry by federal prosecutors in New York is focused on whether G.M., the nation’s largest automaker, failed to comply with laws requiring timely disclosure of vehicle defects. The prosecutors, one of the people said, are questioning whether G.M. misled federal regulators about the extent of the problems.
It's one thing to use the IRS to make it harder for tea parties to get off the ground, quite another, to possibly threaten the safety millions of Americans take for granted, when they get behind the wheel of their presumably safe automobiles.
The investigation is the latest in a widening series of threats to G.M. over its handling of faulty ignition switches in its Chevrolet Cobalt sedan and other cars that the company says are linked to 31 accidents and 13 deaths. READ MORE
I started reading this story last night, but I didn't quite make the connections back to the administration, possibly micromanaging G.M., to make the company a re-election prop. Although, I did remember the Joe Biden Democratic Party Convention "Osama Bin Laden is Dead and General Motors is Alive" mantra. It was politically powerful.

Here is Liz Peek, of The Fiscal Times, asking some pertinent questions about the possible White House interference...
Did the Obama administration purposefully hide problems with GM cars? Were they panicked that a massive recall of GM products would undermine one of President Obama’s most self-congratulatory campaign themes – that he “saved” Detroit’s auto industry? This is a tale of two car companies: GM, shining star in President Obama’s reelection galaxy, and Toyota, which became political fodder...
Skipping down...
By 2011 there had been 204 complaints lodged. In 2010 then-Congressman Barney Frank inquired on behalf of a constituent about the multiple accidents apparently brought on by the random deceleration issue. He was told by NHTSA that it had “insufficient evidence to warrant opening a safety defect investigation.” By that time, there had been several fatalities related to Cobalts’ stalling. Still, NHTSA did nothing.

At the same time, after the Obama administration had orchestrated a government takeover of General Motors, NHTSA hit Toyota with its largest-ever fine and demanded a recall of some 9 million cars and trucks. Over several years, NHTSA had received more than 3,000 reports of sudden acceleration in Toyotas; there had been some 75 fatal crashes. Though the incidents of problems continued to mount, it was not clear at the time of the recall what exactly accounted for the mishaps. The Wall Street Journal announced that a report attributing most of the accidents to driver error had been “temporarily blocked” by safety officials, acting under the direction of Secretary of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. READ MORE
Yes, Ray LaHood was/is a republican politician, precisely why I would like to hear what he has to say under oath.

Morris Berg, the brainiest guy in baseball

Not that great of a ball player, good, but not great, his card is the only baseball card displayed at CIA headquarters.


He knew fifteen languages, that had my attention, and I was thinking, but yes, was one of them hieroglyphics? No, but one of them was Sanskrit and that's just as bad. Yes, but was one of them sign language? No, but one was Arabic and that's backwards. You have to admit fifteen is a lot. His dad was against the whole baseball thing. Never did watch his son play. He was meant for bigger things than baseball. Nevertheless Berg did quite well there. And as a U.S. spy as well.

He went with a group to Japan in 1932 to teach baseball seminars at Japanese universities. When his group returned to the U.S. Berg remained to tour Japan then extending his travels all over the East through China, India, on through Egypt and on to Berlin, so all over the place employing his mad language skills.

A second group trip to Japan Berg was included incongruously with all-star players Babe Ruth, Lou Ghering, Earl Averlill, Charlie Gehringer, Jimmie Fox, and Left Gomez to play exhibitions against all-star Japanese teams.  (What fun is that? Nobody ever wins.) Berg delivered a welcome speech in Japanese and addressed the Japanese Diet.

Diet, that's their word for Parliament, their legislature.

See? You're talking Japanese already.

On that trip, while the rest were playing, Berg was scheduled to deliver flowers to the daughter of American ambassador at a hospital the tallest building on the reclaimed bit of Tokyo Bay. He had with him his own 16-mm Bell and Howell movie camera and cover letter from Movietones New indicating an agreement to film his tour allowing him to film a good portion of the city and the entire bay.

At the end of his baseball career and beginning of coaching Berg made a few appearances on a radio quiz show called Information Please performing impressively and advancing the interests of baseball until on the third appearance the host began asking questions just a bit too personal and that ended that.

After his playing career Berg was Boston Red Sox coach for one year 1940-1941

His story is odd, intermingling as it does with baseball and intelligence agencies OSS, SSU, and CIA

The attack on Pearl Harbor changed the arc of his baseball career.

He joined the effort through Rockefeller's Office of Inter-American Affairs. He  screened the footage he shot earlier of Tokyo Bay for military intelligence officers. The film is thought to have helped Jimmy Doolittle plan his raid. Berg was assigned to the Caribbean but soon left for more interesting things.

In the OSS he was parachuted into Yugoslavia to evaluate groups resisting Nazis. At this point he is his 40's. His evaluation was used to determine support for various resistance groups. He was involved in another project to nab Italian scientists and to scope out what they knew of Werner Heisenberg and of Carl Von Weizsächer.

He was used to ferret information about how far Germany had advanced toward developing an atomic bomb. He was a Jew sent to Zurich to hear a lecture by Heisenberg and Berg's instructions were to determine if sufficiently close to attaining the atomic bomb, then Berg's instructions were to kill Heisenberg.

Later, through various vicissitudes  he was offered coaching position for Boston Red Sox but refused. He was offered a coaching position with the Boston White Sox but refused. Later he was offered the Medal of Freedom but turned it down.

After the war, now early 1950's Berg asked CIA to send him to Israel. They refused but hired him for something else instead. His CIA contact in Europe reported Berg to be "a flake." His contract was not renewed. He tried again to serve the CIA but was never again accepted.

He deteriorated. Never worked after that. Lived with sibs until he died.

The Catcher Was a Spy Amazon.com

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"A Journalist’s Plea On 10th Anniversary Of ‘The Passion Of The Christ’: Hollywood, Take Mel Gibson Off Your Blacklist"

Excerpt...

"The Gibson I’ve come to know isn’t a man who’ll shout from the rooftops that he’s not anti-Semitic, or hold a press conference to tell media those audiotapes were released as part of a shakedown, and that he never assaulted the mother of his infant daughter. He won’t explain to people that he first got himself into a career spiral because he’s a long struggling alcoholic who fell off the wagon and spewed hateful anti-Semitic remarks to an arresting officer who was Jewish. He won’t tell you that he’s still got a lot to offer Hollywood as a filmmaker."

"The fact that he won’t jump to his own defense is part of his problem, but also part of why I have grown to respect him. That is why on the occasion of this 10th anniversary of Passion, a film about an innocent man’s willingness to forgive the greatest injustice, I propose to Hollywood that it’s time to forgive Mel Gibson. He has been in the doghouse long enough. It’s time to give the guy another chance." read more

Deadline Hollywood

KLEM FM


Ever notice the heartbeats and crickets at 52 seconds?

"Marijuana industry bringing in millions in Washington, Colorado with nowhere to put money"

(CNN) - "Colorado is set to release its first report on taxes collected from legal recreational marijuana sales, but while the state counts its cash, some pot shops are left wondering what to do with their profits. It's a budding business, already bringing in big time money, but with few places to put it."
Reporter: "How much money are you making?"

Dispensary Owner: "Last month we did about a million in sales."

Reporter: "A million plus in a month?"

Dispensary Owner: "In one month, yeah."

We wanted to know what happens with those pot profits. So we agreed to hide this dispensary-owner's identity for safety reasons.

Reporter: "What do you do with all this cash?"

Dispensary Owner: "Well we're fortunate enough to have a bank. We bank with a company and, quite honestly, it's a don't ask/don't tell relationship."
If you were to legally acquire tons of cash, cash you couldn't take to the bank, and, there was more cash on the way, everyday, what would you do with it? where would you hide it?

Some of the businesses have turned to security subcontractors.
With big stashes of cash locked away in safes and guard dogs to discourage attackers, security is a huge concern for everyone in this federally illicit business. All dispensaries are required to have surveillance cameras eying every corner. And a lot of dispensaries have alarm systems and panic buttons like this...just in case of an emergency. Then there are dispensaries that are taking security to a whole other level."

Leo Pavlushkin – Blue Line Protection Group: "My theme is that I say 'you mess with the Russian, you face the repercussions.'"

At 6'4, 275 pounds, Leo Pavlushkin is a former member of Russian Special Forces.

Leo Pavlushkin: "'Spetsnaz,' Russian special forces, yeah
WDAY6 video at the link