Saturday, December 01, 2018


Craft policies that voters like and your problems will end:
Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Beach) issued a fund-raising appeal immediately after the election, accusing Democrats of “trying to steal this Republican seat.”

Let’s be candid about this: Walters’ claim was despicable. The two-term member of Congress offered not a whit of evidence, and her bid for a recount has gone nowhere. She lost, according to the final count, by more than 11,000 votes and almost four percentage points. To smear the electoral process as your own political career is ending merely raises the question of whether you ever deserved a seat in the House to begin with.

Friday, November 30, 2018

The HU - "Wolf Totem"

Mongolian metal:

Ammon Bundy Takes Issue With Trump

In the "a stopped clock is right twice a day" department, Ammon Bundy, of all people, is breaking with Trump's vilification of immigrants from Mexico and Central America:
“He has basically called them all criminals and said they’re not coming in here. It seems that there’s been this group stereotype,” Bundy said of Trump’s immigration rhetoric in the video. “But what about those who have come here for reasons of need?”

“What about the fathers, the mothers, the children, who have come here and are willing to go through the process to apply for asylum so they can come into this country and benefit from not having to be oppressed continually by criminals?” he added.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A Sarcastic Article About Bitcoin

Apparently it's been doing badly:
So people mine bitcoin because they think mainstream adoption will make the price go up a lot more, but the fact that it's going up as much as it is means that it's not going to get adopted by anyone but the most fervent believers. It's getting hoarded instead. This, in turn, creates a natural boom-bust cycle that's been amplified by what a few academics say looks like repeated price manipulation.

The result is that, since the end of last year, bitcoin has been massively outperformed by the euro, despite the fact that Europe's central bank has been printing money that whole time; badly outperformed by the Turkish lira, despite the fact that the country's central bank has been forced to keep interest rates inappropriately low by the regime; and has only modestly outperformed the Venezuelan bolivar, despite the fact that Venezuela's central bank has been irresponsible on the kind of world-historical level we haven't seen since Yugoslavia in the 1990s or Zimbabwe in the early 2000s.

Now, losing a little less value than the worthless currency of a bankrupt government run by an economically illiterate drug cartel has — Venezuela's ruling class has also gotten into the cocaine trade — might not seem like much of an accomplishment. That's because it isn't. It's something that everyone, even countries like Turkey that are undergoing currency crises of their own, have managed to do. And at the very least bitcoin has too.

So maybe some sort of congratulations are in order: Bitcoin is a better store of value than the worst store of value there is.

Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky (2009 movie) - The Rite of Spring

I didn't realize the English video of this segment is no longer on YouTube (but the French one still is). The dilemma of superb dancing and avant garde music in a situation where the audience is less than charitable. And this really happened too! Must have been nuts!

Jasper, Startled By His Own Reflection

Despite fears of barking dogs, Jasper is increasingly addicted to his walks, and going farther afield.

Jasper loves meeting new people. One night, he was transfixed by a limping man following behind us. Soft spoken ‘Rick’ lived on the street and wore a John Elway windbreaker. He asked questions about where I lived (about which I didn’t answer). I wondered whether he was the fellow living just outside the southwest corner of the cemetery (but I didn’t ask). Sometimes better to remain vague.


As the Camp Fire air pollution crisis worsened, I decided I needed more protection, so I strapped a new high-quality furnace filter to my bedroom fan and let it run continuously for two weeks (Nov. 10-24). It picked up whatever outdoor smoke made it inside, plus assorted household dust and indoor cooking smoke. Whatever it caught didn’t make it to my lungs.

Our Recent Pollution Crisis From The Camp Fire

Looking once again at the recent two-week long (11/08-11/22) air pollution episode in California's Central Valley resulting from the Camp Fire. PM2.5 levels (particulate matter under 2.5 microns in size - namely, smoke - in units of micrograms per meter cubed) reached 417.1 ug/m3 at Chico - nearly TWELVE times the health standard. Having smoke levels so high for such a long time damaged a lot of people's health.

Mueller Traps Trump

Manafort thought he was playing Mueller for Trump's benefit, but Mueller used Manafort to set up a perjury trap for Trump:
But Mueller’s team appears to have no doubt that Manafort was lying to them. That means they didn’t really need his testimony, at all. It also means they had no need to keep secrets — they could keep giving Manafort the impression that he was pulling a fast one over the prosecutors, all while reporting misleading information to Trump that he could use to fill out his open book test. Which increases the likelihood that Trump just submitted sworn answers to those questions full of lies.

And that “detailed sentencing submission … sett[ing] forth the nature of the defendant’s crimes and lies” that Mueller mentions in the report?

There’s your Mueller report, which will be provided in a form that Matt Whitaker won’t be able to suppress. (Reminder: Mueller included 38 pages of evidence along with Manafort’s plea agreement, which I argued showed how what Manafort and Trump did to Hillary was the same thing that Manafort had done to Yulia Tymoshenko.)

Sounds Like This Guy Is Going Down

High-tech theft:
The technology Intel Corp. was working on was so promising — and secret — that the company says it has invested more than $1 billion in the project.

Only a few hundred people worldwide know the details of the memory technology known as 3D XPoint, and the processes for developing it “are not written in any textbook or taught in any school,” according to Intel.

But in September that world of high-tech secrecy nearly collapsed as an Intel computer hardware engineer at the company’s Folsom campus tried to download details of the project the night before leaving for a competing firm, a lawsuit filed in federal court in Sacramento Tuesday alleges.

The lawsuit names engineer Doyle Rivers, who worked at Intel’s Folsom campus, and alleges that he violated confidentiality agreements and trade secrets by trying to access Intel’s computer files late on the night of Sept. 9 as he prepared to leave his job for one with competing Micron Corp.

Stephanie Gets The Final Revenge

I can't believe this Republican bastard thought he could get away with this:
The California state senator who drunkenly threatened to “bitch slap” a female lobbyist at a Sacramento bar this summer will soon be out of office.

Sen. Joel Anderson, R-Alpine, conceded defeat in his bid for a seat on the state’s elected tax board — the Board of Equalization — on Tuesday. It’s the first time a Democrat has captured the San Diego-based seat in at least four decades.

When the bar confrontation erupted this summer, the California Nurses Association immediately called on Anderson to resign from the Senate and end his candidacy for tax board.

He persisted, though, vowing to come out on top in an area Republicans have traditionally dominated. But that historical stronghold flipped blue, dealing yet another blow to a party that has been overwhelmed by Democratic gains in the midterms.

A Senate investigation ultimately found he threatened Stephanie Roberson, director of government relations for the nurses association, during an evening fundraiser at The Diplomat Steakhouse.

Bad Service, Courtesy of Wall Street

History repeats itself:
This holiday season, Americans are expected to spend a record $720 billion on all sorts of gifts from tablets to toys. But there’s a hitch. The demand for truck drivers far exceeds the supply of them. While many shippers are desperately turning to railroads to haul more of Santa’s bounty, Wall Street financiers are insisting that railroads turn away the business.

Yes, you read that right. Even when demand for freight rail transportation is surging, railroad owners are dramatically cutting back on capacity and service to boost short-term profits.

First Part Of Cabinet Scene From DMTC's "Annie", 11/25/18

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Dead To Rights

The Russians were junior partners here:
If Paul Manafort was meeting with Julian Assange in March 2016, it shows that every part of the Russian plan, from stealing Democratic emails to distributing them through WikiLeaks, was planned in advance. And that the campaign chair of the Trump campaign was at the dead center of that plan.

One key question is when the Trump campaign was aware of the Kremlin’s hacking operation – and what, if anything, it did to encourage it. Trump has repeatedly denied collusion.

The March 2016 meeting wasn’t Manafort’s first visit with Assange. The use of both stolen emails and social media campaigns was something Manafort relied on heavily in his actions in Ukraine.

Why did Paul Manafort lie? Because it increasingly looks like the origin of the plan to attack the United States through stolen emails, false media accounts, and social media pressure didn’t originate with Moscow, it came from Paul Manafort and Roger Stone.

Manafort did for Trump what he did for pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. And with the same assist from Moscow. That’s worth lying about.

And based on how Robert Mueller waited until Trump turned in his written responses before calling Manafort on the carpet, it’s going to be interesting to see how many of his lies Trump repeated.

Message From Jeff Bezos - SNL

RIP, Linda Ryle

No good... I owe her $20 too. No good....

RIP, Nicolas Roeg

Director of “The Man Who Fell To Earth,” much of which was filmed in New Mexico:
Roeg began his film career in 1947 when he landed a job in an editing room after being discharged from the British army. After becoming a camera operator and then a cinematographer, he worked on the second unit of David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962) but was later reportedly fired by Lean as cinematographer for “Doctor Zhivago” (1965).

He would go on to make a name for himself as a cinematographer, shooting such notable films as Francois Truffaut’s “Fahrenheit 451” (1966), John Schlesinger’s “Far From the Madding Crowd” (1967) and Richard Lester’s “Petulia” (1968).

His first film as a director, co-directed with Donald Cammell, was “Performance” (1970), starring Mick Jagger and James Fox, in a psychedelic story of identity and sexuality focused on a rock star and a gangster.

From there he made “Walkabout” (1971) and “Don’t Look Now” (1973), starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie. “Don’t Look Now,” an adaptation of a short story by Daphne du Maurier about a couple dealing with the aftermath of the death of their young daughter, earned a BAFTA Awards nomination for best film and Roeg a nomination for direction. The movie has repeatedly been named the best British film of all time in a poll of critics and industry professionals by Time Out London.

Black Friday

From Drunken Monkey Revival:

Jasper After Dark

Friday night, and the bedtime ritual resumes. My arm is delicately poised above the iPhone screen as I try to solve Sudoku puzzles, while my adolescent dog attacks that arm in a desperate attempt to mate with it. Somehow, neither of us are getting what we want.

I brought my emotional support animal (Jasper the Pomeranian, who needs lots of emotional support) to help watch Gabriel’s house. The unfamiliar place disoriented Jasper. Support required. Rex the Cat has responded by stalking Jasper and making him nervous. Support required. Walking the neighborhood, we were accosted by an inquisitive (but friendly) Boxer. More support required. It’s a nice day. The trees are atwitter with a whole herd of hummingbirds. That’s my emotional support.

No Escape From The Orange Menace

Melania, Among Trees

Are Christmas trees normally red? Did Satan’s fire make them so? What will the children think when they run through this cursed forest, brushing their soft hands against these burning bushes?

This Is Why Finland Uses Rakes

Thanks, Jesus

"I Ain't No Skank"

There’s a more-or-less amiable homeless guy sitting in my alley who’s become a regular. He quietly smokes his meth, and bothers no one. Until it started raining yesterday, I had never actually seen him stand. Well, now he has a lady friend. Reminds of a similar couple from Breaking Bad. Don’t know whether to be happy or worried for him. Or her. Or them.

Mina Alali's "The Ballet Studio" Tribute Video

"The Ballet Studio" is a fine place. Nina is a former DMTC YPT "Annie" orphan: