Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Place to Pause


  1. Wearing my jeans on Denim Day. Sexual assault survivors are first. Judges and others who assume rape victims somehow assist or are otherwise complicit in their own rape are dead last and, in this writer's opinion, deserve to be horsewhipped.

    On the topic of the Periodic Table: I'm now reading a 1978 essay collection by Isaac Asimov called "Quasar, Quasar, Burning Bright." The first couple chapters dealt with the PT, well, sort of. He talked about Period VII, the sorts of elements that can be expected to be found there and their properties and relation to elements in earlier periods, and the elements that actually are found there and their properties and relation to elements in previous periods. All is not now crystal clear, but the Stygian gloom has been slightly lightened.

    I have a major problem. Fun Trivia has locked me out...altogether. Every page on the site I try to enter or reload gives a 403 Forbidden error. Don't know what to do. Can't even get into the site to check if my membership has lapsed, though I don't think it has. Pretty sure I'm on auto-renew. I'm frantic!

  2. Cat--I have never been to the site, but when I go to I get a big blue-green screen with a tab title that indicates that I am at the right place. So a gremlin has probably infiltrated their site and affects everyone, not just you.

    How Fox News’ Toxic Culture Is Finally Catching Up To It[Click] I particularly like the part about the federal securities fraud investigation.

    Twitter revenues decline for first time as advertising falls away[Click] How long can they last if they have never turned a profit?

    Driverless pods plot new course to overtake humans[Click]

    Now here’s an interesting archeology story:
    Could history of humans in North America be rewritten by broken bones?[Click] Green bone fractures in a spiral pattern, unlike dry bone--so bulldozers are most unlikely. It occurs to me to wonder if the large fauna of North America at the time were significantly more dangerous to humans than those of Australia. Terror birds are generally accepted to have been extinct by then, more's the pity. If there was insufficient C-14 to date the samples, that points to an age of more than 50,000 years--which is also far older than 15,000 years. I see no reason to assume that a boatful of hunters/fisherfolk couldn't have been carried out to sea and made landfall in "California;" consider the Jomon people swept out to sea off Japan who made landfall in Peru. And there is no reason to suppose either that such a group would be large enough to endure, or that there were females of reproductive age in the group. The only problem would whether they had watercraft, and there is evidence of such at the time.


    1. Thanks for checking FT for me, Alan. Curiously, I feel slightly less bereft thinking the site itself is down, rather than I've been singled out for exclusion. It's still terrible news, but not my personal fault or problem. And I know the lords of Quizzyland are working very hard to fix whatever the problem may be.

      Now I'm off to read those articles.

      P.S. Just found out that YouTube has slapped a worldwide block on five of my videos, all of them with in excess of one thousand views, one with well over nine thousand views! It always bugs me mightily when they do that, but on very successful/ popular videos it's especially aggravating! Once they blocked one on a friend's channel that I played all the time. So I grock the agro from both sides.

    2. Apropos of "Silicon Valley Lawmaker Ro Khanna's $1 Trillion Plan to Save Trump Country," which I've just now started reading: Came across a great exchange. In 1954 an auto exec was showing Walter Reuther around an automated assembly line. He pointed to one of the robots and said (no doubt with a sneer), "How many of these guys do you think carry union cards?" to which Reuther replied, "How many do you think buy Fords?"

      If I read that on this blog, please excuse me. My brain is feeling a trifle fried at the moment.

    3. In the anthro story, I must admit I made a very obviously sexist assumption. It might just as well have been that there were in the boatload of folk that got blown away down to California no MALES of reproductive age.


  3. Cat--Fun Trivia is back up.


    1. I love that you checked on this, Alan!!!

    2. Still can't get in. But it finally occurred to me to send them a message on their FB page. They responded quickly, asking for my user name. (Like I said, sort of fried brain here). Currently awaiting a response.

    3. My pleasure.--Alan

  4. Today VT*Grandson tuned 4 years old. He's such a bright light. 🌟💙🌟

  5. Replies
    1. I know. Rather a novel concept, isn't it? Free speech for all and obeying the law?

      While Colter makes me violently sick, she has a right to express her opinions and those who wish to listen to her have a right to do so in peace. I absolutely reject violence, though I well understand the temptation to indulge in it. It's counterproductive. Nice to see Bernie get a good word in the article.

    2. On a somewhat different note, I continue to shake my head at the fixed conception in so many quarters that UC Berkeley is some sort of left-wing redoubt; it hasn't been for a long time. The People's Republic of Berkeley is no more than a minor historical note. And what happened to simply ignoring a speaker one does not approve of? I don't know, but wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the thugs are not students; and the possibility of a false-flag operation does occur to me. Has anyone noticed any investigation of such possibilities?


    Robert Reich - Posts
    255-324 minutes

    One way dictators take over democracies is by threatening the independence of a nation’s courts.

    Connect the following dots:

    1. In January, Trump blasted a federal judge for staying his travel ban. “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” he tweeted.

    2. Then, after the judge made the stay permanent, Trump made it a personal vendetta: "Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”

    3. Last week, after another federal judge issued a nationwide injunction blocking Trump’s travel ban, Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, said “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power.”

    4. On Tuesday, after another federal judge blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a threat to take away funds from sanctuary cities as an unconstitutional abridgement of Congress’s power to determine how dollars will be spent, the White House issued a statement condemning the judge as “unelected,” and charged that “this San Francisco judge's erroneous ruling is a gift to the criminal gang and cartel element in our country, empowering the worst kind of human trafficking and sex trafficking, and putting thousands of innocent lives at risk. This case is yet one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.”

    5. On Wednesday, Trump said he was considering breaking up the court of appeals for the 9th Circuit, in which these three federal judges hear and decide cases. "There are many people who want to break up the 9th Circuit," he said. "It's outrageous." The 9th Circuit Court covers Arizona, California, Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and Hawaii, as well as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Eighteen of the court's 25 judges were appointed by Democratic presidents.

    It is the job of the Justice Department to provide a reasoned case for overruling a federal judge’s decision. In condemning federal judges and threatening to break up the 9th circuit court of appeals instead, Trump is attacking the foundations of the separation of powers in the Constitution.

    This assault on the federal judiciary is an abuse of Trump’s constitutional authority – yet another ground for impeachment.

    What do you think?