July 3, 2015

At the Pig Trough...


... get your slurps.

Bernie Sanders was appalled by "the mass of hot dazed humanity heading uptown" for another day of "moron work, monotonous work."

"'The years come and go,' Mr. Sanders wrote, in all apparent seriousness. 'Suicide, nervous breakdown, cancer, sexual deadness, heart attack, alcoholism, senility at 50. Slow death, fast death. DEATH.'"

From a NYT article — linked today at Drudge — titled "Bernie Sanders’s Revolutionary Roots Were Nurtured in ’60s Vermont." I love the photo. I'm sure I would have had a crush on him back then. It was very typical for younger people of that time to regard ordinary middle-class people going to work as shuffling, horrifying zombies.

"Control of space means control of the world.... From space, the masters of infinity would have the power to control the earth’s weather..."

"... to cause drought and flood, to change the tides and raise the levels of the sea, to divert the Gulf Stream and change temperate climates to frigid."

Said Lyndon Johnson, quoted in Robert A. Caro, "Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson III," p. 1026. This was in 1958, when LBJ was stirring up alarm about the Russians and Sputnik. Caro says:

171 years ago today: 2 men killed the last 2 great auks.

From Wikipedia:
The last colony of great auks lived on Geirfuglasker (the "Great Auk Rock") off Iceland. This islet was a volcanic rock surrounded by cliffs which made it inaccessible to humans, but in 1830 the islet submerged after a volcanic eruption, and the birds moved to the nearby island of Eldey, which was accessible from a single side. When the colony was initially discovered in 1835, nearly fifty birds were present. Museums, desiring the skins of the auk for preservation and display, quickly began collecting birds from the colony. The last pair, found incubating an egg, was killed there on 3 July 1844, on request from a merchant who wanted specimens, with Jón Brandsson and Sigurður Ísleifsson strangling the adults and Ketill Ketilsson smashing the egg with his boot.

Great auk specialist John Wolley interviewed the two men who killed the last birds, and Ísleifsson described the act as follows:
The rocks were covered with blackbirds [referring to Guillemots] and there were the Geirfugles ... They walked slowly. Jón Brandsson crept up with his arms open. The bird that Jón got went into a corner but [mine] was going to the edge of the cliff. [I] caught it close to the edge – a precipice many fathoms deep. The black birds were flying off. I took him by the neck and he flapped his wings. He made no cry. I strangled him.

Eisenhower "rubs the steak with oil and garlic and then, as the horrified guests look on, casually flings the steak into the midst of the red and glowing coals."

From a NYT article that recommends: "For a Better Steak, Cook Directly on Charcoal."

I see that Instapundit has: "CAVEAT: THESE ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO SAY YOU SHOULD PUT PEAS IN YOUR GUACAMOLE. For a Better Steak, Cook Directly on Charcoal. On the other hand, if it was good enough for Ike...."

I'd just like to say:

1. The NYT cooking section has figured out how to get action in social media.

2. Both the peas-in-the-guacamole and the steak-on-the-charcoal ideas trigger our instinctive aversion to putting things where they don't belong.

3. People want to cry out NO! and immediately tweet/blog/yell NO! without pausing to make the recipe. I once judged a recipe contest by just reading the recipes and imagining the results, so I'm not saying that's wrong. It's really just another way to put points ##1 and 2. But you can actually test the recipe.

4. Last night, Ike-like, Meade flung the steak directly onto the glowing charcoal. It came out just great! 

5. No peas in the guacamole yet. I generally prefer fewer ingredients. But if you have extra fresh peas and that tub of guacamole you picked up at Whole Foods has started to feel like an obligation, why not? I've seen guacamole thrown into burritos at Chipotle. It's kind of stick-em, isn't it? And don't your peas need something to keep them from rolling around? When we were kids, we mixed them into the mashed potatoes. That kept them in place.

6. Sexual reference in point #2 intended.

I guess Obama didn't expect Scott Walker to come out and meet him at the airport.

Obama comes to Wisconsin and gives Scott Walker a prime photo op.

As Walker says in the title to his book: unintimidated.

Obama's speech seemed peevish in the context of the Governor's midwestern-friendly greeting.

ADDED: Here's the transcript. You can decide for yourself whether Obama expresses a peevish attitude toward the man who greeted him at the airport. He never mentions Walker by name.
We’ve got some healthy competition in the Democratic Party, but I’ve lost count of how many Republicans are running for this job. (Laughter.) They’ll have enough for an actual “Hunger Games.” (Laughter and applause.) That is an interesting bunch. (Laughter.)...
My understanding of "Hunger Games" is that the participants fight until only one is left alive. So that's a laugh line.
And I want to emphasize -- I know some of them well. They’re good people. It’s just their ideas are bad. (Laughter and applause.) And I want to emphasize that. We’re one country, we’re all on one team, and so we’re all one American family. But we all go -- we're at Thanksgiving and Uncle Harry starts saying something and -- (laughter) -- you say, “Uncle Harry, that makes no sense at all.” You still love him. (Laughter.) He’s still a member of your family. Right? But you’ve got to correct him. You don’t want to put him in charge of stuff. (Laughter and applause.) That’s all I'm saying. (Applause.)

And by the way, if there’s an Uncle Harry out here -- (laughter) -- I wasn’t talking about you. (Laughter.) I was just using “Harry” as an example....

"It was not supposed to end this way for Scott Brown..."

"... emailing strangers pictures of his pecs and waxing poetic about diet supplements."

"Though hardly anyone appears to have noticed, the court sided with federal criminal defendants in a whopping 6 of 7 cases this term."

"As the United States moves toward consensus on matters of marriage, it is also coming together on the dangers of overcriminalization," writes Neal Katyal.
In Elonis v. United States, the court rejected a conviction for threats allegedly made on Facebook in the form of rap lyrics...  In Yates v. United States, the court curbed a massive prosecutorial overreach, ruling that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was not violated when a fisherman tossed undersized grouper overboard in an effort to skirt federal commercial fishing regulations. In Henderson v. United States, a unanimous court reversed a lower court ruling that had barred a man who could no longer possess firearms after pleading guilty to a felony from transferring his weapons to a friend.... In another unanimous case, McFadden v. the United States, the court held that defendants could not be prosecuted for dealing “controlled substance analogues” — drugs regulated as equivalent to Schedule I or II drugs — unless it could show that the person had a very high level of criminal intent and knew those drugs were illegal....

In a decision with large ramifications, the court sharply limited the use of dog sniffs at traffic stops, finding that they violated the Fourth Amendment. This decision followed the court’s unanimous Riley v. California decision last year, which barred police from searching smartphones when they arrest someone without a warrant....

So deep was the shadow cast by the social issue cases this year that virtually no one paid attention to Johnson v. United States, in which the court struck down a much-debated part of the Armed Career Criminal Act. The court concluded that a provision of the law that increased sentences for violent offenders was too vague because it didn’t let people know which crimes were covered....
 The 7th case, the one the government won, was the one you're most likely to have noticed, Glossip v. Gross, upholding the 3-drug lethal injection against a cruel-and-unusual-punishment claim.

Lindsey loves Joe...

... so very much.

July 2, 2015

At the Red Leaf Café...


... you can say what you like.

(And please use my Amazon portal if you need to do any on-line shopping. I keep forgetting to remind you to do that, and I appreciate it when you remember! Need some actual ideas? Here: fluff flip flops.)

Bubble Wrap without the pop.

"... iBubble Wrap is laid out in columns of connected air pockets, so when pressure is applied to one 'bubble' the air gets pushed into neighboring bubbles."

iBubble Wrap?


"Hayuk’s claim says Starbucks 'brazenly created artwork that is substantially similar' to her own..."

"... and the 'Frappuccino Campaign is essentially identical to the Starbucks campaign 72andSunny proposed to Hayuk.'"
The language here is important, and it shows why artists often have a hard time proving copyright infringement.... Proving substantial similarity is a thorny issue. It isn’t enough for her work and Starbucks’ campaign to look alike....

Do you hope Hayuk wins?
pollcode.com free polls

"I noticed that graffiti painted within the red area was 'buffed' with red paint. However, graffiti outside of the red area would be removed via pressure washing."

"This prompted the start of an experiment. Unlike other works, I was very uncertain as to what results it would yield. Below is what transpired over the course of a year."

"Nicholas Winton, a Briton who said nothing for a half-century about his role in organizing the escape of 669 mostly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia..."

"... on the eve of World War II, a righteous deed like those of Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg, died on Wednesday in Maidenhead, England. He was 106...."
It was only after Mr. Winton’s wife found a scrapbook in the attic of their home in 1988 — a dusty record of names, pictures and documents detailing a story of redemption from the Holocaust — that he spoke of his all-but-forgotten work in the deliverance of children who, like the parents who gave them up to save their lives, were destined for Nazi concentration camps and extermination....

“You can’t throw those papers away,” she responded. “They are children’s lives.”

“I did not think for one moment that they would be of interest to anyone so long after it happened,” Mr. Winton recalled later. But he reluctantly agreed to let her explore the matter....

"The 22-year-old was part of a team that was setting up the stationary robot when it grabbed and crushed him against a metal plate."

"[I]nitial conclusions indicate that human error was to blame, rather than a problem with the robot, which can be programmed to perform various tasks in the assembly process. He said it normally operates within a confined area at the plant, grabbing auto parts and manipulating them."

"When I come here to California I am not in the West, I am west of the West."

"When I speak to you who dwell beside the Pacific, I, who have come from beside the Atlantic, am speaking to my own people, with the same thoughts and the same ideals."

Said Teddy Roosevelt, quoted by the L.A. Times in an effort to make a contrast to something Justice Scalia wrote in the same-sex marriage case:
[T]he Federal Judiciary is hardly a cross-section of America. Take, for example, this Court, which consists of only nine men and women, all of them successful lawyers 18 who studied at Harvard or Yale Law School. Four of the nine are natives of New York City. Eight of them grew up in east- and west-coast States. Only one hails from the vast expanse in-between. Not a single Southwesterner or even, to tell the truth, a genuine Westerner (California does not count). Not a single evangelical Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of Americans 19 ), or even a Protestant of any denomination.
Seems to me that TR and Scalia were saying the same thing about California. But the L.A. Times says TR "understood the synergy of geography and nationhood better than his fellow Harvard man, Scalia." Teddy was saying there's "the West" and something beyond it, further to the west, but not The West.

The Times tries to put some definition into the idea of the West: "home to people from all over the world who have the gumption to pull up stakes from placid and settled places and start fresh, to invent and reinvent themselves and this country."

Google's Photos app kept tagging black people as "gorillas."

"On June 28th, computer programmer Jacky Alciné found that the feature kept tagging pictures of him and his girlfriend as 'gorillas.' He tweeted at Google asking what kind of sample images the company had used that would allow such a terrible mistake to happen."

Google didn't explain. It apologized... and removed "gorilla" as an option for the machine to misapply.

Meanwhile, at Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg enthuses about how amazingly helpful the computers of the future are going to be:
People will... be wearing augmented-reality glasses to assist them on an everyday basis....

... Zuckerberg expects technology to evolve to a point that we can share whole thoughts and full “sensory and emotional” experiences, telepathically....

Zuckerberg was... curious about whether there is a fundamental mathematical law underlying human social relationships that governs the balance of who and what we care about. “I bet there is,” he said....

For vision, [computers] may be able to recognize everything in an image or video, from people to objects and scenes. They’ll be able to understand the “content of the images and videos,” he said....
Amazingly helpful, but helpful to whom? To the people whose needs are getting anticipated and shaped... not necessarily yours. That the automatic tagging didn't work for black people is horrible — or did you laugh? — but just a little warning, a signpost on the path to the future.

"I am a person of faith — and the Donald’s entry into this race can only be attributed to the fact that the good Lord is a Democrat with a sense of humor."

Burbled Begala.

"There is no doubt that in exchanging a self-centered for a selfless life we gain enormously in self-esteem."

"The vanity of the selfless, even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless."

"And in the naked light I saw/Ten thousand people, maybe more..."

Nah, I didn't see them, but they were there. 10,000 people — maybe more — filled the Coliseum, here in Madison, Wisconsin, to see Bernie Sanders. I know you wanted me to go. I asked "Should I go?" and you were all...
Oh, yes, by all means. Take photos and/or video, and share your report with us....

I say go--just for the spectacle of it. You'd be witnessing the Democratic Left in its distilled form. Plus, if by some long shot Sanders takes the nomination, you'll have seen it in its ground floor....
But it was a night rally, on a day where I got up at 3:30 AM. And it wasn't at some outdoor place — like Ron Paul on the Union Terrace in 2012, where you can walk up casually and wander about taking pictures of the people. This was indoors, at a big arena, where you have to drive up, pass through a gate — probably have to stop and pay for parking — find a parking space, observe how many fellow citizens heeded the advice to arrive early to be able to get a good seat, worry about finding a seat at all as you scurry along from your distant place in the parking lot, pass through security, scramble to find a seat, any 2 seats together, and be stuck in one spot in that crowd, from which you won't get too many different photos and you must endure all the speechifying, all the emotion of the others from which you are alienated, wait for it all to end so you can finally have the release of exiting the arena as a component of the slow-moving human mass, wend your way back to your distantly parked car, where you can finally be an individual again and have your conversation about whatever it was like to be bowing and praying to the neon God that is Bernie Sanders and when are we ever going to get out of this parking lot and back home?

So we were back home all along. I was reading, and I'm reading now. I'm reading that Bernie Sanders proclaimed: "Tonight we have made a little bit of history... Tonight we have more people at any meeting for a candidate of president of the United States than any other candidate." The "we" didn't include me. I didn't get to make a little bit of history with Bernie.

As The Guardian put it (yeah, I'm getting my Madison news from the UK):
[His] message resonated in Madison, the state’s reliably liberal capital and home to the University of Wisconsin. It stood as a sharp contrast to Wisconsin’s own conservative White House hopeful Walker, who is preparing to enter the crowded field of GOP candidates. The governor is expected to make his announcement on or shortly after 13 July.

Sanders immediately went after Republicans and Walker... Walker, whom the crowd loudly booed whenever Sanders mentioned his name....
I'm quite sure I'm not the nighttime rally type.

ADDED: From the local Madison newspaper, quotes, like this one from a social work student: "I really like that he values the human life over money. I’m really excited to hear his ideas and see him, finally, in person. It’ll just be so real." She arrived and got in line 4-and-a-half hours early so she could get a good seat and "be focus on him and not the whole crowd."