Later On

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

Archive for June 2018

Noisy restaurants and aged ears

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Jack Aubrey in The Yellow Admiral is talking about a cousin, Harry Turnbull:

“Just as well, thought I, for Harry was in a horrid rage, having lost more money than he cared for to Colonel Waley – was barely civil – would not lend me a shirt – should be damned if he would lend me a shirt – scarcely had a shirt to his name – barely a single shirt to his back. You know how cross Harry Turnbull can be: he must have fought more often than any man in the country – a very dangerous shot and very apt to take offence. So when I walked into the committee-room and saw him still looking furious and contrary and bloody-minded, I felt quite uneasy: and though smiles from Crawshay and two other Blackses [members of Jack Aubrey’s club – LG] comforted me a little I did not really have much hope until the lawyer started proceedings. His low soapy tone did not suit Harry, who kept telling him to speak up, to speak like a Christian for God’s sake, and not mumble. When he was young, people never mumbled, he said: you could hear every word. If anyone had mumbled, he would have been kicked out of the room.”

I was thinking about this because we went to a restaurant this evening for dinner and the noise level was astonishing. I would estimate it as at least 80dB. Of course, that’s just a guess—but no more. I now have this nifty little app on my iPhone: Decibel X: dB, dBA Noise Meter. Now if I complain about the noise level, I can quantify it and and put it in context.

I see, for example, that dB level of my living is 42. Not bad at all. For comparison:

Written by LeisureGuy

30 June 2018 at 8:48 pm

A white woman called police on a black 12-year-old — for mowing grass

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Where do people get the idea that the US is a racist country? In the Washington Post Cleve Wootson Jr. reports on one way people might get the idea:

It’s a business that has existed for as long as there have been summer vacations and borrowed lawn mowers: A pint-size entrepreneur offers to endure the rage of a summer sun on a neighbor’s behalf, pushing a lawn mower across high grass for a small fee.

Last week, in Maple Heights, Ohio, that entrepreneur was Reggie Fields, a 12-year-0ld middle schooler who is the owner and mower-in-chief of Mr. Reggie’s Lawn Service. His sister and two cousins also provided manual labor in their neighborhood outside Cleveland, working a rake and a broom to corral clippings.

That’s what they told Lucille Holt-Colden, 51, who encountered them at a Dollar Tree where they were purchasing a gas canister and some lawn bags on June 23. Holt-Colden thought it was a good investment. Her grass was growing taller, and her $20 would be used to keep this particular group of black youths off the street and out of trouble.

She was mostly right.

As Reggie and his troupe were finishing up her yard, a Maple Heights Police SUV rolled up in front of Holt-Colden’s house.

When she saw the police through the window, she was surprised. Then, when she learned what had happened, she was outraged — and reached for her cellphone to share it with the world.

“My neighbors that stay in that house right there,” she said, swiveling the phone as it recorded her on video. “So I guess I have a line where part of it is not my yard. They called the police to tell the police that the kids was cutting their grass. Who does that? Who does that?”

She captioned the video: “This is RIDICULOUS!!!” a phrase she repeated several times during an interview with The Washington Post, along with “Who does this?”

Reggie, it seemed, was not just getting a lesson in summer business economics; he was also being schooled in the 21st century phenomenon known as #LivingWhileBlack.

Recently, African Americans who were engaged in laughably innocuous activities have been viewed through criminal-tinted glasses — and suddenly found themselves making explanations to police officers and security guards about completely lawful activities.

Someone called the police on a black man who was reading a book about Christianity while watching the ocean. Black people have had the authorities sicced on them while going to the gymshopping for underwear, waiting for the school bus and couponing.

Reggie isn’t even the youngest #LivingWhileBlack victim. A few weeks ago, an 8-year-old selling cold water to passersby to help fund a trip to Disneyland was approached by a white woman who pretended to call the police on her. In 2012, police were summoned to an elementary school in Georgia, where they handcuffed a 6-year-old kindergarten student — for throwing a temper tantrum.

Holt-Colden and Reggie are both black; the neighbor who called the police on Reggie is white, but Holt-Colden doesn’t know why the woman called the police. According to Holt-Colden, the same neighbor has called police in the past — in December, the neighbor reported a snowball fight between Holt-Colden’s children. The Washington Post has reached out to the Maple Heights Police Department to verify the call about a snowball fight. The neighbor could not be reached for comment.

“If the kids were white,” Holt-Colden said of Reggie and his family members, “they would not have called.” She told The Washington Post that neighbors of various races live in the neighborhood, but “I don’t have any problems with any other neighbors.”

When the police came, Holt-Colden said, Reggie’s 9-year-old cousin was frozen with fear in her driveway, worried that he was in trouble.

But Reggie kept mowing. The children were not cited or stopped by the police in any way.

Still, Holt-Colden said she was upset that an officer responded in the first place.

The Cleveland area has recently been shaken by the death of Saniyah Nicholson, a 9-year-old killed in the crossfire during a shooting in the eastern part of the city. Her death raised concerns about the idle time of thousands of students out of school for the summer, Holt-Colden said. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 June 2018 at 12:09 pm

So much for Trump’s great negotiation with North Korea: Intel Community Says North Korea Is Deliberately Deceiving Us

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Here are details from Kevin Drum. North Korea got what they wanted: prestige and an international stage shared just with the US, plus the cessation of the joint US-South Korean military exercises (plus President Trump called the exercises “provocative,” the propaganda word from North Korea). What did President Trump get in return? A few days with big headlines bearing his name, and that’s all he’s ever wanted.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 June 2018 at 7:25 am

“Police attacked me for stealing a car. It was my own.”

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And to think people say the US is a racist country! Lawrence Crosby, a PhD graduate in materials engineering, writes in the Washington Post:

I was face down on the pavement. One police officer was kneeing me in the back, while others pulled or punched. They paid no attention to my screams identifying myself as an engineering PhD student at Northwestern University. They just kept punching. One shouted, “Stop resisting!”
The record is on the dash-cam footage: It’s nighttime. I step out of my car, bewildered at being pulled over and surrounded by police vehicles in the college town I’ve lived in for years. I hold my hands up high, shocked to see several guns pointed at me. It turns out a fellow student had called the police to report that someone was trying to steal a car. That someone was me. The car was my own. I had a key.
“I don’t know if I’m, like, racial profiling,” the woman had told the 911 dispatcher. To her and to the police, I was a black man in a hoodie. After the cops arrived, after they tackled me, and after they determined that the car was, indeed, my own, they charged me anyway.
Resisting arrest, they said. One cop joked to another that I “should feel lucky” he didn’t shoot me.
I don’t feel lucky. Every time I see the video from that October 2015 encounter, I experience fear, anger and terror. Fear that the color of my skin will make me out to be a criminal when I have broken no laws. Anger at the blatant disregard for human life and rights that the Constitution is supposed to guarantee to all citizens. Terror to have come — perhaps — within seconds of being shot by people sworn to serve and protect.
Amadou Diallo Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams Philando Castile . Their stories — like many others — are all too familiar. They all suffered gross overreactions by officers of the peace. Unfortunately, you will never hear their side of the stories, as they didn’t get the chance to speak before being shot to death. But you can hear mine.
My experience happened in Evanston, Ill., a college town that thinks of itself as progressive and forward-thinking. If such rough treatment can happen here, where the police department has hired outside trainers to give lessons on racial sensitivity, and if it can happen to me, with my education and resources, it can happen anywhere.
My life is no more valuable than any of the people I mentioned above. Not at all. But this shouldn’t happen to anyone. I was minding my own business and driving my own car, my accuser was aware of her racial preconceptions, and the police should have known better. And still I ended up face down for a crime I didn’t commit, fearing for my life.
Now I must face consequences that are not of my own making. There’s an arrest on my record, even though a Cook County judge found me not guilty once he heard the evidence. There’s news coverage and the dash-cam video on the Internet, available for any future employer or colleague who might choose to question me or my motives.
This isn’t the story that I expected to be telling at this point in my life, having just received my doctorate from one of the top schools in the country. The bigger story of my life is growing up without knowing my father, losing my mother to illness when I was 8 and becoming a ward of the state.
Many people — black and white — stepped up to serve as mother, father, sister and brother to me. I persisted. The day after my foster mother kicked me out because I refused to join the National Guard, I applied to Stanford University and got in. After four years, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
I’ve done everything in my power to defy the odds. Yet I feel as though I’m forever going to have to explain myself. As for the arresting officers, are they doing any explaining? Will they have to answer for the rest of their lives for their decision to wrestle me to the ground, pummel me and charge me with a crime?
A fellow student’s impulsive action and her hasty decision to call the police have put all of my hard work in jeopardy. The arrest, the charges and the trial — a scarlet letter to go with the dark brown skin that I will wear for the rest of my life.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 June 2018 at 8:12 pm

Great illusion

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Written by LeisureGuy

29 June 2018 at 1:37 pm

Posted in Math

Trump is going to be really really angry at them: G.M. Says New Wave of Tariffs Could Force U.S. Job Cuts

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Trump will doubtless threaten to tax them heavily and talk about how they betrayed him. Tiffany Hsu reports in the NY Times:

General Motors warned Friday that another wave of tariffs being considered by the Trump administration could force the company to scale back its business and cost American jobs.

In comments submitted to the Commerce Department, the automaker said that the tariffs, if approved, could drive individual vehicle prices up thousands of dollars, stifling demand. Such costs would need to be borne either by consumers or the company.

Last month, President Trump ordered an investigation into whether imported cars and automotive components could pose enough of a national security risk to warrant tariffs of as much as 25 percent. If he goes ahead, it would intensify a global trade war that has engulfed allies and adversaries. In recent months, the administration has imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, along with measures targeted at China.

Carmakers, in particular, have been caught in the middle of the trade fight. They rely heavily on metals to build their cars, including parts from overseas. The president’s threat to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement could also hurt the industry supply chain.

Several other automakers and manufacturing organizations, including the National Association of ManufacturersBMW and Volvo, have also submitted comments on the tariffs under consideration for foreign automakers and part suppliers.

“Increased import tariffs could lead to a smaller G.M., a reduced presence at home and abroad for this iconic American company, and risk less — not more — U.S. jobs,” General Motors wrote in its comment.

The tariffs would result in “broad-brush trade barriers that increase our global costs, remove a key means of competing with manufacturers in lower-wage countries, and promote a trade environment in which we could be retaliated against in other markets,” the company said.

General Motors pointed to other potential consequences, including “less investment, fewer jobs and lower wages” for its employees.

“The carry-on effect of less investment and a smaller work force could delay breakthrough technologies and threaten U.S. leadership in the next generation of automotive technology,” the company wrote. . .

Continue reading.

And in the meantime Larry Kudlow flat-out lies that the deficit is coming down due to tax cuts. It is not. It is getting bigger, much bigger. Jeff Stein reports in the Washington Post:

President Trump’s top economic adviser said Friday that the federal deficit is “coming down rapidly,” contradicting estimates by nonpartisan analysts, Congress’s official scorekeeper and a branch of the White House.

Larry Kudlow, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, said on Fox Business that stronger economic growth was creating enough new tax revenue to bring down the deficit.
“The deficit — which was one of the other criticisms [of the GOP tax law] — is coming down, and it’s coming down rapidly,” Kudlow said. “It’s throwing up enormous amounts of new tax revenue.”
It’s hard to know where Kudlow is getting his numbers. The deficit from January through April was $161 billion, according to Treasury, up from $135 billion at the same point last year. And it will deteriorate further from here, since the Treasury collects a large amount of tax revenue during April when taxes are due for most Americans.
Kudlow, whose office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, may have been referring to a Congressional Budget Office report earlier this week that said the long-term deficit would be smaller than its estimate in 2017,  partly because of revised downward estimates of health-care spending.
But it made clear that deficits are still set to rise — both in the near and long term. “The federal budget deficit, relative to the size of the economy, would grow substantially over the next several years, stabilize for a few years, and then grow again over the rest of the 30-year period,” the CBO said, projecting that deficits as a percentage of the economy would rise from 3.9 percent in 2018 to 9.5 percent in 2048. The agency projects that on average for the next decade, the deficit would represent 4.9 percent of economic activity.
Commenting specifically on the 2017 tax law, the CBO said it would increase deficits by $1.27 trillion over the next decade, even when including the positive effects of the law on the economy.  Annual deficits require the government to borrow money to finance its operations, adding debt. The CBO estimates that the amount of debt the United States will have in a decade will equal almost the total size of the economy.
Official White House data suggest deficits are increasing, too. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget says the deficit is rising from $665 billion in 2017 to $832 billion in 2018, and will approach $1 trillion annually in 2019. . .

The US is now being run by the 3 stooges.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 June 2018 at 1:13 pm

Nice recipe for Pico de Galla

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Simple but tasty.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 June 2018 at 12:42 pm

Posted in Food, Low carb, Recipes

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