Archive for August, 2017
31 Aug 2017

Navy Destroyer Collides with Downtown Houston Building

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Duffleblog:

HOUSTON — As if the city of Houston hasn’t seen enough tragedy due to catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey, things took a turn for the worse today after a U.S. Navy ship collided with a building in the downtown area.

The ship was identified as an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer belonging to the Navy’s 7th Fleet.

It was unclear why the destroyer was not able to see the building and take evasive action, or why it was over 20 miles inland and trying to navigate through a major metropolitan area.

RTWT

31 Aug 2017

Melania Trump’s Shoes, a National Issue?

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Vogue’s “Fashion Muse” Lynn Yaeger (see photo below) saw a photograph of First Lady Melania Trump boarding a Houston-bound plane in stiletto heels and made a major thing out of it.

This morning, Mrs. Trump boarded Air Force One wearing a pair of towering pointy-toed snakeskin heels better suited to a shopping afternoon on Madison Avenue or a girls’ luncheon at La Grenouille.

While the nation is riveted by images of thousands of Texans wading with their possessions, their pets, their kids, in chest-high water, desperately seeking refuge; while a government official recommend that those who insist on sheltering in place write their names and social security numbers on their arms, Melania Trump is heading to visit them in footwear that is a challenge to walk in on dry land.

A spokesperson says she has other shoes to change into on the plane—and one sincerely hopes there is a pair of leopard-print Wellies-in-waiting to get her from the tarmac to the limo. But what kind of message does a fly-in visit from a First Lady in sky-high stilettos send to those suffering the enormous hardship, the devastation of this natural disaster?

And why, oh why, can’t this administration get anything, even a pair of shoes, right?

The Washington Post chimed in:

Melania Trump is the kind of woman who travels to a flood-ravaged state in a pair of black snakeskin stilettos. Heels this high are not practical. But Trump is not the kind of woman who has to be practical. Heels this high are not comfortable. Comfort is not the point. Neither hers nor yours.

Trump is the kind of woman who knows that when she walks from the White House to Marine One there will be photographers, and so she will dress accordingly. On this soggy Tuesday morning, she wore her stilettos with a pair of cropped black trousers and an Army-green bomber jacket. Her hair was nicely blown out, and she was wearing a pair of sunglasses though it was overcast and drizzly at the time. As she walked to the chopper, she glanced toward a camera, and the photographer captured her with one hand in her pocket, her weight shifted slightly to one leg. She looked great.

Trump’s fashionable ensemble was defined by its contradictions. She was wearing a working man’s jacket but it was juxtaposed with sexy limousine shoes. The trousers and the top were basic black — utilitarian. The oversize aviator sunglasses were Hollywood. It’s an image that would have been at home in any fashion magazine, which is so often the case with the first lady. …

It was also an image that suggested that Trump is the kind of woman who refuses to pretend that her feet will, at any point, ever be immersed in cold, muddy, bacteria-infested Texas water. She is the kind of woman who may listen empathetically to your pain, but she knows that you know that she is not going to experience it. So why pretend?

Well, sometimes pretense is everything. It’s the reason for the first lady to go to Texas at all: to symbolize care and concern and camaraderie. To remind people that the government isn’t merely doing its job, that the government is engaged with each and every individual. Washington hears its citizens. That’s what the optics are all about. Sitting around a conference table and talking into a speaker phone are not good optics. A politician has to get on the ground in work boots and a windbreaker. Rolled-up sleeves. Galoshes. Baseball caps.

and the New York Times also eagerly joined fashionista firing squad:

Mrs. Trump’s heels… appear to be classic Manolo Blahniks …redolent of a certain clichéd kind of femininity: decorative, impractical, expensive, elitist (all adjectives often associated with the brand “Trump”).

Mrs. Trump, of course, actually emerged from the plane wearing a pair of white sneakers.

The president himself was also criticized by Jezebel for inappropriate flood attire, i.e. khakis. Tom Knighton notes that khakis were fine for hurricane wear when Obama wore them.

All this was started by Lynn Yaeger of Vogue. The same Vogue whose idea of fashion these days is a cover shot by Annie Leibovitz no less of Bradley Manning pretending to be female in a swimsuit.


Milo Yiannopoulos described the Vogue columnist as: “An unspeakable Eldritch horror from the depths of aeons and untouched by mortal creatures.”

29 Aug 2017

General Hooker Was on the Union Side

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29 Aug 2017

Trump’s Wall

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29 Aug 2017

Next, They’re Coming for the National Anthem

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Siege of Fort McHenry, 13 September 1814, lithograph, Library of Congress.

Jefferson Morley, originally in the hard-left Alternet and reprinted in Salon, says:

It is time to examine the words and the origins of our national anthem, another neo-Confederate symbol. …

What we are seeing is the popular repudiation — and violent defense — of the neo-Confederate ideology that has shaped the symbols of American public life for the last 150 years. Some of these symbols now draw protests, while others are woven into public life.

For example, observing Memorial Day and singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” are uncontroversial patriotic gestures, yet there is no disputing that neo-Confederates developed these rituals. …

Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner,” with its lyrics deriding black people who took up arms to gain their freedom in the War of 1812, became a point of pride for Southerners.

RTWT

The offending lyrics occur in stanzas 3 & 4:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.

It is actually far from obvious that Francis Scott Key, the alleged neo-Confederate writing in 1814, was referring to literal slaves at all. He more probably was simply expressing conventional contempt for paid mercenaries in the British service and for impressed seamen.

Francis Scott Key 1779-1843, who died long before the Civil War, is a neo-Confederate? The insanity get crazier all the time.

28 Aug 2017

When He’s Right, He’s Right

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Brent Bozell predicts that voters before very much longer are going to do something about Republican incumbents in Congress who fail to deliver on campaign promises.

Every Republican candidate’s stock speech sounds the same, the thunderous roar about a government out of control, federal spending out of control (insert charts and graphs and why, if you stack hundred dollar bills, they will reach the edge of the universe), federal taxes out of control (insert comparisons to socialist countries), the federal bureaucracy out of control (insert metaphors about chains, yokes, and the like), the family shattered with federal funding of abortion a crime against humanity (watch for it — there! The heart-wrenching sob), and our military is emasculated.

Two more items were added to the menu, courtesy of Obama. Obamacare Will Be Repealed! and Illegal Immigration Will Not Stand!

In 2009, the Democrats controlled everything, partly due to the Republicans’ cowardice on Capitol Hill, and in part because of some of the most inept candidates and campaigns America has seen in years. The Obama folks could have played it safe but went for socialist gold, using the power of the legislative and the executive branches (and later the judiciary, thank you Justice Roberts) to advance their agenda.

That included federal spending on a level unmatched in human history resulting ultimately in a $19 trillion in debt we simply cannot pay, and with so many tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities that “infinity” is not far behind. One seventh of the economy was confiscated by the federal government with the passage of Obamacare. Our national borders were declared open and discussions over our national sovereignty closed. And to top it off, the Democrats all but declared themselves above the law.

The GOP harrumphed that this would not stand, by God! If only… if only America would vote them into the majority.

In 2009, the Tea Party was born. The Grand Old Party was rejuvenated. Happy days were here again.

Just one year later, the Republicans captured the House, and with that, the power of the purse. They now had the authority to stop the insane spending on so many obnoxious and wholly unnecessary ventures. They could end Obamacare simply by not funding it.

Instead, under the “leadership” of John Boehner, it did absolutely nothing. Why, if only we had the Senate! Then we could take on the President!

So in 2014, after spending hundreds of millions of campaign dollars running hundreds of thousands of television and radio ads pledging to end illegal immigration while repealing Obamacare “root and branch” (author: Mitch McConnell), they were given control of the Senate.

And within a month McConnell re-authorized both, along with every single other thing Harry Reid and Obama wanted for yet another year.

But that’s because we can’t do what we promised until we have the Presidency! The excuse was as predictable as summer heat in the Sahara.

In 2016, they were given that too.

They were given everything.

In January of this year, they formally controlled both houses of Congress and the executive branch. Every single thing they’d ever promised was now possible.

They now had the power to enact every single spending cut they’d ever solemnly pledged. All those wasteful programs designed to fill the liberal sandbox — PBS, NPR, Planned Parenthood, NEH and the rest of the alphabet soup; all the hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare to multi-billion-dollar corporations; all of the hundreds of billions of dollars directed toward leftist social engineering — poof! All of it could come to an end with a stroke of a pen.

They now had the power to restore fiscal tax sanity too. Remember the flat tax? The fair tax? Slashing the highest corporate taxes in the world? Giving you a tax break? All of it could be done with a snap of the fingers.

Repeal Obamacare? Check. End illegal immigration? Check. Build the wall? Check.

Crush the Deep State? Done, by God, done!

There was not a damn thing the Democrats could do to stop them from draining the swamp.

Except the Republican leadership didn’t mean it. With the exception of the Freedom Caucus in the House, and literally a handful in the Senate, the rank-and-file didn’t either. Not one word of it.

The opportunity arose for the vote to repeal Obamacare, and after huffing and puffing, and huffing and puffing some more, the dust settled and socialized health care remains the law of the land, perhaps permanently.

The opportunity arose for tax reform, to enact the cuts America desperately needs. It was never a matter of if, it was a matter of how much. It is now mid-August and nothing, absolutely nothing has been accomplished — even attempted!

And now we face the final test: the debt ceiling. Will we or won’t we stop the spending madness? Will the Republicans enact the cuts they’ve promised, or will they now be the ones to kick the can, piling evermore trillions of dollars of debt on their own grandchildren?

By every indication that’s precisely what they plan to do. The signal has come from President Trump, from Speaker Ryan, and from Majority Leader McConnell. The debt ceiling will be raised and no fiscal sanity will be restored.

There is no difference between Republicans and Democrats. Put them together. They are the swamp.

28 Aug 2017

In Houston

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The Texas flag survives hurricanes better.

28 Aug 2017

Role Model

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27 Aug 2017

Hawk Takes Shelter From Hurricane in Houston Taxi

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WJLA:

A Houston-area taxi driver picked up a strange passenger on Friday night as Hurricane Harvey was barreling down on the Texas coast, a Cooper’s hawk seeking shelter from the hurricane.

Many people in Texas relied on the kindness of others to evacuate and stay safe during the Category 4 hurricane. The same can be said for Harvey the Hurricane Hawk.

“He just kind of hopped on in and doesn’t want to leave,” taxi driver William Bruso said in the first of a series of YouTube videos featuring Harvey the Hawk. “He looks kind of scared.”

Bruso drove the hawk back to his home giving him plenty of opportunities to fly away, but Harvey had settled on a place to ride out the storm.

Harvey spent the night with Bruso watching the news, eating snacks, relaxed and hunkered down for the storm.

On Saturday morning, Bruso reached out to the Texas Wildlife Rescue Center (TWRC) who took Harvey to rehabilitate.

Accipiter cooperi

More hawk videos.

27 Aug 2017

York Wallpaper Company Was Surprised

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Daily Mail:

A wallpaper company in Pennsylvania was shocked when it received an order from the White House earlier this month.

So shocked, in fact, that the owners at York Wallcoverings actually thought it was some sort of prank, Fox 43 reported.

It wasn’t, and the company quickly realized they had a long day ahead of them – the White House wanted the wallpaper delivered by 7pm that same day.

And to throw another complication into the mix, the print the White House requested, which was hand picked by the President himself, had been discontinued in 2014.

Though it was a difficult task – the company was up for the challenge, as it meant their wallpaper would hang in the Oval Office.

The wallpaper was part of the extensive White House renovation which included an new HVAC system, a paint touch-up and a total replace of all of the carpeting, among other changes, according to CNN.

RTWT

27 Aug 2017

Crazy Times

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26 Aug 2017

Tweet of the Day

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26 Aug 2017

Extinct Flightless Birds Comparison

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25 Aug 2017

Cause of Hunley’s Crew’s Death Established By Duke Researchers

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Daily Mail:

The first combat submarine to sink an enemy ship also instantly killed its own eight-man crew with the powerful explosive torpedo it carried, new research has found.

The HL Hunley fought for the confederacy in the US civil war and was sunk near North Charleston, South Carolina, in 1864.

Speculation about the crew’s deaths has included suffocation and drowning, but a new study claims that a shockwave created by their own weapon was to blame.

Researchers from Duke University in North Carolina set blasts near a scale model of the vessel to calculate their impact.

They also shot authentic weapons at historically accurate iron plates.

They used this data to work out the mathematics behind human respiration and the transmission of blast energy.

Ms Rachel Lance, one of the researchers on the study, says the crew died instantly from the force of the explosion travelling through the soft tissues of their bodies, especially their lungs and brains.

Ms Lance calculates the likelihood of immediately fatal lung trauma to be at least 85 per cent for each member of the Hunley crew.

She believes the crippled sub then drifted out on a falling tide and slowly took on water before sinking.

‘This is the characteristic trauma of blast victims, they call it “blast lung”, said Ms Lance.

‘You have an instant fatality that leaves no marks on the skeletal remains.

RTWT

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