Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for October 3rd, 2016

Wow! If you like cheese, check out

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Written by LeisureGuy

3 October 2016 at 6:54 pm

Posted in Food

An extremely weird thing for Trump to say—sounds like projection to me

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From Amy Davidson’s excellent column in the New Yorker:

In his first ten minutes in the Manheim rally, he appealed directly to Bernie Sanders voters. But he couldn’t help but call him “Crazy Bernie,” and inform the audience that “we have much bigger crowds” than Sanders had.

In fact, in Manheim, Trump suggested that there was something insane about any scenario in which a person like Hillary Clinton thought that she had the right to seek a high political office. “Now, she’s got bad temperament. She’s got—she could be crazy. She could actually be crazy,” Trump said. He added, “We need somebody who is strong. We need somebody that knows what they’re doing.”

First, he attempts to woo those who supported Bernie Sanders, many of whom, like myself, have great respect for Sanders’s efforts to return government to its mission: promoting the general welfare rather than rolling over for the 0.1%. And the way he chooses to convince Sanders supporters to join the Trump campaign is to tell them Bernie is crazy. I think this is purely and simply and obviously stupid, but it’s a special kind of stupidity: it’s the stupidity exhibited by a person who does not understand the first thing about human personal relationships, and it’s also (along with the later comment) something said by someone who has “being crazy” on his mind.

He obviously is thinking about the possibility that someone is crazy, so it’s very accessible in his mind as he talks, and I imagine he’s thinking about it for a very good reason: his words and actions are being reflected back to him by the media, and over time I think it must become evident even to him how very, very far out of his depth and out of his league he is. Obviously, this is not something a narcissist would admit, but at this point it must be getting hard to ignore the signs that he really doesn’t know what he’s talking about of what he should do, either in his campaign or should he become president: it’s a tiger on whose tail he maintains a weakening grip. His self-deception seems to move further and further into fantasy, with the deceptions obvious to others and harder to accept even for him.

And then think about his demand that “We need somebody that knows what they’re doing.” I think that reveals another thought that is on his mind: he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and that is revealed over and over in his misstatements, vacuous foreign policy utterances, and so on.

I think what we see in his statements is pretty clearly projection. And look at this paragraph, which follow the above quotation:

And, again, his picture of her corruption was made stranger by his presumption of her lack of real agency or original ideas: “Hillary Clinton is merely a vessel for those global special interests trying to strip our country of its wealth, its jobs, its status”—he emphasized that word—“as a sovereign nation.” Beyond the gender implications, the vesseling of Clinton has the effect of making the conspiracy she is supposedly part of sound all the more insidious and far-reaching. After all, the explanation for her wanting to be President couldn’t simply be that she has policy goals of her own. (Trump, at another point in the speech, said of Clinton, “She’s never done anything meaningful.”) In this scenario, there must be something else going on, something involving money and men who were out of sight—foreigners, too.

Emphasis added, and again that’s pretty clearly projection. The high point of his career in real estate turned out to be his ability to make a creditable claim to have lost close to $1 billion dollars in his personal income in one year. He recovered from that debacle by licensing his name to be put on just about anything (from steaks to wine to education-for-profit scams) and also by being a reality show host. You can see where it might occur to him to think about whether one’s life has been meaningful or not. I think narcissism must get its power from severe personal anxiety and negative esteem. That is, in Donald Trump’s ceaseless self-praise, he doth protest too much, don’t you think? Perhaps he continually harps on how very great he is because on some level he knows that if he didn’t say it, no one would realize it.

I’m reminded of Daniel Goleman’s Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception. (Link is to inexpensive secondhand copies.) In the preface he provides an account of a young woman who is deceiving herself and the transparency (to others) of those deceptions. Like deceiving yourself that you’re a foreign policy expert and military strategist, or that you warned before the Iraq invasion that the war was a mistake and would destabilize the Mideast. Probably those work as self-deceptions, but transparent to those who won’t go along.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 October 2016 at 5:25 pm

‘Apprentice’ cast and crew say Trump was lewd and sexist—and pretty overt about it, according to the report

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Garance Burke reports for Associated Press:

In his years as a reality TV boss on “The Apprentice,” Donald Trump repeatedly demeaned women with sexist language, according to show insiders who said he rated female contestants by the size of their breasts and talked about which ones he’d like to have sex with.

The Associated Press interviewed more than 20 people — former crew members, editors and contestants — who described crass behavior by Trump behind the scenes of the long-running hit show, in which aspiring capitalists were given tasks to perform as they competed for jobs working for him.

The staffers and contestants agreed to recount their experiences as Trump’s behavior toward women has become a core issue in the presidential campaign. Interviewed separately, they gave concurring accounts of inappropriate conduct on the set.

Eight former crew members recalled that he repeatedly made lewd comments about a camerawoman he said had a nice rear, comparing her beauty to that of his daughter, Ivanka.

During one season, Trump called for female contestants to wear shorter dresses that also showed more cleavage, according to contestant Gene Folkes. Several cast members said Trump had one female contestant twirl before him so he could ogle her figure.

Randal Pinkett, who won the program in December 2005 and who has recently criticized Trump during his run for president, said he remembered the real estate mogul talking about which female contestants he wanted to sleep with, even though Trump had married former model Melania Knauss earlier that year: “He was like ‘Isn’t she hot, check her out,’ kind of gawking, something to the effect of ‘I’d like to hit that.’ ”

The Trump campaign issued a . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 October 2016 at 5:13 pm

Obama Worries Future Presidents Will Wage Perpetual, Covert Drone War

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Ryan Devereaux and Alex Emmons report in The Intercept:

President Obama warns in a new interview of a future in which a U.S. president could engage in perpetual covert wars “all over the world.” But he claims that the accountability and transparency measures he is instituting will make that less likely.

In the interview, with New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait, Obama expressed agreement with one of the most salient critiques of his drone war, that it risks creating “institutional comfort and inertia with what looks like a pretty antiseptic way of disposing of enemies.”

Obama explained that he had looked at “the way in which the number of drone strikes was going up and the routineness with which, early in my presidency, you were seeing both DOD and CIA and our intelligence teams think about this.”

He continued: “And it troubled me, because I think you could see, over the horizon, a situation in which, without Congress showing much interest in restraining actions with authorizations that were written really broadly, you end up with a president who can carry on perpetual wars all over the world, and a lot of them covert, without any accountability or democratic debate.”

[See update below, in which the White House press secretary says Obama was actually talking about how he felt before he instituted his reforms.]

The president expressed a sense of urgency to rein in these powers that seems particularly appropriate given that both candidates for the White House have indicated receptiveness to intensifying the use of military force abroad, with Donald Trump going so far as expressing openness to killing the families of suspected terrorists.

“By the time I leave here, the American people are going to have a better sense of what their president is doing,” Obama said. “Their president is going to have to be more accountable than he or she otherwise would have been. The world, I think, will have a better sense of what we’re trying to do and what we stand for. And I think all of that will serve the American people well in the future.”

But the one existing transparency measure Obama touts as an example in the interview — the administration’s release of its tally on civilian casualties from drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia — was viewed by many in the human rights community as a farce, largely because it pointed to a death toll far lower than outside observer tallies.

The release, made public on the Friday afternoon of Fourth of July weekend, reported that between 64 and 116 civilians were killed during Obama’s two terms. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, by comparison, has estimated that between 492 and 1,077 civilians have been killed by drone strikes during the eight years of Obama’s presidency.

And critical questions about those operations remain unanswered, such as the circumstances that led to the death of Momina Bibi, a 68-year-old Pakistani grandmother killed in an October 2012 airstrike; or the reason for the attack that took the life of Salim bin Ahmed Ali Jaber, an anti-al Qaeda imam in Yemen a month earlier; or the full story of how American forces came to target a wedding convoy, also in Yemen, a year later, killing 12 people.

Those questions remain unanswered, in part because . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 October 2016 at 4:55 pm

Using shipping containers to build a replica of the Globe Theater

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Amazing, eh? More information in Sharon Lam’s article in Arch Daily.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 October 2016 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Art, Daily life

Red Cross ‘Failed for 12 Days’ After Historic Louisiana Floods

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The American Red Cross at this point seems to be a failed organization, unable to deliver services but still actively seeking contributions. Derek Krovitz reports for ProPublica:

In August, the country’s worst natural disaster since 2012’s Superstorm Sandy hit Louisiana. Flooding killed 13 people and left more than 80,000 homes severely damaged.

And once again, the American Red Cross’ response left local officials seething.

“They failed for 12 days,” the director of a state children’s agency wrote in an email on Aug. 26. He listed a litany of shortcomings: “Food. Donations management. Under staffed.”

Hundreds of Louisiana government documents and emails between officials obtained by ProPublica through freedom of information requests show widespread mismanagement and understaffing at Red Cross-run shelters. Some evacuees went hungry, thirsty and without medical attention as a result.

People at one shelter had “no food or water for 24 hours over the weekend,” wrote the head of a local nonprofit eight days after the flooding began. “A woman gave birth with no medical assistance.” Another day, the shelter served only 195 meals out of 500 because Red Cross workers showed up late.

“People were pretty much just dumped there and forgotten about,” the nonprofit director, Janet Rhodus, told ProPublica. “I just happened to stop in and volunteer and I was appalled.”

State officials shut down the shelter after a week and local nonprofit groups say many area residents are still sleeping in tents, in mold-ridden homes or in their cars.

At the largest Red Cross shelter, inside the Baton Rouge River Center, baby formula was in such short supply that volunteers paid for it out of pocket, state workers found. A truckload of formula was donated by a manufacturer and delivered to a temporary Red Cross warehouse nearby but was left unused for days.

“Red Cross, Red Cross, Red Cross!!!” wrote a deputy to the governor when forwarding a long list of residents’ complaints. In response, another official wrote: “It is a lot to be trying to cleanup their problems as we go.”

The stumbles are part of a long pattern of problematic Red Cross responses to disasters. As ProPublica has detailed, the Red Cross has sharply cut back on local chapters and staffduring CEO Gail McGovern’s decade-long tenure. In a September letter to the government, the ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security said the charity’s “poor performance in disaster response activities across the country has called into question Red Cross’ ability to meet its responsibilities.” And the charity’s troubles in Louisiana this August are similar to complaints aired by local parish officials during a separate round of flooding in March. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 October 2016 at 2:48 pm

Posted in Business, Philanthropy

Hacked Stirling soap samples, with Rod Neep’s Dreadnaught brush and the iKon 102

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SOTD 2016-10-03

The “piece of eight” sliver of dark soap shown in the photo is Texas on Fire. I tried equal parts Texas on Fire and Bay Rum, and the Bay Rum did not survive the Fire. So I tried 1:3 (1 part ToF, 3 parts Bay Rum), which was better—I could then detect the Bay Rum—but finally went to 1:7 (1 part ToF, 7 parts Bay Rum), which produces the sort of fragrance I had in mind: Bay Rum, with a smoke accent.

This is just idle play, trying things out to see what happens. I’m not especially recommending it, just thought it worth trying.

The brush is Rod Neep’s Dreadnaught. It has an enormous knot, which is why I seldom use it. In fact, I think I’ll probably put this one up for auction later this month. This one has a 1984 U.S. nickel embedded in the base of the handle, 1984 being the year I moved to California.

The lather was excellent, and the smoke accent enjoyable, but what made the shave for me was the iKon 102. Right now, having just used it, I would say that it’s my favorite razor: extremely comfortable and extremely efficient, producing a comfortable BBS result with great ease and no problems. I thought it appropriate to kick off the next series of “comfort shaves” with this razor.

A good splash of Stirling’s Executive Man aftershave, and the week is launched. Flu shot planned for today.

Tomorrow I’ll try another soap mix: Executive Man and Sharp-Dressed Man, 1:3.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 October 2016 at 8:19 am

Posted in Shaving

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