Friday, October 09, 2015

Ben Carson as Chauncey Gardner

Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post (who supports Carly Fiorina) just compared Ben Carson to Chauncey Gardner. Maybe a kernel of truth there:

Nancy Pelosi for Speaker

Right-wingers used sexual rumors to help squash Kevin McCarthy's bid for House Speaker, but there's no reason to believe any of the rumors. It's all about power, not sex.

So, Paul Ryan was pure enough as a VP candidate in 2012, but not pure enough today. Nice work there, GOP!

Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. She's tanned, rested, and ready.

Powwow Meets EDM

A few years later came what Witness called the “eureka moment.” At that point, with the addition of Dan “DJ Shub” General, the group of indigenous Canadians was spinning under the name A Tribe Called Red. Experimenting with producing their own mashups, they were laying tracks using standard club fare — electronic, hip hop, reggae, dubstep — when someone dropped in a Powwow sample.

It fit perfectly.

Powwow music is typically played at intertribal gatherings to accompany dancers, so “you’re remixing dance music with dance music,” said Witness. “[Powwow] is really music that’s in the same vein, specifically made for dance parties. The two music [forms] just really clicked together because they have that same energy.”

The Crisis is Here, Now!

The withdrawal of Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker just highlights that we may be entering a new and unprecedented phase in American politics. Power abhors a vacuum, and Obama could well be forced to become the overbearing hyper-executive right-wingers say they dread.
In a parliamentary system, deadlocks get resolved. A prime minister who lacks the backing of a parliamentary majority is replaced by a new one who has it. If no such majority can be found, a new election is held and the new parliament picks a leader. It can get a little messy for a period of weeks, but there's simply no possibility of a years-long spell in which the legislative and executive branches glare at each other unproductively.

But within a presidential system, gridlock leads to a constitutional trainwreck with no resolution. The United States's recent government shutdowns and executive action on immigration are small examples of the kind of dynamic that's led to coups and putsches abroad.

Walking Into The Skunks

Bella and I see skunks nearly every night now on our nightly rambles around Sacramento.

Plodding down the sidewalk last night, I nearly walked into a skunk, getting within 8 feet. Even Bella wasn't that daring. Nevertheless, the surprised skunk held its fire. Carefree fearlessness is their nature, and they generally won't fire unless they have no choice.

Confessing When You Aren't Guilty

It's a strange quirk of human nature to confess guilt when accused by someone in authority, even if one is innocent.

As an example, I remember feeling the urge to confess when presented with handwriting evidence that I had cheated on an exam (very similar but not precisely-identical handwriting to my own).
Next week, the West Virginia Supreme Court will hear a case in which 30 former prosecutors from around the country have taken the unusual step of siding with the defense. It’s a battle over a DNA test, and whether prosecutors must turn the results over to a defendant when they point to his innocence — even if he has made the decision to plead guilty.

Cutting The Cord

With regrets, I terminate Cable TV. Once they hid music videos behind pay walls, it's just not worth the cost.

Last Weekend For "Pirates of Penzance, Jr."!

Conservative Warren Burger Understood

The Carolinas Got Enough Rain to End the California Drought

So much rain:
Combining the rain in North and South Carolina brings the total up to an unbelievable 11 trillion gallons. USA Today’s Doyle Rice calculates that’s enough water to fill 636 million swimming pools, or over 130,000 Rose Bowls filled all the way to the top.

Rice also notes that the Carolinas combined saw about 1/3 the volume of Lake Tahoe in water. In case you’re unsure of how much water Tahoe holds, the 2 million year-old lake would cover the entire state of California with over 14 inches of water.

...Coincidentally, the Carolinas’ 11 trillion gallons would have been exactly enough water to put an end to the California drought....

Make America Great Again

Carly Fiorina Understands Medieval Thinking

Carly Fiorina:
For over three decades, Carly Fiorina’s bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in medieval history and philosophy has had little real-world application.

But as she mounts a presidential bid, the Republican candidate says her degree is finally of use as she considers how she would deal with ISIS as commander-in-chief.

“Finally my degree in medieval history and philosophy has come in handy,” Fiorina said Sunday night, “because what ISIS wants to do is drive us back to the Middle Ages, literally.”
Fiorina misses the point. ISIS' use of garish punishments reflects a modern sensibility, not a medieval one. As Foucault notes, through most of history, the entire point of punishment was suffering in public . There isn't much suffering with beheadings. The Enlightenment brought us that.

It's likely Fiorina studied Scholasticism, wherein Medievals tried to answer questions like; Why do insects have six legs and spiders eight when four are usually considered adequate for the glorification of God? Such a course of study is fine, but not usually considered leadership preparation.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The Martian, Official Trailer #1

Interesting movie. Reminds me of "Gravity". One person against the odds. Very Western-like. Very American.

Behind the Scenes of Nora Unkel's Movie "The Goblin Song"

Nora Unkel's movie "The Goblin Song" is great, and this accompanying "Behind the Scenes" film illustrates just how complicated the process of filming even a short movie is, particularly if it's a musical.

The Goblin Song | Behind the Scenes from Ben Nelson on Vimeo.

Duffy - Mercy (Live at Café de Paris, 2010)

I like the interplay between a great singer and band, and a sort-of incompetent audience

Jesus 4 President

This is great! Jesus Payan from "Breaking Bad" is running for President!

Finished A Draft Of My Childhood Memoir

Entitled "A New Mexico Childhood".

Kendra Smith and Tim Oberle have volunteered to critique it.

Do You Have Any Grey Poupon?

Watching a crow eat a bread crumb. He dips the crumb in a rainwater puddle first. Civilized bird.

The Guardian

Home Repair Kind of Several Weeks

Home repair kind of weekend, working with paint and lumber, in the company of Joe the Plumber.

On Thursday, working at home with Joe the Plumber again. Lots of talk about Grey Aliens and mobile crematoria. The meth is strong....

This home repair project with Joe the Plumber was first about painting, but it's taken a life of its own, and it's still unfinished. The side of the front porch is still open. Thankfully, this is California in its worst drought ever, and the chances of rain are so remote as to be nil. Wait a minute, what's all that thunder?

Second home repair kind of weekend, working with paint and lumber, in the company of Joe the Plumber.

As part of replacing the shingles/ siding on the front of the house, we uncovered rot under a pillar that holds up the canopy over the front door. I didn't like Joe the Plumber's answers about how to keep the pillar from toppling. Soon, we were pointing fingers at each other talking about respect. So, I fired him.

Regarding the pillar, all I wanted was some reassurance that it wouldn't rotate as the rotten support was pulled out. He mocked my concern. Odds are, it probably won't rotate: the support is so bad that if it was going to do so, it would have already done so, and there is other support there. But you answer my question and take precautions; I will not tolerate insults.

For the instant, I still have Bella. Joe tried to seize a saw belonging to someone else as hostage until I paid him fully, but I talked him out of it. The side of the porch is still open, so I'll try and close it. And I'll call a licensed contractor instead in regards to the pillar.

Need to hire a general contractor....

Annual Sierra Dinner

Held this year at The Park Ultralounge, at 15th & L, downtown.

I won a prize!

It was painful to come out of the Sierra Dinner, besotted with tequila and rich food, and realize my Spirit Animal actually belonged in front of Memorial Auditorium with the hundreds of Ravers waiting for the doors to open. The Universe is shouting that I'm old, but I'm too deaf from the 808 drums to care.

Best of Broadway 2015

Best of Broadway, Fair Oaks Theatre Festival. First time I ever heard a transition from the opening number of "A Chorus Line" to the opening number of "Sweeney Todd".

It was great to meet Brianne Hidden-Wise, probably for the first time, but maybe not, since I was in "Tommy" at DMTC with her sister Bethany Hidden.

Teleton Zumbathon

Barreto Brothers Zumba, among others, over at the Teleton Zumbathon held near Chucky Cheese's, across from Arden Fair Mall.

Teleton is apparently the biggest Telethon in Mexico, and they do similar charity events in the United States.

I heard that hall rental was separated from lights rental, and there was no agreement regarding lights. Thus, the Zumba performers danced on stage in the shadows.

Barreto Brothers Zumba perform!

Barbara Alfidi's Funeral of Abraham Lincoln Display

Barbara Alfidi's display of her superb collection of artifacts related to the Funeral of Abraham Lincoln at St. Mary's Cemetery on 65th St. Early next year, the City of Rancho Cordova will host her display regarding the Anniversary of the Lincoln Highway.

St. Mary's Cemetery

Went to St. Mary's Cemetery with Gabe McAuliffe on the occasion of the 27th Anniversary of his mother's death.