Saturday, February 17, 2018


They're going to get somebody killed pulling this shit (which they do all the time).

Afternoon Thread


Smaller and Cheaper

My experience with performing arts (music, theater, dance, etc.) in basically every city I've ever spent time in is that the smaller, more inexpensive, less well-known companies are almost always more rewarding, and certainly more rewarding in a bang for the buck sense. It always takes time to find such things - less free and paid media promoting them - but worth doing!

And Why Would He Do That

It's pretty clear that Javanka just saw their access to the presidency as the ultimate grift.

Kushner has been present at meetings with the president where classified information was discussed and has access to the President’s Daily Brief, a digest of intelligence updates based on information from spies, satellites, and surveillance technology, according to people with knowledge of his access.

And apart from staff on the National Security Council, he issues more requests for information to the intelligence community than any White House employee, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private discussions.

My belief (what do I know) is that most of our intelligence apparatus is corporate espionage, broadly defined, in that it's about keeping the money flowing to our corporate titans. Can't really blame Jared for wanting to get a piece of that.

Knowns And Unknowns

One thing about interfering with another country's elections and trying to pick another country's leaders (however you go about it) is that I don't think most of the geniuses who think they understand other countries actually do, and certainly not the politicians and political appointees who have grand games in mind but little knowledge. I mean, half the Republicans think Nigel Farage was the prime minister of the UK. I mean this as an example. I don't think politicians in other countries are much brighter (ok, a bit brighter, maybe, we have uniquely stupid politicians, but the other country I follow - Britain - doesn't have ones who are much smarter).

Everybody wants to rule the world, but most people are way too stupid to get it right.

Saturday, Saturday

What'd I miss?

Morning Thread

I know several people who are not going to be enjoying this President's Day weekend. Several may be in Florida. Others in NYC. Still, a few others in D.C.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Night of Friday

Friday it is.

Happy Hour Thread

Get happy.

It's A Dumb Design, Brent


Bloomberg reports that multiple employees have found themselves unexpectedly running into the glass walls that are the design hallmark of Apple Park. Some workers reportedly even put post-it notes on the walls to make their presence more obvious. But the visual warnings were removed because they detracted from the office's sleek design.

Not The Twist I Expected


Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office said Friday that a grand jury indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential elections, during which they boosted the candidacy of Donald Trump.


Three defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.

Five defendants are charged with aggravated identity theft.

Indictment at the link...skimming now...

What's It All About Then

Even taking a rather rosy view of all levels of law enforcement in this country, I think it's fair to say that they're engaged in a constant push to expand the surveillance state, erode any and all 4th amendment protections, etc. I'm not interested in arguing that they're "bad" here, so I'll accept the story that they're good guys who just want it to be a bit easier to catch the bad guys and Keep Us Safe.

When someone contacts you on the tincan-and-string device and gives you a tip, that's making it easy to catch the bad guys and Keep Us Safe. Easier than all the high tech toys and no knock warrants and whatever else.

The F.B.I. failed to act on a tip in January from a person close to Nikolas Cruz warning that he owned a gun and might conduct a school shooting, the bureau acknowledged on Friday, in its first admission that it might have been able to prevent the deadly attack at a Florida high school.

The tipster said Mr. Cruz had a “desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts” and advised the F.B.I of “the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” the agency said in a statement.


People are so stupid about mass transit.

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced it has signed agreements with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency and the Illinois Department of Transportation to study several high-speed routes that would zoom between Cleveland and Chicago in as little as 28 minutes.

Even boosters (people who believe in the technology and who are likely overly optimistic about these things) put the capacity at <1000 per hour. I doubt - even if it works! - it's half that, but...
The work could take six to 12 months, and will examine potential routes for a Hyperloop line along with the cost, ridership, and possible station locations, she said. Public rights-of-way along I-80, I-90 and the Amtrak rail line will be explored.

"One of the things we want to do is go to Cedar Point," Gallucci said.

Sure, give away a right-of-way for a ridiculously expensive low capacity trip to the amusement park 60 miles from Cleveland. Everyone's gonna hop in their cars, drive to downtown Cleveland, get on the hyperloop, get off, take the shuttle bus to the amusement park..Or just drive there in an hour (less from the western suburbs of course).

28 minutes from Cleveland to Chicago implies an *average speed* of 730 mph. Adding a roller coaster stop isn't going to help that goal...

Someone pay to me to do consulting for this stuff. I can day drink and play video games for 6 months and then come up with my shocking findings.

Big, If True

Pretty good plan.

A North Carolina lawmaker says letting teachers bring guns to school would help save lives in situations like the school shooting that occurred in Florida on Wednesday – and a legislative committee wants to hear more about the idea.

There was an armed cop there, but oh never mind...

In a Facebook comment on another user’s post, Pittman speculated the Florida shooter was part of a conspiracy to “push for gun control so they can more easily take over the country.”

That user’s post later was deleted. Some people online had circulated this photo of a man who is not the suspected shooter, according to Snopes.

Pittman’s full comment: “Not surprising to see the people depicted on his T-shirt. So many of these shooters turn out to be communist democrats, that I suspect they are doing these things to push for gun control so they can more easily take over the country.”

Nobody Cares About The People Who Ride The Bus

Well, they do care about buses that tourists and so-called "choice" riders might ride (airports, special events), because the powers that be imagine they might ride those buses sometimes (but never do), but the buses that the poors ride, not so much.


Above my pay grade, but my guess is the latest tech boom is basically over. Not that there's no more money to be made, just that the era of coming up with a new "killer app" or "a juicer, but connected to the internet" and managing to make a bunch of money is over. The big players will continue to consolidate and continue to make money. But a new dating app or Angry Birds or social app (like Snapchat, but slightly different!)? Probably not.

If This Was A Democrat...

I suppose it'd be good if nobody cares about this stuff again (I don't mean that this behavior is never relevant for public figures, but not in the faux-Victorian morality the Washington Scolds regaled us with during Lewinksy Madness).

Trump and McDougal began an affair, which McDougal later memorialized in an eight-page, handwritten document provided to The New Yorker by John Crawford, a friend of McDougal’s. When I showed McDougal the document, she expressed surprise that I had obtained it but confirmed that the handwriting was her own.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Obligatory Safe Space For The Snowflake Joke

Much more reasonable the black college students being a little bit upset that their campus invites someone to tell them that they are stupider than white people.

The director of the EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement, Henry Barnet, told Politico that Pruitt was “approached in the airport numerous times” and had profanities “yelled at him” during his travels.

Barnet told the publication that one specific incident saw a person approach Pruitt and shout “Scott Pruitt, you’re f---ing up the environment” while recording it on a cellphone.

Getting the vapors. Take me to the fainting couch.

Something Is Wrong With The NYT


Blame lead or the culture or Fox News, but whatever the cause, a significant number of people in this country are total assholes. Just really mean people. Those of us who, while not saints, at least have a bit of empathy and aren't necessarily prone to kick homeless people for laughs, find this hard to comprehend. Yet...

Did You Know Nazis Don't Like Jews Very Much?

The self-identified "alt-right" including but not just those who happily refer to themselves at Nazis, or at a minimum invoke clear Nazi symbolism, don't like Jews very much. They aren't coy about this. They don't keep it a secret.

After years of watching the modern conservative movement try to marginalize Leftists of any kind for being anti-Semitic, often through little more than tenuous guilt-by-barely-association links, and the "objective" media willing piling on, it's been a bit puzzling to watch. Admittedly often the "leftists are anti-Semites" charges were based on the ever-popular "the real racists are the ones who cry racism" because likening people to Nazis was somehow worse than people maybe being Nazis, so I guess things haven't changed that much, but still you'd think this would be less important than people who were loudly and proudly actual anti-Semites. And, you know, not just anti-Semites, but Nazis, who have a few ideas of what just should be done about the Jewish problem. These things are not hidden!

So all the dapper Nazi photo shoots and loving profiles of the "alt-right" really have shocked me. Explicit bigotry against most minority groups is tolerated and even perpetuated by our elite media outlets, but there was a line there which limited the promotion of Antisemitism. And then there wasn't.

What's It All For

One thing about the ubiquitous surveillance state is that it never seems to actually prevent any terrorism. Oh, yes, sure they like to hint that They Keep Us Safe regularly, but if they were really busting up plots they'd be screaming it in every news outlet there is, like they do every time the FBI entraps some poor mentally challenged loner with a scary sounding name.