What’s In A Name?

My weekend is here at last….I can slink away from the PC and do some interesting stuff….like spend time with my granddaughter……and today’s post is a subject that has been bothering me now for a couple of years.  Winter storms.

Have you noticed that winter storms have names now?  Names like Abe, Bertha, Carl, Darian and so forth.  Why?  These storms have always had a name and an easy one to remember….WINTER!

I wondered who’s idea it was giving these things names….at first I thought it might be something the insurance companies came up with for they are always looking for ways not to pay out settlements.

But I was mistaken.

In 2012, The Weather Channel announced that it will be naming “noteworthy winter storms,” just as tropical storms are named. “The fact is,” writes Tom Nizioli on The Weather Channel’s website, “a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation.”

According to The Weather Channel’s logic, there are many benefits that come with assigning names to winter storms. A name gives the weather system a personality, which raises both awareness and the ability to follow its progress through social media. A name allows for clearer communications when multiple storms hit different areas of the country. Plus, naming a storm makes it easier to remember that storm—and refer to it—in the future.

There you have it….NOTHING official……only something the Weather Channel wanted to make their jobs easier and to make the dullness of a weather report a bit more interesting.

Saturday in the park……have some fun and a picnic…a little wine, cheese and fruit…..enjoy the day ….chuq

Only With My Wife

It is no hiding the fact that I think there is too idle bullshit in the news…..why do I need to know the Janet Jackson will have a baby or how many times Kanye is a dick or even whatever Beyonce is doing…I DO NOT CARE!

Toward the end of last week a story surfaced about our second in command, Mike Pence and his wife…..

The marriage of Mike and Karen Pence came under the media spotlight this week thanks mostly to one line in a Washington Post profile of Karen: “In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.” That has triggered scorn and ridicule from the vice president’s critics, while his defenders accuse those same critics of hypocrisy. Here’s a look:

  • The Post story by Ashley Parker describes how Karen, 60, is her husband’s constant companion and his “gut check and shield.” Among its tidbits: “During their time in the Indiana governor’s mansion, the Pences installed twin treadmills upstairs in their residence.” Read it in full here.
  • The 2002 article from the Hill doesn’t appear to be online, but this tweet has the opening paragraphs, including a Pence quote: “If there’s alcohol being served and people are being loose, I want to have the best-looking brunette in the room standing next to me.” He said it’s about “building a zone around your marriage” and avoiding even the appearance of impropriety.
  • The idea of a man not dining alone with another woman is often known as the “Billy Graham rule” among evangelicals, explains the Indianapolis Star.
  • One common line of criticism: “As someone who grew up Evangelical, wouldn’t say it’s standard exactly. But indicative of notion that women are primarily sexual temptresses,” tweeted writer Elizabeth Spiers.
  • Another: “If Pence won’t eat dinner alone with any woman but his wife, that means he won’t hire women in key spots,” wrote Clara Jeffery of Mother Jones.
  • Stephen Colbert couldn’t resist. See the video and skip to 4:20.
  • But Rod Dreher at the American Conservative sees hypocrisy in the negative reaction. “Were the Pences Orthodox Jews or practicing Muslims, nobody would have batted an eye. But they’re Evangelical Christians, so that means it’s open season on tearing them apart.”
  • At the Atlantic, Emma Green writes that the arrangement might seem crazy and even misogynistic to non-religious people, but not so to evangelicals, and “the dust-up shows how radically notions of gender divide American culture.”
  • Matt Lewis at the Daily Beast says this is the Pences’ business and nobody else’s. The backlash reveals “not just an irreverence for the devoutly religious (or traditional)—but also an intolerance for individual autonomy.”

Let me say here…I do NOT give a shit about his marriage or their religious beliefs…..

None of this is newsworthy!

This an indication of how frivolous news reporting has become ….if there is nothing to report then stop throw crap out there just go home and take a nap.

This is a waste of ink!

Could Bitterness Be The Answer?

Another Sunday has arrived and there is absolutely nothing of interest in the news……that is of interest to me….I really do not care about celebs or some whack-a-doodle with a match…..so what could be the topic for today’s post?

How about something about Russia?  I mean we have not had enough Russian stories these many weeks, right?

We all are aware of the supposed influence of the Russians in our society….but has anyone really asked why would they give a crap?  Really?  Has anyone asked that one simple question?

We have heard it all with the Trump connection or the Albanians are coming….all the sensationalism around the topic.

But I believe I may have hit on the “real” reason for their anger……Alaska.

It seems some Russians are still pissed that the US bought Alaska…nay some say stole Alaska…..

Thursday marked the 150th anniversary of Russia’s sale of Alaska to the US—and in honor of the occasion, the New York Times takes a look at Russian attitudes toward the sale. Turns out some Russians are pretty bitter about it, claiming that Russia would be even stronger today if the country had kept hold of Alaska and its vast natural riches; the Times notes that the issue is an especially sensitive one given the current battle for influence over the Arctic. Even Vladimir Putin recently weighed in on the matter, saying Thursday that “what the US does in Alaska, it does on the global level.” He said he’s especially concerned about the US developing a missile system there.

The Russians, who started to settle Alaska in 1784, sold it less than a century later amid fears that Britain might seize it or Americans might overrun it if gold were discovered there. For the US, the deal meant a closer trade position with China and increased protection of the West Coast from the British, although of course there were some who called the $7.2 million purchase ($125 million in today’s dollars) “Seward’s folly.” (William H. Seward, then-US secretary of state, signed the deal with Russia.) For the indigenous people of Alaska, the anniversary brings mixed emotions; Alaska’s Native peoples were mistreated by both the Russians and the Americans. Professor William L. Iggiagruk Hensley, a descendant of Inupiaq Eskimos, takes an extensive look at the deal and its impact on Alaska’s Native peoples at The Conversation.

There you have it….the REAL reason Russia is pissed.

Now we can leave the rest of the crap to the speculative dicks with the networks……you now know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Now go enjoy your Sunday and have a good day…be well, be safe…..chuq

Son Of The Pen

The weekend starts with a bang…….some moron drove his car into a neighbors house…the bedroom to be exact….fortunately the occupant had gotten up to pee….ergo the “big bang”…..

On to bigger things…..

The title was given to me by a friend in Syria many years ago….because I was constantly writing notes, papers and analyses….he said that I was linked to my pen in some mystical way…..ergo I was the “son of the pen”…..

I have been writing for about 50 years…in the beginning I took notes then wrote out the piece in long hand using a fountain pen….I chose the pen because I liked the way it wrote and my penmanship was much better with the fountain pen over a ball point.

I still take many notes before I wrote a post for IST and I am still using a fountain pen…they are harder to find these days and ink is even harder…I must use the internet to find the inks I desire there are NO stores in my area that sell bottled ink because kids would buy it for home-made tattoos.

I bring all this mundane stuff up because a regular here on IST, O Lado Escuro Da Lua (Dark Side Of The Moon),  turned me onto another post about the history of the fountain pen and I liked it and thought I would share…..

Source: History: The Fountain Pen | O LADO ESCURO DA LUA

It was a reblog from the original……

The idea of writing instruments designed to carry their own ink supply had been a theoretical idea, but it was not until the beginning of the 1700’s, that the theory was being put into practice.

The first fountain pen was designed by M.Bion a Frenchman in 1702, but it was more than a 100 years later in 1809. When American Peregrin Williamson, patented his design in 1809.

Source: History: The Fountain Pen | Roger Bussey

Since I love history I found this a fascinating piece…hopefully others will also.

I have had several custom made fountain pens by a friend in Washington state….

The “press” is a piece I wrote about my craftsman…the photo is an olive wood pen he made for me……

Olivewood Fountain Pen

Source: Jeff Ward, American Craftsman – In Saner Thought

Sadly Jeff has stop making pens for now…hopefully he will start up again in the near future.

That ends my post for today….I will enjoy my Saturday after a good chuckle at the knuckle head that ran into a house…..sad that this brings joy to my eyes…..I have so little amusement in my life other than reading Right wing blogs….tee hee

Please everyone have a good day….be well, be safe….chuq

Is This Some Sort Of Mental Torture?

I have watched the antics in Washington since the election that brought our man in DC to power….and when I say antics I mean just that.

We have had the Russia thing (will not go there) and the words and actions of those that Trump has designated as his advisers then there is his Tweet storms that are anything but cogent and on to his family with the run of the White House and finally the mental midgets that are the “voice” of the administration.

All in all it seems like something out of a PsyOps manual a form of mental torture…….lulling the population into some sort of sense of normalcy which in reality is anything but normal.

So is it a form of mental torture?

The White House occupants also remain steadfastly committed to wreaking havoc on our mental states. As Republicans pushed an insurance bill that would have done lasting damage to Americans’ mental and behavioral health well-being, clinicians reported the psychic wages of the Trump war against U.S. citizens.

Source: 5 ways Trump is mentally torturing us now

I know he, Trump, has his supporters but surely even they see some sort of mental imbalance within the confines of his administration.  Most see it but refuse to admit it.

Where is all this hectic BS going?  What does all this mean for the democracy or republic or whatever you want to call what we have in the US?

The election of Donald Trump has triggered as much wonderment abroad as it has in the United States. David Runciman, a professor of politics at the University of Cambridge, has written in the London Review of Books a provocative reflection on the nature of democracy in the age of Trump: “Is this how democracy ends?” There is much to praise in his essay, including his heavy qualification that we really don’t know for sure if what we are seeing is the end phase of mature Western democracies since we do not have the appropriate historical precedents to be certain.

Runciman is correct; as an admirer of Karl Popper, I believe that there is no such thing as historical determinism, either in the form of the Marxist dialectical process, or in the guise of its mirror image, the invisible hand of laissez-faire. Accordingly there is no surefire way to tell in advance whether Trump, Marine Le Pen or Geert Wilders would spell the end of democracy as we have known it. History, as Popper would tell us, is an open system, full of contingency. Waterloo, the Battle of Britain and Stalingrad were all close-run things.

Source: Maybe this is how democracy ends

What if anything does the future hold?

Events as they are happening do not beam a fresh light of sanity on our politics.

We Are Back To National Security

The latest terrorist attack in London has us Americans again thinking about national security…..we will put some of the insanity aside and start ranting on about protecting ourselves from the coming range war with terrorists.

Our security will depend on the federal budget…who gets what and who gets cut….all paths lead to the national security….if true how does this new proposed budget look on that front?

US President Donald J. Trump’s draft budget, which proposes to increase defense spending by slashing funding for the US Department of State and foreign aid, would imperil national security efforts and weaken the US stance on the world stage, according to two US lawmakers—one a Democrat and the other a Republican.

“You cannot balance the budget on the back of discretionary spending,” said Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA). “If [increased defense spending] comes at the expense of the State Department, it’s not a recipe for success; it’s a recipe for making our national security weaker.”

Source: Lawmakers: Trump’s Budget Will Weaken National Security | RealClearDefense

Money could be a problem with our security but what about the policies that the money will fund?

The recent North Korean missile tests raise questions about contradictions in President Donald Trump’s national security policies. During his campaign Trump implied that the United States should fight fewer wars overseas and demanded that US dependents, Japan and South Korea, do more for their own defense, perhaps even getting nuclear weapons. Yet a recent article written by David Sanger, a national security reporter for the New York Times, noted that Trump had tweeted that North Korean acquisition of a long-range missile “won’t happen” and that his administration was considering preemptive military strikes on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs or reintroducing US tactical (short-range) nuclear missiles into South Korea, which were removed twenty-five years ago. So which is it – demanding US allies do more or ramping up America’s efforts to make them even more reliant on American power? And this is not the only Trump policy contradiction.

Source: Inconsistencies in Trump’s National Security Policies by — Antiwar.com

We need to hold our national security in the same arms that we hold some of our outdated beliefs.

National security policies will effect us all….we should pay closer attention and stop worrying about the midgets in this world.

Monthly “Assie” Award–March 2017

It is the last Sunday of the month and time to announce the monthly winner of the IST Asshat “Assie” Award.

March was a tough month for it was full of morons rattling off the most anal statements I have heard in awhile.  But after much deliberation we have chosen the winner.

(Drum roll….trumpets flair…..and the peasants dance)



He just could not hold his tongue…he opened that mouth and out fell a load of manure.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has long been a friend to the European far right.

King embraced language that is incendiary even by his corroded standards. In a tweet once again supporting Wilders — who is in the final days of his latest bid to become prime minister of the Netherlands — King said: “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

It wasn’t immediately clear who King meant by “somebody else’s babies,” but white nationalists have used similar language to suggest that America needs more white people of European descent, and fewer Muslim and Latino immigrants.

Congrats Rep. King for your award….an email of this post will be sent to his office in Washington.

Keep in mind that there will be 11 monthly winners and in December I will ask my readers to pick the annual winner….hopefully all will join in the fun.

Remember if you see or read something that would fit into this award please let me know and I will give my reader credit for its discovery.  I would like this to be an IST readers award….please help out if you can.

Thanx everyone for your participation and hope to see you guys next week…..please have a great Sunday and enjoy your day.