Monday, April 16, 2018

'Dignity of the office:" Trump hires hookers to play pee games

Not judging perversions but hiring hookers on Moscow to defile the very bed the Obamas slept in with piss play just sounds funny and reveals more evidence of Trump's deranged mind.
We regret to inform you that James Comey, the former director of the FBI, says it’s “possible” that a pee tape involving Donald Trump and Russian prostitutes actually exists. 
The most infamous section of the Steele dossier, which was full of salacious claims involving Trump and Russia, included a totally unverified claim that the now-president paid prostitutes in 2013 to pee on a Moscow hotel bed where Barack and Michelle Obama once slept.
Or you can read gory details of the dossier itself:

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Maybe former taxi drivers can work washing autonomous vehicles

Say you live on a tree lined street with no garage or you drive the second car in family with one car garage, happy to go to work in your autonomous vehicle, reading your newspaper and sipping your coffee.  You push the start button and the sweet engine fails to turnover; you only get a warning light and polite computer voice saying, "You are screwed.  You have bird doodoo on one of your Light Detection and Ranging Sensors (LIDAR).  Good luck figuring out which one."

OK, made that last one up.  Nevertheless, point remains these dream cars depend on functioning sensors.  Plus, you wonder how these things can reliably sense stuff like other cars in a driving, tropical FL downpour, which we real men tend to drive on through.  You just slow down, pray, turn on your lights, and watch for people ahead braking. 
....There are a range of problems with putting a self-driving vehicle through a traditional car wash, experts say.
For example, soap residue or water spots could effectively "blind" an autonomous car. A traditional car wash's heavy brushes could jar the vehicle's sensors, disrupting their calibration and accuracy. Even worse, sensors, which can cost over $100,000, could be broken.
A self-driving vehicle's exterior needs to be cleaned even more frequently than a typical car because the sensors must remain free of obstructions. Dirt, dead bugs, bird droppings or water spots can impact the vehicle's ability to drive safely....
(S)elf-driving car companies such as Toyota, Aptiv, Drive.AI and Uber described to CNN that they use microfiber cloths along with rubbing alcohol, water or glass cleaner for manual cleanings.
For snowy and icy conditions, Uber has a worker apply windshield washer fluid with a squirt bottle to its camera lenses. A puff of air is then used to remove whatever residue remains.  (Emphasis added)
Nowzabout Buffalo after a few feet of snow?  Do you want to set your coffee and paper in your car and whip out your cleaner, microfiber cloth, and can of compressed air to clean your sensors before you drive?  Self cleaning sensors drive up price keeping vehicles our of hands of the unwashed masses.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Donald Trump Wig Reveal - Full Video

Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, what do I have to live for?

Law Professor Jonathan Turley claims that pampering a group of goats lifted the "Billy Goat curse," which perhaps prevented the Cubs from winning it all for several generations.  Seems as good an explanation as any.  So to lift the curse:
The four goats were rubbed down, feted and pampered. One particularly adorable goat named Neptune was passed around like a goat version of the Adoration of the Magi. When it began to storm, we refused to risk insulting the goats again and brought them into the house. The connections between Cub and goat were so strong that we were told that farm would name the new expected goat Cubbie in celebration.
I have struggled through the years to teach my four kids that being a Cubs fan is character building. It is easy to be a New York Yankees fan and be fed a constant diet of pennants like peanuts. But being a Cubs fan is a test of faith. Indeed, when you spot another Cubs fan, there is an instant bonding. The Cubs stand for the idea that there is something transcendent and liberating in groundless hope. You stand by your team like you stand by your God, your family, your country … in that order.
Now what does this year and the arm of Yu Darvish hold for the Cubs?  Grab the beers, boys, and let's enjoy the season, billy goats be damned!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Even Worse than We Feared: Trump Department

Slew of unfavorable stories lately about  the current occupant of the White House.  Let me give you snippets from Daily Kos and others too in link strew:
     No one can say that Donald Trump’s campaign staff wasn’t united — by the idea that      Trump was an idiot who really, really shouldn’t be president.
    The only thing worse than listening to Trump’s moronic statements is listening to              everyone else.          scenes-at-the-Trump-White-House-Uglier-meaner-and-simply-dumber-than-you-can-     imagine


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Another Holiday Tradition: Blood, gore, a Yeti, decapitated penguins, and more

If you have a twisted bone in your  body, you might like Bloody Penguin Bashing where you get a Yeti to decapitate penguins, aim for landmines, and score  points based on how far the severed penguin heads fly.

Penguins are funny, dammit; any penguin is a funny penguin.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Shoe Drops on the Federal Bench: Judge Alex Kosinski edition

At least, this scumbag judge had the decency  to retire of his rather misplaced apology.  To characterize unwanted touching--grabbing of females' breasts--only rings hollow, self justifying, and deflecting from his personal and moral failings, far above offensiveness of his particular acts

[Alex Kozinski, a distinguished federal appeals court judge, announced his retirement Monday, effective immediately, after sexual misconduct allegations continued to dog the once-respected justice. 
In a statement released by his attorney, the 67-year-old Kozinski partially apologized for his behavior but also tried to frame parts of it as a misunderstanding. 
"I've always had a broad sense of humor and a candid way of speaking to both male and female law clerks alike. In doing so, I may not have been mindful enough of the special challenges and pressures that women face in the workplace. It grieves me to learn that I caused any of my clerks to feel uncomfortable; this was never my intent," he wrote.
"For that, I sincerely apologize," he added.]
Mistakes my ass; he acted like a lecherous old man entitled by his lifetime appointment to the federal bench, another one of Ronnie Raygun's mistakes.  Maybe with a strong mother and 2 cherished sisters, my judgment and actions never stooped to the level described by various women witnesses.

Thank God as She must have taught me better.

[Nine more women say that Alex Kozinski — a high-profile judge who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit — subjected them to sexual comments or other conduct, including four who say he touched them inappropriately....
The new allegations — which span decades and include not just those who worked for Kozinski but also those who encountered him at events — bring the total number of women accusing the judge of inappropriate behavior to at least 15.]

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Brave New World: Self driving cars and the Uber future

When will people admit the human brain functions as an excellent decision making organism?  Sure, the IBM supercomputer Watson defeats human grandmasters at chess but that game functions within a finite number of squares with proscribed manners of movement for each type of piece.  Real life involves an almost infinite set of decisions on a second by second basis.  As my old boss--John Marhoefer used to say, computers could never serve as toll collectors because collectors have to think instantaneously and even deal with people asking directions.

Or as I'd put it, you can't program a computer to deal with stupid.  Stupid is infinite.  People don't always drive with caution or obey rules of the road.   You can't program for what you cannot foresee.

Excellent example of car using Tesla Autopilot:

Joshua Brown's Model S after the crash.

[The driver of a Tesla Model S killed in a crash west of Williston, Florida, while using the car's autopilot feature was speeding, according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board. 
Released Tuesday, the preliminary report determined that the Tesla was traveling at 74 mph on a Florida highway with a 65 mph speed limit when it struck a truck pulling a semitrailer. "System performance data also revealed that the driver was operating the car using the advanced driver assistance features Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer lane keeping assistance," the report reads. "The car was also equipped with automatic emergency braking that is designed to automatically apply the brakes to reduce the severity of or assist in avoiding frontal collisions." 
"Traffic-aware cruise control" and "autosteer lane keeping assistance" are Tesla's terms for the components that make up its autopilot, a driver-assist feature that the company calls an incremental step toward self-driving cars. When a driver turns on traffic-aware cruise control, he or she sets the speed. The car then adjusts speed according to traffic conditions.]
Unclear from the photo below, also from the Buzzfeed article linked above whether the truck in the picture below pulled out or turned in front of the Tesla.  In either case, the result came out the same.  The driver died.  The "automatic emergency braking" feature failed, evidently.
Where the Tesla hit the semitrailer.
National Transportation Safety BoardWhere the Tesla hit the semitrailer.
So Uber and Uber programmers of the company purport to transport us to a brave new world where we all jump in our self driving cars, program in a destination, and get whisked safely away while we read a book or something.
[But not so fast, says MIT professor Jonathan How. “It’s going to take a long time… There’s going to be an expectation where you see cars at more autonomous levels than Tesla, for example, in that time frame, but they will only start to appear in limited deployments.” 
Steven Shladover, of University of California Berkeley’s PATH (Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology) program, agrees: “One might be able to drive in an autonomous vehicle in a very limited set of conditions ... but to get to a vehicle that can get everywhere, that people can ride is all sorts of weather conditions, is not something that’ll happen in my lifetime," he says. "And I don’t think it’ll happen in your lifetime, either. 
Self-driving cars may not take over our roads by 2020, or even close to that, but they will become more and more prevalent in, How believes, “limited deployments,” like in certain cities, campuses, and airports. And while the world’s biggest tech and automotive companies run real-world tests to make autonomous driving a reality, these robot cars are going to drive slowly, cautiously — and make us a little carsick — until they can learn to drive like humans.]                                                        

In real life, people run red lights.  In Orlando, FL--where I lived--green lights meant little as people always seemed to try and make it through intersections at the last nano second of yellow traffic lights.

Not even the smartest smart car can predict a careless driver trying to make it across a 3 lane road when the first 2 lanes have stopped; although to practice safety on the road one ought to stop where the other 2 lanes did and peek around for someone trying to sneak across the road, which the autonomous Uber car in a Tempe, AZ, crash did not:

So y'all wait for your utopian future of self driving cars on autopilot; as for me, I'll put my faith in my faulty fellow humans--and toll collectors.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

President Dump causes terrorism

So instead of bestriding the world as a Colossus, he cowers as a pipsqueak riven by doubts and insecurities,  Once again we see a man who stands for nothing, has no principles, and lets filthy money determine the worth of anything.  This mere man, with no beliefs and values, made his money with inherited wealth and little work used government grants for all his projects and now views himself as a self made man.


Fie on the on thee and your ill gotten gains and the office to which you've risen besides losing the popular vote by 2.86 million.  Only through the vagaries of the undemocratic and regressive electoral college did this ignoramus, this braggart and buffoon become the "leader" of this free country, forgetting he ought to become leader of all instead of his base, which disintegrates day by day as people see how hollow he stands, like a diseased elm rather than mighty oak, squandering the lives and very blood of OUR soldiers in a vain attempt to prove himself as commander in chief.

[Mr. Trump is redefining what it means to be president. He sees the highest office in the land much as he did the night of his stunning victory over Hillary Clinton — as a prize he must fight to protect every waking moment, and Twitter is his Excalibur. Despite all his bluster, he views himself less as a titan dominating the world stage than a maligned outsider engaged in a struggle to be taken seriously, according to interviews with 60 advisers, associates, friends and members of Congress.]

He moves the embassy of the United States to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem with a stroke of a pen, forgetting the claim of Palestinians to the city as their capitol and ignoring the violence surely to follow.  Make no mistake; President Dummkopf engendered this latest round of violence between the dispossessed Palestinians and the occupying Israelis.

[Israeli security forces used lethal force against suspected attackers in more than 150 cases, including in circumstances that suggest excessive force and at times extrajudicial executions. Overall, between January 1 and October 31, 2016, Palestinians killed at least 11 Israelis, including 2 security officers, and injured 131 Israelis, including 46 security officers, in the West Bank and Israel. Israeli security forces killed at least 94 Palestinians and injured at least 3,203 Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel as of October 31, including suspected assailants, protesters, and bystanders, according to the United Nations....

Before her arrest, Abu Zneid told Al Jazeera the protesters were determined to "never give up".

"This is our country and we will save it," she said. 'We will save our capital and our sovereignty here in Jerusalem."

Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher, reporting from the protest in Occupied East Jerusalem, said a series of running confrontations erupted after Israeli security forces blocked a small group of protesters from marching.

"It started as a small peaceful protest, a handful of people who wanted to make sure their voices could be heard," he said.

"But their way was blocked and they were forceably pushed back by Israeli police and soldiers who said the protesters had no permit to march and they were blocking the road."

As crowds gathered by the side of the street, police sent in officers on horseback to break up the crowds, creating widespread anger and panic.

"The riders even used their whips. It really was quite frightening for the people standing here, watching these horse racing towards them,...

Israel's closure of the Gaza Strip, particularly restrictions on movement of people and on outgoing goods, continued to have severe consequences for the civilian population, separating families, restricting access to medical care and educational and economic opportunities, and perpetuating unemployment and poverty. Approximately 70 percent of Gaza’s 1.9 million people rely on humanitarian assistance....]   emphasis added

This will cause more terror attacks in the United States.  Nevertheless, the most heavily guarded man in the US fears not for his safety n..o.r. cares a whit about the safety of his fellow. citizens.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Christms miracle: a Democrat wins in Alabama, sanity reigns!

 [It is hard to get too intoxicated by a slim victory over an atrocious candidate, a suspected sexual abuser with bigoted politics, but Alabama, the Senate and the nation will be a whole lot better off with Mr. Jones than with Roy Moore. Alabama's deep-red politics argued against Mr. Jones's chances.]

[If the result was a huge embarrassment for the President it was a similar blow for his former strategist, Steve Bannon, who had become one of Mr Moore’s most outspoken supporters and who was hoping to use what he believed would be a victory in Alabama, to drive the momentum for similar so-called insurgent campaigns in 2018.]

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Neil Young/Promise of the Real: "Big Box Store," "Alabama"

Damn, I hate big box stores, those which have driven my local hardware stores out of business.  Thankfully, my local Ace hardware store in Orlando bought out and built upon the decades of good will and reputation of Branneky Hardware on South Orange Avenue.  It lies right by a Target where I have shopped at for foodstuffs and cheaper clothes

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real – sometimes referred to as POTR – is an American rock group based in California.[1] The band consists of Lukas Nelson (vocals/guitar), Anthony Logerfo (drums), Corey McCormick (bass), and Tato Melgar (percussion). Lukas is a son of country music legend Willie Nelson.
The band backed Canadian musician Neil Young on his thirty-sixth studio album, The Monsanto Years, and the tour which followed.

And damnit, Neil wrote in his autobiography that he received American citizenship.  HE'S AN AMERICAN. 

A Modern Prophet, The Nightwatchman: "The Iron Wheel"

Imagine that, a rock artist writes songs with a deep knowledge of biblical prophecy and absolute compassion for poor and downtrodden among us.

Tom Morello does not have to do this.  He could, as a seminal member of acts such as Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, sit back and count fat stacks of cash. Instead, he uses his guitar and voice to advocate for social change, to advocate for the poor.

Do you really think President Dump gives a shit about the poor, the homeless man who camps out in front of his palatial Trump Towers?

I think not.

Yet the current occupant of the White House stands not alone but as a symbol of the plutocrats who run our country.  They feed off greed and suck the very marrow from the bones of the working class.  People deeply understand this and perhaps this very resentment and and led a small fraction of voters in key states to give the  Electoral College: an undemocratic institution if ever there were one.

Hillary won the popular vote by 3 million; three million more souls voted for the female candidate than the male bully and braggart, the malignant narcisist

Those in the land with streets “paved with gold” who exploit workers to create their pseudo-paradise, and then choose not to share their wealth with the poor and needy, must realize God befriends the vulnerable. Ironically, this positive image from Revelation (“the street of the city is pure gold” [Rev 21.21]), a book concerned with socio-economic injustices (see e.g., 6.6), serves to identify those responsible for those very abuses.

6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds[a] of wheat for day’s wages,[b] and six pounds[c] of barley for a day’s wages,[d] and do not damage the oil and the wine!”  Revelations 6:6      
21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.  Revelations 21:21 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pearl Harbor Day

On this day in 1941, the Japanese Imperial Navy launched a tactically brilliant attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at dawn on Sunday morning, catching the American fleet completely by surprise.

American text books will usually describe the attack as a "sneak" or surprise attack.  The first description plays into the ethnic depiction of Asians as sneaky and untrustworthy.  Nevertheless, it also shows the danger of making decisions in a vacuum or without considering capabilities of opposing forces.  The Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration took as WWII approached a series of actions designed to keep the natural resources required for waging war: rubber, oil, and iron.

Japan, as an island nation, needed to import all resources necessary for war and viewed the actions of FDR as tantamount to a declaration of war.  So when the US ceased oil and gasoline exports to Japan in July 1941.  This and US refusal to meet diplomatic terms led the Japanese led to the Japanese fleet setting sail towards Hawaii.  Save for the fact American aircraft carriers had already sailed out on maneuvers, the Japanese might have won a strategic as well tactical victory.

By the same token, modern US leaders like President Dump overestimate the reach of American power and underestimate the possibility of adverse consequences known as "blowback") (Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire .)  Thus. moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem paints a target on every Americans' back across the world: bases, embassies, ships, and civilians.