The Intolerance of Liberals.

Rob Tornoe.

Rob Tornoe.

PZ has a post up about yet another person who found it terribly necessary to do the rounds of the Trumpholes, to discover their “reasoning.” Why anyone does this is a mystery to me, unlike the so-called reasoning of those who support the Regime. I’ve heard it all, from those who have one pet issue, such as being rabidly anti-choice, and who sided with the Tiny Tyrant over that, in spite of possibly disliking other aspects, because it’s worth it, those who think anything is worth it to get back at those filthy liberals, those who actually think Trump is anti-establishment, those who quiver in fear over every shadow, and those who simply agree with all the racist, bigoted, sexist shit which makes up most of Donnie’s mind, and so on.

One of the most common plaints of the Trumphole is just how intolerant those awful lefty liberals are, calling racists racist, and so forth. As a lefty liberal, and worse, a dyed-in-the-wool hippie, I take issue with being called intolerant. I don’t like it, because it isn’t accurate. To tolerate something means you display forbearance, you put up with something, with either good or sour grace. You permit, or allow something, doesn’t mean you like it at all. I wouldn’t say I’m so much intolerant of Trumpholes and their never-ending whines of justification for horrible views, as I am non-accepting. Nonacceptance is much more accurate when it comes to describing my attitude and feelings. Acceptance involves favourability and approval. There’s a big difference between “Oh, I tolerate Jane” and “Oh, I accept Jane.

I do not accept bigotry, sexism, or hate. I do not want any of those to have a place in my life, heart, or brain. I reject such ugliness outright, and I will reject it no matter how many justifications someone tries to wrap them in. There’s simply no excuse to hold onto such hate, and tying yourself into knots in an attempt to make it sound reasonable isn’t going to work. I simply will not accept it. If you’re busy trying to make bigotry sound somehow palatable, yes, I’ll point out that you are being a bigot, because that’s the truth. If you somehow think you have the key to making sexism right and proper, I’ll point out that no, you’re wrong, and you’re still being sexist. And so on.

Every single day, I read many many lots of articles, in order to be informed, and to be able to blog, and much of what I read is not to my taste, to say the least, but I tolerate it, in order to be informed. Every day, I manage to tolerate Trumpholes enough to be aware of their always full font of hateful froth. So, y’see, it’s not accurate to say I’m intolerant. It is accurate to say I’m non-accepting.

So Much For An Investigation.

Nunes, speaks with reporters outside the White House on Wednesday following a meeting with President Trump. CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais.

Nunes, speaks with reporters outside the White House on Wednesday following a meeting with President Trump. CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais.

House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) claims to have evidence that President Donald Trump was surveilled after all.

During a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday, FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers both said they know of no information supporting the president’s allegation. They also confirmed that President Trump’s connections with Russia are under investigation. On Wednesday, however, Nunes called a press conference and said he “recently confirmed that on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition.”

He framed his claim as big news.

And there’s a problem. It’s not big news. It’s not a vindication. It is obstruction of justice, which Nunes doesn’t seem to be overly concerned about.

But incidental collection isn’t uncommon when American citizens are in touch with foreign agents. Leaks regarding Michael Flynn’s talks with the Russian ambassador were what led to Flynn’s ouster as Trump’s national security adviser, because they confirmed that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence regarding the substance of those talks.

Any intelligence report detailing communications between Trump transition officials and foreign agents would be classified. But instead of bringing whatever information he has to the attention of the intelligence community, Nunes addressed reporters and then headed straight to the White House to inform the target of an ongoing FBI investigation.

[…]

After talking to the president, Nunes again faced the media and contradicted himself about what his evidence means, saying in the same breath that it both supports and refutes Trump’s wiretap allegations. He was also evasive about where the alleged surveillance occurred, who it targeted, and what form it took.

Yes, that happens when you don’t have evidence, and you simply make shit up out of whole cloth.

On MSNBC, Jeremy Bash, former chief of staff for the CIA, said he’s “never heard of a chairman of an oversight committee going to brief the president of the United States about concerns he has about things he’s read in intelligence reports.”

“The job of the committee is to do oversight over the executive branch — not to bring them in to their investigation or tip them off to things they may have been looking at,” Bash added. “I’ve gotta believe other members of the committee are horrified at what they just witnessed.”

I certainly hope someone other than all us reading about this are horrified. This is not on the same level of Keystone farce the rest of the regime show has been, this is very serious, and it should be taken seriously, and be investigated properly.

In a statement, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Community, released a statement saying that whatever information Nunes has “should have been shared with members of the committee” before the president was informed.

“The Chairman also shared this information with the White House before providing it to the committee, another profound irregularity, given that the matter is currently under investigation,” Schiff said. “I have expressed my grave concerns with the Chairman that a credible investigation cannot be conducted this way.”

I fully agree. It remains to be seen if a proper, credible investigation can even take place inside the big ol’ circus tent which used to be a government.

As chair of the Intelligence Committee, Nunes is currently overseeing the House’s investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia.

Right. An oversight chair who is going to go running to the press with nonsense every 5 seconds, and while busy decrying leaks, running off to leak to the Tiny Tyrant at every opportunity.

Think Progress has the full story.

Bobby Yeah.

Okay, having a moment to go through this list, I watched Bobby Yeah, which I hadn’t heard of, being under my rock. It’s wildly creative, and I recommend it, but if you are at work, maybe save it for later, the film is a more than a bit, uh, fappy in nature. Oh, and watch full screen if you can. It’s also on youtube, if you have trouble with Vimeo.

Cybercrime? Missing and Exploited Kids? Who Cares?

Secret Service members wait with a motorcade before President-elect Donald Trump disembarks his plane in Hebron, Ky., on Dec. 1, 2016. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post).

Secret Service members wait with a motorcade before President-elect Donald Trump disembarks his plane in Hebron, Ky., on Dec. 1, 2016. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post).

The Washington Post has an in-depth look at just how much the Tiny Tyrant is costing in protection. We already know the cost of his constant weekend mini-vacations, at over three million a pop; the unbelievable cost of attempting to protect all of Trump Tower in New York City because the wife and kid refuse to move to Washington, and the constant and mounting cost of following the other Trump kids all over the world, as they attempt to con people out of money.

The Secret Service has requested that additional funds be directed their way, to try and offset the enormous cost. It’s not likely to be approved by the Tiny Tyrant, so the money will have to be found elsewhere. The Secret Service doesn’t just protect the current inhabitants of the white house, it also investigates things like cybercrime, and missing and exploited children cases. It rather looks like those things won’t be investigated much now.

The U.S. Secret Service requested $60 million in additional funding for the next year, offering the most precise estimate yet of the escalating costs for travel and protection resulting from the unusually complicated lifestyle of the Trump family, according to internal agency documents reviewed by The Washington Post.

Nearly half of the additional money, $26.8 million, would pay to protect President Trump’s family and private home in New York’s Trump Tower, the documents show, while $33 million would be spent on travel costs incurred by “the president, vice president and other visiting heads of state.”

The documents, part of the Secret Service’s request for the fiscal 2018 budget, reflect the costly surprise facing Secret Service agents tasked with guarding the president’s large and far-flung family, accommodating their ambitious travel schedules and fortifying the three-floor Manhattan penthouse where first lady Melania Trump and her son, Barron, live.

Trump has spent most of his weekends since inauguration at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, and his sons have traveled the world to promote Trump properties with Secret Service agents in tow.

Go have a read, and see just how much your pockets are being picked.

$50,000 to Meals on Wheels, Just A Stunt.

Colin Kaepernick -- via Facebook.

Colin Kaepernick — via Facebook.

Colin Kaepernick recently donated $50,000 to Meals on Wheels, a fine thing to do in these dark days. That wasn’t Sarah Palin’s view though, who called it a “political stunt”.  Huh. I’d call it helping people.

Sarah Palin complained about Colin Kaepernick’s latest “political stunt” — and got absolutely roasted on social media.

The failed vice presidential candidate and former half-term governor of Alaska posted a link early Wednesday to her own website, which published an article on Kaepernick written by Mary Kate Knorr.

Unfortunately, there will be no evisceration of said article, because it has been scrubbed. If there is one thing that Palin did learn, it was to immediately remove all evidence of her idiocy upon the first wave of criticism.

The free-agent quarterback donated $50,000 to Meals on Wheels, which could lose its federal grant — which makes up more than 35 percent of the program’s funding — under the budget proposed by President Donald Trump.

Kaepernick angered conservatives last year by kneeling during the national anthem to protest police violence against black Americans, and Trump has claimed credit for the player remaining unsigned after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

“And he wonders why he can’t find a job,” Palin posted on her Facebook and Twitter accounts, along with a link to the story about his donation.

My first thought was the same as many of the Twitterati: “when the hell is Palin going to find a job?” Seems that these days, spreading your ignorance all about is a job, of sorts.

Twitter users heaped scorn on the political celebrity, whose website complained that reports about Meals on Wheels losing its federal funding were “misleading.”

It’s true that Meals on Wheels is not directly funded federally, however, it does receive federal funding, which is very important in keeping it going. You can see the tweets at Raw Story.

What Is It About Wisconsin?

Rep. Glenn Grothman (YouTube).

Rep. Glenn Grothman (YouTube).

Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Glenn Grothman…is there some pool deep in the wilds of Wisconsin that tosses out empathy-devoid politicians? Grothman has decided that it is very necessary to cut federal aid to students because … goodies. Yep, goodies.

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) complained Tuesday during a congressional hearing that low-income students are spending their Pell Grant funds on commercial goods that he deems unnecessary, reported Inside Higher Ed.

“I know in many ways in this country we hate the middle class,” Grothman said. “We love the rich, we love the poor and we hate the middle class.

Wait, wait, wait, wait. “We” love the poor? Since when has anyone or anything rethuglican demonstrated a love for poor people? The constant efforts to strip every teensy safety net is love? Yeah, definitely Nineteen Eighty-Four here.

People wonder why — sometimes they use the Pell Grants, too, for goodies and electronics, and they resent the fact that by doing it right, their kids are penalized.”

Uh, most middle class kids have all the goodies and electronics, y’know. I realize it’s probably been a hundred or so years since Mr. Grothman has seen the inside of a classroom, but these days, it’s rather important to have those goodies and electronics. Things do change over the years, sir. I’m still a bit at a loss over just what constitutes “goodies”. Computers and phones are pretty much standard equipment these days, and quite necessary in pursuit of your education.

Grothman complained that poor students were given grant aid that he believes is largely subsidized by the middle class, and he said those taxpayers are resentful that their own children must take out loans to pay for their education.

He “believes”? How about some evidence? That would be good. You aren’t supposed to govern based on your opinion.

“People get tired of the American government hating the middle class, and they have to kick in for their kids’ programs, so their (own) kids have to take out loans,” Grothman said. “Well, the kids from some other families seem to get things for free.”

Oh gods. Yet another fucking idiot who doesn’t have the slightest idea of how things work, or just how damn difficult it is for kids in poverty to attain college, or how hard you have to work to get a grant in the first bloody place. No recognition of all those kids who don’t make the cut for a grant, either. Of course, if America was the kind of country that actually gave a shit about its citizens, an education wouldn’t cost much, if anything, at all. Other countries have such a system, and they have smart, happy, productive people. Oh, but that would be socialist, oh no! And yes, to fund such a system, you have to pay taxes, but it is to the benefit of everyone. Here in Amerikka, if the bloated military budget was brought down to be in line with most other countries, you wouldn’t even have to raise taxes by much. You could educate a whole lot of peoples with that money. This would also mean completely overhauling the fucked up college system here, too. Much better to just make sure poor kids can’t ever get in.

He suggested first-year students should be ineligible for Pell Grants so the government was not “wasting money” on students who won’t graduate.

“At least have, for your freshman year, have the kids who aren’t in the middle class take out loans like the kids in the middle class already have to,” Grothman said. “That way you could make sure that everybody was going to college after are more serious about college. Do you think that would be a fair thing to do?”

No, I don’t think that’s fair at all. No one should have to go into debt to get a fucking education. That is something a government should provide. Insisting poverty ridden students get into equal debt of their middle class peers is not fair. And why do I have this feeling that what you really mean by “students who won’t graduate” are women, who are only in college to husband hunt, because of course they don’t want an education, no.

Grothman also claimed he had “anecdotal evidence” that Pell Grants, which are allocated based on financial need, discourage students from getting married so their income remained low enough to qualify for aid.

“If you don’t get married, of course, it’s easier to remain in poverty and not get Pell Grants,” he said. “I’ve heard it from several people.”

AAUUUUGGH NO NO NO. That’s it – it’s more than obvious Grothman had no fucking education whatsoever, and any fucking idiot who uses anecdotal evidence as if it means something – that should immediately disqualify you from the job. What. A. Fucking. Idiot.

Via Raw Story.

How to Play With Your Food.

gaku-fruit-vegetable-carving1

an apple, also carved with a variety of Japanese patterns (wagara).

an apple, also carved with a variety of Japanese patterns (wagara).

 

a pattern that resembles the traditional Japanese asanoha floral pattern, carved into broccoli.

a pattern that resembles the traditional Japanese asanoha floral pattern, carved into broccoli.

Oh, how I wish I was talented in the carving/sculpture department. If I had sprogs though, I’d think this might be fun family time, let’s have fun carving up our veg before we cook it and eat it!

Japan has a rich tradition of food carving called mukimono. If you’ve ever eaten at a fancy restaurant in Japan you might have found a carrot carved into a bunny, garnishing your plate. But in the hands of Japanese artist Gaku, the art of fruit and vegetable carving is elevated to a new realm of edible creations.

One constraint to carving fruits and vegetables is that sometimes you must work fast. The moment a peel is removed, oxidization will start to discolor your artwork. So, depending on the variety, Gaku’s carvings are probably created within several minutes. Armed with a tool similar to an x-acto knife and a fruit or vegetable from the grocery store, Gaku carves intricate patterns that are often inspired by traditional Japanese motifs.

Gaku points out that the banana is great fruit to practice with because it’s cheap and easy to carve. When asked what he does with all his creations after he’s done, his reply is simple: he eats them. “Except for the banana peel.”

You can see more of Gaku’s creations on his instagram account.

Via Spoon & Tamago.

Word Wednesday.

Words1Glaucous

Adjective.

1 a: of a pale yellow-green color. b: of a light bluish-gray or bluish-white color.

2: having a powdery or waxy coating that gives a frosted appearance and tends to rub off.

– glaucousness, noun.

[Origin: Latin glaucus, from Greek glaukos gleaming, gray]

(1671)

Suddenly, a wave of very big rats, with glaucous eyes and lips drawn back from shining ridges of teeth, came boiling out of the darkness.” – The Wicked, Douglas Nicholas.

And, some other nifty color words:

Murrey / Perse / Cramoisy

 
Murrey, noun: a purplish black: Mulberry. [Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French muré, from Medieval Latin moratum, from neuter of moratus mulberry colored, from Latin morum, mulberry.] (15th Century).

Fastened to his surcoat was a brooch worn as a badge: a silver disk inlaid with murrey-colored enamel, against which the white fountain of Blanchefontaine stood out, rendered in raised silver.” – Something Red, Douglas Nicholas.

Perse, adjective: of a dark grayish blue resembling indigo. [Origin: Middle English pers, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin persus.] (15th Century)

Cramoisy: adjective: of a crimson colour. noun: crimson cloth.

[Origin: French cramoisi, from Spanish carmesi, from Arabic qirmzi, equivalent to kermes.] (1375 -1425)

She took the cramoisy gown from his hand and folded it, and then held the perse up against herself, looking down at it.” – Something Red, Douglas Nicholas.

Oh. Must. Have.

ghibli-kaonashi-piggybank-2 ghibli-kaonashi-piggy-bank-top

Spirited Away is one of my long standing comfort movies, and who doesn’t love Kaonashi (No Face)? I absolutely must have this.

OMG guys — Studio Ghibli is releasing a Kaonashi coin bank!

The official name of this why-hasn’t-this-been-done-sooner contraption is Spirited Away Kaonashi Musha-Musha Coin Bank. And it’s a coin bank (we can stop calling them ‘piggy’ banks, right?) modeled after the Kaonashi character, also known as No Face, from the beloved 2001 film Spirited Away.

Similar to the way that great Itazura Kitty Coin Bank worked, it’s activated when you place coins on the sake saucer. Kaonashi’s arms then raise that saucer to its mouth and your coins fall into the depths of its stomach. It even makes that “ah” sound when it’s activated, and then burps once the movement is complete.

It’s set to go on sale online and at Donguri Kyowakoku shops, the official retailer for Studio Ghibli goods, on May 20, 2017 and will retail for 4800 yen.

Eeeeeeeeeeee. Must. Have. Via Spoon & Tamago.

Horses Of Course.

I have a backlog of submissions I’m slowly getting posted, but serendipity strikes, and I have two horse submissions, very different from one another. We start with the amazing and beautiful art of painting resin horse models, thanks to Kestrel. This is time consuming and difficult work. This isn’t a type of art where the artist gets to simply go with flights of fancy, the object here is intense realism. One such artist, Mindy Berg, has her latest up for auction, and it is a beauty!

Sky1

Sky2

Sky3

I am so very proud to formally introduce to you my newly completed Lucius resin, sculpted by Emilia Kurila. Lucius needs no introduction.. but in case you have not seen him before he is one of the most coveted resins in the hobby (for good reason!). Made from a small edition, he is one hard resin to find, either painted or unpainted. This particular copy has been with me since the start of the edition, and it has taken me since then to complete his coat. Now we all know that time doesn’t necessarily equate to quality, but, I do want accentuate the fact that I have taken my time on this piece with no holds barred, and allowed myself to boldly go where I have not gone before…

Introducing Skywalker. Destined for great things, in this horse I aimed for the stars. He is by far the most detailed and complicated pattern I have ever attempted. Skywalker was painstakingly hand painted in oils, with each tiny hair a stroke of a minuscule brush, and there are thousands upon thousands of tiny hairs. There is a great reason that this technique is not commonly employed! Although a beautifully effective way to create realistic coat patterns, it is an incredibly slow process. Acrylics and pastels, and some pencil, were also sparingly used in his creation as well. He is an example of what I can create without time constraints, my painting “magnum opus” to date.

Then we have some photos from rq, of an interesting place visited for a work event, which also had a horse. I think it would make a cool cabin. They should have made the tarse large enough to slide down! Click for full size.

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