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Happy Christmas

Holly, Robin & Mistletoe

The broadcast of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is available on the web at from BBC Radio 3. [At 8AM CST live, and on demand later in the day.]

The British have some wonderful Christmas customs that have survived the incursion of Christianity, especially the Puritan party poopers. Stealing customs from the Celts, Germans, and Scandinavians, they have created a wonderful holiday that I fondly remember from time spent there.

The bird is a European robin that is featured on British Christmas cards, as it is a Winter bird in England, unlike the fair-weather laggard of the same name in America. It is bracketed by holly and mistletoe. All go back to the druids and solstice celebrations.

If you read the Harry Potter books you will get a taste, but not the full effect of a British Christmas. A full-on Christmas dinner is wretched excess to the nth degree – Thanksgiving on steroids.

The BBC has the background on Father Christmas.


1 Kryten42 { 12.26.17 at 3:56 am }

Well, Christmas 2017 is now a thing of the past, and the World managed to Survive.

Dotard Tantrum however, didn’t have a merry XMas at all!! 😆 Xmas dreams can come true! 👍🏾😈😂
Palmer report: Donald Trump totally blows it

I personally cannot realistically think of a better end to 2017! Though there are a few days left!😂😂

2 Bryan { 12.26.17 at 6:49 pm }

Your link failed, but everybody knows that Drumpf screwed the pooch.

3 Kryten42 { 12.27.17 at 2:12 am }

Sorry! Had several issues past few days. NBN has been totally screwed since Fri! But I’ve been too busy to care. It drops out or I only get 200-300 KB/s instead of the 2.7-3.1 MB/s I was getting! tried to call support but there was an estimated 1 hour wait! So it’s not just me! Left a message for a call back @ 9AM!

here’s the bare link:

(Using my Mobile for now. The 4G network is working @ least!)

4 Bryan { 12.27.17 at 12:30 pm }

Since the Net Neutrality change the US net access will get even more expensive and worse than it already is. I haven’t seen my ‘guaranteed’ bandwidth in two weeks. We need a sane Congress to fix this, and that isn’t likely anytime soon.

5 Kryten42 { 12.27.17 at 4:59 pm }

Spoke to support. They reset the NBN Node port and that seemed to fix it for now. They want me to monitor the speed over next 48 hrs as several customers have had similar problem and the speed dropped after the reset. I suspect the cheap-arse Chinese h/w is probably faulty in that case, which appears to be common. Also, the router they supplied hasn’t had a f/w update in the 9 mth’s I’ve had it and there have been 2 in that time to fix stability issues which doesn’t surprise me at all! But the f/w can only be updated remotely by the ISP (as they use a custom f/w). So I have to wait for that sometime in the next 24 hrs (they’ll call and arrange it).

I miss dialup! Seriously.

In other News… Seth Abramson‏ posted this tweet thread (I’ll copy the content as I know you don’t like Twitter & to keep a separate copy as things about the Dotard investigation have a tendency to vanish)!

“BREAKING NEWS: The Washington Post reports that Trump’s plan is to frantically call Flynn a liar if it’s found Flynn gave Mueller any incriminating evidence on Trump or his aides (which, by definition, he did). In other words, CHRISTMAS CONTINUES.

The legal analysis here is underwhelming. YES, it’s common to say those who cut deals to save themselves are liars. But NO, it’s not common when a witness could’ve asked for and gotten a pardon instead, and was the president’s most trusted NatSec adviser for a year and a half.

So Trump’s argument will be that this man—who had *every reason* to think Trump would pardon him (given that Trump fired Comey to obstruct his prosecution and then publicly floated a pardon)—cut a deal to save himself by inventing lies about the President of the United States.

In any case, defense attorneys don’t develop and leak a strategy like this until they know what the supposed “lies” are. Otherwise, you risk Flynn, his allies, or Mueller leaking Flynn evidence that’s *clearly corroborated* by witnesses or documents.

This is a legal blunder.

I’ll tell you, from years of experience, what sort of criminal defense team develops and leaks a defense strategy like this one: a team that’s “flying blind” because their client hasn’t divulged to them what really happened, so they’re playing an “all things being equal” game.

The key distinction between defenses in a criminal case—as any criminal defense lawyer knows—is between ones you develop because you have all the facts and ones you develop despite knowing the client *won’t* give you the facts or is lying to you. This is *clearly* the latter.

And by the way, the *most common reason* a client won’t give you the facts or lies to you?


And there’s really no second place—it’s *guilt*. Their own or someone so important to them they’d go to prison for them. And Trump wouldn’t go to prison for anyone—that’s clear.

Trump has so often lauded Flynn’s integrity, and so often trusted him with sensitive information, and so often promoted him into positions of power, that the defense “He’s the biggest liar anyone’s ever seen!”—and before you even know what he’s told Mueller!—is a suicide pact.

I can say all this because I’m a professor, rather than still practicing law. I don’t care what Trump’s attorneys or high-powered criminal defense attorneys in DC think of me.

WP quoted attorneys who still want to network in the legal community—so they pulled their punches.”

Seth just posted this (long) summary thread:

20 Things Guilty People Do That Trump Does Daily

As a former criminal defense attorney, I’ve sat in rooms candidly discussing crime with thousands of criminals. I know what “consciousness of guilt” looks like. Trump exhibits it daily.

I hope you’ll read and share this.

#1 DEFLECT BLAME. Criminals seek others who may have conducted themselves poorly in order to unload or distribute blame rightly assigned to them. Trump does this with ex-aides like Manafort, Flynn, and Papadopoulos, who he presents as little known by him and/or having gone rogue.

#2 ALLEGE A CONSPIRACY. Criminals will claim a conspiracy as the cause of their problems. The most common conspiracy alleged is between witnesses or members of law enforcement. Trump repeatedly alleges that government officials and law enforcement officers conspired against him.

#3 COMPLAIN ABOUT LAW ENFORCEMENT. Criminals want to talk about the investigation itself, rather than what and who the investigation is investigating. Trump obsessively complains about aspects of the investigation against him that don’t actually change the underlying evidence.

#4 TAMPER WITH WITNESSES. Criminals will often seek contact with known witnesses either to convince them not to testify, to change their story, to remain loyal to the defendant, or to intimidate them. Trump did this with Flynn, Yates, Comey, McCabe, Sessions, his son, and others.

#5 DISTRACT ATTENTION FROM THEIR ACTIONS. Criminals eagerly discuss subjects beyond their pending case when doing so distracts from their criminal liability. Trump’s war on “fake news” and unhinged tweetstorms distract attention from an investigation threatening to take him down.

#6 REFUSE TO ANSWER VALID QUESTIONS. Criminals refuse to discuss, sometimes even with a lawyer, inculpatory facts, whether things they said, decisions they made, or actions they took. Trump has successfully evaded answering even the most basic questions on what he knew and when.

#7 EXHIBIT FALSE CONFIDENCE. Criminals often assure allies and defenders that there’s nothing to be found against them and they’ll shortly be exonerated, even when nothing in the facts supports this view. Trump’s wild claims that he’ll soon be exonerated fall into this category.

#8 USE “EVEN IF” ARGUMENTS. Criminals often float self-aggrandizing hypotheticals in the form of bet-hedging: “Even if I did X, it wouldn’t be illegal, or I would’ve been justified…” Trump does this most flagrantly when discussing whether he told Flynn to negotiate with Russia.

#9 PLAY DUMB. Criminals will claim to have no knowledge of things they obviously would have known about. Trump claims to have known absolutely nothing any of his aides (even his own sons) were doing with the Russians, a claim that strains credulity well past the breaking point.

#10 EXHIBIT UNUSUAL AGITATION. Criminals exhibit anger in response to warranted criminal accusations; in my own experience, innocent people react to false accusations with signs of confusion, fear, and depression. Trump has responded to Mueller with rage and false self-assurance.

#11 LEVELING NEW ACCUSATIONS OF IDENTICAL CONDUCT. Criminals accused of, say, assault will often level new claims (even unrelated ones) that someone else is guilty of assault. Trump regularly accuses people of the lying, cover-ups, and treasonous conduct he stands accused of now.

#12 OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE. Criminals will try to slow the investigation against them, including by refusing to speak or delaying speaking to investigators. Trump not only won’t speak to investigators, he’s tried to fire, get reassigned, or force into retirement those investigators.

#13 AVOID GIVING EVIDENCE UNDER OATH. Criminals are smart enough to know that they must never be placed under oath on the subject of their crimes. Trump, despite saying in the Rose Garden that he’d speak to Mueller under oath, has thus far refused to make good on that assurance.

#14 DENY SIMILAR PAST CONDUCT. Even though criminal defense attorneys have access to clients’ criminal records, criminals often attempt to downplay or deny their criminal pasts. Trump has denied provable and known frauds, perjuries, and clandestine foreign contacts from his past.

#15 TELL UNNECESSARY, GRANDIOSE LIES. Criminals lie out of fear; they tell grandiose lies out of a false belief they can orchestrate their exoneration. Trump’s lies about how he conducted himself at the Ritz Moscow in 2013 (grandiose and quickly disproven) are an example of this.

#16 DRAW OTHERS INTO THEIR COVER-UP. Criminals are so focused on their own survival that they needlessly draw innocents into their schemes for self-salvation. Trump uses others (including attorneys, spokespeople, aides, and family members) to spread lies about his Russian ties.

#17 TRUST ONLY FAMILY. Criminals, especially those who’ve participated in a conspiracy, necessarily operate within a small circle of trust. Trump has surrounded his business dealings with family members and attorneys to make it unlikely or impossible that anyone will rat him out.

#18 PLAY WITH LANGUAGE. Criminals know statutes are well-defined, so they get cute with language to seek out wiggle room in their criminal liability. Trump uses word games, misquotations, false definitions, and linguistic misdirection to undercut precise legal terms and concepts.

#19 SEEK DODGY ALLIES AND PARALLEL INVESTIGATIONS. Criminals recruit dodgy witnesses or pursue suspect lines of inquiry to evade probes whose just administration they know will catch them. Trump uses House allies, Fox News, and dodgy pals to build a wall of allies around himself.

#20 UNDERSCORE SUPPORTERS’ AFFECTION. Criminals hope that, if they don’t have the facts on their side, they can at least get others to say they’re a good person. Trump pumps up supporters’ adulation, praise, and encouragement at every turn to transform popularity into innocence.

(BONUS) DENY KNOWN ASSOCIATIONS. Criminals deny knowing people they believe they can credibly deny knowing, if knowing them would be inculpatory. Trump has done this with Papadopoulos, Sater, Page and many others who he definitely knows but who he fears Mueller has linked to him.

(NOTE) The above applies only to the 5% of arrested individuals who a) did exactly what they were accused of, and b) refuse to admit what they did and then seek a just punishment via plea. Trump is in the tiny minority of criminals who won’t take responsibility for their actions.

(THANKS) Many thanks to the excellent David Swerdlick of The Washington Post, who encouraged me to flesh out and publish this analysis, and who saw an early draft of it. And thanks to the *many* criminal defense attorneys I spoke with over the months while preparing this summary.

Seth is currently the “GO TO” source for anything related to the Mueller investigation.

If you don’t mind checking Seth’s Twitter feed for updates:


6 Bryan { 12.27.17 at 8:51 pm }

I buy my own modems and routers for the specific reason that I can keep them up-to-date and they are from a vendor I’ve heard of who wants my return business. So far I’ve saved hundreds of dollars in lease fees and had no equipment failures. When I was on DSL, the phone company gave me the modem for free, and I ended up getting three different modems from them because tech support would look at the line and pronounce the modem a piece of crap. They never had me ship the old modem back.

There are still equipment issues, but not my equipment. Yes, I understand totally why you have fond memories of dial-up. It kept me connected after hurricanes, something broadband hanging on utility poles doesn’t seem to manage.

Kryten, it has gotten to the point that I don’t believe him when he identifies himself. His physiology says ‘deceptive ‘ every time I watch a video. He lies about meaningless things as well as serious things.

7 Kryten42 { 12.30.17 at 2:46 am }

Still on 4G. Got an NBN status update… “Some time within the next week”. What a pathetic joke!

Just saw this! It’s getting insane! This is the 2nd such murder by cop in a few month that I know of!
Unarmed man shot dead by police after hoax call reported gunman taking hostages

Whoever made the call & the cop’s involved, should all be arrested for murder!


8 Bryan { 12.30.17 at 10:30 am }

In New York I could get a murder warrant for the asshole in LA – death in the course of a crime is murder. If the police shoot and kill one bank robber, the the others are all charged with murder, same for a heart attack during a robbery. If you do a crime in New York, you need very healthy victims – you are a stroke away from making government office furniture for the rest of your like. [In New York the Corrections Department makes office furniture under the name “Cor Craft” that is sold to government agencies.]

Still, whoever fired that shot doesn’t need to be in the same postal code as a gun, much less given a badge and weapon at government expense.

Only a week, you are still still getting less crappy and faster service for less money than than you would anywhere except a major city in the US.

9 Kryten42 { 12.30.17 at 10:43 pm }

That’s happening here now too (Murder by Cop). Seems whatever moronic crap the USA does, we have to emulate! Monkey see…

I left out that apparently the whole local NBN node is faulty & needs to be replaced. That will take a few days. Checking around, this isn’t unusual @ all! No wonder the leaked financials from NBN Co. earlier this year stated that maintenance costs for FTTN (Fiber to the Node) vs FTTP (Fiber to the Property) would be ~65% greater! Especially as ISP’s have to refund customers for the down time. I also lodged a request & official complaint to the Telco Ombudsman to cover the cost of using 4G (or any Mobile service). At $50 for 10 GB, it’s bloody expensive! I pay $70/mth for NBN (500 GB)/landline (VoIP) phone (free but calls charged) & mobile (20 SMS-MMS/20 Nat. calls & 2 GB Data included)! This is the 2nd time I’ve been offline over a week this year. Unacceptable! /rant

10 Kryten42 { 12.30.17 at 11:10 pm }

Oh! Here… Have a laugh (or not). Seems some Shrinks have had enough of being silent!

Top psychiatrist: Mental health professionals are obligated to speak out about Trump


11 Bryan { 12.31.17 at 12:34 pm }

Happy New Year! Is Trump still President in 2018?

Wow, you get to complain to a neutral party that might do something. We have the FCC which is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of the ISPs and media moguls. If you call in they would have a recorded message saying the service might be intermittent, but no thought of giving money back.

12 Kryten42 { 12.31.17 at 6:45 pm }

Yeah, right! I only did it to get on the official “NBN is absolute crap!” list & increase numbers of dissatisfied people! Nothing will happen.

So… Want a laugh? 😉

Fist day of 2018… And I’ve just been followed on Twitter by a bunch of Dem’s running in 2018 because of a tweet I made. Including one from FL. 😆

This is my tweet:

These running in 2018 followed:

Linda Jack @ElectLindaJack
Dem candidate for FL State Rep, House District 36 (Gulf Coast). FL military family, Christian, partner, musician, teacher, veterinarian, environmentalist.

Canon For Indiana @CanonForIndiana
Civil rights lawyer @DanCanon, lifelong resident running for House to #FlipIN09. Fighting for healthcare, dignity for all. Tweets by team; interacting≠endorsing
“Hello friends! IN-09 is a swing district we can win in 2018. I’m a high-school dropout turned civil rights lawyer who fought for marriage equality at SCOTUS, took on Kim Davis, and sued Trump for incitement. My campaign has already registered >5k voters!”

Tracy Mitrano For Congress @MitranoForNY23
Democratic Congressional candidate for NY23. Fighting for the hardworking people of the Southern Tier. Educator, cyber security expert. #NY23 #ElectWomenNow
“Thank you for tagging me! I’m Tracy Mitrano, running in NY-23 against Tom Reed, one of the lead drafters of both the #GOPTaxScam and attempts to repeal the ACA. I’m a cyber security expert and I’m ready to fight for this country in Congress! We can flip NY-23!”

FainLovettGA14 @FainLovettGa14
Running for GA District 14 Representative 2018 #FlipGa14 #FainLovett2018 #BlueWave2018 #Resist Support my Campaign
“Hello my to my Brothers and Sisters in the Resistance! I’m Tamekia Fain-Lovett, running for GA’s 14th against Tom Graves who voted in favor of the #TaxScam and to repeal ACA. I have a background in Healthcare and IT and will use my experiences to fight for affordable healthcare”

Dupont for KY Senate @Dupont4KYSenate
It’s time to bring fresh energy and change to Jessamine, Garrard, Mercer, Washington, and Fayette counties. Vote Carolyn Dupont for KY State Senate District 22.
“Go Tracy and go Dan! Thank you for stepping up to the plate! I am running for the Kentucky Senate, District 22 against a Republican incumbent who has not had a challenger in 20 years. I want to keep KY from turning into KS!”

Thought you might be interested. I don’t really know anything much about them, other than their short bio & tweets. Still, a nice start to 2018!

And I really hope you and all the regulars here have a great 2018! 2017 will be remembered as “The year of the morons!”

13 Kryten42 { 12.31.17 at 9:15 pm }

Ohmagerd… I’m going through the latest Wikileaks Hillary campaign mail dump… Did you know this?
“Mrs Clinton’s campaign considered Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates or his wife Melinda as her running mate, according to the hacked emails.”

See! Told you things could be worse! Think about it!

Here 18 via BBC:
18 revelations from Wikileaks’ hacked Clinton emails

14 Bryan { 12.31.17 at 10:07 pm }

At the moment there are Democratic candidates for almost every seat in Congress, but the Republicans are still looking for people to run in majority Republican districts. The Republicans have been bleeding people willing to associate with the party of Drumpf the Schmuck. The Schmuck’s minions can win Republican primaries, but they can’t get the majority of votes in the general election.

All of the enthusiasm is on the Democratic side if they don’t screw things up.

Well, if people don’t bitch, the pols will claim everything is a great success. Good on ya, keep the slime honest.

Now I’m going to hibernate for the freezing temperatures.

15 Bryan { 12.31.17 at 10:14 pm }

Those e-mails are from the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta’s private e-mail account, not the Clinton campaign. No way in hell that Hillary Clinton would have selected a non-politician as a running mate. A significant portion of the Wikileaks “Clinton E-Mails” were acts of creative writing by the Agitprop directorate of the FSB.

If Bill and Melinda were going to be part of a government they would buy a country in better shape than the US 👿

16 Kryten42 { 12.31.17 at 10:25 pm }

True about them being from DNC/Podesta’s stash. They seemed the same thing from my perspective. 😉

As for Billy-bob… Hmmmm. Pretty sure his goal was to one day own the USA after a cheap fire-sale buyout! It’s what he does after all. 🤔🙄

17 Kryten42 { 12.31.17 at 10:37 pm }

Last post here. I’m on my way out.

Is Donald Trump’s Dark Russian Secret Hiding in Deutsche Bank’s Vaults?

My response: “Well… DUH!!”

18 Bryan { 01.01.18 at 2:04 pm }

In the US election committees for candidates are separate entities from the party committees by law, with different rules for fundraising and spending. There was nothing criminal and a lot of gossip it what was leaked. There was also a lot of bogus e-mails included that had the wrong routing headers and other clues that they didn’t belong.

Trump owes Deutsche Bank major money and DB funneled cash from Russians to Trump. This has always been about shady financial dealing, and Trump may be a wholly owned subsidiary of Russian oligarchs, including Putin.

19 Kryten42 { 01.03.18 at 12:20 am }

Ahh! I wasn’t sure how that all worked. Thanks! And yes, I know there was a lot of *noise* in the eMail mix.

DB had some serious financial problems, so they lowered their *standards* quite a bit more to get out of their financial woes. Ivanka is up to her fake hair in the money laundering through her biz. I *suspect* pretty much the entire family is.

20 Bryan { 01.03.18 at 8:25 pm }

It is outrageously easy to run afoul of the US election financing laws. If you see a political ad, you have to look closely to figure out who paid for it. These days outside groups do the bulk of the ads.

DB wouldn’t pass the US financial stress-test for a local bank when looking at the loan liability/asset ratio. They got caught out on bad loans to Greece & Spain & Trump. Trump’s bad credit history means that he is paying credit card interest to very bad people. Both Trump and Kushner owe major money to less than reputable people and they don’t have the assets to cover their debts.