Is this why going to church is so healthy?

telomere

It’s well known that going to church helps you to live longer. Now some scientists think they know a reason not previously considered.

Here comes a big word: telomeres. Here’s an explanation.

“Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces.Without the coating, shoelaces become frayed until they can no longer do their job, just as without telomeres, DNA strands become damaged and our cells can’t do their job.”

Hang in there. A 2016 study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine that found:

“Adults who frequently attend religious services, pray with regularity, and consider themselves to be religious tend to exhibit longer telomeres than those who attend and pray less frequently and do not consider themselves to be religious.”

Did Jesus understand telomeres?

~ A.D. Litem

 

Three things The Donald has done for you

trump signing

Here are three things the media won’t tell you. Notice how The Donald is focused on the things that affect how you live.

Team Trump just called a halt to the Obama-era war on American suburbs

Many folks don’t even know about one of his best accomplishments: blocking the federal government’s power grab for control of America’s suburbs. During the Obama administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development tried to install Washington bureaucrats as the decision makers for how communities across all 50 states should grow. Using an obscure rule,  HUD sought to remake America’s cities, towns and villages by forcing any community that was getting federal funds to meet racial quotas.

Trump’s order limits Washington ‘dictates’ on K-12 schools

Among the many campaign promises President Donald Trump has followed through on in 2019 is returning control of schools to the state and local level. Trump signed an executive order — the “Education Federalism Executive Order” — which called for a review of Obama-era regulations and guidance for school districts and directs Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to modify or repeal measures she deems an overreach by the federal government,

Trump Admin to End War on Incandescent Light Bulbs

The Trump administration has finalized a decision to roll back a 2007 rule calling for energy-efficient light bulbs, a move that states including New York and California are challenging in the courts. “The American people will continue to have a choice on how they light their homes,” said Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.

Great moments in rhetoric

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”  ~ Søren Kierkegaard

nonsense

What we’re hearing:

“We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth, we steal her baby. Even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. And then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.” ~ Actor Joaquin Phoenix at the Oscars

“You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.” Joe Biden to student in New Hampshire

“I’m very aware that racism and oppression in this country have left a long legacy. And it creates the kind of toxicity where people — power structures, people take advantage of other people.” ~ Elizabeth Warren after six “women of color” quit her campaign

“It’s not a sizzling, glamorous issue, but the shape of our democracy is the issue that affects every other issue.” Pete Buttigieg on the campaign trail

“CNN has people on the payroll who they pay to tell their lies to the CNN audience, in the middle of a CNN hour for some number of minutes, so Trump knows if you watch CNN, at least you’ll hear someone lying in his favor. That’s one of the reasons why he attacks CNN.” ~ MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell

“I have, unfortunately, responsibilities to save our country from peril this weekend.” ~ Nancy Pelosi on why she will miss a 49ers playoff game

“You know, this idea and this metaphor of a bootstrap started off as a joke because it’s a physical impossibility to lift yourself up by a bootstrap, by your shoelaces? It’s physically impossible. The whole thing is a joke.” ~ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

~ Splanchnic

Crazy Years: Top Ten Reasons We Know

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Here are the Top Ten Reasons we know these are the Crazy Years.

10. Pelosi’s ‘Impeachment Pens’ Could Fetch $1.5 Million At Auction

9. And There It Is… Democrat Candidate Blames Trump for Iowa Caucus Train Wreck

8. New York Requires Citizens to Obtain ‘Stargazing Permit’ To Admire the Stars in Public Parks

7. Mommy Can’t Talk Right Now — She’s Dopamine Fasting

6, U.S. Army Funds ‘Fully Automated Microaggression Detector’ to ‘Catch Implicit Bias’ In The Workplace

5. Call your animal a ‘companion’ instead of a pet: PETA chief says term is derogatory because it makes living things sound like a ‘commodity’ or ‘decoration’

4. Baltimore County hasn’t recycled glass in 7 years, but officials say residents still shouldn’t throw it out

3. Why liberal white women pay a lot of money to learn over dinner how they’re racist

2. Greta Thunberg nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for climate activism

And the No. 1 reason we know these are the crazy year:

1. Schiff: If You Don’t Convict Trump He Might Give Alaska Back to Russia

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~ Moloch

Surveillance Society: Your car is watching you

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Your Smart Vehicle Is Recording Your Every Move. Modern cars roll out of factories packed with cellular connections, powerful processors and growing suite of sensors, including cameras, radar and microphones. That’s turning them into the next information goldmine, rivaling the data-creating capabilities of smartphones.

Ring Doorbell App Packed with Third-Party Trackers. An investigation by EFF of the Ring doorbell app for Android found it to be packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable information (PII). Four main analytics and marketing companies were discovered to be receiving information such as the names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent identifiers, and sensor data on the devices of paying customers.

Leaked Documents Expose the Secretive Market for Your Web Browsing Data. An Avast antivirus subsidiary sells ‘Every search. Every click. Every buy. On every site.’ Its clients have included Home Depot, Google, Microsoft, Pepsi, and McKinsey. (After this investigation, Avast announced it will stop the Jumpshot data collection.)

Hospitals Are Turning Over Detailed Medical Records to Big Tech Giants. Hospitals have reportedly granted Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, and Google access to detailed patient information as part of deals to process millions of medical records.

A facial recognition company dug up billions of photos from Facebook and beyond. A New York Times deep-dive into a facial recognition AI tool sold to law enforcement agencies uncovered that the company has amassed more than three billion images. Those images are scraped from all corners of the internet from social media sites to companies’ “About Us” pages.  That’s way more than the typical police or even FBI database.

~ Scheherazade

The Crazy Years: Don’t drink the water

“I’m here to tell you these are not the crazy years, these are the fracking insane years.”    ~ Sarah A. Hoyt

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

The media helpfully point it out:

Is it something in the water? Or is it:

How a vegan diet could affect your intelligence. The vegan diet is low in – or, in some cases, entirely devoid of – several important brain nutrients. Could these shortcomings be affecting vegans’ abilities to think?

Would you like brain damage with that? America’s favorite cooking oil causes neurological changes, says animal study.

Living near major roads linked to risk of dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and MS. For non-Alzheimer’s dementia specifically, living near major roads or a highway was associated with 14 per cent increased risk.

Flame retardants and pesticides overtake heavy metals as biggest contributors to IQ loss. Despite decreasing levels, exposure to these and other toxic chemicals, especially flame retardants and pesticides, still resulted in more than a million cases of intellectual disability in the United States between 2001 and 2016.

Being Exposed to Air Pollution at Age 1 may Trigger Structural Brain Changes Later. The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study found that children with higher levels of traffic-related air pollution exposure at birth had reductions at age 12 in gray matter volume and cortical thickness as compared to children with lower levels of exposure.

Don’t drink the water.

~ Feuilleton

You must focus your reading time

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My default reading strategy is to peruse multiple online news aggregators, blogs and social media sites. I’m going to change that after reading what Seneca says. He was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman and dramatist. He is known for his letters of instruction to Lucilius, procurator of Sicily.

In the second letter“On Discursiveness in Reading,” he urges Lucilius to focus his reading.

Be careful, however, lest this reading of many authors and books of every sort may tend to make you discursive and unsteady. You must linger among a limited number of master-thinkers, and digest their works, if you would derive ideas which shall win firm hold in your mind. Everywhere means nowhere.

When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends. And the same thing must hold true of men who seek intimate acquaintance with no single author, but visit them all in a hasty and hurried manner.

Accordingly, since you cannot read all the books which you may possess, it is enough to possess only as many books as you can read. So you should always read standard authors; and when you crave a change, fall back upon those whom you read before.

And then this instruction:

Each day acquire something that will fortify you against poverty, against death, indeed against other misfortunes as well; and after you have run over many thoughts, select one to be thoroughly digested that day.

Pause to select one thing to carry through the day.

~ Elfdalian

The Iran Connection(s)

Have you noticed all the connections to Iran? We’ve scratched our heads, but we’re still not sure what this means. So many mysteries, so little time.

Elizabeth Warren’s son-in-law, with whom she is close, produced a film backed by the Iranian government

Sushil_Tyagi_photoHer son-in-law, Sushil Tyagi, husband of her daughter Amelia, remains a largely mysterious figure. Tyagi has been involved in a series of curious—even troubling—business ventures around the world, including his production company Tricolor Films, which produced a film directed by Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi, titled The Song of Sparrows. The film’s chief investors were “funded and controlled by the Islamist Iranian government.”

Peter Strzok Grew Up In Iran and Saudi Arabia, Worked As Obama and Brennan’s Envoy To Iranian Regime

stzokDuring his father’s 21 year military career he did three tours in Iran where Strzok attended elementary school at the American School in Tehran prior to the Iranian Revolution. In June and July 2017, Strzok worked on Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation into any links or coordination between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government. Mueller removed Strzok from the Russia investigation when Mueller became aware of criticisms of Trump contained in personal text messages exchanged between Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

Facts About the Former FBI Lawyer Who Was Involved with Peter Strzok

lisaLisa Page inherits an Iranian heritage from her mother, Tamara Najarian. Iranian-born immigrant Najarian married Stephen Butler Page and applied for naturalization in the late ‘70s. Page and FBI agent Peter Strzok were involved in the FBI’s investigation into Sec. Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information in 2016. After their affair and text exchanges were revealed, the two were dismissed from Robert Mueller’s investigation team. Reacting to Trump’s killing of the Iranian general,  Page portrayed Iran in a disturbingly positive light, describing it as a “smart and strategic” country with a “5,000 year old culture.” She also claimed Iran “isn’t an irrational actor.”

John Kerry’s Family Ties to Iran

11KERRY.1901Most do not know that John Kerry’s daughter Vanessa, who ran his failed presidential campaign in 2004, is married to an Iranian who still has the majority of his family living in Iran. Yes, Kerry’s son in law is an American citizen who trained at Massachusetts General Hospital as a neurosurgeon. Dr. Vanessa Kerry and Dr. Brian Behrooz Nahed married in 2009.

The life threatening Deal that Secretary of State John Kerry signed with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Zarif seems to be an all in the family affair. There is a report  that Mohammad Zarif’s son was best man at Dr. Vanessa Kerry’s wedding to Dr. Brian Nahed.

When it Comes to Israel, Alexandre Trudeau’s Got it Wrong

external-content.duckduckgo.comIn the face of international condemnation of Iran’s destructive pursuit of nuclear weapons and its repeated calls for Israel’s destruction, filmmaker Alexandre Trudeau, son of the late Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau and senior advisor to his brother Justin’s campaign team for leadership of the Liberal party, reports that Iran’s atomic ambitions are for “defensive” purposes only, serving as an effective “deterrent” against Israeli “aggression” and belligerence. Also listed in Alexandre Trudeau’s documentary “The New Great Game” as “producers in association,” but not acknowledged by the CBC, was Iran’s state-funded propaganda arm Press-TV, along with the reviled anti-Israel broadcaster Al-Jazeera Arabic.

Valerie Jarrett, Chicago, and the Iran Deal

Barack Obama, Valerie JarrettSenior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett had been leading talks with Iran in secret for a year before the formal negotiations in Geneva this month. She was born there to American expatriates in the aftermath of the CIA-assisted coup that deposed Mohammad Mossadegh. The Iranian regime remains obsessed with the Mossadegh coup as proof of America’s innate evil–and for decades, some Americans have felt a sense of post-colonial guilt about it. That feeling may be particularly acute for an American born in the shadow of that event.

~ Splanchnic

They’re just Brian Williams wannabes

williams

Founded in 1926 by the Radio Corporation of America, the National Broadcasting Company is the oldest major broadcast network in the United States. It is sometimes referred to as the “Peacock Network,” in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company’s innovations in color broadcasting.

This company has become a woke joke.

brianAnchor Brian Williams foretold NBC’s future, when it emerged that he had a hard time telling the truth. He became essentially a laughing stock and rich source of Internet memes.

A parade of goofs followed in his footsteps. Take Noah Berlatsky, who rises to Brian’s level with this assertion: “Trump voters motivated by racism may be violating the Constitution. Can they be stopped?”

williams 2This week NBC News reporter Ben Collins rose to the Brian Williams challenge by letting everyone know he will cover the January 20 Virginia Second Amendment rally, and he described it as a “white nationalist rally.”

Chief foreign correspondent Richard Enge recently got in on the action when President Trump directed the killing of the world’s No. 1 terrorist: “Qasem Soleimani was no ordinary general. The U.S. classified him as a terrorist but in Iran, he was a national hero. Specifically, Soleimani was in charge of spreading Iranian influence around the world, and he was extremely good at it. Smart, charismatic, ruthless and bold … ”

So much more at the Media Research Center’s Newsbusters website.

~ Elfdalian

The State: Who decides what you eat?

tyranny

“The state has invaded even the most private aspects of life, dictating sexual mores and controlling the most intimate aspects of daily life through misinformation, peer pressure, and direct thought control.” ~ Jeffrey Somers

The Left is apoplectic over President Trump’s proposal to put some limits on the effort by Michelle Obama to dictate what your kids eat at school. The handwringing is over free breakfast for poor kids. The real concern should be that the White House is dictating what your children eat. Let that sink in.

Nevertheless, 14 states are suing to stop the President. State governments are no less enthusiastic than the federal government about exercising power.

In California, the Board of Education has implemented a sex education program that prohibits abstinence-only education and any discussion of religious doctrine. The program contains explicit photos and drawings of sexual activity. It disusses anal and oral sex as an alternative to regular sex. “They talk about mutual masturbation,” a critic said. “They discuss everything, topics like roleplaying for different genders, blood play, dental dams … fisting is mentioned.”

In South Carolina, a state senator has raised a bill that would require the state to compensate women who are unable to obtain abortions because of a proposed ‘heartbeat bill.’ The act states that a woman who is unable to have an abortion because of the law would be forced to be a “gestational surrogate” for the state “which cannot itself physically conceive or carry a child.”

In VirginiaVirginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed ban on “assault firearms” could potentially be applied to a majority of guns that are currently legal. The National Shooting Sports Foundation said Northam’s proposal was so broad that it could lead to the confiscation of millions of guns from previously-legal owners.

in Indiana, as South Ben Mayor Pete Buttigieg contended with skyrocketing crime rates, the city’s police department trained officers to combat “sizeism” and “languageism.” Training extended far beyond the immediate issues facing the city and instead lectured cops on policing their own language to be sensitive to “isms.”

In Iowa, an undercover video published by Project Veritas on Tuesday shows a field organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign saying Soviet gulags were actually a positive phenomenon, suggesting that some similar program could re-educate Trump supporters and billionaires.

In Michigan, the lesbian attorney general is accused of using ‘tyranny’ to suppress biblical marriage beliefs. Dana Nessel is charged in a lawsuit with “watching, listening, tracking, and compiling secret dossiers on dissidents until they are finally accused and prosecuted,” which are “the police-state tactics one might associate with an authoritarian regime in a World War II movie,” a law firm contends.

~ Eutraply

The Innovators: Slippery toilets, smart bricks

The creative among us:

This new magical coating saves water by making toilets so slippery that poop basically flushes itself. What if you didn’t have to use as much water to flush what you put in them? Don’t be squeamish: New tech from researchers at Penn State is designed to make toilets so slippery that they’re essentially self-cleaning, cutting water use in half in the process.

Lincoln’s new heated windshield wiper tech could make winter driving a lot simpler. First off, they’re heated. Each blade contains a strip of thin metal foil connected to a power source. Second, the system forces washer fluid out through 38 or 42 laser-cut holes on the blades themselves, right onto the glass. This allows the vehicle to use 50 percent less liquid.

bricksBacteria-Filled Bricks Build Themselves. Researchers have developed a living substance that can transform from a gooey sand mixture into a solid brick—and then help build more copies of itself. Powered by photosynthesis, these microorganisms absorb sunlight, nutrients, and carbon dioxide and spit out calcium carbonate—the rigid compound found in seashells and cement.

A new approach to making airplane parts, minus the massive infrastructure. “If you’re making a primary structure like a fuselage or wing, you need to build a pressure vessel, or autoclave, the size of a two- or three-story building, which itself requires time and money to pressurize,” says Brian Wardle, professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. “These things are massive pieces of infrastructure. Now we can make primary structure materials without autoclave pressure, so we can get rid of all that infrastructure.”

houseThe world’s first 3D-printed neighborhood now has its first houses. In a rural area on the outskirts of a town in Southern Mexico, a giant, 33-foot-long 3D printer recently built the walls of the first homes in the world’s first 3D-printed neighborhood. The 500-square-foot houses were finished with roofs, windows, and interiors.

~ Singultus

J. Edgar Hoover, call your office

comey dope

Here’s what we know about James Brien Comey Jr. He’s 6’8″ tall. He’s a sagittarius. His college thesis was on Reinhold Niebuhr and the televangelist Jerry Falwell. He will break the law if it’s to his political advantage. He is a pathological liar. Oh, and he was director of the FBI.

We’ve known for quite a while that Comey leaked classified information to the press. This week, the New York Times reported that prosecutors are looking into it.  Notice the wording:

“An inquiry into years-old disclosures of classified information is highly unusual and leaves law enforcement officials open to accusations of politicizing their work.”

Emphasis mine. I’m not sure why the Times bothered to report it — editorialize on it, actually.

Here’s one theory. The The Conservative Treehouse blog, written anonymously by someone who calls himself Sundance and who some thing is a Mark Bradman of Florida, speculates that the Justice Department leaked this to the Times to deflect criticism for doing nothing on the coup against Trump.

” .. is this simply chaff and countermeasures intended to keep the heat off corruption monitors Bill Barr and John Durham? People are rightly skeptical of this latest report as all prior reports of Comey misconduct have been summarily dismissed by current DOJ corruption monitors.

“Is this latest leak about yet another Comey investigation simply an effort by the DOJ to deflect and isolate themselves from anger and frustration while President Trump is going through an impeachment trial? Given the history, the possibility cannot easily be dismissed.”

If that’s the case, why would the New York Times do something to help Bill Barr?

~ Excursus

Why The Donald will win the election

Question for you. What irritates you more: Donald Trump calling the leader of Ukraine or that new toilet of yours that doesn’t remove the waste or the odor?

Me, too.

At his rally in Milwaukee the other night, President Trump addressed the federal regulations that irritate Americans everyday. Watch:

I found an article about this in Business Insider by a young reporter named Sinéad Baker, who is based in London. She is a perfect example of how the press, and The Left, have no clue about Trump supporters.

Her piece is a sarcastic comment on Trump’s “rambling rant.” I ask you to supply your own opinion of his remarks.

He said to cheers from the crowd: “I’m also approving new dishwashers that give you more water so you can actually wash and rinse your dishes without having to do it 10 times — four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10.

“Anybody have a new dishwasher? I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry for that. It’s worthless. They give you so little water. You ever see it? Air comes out. So little water.”

He claimed that people were forced to take plates out and wash them “the old-fashioned way.”

Then he turned to toilets and lightbulbs.

Trump also expressed frustration with “the new lightbulb,” saying it “costs you five times as much, and it makes you look orange. “Trump has previously attacked lightbulbs designed to be more efficient. He rolled back Obama-era standards on energy-saving lightbulbs in December, stopping a phasing out of older incandescent bulbs.

I don’t know about you, but when they banned incandescents I started stockpiling them. I know other people who did as well.

Watch the whole thing, starting at the 58-minute mark, here. Entertainment at its finest.

~ Certes

It’s time to break up Google

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Google drops ‘don’t be evil’ motto ~ Fox News

Here’s why it’s time.

Google can view millions of patient health records in most states

Through its partnerships with health care providers, Google can view tens of millions of patient records in at least three-quarters of states. Some of these partnerships allow Google to access identifiable information about patients without their or their doctors’ knowledge, raising fears about how this data may be used.

Your Personal Financial Information Will Be at Risk if Google Runs America’s Payments System

he Federal Reserve is moving forward with its most ambitious – and troubling – venture in decades: FedNow. The real-time payment system will compete against existing private networks to allow businesses and individuals to conduct immediate, 24/7 bank transfers. So, it’s no surprise that Big Tech companies like Google are looking to flex their influence over FedNow’s implementation.  

Once we searched Google. Now it searches us

Google’s invention revealed new capabilities to infer and deduce the thoughts, feelings, intentions and interests of individuals and groups with an automated extraction architecture operating as a one-way mirror (irrespective of a person’s awareness, knowledge, and consent) enabling privileged secret access to behavioural data.

How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results

Over time, Google has increasingly re-engineered and interfered with search results to a far greater degree than the company and its executives have acknowledged. Those actions often come in response to pressure from businesses, outside interest groups and governments around the world. Far from being autonomous computer programs oblivious to outside pressure, Google’s algorithms are subject to regular tinkering from executives and engineers who are trying to deliver relevant search results, while also pleasing a wide variety of powerful interests.

Trump is right: More than Facebook & Twitter, Google threatens democracy, online freedom

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Google was accused of manipulating search results to favor Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. Also, research at Harvard University found that Google’s search rankings are not objective, and in 2017, the company was fined billions of dollars by the European Union for manipulating search results. Google also maintains at least nine shadowy blacklists that affect what the public sees when using its search engine.

~ Faute de Mieux

The Crazy Years: Does you dog need therapy?

aliens

“The main sign of when madness has possessed a crowd, or a civilization, is when the people are fearful of imaginary or trivial dangers but nonchalant about real and deep dangers. When that happens, there is gradual deterioration of mores, orientation, and social institutions—the Crazy Years have arrived.” ~ John C. Wright

Aliens exist and may already be among us, says first British astronaut

“Aliens exist, there’s no two ways about it,” Dr Sharman told the Observer Magazine.

Greta Thunberg to Lecture Leaders About Fossil Fuels at World Economic Forum

Teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg plans to join other youth at the World Economic Forum later this month in Davos, Switzerland, where they will admonish world leaders for providing subsidies to the oil and gas industry, which is responsible, in part, for advancing civilization by providing abundant and affordable energy.

Former Green Party Candidate Claimed to Be Jesus While Killing His Dog With a Hammer

Joseph Cryer has been sentenced to more than five months in prison for killing his dog. Cryer told police he was Jesus Christ and had sent the dog to heaven.

ACLU calls for tampons in men’s rooms in order to achieve ‘menstrual equity’

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is calling for men’s restrooms to include tampons in order to prevent discrimination against “every person who menstruates.”

Steep rise in pets needing treatment for anxiety as insurance claims skyrocket

The number of insurance claims to treat cats, dogs and rabbits for mental health problems has sky-rocketed. Owners are claiming for treatments to tackle a whole host of psychological problems, including anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder.

~ Eutrapely

Ya want a punch in the face with that?

man.jpegFast food restaurants in America serve 50 million customers per day. More than 36 percent of adults – or more than 1 in 3 – consume fast food on a given day.

Trans fats are found in most commercial baked goods and fried foods. Studies have shown that high levels of trans fats may reduce serotonin production in the brain, leading to depression as well as adversely affecting memory.

Let’s check in to see how these folks are getting along.

Taco Bell customers arrested after argument reportedly leads to behind-the-counter fight

Chick-fil-A customer desperately tries to escape high chair after sitting in it on a dare

Let’s all enjoy together:

Florida woman arrested for threatening to get McDonald’s sauce by any ‘means necessary’

[Editor’s Note: Florida Man could not be reached for comment.]

Grubhub Driver Attacked Burger King Workers

Arizona woman tries to set boyfriend on fire for not celebrating new Subway job: police

Floridians Sue McDonald’s Because They Had to Pick the Cheese Off Their Quarter Pounders

McDonald’s customer arrested for pulling gun over ketchup mix-up

Popeye’s Customer Wrecks Car While Cutting Line For Coveted Chicken Sandwich

~ Portcullis

The Reporters: Shopping carts, bad meds, etc.

Reportage on the passing parade.

bad-parking-1

Why Don’t People Return Their Shopping Carts?

Supermarkets can try and guide our behavior with receptacles or cart attendants, but they’re competing with our own self-serving goals, which in this case may be staying dry, keeping an eye on our children, or simply getting home as quickly as possible, and we’re being guided by the ways others behave on top of that.

Russiagate Investigation Now Endangers Obama.

Former US President Barack Obama is now in severe legal jeopardy, because the Russiagate investigation has turned 180 degrees; and he, instead of the current President, Donald Trump, is in its cross-hairs. Although he, of course, cannot be removed from office (since he is no longer in office), he is liable under criminal laws, the same as any other American would be, if he committed any crime while he was in office.

The medications that change who we are.

They’ve been linked to road rage, pathological gambling, and complicated acts of fraud. Some make us less neurotic, and others may even shape our social relationships. It turns out many ordinary medications don’t just affect our bodies – they affect our brains. Why? And should there be warnings on packets?

Watch your step: why the 10,000 daily goal is built on bad science.

Ten thousand steps is a completely arbitrary figure, one that originates from a Japanese marketing campaign in the mid-60s. The company Yamasa designed the world’s first wearable step-counter, a device called a manpo-kei, which translates as “10,000-step meter.” “There wasn’t really any evidence for it at the time,” says kinesiology Prof. David Bassett. “They just felt that was a number that was indicative of an active lifestyle and should be healthy.”

The 1997 merger that paved the way for the Boeing 737 Max crisis.

In a clash of corporate cultures, where Boeing’s engineers and McDonnell Douglas’s bean-counters went head-to-head, the smaller company won out. The result was a move away from expensive, ground-breaking engineering and toward what some called a more cut-throat culture, devoted to keeping costs down and favoring upgrading older models at the expense of wholesale innovation

~ Splanchnic

What’s the safest seat in a restaurant?

coffee shop

Where would you sit in this coffee shop? I always sit where I can see the door. Let’s examine that.

Greg Ellifritz has been a police officer since 1995 and spent 13 years as the full-time tactical training officer for his central Ohio police department. He was responsible for developing all of the in-service training for his 55-officer police department. More of his impressive credentials here.

Here’s where he would sit and not sit in the coffee shop above.

When I am choosing seats in a restaurant, he writes, I use the following selection criteria:

1) I prefer tables to booths.  Tables are easier to maneuver around.  Tables can also be overturned and used for cover/concealment.  It’s much harder to do that in a booth.

2) I want a clear view of the front door to see any potential threats enter.

3) I want a view of the cash register (if there is one).  If there are any problems, they will occur at the cash register.

4) I want a table that is close to the kitchen/alternate exit.

5) I prefer an area where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic moving behind me

Here’s what Ellifritz sees in the diagram.

There’s too much foot traffic heading to the bathrooms for tables a, bi and c. I don’t want to have to physically check out people as they move behind me to use the toilets.

Criminals call the seats with their backs in a corner where they can see every other seat in the venue the “cop seats.” That’s where cops sit. The criminals know this and will take out the “cops” at the first opportunity. Sometimes the best seat in a venue is also the worst seat.

I suggest occupying seats 1 or 2 at tables D, E, or F as the best seats in this layout. You can see the front door. You can see the cash register. You are close to the emergency exits, but you don’t have constant bathroom traffic moving behind you to evaluate.

An alternate plan:

waitress

~ Singultus

The compleat list of lists

lists

It seems that listicles have fallen from fashion of late, so let’s give a try to instigating a revival. Publishers put these together at this time of year because there is no real news. That’s not why I’m doing it. I’m doing it as a public service.

Top 12 Get-Trump Bloopers of 2019

Sample: That’s easy for her to say. 

After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell destroyed impeachment with a short, half-hour speech of his life, Nancy Pelosi was reduced to . . . well, watch it for yourself. Hey, where’s her drink?

The Decade’s Top 10 Most Spectacular Falls From Grace

Sample: Anthony Weiner/Carlos Danger (2011, 2013, 2016)

Of all the politicians to find themselves in a sexting scandal, it had to be the one whose last name is Weiner. In 2011, Anthony Weiner, the married representative from New York, resigned after being caught sending explicit photos of his genitalia to several young women, some underage.

Top 10 Most Bizarre Viral Hoaxes of 2019

Sample: Mainstream media falsely reports conservatives are “outraged” over a video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) dancing.

Despite never being given examples of a conservative doing anything more than shrugging the video off, the mainstream media ran with the narrative anyway, prompting Ocasio-Cortez to post another video of herself dancing in front of her congressional office, tweeting: “I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous. Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance too!”

2019: The Year of Massive Big Tech Data Breaches

Sample: Capital One breach puts 100+ million at risk

In July of 2019, Breitbart News reported that a 33-year-old transgender woman who worked as a software engineer in Seattle was arrested in relation to a massive data breach which put over 100 million Capital One credit card applicants at risk. Paige A. Thompson allegedly accessed information from the Capital One bank through an improperly managed security feature and posted this information on a data-sharing site, a criminal complaint alleges.

Six Lessons Jussie Smollett Taught Us About America’s Culture War in 2019

Sample: The road to success is paved with victimhood instead of hard work.

As it has been portrayed, the motivation in staging this attack was to gain publicity and enhance Smollett’s public profile. In theory, this would lead to more prominent acting roles and bigger pay checks (for Jussie and the Nigerian brothers, presumably). There was a time in America that people sought to advance by practicing relentlessly and persevering through challenges. Today, if you successfully claim victim status you’ll likely be promoted before other, more deserving candidates.

The 2019 Breitbart News Fake News Awards

2019’s ‘Fox Staffer Caught Kissing Future Employer Jeff Zucker’s Ass the Most’ Award: Andrew Napolitano

2019’s ‘Fox Staffer Caught Kissing Future Employer Jeff Zucker’s Ass the Second Most’ Award: Chris Wallace

Ave atque vale 2019

 

Sample: JOHN CONYERS, pantsless parliamentarian

Like most of his colleagues, lifetime legislator John Conyers didn’t bother reading the 2,700-page health-care bill he voted for. As he said with disarming honesty, he wouldn’t understand it even if he did: “They get up and say, ‘Read the bill.’ What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?” It would be churlish to direct readers to the video posted on the Internet of Representative Conyers finding time to peruse a copy of Playboy while on a commuter flight to Detroit.

What did I miss? Send your favorite to our Department of Lists. Representatives are standing by. This is because we can’t afford chairs.

~ Craig Millar

Voices of the Apocalypse

preacherIn every generation citizens of the world step forward to warn us that the end is near.

In the past.

Dr James Hansen, 2009. Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of Nasa scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama’s first administration, he added.

Rajendra Pachauri, 2007. “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late,” Pachauri said. “What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment. If you look at the scientific knowledge things do seem to be getting progressively worse. So you’d better start with the interventions even earlier. Now.”

Andrew Marshall, 2004. Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters. A secret report, commissioned by influential Pentagon defence adviser Andrew Marshall, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

Today.

Greta Thunberg. Greta Thunberg’s father revealed he feared depression would kill her before she launched her ‘climate crisis’ campaign as the teenager blasted Donald Trump and insisted meeting him would be a ‘waste of time’. Svante Thunberg told his 16-year-old daughter it was ‘a bad idea’ to lead the campaign to halt global warming – but now believes it ‘saved her’ after she stopped eating and talking for months during a long bout of depression.

Andrew Romanoff. “This is not the stuff of fiction or some far off threat. This is a clear and present danger to life on Earth. Our goal is to stir action. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to project what the world might look like and what large parts of the globe already look like.”

Henry Fountain. “More devastating fires in California. Persistent drought in the Southwest. Record flooding in Europe and Africa. A heat wave, of all things, in Greenland. Climate change and its effects are accelerating, with climate related disasters piling up, season after season. Seas are warming and rising faster, putting more cities at risk of tidal flooding or worse. Glaciers are melting at a pace many researchers did not expect for decades. The amount of Arctic sea ice has declined so rapidly that the region may see ice-free summers by the 2030s.”

~ Portcullis

The Observers: Where have all the alphas gone?

house

Perspectives on events of the day.

Robert P. Jones: White Christian America ended in the 2010s.

After more than two centuries of white Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance, the United States has moved from being a majority-white Christian nation to one with no single racial and religious majority. At the end of the decade, only 42 percent of Americans identify as white and Christian, representing a drop of 11 percentage points.

Brett Stevens: Ethnic Self-Determination.

For any ethnic group to survive, it requires nationalism, or total isolation from other groups. Even small amounts of foreign presence result in a dilution of the unity that a society needs, and replaces it with a contentious place based on internal adversarial relationships. Diversity has died because it destroys social trust and creates alienated societies which collapse into constant low-grade ethnic cold warfare in the form of crime, using the vote to steal money from the majority, and public offense over relatively minor slights.

The Z Man: The Great Cover Up.

This is a great cover up of the biggest scandal in American history. To date, no one has been charged with a crime, despite hundreds of crimes being documented. Many of the principals are now enjoying high six figure lives, based on the fact they were part of the seditious plot to overturn the 2016 election. Instead of the scandal of the century, it is the celebration of the century for the inner party. One of the signs of ruling class collapse is when they can no longer enforce the rules that maintain them as a ruling class. When the Romans started making exceptions to republican governance, it was a matter of time before someone simply decided the rules no longer applied to them.

David Solway: Where Have All the Alphas Gone?

For some time now I have watched the immensely popular HGTV as a window on the culture, providing a cameo on the conventions of middle-class society. One notices, with few exceptions, that the wives tend to be voluble and bossy; they speak first, far more often, more insistently and more authoritatively. Their needs and desires are clearly predominant. The husbands, for their part, are mostly bland and subservient, almost leguminous in comparison, generally deferring to their wives with only the occasional mewl of protest. One notes, too, the lack of genuine taste, the utter preoccupation with trivialities, and the cloying banality of conversation among the often obese participants. The ascendancy of the now-dominant, rule-giving female and the attendant decline of the proud and assertive male is the order of the day.

Victor Davis Hanson: Ten Reasons Impeachment Is Illegitimate.

The impeachment “inquiry,” supposedly prompted by the president’s Ukrainian call, is simply the most recent in a long series of “coups” that sought to overturn the 2016 election and thus preclude a 2020 reelection bid. The pattern gives away the game.

Usually the serial futile attempts to abort the Trump presidency — with the exception of the Mueller Dream-Team debacle — were each characterized by about a month of media-driven hysteria. We remember the voting-machines-fraud hoax, the initial 2017 impeachment effort, the attempt to warp the Electoral College voting, the Logan Act, the emoluments clause, the 25th Amendment, the McCabe-Rosenstein faux coup, and various Michael Avenatti–Stormy Daniels–Michael Cohen psychodramas.

Ukraine then is not unique, but simply another mini-coup attempt that follows the last failed coup and that will presage another coup to take its place when it too fails to remove Trump.

~ Eutrapely

What to do if you’re being followed

followed

Derrick Krane has taught psychology and criminology for over 20 years at six colleges. He is a licensed clinician who provides psychotherapy to criminal offenders and victims of violent crimes and sexually based offense. He is the author of over 250 scholarly articles on various topics in criminology, psychology, neuroscience, addiction and politics.

Here is part of his article on protecting yourself from followers:

On foot

  • Change direction abruptly to determine if you are being followed.
  • Do not make an obvious fear display. A fear display will encourage aggression. That being said, run if you have to.
  • Be advised that if you confront them, you may be deemed an aggressor or at least a participant instead of a victim. This will depend on the jurisdiction you are in and to what degree liberals have gutted self-defense laws.
  • Get into a crowded well-lit place with many witnesses.
  • Get somewhere with cameras. Look directly into the camera.
  • Draw attention. Yell loudly that you are being followed and point the follower out to the crowd. Embarrass the shit out of them, expose them for the creepy weirdo they are, and get multiple witnesses.
  • Call 911 and ask bystanders to call 911. Select specific persons and make eye contact. Directly state call 911, there is someone after me. This detail is important. If you just yell somebody call 911, the bystander effect can occur, and most people will wait for someone else to call 911. It is about distribution of responsibility and hesitation. Make specific people responsible.

In a Vehicle

  • On a city street, drive in a circle by making four consecutive right turns. On a highway, get off the next exit, then back on the highway. Someone following you vs. coincidentally driving in the same direction will become apparent.
  • Having determined you are being followed, DO NOT go to your home a friend’s home, or your workplace. You do not want to lead them to any of these places.
  • Do not let yourself get boxed in. Do not go into a cul-de-sac/dead end or parking lot, or anywhere else where you will not have an escape route.
  • Know where you are going. Become intimately familiar with the area you work, attend school or live in. This can give you a major advantage over someone from outside the area.
  • Do Not Escalate. If you are being followed closely by an angry individual, don’t do things that will de-stabilize the situation further. This included brake-checking, throwing things at the other car, and displaying your middle finger. Once again, you are also becoming a participant, and putting yourself in a compromised legal position.
  • DO NOT get out of the vehicle and confront them. You may not know their intentions, how far they are willing to take things, of if they are armed. Depending on the jurisdiction, if you get out of your vehicle to confront them or engage, you could put yourself in a very weak legal position by becoming a participant instead of a victim.

1) Identify them. Phone camera/dash cam/backup cam on and start documenting. Note as much information as possible. Note the make, model, and color of the car, and a description of the driver and any passengers, any identifying marks on the vehicle, and of course the license plate number.

3) Lose them. but don’t put yourself and others in danger with reckless maneuvers or excessive speed.

  • Make an abrupt (but safe) turn without using directionals.
  • Get up to an optimum safe speed to pull away from them and gain some distance.
  • Run red lights (treat the red light like a stop sign, don’t just blow through an intersection). A cop sees you and pulls you over? Perfect. You need a cop right now. Your pursuer will have to relinquish the pursuit, or really escalate things in front of a police officer.

2) Get assistance

  • On a city street, draw attention. Lay on your horn and flash your lights. Stalkers/weirdos tend to dislike attention.
  • Lead your pursuer through intersections with traffic cams to get them recorded.
  • On a city street, tell a driver in the lane next to you are being followed and to call 911.
  • Drive to a police station or call 911.

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean you’re not being followed.

~ Scheherazade

And to All a Good Night!

Merry Christmas, John Brennan! John H. Durham, the United States attorney leading the investigation, has requested former CIA Director John Brennan’s emails, call logs and other documents from the C.I.A., according to a person briefed on his inquiry. He wants to learn what Mr. Brennan told other officials, including the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, about his and the C.I.A.’s views of a notorious dossier of assertions about Russia and Trump associates.

Merry Christmas, James Comey! When your best explanation for humiliating failures is that you were incompetent, not criminal, you are in trouble. When your defense is that underlings are to blame, you can expect them to bite back. That’s the situation facing James Comey, former FBI director. Not that Comey made those mistakes himself, mind you. Mere sloppiness by others, he says. That’s his new story.

Merry Christmas, James Clapper! The former director of National Intelligence under the Obama administration is widely believed to be one of the sleazy political operatives involved in the creation and dissemination of the now discredited ‘Steele dossier,’ which was one of the pretexts for the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  Judicial Watch is still after him for that one, and is seeking all of his correspondence with former Obama administration CIA director John Brennan.

Merry Christmas, Robert Mueller! Republican lawmakers allege Special Counsel Robert Mueller may have perjured himself before Congress in his sworn testimony last month with an untruthful answer about why he held an earlier press briefing. Recently released court documents suggest Mueller may have made his surprise appearance before the press in Washington on May 29 as damage control after a federal judge privately threatened to hold his team in criminal contempt of court over what she called misleading language in his final report about Russian government interference in the 2016 election.

Merry Christmas, Barack Obama! Former President Barack Obama may have been aware the FBI was surveilling Donald Trump’s presidential campaign based on Russian election interference claims, the newly released audit by the inspector general at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed. Obama’s former Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Sally Yates suggested the FBI may have briefed the White House on Crossfire Hurricane or the Carter Page FISA. Crossfire Hurricane refers to the codename for the counterintelligence probe undertaken by the FBI in 2016 and 2017 into alleged linked between Trump associates and his campaign and Russia.

~ Jac Tancy

Science: A new way to wrap a present

gift-wrap-diagonal-1576542319

You’ve been doing it all wrong.

Just in time for the holidays, the diagonal gift wrap hack has gone viral. It’s age-old wisdom in some circles—a graduate student even wrote a paper about the math of the perfect gift wrap in 2007, and it’s how Subway sandwich artists already wrap your lunch—but it seems like the internet is only now catching up, Caroline Delbert writes.

Here you go:

I encourage you to read the entire article so that you can absorb the science.

~ Logodaedaly

Have another cup of coffee

coffee

If you want to live forever, that is.

Coffee drinkers have healthier gut microbiotas. Higher caffeine consumption was associated with increased richness and evenness of the mucosa-associated gut microbiota, and higher relative abundance of anti-inflammatory bacteria, such as Faecalibacterium and Roseburia and lower levels of potentially harmful Erysipelatoclostridium.”

Harvard researchers say this is the exact amount of coffee you should drink to stay healthy. “Our findings confirm those of previous studies that showed that higher coffee consumption was associated with lower Type 2 Diabetes risk,” explained the study’s lead author, Shilpa Bhupathiraju. “Most importantly, they provide new evidence that changes in coffee consumption habit can affect Type 2 Diabetes risk in a relatively short period of time.” The Harvard paper motions that drinking between one and three cups of coffee a day over the course of four years decreases one’s risk of developing diabetesby 11%.

Just two cups of filtered coffee a day could slash the risk of type 2 diabetes by 60%. Researchers found those who drank “filtered coffee” were less likely to develop diabetes over the next seven years. The same was not true for the boiled version of the pick-me-up. Coffee contains compounds that have been shown to affect the break down of fat, as well as targeting inflammation. It can also be rich in the molecule diterpene, which negatively influences the metabolism of sugar. This is thought to get caught in filters, preventing it entering coffee prepared this way.

~ Eutrapely

The Observers: Teddy bears, Amazon, women, luck

teddy bear.jpg

Thoughtful writers on matters that concern us all.

Adam Clark Estes. Is It Too Late to Stop Amazon? As the next decade arrives, it’s obvious that Amazon founder and chief Jeff Bezos has built some sort of grotesque post-capitalistic empire that makes Standard Oil look like a local firewood stand. Not only does Amazon dictate the future of retail in the United States and around the world; its sprawling cloud computing business all but ensures that, on any given day, you can’t use the internet without putting a penny in Bezos’s bank account.

Theodore Dalrymple. Teddies for All. Teddy bears have a glorious future ahead of them. They supply emotional comfort to an age in which people seem to have more difficulty than ever in forming true emotional bonds to others of their kind. A teddy bear, unlike a human being, will never let you down. It’s not quite true that it never answers you back, for it will answer you in your imagination, using the words of consolation that a real friend or adviser would have said by way of consolation, if such a person had been available.

The Z Man. Fear, Force & Convenience. In America, trust was always the force that kept local community together, while tradition kept regional identity together. America was always a big country with lots of room, so self-segregation smoothed over the rough spots. With the elimination of free association and the importation of millions of foreigners, social trust is rapidly breaking down and being replaced with state force. For now, trouble makers are sent to diversity training, rather than a labor camp, but the idea is the same.

David Warren. Darlings. A woman who has the management of a household, all the tasks associated with that, plus the charge of, say, four or more children, along with the home-schooling of each of them, is not a hero. She is called to be a heroine, as we say or said in good English. To make her gender-neutral is to diminish her, for she is doing something only she can do, and she is a she. A man would need assistance. To ask this woman also to hold down a job, in our feckless commercial world, is to ask the impossible.

Scott Barry Kaufman. The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized. A number of studies and books–including those by risk analyst Nassim Taleb, investment strategist Michael Mauboussin, and economist Robert Frank– have suggested that luck and opportunity may play a far greater role than we ever realized, across a number of fields, including financial trading, business, sports, art, music, literature, and science. Their argument is not that luck is everything; of course talent matters. Instead, the data suggests that we miss out on a really importance piece of the success picture if we only focus on personal characteristics in attempting to understand the determinants of success.

~ Sprachgefühl

A word for this Christmas season

The Aramaic term maranatha is variously translated as “Our Lord has come” or “Come, our lord!” It’s up to the translators to sort it out.

The two-word term appears once in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 16:22–16:22: Let anyone be accursed who has no love for the Lord. Our Lord, come!

If you wish to express the accursed part, you say anathema maranatha. The meaning of the Greek anathema came to be “anything dedicated to evil” or “a curse.” Taken together the two terms suggest that anyone who doesn’t love God will be accursed because The Lord is coming or has come.

Today maranatha is often chanted aloud or silently as a meditation.

These singers from the Diocese of St. Benedict perform “Maranatha Come Lord Jesus” by Janèt Sullivan Whitaker.

~ Eustace

Surveillance Society: Big Brother is Watching You

face

The feds know pretty much everything about you.

DHS wants to expand airport face recognition scans to include US citizens. Homeland Security wants to expand facial recognition checks for travelers arriving to and departing from the U.S. to also include citizens, which had previously been exempt from the mandatory checks. The department has proposed that all travelers, and not just foreign nationals or visitors, will have to complete a facial recognition check before they are allowed to enter the U.S., but also to leave the country.

The Feds Don’t Need To Tell You Or Get A Warrant To Collect Your Emails And Phone Records. In reality, the government can obtain these records without taking any such extraordinary measures — and no judge even need be involved for Congress to get them. It can simply send a subpoena to the carrier. This seemingly astonishing explanation exists because under current law, these records are not protected by any warrant requirement.

Google Hands Feds 1,500 Phone Locations In Unprecedented ‘Geofence’ Search. The requests, outlined in two search warrants obtained by Forbes, demanded to know which specific Google customers were located in areas covering 29,387 square meters (or 3 hectares) during a total of nine hours for the four separate incidents. Unbeknownst to many Google users, if they have “location history” turned on, their whereabouts are stored by the tech giant in a database called SensorVault. In this case, Google found 1,494 device identifiers in SensorVault, sending them to the ATF to comb through.

Surprise! U.S. has more surveillance cameras per citizen than China. China may have gained a reputation as a surveillance state because it has more closed circuit TV (CCTV) cameras deployed than any other country, but when it comes to per capita usage, the US is No 1. The US has 15.28 surveillance cameras per 100 citizens, slightly higher than China’s density of 14.36.

Privacy advocates raise alarms about growing use of facial recognition by U.S. government. Whether we realize it or not, most of use some type of facial technology software every day. It’s being widely used in shopping, home security, and law enforcement, and millions of us use it constantly to open our smart phones. But privacy advocates and civil libertarians are raising alarms about the growing use of facial recognition technology by the federal government. Several noted that once the government has a database of Americans with their photographs, there’s no telling what it could be used for. “You never know,” said one man, “10 years 20 years down the line, what that information might be used for.”

~ The Fulgurator

How many guests should you invite?

chimps 2

Do you want serious conversation? Stick to four. Just ask Shakespeare.

Researchers who have time on their hands have figured out that four is the right number for chatting. If you invite more, the quality of discourse will decline and the stress level of the participants till increase.

This is all related to the ability to understand that other people do not necessarily know or intend the same things that we ourselves do, Frank McAndrew, a psychology professor, writes. If two people are engaged in conversation, each must understand what his or her partner intends and what each person understands about the other’s state of mind. So the more people you add the harder this juggling gets.

Other researchers with nothing better to do have determined that this is evolutionary.

If there are three people in the conversation, there are three possible pairs, only one of which excludes you. If there are five people, there are 10 possible pairs, and the majority—six—don’t include you, which makes it harder to get your point across.

What if, the researchers argue, there was an evolutionary advantage to not being “outnumbered” in a conversational group? The physical danger of being an isolated outcast is clear: exclusion from society in early human history could easily be a death sentence, and even most observed cases of lethal chimpanzee violence have happened when aggressive groups encounter a lone chimp.

Here’s the Shakespeare angle.

They analyzed the conversations in 10 different plays by William Shakespeare. Scholars have long been aware that conversational patterns in Shakespearean plays accurately reflect the dynamics of real-life social interactions — which is one reason their appeal has endured over time. If this is the case, it would be interesting to find out if Shakespeare applied the “maximum size of a conversation” rule to the characters in his plays. Krems and her colleagues discovered that no conversation in any play they analyzed ever involved more than five characters,

Finally, when inviting people over, remember The Bard’s rule: ““Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit.”

~ Excursus

Let’s rent a barn and put on an impeachment

pelosi nadler

What you may have missed while you were dozing off.

Democrat Hank Johnson Wants to Impeach Trump for Being Too Tall. Johnson claimed that Trump was taller and his chair was bigger than Zelensky’s so that was somehow intimidating and contributed to an “imbalance of power.” He also claimed that Zelensky looked like his daughter “duct taped in the basement” in the conversation with Trump. Watch.

Reuters photographer ejected from impeachment hearing for taking pictures of notes of Democrats. A Reuters photographer was asked to leave the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing after allegedly taking pictures of documents on Thursday afternoon.

nadler nodsBORING! House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler Nods Off During His Own Impeachment Hearing. The impeachment hearing is so boring that the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler nodded off as GOP Rep. Chabot blasted him for his hypocrisy.

Rep. Al Green: We Need To Impeach Trump To “Deal With Slavery.” “I do believe, ma’am, that we have to deal with the original sin. We have to deal with slavery. Slavery was the thing that put all of what President Trump has done lately into motion. It’s insidious… racism, the president has played on racism and he’s used that as a weapon to galvanize a base of support to mobilize people.”

Dem Impeachment ‘Witness’ Goes On Unhinged Rant About How Trump Ruined Her Thanksgiving. Stanford law professor and lawyer Pamela Karlan testified that she was so distracted poring over other “witness” transcripts during her Thanksgiving holiday that she was forced to order a pre-cooked turkey in the mail. “I spent all of Thanksgiving vacation sitting there reading these transcripts,” Karlan said. “I didn’t – I ate, like, a turkey that came to us in the mail that was already cooked because I was spending my time doing this.”

Angry Democrat Witness Pam Karlan Takes a Cheap Shot at Trump’s 13-Year-Old Son Barron. One of the witnesses the Dems rolled out, Pamela Karlan, is an angry Hillary Clinton donor who was on Crooked’s list for a potential Supreme Court nomination. “I’ll just give you one example that shows you the difference between him and a king which is, the Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility. So while the President can name is son Barron, he can’t make him a baron,” Karlan angrily exclaimed.

‘Not one person of color’: Congressman scolds fellow Democrats for choosing only white impeachment witnesses. “I rise because I love my country, but I also rise today with heartfelt regrets,” Rep. Al Green said. “It hurts my heart, Mr. Speaker, to see the Judiciary Committee hearing experts on the topic of impeachment — one of the seminal issues of this Congress — hearing experts, Mr. Speaker, and not one person of color among the experts.”

Democrat Rep. Cedric Richmond is watching golf.

golf

~ Portcullis

This just in …

loggers

Loggers Carved ‘How Dare You’ Into The Forest While

Cutting Down Trees For Time Magazine’s Person Of The Year Issue

Two words came to mind when we heard about this powerful story. Can you guess what they are?

If you guessed “stunning” and “brave,” you’re exactly right.

Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg has been named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, in an epic clap back against climate change deniers, who are dumb.

But this created a problem since a lot of people pointed out that the magazine has to cut down trees to praise Thunberg.

Don’t worry, though: loggers tasked with cutting down trees for the issue carved the Amazon rainforest into a beautiful message. They carved swathes of forest down into Greta Thunberg’s face and the words “How Dare You.” The epic answer to Thunberg’s critics is visible from space.

Unfortunately, they cut down way more trees than needed for Time’s waning readership. But it was worth it to send this powerful message to the patriarchy, white supremacists, Donald Trump, and capitalists. Oh, yeah, and to communicate the climate change thing.

~ Apollyon

(Babylon Bee)

The Donald just won with a flush

trump brush

We renovated our bathrooms a few years ago, and of course we installed new toilets. They don’t work. They don’t remove the waste or the smell. I ended up buying an expensive plunger, lots of air freshener, and toilet bowl cleaning agents, and we’re had to have the plumber to a lot of investigating.

These toilets are designed to save the planet by reducing the amount of water used to flush from four to 1.6 gallons. That’s not enough. So we flush two or three times, thereby not saving any water at all.

Last week The Donald said the EPA will be reviewing this rule from the 90s mandating low-flow toilets. And showers and faucets that restrict the flow of water.

“People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once. They end up using more water,we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms. We’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms. You turn on the faucet and you don’t get any water.”

He was widely criticized by the people who are have been busy accusing him of treason and trying to impeach him.

Americans don’t care about impeachment. But everyday they have to use a toilet and wash clothes and wash dishes and take a shower. And they know what’s not coming out of their plumbing.

The Donald is should have his own bowl game, the winner of which will take home the Trump Trophy. So much winning.

~ via Corbie Messenger

It’s not what you eat but when

eating

I came across two articles in as many days that advocated timing your meals to lose weight and control your blood sugar. Then I came across a third, which I’ll get to.

The first presented research from Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz of the Tel Aviv University showing that a starch-rich breakfast consumed early in the morning coupled with a small dinner could replace insulin injections and other diabetes medications for many diabetics.

“We believe that through this regimen it will be possible for diabetics to significantly reduce or even stop the injections of insulin, and most of antidiabetic medications, to achieve excellent control of glucose levels,” she said. According to her research, our metabolism and biological clock are optimized for eating in the morning and for fasting during the evening and night, when we are supposed to be asleep.

The experimental comprises a meal of bread, fruits and sweets in the early hours of the morning; a substantial lunch; and a small dinner specifically lacking starches, sweets and fruits. The group on this regimen not only lost weight but also experienced substantially improved sugar levels.

The second article reported on research revealing  that a 10-hour time-restricted eating intervention, when combined with traditional medications, resulted in weight loss, reduced abdominal fat, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and more stable blood sugar and insulin levels for participants. This means doing all your eating within 10 hours.

Being a genius, I put the two ideas together: Can you eat an early, large breakfast, then stop all eating 10 hours later? Apparently, early means within 15 minutes of waking up. Oh boy.

Now for the third article. Dr. Jason Fung is the medical director and cofounder of the Intensive Dietary Management Coaching Program, which is a for-profit company that promotes and sells fasting-based programs for weight loss and diabetes reversal. His article is entitled “A diet guru explains why you should eat dinner at 2pm.”

There you go. He combines the two ideas for you:

The circadian rhythm suggests that late-night eating is not optimal for weight loss. This is because excessive insulin is the main driver of obesity, and eating the same food early in the day or late at night have different insulin effects. Indeed, studies of time-restricted eating mostly show benefits from reducing late night eating. So it makes sense to combine two strategies of meal timing (circadian considerations and time-restricted eating) into one optimal strategy of eating only over a certain period of the day, and only during the early daytime period. Researchers called this the eTRF (early Time Restricted Feeding) strategy.

The group with the best results ate everything between 8 a.m. and  2 p.m. After a period of adjustment they found they weren’t hungry at night. However, you’ll have to decide how to work this around jobs and school.

~ Fingerpost

The Donald vs the Intelligence Agencies

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It was no coincidence that Richard Nixon, who was forced out of the White House, had decided to do battle with the rapidly growing administrative state. John Marini, professor of political science at the University of Nevada and author of Unmasking the Administrative State. The Crises of American Politics in the Twenty-First Century, says:

In his second term, Nixon attempted to decentralize political and administrative power, returning it to the states and local governments. He failed. Some forty years later, it appears that Donald Trump has attempted to restore political rule, under conditions far less favorable than those faced by Nixon. That outcome remains to be seen.

Three writers develop this idea, in particular with regard to the intelligence agencies, and they reveal a rather frightening state of affairs.

‘The Interagency’ Isn’t Supposed to Rule. Witness after witness in last month’s House impeachment inquiry hearings referred to “the interagency,” an off-the-books informal government organization that we now know has enormous power to set and execute American foreign policy.

When the war on terror opened, with all the secret activity it required, professional cadres in the diplomatic corps, the military and the nation’s many intelligence agencies were able to transform interagency cooperative agreements that had existed since the Cold War into a de facto agency—a largely informal and virtual bureaucracy—with the assumed power, if need be, to determine and execute a foreign policy at odds with the intent of the president and Congress.

Welcome to the Potemkin Village of Washington Power. Don’t be misled: elected officials are subjugated to the national security firmament. Trump is just exposing it. What American constitutional government most urgently needs at present is for our Madisonian institutions—the presidency, the Congress, and the courts—to wrest back control of national security policy from an unelected and increasingly rogue national security establishment. 

In a recent op-ed piece in the New York Times by retired Admiral William McRaven, in which he brashly warned that unless Trump jumped aboard the Forever War bandwagon, he must be removed, and “the sooner the better.” McRaven argued that it is “the American military…the intelligence and law enforcement community, the State Department and the press,” all unelected institutions, that now embody the true American civic religion and protect its “ideals.”

As the deep state attacks Trump to rave media reviews, don’t forget its dark side. “Thank God for the deep state,” declared former acting CIA chief John McLaughlin recently while appearing on a panel at George Mason University. A year ago, the deep state was routinely reviled as a figment of paranoid right-wingers’ imagination. But much of the news media are now conferring the same sainthood on the deep state that was previously bestowed on special counsel Robert Mueller.

The Trump-deep state clash is a showdown between a presidency that has become far too powerful versus federal agencies that have become fiefdoms that enjoy immunity for almost any and all abuses. Regardless of the outcome of the congressional impeachment investigation, can the political system pull in the reins on imperious agencies? It is unlikely.

~ Makebate

 

You don’t want to blend in

red thread

In the fabric of society it’s best to stand out. From The Daily Stoic written by Ryan Holiday:

In a famous exchange, Agrippinus explained why he was spurning an invitation to attend some banquet being put on by Nero. Not only was he spurning it, he said, but he had not even considered associating with such a madman.

A fellow philosopher, the one who had felt inclined to attend, asked for an explanation. Agrippinus responded with an interesting analogy. He said that most people see themselves like threads in a garment—they see it as their job to match the other threads in color and style. They want to blend in, so the fabric will match. But Agrippinus did not want to blend in. “I want to be the red,” he said, “that small and brilliant portion which causes the rest to appear comely and beautiful…’Be like the majority of people?’ And if I do that, how shall I any longer be the red?” He wanted to be red even if it meant being beheaded or exiled.  Because he felt it was right. Because he wouldn’t be anything other than his true self. 

It’s like Mark Twain’s line: When we find ourselves on the side of the majority, we should pause and reflect. Because it means we might be going along with the mob. We might have turned off our own mind. We might be muting our true colors. Our job as philosophers, as thinkers, as citizens, is not to go along to get along. We are not just another replaceable thread in an otherwise unremarkable garment. Our job is to stand up. To stand out. To speak the truth. To never blend in. 

Tough going in our cancel culture.

~ Excursus

 

Morning Rush: It’s been an adventitious day in the neighborhood

biden horse (1)

Your headlines await:

Mike Bloomberg Says Taxing Poor People Will Help Them Live Longer. “There’s just no question. If you raise taxes on full sugary drinks, for example, they will drink less and there’s just no question that full sugar drinks are one of the major contributors to obesity and obesity is one of the major contributors to heart disease and cancer and a variety of other things.”

Maybe plant-based drinks, Mike?

Joe Sestak is latest Democrat to drop out of presidential race.

Maybe Bloomberg scared him out. Wait, who?

BIDEN GONE WILD — Video surfaces of Joe talking about children touching his hairy legs, Joe chewing on wife’s finger. While on his new “No Malarkey” campaign blitz bus tour across Iowa, he couldn’t remember the names of any of the women he claims to be considering for Vice President. And he topped off the week by chomping on his wife’s fingers at a campaign event.

What Is Dementia? ~ WebMD

Climate change is making horses fat as it’s causing an abundance of grass to grow, top vet warns. Horses should be moved into bare paddocks, vets have said, because an abundance of grass caused by climate change is making them fat.

Wait til you hear what the bottom vet is saying.

Science marches on. Among both men and women, unsolicited sexual advances were considered more disturbing and more discomforting when perpetrated by an unattractive opposite sex colleague than when perpetrated by an attractive opposite sex colleague: EKngklFXkAE-lRgThat’s pretty convincing.

Sadiq Khan After Terror Attack: ‘Our Strength Is Our Diversity’. “Look, I’m mayor of the greatest city in the world, and one of our strengths is our diversity,” he told reporters shortly the attack by Usman Khan, a convicted radical Islamic terrorist who had been freed from prison on a tag after serving less than half of a 16-year term, which left two dead and three injured.

What was the diversity of the dead?

The Day After: Thanksgiving as Microcosm

franklin turkey

Our dysfunctional society revealed through a holiday.

MoveOn.org Ruins Thanksgiving by Issuing Talking Points to Teach Your Family about Impeachment. The left’s war on holidays continues with left-wing MoveOn.org issuing instructions to its pink-hatted rabid resisters on how to “talk to your family about impeachment” over Thanksgiving dinner, complete with an inspirational video. They offer step-by-step instructions on how to alienate and anger everyone in your family by turning a nice dinner into a political clown show.

Universities Teach Students How To “Decolonize” Their Thanksgiving. “By taking a decolonizing approach to teaching about Thanksgiving, teachers and families reject the myths of Thanksgiving and harmful stereotypes about Native peoples,” Professor Lindsey Wieck wrote in an article for Medium in which she encouraged parents to send letters to their children’s schools to “advocate for a more inclusive approach to discussing Thanksxxgiving.”

The Horrible History of Thanksgiving. Like so much of American history, the story has had its least attractive features winnow away — white people have been centered in the narrative and all atrocity has been politely papered over.

Five Times PETA Tried to Guilt Americans Out of Eating Turkey on Thanksgiving. Every year, the activist group uses a variety of methods on social media to guilt meat-eating Americans out of enjoying a succulent and juicy Thanksgiving staple, urging them to opt for an alternative vegan option instead. This year was no exception.

And then there’s this:

That time Benjamin Franklin tried (and failed) to electrocute a turkey. “I have lately made an Experiment in Electricity that I desire never to repeat.”

~ Sinon

 

A Thanksgiving Reader: Did Thomas Jefferson really hate this holiday?

Thanksgiving

Here are some observations on this Thanksgiving Day.

Be Grateful for Everything—Even the Tough Stuff. In the Discourses, Epictetus says, “It is easy to praise providence for anything that may happen if you have two qualities: a complete view of what has actually happened in each instance, and a sense of gratitude.” On the surface, much of what we’re upset about or wish hadn’t occurred is so objectionable that gratitude seems impossible. But if we can zoom out for that more complete view, understanding and appreciation can emerge.

Thanksgiving for Dummies…Sorry, I Mean College Professors. As every contemporary school child knows, the first Thanksgiving took place in 1621, when our Pilgrim forefathers took a break from slaughtering Indigenous Peoples to invite them to dinner and infect them with smallpox, before embarking on their mission to fry the planet so that the world would end on Jan. 22, 2031. (Copyright: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)

Thomas Jefferson’s Complicated Relationship with Thanksgiving. Ever since Jefferson first declined to mark the day in 1801, rumors have swirled that the third president despised the event. But it was more complicated than that. For Jefferson, supporting Thanksgiving meant supporting state-sponsored religion, and it was his aversion to mixing church and state that earned him a reputation as America’s only anti-Thanksgiving president. For Jefferson, it was more important to maintain a strict separation of church and state than to cave in to the public’s love of giving thanks.

The assault on Thanksgiving. An elementary school principal in Massachusetts has banned all fall holidays, saying they are insensitive.  Anne Foley, the principal at Kennedy School in Somerville, Mass., sent an email to teachers warning them about celebrating Thanksgiving.  Foley wrote, “When we were young we might have been able to claim ignorance of the atrocities that Christopher Columbus committed against the indigenous peoples.  We can no longer do so.

Recently Pardoned Turkey Found Dead After Claiming To Have Dirt On Hillary Clinton. A turkey recently pardoned by President Trump was found dead after claiming to have dirt on the Clintons, sources at the FBI confirmed today. The official cause of death was suicide, though the bullet wounds were in the back of the turkey’s head.

~ Rodomont

The Reporters: Bureacrats, Chicken, Dreamers

typewriter-hemingway

Dispatches from leading journalists:

A Troubling Picture of Bureaucrats Who Think They Run U.S. ~ Sharyl Atkinson

In the public impeachment testimony against President Trump each of the Democrats’ witnesses of the past two weeks appeared to me to be well-intentioned and hard-working, and seemed genuinely to believe they know what’s best. But a picture also emerged of U.S. diplomats who appear to believe they, rather than the U.S. president, have the ultimate authority to determine our foreign policy. And if the president doesn’t go along? He clearly must be wrong — in their view. Or, even worse, he’s a traitor. He’s to be obstructed. Taken down.

Chick-fil-A Put an Obama and Hillary Supporter in Charge ~ Daniel Greenfield

Chick-fil-A’s announcement that it was dumping the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which have come under attack by gay activist groups, caught Christian fans of the fast food chain by surprise. It shouldn’t have if they had been paying attention to CFA’s corporate structure. The donations were coming out of the Chick-fil-A Foundation. The Executive Director is Rodney D. Bullard, a former White House fellow and Assistant US Attorney. He was an Obama donor, and, more recently, had donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign while at Chick-fil-A.

FISA alterations Could Pose Trouble For FBI ~ Sara Carter

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s anticipated report will reveal that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Application warrant was tampered with but the significance of that cannot be understated. It means that Horowitz’s discovery will discredit the bureau’s handling of its investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election and it could make any information discovered during the course of seeking approval for the FISA and after ‘fruit of the poisonous tree,” according to numerous sources who spoke to SaraACarter.com.

The Surveillance Century: Who Should Own Your Data? ~ Richard Fernandez

You may object that this and many other forms of security come at the expense of individual privacy, but this has been going on for a long time. Back in 2013, the Washington Post reported that “both the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are said to have been secretly mining data directly from the servers of at least nine top U.S.-based technology companies… this was all done since 2007 under a highly-classified program dubbed ‘PRISM.'” Almost everyone, it seems, both attacker and defender, has been reading the public data.

100,000 Dreamers Have Been Arrested—Murder, Rape ~ Corruption Chronicles

More than 100,000 illegal immigrants who requested a special Obama-era amnesty for adults who came to the U.S. as children have criminal histories, according to an alarming report released this month by the government. Offenses committed by the illegal aliens seeking protection, benefits and rights under the policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) include murder, rape, weapon and assault charges. DACA has shielded nearly 800,000 illegal aliens under the age of 31 from deportation and allowed them to obtain work permits and drivers licenses. Obama launched the outrageous measure through executive order in 2012 to help children who came to the U.S. “through no fault of their own.” The Trump administration tried to end DACA in 2017 but open borders groups sued to keep it going and now the Supreme Court is set to decide the matter.

~ Gangrel