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User Journal

Journal Journal: Verbiage: Good morning, good afternoon 2

I am in Toronto Pearson airport for a while, at a table for laptop usage. Just after i set myself up, a lady came by and said good morning, then corrects herself while laughing and says good afternoon. I looked at the clock t see 12:00:03.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Motive 3

All the cops and newspapers are searching for a motive in the horrific mass murder in Las Vegas last week. No connection to any terrorist groups, no indication at all that it would happen, and the newspapers are all asking âoeWhy??â

        The answer is simple and I canâ(TM)t figure out why nobody else can figure it out.

        For well over a century the line between fame and infamy has been blurred. The eighteenth century James Gang were murdering thieves, but still well regarded. The reason was the hated Pinkertons, hired by banks who were also not well liked. The Pinkertons did some horrific things themselves, like killing an innocent fifteen year old mentally challanged boy. The Pinkertonsâ(TM) infamy caused the James gang to be famous despite their foul deeds.

        In the 1930s there was Bonnie and Clyde, also murderous thieves, but the people they murdered and stole from were bankers, who were hated more than anyone in the country, having taken away peopleâ(TM)s homes, crashing in 1928 to 1930 leaving the country in poverty.

        By the twenty first century, actually before, the words âoeinfamyâ and âoeinfamousâ have almost disappeared. We think of Mark David Chapman, the man who shot John Lennon in the back four times, killing him in 1980 not as infamous, but famous.
        Itâ(TM)s simple. The mass murderer last week did it to become âoefamousâ. Because he knew full well that the media would release his name, and by all accounts he wanted everyone to know he was the perpetrator.

        The media should stop printing the names of these monsters. But they wont; I
wrote about this two decades ago and nobody listened. Nobody will now, either.

Google

Journal Journal: OK, who broke the google? 6

I'm getting a lot of errors trying to connect to pages and services that use various bits of google. Slashdot appears to have been spared that problem by their commitment to use at least 90% code that was written before google overtook infoseek as the prominent search engine for people who found yahoo to be too busy.
User Journal

Journal Journal: GunFail-of-the-day 2

Rather rare for a well known news outlet to pick up on a gunfail when nobody is dead (though even those don't get much coverage):
Toddler shot 2 other kids at Michigan home day care
I'm surprised it is even being described as an accident, being as a kid who was previously killed as a result of their shit-for-brains parents leaving a loaded weapon on the table was described by the media as a "suicide".
User Journal

Journal Journal: Where's the Description of What Took Slashdot Offline? 3

Over the past 48 hours slashdot has been offline more than not. While it was beyond slashdot - it also influenced at least sourceforge as well - it would still be nice to see an explanation of what happened. Instead, we see more twitter diarrhea from the Troll in Chief making it to the front page...
Republicans

Journal Journal: Start the popcorn! Heads exploding soon! 9

For those who haven't noticed, two big political events taking place today. First, we're seeing senators line up to support Sanders' Medicare for All proposal. Obviously this won't pass this year but now we are finally starting towards a serious conversation about it. Elected officials are starting to talk about the actual benefits of single payer health care, which has been forbidden for decades in this country.

Second, the Congressional Black Caucus is meeting today. There is a non-zero chance they might call for impeachment of President Trump in their meeting. They were the first group to call for the impeachment of Nixon, and they were a fair bit smaller back then ...
User Journal

Journal Journal: Fuck you, Ubuntu. 5

What a sorry mess. 2 whole days wasted. Went back to Debian, and I'm never making that mistake again.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Dark Side of the Moon

(Photo of the "waves" and an unborked version is here)
        Iâ(TM)d been eagerly looking forward to this event since I first heard about itâ"Illinois was going to see its second total solar eclipse in its history as a state, and no one alive had ever seen an Illinois total eclipse. It happened in 1869 and totality passed right through Springfield, the stateâ(TM)s capital. Then, as now, people were very excited.
        I heard more and more about it, like totality was passing through Carbondale. Carbondale is about a hundred miles from St. Louis, which is about a hundred miles from Springfield. Ozzy Osbourne was slated to hold a concert in a tiny town thirty miles from Carbondale, and play Bark at the Moon during totality.
        I was stoked; it was reported that the stars come out during totality and there are other strange things, like wavy lines on the ground that scientists couldnâ(TM)t explain.
        At first I was planning to meet my daughter Patty, who lives in Cincinnati, in Carbondale, but Carbondale was where everyone was talking about. It was going to be a madhouse, I was sure, and decided to visit my mom in Bellville the day before, a Sunday, then go to my friend Mikeâ(TM)s in Columbia to cook pork on his Weber and drink beer. I planned on crashing on his couch and heading south early the next morning.
        Then I found NASAâ(TM)s interactive eclipse map. Mom and Mike were right on the edge of totality, and the center of totality passed right through Prairie du Rocher, about thirty miles or so south of Mikeâ(TM)s house. Patty watched from the Shawnee National Forest, camping there the night before.
        I set out south Sunday morning, and traffic was thick. However, it always is on the weekends, which is why I usually visit during the week. As is my usual habit I set the cruise control to five miles under the limit to make for a stressless drive. But I knew traffic was going to be worse the next day.
        I visited my mom in Bellville, then headed to Mikeâ(TM)s, where we grilled pork steaks (well, he did) and we drank beer and bullshitted. I crashed on his couch, as planned.
        Patty texted me, excited that they had found eclipse glasses for ten bucks apiece. She was thrilled. I thought she had been ripped off, as Mikeâ(TM)s wife had five pairs she had picked up at the library for free. I just heard today when I picked up tacos at George Rankâ(TM)s that they were selling them on the internet for $150!
        Iâ(TM)d planned on not using the glasses, not trusting them; there are some really evil people in the world who donâ(TM)t mind blinding people for money, or even killing them. I wound up looking through them once or twice, anyway.
        Monday morning we got up and drank coffee, and headed south on Bluff Road for the middle of the umbra, the part of the shadow that is in totality.
        Bluff road is a little-used two lane highway that you can often travel without seeing another vehicle. We turned on to Bluff Road, and joined a parade of cars and truck headed for the best view. Traffic moved briskly, at the various speed limits on the way. It took about forty five minutes.
        On the way we saw a roadside stand selling eclipse glasses for twenty bucks apiece. Mike cursed the ripping off they were doing; theyâ(TM)d gotten theirs for free from the public library, donated by a veteranâ(TM)s club. It was indeed a ripoff, because it would have probably cost less than a penny apiece to make them. But better than a hundred and fifty, at least.
        I wished Mike had driven rather than me, because there was some enchanting scenery on the way, as well as an eagleâ(TM)s nest. The magic was beginning hours before the sun and moon met.
        Mike has a grandson who lives there, and we had a hard time finding the address of the house in the tiny town. His wife had told him that if he asked google for the address on Bluff Road it would lead to the wrong house, as his address was Bluff Street.
        Stupid Google kept giving directions to the address on Bluff Road, and it was even more maddening because we were surrounded by bluffs and the cell signals were nonexistent to very weak. Weâ(TM)d brought no refreshments, so stopped at a restaurant for soft drinks and directions to bluff street.
        When we got out of the car, the very humid heat was oppressive. The place was packed, inside and out. We had a hard time finding a parking spot. We were informed that the streets were the same; Bluff Road became Bluff Street for a while.
        His grandson lived in a house trailer right up against the bluff. We got out and it was even hotter and more humid. We went in, and it was perhaps five or ten degrees less hot than outside; the trailer had only a single one-room air conditioner. Every time I went outside, the heat started getting to me. My hands shook and I could barely walk; I was starting to suffer from heat exhaustion. Mike and his very young great granddaughter went up the hill exploring.
        âoeThereâ(TM)s a cave up here!â Mike yelled down to me, so I staggered up the hill. There was a cool breeze coming out of the cave.
        It wasnâ(TM)t cool enough, so I got in the car and started it and blasted the air conditioning. It really helped, and I was in the car several times before the eclipse started.
        I saw something Iâ(TM)d not seen since I was a kidâ"a toad. Then another one. This hellishly hot day was really cool!
        Finally, some time between twelve thirty and one it started. I finally looked through the glasses once, and afterward made a pinhole viewer out of my fist. When the sun was a crescent, I saw the âoewavy linesâ science couldnâ(TM)t explain and I had no trouble at all explaining them. It was the multiple crescents moving around the gravel. The tree was causing multiple pinhole viewers. The way the breeze moved the leaves did look like wavy lines on the ground as the crescents moved around the gravel.
        There were clouds which sometimes covered the sun, and I feared the clouds would cover it during totality, but they didnâ(TM)t. I hear clouds occluded the totality in Carbondale. I hope they didnâ(TM)t cover the sun in the forest where Patty was.
        Iâ(TM)d brought my big tablet, thinking I could use its front-facing camera to watch the eclipse on it and maybe make movies, but I feared the glare on the screen might harm my eyes, so that was out. I tried to take a photo with my phone, and I got a picture, but it didnâ(TM)t show the sun as a crescent. The only halfway decent photo was the tree shadows when it was still partial.
        Then the sky gradually changed colors for about ten minutes, after which it took seconds for it to become dark and for all the streetlights to come on, and the screams and cheers and applause of the thousands of people in town for the sight were very loud, from half a mile away. Mike kept saying âoeWow! Man, thatâ(TM)s the neatest thing Iâ(TM)ve ever seen in my life!â Nobody could help but agree.
        It did get very dark, about like under a full moon. But I saw no stars, although a friend who was in a different spot in totality told me he saw two or three stars right by the corona, which I only glanced at. Around the corona it was indeed pitch black. but the horizons were like dusk. Obviously light was being reflected from places that werenâ(TM)t in totality. Itâ(TM)s hard to explain what it looked like.
        Darkness lasted maybe two minutes, give or take a few seconds. I was way too busy taking it in for photos, and it was too dark for my phoneâ(TM)s camera to work without a flash, anyway. I should have bought film and brought my Canon 35mm SLR Iâ(TM)d bought half a century ago. Yes, film is coming back. They now sell and develop it again at Walgreenâ(TM)s.
        When it was over I was again in distress from the heat, then we headed back to his house. Mike, who knew where we were going and I didnâ(TM)t, was too busy watching the scenery to see a turn we needed to take. We got all the way to Red Bud before realizing our mistake, and highway three was in gridlock. We didnâ(TM)t want to go that way, anyway, and turned back around.
        The little-used Bluff road was full, but traffic was moving at a reasonable pace. Iâ(TM)d planned on crossing the river for cheaper gasoline, but was still heat-distressed and decided not to. We went to his house, where I drank a copious amount of water, and we ate leftover pork steaks, but eating was making me hot. They say âoestarve a fever, feed a chillâ and the reason is that eating will warm you up, unless itâ(TM)s ice cream.
        I left Mikeâ(TM)s about two, planning to stop by Momâ(TM)s house on the way home, and changed my mind as soon as I got on I-255. Traffic was at a crawl. The normally ten or fifteen minute trip to Bellville took nearly an hour. I drove right past her exit, because I could see this was going to be a long drive and I didnâ(TM)t want to get home after dark.
        Not once did the speedometer measure over 30 mph on 255. Getting off 255 to I-55 is a nightmare in normal traffic because of the idiotic interchange design, so I decided to bypass it and take Collinsville Road to I-55. Traffic was heavy, but moving briskly, far faster than the interstate. I stopped for gas and a soda and got on I-55. I was really glad Iâ(TM)d bypassed a bit, probably saved myself half an hour or even more.
        Iâ(TM)ve never seen traffic that heavy outside Chicago in my life, and never saw traffic that heavy that stretched that far. My phone rang three times before I reached a rest stop, just past the I-70 interchange. I had to pee, I had to get my tortuously aching back out of that car, and I wanted to see who was trying to call. I figured it was my mom, who Iâ(TM)d told Iâ(TM)d probably visit again on my way home.
        Two of the calls were from her, worried about me, and I ignored the other one, because I donâ(TM)t answer calls without attached names. If youâ(TM)re not a spammer, scammer, or pollster you can leave a message and Iâ(TM)ll call you back and add your number to my address book.
        Iâ(TM)ve never seen an interstate rest area so crowded. Cars parked where they didnâ(TM)t normally, and so did I. This wasnâ(TM)t a normal day. I reassured Mom, walked quite a long way to the rest room, and walked back and resumed the arduous journey.
        Four and a half hours after leaving Mikeâ(TM)s Iâ(TM)d traveled fifty miles. Past Staunton I had it up to 55mph for a short time, and hit sixty past Mount Olive. Five miles from Litchfield, traffic was stopped again.
        Past Litchfield traffic thinned somewhat, and you could usually do forty, but it was almost in Springfield before anyone could do the speed limit. There was simply far, far more traffic than that highway was designed to handle.
        Which makes me wonder how bad it will be if a nuclear missile is headed to a major city whose occupants have only half an hour to escape.
        The trip was finally over about eight, just as it was getting dark. It had been a seven hour journey with an average speed of 14.3 mph. But it was well worth it! Iâ(TM)m really looking forward to the one in 2024.

Republicans

Journal Journal: Trumps' Ghostwriter Predicts The President Will Resign Soon 14

Trump's presidency is effectively over. Would be amazed if he survives till the end of the year. More likely resigns by fall, if not sooner

This from the man who ghostwrote "The Art of the Deal" for Trump.

Personally I still expect that Trump will find a way to take down Pence before he himself leaves, just to be vindictive. He'll justify it to himself under the guise of the idea that Pence is vastly more experienced in politics and could have offered advice that could have helped him avoid this shitstorm. Ultimately though it was pretty clear Trump never wanted Pence as VP, so I expect he'll do what he can to keep him from becoming POTUS - even if he has to blow up the place to do it. Whether that leads to President Paul Ryan (terrifying thought) or something else we'll have to see.

Schwartz makes another interesting claim in a tweet that I would say missed the mark though:

The circle is closing at blinding speed. Trump is going to resign and declare victory before Mueller and Congress leave him no choice

Trump already won. Not the presidency (which of course he lost by several million votes) but he won in a different way. His security budget - and the budget for security for his family and beyond - just plummeted to exactly zero dollars for the rest of all their lives. His grandkids will get secret service protection, 24x7, around the world, until they die. That is a huge win for the Trump family and they'll be entitled to it regardless of when the administration blows up. We'll have secret service guarding Trump Tower, Mar-a-lago, and prominent Trump properties around the country for the rest of time as well. You can't put a price on that.

I did post this article as a submission to the front page (without my editorializations) but of course there is pretty well zero chance it will make it.

Republicans

Journal Journal: And Jonah Goldberg Still Won't Admit He's Wrong...

After making millions on the bullshit text "Liberal Fascism", Mr. Goldberg is now faced with the reality that the rest of the world already knew - fascism is a subset of the right, not the left. A large number of self-proclaimed fascists just paraded with the AltRight in proud displays of their membership in that sect.

The only thing he got right is the fact that there are indeed fascists in this country, he just has no idea what fascism actually means or entails. I expect this means he will be offered a position in the white house soon, once Trump is forced to ax one of the Stephens.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Yet more evidence that Trump is NOT 6 foot 3 24

Trump's recent clashes with the GOP have produced more pictures of him with house and senate republicans. While I can't immediately think of anything I agree with Paul Ryan on (any more so than anything that I agree with Trump on) I am willing to consider that his official height of 6'1" is likely accurate (after all, who would intentionally undersell their height?).

A quick google image search for Trump and Ryan shows a number of times they have been photographed together. Not one of them suggests that Trump is taller.

This is important because it shows that Trump knew he lied on his health form as a candidate. He swore on that form that the information - including his bogus height of 6'3" - were accurate. While it seems like a rather benign offense this could be an impeachable one - easily at least as impeachable as "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinski".
Republicans

Journal Journal: Is the GOP considering killing Trump? 4

This sounds like a crackpot idea, for the GOP to actually murder one of their own.

On the other hand though, they have few other options. If they let his administration collapse on its own, their entire party might go down with it - and there is almost nothing the GOP won't do to conserve itself and its power.

We know they have a collection of strange characters already with medical knowledge. We know that Trump's health forms are so full of lies that they are nearly an impeachable offense on their own (as he signed them to be truthful while knowing them not to be). We know from history that the person who takes the reigns after the death of a POTUS goes in without the baggage of the decedent and often with an uptick in support as a result of what they have endured.

Trump is just a conman out for his own ends. He has pulled off a con worth likely tens of millions to his brand at this point, and now he's on a downward spiral that he can't improve on.

Now certainly the GOP can't just have him shot somewhere, they would then be confronted with their problematic positions on guns. They need to be more intelligent on the matter - which is where their medical professionals come in. Regardless of how tall you think Trump is, there is no debating the fact that he is overweight. If they can convince us that he died of a heart attack they get all the benefits and none of the blame.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not going to kill the POTUS. I despise him greatly but I would not be willing to go to jail to end this mayhem. I would much rather take my family up to Canada for an extended - as in until we have job offers up there - vacation and leave this giant dumpster fire behind.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Mod points - who needs lovin? 23

Slashdot has for some reason bestowed upon me a whole five mod points. I haven't had a lot of time to read through front page discussions; feel free to suggest comments that deserve praise. These are apparently good through tomorrow (July 19th).

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