Open Thread: Good News for My Favorite Candidate

Ed Kilgore, at NYMag“Surging in Polls, Elizabeth Warren Now Has a Path to the Nomination”:

… [T]he development that currently demands attention is the emergence of Senator Elizabeth Warren as something other than the candidate of policy wonks, dismissed as nonviable even among people who think she’d make an outstanding president. Her strong debate performances, a knack for organizing (based on her outstanding retail political skills), and the misfortunes affecting some of her rivals have combined to give her the clear path to the Democratic nomination that she really did not have in the early going.

Recent polls have clearly indicated that Warren is going places. The RealClearPolitics national polling averages show her as basically tied with Bernie Sanders for second place with Joe Biden’s lead narrowing. The two most recent national polls (from Quinnipiac and Economist–You Gov) place her seven and five points, respectively, ahead of Sanders. Just as important, she’s gaining strength in the early states. A new Monmouth poll from Iowa places her ten points ahead of Bernie, and just nine points behind Biden, in a state where everyone concedes she has the best organization. In New Hampshire polls, where Biden’s early lead was less formidable, she’s nipping at Sanders’s heels. Warren is in a similar position in Nevada (which holds its caucuses 11 days after the New Hampshire primary), where Politico reported yesterday that she has already built a “monster” of an organization.
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Open Thread

I’ve been slacking on the posting. Here’s a picture of my sunflowers taken by Tammy from the other side of the fence:

It looks like they are waving hello.








Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

As someone who’s read a lot of NTSB reports, my God this is a damning indictment [pdf] of the Navy’s oversight of the Arleigh Burke class destroyers:

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision between the destroyer John S McCain and the tanker Alnic MC was a lack of effective operational oversight of the destroyer by the US Navy, which resulted in insufficient training and inadequate bridge operating procedures. Contributing to the accident were the John S McCain bridge team’s loss of situation awareness and failure to follow loss of steering emergency procedures, which included the requirement to inform nearby traffic of their perceived loss of steering. Also contributing to the accident was the operation of the steering system in backup manual mode, which allowed for an unintentional, unilateral transfer of steering control.

The NTSB is really good at not scapegoating humans unless those humans circumvented established procedures. What I take from this synopsis is that the sailors on the bridge of the McCain were undertrained and using touchscreen computer systems that were overly complicated. Here’s some more proof:

Following the incident, the Navy conducted fleet-wide surveys, and according to Rear Admiral Bill Galinis, the Program Executive Officer for Ships, personnel indicated that they would prefer mechanical controls. Speaking before a recent Navy symposium, he described the controls as falling under the “‘just because you can doesn’t mean you should’ category,” and that ship systems were simply too complicated. He also noted that they’re looking into the design of other ships to see if they can bring some system commonalities between different ship classes.

The Navy is going to refit the Arleigh Burke class with physical controls.

Why should you care? Obviously few (if any of you) run a ship. But all of us are buying new cars that put an ever-increasing amount of functionality into touch screens. It’s so much cheaper to have one big touch screen where the behavior of the controls can be updated via a software fix. But we’re humans, and we are much more effective when we have simple mechanical controls.








Quiet as Roses Sting

This song has been embedded in my mind for the last month or so. Open thread.

Also, here’s a good piece in the Times on the language of violent racism on Fox.








It’s Gonna Be a Hell of a Year

The New York Child Victims Act, which creates a one year window for litigation of child sex abuse claims that were previously barred by New York State law, just went into effect. The law was long blocked by Republicans in the Senate, in support of the biggest bunch of child molesters around, but now that Democrats are in charge, things have changed:

The one-year litigation window for past claims now barred by the statute of limitations has been the sticking point, with large private institutions such as the Catholic Church warning that it could cause catastrophic financial harm to any organization that cares for children. A similar law in California, passed in 2002, resulted in Catholic dioceses there paying $1.2 billion in settlements.

The church dropped its opposition to the act last week, however, when the act was revised to treat public and private schools and entities the same. In a joint statement on the bill’s passage, the state’s Catholic bishops said they “pray that the passage of the Child Victims Act brings some measure of healing to all survivors.”

If I were the praying kind, I’d pray that New York tops California’s $1.2 billion number.

I wonder if someone will ever be able to write a comprehensive history of the molestation of children, with a focus on the infiltration of institutions by molesters and the role of their silent enablers. The Catholic Church would occupy volumes, but they’re just one example. There’s the rich and powerful guys clubs – Epstein and the British Parliament are two examples. And, apparently the Boy Scouts were worse than already reported. In each of these cases, some non-molesters must have known and tolerated the molesters. What were their motives? How did they justify it to themselves? To me, that’s the most interesting part of this awful slice of human behavior.








On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

I’m back from my mad dash halfway across the country for some high-altitude mushrooms, Palisades peaches, Pueblo chiles, Pueblo Jalapenos, and some assorted trinkets and touristy stuff. I had a wonderful, if brief time, in a state I had the pleasure of living in for 9 years. I visited a number of places and did things I wanted to do in a mad dash of nostalgia and reminiscence. I also checked on my rental property, so there was a business component to my trip as well. I learned a lot about modern travel tech, and I’ll share some insights soon.

Monday and Tuesday, I have some canning and roasting, and sauteeing to do. Yes, I’ll be posting about my kitchen adventures, and am grateful to John for providing much helpful info and technique to remind my rusty ass on proper canning.  I’m pulling my canning stuff from storage tomorrow morning, the jars are in the dishwasher awaiting the morning, and I’ll be briefly visiting Walmart for fresh lids and Fruit Fresh, then hitting the local international/ethnic supermarket for some fresh herbs, spices, shallots, garlic, sugar, vinegar, and ginger.

The drive – to and from – was also a grand adventure. Luckily, no bad weather or issues.  I hope next year to do something similar, though not so fast paced (I drove when the rains hit, and when I could squeeze some time away from things at home), and for a few more days. Perhaps we’ll do a meetup or two along my route so I can drive 8 hours a day instead of 12.

On that note, today we see some gorgeous photos of birds (and prairie!) in Kansas. I really enjoyed driving through the state going West, but my eastbound route was different, and I missed the western third of the state on I-70, so missing most of the topography and prairie that I so love. I didn’t see any birds of note beyond hawks and some wonderful songbirds singing at a rest stop in the Western part of the state. I really enjoyed the Kansas rest stops – they were not fancy, but the space, layout, green, and general atmosphere were just relaxing. They felt like an oasis.

I have a cool 4k dashcam and had it running for the drive out, but a) I did not realize the microSD card was only 128 GB and so I overwrote my drive after 6 hours, and b) even though I had some of that Western Kansas footage, when I went to swap memory cards the next morning, it somehow popped up and hit something plastic on my dash/console and bounced who-knows-where. I suspect it went into the ac vent. So for now, I have lost footage, literally.

I’m busy copying footage from other days and adventures and hope to have a few clips or stills from them to share to complement the photos I took with my iPhone. All dashcam videos and stills show the windshield and top of the hood, but the wide angle and high quality are neat, and I hope to be able to share some small clips of things I saw that caught my eye or deserve a share and a story. Since the early part of this week is about canning and cooking and food preservation, I don’t expect to have my photos and content until next week.

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!

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Monday Morning Open Thread: Because of Wow

For this brief moment, let us celebrate the wonder…


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And a slightly belated Eid Mubarak! to our Muslim readers…








{Facepalm} Open Thread: Still Racist, After All These Years

There’s an old British joke about advertising understatement: Does what it says on the packet:

President Trump cracked jokes about the Equinox scandal, the old days of rent-controlled New York and his dealings with North and South Korea among deep-pocketed pals in the Hamptons on Friday.

Trump was feted at two big-money fundraisers — first a lunch for 60 hosted by real estate guru Stephen Ross, whose company owns Equinox and Soul Cycle. Then Trump talked for an hour to a crowd of 500 at the sprawling Bridgehampton home of developer Joe Farrell. The two events raised a total of $12 million.

After Equinox members revolted over Ross’ fundraising for the president, with many threatening to cancel memberships, Trump said he had joked with Ross about how divided the nation is.

Noting the relentless attacks on himself by the media, Trump quipped, “Steve Ross got into a little bit of trouble this week, I said, ‘Steve welcome to the world of politics!’ ”

Of his fundraising visit, Trump went on to say, “I love coming to the Hamptons, I know the Hamptons well, everyone here votes for me but they won’t admit it.”

And of his tough stance on trade tariffs and US military aid, Trump told a story of going as a boy to collect rent checks with his father, adding, “It was easier to get a billion dollars from South Korea than to get $114.13 from a rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn, and believe me, those 13 cents were very important.”…

Even while the Squatter-in-Chief’s minions are frantically trying to repair the damage to his ‘brand’Look, his old man actually marched with the KKK, give our guy some credit here! — Pus-olini* can’t resist a little dominance posturing. Steve Ross is actually losing business since it leaked that he was sponsoring this fundraiser (as Josh Barro points out in NYMag, it’s dangerous to *his* brand), but Trump has to proclaim himself Top Ape among the financial silverbacks, for the first and probably last time in his long history of failures and bankruptcies…

If only they’d written a “very beautiful letter” to His Toxicity:

*thank you, Betty Cracker!








All That’s Missing From This Story Is an Alligator, a Golf Cart, and Several Kilos of Cocaine: Approaching Peak Floriduh! Man

Welcome to the Gunshine State!

Is that a GLOCK in your orgy party outfit pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Take it away Daytona Beach News-Journal!

A 9 mm Glock was taken from a bedroom during a sex party, in which guests wore masks during the orgy and were encouraged to use code names, deputies say

A handgun was swiped from a Deltona home during a weekend sex party and the gun owner couldn’t give detectives any names of possible suspects because the culprit — like the 20 or so other guests at the party — was wearing a mask, deputies said.

“We’re probably not going to solve this one,” Volusia County Sheriff’s Sgt. Todd Smith said during a public meeting Thursday. “And DNA (identification) is not going to be an option.”

The 9 mm Glock was holstered and lying on top of a nightstand in the master bedroom when it was stolen, the homeowner told deputies. It was taken during an orgy, in which the theme was anonymous sex, according to a report.

Guests who were invited to the party near Saxon Boulevard were encouraged to “come and go as they pleased” throughout the weekend and were told to bring friends and acquaintances if they so desired, the report stated.

Additionally, guests were told to use fictitious names or no name at all, the homeowner told the Sheriff’s Office.

The orgy took place July 19-21 and deputies were contacted a few days later. On July 26, the detective assigned to the case called the homeowner for more information, but he seemed “apprehensive” about giving further details.

The homeowner eventually told the detective that 20 or so people were in his house that weekend and he guessed that he only knew five or six of them, the report stated.

The party was advertised on a social media site, deputies said.

All this needed to achieve peak Floriduh! Man is an alligator, a golf cart, and several kilos of cocaine!

Open thread!








Open Thread: Another Would-Be White Supremacist Foiled

Yes, this is a direly serious topic; apparently the would-be Avenger of Whiteness murdered his stepsister before failing to damage anything at the mosque beyond his own dignity (and the national sense of civic comity).

On the other hand, my first-gen Norwegian-American Spousal Unit has always insisted that modern Norwegians are a notoriously polite & non-violent people because the most violently-inclined members of the gene pool self-exported to other lands during the Viking period…

(I will defend the argument that mocking these would-be ‘race heroes’ is a better disincentive to potential followers than inflating their importance.)








Sunday Book Talk Open Thread: Toni Morrison, Who Left A Legacy

The Washington Post collected memories of Morrison from “eight black female writers & thinkers” — including a best-selling author named Michelle Obama:

… For me and for so many others, Toni Morrison was that first crack in the levee — the one who freed the truth about black lives, sending it rushing out into the world. She showed us the beauty in being our full selves, the necessity of embracing our complications and contradictions. And she didn’t just give us permission to share our own stories; she underlined our responsibility to do so. She showed how incomplete the world’s narrative was without ours in it.

It’s a thread running through “Beloved” and “Sula” and “The Bluest Eye” and all of her work — that black stories, particularly the stories of black women and black girls, are worthy of examination and celebration. Again and again, she was unapologetic about that fact, deliberate in proving that our stories are rich and deep and largely unexplored. We belong, she showed us, not just in paperback books but in textbooks, not just in a publishing house but in the White House. And on their own, our stories are more than enough to inspire a Nobel laureate…


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Afternoon Open Thread with More Mountain Goats Content

The Mountain Goats (who you may remember from such posts as this one) played a free show in East River Park yesterday. This was great for me, since none of the other tour dates worked out. It was a beautiful day with lovely weather. The concert was very good, as well.

The Mountain Goats play at East River Park

Really just a perfect evening. This was the first time I’d seen them at a venue that had seats, which is important since Millennial fans can no longer stand for three hours straight.

Anybody else been doing outdoor summer activities?

A couple of songs they played below the fold. Studio versions, of course. Open thread!

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Speculations On The Nenoksa Explosion

On the morning of Thursday, August 8, something exploded at the Nenoksa Naval Base in Russia, not far from the city of Severodvinsk. This article is a good summary of what we knew by Friday. Since then, the Russian government has said that a radioactive source was involved in the explosion, along with liquid rocket fuel. Reports have gone back and forth on whether radiation detectors in Severodvinsk detected anything. Five more people have been reported dead. Sarov/VNIIEF, one of the Russian nuclear weapons laboratories, has released a statement, which some folks are rushing to translate.

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Sunday Morning Open Thread

Nobody sent me any garden photos, probably because everybody’s out keeping those gardens in picture-perfect shape. And I should most definitely spend this afternoon (several many afternoons, TBH) doing just that…

Stay positive, y’all!








In the Kitchen With John- Tomato Sauce

As I mentioned last night, today was sauce day. As always, this is more for me than you all, as I will look this up next year to refresh my memory before doing it again- you all are just along for the ride. Started last night with a ton of tomatoes I had frozen over the last couple OF months (love you eemom):

They mostly thawed over night and I threw them into big pots to start the cookdown:

Now everybody will tell you different amounts of time to cook them down, I just did it for about 2 hours, constantly stirring because you simply can not let it scorch or you have ruined the entire batch. STIR, STIR, STIR. Once the pulp and everything has cooked down into a bubbly brew, run it through your food mill:

If you are like me, you probably don’t have a dozen 24 qt stock pots, I have just the one and the pot for canning, so I strained them into several smaller pots, washed the big 24 qt stock pot I originally used, then transferred everything back into that. Then I did the canning pot full of tomatoes, and after cooking down and removing all the seeds and peels, everything transferred to the 24 qt stock pot and filled it all the way to the top.

At this point, Tammy and I just took 30 minute shifts stirring as we cooked it down. I cooked it down a solid6-8 inches to let it thicken, because I didn’t want to can tomato juice. This took the bulk of the afternoon, and both of us got our workout in.

QUICK SIDEBAR- Are there any carpenters who want to make me a 24″ wooden spoon. I hate the flimsy ass wooden spoons on amazon, I need something longer than the traditional ones, and I need something small than a 4 foot cajun paddle.

While cooking down the sauce, we prepped the mason jars:

I cut some basil from the garden, washed it, and placed it in each jar. Also, in three of them, Tammy wanted to try a clove of garlic, so three of them got that and the basil.

When the sauce is finally cooked down to where you want it, grab your funnel and ladle it into each jar stopping below the neck:

Wipe off the tops of the jars with a damp cloth, and place a lid and a ring on each one (you should have the lids heated in a hot water bath so you get a good seal), and hand tighten the ring. Then place them in the canner and wait for it to get to a rolling boil, and then process it for 40 minutes. Here is your finished product:

In total, we got 17 quarts of sauce. I thought about running the sauce through the chinois after it went through the food mill, but decided I didn’t care if there were a few seeds- YMMV. I’m not trying to win the damned state fair. And remember, NONE of this is seasoned (other than the basil). That way you can just pull it out and use it and tailor the sauce to your tastes.

As always, the dogs were a giant help:

And because Tammy is a Rosie Whisperer, here is a closeup of Rosie ACTUALLY LOOKING AT THE DAMNED CAMERA: