Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Is it me, or is this just...sad.

Giant Pink Bunny – Artesina, Italy - Atlas Obscura



The French have been threatening this briar patch for decades. 

They just can't get the Germans to pay for it.

Of course, neither can we.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Some progressive contrarian thought for Juneteenth


This article from The Forward What really happened on Juneteenth — and why it’s time for supremacists and their
sympathizers to surrender
  reminds me of a comment someone, who was something of a lefty-political operator in the 1960s and 70s, used to say about the idea of an MLK holiday.

She said: "It will just let some goo-goo liberals think that they have actually done something about race."

But  my mother would have appreciated the coda of this article:

[W]hat happened in Galveston on June 19, 1865, is that Gen. Granger arrived to forcibly liberate Black people from intransigent slaveholders who everyone knew were free.

That’s the true history of Juneteenth — along with a message that somehow has eluded the South and their white supremacist inheritors today:

You lost the damned war. Surrender already.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

What's "hoppen", Cora

 I received a clipping from my mother's mother, Eudice Bernstein -- the
original Yuie (as she shares a cognomen* with my daughter Eugenia) -- in 1978.

     Arthur Weyne's** sister used to take the Avenue A bus from 10th
     Street to Houston almost every work-day morning. "At Fifth Street,"
     he recalls her telling him, "almost every morning, a short, frowzy,
     chunky shlump of a woman would be waiting for the bus and board it
     with groans, glowers,protests, and have exertions. She carried
     bundles -- always. They were of a clumsy dimension, varying sizes
     and divers degrees of vulnerability; there were never fewer than

     "She always paid her fare grudgingly, then flopped into a seat at
     the front, sometimes commandeering one with an authority no one
     ever disputed, and sat there frowning, creaking and giving off
     emanations of menace. Since she had started her cascade of
     complaints on the step of the bus, and went on from her seat,
     haranguing the driver: he stopped too far from the curb; the step
     was much too high; the fare was unreasonable; he drove like a wild
     Indian. She went on beyond Houston, so my sister never knew whether
     she ever stopped caterwauling.

     "One day in April, as my sister's bus was approaching Fifth Street,
     she was relieved to see that Complaining Cora -- as of course she
     known: her name was Cora -- was not at the curb. But a woman was
     waiting for the bus, and the driver stopped to take her on. Lo and
     behold! -- my sister insisted this was the only way to express it --
     the woman was Cora: bundleless, dressed in a lovely frock, a
     flowered hat and long white gloves. More startling than her costume
     was her face. She was beaming -- pleasant, jovial, gay.

     "Cora didn't merely board -- she made an entrance. She paid her
     fare, even the coins tinkled gaily. Then the startled passengers
     began to call out, 'Is that you, Cora -- really you?' The driver
     pulled the bus to the curb, stopped and faced her, 'What's
     "hoppen", Cora?'

     "'Nothing is "hoppen"', she said, as though proclaiming an
     amnesty. "'Today is Shakespeare's birthday.'

--Lawrence Van Gelder New York Times,
The Living Section, page C2, June 27, 1979.

*Look it up
**A writer, editor and Jewish author.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Recharging the smuggness field

Washington Ranked Top State In Latest U.S. News Rankings | Seattle, WA Patch

 You know, when you dig down, you have to wonder at this report.  (US News has never been a favorite source of mine.)

Washington is ranked 4 in education -- ignoring the low per pupil spending, anyone who has dealt with the school systems, or read the recent comments about neglect and poor outcomes by the Washington State Superintendent, would have to wonder.

Infrastructure, ranked 3rd in the nation.  This is with enough deferred maintenance on our roads -- such as needing to consider the closure of our largest N/S Interstate to retrofit 40 years of repairs, and a collapsing bridge to W Seattle -- warnings about the poor earthquake preparedness of our overpasses, sewage systems that have failed to handle rains for the last 3 out of four years, and an insecure major airport.

That US News -- which has traditionally be conservative -- like our fiscal stability rating of 4 might just reflect their dislike of income taxes.  They rated Alaska 1 in that category -- and you should see how low oil prices have resulted in massive cuts.  We still haven't recovered services to the level of pre-2008.

Given the behavior of out state Sheriffs towards protestors and farmer workers, or having the largest police force in the state still be under Federal supervision, it is hard to see how crime and corrections are as high as 19th.

If we could only monetize the smugness.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Parler Using Right Wing Russian Servers

I tracked this information back to Reuters (Parler partially reappears with support from Russian technology firm), and so think it's Kosher.


Now, my  limited understanding of surveillance law leads me to believe that any internet traffic coming from outside the US is legally much more open to eavesdropping by 'law enforcement' -- both national and state.

I also think that a cyber attack on a Russian provider would not necessarily be a crime under US law.  

Amusingly, their new provider is DDOS-Guard which has "has worked with other racist, rightist and conspiracy sites that have been used by mass murderers to share messages, including 8kun. It has also supported Russian government sites."