Portland, OR Meet Up: Apparently I’m Supposed To Do a Proof of Life Post

Who knew?

Anyhow, here are the Portland, OR meet uppers or up meeters:

  1. Mnemosyne stated that: “Sorry, I had to take it myself so I’m not in it.”
  2. Landscape (horizontal) mode for pictures and videos!
  3. If you’re in the picture and you want to do so, identify yourself in the comments.

Open thread!








Not-Political Open Thread

Ric and Zooey always like laundry day.








Both Sides From The New York Times

My Twitter lit up this morning with Bret Stephens’s call to sink Iran’s navy. But nobody wants war, he assures us.

Right next door (figuratively speaking), Eliot Higgins has an excellent explainer on the evidence proffered so far and how to analyze it. If you want to learn more about how to do open-source intelligence, take some time with this article.

Stephens’s piece, of course, offers nothing remotely like evidence.

And the Times Editorial Board advises the President to heed his deal-making reflex, not his hawkish advisers.

I guess two out of three isn’t too bad.

Open thread – slow afternoon.








Saturday Open Thread: Jingle Dress Dance

Google’s Doodle about Jingle Dancing led me to some interesting videos and articles. Thought I’d share.

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Origins of Women’s Jingle Dress Dancing

Origins of Women’s Jingle Dress Dancing

There are few pow wow dances as ebullient, or as symphonic, as the Jingle Dress Dance, especially when there are multiple female dancers moving together. The rows of metal cones, called ziibaaska’iganan in the Ojibew language, dangle from the dresses and rattle and clink as the dancers move. The traditional dance required the dancers to never cross their feet, never dance backward, and never complete circle. They kept footwork light, nimble, and close to the ground. Their dresses chirped as they moved. Modern Jingle Dress Dance allows more fluidity, the dancers can cross their feet, can complete full circles, and can dance backwards. The dresses are designed so they can move more freely, but the metal cones remain, singing along, while the dancer often carries a feather fan during the dance. The Jingle Dress Dance grew in popularity, and cultural significance, from the 1920s to around the 1950s, only to decline, go back to the dream-state from which it sprang, and rise back to life in the 1980s with the advent of pow wow expansion and competition.

… this story is told in Chapter Five by Brenda J. Child—during World War I, an Ojibew girl became very sick, possibly from the widespread Spanish influenza epidemic. Her father feared he was going to lose her, and sought a vision to save his daughter. He saw the dress and the instructions for the dance, and went about putting the dress together for his daughter, then asked her to do a few “springlike” steps, in which she always kept one foot on the ground. She started feeling better, and kept dancing. Finally, she recovered completely, and kept on dancing, and eventually she formed the first Jingle Dress Dance Society.

Much more at the link

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Going to be a beautiful morning, so I’m going to get the pups out for a walk before it gets to warm, then gardening before the afternoon thunderstorms roll in. Biggest goal is to mow the back yard – which the ducks will hate. They love hiding in the long, cool grass. I indulge them an only mow it every two weeks.

What’s up for y’all?

Open thread








Saturday Morning Open Thread: Cartoon Villains

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
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(Signe Wilkinson via GoComics.com)
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(Non Sequitur via GoComics.com)
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(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)
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Pergola Update

All done but a few little things, but got it primed and painted and mostly in place:

Tomorrow the finishing touches, then put up the shades and hanging plants. After that, powerwash the entire deck and stain it grey. Again.

Also got the first coat of polyurethane on the shelves I have slowly been working on:

Those are the bottoms, so tomorrow I will put a coat on the tops, wait 4 hours, sand, and put another coat on.

After the bookcase, projects are taking a hiatus for a while. But you have to keep up on this shit or the next thing you know you are living in a crumbling shell of a house. Gotta keep my eye on craigslist for some cheap wicker furniture. I got the entire front porch set for 150 bucks or thereabout, although I did have to clean it and repaint it and give it some tlc.








Election 2020 Open Thread: The First DNC Debate Lineups Have Been Released

Surprise! Ain’t nobody happy about the results — a phrase which may be Tom Perez’s epitaph. Per the Washington Post:

Former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the two leading candidates in early Democratic presidential polling, will share the stage later this month as the party holds its first back-to-back nights of debates…

Joining Biden and Sanders on the second night will be Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), Sen. Michael F. Bennet (Colo.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif.), author and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson and technology entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

The group debating on the first night will include Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), former Obama Cabinet member Julián Castro, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, former congressman John Delaney (Md.), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), former congressman Beto O’Rourke, Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.).

The DNC had sought to divide the field in such a way that one debate would not appear more important than the other. The announcement Friday drew immediate questions about whether the organization had succeeded.

Night two includes four of the five candidates who are averaging at least 7 percent support in a Washington Post average of national polls over the past month — Biden, Sanders, Harris and Buttegieg. Night one includes Warren, who stands at 12 percent in recent national polls, while all other candidates that night hold less than 5 percent support…

NBC said candidates were divided into two groups, depending on whether they were polling above or below 2 percent. Random drawing from both groups resulted in assignment to either the first or the second night, with a goal of including a mix of higher-polling candidates and lower-polling candidates both nights.

Ill-judged cutoff percentage, IMO. (Of course, were it left to me, getting onstage would’ve required polling at least 3%, so… ) Politico is very excited, of course:

By splitting the Democratic presidential field’s top-tier candidates into two groups and dividing them evenly across two stages for the year’s first primary debates, the Democratic National Committee had hoped to avoid a repeat of the Republican Party’s “kiddie table” spectacle of 2016.

It got a stacked deck, anyway…
Read more








Pergola Update

Yes- the boards are uneven, so don’t waste your breath- they’re coming down so we can prime and paint them. Also, I have to go to Lowe’s because apparently I did not pay attention in school and can not count properly and am ONE FUCKING BOARD short.

We’re painting it white, fwiw. Realized today I am not sure what I am more excited about- shade, or the opportunity for more hanging plants.








The Recent Attack On Shipping in the Gulf of Oman

Two commercial shipping vessels were attacked yesterday in the Gulf of Oman. Both vessels and their cargoes will be salvaged, the crews were safely removed, and none of the potentially environmentally damaging cargo – one of the ships was carrying distillates of naptha, the other methanol – appears to have leaked out into the Gulf of Oman. Because of where these attacks occurred, everyone seems to have immediately decided it was Iran. Secretary of State Pompeo went so far as to state it was unequivocally Iran at his press conference yesterday.

Secretary Pompeo eventually changed his statement to US intelligence assesses, from US government. Regardless, it appears that he’s basing a lot of this on the US Navy surveillance footage that was released of an unexploded ordnance (UXO) tech on one of the Iranian rescue teams removing what could be a magnetically attached mine or magnetically attached shaped charge attached to the side of the Kokaku Courageous. The Navy identified the device as a magnetically attached limpet mine, but the video is too grainy to confirm it.

There are problems with the official US position as expressed by Secretary Pompeo.

Chief Wright has far more experience with this than I do, but I’d add that if we had conclusive proof, as Secretary Pompeo claimed yesterday, that Iran had placed these explosive devices, then he would have released that video instead of video of an Iranian UXO tech disarming and removing an unexploded device that is unidentifiable by video prior to the Iranian rescue team beginning rescue operations aboard the attacked ship. Chief Nance, who like Chief Wright, has far more experience with this than I do, has similar concerns.

James Fallow’s sums the problem up for all of us:

The owners of the Kokaku Courageous have now come out and stated that their ship was not attacked with a mine or a shaped charge, rather by an unidentified airborne device – and not by a torpedo.

One of the tankers that were attacked in the Gulf of Oman was struck by a flying object, the ship’s Japanese operator said on Friday, expressing doubt that a mine had been attached to its hull.

But Yutaka Katada, the company’s president, citing accounts from the ship’s crew, said Friday: “I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship.”

Please keep in mind that no evidence has actually been provided of who was responsible for last month’s attacks on shipping vessels in the area.

The bigger issue right now is how Secretary Pompeo and Assistant to the President-National Security Advisor Bolton try to spin this and leverage it to get the war they so clearly want. This includes trying to tie all of this back, in some way, shape, and/or form to Afghanistan and/or the Taliban so they can just take action under the existing 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force that was passed shortly after 9-11. Speaking of pieces of unexploded ordnance lying around waiting to go off…

Until or unless more and better evidence is actually released, all we can do is wait. The only good news in all of this, if there is any good news beyond that no one was seriously injured and no environmental damage appears to have occurred, is that because of the President’s, his cabinet members’, his administration’s, and his surrogates’ well earned reputation for mendacity, no one, including our allies and partners, is simply accepting the official US position on yesterday’s attacks. The same people that asked all of us to believe that no one on the White House staff asked/ordered the Navy to remove the USS John McCain from the President’s sight while he was in Japan, which was a lie, are the same ones that now want us to accept without question that Iran’s famed and feared IRGC carried out a sloppy operation and did so in such an amateurish way that they got caught red handed. Either these guys are the greatest threat to everyone, everywhere or they’re the Keystone Cops. Pick one, they can’t be both. The President’s, his cabinet members’, his administration’s, and his surrogates’ chronic inability to tell the truth may actually be the one thing that keeps things from escalating.

Open thread!








Unsung Hero of the Republic

I just wanted to highlight the heroic actions of a congressman, Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), who this week introduced an amendment to a House Armed Services Committee bill that allocates money for two new Air Force One planes. The new 747s won’t go into service until 2024, by which time we hope Trump will be but a bad memory.

However, the tiny-fingered, ferret-headed shitgibbon had planned to leave his mark on the presidential conveyances with a “star-spangled” paint job and “gold-plated fixtures like those at his personal residences,” according to the CT Mirror.

Not on Rep. Courtney’s watch! Noting that “additional paint can add weight to the plane, additional fixtures inside the plane can also add cost and delays to the delivery of the plane,” Courtney successfully attached an amendment that requires congressional approval for excessive spending on “paint, interior, and fixtures” on the planes. The amendment was adopted on a party-line vote.

Republicans called the amendment a “political attack by Democrats, unfairly restricting the president’s ability to make even minor decisions.” Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) sputtered, “They want to impede the president at every turn.”

You’re goddamned right we do, Wittman.

Anyhoo, kudos to Rep. Courtney. Now future President Harris/Klobuchar/Warren won’t have to fly around in a plane with an exterior that resembles a Tobie Keith super-fan’s camper and an interior that looks like the ghost of Liberace ate a bushel of gold leaf and vomited all over the cabin. Well done, good sir!

Open thread!








Things I Have Learned This Week

1.) The reason butterflies fly like they are drunk, bouncing all over the place, is an evolutionary adaptation that helps to make their flight path difficult to predict, thwarting potential predators. The more poisonous ones don’t do this as much because fuck you go ahead and eat me you prick.

2.) Bobsled dogs poop while running. Which means it really pays to be the lead dog.

3.) I actually really enjoy the process of sanding and staining wood. I’m putting a book case in my office and the cheapest option was to just make it myself. It’s been fun.

4.) I should have purchased a pickup truck instead of the CRV. Not on of those giant vehicle penises, but just something to haul shit in.

*** UPDATE ***

Will all the front pagers PLEASE EMAIL ME AT JGRIFFINCOLE @ GMAIL . COM

I purchased the email server and need all your current emails so I can set you up with a zoho account for website use.








Friday Morning Open Thread: Kamala Harris Does the Work

It’s not sexxxay, by Media Village Idiot standards, but going out and asking people for their vote is the very heart of old-time politics:

The “Reckoning Crew,” a group of 100 predominately black female activists, announced its endorsement of the California Democrat on Thursday. The group, led by Bernice Scott, organizes in the rural part of Richland County, the state’s second biggest county…

Black voters made up 61% of South Carolina’s Democratic primary electorate in 2016; 37% identified as black women and 89% of them voted for Clinton over Sanders.

For her part, Harris has her own built-in network of black support that rose from her undergraduate years at Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, and sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc., whose members she constantly singles out for selfies and makes time for conversation at various campaign events…

Scott first met Harris at a February town hall in in Columbia and said the way Harris presented herself clinched the endorsement.

“The way she shook my hand and talked directly to me,” said Scott, one of the first black elected officials in Richland. “The way she presented herself and handled herself, and talked about the way she was brought up — right there in my mind, I said I was going to support her.”

But the final approval from the Reckoning Crew came last Sunday morning during their weekly meeting, a day after Harris had delivered a forceful defense of her record as a prosecutor. Harris, who served as California’s attorney general and San Francisco’s district attorney, has faced attacks from the left because of it…

“Everybody was all piped up about her speech. They were really impressed and they felt that it was worth going out there and fighting for,” she said, adding that “our goal is to win South Carolina for Ms. Harris.”

The group, which fits the demographic of the types of voters Harris must win over, has already helped set up the campaign’s South Carolina headquarters and build volunteer efforts…


Read more








On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

On The Road and In Your Backyard is a weekday feature spotlighting reader submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, please share your part of the world, whether you’re traveling or just in your locality. Share some photos and a narrative, let us see through your pictures and words. We’re so lucky each and every day to see and appreciate the world around us!

Submissions from commenters are welcome at tools.balloon-juice.com

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the pictures!

Read more








GOP Clown Car Open Thread: Steve King’s Demand & Sulk ‘Diamond & Silk’ Act

Rep. Steve ‘Pigmuck’ King’s saying-the-quiet-parts-out-loud antics have grown sufficiently egregious that even the Racist-in-Chief’s staff decided he couldn’t mooch a ride home on Air Force One (not even in the back, as some twitter wag noted). So King felt called on to break out the big guns…

Per NYMag, “Steve King, Diamond, and Silk Deflect Racism Charges by Unveiling Racist Legislation”:

Iowa Republican and white supremacist U.S. representative Steve King unveiled the “Diamond and Silk Act” on Wednesday. Officially dubbed the End Sanctuaries and Help Our American Homeless and Veterans Act, the legislation seeks to redirect federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities — jurisdictions that decline to help federal authorities arrest and deport undocumented immigrants — to programs that aid homeless people and veterans.

The act’s unofficial title is inspired by its unofficial co-sponsors: Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, better known by their stage names, Diamond and Silk. Together, the pair hosts a conservative video series on YouTube aimed at ridiculing Democrats and boosting Republicans, especially President Donald Trump, for whom they left the Democratic Party to support in 2015.

Diamond and Silk’s appeal to Republicans — the vast majority of whom are white — is that they are black women willing to exonerate the GOP of its racism. They conducted themselves accordingly on Wednesday when they joined King on Capitol Hill to announce their partnership. Reporters asked what they thought of the congressman’s retweeting white supremacists. “I’m tired of you all playing the race card,” Hardaway retorted. “It’s time to start working for Americans. And stop calling everybody a racist.”…

It remains unclear how much longer Republicans will persist in the charade that allegations of racism can be waved away by the contrarianism of any random black person. But King seems willing to see how far it will carry him. The dishonesty underlying this approach is something of a turnaround from the openness with which he broadcast his white supremacism in the Times profile earlier this year. But if nothing else, it suggests that he learned his lesson from the Republican fallout: You can be a white supremacist as long as you lie and claim you are not one.








Portland, OR Friday 14 June 2019 Meet Up Details

Mnemosyne Muse emailed asking if I’d do an update with the details for tomorrow night’s meet up in Portland, OR. So here are the details she provided:

It looks like we’ll be meeting at 7 pm on Friday 6/14 at the Rookery Bar above Raven & Rose at 1331 S.W. Broadway. If someone local could volunteer to bring some green balloons, that’s always helpful in allowing the group to locate each other. I’ll be wearing my black “Hamilton” Los Angeles t-shirt since that usually makes me easy to identify.

Here’s a link to the Rookery Bar and the Raven & Rose Restaurant for those looking for further details.

Here’s what the t-shirt looks like:

As a teaser, for those of you in St. Louis, new home of Lord Stanley’s Cup – Mazel Tov! by the way – please save the date of 27 June 2019 as commenter OpieJeanie will be in town and wants to do a meet up there. I’ll do a dedicated post for this over the weekend, but here’s what she’s sent me. She’ll also be in KC on 23 June 2019, in case anyone there would also like a meet up. Here’s what she’s sent me so far

We are traveling on Sunday the 23rd to Kansas City and will be there until the next morning, when we head down to the Ozarks to visit cousins. We will be in St Louis on the 27th and wonder if jackals in either city would like to meet with us for supper.

So if you’re in KC and are interested in a meet up on the 23rd, or St. Louis and interested in one on the 27th, save the dates and look for a dedicated post on this over the weekend.

Open thread!