Sunday, April 30, 2017

American Health Care Act: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

This is the one in which Jason Chaffetz said to afford health care maybe people shouldn't be blowing money on iPhones.  The distance between such people and any real humans is so vast as to make it pointless to try to bridge it.

This is one of his best since there's so much smoke flying about as an explanation but John Oliver cuts through all of it.

This AHCA failed a few weeks ago but it's still germane since, as Ryan has done repeatedly, he's rolling it back out again as AHCA 1.00001.  In fact, he's rolled it out so many times over the last eight years the corners of the pages should be dog-eared by now.

There's nothing more to it than just another giveaway to the rich at the expense of the poor.

The savagery of Paul Ryan's bill is the clear opposite to the problem stated in Science earlier today.  Obamacare won't kill America but the lack of income mobility will.  (Ithaka:  Improving Rates of Absolute Income Mobility - Science)

Social dysfunction increases as a function of the disparity in wealth between classes in a society so there can't be any other consequence of exacerbating the disparity than increased social dysfunction.  There's abundant science on that matter.

It's also a fact the perception of the attractiveness of large backsides increases with lower income levels.  That Kim Kardashian is so huge in that regard and is apparently popular gives some indication of how much the size of the lower income class has increased.

Ed:  so the health of the economy is spoken best by whether the Beautiful People have fat backsides?

Yes and short skirts are another indication.  As the economy falls, typically the length of women's dresses gets longer.  The mini skirt came during a time of relative prosperity but there's nary a mini skirt to be seen now.  The rise and fall of skirt length has been observed to correlate well with the current status of Wall Street and the economy.

Note:  there is science to corroborate both of the above contentions but I'm not going to go diving Google for it.  The interested student is invited ...

"Going Up Up the Country" 1970 | Canned Heat

The video is cool and it's crap at the same time.  As to why it's crap, look for evidence of any cables or wires on the stage while they perform.

There were no radio transmitters for instruments in 1970 or if any did exist they were so rare as to be of no consequence.  It was still years before those became common.

It doesn't look it but the video has got to be lip-synced.  The flute player is happening but the singer looks so wasted he can hardly feel his feet.  And why not since what a shitty gig being called to do a lip-sync set.

Even so, it's Canned Heat and not one of the bands you have heard a zillion times already.

How about another one with Vanilla Fudge.

Ed:  he would die on "American Idol"

There was no "American Idol" back then and instead we had real bands.  "American Idol" didn't give you anything since it was much better when the bands were stars.

What's Hot on the Blog 4/30


Kylie Jenner - it seems if there's something on which we all agree it's that no-one likes Kylie Jenner

There's Goth - but without a Raven on a Subway, how Goth is it really

Improving Rates - excellent to see interest in this one and the next move is to fix the problem

Foxy Lady - Tal Wilkenfield is so much not just a studio musician and she impresses the hell out of the Rockhouse

Go to Coachella - but you can find love ... or something at the Stagecoach

Elon Musk - the man is such a blazing genius and this presents some of his ideas

How Can Food - the photograph must make sense somewhere but not in the Rockhouse

One of America's - Shriner clown cars are an immensely cool thing and the article goes into why but it's not a long scribe

Fox Makes - the 'tornadoes ripped Texas' news is tiresome crap since the worst of the tornadoes yesterday wasn't that far from here and we didn't see or hear anything; it didn't even storm

RC Kalinin K-7 CCCP | 6m Wingspan and 7 Motors | Kulmer Air Show 2014 | Pilot is Rainer Mattle

The Rockhouse really gets off on twisted aircraft, especially the old-timey ones when no-one believes they can fly or ever flew, for that matter.

The Rockhouse is still puzzled about why the best in RC aircraft seems to be coming from Germany.  One thing's for sure from that; if they ever start building weaponized drones, we're all screwed.

The Kalinin K-7 was real and it did fly ... plus it was an enormous aircraft with roughly the wingspan of a B-52 but it was built in the early 30s.

Check out the size of the people by that pod at the bottom for landing.  This is one gigantic aircraft and it must have been so cool up there on the flight deck.

The Kalinin K-7 never made it to full production and there were rumors of sabotage after a crash which killed fourteen flight crew.  The sabotage wasn't by America but was rumored to have been done by Tupolev, another Russian aircraft manufacturer which dominates to this day.  Check it out in the WIKI: Kalinin K-7

For the Total Trivia Nutjobs, you may notice some similarities between this aircraft and the flying wings which were flown by Wings Over the World in the movie, "Things to Come."  It's the flight deck which reminds me the most of that since they were much like flying observation platforms as well.

That the aircraft was actually real is astounding to me but what did they know back then.  That flight deck probably felt like the state of the future at the time.

Jeremy Clarkson Explains Jaguar Owners

Like him or not, he's got Jag owners pegged.

And it's not a bloody 'jag-wire' ... wtf kind of pronunciation is that since it matches no known language.  There are three bloody syllables in the word and try to invoke all three of them if at all possible.

Richie:  it's ok if I do it ... because ... I've got a Jag.

Thanks Jeff Merkley for his 100 by 50 Act | Our Revolution

Our Revolution


Over 200,000 people joined the People's Climate March yesterday in Washington. Activists from every community and walk of life joined together in a sit-in around the White House to demand that the Trump administration end our nation's reliance on the fossil fuels that are eroding our very way of life, especially in communities of color and low-income areas. We're seeing it happen with the Dakota Access Pipeline, Keystone XL, and other fossil fuel projects, and people have had enough.

We have an alternative to the backwards thinking of the Trump administration. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon has introduced the “100 by '50 Act” in the US Senate, and already has the support of Senators Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, and Cory Booker.   The bill not only would halt construction of Keystone XL, DAPL, and other fracked gas pipelines, but invest in the technology and jobs to rapidly advance us towards 100% clean, sustainable energy independence by 2050.

I spent time at the Oceti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock, and the ugly truth is that the fossil fuel industry will do anything to protect their profits. They will lie to the public, cheat the political process, and steal land from the Standing Rock Sioux and anyone else who stands in their way by violent means.

Their allies in Washington are many. The Secretary of Energy sits on the board of directors for the company constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Secretary of State spent his career leading ExxonMobil. The head of the EPA made his career as a politician filing lawsuits against the agency he is now trying to dismantle from within.

We will preserve this planet for my generation and those to come -- whether Donald Trump likes it or not. Thank you for taking action with me.

In solidarity,

Shailene Woodley
Board Member
Our Revolution

Mixed Improvement in the Midwest

Any improvement translates more accurately to a reduction in horribility but that still counts since the morning had been brutal for Yevette this week.  The chemo does significant damage to the esophagus and that caused quite a bit of pain but there is blessed sleep on the weekends and that gives her some chance for a bit of recovery.

Note:  do not read chemo as one size fits all as there's no telling which chemo drugs would be indicated for your situation and they're not all the same.  Yevette's reaction has been harsh but this is not necessarily an indication of how things will go for you.

This part is all-out Mother Goose and I try not to do something she does which bugs me no end in asking whether there's anything else I need.  I told her that too and she laughed.

Don't underestimate the number of laps back from the Rockhouse part of the place back to where she hangs since Mother Goose don't got nothin' on me.  The trick is getting the right read to be sure I'm not pushing anything.  The dead worst thing I can do is blow sunshine at her since she just needs a bit of support and she even apologizes for her inability to do it herself.  It's ok to blow some sunshine at that part since this isn't about apologies, girl.  No chance this was your fault or you chose it.

I like to think I bring a bit more patience than Tactical since he can get a bit gruff and he would go through the roof if he knew the temperature in the place ... but ... jet down, cowboy.  I'm not setting the thermostat for me but for her and she specifically asked.

Usually she is the first one who is displeased over the temperature but times change and it's set to 85F just now.

This is not so much of a horror story as it seems since we're going into the last week of this now and there won't be any chemo in it so the effects of it will mitigate as we get more into it.  Plus I get my stitches out tomorrow so that's a peach since the itching will drive anyone demented.  I'll likely ask Yevette to pop off a snap of it since you will probably be amazed at how quickly the scar fades.

One more week and then graduation.  It's only six weeks back that we got the word:  chemo and rad in two weeks.  Be there.

Of course that seems like a lifetime ago now but it really hasn't been that long.

If you're taking notes, the ganja was of no use to her since the smell of it nauseates her.  In pill form it might be helpful but I have no personal knowledge of its efficacy.  I'm a great fan of the ganja but I'm not going to pitch anything if I don't know it's true.

Note:  it does not make her feel 'nauseous' since that word means you nauseate other people.  It's correct to say you feel nausea or you feel nauseated.  Look it up and see for yourself.  I've known that for some while and it amuses me whenever I hear the expression since there's only one reaction I would get for correcting anyone:  you make me nauseous.

There are no Pollyannas running about and we know nothing is ever over but logic and all available evidence indicate the chances of remission are high.

Hopefully at least some of you have learned something since I sure know I did.  If you have been hanging with it through the series than a hat tip to you since it's been tough going but hopefully beneficial to someone to get a better idea of how it really goes.

One more week and out.  That simple knowledge sustains her with, yes, I can hack it.

There hasn't even been a hint of boohoo, why me.  There hasn't even been a tiny peep of that.  She doesn't think she's tough but you may well find you're tougher than you think.

Improving Rates of Absolute Income Mobility - Science

The research will confirm something you likely already know or suspect but which is usually dismissed immediately as Socialism by those who choose to ignore the fact of it. (Science:  The fading American dream: Trends in absolute income mobility since 1940)

Aspiring to do better than one's parents

The American dream promises that hard work and opportunity will lead to a better life. Although the specifics of what constitutes a better life vary from generation to generation, one constant is that children expect to do better—or at least to have a good chance at doing better—than their parents. Chetty et al. show that this dream did come true for children born in the middle of the 20th century, but only for half of children born in 1984 (see the Policy Forum by Katz and Krueger). A more even distribution of economic growth, rather than more growth, would allow more children to fulfill their dreams.

- Science

Restoring the income distribution across a wider segment of America isn't emulating Russia but rather that would be emulating America ... back when things were more fair.


We estimated rates of “absolute income mobility”—the fraction of children who earn more than their parents—by combining data from U.S. Census and Current Population Survey cross sections with panel data from de-identified tax records. We found that rates of absolute mobility have fallen from approximately 90% for children born in 1940 to 50% for children born in the 1980s. Increasing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates alone cannot restore absolute mobility to the rates experienced by children born in the 1940s. However, distributing current GDP growth more equally across income groups as in the 1940 birth cohort would reverse more than 70% of the decline in mobility. These results imply that reviving the “American dream” of high rates of absolute mobility would require economic growth that is shared more broadly across the income distribution.

- Science

Science provides a link for the interested student.  Science:  The fading American dream: Trends in absolute income mobility since 1940 (Full)

The research confirms the basic premise that trickle-down economics never did anything and we don't need an editorial on that but we do need action toward an economic solution which is sound for the entire country rather than just a small segment of it as exists now.

Note:  you will find the articles in Science somewhat more terse in presentation than with Science Daily but the depth is there just the same.

Source of the Shriner Clown Cars Has Been Located

Go-Kart World makes just about any kind of kart to minicar you could possibly want and we specifically want Shriner clown cars.

They definitely make Shriner clown cars and they're most pleased to do it.

These vehicles look completely ridiculous but they pack impressive features and that means you won't find an inexpensive one.  The Rockhouse is estimating an easy ten grand to get yours and maybe up to fifteen.

There's probably not much you can do with such a vehicle except roll it in Shriner parades but that's one outstanding reason to do it when you consider what Shriners do.  (Ithaka:  One of America's Coolest Things: Shriner Clown Cars)

Mini Car Options

  • AM/FM CD Player with Speakers
  • 3 Speed Engine with Reverse
  • 6" Alloy Wheels
  • 6.5 HP Engine
  • Carpet
  • Chrome Front Bumper
  • Cut Out Windshield
  • Electric Start Engine
  • Emergency/Parking Brake
  • Deluxe Interior
  • Disc Brakes
  • Differential
  • Front Inner Fender Wells
  • Full Floorboard
  • Gear Reduction
  • Headlights
  • Heavy Duty Body
  • Heavy Duty Chassis
  • Horn (Air, Aoogah, Standard)
  • Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • Live Axle
  • Opening & Closing Doors (32 Roadster)
  • Parking Lights
  • Power Antenna
  • Rack & Pinion Steering
  • Removable Steering Wheel
  • Roll Bar
  • Tail Lights
  • Torque Converter (Must have Live Axle)
  • True Ackerman Easy Steer
  • Turn Signals
  • Wood-grain Steering Wheel
  • Custom Options Available

I am Goth ... Because It's Always Raining Somewhere

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A cosplay enthusiast takes part in an event in Subang Jaya

Photograph: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

I'm Goth because 
it's always raining somewhere
especially in my heart
but you are special
even when I know
you will ruin my life
and it will hurt
but what is life without pain
except a never-ending rerun
of "The View"

It's a Family Affair at the Sub-Machine Gun Booth at the NRA Convention

Atlanta, Georgia

National Rifle Association members visit exhibition booths at the 146th NRA annual meeting

Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Redneck Husband:  you know, honey, we don't have much money, we dress like the Salvation Army clothed us, and we have three kids now but I don't feel anyone questions my manhood anymore so we need a submachine gun for, um, defense or something.

Redneck Wife:  oh?  You must think these kids are yours.

Go to Coachella or Find Love in a Stagecoach

Indio, California

Festivalgoers kiss during the Stagecoach country music festival

Photograph: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

It may not be love, darlin', but it'll do for now.

Lookin' for love in all the wrong places is so wimpy and pitiful since what we're wantin' is finding love in all the wrong places.  Now you've got the basis for a country song.

I met you at the Stagecoach
it was such a great place to fuck
You stomped all over my feelings
but you'll never get my truck

I'm going back to Abilene
blah de blah blah

I cain't help it.  Country music is in my soul.

Vault7 Reveals CIA System for Finding Leakers ... and Doesn't Work Worth a Damn

It's so easy to hack the CIA that people visiting America often go to Langley to watch the CIA leaking and then go to Disneyland to see Mickey Mouse.  These have become favorite options for visiting tourists.

Now the CIA has even leaked its leak detector for the ultimate Keystone Kops spy comedy.

There's been a parade of leakers at the CIA / NSA with Edward Snowden being one of the most famous but he's far from the only one.  The CIA / NSA has always made a business of leaking fake news but now it's the best since they're being busted by their own crooked techniques.  Sheer genius.

Donald Trump has his bullshit Loyalty Day tomorrow and that should be hilarious at the CIA where they probably know better than anywhere else this Loyalty Day is just a cheap knock-off of the Fourth of July and Memorial Day just like Sweetest Day is a cheap knock-off of Valentine's Day which was a cheap commercial hustle to start.

The CIA isn't being hacked since there's no need when the place is so leaky you just have to wait for whichever information you want and you will get it for free.

No-one is paying any attention to Loyalty Day since it's only for the rich.  May Day, as always, is global and it's for the people.

Donald Trump is going to get a whole lot more of his phony Loyalty Day than he ever expected.

RT:  May Day to have immigrant tilt as workers plan to protest against Trump

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their allies will be marching on the streets and striking on May Day for the annual workers’ protest. The march is expected to be the largest in years because of the activist energy galvanized by Donald Trump.

A coalition of immigration, labor, racial justice, gender equality and LGBT groups have come together for the May Day protests, which are traditionally led by unions and other labor groups.

- RT

There is loyalty, alright ... but it's not for Donald Trump nor will it ever be for his kind.  They're parasites and their credibility is shot completely to hell.  Loyalty requires truth and the CIA wouldn't know truth if they were bitten on the ass by it.

There's Goth ... Then There's Goth with a Raven on the Subway

Twitter:  Max Sparber  / @maxsparber

Between nothingness and death
I sit with my raven
who will pick my bones
when I am gone
I love you

It's Art, Damn It ... Popsicle Art

I had a dream

of a popsicle

a lot of popsicles

a lot of big fucking popsicles in different colors

and melting all over

in a room white walls

and an aircraft hanger ceiling with a concrete floor

Industrial popsicles

It all just says the future to me

Ed:  some dream of sugarplums

and some dream of popsicles

Ed:  is the world going to keep getting stranger?

Definitely.  Wouldn't have it any other way.  Care for a popsicle?

Two More from White Trash Mount Rushmore Go to the White House

Ted Nugent, the greatest guitarist who has ever lived or will ever play in the future, is already scheduled for the White Trash Mount Rushmore and so is Sarah Palin for their ludicrous performance in the White House some weeks ago.

Unknown if Kid Rock gets a spot since he just looks like he's waiting for a bus.

All class, all the time.

Ted Nugent was too pissed about his nomination for the White Trash Mount Rushmore and he gave a sermon which would even make Martin Luther King cry ... from laughing.  You don't have to change a thing to make Ted Nugent funny; you only have to watch him.

Now we have two more since they were giving white power hand signals from the White House.

Yahoo:  Two members of alt-right accused of making white supremacist hand signs in White House after receiving press passes

They're obvious white trash, right?  Let's make them legends at White Trash Mount Rushmore.

Ed:  wtf?  I thought that sign meant OK?

Yah, so did I.  Apparently now it means I hate black people.  The New World is getting highly confusing.

Ed:  now if I give an OK signal to a black man maybe he's going to punch me

I doubt it but what is he supposed to make of this buggy bullshit.

Ed:  White Trash Mount Rushmore for whomever wrote the article?

I'll second that.

Fox Makes it Seem Like All of Texas Was Hammered by Tornadoes

Fort Worth is in the middle of Texas and they have been promising rain all day but it didn't start until about an hour ago.  There was a little thunder and some lightning in the distance but nothing much happened.

Texas is a gigantic state and this headline is rubbish.  (Fox:  Texas severe weather: At least 5 killed, dozens injured after tornadoes rip through state)

Some places got whacked but a whole lot of places didn't see anything.  Tornadoes rip no matter what else they do and some parts of Texas got ripped but most didn't.

There's not much more dramatic than a tornado anyway so what motivates the pundit rubbish monkeys to try in their amateurish ways to dramatize it further.   It ripped, they cry.

Of course it ripped.  It's a fucking tornado.

The tornado that struck Canton grew to up to a half-mile wide as it teared up a 40-mile path, also hitting Fruitvale and Emory, KXAS-TV reported.

- Fox

Well, how about that ... it 'teared up' ... this is not Texas dialect; this barely qualifies as English.

Here's video of a 'tornado near Dallas' yesterday.

Fort Worth is near Dallas at about forty miles for the longest path to get there to reach VA but it's closer just to reach the city.  We never heard anything of a tornado warning and no warning was posted via the Weather Service.  I have a program running at all times for immediate updates on weather because it can be so volatile here but there was nary a peep.

Maybe the video gives some perspective since that wasn't from here and it brought hell to wherever it touched but it's nothing like a hurricane since we didn't feel anything even when we're relatively close.  This wasn't some freak thing since it happens a lot due to the frequency of tornadoes around here.

I've lived many years in fo' real tornado country in Ohio and Texas.  I've seen big ones whack Cincinnati but not terribly hard while the same ones destroyed Xenia which is not far away.  I have not seen them yet in Texas but they happen frequently and Fort Worth has been whacked hard in the past.

The main thing you know with the tornado is when that twistin' sumbitch is not close or headed your way then it doesn't matter.  It sure matters a lot to someone else but they're so localized they can whack your house but not the one next door.

In the Rockhouse view, it minimizes the pain felt in the areas which were affected by these tornadoes by spreading it all over the place and especially when that isn't true.  People died in those places and their property is wrecked while here in Fort Worth the only concern today has been about the caregiving and there were no external upsets.

The Rockhouse has no philosophy about tornadoes except duck.  Get into a ditch.  Getting muddy is better than suddenly learning how to fly.

Ed:  that's philosophy?

Talk to me about it when you're not dead after a twister ... or stay in your car and find out how far it can fly.  Lotta people get killed that way.  A tornado can easily pick up your car and throw it into a highway overpass.  It's not uncommon and good night, Irene.

For a big enough twister, you're probably screwed if you're not in a shelter ... but a mile down the road, they won't feel anything more than a thunderstorm.

The Rockhouse plan is simple because of course it is.

Head for the bathtub.

Yevette gets into it first and I somehow clamber above her while pulling anything close over me.

That sequence is in case the house collapses since that seems to get her the best chance of remaining non-deceased.

It's still the same for a big enough one, tho.  Welcome to Oz.

You don't need to try to add any drama to a tornado.  It's already there.

For Once, Kim Jong-un Gets it Right

Although Bad Haircut Boy has said and done some incredibly stupid things, part of it is because he's being selectively hassled by America and he makes an accurate observation:

North Korea has accused Israel of being the “only illegal possessor” of nukes and threat to peace in the Middle East

RT:  Pyongyang slams Israel as ‘disturber of peace armed with illegal nukes under US patronage’

Ed:  Israel doesn't shoot them into the Med to terrorize others!

Thanks for the fish, Bullshit Boy, but the matter is about possessing the nukes in the first place and it's accurate about US patronage since that runs to the tune of many billions of dollars annually.

© Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Donald Trump will probably send the Mormon Tabernacle Choir next as part of his siege against Best Korea but Kim Jong-un just laughs and he launched another missile a couple of days ago.

North Korea is the most outspoken about being fed-up with American aggression and interference so America jumps their bones and does nothing about Israel ... except send the country piles of money.

That just makes perfect sense.

In an interview with Hebrew news site Walla this week, Avigdor Lieberman stated that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un is a “madman” in charge of a “crazy and radical group” which is “undermining global stability.”

- RT

Apparently Lieberman still thinks there's anyone who believes Israel is not doing that too.

Start the countdown until someone throws the favorite fish about anti-Semitism as if that has one damn thing to do with this.

For that Missing Link, Take a Look at a Bonobo Ape - Science

Usually chimpanzees are regarded as our nearest primate relative but there are significant differences in musculature which make that idea improbable relative to the bonobo ape which is more similar to human.  (Science Daily:  Bonobos may be better representation of last common ancestor with humans)

A new study examining the muscular system of bonobos provides firsthand evidence that the rare great ape species may be more closely linked to human ancestors than common chimpanzees.

Credit: © Uryadnikov Sergey / Fotolia

At first I wasn't sure which kind of ape is in the picture but here's another Bonobo.

Previous research suggested this theory (i.e. Bonobos are the closest) at the molecular level, but this is the first study to compare in detail the anatomy of the three species.

"Bonobo muscles have changed least, which means they are the closest we can get to having a 'living' ancestor," said Bernard Wood, professor of human origins at the GW Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology.

- SD

The relationship with Bonobos is excellent because they are reported to be having sex constantly.  Straight sex, gay sex, any kind of sex, and they're at it and the nearest possible partner will do just fine.  Humans are the same since we will have sex just because the pattern of those clouds says yes to me.

Ed:  there's an oversexed gene?

At the Rockhouse, we're guessing there's a lot of 'em.  What happens with humans after they have sex.  Yep, they want to do it again.

Ed:  ok, so there's a do-it-again gene.  What else?

Unknown.  We're just weeping for the ethologist who will have to log endless hours taking notes while watching bonobos fuck.  I'm sure there are many reasons to go to Africa but that would not be the Rockhouse first choice.