Saturday, November 09, 2013


There was a time, about 1980, when the GOP was flatteringly considered the party of new ideas (bad ideas, I thought, but whatever).

Now they have literally no new ideas. GOP Senate candidate Greg Brannon has been caught copying his policy positions from Rand Paul, literally word for word. It's like the invasion of the pod people, or the Stepford candidates, or a marauding party of opportunistic zombies, or something:
For more than a week Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has been fending off criticism for using the writings of others, unattributed, in his own speeches, in an opinion article and in one of his books.

But now it appears that Mr. Paul has also been the possible victim of literary larceny himself; he has apparently had his own material lifted without credit.

The campaign website of a Republican candidate for the United States Senate in North Carolina, Greg Brannon, who Mr. Paul supports, includes descriptions of various policy positions that match those of Mr. Paul’s 2010 campaign website word for word.

Car Repair Saturday

The car's been vibrating quite a bit lately. Always a source of worry for such a (mostly) trouble-free car with 150,000 miles on it.

Last night, the car overheated seriously on the drives to and from Davis. So, time for a visit to the garage.

Cracked intake manifold, cracked radiator, time for a tune-up, and leaking rear brake cylinders. Even if we postpone front and rear strut replacements, it's going to come to at least $1,600.00.

Well, that's what comes from driving a used car.

The Most Powerful Tropical Cyclone In Recorded History

Nothing good from this storm:
What may be the fiercest typhoon in recorded history smashed into the Philippines early Friday morning, carrying winds that make Superstorm Sandy look like a weak relative. Even Hurricane Katrina, the modern measure of nature’s disastrous force on the United States, pales when compared to the punch and expected devastation from Typhoon Haiyan.

According to the latest report, Haiyan, also known as Yolanda in the Philippines, was packing winds in excess of 200 mph as it homed in on the island nation in the western Pacific Ocean. The U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center said maximum sustained winds in the Category 5 storm were 195 mph with gusts to 235 mph.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Stumbled Across A Fave Song List From The Early 00's

Tammi Lavette - No Frills Love

Eurythmics - Love Is A Stranger

Ian Van Dahl - Nothing Left To Say

Marc Aurel - Running

Sherrie Lea - Anyway

Kim Sozzi - Feelin' Me

The Babushkas Of Chernobyl

All told, they prefer to be at home:
When I asked Hanna about radiation, she replied: "Radiation doesn't scare me. Starvation does."

...They lived through Stalin's Holodomor -- the genocide-by famine of the 1930s that wiped out millions of Ukrainians -- and then the Nazis in the 1940s. Some of the women were shipped to Germany as forced labor. When the Chernobyl accident happened a few decades into Soviet rule, they were simply unwilling to flee an enemy that was invisible.

So long as they were well beyond child bearing, self-settlers were allowed to stay "semi-illegally." Five happy years, the settlers logic went, is better than 15 condemned to a high-rise on the outskirts of Kyiv. The residents of the Chernobyl region are forest-dwelling steppe people of Ukraine's Polesia region and did not adapt well to urban environments. There is a simple defiance common among them: "They told us our legs would hurt, and they do," one 80-year-old woman told me. "So what."

...Radioactive contamination from the accident has been death-dealing, to be sure, but relocation trauma is another, less-examined fallout of Chernobyl. Of the old people who relocated, one Chernobyl medical technician, whose job is to give annual radiation exposure tests to zone workers said: "Quite simply, they die of anguish."

Home is the entire cosmos of the rural babushka, and connection to the land is palpable. They told me: "If you leave you die," "Those who left are worse off now. They are all dying of sadness," "Motherland is Motherland. I will never leave."

"Oliver!" Opens Tonight At DMTC!

Brian McCann as Mr. Bumble and Dannette Vassar as Widow Corney.
Mike Mechanick as Fagin.

(Tickets at the DMTC Website)

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Stakes Are Clear

They're coming!

RIP, Arlon Arnold Carlson

Gil posts on Facebook that Arlon Arnold Carlson died last night in an auto accident. I don't have details yet, but will post them when available.

Here is a list of his contributions to DMTC.

Let's Compare The Plagiarism Crises Of Joe Biden And Rand Paul

Remember the big Joe Biden plagiarism crisis of 1988? I do. Like lazy plagiarists everywhere, let's get the Wikipedia summary:
While Biden's speech included the lines:
"I started thinking as I was coming over here, why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university? [Then pointing to his wife in the audience] Why is it that my wife who is sitting out there in the audience is the first in her family to ever go to college? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright? Is it because I'm the first Biden in a thousand generations to get a college and a graduate degree that I was smarter than the rest?"
Biden had in fact cited Kinnock as the source for the formulation on previous occasions. But he made no reference to the original source at the August 23 Democratic debate at the Iowa State Fair being reported on, nor in an August 26 interview for the National Education Association. Moreover, while political speeches often appropriate ideas and language from each other, Biden's use came under more scrutiny because he fabricated aspects of his own family's background in order to match Kinnock's. Biden was soon found to have earlier that year lifted passages from a 1967 speech by Robert F. Kennedy (for which Biden aides took the blame) and a short phrase from the 1961 inaugural address of John F. Kennedy, and in two prior years to have done the same with a 1976 passage from Hubert H. Humphrey.

A few days later, Biden's plagiarism incident in law school came to public light. Video was also released showing that when earlier questioned by a New Hampshire resident about his grades in law school, Biden had stated that he had graduated in the "top half" of his class, that he had attended law school on a full scholarship, and that he had received three degrees in college, each of which were untrue or exaggerations of his actual record.

The Kinnock and school revelations were magnified by the limited amount of other news about the nomination race at the time, when most of the public were not yet paying attention to any of the campaigns; Biden thus fell into what The Washington Post writer Paul Taylor described as that year's trend, a "trial by media ordeal". Biden lacked a strong demographic or political group of support to help him survive the crisis. He withdrew from the nomination race on September 23, 1987, saying his candidacy had been overrun by "the exaggerated shadow" of his past mistakes.

After Biden withdrew from the race, it was revealed that the Dukakis campaign had secretly made a video highlighting the Biden–Kinnock comparison and distributed it to news outlets. Later in 1987, the Delaware Supreme Court's Board of Professional Responsibility cleared Biden of the law school plagiarism charges regarding his standing as a lawyer, saying Biden had "not violated any rules".
So, in 1988, Biden was accused of lifting flattering statements from those he admired, without attribution. He was forced to shelve his Presidential ambitions as a result.

In 2013, Rand Paul is accused of lifting pages and pages of material from Wikipedia and presenting them as his own thoughts. In response, Rand Paul has admitted not footnoting statements well, but as Chris Matthews noted last night on his "Hardball" show, no one has accused Rand Paul of footnoting improperly. Instead, people are accusing him of lifting pages and pages of material from Wikipedia and presenting them as his own thoughts:
It remains unclear if Paul is truly dumb or just incredibly brazen when he denies to this day that he ever plagiarized anyone. He insists that by crediting the source of the original works he’s describing – whether the movies “Gattaca” and “Stand and Deliver,” or think tank reports – he is inoculated from criticism for stealing the words of other people who summarized those works so he or his speechwriters didn’t have to.

Still, with his stubborn defensiveness, Paul also shows his contempt for both the written word and ideas themselves. He told the New York Times that he was maybe a little sloppy with footnotes because of the crushing “workload” of a busy freshman senator. Obviously he’s too busy and important doing real stuff to worry about the writing of his speeches, books or opinion pieces, and all the ink-stained wretches who care are just “haters.”
Too bad the Internet wasn't as comprehensive in 1988 as it is today. I'm sure you can just imagine what the Republicans were saying then about Joe Biden. And surely they must be saying the same things today about Rand Paul.


Amazed At How Close The Virginia Attorney General Race Is

354 vote margin out of over 1,000,000 for each candidate. That's a 0.032% difference. Close enough that absentee ballots will determine the winner.

Virginia - Summary Vote Results
Attorney General - General
2541 of 2541 Precincts Reporting - 100%

Name Party Votes Vote %

Obenshain, Mark GOP 1,099,359 50%
Herring, Mark Dem 1,099,005 50%

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Administrative Law Judge Decides In E.'s Favor

I was surprised the appeal worked:
An individual is disqualified for benefits if the individual left the most recent work voluntarily without good cause or the individual was discharged for misconduct connected with the most recent work.

...In this case, the claimant's failure to pass the required tests for obtaining her certification was the result of poor performance and inability. Therefore, the claimant did not deliberately disobey a lawful and reasonable instruction by an employer. Accordingly, the claimant was discharged for reasons other than misconduct connected with her most recent work. The claimant is not disqualified for benefits....

Sounds Demented, But Interesting

A giant bronze statue of Jesus being erected in a war zone:
In the midst of a conflict rife with sectarianism, a giant bronze statue of Jesus has gone up on a Syrian mountain, apparently under cover of a truce among three factions in the country’s civil war.

...That the statue made it to Syria and went up without incident on Oct. 14 is remarkable. The project took eight years and was set back by the civil war that followed the March 2011 uprising against President Bashar Assad.

Christians and other minorities are all targets in the conflict, and the statue’s safety is by no means guaranteed. It stands among villages where some fighters, linked to al-Qaida, have little sympathy for Christians.

...Al-Ghadban said that the main armed groups in the area — Syrian government forces, rebels and the local militias of Sednaya, the Christian town near the statue site — halted fire while organizers set up the statue, without providing further details.

...Russians have been a driving force behind the project — not surprising given that the Kremlin is embattled Assad’s chief ally, and the Orthodox churches in Russia and Syria have close ties. Al-Ghadban, who spoke to The Associated Press from Moscow, is Syrian-Russian and lives in both countries.

Al-Ghadban said he began the project in 2005, hoping the statue would be an inspiration for Syria’s Christians. He said he was inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s towering Christ the Redeemer statue.

The Shooter Of Andy Lopez Sounds Like A Gun Nut

Gelhaus recommends action:
The officer, accompanied by an officer-in-training, thought the teen was armed and radioed for backup. He ordered the boy to drop what he presumed to be a weapon. The object turned out to be a pellet gun, a toy in the shape of an AK-47.

Ten seconds later, Gelhaus allegedly opened fire when he saw Lopez -- his back to the deputies -- begin to turn around with the barrel of the toy gun rising. The officer-in-training did not fire, according to authorities.

In a 2008 article written by Gelhaus for S.W.A.T. Magazine, the officer warned against hesitation in deciding to use a firearm lethally.

"Today is the day you may need to kill someone in order to go home," he wrote. "If you cannot turn on the 'mean gene' for yourself, who will? If you find yourself in an ambush, in the kill zone, you need to turn on that mean gene."

Marcos Breton Fights The Good Fight

Until we get a handle on the proper place of guns in society, we will have big problems:
I’ve had so many people leave that question on my voicemail it’s as if they are speaking off the same script.
In fact, they are. It’s the gun advocates’ default setting of denial.

How about a discussion of raising the bar of gun ownership? Why don’t we close the loopholes that prevent background checks on guns and ammunition purchased at gun shows and on the Internet?

James Holmes, the accused killer in Aurora, Colo., amassed an arsenal with a few clicks of his computer – and didn’t raise a single red flag.

Background checks for some gun sales became law in 1993 via the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. The law was named after James Brady, the former Ronald Reagan press secretary shot in the head by a mentally unstable gunman seeking to assassinate Reagan in 1981.

“Since the Brady Law was enacted 20 years ago, background checks have prevented more than 2 million gun sales to ‘prohibited purchasers’ – like convicted felons and domestic abusers,” wrote Daniel Gross, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, in the Huffington Post. “But 40percent of commercial gun sales, mainly at gun shows and online, happen without a simple Brady background check to make sure the purchaser is not a criminal or dangerously mentally ill. That’s thousands of unchecked sales every day, and guns that could wind up in dangerous hands.”

If you were truly a law-abiding citizen, why would you fear background checks on all guns sales?

Kelsey B - "Come With Me"

Kelsey B releases her "Come With Me" video, today, November 5, 2013!

There are some "Gaga-esque" influences here, but there are also some "Kylie-esque" influences too.

Take a view!

30 Ways To Tell You Haven’t Gotten Over The Fact “Breaking Bad” Is Never Coming Back

I really like this post. Our descanso is Number 6 on the list!

Remember Everyone, Clenching Your Buttocks In New Mexico Is A Serious Crime

Where to start with New Mexico's pro-active cops? Don't shop at the Wal-Mart in Deming? Stay out of Luna County? Hard to do for those on Interstate-10. Don't get medical treatment in Silver City? I guess just sue the hell out of everyone involved, or give the an anal examination too:
The incident began January 2, 2013 after David Eckert finished shopping at the Wal-Mart in Deming. According to a federal lawsuit, Eckert didn't make a complete stop at a stop sign coming out of the parking lot and was immediately stopped by law enforcement.

Eckert's attorney, Shannon Kennedy, said in an interview with KOB that after law enforcement asked him to step out of the vehicle, he appeared to be clenching his buttocks. Law enforcement thought that was probable cause to suspect that Eckert was hiding narcotics in his anal cavity. While officers detained Eckert, they secured a search warrant from a judge that allowed for an anal cavity search.

The lawsuit claims that Deming Police tried taking Eckert to an emergency room in Deming, but a doctor there refused to perform the anal cavity search citing it was "unethical."

But physicians at the Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City agreed to perform the procedure and a few hours later, Eckert was admitted.

What Happened

While there, Eckert was subjected to repeated and humiliating forced medical procedures. A review of Eckert's medical records, which he released to KOB, and details in the lawsuit show the following happened:

1. Eckert's abdominal area was x-rayed; no narcotics were found.

2. Doctors then performed an exam of Eckert's anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.

3. Doctors performed a second exam of Eckert's anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.

4. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

5. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema a second time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

6. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema a third time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

7. Doctors then x-rayed Eckert again; no narcotics were found.

8. Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert's anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines. No narcotics were found.

Throughout this ordeal, Eckert protested and never gave doctors at the Gila Regional Medical Center consent to perform any of these medical procedures.

"If the officers in Hidalgo County and the City of Deming are seeking warrants for anal cavity searches based on how they're standing and the warrant allows doctors at the Gila Hospital of Horrors to go in and do enemas and colonoscopies without consent, then anyone can be seized and that's why the public needs to know about this," Kennedy said.

Search Warrant Concerns

There are major concerns about the way the search warrant was carried out. Kennedy argues that the search warrant was overly broad and lacked probable cause. But beyond that, the warrant was only valid in Luna County, where Deming is located. The Gila Regional Medical Center is in Grant County. That means all of the medical procedures were performed illegally and the doctors who performed the procedures did so with no legal basis and no consent from the patient.

In addition, even if the search warrant was executed in the correct New Mexico county, the warrant expired at 10 p.m. Medical records show the prepping for the colonoscopy started at 1 a.m. the following day, three hours after the warrant expired.

"This is like something out of a science fiction film, anal probing by government officials and public employees," Kennedy said.

Inside The Tucson Unified School District Battle

La Raza eventually will win:
The Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) book ban was part of the district's shutting down of a curriculum and a department. Even more importantly, in collusion with the state and its anti-ethnic-studies law, HB 2281, it banned a worldview, or at least attempted to do so.

That effort included the banning of books, yet it is important to understand two things. First, when the state began its assault on Tucson's highly successful Raza Studies Department, there was nothing wrong with the department, except its size: It was too small. Second, that assault was undeniably predicated on the idea, compliments of then-state Superintendent of Schools Tom Horne, that Raza studies resides outside of Western civilization.

...Perhaps only Horne, Huppenthal and Pedicone know the real reason the program was dismantled, but we know Horne waged a campaign to eliminate Raza studies because he claimed the material being taught in the department was not rooted in Greco-Roman thought.

In that sense, he was right. The department's curriculum, including my works, contained material that is rooted in maíz-based culture - in knowledge that is indigenous to this very continent. The philosophical foundation for Raza studies was the concepts of In Lak Ech - you are my other me - and Panche Be - to seek the root of the truth. These concepts are thousands of years old and absolutely not rooted in Greco-Roman culture. However, Horne's fallacy was to argue that knowledge outside of so-called Western civilization (outside of civilization itself, actually) is anti-American and therefore such knowledge should not be taught in US schools, in particular, not in Arizona schools.

In one egregious example of the consequences of this assault, a principal walked into one classroom of Norma Gonzalez, who was teaching from the "Aztec Calendar," and instructed her to take it down and cease teaching from it.

...The theatrics of Horne, Huppenthal and Pedicone - of trying to restrict or ban knowledge - is futile, at best a delay of the inevitable. That knowledge, and its corresponding worldview(s), cannot be eliminated. Despite hundreds of years of European efforts to eliminate it, it is still with us.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Breaking Bad - EDM Style

Sounds good! I like the Jesse Pinkman 'Bitch' track.....

MS MR - Hurricane

Saturday Dinner At The Buckhorn Cafe In Winters

On Saturday, Jan, Steve, Dannette, Stacy, and I went to celebrate my 57th birthday at the Buckhorn Café in Winters.

I had never been to the Buckhorn. I was taken aback by the prices, but there was no arguing that the food was excellent. I ended up spending $60 once all the damage was tallied up.

Stacy operates the dummies.

The rack of lamb was excellent, but the real delight was the Cream of Mushroom soup, which was just amazing!

B-D cake!

Friday Night At Sleep Train Arena Watching The Sacramento Kings And The LA Clippers

To my great surprise, I was invited by Giorgio to come with him Friday night and watch the Sacramento Kings beat the LA Clippers. I rarely watch professional basketball, or sports of any kind, so this was going to be a treat. (I have a strong sports deficiency in my brain. It's like an underdeveloped lobe of the brain. I don't really understand very well the nature of fouls in basketball either, but I do like all the movement.) So, batter up! Or whatever they say in basketball!

A wide variety of inexplicable mini-competitions during times out.

I messaged Corina Bianca, new Sacramento Kings Dancer and well-known local hip hop dancer, to alert her that we were coming, but alas, she was off for the night.

First quarter. It was fun watching the strategery.

Hip hop kids doing the hip hop thang.

Roundup time for those of us who are brandworthy.

Second quarter. We make lots of mistakes, they make lots of mistakes, we make even more mistakes....

Jim Boys Tacos were on sale! Yum! My favorite!

Fourth quarter.

Well, we got hammered: 110 - 101. Oh well! Next time!

Thursday Class At Pepper's

This was just Thursday! Because of my abundant testosterone I was made a member of the black group, despite my gay-blue attire. Actually, he asked the colored dress folks to watch, but there weren't quite enough people in black to make it even, so he tossed me in there too. I'm not looking particularly hood. There's something about the vivid sky blue Oklahoma! shirt that strikes me as, um, different.

I Believe - Yolanda Adams

Lately, Pepper has been ending Zumba classes with this song.