Sunday Night Open Thread: Hola!

There hasn't been much news on "El Chapo" Guzman the past week. But on Friday afternoon, his lawyer filed a new request for a writ of amparo to prevent his extradition to the U.S.

This article today says the cases in Mexico are all for organized crime, not drugs. I wonder if that means he won't have a double jeopardy argument against extradition. Apparently, there was one drug case but it was reversed as to a co-defendant because the courts found the witnesses non-credible, so it's unlikely he'll be convicted in that case.

These articles are in Spanish, and Google Translate wasn't a huge help, but that's what I took from it. At least I was able to track down the docket in Mexico for both the new filing and the earlier ones(start here).

Speaking of Spanish, I found a new and free way to learn Spanish online (or one of 60 other languages)-- Mangos Languages --all you need is a library card as hundreds of libraries have partnered with them. [More...].

In addition to being intuitive based, Mangos has a new fun program called Mango Premiere, where you learn by watching a Spanish movie, scene by scene.

I also figured out how to get English close-captioning on Spanish language TV shows. (El Capo 3 begins March 25 on Mundofox.) All you have to do is use an antenna instead of your cable box, and watch through your TV, which has several digital captioning services available. My Comcast box gives me no choice, just captioning "on" or "off", and with "on", the captions are in Spanish. I got two antennas to compare, and they bring in 40 - 50 stations, all digital, many HD.

For those who want to "cut the cord" to cable, with an antenna and a Smart TV or Apple TV from which you can get Netflix, Hulu Plus or Amazon Video, you really don't need cable, unless you are a huge sports TV watcher.

If you do speak Spanish and want to watch more shows than are available here, and sooner -- or if you want to want TV from any other country -- you can watch online (not on TV) by using Hola!, which re-directs your IP address to the country you want to watch. It's free for basic service. There's even a Google Chrome App for it.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Happy St. Patrick's Day, one and all. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:30:13 AM EST
    We'll be working Murphy's annual block party in Honolulu, as we do every year. Should be fun,

    Here's to a long life and many more, a quick death and an easy one, some pretty girls and an honest one, and a cold beer -- and another one! And if you're out and about and making the rounds, please party wisely and safely.


    Guinness drops sponsorship of (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:46:20 AM EST
    homophobic St. Patty's Day parade.

    As a connoisseur (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:17:33 AM EST
    of cheap $ss light domestic beer, even this good move by Guinness won't get me to sample their muddy looking offering.

    Low Cal and Low Alcohol (none / 0) (#39)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:35:45 AM EST
    Guinness is one of the lowest calories and lowest alcohol beers on the market. lower than some light beers in alcohol..

    yes, it is counter intuitive as it seems like super rich beer..   It also utilizes nitrogen along with the co2 (on tap, cans, not bottles) to make for much smaller bubbles, that make it creamier.

    4% alcohol, 125 calories..  


    3.5%. 95 cal.

    Budweiser 5%, 143 cal.

    Bud Light 4.2%  110 cal.

    Heinekin 5.4%, 160 cal.


    F*ck calories... (none / 0) (#40)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:41:39 AM EST
    light beer just tastes too watery, I don't how anybody drinks it.  If you want water, drink water...if you want beer, drink beer.  If you wanna drink water and get drunk, hope ludes make a comeback;)

    One of my uncles is like CG...every year at the McArab reunion he brings his case of Coors Light-p*ss because he says he doesn't like "real beer", and we proceed to bust his b*lls mercilessly all weekend.  I mean c'mon, a grown-arse man drinking Coors Light? What's the world coming to?  


    I'll bring a case to share with your uncle (none / 0) (#44)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:07:17 AM EST
    For you... (5.00 / 6) (#104)
    by vml68 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:21:22 PM EST
    The CEO of Coors, the CEO of Budweiser, and the CEO of Guinness were at a bar. The CEO of Coors orders a Coors light, the CEO of Budweiser orders a Bud Light and the CEO of Guinness orders a Coke. While the bartender is getting their orders, the CEOs of Coors and Budweiser turn to the CEO of Guinness and ask him why he isn't having a beer, to which he replies "Lads if you're not having a beer, then neither am I"!

    Coors Light (none / 0) (#100)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:17:18 PM EST
    Ugh!  Water, diluted with a little bit of horse p!ss to turn it yellow.     ;-)

    But, but..... (none / 0) (#103)
    by magster on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:54:03 PM EST
    if I drink it, young women will lust for me even if I don't shower, tuck in my shirt or shave.

    Magster (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:08:52 PM EST
    You can also wear AXE body spray and the same things will happen.....



    Uh, huh. Uh, huh. (none / 0) (#106)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:57:05 PM EST
    And you will also be able to scale high, frozen mountains and turn into Jean Claude van Damme, and you can enjoy ice-cold Coors light even if your hair and your pants are frozen solid.

    More accurate (none / 0) (#3)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:36:57 AM EST
    would be non homo centric St Patrick's day parade?

    Cultural approbation is not a good thing.


    The LGBT community is hardly homocentric. (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:54:25 AM EST
    They simply wish to be recognized and included. And I support them in their efforts, as do many thinking people of conscience.

    By and large, liberals and progressives celebrate diversity as a positive and defining characteristic of American society as a whole, whereas conservatives have with very rare exception tended to lament and reject social diversity, and further wield their opposition as a cudgel, in an effort to divide people against one another.

    But invariably, while they may well succeed in retarding the scene for a finite period of time, conservatives always lose this argument over the long term, because as the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. once observed, the arc of history bends toward justice.



    They were free to march (none / 0) (#125)
    by Mikado Cat on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:03:20 AM EST
    just not free to change the topic of the parade the same as everybody else, no special privileges, no LBGT reserved parking spaces, same as everybody else.

    Should Jeralyn be forced to included any LBGT comments in unrelated single topic threads?


    So are ALL groups ... (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:18:55 AM EST
    ... prohibited from carrying signs or identifying their group in the parade ...

    ... or just homosexuals?


    appropriation (none / 0) (#6)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:50:20 AM EST
    not sure I can blame it on a spell checker, but I meant cultural appropriation.

    Really???? (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by jtaylorr on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:38:43 AM EST
    American St. Patty's Day is as appropriated as you can get. Pretty damn sure it didn't start off as an excuse for Americans to get wasted.

    Who the f*ck appointed... (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:16:01 AM EST
    the ancient order of hibernians as keeper's of all things Irish-American?  Gays can march in Dublin fer christ's sake, but they can't in NY & Boston?

    If anybody should know about oppression & discrimination it's the f*ckin' Irish, the hibernians bring shame to our heritage and our holiday imo.


    Being Irish (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:20:28 AM EST
    At least partially I completely agree.  

    Gays can march (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:50:24 AM EST
    They just can't carry gay-friendly signs or identify themselves as LGBT.

    Oh well !! (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:54:41 AM EST
    That's totally different.

    Well, it is (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:05:00 AM EST
    kdog said gays can't march, which is an inaccurate statement. They can.

    Look - I don't agree with it, but the Supreme Court said that private groups are allowed to decide who marches in their parades and who isn't welcome and what kinds of messages they want allowed in the parade. It would be the same thing if the PRIDE parade people didn't want the Westboro Church to march or sponsor a float in their parade.


    I know you do not agree (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:32:25 PM EST
    with not allowing gays to march and are taking issue with accuracy,  but I do not agree that kdog's statement is inaccurate.   Being allowed to march with restrictions that suppress gay identification is the same as not allowing people who are gay to march.

    No it isn't (none / 0) (#126)
    by Mikado Cat on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:14:29 AM EST
    This is about whether they have a Saint Patrick's day parade or a Saint Patrick's day and gay pride parade.

    This was also lets pick a public fight about it, if not mostly about picking the public fight.

    I honestly don't care who marches or what they do, but respect the right of the organizer to decide the topics for the event. If you don't like it, do your own parade, but I see no reason to give any special privilege to any group that wants to appropriate somebody else's parade.


    So the ... (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:22:17 AM EST
    I honestly don't care who marches or what they do, but respect the right of the organizer to decide the topics for the event. If you don't like it, do your own parade, but I see no reason to give any special privilege to any group that wants to appropriate somebody else's parade.

    ... "Sisters of Charity" should get their own parade?

    Strange ...


    I think most people would agree (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:26:24 AM EST
    If the Westboro morons had the nerve to show up at a pride parade they would be welcome.  As long as enough advance notice was given to collect rotten fruit and dog poop.

    Pre-Obit (none / 0) (#25)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:38:57 AM EST
    Yep. And who knew fundamentalist (none / 0) (#113)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:50:37 PM EST
    "Christian" churches excommunicated mmbers?

    It sort of does boggle my mind (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:50:14 AM EST
    That Westboro can show up to Arlington with vicious hate signs and somehow we survive it, but a gay person can't march in a parade with a gay friendly sign.  Sort of a WTF moment?

    It's not a legal issue (none / 0) (#24)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:34:10 AM EST
    It is about people expressing their opinion.   It is becoming (thankfully) unpopular to be homophobic.

    MKS (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:43:28 AM EST
    It's true on one level that westboro did a lot to advance gay rights.

    But clearly that was not the intent.


    Yes, unpopular (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:34:26 PM EST
    and unprofitable to be homophobic.   While Chick Fil A sandwiches are not yet wrapped in rainbow paper, Dan Cathy,the CEO and president of that fast-food poultry outlet has decided that  it may be best for business matters to take precedence over personal expressions of social policies.

     In an Atlanta Journal and Constitution interview, Cathy regrets saying what he thinks--that supporters of same sex marriage are arrogant for going against God.  Especially, since his chicken company wants to expand beyond the bible-belt.  While he apparently was tickled pink with chicken feathers by similar thinkers who snaked around the block to buy his product, larger interests prevail.  


    Not sure how... (none / 0) (#28)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:45:15 AM EST
    It is about people expressing their opinion.

    ...this isn't a legal issue.  There's a little thing called "The First Amendment."

    And Guiness and Bill DeBlasio and Boston's mayor are exercising their rights too - not to show up and support the parades. That's how it should work.  If enough people choose not to sponsor or attend, then things will change.


    Then they should do it in private (none / 0) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:58:08 AM EST
    Not on public streets gay taxes pay for

    To be fair... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:15:46 AM EST
    the public streets are for use by private groups to, by permit.  Hibernians pay taxes too.

    The answer is to wrest the "official" NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade from the control of the hibernians, and for the city to give the permit to a more inclusive group. Guiness pulling their sponsorship of the parade is a great start, as is the mayor refusing to march.

    Like MKS said, it's becoming harder and harder to be homophobic and not face backlash...we're making progress, and the hibernians will have to join us in the 21st century eventually, kicking and screaming, or there won't be much of a parade left.


    I would say a permit (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:28:26 AM EST
    Gives them the right to use a public space.  Not to exclude others from participating.

    Btw (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:31:00 AM EST
    The courts and have agreed to disagree on that.

    "Hibernians." (none / 0) (#117)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:07:27 PM EST
    Looks like I'm gonna have to google.

    You stole my point. (none / 0) (#56)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:55:45 AM EST
    The Hibernians may be a private organization, but they are marching down public streets. Methinks that should have some impact on their ability to say who can or cannot march and under what circumstances.

    Sure (none / 0) (#74)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:06:24 PM EST
    But that's not what the Court ruled (unanimously), with Souter writing the opinion, and whose votes also included Ginsburg, Stevens, and Breyer - all 4 justices of the "liberal" wing of the Court.

    And how many of those Sons of Hibernia et al pay taxes for the streets where they hold PRIDE parades?  Should PRIDE festivities be done "in private" as well?


    There's a tax for being gay now? (none / 0) (#116)
    by unitron on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:25:53 PM EST
    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    : - )


    The Government (none / 0) (#84)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:44:56 PM EST
    is not preventing any form of expression.

    Private companies and others are refusing to participate.


    Which has what, exactly (none / 0) (#87)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:52:30 PM EST
    to do with whether LGBT groups should be allowed to march?

    Answer: absolutely nothing.

    People and companies are also expressing their First Amendment rights not to associate with the parade because these groups can't participate.  As I said above - that's how the system should work.  If enough people refuse to take part, then the parade organizers have three choices:  opent he parade up to everyone, make the parade a much smaller event, or shutter it.


    Yes, I agree (none / 0) (#90)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:05:49 PM EST
    your original comment was irrelevant.

    Ha (none / 0) (#91)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:06:31 PM EST
    Actually it was yours that had nothing to do with anything.

    As was this last one.


    iow... (5.00 / 6) (#18)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:01:45 AM EST
    marching in the closet.

    Why do I think if the hibernians were told they could march without a banner they wouldn't appreciate it none too much?  


    Isn't that how it is in Russia? (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:33:44 AM EST
    Rupert Murdoch (none / 0) (#112)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:18:45 PM EST
    Has launched a Boycott Guinness campaign

    Okay. (none / 0) (#137)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:45:40 AM EST
    Well, I guess Guiness sales are going to surge just like Coca Cola.

    We here in Norther Virginia (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:45:16 AM EST
    Will be digging our cars out of 7-10 inches of snow.  

    Not that there's really any place to go - most businesses and the federal government are closed today.

    I can't believe it was 70 just two days ago!


    We only got (none / 0) (#71)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:50:33 PM EST
    2 inches or so up here on the mountain in Western Maryland.  Swept off our walkways with a broom, but didn't even bother to plow the driveway.
    Seems to me as though the last few storms this winter have been worse south and east of here.
    Not that I'm complaining (well, you all who live down there may be).
    Most winters, we generally get a lot more snow than you do.  Not recently, though.
    Hope you got shoveled out okay.

    A wee bit of history (none / 0) (#65)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:17:04 PM EST
    Paul Ryan And His Irish Amnesia

    A great debate raged in London: Would it be wrong to feed the starving Irish with free food, thereby setting up a "culture of dependency"? Certainly England's man in charge of easing the famine, Sir Charles Trevelyan, thought so. "Dependence on charity," he declared, "is not to be made an agreeable mode of life."

    And there I ran into Paul Ryan. His great-great-grandfather had fled to America. But the Republican congressman was very much in evidence, wagging his finger at the famished. His oft-stated "culture of dependency" is a safety net that becomes a lazy-day hammock. But it was also England's excuse for lethal negligence.
    The Irish historian John Kelly, who wrote a book on the great famine, was the first to pick up on these echoes of the past during the 2012 presidential campaign. "Ryan's high-profile economic philosophy," he wrote then, "is the very same one that hurt, not helped, his forebears during the famine -- and hurt them badly."
    What infuriated Mitchel was that the Irish were starving to death at the very time that rich stores of grain and fat livestock owned by absentee landlords were being shipped out of the country. The food was produced by Irish hands on Irish lands but would not go into Irish mouths, for fear that such "charity" would upset the free market, and make people lazy.
    You can't make these kinds of heartless remarks unless you think the poor deserve their fate -- that they have a character flaw, born of public assistance. And there hovers another awful haunt of Irish history. In 2012, Ryan said that the network of programs for the American poor made people not want to work.
    Where have I heard that before? Ah, yes -- 19th-century England. The Irish national character, Trevelyan confided to a fellow aristocrat, was "defective." The hungry millions were "a selfish, perverse, and turbulent" people, said the man in charge of relieving their plight.

    Read the whole article.


    Paul Krugman on Paul Ryan, (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:07:58 PM EST
    March 17 op ed, portrays Ryan as ".. an expert at sounding as if he knows what he is talking about."   The animadvert characterization of this Republican "intellectual" who bases his budgetary considerations on stereotypes and the use of racial dog whistles to sell it, is well deserved.

    I don't know (5.00 / 4) (#139)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:51:30 AM EST
    if there's a more annoying person in politics today than Paul Ryan. Of course, that is irritating to everybody outside of the GOP base. They laughingly think he's "brilliant" even though he does not have an original thought in his head. His lone talent seems to be his ability to fleece the GOP base.

    Yes, he is certainly annoying (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:00:27 AM EST
    although he does have a lot of competition.  However, his latest flap on "inner city" men do not want to work gives him a decided edge for such a distinction.    As for the intellectual heft of the economics/political science baccalaureate graduate and gym rat from Miami of Ohio, I have long felt that he is Charlie McCarthy to the Heritage Foundation's Edgar Bergen.

    To be fair, expertise "at sounding as if (5.00 / 2) (#149)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:55:54 AM EST
    [one] knows what he is talking about" is the job description of most politicians.  The main object is to have you listening to - and debating - their empty words instead of watching what they're actually doing.

    Feeding the hungry (none / 0) (#129)
    by Mikado Cat on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:23:38 AM EST
    is great idea. Making the food contingent on not working is a vile trap.

    Good thing ... (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:49:14 AM EST
    Making the food contingent on not working is a vile trap.

    ... no one is actually doing that, since most food stamp recipients are working poor, elderly or children.


    Hey Mikado has a point... (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:50:23 AM EST
    getting a raise or second job should not mean economic disaster to a family on some public assistance.  I propose raising the poverty level and all qualifying levels for public assistance across the board, so a family working there way up need not fear a raise in income means losing their Medicaid or Food Stamps, or Home Heating Assistance, or what have you.  Or even some sort of slow phase out of public assistance as a family gains income....like say when the breadwinner gets a raise, it doesn't count towards their public assistance qualifications for 6 months or something.

    Aside, it is depressing to talk about people working their arse off and still not being able to make ends meet...but that's todays America, land of income disparity and grift.


    America: Land of the Grifters, (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:57:14 AM EST
    Home of the Fleeced.

    I would give everyone an EBT (none / 0) (#156)
    by Mikado Cat on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:08:43 AM EST
    make all of the assistance programs available to anyone that wants them, but make what you get strictly the basics, want more, get a job.

    I'd go futhur... (5.00 / 2) (#158)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:17:14 AM EST
    it's long past time we resurrect the basic income idea from the scrap heap to battle income inequality and the working poor epidemic.  It could be a home-run for what ails us.

    Making stuff up again (5.00 / 3) (#135)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:56:22 AM EST
    No where is there reference that food was contingent on not working.

    What was in that article was that people just like you thought it was just great and dandy to let millions starve rather provide food to keep them alive.

    "At least a million Irish died -- one in eight people."

    Let me put that in words that might register even with you.

    People were fcking starving to death.

    Here's what one Quaker relief agent, William Bennett, found in a visit to County Mayo in 1847:

    "We entered a cabin. Stretched in one dark corner, scarcely visible from the smoke and rags that covered them, were three children huddled together, lying there because they were too weak to rise, pale and ghastly ... perfectly emaciated, eyes sunk, voice gone, and evidently in the last stage of actual starvation."

    You must be SO proud to be among those who think welfare for the rich is a wonderful thing but let the poor starve rather then feed them. Ah, what a superior being you are.


    People (none / 0) (#155)
    by Mikado Cat on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:05:09 AM EST
    are starving in places in the world right now. The moral thing would be to feed them, and millions of tons of food gets shipped out, but until you release them from the parasite government that keeps them hungry and in poverty, they will still be dying.

    What is wrong with feeding people in some intelligent fashion? Don't let people become dependent, don't destroy their cultures, as soon as possible get them on their own two feet taking care of themselves.

    BTW I am sure it was "people just like you" that let them starve, not me.


    Yep (5.00 / 2) (#190)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:08:48 PM EST
    Taking away lunches from hungry children is the intelligent Republican thing to do. That is what as you as a Republican support. You are more than willing to save them from the government and release them to starve.

    Those same arguments were used by the English to starve the Irish.


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 305 (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:15:10 AM EST
    Love these (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:27:40 AM EST
    Don't know if I ever said that

    Many thanks (none / 0) (#37)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:31:42 AM EST
    I started it to see if I could make 365 in a year or less. Way ahead of schedule at this point. Again, thank you for the props. As Mark Twain said, I can live on a good compliment for months. Peace.

    re learning foreign languages (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:40:29 AM EST
    In addition to the methods TL mentions in the main post, I can add a couple that work for me:

    1.  Listen to foreign-language radio broadcasts through the internet.  Many, many radio stations in foreign countries stream their programming unedited onto the internet and you can listen live to it anywhere in the world.  So, you get to listen to the foreign language as it is spoken in real time.  There is a website, radiolocator.com , which aggregates information on radio broadcasts around the world.

    I keep my foreign language proficiency sharp on several radio stations.  I even get the local-to-them news, weather and traffic....

    And, BTW, this is all f-r-e-e.

    2.  Read foreign-language newspapers.  Many of the foreign-language newspapers are likewise available through the internet.
    Many of these are also f-r-e-e.

    1.  Bookmark in your favorites some foreign language-to-English dictionaries.  I have about a dozen, some are general and some specialized (tax, legal, investment, finance, real estate, abbreviations, dialect) for work.

    2. Work on translating and vocabulary (and declension and conjugations) every day.  And that means actually working through things, not just reading them.  

    The thing is, once you learn the foreign language, it's yours.  It is like riding a bicycle - you never forget.  I spoke a foreign language pretty fluently when I came back stateside from my military service and then didn't use it for almost 20 years.  After a couple years of just running their radio through the speakers as background while working on English-legal stuff I had it back.  And now I do  work in that language for legal matters here, e.g., e-discovery where a foreign company is involved in litigation here and their documents are in the foreign language.  Doing bullet points #1 and #2 above is sort of like having a total-immersion course going on all the time you have the radio (or internet) running.  And total immersion is how you learned as a kid....

    And, yes, they get different news and different takes on the news than we do.  And I get the foreign news both faster and before it gets filtered through the editorial process here in the states, deciding what you should know and what you should not.  The difference is pretty striking sometimes.

    Re: Language learning (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by lilburro on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:51:38 PM EST
    My suggestion would be trying out the free app Duolingo (here's a PC Mag review). It's a series of games that help you through a language. I've been using it for French for over a year and it helps me practice in a fun way (and encourages me to practice my listening and speaking skills).

    I've also been using a tutor once a week for the past two years, and in the end I think that's really important, too. Having someone hold me accountable is really important for me.


    thanks, I will check it out (none / 0) (#120)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:49:23 PM EST
    I hadn't heard of it. I really liked Fluencia but didn't want to pay them $15 a month.

    All good proposals (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Nemi on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:21:55 AM EST
    ... and let me add one that has worked wonders for me: Participate in blogs - in my case among others TalkLeft ;-) - written in the foreign language.

    On top of learning the language and how it's spoken - ok: written - 'informally' among the 'native', it's also a great way to learn about history, culture, education, politics, slang, on and on ... oh yes, and food! :D


    Gun Art: Crown (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:56:21 AM EST
    He specifically asked for a Tactical 308, a 30-caliber, high-powered rifle. To Pavlisko, a gun is "a drawing tool. It's no different than a pencil. But it's an intense conversation. The gun is such a charged material. I hope in the end people will see the patience and the beauty and the encompassing historical gesture that the work of art is really about."

    Cincinnati Museum of Art

    Gotta love artists. (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:52:45 AM EST
    But the art critics can be even more fun, especially when you poke 'em in their hidebound sensibilities with a pointed stick.

    Or a .308.

    Just remember:  John Singer Sargeant's "Madame X" (who everyone who was anyone in Paris recognized and may have known) was decried as obscene (and worse) when it was first exhibited in the late 19th century.  He actually had to repaint it a tad, to move her dress's shoulder strap back on top of her shoulder.  Too suggestive, having slid down, said the critics.  Now, it is recognized as Great Art (possibly b/c the woman pictured and her many socially-prominent lovers are now all dead, but who's counting).


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:07:48 PM EST
    I particularly liked this critique from this Art Historian:

    Art historian Ruth K. Meyer of Chicago, an art museum shareholder, is incensed.

    "For young people with no real idea of how to make anything, or any real talent or skill or inspiration, this kind of work comes easy, because it draws its materials from everyday life," said the former Cincinnati resident who was interim director of the Contemporary Arts Center and executive director of the Taft Museum of Art.

    She must have missed the art history classes covering Duchamp, in particular his readymades


    In a prior life she (none / 0) (#67)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:26:45 PM EST
    was probably one of the folks at the Salon who raied Hell with Manet over Olympia.

    Olympia (none / 0) (#76)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:14:21 PM EST
    Some of the top critics of the day, who under ordinary circumstances wrote fairly intelligent critiques, lost it over Olympia.

    One hack critic said that Olympia was like

    a sort of monkey, mocking the pose and movements of the arm of Titian's Venus, with a hand shamefully flexed.

    The painting was quickly skied, in order to mitigate its causing red cheeks. IMO the biggest problem that hose otherwise refined gentlemen had with the painting is it looked very much like the cheap photographic pron that t were carrying in their vest pocket.


    Still, this is my favorite take (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:30:36 PM EST
    on that painting:  the Bush-Cheney parody.

    Hard to believe that was almost 10 years ago.


    HAHA (none / 0) (#83)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:38:22 PM EST
    Had not seen that one!

    That, and the (none / 0) (#78)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:22:05 PM EST
    "hand shamefully flexed" was actually asserting her right to say "no" (or "not until you pay [more]") to those very gentlemen.  

    Yes (none / 0) (#94)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:30:29 PM EST
    Although the painting refers to Titian Venus of Urbino who has a similar pose (hand)..a convention.

    I think your interpretation does have some currency..


    More to the point, most "great" art (none / 0) (#153)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:02:03 AM EST
    was paid for by robber-barons, warmongers and profiteers, hoping to remake their public images with charity.

    Really? Populist Myth? (none / 0) (#159)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:22:22 AM EST
    most "great" art was paid for by robber-barons, warmongers and profiteers, hoping to remake their public images with charity.

    That is quite a broad statement which does not ring true to me. Which great art are you talking about?

    And which robber barons?  And how does charity fit in?

    It is true that once a work of art becomes valuable, many very wealthy people want to possess it, but that is usually long after the piece had been made. As far as their involvement in art being a  charitable act, usually it  is more the opposite. Possessing a great work of art is more a sign of status relating to power, taste, and access than to charity, imo.

    But maybe you are thinking of something else, that I am missing.


    very thought provoking (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by ZtoA on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:06:02 PM EST
    I see several ways this piece can be read.

    From a formal art theory pov the Judd cube is a culmination of modernism. Take all that is purely human out of the equation out and what is left is the divine.  I think Rothko expressed this in a way that many can understand. Duchamp did it too earlier with his readymades when he bought the product of blue collar workers and re-assigned it making the "hand" of the artist the thought of the artist.

    The bullet holes in the cube could be read as a fracturing or humanizing of high modernism. it is the equation of a gun with humanity - our desire to, and use of instruments to eliminate or stop other animal lives and pits that against a static chemical and mathematical model.

    That leads into a psychological interpretation of the work which is also very interesting. Not summarily dismissing the board member's view point, the meaning of the work as viewed is one of destruction which is both a universal and human motivator and necessary process. Destruction is also transformative.

    It is also interesting that there is concern for the formal structure of the museum architecture - the marble. The fear is that the gun shot vibrations destroys the very structure of the marble and thus the museum. It is human vs. structure. Here it means that human is the power of destruction. It is very much like the Paul Mcarthy show at the armory last summer where  he celebrates the destruction of modernist meaning (the Disney version of Show White).


    Nice (none / 0) (#122)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:50:24 PM EST
    Lots of places to go with ones imagination, and you have hit a lot of interesting spots.. Divine... never thought of readymades in that light but you have a good point!

    I like the reference to Harold Edgerton, Goddard and of course Judd..  also the picture of the holy cube reminds me of Lucio Fontana, but he used a knife.

    I did think of jbindc comment responding to someone who asked why not ban knives or something like that, and her response about how knives are utile while guns are not. So I liked the transformation of a non utile object into a paintbrush.

    I would think that the film and sound part would also be interesting. Creation and destruction are quite the couple, here as you point out, they are wedded.

    As far as the damage to the structure of the museum, although an interesting thought to riff on, I think that those complaints were BS..  

    Nice comparison to McCarthy, although I think that this artist has a looooooong way to go, for me, to be spoken in the same breath as McCarthy.  Seems more in line with Chris Burden.. nailing his food to the floor...  

    Anyway it will be interesting to see what Pavlisko comes up with in the next few years. Could wind up being an interesting artist.

    In any case the museum showed a lot of courage and vision by allowing this performance, installation etc to happen. And at the very least the controversy will bring people in to question what is the nature of art. Which I believe is a good thing.  

    Aways refreshing to think about things we take for granted in a entirely new way.


    about the divine (5.00 / 3) (#123)
    by ZtoA on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 01:45:28 AM EST
    it is very protestant (or zen) to empty the mind or environment of all human and let the divine arise.  The tantric or catholic is to fill the space with the human and in the hole the divine will arise, Yin and yang. different sensibilities and approaches. I think it is no accident that minimalism arose in the US as a secularized vision of the protestant/zen divine. Look at churches, especially early churches in the US as reflections of European lines of divinity. Some have a sacred emptiness and some have a sacred fullness. In each the divine arises in the hole left in the center. Blake and Rothko.

    Yes it will be interesting to see where he goes from here.

    I think it is a progression from Chris Burden and his scrotum nailing successor Pyotr Pavlensky in terms of concept.

    It is fascinating that the postmodern or high modernist age ends and starts with destruction of modernist ideas. Clearing the field for a fresh newness.

    And I agree the notion of the physical damage to the museum is BS, but very interesting and deeply psychologically interesting notion.

    I also have compassion with those who are revolted by the process of annihilation of the past thinking. Progression is hoped to be smooth and, well, progressive, meaning getting gently better. This does not follow the laws of nature however we may dislike it. I just wish the curators could frame this in a more reflective light where more people could understand. People are not stupid, especially not museum goers (sorry my prejudice) and the modernist idea that art is good because no one understands it unless the person is somehow "special" is also outdated.


    Wow (none / 0) (#154)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:04:21 AM EST
    I never really thought of art practice relating to specific religious movements. I have always seen a more general and direct connection between art and religion (museum/church) in that great art is something distant, that you can never explain, or get to. It is always out of reach, like god.

    Interesting, I did not know that the protestants were like zen. Although it makes sense that puritan frugality and pureness (the name) is be associated with minimalism, and with a little google search I found that

    Protestantism is based on a minimalist approach to religion: it wants as little of it as possible. In fact the very word religion may be used pejoratively by Protestant thinkers.

    And tantric linked to catholicism.. that is interesting.. I can see it in the baroque and rococo churches although tannic paintings seem to resemble minimalism more than abstract expressionism..

    I like this song, which is from a zen quote, by Lenard Cohen:

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in.

    I did not know that the modernist idea was that only special people can understand it. That sounds like protestant predestination. I do not  like that idea, and question its validity. OK Greenberg was an elitist, but the museum of modern art was a movement away from elitism. Alfred Barr was jazzed by the Russian revolution and the work of the Russian Avant Garde. He worked hard to popularize modernism and make it accessible to the general public..  

    I think that the concept of having to be special in order to understand art, comes more from the general population who rejects art that does not seem immediately accessible, as emperor with out clothes. Many expect art to be easy, particularly if they are educated, and resent being put in a position where they are at a loss standing in front of a work of art.  I think that is where the idea of "special" person and its respective resentment comes in.


    interesting about art museums (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by ZtoA on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:53:40 AM EST
    Today the mission of art museums may be to popularize contemporary and modern art. The history of art museums open to the general public is relatively short but their original mission was not so much to popularize but to educate the public. It is certainly not universal but there is all to often an attitude of art world players that they know something and must educate the public putting the public in an inferior position. The written materials that accompany some exhibitions are written in very dense art jargon. That's fine for art historians, artists, dealers etc but your average brain surgeon is not going to be interested and therefore not edified. Then so often the art players use this as a sort of proof that the exhibition is good. This does not always happen but it does, and too much.

    Rothko was a modernist minimalist who's work is fairly approachable and understandable to many and which is a heir to both protestant and zen approaches. All one needs to do is to stand in front of a Rothko and clear one's mind. After a while what once appeared as a soft rectangle (or whatever) grows into a complex symphony. The dark spot in the yin.  And oddly in the middle of the Mcarthy installation with all of its aggressive fulness a quiet can be experienced - the light spot on the yang. Your Leonard Cohen quote is perfect.

    I think art becomes popularized when people can own it or at least feel that they can own a part of it. A postcard, or catalog will do.

    Several years ago I saw a small blurb in the NYT about Jeff Koons. Apparently some small gallery (?!) produced some book ends that looked enough like Balloon Dog that Koons had his lawyers send them a cease and desist letter. I couldn't resist...I sent away for one book end (seemed appropriate) for $50 and it came with a copy of the letter and their response which was "As virtually any clown can attest, on one owns the idea of making a balloon dog, and the shape created by twisting a balloon into a dog-like form is part of the public domain". Its a hunky little matte orange dog, looks nothing like Koons' dogs, but I own it. Me and Eli Broad.


    Rothko (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:28:37 PM EST
    Rothko was a modernist minimalist who's work is fairly approachable and understandable to many and which is a heir to both protestant and zen approaches. All one needs to do is to stand in front of a Rothko and clear one's mind.

    Yes, easy for you to say...  and Barnett Newman too, for me.. but I think that when these works were produced many thought that their kid could do it, and that it was a big hoax.

    Hindsight gives us accessibility, although I am sure that many still think Barnett Newman is crap, and few who have missed the popularization of Rothko, think it is a joke.

    I think that education is key to be able to appreciate or even tolerate contemporary art. Yes, sometimes young people can respond immediately to new art because the references ring a bell, but many who have taken an art history class, gotten a university degree, and go to museums once or twice a year, believe that they should not need any education as they have taste, and understand culture at large.

    I think that contemporary art is often difficult for many people because many good artists are interested in pushing the envelope as to what art is. To keep up with that is is useful to know the references, and how the work fits in the general scheme of ART..  

    Yes, the pedantic museum placards often are condescending or impenetrable, usually the former..  occasionally they give insight into a work, revealing a little known fact or somewhat obscure observation.

    But like religion, one needs faith in contemporary art, imo. What would be considered a "difficult" contemporary work could be seen as common parlance 25 years down the road. Because some artists are ahead of the curve, so much so that even the most knowledgable art lover would be scratching her head, suggests that we have to trust art, at least to gain entry. IOW instead of writing off something as junk, standing in front of a work and letting it  wash over you like the Rothko, needs a certain amount of faith.  

    Of course the faith most often comes with education and none of it works unless someone is interested and open to art.

    I recently read this article, written by a Harvard trained composer (pop?)..  he decided to go to galleries in LA and was not treated as well as he imagined he should have been.  So he wrote off the art world as elitist.

    From my POV, he believed that he, because he was a somewhat successful musician, albeit pop, and Harvard educated, he should have access to higher culture. I think that this is a common mistake people make. They experience a sort of entitlement that ramps up expectations. So if they are not immediately invited into the fold, they have a bad reaction.



    Okay, seriously? (none / 0) (#187)
    by sj on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:07:25 PM EST
    Koons makes giant balloon art -- images we have seen our entire lives -- and then sends a cease and desist letter because of some bookends. Alrighty then.

    Although the Koons dogs are mighty shiny...

    I think the Smithsonians subscribe to the "educate" model. I was so excited to go to then and was really disappointed. I know their catalog is huge but their displays are generally meagre.  I wanted to immerse myself and instead I only got in a good walk. Not to be sneered at, but not what I had in mind.

    Fortunately, I lived close to the Walters.


    The Walters is a treasure, (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:25:53 PM EST
    and I really don't get there enough.

    Love the Cone Collection at the BMA, too.

    Might have to schedule some museum time after tax season ends...


    Someone I know suggested (none / 0) (#163)
    by scribe on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:35:09 AM EST
    combining this installation and Warhol's soup can (also in that museum) and calling it "Plinking".

    Plinking? (none / 0) (#167)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:48:20 AM EST
    I assume the sound of bullets on metal? Hmmmm...  I think that the installation is mixed in with the Warhols..  it is in the main room and along the wall of the trajectory is, among other works of art, Warhol's Soup can Painting,

    Eight flat-screen video monitors mounted along the bullets' path, Schmidlapp Gallery, display footage of the projectiles as they slither in slow motion by 18 of the art museum's most iconic works - Andy Warhol's Soup Can, a large Rookwood Pottery vase and Thomas Gainsborough's "Portrait of Ann Ford."

    "Plinking" is the word defining (none / 0) (#199)
    by scribe on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:25:53 PM EST
    when you go out on the back 40 or wherever and put some old tin cans, bottles or whatever on a log and take shots at them to see how good a shot you and your buddy are.  It's something usually done with a BB gun or a .22.

    Maybe next time (none / 0) (#186)
    by ZtoA on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:06:09 PM EST
    he will use his gun/paintbrush to paint a smiley face on the cube.

    National Shame... (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:19:02 PM EST
    nice op-ed with some of the stories of working class NYers struggling because of the food stamp cuts and pitiful wages.

    Paul Ryan needs to get his head out of Ayn Rand's arse and meet some Americans like these hardworking folks.

    A companion piece to that op-ed (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:48:10 PM EST
    is Timothy Eagan's op-ed in the NYT

    Paul Ryan And His Irish Amnesia

    I posted excerpts from the op-ed here but I'm afraid that it got lost in the discussion of the St. Pat. parade.

    Take the time to read the whole thing.


    Good stuff... (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:58:52 PM EST
    those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.  And he's supposed to be the brainiac of the party.  Doh!

    Just be glad that they do not knight people here (none / 0) (#75)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:09:01 PM EST
    Result of Trevelyan's " It is better that they starve than become dependent on government handouts" policies: at least a million Irish died -- one in eight people.

    For his role in the famine, Trevelyan was knighted.

    We may not knight... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:33:50 PM EST
    but bet your arse there is a medal of freedom waiting for Ryan if he suceeds in thinning the ranks of the poor via malnutrition, diabetes, stress, etc.  

    I was finally able to link to the editoriL (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:40:29 PM EST
    Not able to this morning.   Traffic I guess.  Nice to see local media take that position but  then who has had to suffer them more than Kansans.  To be fair they did not exactly say that his impending death was "good news" - a statement I absolutely and enthuastically stand by, - neither did they clutch pearls.

    It will be interesting to see how the rest of the media worlds approaches the story.  Particularly the right wing media.  There I do expect a plethora of pearl clutching.

    One thing I find comforting, if Ferd was right about the whole heaven and hell  thing he has a big surprise coming IMO.

    You still have the rest of the Phelps' (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:28:25 AM EST
    to contend with. And millions of others who believe the tribal rules of a group of war-like nomads commanded by a Stalin in the sky should apply to everyone for all time.

    Not to sound hateful..


    Do you suppose a counter-message, that (none / 0) (#178)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:37:11 AM EST
    God is now punishing Phelps for his activities by seeing to it that he has a long, slow death, would get the attention of the WBC members?

    Can you imagine an ad where a God-like voice is heard musing, as we see video of one of their protests, "When I'm finished with Fred, which one of you will be next?"

    Does that sound hateful?  I don't mean it to - just wondering if there's any point in showing these people the fallacy of their thinking, challenging their immutable faith that somehow, God approves of what they've been doing.

    I'm guessing that these are not people with great critical thinking skills, so, probably not.


    Do not underestimate the westboro folks (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:14:03 PM EST
    They are many ings but not stupid.  I doubt any of them have actual spiritual "beliefs".  They have created a very profitable enterprise using the constitution to gode grieving people into attacking them so they can sue them for money.

    You do know they are all lawyers, right?


    No (none / 0) (#179)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:43:26 AM EST
    That ad would be seen as the work of the devil, by Phelpsists.
    And the slow death, well there are lots of loopholes, so god's punishment would not be top of their list. More like, god is keeping him around so he can continue to channel god's word, or suffering in the name of christ to set an example.. etc..

    The martyrization of Fred Phelps? (none / 0) (#185)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:00:17 PM EST
    Not sure that's a word, but I can see them taking the process that way.



    Cheap [Homegrown] Medical Marijuana (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:46:23 PM EST
    is heading the way of the Dodo bird in Canada.  Health Canada is informing its forty-thousand licensed MM patients that Canadian law has changed and that they have until April to destroy any and all plants, any and all stashes.  The new legislation arrived with the usual excuses: We're doing it for your own safety [suckers].  Pharmaceutical grade pot is the only safe pot.  Gotta protect growers from being robbed.  Grow lights are electrical and dangerous!  Moisture -> mold!  Acccck!  Not sure if they played the "Terrrrrrrrrrrorist" card.

    In the linked article one guy stated that he was able to grow his own for about $1/gram.  He estimates that the Big Pharma Cartel will force him to pay $3-$12/ gram.

    It's only a matter of time before the Big Pharma Lobby effects the same sort of legislation in America.  Outfits like ALEC are shopping it to lazy, greedy state legislators now.

    well (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by sj on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:29:23 AM EST
    you had to know that if Big Pharma couldn't shut down MM, then their next step would be to coopt it.

    Rich and Poor (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by Mikado Cat on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:49:17 AM EST
    I was thinking about rich and poor the other day, and I wondered what it will be like when the rich own all the property, all the non public lands, houses etc. Then it dawned on me, don't they, aren't most homes mortgaged to the hilt?

    The trend must be strong towards getting worse, despite the home ownership numbers that include homes really owned by banks.

    That's when the "rich" (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:02:32 AM EST
    Who have mortgaged million dollar houses realize the actual rich - like 50 people - own everything and we are all in the same rickety boat.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 306 (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:54:31 AM EST
    Global Warming, the nursery rhyme. (link)

    v. 305
    v. 304

    Happy Tuesday, my friends. I have bi-polarity to attend to. Nothing new. Peace out.

    Oh, that Charlie Pierce...he sure has (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:58:31 AM EST
    a way with words:

    Republican presidential aspirant Tailgunner Ted Cruz made a little foray into foreign policy and stumps everywhere suddenly felt themselves intellectually validated.

    Read that, and then go read today's "Here's Some Stupid for Lunch:"

    Mark Levin, the former Clinton-era relevsion ratfker who now proposes to rewrite the Constitution because Obama and because Freedom (!), had an atheist call his radio program. Hilarity ensued...

    Hoo boy (none / 0) (#193)
    by sj on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:16:38 PM EST
    I didn't know that Mark Levin had nominated Rush Limbaugh for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Want a giggle (none / 0) (#195)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:19:13 PM EST
    Look on Amazon for "Rush Revere and the first Patriots"

    We'll giggle or barf I will leave it to you.


    I can't and won't do it (none / 0) (#197)
    by sj on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:23:22 PM EST
    I still have soft spot in my heart for Paul Revere and the Raiders, and I won't have that sullied.

    Last nights full moon is known as (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:25:56 PM EST
    The worm moon

     March    Full Worm Moon     At the time of this spring Moon, the ground begins to soften and earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of robins. This is also known as the Sap Moon, as it marks the time when maple sap begins to flow and the annual tapping of maple trees begins.

    Congratulate of mastering "cut and paste" on my IPad

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 307 (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 12:39:21 PM EST
    Sometimes a jet is not just a jet. (link)

    v. 306
    v. 305

    Happy day-o-the-hump, my friends. Peace.

    Politics and military sex (none / 0) (#4)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:41:09 AM EST
    In this house, the chances of us ever (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:29:55 AM EST
    Seeing his relationship with the accuser as an affair is zero.

    He was her commander, he was senior rater, he could have destroyed her career with a blink.  So your commander lets you know he wants your extra service to your country, you have two choices.  You give him/her what they want, or you expose them and a huge career destroying he said she said ensues with no real charges able to be proven.

    Commanders get off all the time with the affair bull$hit and it is usually exactly that at the core of the initial formation of "the relationship".....bull$hit.  The core of the relationship is fear and intimidation. And the victim will often invent feelings that don't exist and plaster that over the core in an attempt to survive what is happening to them and carry on with their stressful daily duties.  

    In any case in this house, we will always view commanders who do this sort of thing as molesters, even if a subordinate pursues them.  The little people are not your power equivalent, and just as your babysitter may have a crush on you...you say no.  Commanders are the example and senior and possess powers that are unattainable by everyone else and Sinclair deserves all books to be thrown at him.


    The other day I found myself at a funeral (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:53:50 AM EST
    And the preacher was riffing on how Amurka was turning into Rome and was headed for a fall.   Of course he was talking about lax morals nd homasexhuals.  But it started me thinking and I started rewatching the excellent HBO Rome series.  I decided he was right.  Vast differences in wealth getting bigger a justice system that is really two systems, one for the haves and a totally different increasingly brutal one for the rest.  The huge and growing divide of classes and the contempt of the uppers for the lowers.
    We are approaching " the weak are meat and the strong do eat"
    The preacher was right we are becoming Rome and it may mean very bad things for our future.

    And NASAs new study agrees with you (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:08:44 AM EST
    I see

    Even the 1% in the military are trying to gut the little people as war funding dries up.  Recently three retired generals did a write up that military retirement must be cut.  They did not acknowledge that their retirement could not be touched via recent legislation, just the people smaller than them would be cut.  They all sit on military industrial complex phatcat boards now too.  I was proud of the response of the little people at military.com, they fully exposed the three generals for  the 1% angling for even more of slice for themselves.

    Someone is blogging at DK that the tiny soldier must be cut too.  He/she retired out at Lt. Col so is getting 80,000 in retirement, and because of military service landed an SES job making between 106,000 to 180,000 a year there.  They are a military industrial complex 1% double dipper and nobody should take advice from this person as to what and where to cut.  They only serve themselves, they don't serve you and they don't serve me, but this is the decade for all 1%ers, the BS they sell has sold very well so far, why quit now?


    One of the problems (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:56:45 AM EST
    Of the late roman military was the treatment of recruits.  Brutal discipline advancement based on connection and long and repeated deployments.   In the end the Romans started hiring outsiders like Huns to do the fighting.  Blackwater anyone?  Men started cutting off their thumbs to avoid the military.

    Maybe it never occurred to them to force the lower classes to join with economic pressure .  Join or starve.  


    We did that (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:16:15 AM EST
    And it looks like they hope to do that again.  Problem is there are no longer jobs for rock painters in our current military.  You must possess advanced education and training or have the ability to be very advance trained on the US taxpayer dollar.

    We already have had a brain trust drain too that has gone to be privately employed by Saudi Arabia and Dubai to name only a few areas.  Because these are current allies nobody says anything about it, I don't think they can at this point.  If there is a major meltdown though why would these families come home?  Wouldn't their knowledge and training simply be for sale to the highest bidder at that point?


    Arming the peasants (none / 0) (#136)
    by Mikado Cat on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:18:19 AM EST
    is the last step for most governments, especially corrupt ones.

    You are absolutely right on the mark. (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:08:54 PM EST
    I grew up in and served in the Navy. He is a very senior officer. Not just a grade or two above. As a Brigadier General he should have known from the start that a relationship with any junior was wrong and inappropriate. This another case of military whitewash for a senior officer. Bull$hit indeed.

    The problem is with command influence (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:16:02 PM EST
    When Obama went on his riff about how sex offenders in the military, particularly those who prey on their subordinates, deserved to be stripped of their rank, dishonorably discharged, whatever, he made every sex offense case in the military justice system open to dismissal because of command influence.  He is too smart not to have known, or have had advisors who knew and could tell him, that his speech would result in dismissals for command influence and he went ahead with it anyway.

    (When I served, there was a command influence incident - a series of talks by the CG - that resulted in dozens of cases being dismissed because of command influence.  Much frustration in the units because a lot of soldiers who deserved court-martial punishment walked.  The CG was relieved of command.)

    Given Obama's ratification of torture and the way he did it, one can only conclude these command influence dismissals resulting from his talk were an intended result.  In other words, he wanted to bury these cases.  Possibly to curry favor with the generals, possibly to stick a pointed stick in Clair McCaskill's eye.  Who knows.  But the fault lies on his desk.


    I don't think he has good advisors on this (none / 0) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:21:51 PM EST
    The military brains that helped him sort out DADT were sent on the other side of world after getting big promotions.  I think the Pentagon plays this President very easily.  I know a JAG officer on the other side of the world right now who probably screams into his pillow every night over the sexual abuses and what a mess it all is.

    And sometimes I wonder if almost every (none / 0) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:26:03 PM EST
    O-6 or higher has a skeleton in their closet that they are terrified is going to fall out if it appears any of them could ever be held accountable.  The terror in their speechifying on the subject sure makes me wonder sometimes.

    Actually, the terror is more likely from (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:51:52 PM EST
    the chance of career suicide from speechifying on the topic.

    To put it in perspective, the command influence incident I discussed in my comment upthread involved this:  the CG (2-star) and his CSM gave a series of talks to company and battlion-level commanders and first sergeants and sergeants major respectively.  The general thread of the talks was on (improving) discipline and renovating the Army.  One small point in the talk dealt with court-martials.  The talks contained language to the effect of "if you're going to court-martial a soldier because it's appropriate [for whatever offense], don't be coming in and testifying to the effect that he can be rehabilitated and be a good soldier".

    Viewed in one direction, this is a perfectly reasonable thing to say.  It can mean, and probably was intended to mean, that if a junior commander is going to spend the resources necessary to prosecute a soldier through court-martial, be sure beforehand that this particular soldier is irremediable and unrehabilitatable.  In other words, conserve resources and reserve courts-martial for those who can't be fixed otherwise.

    Viewed in another direction, and as the Court of Appeals decided, it was a message from the 2-star - for most of those officers either their senior rater or their senior rater's boss - that no one should give testimony favorable to the accused's soldierly qualities.  Because he was being court-martialed.  Unlawful command influence, pure and simple.  In his speech the division sergeant major was even more blunt than the general (as one might expect among sergeants), leaving far less room for the ambiguity to be interpreted in any way other than as unlawful command influence depriving soldiers of their right to both a fair trial and to witnesses in their defense.

    When the Court of Appeals came down with its decision, the next day the CG was on a plane to DC to meet with the Chief of Staff and never came back.  A new CG showed up about a week later.  The sergeant major disappeared, too.  No one knew for sure, but we thought he was involunarily retired.

    Thing is, today the military is going through another round of cutting personnel like it was when those talks were given back in the early 80s.  10 years ago, no one would have thought twice about excusing or ignoring a lot of the conduct that today terminates careers.  And one can only conclude that those senior officers and NCOs tapdancing through eggshells to tell their subordinates to stop sexual harassment and assaults are terrified of somehow running afoul of the courts and winding up getting tossed at 19 years and 5 months.


    Yes they are (none / 0) (#124)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 05:34:53 AM EST
    It's a very aggressive downsize right now.

    For an instruction on why command influence (5.00 / 4) (#165)
    by scribe on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:45:59 AM EST
    is so pernicious, go read this.

    While it recounts events from 30 years ago, it is quite useful on both the command influence issue and why people have to be careful in what they say.  It is quite long - 220 pages - and the short version is the Senate report and the last 3 pages.  Over 350 cases from one unit alone were affected with many of them being tossed or sent back for further proceedings, often years later.

    Only this time around instead of it being a 2-star, Obama has thrown in his 2 cents and screwed up every sexual assault, sexual harassment and related case in the entire military.  When I said he had bad advisers or disregarded his advisers when he opened his mouth, I think it should be pretty clear that the linked case was the paradigm for what not to do and should have been properly taught to him when he came in.  He's really cautious about a lot of things, so I can't believe his talk was not intentional.


    You have an amazing point though (none / 0) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:32:59 PM EST
    Thank you for bringing this up.  I have a couple of emails to send out now.  This gives us all another reason why Gillibrand is right, and she isn't done.  She only considers that she lost a battle, not any war yet.

    Speaking of homophobic (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:53:30 AM EST
    Fred Phelps is dying. I love waking up yo good news.

    Don't be as hateful as he is (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:03:54 AM EST
    Save the holier than tho (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:15:38 AM EST
    If it was up to me his funeral would be host to the biggest damn pride celebration in history complete with drag queens and ass chaps dancing on flatbed trucks.

    That would likely be protected (5.00 / 4) (#57)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:56:58 AM EST
    under the First Amendment, given the decision in the First Amendment case brought against Phelps all the way to the US S.Ct over one of his veteran's-funeral protests, though one should check the time-place-and-manner restrictions on funeral protests to stay out of dutch.  

    My sense is that, if the flatbed with the protestors on board circles the funeral home a decent interval before the funeral, or even parks in front of it, they'd probably be in the clear.  

    But it'd have to be really cold to be wearing just chaps in March in Kansas.  Take some seriously dedicated protestors.


    lol; that would be perfect. (none / 0) (#118)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:16:27 PM EST
    Btw (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:25:34 AM EST
    I have been reading all the rainbow handwringing about how we have to be better and kinder and yadda yadda.  

    IMHO f&@k that  those inbred morons who have desecrated the memorials of so many people who did nothing - and their families who had done nothing - to deserve it need to know what it feels like.

    Which is why I suspect he won't have a public memorial and will be buried in some secret/ private place.  They can dish it out but they can't take it.


    OMG really? (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:52:51 AM EST
    Did you really go there and say that?

    Yes jb did (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:05:59 AM EST
    and on this occasion I agree with jb

    Not that jb would ever want me in agreement :) (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:08:31 AM EST
    Why do you guys think it is okay (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:24:06 AM EST
    To tell anyone that Phelps attacked how they should feel about him and his looming death?  He attacked my people too.  I had a very low key response to the Fred news but I would never in a million years tell any other military family how they should feel about him.....never.  Nor would I tell anyone who is gay how they should feel about him.....never.

    Thanks for that (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:32:50 AM EST
    I am quite aware that even Zulu - the gay Yoda - disagrees with me and I hold a minority view on this.

    I'm ok with that.


    Op-Ed Agrees w/you (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:40:58 AM EST
    The editorial I linked to above agrees with you CaptHowdy.. as do I.

    I don't think you hold a minority view (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:46:57 AM EST
    I think you are the minority willing to speak their view in public and allow it to be heard.

    I'm with you Capt. (none / 0) (#58)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:02:54 PM EST
    Fred Phelps passing would indeed be good reason to raise a toast.

    I don't think... (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:35:00 AM EST
    anybody is telling anybody how to feel...just friendly advice to be careful not to become what you despise, and to stay classy San Diego.

    Easier said than done, I know, when it's your ox being gored...but that's what makes dudes like Ghandi and MLK Jr. so special.


    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:38:21 AM EST
    I think what I am suggesting - a peaceful demonstration of drag queens and ass chaps - is not so far from what Ghandi or MLK would done.

    And now I have said my peace.


    I like the people... (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:45:59 AM EST
    who filmed a gay-pron on the lawn of Westboro Baptist...that was brilliant protest!

    Protesting funerals otoh, either it's kosher or it ain't, and I say it ain't...though everybody has the right to do it, it's not cool.  That being said, if somebody did do something like that at the funeral I'd laugh my arse off...I'm a horrible person too;)


    He protested funerals and we found a way (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:51:36 AM EST
    To survive him.  I suppose that is how I can afford a low key response.  If he had protested my spouses funeral or the funeral of one our friends though, that would be a very different ball game all together.  I wouldn't make anyone any promises on a Fred Phelps response.

    What made Ghandi and MLKJr special was (none / 0) (#171)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:11:01 AM EST
    responding with Irony.  Peace - could there be a more ironic response to Government Violence?

    To quote Phelps' favorite source, As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

    A Chorus Line of Asschaps at Phelps' sendoff would be a perfectly fitting and ironic response.  I'm a big fan of irony.  What would be more ironic?  God boycotting his funeral.  But that would be hard to verify.  Absence of evidence, and all that Rumsfeld rot.  

    Hopefully, astute political commentators Louis Black will weigh in, stripped of b/s, sensitivity and all political correctness.


    For me, it would be horrifying (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:03:13 PM EST
    and soul-sucking to realize that these horrible people had managed to bring me down to their level; I don't want to be someone who decides that it's okay to hate when I'm the one hating.

    That should not be mistaken for approving of WBC tactics, nor should it be taken as a direction to anyone else and how they choose to react/respond.

    I just think hate is an ugliness my heart doesn't benefit from holding into.


    Anne, don't take the bait. Please! (5.00 / 4) (#63)
    by vml68 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:15:47 PM EST
    That Is a Good Sign Anne Sounds like you have been doing some work on yourself..  Kudos to you.

    Whatever else you believe (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:39:06 PM EST
    Believe this " baiting" Ann is the very last thing in the world I would ever do.

    I believe you. And, you were not the one (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by vml68 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:49:36 PM EST
    I was referring to.

    Btw, don't know if you saw my comment to you. If you ever find yourself in the position of having to dispatch another "Cleatus". Putting him in a bucket/tank of water with a few drops of clove oil is said to work as a sedative/anesthetic before you commence with the final dispatch.


    No worries, vml... (5.00 / 3) (#85)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:51:52 PM EST
    I just have a hard time finding joy in someone's death; I can acknowledge that the death of someone like Phelps will mean the world is a teeny bit less awful, but that's not the same as reveling in his death.

    There are people I don't ever want to be like, people who seem to thrive on close-mindedness and judgment, and making ugly expressions of hate - delivered often with a Bible in one hand, which seems to me to be the antithesis of the Christianity (usually) they claim to be speaking in defense of.

    As for "the bait," let's just say I 'm not surprised the commenter went there.


    Technically, (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:59:24 PM EST
    you may be correct, but I'd give the Cap'n a little slack here.

    I would interpret his comments as an expression of perserverence over the unbridled hate of the Christian community.  Outliving those who hate you and in some instances wanted you dead.


    Yes, I get that (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:01:25 PM EST
    And as one who saw some Westboro folks very up close and personal at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day, I get it.

    But when you act as hatefule as those you disagree with, all you do is become them and validate their opinion of you.


    Somehow, the (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:29:16 PM EST
    pious lectures on the "Christian" value of forgiveness seem out of place right now.

    Why not just let someone vent. Allow them the legitimacy of their experience and feelings.


    See Kdog's comment #48. (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by vml68 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:52:44 PM EST

    Forgiveness is (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:00:21 AM EST
    for yourself not the other person.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#144)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:13:30 AM EST
    CHristianity is rife with forgiving those who have done your wrong..

    In the New Testament, Jesus speaks of the importance of Christians forgiving or showing mercy towards others. Jesus used the parable of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18:21-35) to say that we should forgive without limits. Parable of the Prodigal Son[17] is perhaps the best known parable about forgiveness and refers to God's forgiveness for his people.

    and on and on...



    I think what Ga means (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:28:42 AM EST
    Is that the real benefit of you forgiving someone else is to you.  I totally agree with that and frequently preach about how hating and holding grudges is a pointless and mostly stupid waste of enery.   And until you let it go whatever is your energy is winning.
    (You knew  there was going to be one, right?)
    In the case of Fred Phelps I currently have plenty of energy to spare and plenty of reasons to leave forgiveness in the hands of whatever higher authority may care.

    Precisely (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:15:41 AM EST
    it's really about letting go which in turn helps yourself.

    As Hateful (none / 0) (#92)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:22:27 PM EST
    Only you and Anne have responded to, described, translated or ginned up CaptHowdy's comment:

    Speaking of homophobic Fred Phelps is dying. I love waking up yo good news.

    I do not see the hate there..

    "Do not speak ill of the dead" (or those about to die)? That may be the platitude you may be referring to here.


    We assume a special attitude towards the dead, something almost like admiration for one who has accomplished a very difficult feat. We suspend criticism of him, overlooking whatever wrongs he may have done, and issue the command, De mortuis nil nisi bene: we act as if we were justified in singing his praises at the funeral oration, and inscribe only what is to his advantage on the tombstone. This consideration for the dead, which he really no longer needs, is more important to us than the truth, and, to most of us, certainly, it is more important than consideration for the living.

    But when you act as hateful as those you disagree with, all you do is become them..

    And I think that we can all agree that this is a truism and not applicable to any of the comments expressing gladness that Phelps is on his way out.


    Thank you (none / 0) (#98)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:05:42 PM EST
    For once again trying to read my mind and put my words in my mouth.

    You are really, really bad at it, but you are amusing in that you keep trying!

    And if you don't see hate there, well, then you have a much different moral code than me. And I'll take my moral code over yours any day.

    Good day.


    Words In Your Mouth (none / 0) (#101)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:22:21 PM EST
    Rather words from your mouth:

    But when you act as hateful as those you disagree with, all you do is become them and validate their opinion of you.

    This is a truism. IMO it does not apply to any comment made here surrounding the imminent death of Phelps.

    And particularly odd considering this:

    And as one who saw some Westboro folks very up close and personal at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day, I get it.

    Comparing the Phelp and his minions to commenters here is absurd, IMO.


    This is taking it to (none / 0) (#115)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:18:52 PM EST
    a higher level--quoting Freud.



    Speaking of the cartels... (none / 0) (#96)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:44:19 PM EST
    the Knights Templars are reading the economic trends of the drug game, and are diversifying before they get arsed out.  They're moving more into illegal mining and logging, as well as old organized crime stand-bys kidnapping and extortion.

    That (none / 0) (#105)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:44:13 PM EST
    Was a fascinating read but while I was expectimg good news on the decriminalization front it was mostly just more depressing evidence of the decline of western civilization.

    You sort of have to wonder which is worse.  Bear Sterns and Koch Industries or the Knights Templar.  Honestly to me the Knights seems somehow less insidious.


    "To live outside the law, (none / 0) (#133)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:44:15 AM EST
    you must be honest."

    Where as the Koch or JP Morgan Chase or Goldman Sachs cartels write the laws and can be dishonest as a motherf*cker.  

    A pox on the lot of them, but I'm with you if forced to choose...there is something more honest about organized crime as compared to organized cartels of legal dirty.


    Walden on Warm Fork (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:59:14 AM EST
    The reason - one reason - I dropped off the grid for while is that I have spent most of this winter at my brothers hunting cabin wayyyyyyyyyy the hell back in the middle of nowhere.  It is set smack in the middle of a few hundred acres of old growth forest that he inherited from his well to do father in law.
    They made a "road" and got one of those little prefab things you can haul on a flat bed.  They pulled it back there with a big ole tractor.  It really just a room with a fireplace in one end and ithe other there is a little kitchen in one corner and a bathroom in the other.  There is a well but the water pumps are manual in both the kitchen and the bathroom where you can fill up a water heater which uses propane which can also be used to cook and heat but no electricity.  No cell phone.  It has a sleeping loft with a skylite over the bed.  I only meant to stay a few dys when I went up there but I loved it so much I stayed for most of about three months.  Including thru some serious snow storms.  The road is ony usable with a high clearance four wheel drive on a good day.  In weather forget it.  You are there.
    If it was a little bigger and had tv and Internet I could totally live there.   But I started seriously jonesing for premium cable after a while.
    But there is something primarily cool to be off the grid.

    Thought you would like the story.


    Good story... (none / 0) (#143)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:11:39 AM EST
    what did you eat?  Livin' off the fat of the land or do haul in a couple months worth of food?

    Living off the land (5.00 / 3) (#146)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:35:23 AM EST
    Is not in my job description.  I went down from the mountain occasionally for stuff.  There is a big cooler on the porch which in the summer is kept full of ice but worked just fine naturally in the winter.
    Actually the food was great.  There is a totally functioning stove complete with grill - which I used a lot.  I actually spent most of mt time cooking, preparing to cook and smoking pot.   Not necessarily in that order.

    The dogs absolutely loved it.  I guess it was the first time in their lives they were able to run around without a fence.
    When it came time to go Ghost would get in the car.  Which was very unusual and hilarious.  He knew he was going back to the fence so I had to bribe into the car with milk ones.  Thank god he will do anything for one.


    Be sure... (5.00 / 2) (#160)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:23:13 AM EST
    to pass on the GPS coordinates for the coming apocolypse...sounds like a good doomsday spot.

    Any more than (none / 0) (#162)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:35:00 AM EST
    Me and the three 80 lb dogs and it would get very cozy.

    I weigh less... (none / 0) (#166)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:46:01 AM EST
    than 2 dogs, I'll build me own adjacent shack, or a tree-house even;)

    Uh, (none / 0) (#147)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:36:28 AM EST
    Milk Bones

    I agree with you about educating boys (none / 0) (#111)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:04:13 PM EST
    I had a sister but much older and we certainly never had that conversation.  I did date girls in high school and this was the deepest and most terrifying of mysteries.

    On the subject of commercials I vote for a moratorium on catheter commercials.

    Well, both of my kids (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:02:40 PM EST
    were taught everything about  "the facts of life," including menstruation.  The boy as well as the girl.
    But then, I was experienced in educating about this subject.  I am a retired special education teacher, and I had to teach my students about sex education, including menstruation.  I developed and taught the curriculum at the private, residential school for the developmentally disabled where I was working.  And Mr. Zorba is a biologist, so he was certainly fine with discussing the subject, as well.
    We had some interesting conversations with both our kids, let me tell you.  But we answered all their questions.

    24 Mind-Blowing Facts (none / 0) (#148)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:36:36 AM EST
    About Marijuana Production in America

    You thought your pot came from environmentally conscious hippies? Think again. The way marijuana is grown in America, it turns out, is anything but sustainable and organic.

    These come from the article The Landscape-Scarring, Energy-Sucking, Wildlife-Killing Reality of Pot Farming

    The answer is in the link... (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:59:25 AM EST
    Kristin Nevedal chairs the Emerald Growers Association, the triangle's marijuana trade group. The coauthor of an ecofriendly pot-farming guide, she often consults with state and local lawmakers about how to make the industry more responsible. "Prohibition hasn't curbed the desire for cannabis," she says. "So we really need to look at changing our policy and starting to treat it like agriculture, so we can manage it."

    We need to regulate marijuana farms the same as any other agricultural farm to protect the enviroment and natural resources.  It appears our choices are legalization/regulation or the status quo of police and guerilla growers playing cat and mouse in the woods.


    The one that really got me (none / 0) (#161)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:28:17 AM EST
    Was the one about during the California grow season, the crop uses 50% more water than the entire city of San Francisco.  Is that all necessary water use?  Or is this something that can't be regulated (because that's the necessary amount needed) and those environmentalists who also support pot legalization will have to turn a blind eye?

    I tend to doubt ALL said on this subject (5.00 / 2) (#175)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:31:38 AM EST
    Don't you find it interesting that only NOW all this stuff about water is coming out?

    I do.

    It uses water, just like every other plant. Do I think it uses more to the degree being propagandized? No. If so, there would NEVER be any talk of hemp being so useful and environmentally safe. My opinion? (And if so, I wouldn't know people can grow it on their own without being bankrupted by their water bill. We are going to experience DECADES of misinformation about pot, mostly initiated by the alcohol industry. And that seems pretty obvious. Billions upon billions of booze profits are being threatened. Bullshit about weed, about the water it uses, about everything to do with it, will be around until we die. THAT, more than anything else, seems the truth.


    Well, it's coming from Mother Jones (none / 0) (#182)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:57:19 AM EST
    There isn't really a more liberal media outlet out there, so I don't see it as some sort of conspiracy or propaganda.  If anything, I would expect Mother Jones to downplay this sort of thing.

    Don't know... (none / 0) (#169)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:50:15 AM EST
    how much water is actually required...but I'd imagine the guerilla growers first priority is growing and getting the crop out before you break out in handcuffs, water conservation is the last thing on your mind.  I'd imagine there is a lot of unnecessary waste that could be avoided if everything was out in the open.  Sh*t having to pay for the water alone would lead to more conservation.

    That's still a lot of resources (none / 0) (#170)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:06:11 AM EST
    I had no idea of huge the environmental impact these kinds of crops inflicted.

    I hear ya... (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:16:13 AM EST
    large-scale agriculture of all stripes wreaks havoc on the enviroment, as does raising cattle.
    It's unnatural, our oldest ancestors were hunter gatherers, humankind's "natural" way to feed itself (and get high;).  

    Once we discovered agriculture we changed the enviroment tremendously.  I think the best we can do is try to minimize the damage via responsible agriculture and agricultural regulations.

    I mean I don't see us going back to hunter-gathering anytime soon, billions would die.  Not to mention the global reefer shortage! Perish the thought!;)


    Lordy, jb (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by sj on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:34:18 AM EST
    All kinds of crops have a huge environmental impact.

    Yes, but (none / 0) (#183)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:58:16 AM EST
    Those other crops actually have uses - some of them multiple use - first and foremost to keep people alive by providing nourishment.

    Lordy (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:08:31 PM EST
    You seriously don't get it.  In any case I doubt mt unused closet has much environmental impact.

    And some plants (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by sj on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:08:33 PM EST
    keep people free from pain and/or seizures. What's your point?

    Jeebus (none / 0) (#191)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:13:24 PM EST
    You people are ready to jump on me for anything I say.  Maybe you should all take a freakin' chill pill (or indulge in some mj, as you all subscribe as to its supposed wonderfulness).

    I posted an article from a very liberal site because I thought it was interesting.  Then I furthered up with a comment that I was really surprised by some of the data that came out of the article. That's it.  But of course I get jumped on with, "Well - look over there!  That's bad too!" or "Not my stuff!"

    Good god, you people are trigger happy and just need to CTFO.


    "Other crops have actual uses " (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:16:57 PM EST
    No one needs to put words in your mouth

    Well, actually that's kind of true (none / 0) (#196)
    by sj on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:22:24 PM EST
    You people are ready to jump on me for anything I say.
    But you didn't post the article just because you were "surprised by some of the data". Your comments don't stand alone. And you were the one that implied that MM was not contributing much to society by saying
    Those other crops actually have uses.

    So if you don't want to defend that kind of statement, don't make it.


    NSA surveillance program (none / 0) (#168)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:49:06 AM EST
    reaches `into the past' to retrieve, replay phone calls

    The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording "100 percent" of a foreign country's telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden.

    A senior manager for the program compares it to a time machine -- one that can replay the voices from any call without requiring that a person be identified in advance for surveillance.

    The voice interception program, called MYSTIC, began in 2009. Its RETRO tool, short for "retrospective retrieval," and related projects reached full capacity against the first target nation in 2011. Planning documents two years later anticipated similar operations elsewhere.

    In the initial deployment, collection systems are recording "every single" conversation nationwide, storing billions of them in a 30-day rolling buffer that clears the oldest calls as new ones arrive, according to a classified summary.

    The call buffer opens a door "into the past," the summary says, enabling users to "retrieve audio of interest that was not tasked at the time of the original call." Analysts listen to only a fraction of 1 percent of the calls, but the absolute numbers are high. Each month, they send millions of voice clippings, or "cuts," for processing and long-term storage.

    ugh (none / 0) (#176)
    by sj on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:31:55 AM EST
    Just ... ugh

    Tom Waits doing Chicago on Letterman (none / 0) (#202)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 03:01:34 PM EST