You're just trying to cheer me up, right?

Obama Appoints Political Operative to be Ebola Czar | The Blog on Obama: White House Dossier

"President Obama today named veteran Democratic political operative and former White House staffer Ron Klain to take over the federal response to Ebola.…
“He knows as much as you do about Ebola."

The problem with being "good" is…

…there’s never anything fun to eat.

Wait. Are those potato chips?


Down the block

Update day

Due to Apple’s big show yesterday, time to get some updates done. (If an update of OS X is not crucial to you, probably best to wait a week or two, until the servers cool down. Otherwise, this is definitely something you want to get done.)

Hey, not enough panic for you yet? Here's a book…

The Plague - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The news (according to Apple's App Store)


Evening light

First-world problems

Poll shows Ebola fears keeping some Americans at home - Chicago Tribune

…"a Reuters/Ipsos poll, which surveyed 1,577 Americans 18 or older online, found nearly 80 percent were concerned about the Ebola outbreak. Asked which precautions they were taking in light of the Ebola epidemic, almost half of respondents said they were avoiding international air travel."

On Chapman Street


I had three long-walk errands on my list, all in different directions, and got one done before the rain started. Now it’s raining pretty hard and the forecast looks, well, wet. I’m thinking I may have to wear these socks for another day.

Also, making lunch, I scorched the soup. Do you know how difficult that is?

OK, now I'm scared

CDC, Dallas hospital feel heat as Ebola fears grow
"A U.S. House of Representatives panel on Thursday was set to examine what actions federal health officials are taking — and should be taking…"
[Emphasis mine.]
I mean, seriously, if you thought you were coming down with Ebola (by the way, you’re not) would you call a congress critter? I know, one of them’s an eye doctor, but still. If you thought your were coming down with Ebola, would you call your eye doctor?

And you wouldn’t call USA Today either, right? Or the New York Daily news. The Daily News, while we’re on that track, today published the single most misleading news graphic I’ve ever seen—it’s here—and that’s saying something.

Whew. I feel better now. I’m going to arrange a flu shot.


One of the funniest (yes, I said funniest) things about this Ebola business…

GOP senators who opposed Obama 'czars' now want one for Ebola - Yahoo News

"Republican Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas was one of the first lawmakers to call on the Obama administration to appoint a czar to help coordinate the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis in Africa, along with a cluster of cases at home.

"The problem? Almost five years earlier to the day, Moran introduced legislation urging Obama to cease the practice of appointing czars."

…is how many of the small-government-with-limited-powers (and keep-them-off-our-backs) crowd are now screaming for the Feds to DO SOMETHING.

Don’t worry, it won’t last.

But where's the fun

Ruth Marcus: Actually, flu is the virus you should really be worrying about - The Washington Post

"If you are worried about contracting Ebola, I have two suggestions. First, stop. Second, get a flu shot."

Can't have a war without a name, can you?

‘Inherent Resolve’: Military campaign against ISIS gets a name | Fox News

"More than two months after the U.S. first launched airstrikes against the Islamic State, the military mission has a name: ‘Inherent Resolve.’

"A senior military source confirmed to Fox News that ‘Inherent Resolve’ officially has been chosen as the title of the operation.…

"Why the mission was not named until now is unclear."

Anything, as long as we get out of here

White House Seeks Ideas For Building a 'Solar System Civilization' | The Weekly Standard

“…and 'how the [Obama] Administration, the private sector, philanthropists, the research community, and storytellers can further these goals.'"

(Storytellers? Nice touch.)

Making W look good (well, sorta)

Lawfare › Obama’s Surprising War Powers Legacy

"We have an essay in The New Republic titled Obama, Not Bush, Is the Master of Unilateral War.  It argues that President Obama, ironically in light of his own lofty rhetoric about lodging war decisions with ‘the people’s representatives’ in Congress, has through his practices created new precedents that push outward the boundaries of unilateral presidential powers to initiate military conflict."

"You're gonna like this movie," she said…

…”it’s got that woman in it."

“What woman?"

“You know, the woman who was in that other movie."

“Other movie…?"

“The one with that man."

“Oh, you mean…?"


Who's this Hegel?

Thanks to Facebook Anyone Can Become a Secret Agent - Matthew Aid

"In the same way that indulgent posturing on social media became an unrelenting fad, soon in the tradition of Hegel’s dialectic, an offsetting rush for anonymity could be in vogue."

Our nomination for Headline of the Week

Missouri Official Meant 'No Ill Intent' When She Called For Military Coup

Get it right

Ban Comic Sans | Putting the sans in Comic Sans

"Comic Sans has been given a classy new look in this public domain typeface, Comic Neue by Craig Rozynski. You can download it for free here: www.comicneue.com. For our friend Michael Cloran, this is a happy day. ‘It’s casual. It’s free. And nobody will reflexively make fun of you for using it.’ "

Out my window

Finally, something new to worry about

Google Glass user who wore specs 18 hours a day treated as first addict: report - NY Daily News

"Even when he was forced not to wear it, doctors stated: 'the patient exhibited a notable, nearly involuntary movement of the right hand up to his temple area and tapping it with his forefinger.'"

What you really want to know is…

…just how typical this Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital is.

Texas Health Department reports 2nd health care worker has tested positive for Ebola | Chicago Sun-Times

"National Nurses United, citing unidentified nurses, said staff treated Duncan for days without the correct protective gear, that hazardous waste was allowed to pile up to the ceiling and safety protocols constantly changed."

My guess is, more typical than anybody wants to think.


Have you heard about the new blog reader's diet?

Mice found to stay lighter on grapefruit juice diet - SFGate

"The new study was funded by the California Grapefruit Growers Cooperative, but researchers said that had no bearing on the results."

Of course.


Federal Elementary

Oh yeah, that

Ebola Vaccine Would Likely Have Been Found By Now If Not For Budget Cuts: NIH Director

"'NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It's not like we suddenly woke up and thought, 'Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'' Collins told The Huffington Post on Friday. 'Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would've gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.'"

And none too soon

Lawfare › On the Latest Intercept Story

"It’s a type of story that would fit comfortably under a headline like ‘Spy Agency Spies on People in Fashion that Does Not Violate Law’ or ‘NSA Does Exactly What You Would Imagine.’ Eventually this gets old—even for a press hyperventilating for tiny crums of the Snowden story. Eventually, apparently, is now."

21st Century live lesson

Never try to change a password before breakfast.


Ebola! ISIS! Holy! Crap!

Ooops, sorry. I was just listened to CNN’s radio feed for about five minutes and I’m a little overwrought. (Also I heard a Home Depot commercial advertising security systems—think about that for a minute.) Whew. Scary stuff.

For the record, we are in favor of canceling all flights going to and coming back from Texas.

You can't have everything

WWI Zeppelins: Not Too Deadly, But Scary as Hell | WIRED

Here a fest, there a fest

Old-fashioned crafts at Applebutter Fest - Toledo Blade

"Festival folks planned to make and sell about 2,400 pints of apple butter, including about 1,300 pints prepared a couple weeks ago.

"‘Where else are you going to see actual apple butter being made right [in] a copper kettle like that over an open fire,’ asked Jeremy McCoy of Perrysburg."

There are fests all over this time of year. This one sounds pretty tasty. 

"Makes no mistakes" is not the most enthusiastic review I've ever read…

Chicago : News : Politics : Things To Do : Sports | Chicago Sun-Times

"Jay Cutler makes no mistakes, leads Bears to huge victory"

…but, under the circumstances, it’ll do.

(Also, with the Bears just about any victory is “huge,” so there’s that.)

But we, here…

'Gone Girl' wins in heated box office race

"It was 'The Judge' that disappointed this weekend as the star power of Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. could only muster $13.4 million."

…avoided work for a couple of matinee hours yesterday by watching The Judge at the local movie emporium and thought it was pretty good, even though it does [WARNING] involve some kissing and, as a story set in Indiana but filmed in a Western Massachusetts hill town, inspires a little visual vertigo from time to time. 

Who knew?

1883 - Congress passes Religious Crimes Code | Savages & Scoundrels

"The Religious Crimes Code passed by Congress formally denied Indians First Amendment protections for 'freedom of religion.' The effect of this law was to drive Indian religious ceremonies such as the Ghost dance and the Sun dance, 'underground' - far from the prying eyes of white Indian agents. This odious piece of legislation was not repealed until the 1970s."
[Emphasis mine. The 1970s law was passed during the Carter administration.]

I came across this in a book I’ve been reading (more about which later); the dances mentioned were considered blasphemous and (of course) indecent.

(I’m old enough to remember people of my grandparents’s and even parents’s generation who considered any kind of dancing indecent. Even a few of my own generation, but I like to think they were only kidding and have got over it by now.)


Edge of Autumn

The thing is, I don't think they're kidding

Second State Will Charge $1 Extra for Artisanal Ice - Young & Hungry

"Second State bartenders will chip off the eight corners for a more spherical shape that sits in the glass like an iceberg."

Just one guy? Why not the whole team?

Bears downgrade D.J. Williams to questionable | Voices

In other football news, the Rimrock Raiders lost last Friday’s non-conference game against Wilder, 63-8. Hang in there, Raiders. The season’s not over yet.

Chicago area airport suffers from "runway flap"—does not sound good

Chicago Sun-Times, 10/12/2014

Moving right along

Maine couple captures wife-carrying championship

"Arsenault says they're able to do so well because she's 'wicked small' and he's 'wicked strong.'"

The problem? Prize included her (wicked small) weight in beer.