Later On

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

Archive for November 1st, 2021

Ratings, extended edition

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Written by Leisureguy

1 November 2021 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Daily life, Humor, Religion

The Problem That Broke Math (and led to quantum physics)

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A very interesting video.

Written by Leisureguy

1 November 2021 at 1:57 pm

Posted in Math, Science, Video

Bloodshed: A Report of Events During the January 6 Insurrection

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The Washington Post continues it trilogy of reports — Before, During, and After — of the events of the insurrection. As I did in my earlier post of the “Before” instalment, I am using a gift link (no paywall) to link to the complete report. It begins:

President Donald Trump had just returned to the White House from his rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 when he retired to his private dining room just off the Oval Office, flipped on the massive flat-screen television and took in the show. At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, thousands of his supporters were wearing his red caps, waving his blue flags and chanting his name.

Live television news coverage showed the horror accelerating minute by minute after 1:10 p.m., when Trump had called on his followers to march on the U.S. Capitol. The pro-Trump rioters toppled security barricades. They bludgeoned police. They scaled granite walls. And then they smashed windows and doors to breach the hallowed building that has stood for more than two centuries as the seat of American democracy.

The Capitol was under siege — and the president, glued to the television, did nothing. For 187 minutes, Trump resisted entreaties to intervene from advisers, allies and his elder daughter, as well as lawmakers under attack. Even as the violence at the Capitol intensified, even after Vice President Mike Pence, his family and hundreds of Congress members and their staffers hid to protect themselves, even after the first two people died and scores of others were assaulted, Trump declined for more than three hours to tell the renegades rioting in his name to stand down and go home.

During the 187 minutes that Trump stood by, harrowing scenes of violence played out in and around the Capitol. Twenty-five minutes into Trump’s silence, a news photographer was dragged down a flight of stairs and thrown over a wall. Fifty-two minutes in, a police officer was kicked in the chest and surrounded by a mob. Within the first hour, two rioters died as a result of cardiac events. Sixty-four minutes in, a rioter paraded a Confederate battle flag through the Capitol. Seventy-three minutes in, another police officer was sprayed in the face with chemicals. Seventy-eight minutes in, yet another police officer was assaulted with a flagpole. Eighty-three minutes in, rioters broke into and began looting the House speaker’s office. Ninety-three minutes in, another news photographer was surrounded, pushed down and robbed of a camera. Ninety-four minutes in, a rioter was shot and killed. One hundred two minutes in, rioters stormed the Senate chamber, stealing papers and posing for photographs around the dais. One hundred sixteen minutes in, a fourth police officer was crushed in a doorway and beaten with his own baton.

All in the first two hours.

Trump watched the attack play out on television and resisted acting, neither to coordinate a federal response nor to instruct his supporters to disperse. He all but abdicated his responsibilities as commander in chief — a president reduced to mere bystander. The tweets Trump sent during the first two hours of rioting were muddled at best. He disavowed violence but encouraged his supporters to press on with their fight at the Capitol. And throughout, he repeated the lie that the election was stolen.

His “Make America Great Again” army was on the march, just as he had commanded at the rally. The president had directed his followers to head to the Capitol in a forceful show of “pride and boldness” to pressure lawmakers to try to overturn the results of an election he falsely claimed had been rigged. And there they were, literally fighting to keep Trump in power.

“He was enamored with [how] ‘all these people are coming to fight for me,’ ” said a senior Republican close to him. “I don’t think he appreciated what was going on.”

An investigation by The Washington Post provides the richest understanding to date of Trump’s mindset and the cost of his inaction as democracy came under attack. It also reveals new aspects of an extensive pressure campaign by the president and those around him to get Pence to block certification of the election results — including a last-ditch appeal on the night of Jan. 6, after the riot was over, by attorney John C. Eastman, who urged Pence to reject electors as Congress reconvened.

In a statement, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich disputed The Post’s findings as “fake news” and falsely cast people who entered the Capitol that day as “agitators not associated with President Trump.”

The Post’s investigation also found that signs of escalating danger were in full view hours before the Capitol attack, including clashes that morning among hundreds of pro-Trump demonstrators and police at the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. The mounting red flags did not trigger stepped-up security responses that morning, underscoring how unprepared law enforcement authorities were for the violence that transpired. Yet some officials knew what to expect; Rep. Liz Cheney had hired a personal security detail out of fear for her own safety. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

1 November 2021 at 11:38 am

A belated Hallowe’en shave: Pumpkin and Valley of Ashes

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Orange brush handle as homage to the Great Pumpkin

Since Hallowe’en fell on Sunday, this year saw no Hallowe’en shave, but my All Saints’ Day shave perhaps will make up for it. I used my Yaqi “cashmere” brush in part because of the pumpkin-colored handle, but also because I like how the fine fibers seem to be produce a lather whose bubbles are very fine. And the lather from Seifenglatt’s Pumpkin Pie shaving soap was really excellent, in both fragrance and consistency.

Three passes of the marvellous Fine slant left my face perfectly smooth and — because I was careful to have the razor ride the cap — undamaged. 

A splash of Southern Witchcraft’s Valley of Ashes finishes the shave and starts a new month. I’m looking forward to the email I sent to FutureMe a year ago.

Written by Leisureguy

1 November 2021 at 11:24 am

Posted in Shaving

Red Flags Ignored Before January 6 Insurrection

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The Washington Post has a lengthy and detailed report [gift link: no paywall – LG] of what was known by law enforcement and the FBI in the days leading up to the invasion of the Capitol on January 6, an invasion that ultimately resulted in 5 deaths. The report contains many links, often to popups that provide more information. The report begins:

The head of intelligence at D.C.’s homeland security office was growing desperate. For days, Donell Harvin [As the head of intelligence at D.C.’s homeland security office, Harvin led a team that spotted warnings that extremists planned to descend on the Capitol and disrupt the electoral count.] and his team had spotted increasing signs that supporters of President Donald Trump were planning violence when Congress met to formalize the electoral college vote, but federal law enforcement agencies did not seem to share his sense of urgency.  On Saturday, Jan. 2, he picked up the phone and called his counterpart in San Francisco, waking Mike Sena before dawn.

Sena listened with alarm. The Northern California intelligence office he commanded had also been inundated with political threats flagged by social media companies, several involving plans to disrupt the joint session or hurt lawmakers on Jan. 6.

He organized an unusual call for all of the nation’s regional homeland security offices — known as fusion centers — to find out what others were seeing. Sena expected a couple dozen people to get on the line that Monday. But then the number of callers hit 100. Then 200. Then nearly 300. Officials from nearly all 80 regions, from New York to Guam, logged on.

In the 20 years since the country had created fusion centers in response to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Sena couldn’t remember a moment like this. For the first time, from coast to coast, the centers were blinking red. The hour, date and location of concern was the same: 1 p.m., the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6.

Harvin asked his counterparts to share what they were seeing. Within minutes, an avalanche of new tips began streaming in. Self-styled militias and other extremist groups in the Northeast were circulating radio frequencies to use near the Capitol. In the Midwest, men with violent criminal histories were discussing plans to travel to Washington with weapons.

Forty-eight hours before the attack, Harvin began pressing every alarm button he could. He invited the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, military intelligence services and other agencies to see the information in real time as his team collected it. He took another extreme step: He asked the city’s health department to convene a call of D.C.-area hospitals and urged them to prepare for a mass casualty event. Empty your emergency rooms, he said, and stock up your blood banks. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more, and the gift link bypasses the paywall. Links in the report take you to actual documentation of evidence (PDFs and the like). The report is amazingly detailed, complete, readable, and frightening.

The report includes a clickable table of contents. Here it is without the links:

The Attack

102 days to go
63 days to go
53 days to go
48 days to go
36 days to go
25 days to go
19 days to go
16 days to go
7 days to go
6 days to go
3 days to go
2 days to go
38 hours to go
18 hours to go

The “During” and “After” reports will be published later. I will blog those with gift links.

Written by Leisureguy

1 November 2021 at 2:32 am

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