Blog Heap o'Links for May 2014

Links in this view: 57

US Military

US flag

Going above the call of duty, two San Diego police officers pushed Gilbert Larocque nearly two miles home after his 300-pound motorized scooter broke down on a busy road. … 67-year-old whose legs were injured when he worked as a door gunner in the Army… "You wouldn't expect them to do something like that … push you all the way home…. I appreciate what they did. They went out of their way. How many people would stop?"

5:31pm CDT Fri 2014 May 30 :MW

Being Human

“While one of our crews was shopping at Costco, wearing our camouflage shirts to honor the military, they received a 911 call and had to leave their cart of food and run out to the engine. After returning to the store to pay, a military wife paid for the entire cart and left this note. Whoever did this, we are forever grateful and your kind gesture will not be forgotten,” the Vacaville Firefighters Association wrote on Facebook.

5:37pm CDT Fri 2014 May 30 :MW


Red star with hammer and sickle

Military collaboration — check… Financial collaboration — check… Collaborative aggression and war pacts — check and double-check. It would appear these two Communist regimes are just not ‘into’ the US any more. I can’t help but think under any half decent Presidency, the US would now be on a war footing.

5:20pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

Theory of Education

Communist star

Cass Sunstein, Obama’s former regulatory “czar” and one of the smartest and most devious thinkers on the left… reports that recent curricular reforms in China, explicitly designed to transform students’ political views, have mostly worked. … The crucial finding from the study is that the new curriculum greatly affected students’ thinking. They became more likely to count the Chinese political system as democratic. They displayed a higher level of trust in public officials. They were more skeptical of free markets, and more likely to reject the view that a market economy is preferable to any other economic system….

5:38pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

Political Theater

Stacey Dash’s arrival as a Fox News personality was predictably met with hate and vitriol… Dash is handling it with good humor and class though. "I think I have 'token' and 'clueless' trending today! Yea @twitter! Seriously, thank you all for well wishes."

6:20pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

Nature can be Deadly

An Oklahoma man has died after acquiring the Heartland virus, making him the second person in the U.S. to die after coming down with the illness… found in the lone star tick and is likely spread through tick bites… Symptoms include fever, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, loss of appetite, nausea, bruising easily and diarrhea. There is no vaccine or drug to prevent or treat the illness.

3:09pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

Digital Criminal

Hackers apparently based in Iran have mounted a three-year campaign of cyber-espionage against high-ranking U.S. and international officials, including a four-star admiral, to gather intelligence on economic sanctions, antinuclear proliferation efforts and other issues. … "What they lack in technical sophistication, they make up in creativity and persistence."

3:24pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

Impeach Obama

Tired O

Experts in the world's only settled science were shocked as dramatic new evidence has emerged that climate change is much worse than even the most dire forecasts had predicted.As President Obama visited the US Military Academy at West Point to give a commencement address that could only be described as "awesome," his speech received what a state-approved and licensed CNN journalist termed an "icy reception." …

7:40pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW
Scary O

A 2010 Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities details what critics say is a troubling policy that envisions the Obama administration’s potential use of military force against Americans. … outlines presidential authority for the use of military arms and forces, including unarmed drones, in operations against domestic unrest. …

3:31pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW


…19-year-old who held his breath while driving [through a tunnel] and fainted, causing a three-vehicle crash on U.S. 26 that injured four people….

3:03pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

Transport Future

how computer geeks can enable the electric car, save the planet and millions of lives using near-term A.I. to make taxis and trucks deliver, park, recharge and drive themselves.

5:44pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

[Some good, and maybe not so good, discussion of pros and cons of Driverless Cars in Ace of Spades morning comment thread 2014 May 29. Some selections follow.]

No steering wheel or brake? What could possibly go wrong?
—Zombie John Gotti

It can only go 25 mph. They haven't made a driverless car, they made a driverless golf cart.
— nnptcgrad

Very cool news overall. I can wait to put the taxi cartels out of business.

It's basically the same as turning every car into public transportation… no government would allow the software of a driverless car to not have a 'back door' to allow them to control it.
— chemjeff

Why not? We have a driverless country!
—Cicero Kaboom! Kid

3:18pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

…researchers hooked study participants to a cap containing dozens of electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes, sat them down in a flight simulator, and told them to steer the plane through the sim using their thoughts alone. … Seven people underwent the experiment… all were able to pilot the plane using their thoughts to such a degree that their performance could have satisfied some of the criteria for getting a pilot's license.

3:08pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

Google Inc. has designed its own self-driving vehicles… The vehicles will initially have a top speed of 25 miles per hour and won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal or brake pedal

3:06pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

Spiritual Matters

Pope Francis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traded words on Monday over the language spoken by Jesus two millennia ago.

"Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew," Netanyahu told Francis, at a public meeting in Jerusalem in which the Israeli leader cited a strong connection between Judaism and Christianity.

"Aramaic," the pope interjected.

"He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew," Netanyahu shot back.

3:01pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

It's All in Your Mind

The Military Is Building Brain Chips to Treat PTSD… DARPA wants to reach deep into your brain’s soft tissue to record, predict and possibly treat anxiety, depression and other maladies of mood and mind…

3:27pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

Animal Culture

Mr. G the Goat and his female friend Jellybean the Burro are truly inseparable. … They were rescued from a life of neglect in Southern California, but they were split up and sent to different sanctuaries. “What we didn’t realize, is the depth of their bond….” [Video]

3:00pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

US Military

Cutie-Pie O GWB

Even the pundits at CNN had to agree – President Obama’s reception at West Point was nothing short of “icy.” … Compare that to the speech President George W. Bush gave to the corps of cadets in 2008 in his last military academy speech as President… [Videos at link]

5:51pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

The family of a 65 year-old veteran claims that VA police stomped on the veterans head and neck, causing him to suffer a stroke and die several weeks later, a new lawsuit alleges. [First they killed him, then they lied about it.]

3:13pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

Effective Communication

Spend a few hours in San Francisco or Austin and you will meet a host of caricatures who appear to have had all everyday words surgically removed from their brains, a greasy marketing dictionary being installed in their place. These are the annoyingly earnest types who have taken the language of the operating system and applied it to their daily lives — the people who work not in industries but in “spaces.” You don’t chat with them, you “interface.” You don’t go out for lunch, you “aggregate,” and, if the lunch plans go “viral,” you hope that the restaurant is “scalable.”

5:14pm CDT Thu 2014 May 29 :MW

Digital Threat

Windows, broken

It’s hard to explain to regular people how much technology barely works, how much the infrastructure of our lives is held together by the IT equivalent of baling wire. Computers, and computing, are broken. … The number of people whose job it is to make software secure can practically fit in a large bar, and I’ve watched them drink. It’s not comforting….

3:46pm CDT Sun 2014 May 25 :MW

Impeach Obama

A young Michelle Robinson, the future first lady of the United States, may have dated Treasury Department Inspector General J. Russell George at Harvard Law School… George, 49, has testified in two congressional hearings about the IRS's unethical targeting of conservative organizations with special scrutiny after they applied for tax-exempt status…. [2013 May 22]

7:06pm CDT Sat 2014 May 24 :MW

Theory of Education

Riverside Twp, NJ– Two 12-year-olds… allegedly trying to sell prescription sleep pills for $10 a piece to classmates at… Middle School… boys… confessed to consuming them…

6:00pm CDT Fri 2014 May 23 :MW

Pittsburgh… elementary school student… caught smoking marijuana in a school restroom… [4th-graders] were just about to board buses for a field trip…

5:56pm CDT Fri 2014 May 23 :MW

[Plaintiffs] attest that three Spanish teachers and a guidance counselor at the high school indoctrinated their daughters into a cult that "celebrates death,"

5:52pm CDT Fri 2014 May 23 :MW

Police Riot

FBI Special Agent Aaron McFarlane, 41… FBI agent who fatally shot Ibragim Todashev, 27… key figure last year in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation… former [Oakland CA] police officer is collecting $52,488 a year in medical disability benefits from the city even though he has been working as an FBI agent in Boston.

11:49am CDT Fri 2014 May 23 :MW

Disturbing Family Patterns

Vanessa Cullins, vice president for external medical affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said she hopes the future of health care under the Affordable Care Act includes more women using “long-acting” forms of birth control, including intrauterine devices that can cause a fertilized embryo to be aborted.

5:48pm CDT Fri 2014 May 23 :MW

Constitutional Threat


At a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago Thursday night, Mr. Obama told a small group of wealthy supporters that there are several hurdles to keeping Democrats in control of the Senate and recapturing the House. One of those problems… "Obviously, the nature of the Senate means that California has the same number of Senate seats as Wyoming. That puts us at a disadvantage…" [That pesky old Constitution again.]

11:58am CDT Fri 2014 May 23 :MW

Impeach Obama


These subpoenaed documents had been willfully withheld from the Committee and were only turned over after a federal judge ruled against the administration’s efforts to block a Freedom of Information Act request from the organization Judicial Watch. One e-mail in this production showed that White House official Ben Rhodes coordinated talking points for then Ambassador Susan Rice, encouraging an emphasis that the attack was "‘rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy." [Because, in reality, it was rooted in a failure of policy. LINK IS A PDF]

3:32pm CDT Fri 2014 May 23 :MW



“In the last fifty years, evidence has steadily mounted that the components and conditions we believe necessary for life are common and perhaps ubiquitous in our galaxy,” said Werthimer in his written testimony.

“There may even be primitive extraterrestrial life in our own solar system, perhaps on a moon of Jupiter or Saturn. Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, is thought to have a liquid water ocean beneath its icy surface, perhaps a good environment for life as we know it.”

The pair said that although “no evidence exists for the presence of life outside of the Earth”, the sheer abundance of planets – “roughly one trillion in our Milky Way galaxy; three times more planets than stars” – suggests that the universe is “teeming with primitive life.”

3:35pm CDT Fri 2014 May 23 :MW

US Executive Branch

NBC Washington’s Angie Goff revealed a “presidential selfie” with George H.W. Bush, who was clearly “ahead of his time,” as Ms. Goff remarked. February 5, 2014

8:09pm CDT Fri 2014 May 23 :MW

Securing Our Borders

Mex Flag

El Paso police are investigating two mysterious billboards that appeared just off I-10, each with a mannequin hanging from a noose… [One] had Plata o Plomo… silver or lead… usually a warning targeting police or government officials in Mexico… work with a cartel and take a bribe or get a bullet… "[W]e have never experienced this in El Paso,” said police in a statement released to media. “Maybe the problems in Juarez are coming over here,” said Javier Padilla, an El Paso resident. [Oh, gee, y'think? Naw, not with our strong national border President.]

12:05pm CDT Fri 2014 May 23 :MW


The Regressives' Dream [image at link]

8:13pm CDT Fri 2014 May 23 :MW



…a new series of mysterious signals, known as Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), has again got astronomers scratching their heads and wondering if, maybe, we’re picking up alien messages….

5:21pm CDT Wed 2014 May 21 :MW

Spiritual Matters

When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11)

7:12pm CDT Wed 2014 May 21 :MW

Animal Culture

Not only did the leopard seals not attack as some predicted they would, they fed me penguins, followed me around, and generally put on a nonstop show.” [Photos at link]

7:09pm CDT Wed 2014 May 21 :MW

Netsurf Flotsam

The Poteau Runestone was found by schoolboys in 1967 near Poteau in Le Flore County, Oklahoma. [Another runestone with old language and some characters backward.]

4:14pm CDT Wed 2014 May 21 :MW
Heavner Rune

The Heavener Runestone is an inscribed stone located in Heavener, Oklahoma… [I'm certainl no expert, but the reasons given for disbelieving its authenticity are 1) the language is older than the times of known Viking exploration of N. America; 2) the writer got a couple of letters backward; 3) No other signs of Vikings were found. Also, 4) other similar stones have been proven to be modern fakes. Hm. Other things being fakes proves nothing. If the language is older, the stone may be too, and whatever wanderer carved his name left no other obvious signs while passing through. And he was slightly dyslexic. I'm not saying it's authentic; I'm saying the reasoning is "we don't want to think it's real, so we'll make up reasons why it's probably not and state them as authoritative."]

4:12pm CDT Wed 2014 May 21 :MW

Lost and Found

A 25-year-old woman who vanished as a teenager from her California home has contacted police after 10 years, claiming she was held captive and sexually assaulted for nearly a decade. …charged her alleged captor, 41-year-old Isidro Garcia, of Bell Gardens, with kidnap for rape, lewd act with a minor and false imprisonment. …Garcia was dating the woman's mother at the time of the kidnapping….

5:53pm CDT Wed 2014 May 21 :MW

People Do Drugs

Hemp leaf

In the laid back California town of sunny San Rafael
Lived a girl named Pearly Sweetcake, you prob’ly knew her well.
She’d been stoned fifteen of her eighteen years and the story was widely told
That she could smoke 'em faster than anyone could roll….
—Shel Silverstein

5:16pm CDT Wed 2014 May 21 :MW

Life and Death

It is somewhat mortifying that the idiocy of this is not immediately apparent to everyone. Did you catch it? Are you smarter than a Washington Post reporter? Do you know that “when human life begins” and “when an embryo implants in the uterine wall” are actually not synonymous statements? I bet you did. Or I bet you could figure that out pretty easily.

1:51pm CDT Mon 2014 May 19 :MW

Science and Government

Light Bulb

How does science work? With science being used as the basis for regulations that are supposed to turn the entire global economy upside-down, and in an age when having science on your side has become a point of partisan pride, allowing some people to condemn anyone who opposes their politics as “anti-science,” we could use a reminder about exactly how science is supposed to work.

1:38pm CDT Mon 2014 May 19 :MW

Dinosaurs - still with us

T Rex

…found seven partial skeletons, amounting to around 150 bones…. "Given the size of these bones, which surpass any of the previously known giant animals, the new dinosaur is the largest animal known that walked on Earth…. Its length, from its head to the tip of its tail, was 40m. Standing with its neck up, it was about 20m high - equal to a seven-storey building." …lived in the forests of Patagonia between 95 and 100 million years ago….

6:38pm CDT Sun 2014 May 18 :MW

Viet Nam War - still with us

Meanwhile he watched the Love Boat merrily steaming over the horizon, firing at the coastline and never missing him for two days. There is not much to do in the South China Sea at 0345…. About 1800 that same day, a Vietnamese fishing boat came by and hauled him out of the water…. One mistake they made was to put him in for a while with Joe Crecca, an Air Force officer who had developed a method of creating the most organized memory bank we possessed to record the names of pilots shot down and imprisoned in Vietnam….

8:38am CDT Mon 2014 May 12 :MW

Mass Media is Dead

“Are these really the questions I was called here to answer?” demanded Callahan. “I called you out for putting ‘blah blah blah blah blah’ on your notepad and now you’re asking me questions like this? Really? Are we talking about this now?

“OK, how about you ask a very serious and respectful question instead of asking a little childish question?”

The committee leader told Callahan he had just asked him about climate change, and he now wanted to give someone else a chance to respond.

“If you’re not going to let me I’m going ask you to leave. That’s two strikes.”

Callahan laughed and said, “Who do you think you are?”

Callahan was then told to leave the meeting.

[YouTube Video]

8:28am CDT Mon 2014 May 12 :MW

Impeach Obama

Frowny O

Triple amputee veteran's letter to Obama:
I’m not placing blame on you for the war, I’m placing blame on you for destroying what we’ve worked so hard to build. You’re not a leader, you’re a community organizer. A leader would have stood up regardless of the situation and put America’s agenda first and that is ensuring a secure Iraq even after 10 years of war. But, you placed Barack first…

8:24am CDT Mon 2014 May 12 :MW



Astronomers believe they have found the sun’s ‘long-lost brother’ – a stellar body born from the same gas cloud as our own star. The researchers claim there is even a ‘small’ chance that this solar sibling could host planets that harbour life. … 15 per cent more massive than our sun and located 110 light-years away in the constellation Hercules…

8:18am CDT Mon 2014 May 12 :MW

Educating Ourselves

Chances are your parents were selfish and didn’t raise you correctly. Like, at least one-third of the people reading this have no idea how to fold a T-shirt. What the fuck is wrong with you? Did you just not show up to that day of life? But it’s OK. We will show you the way.

8:34am CDT Mon 2014 May 12 :MW

Impeach Obama

Cutie-Pie Obama

On Thursday, the White House tweeted a photo of President Barack Obama holding a sign urging people to get health insurance. The pic was basically an open invitation for the Internet to Photoshop the crap out of it. And the web trolls had a field day.

9:04pm CDT Sat 2014 May 10 :MW

Modern Culture

Mexico flag

Happy Cinco de Mayo from the Bluebird of Bitterness (graphic at link)

7:02pm CDT Sat 2014 May 10 :MW

World Without Borders

...World Health Organization announced Monday that spread of polio is an international public health emergency... could grow in the next few months and unravel the nearly three-decade effort to eradicate the crippling disease. ...described current polio outbreaks in Asia, Africa and the Middle East as an "extraordinary event...." first-ever international alert on polio. ...
[Extraordinary.... what could these areas have in common...?]

11:42am CDT Mon 2014 May 5 :MW

Animal Companions

A New Jersey family whose terrier-pit bull mix escaped from their backyard during Superstorm Sandy went to an animal shelter this week to adopt a new pet and came home with their old dog....

12:07pm CDT Mon 2014 May 5 :MW

Transport Law

...She posted her sign right under the DOT's parking sign in her Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, neighborhood and left a spot for people to leave comments.

"The first person wrote like, 'The mayor should hire you. This is great,'" she says. "Things like that."

Projects like Nkki's are part of a growing trend called "tactical urbanism" in which regular citizens using tactics to try to improve the urban environment without the government's help.

[IOW what people outside the Big Dependencies do all the time!]

11:56am CDT Mon 2014 May 5 :MW

Big Whoops Cascade


...The cans of rotten Baltic herring, which had already expanded due to the powerful fermentation gases inside, were heated by the fire and began to explode over a period of six hours. One of the cans flew over an outhouse roof, while another shot over the bay to a neighbour's house....

Several major airlines have banned the fish, arguing they are pressurised goods and must be classified as potentially explosive.

The delicacy is so foul-smelling that it is often eaten outside.

9:35am CDT Sun 2014 May 4 :MW

Spiritual Matters

...twice Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground with His finger, then all her accusers “went away one by one, beginning with the elders.” ...

I got thinking about this again the other day when I figured out that this event occurred on Shemini Atzeret. That is a day that God commanded be a Sabbath-level holy day of rest...."

9:48am CDT Sun 2014 May 4 :MW

People Live

"I am not of the past century, young man, but the other one... I am very old....

"My secret to longevity is a natural diet: I always ate potatoes, goat meat, sheep milk, goat cheese and beans....

"Everything I cook comes from my garden. I never had canned soft drinks.

"I had a very hard life, I was very a young widow with nine dependent children and I worked hard to raise them. Only three of them are alive....

"I wish I still had teeth...."

9:28am CDT Sun 2014 May 4 :MW

Transport Law

...the Obama administration Tuesday opened the door for states to collect tolls on interstate highways to raise revenue for roadway repairs.

The proposal, contained in a four-year, $302 billion White House transportation bill, would reverse a long-standing federal prohibition on most interstate tolling....

12:57pm CDT Sun 2014 May 4 :MW