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Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah in Hebrew

MenorahHappy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends. I miss the latkes and jelly doughnuts my roommates received for the holiday at college. [Their grandmothers were afraid they wouldn’t celebrate or couldn’t get “real” food at that terrible Baptist university.] It was a great break.

One of the nice things about Hanukkah is that there are established “gifts”, so you don’t have to rack your brains about what to get: a card and gelt covers just about everyone.

General background at Wikipedia’s entry for Hanukkah and even more at Chabad’s Chanukah page.

[Note: on the Jewish calendar the day changes at sundown, not midnight.]

December 12, 2017   No Comments

Waiting For End Times

Tomorrow at sundown is the beginning of Hanukkah and in Alabama we await to see if they will elect a pervert to the US Senate.

The polls on the Alabama race are totally worthless because people are lying to the pollsters based on what they think the pollsters want to hear. Basically you have the same situation as torturing people.

Meanwhile I’m still plugging away at rehabbing an apartment, except for tomorrow morning when I have to go in for routine blood tests. [They are routine for the Doc because he isn’t the one who has to starve to take the tests.]

If I don’t starve to death, I will be back to see what the voters of Alabama have decided to do to the Senate. 😈

December 11, 2017   No Comments

Fire & Ice

The Santa Ana winds are driving wildfires through my old stomping ground in SoCal. The LAPD has issued a very SoCal warning:

So far, over 200,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes as the fires are spreading fast, helped by dry conditions and 80mph winds. With over 116,000 acres currently engulfed in flames, many residents fleeing have been loading up their possessions and bugging out, but navigation apps aren’t helping.

In a press conference on Wednesday, LAPD commander Blake Chow said that some navigation apps are correctly identifying traffic-free streets, but that the reason they were unjammed was because they happened to be on fire. He urged residents to use caution before trusting their navigation apps, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Meanwhile, a record low is being recorded – Trump’s approval rating:

Donald Trump’s approval rating has reached the lowest point of his 11-month-long presidency, dropping to 32 percent this week as his embattled White House administration has shrugged off allegations of sexual assault, collusion with Russia and ineffective leadership. The president’s disapproval rating was 63 percent in the Pew Research Center survey released Thursday, a new high for the survey.

Is that like 0%C? I’m experiencing 32°F and am going to hibernate.

December 9, 2017   6 Comments

It’s Trump’s Fault

He had to come to Pensacola to hold one of his silly rallies and boost support for Roy Moore. The temperature is in the 30s and it’s snowing in Alabama. Before morning it is possible the local bridges will be ice coated as it has been raining for a couple of days as the first real cold front of the season moves through.

Chuck Grassley is an economic moron. Grassley says that if you target tax breaks towards the bottom half of the tax payers, they will just spend the money, while the people at the top will invest it. Obviously Senator Grassley is blissfully unaware that more two-thirds of the GDP is based on consumers spending money and businesses expand in response to an increase in demand, not an increase in available capital.

Juan Cole explains: How Trump’s Jerusalem move just helped Iran win the Mideast. If you look in the dictionary for “unintended consequences” you will note that Trump has moved ahead of the CIA in the definitions.

The US UN ambassador, Nikki Haley , managed to get us knocked off the world’s Christmas card list by insulting pretty much everyone who is anyone in the Middle East and the Security Council.

The BBC provides maps and background on the Jerusalem situation.

December 8, 2017   2 Comments

December 7th, 1941

The seventy-sixth anniversary of “a date which will live in infamy…”

The official US Navy site on the Pearl Harbor attack.

There will be a memorial service aboard NAS Pensacola that normally features local survivors of the attack. Obviously there are fewer of them every year.

December 7, 2017   No Comments

Unifying The World

If you have ever wondered what would bring together the Pope, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Russia, China, Nato, the Sunnis and the Shiia, Arabs & Persians, the Turks and Turkic people, essentially everyone on the planet who didn’t vote for Netanyahu or Trump: from Crooks & Liars – Consensus: Trump’s Jerusalem Decision Is A Terrible Idea or the BBC – Jerusalem: Trump move prompts negative world reaction.

Of course this means that the US is out of the Mideast peace process, US embassies in much of the world will probably be attacked, there will be travel warnings up for US citizens for most of the world, but Drumpf got to hold a signing ceremony….

December 6, 2017   4 Comments

Feast Of Saint Nicholas

Russian Icon of Saint Nicholas

Yes, it is the day that kindly old Saint Nicholas fills the footware of good little girls and boys with treats [or his assistants beat the evil out of bad children, depending on the local customs – they didn’t just leave the sticks – in some places they use them.] Don’t forget the carrot if he rides a horse in your area.

He is the patron saint of Russian merchants and pawnbrokers (three gold balls are one of the symbols associated with him).

December 6, 2017   2 Comments

Stuff & Nonsense

In the Alabama Senate race Doug Jones drops ‘Mr Nice Guy’ and lays into Roy Moore.

Spelunking through the Senate Tax Bill it appears there are no more corporate deductions. The corporate tax rate was lowered to 20% and the Alternative Minimum Tax was retained and is also 20%. Essentially, you can declare all the deductions in the tax code, but you still have to pay 20%, just as you would with no deductions.

Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of the State of New York is investigating fake comments sent to the FCC during the Net Neutrality comment period. He has established a web site that allows you to see if your name was used.

The BBC has an interesting perception test. They have a silent GIF that causes some people [me included] to hear sounds: Can you hear it?

December 5, 2017   10 Comments

Seasons Greetings

Evergreen

Happy NODWISH Greetings

As a service to my readers I have compiled a list of useful terms for our modern global village.

It is time to wish family and friends: [select one]

Happy NODWISH
Merry Solstice
Happy Holiday
Happy Hanukkah
Happy Kwanzaa
Happy Hogwatch
Merry Christmas
С Рождеством Христовым
Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Vrolijk Kerstfeest
Nadolig Llawen
Fröhliche Weihnachten
Joyeux Noël
Buon Natale
Feliz Navidad
God Jul
Rauhallista Joulua
Happy Christmas
Happy Holidays

[Read more →]

December 4, 2017   No Comments

How Do Reindeer Fly?

Christmas Mushroom

… and how can Santa Claus visit every house, go down chimneys, leave toys, all over the world in one night?

One of the answers is found on European Christmas trees.

Read about Finland’s version of the Julbock, Joulupukki.

Note: Don’t try this at home unless you have the kidneys of a reindeer. It also explains why gnomes are so cheerful. [This is one of my most searched for posts, almost as big as the Shi’ia oil map, or the Alaska-Russia border. It is a bit disconcerting to see the number of people around the world whose interests are as weird as mine, but they are all hits on the counter.]

December 4, 2017   No Comments

A Steaming Pile

Trump’s lawyer claims responsibility for president’s problematic tweet

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer took responsibility Sunday for a tweet that Trump sent the previous day, in which the president said for the first time that he knew his former security adviser, Michael Flynn, had lied to the FBI before he fired Flynn in February.

The tweet caused an uproar in Washington because it implied Trump knew Flynn had committed a felony — lying to the FBI — when he told then-FBI director James Comey to go easy on Flynn the day after the firing.

Interfering in the FBI’s investigation could be construed as obstructing justice, potentially creating legal jeopardy for Trump. Within a few hours, Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, stepped in to say that he wrote the tweet, not the president.

Dowd told NBC News that he drafted the tweet and then sent it to White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino to publish. When asked for the original email he sent to Scavino, Dowd said he dictated it orally.

There is no way anyone with a couple of working neurons is going to buy this huge mound of bovine excrement as being in the same universe as the truth. The gratuitous reference to “lying to the FBI” screams blow dried comb over, not bald lawyer.

December 3, 2017   9 Comments

Preview Of Coming Atrocities

Senate tx bill

This is one of three charts prepared with data from the Congressional Budget Office in the PBS article: How the Senate tax bill affects rich and poor, in three charts. They show what we already knew: the rich get richer and the poor and middle class get poorer.

Congressional Republicans will now create a joint committee of Republicans to meld the House and Senate versions of into an even worse bill to ram down the throats of Congress. If Doug Jones wins in Alabama, this could get interesting.

December 3, 2017   No Comments

Mer Jul i Gävle

Julbock

It’s the first Sunday of Advent and Why Now? is pleased to present the Fiftieth-first version of the Gävlebocken, The biggest Christmas Goat in the world [now on Twitter @Gavlebocken].

From Steve Bates of Yellow Doggerel Something in the comments from 2006:

Why build a giant goat of straw,
Which most of us would scarcely note?
Some, though, defy the very law,
To vandalize the Gävle Goat.

In some years, they used wayward cars;
In others, flaming arrows smote.
This year’s survives, although with scars…
A fact that gets some people’s goat.

A webcam and some watchful eyes,
A flame-retardant second coat,
Should save it… unless Dubya spies
The thing, and claims it’s his pet goat!

– SB the YSS

December 3, 2017   No Comments

Advent

Today is the First Sunday of Advent which means you should have made your Christmas Pudding so it would have time to age, and the Gävlebocken is standing tall in Castle Square.

December 3, 2017   No Comments