This Friday, A Black Moon Shall Rise
It's a full moon which is eclipsed by the earth's shadow. So... It's black. Like a new moon. But I guess it's different.
It's not even all that rare -- once every 32 months.
Still, I'll be looking for it.
And stay off the moors.
University of Tennessee Ends Its "Investigation" Into Glenn Reynolds Illegal Use of Free Speech
Ah, but it's the threat, isn't it? The process is the punishment, isn't it?
We are supposed to be free to speak -- and know without equivocation that we are free to speak -- precisely so we are not menaced by the threat of official persecution.
So that we do not become the Censor's inside man and censor ourselves out of fear.
Do you think the University of Tennessee wishes Glenn Reynolds to know -- to reallly know -- he's free to speak?
Or do you think they intended to install a Censorship Inside Man in his head, causing him to mind his p's and q's?
Trump's Equivocal, Maybe-He-Should-Wait, I-Don't-Know Answer on Cavuto
I wouldn't say this proves Trump's claim that he was "totally against the Iraq War," but it definitely proves the media are liars in claiming that his one casual "I don't know, guess we gotta do something' statement on Howard Stern (in 2002) was his only statement on the matter.
He is not strongly against the war here -- but he is leaning against it.
Mislaid Monday Moron Medical Monitoring Thread
I forgot to put this up yesterday.
I've got no particularly good advice. I do not know how i broke my stall. I've been drinking a lot more water -- who knows, maybe that helped.
I have heard it said that while people debate this expensive supplement or that one, they ignore the cheapest and most effective supplement of all: Just water.
Oh, and sleep. My sleep's been better. Not sure why. But they say that sleep is as important to getting into shape as exercise (or, well, pretty much as important).
A friend and I were talking about the frustration of attempting a body recomposition (not really trying to "lose weight," exactly). It's not that things move slowly -- if they moved slowly but consistently, it would be reassuring.
The problem is that nothing seems to happen for a couple of weeks, then suddenly you drop weight. Even after, say, you said "Ah the hell with this Manorexia, I want Taco Bell."
It's the fact that, past the first two months, inputs and outputs seem correlated in only a slight way, if at all.
I also started having more protein powder. In theory, that should slow weight loss. But then, I only have it before and after workouts, so who knows. Maybe it gets used up without turning to fat.
Anyway, my gains have been very slow but are pretty consistent (consistently slow, that is) since I broke the plateau. I almost put up a Bonus Medical Monitoring post on Saturday for one reason: Because after working out I dropped to 176, the lowest weight I've seen since college. I wanted to put up a thread and say "176!" because i was pretty sure I just sweated two pounds off and it would be back by Sunday.
Well it was. I'm back up to 179 but still, under 180. That was a big goal and a major reason for this thread: To keep myself going past 180 (I've been at 180 a lot) and finally get myself down to a reasonably trim 170.
I guess I'm losing a pound a week now...? Or a half a pound..?
And I suppose that's... something?
TELL ME ABOUT YO GAINZZZZ, BITCHEZZZZ
Holy Crap: So, for four or five months, I've been putting butter in my coffee, and MCT oil.
But not blending it, as many recommended.
Why? Because I'm a dude and I'm lazy and I always look to Reduce Steps and Increase Efficiency even if it means I'm drinking horrible coffee with a quarter inch pool of buttery fat on top of it.
After all, Real Men do not seek comfort. It's indulgent and womanly.
Real men drink disgusting coffee. Because they're Men.
So, anyway, I discovered I actually had an immersion blender. I bought it a year ago at Target or something, when I had planned to start this, and never opened up the box.
I started blending the coffee.
Now it's no longer black coffee with a yellow pool of grease on top of it. Now it's.... well, it tastes like coffee with luscious cream in it.
Now I actually enjoy coffee again instead of just wolfing down black coffee with a skin of partially melted butter.
How did you goofs not insist to me I just blend it?
If you're drinking it the "Ace Way," that is, the Moron Way, you're missing out. Spend $20 or $30 on an immersion blender -- you just stick it in the coffee and blend. You'll be glad you did.
One thing, you have to put the coffee in a taller glass to blend (otherwise it will get sloshed around, out of the cup), but that doesn't take long. You can just rinse that glass after you use it, stick the blender in it, and set it aside for tomorrow.
Breitbart/Gravis Marketing Poll: Trump, Clinton Tied 43-43... In Minnesota?
The other states polled in this round aren't so great for Trump -- the Breitbart/Gravis poll has him behind in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Obviously, this could be an outlier, one of those one-in-twenty polls that are straight-up wrong.
But... eh, I'll be keeping my eye on Minnesota now.
NFL Players Association: Yeah, We're Worried About the Decline in Viewership
While NFL teams continue to pile up the stats, the NFL’s television ratings continue to come in with lower and lower numbers each week. NBC’s Sunday Night Football matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears last night drew in 18.62 million viewers, scoring a 6.8/21 rating in the 18-49 demographic, the group most coveted by advertisers.
That marks a fall from last week’s 7.4 rating in the 18-49 demo. Last night’s game also scored a 12.9/21 in Nielsen’s metered-market rating, a decline from last week’s 13.7/23.
This Forbes article, written before this weekend's games, notes the general trend.
Just last year some opined that the league’s ratings had no ceiling. That appears to be false.
To summarize Sports Business Daily: NBC’s three primetime games, which includes the NFL Kickoff game, have averaged 23.7 million viewers, down 12% from the same period last year. ESPN also is seeing a 12% decline for its three “MNF” games to date. While CBS CBS +1.45% and NFL Network have only one Thursday night game to date, that lone game (Jets-Bills, 15.4 million viewers) was down 27% compared to the opening “TNF” game last season. Looking at Sunday afternoons, Fox is off (-0.2%) through two weeks, averaging 20.9 million viewers. CBS is averaging 17.3 million viewers through the same point, down 5%.
While some suggest that the drop in ratings may be due to the lack of “marquee” match ups, I don’t buy it. For starters, none of the recent PR debacles, such as drugs, beatings or concussions, created something like #boycotnfl. Two, Kaepernick is the most-disliked player in the NFL. Three, I challenge anyone to look at the comments on stories about the NFL national anthem protests and tell me the anecdotal evidence does not strongly suggest many, if not most viewers are fed up either because they are against the protests, or just don’t want politics of any kind to interfere with their football.
The NFLPA says they're concerned by the amount of blood gushing from this very pale formerly golden goose.
"This is a huge issue for us obviously," NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said on Friday's PFT Live. "We spend a lot of time looking at trends. I was thrilled to see the game being streamed on Twitter. We're interested about where media is going. Viewership is an important issue, stadium attendance is a very important issue to us. So as we look forward knowing that there are a couple of television contracts that are going to come up. I think it is smart for us to look at the impact of whether fans are watching on TV or not."
A decline in TV viewership won’t be a factor until after the current TV contracts expire, assuming there isn’t a renegotiation before the existing deals expire after the 2022 season.
Well, there's only one possible way to arrest the decline of the NFL:
Coed bathrooms for everyone!
The Plural of Anecdote is Not "Data;" It is WINNING
Okay, this is a little hackish, even for me, but I just don't buy the claims of the Twiddiots that Trump lost badly.
McClatchy held a focus group to watch the debate in North Carolina. Who won? Well...
Presidential debate surprise: Clinton loses ground among some voters in swing state
Kae Roberts and Jay Eardly were leaning toward Hillary Clinton before Monday night's debate.
By the end, they had both pulled away.
John Kokos and Hank Federal were undecided going in, potential Clinton backers.
By the end, they'd ruled her out.
Indeed, while polls said that Clinton won the first general election debate with Donald Trump Monday, she may not have won actual votes. And she may even have lost some, at least in the battleground state of North Carolina.
In a focus group of 21 voters from around Charlotte conducted by McClatchy and the Charlotte Observer, four who were up for grabs before the debate moved away from her by the end.
For the four who emerged less impressed by Clinton, it was the seeming familiarity of her proposals for the economy and national security that was a turnoff.
Roberts, who is unaffiliated with a party, wrote in her notes several times during the debate that Clinton offered "pie in the sky" ideas. By debate’s end, she had moved from leaning toward Clinton to undecided.
"The things she says she’s going to do, there’s no substance behind it," Roberts said.
Letosky entered the evening undecided in a town that is heavily Democratic in registration. Her sister and father are on opposite sides of the political aisle. Donald “Trump had the upper hand this evening,” she said, citing his command of the back-and-forth between him and Hillary Clinton.
Reed, 35, is a registered Democrat and small businessman. “By the end of the debate, Clinton never said a thing to persuade me that she had anything to offer me or my family or my community,” he said, sitting at the same bar that has boasted local icons as regulars, such as the late Fred Rogers, and Arnold Palmer, who had his own stash of PM Whiskey hidden behind newer bottles of whiskey for his regular visits.
"Have to say Trump had the edge this evening, he came out swinging but also talked about specifics on jobs and the economy," Reed said.
Reed said Clinton came across as either smug or as though she was reading her résumé, adding there was nothing on her resume that touched on his life.
One thing that has impressed me more and more over the past two years is how powerful the left is in colonizing the thoughts of all citizens -- including commentators on the right.
Andrew Breitbart used to say -- he said this the first time I met him -- that the left creates a "Matrix," as in the movie, a prison of illusion and reality distortion. When you are in the Matrix, he said excitedly, you can't see the Matrix itself.
Many commentators on the right -- I included -- are thoroughly colonized by leftist memes. How could we not be? We are constantly mesmerized by them, a thousand cult chants a day whispering at us from our electric soma boxes.
Many are looking at Hillary Clinton's answers and saying "She won on points."
Because what did she really say? On national security and ISIS, she offered the novel thought that we must work more closely with our allies.
Really. You don't say? I'm glad someone had the guts to finally say it.
Now, those whose brains are colonized by leftist viral memes will call that a "good answer." It's the accepted Conventional Wisdom answer of the Davoisie and the Davoisie wannabes.
But is it a good answer?
Or is it just insect-talk? (Insect talk being my own word for something so trivial and brainless it doesn't even rise to the level of small-talk.)
Clinton said a lot of crap like this last night -- she said that to improve race relations, we needed to build more trust in the community in police, and more trust in police in the community.
Um, that is not an answer. That is simply a way of re-stating the problem. Her husband used to do this a lot. How do we improve education? Why I have a five-point plan. (Ticking off points on each finger.) One, improve the curriculum. Two, improve the administration. Three, improve teacher-school relations. Four, encourage children to learn. Five (now put up the thumb in a big thumb's up like Fonzie) improve education.
Um, you didn't say how we were going to improve education. You simply broke the problem into several sub-problems and said we have to solve each of the sub-problems.
We know that. And we also knew all of the sub-problems associated with the main problem of improving education.
You said exactly nothing, but took three minutes to say it.
Yet people were always impressed by this -- at least among the chattering classes -- and praised Clinton for being soooo detailed.
Hillary tried this last night with her various bubble-headed Unsweet Nothings responses.
She's not as good as it as her husband.
People have heard all these non-responsive no-answer evasions before, and I don't think they're more impressed with them on the umpteenth repetition.
I think that our current politics has been organized around the central concept of Emptiness for a long time, and I think maybe this year, a year of rejectionism, is the year when people begin to see through the Emptiness.
So I would just suggest to the Chattering Classes and the Twitterati:
Are you really judging what she said, or are you simply regurgitating the Conventional Wisdom as to what is credited as counting as an "informed answer" in these moronic affairs?
Because people less colonized by parasitic, invasive leftist memes might have seen this show differently than you did.
Just because you know the Matrix exists does not mean you can see the Matrix.
To see the Matrix, you actually have to escape the Matrix.
You have to purge the Matrix from your brain.
Note: 1996's Miss Universe Winner Really Did Gain So Much Weight In Her Year of Reigning That Even CNN Had to Fat-Shame Her Ass
Hillary tossed this out in her last big Oppo File dump at the end of the debate -- that Trump had allegedly called a former Miss Universe "Miss Piggie" and criticized her for her weight gain.
She'd gained 60 pounds during her year of reigning as Miss Universe -- obviously not the weight she'd won the contest at -- and apparently was in danger of losing sponsorships.
Apparently we've now reached that phase of Political Correctness and Fat
Acceptance Celebration that even beauty contest winners, contractually obligated to, you know, look like the person who won the crown, can't be critiqued about their beauty.
Here's how mean Trump was:
"Some people when they have pressure eat too much. Like me. Like Alicia," said Donald Trump, the executive producer of the Miss Universe Pageant.
Defending her, that is.
Since winning the crown, the former Miss Venezuela went from 118 pounds to -- well -- a number that kept growing like the size of the fish that got away.
And as her weight grew, so did reports that Kellogg had canceled a deal for her to appear on boxes of Special K in Venezuela or that Kellogg modified her body on the box. But a Kellogg spokesman said the contract simply expired in December and that they were "real pleased" with the promotion.
"I don't eat Kellogg's and for this maybe I gain weight," the young Machado said simply.
Rumors also surfaced that she might be forced to give up her Miss Universe crown.
But Trump, as co-owner of rights to the pageant, said he would never let that happen. "We had a choice of: termination or do this," he said. "We wanted to do this."
The pageant's meaning of "do this" was for Machado to get her weight down to about 130 pounds. At a recent photo op, Machado -- hardly a blimp at 5-foot-7 -- pedaled a stationary bicycle and jumped rope in front of a pack of photographers and reporters who could themselves use a little training.
Apparently Trump mocked the reporters making an issue of this fat broad's weight:
"A lot of you folks have weight problems. I hate to tell you," Trump told the rowdy pool of reporters.
So let us all cry for the Miss Universe who got so fat she almost had her crown taken from her.
CNN did another story on the heavyweight Miss Universe, too.
So this was an actual thing and a point of embarrassment for the pageant (and for the woman herself).
By the way: This was twenty years ago.
Mid-Morning Open Thread [CBD]
This black-and-white photo of "The Enchanted Pose" by Rene Magritte is the only image of the painting that disappeared in nearly 80 years ago. A piece of the missing painting was just discovered in Britain.
Apparently Magritte just cut the damned thing up.
And that is just fine with me.....
H/T Mis. Hum.
The Morning Report 9/27/16 [J.J. Sefton]
Tuesday's child is full of disappointment. Hey, it's not like we didn't know Le Grande Orange was not a master debater. Anyway, take heart and have a better one!
- Salena Zito: Trump Seals the Deal with Ex-Dems and Indies
- Lester Puts the "F" in "MFM"
- Old Coot Finds an Acorn
- Snap Polls All Show Trump Won Last Night . . . Except CNN
- Clinton Flack: Immunity for Oma's Staffers "Fairly Routine and Appropriate"
- UPI/CVoter Polls Show Trump Ahead in Electoral College
- Everything You Always Wanted in a Nuke. And Less!
- Obama's Climate Change Insanity Heads to DC Circus for Probable Rubber Stamp Go-Ahead
- One Third of Calls to VA Suicide Helpline Go Unanswered
Monday Overnight Open Thread (9/26/16) [Mis. Hum.]
The Non-Debate The Education Overnight Open Thread Edition
Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.
-President John Adams
Instead of teaching multicultural crap, social justice, and self-esteem. Why not teach thermodynamics?
When I was a child......As long as you live under my roof.... Oh, the parents of today are a different lot.
Global warming is another. An older news link. But worth reading, digesting and perhaps discussing. For example did you know we spend more money on "climate change" than we do on border security?
Why teach economics when you can learn to care about Brad and Angelina?
(NSFW-Language, you have been warned)
Preserved Nazi time capsule unearthed in Poland. Some one cared about history.
Are you teaching your children to become stewards of the earth? After reading this guide how many of you have failed in teaching?
So Horde is he on to something or is he just full of himself? Seems to me since the dawn of recorded history mankind always wanted something better. Is the problem secular humanism? Is the love of money the root of all evil?
And at the same time, I’m repulsed by it, disturbed by it. The reality is we are all actual humans, we live in a material world where material beauty brings us a certain level of enjoyment in our lives, but we can’t let it overtake that. …
When will Civics classes teach Socialism does not work? Even Democratic Socialism as espoused by Crazy Uncle Bernie.
What have we learned about self-driving cars?Autonomous cars can be hacked.
Multiple diseases such as polio and malaria have been controlled. The life expectancy of men and women have increased. Why is the mortality rate in the U.S.A. sliding?
Education requires books. You can be a bookstore owner, with a catch.
Feel good story of the day There shouldn't be a shortage of all that pumpkin spice crap hitting store shelves now.
Tonight's ONT has been brought to you by The Neighborhood Watch Program.
Posted by permission of AceCorp, LLC. Opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions, attitudes or wallets of management, staff, interns, advertisers or the makers of the Happy Fun Ball.
Close it up
Post-Debate Thread: Final Thoughts
Trump did not attack Hillary very effectively. She had her attack lines memorized. He was improvising his from memories. I suspect he might bother studying for the next one. Because she pissed him off.
Hillary dinged Trump up a fair amount. However, some people view these debates and their candidates like a new car -- ever fearful of the smallest ding.
Look, have you ever had a car that didn't get a ding?
The idea that a candidate has to come through a debate without having had a glove laid on him to win is simply wrong. Its an idea borne of a lack of perspective -- people get so emotionally invested in a win that every single error seems unbearable.
Trump made lots of errors -- I can't believe he brought up taking the oil again, for example -- but Hillary's goal here was to disqualify him.
What did she do? She painted him like every other Republican gets painted in a debate. She did not succeed in extraordinizing him -- making him an extraordinary threat the Republican can not bear.
By repeating the same sorts of attacks lodged at every Republican -- wants to cut taxes, "racist," etc. -- she actually ordinized him.
Trump's demeanor was generally strong and calm. He got rattled a few times. He looked pissy when she was dropping her programmed attack modules on him.
But by and large, he kept it together.
Was he good? No. He wasn't sharp. I know people's jaws were falling open when Trump failed to pounce on her for daring to bring up emails, disclosures, and cybersecurity.
He was meh.
Hillary delivered the exact same message that all of her ads are playing around the clock. The viewer really got no new information on that front.
On the other hand, Trump stood up at the podium and kept to his basic message without melting down. (Well, except that "take their oil" like.)
Her goal was to disqualify him; his goal was to seem like an ordinary Republican. Or, at least, ordinary enough to not seem scary (while attempting to seem like a big change agent).
Neither did a very good job. But Trump did a slightly better job at is job than she did at hers.
The one good thing -- I hope -- is that sometimes Trump has to get his ass kicked a little before he starts listening to other people. He didn't get whooped by Hillary, but she did make him angry.
Maybe that will animate him to study up and make himself prepared to deliver crisp attack lines.
By the way: Lester Holt directed every single hostile question towards Trump, and purported to "fact check" him every five minutes.
I'm sure Holt just needed 5 more minutes to ask about the Clinton Foundation pay-for-play scandals. I know it in my bones.— John Hayward (@Doc_0) September 27, 2016
We'll leave this up until around 11:30 for your own discussion. Then I'll post a late edition of the ONT (courtesy, of course, of Misanthropic Humanitarian).
Debate Thread 3: Hillary Keeps Reading Her Rubio-Like Memorized Policy Modules
Below, another Luntz Dumm-Y-Dial showing Trump doing well. But be aware, this is still from the beginning of the debate, when Trump was doing better.
For a long patch now he's been doing very meh, but then, so has Hillary.
Once again, independents are closer to Trump than to Hillary. They like his "30 years" mantra than any of hers. pic.twitter.com/gXU9sPLzhn— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) September 27, 2016
Close it up
Debate Thread 2: Trump Keeping Cool So Far
...but he's beginning to run a little hot.
Meanwhile, Hilary just cried out for the media to help her: "'Fact checkers,' aid me in my time of greatest peril!"
Debate Thread: The Donnybrook at Stony Brook
Yeah I know the debate's at Hofstra, not Stony Brook, but I've been sitting here trying to think of something that rhymes with Hofstra and the closest I've gotten is "Mothra."
And there are two problems with that: 1, it makes no sense, and 2, it also doesn't rhyme.
So I'm changing the debate locale, for the purposes of this post, to Stony Brook.
It's on all the cable news channels, and NBC. And CBS. And ABC.
My take: I have no take. This could go any which way. Trump could end his campaign in a single sentence. Hillary could do the same.
Joe Trippi's analysis struck me as dead-on: The swing demographic, now that non-college educated men have almost all defected to Trump, are college-educated white men who consider themselves too erudite and upper-crust to vote for the same guy the commoners do.
That suggests that Trump should be trying his level best to sound normal and informed, and Hillary should be trying like hell into baiting him to playing to his base. She wants him to turn off the college educated men; if she does, she'll probably win the election.
If Trump can win most of them back (Romney got a much higher fraction of them in 2012 than Trump has now), then Trump has almost sewn the whole thing up.
If Trump just does what he's done for 90% of this campaign -- playing for votes he's already had since June 2015 -- he loses. Or rather, he does himself no good. And if he plays to his base in a raucous way that offends the, um, more refined sensibilities of the college-educated set, he loses.
Benghazi Survivor Mark "Oz" Geist To Have Front Row Seat for Hillary's Conniptions
Oh, and Hofstra is posting TRIGGER WARNINGS outside the debate hall, because students might be triggered to hear political opinions that they disagree with.
Suggested by Not_Steve.
PROPOSITION: ODDS (amount paid: for amount wagered)
Hillary wears something white: 3:1
Hillary wears something ill-fitting and ghastly: even
Hillary wears something that looks like she stole it from a homeless ghost cursed to haunt the earth until she tells 10,001 lies: 9:1
Trump says "Believe me:" 1:3
Trump pays himself a compliment, and adds "You all know, you've all said this many many times yourself:" 1:2
Trump says his dick smells like frankincense and winning: 10:1
Trump says his dick smells like frankincense and winning, then adds "You all know, you've all said this many many times yourself:" 25:1
Trump exhales loudly through his nose when the camera's not on him: 2:1
Trump exhales so loudly through his nose you an Amber Alert goes out for an immigrant child running out of air tied up inside his podium: 13:1
Hillary talks some bullshit smack like "You ask MOAMAR QADAFFI if he thinks I'm tough enough!:" 3:2
Hillary talks some bullshit smack like "You ask VINCE FOSTER if he thinks I'm tough enough!:" 40:1
Trump denies voting for the Iraq War: No bets accepted (guaranteed)
Hillary denies voting for the Iraq War: 7:1
Hillary has a cough: 1:6
Hillary has a wet cough: 3:2
Hillary coughs up something that looks like lung and Scrapple: 10:1
Trump Appoints Noted Climate Change Skeptic to Lead EPA Transition Team
True conservatism consists of making soft, timid noises and then going along with the leftist-mediated narrative.
ld Trump is tapping a high-profile climate change skeptic to lead administration transition efforts for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Myron Ebell, director of energy and environment policy at the conservative think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, is heading Trump’s EPA transition preparation, E&E Daily reported Monday.
Ebell is an outspoken, long-time skeptic of the scientific consensus that human activity is dramatically changing the climate. He often refers to warnings about global warming as climate "alarmism," and is a vocal critic of President Obama’s climate change regulations.
It's Not 100% Conclusive, But Frame-By-Frame Screencaptures Seem to Show that Keith Scott Had a Pistol in an Ankle Holster, and Later Was Holding the Gun
Meanwhile, the NYT and WaPo are in the forefront of the media's latest trend: Blazing the race of a cop involved in a shooting when he's white, and burying his race when he's black.
No Indication of Terrorist Motivation: Washington Mall Shooter Had Picture of ISIS Leader on His Blog
The Turkish immigrant accused of gunning down five people at a Washington mall smirked at his first court appearance Monday even as reports revealed he had a blog with photo posts of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
That smirk is probative in and of itself.
538: Trump Now Is Favored to Win This Election Over Hillary
From zombie, who says "the entire left just sharted."
Nate Silver's site now says Trump is 54.5% likely to win, and Hillary is just is at just 45.5%.
Oddly, those two figures sum to 100% -- yet I was told this was not a "Binary" election!!! I don't understand.
Update: Another poll came out, the Monmouth Poll, showing Hillary ahead 46-42, which might be why Nate Silver has now adjusted Trump's odds downwards to 50.9%.
John Schindler: We Now Have Incontrovertible Proof That the FBI's "Investigation" of Hillary and Her Henchmen Was a Sham From the Start
You're saying the system is rigged by the Washington insiders, then?
How shabbily populist!
From the moment the EmailGate scandal went public more than a year ago, it was obvious that the Federal Bureau of Investigation never had much enthusiasm for prosecuting Hillary Clinton or her friends. Under President Obama, the FBI grew so politicized that it became impossible for the Bureau to do its job – at least where high-ranking Democrats are concerned.
This week, however, we learned that there is actually no mystery at all here. The FBI was never able to get enough traction in its investigation of EmailGate to prosecute anybody since the Bureau had already granted immunity to key players in that scandal.
Granting immunity is a standard practice in investigations, and is sometimes unavoidable. Giving a pass to Bryan Pagliano, Hillary’s IT guru who set up her email and server, made some sense since he understands what happened here, technically speaking, and otherwise is a small fish. The wisdom of giving him a pass now seems debatable, though, since Pagliano has twice refused to testify before Congress about his part in EmailGate, blowing off subpoenas. Just this week the House Oversight Committee recommended that Pagliano be cited for contempt of Congress for his repeated no-shows. That vote was on strictly partisan lines, with not a single Democrat on the committee finding Pagliano’s ignoring of Congressional subpoenas to be worthy of censure.
Now it turns out the FBI granted immunity to much bigger fish in the Clinton political tank. Three more people got a pass from the Bureau in exchange for their cooperation: Hillary lawyer Heather Samuelson, State Department IT boss John Bental, and – by far the most consequential – Cheryl Mills, who has been a Clinton flunky-cum-factotum for decades.
Mills served as the State Department’s Chief of Staff and Counselor throughout Hillary’s tenure as our nation’s top diplomat. Granting her immunity in EmailGate, given her deep involvement in that scandal – including the destruction of tens of thousands of emails so they could not be handed over to the FBI – now seems curious, to say the least, particularly because Mills sat in on Hillary’s chat with the Bureau regarding EmailGate.
Yes, let's talk about Cheryl Mills -- and ponder, briefly, why on earth James Comey of all people would grant her immunity, except if the Fix was in.
As a Whitewater investigator for the Senate in the mid-1990s, Comey sought information from Mills; but wouldn’t you know, the then-deputy White House counsel claimed a burglar stole her notes.
Comey concluded that Hillary Clinton ordered Mills to block investigators. The obstruction, the Senate committee found, included the "destruction of documents" and other "highly improper . . . misconduct."
Two years later, Mills was in the middle of another Hillary scandal, involving the then-first lady's integration of White House and Democratic National Committee computer databases.
This time the House subpoenaed information from Mills, who not only withheld the documents but, a government committee said, "lied under oath" -- prompting staff lawyers to send a criminal referral to the Justice Department demanding prosecutors charge Mills with obstruction of justice and perjury.
In 2000, a Commerce Department official testified that Mills ordered her to "withhold" from investigators e-mails and other documents exposing yet another scandal involving the first lady -- the selling of seats on foreign trade junkets for campaign cash.
At the same time, a federal judge suggested Mills helped orchestrate a cover-up that blamed a technical "glitch" in the White House archiving system that conveniently resulted in the loss of 1.8 million e-mails under subpoena in the Monica Lewinsky, Filegate and other scandal investigations.
Fast-forward to Hillary’s tenure as secretary. In October 2012, Mills sorted through key Benghazi documents and decided which to withhold from a review board. She also leaned on witnesses. Deputy ambassador to Libya Gregory Hicks testified before Congress in 2013 that Mills told him in an angry phone call to stop cooperating with investigators.
Let's talk about that immunity deal. Comey wanted documents on her laptop. He could have compelled them by the simple and routine expedient of a subpeona.
Instead, he granted her immunity for any documents he found on her system.
And what was on her system? Classified documents which are illegal for any non-authorized person to have copies of.
Instead of prosecuting her, he made the problem go away by fixing her up with immunity for the very crime she was red-handedly guilty of.
Neck and Neck: National Polls Put It At A One Point Race, With Trump Ahead in Some; Trump Ahead By One Point in Colorado, Behind By One Point in Pennsylvania
Quinippiac: Clinton 44, Trump 43.
Blooomberg, 4-way: Trump 43, Clinton 41. In the two way, no third party candidates offered as choices, it's tied at 46 apiece, but it's silly to even mention that, because Binary Thinking is like so 2015.
The Morning Consult poll, which has generally been favorable to Hillary, now has Trump ahead by 1, 39 to 38.
A Washington Post/ABCNews poll has Clinton up by two with likely voters, 46-44, but with registered voters, it's all tied up at 41.
That may suggest that Trump has a greater upside with new/irregular voters... if they turn out. Which they usually don't -- unless it's for a candidate they're enthusiastic about. And many do seem enthusiastic about Trump.
In two blue states -- Colorado and Pennsylvania -- CNN has it a one point race in either. In Colorado, it's 42 Trump 41 Hillary; in Pennsylvania, it's Hillary 45 Trump 44.
In more bad news for Hillary, Trump voters used to say they were backing him just to stop Hillary; now a plurality say they're affirmatively voting for him.
Obviously, the debate tonight is very important. The most important one of all three.
More: Trump absolutely blowing Hillary out of the water with one of the largest cohorts in the voting public, non-college educated white men. He's leading her by 59 points with this group, 76 to 17. Mitt Romney won this group too -- but only by 31 points.
Of course, the reason that Trump isn't destroying her in the overall numbers is that he's lost almost an equal number of college educated voters.
So tell me again how crazy I was to posit a year ago that this was largely a class-based race and that the college-educated crowd was feeling resentful and scared at having their hegemony -- their ability to cast a class-wide veto over a candidate -- challenged and ultimately scotched.
This song doesn't have anything to do with the post but I heard it on the radio yesterday. I had stupidly forgotten how awesome it is. Enjoy.
Close it up
Mid-Morning Open Thread [CBD]
The Morning Report 9/26/16 [J.J. Sefton]
Monday, Monday. Can't trust that day. Put your backs into it, Morons, and have a better one!
- The King is Dead: RIP Arnold Palmer
- Dead Heat Going into Tonight's Debate
- Will Holt Bolt Or Pull a Crowley? . . .
- . . . It's a Safe Bet He Does
- Winning! Clinton Proposes 65% Top Rate for Estate Tax
- Toe to Toe With the Rooskees? Thanks, Obama! And . . .
- . . . Flashpoint in Syria
- Curfew Lifted in Charlotte
- WA Mall Jihadi Described as "Zombie-like" by Cops
- The Slow Slide to Single Payer
- Leader of the Free World Meets the Candidates . . .
- . . . And Bombs On Broadway??? WTF New York?!
- 91 Year Old Hero Finally Gets His Purple Heart
Sunday Night Overnight Open Thread [Mis. Hum.]
On the far eastern edge of Canada sits Little Bay Islands, a beautiful, dying village divided by crisis. The fish plant was shuttered half a decade ago, and most supporting businesses – as well as the school – have closed with it. Perry Locke is among the tiny population that’s left. He served as the mayor, the fire chief and now runs the power-generating station. His son was the last student enrolled in town.
Fishing villages like this one built Newfoundland and Labrador, a coastal province sent into a tailspin by a fishery collapse, oil-price slump and mounting debt that left it with Canada’s most severe fiscal and demographic crisis. The provincial government now is pushing to close places like Little Bay Islands altogether rather than service them, offering Locke and his neighbors at least $250,000 (US$189,000) each to leave — and spurring a bitter, three-year fight over whether to cash out or endure.
It’s like a disease. Once a community gets infected, there’s no cure for it
“It’s like a disease. Once a community gets infected, there’s no cure for it. You’ll either stay sick from it, or you’ll die,” said Locke, 51, standing on his porch in July overlooking the bay. He voted to stay, worried he’ll lose his job if everyone leaves and the power station closes. Many residents now blame him for ruining a windfall. “Nothing we can do to change it now. The damage is done. And the damage is irreversible.”
It looks like a beautiful location. What would you do? Personally, I'm glad that I do not have to make that decision.
The AoSHQ gives the following advice. If you are to leave Little Bay Islands don't move here.
But, if you want to visit the Big Knob Grange Fair in Beaver County go for it.
Insert the word "empathy" into any search engine and you will come up with a large number of sites. When does one learn empathy? Would you have it when you reached the pinnacle of foreign diplomat service, such as the United Nations?
“If diplomats were to spend more time in the theater, museums and cinemas, we might have a more just and humane world,” quipped from Samantha Power, US ambassador to the United Nations, in a Sept. 16 speech at the Lincoln Center Global Exchange in New York City.
“We all know what genuine empathy feels like. I’ve not only experienced it myself but seen it happen in one of the most thick-skinned and cynical professions out there,” she joked. “I’m speaking of course of diplomats.” The former journalist and Pulitzer prize winning author has long used theater to address an empathy deficiency among grizzled UN ambassadors.
Haiti in 2005, UN peacekeeping troops killed 23 people, including children, in a poor area of Port au Prince. Doctors without Borders reported that they had treated 27 people for gunshot wounds - around 20 of them were women under the age of 18. In December 2007, more than 100 UN soldiers from Sri Lanka were deported under charges of sexual abuse of underage girls. A video was also released showing four Uruguayan troops in Haiti laughing while allegedly raping an 18 year old Haitian boy. Two Pakistani peacekeepers were recently sentenced for raping a 14 year old Haitian boy. There are also strong claims that fecal waste from UN troops deposited in a river spread cholera bacteria in Haiti which killed more than 6,000 Haitians and infected more than 400,000.
This excerpt is from 2012. There have been more episodes of empathy by the U.N. since then.
"What I can tell you is that we are, when it comes to ISIL, we are in a fight, a narrative fight with them, a narrative battle," Earnest said, using an alternate name for the terrorist group, which is also known as the Islamic State or Daesh. "And what ISIL wants to do is they want to project that they are an organization that is representing Islam in a fight, in a war against the West and a war against the United States."
The buzz in the tech field are self-driving cars. Rumor has it that Apple wishes to purchase McClaren to get into the race. (Sorry about that pun) We should all feel safer now, the Feds have placed rules on these cars.
I would rather have a jet-pack. Or a lawn mower like this.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Or why socialism is always toxic.
There are only 2 genders. And it is explained here.
What do you do on your commute? Nap? Practice self-restraint? People watch? Mentally plan for work?
But according to an Association for Psychological Science blog post this week, new research suggests another reframing trick to make commuting just a little less awful — one that’s probably more productive than napping, if not as enjoyable. A new paper led by Columbia Business School doctoral student Jon Jachimowicz found that people who use their transit time to mentally plan for work are better off than those who spend it on other things.
Looking for a natural boost? Perhaps turmeric is the answer.
Tonight's ONT has been brought to you by truth in advertising.
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Failure to adhere to the conditions of this written warning, development of new or related problems, and/or continued unsatisfactory performance will lead to more serious corrective actions including up to and including termination of your Valu-Rite, bacon rations and Yoko Free ONT Zones.
Top 10 commenters:
1 [438 comments] 'Nevergiveup' [61.49 posts/day]
2 [435 comments] 'Mr. Peebles'
3 [431 comments] 'Mike Hammer, etc., etc.'
4 [416 comments] 'rickb223'
5 [393 comments] 'Village Idiot's Apprentice'
6 [387 comments] 'Vic We Have No Party'
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8 [353 comments] 'Insomniac - Irredeemably Deplorable'
9 [334 comments] 'Skip'
10 [319 comments] 'MTF'
Top 10 sockpuppeteers:
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4 [44 names] 'Mike Hammer, etc., etc.'
5 [41 names] 'The Political Hat'
6 [38 names] 'Garry Johnsen'
7 [37 names] 'Turd Ferguson'
8 [36 names] 'MTF'
9 [35 names] 'Count de Monet'
10 [34 names] 'davidt'
Close it up
Move Along, Nothing To See....[CBD]
Very little information, so the 24-48 Hour rule should apply.
But just between you and me, I think it's those damned Lutherans again.
Food Thread: Maillard....It Isn't Just A Duck [CBD]
Pastry chef Michael Laiskonis explains Maillard reactions and why browned foods taste so damn good Our very own Y-not sent this article to me, and it's fascinating and, at least for me, a revelation. Of course I knew that those luscious caramels that destroy my will power were brown, and taste good, but it never clicked that it can be the same reaction that makes those steaks I love taste marvelous. Hell, I have made caramel dozens of times (it's easy) and watched it brown.
Yes, I am a moron, and not just with a capital M.
Grilled Tenderloin in a Salt Crust I have done something like this with chicken, and it worked rather well; juicy and tender and, interestingly, not over-salted. And since whole tenderloins often go on sale for not very much money, it's a good cut with which to try this technique.
By the way, while prime beef is often significantly better (and significantly more expensive) than choice, tenderloin is very lean, so buying prime makes very little sense. My local place often has whole tenderloin on sale for about $7/lb, which is a fine price, considering that the yield is great. No bones, and minimal loss from trimming the silverskin and the little bit of connective tissue.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I bought a temperature probe with alarm so that I could roast turkeys and other large chunks of flesh without constantly opening the oven to check the internal temperature. It was a pain in the ass, complete with preprogrammed temperatures that were not easily overridden. I have no interest in eating pork cooked to 175° or a beef roast charred to a crisp. The little beast had been programmed according to government guidelines which, as we all know or could surmise, are worthless. So a few years ago I bought this dandy little gadget from a company called Thermoworks.
They call it a "DOT," and it is ridiculously simple to use, and seems accurate. They also make Thermapens, which are ubiquitous among the chattering classes in the cooking world, but are actually marvelous tools. And expensive. Which is why I use slower but just as accurate probes that cost 1/4 of what they get for their fancy models.
And speaking of tools....your hands are the best ones around. Bare, not covered with gloves or holding some fancy gadget that cracks your eggs for you. Admittedly, I will grab a pair of surgical gloves when i slice ribs before serving, because the dry rub that I favor has an amazing affinity for underneath my nails, no matter how short I trim them. And mixed with pork fat it's even more tenacious, so gloves it is. But for most other jobs I use bare hands, which improves dexterity, and also gives me a sense of the raw ingredients. That sounds touchy-feely and New-Age, but it really isn't.
When I started paying attention to meat (shut up!), and not just slapping it on the grill, I found that I was able to be more discerning at the market. And picking up meat that needs some prep, such as hanger steaks, and paying attention to the way the grain runs and how much connective tissue there is and how much fat and how firm or tender it is before cooking is a good way of learning a little bit about how to cook different cuts. And this extends to other foods. Even vegetables!
Hank Shaw, of the marvelous Hunter-Angler-Gardener-Cook website is always a fun read. And his discussion of how to make Homemade Root Beer Syrup is a wonderful, far-ranging discussion of....everything.
If you like root beer, you like sassafras.
The aromatic bark, leaves and roots of this little tree are believed to be the first plant exported from North America to Europe, back in the late 1500s. All parts of this little tree make for delicious — and different — teas, sweets and other confections, and sassafras commanded exorbitant prices in Europe… until everyone started drinking sassafras tea to cure their syphilis. Soon no one wanted to be seen sipping their syphilis cure in public, and the sassafras trade withered.
More recently, sassafras has been getting a bad rap by the folks at the USDA, who say that the active component of sassafras, safrole, is a “known carcinogen.” Why? They gave tons of pure safrole to rats and the rats got cancer. Later researchers noted that, like the whole saccharine scare in the late 1970s, safrole seems to cause cancer in rats — but not people.
From root beer to politically-driven medical research to STDs...it's like he is reading our minds!
here's a recipe for Grilled Balsamic Chicken Wings that looks like it would be fun. it's definitely simple. Yes, they are selling their glaze, so ignore that part if capitalism offends you. And I wonder whether leaving the wings to marinate for six hours at room temperature is wise. The vinegar certainly inhibits microbial growth, but it isn't going to kill everything, and six hours is a long time considering that the doubling time of many bacteria is less than 20 minutes. 217 is a very big number.If any of you Morons want to do the experiment please report your findings. I will be refrigerating mine. And making a dipping sauce that contrasts the balsamic vinegar. Yeah....it will probably be Ranch dressing.
I have made this, and it tastes damned good, although the color of the end result is not particularly appealing, so don't be put off by it. And Giada has other attributes besides the color of her food....
As usual, there is a step that works fine, as long as you have someone else washing your dishes. It's one of my pet peeves: recipe writers, particularly celebrity chefs, have no sense that cleaning up is actually a requirement of most of their readers, who can't simply step away from the kitchen and relax with a glass of wine while their kitchen gnomes make everything sparkle.
So....one cookie sheet is plenty.
• Vegetable cooking spray
• 4 very thin slices prosciutto
• 12 (1/4-inch thick) slices rustic country bread
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
• 1 (12-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
• 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
• 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray
Lay the prosciutto in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until crispy. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
On another baking sheet, arrange the bread slices in a single layer. Using a pastry brush, brush the bread with 1/4 cup of the oil. Bake until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes.
In a food processor, combine the artichoke hearts, beans, cheese, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse until the mixture is chunky. With the machine running, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Spoon the artichoke mixture onto the crostini. Crumble the prosciutto and sprinkle on top.
Drizzle with oil and serve.
Close it up
Sunday Open Thread [CBD]
For those of you who don't want to go off topic in the Book Thread.
But...no gun talk.*
*What's the over/under on the first gun comment?
Sunday Morning Book Thread 09-25-2016: E Deplorobus Unum [OregonMuse]
Public Library, Bogota, Colombia, Interior and Exterior
(h/t to Rod for the library pic)
Good morning to all of you morons and moronettes and bartenders everywhere and all the ships at sea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread, where men are men, all the 'ettes are gorgeous, safe spaces are underneath your house and are used as protection against actual dangers, like tornados, hurricanes, and the election of Hillary Clinton, and special snowflakes do not last. And unlike other AoSHQ comment threads, the Sunday Morning Book Thread is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Even if it's these.
Via WeaselZippers, science! has discovered that words, not just some words, but words in general, indeed, the very concept of "words", are responsible for the oppression of women.
The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image by Leonard Shlain, who claimed, among other things:
"Literacy has promoted the subjugation of women by men throughout all but the very recent history of the West...Misogyny and patriarchy rise and fall with the fortunes of the alphabetic written word."
Teh stupid, it burns!
First off, hasn't the idea of some sort of primeval feminist paradise, a matriarchal golden age of Goddess worship and universal peace shown to be a complete load of hooey? Second, if the literate word is so oppressive to women, then why do women dominate the writing and publishing industries? Schlain hedges his sweeping statement with the qualifier "...all but the very recent history of the West", but if the oppression is so pervasive, there is no adequate explanation for why it should suddenly be different now. I think that Schlain has managed to get things precisely backwards: the truth is that literacy has actually *empowered* women and liberated them, because facility with words does not depend upon physical strength or agility, which favors males.
The 1-star reviews complain about his bad science and pseudo-science, and Schlain's admission that "By profession, I am a surgeon... I am by nature a storyteller" kind of gives the game away. He's telling a story, or constructing a myth, not conducting a scientific investigation. It's not the way things are, it's the way he would like them to be.
Also, one of the things words have allowed us to do is to accumulate medical knowledge. This enables us to learn about the human body so we can ameliorate the effects of disease, injury, and old age. So all of us, both men and women, can live healthier, happier lives. Because of words. This should have been something that the author, who was an associate professor of surgery at University of California, San Francisco, until his death in 2009, ought to have been able to appreciate.
The Saddest Book In The World
(h/t Anonosaurus Wrecks for the pic)
Help A Moron Out
The father of moron commenter and fellow OB cob CBD, who was a voracious reader of history, passed back in May, and CBD inherited his library of several hundred history books. Once he takes the ones he wants, he would like to know of any of you morons have any ideas what to do with the rest. He's ruled out donating them to his local library since he thinks they'll take a few and then pulp the rest. He's tried to donate them to Hillsdale College, but they didn't return his e-mail. And reselling them individually through Amazon or Alibris is a PITA he'd like to avoid.
So I'm putting this out there in the hopes that any of the MoronHorde™ might have any ideas.
The Old Gray Mare
A few weeks back, John Kerry had another flare-up of hoof-in-mouth disease:
...But if you decide one day you're going to be a terrorist and you're willing to kill yourself, you can go out and kill some people. You can make some noise. Perhaps the media would do us all a service if they didn't cover it quite as much. People wouldn't know what's going on.
Every time Kerry says something dumb like this, I always think, does he think he can make hay out of this, or is he just horsing around?
But even though we all had fun laughing at the horse's ass, I don't think what he said is completely ridiculous.
After all, when some jackass goes running out onto the field during an NFL game, they don't show his antics, because notoriety is what the jackass wants. I think this is NFL policy. Although, if the jackass in question was a 22-year-old hottie who just so happened to be naked, I suppose the policy might get suspended for a few seconds, especially if there's a Moron™ in the control room.
And would our equine SoS ever dare to suggest implementing his policy domestically? Would #BLM be the national pests that they are if they were just ignored?
I doubt it. I suspect that what Kerry chiefly wants ignored is stuff (like ISIS attacks) that reveals the magnitude of his failures, both his and those of his boss.
But along these lines, Anna Puma mentioned an old novel "where the media decides to ignore and ridicule terrorists instead of reporting on all the sensationalist gory details."
Originally published in 1979, the terrorist bad guys of Dean Ing's novel Soft Targets are planning a terrorist attack on the U.S., which, back then, was simply unpossible:
Hakim Arif stars as the leader of the Arab-backed El-Fatah band of terrorists who have in their group a Panamanian and - surprise - two Israeli members of a religious sect whose beliefs are so convoluted as to ally them with their own enemy. Maurice Everett is the FCC Chairman whose idea to have the country's major TV networks ridicule terrorists versus giving them the publicity they and their backers so crave, puts him and the co-creators of the idea at the top of El-Fatah's hit list.
It's an interesting idea, but only for back then, when terrorism was far from our shores. Not today. I can't imagine such a policy being implemented for something like 9/11, or even that Florida gay nightclub that got shot up.
On the other hand, as Martin Luther once said, "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn." At some point, these ISIS clowns need to be laughed at. Perhaps after a bunch of heavy ordnance gets jammed down their throats.
So I watched this interview of Gene Wilder, who passed away a few weeks back, and it turns out he was also a novelist. I never knew that.
His first novel is titled My French Whore: A Love Story, set during WWI:
It's almost the end of the war and Paul Peachy...enlists, and ships off to France. Peachy instantly realizes how out of his depth he is—and never more so than when he is captured. Risking everything, Peachy—who as a child of immigrants speaks German—makes the reckless decision to impersonate one of the enemy's most famous spies.
As the urbane and accomplished spy Harry Stroller, Peachy has access to a world he could never have known existed—a world of sumptuous living, world-weary men, and available women. But when one of those women—Annie, a young, beautiful and wary courtesan—turns out to be more than she seems, Peachy's life is transformed forever.
Veteran moron commenter Mary Poppins' Practically Perfect Piercing is reading the new Hitler bio, Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939, by Volker Ullrich.
Many previous biographies have focused on the larger social conditions that explain the rise of the Third Reich. Ullrich gives us a comprehensive portrait of a postwar Germany humiliated by defeat, wracked by political crisis, and starved by an economic depression, but his real gift is to show vividly how Hitler used his ruthlessness and political talent to shape the Nazi party and lead it to power. For decades the world has tried to grasp how Hitler was possible. By focusing on the man at the center of it all, on how he experienced his world, formed his political beliefs, and wielded power, this riveting biography brings us closer than ever to the answer.
Prof. Kershaw has a number of books on various facets of Nazi Germany and WWII, among them Luck of the Devil: The Story of Operation Valkyrie
The July 1944 Plot to kill Adolf Hitler was a desperate attempt by a group of senior officers to redeem Germany's honour and end the Second World War. They were heroic because they knew their chances of success were slight and that the result of their failure would undoubtedly be a terrible death. They wanted to leave a message for later generations: that there were Germans who understood the evils of Nazism and were willing to act against it...Luck of the Devil is...a brilliant account of just what happened in those fateful days at Hitler's Wolf's Lair headquarters, when his opponents came so astonishingly close to assassinating what is one of the modern era's most terrible figures.
It has always astounded me how these plots against Hitler failed due to fluke circumstances beyond all prediction or control. The phrased used in the title of Gershaw's book, Luck of the Devil, sums it up just about perfectly.
Books By Morons
I heard this week from a lurking moron who wants me give a shout out to his wife on the occasion of the publication of her first book, Into Thin Ayre: An Emerson Ayre Novel, which he describes as "an urban fantasy, an average woman in Ottawa (Canada) who has powers and responsibilities thrust upon her." The Amazon blurb says:
Emerson Ayre was a normal girl with a normal life until a supernatural inheritance leaves her questioning the nature of reality.
Forced into moonlighting in a job that she doesn't want and can't quit, Emerson joins the ranks of an elite group of women with special powers tasked with protecting the future of the planet.
And on a personal note, the author's husband added "I liked how she used all the stupid stuff her husband does as inspiration. Who knew I would be so useful?"
$2.99 on Kindle.
Moron lurker author Vince Milam has published the third of his "Challenged World" series, which I first mentioned here last November. The first two in the series, The Unknown Element and Pretty Little Creatures were released last years. The series follows a group of ordinary people who must rise above themselves to fight supernatural evil.
The third book, Gather The Seekers, continues the adventures of Cole Garza, sheriff of a small Gulf Coast town, who, along with his two companions, is once again drawn into a battle that is way bigger than he is:
The intrepid trio of Cole, Nadine, and Francois are joined by others with the same “radar” to hone in on evil activities – all wrapped around a tale of ISIS waging jihad in America. Jude Gill is a spiritual warrior from San Francisco with tats, spiked hair, and an attitude. She is joined by Luke Sikes from Virginia, another spiritual warrior. Luke is a former NFL linebacker and brings a spiritual ferocity to the tale. These two – Jude and Luke – join Francois the French priest as a potent trio of seekers. Every spiritual warrior needs secular help. Francois is again aided by Nadine and Cole, while Jude is assisted by Jean Murphy – a retired cop. Jean holds little truck with malfeasance, having been hardened by the mean streets of Oakland. Luke’s aide-de-camp is Nick Capellas, a Department of Homeland Security agent. Nick is young, handsome (“eye candy” according to Nadine), and unsure at best of the eclectic team he has been pulled into. Jihad in America.
Trigger warnings for absolute Good, absolute Evil, and for Christianity being true. Also, even though these books are a series, each can be read as a "stand-alone" novel. Vince assured me of this.
Today, Sunday, the price for the Kindle edition of this book has been reduced to 99 cents.
Welcome to Luna City, Karnes County, Texas … Population 2,454. This does not count the strangers come to town, searching for the fabulous Mills treasure-hoard, the seldom-seen Agua Dulce ghost-horsemen, and the mysterious lights spotted floating over the highway on one dark and moonless night.Ex-celebrity chef, Richard Astor-Hall (formerly Rich Hall, the Bad Boy Chef) has his hands full managing the Luna Café and Coffee … plus some outside catering jobs … and a fund-raising charity event in which he might be drafted into playing a much bigger part than he agreed on at the start. A touch of mystery, a bit of possible romance
Kindle version $3.99. There's also a dead tree edition.
Moronette 'votermom' is putting together a list of moron authors over on the Goodreads site which is intended to be accessible to non-members. Here is the list she has compiled so far. Let her know if there's an author she's missing.
Don't forget the AoSHQ reading group on Goodreads. It's meant to support horde writers and to talk about the great books that come up on the book thread. It's called AoSHQ Moron Horde and the link to it is here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/175335-aoshq-moron-horde.
So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at the book thread e-mail address: aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.
What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as you all know, life is too short to be reading lousy books.
Close it up
EMT 09/25/16 [krakatoa]
Heading to Philly for a relatively quick hitter, he said, tempting the fates.
Just close enough to drive. My general rule of thumb is anything inside 9 hours (that doesn't include NYC or NJ), I'll drive.
What's your favorite form of travel?
I loved taking the train between Amsterdam & London last year. That was far more enjoyable than I anticipated, and there's a very good chance I try Amtrak here some day to see how it compares.
Car is generally the best for me. Air travel has never recovered from the effects of 9/11. Hell, if time isn't a factor, Greyhound is probably more comfortable than air these days.
Overnight Open Thread (24 Sep 2016)
Are aliens avoiding Earth? Well, wouldn't you with all this dumbassery going on.
So Charlotte "protesters" chalk names on a sidewalk where a man was shot during the riots and they include the name of the stabbing ISIS terrorist from Minnesota? Yeah, that's not gonna help garner any sympathy. Not that I had any to give in the first place.
For inexplicable reasons, leftists believe that the violence wrought by angry minorities will benefit them, so they encourage it. They subsidize it. Obama has given his not-so-tacit permission to riot every time one of these tragic events occurs, from the Henry Louis Gates minor incident to the killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and the Dallas officers. And now BLM is rolling in money, $100M from "social justice" organizations. Soros gave them $33M.
What we see in Charlotte is what they pay for. They are not wasting their money in Tulsa because Oklahoma is in the bag for Trump.
Government study confirms weather stations are increasingly surrounded by asphalt, concrete and may show too much warming. Ya' think? Then on top of that, they make further adjustments to the readings to make it even warmer and cool down the past readings.
Happy Cat Month
Teacher of the Year
Well, when they aren't sexually assaulting students, they're beating them up when they owe them money for weed.
Epic Soul Factory
Hate Crime Hate Speech
Law enforcement may target hate crime by analyzing Twitter. Another reason to stay off of Twitter. Depends on the definition of hate speech no? Based on how Twitter unevenly applies its banning rules, this will be a mess as not all hate crimes and speech are the same.
America's future. College students across America are seeking emotional safety in ball pits. Yeah, you read that right. Ball pits.
Most Insane Aircraft
Heh. Someone asks the question, is light beer made by watering it down?
Oh, come on, I thought everybody knew how light beer was made. All you need is a bucket of regular beer, a thirsty horse, and an empty bucket.
Don't worry, that actually wasn't the answer but I did appreciate the humorous response.
Democrats and Hispanics
Oh man. Good luck with this. City Council postpones cat leash ordinance.
Alright, who names their dog "Murkin"?
Tonight's ONT brought to you by cats caught sitting like humans:
Cat pic via.
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to the cob of your choice or CDR M. Otherwise send tips to Ace.
Close it up
25 Years I've Been Flying This Airspace Sir, I've Never Had A Controller Talk To Me Like That [CBD]
Air traffic controllers and pilots going at each other, all while flying us around. It's funny, but damn, I would prefer not to have heard some of the idiocy on display here. [Below the break, because the hamsters are, let's be frank, sort of wimpy lately.]
So what kind of tussles has The Horde had with officialdom or waitresses, or clerks or Judges or whatever was maddening and amusing at the same time?
Hopefully none of the pilots or controllers did this....
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Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread 09-24-2016 [OregonMuse]
Good afternoon morons and moronettes, and welcome to the Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread, the only AoSHQ thread with content specifically for all of us chess nerds who pay homage in the temple of Caïssa, goddess of the chessboard. And, for those of you who aren't nerdly enough for chess, you can use this thread to talk about checkers, or other games, or politics, or whatever you wish, only please try to keep it civil. Nobody wants to get into a hockey brawl on a Saturday afternoon.
"Why must I lose to this idiot?"
Hillary ClintonAron Nimzowitsch
Nimowitsch said this after losing a crucial game to Friedrich Saemisch. Actually, he stood on a table and shouted it: "Gegen diesen Idioten muss ich verlieren?"
Nimzo's record against Saemisch was, at that point, 4-1. They played 5 more times after that and Nimzo won them all. That one loss must've hurt real bad.
Problem 1 - White To Play (110)
Hint: White mates in 2
3r4/1p5p/p1b3pk/R7/1P4B1/2Q3PP/1P1q1P2/6K1 w - - 0 1
Problem 2 - Black To Play (276)
Hint: Black wins a piece
White's queen is being attacked by the bishop on f5. White played 15.Qe2 to get out of the line of fire. That's a really bad move. Why? And for extra credit, what would be a better move?
r3qrk1/pp1n3p/2p2bp1/4pb2/2P5/1PN2NP1/P1Q2PBP/R4RK1 w - - 0 15
Chess Variant - Chess960
Chess gets regularly written off as being "played out". Meaning, we know what the good moves are, so what we're eventually going to get is an endless series of draws. A number of rules modifications have been proposed to avert this "draw death." Many involve additional new pieces and larger boards, to make the game more complicated. As I discussed last week, I generally don't care for them.
At some point, someone proposed modifying the opening position by randomly shuffling the back row pieces. But that creates oddities like the possibility of having both bishops on the same color square, and castling become problematic.
So, in 1996, former WC Bobby Fischer publicly announced his own variant, Chess960 (also called Fischer Random Chess) which was an improvement over the completely random "shuffle" chess. In Chess960, the only legal starting positions are those with bishops on opposite-colored squares, and the king placed between the rooks.
Under these constraints, it turns out there are 960 different possible starting positions to choose from. Hence the name of the variant.
Oh, and the black pieces need to be set up the same way as the white pieces, whatever configuration is chosen, so they're mirror images of each other, just like traditional chess.
The rules are pretty much the same. Castling is a bit different. Full rules are here.
I've actually played a few 960 games against my chess app, and I enjoyed it. 500 years of opening theory are completely gone, so you're on your own from move 1. Opening principles (develop your pieces, fight for the center, don't move your queen out too early, etc.) still apply. Depending on the starting position, there may be some unprotected pawns, so you'll have to deal with that. And I have found that the longer the game goes on, the more it starts to look like traditional chess. Perhaps a grandmaster with a more discerning eye wouldn't agree, but I can't tell the difference once I'm sufficiently into the middle game.
Here's an example of a Chess960 starting position.
The players need to check to see if there are any unprotected pawns, and sure, enough, in this position, there are a couple, namely, the 'a' and 'b' pawns. So, White might want to open with 1.f4, which opens an attack on Black's pawn at a7. Black can counter with 1...Nc6. This move has the advantage of not only defending the a7 pawn, but also prevents White from attacking the unguarded b7 pawn with 2.g3. Of course, instead of 2.g3, White can think about 2.Bh4, which puts pressure on Black's e7 pawn, which is only guarded by the King. 3.Qc5 would threaten a version of the Scholar's Mate. Or, White could just open more conventionally with 1.d4, which grabs a piece of the center and frees up the dark-square Bishop. There's all kinds of things you can do here.
If you want to try Chess960 for yourself, go to chess.org, click on "Play Against Computer" which will open a pop-up window, select "Chess960", then click on "Create Game".
I haven't found a way to play Chess960 against a computer opponent on Chess.com.
Problem 3 - White To Play (277)
Hint: White mates in 3
Control of the center is one of the great strategic principles of chess. And in this position, we see that White has pretty much established dominance in the center. So how does White cash in his strategic superiority for a huge tactical advantage?
2kr1b1r/pp6/2n1P1p1/3N3p/2BP1BP1/3K1Q2/PPP5/6q1 w - - 0 1
The 10 Most Important Moments in Chess History
Fun chess.com article. The "moments" are arranged in chronological order. I disagree with a number of their selections, but they'd be fun to kick around.
Problem 4 - White To Play (288)
Here's a game wherein my endgame-fu was weak. I'm playing White against moron commenter 'fluffy', and he's not letting me win, curse him. We reach this position:
4r3/2R3p1/1p1p1k1p/1PbB4/2P2P2/6P1/6KP/8 w - - 0 38
So we're in the endgame and I think it's looking kind of drawish. Despite me being up by a pawn, it's not clear to me how I can make progress: his rook on e8 looks dangerous and he's threatening to get into my face with ...Re2+ So I move 38.Bf3 to prevent this incursion. I think I did good, and the game was eventually drawn. But then I ran chess.com's computer analysis on the completed game and it labelled 38.Bf3 as a big blunder. It suggested a much better move, one that would lead to a winning advantage for White, i.e. me. So, what might this move, and the subsequent winning line, be?
Endgame of the Week (80)
4Q3/r6k/5K2/8/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1
KQ v KR is one of the most complicated endgames in chess. To draw, Black must keep King and Rook together. To win, White must pry them apart (usually by forcing Black into zugzwang where he has to move the rook away), and then apply a forking check to pick off the rook.
Is this a win, generally speaking? You advanced players can correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I had always understood that previously, it had been thought that KQ v KR is a win for White, but not all of the time. There exists certain KQ v KR positions wherein Black can draw. That's what they used to think. However, modern computer-aided analysis has determined that KQ v KR is a win for White in all cases. But we needed a computer to tell us this, that means the winning line in certain positions is so hidden that a mere human may not be able to find it over the board. And in a tournament, you'll have the "50 move" rule to contend with.
But that's not the case here. In this position, the work of forcing king and rook apart has already been done. Your job is to maneuver your Queen into a position where you can set up a fork on the rook. If you can do that, that's a won game. After you capture the rook, I'll assume you know how to checkmate a lone King with your queen and king. Because that's a basic checkmate you can do in your sleep, right? RIGHT?
Perhaps a good hint would be what the fork will look like, so it will give you something to aim at.
Hint: Don't give Black an opportunity to move his rook. If you do, then you've lost the thread of the problem. So you want the rook to remain of on a7, and the idea is to force the Black king to the 8th rank, either g8 or h8, and if you can then move Qb8+, you've got your fork
Problem 1 - White To Play (110)
Problem 2 - Black To Play (276)
15.Qe2?? is a blunder because of the reply 15...e4! which wins a piece. Both knights are under attack and White will lose one of them.
Knowing this, a better move for White, one that would block the attack, would be 15.Ne4. Then if Black increases the pressure with 15...Nc5, White has 16.Nfd2.
Problem 3 - White To Play (277)
This is very similar to one we had a couple three weeks ago:
Another fine example of Boden's mate.
Problem 4 - White To Play (288 )
I had overlooked 38.Rf7+. Well, I saw it, but I didn't really see any future in it, so I didn't play it. The computer, however, showed me otherwise:
38...Kg6 is Black' only move.
Why Kh7? Because the two other possibilities lead to quick checkmates:
So, back to the main line
40.f6 Kg6 (if 40...Rg8 then 41.Re7)
42.Rxe8 and White should win, being up an entire rook.
It's amazing how much I miss during games.
Endgame of the Week (80)
The idea is for White to work his Queen down to the b8-h2 diagonal, so he can deliver a forking check on b8.
Not 4...Kh8? because of 5.Qb8+
6.Qb8+ and wins
If Black instead chooses 2...Kh8, there follows
Note: that cryptic line of letters and numbers you see underneath each board diagram is a representation of the position in what is known as "Forsyth-Edwards Notation", or F.E.N. It's actually readable by humans. Most computer applications nowadays can read FEN, so those of you who may want to study the position, you can copy the line of FEN and paste into your chess app and it should automatically recreate the position on its display board. Or, Windows users can just "triple click" on it and the entire line will be highlighted so you can copy and past it into your chess app.
So that about wraps it up for this week. Chess thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to my yahoo address: OregonMuse little-a-in-a-circle yahoo dott com.
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Ace of Spades Pet Thread [Mis. Hum.]
Not sure if the dog's name is Muldoon or not. I suspect it is.
Welcome to the AoS Pet Thread. Enjoy your time here with other animal lovers and some PetMorons.
A Little of This. A Little of That.
Service dogs allowed. h/t Chi & Tucker
Bones for your dog a no-no? h/t L, Elle & Juno
Sparkly kitty h/t
MEET THE PETMORONS
Lurker Steve wants to show off his abused dogs. Horrible conditions they live in. Meet Lii, Vizla and Rinny, Blue Heeler. Rinny is a recent addition and looks like a trouble maker.
Lurker Rick from Texas sent this photo in. Maximus a true hunting Lab. Although Rick is from TX he and his buddy found themselves on a hunting trip to a snowy area.
Our first cat entry this week is Noobie. Noobie was adopted by Richard McEnroe. The cat answers to female names but is a neutered male. I think we know why.
Check out this pair. Mr. Bandit and Mr. Jett are 4 year old cats owned by jfk1967. They come from different cities but get along quite well per jfk1967. Thanks for sharing.
JT in KC submitted his dog Barky's photo. Per JT Barkley is short for William F. Barkley. Barkley is a Border Terrier and appears to be live a life of degradation.
So Smitty 27 is one of those people. Poor Bella the 3 year old German Shepherd Dog is dressed up like a poodle. All kidding aside Smitty, Bella is a very nice looking dog.
Thank you guys and gals for the compliments to the AoS Pet Thread. We can't spell S_ CCESS without U. So you have a tip, news story or a pet photo. Of course you can send them here, petmorons at gmail dot com.
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Saturday Gardening Thread: Preserving Autumn [KT]
Happy First Saturday of Autumn, 2016. Today, most of our content has been provided by two of the most enthusiastic gardeners in The Horde. Both of them, with their respective spouses, have been "putting things by" from the garden for winter enjoyment.
Gordon lives in Minnesota, where the summer growing season is not particularly long. He has written a book review and recounted his experiences using automated devices for making jams and jellies and also sauces. With photos.
I also decided to highlight the latest Idaho Banana Belt report by Pat* because Pixie led to delays in its posting and I think a lot of people missed it. I really enjoyed it.
First up is Gordon. I added some heading so we could keep our places. Take it away, Gordon!
Book Review, Foolproof Preserving
So I bought Foolproof Preserving: A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Condiments, and More by the folks at America's Test Kitchen. Like America's Team, they all wear royal blue stars on their silver aprons. Or maybe not; I doubt Christopher and his bow tie spend much time watching the NFL. As with any recipes from the Cook's Illustrated folks, they can be very fussy about ingredients and steps. But the ones I have tried out do work.
The nice thing for me is that everything in the book is small batch. Some yield only a cup. But most yield a couple of pints, to four quarts. They can be very specific about doubling; many of the recipes should not be, as they won't set properly. I found that the jam recipes tended to yield an extra pint or two, so have a couple of extra jars ready.
Being who they are, many of the recipes have been arranged to minimize the calories, or to require little or no added ingredients. The jam recipes use quite a bit less sugar than other recipes, and include a shredded tart apple. No pectin is needed, and the apple adds some structure and tartness.
There are lots of interesting pickle recipes also. Some are quick to make, and cannot be preserved. One, for pickled radish, takes only a few minutes--and has to be used within an hour. As is their way, there are lots of pictures and explanatory sections. I like this book quite a bit, and plan to keep trying some of their interesting ideas, such as Strawberry Basil Jam. It works nicely and can be served at dinnertime with beef.
We put up some Colorado peaches using their recipe. The yield on that was a little over half what we expected, but they are delicious. We have about a quart of heavy syrup left over, infused with amazing fresh peach flavor. It will not go to waste! Some has already been used to make a peach topping for ice cream.
Making jam with an automatic jam and jelly maker
Making jelly and jam can be painful. Constant stirring of a boiling, foaming mixture of fruit and sugar will get one splashed, and that does sting. Standing over the mixture while it cooks down is boring. But homemade jams and jellies, with fruit chosen for flavor and ripeness, well, it is so much better than even the expensive artisan stuff.
Comes the Ball FreshTECH Jam and Jelly maker, about $85 from Amazon. You can also order from the company store and pay more for it. This device sits 12 inches high and about 18 inches wide on the counter. It's simple and made for producing small batches. Best of all, add the pectin, the fruit, and (four minutes later) the sugar, and in 21 minutes your jam is ready to go into the jars.
Note the dab of butter.
Does it work? Yes, and quite well, actually. It really is that simple. The recipes in the manual are easy and produce good jam and jelly. The cleanup is quick and easy. Best of all, it does all of the stirring, and no burns are inflicted.
Of course, I have to try different things, so I used a recipe out of the Foolproof Preserving book. The volume of fruit was about 1/3 larger than the machine recipe, and I didn't use pectin because the recipe didn't.
I added five minutes to the cooking time for the extra fruit. After about ten minutes, everyone in the house will know you're making something fruity, because the machine has vents all around the lid edge. Inside, the paddle turns constantly and the mixture heats up quickly. A pat of butter, recommended, keeps it from foaming. And after 26 minutes, I had delicious peach jam. After processing, it didn't set up. It wasn't runny, just more spreadable than one expects jam to be. No one is complaining and it sticks to the biscuit just fine, thanks. But if the machine calls for added pectin, pectin it will get.
The recipe called for the skins to be left on.
The device has two settings; Jam and Jelly. Touch the button and the time pops up. More time can be added before starting. But one cannot add time at the end. The machine goes into a cool down mode, and will not restart for 30 minutes. Everything but the base unit can go in the dishwasher.
Yes, it's one more appliance, though most of the year it can sit quietly in storage. But I have my Jam Maker badge already, and don't need any more burns. I love this thing and it's going to get a lot of use.
And there is a sauce maker, too.
Like many gardeners, I am well-served in the tomato department at this time of year. Thankfully, Ball also has a tomato processor. (They also have an electric canner, and a more complex automatic canner that takes out any guesswork. I have not tested these, but they are rated highly.) The Harvest Pro Sauce Maker can crank through 15 quarts of tomatoes in 20 minutes, removing skins and seeds, and has a coarse screen also. It sells for about $135 on Amazon.
The company says to use it for strawberry jam, applesauce, ketchup, and butternut squash soup, and pico de gallo. So far I've only used it for sauce, and it does that very well. Tomatoes go in up top, and down below you get sauce, with the skins and seeds diverted, as well as the thinner juice. With the coarse screen in place, nearly all skins are removed, but a few bits may get through, and seeds do pass through. This does not bother me, but I know some folks are pretty fussy about the skins and seeds, so if you're one of these, don't use the coarse screen.
So the machine can eliminate much of the tomato labor. There's no need to blanch to get skins off, one can dispense with the seeding and even other ingredients like onions and garlic get processed down. The process is a bit messy; stuff will get onto the counter. But not much, and less than if I were working by hand.
There are recipes included for soups, tomato sauce, paste and marinara, baby food, jams and even barbecue sauce. The Harvest Pro configures differently to produce smoother and coarser results.
Making Hearty Pasta Sauce
I used the recipe for Hearty Pasta Sauce from the manual. It called for 12 pounds of Roma tomatoes, so naturally I used some Amish paste and some heirlooms and some of the dark cherries I have so much of. I quartered them (halved the cherries) and threw them in a roasting pan with onion, salt, garlic, and a solitary minced habanero pepper, because I have a bunch of those sitting around and I couldn't find any red pepper flakes. This roasted for an hour. I could have pulled the skins off the tomatoes by hand at this point, but I have a machine for that, right?
I used a slotted spoon to transfer the cooled mix into the hopper. It took less than five minutes through the coarse setting to produce nice sauce. The cook time was 15 minutes, adding oregano and then basil just before jarring it. Processing took about 55 minutes. We had seven pints (and a cup more) of very good sauce with a background of heat--just enough that you notice, but not enough to identify the source.
Coarse screen in use
What was left in the roasting pan was some liquid with bits of stuff. I ran that through the fine strainer. The result was (remember that habanero?) two quarts of deliciously spicy tomato juice. I can't drink, but even I wanted a bloody mary made with that stuff. It's very good on it's own. Since there's no preservatives, one has to drink it within about 3 days, or freeze it. We did both.
I admit I was skeptical about these machines. But the folks at Ball know home canning, and they have produced some good equipment. Making canning easier can only sell more jars and lids for them. They also have an introductory canning kit in stores, which includes a few jars, and a simple jar lifter one can use in a regular pot.
One thing about canning for those who have not tried it. It requires a lot of dish washing. Sometimes the same bowl or spoon gets washed several times. Plan ahead for this: if a grandchild is not available for free labor, then consider a visit to the Home Depot parking lot for a temporary worker. I've heard one can pay such folks with jars of salsa, but that may be just a rumor.
Another Bonus! Salsa Recipe
Gordon's wife kindly sent us her recipe for cherry tomato salsa, too. Looks yummy as cooking starts.
Vonnie's Three Chip Cherry Tomato Salsa
It's called three chip because those of tender tongue have to take three bites before they realize it's not going to kill them.
Yield is 6 to 8 pints
12 cups cherry tomatoes any variety or mixed
Halve or quarter the tomatoes and remove stems and seeds. Pack them tightly in the measuring cup.
3 cups red onion, chopped
18 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 poblano peppers
8 large or 10 small to medium jalapeno peppers
2-3 habanaro peppers
All peppers should be seeded and chopped. One might want gloves for this step.
1 cup cilantro leaves, packed
2 tablespoons salt
The juice from 2 limes
1 cup cider vinegar
Put all ingredients in a large heavy pot and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, tomatoes should be tender. Take off heat and run immersion blender through until tomatoes are mostly broken up, or process in food processor in batches. Put back on medium heat for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Put in prepared pint jars and process in canner for 15 minutes.
This calls for salsa music! And dancing!
Those who are into improvisation should be careful about improvising with Vonnie's salsa recipe, particularly by omitting the vinegar. I don't think this would be safe without a pressure canner.
Last Week's Idaho Banana Belt Report
Gardening Morons and Moronettes who don't check back for late comments on Sunday (or even Monday) may be missing something. For example, many of you may not have seen the Idaho Banana Belt Report that Pat* posted quite late, after running into some difficulty with Pixie. Having once been banned myself, I was afraid that the Banning Times would fall upon the thread before I could respond
I always appreciate her reports, but I was especially jazzed about her report last week because of what she was doing when the thread went up:
Husband and I ran a rifle marksmanship training/American history event for the group we volunteer for, "Revere's Riders" (TM or copyright or something). Taught some 15-year-olds 3-position shooting, and about the history of April 19, 1775.
Those of you who don't come back to read late comments may wonder how Pat* could live in a banana belt in Idaho. This rather droll term does not mean she can grow bananas outdoors. But the weather is milder and the growing season is longer in low-elevation areas near the Snake River than in other parts of Idaho. She could probably grow some Giant Banana Squash or Banana Melons there, but those are topics for another day. Even those in shorter-season climates can grow a banana plant in an aquarium.
Pat* mentioned that her irrigation water will be turned off not too long from now. Many cities in the reservoir-studded Intermountain West have dual water systems: one for potable household water and one for irrigating yards and gardens. "Don't drink out of the hose" may mean more in these cities than elsewhere. I was wondering if cities in other regions have similar dual water systems.
I grew up in the Intermountain West where Pat* now lives, and my Dad gave us "scientific tour guide" commentary on geological features of the areas we were passing through on family vacations. I learned quite a bit about the Colorado and Snake rivers. They allow farming and gardening in much of the West.
There is a lot to see along the Snake River, from the Grand Canyon of the Snake in Wyoming to Hell's Canyon on the Idaho-Oregon border. The Snake and Yakima rivers merge with the Columbia in the Tri-Cities area of southeastern Washington State. Shoshone Falls, near Twin Falls Idaho, is higher than Niagra Falls. It once marked the end of the line for ocean-going fish like salmon and sturgeon swimming up the Snake River. I think this unusual photo is of the Snake winding its way through the Snake River Plain in Idaho. If there is another location on the Snake that looks like this, let me know.
Dad also taught us about some dramatic events caused by Climate Change in the prehistoric past. The most striking one involving the Snake River was the Lake Bonneville Flood. This sudden, cataclysmic flood left huge boulders strewn along the Snake River, among other topographical changes. Does your yard or garden feature boulders?
Jammin' in the Banana Belt
Weiser, Idaho is a small farming community in Idaho's Banana Belt, near the confluence of the Weiser and Snake rivers on the Idaho-Oregon border. It is the home of the National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest and Festival. This style of music was a precursor to Bluegrass. There is now some crossover with Bluegrass and Jazz Fiddling, but contest rules, last I heard, still specify that contest tunes must be "danceable". No "fancy tunes" like Orange Blossom Special are allowed.
I saw my sister compete in the Junior Division one year. Those who go expecting stagecraft at the contest will be disappointed, but there are events meant for an audience, too.
Many musicians attend primarily for the jam sessions around campers and in taverns between and after contest sessions. There are a lot of farmers and gardeners among them. A memorable respite from technology and glitz, with genuine people.
I am not sure that a blues song is supposed to be this happy. But I like it.
Pat* mentioned planting Lily of the Valley under a linden tree. I think caution is warranted when putting concrete rings around some trees, but it is time for people in some climates to plant fall bulbs and such.
Anything new going on in your garden? Are you harvesting? Preserving any produce for winter?
Hope some nice things happen for you this week. Stay cozy.
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Thread below the Gardening Thread: VDH on Today's Elites [KT]
Why are we so angry at today's elites? Earlier in the month, Victor Davis Hanson chose four characteristics of today's elites that make us hot under the collar. This is the fourth:
. . . the people feel that elites do not follow the laws.
Do you agree with his assessment? Can you think of other worrisome characteristics of today's elites?
How are today's elites different from those of, say, 1896?
Have a great weekend.
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Saturday Morning Weird News [Mis. Hum.]
The world continues to be weird. Here are a few things that should entertain you.
- So how is that socialized medicine working for you?
- There's gold in them
- Does he have too much time on his hands?
- Botox for your manly parts.
- Never punch a beaver. NEVER.
- Does it really matter who made the ruler?
- Now that is a throne.
- Wonder if he has a get out of jail free card?
- Dumb sh!t award winner.
- New grenade, first in 40 years.
Enjoy your beverages as you discuss these news items or anything else you can think of in this open thread. Remember, no running with sharp objects and play nice with others.
Have a great weekend.
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The Morning Report 9/24/16 [J.J. Sefton]
Good Saturday morning, gang. Was hoping for a quiet weekend without 'splodey Presto's, but instead we have a free range psycho with a gun, to Chris Hayes' delight. Feh. Have a better one!