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Posts from — December 2018

Holiday Travel

ICHC cat Magi

This is a prime example of why you should make a list and check it twice when traveling during holidays. Following stars is all well and good, but can you tell the difference between a star and a meteorite headed directly for you?

If you are migrating home, or off on a vacation, be safe.

December 23, 2018   2 Comments

Happy Festivus

Yes, today is the celebration of the very untraditional Festivus.

If you celebrate I hope all of your grievances were aired and the airing did not involve the Festivus pole being used in an inappropriate fashion.

December 23, 2018   Comments Off on Happy Festivus

Poor Management & Other Problems

Dow’s worst week since 2008 financial crisis; Nasdaq closes in bear market. The Dow closed at about 22,450, higher than when Trump was inaugurated, but well below this year’s high. This is shaping up to be the worst December since 1931 during the Great Depression.

The turnover rate at McDonalds is 44%. That is better than Trump’s White House at 46%. Note that this does not include all of the posts that have never been filled.

You should read Secretary Mattis’s resignation letter. This resignation by a Secretary of Defense is another unprecedented feature of the Trump administration.

Congress has gone home for the night, so Trump will get the government shutdown he wanted. This is his. The Republicans put together a bill that would pass, and he refused to sign it.

In better news, Gatwick, Britain’s second busiest airport, has been reopened after the police arrest two accused of involvement in the drone flights that caused the airport to be shut down for most of two days.

On a lighter note, the city of Yellowknife in Canada has announced the name of a public statue of a muskox: Elon Muskox.

December 21, 2018   1 Comment

Happy HogWatch & Solstice

snowflakeAt 4:28 PM CST the winter solstice occurs marking the longest night of the year. If everyone has been good, the days start getting longer tomorrow. Locally, the sun will rise at 6:40AM and set at 4:50PM for a total of 10 hours and 10 minutes of daylight, but tomorrow will be a whole 1 second longer.

This also marks HogsWatch, so don’t forget to put out the turnips.

December 21, 2018   10 Comments

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

James “Mad Dog” Mattis resigns as Secretary of Defense The retired Marine Corps General was fed up with a President who refused to learn anything or take advice. He didn’t sign on as a babysitter for a geriatric “toddler”. This was in reaction to Trump’s unilateral decision to declare victory and pull all US troops out of Syria, without consulting with any of our allies in the conflict.

The guesses are: he did it to get Turkey to stop threatening Saudi Arabia and MBS over the Khashoggi murder; it made Putin happy; he decided Assad was his buddy; or he has stopped hating on Iran. Of course it could have been to change the news coverage of all of the legal trouble he, his family, and friends are in. Not even Fox & Friends approves of this move.

Then, after signaling that he would accept the bill that Mitch McConnell got passed in the Senate, he refused to sign it because of a lack of funding for his boarder wall. The outgoing Republican Speaker managed to pass a stopgap funding bill with $5 billion for Trump’s border wall, but there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to bring it to the floor.

As with the earlier DACA compromise that Trump made with Pelosi and Schumer, Trump reneged on the deal. There will be a shutdown and Trump owns it.

December 20, 2018   1 Comment

Missing The Point

Judge Emmet Sullivan has a reputation for being very hard on prosecutors. That isn’t totally accurate. Judge Sullivan is very hard on misconduct by any public official. If you know that, than you shouldn’t be at all surprised by what happened to Michael Flynn on Tuesday:

… Judge Sullivan told Flynn: “This is a very serious offense.

“A high-ranking senior official of the government making false statements to the FBI while on the physical premises of the White House.”

At one point, Judge Sullivan asked the prosecutor whether the special counsel’s office had ever considered charging Flynn with treason.

The judge told Flynn: “Arguably, you sold your country out.”

Judge Sullivan also said he “can’t hide my disgust, my disdain” for the offense.

Or what Judge Sullivan did to former Attorney General Session’s policy change on asylum seekers on Wednesday: Trump administration can’t limit asylum protections for domestic and gang violence victims. The judge said the asylum rules were established by Congress and can only be altered by Congress.

If you abuse your power or violate your oath of office, you do not want to appear before Judge Sullivan – a Reagan appointee.

December 19, 2018   Comments Off on Missing The Point

December 17, 1903

“Boldly going

Wright Flyer

where no man has gone before.”

The Wright Brothers make the first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

December 17, 2018   2 Comments

Trump’s Six Pack

Trump’s Six Pack: Trump Organization, Trump Foundation, Trump Campaign, Trump Inaugural Committee, Trump Transition Team, and the Trump Administration are each under investigation by one or more of the following: the Special Counsel’s Office, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, the US Attorney for District of Columbia, the Attorney General of the State of New York at a minimum. Those are investigations that we know about, and others are hinted at in various court filings. [Update: add the Attorney Generals of Maryland and New Jersey to the list of investigators.]

Meanwhile Trump’s defense team is not impressive:

New York University law professor Melissa Murray lamented on Sunday that Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is descending down “a death spiral of stupid” after the former New York mayor argued that Donald Trump did not break campaign finance laws by paying hush money to alleged mistresses during the 2016 campaign.

Trump’s meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over the border wall devolved into a reality TV episode which caused CNN political analyst, Ana Navarro to bring popcorn to the discussion and compare it to an episode of Real Housewives.

December 16, 2018   6 Comments

The Feast of Saint Lucia

This is Saint Lucia’s Day for Scandinavians.

It features special treats that are handed out by a girl wearing a crown of candles, Lucia coming from the Latin for light, LUX.

Saint Lucia was an early Christian martyr from Syracuse on Sicily, but her official feast day, December 13, fit perfectly with the local pagan celebration of the Lussi on December 13, which was the Winter Solstice at the time. Yep, more cover to continue the fun mid-winter celebrations by pretending they are associated with Christianity to get the Church off everyone’s case.

December 13, 2018   Comments Off on The Feast of Saint Lucia

Stuff I Noticed

I have been fighting with the latest update of WordPress as they tried to change the way I work and that had to be corrected. You don’t mess with the editor.

NASA’s Voyager 2 probe ‘leaves the Solar System’ and joins her sister where “no man-made object has gone before…”

On a sad note: Roger the ripped kangaroo dies aged 12. Roger was over 6-foot tall and near 200 pounds. Crushing metal buckets like they were paper cups was one of his tricks. He was the Schwarzenegger of roos.

Meanwhile Trump is having a bit of a problem finding a new chief of staff. His first choice, Nick Ayers, gave notice that he was leaving DC for Georgia at the end of the year. Trump has drawn up a list of candidates, but it is uncertain if anyone wants to work for him.

John Kelly Was a Bully, Bigot, and Liar for Trump. Goodbye and Good Riddance. Lawrence O’Donnell told us who John Kelly really is back in October of 2017 after the attack on Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson.

December 10, 2018   6 Comments

December 7th, 1941

The seventy-seventh 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, 2018   5 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 6, 2018   Comments Off on How Do Reindeer Fly?

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, 2018   Comments Off on Feast Of Saint Nicholas

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
성탄 축하
Vrolijk Kerstfeest
Nadolig Llawen
Fröhliche Weihnachten
Joyeux Noël
Buon Natale
Feliz Navidad
God Jul
Rauhallista Joulua
Happy Christmas
Happy Holidays

[Read more →]

December 6, 2018   Comments Off on Seasons Greetings