Wednesday, October 1, 2014
TOKYO—It was a clear autumn Saturday, the perfect time for the legions of Japanese hikers who enjoy mountain climbing. Mountain guide Shigeki Tamura was among the hundreds of climbers on 3,067-meter (10,062-foot) Mount Ontake that day. The fall foliage season was reaching its peak, and he was helping a television crew capture the volcano's natural beauty.
What they filmed instead was a huge cloud of volcanic smoke billowing out of the mountain's crater, spilling down its summit toward them in a noxious, black wave. On Wednesday, authorities retrieved more bodies from the peak and said the death toll rose to 48.
DALLAS — Health officials in Dallas are monitoring at least five schoolchildren in North Texas who came into contact with a man found to have Ebola virus, after he became sick and infectious.
The authorities also said that an early opportunity to put the patient in isolation, limiting the risk of contagion, may have been missed because of a failure to pass along critical information about his travel history.
It's good to know this so we can stop the next global pandemic.
Some U.S. nuclear-warhead components, scheduled for disassembly in the next year, have gotten at least a temporary new lease on life. The reason: possible use in defending the Earth against killer asteroids.
That bit of information was tucked deep inside a 67-page Government Accountability Office report on the National Nuclear Security Administration, which manages the U.S. atomic-weapons arsenal. The warhead components, containing highly enriched uranium, are being retained "pending a senior-level government evaluation of their use in planetary defense against earthbound asteroids," the April report said.
An NNSA spokesman declined to comment.
Much about the human animal remains inspiring and worth preserving, but humanity's redeeming qualities are easy to forget while watching the climate debate. Except for certain questions about the Prophet in Muslim lands, no subject more frequently brings out the worst in people, as it has Google's Mr. Schmidt.
Next to the military, the Secret Service is probably the most highly regarded institution within the executive branch. Or it was.
Well, not exactly. The uniformed secret service has long been, not sure what to call them, maybe the Keystone Kops with a very bad attitude. Back in the day, I was walking to work in the OEOB as it was called, sometimes The White House, the White House being called the West Wing. Anyway, (apologies to those who have heard this story) I saw a homeless guy walking down the street carrying what was obviously a burn bag, the distinctive paper bag secret documents were disposed of in. I thought to myself "that's a burn bag. He's not supposed to have a burn bag. I wonder if I should say anything." I decided saying something would mean having to interact with the Keystone Kops so I didn't. Where did the guy go? Who knows. Maybe he walked down Connecticut Avenue to the USSR Embassy, (this was really back in the day) and sold them for a donut and a cuppa java.
The UT is owned by the real estate interest. More of who, etc. later perhaps. Your exercise is see how this editorial is exactly what they ordered up. Fun or tedious depending on your mood.
In other news, why is Big Labor so opposed to the JOBS Act? They say it's fraud -- they don't want workers defrauded by all the phony kickstarter-like ventures that will get under way. Is that really it? It seems like a hint that institutional investors are also opposed. They don't want competition for investment dollars? But surely these are mostly defined benefit plans, aren't they?
How could this possibly be true? According to a ranking of 526 past and current vehicles conducted by Insurance.com, the low-slung and rip-roaring Dodge Viper sports coupe/roadster – with a V10 engine that puts (for 2015) all of 640 raging horses to the pavement – is ranked as the passenger car in which owners tend to rack up the fewest traffic tickets. What? Does anybody actually drive these cars or are they all garaged 50 weeks a year and only transported on the backs of flatbed trucks to a few car shows and Viper owner gatherings?
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Olympic great Michael Phelps after second DUI: 'I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down' - NY Daily News
For silk artist Wendy Smith-Wood, living “nearly” off the grid on a remote homestead in Alaska has been a double-edged sword for her art. The cabin that her husband built by hand sits in a “stunningly beautiful” valley near the Matansuska Glacier. Theirs is the second-to-last home on the electrical grid and nine months out of the year, they have no running water. The nearest village is 75 miles away.
In fact, Hirohito was never a puppet. He failed to prevent his army from invading Manchuria in 1931, which caused Japan to withdraw from the League of Nations, but he sanctioned the full-scale invasion of China in 1937, which moved Japan into a state of total war. He exercised close control over the use of chemical weapons in China and sanctioned the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Even after the war, when a new, American-modeled Constitution deprived him of sovereignty, he continued to meddle in politics.
If President Obama and his spinners won’t accept conservatives’ take on the failures and missteps leading up to the Islamic State and the region-wide chaos in the Middle East, maybe they will believe the New York Times. Strangely enough, it confirms the facts and arguments conservative critics have been making for years now. What is also evident is that President Obama picked on the wrong people; the intelligence community is striking back by going to the media with chapter and verse of the president’s dereliction. The report substantiates eight key points:
Those unintended prejudices in recruitment—whether racial, gendered, or economic—are shortcomings that a growing number of big-data firms are hoping they can help solve with their massive number-crunching operations. By mining troves of personal and professional data, these companies claim they can not only match employers with A-plus job candidates, but help close diversity gaps in the workforce, too.
Imagine you are a California-based widget manufacturer competing around the world against a Dutch widget manufacturer. You both compete in Latin America and pay taxes on your income there. Trouble is, your Dutch competitor can reinvest those profits back in its home country without paying additional taxes, but you can't.
Kazi drives a Toyota Prius for Uber in Los Angeles. He hates it.
He barely makes minimum wage, and his back hurts after long shifts. But every time a passenger asks what it’s like working for Uber, he lies: “It’s like owning my own business; I love it.”
This is great. Article after article like this. Warren for President!
TaxProf Blog: TIGTA: IRS Does Not Adequately Research 57% of Cases, Losing Billions in Taxes Wrongly Labeled Uncollectible
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration yesterday released Delinquent Taxes May Not Be Collected Because Required Research Was Not Always Completed Prior to Closing Some Cases As Currently Not Collectible (2014-30-052):
I wonder what your chances would be of just not paying taxes and hoping the IRS would not think of calling you at work. 50-50?
Monday, September 29, 2014
One thing is for certain. Mr. Holder didn’t just wake up today and decide he wanted to go fishing. There are truths underlying this resignation that will be shocking when they surface. Mr. Holder will no longer have the shield of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice to protect him from congressional, grand jury, or other subpoenas. The next question is: Which criminal lawyer will he hire to defend him and how soon?
The hiding places are filling up faster than you can say “you’re running out of time.”
Althouse: Jerry Brown signs a law requiring colleges and universities that get state money to impose a "yes means yes" standard on student sex.
I suspect that what's really going on is an effort to change the culture of drinking and sex. It will go the way of drinking and driving and become something that decent people don't do... not beyond a light drink anyway. The feminist angle is the wedge.
You can't drink and have sex? They really are Puritans. It also reminds me of a great country western classic, posted above.
But if the point is self-promotion rather than statesmanship, who cares? To make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs.
Questions that were once being raised behind closed doors are now being asked in public. Ted Cruz still has time to dispel them. If he doesn’t, it will be a major disappointment.
A fair question. I don't know the answer.
All three major election forecasting models saw an uptick in the likelihood of Republicans winning the six seats they need to retake the Senate majority over the past week, movement largely due to the party's strengthened chances in Alaska, Colorado and Iowa.
Grow, odds, grow. I don't think there's any point in pretending to be non-partisan any longer.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Now French and Canadian researchers are reporting — in a study designed with particular care — that benzodiazepine use is linked to higher rates of subsequent Alzheimer’s disease, and that the association strengthens with greater exposure to the drugs.
Yeah, I don't doubt it. Ativan, etc. produces in me a zoned out state ideal for international travel, especially if accompanied by a double scotch or 2. This is not recommended, however. But how you're supposed to endure 18 hours on planes and airports, I don't know. The z drugs make me psychotic after two or three nights of them, so I only take them if absolutely necessary, which is rarely. If I had a lot of stress in my life, I'd probably be dead by now.
Here. I have a cousin in law who is 70 something and has always done this. Could he be 80 something now? Anyway, at the heart of his portfolio is the rent controlled apartment. That allows him to switch apartments with people in Paris or wherever. He is expert at threatening lawsuits. The pipes blew out overhead in his apartment and before he was dry he was calling a plaintiff's attorney. He lives on disability from the Korean War -- he was not in the fight; it's a long, sad story. He know waiters at the local eateries with whom he has sub-legal arrangements. You have to use your wits, I guess.
Saying that people on the wrong side of the climate change debate were “making the world a much worse place,” Schmidt told Rehm he’d concluded “we should not be aligned with such people—they’re just, they’re just literally lying.” In a statement, ALEC Chief Executive Officer Lisa Nelson said: “It is unfortunate to learn Google has ended its membership … as a result of public pressure from left-leaning individuals and organizations who intentionally confuse free-market policy perspectives for climate change denial.”
Just to be clear, what are we supposed to believe now with respect to climate change? A couple of my colleagues still earnestly thought it was global warming, and I'm pretty sure that's not it.
Twin Peaks is the most successful example of a new generation of restaurants, what people in the industry euphemistically refer to as “the attentive service sector” or, as they’re more casually known, “breastaurants.” Twin Peaks Chief Executive Officer Randy DeWitt doesn’t care much for the word, not that he’s complaining. Last year, Twin Peaks was the fastest-growing chain in the U.S., with $165 million in sales.
President Obama acknowledged that the U.S. underestimated the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also called ISIL) and overestimated the ability of the Iraqi military to fend off the militant group in an interview that will air Sunday on 60 Minutes.
As these columns have long contended, Obama has not quelled our enemies; he has miniaturized them. The jihad and the sharia supremacism that fuels it form the glue that unites the parts into a whole — a worldwide, ideologically connected movement rooted in Islamic scripture that can project power on the scale of a nation-state and that seeks to conquer the West. The president does not want us to see the threat this way.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
In deciding when to retire, Ginsburg, who is the eldest among the nine justices, should maximize the chance that her successor will be someone with her values and views. In March of this year, I wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times urging her to resign at the end of the term. My argument was that only by allowing President Obama to replace her in the summer of 2014 would there be a sufficient likelihood that someone of similar ideology would take the place of the 81-year-old justice.
Friday, September 26, 2014
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A man convicted of fondling and raping his 8-month-old pit bull puppy
will spend five years in a state prison, according to the Florida State Attorney's Office.
It's a war against puppies.
It seems that the Democrats have been developing a third model of representation of late: Call it the “sneak it past the rubes” theory. Under this approach, you pre-sent yourself to your constituents as an independent voice, not in hock to the national Democratic party, so as to get elected. Then the national party allows you generally to vote with your constituents, on the understanding that when the chips are down you will vote with the liberal leadership. Then you hope that the “rubes” back home can be sufficiently distracted by the “war on women” or some other phony issue that they’ll return you to office. And if they choose not to, there will be a consolation prize: a cushy, well-connected job as a lobbyist (Blanche Lincoln) or law firm adviser (Byron Dorgan) or association CEO (Ben Nelson) or strategic adviser in PR (Kent Conrad) in Washington, where you are more at home anyway, or even a job out of town as an ambassador (Max Baucus).
All of which brings us to the state of Kansas.
The resignation of Eric Holder as attorney general is an unavoidably symbolic moment for an administration that itself appears to be stumbling through the final years of a troubled second term. Holder truly personifies an administration of unrivaled ambitions colliding with inescapable realities.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Frat brothers rape 300% more. One in 5 women is sexually assaulted on campus. Should we ban frats? | Jessica Valenti | Comment is free | theguardian.com
We still don’t have definitive answers to any of these questions. As I like to say when I give speeches, if I went into a coma and woke up in mid-November, and you told me that the GOP had only picked up two or three seats, I’d be quite surprised, but not completely shocked. I would have a pretty good idea what had happened. Likewise, if you told me the GOP had picked up 11 seats, I would be quite surprised, but not completely shocked. There remains a wide range of possibilities, and many of these races are very close.
I won't call it a coma; I think I'll just take a long nap.
Speaking about such modest restrictions on abortion as have been enacted over the past several years, Justice Ginsburg lamented that “the impact of all these restrictions is on poor women.” Then she added: “It makes no sense as a national policy to promote birth only among poor people.”Advertisement
This is not her first time weighing in on the question of what by any intellectually honest standard must be described as eugenics. In an earlier interview, she described the Roe v. Wade decision as being intended to control population growth, “particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” She was correct in her assessment of Roe; the co-counsel in that case, Ron Weddington, would later advise President Bill Clinton: “You can start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy, and poor segment of our country,” by making abortifacients cheap and universally available. “It’s what we all know is true, but we only whisper it.”
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Increased terror alert, San Diego ranks 4th on watch list - San Diego, California Talk Radio Station - AM 760 KFMB
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have issued a terror warning to law enforcement.
The high alert comes after the U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria. According to a new report, San Diego ranks fourth on a terror watch list and that could mean tighter security at Lindbergh Field.
Kolarbyn features 12 wood-and-mud huts that blend right in with the forest—in fact, wild mushrooms and blueberries grow on their turf roofs. There's no electricity on the property—at night, guests have to use flashlights to find their way—nor is there running water. Guests fetch their own from a spring 500 feet away.
I bet it's not cheap.
The idea that "Climate science is settled" runs through today's popular and policy discussions. Unfortunately, that claim is misguided. It has not only distorted our public and policy debates on issues related to energy, greenhouse-gas emissions and the environment. But it also has inhibited the scientific and policy discussions that we need to have about our climate future.
Asked earlier today how long he expected the bombing of Syria to last, Lieutenant General William C. Mayville Jr. advised reporters to think “in terms of years.” “Last night’s strikes,” Mayville confirmed, “were only the beginning.” A mile or so away, on the White House lawn, Barack Obama struck a similarly defiant note. “We’re going to do what is necessary to take the fight to this terrorist group,” the president explained, before assuring those present that the United States was but one part of a global alliance that stood “shoulder to shoulder . . . on behalf of our common security.” “The strength of this coalition,” Obama added, “makes clear to the world that this is not just America’s fight alone.” This much, at least, was true. Among the nations that have signed on to the attacks are Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates — all vital accomplices in the winning of hearts and minds. And yet, for all the cosmopolitanism, one crucial ally was conspicuously missing from the roster of the willing: the Congress of the United States.Advertisement
Yale University, with perhaps the most closely watched of all educational endowments, reported Wednesday that its fund had earned a 20.2 percent return for the fiscal year, bringing its value to $23.9 billion.
A hedge fund with a university attached.
In comments, the fantasy comes to life. Users have conversations pretending to be the parent or the baby. The babies “say” things like “Mes wove fwowers!” while other users might ask what the babies favorite color is or if it wants to be held. Users talk about feeding and disciplining the child as though it were their own. They use hashtags like #openrp, #babyrp and #kidrp so other enthusiasts can play along. Some users have entire fake families. Others create Instagram accounts where they invite followers to “adopt” babies, posting stolen photos along with made up profiles.
It’s called baby role-playing. Fast Company called it “The Creepiest New Corner of Instagram.”
Unclassified: The CIA’s comic guide to national security jargon — with monster illustrations - The Washington Post
CDC: Ebola could infect 1.4 million in Liberia and Sierra Leone by end of January - The Washington Post
The virus could potentially infect 1.4 million people in Liberia and Sierra Leone by the end of January, according to a statistical forecast by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Tuesday. That number came just hours after a report in the New England Journal of Medicine warned that the epidemic might never be fully controlled and that the virus could become endemic, crippling civic life in the affected countries and presenting an ongoing threat of spreading elsewhere.
Ho-Lee Shit. 1.4 Million? I hope this is just a statistical projection as a cry for help and appropriations.
Of the top 20 most popular schools for billionaires – in terms of the number of billionaires who have obtained their bachelor’s degree at these institutions – 16 were in the United States.
I guess Wharton has a lot of hedge fund billionaires? USC and Cornell are interesting. Note Berkeley's high standing -- tech industries. Moscow State has lots of kleptocratic natural resource types.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
The Veterans Affairs scandal of falsified waiting lists is the latest of a never-ending stream of government ineptitude. Every season brings a new headline of failures: the botched roll-out of Obamacare involved 55 uncoordinated IT vendors; a White House report in February found that barely 3 percent of the $800 billion stimulus plan went to rebuild transportation infrastructure; and a March Washington Post report describes how federal pensions are processed by hand in a deep cave in Pennsylvania.
The reflexive reaction is to demand detailed laws and rules to make sure things don’t go wrong again. But shackling public choices with ironclad rules, ironically, is a main cause of the problems. Dictating correctness in advance supplants the one factor that is indispensable to all successful endeavors—human responsibility. “Nothing that’s good works by itself,” as Thomas Edison put it. “You’ve got to make the damn thing work.”
The Roosevelts got what they wanted. With the partial exception of Ronald Reagan, no chief executive since has dared to suggest that the economy might simply run itself. As the years have passed, the demand for progressive reform and federal oversight has only increased, especially when financial markets have turned. Citizens now expect, even demand, economic rescue from any chief executive. To demur and call for a reduced presidency would be to invite ridicule or worse.
Last week on early Tuesday morning, my Mom died. She was a truly remarkable lady. LWJ and I and two of our children trekked to Boise, Idaho for the funeral. None of my mother's children felt up to eulogizing her. In my case, it was not that the grief was so bad, though it was, as my mother's mother used to say, plenty. It was more that I felt dumbstuck and made very tired by the event, unable even to think about it clearly. Fortunately, my cousin Jim stepped up the task and composed this lovely eulogy. In the last line of the eulogy, he put his hand on his heart.