Archive for April 10th, 2017
Trump is always interested in making a buck, and being President provides enormous opportunities for spin-off business. Philip Bump reports in the Washington Post:
For the 10th weekend in a row, President Trump is visiting a Trump-branded property — every weekend except the first two after his inauguration.
For the sixth weekend in a row, he’s golfing at one of those properties; he’s golfed on nine of those 10 weekends.
In total, Trump has spent time at one or more Trump-branded properties on 28 of the days he’s been president — meaning that he visits a property that’s part of his private business empire more than one-third of the days he’s been in office, or once every 2.8 days. The frequency at which he golfs is lower: He’s golfed on 17.9 percent of the days he’s been president, or about once every 5.6 days.
By comparison, Barack Obama golfed once every 8.8 days over the eight years that he was president. And he was excoriated by his political opponents for doing so — including, as is now well-known, by Trump. . .
From an interesting article on how SCOTUS seniority works and the duties of the most junior Justice, I found this surprising nugget:
The junior justice’s other responsibilities involve the private conference, when the justices meet alone — no clerks, no assistants — to decide which cases they will take and vote on the cases in which they’ve heard oral arguments.
It’s another event at which seniority rules. The chief justice speaks first, and then each justice speaks in order of longevity on the court. The junior justice speaks last and takes notes of the proceeding.
That strikes me as simply wrong. The rule I’ve learned and have followed in cases in which all must speak is that the most junior member speaks first, then the next most junior member, and so on, the most senior member speaking last.
The reason is obvious, assuming you want to get the best contributions from each: if the junior members go last, they are very likely simply to echo the statements of the senior (and presumably more powerful) members rather than offering their own ideas, especially if their ideas fall outside the norm defined by those who have already spoken.
Let junior people go first, since they will have the freshest ideas.
The Four Horsemen Signaling the Death of a Relationship: Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling
I”ve been reading with interest some stuff from Gottman.com and thought I’d point out this post on the Gottman website:
Today on The Gottman Relationship Blog, we would like to continue The Four Horsemen series by providing you with a strong foundation of understanding before we go into further depth about each specific communication style. Consider today’s posting an overview of what is to come over the next four weeks.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a metaphor depicting the end of times in the New Testament. They describe conquest, war, hunger, and death respectively. Dr. Gottman uses this metaphor to describe communication styles that can predict the end of a relationship.
The first horseman of the apocalypse is criticism. Criticizing your partner is different than offering a critique or voicing a complaint! The latter two are about specific issues, whereas the former is an ad hominem attack: it is an attack on your partner at the core. In effect, you are dismantling his or her whole being when you criticize.
- Complaint: “I was scared when you were running late and didn’t call me. I thought we had agreed that we would do that for each other.”
- Criticism: “You never think about how your behavior is affecting other people. I don’t believe you are that forgetful, you’re just selfish! You never think of others! You never think of me!”
If you find that you are your partner are critical of each other, don’t assume your relationship is doomed to fail. The problem with criticism is that, when it becomes pervasive, it paves the way for the other, far deadlier horsemen. It makes the victim feel assaulted, rejected, and hurt, and often causes the perpetrator and victim to fall into an escalating pattern where the first horseman reappears with greater and greater frequency and intensity.
The second horseman is contempt. When we communicate in this state, we are truly mean – treating others with disrespect, mocking them with sarcasm, ridicule, name-calling, mimicking, and/or body language such as eye-rolling. The target of contempt is made to feel despised and worthless.
“You’re ‘tired?’ Cry me a river. I’ve been with the kids all day, running around like mad to keep this house going and all you do when you come home from work is flop down on that sofa like a child and play those idiotic computer games. I don’t have time to deal with another kid – try to be more pathetic…”
In his research, Dr. Gottman found that couples that are contemptuous of each other are more likely to suffer from infectious illness (colds, the flu, etc.) than others, as their immune systems weaken! Contempt is fueled by long-simmering negative thoughts about the partner – which come to a head in the perpetrator attacking the accused from a position of relative superiority. Contempt is the single greatest predictor of divorce according to Dr. Gottman’s work. It must be eliminated!
The third horseman is defensiveness. We’ve all been defensive. This horseman is nearly omnipresent when relationships are on the rocks. When we feel accused unjustly, we fish for excuses so that our partner will back off. Unfortunately, this strategy is almost never successful. Our excuses just tell our partner that we don’t take them seriously, trying to get them to buy something that they don’t believe, that we are blowing them off.
- She: “Did you call Betty and Ralph to let them know that we’re not coming tonight as you promised this morning?”
- He: “I was just too darn busy today. As a matter of fact you know just how busy my schedule was. Why didn’t you just do it?”
He not only responds defensively, but turns the table and makes it her fault. A non-defensive response would have been: . . .
Perhaps “purpose-modified” would be a better term. Charles Fleming has the story in the LA Times:
Ford Motor Co. has unveiled the world’s first “pursuit-rated” hybrid police car and the Los Angeles Police Department may be among the first agencies to have one.
Chief Charlie Beck and LAPD officers were expected to help introduce the vehicle at a Monday morning ceremony in Los Angeles.
The Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan started life as a Ford Fusion before engineers gave it the law enforcement treatment by upgrading the suspension, beefing up the brakes, adding different wheels and tires, attaching a skid plate and altering the seats so they have room for police utility belts and include an “anti-stab” plate to protect officers from sharp instruments coming from the back seat.
It won its world-first “pursuit-rated” stripes in testing by Michigan State Police and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Ford said in announcing the new vehicle.
The Responder is driven by Ford’s 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to an electric motor powered by a 1.4-kilowatt lithium ion battery. That powertrain, Ford said, will get an EPA-estimated 38 miles per gallon — more than twice the fuel economy in Ford’s current police vehicle, the Interceptor.
Ford hasn’t published specifications on the new vehicle yet, but Arie Groeneveld, of the company’s police programs department, said the Responder will accelerate from zero to 60 mph at about the same rate as the Crown Victoria-based Interceptor police vehicle.
That car scored well in 2016 law enforcement testing. In one test, the Interceptor went zero to 60 in 5.8 seconds, ahead of Dodge’s Charger police vehicle’s 6.6 seconds and Chevrolet’s police Caprice, at 6.7 seconds.
Pricing has not been announced, but hybrid vehicles typically cost more than their internal combustion engine counterparts. Ford executives said fuel savings should pay for the higher cost within one year.
Ford expects the Responder to do well.
“Cities have been asking us for solutions to reduce carbon emissions and costs, and agencies have been asking for greener police cars and greener pursuit vehicles,” said Kevin Koswick, director of Ford’s lease and remarking operations in North America. “We saw a need and we thought we could fulfill it.”
The Responder will go into production early next year. LAPD units could be driving them by late 2018. . .
The experiment continues. This morning I tried a new Derby blade but same Wolfman handle as last time.
But first, the prep. I used a Simpson Emperor 2 Best brush, and though it is fine, I’m thinking I like the Emperor 3 a bit better, so the 2 may go to auction. Still, the lather was excellent and the rose fragrance of Soap Commander Love is excellent: very pure and not heavy. Rose is a classic men’s fragrance, in my mind somehow associated with the Cavaliers.
My tremor was quite noticeable this morning, and in some cases I supported my shaving hand with my other hand in an effort to reduce it. That was only partly successful and I did suffer one nick, though not a bad one, on the upper lip in the XTG pass. Still, the new blade did better, I think. Later this week I’ll keep the same blade and switch to the iKon SE handle and see whether that makes a difference.
A good splash of D.R. Harris Pink After Shave, also a rose fragrance, and I’m more or less ready for the week. I scored a package of lamb neck from the supermarket, and I’m looking forward to cooking that.