Saturday, April 26, 2014

Must Sell Mint Los Angeles Clippers Do To Personal Reasons

USA Today - "The NBA is investigating whether racially insensitive comments in an audio recording obtained by TMZ were made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling."

"The remarks heard on the recording are disturbing and offensive, but at this time we have no further information," NBA executive vice president of communication Mike Bass said. He also said the league is conducting a "full investigation."
Via TMZ. Click here for the explosive audio. But first, please remove any children... old and infirm from the room as a precaution. Safety Matters. And lastly, remember to send some Love the Lem's way.

wheel of justice


Utterly pointless.

The film Idiocracy was more prescient than imagined. I haven't seen it but I read about it.

This wheel of justice is a real thing. I checked Channel 4/WJXT, turns out to be Jacksonville FL station searched "wheel of justice" on their site and discovered they do this once a week.

The video showing presently on their own page is better than this one but it embeds oddly here so checked out  the U-tubes and the segments are posted there too, but this one is not up yet.

Believe me, we are laughingstock. I feel shame.

The sayings of Lazarus Long

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

-Lazarus Long, Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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

What else should a human be able to do?

"Holder to remain U.S. attorney general through November elections at least"

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder plans to stay on through November's mid-term elections and has no timeline for an exit after that, a Justice Department official told Reuters on Friday.
"The Attorney General does not plan to leave before the mid-terms. That does not mean that he is definitely leaving after the mid-terms, just that he is at least staying through that time," the official said.

There has been speculation over when Holder, 63, might step down from the post he has held since shortly after President Barack Obama took office in 2009.
Reuters

BBC: Why is Kim Jong-un always surrounded by people taking notes?

"In the photographs - from the country's official Central News Agency (KCNA) - Kim Jong-un observes a unit of women conducting a multiple-rocket launching drill. He strides around a fishery station. He gives a pilot on flight training a pep talk. He enjoys the facilities at a renovated youth camp."


But who are those men meticulously taking notes? They're not journalists, but soldiers, party members or government officials, says Prof James Grayson, Korea expert at the University of Sheffield. What is happening is a demonstration of the leader's supposed power, knowledge, wisdom and concern, says Grayson. It's "on-the-spot guidance", something instigated by his grandfather Kim Il-sung in the 1950s. "It's part of the image of the great leader offering benevolent guidance," says Grayson.




Despite the fact that tablets are available in the country, paper notebooks remain the favoured medium. "These are pictures that will be broadcast on television and shown in the state media, so those who are there want to be seen recording Kim Jong-un's every word," says Grayson. "It's about presenting him as having broad knowledge - however, it's ridiculous, he can't possibly know about all of these different things. It's important, however, that the apparatchiks that surround him are seen to be hanging on his every word."

New Rule: Recruits must buy U.S. made athletic shoes


Defense Department issued a new rule that could require recruits in boot camp to use their one-time allowance for shoes to be purchased through New Balance.

Military Times.

The rule is worded otherwise but the effect will be all recruits buy from the one single American company that supplies them. The new rule is pushed by Democrat representative from Maine, Mike Michaud.


Yeah. 

No. I would not buy a car from this guy. 

Apparently taking a cue from his executive that it is okay to coerce broad swaths of captive audiences to purchase things they otherwise would not purchase from places they otherwise would not purchase from when profit is channeled and benefit devolve to Party. 

New Balance is the only company in compliance with Berry Amendment (1941) or will be compliant if their prototype passes. New Balance is located in Mike Michaud's district. Boo.

The Berry Amendment is intended to direct government purchases to American companies wherever possible. 


Army, Navy, Air Force, but not Marines. Marines have a separate allowance that does not specify shoes. So all recruits in bootcamp for three services. 

What a coupe. What a haul. What blatant favoritism. Mike Michaud and his like really do not appreciate market forces or individual preferences, both essential to our economic system, and the malignancy toward both is so obvious I honestly do not see why he is not shouted down by the rest of the House all at once, traduced on the spot, and why would military brass acquiesce. They don't care. Apparently.

Let's get in the shoe business and offer competition. I know people who wear New Balance and would never buy anything else. They really are good shoes I am told. But so what. Being recruits the young guys probably won't mind, they might even think, "wow, our leaders really do find for us the best stuff available and direct us wisely" but they have more faith in political leadership than I do. 

This is wrong. So unAmerican to distort market forces like this, to use enlistees like this to drive business to friends. There ought to be a law! Wait, there is. And he wrote it. Boo. Boo on insidious corruption. Boo, giving all those recruits money as part of their pay to be spent at only one place, as if direct payment to New Balance. For all those shoes.  

It'll be an extension of uniform. I'm not clear if this is for off duty, if so, there will be two ways to spot those guys out on leave, by their  hair and by the same style shoes. 

Quit complaining. New Balance are great shoes. But look whose having a sale.



Friday, April 25, 2014

catch 22

I do not recall this scene from the film. I must have been getting popcorn or perhaps someone was covering my eyes. At any rate, gruesome. Linking this brief scene for its comments.

KLEM FM


1965's "See My Friends" was the first song that had a sort of mystical quality to it. It's also proto-psychedelia. And it was influential. According to the Wiki, Pete Townshend said at the time:
See My Friends' was the next time I pricked up my ears and thought, 'God, he's done it again. He's invented something new.' That was the first reasonable use of the drone—far, far better than anything the Beatles did and far, far earlier. It was a European sound rather than an Eastern sound but with a strong, legitimate Eastern influence which had its roots in European folk music. link
The drone sound that runs through the record was accidental -- much like the sound of the guitar in 1964's "You Really Got Me."

Ray Davies explains:
I played the song for the first time to my two sisters in Muswell Hill, using this beaten-up 12-string Framus guitar. It had a great quality, but when I played it in the studio, I got too close to the mike, and it started to feed back. And that provided the drone that ran through the record. I remember Shel Talmy saying "we'll never get all this sound on there, so I'll compress the shit out of it.' It ended up a mixture of my stupidity, Shel's opportunism and engineer Bob Auger's technical ability. I'm not sure it's a great song, but it's a great record.
In a widely quoted statement by Barry Fantoni:
I remember it vividly and still think it's a remarkable pop song. I was with the Beatles the evening that they actually sat around listening to it on a gramophone, saying 'You know this guitar thing sounds like a sitar. We must get one of those.'
Six months later, The Beatles released "Norwegian Wood."

Whose that girl?*


I'm sure Trooper knows. And I'll bet Ed does, too.

*A blog post in the style of Trooper York

Life Is Rough

Sometimes a man needs to take a time-out.


A quick check of the blog world tells me that racism is the topic that replaced gay marriage, laws can be waived at whom by DOJ and POTUS, crooks can buy presidential decisions, and Miley Cyrus has bacteria.  In other words, nothing changed, except maybe Obama unfriended Putin or something.

Well, I need to get another beer.

Carry on.

Georgia's new gun laws

"Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law today what supporters call a historic victory for the Second Amendment.

The new law, called the “Safe Carry Protection Act”, vastly expands where guns will be allowed in the state.

As of July 1st, licensed gun owners in Georgia and visitors from 28 other states will be allowed to bring a gun into a bar without restrictions and carry a firearm into some government buildings. Under the law, school districts will be able to decide whether they want some employees to carry a firearm, and religious leaders can decide whether to allow licensed gun owners to carry guns into their church, synagogue or mosque.

Deal said the following about the bill:"

Study: Is music really all about sex?

"One of the most enduring theories was put forward by Charles Darwin, who suggested that, as with bird song, it’s all about sex. “Musical notes and rhythm”, he wrote in The Descent of Man, “were first acquired by the male and female progenitors of mankind for the sake of charming the opposite sex.”

"Now evidence appearing to support Darwin’s hypothesis has come in the form of a study by psychologist Benjamin Charlton of the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. In his experiment, he found that women’s sexual preferences for composers changed during their menstrual cycle, and that they preferred composers of more complex music – who might be construed as more capable mates – at the most fertile point of the cycle." (read more)

BBC

"Senators Denounce Obama for Threatening 'Entire Constitutional System' By 'Nullifying' Immigration Laws"

"On Thursday, 22 Republican senators, including even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), denounced President Barack Obama in a scathing letter for threatening America's "entire constitutional system" with his immigration "enforcement review" that threatens to "nullify" the nation's immigration laws."
"Your actions demonstrate an astonishing disregard for the Constitution, the rule of law, and the rights of American citizens and legal residents," the senators wrote in a letter to Obama. "Our entire constitutional system is threatened when the Executive Branch suspends the law at its whim and our nation’s sovereignty is imperiled when the commander-in-chief refuses to defend the integrity of its borders."...

"These policies have operated as an effective repeal of duly enacted federal immigration laws and exceed the bounds of the Executive Branch’s prosecutorial discretion," the senators wrote. "It is not the province of the Executive to nullify the laws that the people of the United States, through their elected representatives, have chosen to enact. Congress has not passed laws permitting people to illegally enter the country or to ignore their visa expiration dates, so long as they do not have a felony conviction or other severe offense on their record."
All the letters the congress could write to the president, complaining about him going around them, are not going to change the way President Obama is presiding, which is in effect, President Obama going around the Congress. The only constitutional remedy is removal from office. And that is not going to happen as long as the polls say so. Not to mention the racial component. So why do I put up this post?... It needs to be said. It needs to be said that no president should be allowed to pick and chose which laws he is going to enforce. Not even Obama, period.

So go ahead Congress, write more letters to the president, better yet, lets all go ahead and write the president and tell him he needs to faithfully adhere not just to the letter of laws but to the spirit of laws as well.

Hashtag diplomacy

The State Department Is Getting Ruthlessly Mocked For Tweets Of 'Hashtag Diplomacy'
Businessinsider

This took me far too long to figure out what twitter users were on about. The logic on twitter is fractured and scattered, what there is of logic. To our tremendous embarrassment our State Department imagines twitter hashtags will have any affect whatsoever on Russian actions. This is their sense of enlightened diplomacy.

The State Department's idea is to spread awareness of the situation in Ukraine, this while Russia masses on Ukraine's eastern border.

That would be spread awareness among Twitter users, no?

Jen Psaki, spokesperson for U.S. State Department tweeted this:












Igniting a snark riot.

My favorite:

















Although I'm not sure how Dewey/Truman newspaper error has anything to do with it, that was the confusing part, but sill kind of funny. Others more apposite than this and more snarky. Here are a few in plain text stripped of confounding Twitterese:

I hear laughter in the #Kremlin -> John Kerry Just Gave #Russia A Final Warning

2016 Barack Obama wins the Nobel Hashtag Prize.

"We will Hashtag you !" Khruschev at the UN.

Khruschev pounded his shoe. Obama State Dept pounds...a pound sign. Cuz #hashtagdiplomacy y'all!=>

Has the hashtag been voxsplained yet?
(Ew, good one -- a twofer.)
Maybe it's just time to defriend Russia and ignore their texts?

The right to bear #hashtags shall not be infringed.

Jay, Adams, Seward, Hay, Acheson, Dulles... Our great past Secretaries of State wish they could come back to pimp slap Kerry right now.

The hashtags are going out all over Europe - English Sec Grey at the start of WWI.

at least Kerry can say he accomplished a #hashtag attack on #russia   #hillarynotsomuch

if you outlaw #hashtags, only outlaws will have #hashtags

Obama promised that we would beat our blogs into ploughshares; now he wants to escalate into a flame war.

We shall have peace. We shall have peace when Saruman honors his hashtags. - Theoden King.

And so on. I am so proud to be American right now. That whole 'world's policeman' thing was getting old. Our legacy squandered.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

boy with antelope



This one I painted for myself. 

Egyptians used hay in their plaster to help bind it. Usually the under layer of plaster applied to the walls to smooth the roughly hewn rock then covered with another smoother layer to paint on. I think. I tried hay, for authenticity,  and it doesn't work for so well for me, I tried various fibers and of all the substances tried it is shredded currency that works best for me. 

The currency is shredded at the FRB in huge piles by a tree branch chopper affair, but larger and made for this purpose, and by two double control teams of four people total. Two people working and two people watching all pulled from different departments. The crew is selected randomly from among selected employees.  I was on that crew several times. The operator must stand elevated on a platform to reach the large slot to receive the bundles to chop. They are not shredded as regular office shredders, rather, the bundles are chopped into tiny bits. There will be no reconstruction possible. The denominations can be anything, 1's, 5's, 20's what have you. The bundles destroyed previously carefully counted by similar control teams. The counting and confirming teams are one of the more unhappier tasks. Nobody likes to be chosen. It is amazing how many times some of the bundles must be recounted. Watching counters is the most trying tasks of all. The amounts are quite large, say a dining room table covered to two or three feet high with money.

Money almost becomes meaningless.

The Building Department crew cleans out the giant shredders. One of the Building Department employees, a friend, they're all friends, gave me a bag. A large bag.  A bag the size that is stuffed into a xerox box that holds 10 reams of copy paper, a veritable lifetime supply of shredded currency. 

This painting has too much shredded currency mixed with the plaster. I went a little overboard there, so the surface is fuzzy and not so easily painted. All of it is guess anyway, water to plaster with currency. Each pour is different. 

The novelty of using currency this way tickled the people who work there. The FRB Denver  bought two of my paintings and wrote about currency inside for their newsletter. The head office in K.C. picked up on the item and they published a story as well in their own district-wide newsletter and this is how I became somewhat famed there, and also deemed somewhat unfit for FRB temperament, or otherwise some sort of oddity.

The paintings they bought are hung in a meeting room and thereafter I could not focus entirely on any meeting in the room for being distracted by my own art, criticizing it mentally, making adjustments and thinking, "I can do better than that next time, look the feet are different sizes" 

* * * * * 

I stopped by the Arby's nearby for a sandwich when a dark filthy man approached my table for a handout. I happened to be loaded with bills at the time. I did not want the panhandler to see inside my wallet as I removed a bill, he standing and me sitting so I turned to the side while I rifled the bills. I could have given any denomination, I pulled out a fiver and gave it to him. He reached out with the dirtiest hands I have ever seen in my life, filthy with ground in grime, and if he was actually hungry then that bill would go right into Arby's cash register and I cringed at the thought. 

Now because of that I don't want to touch currency. It's become a thing. The thought of sticking my hands in the bag of shredded currency to remove a handful frankly gives me the creeps. I should probably spray it with Lysol before reaching in. 

And then I looked at my ticket and noticed the total was $8.something, and thought, that 5 I gave him isn't even going to cover a simple meal. Then I felt bad.

taps

Email:

Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Elli was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia . The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land.

touching photo

During the night, Captain Elli heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a   Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment..
When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.
The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.
The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted.
The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral.
The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate.
But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician.

touching photo

The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform.
This wish was granted.
The haunting melody, we now know as 'Taps' used at military funerals was born.
The words are:

Day is done.
Gone the sun.
From the lakes
From the hills.
From the sky.
All is well.
Safely rest.
God is nigh.

Fading light.
Dims the sight.
And a star.
Gems the sky.
Gleaming bright.
From afar.
Drawing nigh.
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise.
For our days.
Neath the sun
Neath the stars.
Neath the sky
As we go.
This we know.
God is nigh

touching appeal to remember
imperative to pass along

End.

Air Force brats drove me nuts growing up and still do. I think I keep tangential contact to remind me of that. The things that get passed as wisdom easily challenged but challenging them causes only discord and dissension and not improved wisdom. So be it. discord and dissension it is.


My response:

Apologies for being contrarian but I must. Does this purported history not strike you a little too precious? Just a wee bit too coincidental? Does it not hit just the right notes of irony, pathos, and emotion? And is it not suspect on that alone?

Honestly, a simple web search shows otherwise. This story is false. The real story much more mundane, less interesting. Try wikipedia, if you like. Or stick with this if you prefer.

There are other apocryphal stories of origin besides this one.

I do like this story. It appeals to me as it must to anybody. I would like to use it for a post online, but I cannot. (but I did!) I do not like being played, my emotions toyed with. Please, I urge you to check things before passing along.

I am not going to link anything for you. Do that yourself, if you like. Or not.

I notice Youtube video disallows comments on this, the one I looked at did, I'm certain the reason for that is because it would be quickly corrected.

Cliven Bundy on blacks: ‘Are they better off as slaves?’

"Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher whom some Republicans and tea party activists have rallied around as he fights federal government efforts to restrict the land his cattle can graze on, suggests in a New York Times story that African Americans might be better off as slaves, given their current situation."
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.” (read more)
The call is going out for conservatives to distance themselves from Bundy. I find it interesting that after President Obama has repeatedly called for a national conversation or race, as soon as a citizen is engaged in the race conversation, the conversation is used against him.
I'm not going to defend Bundy, but, (I guess I 'am) we all have been asked to talk about race. And unless there is a school we have to go to learn how to talk about it. I'm not going to condemn a man for being in-artfull, un-nuanced as to the euphemism riddled, ever evolving language of race. Bundy spoke his mind the best he could, which is saying a lot, in the day when exercising free speech by making a donation to the unapproved cause can get you virtually tarred and feather not to mention fired.

"A One-Size-Fits-All Government Cannot Survive in the iPad Era"

This quick-read Real Clear Politics article posits that over the first two hundred years of our nation's history there was a movement  toward centralized government that was pushed forward by technology and population expectations. And that beginning in the Seventies there has been a shift away from centralization, beginning with the diversity of choice offered by cable TV.

"Now we’ve reached a level of personalization powered by more than 100 million smartphones. The culture of individual choice and customization is so strong that no two of these smartphones are alike. We have different apps, music and more.


Over the past 30 years, as society has moved away from centralization, the political class has resisted. Government has grown ever more centralized. In fact, the federal government today directly controls a far larger chunk of the nation’s economy than it did just a generation or two ago.


That disconnect exists partly because politics and government always lag behind. It’s also partly because politicians are not thrilled with riding the new wave that disperses power away from the political class.


The disconnect cannot continue. Sooner or later, the politicians will concede and the government will catch up."


Thoughts?

WLEM AM

Where we never can say good-bye.



Come on, everyone, sing!

'We hope you will, please, pursue this... Check it out. Challenge us.'

"The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, a self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn't been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier."
'The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,' Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.

She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.
'Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,' Lopez claimed. 'They were permitted to come in. ... [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..
'The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.' (read more)

Star Trek

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Yankee Pineda Pulled for Pine Tar


In Our Hands by Charles Murray

Amazon book description of In Our Hands:

"America's population is wealthier than any in history. Every year, the American government redistributes more than a trillion dollars of that wealth to provide for retirement, health care, and the alleviation of poverty. We still have millions of people without comfortable retirements, without adequate health care, and living in poverty. Only a government can spend so much money so ineffectually. The solution is to give the money to the people.


This is the Plan, a radical new approach to social policy that defies any partisan label. Murray suggests eliminating all welfare transfer programs at the federal, state, and local levels and substituting an annual $10,000 cash grant to everyone age twenty-one or older. In Our Hands describes the financial feasibility of the Plan and its effects on retirement, health care, poverty, marriage and family, work, neighborhoods and civil society."


Here is an excerpt from a Gene Expression email Q and A with Murray. The first three questions address the book, and the rest touch on such subjects as Murray's The Bell Curve and "the Larry Summers flap." : 



Marketing Mike


Chiraq

"A Facebook argument had apparently sparked a completely unrelated shooting at the start of the weekend. Best friends Jordan Means, 16, and Anthony Bankhead, 18, got into the online spat with a man in his 30s. The man is said to have followed his final post by appearing in the flesh and shooting the two teens to death."


"Two other men were fatally shot later in the weekend as they sat in a car that was also occupied by two kids, ages 3 and 7. The children were physically unharmed but no doubt will join those who are as mentally scarred by living in Chicago as were some combat veterans who returned from the war in Iraq." (read more)

"These animals are really conservative"

"Deer still balk at crossing the border with Germany even though the physical (electrified) fence came down a quarter century ago, new studies show."
Czechoslovakia, where the communists took power in 1948, had three parallel electrified fences, patrolled by heavily armed guards. Nearly 500 people were killed when they attempted to escape communism.

Deer were also victims of the barrier. A seven-year study in the Czech Republic's Sumava National Park showed that the original Iron Curtain line still deters one species, red deer, from crossing.
Better red than dead
"It was fascinating to realize for the first time that anything like that is possible," said Pavel Sustr, a biologist who led the Czech project. Scientists conducting research on German territory reached similar conclusions.

The average life expectancy for deer is 15 years and none living now would have encountered the barrier.

"But the border still plays a role for them and separates the two populations," Sustr said. He said the research showed the animals stick to traditional life patterns, returning every year to the same places.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation

A Canadian First Nations tribe used 2.5 million of their own money to restore their salmon runs, an integral part of their heritage. The tribe collectively decided to use the money to support a project by American entrepreneur Russ George in which iron-sulfate is dumped by the tons (120) to produce a bloom of phytoplankton in an attempt to sequester carbon.


Two goals. Restore salmon runs, and sequester carbon. Like chocolate and peanut butter smacking into each other and making a Reese's candy cup.

The iron creates a plankton bloom, first phytoplankton then another zooplankton bloom that feed upon the phytoplankton, then baby salmon and other creatures feed on zooplankton.

Then things feed on salmon. Bird populations are enriched. Other fish species, tuna, even whales turn up.

How does carbon become sequestered though when it appears to be consumed?

Not all the zooplankton is consumed. If the bloom is too large they starve and die. If the species are diatom type that produce shells then carbon dioxide becomes sequestered in their calcium carbonate shells that settle on the sea floor.

The story is told backwards in Reverseland, where good things are bad. This is the prevailing version.
George was the guy who persuaded the small impoverished indigenous community of Old Massett on Haida Gwaii to part with over $2.5-million. He did so under the pretense that dumping iron in the ocean to stimulate a plankton bloom would net lucrative profits in the carbon credit market and maybe even bring back salmon stocks. Huffington
George is the guy. George is the guy who looks for solutions to problems that do not involve courts and governments and environment activist groups hellbent on limiting human activity. George does, the rest obstruct.

It is the kind of bloom you do not want in your aquarium. The project fraught with hazard. There are serious and valid arguments against this type of activity. The type of bloom cannot be controlled, nor the extent fully known nor understood. The scientific community agrees much more study is needed before any large project be undertaken. They are against these types of geoengineering or marine-engineering activities, treaties are signed over this, it violates the London Convention for instance and a whole array of legal arrangements and regulating restrictions. By incorporating with the First Nation tribe Russ George bypassed all that legal claptrap and that sidestepping action infuriates ecologists.

Environmental groups object to the commercial aspect. It involves carbon credits and they astutely observe a scheme when they see one. How dare he fix a problem that needs to stay unfixed and make money besides, by fixing and not by obstructing human activity.

Too harsh? The anti-human activity motives display themselves positively photobombing the pious righteous protestations that say otherwise. First, the absence of whales is bad because of human activity. So human activity should stop or be severely curbed for the sake of whales. And secondly, thrilling as the sight of whales at an oft-visited vacation site is, at last, if the whales are present only because of human activity that takes the shine off then the presence of whales is bad and so is the human activity that brought it. Absence of whales, presence of whales, either way human activity is horrifying.

Russ George is following nature. Volcanic eruptions dump iron and create blooms resulting in increased salmon populations. Three times this was noticed.

According to this article the jury is out. The project a success and spectacularly too. Far greater salmon increase than anticipated or imagined. National Review

Now it is being reported that everywhere from Alaska to the lower 48, baby salmon that swam out to sea, instead of mostly starving were treated to a feast on newly vibrant ocean pastures where once they could neither thrive nor survive. They grew and grew and before too long they swam back to our rivers a hundred million strong. 
The SE Alaska Pink catch in the fall of 2013 was a stunning  226.3 million fish. This when a high number of 50 million fish were expected. Those extra ocean pasture fed fish came back because their pasture was enjoying the richest plankton blooms ever, thanks to me a[nd] 11 shipmates and our work in the summer of 2012. IT JUST WORKS.
Beautiful. This fills my heart with joy. I have a real personal interest in this. Salmon fascinate me. That is my interest. But these pages I've read leave me with lingering questions. The Huffington link has an update, the chief councillor of the Massett tribe told Victoria Times colonist [sic] the tribe intends to stop ocean fertilization.

Why stop fertilizing? How are million more baby fish going to eat when they get there? Do the plankton persist? If not we are back to square one. All of those fish are not caught obviously, quadruple millions more salmon repopulating naturally and now those baby salmon will go out to sea and not be treated to a feast of newly vibrant ocean pastures, rather, they'll starve like before unless there is sufficient plankton leftover. I think the chief said that to get environmentalist/obstructionist off their backs. When the time comes should they need to, they now know how easily remedied the situation. Native Americans can get away with things regular citizens cannot.

The tribe fired Russ George.

No matter, he owns just short of half the corporation between them and he replaced himself with an associate. For show. To partially placate activists I suppose who require at least some personal destruction. But none of that matters. The effort a success.

I want to go salmon fishing. Just once. I shouldn't have mentioned that to a friend because now the gears are going and it is all I hear about, how are my plans coming? I didn't mean it to be a thing to plan out as a discrete endeavor, I meant I'd like to go fishing with my brother or with my sister, as they've done together and with no fascination for salmon as I have, while visiting either one up there in the corner as a natural thing to do together, not fly in an airplane just for one fish. Besides, freshwater trout fishing right here in Colorado is outstanding.

Andrew Sullivan: The “Quality Of Life” In New Jersey

"What you have here is not an argument, but a prejudice. Why is a head-shop somehow bad for a neighborhood? Why is tourism for casinos fine but for smoking a joint such a terrible thing? Why is legal pot worse for New Jersey’s reputation than the popularity of Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives of New Jersey?
And why, pray, is it a better quality of life to have less personal freedom rather than more?"

Chris Christie explains:
For the people who are enamored with the idea with the income, the tax revenue from [legalized marijuana], go to Colorado and see if you want to live there. See if you want to live in a major city in Colorado where there’s head shops popping up on every corner and people flying into your airport just to come and get high. To me, it’s just not the quality of life we want to have here in the state of New Jersey and there’s no tax revenue that’s worth that.
Who do side with, Andrew Sullivan or Chris Christie?

"I wanted to build a system that is capable of carrying out social behaviours for humans"

"Can't be bothered to show anyone what you're thinking? Then a Japanese scientist has the answer -- a pair of digital eyes that can express delight and anger, or even feign boredom."

"As the service sector grows and becomes more sophisticated, it becomes increasingly important that we behave by showing understanding to others," he said. "That requires us to behave differently from our true feelings." Such "emotional labour" has caused some people to become deeply conflicted and develop emotional illnesses, Osawa said, adding that his technology could eventually help them.


***

Barcelona: The tourist are coming, the tourist are coming, and coming and coming...

“a freedom-destroying cocktail”

"The Supreme Court says an anonymous tip can be sufficient to justify a decision by police to pull a car over on suspicion of reckless or drunken driving."
The justices voted 5-4 Tuesday to uphold a traffic stop in northern California in which officers subsequently found marijuana in the vehicle. The officers themselves did not see any evidence of reckless driving.

Justice Clarence Thomas said the tip phoned in to 911 that a Ford pickup truck had run the caller off the road was sufficiently reliable to allow for the traffic stop without violating the driver’s constitutional rights.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the dissent in which he called Thomas’ opinion “a freedom-destroying cocktail.”
I suppose "tipping" could be abused, like everything else.

WLEM AM

Where we take it to the limit.



What's on your mind?

Mark Steyn: Happy Earth Day!

"Happy Earth Day! April 22nd is the day when President Obama and the rest of the gang demonstrate their commitment to saving the planet by flying in to plant a tree somewhere. And say what you like but, when you're looking for fellows who know how to dig a huge hole, Obama and Harry Reid are pretty much at the top of the list. My township in New Hampshire is 90 per cent forested, but you can never have too many trees, so on Earth Day I always like to plant a couple more, get the tree cover in my town up to 97, 98 per cent, whatever it takes to send climate change into reverse. Of course, it's always a big pain in the neck the morning after Earth Day, when the holiday's over, and it's time to take down the trees. So these days I generally just plant artificial trees with the nice silvery tinselly branches, and then you can just take them down and put 'em in the attic till next year's Earth Day."


B-36 360° view of engineer's station

But first this: I intended to make a gif of Pelosi as Jesus washing hoofies, and I did, but it was poo because Pelosi's lips and nose do not go with Jesus' mustache and beard. That's the good part. But when her nose is made to match then you cannot tell it is Pelosi and that takes all the fun out.

While looking for pictures of Pelosi I was happy to see my own things in images. Ha! Except on someone else's site who I do not know. This one.


But I did not notice this one that goes with it.


The gifs are old. Pelosi was agitating for a bigger plane at the time due to the size of her retinue. I never did know if she got one. Kind of big, don't you think? 

But not as big as the B-36.

Longest wingspan ever. Too big for hangars.


I do not think the plane she wanted is as big as this, maybe it is. 

The B-36 had the last of the biggest baddest piston engines ever built, the pinnacle of large piston aircraft before turbo engines took over. These Pratt and Whitney reciprocating  engines were huge with 28 cylinders, 4 rows of 7 cylinders arranged slightly offset giving the appearance of a corncob. 


If you were to work on them a long time, and you have an imagination, then it sort of kind of  looks like a corncob. Each plane has six engines.


You get more stuff than the pilot! Bring a seat cover, the chairs are a mess.

The engines tended to catch fire. They took a lot of work. The planes were grounded for maintenance 600 hours between missions. Each engine had 56 spark plugs easily grimed by lead fuel used then, 336 total spark plugs for each plane. If the engines were not started properly all the spark plugs would need to be adjusted. 

Even though long range the bombers still needed to be positioned close to the action as possible, for the Pacific arena that meant much of the maintenance was done outdoors in Alaska.

The engines were prone to fires. 

The planes were in service for ten years, basically too late for action in WWII, with the introduction of Russian MIG in Korea War the piston engines were made obsolete. The planes flew reconnaissance during the Cold War but were never used as bomber, never fired any armaments. 

Other than that the planes were great. They were sort of a crossover plane as the turbos came into production.

Monday, April 21, 2014

offering

Speaking of art swindles, here is my own, I call it a replication, based on an incomplete painting, more of an outline on an old wall that I liked and kept thinking, that could be better a little more complete, so I did.

Did I show you this already? Stop me if I did. There is another offering, a boy with an antelope around his neck. The plaster on that one is loaded with shredded currency creating a fuzzy surface. That one is quick painting and no carving to it.

I took this picture to test if my phone would still take one and download one. Surprise! It does. This is the fidelity the 420 rally would allow. It is not so terrible, for a phone. I should stop complaining. But I won't.



Turns out one of my favorite things. A framed copy of this hangs in somebody's home, taking first place of the lot. Everybody asks about it and that makes me squee. It was commissioned by a person I know but it is their spouse who flipped out when the piece was brought home. That was fun. Really fun.

I poured twenty-four more copies and I still own all those. Every detail comes through with those latex mold, every hair, every crack. At first I poured twelve and painted them all green same interior house paint as a room and attached them tile-like to produce a 3-d wall and the whole thing was extraordinary, I thought just what I wanted, then I moved. I poured twelve more and painted those randomly and rapidly and carelessly and those plus the greens making twenty-four made up a new wall at the new place. Then I moved. Now they are all in a box waiting to be used somehow. They can become another wall or they can be framed and sold separately. The mold is destroyed.

But I could make another mold if I want to, I still have this original.

NYT: Suspect in Art Swindle, Is Arrested in Spain

"The art dealer, Jose Carlos Bergantiños Diaz, who has been sought for many months, was arrested by the Spanish police on Friday at a luxury hotel in downtown Seville…"
Federal prosecutors and F.B.I. agents in New York believe that Mr. Bergantiños carried out a daring forgery swindle that fooled the art world, leading collectors to spend more than $80 million on dozens of fake masterworks by painters including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell. 
Motherwell (Google) 
The swindle, officials have said, was carried out with Mr. Bergantiños’s girlfriend, Glafira Rosales, who was charged last May and pleaded guilty in September in the scheme. She has been cooperating with the federal authorities.

One element of the scheme that has riveted the art world is the source of the fraud: a single immigrant from China who painted out of his home and garage in Woodhaven, Queens, and produced the scores of paintings and drawings that were successfully presented as newly discovered works by some of the 20th century’s greatest artists.



The painter, Pei-Shen Qian, received formal training at an art school in New York. Federal authorities, who identified Mr. Bergantiños as Co-Conspirator No. 1 in the indictment charging Ms. Rosales, said he met and befriended Mr. Qian in the 1980s, while the artist was painting on the street in Manhattan.

Federal officials have said that Mr. Bergantiños treated the canvases to make them look old and then forged the signatures of artists like Pollock and Motherwell.
Living in the so called information age, the age old fraud is still possible, it seems. I take some small comfort/pleasure in that. Not of the schadenfreudic kind, if you take my word for it. But a small, maybe not so small, pleasure in seeing how dreams and desires can still overcome the most likely probability that we are being taken in, fooled, engañados. We are still believing creatures, mostly.

Gone Riding



Mrs. Haz and I headed out this morning on a motorcycle ride through fifteen states.  It's the first long ride of the summer, and we've been waiting all winter for it to begin.  The weather will be chilly the first few days, but since we are heading south and then west, we'll soon be in warm weather.

I won't be around here very much for a while, but I will be blogging the trip here.



Denver 420 Festival

Some festivals are simply not fun at all. Such is Denver 420 festival. Don't bother.

In fact, don't bother with any like music festival in Denver. Here is why.

420rally.org/category/information/

Safety and Public Information:

The following items are NOT ALLOWED at The Official 420 Rally:
  • Weapons of Any Kind, including Fireworks or Explosives of Any Kind
  • Large Framed Backpacks (Hiking Backpacks, etc.)
  • Glass Containers and Metal Aerosol Cans, including Sunscreen in Aerosol Cans.
  • Outside Food or Drinks (including Alcohol), except Two Factory-Sealed Water Bottles (up to 1 Liter each)
  • Skateboards, Scooters or Personal Motorized Vehicles
  • Carts, Tents & Chairs of Any Kind
  • Hard-Sided Coolers
  • Pets (except Service Dogs)
  • Professional Recording (Photo, Video, Audio) Equipment (NO Large Professional Detachable Zoom Lenses, Tripods or Other Commercial Equipment
  • No Unauthorized/Unlicensed Vendors Allowed. No Unauthorized Solicitations, Handbills, Sampling, Give-Aways, etc.
The camera thing is a matter of my free speech. It is how I communicate about my experience. Yes, pocket cameras are allowed, phone cameras are quite good these days, so no real hard complaint there, but I cannot use a wide angle and get the whole thing nor telephoto zoom and get right up on the stage.  I cannot compose a shot as I choose and I am being invited to a musical experience but while disallowed to take anything with me of any fidelity of use. I do not accept the terms.

Let all your memories be fuzzy.

I am invited to pursue press credentials if I like, and that sure is kind and considerate but should not be necessary in a free land. I am invited to try to join the guild for something I am able to do as free citizen. But this is your private party so have it your way. I'm no longer interested. You are no fun. My attitude is just leave. You leave.

Making the Most of Your 420 Rally Experience
  • Radiate Positivity – Amendment 64 was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. Celebrate this collective achievement with a smile on your face and a buzz in your heart as we’re all together in our effort to educate the world about the benefits of our beloved plant
Ha! While I sit there and fold my hands and behave. Or wander around and look at your information. Pic up some pot-trinkets as Mardi Gras. No thank you. I do find it a bit silly celebrating having something we should have all along. And still treading on eggshells about it besides. Celebrate incremental progress at reattaining our birthright. That is wonderful. And all I have to do is follow your instructions on how to have a good time.
  • Share
  • Respect your City Park
  • Get involved
  • Have fun!
  • Be prepared
Too many imperatives for me.

You are asked how to get there and you answer, "Go green, take the bus."  What we need to know is where are the entrances. A map would be helpful. It is a large park.

Logically there will be an entrance on Broadway. That way is blocked with construction. The opposite way to Acoma leads directly to the heart of the park. Acoma stops being a street and becomes a pedestrian plaza spanning 2 blocks in front of the Art Museum. It ends at the D.P. Library and the entrance to the first art museum. 14 St curves to accommodate Civic park.

A female guard stands at a gap in the gate, she is black, that is relevant later, she directs people to follow the curve, the curved street now fenced off. The entrance is Bannock and 14th right at the start of the curve, the point of the original art museum, a bit of a strange intersection with sidewalks because the curve continues to 15th which is Colfax, the other edge of the park.

"Your setup is handicap-unfriendly."

"I know. We brought that up with the organizers this morning."

"What did they say?"

"Nothing."

When I do get to point B, the entrance, access denied. The fence curves around the pointed building  like a hairpin following the sidewalk down Bannock the opposite direction away from the park, forcing pedestrians to keep on the sidewalk in a channel between fence and building the full length of the block. It took a lot of effort putting up all that fencing. The direction I just walked. I am 10 feet away from point B, the proper entrance, and ridiculously herded away from it down the street to point C, back toward home. Everybody is. Thousands of people throughout the day herded around as cattle away from the park to walk the exact same length back to the entrance. No signage at all, this way or that to avoid that inconvenience for thousands, only people all around to direct you which way to circumlocute the perimeter with added block-long spikes to accommodate safety.

A groundskeeper on the opposite side of the fence saw my plight, or rather heard it.

"Oh, Bullshit!"

An outburst that runs counter to the positive energy we are instructed to radiate. The man, a large dude, kindly offered to open the fencing. The segments are hooked but not locked. Here the fencing is tall and heavy, seven feet or so and the man could not unhook them, but he did try. He arbitrarily decided logically where the previous guard did not with an easier fence.

Both these people were friendly and gracious and tried to stick with their direct instructions. The man saw the whole thing ridiculous but now at this point the rally is decidedly handicapped-hostile. I have no interest in joining these people, I don't give a flat crap about their celebration anymore.

I had hopped to get photos, but now I don't care.

I will have none of it. Goodbye. I returned the way I arrived. I would not walk down the street and return to the same spot to satisfy their arrangement of security baffling. Screw that, and with prejudice.

These seem profane un-Easter-like thoughts.

As I pass by the original guard I notice her talking to two large black men. She is telling them the same thing she has already told thousands. I feel sorry for her. But then she opens the gap and allows them to pass.

I'm am already quite cross and then I saw that. I yell at her from a short distance my voice bounces between library and art museum.

"Now we see how things work."

Flushed with shame she offered me access, kindly and graciously as can be. She really was sweet about the whole thing and flustered besides.  I have no idea if those men were musicians or what. Most the lineup is black. Anything is possible. But the guilt that she felt for being forced to deny access at first, walking with two canes, too bad for me, then observing her allowing two men her same race, she knows intimately how racism stings, and I wanted the accusation of racism to sting too. I wanted her to feel it, feel how being thought racist stings even as racism has nothing to do with it. She will not have a chance to explain. Whatever that was it has the appearance of racism. That is what I am feeling. Crap Easter thoughts all around.

You hurt me as handicapped
You hurt me by behaving openly racist toward me
You hurt me as photographer
You hurt me as American who expect freedom pretty much everywhere.

And it is all so arbitrary.

I walked home, feeling flat, feeling, hey, this victim thing is a bit of fun, and the festival of everyday life picks right up where overly restrictive rallies let down.

A black man dressed in a suit approached me briskly in a tight hallway arm extended, "Chip!"

I never do recognize my neighbor. I never am sure it is him. He dresses differently every time I see him and he actually does look like a different man each time. It is bizarre. He grabbed my hand and crushed it, pumped my arm vigorously as if coins would pop out my mouth,

"Thank you for taking care of my man back there, Chip. That was excellent."

I'm loving it but I have no idea what he is talking about. I never took care of anyone's man.

Oh. The "Do you guys want a beer?" thing. They were laying out on the hall. Locked out. I asked if  they need use of a bathroom while waiting, I have one right here but they said no. But then I could still hear them and a long time elapsed so I opened the door and asked them, come on. The two men spun in the air like tigers. Impressively. They were lying flat on their back on the hallway carpet, blur, then standing in front of me. Amazing. We three had a beer. Two women oddly chose to stay put.  One guy lingered and finished his beer and we talked for awhile. That must have been it.

I am hungry and do not want to cook and it is Easter. A new restaurant nearby, two in fact, I can check those, but they're closed. One shop is opened, I walk in, use their cash machine and take a hundred dollars. A lot of people in there. "Chip!"

The owner's voice. I hadn't been there in months. The last time I dropped in with some pretzels fresh out of the oven with mustard I made from powder. We shared them right in their shop and that is why they like me. I told them this story. "Aw, Chip, what a bummer. Here, have a t-shirt. We have one left." And that is how I ended up with this splendid heartbeat t-shirt celebrating Denver's 420 world-wide celebration without having entered the park.


There is no place to talk back to this organizer's site that is linked except to sign up to volunteer and participate otherwise. So I used that to tell them I'd volunteer to knock their heads together for making things difficult.

These things are boring. The same folding cubical information kiosks, the same food, the same rapid fencing, the same portable toilets, the same choking at entrances, arbitrary rules, maybe even the same people over and over for all I know. It is a huge crowd, a lot of visitors, and 2nd rate music. That is all.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Cut and Paste Links: Exploited bugs and other 'you-didn't-built-that, somebody-else-made-that-happen' rights of way.

[T]he fundamental division in U.S. politics is between those who take their bearings from the individual’s right to a capacious, indeed indefinite, realm of freedom, and those whose fundamental value is the right of the majority to have its way in making rules about which specified liberties shall be respected.

[T]he problem, Mr. Raymond and other open-source advocates say, boils down to mismatched incentives. Mr. Raymond said firms don’t maintain OpenSSL code because they don’t profit directly from it, even though it is integrated into their products, and governments don’t feel political pain when the code has problems.

US Debt Clock

2 Paragraphs: Cliven Bundy Is Angry—Just Like the Rest of Us

"Rand Paul wants us to focus calmly on the issue of whether governmental authority has exceeded its legitimate scope. In an all-or-nothing world where the federal government dwarfs everything, that’s a tall order. Democrats dig in their heels, certain that ceding ground to “the crazies” will set a dangerous precedent of retreat. Republicans cling to real-life examples of “out-of-control government,” whatever the risk to their reputation, because they know that abstract ideals just aren’t enough to inspire Americans to restore limited government."


"Paul is right that we must deal with the Bundy crisis in the spirit of neighborly forbearance. To do so, however, we need to turn our gaze away from politics for a moment. For devout Christians—and not just the devout—Easter weekend is an especially propitious time to do exactly that. Before religion was conscripted into the nationalization of all political issues, more of us could see clearly that the realms of church and of faith ameliorated the burdensome work of forgiving enemies, reconciling with foes, and recognizing one another as beings plunged up to our necks in the same hard predicaments."

Daily Beast

Happy Easter