7.24.2014

Senator (D) cheats

Plagiarism Raises Ethical Alarm at Military School - NYTimes.com

"‘There is malevolent cheating and incompetent cheating…This is a case of the latter. This is college kid stuff.’"

The back-up sight is a handy feature

Dear Friend of Liberty,

"That's why C4L is giving away a brand new Colt LE6920MP-B AR-15 equipped with a red dot sight.

"The AR-15 will come with Magpul stock, pistol grip, handguard, and vertical grip and back-up sight."

Thanks, Ron Paul. And H/T PEA POD

Not that we don't trust you but…

Kerry screened by metal detector before meeting Egypt’s president | New York Post

"Kerry appeared for only a few seconds in the footage, which showed his senior aides walking through a stationary metal detector and being checked with a handheld wand.
"At least one was asked to empty his pockets. "

Don't let the National Guard scare you

Child-migrant crisis: Will Obama help rally Democrats to back a GOP plan? - CSMonitor.com

"The suggestions include deploying the National Guard to the border to help with humanitarian care of minors"

Sending the National Guard to the border to “defend” it (basically, to scare would-be immigrants away, which is about all they can do since they have no power to detain) is dumb, but using Guardsmen as babysitters is not a half bad idea. The Guard is full of young men and women, civilians, many of whom have young children of their own. They’d probably do a fine job.

7.23.2014

And you thought we were having fun before

Is Donald Sterling a racist or just a savvy tax planner? | Shawn Stoller's Blog

"thanks to a tax law that applies only to forced sales or other ‘involuntary conversions,’ Sterling’s profits [from selling the L.A. Clippers] may all be tax-free."

You're free to have your gun…

…but not near us go away getoutofhere!

Congressional Staffer Brings Gun Into Congress | ThinkProgress

"Rep. Tom Marino’s (R-PA) press secretary was arrested on Friday for bringing a gun into the U.S. Capitol building. Ryan Shucard, press secretary for the congressman, allegedly brought a 9mm handgun and magazine into one of the House office buildings, reports Roll Call, but was promptly stopped by Capitol Police and detained. He is being charged with carrying a pistol without a license, a felony."

But not too much

Hunting Humans: The Americans Taking Immigration Into Their Own Hands

"Down the road, a woman sauntered near the entrance of a ranch, her military green T-shirt hugging her plump curves and blending into the background. "

And a new dragon is born

Exclusive: Ukraine Asked U.S. for Tech to Counter Russia's Jet-Killers - The Daily Beast

"‘These are highly sensitive systems, we don’t trust Ukrainian military folks on this,’ this official said. (The Ukrainian military is believed to be thoroughly penetrated by Russian intelligence.)"

If a tree falls in the forest…

HCJ continues to approve punitive house demolitions and the policy of harming the innocent | B'Tselem

"A policy of punitive home demolition is fundamentally wrong, irrespective of effectiveness. It contravenes basic moral standards by punishing people for the misdeeds of others."

Doing something? Stop now.

Duluth Harbor Cam: Roger Blough arrives Duluth 7/22/2014 during lightning storm

Blogrunner topic: Squirrels

Squirrels - Blogrunner

Not all of it is breaking news

The 9/11 Commission Is Back With a New Warning for America - The Daily Beast

"‘The Congress of the United States is failing us, and failing us badly,’ declared former Republican Governor James Thompson, who served on the 9/11 Commission."

Could this be the entertainment event of the century? (And so soon!)

Michele Bachmann on running for president: "There's a chance" - CBS News

"The Minnesota congresswoman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate told RealClearPolitics on Tuesday that she is considering a second White House run."

There's trendy, and then there's nuts

How the Paleolithic Diet Got Trendy

"There are, of course, lots of ways to resist progress. People take up knitting or quilting or calligraphy. They bake their own bread or brew their own beer or sew their own clothes using felt they have fashioned out of wet wool and dish soap. But, both in the scale of its ambition and in the scope of its anachronism, paleo eating takes things to a whole new level."

Just imagine the thrill of it

Thank God for Rick Perry | RedState

"As the rest of the world sizes Barack Obama up as a man who pees sitting down, the Texas Governor, not prone to wear mom jeans, has ordered his National Guard down to the border."

Oh oh

Celestia: Home

"... The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X."

Knowledge is power

XKCD

You wouldn't want to die in a fiery crash with a woman who has ugly toenails, would you?

Roadshow: Woman painting toenails gets first prize for distracted driving - San Jose Mercury News

"She had her left foot up on the dashboard in front of the A/C vent so the cool, dry air would blow across her toes, and she was painting her toenails as she drove during the afternoon commute. I'll confess to being a 'distracted driver' when I witnessed it. I drove alongside for a minute to make sure my eyes weren't deceiving me. Sadly, they were not."

Would you hire this man?

House, Senate chart separate courses on border - San Jose Mercury News

"'Unfortunately, it looks like we're on a track to do absolutely nothing,' Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said."

So when you're planning your next trip…

Many flights soar over conflict zones - CNN.com

"Every day American Airlines Flight 7 travels from Dubai to Atlanta and soars over Iraq.…
United Flight 82 each day goes over Afghanistan as it travels from Newark, New Jersey, to Delhi, India."

Two, at least. 

7.22.2014

Impressive!

I just watched the first half of the pilot episode of a (presumably new, or newish) TV series called "The Lottery" on Hulu. It manages to hit every single known cliché in 30 minutes flat. It's difficult to find that kind of efficiency these days.

Gotta love it

Does this mean they're un-succeeding now?

Rick Perry’s bizarre babysitters club: A new “solution” even too daft for him - Salon.com

“[Sending National Guard to the border is] going to cost the Texas taxpayers 12 million dollars a month. That’s some mighty expensive babysitting. But Governor Perry says they needn’t be concerned.

"’Once we show this works I will insist we send a bill to the [Obama] administration.’"

There'll always be an England

Queen's horse Estimate fails drugs test - CNN.com

Will this be the first time a horse is sent to the Tower?

Is there any other kind?

Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy

We earn a testimonial

"Man, I never should have opened this up again . . . talk about wasting time…"

Thanks, Big Mike

Where were these guys?

When I was a kid (yes, really) the back pages of comic books and any other magazines read by boys were full of feuding ads from Converse and Keds each claiming their shoes (we called them gym shoes in those ancient days) would make you run faster, jump farther and higher and meet more girls

Now…

The Extraordinary Future of Shoes - CityLab

"Athletic Propulsion Labs's biggest claim to fame is that its Concept 1 basketball shoes were banned by the NBA in 2010 for giving 'unfair competitive advantage' by increasing vertical leap."

Woohoo! And still help you meet more girls…

But out on the street, everyone told me how great they looked.

Ramping up the GOP Follies of 2016

I’m Ronald Reagan! No, I’m Reagan! No, over here, I’m the real Reagan!

"Once again the ghost of Ronald Reagan looms large. Though his record in raising taxes and adding to the deficit, and his involvement in redrawing the map of the world, would make him ineligible to become the nominee were he still alive, the contestants are already comparing themselves with the only Republican president whose conservative credentials are made of the same material as earned him his nickname, the ‘Teflon president.’"

And what a cast:

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) now enjoys support from 11 percent of Republican voters, a point or two ahead of scandal-ridden New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and former governors Jeb Bush of Florida, and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. Paul is three points ahead of Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), former vice presidential candidate and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. This crowded field also includes Senator Marco Rubio of Florida with 6 points and Texas Governor Rick Perry with 3.

We can’t wait.

7.21.2014

Not to beat a dead horse…Whack! Whack!

Amazon includes the Kindle edition of Sinclair Lewis’ Main Street and Babbitt in its subscription Kindle Unlimited selection, and several of Lewis’s lesser-known novels—all of which are also available free from Project Gutenberg, but not Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry (I’ve been thinking about re-reading that one), or It Can’t Happen Here.  There is nothing exotic about any of these books and you can probably find them all in your local library (or the one in that town over there) and read them that way if, as I’ve said, you can figure out where the power cord plugs in. 

Still.

And, I seem to remember reading not too many hours ago…

CityLab

"The action at offshore wind farms seems to be happening above the waves, with those giant, spinning turbine blades. But there's something interesting going on below, too. Some seals flock from miles around to swim among the turbines' support structures, tracking from one to the other as if completing a grid."

…sharks are attracted to seals. Great White sharks, at least. Nature is weird. I try to stay as far away from it as I can.

Sure, rub it in why don't you

The Rude Pundit: On the Immigrant Children: No, We're Not Really Better Than This

"The belief that…'We are better than that' is as much a myth for the left as the belief on the right that we can return to some kind of utopian past that never existed."

Running the numbers

Children at the Border - NYTimes.com

"More than 52,000 children have been caught crossing the United States border alone since October. "

Meanwhile:

The capacity of the Ohio State football stadium is 104,994. (Michigan’s is bigger.)

Which is not to say 52,000 is not a big number, or that what’s going on with children at the southern border isn’t a vey big deal requiring a concerted, compassionate response. It is to say 52,000 people over seven or eight months is not an overwhelming number—more than twice as many people pass in and out of the stadium in Columbus every week during football season. 

We should be able to responsibly handle this number of children, and we should get busy and do it.

ADD: Texas Gov. Perry sends 1,000 troops.

Time for a remake of Jaws

Shark sightings off Cape Cod a boon for tourism - The Washington Post

"‘I mean, truthfully, we’ve probably grown about 500 percent in terms of the sale of our shark apparel,’ he said. The T-shirts, hoodies, hats, belts, dog collars and other accessories bear the iconic, torpedo-shaped image of great whites and sell for between $10 and $45."

7.20.2014

And when Ted Cruz's buddies get scared you, Bunky, are in trouble

Silicon Valley’s Libertarian revolution - Darren Samuelsohn - POLITICO.com

"Vincent Harris, an Austin, Texas-based Republican operative who spearheaded Sen. Ted Cruz’s digital campaign in 2012 and noted during one of the Saturday panel discussions that his current clients would be ‘scared’ to hear some of the libertarians’ musings on social issues."

But wait! That's our business plan you're talking about there!

NSA files decoded: Edward Snowden's surveillance revelations explained | World news | theguardian.com

"Cell phones, laptops, Facebook, Skype, chat-rooms: all allow the NSA to build what it calls ‘a pattern of life’, a detailed profile of a target and anyone associated with them."

(Oh. Sorry.)

Plus, Silicon Valley could become its very own gated State

Chocolate Chip Mint: Create Your Own State (Everyone's Doing It)

"This is serious stuff…"

Maybe yes, maybe no: Don't toss your library card just yet

Turns out Amazon’s new Kindle Unlimited subscription service is not quite as unlimited as one might think—there are a bunch of books (and typically, the higher-priced ones) not included in the deal. Also, looking closely at the words of the thing—and the presentation on Amazon’s web siteit’s not entirely clear whether “unlimited” books remain in one’s library if (or when) one’s subscription is discontinued. 

None of which, of course, is automatically a deal breaker. Amazon remains an excellent source for reasonably-priced current e-books—and its software is best in class—but getting the maximum benefit from Kindle Unlimited will require a little strategic thought. And in the meantime, public-library e-books (and audio books) and the offerings of good old Project Gutenberg need to remain in the mix.

Plus, of course, there are those paper things, if you can figure out where the power cord goes.

Yes there are still some real men left

Amazon.com: Hanes Big Mens Full Cut Boxer # 239B: Boxer Shorts: Clothing

"Well, there should be white boxers available somewhere. I looked far and wide for good old white boxers…"

…and other comments.

7.19.2014

Fiat…

…arrives…wheeze cough cough…at the stop sign. Its engine dies. Driver, conscientiously, looks both ways, kicks the starter. Kicks the starter again. Aha. It drives off. Cute little car.

Don't let that headline out!

About that new Amazon e-book service

Amazon's unlimited subscription book service could destroy libraries - Vox

"Few Americans read more than two books a year, much less a month. Only 28% of Americans read more than a book a month in 2013, according to a Pew Research Center study."

7.18.2014

But not 23

No One Checked Into Flight MH17 With A U.S. Passport, Administration Emails Reveal

"WASHINGTON — None of the passengers on the Malaysia Airlines flight shot down over eastern Ukraine used a U.S. passport to check in, according to internal Obama administration emails about the incident.
"However one American citizen did die on the flight, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed: Quinn Lucas Schansman, a dual citizen of the United States and the Netherlands."

Parking stamp


Party over: Amazon now owns e-books

Amazon.com: Kindle Unlimited - Unlimited Reading. Unlimited Listening. Any Device.

"Enjoy unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device for just $9.99 a month."

Yeah, it’s sort of a commercial (unrecompensed). But still. If you’re a serious reader this pretty much puts an end to the discussion about vendors. (I’ve been reading e-books from a public library for the last couple of months but the selection is somewhat sparse. Meanwhile, the last e-book I purchased cost $13.00.)

And if you're surprised by this, please try to pay better attention in the future

Government-Grade Stealth Malware In Hands Of Criminals | Fortuna's Corner

" From the report: ‘Gyges is an early example of how advanced techniques and code developed by governments for espionage are effectively being repurposed, modularized and coupled with other malware to commit cybercrime.’"

Foodies on the rampage

Quinoa Isn't the Only Ancient Crop Swept Up by the Western Gluten-Free Craze - CityLab

"Teff, another gluten-free superfood, are highly nutritious tiny seeds grown in Ethiopia.…Ethiopia remains one of the world’s poorest countries, with chronic malnutrition, so it is unfortunate that a grain so nutritious—it’s high in iron, protein, fiber, calcium, you name it—isn’t helping to nourish the population. But high global demand has made the price too expensive for the country’s poor…"

Not the brightest bulb on the wall

On the lam for decades, fugitive’s Facebook account dooms him | Ars Technica

"US Attorney Melinda Haag's office in San Francisco said the 61-year-old fugitive was apprehended 'after the US Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security researched social media websites and found Legaspi's Facebook page."

Does Wisconsin have an old headache?

Wisconsin's new headache: 'crazy worms'? | Fox News

"As Scientific American explained in 2009, a glacier eliminated all native earthworms from the Great Lakes region some 10,000 years ago, and the forests evolved without them; now, those who invade the area—as discarded bait, trapped in tire treads, or imported via mulch, perhaps—are leaving forest floors barren."