Saturday, February 27, 2016

Cove, Arkansas, Zip Code 71937

Cove is in Polk County, right up against Oklahoma. The Zip Code estimated population in 2013 was 2,169. Houses and condos totaled 1,066. Cost of living index was 78.6, with the U.S. as a whole rated at 100.

Median house value below state average.

Black race population percentage significantly below state average.

Hispanic race population percentage significantly below state average.

Median age above state average.

Renting percentage below state average.

Number of college students below state average.

Percentage of population with a bachelor's degree or higher below state average.

White population – 1,854; black population – 0; American Indian – 39; Hispanic or Latino – 79; others – 54. Those numbers are for the Zip Code.

With median household income of $17,368, and the median family income of $21,875, about 25.0% of families and 28.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.0% of those under age 18 and 16.9% of those age 65 or over.

Wikipedia gives Cove’s population as 383.

Here is a link to a picture of abandoned buildings:

There is land for sale in the area, but it’s way overpriced, with wooded and grass land (no houses or other buildings) running more than $2,000 an acre. One ad is for an 884-square-foot house on one acre, priced at $60,000. Appropriately, a Mercedes is shown parked in front of a shed. The Mercedes has a Texas tag.


Headlines from Iran: ‘High turnout in Iran elections raises hopes for moderates’

‘First Iran poll results show split among rivals’

(Subhead: ‘60% of 55 million Iranians voted; as count gets under way, 8 of first 20 constituencies go to conservatives, 4 to reformists and 8 to independents.’)

‘Iran executes men of entire village for drug smuggling’

(Subhead: ‘Vice president says execution was necessary to prevent crime spreading; Iran is world’s second bigger user of death penalty, after China’

Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi says violence might increase. “Their children are potential drug traffickers as they would want to seek revenge and provide money for their families. There is no support for these people.”

Even then, nu?

Candelabrum in Erfurt cathedral believed to be 13th century Torah stand made for local synagogue and stolen during 1349 pogram.

Official US positions must be confusing to Africans

Obama goes to Africa and tells leaders they must change laws against homosexuality. Africans tell Obama not to mess with their culture and society.

Obama started a war of words and some deeds with Israel before he was elected, and his first address to the world was in Cairo to a Muslim audience. Obama’s actions show: Muslim nations good, Israel bad.

The foreign minister of Kenya disagrees with the president of the United States.

“Claims that Israel is being diplomatically isolated are not true because the majority of African countries ‘see Israel as a very close friend,’ the foreign minister of Kenya told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

“Amina Mohamed, who is on a visit to Israel with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, said that Israel ‘has more friends than not on the continent.’ She pointed to the growing economic ties between African countries and Israel. Although Mohamed acknowledged that ‘it is very difficult to break the African bloc’.” that often votes against Israel at the United Nations, she noted that Kenya and other countries ‘actually have been quite courageous in breaking away sometimes.’”

Friday, February 26, 2016

H. Clinton finds new ‘constitutional right’

It’s probably near that constitutional “separation of church and state” clause.

“We’ve got to say to the gun lobby, you know what, there is a constitutional right for people to own guns. But there’s also a constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that enables us to have a safe country, where we are able to protect our children and others from this senseless gun violence.”

Yes, those are natural rights. But I expect a candidate for president to know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Surprise, surprise, surprise

Man released from Gitmo, arrested in Spain for terrorism.

MADRID (AFP) - Spanish and Moroccan police on Tuesday detained four people suspected of recruiting jihadists for the Islamic State group, one of whom was a former Guantanamo prisoner who received military training in Afghanistan.

The four -- three Spaniards and one Moroccan -- were "willing to commit terrorist acts on Spanish soil," police said, adding they had allegedly made contacts to acquire weapons and substances used to make explosives.

They were detained in Spain's north African exclave of Ceuta and the Moroccan city of Nador, and police said the brother of one of the cell members had committed a suicide attack in Syria for the Islamic State group (IS).

"One of the leaders of the cell received military and combat training in camps in Afghanistan under the authority of terrorist jihadist organisations," police added.

"In 2002 he was detained and later put in the Guantanamo detention camp.

"The fact that this leader was trained in handling weapons, explosives and in military tactics makes this cell particularly dangerous."

Police said the main aim of the cell was to recruit people for IS, particularly minors.

Link at

Hey, look! The future is … OMG! OMG!

‘Didn’t You Guys Even Watch The Terminator?’

“Boston Dynamics serves up another batch of Intertunnel-approved nightmare-fuel to haunt our hearts and minds for the next few weeks. Thanks to them, we can look forward to living in a world where our robot overlords can walk over uneven ground with relative ease. God help us all when they start trying to make the robots look more human. That’s a rabbit hole of weird no one should ever go down.

“Don’t come crying to me when you people finally bring about our fiery end by endowing robots with super-intelligence and a very flexible sense of morality. I tried to warn you. You just wouldn’t listen.”

Link at

MLB’s other Austro-Hungary/Irish ball player

Frank Rooney, born Frank Rovny, Oct. 12, 1884, in Podebrady.

Rooney made his MLB debut on April 18, 1914, at age 29. He played in 12 games with the Indianapolis Hoosiers, going to bat 35 times, scoring one run. He had seven hits, including one triple and one home run, and batted in eight. He also stole two bases. His batting average was .220. Rooney played nine games at first base, fielding .980, with two errors on 103 total chances. His last game was June 6, 1914.

Rooney died April 6, 1977, in Bessemer, Mich. He was 92 years old.

Maybe MLB’s only Austro-Hungary/Irish player

Joannes Pajkos (Jack Quinn) was born July 1, 1883, in Stefurov, Austria-Hungary. Or maybe in a coal-mining town in Pennsylvania in 1883 or 1884 or 1885. He never said.

Known: Quinn pitched his first MLB game on April 15, 1909. He was 25 years old. Or maybe 24 or 23.

Known: Quinn’s last MLB game was on July 7, 1933. He was 50 years old. Maybe. Whatever his age, Quinn maintained a serene attitude about baseball.

“Nothing bothers me,” he told a reporter, “Why should it? The undertaker will get us all soon enough. There’s no need to meet him more than halfway.”

Quinn’s last really good year was in 1931, when he was 48 years old. He pitched in 39 games with the Brooklyn Robins, starting eight games. He did not complete any games that year, but he did finish 29. He posted a 5-4 won-lost record, had an ERA of 2.66 and (by today’s statistics) saved 15 games.

“A lot of pitchers worry themselves out of the game. They cut their span of successful work by whole seasons. … Pitching, with me, is a serious profession. I realize its importance and I like to pitch. … Doing his best is no more than a pitcher is paid for. Bearing down in the pinches is what he is supposed to do.” (

In his 23-year MLB career, Quinn won 247 games and lost 218 for a .531 percentage. He started in 444 games, completed 243, and pitched 28 shutouts. His lifetime ERA was 3.29.


“I get tired after a hard ball game just as other pitchers do, but I don’t get sick and hang around half the night unable to eat my supper. And I don’t lie awake till morning wondering what might have happened if I’d pitched a little inside instead of outside to a certain batter. Overdoing a thing is half doing it.” (

Quinn played for the Highlanders, Braves, White Sox, Yankees, Red Sox, Athletics, Terrapins, Robins, Dodgers and Reds. He pitched in three World Series -- 1921 with the Yankees and then with the Athletics in 1929 and 1930.

Quinn was said to be Greek, Irish, Polish, Russian, Welch, Slovak, French and even American Indian.

He died April 17, 1946, in Pottsville, Penn.

“There’s only one right way to pitch a ball game. Do your best and let it go at that. Fussing and stewing and fretting is like throwing grit into the machinery.” (

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Transcript of MSNBC reporter’s story on Nevada voting

“(Bang) (Bang) (Bang) They say that the (Bang) short distance away (Bang) (Bang) Donald Trump (Bang) (Bang) (Bang) (Bang) (Bang) about protecting the Second Amendment (Bang) (Bang) (Bang) (Bang) All the Republicans (Bang) (Bang) support protecting the Second Amendment. Donald Trump (Bang) has said in speeches (Bang) the First Amendment and he supports the Second Amendment (Bang) (Large Bang) (Bang) (Bang) from the crowd when he says that. (Bang) (Bang) As we look at what Donald Trump has been doing (Bang) (Bang) Jeb Bush now, he’s focusing on Ted Cruz. (Bang) Saying in a tweet (Bang) Wow was Ted Cruz disloyal to his very capable director (Bang) used him as a scapegoat (Bang) like a dog (Bang) talking about (bang) fired his spokesman (Bang).”

‘This is why we can’t have nice things’

“If you’ve read this far waiting for my prescription to turn things around I humbly thank you. Alas, I have no such suggestion to give. I think we’re doomed.”

(Me, too.)

Last phony charge tossed against former Texas Gov. Perry

A couple of years ago a pissed-off DA in Travis County Texas ham-sandwiched a grand jury indictment against then-Gov. Rick Perry. Anybody with a bit of Texas sense knew: (1) the charges were spurious; and (2) the DA would not have gotten the indictment in any other county except ultra-liberal Travis.

Today, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals trash-bagged the remaining charges, following action of the Third Court of Appeals last year.

“A pro-Perry PAC covered his hefty legal bills,” Legal Insurrection said, but who will cover the tax dollars spent by the DA, who “was arrested for drunken driving and caught on video being abusive and disrespectful to the law enforcement officers”?

'The Turd Sandwich Salesmen'

The Z Man

One of the interesting things about what’s happening in American politics is how the chatter skulls are struggling to understand it. In fact, they are not really trying understand it. Their efforts are much closer to denial than genuine interest. They feel threatened, so they try to jam the bad news into a box they have labeled “bad think” hoping that will make it go away. At least it fits into their comfortable worldview, even if it is still stinking up the place.

The Trump story is the most obvious example. The crooks and hustlers of the Conservative Industrial Complex see him as a dire threat to their cozy lifestyles so they have been churning out copy “explaining” why Trump is evil and his voters are stupid. The hope being that people don’t want to be thought of as stupid so they will go along with the assertion that Trump is Hitler.

I don’t think guys like Matt Walsh are sitting around thinking it through. He’s not that bright. It’s a visceral reaction to dis-confirmation. Red Team leaders were supposed to wave their banners and the Red Team supporters were supposed to respond with the team cheers. Suddenly those people are at another rally, singing different cheers for different people and different banners.

There are two possible explanation for this unexpected event. One is the people running Red Team have failed in some way. They either have a bad product or they failed to know important things about their customers and supporters. The people are walking off because they don’t like what Red Team is offering.

The other answer is that the people are stupid or gullible and the guy leading them astray is evil. In this case, Trump is casting a spell on stupid people like the Pied Piper. Human nature being what it is, it’s no surprise that the response from Red Team has been to blame magic. The evil spirit called Trump has put the whammy on them.

Reality is something different. The problem both American parties face and what mainstream parties face all over the West is the dilemma of the turd sandwich. One side of the political class offers the voters a turd sandwich on rye. The other side offers a turd sandwich on whole wheat. Both sides lecture us nonstop that voting is our moral and civic duty.

Therefore, we must eat our turd sandwich.

Of course, there would be riots in the streets if it is said candidly so both sides of the political class ignore the filling and focus on the bread. We are repeatedly told by Team Whole Wheat that rye is poison and only lunatics eat rye. Team Rye tells us that wheat eaters are bigots and want to put rye eaters in chains. Their hyperbole aside, there is a very real difference between rye and whole wheat. No would deny it.

In a mass media culture, you can keep a lot of people busy shouting back and forth over trivia, like rye versus whole wheat, to keep the analogy going. What’s going on right now is a big chunk of voters has decided to look at the filling. They don’t like their turd sandwich and they have no interest in debating which type of bread is better. The trouble is, the menu at the political deli only has turd sandwiches.

That’s what the boys and girls of the commentariat cannot fathom. They ticked all the right boxes on their way into the club. They memorized all the arguments and they know how to tell you rye is better than wheat or wheat is better than rye. They are filling in all the right circles so everyone is supposed to fall in line. They just can’t understand that it’s not the sales pitch, it’s the product. The public is just not interested in their turd sandwich.

That’s why the pathological Trump bashing has had so little impact. In fact, it has probably helped him more than hurt. He represents a rejection of the party and its pitchmen in the media. The fact that they hate him is his best asset.

Voting for Trump, for most people, has become a vehicle to express their disgust for what the party has been feeding them for 25 years.

If you are on the party payroll or you work in conservative media, you really can’t face that reality. You have to keep believing that it will once again be a debate about the merits of whole wheat versus rye. That’s why they keep trotting out new arguments for why Donald Trump is a fraud, evil or about to implode. That’s why they have gone all-in on a guy like Marco Rubio.

Otherwise, these self-proclaimed intellectuals and opinion makers have to face a terrible reality. That’s the fact they are not, in fact, intellectuals or opinion makers. They are just hired staff in paper hats selling turd sandwiches for the people signing their checks. That’s a lot to ask of people who think a lot of themselves, but lack the sort of introspection required to admit error.

Winter was over …

… or so I thought, with daytime temperatures the last 10 days in the 70s, and yesterday at 79 or even 80 in places.

But nature/winds/ocean currents had a dissimilar idea. Today’s morning brought dark clouds, and even a rumble of thunder so quiet as not to disturb even the dogs, both of whom are frightened in stormy weather, the degree of fear dependent upon loudness and severity of thunder and lightning.

Raining it is now, and lows are guessed for the 40s or so tonight.

One thing, though: When I look outside, leaves and grass are green. It is that way year-round.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Well, dip me in beer batter and deep-fry me to a golden brown

Royal Dano did not say that in Killer Klowns from Outer Space, but he did say, “What in tarnation* is going on here?”

I watched about five minutes of the movie. The synopsis is (surprise!) about things from Outer Space that assume the costumes of giant clowns and shoot people with popcorn and cotton candy guns. The first Earther taken is Farmer Green’s bloodhound.

KKFOS was filmed in Watsonville, Calif., and at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Rotten Tomatoes said 71% of 17 of surveyed critics gave KKFOS a positive review. Seventy-one percent of 17 is 12.07, so one critic must have had mixed feelings about the flick.

Suzanne Snyder played Debbie Stone. SS was 20 at the time.

Grant Cramer was the hero. He was 27.

Royal Dano was 66 when the movie was made. Dano was a longtime character actor from 1950-1993. He died in 1971 at age 71. Dano was in at least 100 movies and TV shows, from Undercover Girl in 1950 to The Dark Half in 1993.

Watsonville is in Santa Cruz County. By 2010 census figures, 18.6% of families and 20.4% of total population lived below the Federal poverty line.

* Tarnation appears to be a variant of darnation, itself a taboo deformation of damnation, in the same way that darn is an alteration of damn. Tarnation, however, seems to have been influenced by tarnal!, another mild oath that is derived from the adjective eternal—as used in eternal damnation! for instance. The taboo deformations darn, darnation, and tarnation have been used in New England since the late 1700s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th edition Copyright © 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


I always figured “organic” growers had peanut and gluten “allergies”

It makes sense. One idea generally follows another.

The paradox of unanimity “has implications for food and agriculture. Few fields of popular interest have cultivated a wider array of glib axioms of empowerment than food: genetically modified organisms are bad, local is better, you shouldn't eat food your grandmother wouldn't eat, and so on. In the context of Main Street foodie wisdom, these claims enjoy something close to unanimity. But, for all their support, none comes closer to the unanimity quotient than the gilded assertion that organic food is food grown without pesticides.”

Ah, yes, the “axioms of empowerment,” so necessary to Liberal/Progressive living. Buy organic, buy local.

And the advertising that follows, especially in chain groceries, as to wit:

My wife and I were shopping at a Kroger in North Little Rock, Ark., where a sign in the produce department proclaimed, “We Buy Local.” I asked a man who was restocking lettuce, “In which local area were those pineapples grown?” He did not answer that question, but did say the “local” purchases of other fruits and vegetables were Mississippi and Florida. How “local” Mississippi and Florida were in terms of miles he did not say. In the case of Mississippi, the answer would be “Not very many,” but definitely more than to be considered “local.” Anything grown in another state is not “locally produced.”

In the organic food community, “organic farmers sometimes want to be around the conventional growers because pesticide drift helps reduce pests on their farms as well.” There is more than pesticide drift, of course. Some “organic foods” receive insecticide spraying as a routine part of farming.

Link at

Monday, February 22, 2016

Dog tag of soldier killed on Okinawa found on Saipan

By Chris Carola, Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — Feb 21, 2016, 2:37 PM ET

Dorothy Hollingsworth was just 7 when her brother Tom left the family farm in Indiana to join the Army a few months before the United States entered World War II. She never saw him again.

Now, more than 70 years after Pfc. Thomas E. Davis was killed in one of the war's final, major battles, a tangible reminder of her beloved sibling has been found on the Pacific island of Saipan — one of his Army dog tags.

"He was a great guy," said Hollingsworth, 82, who lives outside Dayton, Ohio, noting that some of her earliest memories are of the tall, thin sibling 17 years her senior who always sat next to her at the dinner table. "He was always laughing and singing and whistling."

Cultural historian Genevieve Cabrera told The Associated Press in an email that she found the discolored metal tag sticking out of the soil of a farm field on Saipan in early 2014. It was embossed with Davis' name, serial number, hometown and other information.

Cabrera recently gave the tag to members of Kuentai, a Japan-based organization that has found the remains of five 27th Division soldiers on Saipan. The group notified the AP this month about the dog tag's discovery in the hope that his relatives could be found. The AP tracked down members of the soldier's family with the help of Anthony Barger, the archivist for the Putnam County Public Library.

Kuentai representatives said they'll arrange to meet the Davis family in the U.S. to hand over the tag.

While it is relatively common to find canteens, weapons and even unexploded shells from the 100,000 Americans and Japanese who fought for 25 days on the 46-square-mile island, dog tags remain a rare find, Cabrera said. The tags, attached to a chain worn around the neck, were the only item of military-issued gear a soldier wore daily that included potentially life-saving information such as blood type and when a tetanus shot was administered.

A year before Davis died in the battle for Okinawa in April 1945, he earned one of the nation's highest military honors after surviving the bloody fighting on Saipan.

According to wartime records kept at the New York State Military Museum, home to many of the 27th Division's documents, Davis earned the Silver Star on Saipan in June 1944 for risking his own life to rescue a wounded comrade "at a time when the American front was undergoing brutal Japanese artillery and mortar fire."

Davis went into the Army in September 1941, three months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor drew the U.S. into WWII. He served in the 165th Infantry Regiment of the 27th Infantry Division, a New York National Guard unit mobilized into active service in 1940.
Davis was with the 27th when it took part in the Okinawa invasion, which began on April 1, 1945. Three weeks later, he was shot by a Japanese sniper while again helping a wounded soldier, according to what Hollingsworth says military officials told the family. Davis died April 30, two months shy of his 28th birthday. Four years later, his body was brought back for reburial in his hometown.

Davis was born and raised on his family's farm in Roachdale in Putnam County, Indiana, 30 miles west of Indianapolis. His mother died when he was a young boy, and his father remarried. Davis had six siblings: an older brother, Harold, three half brothers and two half sisters, including Hollingsworth. The brothers have died. His other half-sister, Hazel Priest, 81, lives in Victoria, Texas, and several nieces and nephews live in Texas, Ohio and Indiana.

Hollingsworth said Tom Davis, of Victoria, a 57-year-old machinist who was named after his uncle, will likely get the dog tag.

Link at

I am laughing at the bureaucratic language ...

… and shaking my head at the idea contract maintenance is better than keeping organic maintainers.

‘AF to Shift Some Maintenance Units to Contractors’

“The Air Force will temporarily transition some legacy active-duty maintenance units to contract maintenance beginning in fiscal year 2017 and continuing through fiscal year 2020. There is a shortfall of 4,000 maintainers. The move will allow the Air Force to cross train approximately 1,100 experienced maintainers from legacy aircraft (F-16 Fighting Falcon, A-10 Thunderbolt II, and C-130 Hercules) into the F-35 Lightning II program. Additional initiatives to manage the maintainer shortage include: increasing the number of maintenance accessions; offering selective reenlistment bonuses; offering experienced former Airmen the opportunity to return to active duty; offering high year of tenure extensions; implementing direct duty prior service accessions; and implementing voluntary limited period of active duty.”

Gestapo HQ, batteries not included

My friend Joe Rooney (919th Engineer Company, 11th Armored Cavalry) sent me two helicopters and a book. One helicopter is green and white, with four rotor blades and requiring batteries; the other is balsa – some assembly required.

The book is Topography of Terror – Gestapo, SS and Reichssichereheitshauptamt on the Prinz-Albrecht-Terrain – A Documentation. Replete with photographs and copies of (translated) documents, the book should be a good read.

At last year’s reunion of the 11th Armored Cavalry’s Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia in Columbus, Ga., Joe brought a set of Bell Jet Ranger (OH-58) tail rotor blades, flying with the blades from the San Francisco area. I don’t know if the rotor blades were part of Joe’s carry-on luggage; but if so, they must have presented a mystery to flight attendants.

“Excuse me, Sir, but what are those?”

“Helicopter tail rotor blades.”

“Well, Sir, this is a Boeing 337. It has wings.”

At this year’s reunion, in San Antonio, I’ll see what I can do about getting a Florida alligator for Joe to keep in his California apartment.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Liberals knocking each other upside the head

‘Bernie Sanders' Campaign Has Crossed Into Neverland’

The comments are most interesting, Sanders Socialists vs Whatever H. Clinton followers are.

Link at

Black bear in the Texas desert

The site does not have a date. Interesting that two black bear subspecies “are thought to occur in Texas: the Mexican Black Bear … and the New Mexico Black Bear …”

Texas should have its own Black Bear and not be dependent on bears from Mexico, Old or New. With dependency, it sounds as though other bears do jobs Texas bears won’t do.

Here’s an ad for 20,944 acres in SW Texas

The ad says 20,944 +/-. When you get to that many acres, does “more or less” really count? If you’re buying 10 acres, you want 10 actual acres.

Anyway, $500 an acre (+/-) isn’t a bad deal.

What do you call a man who strips buck-naked in a dressing room filled with girls?

Within his rights, in Seattle.

“News emerged last week that in early February, an adult male moseyed into a women’s changing room at a Seattle swimming pool and proceeded to remove every stitch of clothing as the members of a young girls’ swim team gaped on in horror.

“When asked about what the hell he was doing, the man allegedly claimed that he was a transgender woman: ‘The law has changed and I have a right to be here.’

“Officials say that the ‘woman’ in question made no attempt to appear as a woman nor to act as one. Seattle Parks spokesdude David Takami sputteringly explained that his department is committed to tolerating the ongoing delusions of men who claim that they’re women: ‘We want everyone to feel comfortable in our facilities.’ Apparently this does not include young girls who wouldn’t feel comfortable at the sight of men stripping naked in front of them.

“Completely discounting the understandable and legitimate fear of nubile females who have no desire to see strange males strip naked in front of them, nor to have the same males gawk at their nude bodies, the leftist totalitarians at Free Speech TV deemed a new South Dakota bill—the first in the nation to explicitly ban the sort of shenanigans that transpired in Seattle—as ‘transphobic,’ a neologism that Microsoft Word thankfully still redlines as not a word at all.

“Also last week, the decathlete formerly known as Bruce Jenner claimed that he’s received more criticism for being a political conservative than for falsely claiming that he’s a chick.”

My brother the drummer and rocket scientist

My brother Bill and I were talking music a few months ago. More specifically, I was talking about songs I liked; Bill talked about the musical aspects. It was point-reverse of the saying, “I don’t know much about art, but I do know what I like.” That was my part of the conversation. Bill’s part was about the art itself. He is ahead – He knows the art and he knows what he likes.

I don’t remember much of what we said. My part was along the lines of, “More than Yesterday is the best driving with the windows down song ever written.” And, “Anybody who says Imagine is John Lennon’s best song, I always want to say, ‘He didn’t say anything about ‘Imagine there’s no money, did he.’” If you’re so much into telling other people what they should do, back up your words. Give some money.

In My Life is Lennon’s best song.

Bill is an ultimate Beatles fan. He was 13 when the Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan show in February 1964. He didn’t say anything at the time, but he was hooked on the music. Bill started playing drums probably around age 14. He was better than good. Years later – 25 years later – when a fellow National Guard training NCO said something about playing in a band, I mentioned that my brother had played in bands in Northeast Texas. “Who’s your brother?” the other sergeant asked. I told him. He said, “Bill Merriman is your brother?” Indeed he is, I said. The sergeant said, “He is the best drummer I ever heard play.”

Chance favors the bold, so people say. Bold is difficult, though, when your choice is between music and family, between a what-if and the reality of you have a job and a wife and kids to car for. Family has been the downfall, if you want to look at it that way, of many a musical career. I have heard people who were better than good, but they were not willing to put family aside and head off to bright lights and the likelihood of failure. A friend said some of her cousins could play Allman Brothers songs just like the Allman Brothers, and their own compositions even better. But somewhere along the line the cousins accumulated families, and their Oklahoma upbringing said you first take care of family.

It was kind of the same way with my father. When a young man, he wanted to be Bob Wills, but that job was taken. Daddy wanted to be Johnny Gimble, too, but there was the family. And, Daddy was never the fiddle player Wills was, certainly not as good as Gimble.

Bill went back to playing after he retired from being a rocket scientist. OK, he was a Hawk and Patriot civilian missile technician for the Army, but not everybody can say, “Hey, my brother is a rocket scientist and one of the best drummers you will ever hear.”

During our music conversation, Bill mentioned a time a few months previously when the band leader suggested he work up a Beatles song. I forget which song it was, but Bill said, “It’s difficult to play.” I thought drumming is drumming, but that shortcoming of knowledge is why what I play best is a radio. Bill said the song begins with a big band beat and goes into a rock beat about halfway through. What that means, I have no idea. Bill said he started the song, and then when he segued into the rock beat, the band leader/lead guitarist said, “Whoa, whoa wait a minute. What is that?” Bill explained the intricacies. The guitarist said, “Oh. Okay.”

Bill retired again last week, this time from playing in a band. Bill is four years younger than I am, which means he hits 66 in August. He is still in good shape; a wiry man, you would say if you met him.

He is still good. But, comes a time when everybody has to put away the sticks.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Mosul: Islamic State beheads 15-year-old boy for listening to “Western music"

The victim, Hussein Ayham, was arrested by a Jihadi patrol at his father's shop. The execution took place in a public square and sparked outrage among locals. Two teenaged boys were executed for not attending Friday prayers. Women rape survivors were stoned for “adultery”.

Baghdad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Islamic State (IS) group has reportedly beheaded a 15-year-old boy for listening to Western pop music and shot dead two others for missing Friday prayers, as part of a wider crackdown in the group's stronghold of Mosul in northern Iraq.

According to local sources, reported by Kurdish media, the teenager named Ayham Hussein was caught during a patrol by Isis fighters, listening to Western music from his CD player in his father's grocery store, in the west of the city.

Brought before a Sharia court, the boy was sentenced to death by beheading, which took place in a public square. His body was handed to his parents last Tuesday for burial.

The execution, the first for listening to banned music, has led to rare public displays of outrage, albeit muted because of the local powerlessness vis-à-vis Jihadi brutality.

Separately, two young men were arrested last week for failing to attend Friday prayers at the main mosque in Mosul. Both were shot dead outside the same mosque on Sunday.

The execution took place after a member of the Sharia Court read a statement vowing anyone who misses the prayers at the mosque to face the “same punishment."

In late January, a 14-year-old was reportedly beheaded on similar charges. A witness said the boy’s parents were "forced to witness the beheading of their own son”.

Reports from Mosul also indicate that four women victims of rape were stoned to death for adultery.

Jihadis claimed to have caught the women in an adulterous situation; however, the victims were most likely exposed to sexual abuse at the hands of ISIS militants before they were driven out of their homes and transferred to the Sharia Court.

The latest jihadi violence comes as the group continues to hold onto a large territory despite military setbacks across Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

Link at

When hearing the things Trump said about Cruz …

… I thought, “Cruz should respond the way he would if the slanders had been spoken in Texas – Take Trump outside and deliver a good ass-whippin’.”

That was Thought No. 1. Thought No. 2 was, “It’s too bad states did away with duels, ‘cause this round of political character attacks certainly has made lots of times when somebody should have slapped somebody else upside the head and given an option – Guns or knives?”

I’m not the only one with bad thoughts.

‘Bring Back Dueling!’

“Dueling would provide a much-needed corrective to our increasingly vulgar and reckless politics.”

Link at

My mother said I shouldn’t laugh at others, but sometimes …

Clinging to their goddesses and their guns.

‘Goddess Gathering’

“This is a monthly group for women who are intent on embracing themselves as an aspect of the Divine Feminine. We will celebrate and explore what it means to be a woman. We will also look to Goddesses of many different paths and pantheons for inspiration.

“Suggested donation $10.”

A craigslist listing.

Not laughing.

“I just moved down here from the North. I left behind all my close friends whom I could trust and depend on. Im looking to form a group down here now. Not only for survival in case of disaster, but challenging authority when necessary, and making our community safer!

“We operate a podcast calling out corruption wherever we find it, and we fight back against the status quo. GO TO (address redacted*) to watch our videos and get an idea of what we are about. (its under construction so some parts may not be running) STILL CHECK IT OUT!!

“We are/were a non violent group! We use civil disobedience as our primary weapon. So if you have the heart and you wanna help form a group where REAL CHANGE CAN OCCUR. Contact me!

“We are here to make our community more enlightened and safer!”

(*First time I ever used “redacted.”)

Finding lost things

Satellite imagery helps archaeologists.

1935 window menu, Blossom Restaurant, Manhattan

Hamburger steak and onions – 15 cents.

Beef steak and onions – 20 cents.

2 eggs with potatoes and coffee – 10 cents.

Perspective: For a job during the Depression, my father shoveled gravel for eight hours and was paid 50 cents.

Listening to Byzantium

“You cross the threshold and your eyes immediately have to adjust … It seems pitch black inside. The first thing you notice is images of saints, who are your size, staring at you. Gold halos against dark background, and they seem to loom. It smells of incense. You’re in this world of myrrh. The temperature is different as well. Inside, you’re in a much cooler space. Your entire body adjusts ... and then to have music at the same time? That hits every sense.”

“What was truly surprising for me … was going into a space that was ancient, and to crawl around the ceiling and look at the walls and realize that they were looking at things acoustically. It wasn’t just about the architecture. They had these big jugs that were put up there to sip certain frequencies out of the air ... They built diffusion, a way to break up the sound waves by putting striations in the walls. They were actively trying to tune the space.”

Link at

Fashions of the future …

… as imagined in 1893.

Link: ‘The Robot Future,’

Guessing wrong is easy. And much more likely.

Friday, February 19, 2016

More bullets fly

‘Azerbaijan fired from mortar towards Artsakh’

“The enemy’s activity noticeably increased in the contact line of Karabakh-Azerbaijani antagonistic troops during February 17 and the night of February 18. During the mentioned period Azerbaijani armed forces fired around 700 shots towards Armenian positions from weapons of different calibers including 82mm mortar (5 missiles).

“’Armenpress’ was informed by the Press Service of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Defense Ministry the rival’s attacks were suppressed due to counterattacks by the front line units of the Defense Army.”

And: ‘Azerbaijan used grenade against Artsakh last night’

‘Azerbaijan side fired over 500 shots at Artsakh last night’

‘Azerbaijan made provocations in the line of contact’

Headlines, or: Does anybody know what’s going on?

18 February 2016, 10:48: ‘Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan over 130 times in 24 hours.’

18 February 2016, 16:19: ‘No incident during OSCE monitoring on Azerbaijani, Armenian armies contact lines.’

Both sides count violations in terms of number of rounds fired by the other.

Political general ignores facts of ambush, accuses Marines of killing ‘innocent’ Afghans

Afghans villagers: “(D)runken Marines sprayed gunfire into crowds of unarmed civilians.”

The PC general: “I stand before you today deeply, deeply ashamed and terribly sorry that Americans have killed and wounded innocent Afghan people,” Nicholson told reporters. “The death and wounding of innocent Afghans at the hand of Americans is a stain on our honor and on the memory of the many Americans who have died defending Afghanistan and the Afghan people. This was a terrible, terrible mistake …That is not what America stands for.”

The report: “MSOC F received a suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) followed by a complex ambush from both sides of the road,” Urquhart said in the report, which Galvin provided to the Washington Free Beacon. “Vehicles 1 & 2 returned fire to suppress enemy forces and positions.”

And: “The investigative reports were then presented to a three-member Court of Inquiry. After more than three weeks, the court cleared Marines of any wrongdoing, concluding that they were returning fire following a hostile ambush.”

Link at

(A commander in chief can always find a flag officer more interested in career than in the truth.

(I’ll admit to at least a little knee-jerk reaction here, when the people on the ground have a story not the same as a general officer who apologized to the indigenous peoples and threw around some soul-saving coin.)

Swedish dig shows massacre of people, abandonment of livestock

by Annalee Newitz

On Öland, an island off the coast of Sweden, archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a 1,500-year-old fort whose inhabitants were brutalized in such an extreme way that legends about it persist to this day. As researchers piece together the fort's final days, it sounds like they're telling a horror story.

Possibly hundreds of people sheltering behind the fort's defenses were executed and abandoned, their bodies left to rot in place without burial. Their wounds were indicative of execution. And some of their mouths were stuffed with goat and sheep teeth, possibly a dark reference to the Roman tradition of burying warriors with coins in their mouths.

None of their considerable wealth was looted, which is highly unusual. Researchers have found barely hidden valuables in every house they've excavated. Even the livestock was left behind after the slaughter, locked up to die of starvation. This is even more bizarre than the lack of looting. On an island with scarce resources, it would have been considered a waste for victors (or neighbors) to leave healthy horses and sheep behind after battle.

It was a bizarre, kill-all-zombies-style attack.

Link at

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Home sales jumped …

… for two years in the Hampton, Ark., area (ZIP Code 71744) before settling to whatever is normal these days in real estate.

In Second Quarter 2012, home sales totaled 7.5, at an average cost of $75,000. Sales dropped off to five in the Fourth Quarter 2014 (average cost $50,000) but then springboarded to 11 in Second Quarter 2014, with average cost of $110,000. Third Quarter figures went back to Earth – four houses at $40,000 each.

I don’t know how much data is believable. For example:

80.4% of residents have high school or higher; 7.5% have a bachelor’s degree or higher; and, 2.6% hold a graduate or professional degree. Those figures are far below state average, so who bought all those $110,000 average houses?

Hampton is in the mid-southern part of Arkansas, close to Louisiana. It is the county seat of Calhoun County. Population in 2010 was 1,324. Demographically, the town is 66 percent white and 32 percent black. Those percentages, the same or reversed, generally mean high unemployment and a greater degree of poverty. Wikipedia says about 20 percent of families and 23 percent of the overall population is below the Federal poverty line, including 30 percent under age 18 and 21 percent of those age 65 and older.

Interestingly, for every 100 women, there are 75 men.

Famous people from Hampton include Harry Z. Thomason, TV producer and friend of the Clintons; and Tommy Tomlinson, Rockabilly Hall of Fame member and guitarist for Johnny Horton’s band. Tomlinson was wounded as a Marine in the Korean War and was seriously injured in the 1960 car wreck that killed Horton near Milano, Texas.

Hampton has a government, but not too many people are interested in it. A Dec. 15, 2015, story said only one alderman had filed for re-election, and no sitting aldermen had any kind of opposition. According to the state constitution, sitting aldermen who have no opposition “will serve until they are voted out of office, die or somehow become ineligible …”

All in all, it seems not too much goes on in Hampton.

So this ISIS instructor’s head exploded …

No, he wasn’t watching a Hillary/Bernie/Donald video, but giving a class on how to behead infidels, but the class had a sudden dismissal when an SAS sniper put a .338 into/through the headmaster’s head, causing massive damage; i.e., his head exploded.

The thing to do with those people is to ensure school is out forever.

There’s a kind of green all over the world …

Drylands all over the place are becoming greener, scientist says, “but we don’t necessarily know if that’s a good thing or not.”

Uh, I'm going to guess it's a good thing.

Link at

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Spring training

Pitchers and catchers report tomorrow.

This morning I am going to a dentist, and this afternoon will report to the “fitness club,” where a treadmill waits to be walked and few tons of metal wait to be lifted. At Monday’s strength test, I learned I had increased said strength by 33 percent above my first access, more than two months ago. Since a computer is involved, I did not access the machines my initial visit. The computer would not take my data. The electronic thing did accept me on my second visit. As things go with my wife and computers, she was accepted immediately.

I had tried a couple of self-induced fitness programs, beginning with a farmer’s carry, mentioned at Maggie’s Farm. Simple, the farmer’s carry. I bought two five-gallon plastic buckets at Lowe’s and in each I put a heavy paving stone – 25 or so pounds. Exercising is, as said above, simple. Pick up the buckets and walk around for a while. You will keep your shoulders back and level, and you will take normal steps. No slouching, no short steps like Babe Ruth.

Priscilla and I also decided on bicycle exercising. Bicycle for her, tricycle for me. My non-balance keeps me from riding a two-wheeler. For now.

My tricycle arrived in a box. After a few months of moving the box around the garage, I decided to assemble the thing. After about 30 minutes, I was done. The brake handle would not assemble. A small part refused to lock into place, leaving the handle useless. Also, a screw in the bumper assembly refused to unscrew from the place into which it was screwed.

Priscilla reminded me than Michael, our oldest, would soon visit, and perhaps he could convince the assembly to work. Michael did visit, and demonstrated why he had successfully completed 20 years of Army aircraft maintenance.

“Michael got the brake fixed,” my wife said.

“What did you do?” I asked Michael.

“There was a little piece that was supposed to lock into place,” he said. I mentioned that was precisely why I had given up; the little piece would not lock in place. Michael said, “Well, it did.”

He also unscrewed the screw that wouldn’t, using the same unscrewdriver I had unsuccessfully used.

“It came right out,” said my wife, who observed all of the successful assembly.

I get the idea that during Michael’s years of supervising and teaching, more than one aircraft mechanic said, “Sgt. Merriman, I can’t get this chingus to work.” And more than once, Michael took the proper tool and said, “Try it this way,” and the chingus locked into place. And every time, the supervised mechanic said, “I tried that. That’s what I did, but it didn’t work.”

Monday, February 15, 2016

Wild and unreliable Ed Reulbach

"(Ed) Reulbach was effective at times (24 wins, 7 losses, 2.03 ERA), but extremely wild and unreliable." - Reach Guide (1908)

Extremely wild and unreliable Ed. At the end of 1908, Ed Reulbach had pitched four seasons with the Chicago Cubs. His won-loss record was 78-29. In 1,000 innings, he walked 335 batters and struck out 475.

In 13 years pitching in the majors, wild and unreliable Ed posted a 182-106 won-loss record, had an ERA of 2.28, and in 2,632 innings walked 892 and struck out 1,137 batters.

Any MLB team these days would be pleased to have such a wild and unreliable pitcher.

Which party is dumber?

“Most of the GOP’s problems, however, are the result of incompetence. When presented with three options, all good, they find a fourth that is self-defeating. The political ineptitude is so breathtaking that many of their voters have concluded it must be deliberate. No one can be this dumb this often by accident. It’s why they have a revolt brewing in their primary.” – ‘The Stupid Are Always Unlucky’

Link at

The Democratic Party went through a revolution for the 1972 election – McGovern vs. Nixon. McGovern promised to pay every American $10,000 once he was in the White House. Ten thousand dollars was like real money in 1972. Voters didn’t buy the bribe, and the real leaders of the Democratic Party put up Jimmy Carter in 1976.

This present revolution of presumably Republicans and Democrats promises … No one knows what will happen between now and the November election.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

I got your gun control right here

‘Three Basic Facts About The Right To Bear Arms’

So says the U.S. Supreme Court.

Link at

The most important part: The right to bear arms is a pre-existing right, a right that existed before written into the Bill of Rights.

Lake Village, Arkansas, 71653

Lake Village is near one of the biggest Mississippi River oxbow lakes I’ve ever seen. Several oxbows snake around in that part of Arkansas and Mississippi, giving an idea of how the big river goes where flood waters send it.

Go a few miles west, and you will see a much smaller river that winds and serpentines at least as much as the Mississippi.

Here is a satellite picture:

Lake Village is in Chicot County, at the farthest southeast edge of Arkansas. The population in 2010 was 2,575. Population in 1980 was 3,310. Racial makeup is 56 percent black and 41 percent white, with the remaining 3 percent Native American, Asian-American or Hispanic.

For every 100 women, there are 80 men. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there are 71 men. Thirty percent of families and 36 percent of the total population are below the federal poverty line, including 50 percent of those under 18 and 25 percent of those 65 and older.

Agriculture income is from soybeans, cotton, wheat and catfish.

Confederate Brig. Gen. D.H. Reynolds was a resident of Lake Village. He also was a classmate of future fellow Confederate Brig. Gen. Otho F. Strahl at Ohio Wesleyan in Delaware, Ohio.

The city site says: “Nestled on the banks of beautiful Lake Chicot, the largest natural oxbow lake on the North American Continent, Lake Village is a natural for the outdoor enthusiast or the amateur historian. Life in Lake Village, for both the young and the ‘young at heart’, epitomizes the hometown hospitality of Southeast Arkansas and the Delta.”

Ukrainian woman challenges aftermath of war

Nolan Peterson

KIYEV, Ukraine -- Ivona Kostyna couldn’t leave the war even if she wanted to.

It was December 2014 and, at age 18, the civilian volunteer was delivering supplies to Ukrainian troops stationed in the front-line town of Debaltseve.

Her car broke down, and in the six days it took to make repairs she lived among the soldiers. They were hunkered down in foxholes and in trenches in anticipation of an offensive by combined Russian-separatist forces.

The attack ultimately would take place less than two months later in February 2015—days after the signing of the Ukraine war’s second cease-fire.

Kostyna was supposed to spend only a few hours on the front lines. That’s how it usually was when she delivered supplies. She would arrive in her old, beat-up car, often under artillery and sniper fire, drop off a load of items such as uniforms, boots and food, and then hightail it back out of the war zone.

She understood the terror of war, voluntarily risking her life time and again to visit the troops. And over time she became good friends with many of the soldiers she encountered.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Antarctic cooling kills 150,000 penguins

Iceberg “the size of Rome” and “larger than Luxemburg” forces Adelie penguins to travel farther for food.

“The penguins used to live near a large body of open water, but the arrival of the iceberg in East Antarctica and fast ice expansion has dramatically increased the distance they must travel to feed.”

Save the penguins! Bring on global warming!

(The story quotes no one except “researchers” in an Antarctica Science article. The article is unclear as to whether 150,000 penguins are already dead from starvation or if that number will die.)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Germany threatens to put Poland ‘under supervision’

“The rhetoric coming from Germany has turned especially hostile in recent months. Leading members of Merkel’s government have talked about taking ‘punitive measures’ against Poland and placing the country ‘under supervision.’ Germany’s Deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has also called for economic sanctions against EU-members who refure to ‘shoulder the burden’ and accept their “fair share” of migrants.

(Last year our daughter was considering a trip to Poland. I mentioned that to a neighbor, who, in his words, “escaped from Poland” in the late 1970s. He said, “She will be safe in Poland. There, they see someone get off an airplane and he has a beard or he is wearing a turban, police begin following him.”)

Silent Christians

Those Syrian Christians are so far away, and if we say anything bad about Muslims … Well, you know that makes us look bad.

Or as “Robert McManus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, said it on February 8, 2013 as he was suppressing a planned talk at a Catholic conference on that persecution: ‘Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.’”

Link at

(After the U.S. deposed Saddam Hussein in Iraq, CNN admitted knowledge of many atrocities, but said nothing because to actually report news would have lessened access to the dictator. CNN was more than willing to blast Presidents Bush, but not a Middle Eastern dictator.

(And who are those “devout Muslims” the bishop mentioned? Aren’t ISIS members “devout Muslims?”)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Land under Federal ownership, control or influence

When Texas entered the Union in 1845, part of the annexation agreement was the new State would maintain ownership of the outgoing Republic’s land. With territories that became states, the Federal government already owned or controlled almost all of the land.

That’s one of those Remember the Alamo things.

Clinton heads South for the loyal Negro vote

“Clinton is set to campaign with the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, unarmed African-Americans who died in incidents involving a neighborhood watch representative and law enforcement officers, respectively. And the campaign, sources said, is expected to push a new focus on systematic racism, criminal justice reform, voting rights and gun violence that will mitigate concerns about her lack of an inspirational message.”

Link at

One of the best news story leads this year

“Snow provided by Mother Nature combined with threats of eternal damnation from former secretary of state Madeleine Albright were not sufficient to prevent Democratic women from deserting Hillary Clinton in droves this Tuesday to deliver a smashing victory to avuncular socialist Bernie Sanders in the New Hampshire primary.”

Working on a board game

NSFW. I don’t yet have a name for the game, only some characters and locations.

Miss Morpile on the coffee table in the parlor with Captain Ketchum.

Professor Pear on the settee in the foyer with Mrs. Brown.

Mr. Armstrong on the kitchen table with Mrs. Byrd.

Colette with Mr. Leclerc in a chair in the butler’s pantry.

The motorcyclist with Miss Havisham on the hay pile in the barn.

(Some minds are easily sidetracked from important issues of the day.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Your stolen truck runs out of gas? Not a problem.

Well, it is when the responding po-leece ID the pickup.

“Indicted for unauthorized use of a vehicle was (the dumb dude). The 40-year-old Winnsboro man was arrested Dec. 30. Deputies responded on Interstate 30 east of Sulphur Springs to assist a motorist. Upon arrival, deputies were told by the man inside that the truck had run out of gas. A records check showed the truck had been reported to Longview officials as stolen. He gave deputies inconsistent stories as to how he came into possession of the pickup, including borrowing from a friend, renting it and giving a friend narcotics to use it, deputies alleged on reports at the time of his arrest. (Dumb dude) was released from jail later Jan. 30 on $10,000 bond on the charge, according to jail reports.”

(Wait, wait! “Giving a friend narcotics to use it?” Oh, that there was a felony stupid law. Think this dude will show up for hearings?)

Stop hugging trees and pay pensions

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- A major Brazilian daily Tuesday said that the Rio de Janeiro state governor wants to use money earmarked for an environmental fund to cover shortfalls in civil servants' pensions.

A press officer at Gov. Luiz Fernando Pezao's office confirmed the information published Tuesday by the O Globo newspapers.

The newspaper said the money would cover an expected 2016 pension payment deficit of US$3 billion and that the government has pledged that the Rio de Janeiro state treasury would replace the funds.

A former government official says the money will not be paid back.

One wonders how much impetus the August Olympics games gave to new (or first time) sewage treatment and cleaning up rivers Guanabara Bay?

In other possible Olympics news, experts say “Zika mosquitos not guaranteed to lie low for Rio Olympics.”

Monday, February 8, 2016

What did you think she was going to talk about? Making cookies?

First the bona fides: “Jasbir K. Puar is Associate Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies at Rutgers University. She received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley in 1999 and an M.A. from the University of York, England, in Women’s Studies in 1993. She has written widely on South Asian disaporic cultural production in the U.S., U.K., and Trinidad; gay and lesbian tourism; terrorist studies; surveillance studies; bio and necropolitics; queer theory; disability and debilitation; theories of intersectionality, affect, and assemblage; animal studies and posthumanism; homonationalism, pinkwashing, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Puar’s forthcoming monograph, States of Debility and Capacity (Duke University Press, 2016) takes up the relations between biopolitics, disability, and forms of active debilitation pivotal to the operations of war machines and racial capitalism. The book will be among the first to appear in a new book series, ANIMA, which she co-edits with Mel Chen (author of Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect, Duke University Press, 2012).”

And now her speech topic: Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters. Lecture by Professor Jasbir Puar

“This lecture theorizes oscillating relations between disciplinary, pre-emptive, and increasingly prehensive forms of power that shape human and non-human materialities in Palestine. Calculation, computing, informational technologies, surveillance, and militarization are all facets of prehensive control. Further, the saturation of spatial and temporal stratum in Palestine demonstrates the use of technologies of measure to manufacture a “remote control” occupation, one that produces a different version of Israeli “home invasions” through the maiming and stunting of population. If Gaza, for example, is indeed the world’s largest “open air prison” and an experimental lab for Israeli military apparatuses, infrastructural chaos, and metric manipulation, what kinds of fantasies (about power, about bodies, about resistance, about politics) are driving this project?”

Link at:

It’s a good thing I got’s me a degree, elsewise I wouldn’t understand Zionist use of oscillating relations against downtrodden Palestinians.

We threatened to destroy you. Now pay us 200 million euros

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 7

By Umid Niayesh- Trend:

The amount of the compensation which French auto manufacturing company Peugeot-Citroen PSA should pay Iran is over 200 million euros, Hashem Yekeh Zareh, the CEO of Iran Khodro Industrial Group (IKCO) said.

Yekeh Zareh said that that a supportive-compensational package is forecasted in the Peugeot- IKCO recent deal, Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported Feb. 7.

He further said that the package envisages cash payment for compensation.

A day earlier Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mine, and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh announced that Peugeot will be obliged to make up for the losses Iran suffered due to the company’s violation of its previous commitments.

Peugeot, an arch-partner of the Iranian auto industry, suspended sales in Iran in 2012 due to international sanctions.

Nematzadeh underlined that Iran’s losses due to the suspension of the previous contract will be compensated for in the new deal with the French company, however he refused the unveil further information, saying the details of the contract are confidential.

The French carmaker earlier announced that it had finalized a binding contract with Iran’s leading automobile manufacturer Iran Khodro over the production of cars in the country.

The contract whose value stands at €400 million envisages the investment by Peugeot in modernizing platforms, particularly in the main Iran Khodro site near Tehran. The investment will also allow for the export of vehicles to the region.

PSA will begin by producing 200,000 cars a year in a 50:50 joint venture, producing the Peugeot 208, 2008, and 301 models. Vehicle production will start in the second half of 2017.

Don’t be surprised when someone finds Mick Jagger’s picture

Stonehenge was a concert hall, British architect says.

"Forget the furry loin cloth and ritual sacrifice stuff – it’s wrong.”

Architect presents radical new theory that Stonehenge was a two-storey, wooden feasting and performance hall

Could the prehistoric Stonehenge megaliths once have been the support for a wooden, two-storey roundhouse, a venue for feasting, speakers and musicians? That’s the theory of an English landscape architect who designed a small model of what she has in mind and is looking for money to build a 1:10 scale model of the structure.

Sarah Ewbank says the fact she is not an archaeologist has freed her from preconceived notions and allowed her to approach the matter in a fresh way.

Ms Ewbank told Ancient Origins via email about her vision of Stonehenge:

“I believe Stonehenge was a Bronze-age venue, a large oval hall encircled and overlooked by galleries. Interestingly the upper level was tiered, the height of different sections reflecting the different height trilithons. Consider both hall and galleries filled, listening to a speaker, or maybe there was feasting on the galleries with dancing below, perhaps crowds gathered to listen to singing or musicians playing, or maybe ceremonies took place to welcome in the solstices. It all sounds rather splendid and certainly needed – there were no electronic gadgets then!

"My view – such a splendid building deserved to be used often – so, much as the Albert Hall in London serves to accommodate every type of gathering, so I believe our Bronze-age ancestors used Stonehenge whenever such a venue was required. Our bronze-age ancestors were intelligent people with needs similar to ours today. Forget the furry loin cloth and ritual sacrifice stuff – it’s wrong.”

She said she’s discussed her theories with other experts. Some of them agree with her interpretation of the building’s use, but others strongly disagree and argue for the traditional view.

Ms. Ewbank speculates that the sides of the house were made of oak and the roof of thatching. Of course, it is highly unlikely wood or straw would survive the thousands of years of Stonehenge’s existence, so finding physical evidence for her theory—other than the layout of the stones themselves—is next to impossible.



Sunday, February 7, 2016

With the Muslim invasion of Europe …

Holger Danske

by Hans Christian Andersen


In Denmark there stands an old castle named Kronenburg, close by the Sound of Elsinore, where large ships, both English, Russian, and Prussian, pass by hundreds every day. And they salute the old castle with cannons, “Boom, boom,” which is as if they said, “Good-day.” And the cannons of the old castle answer “Boom,” which means “Many thanks.” In winter no ships sail by, for the whole Sound is covered with ice as far as the Swedish coast, and has quite the appearance of a high-road. The Danish and the Swedish flags wave, and Danes and Swedes say, “Good-day,” and “Thank you” to each other, not with cannons, but with a friendly shake of the hand; and they exchange white bread and biscuits with each other, because foreign articles taste the best.

But the most beautiful sight of all is the old castle of Kronenburg, where Holger Danske sits in the deep, dark cellar, into which no one goes. He is clad in iron and steel, and rests his head on his strong arm; his long beard hangs down upon the marble table, into which it has become firmly rooted; he sleeps and dreams, but in his dreams he sees everything that happens in Denmark. On each Christmas-eve an angel comes to him and tells him that all he has dreamed is true, and that he may go to sleep again in peace, as Denmark is not yet in any real danger; but should danger ever come, then Holger Danske will rouse himself, and the table will burst asunder as he draws out his beard. Then he will come forth in his strength, and strike a blow that shall sound in all the countries of the world.

An old grandfather sat and told his little grandson all this about Holger Danske, and the boy knew that what his grandfather told him must be true. As the old man related this story, he was carving an image in wood to represent Holger Danske, to be fastened to the prow of a ship; for the old grandfather was a carver in wood, that is, one who carved figures for the heads of ships, according to the names given to them. And now he had carved Holger Danske, who stood there erect and proud, with his long beard, holding in one hand his broad battle-axe, while with the other he leaned on the Danish arms. The old grandfather told the little boy a great deal about Danish men and women who had distinguished themselves in olden times, so that he fancied he knew as much even as Holger Danske himself, who, after all, could only dream; and when the little fellow went to bed, he thought so much about it that he actually pressed his chin against the counterpane, and imagined that he had a long beard which had become rooted to it. But the old grandfather remained sitting at his work and carving away at the last part of it, which was the Danish arms. And when he had finished he looked at the whole figure, and thought of all he had heard and read, and what he had that evening related to his little grandson. Then he nodded his head, wiped his spectacles and put them on, and said, “Ah, yes; Holger Danske will not appear in my lifetime, but the boy who is in bed there may very likely live to see him when the event really comes to pass.” And the old grandfather nodded again; and the more he looked at Holger Danske, the more satisfied he felt that he had carved a good image of him. It seemed to glow with the color of life; the armor glittered like iron and steel. The hearts in the Danish arms grew more and more red; while the lions, with gold crowns on their heads, were leaping up.1 “That is the most beautiful coat of arms in the world,” said the old man. “The lions represent strength; and the hearts, gentleness and love.” And as he gazed on the uppermost lion, he thought of King Canute, who chained great England to Denmark’s throne; and he looked at the second lion, and thought of Waldemar, who untied Denmark and conquered the Vandals. The third lion reminded him of Margaret, who united Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. But when he gazed at the red hearts, their colors glowed more deeply, even as flames, and his memory followed each in turn. The first led him to a dark, narrow prison, in which sat a prisoner, a beautiful woman, daughter of Christian the Fourth, Eleanor Ulfeld,2 and the flame became a rose on her bosom, and its blossoms were not more pure than the heart of this noblest and best of all Danish women. “Ah, yes; that is indeed a noble heart in the Danish arms,” said the grandfather. and his spirit followed the second flame, which carried him out to sea,3 where cannons roared and the ships lay shrouded in smoke, and the flaming heart attached itself to the breast of Hvitfeldt in the form of the ribbon of an order, as he blew himself and his ship into the air in order to save the fleet. And the third flame led him to Greenland’s wretched huts, where the preacher, Hans Egede,4 ruled with love in every word and action. The flame was as a star on his breast, and added another heart to the Danish arms. And as the old grandfather’s spirit followed the next hovering flame, he knew whither it would lead him. In a peasant woman’s humble room stood Frederick the Sixth,5 writing his name with chalk on the beam. The flame trembled on his breast and in his heart, and it was in the peasant’s room that his heart became one for the Danish arms. The old grandfather wiped his eyes, for he had known King Frederick, with his silvery locks and his honest blue eyes, and had lived for him, and he folded his hands and remained for some time silent. Then his daughter came to him and said it was getting late, that he ought to rest for a while, and that the supper was on the table.

“What you have been carving is very beautiful, grandfather,” said she. “Holger Danske and the old coat of arms; it seems to me as if I have seen the face somewhere.”

“No, that is impossible,” replied the old grandfather; “but I have seen it, and I have tried to carve it in wood, as I have retained it in my memory. It was a long time ago, while the English fleet lay in the roads, on the second of April,6 when we showed that we were true, ancient Danes. I was on board the Denmark, in Steene Bille’s squadron; I had a man by my side whom even the cannon balls seemed to fear. He sung old songs in a merry voice, and fired and fought as if he were something more than a man. I still remember his face, but from whence he came, or whither he went, I know not; no one knows. I have often thought it might have been Holger Danske himself, who had swam down to us from Kronenburg to help us in the hour of danger. That was my idea, and there stands his likeness.”

The wooden figure threw a gigantic shadow on the wall, and even on part of the ceiling; it seemed as if the real Holger Danske stood behind it, for the shadow moved; but this was no doubt caused by the flame of the lamp not burning steadily. Then the daughter-in-law kissed the old grandfather, and led him to a large arm-chair by the table; and she, and her husband, who was the son of the old man and the father of the little boy who lay in bed, sat down to supper with him. And the old grandfather talked of the Danish lions and the Danish hearts, emblems of strength and gentleness, and explained quite clearly that there is another strength than that which lies in a sword, and he pointed to a shelf where lay a number of old books, and amongst them a collection of Holberg’s plays, which are much read and are so clever and amusing that it is easy to fancy we have known the people of those days, who are described in them.

“He knew how to fight also,” said the old man; “for he lashed the follies and prejudices of people during his whole life.”

Then the grandfather nodded to a place above the looking-glass, where hung an almanac, with a representation of the Round Tower7 upon it, and said “Tycho Brahe was another of those who used a sword, but not one to cut into the flesh and bone, but to make the way of the stars of heaven clear, and plain to be understood. And then he whose father belonged to my calling,—yes, he, the son of the old image-carver, he whom we ourselves have seen, with his silvery locks and his broad shoulders, whose name is known in all lands;—yes, he was a sculptor, while I am only a carver. Holger Danske can appear in marble, so that people in all countries of the world may hear of the strength of Denmark. Now let us drink the health of Bertel.”8
But the little boy in bed saw plainly the old castle of Kronenburg, and the Sound of Elsinore, and Holger Danske, far down in the cellar, with his beard rooted to the table, and dreaming of everything that was passing above him.

And Holger Danske did dream of the little humble room in which the image-carver sat; he heard all that had been said, and he nodded in his dream, saying, “Ah, yes, remember me, you Danish people, keep me in your memory, I will come to you in the hour of need.”

The bright morning light shone over Kronenburg, and the wind brought the sound of the hunting-horn across from the neighboring shores. The ships sailed by and saluted the castle with the boom of the cannon, and Kronenburg returned the salute, “Boom, boom.” But the roaring cannons did not awake Holger Danske, for they meant only “Good morning,” and “Thank you.” They must fire in another fashion before he awakes; but wake he will, for there is energy yet in Holger Danske.

1. The Danish arms consists of three lions between nine hearts.
2. This highly-gifted princess was the wife of Corfitz Ulfeld; he was accused of high treason, and Eleanor, whose only fault was the truest love to her unhappy husband, was compelled to remain for twenty-two years in a miserable dungeon, till the death of her prosecutor, Queen Sophia Amelia.
3. In the naval battle, which took place in Kjøge Bay in 1710, between the Danes and the Swedes, Hvitfeldt’s ship, the Danebrog, took fire. To save the town of Kjøge, and the Danish fleet which were being driven by the wind towards his burning ship, he blew up his vessel, with himself and the whole crew.
4. Hans Egede went to Greenland in 1721, and worked there for fifteen long years amid incredible privations and difficulties. He not only spread the Christian religion, but was himself the pattern of a noble Christian.
5. Once, while on a journey to the western coast of Jutland, the king came to the cottage of an old woman. As e was leaving, she ran after him, and asked to write his name on the beam as a remembrance of his visit. The king turned back and complied with her request. Through his whole lifetime he interested himself for the peasantry, and on that account it was that the Danish peasants begged to be allowed to carry the coffin to the royal vault at Roeskilde, four Danish miles from Copenhagen.
6. On the second of April, 1801, occured the sanguinary naval engagement between the Danes and the English, under Sir Hyde Parker and Nelson.
7. The Astronomical Observatory at Copenhagen.
8. Bertel Thorwaldsen.

The best weapon for ‘close-quarter, man-to-man combat’

“Light, easy to handle, and effective, the Colt model 1911 is the right hand of the Allied fighting forces — except for the Russkies and the Limeys. They use whatever garbage they can get their grubby little mitts on. They can’t handle the power of a man’s gun. Going into battle with any pistol other than the Colt Model 1911 is certain death. You might as well charge the enemy with a spray bottle full of gasoline and a lighter.

“The Colt is 10 pounds of pure American steel. It has enough power to ventilate 10 Jerrys per shot. You can down a Zero just by shooting in it’s general direction. What else are you going to use? What alternatives to you have? Are you going to use a revolver? This ain’t the Civil War, buddy. I If you don’t fight with a 1911, why live at all?”

With 15:49 of video.

Borderline Sociopathic Blog for Boys

Link at

Saturday, February 6, 2016

This is way out of my cultural understanding

In which a man hires a gang in Burundi to kidnap and kill his wife, but the kidnappers take his money and let the woman go, so she returns to Australia and confronts her husband, then secretly records his confession, for which he gets a nine-year sentence, and now the local Congolese community is angry with her for reporting her husband to police, so she has asked the Department of Human Services to find a place for her and her eight children to live.

Link at

‘You're Not in Cologne Anymore’

Stuart Schneiderman

Like him or not—probably not—Vladimir Putin has consistently adopted a manly posture. In fact, he consistently does what he needs to do to restore male pride in Russia. At times, he seems to be forcing it, but he seems clearly to want Russian men to resist the urge toward feminization.

One is confident that boys in Russian schools are not being forced to pee sitting down. Now, one has learned that Russian men are not quite as insouciant as Norwegian, Swedish and German men when their women are assaulted, abused and molested by Muslim men.

Today we read what happened to a group of Muslim refugees that had been expelled from Norway for bad behavior. When they landed in the Russian city of Murmansk, they went to a nightclub and tried to molest women. It's what they do and it's what they know how to do.

The Daily Caller explains what happened next:

A group of 51 refugees were brutally assaulted outside a night club in Murmansk, Russia, after they groped and molested women at a night club Saturday.

The refugees had previously been ordered to leave Norway for “bad behavior” and tried their luck in Russia. What they didn’t realize when they went out clubbing in Murmansk is that Russians have less tolerance when it comes to sexual assault on local women than other European countries.

The refugees allegedly groped and harassed women in a similar manner as the assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. A group of male Russian took them aside to “educate” them that “Cologne is 2,500 kilometers south of here.”

The refugees tried to flee but were quickly captured by the Russians. They then took them out to the street and gave them a beating they will remember. Police arrived to break up the fight but locals report that they threw a few punches at the refugees before arresting 33 of them. Eighteen refugees were in such bad condition they had to be taken to the hospital.

Police decided to let the beatings slide and didn’t file a report. The only thing they could confirm was that there was “a mass brawl involving refugees.”

The miscreant Muslims learned that they were not in Cologne (or Scandinavia) anymore.

Link at

(My wife said we should send a Statue of Justice to Russia. “Send me your gropers and rapists and assaulters of women, and we will see that they receive the proper care.”)

Israeli policewoman, 19, murdered by Arab terrorists, prevented greater attack

Hadar Cohen had been with the border police job two months.

“As police checked the ID cards of three Palestinians, who appeared suspicious, one of them pulled out a Karl Gustav machine pistol from his coat and opened fire on them, while another drew a knife and stabbed them. Security forces responded quickly and shot the terrorists.”

“Cohen … reportedly managed to shoot one of the terrorists during the attack, thereby saving the other policewoman’s life. Security camera footage of the attack shows Cohen eliminating the terrorist before collapsing and losing consciousness, the Jerusalem Post reported. She was posthumously promoted to corporal.”

Link at

Friday, February 5, 2016

Center, Texas, 75935

Center is in Shelby County, which is on the border with Louisiana. Center is the county seat of Shelby County. Here is a map of Shelby County, which gives an idea of why the county seat is named Center:

Population of Center shakes out like this: White – 7,990; Black – 2,598; American Indian – 17; Asian – 63; Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander – 0; Some other race – 7; two or more races – 92; Hispanic or Latino – 2,918.

The largest age group in Center is 10-14, with 1,245. The next largest age group is 0-4, 1,111.

Of people 25 and older: 26.4 percent do not have a high school diploma; 57.6 percent hold a HS diploma; and, 15.9 percent have a post-secondary degree.

Wikipedia says: About 19.4% of families and 23.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.5% of those under age 18 and 14.7% of those age 65 or over.

Police seize passport of Danish woman who fought ISIS

She is 22 and went to Iraq and Syria to fight alongside Kurdish Peshmerga against ISIS.

“How can I pose a threat to Denmark and other countries by being a soldier in an official army that Denmark trains and supports directly in the fight against the Islamic State?” she wrote on Facebook in October.

Her attorney argues: “She has never been charged or convicted of anything in Denmark. In each and every interview she gives, she expresses her belief in Danish values and on top of that she is supporting a cause that we have gone to war for via the [international] alliance [fighting Isis],”

Link to photographs:

She is the kind of woman who drives Muslim murderers beyond batshit crazy.

One soldier has a U.S. 25th Infantry Division patch on his uniform.

UK wants authority to serve wiretap warrants in U.S.

Wiretap orders on U.S. communications companies in criminal and national security inquiries.

“Such an agreement would ensure U.S. access to data stored in the United Kingdom in support of law enforcement, terrorism, and other transnational threat investigations and support our partners’ ability to investigate serious crime, as well as terrorism and other transnational threats on a reciprocal basis.”

(I am greatly assured in knowing American law enforcement people would have access to data stored in the U.K. So it’s not like anything bad would happen.)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy sites

Most vote Anybody But Trump because – Bless his heart, he means well, but he’s not a real Conservative. Or he’s a charlatan and not really a conservative. Or he’s a self-aggrandizing SOB and not really a conservative. Or …

No one is for Jeb! But he has lots of campaign money.

Family ‘had a better life in Syria’ than it has in Denmark

Yes, you decide to leave your country of birth and upbringing, you don’t know the language or customs of the country you are running to, things might be at least a little difficult.

“The men who leave on their own, without their children… they are making a sacrifice…”

“We had fake German passports…”

“We had a better life in Syria,” reflects Dima, an interior designer. “I liked being a house mum there – I can give my kids the time they need.”

You know what, I have no sympathy for a man who leaves his children in a place of known danger and unknown future. Notice the woman did not include wives in the people left behind.

Why does no one edit stories?

I worked four years for the Paris (Texas) News until pissed off local politicals and at least one real estate company owner (who also was a pissed off political) got me fired. Well, that and a new managing editor who wanted his own reporters and not the ones hired by his predecessor, which led to firing of two reporters (including me) and threatening another with firing if she did not find another job.

Anyway, I check the online edition now and then, especially obituaries to see if people I wrote about happened upon the fate that awaits us all. I read news story leads and column leads, but I don't have access to the entire publication because I don't want to pay money.

This letter to the editor, sent a few minutes ago, refers to a problem typical of newspaper and TV news.

"A couple of days ago I read where y’all hired a new city editor. Then today I read this:

“'I recently checked into an upscale hotel in Florida and found the upscale television remote control was encased in an upscale toilet paper role (sic) (read here: cardboard tube), with a note on …'

"Now a role can be a whole lot of things, but holding a TV remote it cannot, any more than you can buy a cinnamon role at a bakery.

"Has your new city editor made himself comfortable in his role? (The correct usage, I believe.)"

You are welcome.

‘Phenomenal’ maybe; ‘Smith,’ not so much

Phenomenal Smith was a pitcher for seven major league teams, 1884-1891. His record was 57-78, with an ERA of 3.87. Hardly phenomenal for the deadball era.

And, he wasn’t even a Smith. Phenomenal was born John Frances Gammon in Philadelphia on Dec. 12, 1864. He died April 3, 1952, in Manchester, N.H.

One unusual thing was the number of teams he played for in a given year:

1884: Athletics, Monumentals and Alleghenys.

1885: Trolley Dodgers and Athletics.

1888: Orioles and Athletics.

1890: Phillies and Alleghenys.

As a hitter, Gammon/Smith wasn’t too bad: .243 lifetime average, with 16 doubles, 10 triples and two home runs. He pitched in 140 games and played outfield in 11 games. Fielding, Gammon/Smith committed 44 errors, with five in the outfield. His overall fielding average was .830. He stole 17 bases.

“He reportedly received the nickname "Phenomenal" after pitching a no-hitter against Baltimore on October 3, 1885. Only two batters reached base, one on an error and one on a base on balls, and Smith picked off both runners at first base.”


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

‘Too many Asians’ in NYC public housing

“Brooklyn City Councilwoman, Laurie Cumbo has identified a big problem when it comes to public housing in New York City. Too many damn Asians!

“At a recent council hearing on public housing, Cumbo inquired as to why ‘blocs’ of Asians were living in two city housing units.

“’How is it that one specific ethnic group has had the opportunity to move into a development in large numbers?’ asked Cumbo.”

Link at

Obamacare works just like we were told

At the dermatologist’s office on Tuesday, a doctor’s assistant said she does not pay attention to politics.

“Not at all,” she said. “When my husband and my brother talk about politics, I leave the room. I want nothing to do with it.”

For someone who does not pay attention to what is going on, she is greatly affected by that which she ignores.

She then mentioned her 16-year-old autistic daughter’s health insurance.

“I was notified last month the premiums are going from $200 a month to $600 a month. I cannot afford that, so right now my daughter does not have insurance, and for that I will have to pay a fine.”

My wife suggested Medicare, since the girl was diagnosed as autistic.

“I tried that, but I was told I make too much money,” she said.

She also said the Medicare person said she should work less hours and get her pay low enough so her daughter would qualify.

Right. Tell your employer you no longer can work full time. And keep your usual lifestyle – same house, make car payments and put the same amount and quality of food on the table.

The government is doing a great job.

What I learned upon joining the Army

Urban Puerto Ricans and urban blacks don’t like each other.

Mexicans and blacks don’t like each other.

Urban Puerto Ricans and Mexicans don’t like each other.

Most of us Texan and Southern white boys were working on “Can’t we all just get along?” We were mostly rural raised, and that makes a difference.

Northern white boys were more aggressively racist than were Southerners.

Of course, that was almost 62 years ago. Things have changed since then.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Why do archaeologists believe Canaanites or Hittites over Israelites?

The flood. Well, Babylonians had a similar story, so Israelites got the story from them.

Some psalms are similar to writings from Ugarit, so what is in the bible was taken from Ugarit tablets.

"The discovery of the Ugaritic archives in 1929 has been of great significance to biblical scholarship, as these archives for the first time provided a detailed description of Canaanite religious beliefs, during the period directly preceding the Israelite settlement. These texts show significant parallels to Hebrew biblical literature, particularly in the areas of divine imagery and poetic form. Ugaritic poetry has many elements later found in Hebrew poetry: parallelisms, metres, and rhythms. The discoveries at Ugarit have led to a new appraisal of the Hebrew Bible as literature.[citation needed]"

Yes, I would say "citation needed."